“I’m telling you Karoz. There was an elf or something sitting on that bench there when I bought this particular picture for free over at Rodeo.”
Karoz looks up at the appropriate photograph. He was nervous about resetting up his TILE college in Collagesity. Baker Bloch had brought back a number of what he called mysterious objects from over at the remnants of the old Kahruvel Forest. He felt he didn’t have time to deal with this. “Hmmm,” is all he responded to Baker’s observation.
“Sure you don’t want to pop over to Rodeo and check this out with me? There’s the Nautilus City map as well. Maybe this is the *real* secret society.”
Karoz forgot about the map. “Okay, he said. But I must get back before supper. Baker Blinker’s cooking squid.” He rubs his tummy and emits a pleasurable sound.
Baker Bloch waits for an invite which never comes. “Alright, alright,” he then says after the awkward pause. “One hour. Then we’re back.”
“Nifty,” returns Karoz. “And un-check your high-res snapshot option before we get there so you won’t forget again.”
“Good idea. But you take some pictures too if you like.”
“I will.” But Karoz was thinking he wouldn’t take any. He tries to put worries about the college out of his mind.
“Sometimes when you teleport directly into the middle of a sim, Karoz, you can tell a lot about where you are.”
Karoz was hoping he wouldn’t have to play a game of roshambo with Baker Bloch on top of everything else. “Ferns,” he stated plainly.
“Well, we’re just *east* of the center,” says the stump sitting Karoz. He glances over his shoulder. “Nice view. Didn’t you once say there was an obelisk around here?”
“Not any more I don’t think. That was on the Island of Not-Baker.”
“Island of Not-Baker,” Karoz repeats. “Yeah I *think* I remember hearing about that. Refresh my memory.”
“Island — or actually Isle of Not-Baker was, well, an island, a small one, terraformed in the very northeast corner of this sim — Rodeo. On the tip of it existed an obelisk with texts from three different languages written on its sides. Turns out all three said the same thing. Translate one and you also get the other two as a bonus. It was a Rosetta Stone.”
“Like in the Long Now Project?” Baker and Karoz were talking about that earlier as a possible model for the college.
“Kind of, I suppose. It was three races of people who decided to drop their spears and take up quill and live peacefully with each other. Another Great 3-N-1.”
“Nice. But where’s the map? Not on the island, I suppose. Is the island still there?”
“I tried to reach it but it’s on private property now, with security sensors. So I don’t know if it’s buried underneath their [structures] or not. I would assume so. Or you could recreate it. The basic landform of a mainland sim doesn’t usually change over time. It’s just the terraforming you add on top of it that makes the alterations.”
“Map, then. Chop chop.” Karoz clapped his hands together here. “No Time Toulouse, as Monty Python once said.”
“I’ve landmarked it,” Baker responds. “Hold on.”
“Turns out this is not it. But’s the place is right up there. On those cliffs. I think.”
Karoz is wondering how he’s going to remove himself from this concrete without getting wet, but then finds he can just back up and get out easily. “Shall we fly?” he then offered.
Baker checked his movement options. “No flying, hmm. They really want you to explore the nooks and crannies of this place.”
“Certainly seems like a Lemony world,” Karoz adds. “That’s good. I’m appreciating it, Baker Bloch. Thank you for bringing me here.”
“You’re welcome Karoz. And I think if we just follow these stairs up and then go around top of the cliff we’ll be there. We can visit the other house up there as well, if you wish.”
“Quickly,” Karoz responded.
Baker Bloch was glad they visited the other house, because he found a number of additional objects he could copy and take back to Collagesity within. Afterwards he tried to read a book on the table but found it was a 3d tableau instead called “Hope Springs Eternal”. No interior pages. Karoz was looking over the backwards letters on the wall below the copyable posters.
“Shall we move on?” he then said.
But the house Baker wanted most to show Karoz didn’t seem to be on this particular cliff. Instead we have the singing 3 eyed pig again, with Bryn Oh statue just below. Language again, Baker Bloch thinks while staring down. Maybe Salazar Jack really is behind all this.
Darkness was descending. Karoz’s stomach begins its first rumblings. Baker spots the sod house hidden in the green foliage just ahead. He tells a relieved Karoz this. Karoz imagines Baker Blinker preparing the squid back at the Gloomy Gus in her special sauce. He must ask her more about that sauce just in case he has to go away again. Wheeler, he then thinks with some disgust. A reprieve for now, but he’s always on call. A long chain. A long now chain.