Sandman walks the rail, continuing to look for the one he calls The Spitter. He pauses to gander at this collection of junk on one side, knowing, through it, that he is indeed on the right track.
He finds another Lane to add to Penny, Arnold, Shelly at the end of this track, the latter a Firesign Theatre fan and a close match to his pattern, a two fer one fer zero kind of deal-i-o. Man.
The banana indicated *himself*.
He had no problem going further. He’d been walking away from Love for a looong time.
Ant-man walked out of the rain to enter the lane.
The rain catches up with him at The End. He is home.
“Everyone knows about the Ant Castle,” replies Golden Jim, glancing over at the structure perched on top of Yellowmoon Ridge, wearing it like an orange crown. “It’s where the ants emerge from the elephants trunk, turning it into, well, just Eleph. Peak, that is.
“And do you *know* the particular black ant that lives in the castle?” the mann next to him queries further about the mysterious object high in the sky. “Not Queen but King.”
“Boldon,” Golden Jim guesses, suddenly recalling the history of the place, the *smell*. The wax hardens and everything is recorded. It was a good work.
“He invented the telephone, you know,” The Mann spoke over. “That’s why he likes to use it so much. One could say he’s really *jazzed* about it.”
“Yeah I knew it was soda all along. I was just riffing you.” Phillip Linden was trying to act cool. Just because he *created* all this doesn’t mean he’s not still behind the times. Creators loose control of their creation. It’s a given once it’s let loose in the world. Real Life. No trademark on *that*.
“Soooo. Are you by chance part of the Yellow Group that’s, ahem, taken over? Through the peaks, I mean. I’m just asking because you’re…”
“Yellow?” the perpetually soda spilling man without a name so far finishes for the famed world creator. World of Lime that is. Lemon World is different. “I might be.” His cell phone rings — good timing. “I have to take this.”
“Is he there?” the ant being asked one of his loyal workers.
“Yeah. He’s here.” The yellow man stares over as Phillip’s head gets big again. Like a screwdriver.
“Put him on. I want to speak with him. About Rookwood,” the ant punctuates ominously.
The Ant returns to his temple.
As soon as he enters the tunnel he hears the phone ringing with his sharp ant ears.
Hurrying upwards, he realizes who it must be.
“Oh dear, oh *dear*.”
At the top he desperately looks around for the phone. Where did he put it last? The rings persist. She won’t let up, he knew. Maybe he left it upstairs. The rings seem closer than that, but he decides to check. Can’t find it down here after all.
Up he goes!
Yes. Closer now. But *where*?
Aah. *There* you are.
But then he remembers it’s not a ring you can actually answer.
“Still no answer, Green. I bet he’s a thousand miles away from here, pheh.”
“Maybe you should give it up for today, Pink,” Marsha’s closest friend SEAN wisely advised. “There’ll be other gigs.”
The Man(n) finds The Men again in Penning. Fascinating.
Must have something to do with the nearby Linden pine forest, he concludes correctly.
He decides to stay in this sim and paint. But how to get rid of what’s already here?
He then eats with 3 ant related avatars…
“Ummmm. That’s pretty good, Ant. Thanks!”
… before falling asleep on a starry horsie.
Night night, Mr. Man(n).
Anty Jim says he never saw SEAN pass through this place, and Arthur Kill’s informant sees everything, what with all those ants crawling all over his two eyes. Many eyes now! Kill considers for the first time that he planted Anty at the wrong Last Drop cafe. He just figured since it was in the center of Big Sink that this was the correct one. What better place to open the egg? he calculated. Start of a new religion. Beyond Second Life. Sunklands, center of.
But Anty, again, sees everything. SEAN was never here. He’d have to check the others. And he was so sure of this. He even booked vacation time next week he’ll have to absorb the cost of!
When he returns home to [delete sim name] he checks this Veyot woman’s web feed for more Last Drop locations but finds something unexpected during the perusing.
“Barry X. Vampire,” he mutters. “As I breathe and stink.” His priorities suddenly shift. Barry would know where SEAN was. If I find Barry, he realizes, then I find the egg. Last I heard, I just missed him in Urqhart. Shame. He would have made a pretty head mounted on my trophy wall.
The phone rings. It was Axis again.
“Get there,” he monotoned on the opposite end, then *click*. Arthur Kill just stared at the receiver for a couple of minutes until he remembered to place it back in its carriage.
Axis can’t decide. To keep this office with all his energy lines embedded in it already…
… or to shift over to Morgan’s *old* office, even though no one yet knows it’s old. New(s) of his death has yet to spread locally. The virus is clogging the newsfeeds. “14 dead in Fearzum, 14 dead in Fearzum!” they cry, causing panic in the market. No, Freechild’s demise can’t break through that impenetrable Wall of Fear. But he’s behind that too, being from Fear*zom* and all (always gets a laugh). He created both. Might as well call him Mr. Pennsylvania.
But he has a meeting to attend. Over at Freechild’s place. Can test it out today himself for a while. See how he likes.
Yes, Axis thinks to himself while staring out at the Ashenlave summit we’ve seen once before in this here photo-novel, or at least the western part. No sea, but instead this peak looming before me, reminding me of where I came from. Granite far far above green. He looks stonily in the direction of Sandman and Ant-Man on the other side of the spacious, line free office.
“Gentlemen!” he cries in as Morgan Freechild a voice as he can muster, administrative skills peaking at a high. “We must get down to the *merger*.” Ant-Man, formerly just Ant and just The Man but now something quite else, stares over at Sandman, who was always a man as well as Sand — no morphing there.
Ant-Man, edging closer, knew this: that Sandman was afraid of the first change, which he’d already gone through. “No no!” wailed The Man after Ant approached him and then swallowed him whole, *becoming* him. Hucka Doobie didn’t tell him this drastic trick but Ant, after all, had a stupid internet feed and could look up how to soul merge on his own, duh. Quicky style.
Now Sandman’s turn.
He ate. He swallowed.
Copyright infringement free *Sant*man is born!
[photo removed for copyright infringement]
Ant figures out how to hang up so’s he can make another call, this time to old friend Hucka Doobie.
“Hiya Hucka, old friend. How’s it buzzing? haha. What’s the buzz, I mean. Listen. (reply) She’s fine — thanks for asking. Anyway, get this, I just hung up one of your old *Blinkerton* works in my castle over here at [Elephants Trunk], hehe. (surprised reply) Yeah, I’m staring right at the *ant* who’s taking a piss on the whole world. Reminds me of Trump. (reply) Oh right, not suppose to say that here. (reply) Monitoring, huh? (longer reply) Uh huh? (shorter longer reply) Uh hum. (reply) Well, I must say, I think things will come around in the end and run him over from behind. The ass will get hit in his ass! (reply) Yeah, I agree. But we could talk politics all night, me and you. Like back in the Bomb Squad. Those were the days! (longer reply) Right, Jimmy’s okay. I just talked to him last week. He’s totally over the yellow jacket fever. Wearing red these days. (reply) Oh, I guess that could be a kind of joke. (reply) Yeah, I want to talk to you about, you know, how you were a bee and all and now you’re kind of human and such. H-how does that all work? I know you’ve explained it to me, but just review it again (reply) Yeah, you got it. I’m thinking about changing myself. (reply) I know it will be hard. I’ve got a rock solid plan. (reply) Oh August — Easter in August. (reply) Easter *is* in August this year? (short reply) Oh, yucks, you’re a funny one. Guess you still got the old Blinkerton in you
still, the joker.” Ant looks at the Charles Nelson Blinkerton work just hung on the wall, and reads. “‘Sawmill *Heir* Wins Pis-Ant Reward Ha.’ What was the other hotel sign you changed? (reply) ‘Rebel Ho’s’, right. Not as successful. *This* one won that award. (reply) What’s the plan, heh? Well (he turns), we better ask Stan.”
“Hello, Axis? Hiya, it’s Ant here. (reply) No, Ant, not *your* Aunt — any of the many of ’em. *The* Ant. Listen, I have a proposition. We’re downsizing here at [Elephant’s Trunk] because of the possible upcoming recession and all — (reply) what’s that? (repeat reply) YES, they’ll be a recession, perhaps a depression, but I’m not too depressed about it, hehe — (reply) Huh? Easter? What? Does Easter come in *August* this year, haha. Always gets a laugh. (reply) Yeah, yeah I’m practicing for a standup comedy routine, ho ho. Okay, to business. Parasol, you know, the red and blue eyed gal — lives up in Splinterwood last I heard. No, make that Benangatron or Benny or whatever they call that vampire burg these days. (reply) Phyllis — that could be it. Anyway, she’s just itching and itching and scratching and even clawing me a bit to bring back The Man, you know, her husband. (reply) I don’t know *when* that happened. They just sprung it on me one day. Parasol showed me that big red and blue ring on her — (reply) What’s that? (repeat reply). *That’s* where they had their honeymoon? (repeat reply). I don’t know where that is, Axis. (reply) Say I’ll know soon enough, eh? Wise guy eh? (reply) Oh you’re smart all right. Anyway — lost my train of thought here. (reply) Yeah right, The Man — thanks. Listen I don’t have any more time to talk. Just set up a meeting with me at Fearzum. (reply) No, I don’t mean your *house*. I said Fearzum. We’ve been through this a 1000 times. Fearzom and Fearzum are *different* sims. Just so happens that both are connected to you, weirdly enough. (reply) Yes, I said *Fearzum*. Now this is important. Bring the *Sandman*. (reply) You heard me. Just bring him. I’ll take care of things on this end. (reply) Well thanks for that, and goodbye to you too. See ya.”
A click on the other end, disconnecting Axis to Ant.
Staring at the receiver, Ant talks over to the man also on the phone next to him. “Hey Stan? I don’t know how to hang this thing up. How do you hang it up?”
(to be continued)
I can still build here, good. Motocyclone is still a go.
I will become one with my castle.