“The sky looks like Mars,” Wheeler opined. “I think this is Mars.”
“No,” countered Morris, who had been explaining what his home was for about half an hour now. “This is truly the legendary Muff-Bermingham planet you’ve heard so much about. Muff-Bermingham may have been a *conduit* to Mars, I’ll admit. I don’t have your experience in that realm. I only showed up day before yesterday. I’m a newbie, as they say down here. Or up here.”
“What’s that was over there?” The Musician asked, indicating with a head tilt the projecting spires of a structure beyond the rimming brown rock cliffs of this habitat.
“That’s something in the works, let’s say. Things are a bit plasticine here still — melting plastic.” Morris took a deep, satisfying breath through his nostrils. Wheeler and The Musician had suspected nothing in that direction; just thought it was a different planet smell of some sort. “I have few land resources to work with,” he continued, staring into the fire. “Already, the SoSo gallery had to be stolen from Collagesity below us to create an effect I desired. *We* desired.”
“Who’s ‘we’?” Wheeler asked.
“I think his name is Lou.” Morris paused, uncrossing his legs. “Or her. Anyway, we’re still working on that as well. I do know that one is red and one is green. Stop and go. Like Muff and Bermingham. I’m sorry Osborne Well couldn’t show up in person to greet you as well but… land resources again. Collagesity may have to make additional sacrifices. But at least your Spongeberg the Destroyer has been put to bay. Is that the expression I’m looking for?”
“If you mean that Spongeberg didn’t effect the destruction of Collagesity between (the two halves of this novel) you seem to be correct,” Wheeler offers. “Instead of VHC City we are here, in Collagesity but not in Collagesity. Like the legendary Moon and its own (Moon of) Moon.”
“Like Mars,” The Musician says to Wheeler. “You’ve told me quite a lot about it. Sounds fascinating.”
“I’m projecting you’ll learn to love Muff-Bermingham just as much,” Morris pipes up. “This is just a foothold, a start. In several hours spotless day will return into splochy night. I will leave you to your own devices now to explore, gather, prepare.”
With this he simply fades from view in front of them.
Back in VHC City, Mary/Chuckles ungrasps Pitch’s cold white hand extended across the table and stares into the dark corner of the room behind him.
“Um, your Timmy Osborne Well is fading out again, my love,” she states with only mild surprise. “It’s as if he’s trying to reach somewhere else, maybe a place he can become lively again. Wonder where?”