…. seems to be trying to communicate with me again.*
I’m assuming this has something to do with Heterocera’s Pond District, but could be wrong.
* Compare with the second snapshot of this February post:
“But how??” Jacob I. couldn’t believe what he was seeing and hearing. Core-alena had returned to the center of Second Lyfe!
A red handed Duncan Avocado begins his confession. “Lovely and beautiful, yes,” he said, echoing some of Jacob I.’s earlier talk about Snowlands and Second Lyfe overall. “But ultimately doomed to failure, just like Laura in the Twin Peaks enterprise. Unless I restored the center. There was only one way to do it. Move Wheeler away from the tree at the weakest point of her existence. Which was right here. In Cloudmont, just before she arrived at Purden Castle. Do you remember? She was with Snowmanster, who is also actually you again at the core. They had walked a great distance and Snowmaster was purposefully draining her of energy. She had to jettison the Old Grey avatar and become herself again. Lovely and beautiful, yes, but subject to decline and death in that moment. *This* is the ring.”
“You killed her,” spoke Jacob I., staring at Duncan’s red extremities. “You murdered her with your own bare hands. That kept her away from the tree (Core-alena), in the first place. Woody Woodmanson warned us of her aberrations that very night in the castle. It was all set up.”
Duncan Avocado allowed Jacob I.’s inaccurate theories to thread out before responding. “*Jeffrie Phillips* set it up. He appeared in the center of Gaston tonight, right where I was attempting to teleport in. I didn’t recognize him at first. He was a black man, like myself. But there was no murder involved. Just a movement. My hands have always been red. It’s a medical condition.”
“Interesting.” Jacob I. shakes his head. “Jeffrie Phillips.” He then begins his own confession. “Broken Heart and I have tried and tried to stabilize Collagesity through various gimmicks since arriving through that portal last October. Each one doomed to failure: Wheeler and The Musician — doubled bed trick failed. Spookmobile — stolen once again and then again; no ‘Pumpkintwisters’ meeting finalized. Then Hucka Doobie was pushed into the first Hunt collage which was not the first Hunt collage before this happened. Collagewold,” Jacob I. emphasized. “He’s inside now. That was the way out all along.”
“Yes,” affirmed Duncan. “You must go back to Gaston and set me free and allow me to do what I just did in the past and future as well as the present. Else it is all for naught. Your precious Sugar Dumpling awaits you. All the Berries. You *do* miss that life there, don’t you? Broken Heart can accompany you back, of course. And there’s *pot*. Pot galore, thanks to Leona Lei and the Hilltoppers.”
“Leona! I knew she’d come through.” Jacob I. whirled around in his tracks. “You hear that Broken Heart?”
Duncan disappeared from in front and Broken Heart appeared behind. “I hear ya!” She was already counting how many times she could get high in one day.
END OF COLLAGESITY 2017-2018 WINTER!
They sat in the attic of House Greenup with its transparent roof, set up several weeks back on the edge of Cloudmont near the center of the Snowlands part of Sansara, Second Lyfe’s oldest continent.
“It’s a lovely view, Broken Heart.”
Jacob I. paused and looked over at his friend. His only true friend. “Why did you say, thank you? Are you claiming to create all this beauty?”
“No. I’m saying thank you for not calling me Jackie. My paper days are over. I am so sober now that I cannot even change into my animal form. I remain a tiny.” He repositions himself in the arm chair. “Fun fact, Jacob I.: the famous circus dwarf Charles Stratton, better known as General Tom Thumb, had a specially adapted home in tiny Thimble Islands, Connecticut where he lived with his dwarf wife Lavina. A specially designed thimble can be made for the thumb. Additionally, the word thimble and thumb have a common linguistic origin. Why would this man made famous by P.T. Barnum choose these particular islands to live? Yet another circus gimmick or trick? Or was there some deeper reason tied to his core being. Was he tapping into, I don’t know, a higher flow?”
Jacob I. ponders over this. “Must have been,” he concludes. He looks again at his friend. “You better change, Broken Heart. The end has come.”
A tiny, dark figure appears high on the slopes of the looming, white mountain. Heading downwards.
Jacob prepares to greet him.
Duncan Avocado had prepared and was about to teleport into the center of the Gaston sim when he looked at the map. Someone was already there in that Central Park at 128/128. Never seen that before. He teleports in at a safe distance and remote checks… another black man!
Who was he waiting on, if anyone? Was this a potential ally or foe? Could it possibly be someone investigating prison corruption in the sim like himself? Another dancer Sugar sent in, perhaps to taunt him? Speculation goes many directions. But his presence is real. He better lay off Gaston involvement and send another avatar from the core over here. Or, better, just use another core…
What a mess.
The time to act is now, he then thinks. “I must do what I planned to do. Tonight.”
“So we’re at the couch now, Mr. Babyface. Do you know who the ring is yet? 450,000 lindens worth of the ultimate 500,000 remain to be paid out. Do you want to be a wealthy man or a poor man, Mr. Face?
What’s this precocious child’s end game? he wondered while puffing rapidly on his pipe. Red Dragon, mmm. So soothing. But, Collagesity to Middletown — it really happened! She really did it. “Wealthy, I suppose,” he then answers.
“Then find Leona and her village full of mechanoid people at the hilltop lakes with the lone star shaped swimming pool and ask for Flo. And also: go *with* the flow. Synchronicity.”
“All right.” He was trying to keep up with her pace, or at least pretend to.
“(And) take Greg Ogden with you. That’s her husband after all. Good cover for you as well.”
“Didn’t know that fact. But: will do. I’ll take Red Boy.”
In fact, Mr. Babyface and Greg Ogden had become quite close during their stay in the Kidd Tower. A common heating system can sometimes bring people together.
He was staying with Thimble these days, another dancer. Not that their relationship was all that serious of a thing to him — when was it? — but her second floor apartment’s view toward the Gaston-Berry Police Station put her top shelf over the other Berries.
And, yeah, The Berries really dug Duncan. He was different, unique. No, I’m not really talking about his singular status as a male African-American in Sugar’s employment. It’s just that they could see the inner boy within, the core innocence, unruined — unlike the case with about all of them. It attracted these kind of women like flies unto maple syrup.
But tonight we flip sides of the record. He had to dance for a dude. Alright, cool, cool, he said to himself when learning about the assignment. It’s all for the art form — good to keep practicing and staying limber. And he gets to keep all his clothes on; no funny stuff there. Sugar said the guy also requested that he doesn’t look at him. “Just focus on the dancing,” she ordered. “Don’t make eye contact. Just interact with him in as minimal a manner as you can get away with. He’s probably self conscious because of the damage to his face. I don’t know what happened to him — don’t really care. He paid good money and that all I need to know. And you too.”
Midway through his first sequence, the bleached face man spoke. “You don’t even know who I am, do you?” But Duncan kept to his routine per Sugar’s instructions and didn’t answer.
“I see you out there Georgie Porgie!” screeched Sugar Dumpling from the rickety pier. “You can’t run away from me! None of them will work. I made *sure* of that!”
George Duncan gives up finding a functioning sim skipper for the day. Maybe forever. He might as well go back into town and enjoy the advantages of being grown up, pheh. What he understood of it. Only in his Abbey was it safe to be himself. A boy of 10 to 13 and back to 10 in an endless loop. Sometimes he glimpsed 18 on sunnier days.
But there was another way out, he knew, impossible as it sounded. Find Jacob I. and bring him home to Gaston. Back to his Sugar Dumpling. Then he would be set free… and only then. It seems I simply have to give it a try, he thought to himself while clambering out of the boat and exhaling loudly. I can’t go on with this. And I feel I don’t have a lot of time left before The End; the Abbey will ultimately be found out and then cease to exist. Like a bug extinguished with a magnifying glass.
“Get back to your apartment and do some real work for a change!”