Every Man’s Land

“You again (!).”

“Yeah? What’ll it be?”

“What’ll what be?”

“Red or blue, bud. Good or evil I suppose. Dunno, don’t care. But you gotta choose to play,” he insisted.

“No,” said Newt. “You don’t understand. I’m just here to talk about Squared Root City with someone. Why this place — Ontario — and that place don’t get along, see.”

The fellow I’ve already seen several times in Ontario, including the groundside gun store where Arthur Kill was killed with a bullet to the heart by grown up Tessa at the end of the last photo-novel, just scratches his head. “Dunno anything about that. You might have to see the Mayor. Or even higher.”

“Mayor?” Newt replied. “Higher?”

“Yeah, the King of course. I don’t know anything about this Root Squared City,” he insisted.

“Squared Root City,” Newt quickly corrected, but then thought about it. 3.16 x 3.16 is essentially 10, which is perfection (to us Pythagorean related TILERs). But then 3.16 is also pretty close to the circumference of a circle with a diameter of 1, and, in the case of City Park, County Park, Country Park, even closer. 3.14 to 3.15, maybe even 3.16 again. They are coded as All Ears because if Mickey Mouse’s face was turned into a matching circular ear it would exactly fit between all 3, copyright issues forever solved.

“I know this is space,” he continued, seeing the thoughtful look on Newt’s face, “but you can’t space out here. You gotta play or you gotta go. Orders.”

“Of who?”

“Dunno. Just came with the instructions.”

“Who do you work for?” The gun shop employee now space game arcade employee scratches his head again. “You gotta leave,” he insisted, and pointed to the lightsaber sign.

“I know I know,” said Newt, preparing to explore the rest of this space station. But first he had to ask permission to look out the window for a moment at all those glorious stars, perhaps some galaxies mixed it.

“Sure I suppose. 5 minutes. But then…”

“Gotta go, I get it.”

He walked toward the nearest window, stared out. Many of the illuminated dots were moving. Could these be spaceships? Newt pondered. And the colors (!). Not just white, but pink blue yellow. He could stare at it for days but he only had minutes, seconds now.

“Time’s up, bud,” he says oh too soon. But surely there will be other windows around the station with just as good a view, maybe better.

“Can I ask your name?” he said before leaving.

“Jack,” came the answer back. “Now… please.” He indicated the door.

“Goodbye Jack,” Newt said while walking out, knowing there was something to that name. Because, in some circles, perhaps the ones we just talked about, Jack was code for clone.

(to be continued)

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