By Kent Steichman
First, let me apologize for missing deadline last week. It turns out when aliens are narrowly defeated after invading the planet, restoring my wireless internet is a pretty low priority in the aftermath.
Now that that's out of the way, I discovered something interesting when I finally returned to my apartment building. I walked up to the building's doorstep, and once I found my keys, I looked up and found myself looking into someone's window.
After dodging a thrown shoe, I looked back and saw the rest of the walkway was similarly elevated, each stone hovering in the air a little bit below the others. Now, in your average military installation, mining complex, or evil overlord's lair, floating platforms are a dime a dozen, but I'm not exactly used to seeing them outside my door.
Clearly, something was wrong here.
I hopped back down (took me a little while, since some of them kept bobbing up and down), and checked out some of my contacts to find that scientists around the world had seen similar phenomena happening all over the place.
My intuition told me they had to be related to the familiar platforms, so I started looking in the Mushroom Kingdom, which still made use of the floating platforms first brought over when Bowser did his little remodeling job back in '85.
I spoke to the Toads and Goombas that were hanging around, but none of them had noticed any new platforms rising from the ground, just the regular old ones they used to get around.
Next, I tried calling Dr. Wily's toll free number, but I got put on the line with Automated Response Man, and I got stuck in the labyrinthine phone menu for about an hour before I gave up.
My leads drying up, I wrestled one of the smaller floating bricks outside my apartment out of the sky, and brought it to Cid's workshop in Rocket Town. After he screamed at me about drinking my tea, he finally took a look at the thing.
What he came up with for an answer is a little unsettling.
"Well, this #$(*& rock shouldn't be floating," he said. I mentioned that much was obvious, and he shook his head at me.
"See, your average floating platform's got either magic, or some sorta futuristic anti-gravity, or a really, really big fan under the $&*$@ thing." He plucked the brick out of the air, "This, on the other hand, is just a brick."
I asked him what could cause regular blocks and stone to float around like that, and he said, "WHAT DO I LOOK LIKE A #$&* EXPERT?!" Eventually, he calmed down a bit, and had a closer look at it.
"There's some sort of radiation coming from this," he said, but he was unsure of just what it meant. Just from looking at it, all he could guess was that, somehow, something seemed to be breaking "the rules". What sorts of rules, I asked him.
"Oh, you know, those #$&*% nice little things like physics. Gravity, for instance."
I'll keep looking into this as more evidence becomes available, but for now, just look where you're stepping, because that flagstone in front of your doorstep might not be where you left it.