“The Queen is happy and sleeping in her royal bed,” recites Tronaxis (new name!) at his virtual reality game command center. “No stopping us now, right Cpt.?”
But then Tron revamped Axis remembers that he bagged and gagged Cpt. Americus earlier in the evening and left him hanging to dry. And the turtle (Norton Wise) had been turned into soup. And Fish Head’s head would turn since he’d been bought off. I will be the champion! he inwardly crows.
Purple mutt Ralph, a non word-processor, keeps guard and growls with every slight movement. The Cpt. within has learned to stay still and not eat the remaining white and grey matter in his magically replenishing bucket. Because he has a plan. The first, true, has been stolen and appropriated by (Tron)Axis but the second, the new one, is even better. He will *help* the Heart Queen in an about-face. Kick his traitorous ways down the road a bit, biding his time. If only he can get out of the current situation. Come on, white and grey matter, he urges, knocking his head with the drumstick still in his hand and inciting another growl from Ralph.
“Everything all right over there Ralph?” Tronaxis didn’t need a smart dog, only a loyal one. That’s all he demands from any of his subjects. Obedience; loyalty. The Heart Queen and he are too similar in that way. Eventually, ultimately, one or the other had to go. He hopes it’s her.
If only he had an ally — a human one this time and not an obedient mutt like Ralph. Tronesisia? No, she’s not an obedient robot/gynoid any longer, having broke her programming. Peter? But Tronaxis still didn’t really know who that was. Besides being a clone of Peter Gabriel of “Lamb”, etc., fame. Oh wait — there’s Randolph.
Just down the alley.
“No, I think you’ve had quite enough spaghetti tonight,” answers Kuckoo to her daughter Louisa’s request. “Now let’s see if we can get that nasty bowl off your head.” But, having a revelation, she instead pivots toward googling Sparky at her laptop. “Anything yet?” she asks, lining up her thoughts while Louisa slurps a stray spaghetti noodle into her mouth. “Not really,” he barks back, and then relays what he thought was sidestepping trivia but turns out to be the heart of the matter. “Did you know, Kuckoo, that there’s a Cow Pond over on the old continent. Spelled with a ‘c’ instead of a ‘k’.” Kuckoo doesn’t get angry, but she inwardly thinks that Sparky should keep on track with his search for the missing girls. The big ta-do is — tonight! No time for sidestepping trivia. Even though, as I said, it’s the meat of the problem, the gist of the matter, white and grey. “Sorry,” Sparky apologizes when Kuckoo doesn’t respond. “I just–” “No problem,” she answers, thinking on the contrary, it *is* a problem. Perhaps they’ll have another sale on word processing dogs down at the marketplace soon. She’s saved enough money. She’s about ready to buy. One more slip–
“Bowl,” she then utters, remembering her insight. “Fish bowl,” she elaborates. “Google, Sparky, ‘fish bowl’ and ‘lost’ together.”
Sparky does as commanded (good dog!). “Yes, there’s a hit!” Sparky is excited because he thinks this can save his job as animal word processor for the Kuail family. Because he knows he’s in trouble too. Dogs are intuitive like that. “But — looks like there’s only two lost souls in that song instead of three. One off, then.” Sparky’s job is suddenly jeopardized again.
In other parts of Kuckoo’s small house overlooking Tao Bay, daughter Thelma is lining up Benjamin Franklins to stick on her doll heads…
… while visiting Earnheart and Gordon fiddle around with drawers and cover themselves with grease stains. Who left those children here??
Red eye, Guy Benjamin contemplates. Like the band. This must be where they live!
He must find his way down to get an autograph. But he never does.
About an hour later, Redeye manager Kuckoo Kuail urgently knocks/slaps on the door of Slash Girl’s small house, lead guitarist for the group. Unless it’s Angus Girl or Buckethead Girl.
Alarmed at no answer after banging again and calling her name, she enters.
Gone. Just like the others. Three lost souls. What is she going to do?? The big ta-do at Kow Pond/ Loon Lake is — tonight!!