“Jeez, I can’t stop yawning, Hucka Doobie. Ordered that expresso just in time.”
“Thanks for meeting me here again. You never know how long these rented places will last. I wanted to soak up some ambience while it’s around.”
“Lively place, I’ll give it that.” Baker Bloch was looking out the front window when stating this.
“I think that’s what I’ll call it — we’ll call it. Lively. While it’s here.”
“Have you seen the aley out back?”
“That’s my line. But: no. Now keep up.”
“You go ahead, then.”
“It leads to the center of it all. The place Jasper should be but won’t. *Is* this the replacement for a subsequently destroyed Collagesity? Has our town had its run, Baker Bloch? These are questions we must be asking. Jasper predicted it all.”
“The Jasper collage series, you mean. The one hung in SoSo Mall currently.”
“Of course.” Hucka Doobie then looks out the 4th wall of the establishment. “Oh, I see. The reader.”
“Finish your coffee and we’ll take a look. Have you soaked in enough ambience yet?”
Hucka Doobie looks around. “Futuristic coffeehouse. Established in 3025. Dallier’s Hope. Owners/creators may be from Saturn. Yes, I’ve soaked in enough. I’m done.”
“It’s dark, Hucka Doobie. Maybe we should turn on the daytime lights.”
“And some shaders and other stuff. The full ensemble. Downsize your window!”
“A little better,” Baker Bloch proclaims. “What’s the coordinates now?”
Hucka Doobie checks. “87, 156, 103.”
“If we find the spot that *coordinates* with the one in the Rubi Woods, then maybe that will help us make a determination which path to choose. And maybe then go look at the center of the Jasper series. The Great Either/Or as we might start calling it.”
“Let’s name as much as possible tonight,” requests Hucka Doobie. “We have Lively, Aley, Styx — that’s one of Wheeler’s, and then Tool. Where’s Tool?”
“Yes, Tool,” Baker Bloch cryptically answers, still thinking of the central Jasper collages. He has already disposed of The Great Either/Or.
“Let’s do the walking thing again, Baker Bloch.”
“I don’t think I had the right walk Hucka Doobie,” Baker exclaims afterwards. “Oh well. Here we are.”
Hucka Doobie takes a seat. “I wonder why they say it’s under construction? Looks perfectly finished to me.”
Baker points toward the back left corner. “Let’s go there. I’ll keep tabs of my coordinates.”
“Okay, Hucka Doobie. This is definitely the spot. 97/97. Right in front of ‘Precarious Geisha,’ just as Wheeler and The Musician told us.”
“Let’s head down,” the bee-man requested.
“Nope, Hucka Doobie. There’s no 97/97/97 any longer. Ground’s been raised to 100 meters. No sign of Pitch Black or its poisonous tower, but that’s not unexpected. But you could turn right here, look north, and stare up at the monstrosity.”
“OD still worships the structure. That’s its impossible black hole. A constant, impossible orbit. Just like in ‘(The) Impossible Planet’.”
“More ‘Dr. Who’ references. But jumbled up from the series. The parallel to the black hole here has been destroyed — assimilated. Yet the city remains.”
“OD remembers. There must be a parallel, alternate town.”
“What I was thinking.”
I accidentally teleported right beside the SoSo sign again for the mall, Hucka Doobie. But… so here we are. Tool.”
“One reality has Collagesity standing put and remaining independent of VHC City. The second has all the *energy* of Collagesity streaming into VHC City instead. The blackbird, Hucka Doobie.”
“Spongeberg (the Destroyer),” states Hucka Doobie.