Axis felt it should be *him* sitting there, talking to Kind Of. Not this Prof. *Young* Harris. Young, indeed. Gone around the South Bend if you ask him, far far from the North, pheh. But it is what it is at this point. Let’s focus in on the conversation.
“I haven’t been to Strange Creek in a long long time, Mr. Messed Up 02.”
“*Kind Of* Messed Up 02,” Kind Of corrects, knowing he wasn’t — yet — on the nutty level of his master actually named Messed Up. He kind of explains this to Prof. Young Harris, then, who nods in semi-understanding.
“I had a mother once, who was kind and then messed up. I think I understand.”
Kind Of moved on. He said things were even weirder in Strange Creek these days, thus the furthering of the name. “It’s *Stranger*,” he punctuates.
Prof. Young Harris then has an idea, and points up in a Eureka moment. “Cyan!” he exclaims quite loudly, pricking Axis’ ears even more.
He imagines his wife standing before him. “What have I done?” he asks. “*I* had to be Young Kane instead. The transgressions.” He shakes his head while she stares steady. He thinks he should probably get back to her…
Kind Of Messed Up 02 often went further up into New York to hear Prof. Young Harris speak. His arch-rival Dr. Young Kane was not in attendance today in Oswego Hall, much to the professor’s relief. He knew Dr. Kane, quite old now and not young atall anymore, much like himself (they’ve been rivals since The Beginning) would interrupt the lecture at various points to call out what *he* felt were fallacies. “There’s no such thing as Certain Death,” he might scold, for example. “Young Harris (no ‘Professor’ at the beginning, you’ll notice), me thinks you doth not understand what you speaketh of,” knowing his broken Shakespeare would always get a laugh from the audience, and perhaps make Young Harris turn bright beet red again, like that time in the summer of 1919. The Summer of Red they called it after that. Anyway, today he was talking about Certain Death again, and contagions luring in the shadows, perhaps whitewashed by what he called not pseudo-science but *non*-science or even *anti*-science. “There’s a difference between the two,” he explains. “Pseudo-science *strives* to be science, and perhaps it will one day. Take crop circles –” and here he has a handy paragraph or two to deliver about the “supernatural” reality of what most think are man-made phenomenon, very scientific in scope. He might also invoke here telekinesis, mind reading, tarot cards, dice, I Ching, phrenology, as fields that are not viewed as kosher amongst the scientific elite — those in power to make important decisions and then package and disseminate them to the common public as they wish — but what could be found out to have actual value down the road somewhere. Then he brings up contagions and the blinders we, as a society and also as an elite lurking within, put on in regards to being “in the dark” soon. “The lights,” — and here in his lecture he instructs one of his Young assistants to actually turn off the lights in the auditorium — “*will* go out, and we will *all* — be blinded.” The lights come back on. He takes his bows. No one here today — not that one dissenter in the crowd — to take the spotlight off his success. One even throws a rose at him but it turns out to be blue.
As the crowd dissipates, Kind Of moves down to the lower level to attempt to make contact.
“Professor? Professor, could I have a word?”