It was a short vacation for Hidi but meaningful. She reconnected with her past: bruisers Delbert, Filburt and the rest. But she was back now in The City, and boyfriend-husband Axis and she had had a wonderful evening just staying in the room and, afterwards, strolling down the westward facing beach in the morning and enjoying a beautiful, forced sunset over the ocean waves.
No, he preferred to go by Opp now. Tropp, actually. True Opp — 1/2 and 1/2 (dang!). And she: well, we’ll get to that soon enough. She created him in effect, a reversed Adam to her Eve. The Apple had been, um, turned inside out.
Anyway, she’d learned something at the beach. A Mercury capsule like astronaut John Glenn use to pilot bobs all abandoned and shite out in Neptune’s Bay, but then when you walk just north past the Neptune sim you reach a property called Mercury Rising, like the sun was rising on the couple at the point where she discovered this coincidence. If it is coincidence. And all those celestial bodies (!): Sun, Mercury, Neptune. Tropp sometimes quips she has a celestial body, ha. Not last night — that would be too weird or obvious I suppose — but sometimes still.
She needs to check her horoscope to see if something is resonant there. Let’s see, Mercury rising. That’s easy. And the sun with it, but also in forced opposition to it (forced sunset instead of natural sunrise to enhance the effect of the walk). And Neptune in the, er, adjacent sim — that must be a neighboring zodiac sign.
She thinks back to an astrologer (name?) who told Hidi about what she felt at the time was a forced association between her birth horoscope and the positions of towns in an Ohio county bordering the Great Black Swamp back in the days. Importantly, Neptune is the only town that is named in the association. The rest of the planet-towns are, or were, inferred. She has the notes somewhere in her filing cabinet downstairs in her actual apartment. This is just a room she and Opp used. For reunion purposes. She decides to check out and head home. Actually, that’s just a figure of speech, for the place has been locked up for weeks. Hidi and Tropp just like the view of the beach and beyond from that large, paneled window; the couple is big on scenery and enhancing it in ways they can if possible. Forced sunrise here, forced full moon there, extra lighting in a darkened alley, so on. But Mercury rising… she must go back to that beach to scout out the place. The owner said in his property description that visitors are welcome. No forcing action there at least.
She lathers sunscreen over her oh so pale face
and hands and heads out.
Ahh yes. The Mercury capsule is labelled a *hideout* by the owner. Just like she had been hiding out over in Gaston and just returned. She sits only a bit beyond the border of Neptune on a sand dune in Mercury Rising and thinks about Ohio. Then when she recrosses into Neptune from Mercury Rising she is able to sit in the abandoned capsule. Interesting. Another true hideout (!). True Opp, true hideout. Hidi.
A map charting celestial bodies on a pillow inside; the whole thing is owned by a person from Consignment. Consignment shop! The plot thickens as they say. Better gather up Tropp and hand over there. If this capsule is truly cursed he needs to be in on it.