Center. 128/128: Rhodenwald. Roads Rhoads Rhodes. LIVES (2nd and 1st). Black Man… Men. Central Pumpkin.
“Pipersville,” Hucka Doobie chipped in.
“Pipersville,” Baker Bloch reinforced from the corner.
“Tell us about yourself — Elvis wasn’t it?”
“Black,” added Elvis, because he was. “Well, I liked books, no matter how dusty and boring. I’m a learned man. I enjoy truths over falsehoods. I don’t enjoy singing and dancing and womanizing as much as my white counterpart.” He turned the page, because he was reading and speaking at the same time. The word “white” had just been encountered. “That’s about all for now,” he said plainly.
Buster looked over at Bettie and raised his eyebrows. She knew what he was thinking and visa versa. This is Duncan again, playing some sort of trick on them. Or someone *through* Duncan playing a trick. But just because this was another black man…
Elvis Black changed. Duncan A. indeed.
“Do you know who I am yet?”
“The South was wrong, you know. Worshiping 2 dimensional cartoon people like Hatfield over 3 dimensional history and facts, no matter how dusty and boring.”
Bettie stopped swinging and looked over at still swinging Nancy, imagining a horn growing out the far side of her head for some reason. Then she attempted to synchronize with her again and soon they were side-by-side.
Bettie later brought the subject up to Buster, turning tiny herself in the meantime.
“I’m more focused on the sinks and Lemon vs. Lime.”
“Nancy says that’s related,” spoke Bettie across from him.
Buster sits up while looking in the distance. “Hold on. I think I see Duncan.”
But it was another Black Man. Duncan had been replaced.
But, across the *road*…
… the sim of Rhodenwald certainly still is, thank God.
“I want to change further, Axis. I am not happy being me any longer. Look at the women Rhode photographed here. Beautiful.”
“You have changed, Young Ruby,” Axis advised. “You are now Fairy Ruby, a natural extension. And certainly quite beautiful. Natural beauty. Not like these more fake examples in my opinion.”
“Look at what I found on the marketplace,” Ruby declared, and then rezzed a new top. “Another natural extension?”
“No, Ruby. Put that foolish thing away. Fairy Ruby is quite satisfactory to me, and besides, we get to be married to each other as Mr. and Mrs. Claus. At least for a while.”
“Until the end of the season, yes.” Ruby persisted. “But how about this with the top.”
“No Ruby,” insisted Axis, staring at the manifested hair. “You are trying too hard. Let’s go to the upper floors, to the more abstract art. That will cheer you up and inspire you more. Leave these so-called realistic photos behind. They’re affecting your confidence.”
“Alright. But I’m going to test out my new look a little longer.”
“See Ruby? You passed this accident right by. Intermixed red and green again. Back of a Rhode work instead of a front. Sometimes looking at what’s happening behind the stage, for example, gives more information than the play itself.”
Ruby runs ahead, ganders at the front…
… then looks all around the floor. “Huh. I guess you’re right, Axis. Everything is separated out neat and tidy in front. Green in this one. Red over there. Then green with a bit of red but only in one distinct streak, then another two reds and then back to green over here. ‘Green Monster’. The one we talked about before.
“I’m not a monster, you know,” stated synchronized Gregg, sitting at the table opposite Mr. Babyface in their unfinished Middletown penthouse apartment. “I got’s real, true feelings. I like… Bailey’s in a shoe. I like watercolors. Watercolors of Bailey’s.” He pauses thoughtfully in his ranting. “I like you.”
“Oil me up, then.” Accompanied by a small buzzing sound, green Gregg Oden changes over to red Greg Ogden. Mr. Normal.
“Ah so.” But Mr. Babyface had been thinking lately that “normal” Greg(g) could do with a little more monster inside him. Might help their sex life. He dare not try all that out with the monster itself yet; not quite yet. Must keep using oil. No, he must think of other things now.
One prominent figure in Kamas folklore history is Thomas Rhoads. According to legend, Indian guides from an area Ute Tribe revealed to Rhoads the location of a gold mine from which he was allowed to take gold to assist in the construction of the Salt Lake Temple. The only condition the Ute guides gave for revealing the location of this mine was that Rhoads agreed not to reveal [it] to any other person. Rhoads adhered to the terms of this agreement until his eventual death from an illness. The “Rhoads Mine” is now considered lost, but its legend survives in several books which have been published on the topic.
Who was killed or murdered? Duncan pondered from his rocking chair after reading. I suppose it would have to be *this town*.
The world seemed a little haywire tonight.
And Duncan was feeling a little stupid because the actual center of the Rhodenwald sim was *not* the pumpkin cart he thought before — and which the owner of the parcel was “hiding” behind when he first met him — but, still, this *orange pumpkin* between a playground fence and the outer wall of that hedge maze also mentioned in the last post.
And the green dot representing this person on the map definitely *was* at the center. He thought… maybe he was wrong all along.
But it also seemed a little peculiar that, night of all nights, Duncan finds anomalous plane objects in these particular Rhodenwald parcels owned by Black.
Although they disappear quickly this time.
Let’s back up a bit…
“We didn’t want to tell you about the anomaly quite yet but something or someone is forcing our hand. Happened April 19th of this year. Reported in the community forums — you can read details there.”
Duncan wondered why Sid/Angus Nuffin moved to the table and away from the suave chair beside him he was sitting in to pull up the appropriate interweb pages. Had he finished with it?
“Notice also,” Sid continued, “that whoever took that inworld picture of the map was standing right on the site of the Rhode Gallery, even though the gallery wasn’t yet there at the time; only built a little later. July I believe.”
“Queer,” came Duncan’s simple response. It was all a bit overwhelming, especially adding in the Rhode synchronicities concerning the Meat City-Kamas UT overlap. Hidden mountain treasure? Was that what this was all about? Pot-D as gold seekers? The Diagonal itself as a red herring?
“One more thing for now. Look at the picture before that one on the community forum post.”
Duncan tried but failed. “I– I can’t pull it up,” he admitted, embarrassed.
That’s what we suspected, Sid thought, and had to show him a little later.
Sugar House. The reason they brought Duncan Avocado into the club in the first place.
For his first assignment as an official member of Pot-D, Duncan Avocado was asked to check behind Indigo in investigating the Rhodenwald sim, somehow right across the *road* from Rhode Gallery just to the west. Only sim beginning with “Rhode” besides one called Rhode Islands, which is apparently under construction. Per the usual start of a particular sim investigation, he decided to teleport into its 128/128 center (standard landing point through generic search of any SL sim), but was instead directed to a preset landing point about 16 meters southwest, at the entrance to a Halloween themed maze.
He takes a seat on the bench next to his landing position.
Duncan had no desire to try to solve a maze tonight. From his notes, he knew that Indigo, through her alternate, human self Vanille (who you may remember from the Diagonal Alley scenes in Collagesity novel 10) had already investigated it and found nothing of heightened interest. Duncan was looking for new angles, per designated Pot-D leader Angus Nuffin’s suggestions.
Spying a monorail station not far behind the bench, he decides to take a car ride — Indigo didn’t mention doing this. He whirls around and around a number of Meat City sims before passing through Rhodenwald again and then ending at another station in Baylors Haunt to the south. It was at this point Duncan looked at the inworld map to see exactly where he was, and noticed an avatar at *128/128* Rhodenwald, a place he knew visiting avatars could not directly teleport into now. Thinking back to former synchs involving center of sims, especially the black man who appeared at 128/128 Gaston in, erm, Collagesity novel 7 (prompting the end of that particular story in Sansara’s Snowlands), Duncan decides to go check out this new developement, and spots an antlered, loincloth wearing figure seemingly hiding behind a cart loaded with pumpkins. 128/128: center of sim. *Had* to be there on purpose.
Checking the profile, Duncan saw the avatar was named *Black*, and also had a second life partner named the same. Surnames each. And, in fact, owner of quite a number of parcels in the sim, including the one with the maze and the pumpkin cart. This was the owner… and later Duncan figured out he was signaling offworld to someone. Not him but his mate. But why in this particular spot?
Duncan continued to scan the figure, thinking his user AFK. But, no, the avatar moves from behind the cart and faces Duncan directly. He is aware of his presence for certain. Black man confronts black man.
Duncan had found something.
She can’t get in but they can certainly look out.
And where was this on the shared map between Meat City and Kamas UT? I wondered.
Off the grid for Utah, I realized. No possible new synchronization between the two, like we had for the Rhode Gallery and the brown splotch in the tree and the SS high school across the street and the road sign between them, right where the route began bending away from the shared grid on its way to Samak. Mirror — E Mirror Lake Hwy.
And in the bigger picture, I’ve learned that the whole Omega continent could fit into the surrounding Marion-Francis Circle. Swamp Fox. Gives an additional, spacial sense of proportion between the two Lives, 2nd and 1st. 1st life is still *much* larger. Much remains to be explored there!
But the overlap is quite profound. Here the two interpenetrate, like apples and oranges. No, like nested dolls… no: like a hidden center. Hidden Village. Hidden Vilage.
Oh looky. What’s this over here?
“What do you call a flock of crows? A kill of crows?”
“Dunno,” answers Young Ruby, barely legal for this town even with a chaperone. “Thank you for joining me in… could it be my new apartment?”
“Not on my watch,” answers the huskier toned Indigo sitting beside her. She crosses her feet.
‘Murder,” Ruby then uttered. “A murder of crows.”
“Of course.” Indigo looked again at the *murder* atop a neighboring building outside the window.
“Or Murderkill,” Ruby then offered. “Both in one.” Each thought of the art work to their side, depicting two towns trying to kill or murder each other.
“I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what happens… see what magic Rhode can still produce.”
“Right you are,” states Young Ruby to her older companion.