Game on.

Allen Martin had started on his 4th glass of Pinot Noir, by Wheeler’s counting. It was time to lay the cards on the table.

“We know about the underground, Allen.”

“Ooh,” he says, retracting from his wine glass as if he’s suddenly seen a gnat floating in it.

“We know about the murder.” The gnat had turned into a fly. “We know about your *son*.” The fly had phoned up his friends centipede and cockroach to join him for a dip. Martin was sitting back, eyes riveted to Wheeler’s. The 4th glass would not be drunk tonight.

“Do tell!” he said icily.


Meanwhile, The Musician had gotten lost in the labyrinthian streets of VHC City looking for a store selling guitar strings. Surely with all the concerts this place puts on there’s a music shop around here somewhere, he rationalized. He then wandered back into his safe plaza by accident, let’s say. He knew no such shop existed in the immediate area. Yet he couldn’t resist. The Dr. Who pinball machine beckoned.

Two hours later, he sat exhausted on the bar’s couch, seeming to stare out at the red doors while actually thinking about all the moves he could have made to transform from Doctor Who #4 (Tom Baker) to Doctor Who #5 (Peter Davison). He could have hit the target bank more before the time ran out, charging up the Transmat. On and on the deliberations went.

While his head was spinning with dreams of pinball wizardry, Wheeler and Allen Martin walked by the bar heading north, unaware of his presence.

He waited about a half minute, then peeked out the door of the bar in that direction. They were going into [delete name]. Now he’d been in that building a number of times, but only on the ground floor, playing with the computer console there. He’d found valuable information about Muff-Bermingham though the free interwebs feed shortly after their arrival in town, indicating the planet had influence in this particular area. Surprising!

The Musician crossed the plaza, hiding behind a stair post.

No indication they were on the first floor, nor used the stairs to access the 2 upper floors. They couldn’t simply disappear into thin air. Could they? The Musician counted 10 Mississippis and moved forward again. At the center of the ground floor he turned and first thought of the oddity about the Sipvicious advertisement on the floor.

Uberpunk Sid Vicious had famously stayed in the town’s huge hotel. His girlfriend had died there. Yet this ad didn’t seem to have anything to do with the proximity of the hotel. One more mystery to mark down in an ever growing leger of wierdness.

He heard voices: Allen’s and Wheeler’s, seeming to issue up from below. He walked toward the stairs, noticing that they led downward as well as upward. A hitherto unknown about basement, hmm. “A giant ant?”

But that was just the first and mildest surprise.

“He said he had to see for himself,” Wheeler spoke upon noticing The Musician approach with dropped mouth. “And… I suppose we need to catch up. OD, meet The Musician. Musician, well, this is OD.”

“Wel-come,” it said.

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