There was a second death in the Underground. A dreaming Wheeler had foreseen the event. It involved herself.
It took her ages to figure out the correct clown costume to wear. It had to be extreme enough to be believable — she had definitely been clowned. But not too over the top. Not at this time.
The shark-man lumbered up for their prearranged meeting. “Claribel: greetings. That a new outfit? I thought you didn’t like dresses.”
Must ward off suspicions at the start, Wheeler thinks. “Oh just something I threw on.”
“Threw up on, haha.” Orange was known for his bad jokes. “And your face. You look redder. You sick or something?”
“Ah, who knows with me,” and then she pretend retched but only ended up spitting on the ground beside her.
“Good one, Clare. There’s my little clown-face coming through.”
Wheeler’s plan seemed to be working. Chuckles Greentop had provided the keys. Just dumb down all interactions to a crude minimum and let the feigned clowning disease do the rest. Not-so-bright Orange Nova was becoming comfortable; any doubts about identity abating. Perhaps this wouldn’t be the day she perished.
She didn’t want to sit this close to him but Orange insisted. He sniffed her a couple of times during the conversation but that was the only signs of lingering skepticism Wheeler detected. They were now in the northwest corner of Bemberg, technically Summerhill’s realm, Orange said, but he liked the bench poses in this small, remote park of the city and would “take his chances.” The shark-man was helping Wheeler put the pieces together with almost every uttered sentence. Why the Novas were here in the first place, these *Super*novas as the locals under their subjugation once called them and still do at times. Orange was the 4th and youngest sibling, with last definitely representing the least in this case.
Wheeler just kept leading him through a maze of clumsily collected information. About an hour in, Wheeler figured she had enough to chew on and opted for safety. She excused herself, saying she needed to check the air in her shoes before an evening hike.
She walked south in the direction of Hooktip to complete the ruse, while Orange trod back north to Saturnia. His sim, he thinks while reentering the grounds of Muscle Madness. Or will be one day; Claribel be damned. The Realm of Orange.