Ted just liked to watch. He told his crooked blackbird on his shoulder to simmer down as the lights dimmed and the band took the stage. With the dancer. Light of His 2nd Lyfe. Why he was in Flamerider in the first place, although it was always nice to visit with his old friend Sissy. He pondered again a possible connection between her and another Sissy he knew over in Comma Islands, the one who lived on an actual top of one of Corsica’s famous standalone granite peaks instead of just below one — in the shadow of one — like here.
Then, surprising him, Sissy came out from behind the bar and crawled into the cage beside him, starting to gyrate herself to the beginning trance music. What was he thinking? There *was* no dancer onstage. Just here. His eyes had been opened. But to… what?
“Shhh, simmer down, I said.” But Blackey 02 had spotted it first. Another caged bird emerging from the shoe, a parrot it appeared from his angle, pink in color again. Like Sissy; the dancing had caused this.
The cage began to expand, soon filling up space itself.
Wheeler was gone, and then Old Mabel saw the teleport invite. “Join me in Zao.” She complied, and found herself in the middle of an almost empty room. A stoic security guard stood next to the door.
“This is where reality ends and collage starts. Look into the corners, Old Mabel. Are you awake or dreaming? Is that munchkin librarian over there real or hallucination?”
Mabel scanned each corner but didn’t see a thing. She was beginning to think Wheeler might be quite insane…
… until she went through the door and turned around.
“I think you better start spelling it with that extra “n”, love. It took me weeks to pick up his trail.”
Old Mabel couldn’t stay away from Corsica and its mysterious Askja. Shortly before dawn again, she arrived at the scene of the crime and, 1) purchased a drink from the now working Neurolab vending machine, 2) accidentally reset a chess game that had manifested on the table Snowmanster was last seen at, and, 3) bought an advertised collection of thimbles from the motel next door.
Next she found a parcel called “Giants at the Door Band”, not far from the center of the sim where a *giant* (i.e., Brenda) had arrived just days before and helped opened a door or window or something into the room where Snowmanster apparently burned to death. She enjoyed their green and yellow beanstalk ride while there, which shot her up about 120 meters to a cloud with no giant atall inside. Still quite fun, and, besides, she knew who the *real* giant was, even if said giant didn’t know who *she* was any longer. A very strange turn, but one of many currently going down in Collagesity now. Here’s the Giants at the Door band’s facebook page:
Old Mabel had trouble getting to sleep. She kept thinking of poor Snowmanster and Spongebub and Snowbob. She decided to teleport back to the room where it happened. She simply typed “Ask” to find the location. Interesting.
“That woman over there must have seen it all,” she says while within. “Ma’am, are you alive?” No answer.
“What’s she staring at?” Old Mabel moved her camera angle behind the slut’s head.
“The drink machine? Hmmm, no drinks within.”
Then it dawned on Old Mabel as the sun sphere touched the horizon. Opening!
“The giant appeared here. Right in the center of the sim. Blame Lemons, eh.”
“Yes ma’am, I understand,” said Jerome T. Newton, downing a sugar cube. “Process and eliminate.”
“Process and eliminate,” he said again, back cooling.