spurred on

Jacob I. wakes up in an unfamiliar place. All-time great NBA power forward and recently retired Timmy Duncan looms dead ahead, a ball in front, a ball behind.

Jacob I. does not follow professional sports. He doesn’t know who this gentle giant is. He seems to speak. “Jacob, Jacob, down here.” Jacob I. ponders why a man so large has such a small, feminine voice. Tina recognizes this after he doesn’t look down. “Not Timmy, stoopid. *Me*.” Still no proper response from Jacob I. “Down *here*. It’s Tina.”

Jacob I. finally locates the source of the voice.

“Tina,” he calls down softly, knowing her ears are sensitive to what we would consider normal volume speaking. “It’s very good to see you old friend. But where are we?”

“Behind the wall. Jasper,” her tinny voice shouted up. “It’s the same as marijuana. I’m so small I fell through the cracks. Then I was able to bring you here as well.”

“Am I dreaming?” Jacob I. logically asks.

“Yes. We need to get you through the wall, and quickly. Before you wake up. We’ll have to make a run for it. Get up. Quickly. Follow me.” Tina turns and runs. “Get up quickly and follow me!” she calls back, halfway to the blackness already.

Jacob watches her as if just behind, then wakes up.

—–

“I was left behind,” explains Jacob I. the next morning to an analyzing Broken Heart.

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out

“Well. It’s finally happened, Broken Heart Jackie.”

“Don’t call me that,” Broken Heart the bone cat reprimanded for the umpteenth time about the name Jackie. “And now I really *do* have a broken heart.” She makes a clumsy motion on her chest of two things being ripped apart.

“Last of the grass… weed,” Jacob I. laments. “We’ll have to call up Leaf Erik’s son over in California, Pennsylvania for more — it will take weeks.”

“Months,” Broken Heart extends.

“Years,” Jacob I. finalizes, and then heaves a long sigh. “Darn that Jeffrie Phillips. Darn that stolen Centre.”

“Or we could go over to Leona Lei’s place in Hilltop. That will require changing into mechanoids. The last time it took us weeks to revert.”

“Years,” Jacob I. emphasizes again. “Sheer hell.” He looks down at his feet and wonders if they are really flesh and blood yet. Then, staring over at Broken Heart’s red and blue glasses, he gets an idea. “But the *sister* could work.”

“Hana? Is she still alive even after her death?”

“It was just a shish kabob skewer.”

“I though it was a ladle,” Broken Heart says. “You know, for dishing out soup and stuff.”

“I know what a lapel is. Did I say lapel? haha. That’s not even emphasized the same.”

“Label,” Broken Heart then says. But she accents the wrong syllable for humor.

“Labelle,” Jacob I. utters. “Patti Labelle!”

“The singer, actor, magician?” perks up Broken Heart, but then remembers the truth. “Man, we’re really baked.”

“Baker!” Jacob I. spouts, seeing the white opening once more. “Cook… Baker. That’s what we were trying to figure out.”

“I’m going to bed.” Broken Heart falls asleep while not even moving an inch from his spot on the couch. Jacob I. leans over and folds her bony hands over her little red broken heart.

“Night night, Jackie,” he ends while slipping into dreamland himself.

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forward forward forward forward: reverse

Wheeler logs back in and finishes what she was going to do this night: lower the Bermingham portal, sans rock arch, down to Collagesity and complete the emptying of the Muff skybox. Baker logs back in. Wheeler invites him to join her in Collagesity East, where he is able to complete his own story tonight as Bookworm. Wheeler stays logged in just in case more adjustments are needed to the portal.

—–

“I wonder if that’s Richard Petty’s car?” the character asks about Jasper series collage “Wilsonia Driver.”

“Oh my dear, what is that?” exclaims the learned scholar when looking around the corner and spotting the lowered portal, which just appeared out of nowhere in his time. “Do you know sleeping lady? Mrs. Lady??”

He leaves her and wanders into the small greenspace leading to Audrey’s, a second and newer entrance.

“Two redbirds,” he notes. “One inside, one out. The tree seems to mark a boundary.” Learned scholars tend to think aloud when figuring stuff out. Bookworm is certainly no exception to the rule.

“Hmm. Curious, I was just here and didn’t notice that intrusion to the collage.”

In order, he writes down the letters on the plaque the man (me?) holds in the collage: 5×5.

JKLMN
ABCDE
STUVW
PQRST
RQPON

Bookworm goes back to his newly rented apartment and ponders what he’s just seen.

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portent

“Sooo. You wanted to see me Carrcassonnee. But you can’t talk without your eye. And Spider is inanimate as well. Hmph. Why am I here, then?”

Spotting it behind a boulder to her right, she used the teleporter again. “And *here*?”


Think Rock

“What??”

“OMG. SoSo South has been destroyed!”

I, as her user, then realized what had occurred. I’d accidentally linked a teleporter to SoSo South when working on it in the Collagesity skybox the other day. The teleporter happened to be in Carrcassonee’s gazebo when I moved the whole thing back to the ground, which Wheeler Wilson teleported to when trying to reach the skybox from Blue Feather. But in using the teleporter again, everything went haywire, seemingly.

Baker Bloch, posing as Bookworm up in the heart of the SoSo Mall at the time, was called in. He moved all the pieces — which were still linked, thankfully — up to the skybox and went to work. He asked Wheeler to log out to give him room and decrease the likelihood of more wonky things happening. He himself lowered his graphic options and logged out and back in for the same reason. He searched for and then found the skybox landmark in his inventory. Baker himself headed upward.

In under 10 minutes he had everything about righted. He could check later with a full version of this gallery, which is a Linden build created specifically for the Zindra continent. Baker hadn’t made any significant alterations to the original design. Which was good in this case.

Crisis averted.

But Wheeler had been spooked. She became convinced that Carrcassonnee did the sabotaging, and was trying to communicate with her from “the beyond”, as she put it. “Something is happening,” she finishes.

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A Apartment

Greg Ogden sits in his new apartment and enjoys the latest Sunklands post. “Upstairs guy doesn’t have any heat of his own, eh?” He makes a mental note to figure out this Mr. Babyface’s schedule and turn down the thermostat appropriately. Because Greg Ogden is here to cause trouble. If he wasn’t he would have chosen to remain Gregg Oden and stuck with the seaweed hair, even kept the plot line going over in Morrison.

He spent the rest of the afternoon painstakingly arranging the furniture in the apartment to suit his symmetrical needs.

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new face

Mr. Babyface attempts to return to his new Collagesity apartment but realizes he set home to Audrey’s Bar instead. So he just asks Terry if he can use his phone to make the call.

“We’ve found them,” he starts for the person on the other end. Twittering; he waits, then seems to answer. “It’s fine. Commode is kind of out in the open.” More twittering from the phone. “Baker Blinker owns the property. She’s the one who set me up.” Another round from the other side. “I haven’t been in the woods yet.” A long bout of twittering, then, “Okay thanks.” After a small click, he hands the receiver back to Terry who puts it underneath the bar somewhere.

“Trouble in paradise?” Terry probes, as bartenders often do.

Mr. Babyface thinks about asking Terry if he perhaps knows the whereabouts of Caucasian Tommy Brade but then decides against it. No need to rouse suspicion so soon. That will come. So he pretends Terry is asking him about his recently rented Kidd Tower abode.

“Nah, the apartment is basically fine. Phone has some static. The bed needs a new mattress. The downstairs renter controls the heat. The stove doesn’t work.”

“But the view, eh, Mr. Babblefarce?” Terry smiles and winks cooly.

“Mr. Babyface,” he corrects. “Yeah. Good view.” He takes a series of puffs from his pipe, contemplating the next move. “When will you get your liquor license?” he then thinks to insert.

“End of October. First of November at the latest. Then Collagesity will be back in business for real. You’ll see. Baker Blinker has filled me in on all the detail-i-o’s.”

“She seems nice,” offers Mr. Babyface. Ah, yes. *Baker* would know, he realizes. But there’s the other Baker as well. Which is the real power in town? That’s what he has to find out next.

Pretty man Wilson Wheeler walks around the corner and into the bar.

“And what the f-ck are you suppose to be?” he asks the small, pipe smoking figure. Terry keeps grinning and winking.

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Um, aloha?

Mr. Babyface stares disgustedly into the heart of Hana Lei, wondering how his nephew could have ended up in such a God awful spot.

“Blow she does indeed,” he answers that whale over thar.

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