“Bella. *Not* Bellissaria, YUCK. Maybe I should take off my glooves before typing! Back to the controls of this ship-thing!”
“*There*. That’s… WHHHATT? BellISSIMA now. Maybe it’s my lack of a 5th finger, like Jerry Garcia. Surprised I did so well in school with that handicap! Brains over body I always say, although I have *both*. Except for the 9th and 10th fingers and toes. Oh well. I’m TIRED. I’ll try this planet, er, sim for a while. Belli-e-ss-s- *IT* can wait!”
“Funny how I can see the bottom of this waater now, YUCK. I don’t remember being able to DOO that before, HEE. And reentry has stripped the wood paneling off my ship, HAR!”
“I’ll try THIS house. Has a better viibe.”
“Hmm. No one here except little critters like *me*. Guess I’ll just swiing here a bit and wait for somone to show up, WEE!”
“OOOO. A RAINBOW butterfly!”
And that’s when Sandy Beech woke up.
He finally figured out how to remove the giant acorn of a head. He was relieved to find his own head still within, or perhaps it just grew there, like a seed in a pod, ready to hatch forth at the right moment. He pulled and pulled and pulled and finally it was there. Fully formed, seemingly. But the bikini top and especially bottom with attached tail remained. That was part of the new body apparently, part of the assimilation. 2 Sandy’s in one now. One Piece Sandy again. He had (seemingly?) woken up, but not in a good way.
And to top it all off now, he had big hands, like the greeter at the door of Bar FF. Odd name; he couldn’t think of what the initials could stand for. Probably something Japanese related, he realized. He couldn’t see the writing on the wall while staring down at monstrous appendages.
Sandy wasn’t alone at the bar. “I believe you know my father,” the 1/2 snow 1/2 sponge being spoke over.
Snowbob’s *mother* Snowmanster exits the closet again, looks around. “Well *this* is different. Underwater, eh. And apparently I can breathe underwater, lucky me. Now to find Old Grey once… oh. There you are!”
Crack reporter Tulsa’s headlining newspaper article for the NWES Gazette turned out to be laughable. Carrcassonnee was not dead; Gill Alex made sure of that. Overnight, he established Collagesity’s Temple of TILE in Marwood along with reassembling the great olive being’s 6 body pieces back together, with the 7th, eye, being worked on. Once that’s done, it’s done! The 7th is always tricky but I’m sure he’ll manage it. After all, this is the former Little Robert Plant Variant we’re talking about here, who was from quite nearby Nowtown which destroyed even closer, neighboring Zen City with an atomic bomb called the Tall Cool One, elsewhere: Kevin. I can’t make this stuff up. It happened! But that is zen and this was now. Um.
In fact I have an old map of Jeogeot to help prove all this, showing the position of Nowtown and Zen City on what’s called The Claw of the continent, with the sprawling NWES metropolis forming a number of years later just NW of Zen City. There may even be some past-present overlap between the two. And to make things even stranger, the old city of Sternberg also marked on this map is now the site of NWES City’s parallel, somewhat smaller sister burg centered in the Xenosaur sim. Our Second Lyfe still produces quite amazing coincidences! And to add even more, Sternberg was where Little Robert Plant Variant gave up his tube, but I jump ahead of myself too far. We first have to understand why Page didn’t go along with the Sunklands Initiative at the time, unwilling to disengage from the, by now, radioactive Zeppelin brand. Plant, both 16 and 59 at once, worked alone after that.
Carrcasssonnee: almost ready to speak again.
Okay, she’d finally found something that interested her in the past. A numbers station, broadcasting all the figures. She could call somebody! She first thought of Charlie Banana, an old lover. Good ol’ Charlie. Peach of a guy. But then a Siamese cat suddenly landed on the table from somewhere on high and talked to her instead. Wrong Charlie contacted (mentally). He said she’d missed something in Paperville and that she needed to return. Thinking the cat meant her blue-green shoes, she stated to it she’d already retrieved them, and plopped them on the table in front of him to gander at. As you can see, she’d also bought a matching dress in the meantime to fit in better with the past all around her.
Was it the shoes? the God-like cat thought, still ready to fill a void if need. But now Axis was in control of Paperville. Poetry Dancer here’s brother, or maybe former brother. And then there’s lover Barry X. Vampire. She desires the past, though. Charlie Banana. All the numbers. He better say the shoes were what he was thinking of and take his leave; regroup; try to find another angle (of communication). The past is the past, though. No changing or altering it. That’s why he doesn’t like to go there — here. No malleability; he likes malleability. Change. Flow. The Siamese cat takes its leave.
“I’ll leave you with the other Charlie,” it said/meowed/purred to Poetry. “It’s my mistake; that was the Charlie you desired in the moment. Not me. My bad,” it apologized again, and then wondered if he was overdoing it.
Charlie poofed out. Another Charlie poofed in. All the numbers.
“Hi doll baby.”
“So you have blue-green hair now, Wheeler. Blue… green.” She didn’t need to look. She’d seen it all before.
“Yeah. I changed it for Axis. And he changed it for me. He’s got blue-green energy lines all *over* his body now.”
“Yeah. It’s a Tron thing for him now. ‘Lamb’.”
“Not Tropp? True Opp or whatever he went by?”
“The old boyfriend?” responded Wheeler Wilson/Venus, taking another sip and wiping her mouth again. So refreshing. Water. “Nah. He’s gone back to New Eden I suppose. I — I really don’t know what he’s doing,” she admitted to her old Collagesity friend. And still a friend. Mary’s just a good person like that. Shows up when needed.
“You should keep up with him,” Mary requested, knowing full well deep down that Axis and this Tropp were one and the same. Same body, same head. Same man.
“I suppose I should.” Another sip. Wheeler wonders why this is so delicious. She can’t get enough!
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.
He was just a kooky old Japanese guy on permanent vacation. But at least he brought his slippers to Rose-, er, this *place*, unlike fellow vacationer Donald Farr before him earlier this winter. He’d heard the robot play the 2 “Gouldberg Variations” in a row, a realm favorite thanks to Merry. Bookends they were, and belonged together as one. Now he was ready for Zoidboro’s sermon at the Church of the Fly Lord behind him here. Perhaps he’d meet Peter today. Parasol said he would like him. Another old dude. And spoke a bit of Japanese, even.
“The world is a windshield,” Zoidboro preached through tentacle covered mouth, “waiting to take you out when you least suspect it. Take Little Timmy Flick last week over on Highway 52 behind the old Tastee Freeze. Take Thomas the Elder this past Tuesday before the last Wednesday after Monday’s Friday at the Yoko Ona Parody Museum, in the parking lot even. Yea, parking lots can be dangerous too. Central parking lots especially. To get to a Square, you must always Times something….”
Ji-San turned to the man sitting next to him and spoke low beneath the sermon. “Are you per chance Peter?”
“Senor Green Jeans is a cousin,” states Gene “Mossman” Fade in that oh so grating voice of his after I told him about Alice Farrowheart and granddaughter Toddles’ recent encounter at the Neptune Pool in NWES. If only it were an octave higher Baker Bloch may be able to tolerate the gutty gravelliness for suitable periods of socializing. But I suppose that would mean he’d have to be *Jean* Fade instead of Gene, a girl instead of a boy. Hmm: I wonder, then, if Senor Green Jeans is a girl? But he must get out of here soon. Very much so.
“What does this mean for the town, this name change back to Collagesity?” Gene continued, wondering how it would affect the business at his small bar on Northside.
“It gives it a center,” Baker spoke, the male one that is (there’s also Baker Blinker, of course, the anima to his animus). “We have a tower now. Have you gotten down to that side of town tonight to see? Everyone is gathering. Looks like an instantaneous party, complete with a bonfire. All our friends will be there.” Time’s up. Baker can’t take any more of the voice. He gets up to leave. “See you there hopefully?” he throws back while walking away, rapider and rapider.
Baker was too late for the party, although the bonfire was still smoldering. Police office Jeffry Tanner (yes, yet another cousin), making his nightly rounds, puts it completely out with a special spray made out of anti-tabasco sauce.
But, in the background, we can see the tower, so high from this angle it’s a little hard to make out the “Collagesity” sign.
And even more has happened in town. A certain, special special deity has bloomed new life. Or visa versa. Details soon!
Welcome back Collagesity!
“*Now* can I enter Pipersville?”
“*Thank* – *you*.”
“So they began playing together, even touring together away from Pipersville, the home base. Daughter and father; Jenny and Keith they were called in the days. Well, Keith never changed his name. Jenny, of course, became Your Mama.”
“Of course,” I replied to Detective Biff Carter. Because he was an officer of the law no more. Not since Oakley. But who am I? Just an observer for now. Call me Smart. Like a Fox. Clever, even. Back to Biff…
“I was here when they played their first gig away from home. Sitting right at this bar listening in. Oh that woman, that *girl* at the time, could sing. And Keith. Well, he was adequate on drums. Never guess he’d eventually become a member of a major rock band, let’s say. And, as you can see, he’s still got the star on the drums; hadn’t got rid of that yet.”
I peered over at the illusion on the Cassandra City stage. Keith B., bank employee of Pipersville whose boss recently told him to keep daughter Jenny out of that room at all cost. So he went into the garage, found the drum kit buried under a heap of old moss. Pulled it out, dusted it off. Practiced. Here we are.
Biff Carter stared over at me. “I’m glad I found the Man About Time, even if it didn’t turn out the way I expected.”
“Yeah,” I agreed. I decided to test my new catchphrase. “There’s a Sucka born every half century.”
“Overlap,” he replied, nodding. “Good idea. Train the replacement.”