Sweet Alice waited for the Magic Bus out of Pipersville. Sweet Alice asked for marriage to Jim A., who she knew as Jim A. Brown, owner of the Diamond Club and keyboardist in the resident band The B.’s. Her father unsurprisingly said no. Hence the birth of the Gno King legend and the entrapment of the fair maid inside the Indecypherable Tower until rescued by Master Ben Bolt five long years later. Only he could break the code.
“What reason do you give *now* for the ‘no'”, she begged before leaving the town perched on the edge of Sink X. Everyone was starting to feel the radiation effects, either directly or indirectly. “Pipes,” he plainly put it to her from his soon-to-be-established Kingdom, which was actually anywhere he physically stood. “Pipes, table, door, bars, um… do I need to go further?” Sweet Alice automatically assumed a modest pose where she covered he clothed body with strategically placed hands. He didn’t need to go further.
Buster Damm dared to take off a tiny bit of time from studying and scouting to bring our old friend Duncan Avocado into the picture. They sat in the same VHC City diner, in the same booth even where the original agreement was made. Duncan still wore the Pot-D heart-within-skeleton-hands pendant. Buster still knew where he was at any moment. “Sooo. Here we are, Duncan.”
“We are,” spoke Duncan plainly. He didn’t hesitate this time; he’d been around the cell block too many times in the meantime. “Whatever it is: yes.”
“Great!” Buster immediately spat in his hand and leaned forwards across the table. 5 minutes till sunrise…
Duncan A. woke up in a captive position, but then stood up. No chains this time. Relief! He wipes his forehead of perspiration and looks around. Pipes. This must be Pipersville Buster talked about. He moves to the table on the far side of the room.
African-American nudie pic, he ruminates. Jim A.’s heartthrob, he understands, the thing that held *him* captive. What happened to her? he wonders, then turns. One way to find out. He ascends the stairs out of there and tries the door: unlocked. Still not a captive.
He opens the door. Music.
“We could use the rocket for good instead of evil,” Cindy A. spoke over to Jim A. after straightening her hair. She had recently been influenced by a book she’d been reading. A famous trip to the Moon.
Jim A. laughed at this. Todd A. joined him. Yoko, having done the deed and brought them all together as a sealed, signed triangle, had slithered away again into the web of time with no rosy prognostication in sight.
“2 rockets will do it — we all agree?” It was Todd A. this time, manager of the project.
“We can send the 1st and see what happens,” offered Jim A. “Gauge the reaction before moving forward with the second.”
Cindy A. was getting sick to her stomach. What had she set in motion?
But they had trained for this. It was always going to be. Forward in time, and then backwards in time to the original point. Cassandra City. Home. But the hitherto thought of home — Pipersville, at least in its original form as Chip Shot: doomed. Worse than doomed.
“How far to be accurate? Would we, say, have to go all the way north to Regaltown to effect the launch?” Todd A. again. “What say you mathematician of the group?”
Jim A. spoke up. “As close to the Neutral Zone as we dare get.”
“How about Golden City?” Cindy A. reluctantly chipped in. The others readily agreed to the future hole. “They had remembered Chip Shot but not their own, retaliatory fate. Much worse it will be for them in the afterlife.