Wheeler/Hidi stared at the drugs on the table and realized it was just money. Constraints of time, power, and that other thing they don’t talk about much any more, not after Kolya. Damaged goods he was. She must not touch, she says once again in her mind to reinforce. There was a 2 shaped hole in his head where the rain gets in. Marty knows; Marty may have even created. “Fiftysix,” she says aloud to know one. “They had to stop at fiftysix.”
Duncan returns from the bar with 2 drinks. Duncan said he’d never ever come back to this town, this Eveningwood that would one day become so central to Our Second Lyfe that they decided to rename it Middle: Middletown, a basically endless megalopolis that one could get lost in forever. Fractal. You have to find a path through it or else, doomed. Duncan knew this. Duncan had a path; he had almost worked out all the details. Labeling will begin soon. He knows that The Fortress is at the end, but he doesn’t know what’s inside. It all terminates at The Fortress.
Hidi has her drink. Duncan sits down with his. They have more to talk about tonight besides Middletown, fiftysix, Kolya.
“Who’s going to come through the black curtains, Duncan,” she spoke after a couple of sips of her whiskey on the rocks. “I thought it would be you.” She looks over at his blackness and sees it is good. He looks over at her whiteness: also good.
“Well, I thought it was going to be you, obviously. But you were already here when I arrived, sitting on that couch.”
“And you at the bar.” She ponders further, as she hears the metallic sound of a gate opening. A red complexioned Asian Indian then comes through the curtains, beckoning them to follow. At the beginning of a tunnel just behind, he then tells Duncan he must go back, his path through the beginnings of Middletown at least temporarily blocked.
He returns alone from the bars to whence he came.