Skoob was dead right, things had changed, the Gerbils were now everywhere and they were even bigger than before. One blocking our path up the stairs looked to be 800 stone. One turned towards us and it glared...right through my soul.
"They've got so many now, you can't move a milli-second without one having it's nose up your ass," said J.O., standing right behind me, "They re-engineered them, now and they doubled in size, smarter too, like f'ing raptors!"
"Are they on every floor?" I asked.
"Yes, but, there's another way to get upstairs, don't you remember mate?"
"The laundry Chute?" I asked.
"You ain't as stupid as you looks sometimes."
We backed slowly down the stairs to the landing then back into the dungeon where the rest of the writers were now gathered. The sheet metal laundry chute emptied out nearby, though it hadn't been used probably since the last time I'd encountered #3. It was easy to go down the chute, going up would be quite different.
"Up you go then," said J.O.,"everyone will give you a boost."
"What?" I said, not liking the sounds of that.
"On our shoulders dork! Okay smallest writer first, then so on and so on," said J.O. impatiently.
I climbed onto someone shoulders and stood-up inside of the chute, then miraculously waited as one by one the other writers pushed us higher and higher. It was pitch black save for passing the chute doors on each floor. There were 5 floors to the building that I knew about, but by the time the last writer was in place I was just below a 6th door. Now the tricky part, I pulled myself up and clumsily fell through the door onto the floor. My heart raced, not sure what I was getting into, but fortunately for me the chute door had a large tapestry covering it. I lay there quietly listening for any sign of activity. Then there was a voice...
"No mummy I don't think they like me at all!....No I don't like being an Editor anymore!....Yes it was wrong to feed that writer to the Guineas, but....Well you see Mummy, what I really want is to...rule the world....Yes I know that doesn't happen overnight...yes, yes it took years to become a diabolical maniac...but Mummy I know if I could just get enough nuclear devices I could achieve so much! Yes mummy I'll try not to be quite so evil with everyone...Goodnight Mum..."