00290614

“I think I’m going to like it here back on this Nautilus continent, let’s see (he studies her), Lichen?”

“Call me Blondie,” she requests. “As in ditzy.” But he knew this wasn’t true. She was just a comedian. “Watch this,” she then said, waving her hand toward the grill. “Fire.”

“Nifty.” A witch too.

—–

“So Lichen is involved now. This must be 1942. But where’s Fern; Wendy? Is she…”

“Questions,” W warned, who may be Wendy herself. “Gambling boat,” she answers about Fern at least. “Dixie Belle. See you there.”

—–

“Well that looks like it, gentlemen. Last hand: I win the boat.”

“I don’t understand what happened,” shocked Jim A. Brown to her left managed to utter. “All I had all night was clubs and diamonds.”

“And…” sputtered similarly baffled Zach Black opposite him. “Me? Hearts…”

“… and spades,” Fern Stalin finishes for him. “Yes, yes, very peculiar. What are the odds.”

“Odds doesn’t begin to describe it,” says Zach, trying to figure out how he’d ever win his Jazz Attack band back from this, this… *witch*.

“Time to bring out the girl,” she then declares.

Jim A. Brown and Zach Black look across the Belle on the table at each other. “Lena?” They weren’t ready for this but what choice did they have?

“No no no no no, the other one. The red haired one. The one we’ve been studying… collectively. Wait… don’t tell me. Is she dead? Like Maebaleia (continent) to us now? Let’s go with the boy, then, the Indian. But not Asian. Half and half. Is he still in his pod, bubbling away? I need to see the studies Rose produced, all the figures. Bring them… *now*.”

Her rapid fire delivery left Jim A. Brown and Zach Black drained of blood as if they were dead. And perhaps they were. Gambling debts gone wrong sometimes end that way. At any rate, they disappear from the scene, leaving Fern confronting… I suppose this is Wells?

(to be continued)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0029, 0614, Lower Austra^, Nautilus^^

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