Category Archives: Capitol City^

treed 02

“I’ve decided to be a man for this, man…”

“So I’ll be over here, then. In the shade.”

Josephine looks down at her hands, her figure. “Oh dear,” she then said, and checked her inventory. “Er, my male shape seems to have simply vanished!”

“That’s okay,” Marion said from across the patio. “Do you want me to come over there to sit or do you wish to come back over here? Your choice. I’ve learned to follow your example.”

“I’ll come back over there.” Golden Josephine was truly puzzled by the inability to transform into the opposite sex any longer. She was stuck!

“Well I must say you look simply radiant today, Ms. Josephine, ha.”

“Right.”

“So I was asking about the ring?”

Still looking down, Golden Josephine was unable to shake off her shock. “Am… I wearing the ring? Is it on me?” She held out her hand to Marion.

“Um, no,” he replied, looking at the fully golden appendage. No green upon it.

“Then where is the ring? Where did you leave it? Somewhere safe and secure, I hope.”

“It’s in my pocket. In a little ring box I found in my service station.”

“Just… found? Like it was laying there, waiting for you?”

“Er, maybe.”

“You must be careful at all times. The ring is almost priceless as you know. It has power to alter space — and time — around you. The ring *must* have changed me… changed the tree. Before I was just a golden head. Masculine. Now I’m feminine. The tree has sprouted various, colorful growth. We cannot go back. We are, as you say, treed.” She lets the statement hang in the air, then: “You better check the box. Just to be sure.”

—–

“Never mind. I *do* have it. That explains the change.” But she had somehow switched chairs with Marion, the latter nowhere to be found now.

Golden Josephine was alone again.

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treed

Marion Harding sometimes went back to Unity Pond where the breakdowns were first noted. No sign of them today, however. Maybe they went away? Doubtful, though, he then realized, taking a last toke before throwing away the remainer of his joint into the murky waters. The abberations would return.

He had smoked enough. Time to meet Golden Joe in the tree.

—–

“Rubles. Barney Rubles,” the golden head answered to Marion Harding’s first question in his deep, ghetto voice, which was: “What do I do with the ring, the core?” Maybe he didn’t phrase it succinctly enough (even though he did). He tried again, simpler this time. “Why am I here?” Golden Joe sprouted closer to him out of the tree limb so that he could look directly into Marion’s eyes. “Let’s talk more face to face, man. Marion Man.”

—–

Golden Joe winked out again. The tree changed. Marion could feel the energy elevate all around him. He stood up to take in the panorama. Various types of different, colorful plants had sprung out of its limbs now.

Marion felt he was home. Home at last. Not the fishing shack over in Horizons-Spica. But here. He must remember this feeling later, he said to himself. Don’t forget. Don’t forget.

He walked down the limb he was on into one of the tree’s main joints. A patio appeared to his left, connected to it by a long, descending ramp. All was translucent green crystal.

Someone called. “Marion, I’m down here, bud!” Distinctly the voice of Golden Joe again, but more feminine and less Godly and booming. Matching more the full name of the, er, character, he realized: Josephine.

Lured by the summon, Marion headed downward. He’d have to also remember the blend of pot he was smoking today, a weaving he called it while improvising the mix. Good work me!

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to make it all work

“Well this is a wonderful setup Philip.”

“Yeah. Dish pointed right to the Corsica east coast station. Linked to the computer inside. Ring research complete. Now — like you said — just to weave it all together.”

Now if I could just see Spica with this darn, loopy telescope copied from the annex, Philip thought to himself. Soon, though. If everything goes as planned.

Marion backtracked a bit on the property. “But what’s this over here? Looks like a demon, haha.”

“Well, um, it kinda is.”

“Hmm. What do you mean, Philip? Is this some type of joke?”

“All I mean is that it’s something I had to do to, you know, make all this *work*. For the kid.”

“Heidi again,” Marion gruffed. “Should have known.”

“It was just a simple sacrifice. An oo’d or something. Sometimes we have to do the sacrifices for the greater good. You told me that when we first formed the gang, Marion. We had to kill off Timmy, for instance.”

“That was a mistake,” Marion replied sharply. “He fell into a well by accident and that is that.”

—-

6 days earlier…

“Don’t kill me sir, whoever you are! I have so much to live for!”

“Shut up clown. Make your peace with The Lord.”

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3 4 2

“I told you to always shut the door behind you when you come in here, Philip.”

“Oh… sorry.” Philip Strevor touches the treehouse door and closes it. He looks back at Marion Harding, at the ring.

“Why can’t Heidi join us?”

“You know why, Philip. She’s a distraction to you. We need to *focus*. It’s time to start deciding what to do with this… core.”

“Is it?” Philip began asking, then hesitated. “I mean, is it really the source of all? Our Second Lyfe itself?”

“Beyond,” answered Marion religiously. “Beyond Second Lyfe. Beyond even Virtual Reality.”

“But… Virtual Reality is *everything*,” Philip protested. “There’s *nothing* beyond. No life could exist in the void.”

“There’s the users,” Marion explained. “The ones in heaven looking down on us and controlling us like puppets.” He leaned forward more, green ring growingly glowing in the fire light. “I want to cut the strings, Philip. I want out.” But, again, he thinks of the Horizons-Spica fishing shack and settles back in his seat, intensity diminished.”

“How, er, did it escape obliteration in the Ichelus volcano again? It’s like that book over there: ‘Lord of the Rings.'” Philip pointed to Marion’s right from his angle. “Caucasian Tommy Brade threw the ring into the volcano, thereby destroying them both.”

Marion blew out air. “Listen, Philip. You did an excellent job of sleuthing about the ring on the illegal interwebs feed out in Minkowski. The dark skies allowing you to connect to the Corsican east coast satellite. Brilliant.”

“Booker’s widow played a big role in that. Give credit where credit is due, I always say.”

“Nice. But we’re not bound to any one path of manifestation. We’re taking different strands and weaving a rope — something different and new. Take Casey One Hole stuck over there in the Gaston-Berry Police Station jail. In ‘Twin Peaks’ his double, this Dopple Coop, was released from Yankton Prison to continue his murderous ways. Casey One Hole will, however, remain in his cell, keys thrown away. Actor Tom Casey didn’t expect this. He expected his role to be larger. He won’t be paid the sum of money he desired. That’s where Anorexia comes into play, and ‘Pumpkintwisters.’ Poodle Doo too.”

“Man this is making my head hurt,” responds Philip. “Any Asprind around here?”

“Aspirin?” Marion alters. “We won’t need any aspirin where we’re going Philip. Because we won’t have any heads.” He stared at Philip, letting the acute declaration suck in the air all around them.

Heidi Hunt Ives suddenly bursts into the treehouse, breaching the vacuum.

“I’m booored. Are you *grown ups* finished with your big boy talk? Let’s go get ice cream. Rey Wisa has a special running until 10 o’clock. 3 triple dip cones for the price of 2. Let’s go! I’m booored,” she reinforces.

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play with me

“Thank you for helping me, George. Now we’re having double the fun.”

“Sun’s going down fast, Heidi,” speaks a concerned George, still working upon his own castle. He’d been at it for about 45 minutes now. “Maybe we better go look for Philip and Marion. They may have forgotten about us. Especially Marion, you know. And Philip gets sidetracked in a different way.”

“Oh, they’re not concerned about us,” giggled Heidi Hunt Ives. “They know I can take care of myself. *And* you.” She stopped her castle building for a moment and looked over at him. “13, you say?” George nodded, beginning to hollow out the castle door more. “You really don’t look any older than me, truth be told. But look around, George. Do you know where you are?”

“I’m here with you,” he replied smugly, still engrossed in sand sculpting. “In a playground. In Capitol City. On the Gaeta V continent. In Our Second Lyfe. In Virtual Reality. Does that answer your question?”

“Right on the last two counts at least,” Heidi said innocently. With this, George finally looked up, saw the snow-less ground all around the sandbox. Saw the surrounding brick wall peppered with graffiti. Stood up and stared at the tall, disrepaired apartment building behind him.

And then, in an instant, it was all gone, clean, snowier part of Capitol City returned.

Flushing, he turned toward Heidi. Only one castle was in the significantly smaller sandbox now: her own. “There never was a second castle, George,” Heidi explained straightforwardly while still crafting a turret. “Not yet.”

—–

“Do you hear that?” she whispered, strangely concerned now after all that went on before. Then George heard it too. Crunching, soft but unmistakable. Someone walking on the other side of the picket fence.

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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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heavenward

They met in the highest tower of Raven Central.

“I’m glad to see you are adjusting well to Capitol City, Musician,” Lou spoke to begin the serious part of their discussion.

“Musician?” Philip replied, taken aback. “Believe me, I’m no musician. I’m tone deaf!”

“Nevertheless,” continued the pale, tall alien in her level manner, “you are. And it’s time to repay the favor we bestowed upon you.” She then explained how Philip’s metallic stigmata suddenly vanished about 2 weeks back.

“Oh,” he then said, understanding quite a lot more. “Transference, huh?”

“Yes. You were sucked in. It really wasn’t your fault. It is the fault of the designers of telescopes, microscopes, other artificial extensions of the naked eye. We, as a planet, were never suppose to see beyond Uranus.”

“It’s a tricky planet with the naked eye,” Philip replied, unable to resist astronomical trivia in the moment. “You have to know exactly where to look.”

“Right,” Lou said, steering the conversation back to the matter at hand. “About the repayment…”

“I’ll do it,” he quickly followed. “Whatever it is — outside of signing away my soul to The Devil — I’ll be glad to comply. I’m just so happy to be free of all that metal shite after, what, *10* years. 10 years ago that demon Jimmy operated on me, or what he *calls* an operation.” He paused, shook his head, then looked up again. “Transference… just like you said. Whatever you do, don’t confuse a physician with a physicist.”

Lou emits a small, lilting laugh here. “It’s not Jimmy’s fault either, though.” She sits further back in her wicker armchair. “Here’s the deal.”

—–

Later that night, Philip returns to the home which Lou wants him to stay in after his “assignment” in Gaeta V has ended. But, good news, he can take Heidi and her shape shifting ways along for the ride.

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nestings

Philip paused in reading his red book to stare over at the child. “What’re you building, sugar?” He’d become more open in his affections for Heidi Hunt Ives recently; he’d been dreaming about her almost every night. She was fast transforming into his own flesh and blood offspring.

“A portal,” she said mysteriously, still not looking up. “You *do* like to get high… don’t you?”

“High?” Philip coughed. “Nah. That’s more Marion’s bag. Nickle bag, hehe.”

“But…,” she continued while making her sand castle, “… you *do* want to keep him calm and happy. Because he then calms you down. Remember how it was *before*? You were not the nice person that you are now.”

Philip considers again that Marion should have never told the kid about their backgrounds. But she insisted if she was to be part of the group, the *gang*. He remembered his own briefing about the girl. “Shapeshifter,” Marion reinforced. “Can turn old, middle aged, young. She’s even got a dog transmutation… poodle, she claims, although I haven’t seen it up close and in person. Then there’s another one she’s working on, Philip, and this will take the cake. Bug,” Marion says, making him laugh. And now that’s what he keeps calling her in these dreams. My little bug, etc.

Philip decides to walk over to the sand box and take a closer look. It seemed quite detailed from his perspective. She was just finishing up the northeast turret.

“Hana Lei is where it will take us,” she began again. “We thought she was dead but now it’s been found again.”

“What — or who is this Hana Lei?”

“Island,” she speaks, halting her work and looking up at Philip now. *Is* this his child? he wonders, staring into her green eyes.

“Pitch,” she then utters.

“Pitch?”

—–

Pitch Darkly rouses himself. By his side, Mary was staring at him, wide awake already. “You had another dream didn’t you?”

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directions

Those weirdos again, Philip Strevor thinks in a dream. Southwest corner table.

A knock at the office door, then. Small but firm. “Daddy?”

Man, school’s out already?

—–

Well at least she was a quiet kid, Philip Strevor consoles himself. Always reading that darn blue book, though. When he asks what it’s about, she just says, “stars,” sometimes, “stars and space.” But never just “space”, oddly. “Stars… and space.”

“Honey, why don’t you play with your new friend Anorexia out back in the alley. Get away from that book for a while.”

“Spica,” she then uttered, still reading. “Did you know that Spica is such a close binary star that each component is egg shaped due to the gravity pull, and cannot be resolved even with the most powerful telescope?”

“No I didn’t know that.” No more oddball star facts from you, missy, he then thought. He had to get these accounting numbers to Casey One Hole by tomorrow morning. And Philip’s sure he’d bug him about them all the time they were playing golf later on today. He always had to let him win, especially on that prized par 3 hole on the back 9 — the origin of his nickname. He learned that the hard way.

The kid relented. “Oh all right,” she said, putting down the book and heading for the door. “I’ll go find my *new friend* Anorexia.”

Good kid, Philip Strevor thinks again. But the crazies are now sitting at a table in the opposite corner of the building. How’d *that* happen? What’s going on?”

Almost the instant the doors shut behind his kid, more knocks, larger but softer. “Dearest?”

Oh God, Philip thinks. My mother. What does *she* want?

—–

“What’s this trash you’re reading, Philip? ‘Celestial Handbook’? I bet it’s a celestial handbook.”

“That *trash* is what you gave your granddaughter 2 Christmas’ back. The one she still can’t put down even now.”

“Oh.” She scrutinized the cover more closely, then drew back. “Well it’s good for her to read. Keeps her out of the alleys. Where is she anyway? Wanisa said it’s your turn to keep her.” Philip feels the noose tightening around his neck. Might as well say “cut here”. Oh wait… it does.

“Mom, I’m *so* busy. Can we talk later?”

“Not until you tell me where Poodles is.” Poodles is (June’s) pet name for her granddaughter.”

“Okay, okay, just to get you off my back. Yes, she’s in the alleyway, but she’s supervised. Her new friend who just happens to be *13* is back there with her.”

“Have you checked? Did you follow her out to make sure her friend met up with her?”

“You should have run smack into Bug before you came in.” Bug was Philip Strevor’s pet name for his daughter. He then thought of the spooky trio that switched corners of the building. “*Did* you run into her?”

His mother disappeared. His wife took her place.

“Philip we need to talk. It’s about Casey One Hole. Yankton.”

—–

He wakes up in his ersatz observatory. “Yankton?”

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plans

Heidi Hunt Ives read to to him from their user’s Big Book of Synchronicity Interviews:

So how about “Foreign One” or “4orrin1”, then? To me, it naturally follows that “4orrin1” must be defined as something beyond a silver or gold tiling, and I chose the highly valuable metal platinum to name the process. “Head Trip”, although simpler, actually acts as the first true platinum synch that I concocted. It’s very simple, really: “HT” is two basically complete golden tilings woven together — tiles switched on and off between the two — to create something beyond each. In other words, it’s the tiling of 2 equivalent full movies mashed together in a back and forth manner. Back to your question then, Karl, “4orrin1” is kind of 4 gold tilings synched together, yes. But – – this is also very important — platinum tilings can contain not only a multitude of equivalent gold tilings within but also *silver* tilings. And to this, at the center of both “Head Trip” and “4orrin1” — and also “Billfork” — is one particular album apiece by the esteemed comedy group Firesign Theatre, dubbed the Beatles of Comedy at one point. Basically Pink Floyd handed off to Firesign Theatre in “Billfork”, which contains music and equivalent albums from both.

She closed the book and laid it back down on the Great Table. “This is why The Bill are so important to Piera because The Bill are Firesign Theatre, Man. Tin S. Man.”

“But we can’t talk about ‘4orrin1,'” he replied. “Nor ‘Head Trip’. Our user has tried that… and failed (SEE: ‘Paradox II: The Chancelling’).”

“We can limit ourselves to ‘Pumpkintwisters’, though. Tossing out the weak ‘Kansas City Life’, (it’s) the first synch combining 2 movie into 1, the first example of platinum in that way. The great 2-n-1. And that’s why we have brought you to Capitol City and put you up at a cheap but clean rental in the northeast part of the berg I found the other day by accident. Because inside you is lead Kinks Ray Davies, their main man by a, er, long shot. But he doesn’t have a big head about it, hehe. You know and freely admit that now.

“Yes. Interesting collage by the way.”


Gila 01

“The problem becomes: Who plays Zappa? If we extended our discussions to ‘Head Trip’ — which we won’t — *I* could play lead Monkees singer Davy Jones, since that’s *my* name.” He of course is featured in ‘Head’, the pop group’s trippy dippy hippy movie from the late 60s.”

“You as David Bowie, you mean. David Bowie’s given name was David Jones, which he changed because of the presence during his rise to fame of the already very famous Monkees singer.”

“Right. He did. *I* did.”


Boos 07

“And ‘Trip’?”

Heidi paused. “Zappa’s realm too, and a bigger one… but we cannot move into that dialog any deeper. We talk about ‘Pumpkintwisters’ and that is that. You fit in strongly there as the centre, Tin S. Man. Also ‘4orrin1’, but that’s even further away from the light, beyond ‘Head Trip’ even…”

“More complexity. Complexity stacked atop complexity.”

“It is the ultimate synch in ways, that and the parallel ‘1 Pink’, but it remains in pieces inside an shallow grave not of one peace. The whole must be collaged together still to (properly) fill the hole.” She paused, scratched her nose. “Yes, we will return to the Blue Feather for ‘Pumpkintwister’ discussion. I will work on the Zappa issue.” Heidi pulls out a pocket calendar. “How’s Friday the 26th for you? Sorry again about the location change. I didn’t realized that the intercontinental interwebs cables hadn’t been stretched between Corsica and Gaeta V yet. We remain in the Dark Ages here.”

“‘Tis Alright,” Tin S Man replies. “I’ve had enough of Capitol City and its bland and boorish manners anyway. Tronesisia… aww rats!!” He recoils from Heidi, unable to backtrack the slip.

“Tronesisia?? Did you say Tronesisia?? What’s Tronesisia got to do with this?” She gasps.

“You’re not *together* with Tronesisia are you? Du warst nicht mit ihr auf eine familiäre Art zusammen?”

Tin S. Man hung his head low. “Ja.”

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