The day before Thanksgiving Baker Bloch lost his job as a receptionist for the local bank. Turns out he was only a fill in for a female cyborg who had worked 30 years for the business before leaving town. Leaving town like everyone else would be soon. Because, you see, INSCO will shortly be no more, maybe as early as the first of December. So explained Lemon and Sugar to Baker Bloch at the piano bar that same night, attempting to prop him up after the layoff. They too are leaving soon — packing up. Baker then confesses to his 2 new girlfriends about his mission to save Collagesity by finding what Wheeler has repeatedly called the beating heart of Mars. “If anyone would know about this,” they said, “it would be Old Mabel. She’s usually down at the Blue Ant these days, drowning her sorrows over the impending loss of her town.” They explained to Baker Bloch how to get there. “It’s in INSCO Central, a tougher neighborhood. You better ditch that campy Space Ghost inspired outfit,” they suggested. “Will I see you again Lemon and Sugar?” Baker asked at the end of the get together. “No,” they said, and kissed him goodbye, one to each cheek. Baker Bloch couldn’t decide which of the two he’d miss more. They were joined in his mind, like a refreshingly ice cold, tangy but sweet drink in midsummer’s heat.
Baker explores more of the town before heading over to the Blue Ant for a potential rendezvous with this mysterious Old Mabel.
He remembers to change his outfit. He teleports back to the piano bar for one last shot.
All the missing chairs and tables (and people!) at the high-end 7 Seas Restaurant: it all makes sense now. INSCO is in its final hour, final minute perhaps.
If only he could have been here during its day. Trying to blend in the best he could, he thought. Trying not to seem so… alien!
It’s time for the attempted meeting. No need to keep the disguise up. He senses no real danger in this almost vacated burg. Mainly just people checking in for one last look-around, he rationalizes.
“Hope Old Mabel is still there,” he mutters to himself while ascending the stairs.