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“I’m starting to like the classical view of Our Second Lyfe more than any other, like this standard midday environment here, Wheeler. I’m starting to think the original Lindens had it right at the beginning. Linden trees — never surpassed. Classic avatars…”

“Like me,” Wheeler jumped in. She smiled toward Newt, her husband past present future, if not her current boyfriend who was another. She was many things in one. Just like Newt, I mean, Baker. But not her boyfriend. A figurehead. A prime minster for a queen, king hidden away in the shadows still.

“Liz knows,” says Baker/Newt. “Shelley didn’t tell her but she knows. She’s older in a future kind of way.”

“Strange way to think of it (!),” replied self playing Wheeler. She was not as shape shifty as Newt/Baker, but superior in other directions. They were complements.

Pause as they took in the pretty environment below the revived Roost Castle. They’d followed Liz and Shelley there, since they were them.

“You know what Shelley said today — just a moment ago, actually.”

“That you were beautiful?”

“Yes.” She looked over at Newt expectantly. Would he say the same? Her legs were too long still, she felt. He didn’t think of them that way any more and said so. She needed reinforcement. The scars on her face from that steam accident were healing but still showed up in the mirror when she stared at it first thing in the morning.

But he was not her boyfriend. “You better get ready to play the role of grown-up Shelley. Coming up soon, you know, maybe this photo-novel, maybe postponed to the next. But she owns the castle. You is her,” he finalized.

We have a mystery in the middle which is the end.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0034, 0615, Nautilus, North, Rooster's Peninsula

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