“Peppins, Pippins, Pippens… the name shifted all around down through the months, now almost years. It all had to do with that Peppi machine: that was the center it all revolved around, The Diamond some call it. David A.B. put his heart and his brain into designing that machine; literally for the brain. He knew what was just around the corner. A beat up old station wagon with an Illinois license plate reading BDR529, intent on harm. He didn’t have much time.”
“But what does this *mean*?” ask Poetry Dancer, with Jeffrie Phillips for the moment. Until Charlene Brown the punk woke up about 11 o’clock. Morning walk he could say, building up a sweat by running in place for a couple of minutes. Poor Charlene — so involved in her cryptozoology dissertation writing late into the night that she was oblivious to the transgressions. Jeffrie was taking full advantage of that. The bastard. But a smart bastard, perhaps the worst kind.
“It *means*, my dear, that the death was planned; on purpose. We must track down this Sammie Parr, who is in the collages after all. She is an amalgamation of 5, just like me. That means…”
“Pot-D. *Sorry*. I mean Pan-Z of course.”
“Yes. A rival member, perhaps rogue. *Obviously* rogue because of the murder and all. David A.B.’s brain must have been in there all right.”
“But what will they do with it *now*?” queries Poetry Dancer further, no ugly in her face for the moment.
“They got him to the hospital through trickery, just like before. The brain I mean, and not the host.”
“It’s Mid Hazel,” he suddenly intuited, putting collage pieces together in his own brain. “She’s up to something.”
“More… *cake*?” he said after a weighted pause.