The next day or something, George came to check on her. Duncan sent him. He was disguised (once more) as a fisher boy, who would never grow up to be a fisher man. Fisher Herman.
“You okay? You seem anxious. What did you see in the crate? Duncan is worried about you.”
“I bet he is.” She clutched her dead teddy tightly, unable to speak for a while. The boy sat silent too.
Finally, after about 10 minutes: “Do you have any sandwiches, Penny?”
“Bread, butter — fix it yourself.”
She-he was still experimenting with form, but had decided to be a she at least. For now. And the little zombie bear Stitches might be a keeper. And the pins — hence Penny. Not Al Mobile. Penny Mobile. Penny Something. Penny Lincoln?
“Penny Lincoln?” she tested aloud to her new doll. No response. “Is your throat all right now?”
“Time to see what’s in the crate, Stitches”
“I… can’t breathe.”
“Ahh, Stitches. The magenta cube-sim. The ultimate Second Lyfe goal.”
She sat on the cube and remembered everything.
“Stitches. I was killed!” But the doll heard nothing.
“I could swear I saw a tree yesterday out on that treeless slither of land over there, Stitches. And I should know. Since I was that tree.”
“Stop squeezing my neck, Penny.”