The figure in front of him doesn’t answer. But Rhoda the bartender has, fer sure, disappeared.
“Star?” he tries again.
“I cannot let you pass through the door again, Baker Bloch. It’s the equivalent of being gassed. I love you. I’ve always loved you. Clock knows.”
“Star, I defeated you for mayor of Collagesity a number of years back now.”
“2 1/2,” she said.
“Yeah, and then you went into hiding, never to be heard from again until just the other day when you showed up complete with a namesake coffee shop. And now you’re telling me *this*?”
“We went into corrider 2130 together. You know me and I know you. Better than anyone else.”
“I don’t really remember what happened there,” admits Baker Bloch. “Something about Messiaen… seeing God. Um… blinded?”
Star shows him.
“So what just happened,” an illuminated Baker says, “is what happened then. Just now, just then.”
Star keeps smiling as her eyes turn black once more. DEMON.
Also: equivalence of Collagesity’s Hunger/Thick/Think Rock with WH Crossing’s Pocket Rock?: