Chapter 5 :: Ludwig II :: The Mad King of Bavaria ::


Ludwig II was King of Bavaria from 1864 until his mysterious disappearance in 1865, when Declan Guy encountered him boating along Swan Lake... Dancing with the Dark King in the midst of a midsummer Bavarian night under the waning and pale moonlight, Declan suggested the Monarch be hereafter known as the Swan King, or der Märchenkönig, the Fairy Tale King.


King Ludwig was very much in love with Declan Guy from the moment he unexpectedly appeared in his court dressed only in the torn bottom half of an O’Neill ”Reactor” Wet Suit...



The King had declared his love for Declan in the heat of the moment, and then ordered all his subjects to abandon their stone and straw houses in the villages surrounding his castles and all go live as free spirits of the woods, running naked and sleeping in Avataresque tree pods for eternity in the generous heart of the warming and welcoming earthy Black Forest.

This was a sweeping romantic and very regal gesture dedicated to Declan Guy, on the night of their vanishing, when the King and the boy drifted down and away on the Rhine River in King Ludwig’s most beautiful and bejeweled, hand carved wooden Swanning Boat.


The lilting, glittering magical fog was ebbing up and wafting through the multitudinous stars twinkling and flickering down from Skywalker Ranch and the George Lucas CGI Studios, where the Industrial Light and Magic teams were working overtime to draw Declan through an unexpected Time Portal and into a new and fantastic, complex, familiar, but surprisingly strange and expensive looking parallel world...



In this universe, the well known Oxford College has a back door through Jordan College and just down the hallway, leading to the courtyard, an impassable metal gate stands outside the students’ dormitories locked tightly, with a great grey iron padlock, blocking all passage away from or coming in through this idyllic 19th Century Steampunk Town in Bavaria...



On this unseasonably sunny summer morning Declan Guy walked directly out through the flickering and sputtering electron entangled quantum fire powered Wonder Wheel and Donnie Darko derivative Time Portal and out onto Wardour Street in SoHo, London, near 64 Old Compton Street, where The Time Travelling teen Surfer from Santa Cruz, California kept a modest (but very expensive to those who can't afford it) single flat on the 3rd Floor exactly for moments like this, when he happened to drop by “Old Blighty” with little or no choice or notice...



Such is the life of a Dark Matter Zonebinder in the 25th and a half Century, that having a pre-rented personal flat in key areas and capitol cities known to be eclectic sweet spots for Chronographic Time Portals always comes in handy.



Declan Guy often wondered whether the Astronomer and particle physicist Ptolemy of Ancient Greece kept extra flats in Ancient Egypt when he visited Hypatia of Alexandria using his secret machine, the Organon Parallacticon, for Time Travel.



This area was prone to Time Map Pathways and Gates uploading now and then with full throttle singularities, and the commercial shop on the street level below the apartment, was known as “The Dark Matter Zone” as well, for the benefit of any Time Guides or Time Tourists traveling without maps, Time Apps or Dark Matter Zonebinder friends.

This shop sold Chronographic Sky Maps, and Declan was curious whether he might find the current map he had designed himself, recently, before he was separated from Steampunk Baby Dumpling on the Island Kyle of Lochalsh in Scotland a few days before he met Ludwig II, the Mad King of Bavaria...


In fact, it was at this precise moment, Declan began to wonder aloud to himself about his previous meeting with King James of Scotland in his castle, and that unexpected guest, Matthew Hopkins, the WitchFinder General, in the Dark Tower...And here, Dear Reader, Declan Guy opened the door to his flat and set the keys down on the kitchen counter near the fresh fruit basket left a few hours earlier by the boys from the “Dark Matter Zone” shop downstairs...



Declan stared out the window, overlooking Compton’s of Soho, the pub across the street. The clang clang of brutal beer barrels bouncing off the cobblestones in the street jarred Deck’s mind a bit adding a moment of clarity and insight to a moment when Declan suddenly and unexpectedly entered a "Wrinkle in Time" without the benefit of Oprah Winfrey as guide.



Declan closed his right eye and held his right hand over his open left eye in the obverse direction to his left hand held out into the air. From a distance, he heard Steampunk Baby Dumpling’s voice singing the “Inception Song” they had chosen together for this Solar Year...”The Thomas Crown Affair...”



And Declan Guy unwittingly recited the words Steampunk Baby Dumpling implanted along the associative neural pathways linked to this particular melody just as the song began to play somewhere deep in the back of his mind...”



“Like a clock whose hands are spinning past the minutes on its face, the Earth is just a apple whirling silently in space, like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind.”




And a landscape appeared in Deck‘s mind’s eye. He was standing in a field of orange Windmills and tulips. He turned to the nearest Windmill and the door flung open, and the Steampunk Baby Dumpling smiled in the sun, laughing ecstatically together, the boys’ warm embrace was a shared astral vision but real enough to satisfy a telepath and a Time Traveler..”





”Deck, you are so lost!” Steam could hardly contain his convulsive laughter and misguided Mr. Spock like illogical love for his best friend.



”The song was a SyncLok you sent!” Declan tried to remember the song and the events at the Scottish Island, but found he could not recall anything at all. “I don’t remember the castle and I don’t know how I met the Swan King. If you hadn’t raised the “Inception” Emergency Protocol, I don’t know how I could have found you.” Declan knew all to well the separation of a Zonebinder and his Time Hacker Tracker usually lead to one way Portals, and none of those lead to home.



”Something bad happened with that book, Deck. You disappeared for the longest time.. Caitriona is here on the “Belle Sauvage” with me and we’re heading to Earth from Mars to find you.”



”La Belle Sauvage... I remember that ship from a dream I had last night. It’s a blue AeroShip. And I remember a book you were drawing some Runes, I think they were Elven or Fairy..” Deck was glad to see Steam was comfortable in this earthlike setting for their meeting like two temporal time patched Vulcan Mind Melds.



Steam frequently said he was accustomed to living in the crystal caves in the Mars Underground, deep beneath the Olympus Mons Volcano, that had buried civilization on Mars 5 miles below the surface of the planet,(Hint: Read the first three chapters... eh, stupid?) but Declan always believed Steam preferred to wander with him in the forests, the lochs and the lakes on Earth, like ones they'd visited in Amsterdam and Cumbria.



“We may need to go after the Malleus Maleficarum Book, sooner than we know... The Frequency of Magic needs to be checked before we open our first Acorn on the Thamesdown!” Steam smiled wickedly...



”The Book of Dirt?” Declan laughed convulsively..."We're taking a bus on the next adventure?"
Declan looked into Steam's eyes directly, which is a rare trick, when your friend is as brilliant and as telepathic as Steampunk Baby Dumpling.

Steam’s eyes gleamed like two Black Cab headlights after a dozen pints in a row.



”We’re doing the “Book of Dirt” again?” Declan’s favourite adventure was about to begin again...



Oh, do figure it out, by this time, Dear Reader... Take a moment to think, when you have a moment to spare in between taking pictures of yourself in the mirror...When you travel in time long enough, and often enough, things begin to happen in spirals and spheres, and time tends to loop with no beginning and no end in sight... This explains Declan Guy's uncanny ability to dream events and images coming from ahead in the future occurring on the next day....Got it yet? ... Eh,stupid?



Call me if you're confused and I'll put you on hold until you figure it out for yourself anyway.




“This is better than the Scottish Play and those three witches, but what about History, Steam? Do we have to back in time before we go back to the future?”



“We can press on after the first Acorn opens tomorrow morning.” Steam put his hand on Declan’s shoulder as they both began to fade from the shared Astral projection. “We’ll need to monitor the Frequency of Magic, to make sure the evil Matthew Hopkins wroughts against the Earth extends no further than prior to our entanglement in Caitriona’s time line...”



“And probably we should get that book back..” Declan laughed and looked sheepish, which came to him easily after spending so much time asleep in a Scottish Highland. “I mean, you always said it was the root cause of all evil on Earth, when I first met you...” Declan almost sounded serious for a moment, but Steampunk Baby Dumpling could recognise sarcasm in a Sea of Emperor Ming of Planet Mongo’s Pure Fire...



”I said the “Book” will ”end“ being the root cause of all evil on Earth, Deck... This is only our beginning, and a much better one than we could have hoped for considering our circumstances.. This isn’t Charles Dicken’s day anymore, and Cyberpunk isn’t as popular as it would have been if so many people hadn’t died in HG Wells’ Atomic Wars between Earth and Mars.”



“What about the magic though, Steam?"



Declan and Steam were almost transparent now. The emotion fueling the Astral Projection was fading into the ether as it once existed on Earth in the 17th Century...So Steam and Declan shook hands tenderly as they began to move toward going their separate ways for now...



”Don’t worry about that..” Steam couldn’t recall if he was asleep in his body and dreaming this meeting or if he set an Astral Field Projector Ring or a Babylon Candle up in his room on the “Belle Sauvage” where he and Caitrions Skye were hurtling at all speed toward the Earth and a rendezvous with Declan Guy in his corporeal body...



”I have contacts with Industrial Light and Magic. I imagine there may be a fire sale on magic now that “Pottery Boy” is less in fashion with the LPunks who all threw away their parents enslaving cell phones into the Dustbins of history... Let’s just hope “La Belle Sauvage” holds out for the length of a bible, at this rate... Everything is so slow now...Look how we’re fading away...It’s taking forever.. And when Caitriona Skye and I were searching the Earth for you earlier, in Saigon City, the dream recorder came out at half speed! You had to play it at 2X speed to hear it properly...The Time is out of joint... Ever since the Neutron Star collision I cannot pick up a perfect Time Sync...We’ll be playing the “Book of Dirt” live as we go along. You like it like that anyway, don't you Declan?”



Steampunk Baby Dumpling disappeared from the field of Windmills, but Declan was fairly certain Steam’s telepathic ability would allow him to hear his last line in this scene.



”All I ever ask for is an unwritten life, Steam... You know that’s my secret dream...”



Declan faded away now as well. That was probably the longest and most boring recorded conversation in an Astral Projection since Harry Potter met Dumbledore at King’s Cross Station...



”I forgot to ask Steam if we’re meeting at "The Coach and Horses" or "The Spice of Life" in SoHo...” Declan thought to himself at the last minute...”Gosh, darn it!”



Declan was fairly certain Steam was reading his thoughts at the moment.. and to be honest, Dear Reader, the Steampunk Baby Dumpling was doing that, and a whole lot more, as well...