Category Archives: 0501

different

Blue rose embellished Arthur Kill stands in red ones in Joffy and peers at a picture of three, child carrying blue-ish elephants, with the 3rd also rainbow tinted. That’s the one, he thinks from his thorny position. Better get this back to Marty.

Corsica is an… well, you know the story by now.

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five one

He was totally lost. “Vortexville,” he repeated to the zombie looking bartender named Reginald (Reggie).

“Hmm,” Reggie exclaimed. “Lots of places named something like that around here. Vortex, Chaos, Waste this and that. Junk this or another. Toxic, Destitute, Unsavory Lane… Black Hole Village down yonder in the Big Canyon. You’ll have to elaborate more. Who’s in this place? What are some of the residents’ names?”

“I was hired by a Grannie of some kind,” replies the about equally confused builder named Jackson. Jackson Bloch, but no kin to our Baker Bloch. “Or Grannis. Maybe it was Grannis. Or Grannie.”

“*Whose* Granny, then? Don’t know anyone by the name of Granny. Don’t know Vortextra…”

“Vortexville,” Jackson corrected. His left earring glinted. It always did when he felt he was brighter than the person being spoken to at the moment. A character giveaway.

“Maybe Mary will know. Mary’s been around longer than about anyone around these here parts. Lives over in Hambone. I’ll give her a ring. If the telephones are back up.” Reggie retreats behind the bar. Jackson Bloch can hear him speaking to someone. They talk for about 15 minutes. Reggie returns.

“Sorry about that.” We haven’t caught up in a while. Have to be nice to the vampires, you know. They’ll eat you in the middle of the night if not. Mary’s okay, though. And she knows everything.” He pauses, looks at the ceiling.

“Well?” Jackson implored after a minute. “Does she know, er, Grannis? Grannie?” he revolved around again, then held firm with the second. “Grannie… pretty sure.”

“Yeah. I think she does.” Again the pause. Jackson caught on. He visualized how many linden dollars he brought with him on the trip. Just enough to get by. Ruin construction doesn’t bring in the big bucks it use to. He reached into his back pocket, pulled out his wallet, and slipped Reggie a fiver, hoping that would be enough. It was. Reggie knew about the downturn of the ruin construction business as well.

“Yeah, it’s Jethro and Bauer’s place down on the southwest corner of The Fracture. But it’s a fur piece from here. Did you bring any weapons? A lot of people around here frown on outside weapons. They’ll shoot you good and dead just for that. Best to buy from the local traders. You might as well just give me any weapons you brought with you, then. I’ll make sure they get put in the right hands… er, destroyed. Destroyed I meant there.”

His boss didn’t supply him with any weapons. Budget cuts again. But he didn’t want to expose this weakness. Reggie seemed decent enough for a zombie, but this was a tough place with obviously a lot of back stabbing going on. “Just my red belt in karate, ha ha.” He faked a judo stance on the bartender, who didn’t know the difference. “Oh,” he said. “I see. Oh… I hear the phone again. Better go see who it is.”

Jackson Bloch didn’t hear anything. No ringing. Maybe it was all the bling in his ears. The left one blinged for vanity, the right for gluttony. Right now he was getting hungry. His ear told him. No food here, though, unless you like human flesh. And he wasn’t ready to go there yet. Not quite yet. Stay in The Waste long enough and its something you have to contemplate hard and long about. Most succumb. It’s an acquired taste.

Reggie returned to the counter once more. “I had Mary call off her attack on you. Have to be honest and up front with you. No one knows judo or karate around here, or can tell them apart.”

Obviously, thought Jackson. His left ear glinted again.

“You wouldn’t be worth the trouble.” He leaned forward, his putrid breath against Jackson’s neck. “Here’s the deal.”

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“Well, we have a giant *beaver*. How’s that?”

Marion Harding openly admitted to having a thing about trees. Here we see him climbing up the ladder into a treehouse he’s fancied recently. The owners of the main house on the property were never around, it seemed. And there was a gas station nearby which provided a small bathroom and also a bed for his more basic needs. Then there was the nice view of *the* tree.

Most Ancient One (MOA)  was the most impressive thing in Capitol City to Marion. “Nothing like this in your South Yankton,” he told Philip Strevor the other day while petting its massive trunk. This is Gaeta V, *not* GTA V. And while bland and boring overall yes, there are still advantages.” He started to mention Heidi as well, but didn’t want to get Philip thinking along those lines again — about “retirement” in this Muff-Bermingham run by that tall, pale dame he’s described. The heist should be the main focus now. That’s what they were meeting about at the tree’s base. For even Philip knew the huge old growth had authentic power. Power to expose and power to hide. Whatever was in the hearts of men at the moment. And, through knowledge gleaned from his wacky weed and attached fantasy friends, Marion understood how to harness it.

They’d left the kid at the playground in the snowier part of town. George was looking after her. George swears up and down that he’s 13 and not the 10 or so he appears to be. And, anyway, both Marion and Philip knew that Heidi Hunt Ives could take care of herself for sure. It’s just the *impression* of caretakers they were after. Part of the cover.

Anson. He’d received the name from The Oracle that is The Tree. An auto, a *bug*, stolen and then stolen again. Formerly buried in the sand at the wrecked ship just north of Fae’s Boat House by Tom the Booker — Tom Booker — now deceased and buried himself somewhere in the eastern reaches of Corsica Prime. Car thieving was his livelihood. But this theft was special. Because there was something stashed in the exhaust system he didn’t know about. A 50,000 linden reward issued by the Purple Gang of the Black Lake District alerted him to the situation. Then the kid plugged her own ultra valuable information into the equation. This is *the bug* she stated more than once she was working on, beyond the old and middle aged women, beyond even the poodle. Not an insect, but at the same time, yes an insect, she cryptically claimed. A philosopher’s stone she termed it for him.

This is why he decided to bring her into their fold in the first place. The bug. And she claimed to have the power to know exactly where it was at any one time. And it would continue to get stolen, again and again. The money would keep roll’n in.

—–

“We’re gonna drive this car all the way to ‘Pumpkintwisters’ this time, Jackie.”

“Shut up and get starting.”

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