She stayed back, hesitant, while he moved forward, bold and brash and most likely naive. Poor Kolya, she thought. He can’t see the Overlord right in front of his face. He’d been warned (*sip*).
He was happy with his refreshed lemonade in the moment and had no other concerns. He doesn’t recall anything about the operation, she thinks. The holes still exist, although certainly not glorious any longer. He remains (dot dot dot) damaged goods.
There was only one thing for it. Another ring.
“Herbert. It’s me.”
Yeah, in staring at the sign again, Dr. Mouse realizes he’s never been on this Paper-Soap property. Wonder why.
He’s a bit drunk tonight but still resists the urge to explore the offerings of the Lucky Motel, because he knows it is really not that atall (*hiccup*). Plus he’s kind of got a relationship with the ex Wheeler/Wendy again. Moving on…
Let’s go back to the big Nautilus continent map and see where we are. We started in Center (01) with the visiting of the Ur-parent’s graves, and worked our way up to the Aviary (02) where both Alysha and Hidi testified against Kolya as it were, almost eliminating him from our story, then quickly followed by Rooster’s Peninsula (03) where a nifty castle was established that may well replace Collagesity itself in our continuing Second Lyfe adventures. As you can see, these three basically equidistant locations form a line essentially running directly north, right to edge of the map and thus the continent.
But in the second half of the present photo-novel (XVIII), we have focused away from Nautilus to other, mostly non-mainland locations, like Paper-Soap. It’s as if the establishment of the castle provided us with a new anchor and then we moved on. So the question is: Is the more southern Collagesity now *toast*, at least for a while?
We haven’t even seen Collagesity leader Jeffrey Phillips in the current story yet. Perhaps that should change; he should have a say in all this.
(to be continued)
I think I’m going to like this peninsula. A lot.
Boy my neck has sure been bothering me lately. Must be the lingering effects of Kolya and his trip to Anastasia, the damned place. Controller my big old ass. Papers piling up, pheh. Always sleepy, constantly nodding off. (Alysha) needs to come *here* and try what she does there. Wouldn’t make it.
But Windmill Man, actual name still being processed, knows that he loves her nevertheless, just like Kolya. Even moreso, since he can see the future clearer. He is the ONE. He is the whitehead in da woods. 1 year and 3 months. He can do it. The diagonal linking East and West will be fulfilled, reality connected to another reality inside it, with one blending into ANOTHER. Love, most likely. Death too, if not bodily. But what, exactly, *is* the body. The neck’s calmed down now. He recalls something about Jasper.
These ruins hold stories. And so close to his castle too. Just up the ridge.
He turned one last time to the door before leaving.
“No more shells,” he rather commanded to Alysha in a role switcheroo, fed up with being treated like a toddler. “*I* am real (this time).”
“Okay.” But of course the holes remained. Glory could only be glimpsed, but maybe it was worth it. Afterwards his neck hurt like a mo fo, but he doesn’t think it is about what they did.
Alysha ponders afterwards: Kolya *can* get better. If he changes into Windmill, hmm. Bit older, but what can you do? And then the diagonal can be traced all the way to Maebaleia — where we are now. Self image.
It all seemed to make sense to her now (as the Controller). Easy as 1-2-3.
She reaches for the phone to ring up Kolya. She’s ready.
“Hi. It’s me.”
“Hmph. Never showed up.”
Alysha took the hint. She reckons *she* is the angel. And also the angle; 1/2 and 1/2. Right?
She must think about Austra again, and its division into Upper and Lower and where that’s heading. Not up here that’s for sure. Too north. Rooster’s Peninsula is different from Austra. But how? Shelley’s castle will provide us clues. It’s all set up over in Lebettu, which we’ll get back to shortly.
Shelley’s castle; Roost Peak in background
This must be the Heart Queen’s bar where Broken Heart Jackie made her that Bloody Mary which turned her back into red, thump thump thump. She sat down — no bartender in sight still, just a chinchilla drinking something out of a half coconut, perhaps a piña colada she rationalized. It made her think of Kolya and him drinking the same in, where was it, the Aviary she believes. Or maybe his glory holes, pheh… maybe it wasn’t Kolya at all, maybe it was one of her other men, the ones without the visible head gaps. Hole exploration: it was a whole ‘nother story. The Controller’s papers piled up and up, reaching all the way now to Rooster’s Peninsula.
And here she was, going too far again. “Last sip!” squealed the chinchilla, and noisily finished the drink, suck suck suck. There would be no more offered today.
Nothing left to do but to take a nap.
Shelley Struthers knew there were too many birds and other creatures in this *TILE* location to make an unified decision on the matter of Kolya and his holey head. She’d have to look elsewhere for answers. Her thoughts turn toward the castle that will soon perch on an important peak to the north. *Her* castle.
There’s already one in the area, and at about the same altitude on its own, nearby peak. Spacious and beautifully landscaped grounds surround it, which we’re eager to keep exploring. This won’t be the case with Shelley’s castle due to much more limited space to work with but we’ll try our best.
Shelley’s castle footprint
And in the past, another roosted on this higher peak to the northwest. The legendary Rust Never Sleeps.
Jacob I. the lawnmower is still on the same northern peninsula. “Wake up,” Shelley whispers while prodding.
“I’d like to buy a vowel please?”
But collage he did anyway — despite of or perhaps even because of the rising Boos danger. They started conglomerating in the center of the critter laden place, coming together to make an ultimate decision. Should he stay or should he go. Holey Kolya listened and watched from the side, not quite grasping what was happening. But he knew they were talking about him. And someone called The Wizard.
Grown up Alysha begins. “I have so many papers to grade,” she speaks into the microphone after teleporting in from Darkewood. “And I’m soo sleepy.”
“The rain gets in (his head),” said Hidi just afterwards, lowering herself a bit from Alysha’s position in order to speak directly from her heart. “But I love him.”
She turned to Kolya with this. “In his *dreams*.”
Front and center Lemon and his less positive bud Lime were next. This was the crux of the matter, one up and down and the other side to side. How to coordinate (worlds)?
“Here,” Lime said. “Let me at least get this out of your back while I’m hugging you.” But like with the King Arthur legend the knife stayed put. For now.
“You betcha!” squealed Cosmos to the left.
“Ain’t gonna happen!” retorted partner if not necessarily friend Lightsville to her right.
Kolya could almost hear them speak in his brain damaged head. The rain continues…
“It’s a beautiful land, Mr. Koala.” Kolya didn’t correct his name for Mr. Lemon. Now he wasn’t sure if it *was* Kolya. Koala (Koyala) sounds good too. “You should talk to your owner about moving here — if the price is right. We, the residents of this place, would certainly welcome you. Open arms!”
“I think…” he started, “my owner… wants to stay between the two roads.”
“13 and 14, yes. M and N. Makes sense.” Lemon’s eyes start watering. He soo wanted the stranger to… take his place. This *man*.
Pear swinging in the hammock nearby in this treehouse in disguise chimed in. “Wizard,” he said in a voice pitched higher than the rest, even Lemon. “This man is a wizard.” It was as if he were reading his partner and friend Lemon’s mind. And so it is.
“The birds will decide,” declared Lemon back into Pear’s own mind without saying it aloud this time. “As they always do.”
Kolya went to the balcony, attracted by the sound of a passing eagle. It seemed to say his name (but which one?).
“He can do it he can do it he CAN… do it,” opined Pied Flycather to friend Yellow Crowned Gonolek down below, who wasn’t so sure.
More opinions will come.
(to be continued)