“Anyway, I thought I’d just pop over and tell you that your old house is up for rent. Better get back to the brood.”
“Wait, Gambler,” Greg Ogden implored. “Before you go, tell me more about this Core-Alena, how she got to Gaston, how she passed through Purdy here on the way.”
“I already told you,” Gambler projected. “She passed through centers and then she just uprooted herself and started walking from the original ‘Purd’ — this Purd*en*.”
“As opposed to Purdy here and also the Purdue University related sim. I get that. But why couldn’t she start walking, say, *here*?”
“You know that too,” came the reply. “Purden is actually the secret centre of Our Second Lyfe itself. Triple 128 — only one.”
“The…” Greg Ogden attempted, then let Gambler take over again, seeing the stumble.
“All the axes measure the same: height, depth, length. A, B, C: the great 3-n-1. But in Core-Alena’s case it is also the center of a 256x256x256 sim cube. It’s what makes her, well, *unique* unique.” Gambler was referring to the all important tree being as a she because that’s how she knew him-her in Gaston.
“But she’s not at this centre any longer,” continues Greg Ogden, chattier thanks to the (doped) coffee. He suddenly realizes this, and holds his mug out in offering mode. “Sure you won’t have any?” He was hoping to get the whole story today, whatever means. *Whatever* I mean here. Gambler was an old girlfriend over in Gaston for Greg Ogden, having met her shortly after changing from machine to man (but still keeping a lot of machine characteristics, like an obsession with symmetry). She came here to tell him about his old, empty house, yes, but there was more to it. He could feel this. Something about Purdy. He was a purdy man, true. He knew this — all the ladies end up, in the end, telling him so. Gaston changed him forever in this way. Sister Improvio too. Earie as well. He became Greg Ogden, Improvio became Pretty Man — wait. That’s *it*. Gambler, all along, was…
He could see through her disguise now. “Boy this coffee is good,” he declares, taking another draw from the toxic concoction.
“We’re both purdy,” she ended. “Too similar to each other in our red and blue. We had to create Earie in the middle. Ear. Between the sun yellow legs.” She stared up at the brightest star in the sky, not looking away. The only star. The daylight one. All turned black.