The Paper Kings dropped a Big Baby behind enemy lines and Claude Sit-on got sat-on. His son Claude Jr. carried on the family name, obviously. In retaliation he tried to wire the school so that it would blow up at 4:20 o’clock on [pick any day], but the kids foresaw this and blew up Claude Jr. instead. With their minds of course, no primitive physics needed. End of mechanoid aspect of our story, but later the Claudes, jr. and sr. now conjoined and united as one Claude in the minds of people who couldn’t remember the originals, became martyrs to the cause. It was here that Dr. Mouse entered our story again. “He died for *our* sins,” the fanatic was telling him back in their secret basement lair underneath the mayor’s house, now run by Jim Turbine the plastic surgeon. He surged, he won. Former mayor Longnose went back to Yayaland where he came from and started wearing a different face (at times) and leading the resistance to his own cause, which eventually recruited Guy Benjamin from Kowloon who eventually was able to steal the little yellow fellow, the Rael McCoy, from the other 3 while they had their backs turned. And this is where Dr. Mouse enters our story once more (!), for he was asked to perform a special operation to straighten out the racist lad. *Not* remove the color this time, which should remain glinty gold or close, they insist, just like Claude down in Sittontown (Meatside renamed). “What, then?” demanded Mouse, afraid he would see a rat in such a remote place and eager to get outta here. “Turn him into an *I*,” they said, and left it with him.
Dr. Mouse went back to his basement lair, told the others what had happened. A plane crashed outside in front of the cave that sheltered Sheldon the Initiated, Fern Stalin in disguise once again — I believe this was 42 by this point. On the other side of Paper, Swamp Lake had been drained by the resistance *here* in an attempt to stifle the efforts of the kids. The Asylum was filled with those who weren’t really loonies but were deemed so nevertheless. And Dr. Mouse was the stamp-maker. He wore many hats, but there was only 1 he wanted to live under. Hatti’s.
“What do you think? First attempt, mind you.”
Greg Ogden was stymied. “Is that a… banana?”
“*Well*. Did you enjoy your frozen banana young man, ha?”
“Okay, well you come back real soon. Reaalll soon.”
“Oh you can *count* on it.” He finally moved away, not even needing his cane to locomote in the present, the moment.
But Paper-Soap had much bigger issues to deal with than these 2 stepper outers. Wars: Paper vs. Soap. Because many wanted the amalgamation to end, and all the psychic rigamarole with it. We’ll see.
They had finished their burgers — vegetarian for the doctor; basically raw red meat for Wheeler, er, I mean, Wendy — and were sitting outside in what they called the kid’s area. Greg Ogden was riding a coin operated horsie across the way; no food for him, just play. The 2 “grown ups” took the opportunity to talk, core to core. Mouse was asking a lot of questions, so Wendy plopped out her laptop for some quick google searches when needed. Or so she said.
“Claude,” he spat out. “Friend or foe?”
“Friend,” replied Wendy quickly. “But a mechanoid so basically useless. And he indirectly blew up our director so we’ll have to mark down for that.”
Wendy stared at him. They weren’t suppose to talk about the children. He remembered that with her prompting and moved to the next.
“How about the swamp? How about the bars?”
“Um… not sure.”
“Both have black mold thanks to the you-know-who. Both lack bathrooms, hence Stu Umbriel in jail for the urination and such. But he just likes peeing in public, don’t get him wrong. He’d do it anyway. That’s just what his lawyers are going to say.”
“Kolya… seems to be missing.”
Wendy stared over at Greg Ogden still jiggling on his horsie. “Did you give him 2 quarters or 3? Because this could take a while.”
“Who do you think that is over there, Greg Ogden with an extra G?”
“Just in the last name,” he modified. He lowered his voice, leaned forward. “And stop pointing over there.”
“Oh she knows we’re here,” said Dr. Mouse in reply. “She knows what we’re talking about; she *knows* what we’re thinking.”
Hatti the witch still didn’t look over, trying to ignore them. She was thinking back to when she left Valgate (= V-gate), her old beloved house that was her castle, left the NE corner of Nautilus continent behind. Got tired of the devilry. The boars! Booor-ing (in the end). She looked at her cyan blue nails — anywhere but over *there*. When’s our, *my* expresso going to arrive? she thinks. I’m about tired of *this* place as well, this Paper-Soap, amalgamated from 2 former school districts. The kids control all now! Thoughts can flow freely between subconscious and conscious: dream becomes reality. The burning of the Biker Bar and Grilling that killed our beloved director Penn Mann (etc.) — could have been their doing (easily enough). But personally I know it’s Claude.
Weary, she stares over at Mouse. “Looks like they’re actually closed. Wanna grab a burger you 2?”