“The Fries with Cheese branch of the Main Cheese Church and the Church of the Cult of Oo’d over there have existed side by side in Collagesity for well over a year now. Clown sacrifices (Oodites) next door to a religion (Cheesies) headed by a clown. But they get along fairly well — it’s a small town and everyone knows everyone. No need for protracted bickering, with the proverbial hatchet buried quite long ago underneath a ceremonial rock straddling their shared property line.” Baker turns and then points. “I think you can see it right down there.”
Wheeler leans over and peers too. “Yes. I see it.”
“Knives are the weapon of choice now, but only within the church.”
Baker returns his attention to the story. “Drawing back to look at the bigger picture, the hatchet remains more exposed, a lingering effect of the VHC City-Pond District War. VHC City is where the Cult of Oo’d started, an underground movement at first that has secretly returned to that location in the highest ranks, weegee boards and planchettes in hand. Summerhill Nova, owner of most of the underground in that town, is titular head of the Oodties now as well, although they disguise themselves as Christians (ELMERS) for broader appeal. And as we’ve learned, the Pond District is home of the Main Church of Cheese currently fronted by the Good Rev. Amos T. Sandman.”
“Who I have a date with tonight, lucky me.” The gown she chose for the occasion suited her well, Baker thought. She was trying to use her position of power to gain information. He continues…
“Summerhill has remained pure and white as glue to promote the above ground version of her religion. Amos T. Sandman’s appearance is like a bouquet of blossoming color. Yet dig down just a little and it is clear these two leaders have much in common beneath opposing surfaces. Each is a *hatchet* themselves.”
“Explain,” requested Wheeler while holding up a pocket mirror and applying more lipstick.
“I keep looking out that window and thinking there’s someone sitting up on that giant live oak limb, staring at us. But it’s just that dark angel in the middle of the pond over there.”
“One hour ’til sunrise,” urges Eight-seven beside her, formerly Eighty-eight.
“Match tonight — better try to get some sleep.” Eighty-six now.
Surely Wheeler will be alright on her own this *one* time, thinks rocking Baker Blinker back in Collagesity at her Gloomy Gus house. The 88’s will be with her.
But someone indeed has followed Wheeler to the wrestling arena in what use to be Morgan-Julia. And is manipulating time and space around her.
“One more piece then I’m done,” mutters Cpt. Americus, trying to polish off his bucket of chicken so he can think properly about another evil plot to hatch.
The stream rages on…
It started in earnest when I found the curtains on the slopes of Mt. Piren Bistano, the very summit where Rooster’s castle once stood. Baker immediately believed it could actually be a leftover bit of the castle, then started thinking along more symbolic lines, like these might be the curtains hiding the missing blue eye of Wheeler. Beans. Yes, Magika and Flip were gearing up for a continent wide wrestling tour. I need to go visit Karoz — I suppose he’s still in Chilbo, even with the seeming loss of Baker Blinker. In a different way, Axis and Wheeler, I mean, *Flip*, have a different arrangement. Marriage is not what it seemed to be. The Collagesity novels are coming apart from the center. What’s more core to them than the sacred marriage of Baker Blinker and Karoz Blogger?? Way back in 2 — we’re now closing in on the end of 17. If I can stop the Nautilus bias of 18 from entering.
Baker checks. The 2 people who now rent the whole of Piren Bistano do indeed seem in love. And the sim is covered by a giant heart. Baker found the curtains near the center when he teleported in, with another avatar exactly in this center as well but apparently far far above him somewhere, in their Heart Castle in the Sky. Could it be Roostre again in some form?
And viewable from just other side of this summit, probably quite near where he rented a cottage way back in 2010…
… the legendary Dancing Woman of Nautilus. Rumor has it that she knows upwards of a 1000 dances. Baker has only mythological interest here, hence the Genesis fox.
Meanwhile in Kowloon…
… Guy Benjamin finds the Red Door.
“Could be that the next photo-novel will be all about (the) Nautilus (continent), Hucka Doobie.”
“Good. That is fine.” She pauses. “Speaking of which, we need to get over to Rooster’s Peninsula and wake up Jacob I. He’s due for a return as well.”
So they traveled about as far across the continent as you can get until they reached the Progressive Rock Museum at the neck of Rooster’s Peninsula, so named because a dude named Rooster once lived there in a giant castle called Rust Never Sleeps, enigmatically enough. Rumor has it he was part of the Lemon Conspiracy against the Blimey Linden overlords. Nautilus was riddled with ’em. But much of their work and their ways has already gone the path of the dodo. The Prog Rock Museum keeps on progging, thankfully. It’s the way we can bring Jacob I. back and get more of his story — why he came to Collagesity in the first place.
“Wake up Mr. Mower Man,” Hucka Doobie speaks down gently. “Time to come back.”
“There,” Wheeler declared. “Down at the bottom.” She bends down. “A blue eye!”
“Your… *missing* eye?” Baker Blinker asks, staring down as well at the grassy being with one blue eye, the left one (to it).
“Yes. We must observe this closely.” She stands back, taking in the whole work.
Newton Collage 09, (in)formally “TILE Waterfall”. She sees this through the checked description. “TILE,” she then utters. “Does *Karoz* know about this one?”
“We better ask,” Wheeler stated, not letting Baker Blinker finish. She could tell her new partner didn’t know. But Karoz was the last person Baker Blinker wanted to talk to right now. Not after what she had just done.
We may also note that this is the 49th collage of the 100 piece “Art 10 x 10” housed in the Collagesity cubic skybox called the Edwardston Station Gallery that Wheeler Wilson and Baker Blinker are presently combing through for clues. The 49th room of Kowloon’s 100 Story Building similarly contains a “spilled” black liquid combined with bright white. We’ve already seen it here: the dream cat called Space spills black ink while diminutive feline companion Star seems to spill a contrasting white milk and then revel in the mixture. We don’t have a white *spill* here, yet white *absorption* through a synthetic, ultralight porous material called areogel. The blue eye *eyes* the areogel, knowing what it actually stands for.
This is black and white combined again.
“*Rebl*? What happened to your *eye*??”
Shark? What shark?”
Flash bulb? Blinding? *Disappeared*?”
“Go ahead,” she urged. “Find out where it leads. It won’t hurt you. Like it did me.”
“Somewhere in this Edwardston Station Gallery, my love, my *future* love, is a clue to the whereabouts of my missing eye. I can feel it. So close.” But still they walk right by.
She was back in Collagesity. Husband Karoz Blogger may or may not follow. She’d heard of Wheeler’s marriage to Axis and had to return. She had one last pitch: a wrestling confederation. Headed by Wheeler.
Marriages don’t have to last forever.
“It’s a good place, Wheeler. A strong place,” Baker Blinker spoke about the Gloomy Gus structure, her original home in Collagesity, recently moved to the Peninsula residential area of town.
“I *do* like the hair. Thanks so much.”
“Sorry it’s so late.” She gazes at the remaining visible eye through the doo and wonders if it’s Arkansas or Missouri. Only one way to find out. “Marry me, Wheeler. Divorce Axis. I’ll divorce Karoz. Together we’ll be *Beans*.”
Wheeler paused. We’ve been here before, but with the shoe on the other foot. “You better get back to Chilbo,” Wheeler replied non-committally. “Karoz will be needing his supper soon. Still eating rice all the time?”
“Quinoa now,” explained Baker Blinker with a laugh. “Less filling.” She rubbed her belly here. Wheeler liked the look of it. Axis was a marriage of convenience. They could remain friends, after all.
“I’ll — think about it,” she finalized for now. “You better go. Oh… let me see yours.”
Baker Blinker showed her the new hair she bought for herself as well. Magika Bean she could be soon. With Flip as her partner at both home and work.
“The study would be right in there,” Baker Blinker tempts. “Just like before.”