Some planes took off and never made it to their destination. But some planes never took off and still made it there just fine. It was a central theme of this here photo-novel, 25 in a… 26. And here we are, just beyond the (Collagesity centered) 5×5 appropriately enough, trying to look inside. This must be a Michigan ship.
Kolya had been meaning to report the crashed craft for the longest time, but he couldn’t remove his feet from this oh so comfortable, warm pool to go over the the green phone and make the call. He tries to calculate in his mind how long it had been there. It had stopped smoking some time back, so maybe 3 hours? Make that years — he truly couldn’t recall, and that hurt his chances for a call. He does know noone is inside still, at least after the doc took that basketball player type girl away still in her green uniform, as green as his phone should be. Perhaps she had just come back from a game; could be she was even a professional player what with that height. But why just the single person on board, then?
TWO TO KNOW weighed on his damaged brain, thanks to Marty, thanks to Roger Pine Ridge. What they did just north of here in Leemington will not be forgiven. 59.
“She’s always over there just staring at the fire, waiting for him to come home and tell her what to do. Robot, I say. Completely controlled. *I* was the rebel. He didn’t like that.” She paused in her soliloquy to take a drag off her cigarette, a Virginia Slim I believe, long and lean on smoke. She blew what little she had away from the child sitting next to her, then turned. An Asian, she thinks. Just like Sally over there at the Coast Guard building. Could it be? She packed those suspicions away and sent them down a baggage conveyor. Nah: impossible. She’s just a lackey, not smart enough to live a double life, much less shrink down to child size if needed. This was just an innocent youth before her, a *friend*. She hadn’t had one of those in a while. Not since Bettie. Or was it Ruth?
So she decides to unload more. Why not: it makes her feel good and that’s what matters in the moment. Another drag off the slim cigarette; another pleasure. Today was the day for enjoyment, since this was her day off from that other job that’s suppose to bring joy but almost always doesn’t in the end. Except for Pete.
“The Fortress, it is called by some. Maybe John.” She stops; another drag, another exhale away from the child.
“Who owns it?” the child dared to venture, picking her openings carefully. She had to keep up the ruse. No time to get cold feet now. That will be later when she ices them down from the hot sand. Azura Beach! She truly loved this little hidden spot with its cute dunes just away from the Airport grounds. But she must remember her real task: digging for information instead of clams, although that would be later as well.
“K.C. some call him. Others: L.A. I think he likes to use the initials of famous cities. Maybe ones he’s visited.” She stares directly over at it, knowing the new gal, if you could even call her that, the robot, would be sitting in there, staring at the flames that would certain consume her just like they did herself. A witch, they called her, and then she had to live in that ditch behind the airport for a couple of months until she was able to at least rent this cottage on the edge of his property. He had at least the dignity to do that. And he’s probably just keeping her around when he gets tired of the new one, with her more ample bosom and brown-not-blue eyes. He tired of blue, he tired of normal. And always with the golf club; might as well be a baseball bat the way he cracks it. Always plays the odd numbered holes and skips the even. Then in the evening he evens it out with the even holes. Complicated man. And she could still spy on him, but of course that’s what he wanted. He wanted her to see the new gal-robot and how he controlled her just as she was controlled. “Look,” he could hear him say with his smokey, deadpan voice in her head, “and learn.”
(to be continued?)
Sally decided this would be her last trip into Jack’s former office with the all important ring binder she was still carrying around the day after yesterday. She had taken it to the bathroom with her and had a peek inside. Peking: (old) China stuff. “Just around the bend,” one document proclaimed. “Epidemic escalated to pandemic,” another said. “This was about the bug, like up in the beige hills, beyond Collagesity even,” she whispered to herself while on the john. She shut the ring binder, propped it carefully against the stall wall, balled her hand under her chin while sitting there in thinking mode. Sally was a bright chick, perhaps too much so. Since she had a double life, just because she was smart enough to pull it off. Lackey by day here at the Dogoog Coast Guard Station, an affiliate of Angel’s Airports. By night: spy. It was like the split of Orient and Occident, she realized, and herself as a reverse Marco Polo ready to unleash the goods to the enemy.
Marsha knew that boss Phillip Strevor was spying on her while she photocopied downstairs, eager to get away sometimes at least from the direct stares of her backside. At first he hid behind that big palm pictured above. Okay, good: only a sideways view, she thought, and tolerated the stalking. Then, gradually it seemed (it probably happened all of a sudden, though), Phillip slid out from behind the palm and over to the couch for a better view. He had sunglasses and wore a fake beard. He usually sat lotus position to disguise himself as an Indian. He thought it would be enough to fool her. Phillip Strevor perhaps wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but that’s probably because of his head being cut off and all back in the war. He had it reattached, but decided to keep the demarked cut lines just to make him look tough. “CUT HERE”.
He also thought the beard would hide this from Marsha.
While still hauling around that damning ring binder all over the building to various offices (traitors, she thought, every last one of them!), Sally checked the script weight board. No sign of Wilson Fox this time. Only 2 All Oranges now, the big boss out on the dock taking care of the what’s-his-name dignitary, and the hooker across the bay probably wearing all that bling jewelry she likes. Man attactors, she calls them. Little lurid beacons of light. Sally usually hates women of the night and thinks them the lowest of life forms. But she’s befriended the hooker — Ginger I think is her name — because she has valuable information about the Orient she needs to dig out from her. And to top it all off, there’s Lime: the very origins of Our Second Lyfe. It actually started on Yd Island — just beyond the edge of the Coast Guard property over there. You can almost see it with a 512 meter draw, the maximum allowed in this here game. Ratzenburger Rabbit. Ginger (I think) knew the whole story. She grew up on Yd Island back in the 30s, 50s, and 70s.
(to be continued?)