pre-Gong

“A message from Elberta,” she chipperly chirped to begin.

“Oh yeah?” He’d been waiting a long long time. He’d cross his arms and tap his foot to signal impatience if he possessed any. About all he had left were some basic facial features and his gruff, booming voice, now reverberating across a sickly, cold, monochromatic basin.

“The deed is done. The Smipsons bartender is gone, perhaps even dead.” “Like yourself,” Bethulia the messenger chicken wanted to add but stopped herself, ending instead with: “You can move in.” Shakily, one might put it, as she continued to stand in its shadow and stare at the dark, foreboding spheroid, the realization of what actually happened dawning on her. This was not warming sunbeams, light. This was the opposite. The cosmos had been swallowed whole, starting with the pole.

“Remind me: which of us came first?” Yes, Karl wasn’t quite ready yet to return from the Land of the Dead, the Land of Jasper. He remains a zero, a null, a void — for now. Not a true hero any longer. Bethulia relays this observation back to Elberta and gets fed lots of feed for it. She’d almost made a vast mistake. She didn’t realize Karl and Moe’s deadly Egg were the same.

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