Free Platinum

Baker restudies Boos collages 07 and 08 for more clues about Wheeler and her Table.

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“That finger is pointing right at Zappa,” he murmurs. “12:01. Davy Jones is the pre-marriage David Bowie, too white noise and needing more black ties. Like Zappa (also) said to him in this collage, ‘you need to work on your music more, Davy Jones’. And he could add here now (understanding that Jones is Bowie): stop focusing on what other people want from you and turn to what *you* want. Develop the music itself. You have that leeway now. You do not need money. We’re not only it in for the money.” He smiles…

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… glances at the last two collages on this floor…

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… and teleports two floors up to examine another collage he had in mind. Boos 22. “There’s Hummie,” he begins again. “The Dart… that ran into The Mouse. Drug. Gas.” He was free associating. “Digesting Boos (fish) like I’ve been trying to digest [the Boos] collages. Martian. I suppose I’m a bit Martian now because of my visit. Things rub off on you. And now I have *Old* Mabel… must remember not to call her plain old Mabel any more. That’s in the past. She’s all grown up now. The equivalent of being 13? Not 12 Oz Mouse any more? Carrcassonnee is shrunk. I need to visit her.”

And then up another floor to the final Boos gallery room with the last 4 collages. “The polarity displayed within is still important and relative,” he says to himself. ‘The Big Book of Rust’ in two halves.”

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There’s no solving it tonight. He needs to talk to Hucka Doobie. He meets her at Perch again.

—–

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“He was just here,” Hucka Doobie says upon manifesting, then sees the teleport offer to her left. “There he is.”

—–

“Look Baker Bloch,” she starts, “that ball representing me is the same size as my hand.”

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“Well let’s just twirl around the table so it’s positioned right in front of you. Then we can maybe finger this out better.”

“Figure,” Hucka Doobie corrects Baker Bloch.

“Right. Hold on. I forgot that Baker Blinker rezzed some of the objects so I’ll have to whirl ourselves around instead in these chairs.”

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“There we are.”

“Whee!” Hucka Doobie exclaims.

“Okay, so tell me more of how this works, Hucka Doobie.”

“Well… I’m SID’s 1st Oz at The Table. What I mean is that I represent older audiovisual synchs that culminate in SID, all the Oz/Floyd Paradox stuff. The line that began at Dark Side of the Rainbow and, of course, also The Rainbow Sphere and extended forward. SID’s 1st Oz is their baby, their child. But Billfork is as well. And that’s where Wheeler takes over. She is indeed The Bill.”

“She’s reinforced that repeatedly,” states Baker Bloch. “So what is your job at The Table? Why is Salad Bar Jack positioned opposite you?”

“Yes, that would be you (in his position),” she states.

“Yeah. You guys were buds in the discourse of the old Baker Blinker Blog.”

“I remember well,” Hucka Doobie says.

“I suppose all that’s going to come out in Table speak. The whole war of toys against Second Lyfe avatars — your ancient rivalry.”

“It could,” Hucka Doobie considered. Then she corrected something Baker Bloch and everyone else in town had been repeatedly getting wrong. “It’s not Salad Bar Jack, of course, but Grassy Noll. Unless the character has become one with the actor.”

“Interesting,” Baker Bloch says. “Has he?”

Hucka Doobie shrugs.

“But, whatever, *Grassy Noll* has now melded with Lemon The Beetle. What’s that say about you relative to him?”

“That he is part of The Bill as well. He drew The Bill into the audiovisual synching realm. He liked their humor. They are the Comedy Beatles.”

“We’re talking about Firesign Theatre here,” Baker states.

“Of course. That’s the finger entering the picture. The Bill. The Center. SID’s 1st Oz didn’t really have this center, although there’s a center involved. Just not some organizing principle that could carry us forward into the platinum beyond the gold. SID is gold. Solid gold. Platinum is beyond. That’s Billfork, that’s Head Trip. That’s 4orrin1. Especially 4orrin1. Later it becomes Pretty Bunnies, Waits 4 No 1, Peewee Big, 1 Pink, Empire Strikes Brak, Uncle Meatwad. That’s the first time in your blog I’ve been allowed to say all those. That’s The Bill. Pay The Bill.”

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Catching Up

“Tell me all about Mars, Baker Bloch. I’m so excited! Now that you’re back, I mean.”

“It was an adventure for certain. INSCO was a highlight. Obviously Old Mabel’s Dawg Pound. Be sure to not call her just Mabel. She’s grown up now.”

“Shame about her brother having to go off to war,” says Baker Blinker. “It’s not fair to make people do that — fight in someone else’s battles.”

“No. Hopefully he’ll be okay and Old Mabel and he can be reunited soon.”

“Yes.”

“Thanks for visiting me over at INSCO by the way.”

“You’re welcome,” says Baker Blinker.

“It cheered me up — you showing up. Lemon and Sugar were good company, but they’re not my kind. I belong here. In Collagesity.”

“Of course,” states Baker Blinker. “This is home.”

“When will Wheeler be back?” he asks. He scratches his nose.

“As soon as she’s circumnavigated the whole Nautilus City island successfully I suppose. She just said she’s going to run around the island — said it was predicted in one of our user’s Boos collages, the one with the spool table, I believe.”

“Boos, um, 07 I suppose.” Baker Bloch reconsiders the number. “08 — sorry.”

“And I suppose you want to know about The Table.”

“Of course,” says Baker Bloch. “I guess it can’t operate while Wheeler is away.”

“No, but she’s got it all set up now. Basically. A question remains about Zappa.”

“Show me how it works,” requests Baker Bloch.

“Well… let’s say that I’m Wheeler at The Table. You’re opposite me so you would be Karoz, who is opposite Wheeler there. Then — I’ll put my beer at right angles to both of us; and to my right. That’s Curled Paper, the notetaker.”

“You know, I’ve never seen him move a lick. He just sits there reading his Winesap book.” Baker Bloch then comically assumes the stilted reading position of Curled Paper, making Baker Blinker smile.

“Now set your coffee cup opposite my beer.” Baker does as requested. “That’s Spongeberg.”

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“Cool,” says Baker Bloch.

“Appropriate colors as well, because Curled Paper is lit like a yellow sun and Spongeberg is night dark with stars. I suppose Wheeler planned it that way, or it was in the cards. Something.”

“Something,” Baker Bloch agreed.

“And then, let’s see, this green sphere is Mmmmmm Salad Bar Jack, who stands in for Lemon. Well, he’s actually done some kind of mind-body meld with Lemon, who, being a flattie and all, can’t really sit at The Table. So that’s Salad Bar. And opposite Salad Bar is Hucka Doobie. I’ll just rezz a plain sphere for him.

“Then on the right of Karoz — that’s you — is Dr. Blood,” continued Baker Blinker. “A silver cube will do for him. Then opposite Dr. Blood, according to Wheeler’s master plan currently, is Zappa. This is the last addition; Wheeler states Zappa is the most problematic component of The Table, but hasn’t explained that to me fully yet.”

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“You two are still getting along?” queries Baker Bloch.

“Okay, I suppose. I’m getting over the shock. I just have to accept the triangle and that I’m not sitting at the top.”

“Wheeler as Bill is,” Baker Bloch completes Baker Blinker’s thoughts.

“Yes.”

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Home

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December 5, 2016 · 12:54 pm

Escape from Mars

Baker and Old Mabel (yes she’s changed her name as well) begin to head out of Mars and back toward Collagesity to start life anew there. Along the way they land the repaired dog ship at several different spots…

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… including this old mining village named Sandusty about 10 clicks west south west of the Dawg Pound, a place she and her brother have visited a number of times. Old Mabel shows Baker the way down to an underground research station where he, once again, tries to locate Collagesity on a provided globe of Mars (still no luck), while she studies planetary flora and fauna on a station console.

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Next stop: outskirts of Toledo, where Baker and Old Mabel discover the remains of another old timey wrestling structure. Baker remembers this same kind of spiral based building atop a plateau he landed on not long after leaving Collagesity during his trip into Mars. They must be getting closer, he rationalized. Home. Baker Blinker, Karoz Blogger, Hucka Doobie, and the rest. Including Wheeler.

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“The landscape is definitely looking more like the stuff around Collagesity,” he says to Old Mabel as they land at another building, attempting to get directions.

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Turns out it’s a library run by a familiar looking anthropomorphic cat named Chesterton, one suave dude who insists all this is a prop and that the only real book he has is around back. “My robot assistant Evelyn can show you. I hope it satisfies your needs. I apologize for not knowing the whereabouts of your Collagesity.”

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Old Mabel and Baker go around the corner to confront an opened “Big Book of Rust” on a podium, Bill displayed.

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“Chesterton knows,” whispers Old Mabel to Baker. “My liar detector went off as soon as I spotted his spotty face.” Baker nodded his head. He now remembered seeing Chesterton atop a knoll in the desert beyond Collagesity. Raging.

“Keep your cool, honey, and let’s get out of here.”

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INSCO Snapshots

Zombie at ReaktOr.

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Rental apt. scene.

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Rental apt. scene w/ cyberpunk.

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Baker at his short lived receptionist job.

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Blue people.

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Blue cat, blue beam, and hooded man at INSCO Central.

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Baker on a Mars Bench waiting for neighborhood friends Lemon and Sugar.

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Neighborhood piano bar/ watering hole.

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Neurobiologist Dr. Lemon Y. Teepot.

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INSCO South cars.

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INSCO heirarchy.

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32 apt. house.

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Little

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Cleveland Rocks had forever been the most holy place in the Dawg Pound for Mabel and Little, ever since they were little kids. It harbored the grave of The Host with The Most (alternately: Host Charming), who also heavily haunted the craggy knoll and its receiving bridge. The twins had withheld taking Baker Bloch to the sacred rocks until now because they knew it was all leading up to this finality.

As explained later by Mabel, a ghost of The Host had manifested to Baker as he passed over the bones of Those Who Do Not Rock while walking the bridge, quickly fading. “If he did not approve of your presence here,” Mabel says, “you would be tossed from the bridge by a gale of wind into the ravine below, your skeleton collected and then hung with the others, a *most* unfortunate end.” But the twins had faith in Baker. They knew he would not perish — destiny.

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And yet another manifestation, seeming to say, “Congratulations. You rock!”

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Baker also passed by this fading representation and through the torii gate to join Little on the rocks.

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He did not get up to receive Baker, but simply greeted him by name and motioned to the pillow next to his own in the gazebo.

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Little stared at Baker and then at his own, sneakered feet. “We’ve even named the white butterflies here,” he started. “Big and Old, after our other titles. For you see, my full name is Little Big (as Mabel’s is Old Mabel). I’m about to grow up, Baker Bloch. Oh I didn’t want to. I’ve fought the urge to fight. But it is time. You are here. You must take Mabel as your own. It does not matter whether you are married or not — Mabel would obviously prefer the former — but you must take her. Away from here.”

“I don’t understand,” said Baker Bloch. “What’s happening to you?”

Little held his stare steady now. “I am going to war.”

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As Baker was absorbing this proclamation, a small, silent ship descended from the sky and landed on Cleveland Rocks to their side. Little took a long time to even look in its direction, instead searing thoughts into Baker Bloch’s mind with all the intensity a fledgling soldier could muster. Thoughts of he and Mabel chasing the white butterflies on the rocks and almost falling off not once but several times. Pictures of the compound at different times of the day that he’ll never lose. Visions of happiness for Mabel as she takes on a new life. And then the awful battles to come; obviously he might never make it back here, might never see and hold his beloved twin sister ever again. “Childhood crosses manhood here,” he finally managed, and stood up to enter the ship through a proffered ramp. Mabel called loud from the temple. “NO!! DON’T GO!! LITTLE!!!”

—–

“We had to set childish things aside,” explained Mabel two days later, as they left through the iris door of the Dawg Pound, never to return. “The factions are fighting in several solar systems at once. It’s Whites verses Greens everywhere. Just yesterday, a new battle broke out at Muff-Bermingham. It was only a matter of time before the war caught up with us, found us in our cradled haven. Little had to grow up and become Big, I had to grow up and become Old. Although we are 119 of your years, that is still young for Martians of our species. We had to move onward.” She put her hands to her helmet and cried once again.

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Mabel

Per instructions from the twins, Baker Bloch slept in Winfield’s old hutch nearer Mabel’s tent than Little’s. The long table within would provide enough room for his almost 6′ 8″ frame to stretch out, they rationalized. (yes, Baker is actually that tall!) Not too surprisingly, Mabel paid a visit in the middle of the night.

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“Baker,” she whispered. “Psssst, Mr. Block?” But he was truly fast asleep. It had been a long day. Mabel sat down in the chair next to the table, watching Baker’s sleeping bag move up and down with the rhythm of his breathing. It comforted her. She stayed this way for quite a number of minutes, then tried again to rouse him.

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“Baker Bloch,” she whispered slightly louder this time. Baker mumbled but remained snoozing. “I just wanted to make sure you were comfortable in your quarters here. You’re laying on several plates and 2 small bottles, by the way. That must be slightly discomforting for you.” She grinned.

Another pause. Baker finally woke up by himself. He looked at the wall in front of him, down toward his feet, and then at Mabel, who gave him a start. He wondered what was jabbing him in his rear quarters but realized about the plates, then. Relieved, he sat up.

“Sleeping cocoon okay?” Mable asked, brightening up.

“How long have you been here Mabel?” He rubbed his head.

“About 1/2 an hour I suppose. I just wanted to make sure you were comfortable here and that the arrangement was agreeable for you.”

It was until you woke me up, Baker thought but didn’t speak out loud. “Is Little with you?” He knew he probably wasn’t, but he just wanted to say something to fill the awkward space and give him a bit more time to become alert.

“No, just little old me.” She tilted her head seductively (to her).

“I’ve been wondering about that, Mabel. Why do they call you Old Mabel up in INSCO and your brother refers to you as just Mabel? You don’t look that old… atall.”

“Don’t I? You flatter me. But we’ve calculated we’re 119 years old in your Earth time. I understand that’s pretty old, then.”

“It is!” Baker sat on some kind of shelf opposite her. An aurelia marginalis, a native Martian fauna, floated outside the hutch’s small round window.

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“So how are you both here and there at once?”

“INSCO and here you mean?”

“Yes,” Baker answers.

“INSCO is not where you think. You believe you traveled in your dog ship several days to reach this place. Instead it is directly above us. 3.6K above us, to be exact again. You basically just flew around in circles.”

Baker pondered this, then asked, “did you two sabotage my ship?”

Mabel was direct. “Yes. It was because you couldn’t leave Mars quite yet. Not without me. We learned that quite a long time ago…”

“From Wheeler,” Baker guessed.

“Yes. But not directly. She is able to visit us in time if not in the present.”

Thus the presence of the table in the 32 apartment, Baker understood. Thus the table’s chairs in this place, the Dawg Pound. *She* was the one who gave him his dog ship. “Do you know someone named B-4?” Baker then spoke aloud again.

“Not much time for talk now, Baker Bloch. Walk with me instead. You haven’t seen the beauty of the compound at night.”

So they walked around the compound.

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“Winfield’s Isle,” Mabel said, pointing.

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—–

“Winfield’s Island,” Mabel said again after they had walked up a number of stairs, pointing down this time from a bridge. “What’s wrong with your arm, Baker Bloch?”

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“I don’t know,” he said.

“Oh dear. It could be the anomaly again. We’re standing right over the spot. Well, I’m sure Little will be able to fix you up, whatever it is. May have to reboot you. We better hurry up to the temple, then.”

Mable led him up to the compound’s central temple again, the place with Wheeler’s chairs. They ascended a spiral staircase circling the temple’s walls to an upstairs balcony. Baker then spied Little in the gazebo across Drew Carey Bridge. Daylight was breaking.

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“I’ll take my leave,” Mabel said plainly, and went back to wait inside.

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