Who am I?
Who was sitting opposite me?
I am here. But not here. There. Better get there.
The grass has changed. Trees. I look to the distance and see…
“Damn. And I was just beginning to enjoy myself tonight, pheh.” Hucka Doobie sighs. “Alright, Baker Bloch. Here I come to join you in Tam Lin. Reluctantly.” She accepts the teleport invite.
“Just thought you might want a hot dog tonight.”
Hucka Doobie tried to relax but then couldn’t help herself. “A *hot dog*?” Her voice couldn’t hide the shrill.
“Yeah. Fresh off the grill. See over there?” Baker indicated to his left.
“Yeah, I see. Baker Bloch. There must be more on your mind tonight than mere hot dogs. You’re always going deep.”
“Not really. Oh… and cole slaw. Big tub of it. Aren’t our Lindens wonderful? Free food. Beautiful location. Heart Lakes I think I’ll call this place. Not Tam Lin.”
“But then there’s the duplicate. Mossy Hill. Wait… Mistymo. Yeah, Mistymo,” Hucka Doobie proclaims after checking her inworld map.
“Baker Bloch looks around. There’s mossy hills in every direction here it seems to me. Over there. Over there. Then also over there. Mossy Hill (sim) doesn’t really have any hills. But this duplicate sim with the additional heart lakes and also this picnic table and some other stuff does. I think this is the true Mossy Hill sim, Hucka Doobie.” He pointed again. “Here, here, and here.”
“Could be.” Hucka Doobie was pondering how to cut this visit as short as possible. “Listen, I was doing some research over on the Heart Line… speaking of hearts.”
“No you weren’t,” spoke Baker Bloch quickly.
“You weren’t doing anything. I know. I brought you into existence. And why aren’t you a regular looking young black woman now? With antennae true, but otherwise: pretty normal.”
“I changed for the blog. Readers recognize me more in this shape. I show up better in a long shot. Here…
“Aha. I *tricked* you. You’re actually here now. You can’t leave.”
“No.” He looked her over. “Very good, Hucka D. Quite like Iman don’t you think?”
“Sure. I suppose. And I can retract my antennae if needed.”
“So I’ve heard.”
Baker Bloch then looked behind her at the black spots in the sky. He pointed. “Are those black holes?”
They were everywhere.
There’s a Moss Island sim in Our Second Lyfe but it only seems pertinent because the parcel composing the whole sim is called Two Sun 3. This pointed me back to Nascera and the Threesun Cult that, recently, we’ve seen Doc Brown of Eotia Village mentioning as a past obsession, and connected in some mysterious way to the religion that new Eotia resident (and new father) Zoidboro was a preacher of over in The Waste. The Threesun sim is also a location featured in Collagesity novel 8 LINK.
But first I probed other “Moss” sims of Second Lyfe. Checked all out by teleporting into the center and having a look around. These included Moss Gully on the Jeogeot continent (basically empty),
Moss Island (already accomplished), Moss n Mink (no allowed teleport), Mossmopolis (interesting name, but nothing there that I could tell), Mossu (clothing store), Mossy Cove (no teleport), and, finally Mossy Hill, which turned out to be a protected land sim of one of the Nascera continents, but not the original one. Perhaps the one they called Arecsan?
Upon visiting, the “Hill” part of the name confused me since the sim seemed totally flat, but I discovered there is a raise area in the southwest corner. Perhaps that’s what the Mossy Hill namers had in mind, and it is greener than the flatland to the northwest, green being the color of moss.
But the fact that this was a landscaping sim interested me (like Threesun sim) since the great majority of Nascera related sims are instead populated to the brink with residential houses (linden homes). I pondered what equivalent sim might be on the several other Nascera continents, and quickly came upon this: Tam Lin, with some more interesting landscaping going on. And the point of a *heart* shaped pond in the middle.
Let’s go see…
Not quite a point but certainly a heart still.
And just over there to the east: another one. Reinforcement.
Some of you probably know who Tam Mossman is. Tam and I became friends many years ago. That was around the time he was the Prentice-Hall Publishing Company’s editor for Jane Roberts’ Seth books. He continued in that role many years.
And there’s this:
“Damn this fairy dust just isn’t washing off today, Axis.”
But Absinthe’s partner’s attention was drawn elsewhere. “Says here that this wrecked ship in the water before us was called Nevermore. After the Poe poem I assume. Funny that. Poe… poem. Like he was born to write ‘The Raven’.”
“I always forget,” says the showering girl, “whether the bird beats the bug or the bug beats the bird. ‘(The) Gold Bug’. Short story.”
“I remember.” Axis continues reading the sign aloud. “‘Lost to the sea — in 7-4-53 — by the grace of Our Dear Lord — whose boats are all adored.’ Another poem, Ruby.”
“Absinthe,” she corrected, still washing and showering and cleaning with all her might.
“No mention of the Trojan-Durexian War, though.”
“Oh it’s to blame all right.” opined Ruby, finally back in form. “Too close to the edge, see,” she explained while drying.
Hidi was having that dream again about being in the middle of Nascera’s Forever Bridge that ended Collagesity novel 8, one side leading to the past…
… the other, the future.
“This must be 9.”
Dawn comes at Horenso and Hakusai.
An unexpected crowd at Karoyaka, the sim below that. Right on the line again (with MogenAi), but no time for line dancing today.
Are trees dancers? she thinks at MongenAi and Shinryoku.
Shinryoku and, just in front of her, Shinkai. This is what she came for. A place of peace and quiet where she can truly rest.
And here’s where she met Magus Ellen at the end of the world. Younger partner Sidechick Corea was scavaging the colorful woods for seeds and berries.
There were no words exchanged, no looks. Hidi approached the meditating man…
… and became one with him, seeing through his eyes.
A boat forms on the edge, a transport. A sim skipper.
Dr. Brown knew a thing or two about sniffing out mysteries. He’d been doing so most of his life, especially a particular one involving the Cult of the Three Suns. Clues had been flying in from all directions recently. And now another had fallen in his lap: a pregnant Pat or Patrick Starr, connected with *North Yd* of all places (pronounced like “North Wide” just so you’ll know). Tilers, he thought from his secret underground lair, far far away (spatially and temporally) from the simpletons at Eotia Village. Squid people. Opposite sides of the circle, one dead and stuffed, the other living and breathing and… preaching. Vicious cycle — no, not vicious — *natural*, a comes around, goes around sort of idea. But now he had to find Tessa. She was the key.
“The tile here indicates safety, however,” her grandpa reinforced. “Safe to split up, then. You examine the buildings that way,” — Grandpa Gold points behind Tessa — “and I’ll work my way around from this end — counterclockwise — until we meet up somewhere in the middle. Is that okay?”
I could spend the rest of my life staring at these walls and learning nothing else. I can’t believe all of the months from my past I did so. Nascera, he thought bitterly. Turns out nothing’s here. Nothing atall.
Even Reginald appears to be gone.
“Well, it looks like this is it, Grassy.”
“Grass, please.” Grassy would never get over that he’s a child-like Mmmmmm through and through and will never “progress” to the current state of his cousin Opp — True Opp or Tropp, that is. He’ll never be X-ed out in other words. The shortened name of Grass would never stick. “Yes, I will miss you my old friend.”
“And you my friend. But I’ll return for the weed if nothing else. You certainly haven’t seen the last of me, ha ha.”
“Yes: ha ha. Ha ha ha.”
“Ha ha ha ha ha!”
15 minutes later:
“Would you like to see the painting, Grassy? Er, Grass. Grassy… Grass… can’t remember.”
“Whatever,” Grassy Noll submitted, having given up on correcting her about his name, at least for tonight. “Oh, sure. I totally forgot that’s why you can leave now.”
“Plus the payoff to that loathsome Philip Strevor. And the payoff for, well, everyone that lives here in the swamp village, but most importantly perhaps, Roger Pine Ridge, the great variant. And *you* can leave too, of course.”
“No, my place is here. Waiting for your intermittent returns.”
“Fine, fine. I thank you for your service. I hope the new apartment is to your liking.”
30 minutes later:
“So there it is Grassy. A beaut, isn’t it? And it’s all because of that ring Ellen gave me — the power. Catvas here likes it too.”
“I do!” meows the winged feline from her perch just behind.
Grassy moved closer to study the painting more carefully. “Lovely indeed.” He put a finger to his lip here. “But I think I see one detail you missed. We better go check it out.”
“Now?” Bill almost shouted. “But there’s *people* over there. Lots of people. You know I can’t stand people.”
“Most of them are just bots — no one really inside, you see. But let’s go beneath the Mermaid Tavern for a beer beforehand to loosen up your nerves. I’ll buy.”
“You talked me into it!”
“See, Bill? Just one of those silly bots down here. Usually there are a number standing around like zombies.” Grassy’s eyes glaze over here. “And only a handful more right now at the temple according to my inworld map. Perfect time to go. Fate, we could call it.”
“All right. I’ve drunk almost my entire chug-a-mug. One more gulp and I’ll be ready.”
“No, we’ve checked around the whole structure — like the back of my hand now, Grassy — and I can’t see anything I really missed of importance.”
“Look again,” the green Mmmmmm requested. He indicates toward the epicenter of the temple.
“The dancer?” They then jointly stare at the child going ’round the world.
“And that’s it, Sidechick! We’re done with ‘Collagesity 2018 Early’.” They were standing beside Nascera’s Meadowbrook ice cream truck where it all began.
“Just like that? It was sort of an abrupt ending.”
“Bill can paint,” Magus Ellen counters. “Annie can paint. We will assume Mabel can too because of those paint splattered jeans Axis gave her. The great 3-n-1. It’s complete.”
“What *about* Axis? You said time and
beach space were altered because he got Baker Bloch to discover Magellan’s broken teleporter one day too early.”
“If you haven’t guessed, Sidechick my friend, my understudy, Magellan is me. I broke the teleporter. But on purpose. It was the only way we could get Opp to come here in the first place and fill the center up with his blueness. Otherwise — all for naught.”
“I’m not understanding. What about, for example, the golden orb?”
“There’s a black and white opening beyond Braynard’s Place that doesn’t concern us. This would be New Eden. Does it stay coupled with New Island through the castle or does it begin to move independently? This depends on a number of factors, including what happens in the haunted Artist Point colony. But it’s a story for another day, as they say.”
Sidechick Corea tries process all this information, then: “What now for us?”
Ellen smiles mischievously. “I have a surprise for you. Still holding his own ice cream cone in his right hand, he expertly whips out another from his left pocket and hands it to his faithful assistant. “You’ve earned this.”
Now let’s leave the 8×8 behind and walk up the road to see that bridge you’ve been talking about forever.”
END OF “COLLAGESITY 2018 EARLY”!