We start to wrap up the continent, south to north. Continent’s Edge seems like a logical, next step. “Anything left here?” Officer Biff Carter might say to an underling (not pictured). “Well sir,” the underling could reply, “there’s the red door in the bar.” “Let’s go,” Carter might respond firmly. “Show the way,” he could add, not seeing the landmark in his own inventory, since he is, at the core, Bracket Jupiter. The underling (surface identity yet to be determined): Baker Bloch, the (core) guy with the prime landmarks. “Let’s go!” Carter could reiterate, seeing his underling spacing out again. “Go go go go go!” “Alright already!”
“Okay, we checked that out. Standard vampire stuff. Or goth stuff.” Biff turns away from the door toward his underling. “And who are *you* suppose to be?”
“Raggy,” his underling admitted. “Lemme check some other outfits.”
“Make it pronto!”
“You guys smell something burning? Okay, okay. Not too bad.” He keeps scanning the underling. “Not too *good* but could be worse. And who is… wait, lemme guess. *Your* assistant.”
“This is Wanda,” Kirk introduced.
Carter shook his head. “Nope nope. Already a Wanda in this story.”
“Then, er, how about Alice.”
“Nah. Try again.”
He puts finger to lips in thinking mode; begins talking more to himself. “Ritchie — not a girl’s name; Betty — again: taken.”
“Taken,” Carter reinforces, and moves to the bar, talking to the reader directly while Kirk keeps vocalizing options behind him. He selects champagne for a drink. “While we’re waiting, let’s check out *my* backstory. It’s a good one. Better than Kirk’s I’m sure.”
We drift back in time. Back back back to when Carter first took on the case of the Missing Man About Time.
“We were in Oakley, where Little Annie got her name from. I was about the same age as my underling now, and kind of looked like him. Sort of. And I had an assistant as well. Well, we spotted the palm tree hemmed mound in the distance and I said, ‘Looks like a good place for a hideout.’ We’d been stalking the Man About Time for about a month at this point, but what’s time when you’re looking for such a person. I checked my watch. 8:88. ‘9:28,’ my assistant clarified (more for the reader). I’d been substituting number time for clock time several years now, dating back to my time researching that mashup puncture in time and space called Dark Side of the Rainbow. 8:88 is 9:28, 8:98 is 9:38, but 9:48 is just that and nothing more. Can’t let those things get too complicated.
“We moved toward the mound but stopped at the entrance.
“‘Pirate,’ I cussed, spitting on the ground after realizing we’d been tracking the wrong crinimal. ‘I told you
Wanda Ritchie Bettie Taylor Twiggy.’ ‘How dare you call me that,’ she interrupted, and slapped my face. ‘I told you never to call me that again.’ Okay, we still don’t have a name for the dame, but I’ll work on it and get back to you reader. And also find the proper hideout for this… MAN ABOUT TIME.”
(to be continued?)