She had to pick her way through solid, floating rocks, flowers and grass, but Ruby finally made it to the couch where Gwin was sprawled out, the girl her age who lived in the smaller unit next to her tree house. Her and Tin Tin’s house, she accepted. But where was Tin Tin these days? But, more importantly, what has happened to her empire while she was away working at Tina’s gallery for the weekend?? Future empire, that is.
“*Where* is all the stuff in the middle?” she asked Gwin, then faced out across the basically empty expanse as well.
“We were suppose to have a sim wide meeting right there on that circular couch day after tomorrow.” The sitting 15 year old girl breathed deeply. “I watched it, you know. Madame Silver just swooped in and started deleting things right and left. In a rage, she was; I could tell even from this distance.” Like all proper thespians, Gwin’s voice was strong and dramatic. She sat up straight, folded her legs under her torso. “Until today I thought I should have stayed in EM’s Urbane Blue as Jill MacGill; dealt with the stupid doppleganger plot.” She then plopped down off the floating couch, facing Ruby square on. “Yet you seem to be another doppleganger, Young Ruby. 15 1/2 you say?
“Me too. Where were you born again?”
“I’m last from New Island. You know, just across the bridge from Wall Island.”
“That’s not what I asked you.”
Ruby decided to make up a birthplace. “Collagesity. Over on one of the oldest continents. Most commonly called the Atoll Continent.”
“Geography was a speciality of mine in school, Young Ruby. You don’t have to lecture me about landmass names. Heterocera is the offical terminology for that particular continent. It is the second oldest, after Sansara. That one contains the mainland’s only permanent snowy region. Then 3rd came Jeogeot, but far to the south of the first two.” She kept on going. “Then in the eastern hemisphere we have Maebaleia or Satori, almost a double in area to Jeogeot but not quite; then Nautilus above that, an archipelago really and not a continent; then Corsica just to the north of that; and then, moving even further east, Gaeta V, one of 5 continents planned as a super continent of some sort. But only Gaeta V — admittedly don’t know why they called it the 5th — was finished. And then this one.”
“Omega continent,” Ruby finished.
“Yeah. But that’s not the official name. And now you reside here with me in Meat City. Not the heart of Meat City — been there done that — but on the eastern edge, between town and country really. But it seems we may have lost our saving sanctuary. Madame Silver is either making wholesale changes, or she’s just tired of this democratic empire in the middle of squalor, ready to give it up instead of passing it onto you, the rightful queen. Or president, I guess we should put it, since it is a democracy and all. How do you feel about all this?”
A whirlwind of information this *Young* Gwin is! Ruby thought. Should she say: “depressed”?; “elated”?; “don’t care one way or the other”? She decided to go in the direction of the last option. “I had mixed feelings all along about taking the, er…” Should she say “gig”? She decided it was a hip, flippant word to use here. “… gig.”
“Gig?” Gwin snorted. “I would have sawed off *both* my legs to have this ‘gig’ you so flippantly brush off as unimportant.. so so. Do you know who you are? Do you know what this is?”
All Ruby knew in the present is that she was really starting to miss New Island and, especially perhaps, Collagesity. She missed Shirley Boot and Ragdoll, who are one and the same. Indigo too. Mabel, obviously. Yes: *Mabel* is kind of sort of her mother, Ruby thinks. Maybe *she* knows where she is born. Actually born.
“Tin Tin was here,” spoke Gwin boldly, snapping Ruby’s reverie. “Says he’s joining the army. Up in [delete name] just over in the country — up [delete name] road. You probably know the place. Full of boys, boys, boys. I think Madame Silver put him up to it. Maybe you should go visit him. Maybe talk him into coming back… if you wish. If you care about this place at all. You were destined to be married, you know. That was the plan. And *I*, Young Ruby — just so you’ll know — am your understudy in that direction. Get my drift? So I don’t care one lick if you go visit him and talk him into coming back. Because that’s what I plan to do, say, um, *this morning*.”
She then shows Ruby the engagement ring.
A central, heart shaped ruby just to rub it in all the way.