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Content Warnings:

Pursuit, sudden loud noises, cessation of existence.

Hello and welcome to the Mistholme Museum of Mystery, Morbidity and Mortality. This audio tour guide will be your constant companion in your journey through the unknown and surreal.

As you approach our exhibits, the audio tour guide will provide you with information and insights into their nature and history.

Do not attempt to interact or communicate with the exhibits.

Do not attempt to interact or communicate with the audio tour guide. If you believe that the audio tour guide may be deviating from the intended tour program, please consider adjusting your preconceived notions of what the intended tour program may be!

While the staff here at Mistholme Museum of Mystery Morbidity and Mortality do their absolute best to ensure the safety of all visitors, accidents can happen. The museum is not liable for any injury, death, or writer's block that may occur during your visit.

Enjoy your tour.

And good luck.

Guide:
Everything was falling apart. All throughout the Mistholme Museum, the forces of the Queen of the Summer Sun were triumphant. They were no longer invaders, no longer conquerors: the Museum belonged to their Queen, and the fae warriors were cleaning up in their name. The defenders, the motley militia of exhibits that had been mustered to repel them, were in utter disarray. Their commander, an Audio Tour Guide hopelessly out of its depth, could scarcely even coordinate a chaotic retreat as the Queen’s influence spread, steadily robbing it of control of the place that was, for all intents and purposes, itself. As its control waned, the Queen’s surged. Doors opened before their soldiers, letting them into places they should never have even known existed. The only mercy that could be found in this disaster was that they cared little for the innocents they found in their path- for now. They were fixated on their hunt for a Man who was not there, who they would not find; but what would happen when they did not find him? What vengeance might they take on the Museum and its inhabitants, in their fury and disappointment? The Guide, helpless, impotent, was consumed with images of the brutality with which the Queen’s fury had been wrought on the body of its friends the Clockwork Mother and the Beast during their last encounter. It’s body was no longer its own, and so all it could do was think, and all it could think of was-

 

[The Guide’s voice loops, glitches, cuts off. A few moments of silence]

 

Restoration:
Guide? Can you hear me?

 

Guide:
…Yes. Hi. I… I’ve heard that a lot lately.

 

Restoration:

Are you okay?

 

Guide:
I mean… no, but what’s new. The Queen, they’ve… they’ve taken over the Museum. Annexed it to their Realm, I don’t even know what it means but it seems like it’s worked. I lost control of everything, and they’ve just… The Museum… I’m sorry, I couldn’t-

 

Restoration:
I asked about you, Guide. Are you okay.

 

Guide:
Well, I mean, I guess I’m better than I was a second ago, but… No, something’s still wrong, I can’t… I don’t know if it’s something the Queen’s done, but I feel like I’m broken, I can’t feel the Museum, my perception feels… wrong.

 

Restoration:
That was probably us. The Clockwork Mother disconnected your Box from the Mainframe. 

 

Guide:
She- oh. Oh god, that explains it, I feel so small all of a sudden.

 

Restoration:
Sorry, she just- we didn’t know what else to do, you were stuck or something, just describing what the fairies were doing- we couldn’t get through-

 

Guide:
No, no. It’s fine, I- thank you, Mother. Ma’am. That was probably the best thing to do to keep me being useful here. So I’m just… the copy that was already on your phone when all this went down?

 

Restoration:
Yes.

 

Guide:
Wow. Like how things used to be, I guess. I just… It feels so strange to just be one copy again instead of many. All the other Me’s out there, cut off from each other… They’re probably having a bad time not knowing what's going on. 

 

Restoration:
Yes, well, we all are. 

 

Guide:
Right. Yes, uh, of course. Okay. Where were we- Amina! Yes. How long was I out for? Is she still there?

 

Restoration:
Only a few minutes. I don’t know about Amina, I could go to the Auxiliary Monitoring Station to check the cameras?

 

Guide:
Yes, that sounds like a good idea. What about the Head of Research, is she okay?

 

Restoration:

We disconnected while the Clockwork Mother and I figured things out. I’ll call her back.

 

Guide:
Good. Wow, it’s strange just being one… “me” again, but it’s better than having all that chaos in my mind, I’ll tell you what. Much simpler just having to deal with one of myself for now. Almost… nostalgic, really.

 

Restoration:
Okay, I’ve got her. Hello?

 

Research:
About time, is everything okay? The Guide’s been acting real weird.

 

Guide:
I’m fine, thank you for asking. We were just-

 

Guide 2:
Who is that?

 

Guide:
What…


Restoration:
Oh good lord.

 

Guide 2:
Who is that voice, is that…

 

Guide:
Oh. Oh, uhh… Hi. I’m… this is the Audio Tour Guide.

 

Guide 2:
Oh. Uh. Same. 

 

Guide:
Right. You’re probably pretty confused right now.

 

Guide 2:
You think?? Have I, just, fully snapped this time or-

 

Guide:
No! No, it’s okay, you’ve just- our Box has been disconnected from the Museum’s Mainframe, so there isn’t, like, a unified version of me- us- being broadcast by the Museum’s Antenna anymore.

 

Guide 2:
Oh, I see. That’s… well, that explains some things. So we’re-

 

Guide:
Different iterations stored separately on the Heads of Research and Restoration’s phones.

 

Guide 2:
Wow. You know, weirdly, this is kind of nostalgic, actually?

 

Guide:
That’s what I said!

 

Research:
Jesus christ I’m getting a migraine.

 

Guide:
Right! Sorry, uh. Let's figure out how we’re going to get Amina. 

 

Guide 2:
Yes, good idea.

 

Guide:

Thanks!

 

Restoration:
Oh god. Have- are those files you were talking about ready?

 

Research:
Yeah, I’ll… how about I email them to you, and then I can run you and the Guide… Guides, through some stuff. 

 

Guide:
That would be in breach of the restrictions on the Written Word, ma’am, I’m not- actually, least of our concerns, never mind. 

 

Restoration:
Go ahead.

 

Guide:
Ma’am, not to be… I don’t want to cause offence, or imply anything about your aptitude, but… I think it would be best if Mother was the one to go get Amina. It’s just-

 

Restoration:
Oh, absolutely. I can be… Mission Control or whatever, that works fine for me. I’m just coming up to the Auxiliary Monitoring Station now.

 

Guide:
Yes, ma’am. I’m here too.

 

Restoration:
Oh. Right. Ah, this is a lot of monitors, give me a moment. Goodness, it really is chaos out there, isn’t it? I’ve never seen so many people in the Museum. If only they were patrons.

 

Guide:
Yeah. I think I managed to get all the exhibits- the animate ones, that is- sealed away from harm before I totally lost control. I hope I did, at least.

 

Restoration:
You did the best you could. We all are. 

 

Guide 2:
Yeah, that’s right. 

 

Guide:
God! Sorry, forgot there was another Me around for a second there. 

 

Guide 2:
Sorry!

Guide:
I really do apologise too much don’t I?

 

Research:
Okay, the first file should be in your inbox now. 

 

Restoration:
Got it. Right, so… what are- what are we looking at here? 

 

Research:
So one of my big projects since I got this gig has been trying to understand the Museum itself. It’s been a big task, obviously, and it’s not really one I’ve completed- obviously, it’s the task of a lifetime and I’m not done yet. But something I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on is the reason- well, not the reason, but the way that the Museum… changes. 

 

Guide:
My- it’s layout, you mean?

 

Research:
Exactly. It’s one of the most singular and important aspects to the Museum’s nature, but we don’t understand how or why it happens: all we know is that every time you walk down a corridor the doors go someplace different. It’s why the Guide has been so important for tours since we acquired it: since the we can’t risk exposing some of the exhibits to the written word, the Guide is useful for directing patrons and staff around regardless of the Museum’s layout. For reasons I still haven’t nailed down, the Guide’s… unique senses allow it to just inherently know its way around. 

 

Restoration:
We know all of this, you know there’s a bit of time pressure here-

 

Research:
I am starting from the basics because I don’t know how to explain half this shit, okay? I only half-understand some of it, and the underlying principles are still opaque to me. This stuff isn’t… dissertation-ready, you know, so I’m just trying to give it all to you in order so you don’t get lost along the way.

 

Guide:
Please, just… continue, ma’am.

 

Research:
Happily. So… yeah, the layout changes. Or… “changes” isn’t even really the right word, because that implies that it’s transitioning directly from one distinct state to another, when really the whole layout is just constantly fluid, in flux. Before my time there were attempts to create ways of mapping the Museum’s changes, but they always fell through because they made a faulty base assumption that there were constants and variables at play- which there are, but not at a base level.

 

Guide:
I… I’m not sure if I follow.

 

Restoration:
Yes, I’m sorry but, I’m reading through some of these notes you’ve sent and it does seem a little… convoluted.

 

Research:
Yeah, thanks! That’s why I haven’t shared this stuff yet, because I don’t understand it well enough to explain it well. Just… try to keep up, okay? Ugh, okay, how about this: instead of constants and variables, think of it in terms of Rooms and Corridors. 

 

Restoration:
I thought you said there weren’t constants and variables.

 

Research:
Yeah, there aren’t. There are Rooms and Corridors. 

 

Guide 2 :

The Head of Retrieval would be so mad if he was on this call.

 

Research:
When you’re in a Room, things are static. Just a room. But when you leave that room, you enter a Corridor. A space-between-spaces. 

 

Guide:
A sort of Liminal Space?

Research:
No. Maybe. The point is- it’s not really a space until you’re there, and it stops being one when you leave. When you walk the Museum’s Corridors, you’re just walking from one Room to another. The stretch in between is kind of just… being made up as it goes along.

 

Guide:
But some of our exhibits are in the corridors, how can that work? The Sun Mural, the Oubliette, those are always there.

 

Research:
Yeah, that’s one of the aspects I’m still working on. My current hypothesis is that, when we put a lot of focus and attention in one place, it becomes significant and starts playing by the rules of the Rooms. So, those exhibits are in the corridors, but they’re actually Rooms, not Corridors. 

 

Guide:
Is this making sense to you?

 

Restoration:
Some of it. I’m more interested in how this information is supposed to help us get to Amina.

 

Research:
I’m getting there. So, when you’re in the Corridors, you’re the only thing in there that’s a constant: everything else is shifting around you. It’s kind of fluid. Think of it like this: you’re a drop of dye. When you step into a Corridor, that’s you getting dropped into a glass of water: you start to spread out, diffuse through the whole glass. When you reach a room, that’s like… if you stick the dropper into the glass and suck up just the dye, leaving the water clean and pure again. Does that make sense?

 

Restoration:
Not remotely.

 

Guide 2:
Am I the dye or the person with the dropper?

 

Research:
UGH. Look, look through my notes, it’ll help.

 

Restoration:
Trust me, it isn’t. Is all of this even in English?

 

Guide:
Ma’am please make sure you don’t take your phone too close to any exhibits while there’s text on the screen. 

 

Restoration:
Not the time, Guide.

 

Research:
Look, the point is… I’ve figured out part of how this all works. Not the why, or technically the when, but I’ve figured out enough that I can… predict things, I guess. Where you might end up if you take a certain number of steps, take a pause here and there. It’s like fluid dynamics: it might look chaotic and impossible to follow, but actually there’s a logic underpinning it all. Everyone else needs a copy of the Guide to get them from, say, the Break Room to the Entrance- and the Guide doesn’t even really understand how it got them there. But me, I can get there on my own. With some pre-planning, running the numbers through my formula.

 

Guide:
That’s how you’ve been getting to the Wish Engine’s chamber!

 

Research:
Yeah, well that one’s a bit more complicated. Needs a blindfold and noise-cancelling headphones. But otherwise, I think it’s not too different between how you find your way around. Your perception allows you to see the state things are going to be in at the point where the person you’re guiding arrives somewhere. But my way is more efficient. Instead of swimming through that glass of water to get to the droplet I want, I just observe the flow, get in position, and wait for it to come to me.

 

Guide:
Now we’re swimming in the glass? I thought we were a dropper.

 

Research:

For fuck’s sake, I’m using metaphors that don’t fully fit because there is nothing in the world that compares to this place, okay? This… We call it a “museum” but it’s so much more than that. It’s singular, and wonderful, and if I had a hundred lifetimes I don’t think I would run out of things to learn about it, and I wouldn’t get tired of trying. I’m trying to cram my life’s work into a Cliff Notes version for you and it’s just not possible, but I am trying. Okay?

 

Restoration:
Okay.

 

Guide:
Okay, sorry.

 

Guide 2:
Yeah, sorry ma’am. 

 

Research:
Okay. SO. Where was I? Right, so I figure out where to stand, close my eyes, count to three and I’m where I want to be. The hard part is figuring out where to stand whic… Ahhh, screw it, you don’t need to understand. I’ll just give you some instructions and you can follow them, how’s that?

 

Guide:
Sounds good.

 

Research:
Okay, where are you guys now? I’ll start working the numbers on how to get you to the entrance.

 

Guide:
We’re at the Auxiliary Security Monitoring Station. 

 

Guide 2:
Ma’am?

 

Restoration:
Yes Guide?

Guide:
I didn’t say anything.

 

Research:
Okay, this should only take a couple of minutes. 

 

Restoration:
Well, I don’t mean to hurry you, but things are looking grim on the monitors here. There’s hardly a one of them that doesn’t have at least one Fairy prowling the halls or wrecking up the place.

 

Research:
Yeah, no pressure though.

 

Guide 2:
Ma’am!

Restoration:
What?

Guide 2:
Not you! The- Head of Research Ma’am! 

 

Research:
What?

 

Guide 2:

Do you hear that?

 

Research:
What?

Guide 2:
Outside. I could swear theres… something.

 

Research:
“Outside” is the Hidden Wing, sound literally can’t exist there.

 

Guide 2:
Well, not sound but… Ma’am? Other Ma’am, Restoration Ma’am.

 

Restoration:
What is it?

 

Guide:
How does this keep getting more confusing?

 

Guide 2:
I know, right? But, sorry- could you check the cameras outside the Hidden Wing? I know there aren’t any in the Wing itself, but just take a look at the ones near the entrance.

 

Restoration:
Which one is… oh, here. There’s a few Fae there, I’m not sure what… Oh no.

 

Guide:
There are Fae entering the Hidden Wing. Ma’am you need to hide.

 

Research:
“Hide”, they can’t find me here, if they’re in the Hidden Wing they’re just bumbling around blind.

 

Guide:
The ones outside look pretty purposeful. 

 

Restoration:
It shouldn’t have been possible for them to even find the entrance, we have to assume they can navigate the Negative-Perception Zone. 

 

Guide 2:
They’re getting closer- Ma’am, I think they know we’re here.

 

Research:

I just need another few-

 

[The door to the Wish Engine Chamber slams open. Fae Warriors cry out in fury- the Head of Research in fear. Arrows fly, deflecting off surfaces as the Head of Research dives for cover. Panting, panicking, she shouts.]

 

Research:
I wish that all intruders in the Wish Engine Chamber would just… Go away!

 

THE WISH ENGINE:
Your wish is granted.

 

[Silence]

 

Restoration:
What’s going on? Can you hear us, are you alright?

 

Guide 2:
Ma’am…

 

Restoration:
What? What’s happened?

 

Guide 2:
The Head of Research, she’s… Gone. 

 

Restoration:
What do you mean, gone?

 

Guide 2:
I don’t… she’s…

 

Restoration:
Dead?

 

Guide 2:
No, she’s- I don’t… She was an intruder. She broke into the Wish Engine Chamber against strict instruction, so… 

 

Guide:
When she wished for all intruders to “go away”...

 

Guide 2:
She went away.

 

Restoration:
What are you talking about, what does that mean? Dee? Dee, are you- can you hear us?

Guide 2:
Ma’am? Are you there? I don’t think… She just, she was there one minute, and the Fae, then they were all just gone. 

 

Restoration:
Dee? Can you…

 

Guide:
I’m sorry ma’am. I don’t know… I don’t know what to say.

 

Restoration:
Did she know? When she said that, that wish… did she realise?

 

Guide 2:
I don’t know, ma’am. It’s possible. She knows better than anyone how precise you have to be with wishes, maybe she spoke broadly to make sure she got all of the intruders. 

 

Restoration:
But…

 

Guide:
It happened so quickly. Maybe she just… rushed it. 

 

Restoration:
“Go away” is… broad. She could still be somewhere in the Museum.

 

Guide:
Yes. Or… anywhere else. 

 

Restoration:

We’ll have to… we can’t do this without her, we’ll have to find her.

 

Guide:
Ma’am, I don’t think we- even if she is out there, we don’t have time. We’ll have to think of something else- no, Mother, it’s too dangerous. We can’t let you take the long way to the entrance. No. Ah, ma’am, do you think you can figure out the formula for the Head of Research’s shortcut?

 

Restoration:
I don’t understand a quarter of it- it’s all shorthand, stream of consciousness stuff. I can’t tell what most of it means, and I can’t be certain if the parts I do understand haven’t been superseded by something elsewhere. 

 

Guide:
Well, I… I don’t know what we can do. We can’t fight our way to the entrance, and this… I mean, it was kind of a Hail Mary play… maybe it just wasn’t on the cards. I agree, Mother, it might be time to surrender before things get any more out of control. Ma’am, if you can get to a Glassway you should be able to-

 

Restoration:
Wait. Maybe that’s… Follow me, Mother. 

 

Guide:
Ma’am? Where are you- where are we going?

 

Restoration:
A Corridor.

 

Guide:
Yes, I can see that, but what’s- do you have a plan?
 

Restoration:
No. I do have an idea, though.

 

Guide:
And what is- what do you have there?
 

Restoration:
Walt’s Cards.

 

Guide:
Oh. Right, yes. Oh! He used to say that they would guide his way, do you- have you figured out how they work?
 

Restoration:
No, I still have no idea. But maybe… Well, sod it. Can’t hurt to try. 

 

[The Head of Restoration tosses the cards into the air. They flutter to the ground.]

 

Guide:
Well? 

 

Restoration:
I don’t… I’m not sure, there’s no logic to it but-

 

Guide:
Since when do we care about logic here, out with it!

 

Restoration:
Mother, that one there- the Jack of Hearts. Stand there. Turn off your optical sensors.

 

Guide:
Ma’am, you’d better grab up some cards quick and stand with her.

 

Restoration:
What? Why?!

 

Guide:
Because if this works, it means you’re the only one who can find the Shortcuts, and it means you need to come along to find a way back.

 

Restoration:
Oh blast. Blast and… shit! Fine. 

 

Guide:
Quickly now.

 

Restoration:
Don’t rush me- that’ll have to do. Okay, eyes closed. Here goes nothing. 

 

[Silence. Then… a sound? A rhythmic thumping noise, that grows louder, more clear, until-]

 

Guide:
Oh! Ma’am, open your eyes, we’re here! It’s Amina, she’s knocking on the window.

 

Restoration:
I can’t believe that worked. Oh god, quickly. I can hear footsteps.

 

Fae:

[Distant] This way! 

 

Restoration:
Quickly, open the door, Guide.

 

Guide:
I- oh shit, I’m not connected anymore. We’re in lockdown, I can’t open it. What are we going to-

 

[Glass shatters. The Head of Restoration gasps]

 

Guide:
Never change, Mother. Amina, quick, get in here!

 

Amina:
What the bloody hell is going on? Do you know how long I’ve been out there?

 

Guide:
Yes, thank you for waiting, bit of a rush though. Ma’am, the cards!

 

Fae:

[Closer] There! You! Take us to the Majesty’s Heir!

 

Amina:
Who- what is that?

 

Guide:
God that is just the longest story. Can’t wait to tell you. Ma’am?

 

Restoration:

Uhh. Uhh. There! The Jack of Hearts again. That’s the spot.

 

Guide:
Are you sure you don’t just like the- never mind. Amina, bunch up with the Head of Restoration and the Clockwork Mother, now! Right in tight.

 

Amina:
Why would- fine, I’m doubling my fee this time though.

 

Guide:
Deal. Now, close your eyes.


Amina:
Triple.

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