Baker Bloch eats alone in Sanderton. He knows he’s at the end of his rope. All he has left is improvisation.
The lag meter is low today. He can invite someone else in to dine with him. Who will it be tonight? So many to choose from.
But he decides on Axis, since he knows he should enter the current story sometime but hasn’t yet. Might as well get it over with. They switch places for a particular reason, one with the other.
“How’s Venus?” he begins about Wheeler with her new name, her new doo.
“She’s all right tonight,” spoke Axis levelly. “Mars too.”
“And you are Peter as well, Axis.” He indicates Axis’ outfit with a nod of his head while still eating his cherry pie that’s he’s moved across the table with him. “The Tron thing and all. Seems you are *stuck*.”
“I am,” Axis replied plainly, continuing to stare. He hadn’t rezzed any food. He didn’t know how long he would be here. Needed to get back to Venus…
“I’ve been seeing Hucka Doobie myself.”
“Oh?” From Axis’ surprised look on his face, Baker Bloch knew what he was thinking.
“No, no, not *that* kind of seeing.”
“Oh.” The tone was flat now.
“No, we’ve been talking about the plot, the paper or papers it is written upon, and the holes therein.” He takes another bite, cleaning the fork as well, per usual. “Thought — well, thought you might have some thoughts on it tonight. I’m, er, (bite) kind of at the end of my rope.” He pondered the elephant again just around the corner, and the various parts.
“Follow your nose,” Axis said, then disappeared.
Baker Bloch took a couple more bites before uttering, “Well, that was a lot of help.”