Assimilation, The 02

“You mean ‘she’, there. Carrcassonnee is a she. Surely you know that[ by now].”

“Yes — she.” Baker Bloch wonders about the mistake.

“Speaking of he and she, have you seen Karoz lately?” Furry Karl asks. “A sight to behold. He’s wearing *eye* makeup. And a ring — an earring. And his skin has changed. He’s not as… mossy as before.”

“I can’t wait,” responds Baker.

“It’s like you said. He’s trying to keep up. Baker Blinker wears makeup, he wears makeup. Baker Blinker wears earrings… so on.” Karl waves his free hand. “But he actually looks pretty good, really. It’s working. The Assimilation in full swing.”

“I came in here through the back way, Karl.” Baker says, suddenly remembering the important thing he wanted to tell Furry Karl. “I wasn’t thinking; I was in a hurry to get over here. I hope that doesn’t screw up reality like before.”

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“Shouldn’t,” Karl replies. “Now that Starbuccaria and Space Ghost are married. They went off to Jorondip, just like Baker Blinker and Karoz before them.”

“Hmm. Well I hate to tell you this Karl, but Starbuccarina is right back there in the portal corridor. Like she was before. She hasn’t gone anywhere. And she’s still phantom, like a ghost. I passed right through her on the way to the bar. Which means…”

“Which *means*,” Karl continues for Baker, “that we’re also back in time. Before the transformation. Something has been reset.” Sweat beads begin to form on his forehead. He stares at the cuckoo clock on the wall. Baker joins him.

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