Listening through the walls and the coke machine is over. It’s time to find out who’s in the basement. Is it Rooster?
I think it must be Rooster. Smells like Rooster, even from this distance. We’ll see.
It wasn’t Rooster. He backtracks a bit; forgets about the end of the tunnel for now.
“Who are you?” he asks mildly.
Squeaky voice, like a inflatable toy full of little holes: “I am (wheeze) the answer you seek.”
Significant pause as he takes the creature in. “Where’s Rooster?”
“He is (wheeze) not here yet.”
Smaller pause. “Will he ever be?”
“(wheeze) No.” Slowly and skillfully the seated small being then moves a chest pin down to emphasize his pricked nature.
“Funny,” is all MAT could think of to say.
“Is (wheeze) it?”
Voodoo doll, Man About Time mulled over. Obviously related to Kactus back in the library — up in the library, just above him in fact. He tries to see through the ceiling toward it. Doesn’t work.
“Ponder (wheeze wheeze) the nature of the peninsula, another (wheeze) sticky outy thing (wheeze wheeze). I am (wheeze) running out of (wheeze) air (WHEEEEeeeeezzzee).”
The final prick did him in. He shouldn’t have done it, MAT realized. Like
Conception Concepción Conception, he’d made an error between his legs.
He moves on beyond the deflated being, encountering himself in the first of two cells off the passage.
“Hi me,” he said nonchalantly to himself.
Should he wave back? Or is that how you become trapped in the first place? Acknowledge that you’re here already? MAT decides to ignore him(self) and walks down to the final cell, the end of the journey that has become this post. Is he ready? After seeing himself down here, what choice does he have? No going back.
“What is it?” he asked, out of his cell and sneaking up from behind.”
“I think you should go back where you came,” the other requested, pointing down the passage over his shoulder while he finds himself waving at *it* for some reason. MOA he knew, but that was just another puzzle inside a riddle inside a cypher. The foul smell was starting to become overwhelming; not Rooster indeed. “Let me handle this now. I’ve been waiting for you after all.” STOP