Gazbonti adjusted his grip on his severed head. Having been summarily decapitated by the Queen's Grandmother didn't seem to inconvenience him very much.
He drew back a cloth-of-gold covering, revealing a strange mechanism lying there on top of the cubic altar-table-object.
Bujilli recognized it. A Synchronocitor. After all this time he had finally found one. Now he wasn't so sure he wanted one. He wasn't trying to run away, not like he had been when he had allowed the Gem to guide him. The Gem had taught him many things. Whispered to him in his sleep, shown him things in his dreams; lied to him in the pursuit of some unfathomable scheme he still did not understand.
He hesitated. He wasn't sure taking-up this mechanism and using it to flee the Throne Room was the best option.
"Looking a gift-horse in the mouth, eh?" Gazbonti nodded sagely as he laughed sinisterly. It was difficult to trust this weird harlequin figure. Bujilli knew nothing of him...or those whom he truly served...
"Let's get out of here!" Hissed Leeja. She was past caring about the niceties and details--she could see that it was only a matter of time before Very Bad Things would start to happen to both of them.
The chamber vibrated under the impact. Bujilli reached out. Gazbonti grinned, nodded eagerly; his eyes glittering with irony and malice. Leeja lashed out at the Jester, her claws raking red lines across his face.
"Wait!" She knocked Bujilli's hand aside.
Gazbonti laughed loudly, then took on a mock-sober expression as he whispered; "You're running out of time."
He then watched the dribble of blood running from the furrows cut into his pasty flesh. The wounds sealed. Healed. Left no trace. He stuck out his obscenely long and curling tongue as his hands lifted his head back into place between his shoulders. It settled back into place with a loud, disgusting sucking noise.
"I must be going." Gazbonti bowed, fluttering a blood-speckled hand-kerchief as he bent so far over at the waist that he very nearly brushed the floor with his pointy nose. The over-sized green finch fluttered down beside him and he leaped into the saddle.
"I suggest you get moving children. Those two have terrible dispositions even when they aren't in the midst of a temper tantrum. You'd do well to get out of here before--"
"Alas and alack--the moment of unquiet desperation is upon us. Hiyo Yorick! Away!" Green wings snapped into motion and Gazbonti was carried onwards and upwards to disappear behind rib-like arches and a jumble of strange protrusions dangling from the domed ceiling overhead.
"Do we have any alternative to this...thing?" Leeja gripped Bujilli's wrist tightly.
"Not really. The portal we entered by is guarded by a Manshonyagger. Who knows how long we could wander about this place looking for some sort of exit..."
"You have no spells you could use?"
"No. Not really. Nothing that would do much more than make things worse, really..."
"Then let's use this Synchronocitor-thing. You seemed to recognize it when the Jester first offered it to you."
"I...have been told about such things by an...unreliable source."
"It is supposed to take you where you want to go, right?"
"Fine. Let's use it to go to Hedrard and Lemuel. Directly. That ought to solve our current predicament and give us a chance to get the jump on whomever has abducted our friends."
"I..." Bujilli considered Leeja's plan. It made sense. But he had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.
Bujili reached out. Gripped the Synchronocitor. Lifted it overhead.
The staff-like mechanism gurgled. Shimmered. Awoke in his hands, insinuated itself into his mind by way of his flesh:
Bujilli closed his eyes. He recalled the impressions he had received through his link to Lemuel**. He didn't trust the words, the message with the directions that he'd been given. He knew all too well how such things could be subject to coercion; he'd fought Yeren who were notorious for such tricks and he had no intention of falling for such possible subterfuge.
There was a blinking green oval rotating in his field of vision. The Synchronocitor was ready to make the transition.
Bujilli took Leeja by the hand. She smiled. He nodded. The Synchronocitor shivered, went ice cold.
They faded out from the Throne Room just as all hell broke loose and swarms of killing machines and other shapes stormed into the place.
Everything lurched suddenly. Sharply.
A flash of emerald green.
Wind shrieked and howled around them. A lurid red sky loomed overhead. Flickering lines of psychically-charged force raced frenetically around the rim of a circular space in an attempt to capture them. Prancing, capering shapes emanated a deep and abiding hunger for their souls, their minds, their individuality. The Synchronocitor jerked hard over to the right, nearly tearing free from Bujilli's grip. Blackness bloomed all around them. Shattered sigils and screaming geometries collapsed into oblivion then everything twisted along the yelgic axis. They were suspended between the Yr-Nhhngr and Ydmos. They glimpsed the dim outline of Yian-Ho and felt the subcutaneous vibrations of the singing flame. Another shift and a green-lit plain flowed off into infinity before them. Then it ended. Abruptly.
Silence. Darkness. The synchronocitor was inert, though covered in frost that was already beginning to melt.
Five faint circles of light faded out, one after the other in rapid succession.
They had arrived.
Cold wind shrieked past them. Ominous clouds boiled in rage overhead. Lightning splintered the night as thunder rolled across the darkness. They were at the top-most point of a vast tower, a huge ruined pile that was a jumbled and sloppily-stacked mess of architectural layers and levels that stretched down below them for what could only be miles and miles.
"You came. Saints look away. You damn fool kids came after us." Hedrard hung her head. Passed out. Her chains held her upright.
"Release us." Lemuel moaned, barely audible over the wind.
A round hatch began to rotate as it rose from the bare, stone floor.
A flash of lightning. Bujilli could see that this space was essentially a flattened trapezoid with five crude menhirs set at the points. Lemuel and Hedrard were chained to two of the menhirs. Other shapes were slumped or suspended from the remaining stones. They might or might not be humanoid...
Leeja looked to Bujilli; "Now what?"
Heavy red light spilled forth from the opening hatch-way.
What should Bujill do next?
*The Synchronocitor was first mentioned in Episode One. It is a mechanism allowing the wielder to travel between worlds, planes and dimensions. Bujilli entered the dungeons below Zormur's Palace in search of a Synchronocitor he was led to believe could be found down there by the Gem of Muktra. The Gem of Muktra was with Bujilli from Episode One until he left it behind in the underworld below Zormur's Palace in Episode Fifteen. The Gem has since found a new companion...
** We learned that Lemuel and Hedrard were being held prisoner in Episode 93.