Morris’ tentacle laden plan worked. The Musician woke up inside the dream that is the Bermingham side of the Muff-Bermingham planet. For a bit.
In preparing for all this, Morris knew he had to have a portal animal at hand right after the rousing. Scotty, being in the possession of all-too-clever Lou on the other side of the gateway, remained inaccessible for the time being. Lou herself could do the trick if she hadn’t sworn off portal dog duties after the accident with Tom the Booker November before last. Too bad… she was the best and smoothest of us all, he thought. And then, of course, there was himself, which he quickly ruled out for similar reasons. We may get to that story later on. So, slowly but surely, it dawned on Morris that he’d have to try to recruit the formerly significant but now substantially diminished transdimensional talents of old Colon Hiss, a large grey snake who lived beneath the rock supporting *Sikul Himakt’s* former cottage on the edge of his village. There was really no other suitable alternative that he could think of.
It was last Friday when he first approached Colon with the idea. Teleporting into the center of Sikul’s “village,” Morris walked north until reaching the taller green grass near the rock. He had to be careful not to get too close, else he’d fall to the forest level immediately below after crossing a sim line. He called Colon’s name repeatedly. No answer. Then the large snake was suddenly behind him. “You’re blocking the way to my home,” he said. “I need to get to my home. My eggs are getting warm.”
Turns out Colon had become tired of living under the rock and decided just to move into Sikul’s old cottage sitting above it instead. They talked further inside. “There’s a refrigerator,” the snake explained while putting his eggs purchased at the general store into it. “And a tv. The village now has cable beyond the Static Channel.”
“Come on, Colon. You know there’s no village.”
“What can I say? I like to dream.”
“Which is why we’re here. Sounds like you kind of have a vested interest in not wanting Sikul to return to the village. Because you know if he did, he’d want to have his house back. *Lou* would want that.”
“Yess,” hissed Colon, just getting this part.
So the motivated Colon was there when The Musician woke up inside Sikul’s dream at the entrance to the faux general store. He slithered beside him from his hiding place in the grass. Morris’ tentacled friends, having done their work, were now dispatched. It was just Morris, The Musician, Colon. All three awake and aware.
“Wheeler is still waiting on the other side of the portal,” spoke Morris to The Musician while walking between him and Colon. “We must hurry.”