Category Archives: Kowloon

end 04

Before heading over to Kowloon, Jer Left Horn makes a stop in VHC City to pause and reflect on the recent death of the user behind longtime Virtual Hotel Chelsea manager Enola Vaher. Although I didn’t know the avatar (or user), VHC City, centered around the huge hotel, figures prominently in my mythology through, primarily, The Diagonal, which is now one (Head) of 2 (also: Heart) I’ve found spanning the Heterocera continent. I hope the hotel can carry on beyond this blow, and certainly the rental situation there continues to be healthy and, most likely, self sustaining for a while. Many musical events go on all the time there as well.


Jer Left Horn at Enola Vaher’s “Finely Torn Id” gallery in what I call VHC City.

—–

Moving on to Kowloon, Jer Left Horn decides to first stop by Fish Head’s bar to catch up with all the latest news. The first thing he notices are the bent stools in the back.

“Fight in here, Head?” he questioned while sitting down at the nearest, upright stool, becoming suspicious off the top. He had his knife at ready in the belt under his jacket just in case.

“Oh, you know. Typical Tuesday night. Some of the Queen’s gang letting off steam.”

*You’re* one of the Queen’s gang, Jer Left Horn thinks to himself. Why the separation between you and them? The hand slides down to grip the handle of the knife.

“Like who?” he tried to ask as calmly as possible. “Norton Wise Turtle?” He forced a smile here. Everyone knew the big man-turtle was a first rate troublemaker.

“Yeah, him. And, let’s see — Space Ghost!”

“*Space Ghost*?” Jer Left Horn turns left. Then: nothing for a long while.

——

He wakes up in some kind of pod swimming with shrimp, it appeared. He keeps his eyes frozen, military training snapping into action in a moment of crisis.

“You’re getting old again, Space Ghost. Better head back to the time machine,” requested likewise observing TronAxis. “The shrimp have almost extracted all the information they need.” TronAxis returns his attention to Jer Left Horn’s floating form in the cylinder: the still frozen eyes, the glazed over look. Shouldn’t be long though, now, he thinks. Is there life already in that face?

The cylinder shatters. Jer Right Horn steps out, dry as a whistle, knife ready. The shrimp flip and flop helplessly around the floor amidst the spilled yellow liquid and broken glass, task unfinished. Now old Space Ghost knows he’s no match for the young prince and hobbles away from the scene as fast as possible. TronAxis stands steady, light disk at ready. He knew of Jer Left Horn’s military background — should have taken more steps to ensure his secureness. Hindsight is golden I suppose. But this is the way it was suppose to be, he adjusted to the situation. Me versus him.

A narrow boat materializes before the fleeing Space Ghost in the middle of the pool of water just beyond the pod room: Tessa, sans her driving challenged grandpa this time but still a dreamer. And this is the aforementioned Kow Pond, also known as Loon Lake. Indeed the center of it all. Thanks to Tessa.

“Gentlemen!” she called back into the shadows behind old Space Ghost. “Set down your arms!”

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end 03

Spies were all over town. The Queen’s gang: Frosty, Satan Santa, Norton Wise Turtle, Space Ghost (Space Ghost!), Fish Head of course. Others she has no time to remember the names of right now. Because she must hurry — she knows she will soon be followed. In the dreamscape things sometimes move very fast(!). She must keep pace. Blank VHS tape in hand, Devil Girl runs through a conveniently placed green door beside the Patriotic Soup Restaurant and down one of the town’s many “secret” passages. Too convenient, some might speculate. And they would be right.

She exits the passage through another green door and enters a larger alleyway. “Wagon wheels,” Devil Girl ponders. “I’m too close to home.” She knew the symbol spelt the end.

She turns. Most of the remainder of the Queen’s gang were running down the sloped stairs from the other direction toward her. Too late. She will not find the red door. She will be dispersed with the others, and the VHS tape stored in a safe place until information begins to appear on it. But this would be much later.

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end 02

Devil Girl, the unofficial 4th member of the Redeye band — so unofficial she was forgotten in the dispersal of the others — looked on from a safe distance at the Patriotic Soup Restaurant as dreamer Herbert G. Gold returned the “With ‘Other Other'” VHS tape.

“This does me no good,” Herbert complained to the cook, back to stirring his famous concoction derived from ancient Bing Song recipes such as “White Christmas” and “Jingle Bells.” “It’s blank — nothing on it. I ran it from beginning to end to make sure.” He lays the tape closer to the cook on the counter but no reaction from the stirrer. “It does me no good,” Herbert repeated. “I am no closer to knowing who this cat with the red eye is than at the beginning.”

A weighted pause. Herbert could tell the cook had information he wasn’t revealing. Then a bit here: “The tape (stir – stir – stir) is not blank.”

“Well, yeah, like I said, I watched it from beginning to end. It *is* blank. There’s nothing on it.”

The title label on the tape suddenly faded out, then snapped back into reality. Devil Girl noticed the anomaly from her observing seat if Herbert Gold didn’t. She realized at that moment that the tape was blank because the story of Redeye hadn’t been told yet. It lay in the future from this point. She decided, then and there, to steal the tape and put something on it. Something to remember the band by. Because this was all about her fellow bandmates Slash Girl, Angus Girl, Buckethead Girl. They had been dispersed, true, but something else could be made of it.

Herbert Gold was gone. The tape title remained blank for good. Devil Girl moved in and took his spot.

“There was nothing ever there, young lady,” the stirrer explained. “*Yet.*”

It’s yours to do something with now.”

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end 01

Parasol was so close to the man with the answers (Patriotic Soup Restaurant cook) but yet so far. The bearded lady’s answer to the location of Kuckoo’s or Palace Hotel was: “Ask the fish butcher at the flea market. He knows everything and everybody.” Another dead end, then, for, as we know, the underwater butcher knows nothing. She decided just to wander a bit more before totally giving up, and stumbles (and bumbles) upon a passageway she didn’t think she’d explored before in her many travels through the city now. She touches something and then finds herself here…

…. confronting a white rabbit on the sky object’s edge. Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer, murdered in “Collagesity Photo-Novel 16.”

Parasol didn’t know this fact, but quickly gathered she was talking to a ghost. “Your plan would not have worked,” he called over in earnest after introducing himself. “The whiteyes would not implant correctly over your own eyes and you would have been found out immediately and killed. Just like myself.” He faded from view with this, but the brief encounter provided Parasol with more valuable information than she had hitherto received from anyone in Kowloon. My plot would not have work! she said, spinning the possibility, nay *actuality* around in her mind. Because she knew it was true as soon as it spilled out of the dead doctor’s mouth. White rabbits are true guides. They do not seek to mislead in and of themselves.

Parasol looked up. Another mass of black and white color directly above her head. She flew up…

… to confront *another* white rabbit at the same position on the taijitu symbol’s edge. The symbol was smaller, brighter, and with a more irregularly shaped edge (with a good number of rounded protrusions) than the otherwise duplicate one immediately below. Another 2-n-1.

This white rabbit, taller and appearing feminine in the dim light to Parasol, introduced herself as Charlie in about an octave higher register than the doctor before her. Feminine indeed, although possessing a uni-sex name. “I am the continuation of the doctor,” she spoke, and then Parasol was in a very different location again. Very low instead of very high.

She stared up. The spinning, red fabricy doctor had just finished fixing the first red eye and was about to start on the second. A beam shot up from the “unfixed” eye, destroying the aberrant being in one poof of smoke. She stood up. Was she alive or dead? She couldn’t tell as she walked down the trench toward the surface again…

(to be continued)

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lost 02

“Okay, don’t tell me Bird Brain,” he requested to his apparent friend at the main drag. “Okay, *there’s* the main door, the Yang and the Yin. I, er, have just erupted from the Flea Market which is my home. My *work* home — ahem, I do not *live* underwater, see, heh heh. I am not a fish myself, har.”

“Yeah, tell it to the bartender,” and Bird Brain walked away with this for a moment, avoiding the old man’s ramblings per usual. “Tell it to the bartender,” was local slang meaning, “go talk to someone else about your problems that gives a sh-t.” Or something along those lines.

“So we’re lost.” Parasol was thinking she could do better than this by herself. Perhaps the old man is senile. How would someone with even a slight case of dementia cope in this maze of a town. They couldn’t!

The fish butcher licks his index finger, then holds it in the air, as if testing the wind. The same finger then points toward where they just came from. “*That* way,” he exclaimed confidently, and began to walk. Parasol obviously didn’t follow. And, actually, he didn’t expect her to. The butcher knew the flea market and his included underwater work spot well enough. That was his world. On a regular basis, he would come out and ask Bird Brain (limited to his own world around this particular leaning pole) directions to this or that place. It was a routine they shared. And always the closer: “Go tell it to the bartender.”

The butcher indeed lived in the flea market. He existed underwater. And, by this point, was probably a fish himself. But he likes to forget this every once in a while and come up for air (but not for long).

Parasol was on her own again.

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lost

She was indeed underwater but not in the right place. Damn confusing town! she cussed to herself. “Excuse me sir,” she requested to the fish butcher who was working down here. A larger fish swam between Parasol and him, eclipsing the man for a moment. Then she continued.

“I’m looking for Kuckoo’s place.”

“Loco?” the man tried back between chops. He was very fast, and was almost ready for a second gutting as they spoke.

“No — *Kuck*- koo. Kuckoo Kuail.” Her red and blue eyes burned brightly into the man. She wanted him to understand but saw he probably didn’t. She rechecked the psychological photograph taken earlier and tried again, using a different landmark. “How about the, um, Palace Hotel.” The first name of the hotel was cut off in the photograph. Hopefully this will provide enough information.

The butcher slung another fish in front of him and dropped the just gutted one in a metal bucket at his foot. “That one is for supper later,” he said, pausing for a smile, red chopper still for a moment. “No tell, no tell!”

“Okay, I won’t tell. But the hotel…”

“Ah, yes. So, I, ah, know that place you are talking about. You are looking for someone in particular? But not, ahem, *Loco*.”

“No. Loco doesn’t exist. I was looking for Kuckoo…”

“Oh… KUCK-koo,” the man suddenly beamed, resuming his cutting. “Now I know. She has two kids, yes?”

“I don’t know about that. I’m just looking for her house.” She was actually looking for the whiteyes Axis found earlier but of course didn’t mention this. It was on top of a barrel only a couple yards from Kuckoo’s front door, which she knew from the photo.

“I will take you there,” the butcher said, setting down the tool of his trade. “You will walk with me…”

“That’s not –” but then Parasol stopped her protest, knowing she would never find the place without his help. Another fish swam between them. “Thank you.”

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bastards

“The Queen is happy and sleeping in her royal bed,” recites Tronaxis (new name!) at his virtual reality game command center. “No stopping us now, right Cpt.?”

But then Tron revamped Axis remembers that he bagged and gagged Cpt. Americus earlier in the evening and left him hanging to dry. And the turtle (Norton Wise) had been turned into soup. And Fish Head’s head would turn since he’d been bought off. I will be the champion! he inwardly crows.

Purple mutt Ralph, a non word-processor, keeps guard and growls with every slight movement. The Cpt. within has learned to stay still and not eat the remaining white and grey matter in his magically replenishing bucket. Because he has a plan. The first, true, has been stolen and appropriated by (Tron)Axis but the second, the new one, is even better. He will *help* the Heart Queen in an about-face. Kick his traitorous ways down the road a bit, biding his time. If only he can get out of the current situation. Come on, white and grey matter, he urges, knocking his head with the drumstick still in his hand and inciting another growl from Ralph.

“Everything all right over there Ralph?” Tronaxis didn’t need a smart dog, only a loyal one. That’s all he demands from any of his subjects. Obedience; loyalty. The Heart Queen and he are too similar in that way. Eventually, ultimately, one or the other had to go. He hopes it’s her.

If only he had an ally — a human one this time and not an obedient mutt like Ralph. Tronesisia? No, she’s not an obedient robot/gynoid any longer, having broke her programming. Peter? But Tronaxis still didn’t really know who that was. Besides being a clone of Peter Gabriel of “Lamb”, etc., fame. Oh wait — there’s Randolph.

Just down the alley.

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