As soon as I found a correct location to teleport in and sat down at the first table I saw, I realized I had not only visited here but I *lived* here. I recall Burro Alley. I recall the policeman, perhaps named Brown or maybe just living in a brownstone apartment. He was *after* me. He was asking two hookers about my location in an alley across from the alley (*The* Alley), but the one who cooperated didn’t actually know anything. The other did, but she was from the country. *My* country.
I was part of the Black Lake Bunch, also known as the Black Lake Gang or Purple Bunch. There was one in it who didn’t like me, didn’t approve of me. She said: why don’t you appear as you really are in this Second Lyfe of ours. She also mentioned the plug. I said the plug covers an avatar defect. I said it monitors the surroundings, giving me indication of friend or foe. Right now it was hurting like a mother fo. Red. Indication of foe. I moved away from her, unfriended her, even though we were never friends. Blocked I think is the word, yes. But the other remained kind of a friend, like Thatch. She was helping protect me. Red turns to green. The Alley is just across the way. There we find PROBABILITIES, exactly what I was looking for. An ESCAPE.
“Helloo Wanda,” spoke the woman nearest me after she turned. She had a mocha cappuchino in her hand, made by Stenson the nice black lady that I also recall. The woman with the cappuchino was named… funny I couldn’t recall, although I’d seen her face a lot. Gertrude. I think. Jacksonia Andrews approached from the west, bringing me a pink drink that I realized I ordered all the time. It was a given. “Thank you Jacksonia,” I said as she handed it to me, cool as glacier. “Just what I needed for my aching feet.” “Haven’t you got a transplant yet?” she asked. “You’ve been talking about a transplant for forever, Wanda. Also: hadn’t seen you around in a while. We figured… we figured you were back at The Factory.”
“Feet,” I said back, trying to remember what she spoke of. I remembered her name at least. Now to the details. *This* was a factory as well, I remembered. But faces, not feet. Alice over there, sitting with new hands on old knees. I then knew, I then recalled. Not just face: feet, hands, any body part could be remodeled and redone and revitalized. I was here because of my feet. I stayed in a brownstone apartment, but not next to the officer who was looking for me. I was on a waiting list. Jenny said they could fix me up.
I poured the cool, glacial water on my feet. I had just added 5 more minutes to my stay, with a total at 7 minutes now. I had time for a couple more angles of investigation. I knew quite a bit more already. I decided to talk to Alice. She worked at the airport as some kind of receptionist. A lot of people around here worked at the various airports dotting the continent. Planes kept this landmass alive, vital. It was at the crossroads of everything.
Then I remembered *The* Crossroads, like this place had *The* Alley. 61 and 49, green and gray. Back there at the Airton airport on the mountain that is also a hill there was a gray grey laying next to me. My duplicate was being formed, but they couldn’t figure out how to move gray into green by gaining 12. They weren’t working in base 12 and remained in base 10. I had been saved so far by their more primitive mathematics. But still: time was running out.
The doctor got out of his car. He had been there all along, observing and listening, taking notes, just like me.
“I heard something about numbers. Should we be working with different numbers? Would that solve the problem?”
I hate when people get in my head like that.
(to be continued)