“Starbuccaneer, my old nemesis, hehe. I’ll take 4 shots of expresso over ice in a venti cup.”
He calls toward Karoz already seated at the far table. “You sure you won’t have anything?”
“Positive. Just going over my notes.”
Baker Bloch turns back to the barista and lowers his voice a bit. “So how’ve you been Star? Long time no see.”
“2130,” came a robotic answer. “2130, 2130, 2130, 2130, 2130.” Starbuccaneer Barista’s eyes then turned pitch black for a moment.
“Hmmm,” says Baker. He calls back to Karoz. “Well, that’s probably for the best. Doesn’t look like they’re really open for business yet.” And I was really looking forward to that 4 shot latte, he then thinks to himself while watching Starbuccaneer’s eyes revert back to normal, but still staring blankly ahead. Possessed, he feels. “What do you think Blackie?” he queries his pet shoulder bird. “Possessed?”
“P’ssessed,” the bird echoes back in a small tweet.
“Well Karoz, tell me all about your adventures in BoB. The whole honeymoon!”
“Oh it was wonderful, Baker Bloch. And I apologize again for not inviting you to the wedding. You see, it was Baker Blinker’s idea. She said she just couldn’t wait and that Collagesity needed us wedded as soon as possible for protection.”
“What does that mean?”
“I tried a couple of times to get her to spill more details, but no go. Plus we were busy doing, ahem, other things.”
“Like biking.” Baker Bloch laughs, and Karoz smiles broadly.
“How’s Jorondip? You said you stayed in the garage two nights, wasn’t it?”
“Three, actually. Then we moved just up the hill to what appeared to be an abandoned cottage. Then we moved up to a much larger house above that. The one with the blue quantum mechanics book. Have I told you about my new theory concerning quantum computers?”
Baker shakes his head and Karoz tells him. LINK
“Fascinating. You could be right. But what does that say about Collagesity? On and off? Black and white? Jasper and Newton?”
“It means a door to reality,” Karoz states bluntly. “A way out of here.”
“Hmph.” Baker speaks to his bird again. “Whattaya say Blackie? A way to reality?”
“Real-ty,” the bird squeaked.
“Since when did you start talking to your shoulder pet, Baker Bloch?”
“I don’t know. Just started. What do you think Blackie? Good idea?” The bird didn’t answer this time.
“Well anyway, it was great, Baker Bloch. The second week we stayed — get this — it was a duplicate of my Bodega market apartment. And we could rezz anything we wanted to there within a 61 prim cushion! So that finished it off. I’ll show you the pictures of the whole thing later. Maybe invite the town to a slide show. Yeah, that would be a morale booster.”
“Is the town down in the dumps?” Baker Bloch asked.
“Well, you know the whole Carrcassonnee turning red and dull several times. We need the eye strong to protect us.”
“What about Wheeler?”
“Oh she had to go with us.”
“She did??” Baker Bloch stares at Karoz and imagines his eyes turning black. But they didn’t.