Archive for the Part 5 Category

The Paladins

Posted in Part 5 on August 6, 2008 by Beverly

“Alright Paul, I’ve sent you the property tax records confirming that the castle is owned by the Paladins. Now I’m doing a basic search for additional information. I’ll upload the files for you as I locate them. If you can also search and let me know what you find, that will be helpful.”

“I’ve located some general information on the group. Listen to this. The Paladins are a collegiate secret society established in 1833 at Coates University. They are headquartered in the Paladin Castle, located approximately 2.5 kilometers from the campus. The Paladins are a closed society. Membership is offered to ‘leading men’ in the junior and senior classes and among the faculty. The identity of the members is a closely guarded secret, revealed only upon the death of a member. The society is described as social in nature, and has no political agenda or affiliation.”

“I’ve found something! It’s about the castle. It mentions that the castle is protected by a system of force fields. We knew that already. But it also says that other security measures are in place and that while the Paladins do not object to visitors taking an occasional quick look at the castle in daylight, habitual trespassers and those who try to visit at night are subject to criminal prosecution. I guess that’s not too surprising. How else could a secret society remain secret?”

“Oh, excellent! Here is a list of rumors about the Paladins. They are unsubstantiated, of course, but interesting. According to these rumors, the Paladins have wild parties at which they partake of illicit drugs . . . another source reports they have dull parties at which they view holocasts of sporting events . . . Here it says that the Paladins can only be contacted by means of a handwritten letter placed between the feet of the statue of Andrew Coates on Founder’s Plaza . . . but here it says the Paladins can’t be contacted at all . . . This person claims that when a member is initiated, the Paladins place their mark upon the outside of his residence . . . Here’s a story about them holding mysterious midnight concleves in the old campus cemetery, on Halloween night, naturally . . . Here are a few people claiming to have seen ghosts in the woods surrounding the castle . . . others say they’ve witnessed torchlight processions . . . Paul, I wouldn’t put too much faith in any of these rumors. They’re the standard sort of misinformation that people spread about all secret societies.”

“I can’t find any other references. No! Wait! Here, access this file. It’s a list of documents stored in the Coates History Collection in the campus library. It seems that the Paladins only maintain hand written records, nothing computerized, and that they’re stored in a sealed archive. The only information available to the public is this list. Not that it gives much information, since it’s only a series of document titles.”

“Do you see any documents on that list that might reference the 20th or early 21st centuries?”

“Not offhand. Why do you ask?”

“Well, I had a – that is to say, I – I – sort of had a vision when we were at the castle the other day. There were cars in it.”

“WHAT?!?”

“You know, old fashioned personal transport vehicles. They had wheels with rubber tires and . . . “

“Paul! I know what a car is! Just tell me about your vision.”

“I was looking at the castle. And it was daylight and I could see the sun and the blue sky.”

“And then I was still looking at the castle, but suddenly it was night. And there were cars in front of it.”

“And then it was daylight again and you were grabbing me and yelling at me about staying away from the force field.”

“I wonder if somehow you’ve developed a sort of psychic connection with the Paladin’s Castle.”

“You know I don’t believe in all that psychic mumbo jumbo. I’m a scientist.”

“I’m not talking about Ouija boards and old ladies with bandanas on their heads peering into crystal balls and telling you you’ll meeting a dark, handsome stranger! I’m talking about true psychic connections, in which a unknown or misunderstood stimulus causes reactions in your brain that are so unique as to be nearly impossible to interpret. That’s what I think happened to you, and you’d better start subscribing to that hypothesis, as well.”

“Because the only other feasible explanation is that you’re going crazy!”

Part 6

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