Tag Archives: Todd A.^*

Bunkie

“We could use the rocket for good instead of evil,” Cindy A. spoke over to Jim A. after straightening her hair. She had recently been influenced by a book she’d been reading. A famous trip to the Moon.

Jim A. laughed at this. Todd A. joined him. Yoko, having done the deed and brought them all together as a sealed, signed triangle, had slithered away again into the web of time with no rosy prognostication in sight.

“2 rockets will do it — we all agree?” It was Todd A. this time, manager of the project.

“We can send the 1st and see what happens,” offered Jim A. “Gauge the reaction before moving forward with the second.”

Cindy A. was getting sick to her stomach. What had she set in motion?

But they had trained for this. It was always going to be. Forward in time, and then backwards in time to the original point. Cassandra City. Home. But the hitherto thought of home  — Pipersville, at least in its original form as Chip Shot: doomed. Worse than doomed.

“How far to be accurate? Would we, say, have to go all the way north to Regaltown to effect the launch?” Todd A. again. “What say you mathematician of the group?”

Jim A. spoke up. “As close to the Neutral Zone as we dare get.”

“How about Golden City?” Cindy A. reluctantly chipped in. The others readily agreed to the future hole. “They had remembered Chip Shot but not their own, retaliatory fate. Much worse it will be for them in the afterlife.

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Trinity

Yoko sometimes had this daydream of a vast underground behind the red doors across the street. She wondered where it all came from.

—–

She met with Cindy A., Jim A., and Todd A. in a secret Cassandra City niche on Wednesday. The A.Team they’d dubbed themselves, the seed of the surname erasures. “You sure you guys want to go through with this?” Yoko asked after the niceties had run their course. All nodded in tacit agreement. No one dare speak the deed aloud at this point.

Jim A. had worked and worked at the maths, making sure everything checked out. Now all they needed was a test. But where? Jim thought again of the forbidden sinks, particularly the 13th on this day, the so-called Super Bowl. Could it be possible — no — but: what if… what if… in ancient times…

—–

It was a combination of abilities. Jim A. had the maths, the brain, Todd A. was the genius in project management, and Cindy A. provided the technical expertise. Planes to rockets — not a big leap in her evolution. Professor Suckaluck should have seen it all those years back (“Maebaleia, pheh. *Satori*”); reported it to the Northern authorities. Because the A.Team — Cindy A., Jim A., Todd A. — were never really from the Pipersville area. They’d rehearsed the accents for years before the move.

Cassandra City, Queen jewel of the Deep South. They were home again.

—–

All looked around the table before leaving, realizing they had a Keith problem. Keith knew too much. Keith was in the middle, which, as we all know now, is unfortunately in the way. They had lured him (and themselves!) down here through trickery. Now the trick was to throw him under the bus. A Magic Bus.

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perspective 01

Cassandra City was certainly big enough. Difficult to take a long range picture of, though. Too much of the infrastructure not rezzing in properly with that draw.

Jenny attempts to draw parallels with ancient Crabwoo. “2 sims, not 1,” she utters to escort Todd A. another night, because their act had been so successfully that they were extended for 2 more weeks. 2 weeks! Jenny would have plenty of time now to explore the burg. “Crabwoo was larger spacially,” she continued. “But perhaps not psychically.”

Todd A. was getting the sinking feeling that developing Cassandra City was just Pipersville heated over. Where’s the equivalent to the room? he wondered. Where’s the missing laundromat, record store, bakery? It all seemed overly ambitious. And, as we all know, Our Second Lyfe has definite limitations. Lag is always an issue in such crowded spots. And it’s just going to get worse as the city fills out more. Perhaps smaller Pipersville had it right, Todd thinks another time. Build around a lagless, forbidden void (Sink X). Crabwoo too in a way, since the 6 protected sims of the Blue Feather Sea laid just to the northeast. Waterless sink vs. filled sink: which was better? It was a debate that underpinned all life, all activity on the continent, really. This is where TILE comes from.

Jim A., of course, scrutinized the large Seraph nightclub at some length. Soon Pipersville’s Jim Club would be no more. He knew he couldn’t compete. And his house band was leaving soon — he could feel it in his bones. “Might as well rent the building out when I return,” he spoke to Keith B. after another successful gig here. Sweat was pouring off his body. What fun! The circle within the circle certainly did the trick. Keith commended daughter Jenny on the idea again and again. Until the end.

And Jim and Keith were doing maths together. Keep that in mind as we continue our story.

What about the others? Tillie and Tealy had finally arrived in town after circumnavigating the big lake just to the east of Cassandra City. In fact, that’s what most of the local yokels called it, simply enough: Big Lake. One of the problems with that appellation is that Northerners applied the same to their Blue Feather Sea sometimes.

Which brings us to another issue I wanted to talk about: the division between North and South on the continent, how it all got started. We turn back to the handy “Second Life Tourist Blog” entry on Satori/Maebaleia:

http://thesecondlifetourist.blogspot.com/2016/09/know-mainland-satori.html

To get an historical perspective: In 2007, when this continent was constructed, the media was full of articles about Second Life. It was less than a year since Ansche Chung’s picture had been on the cover of Business Week, and there were many residents wanting land. According to the old forums, the Lindens were auctioning off multiple sims at a time, and some went for very high sums….

It was not until late in the next year that the roads in Satori (Route 8, 8A, 8B, 8C, and the Old Wagon Road) were completed. Because some of the sims that were in the right-of-ways had been sold, many roads have dead ends and are connected by false tunnels with teleports, or billboards with teleports. The map kiosks along the road are a big help.

Bottom line: Roads were split between North and South on the continent because of bad planning. You can see the gaps on this continent map I provided before: Route 8b (blue) was suppose to connect to Route 8c (yellow), and so on.

Only the eastern part of Route 8 ran the entire length of the continent north to south. Not by accident, the most heavily bombed highway of the brief yet intense Maebaleia/Satori Civil War. They couldn’t even agree on a continental name. And, I think, this is where Real Life Bluefield also comes into play…

(to be continued)

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Northerners

“Whale! Squid!” She waits a beat. “Whale!” She waits a beat longer.

“Do you want me to make any more?” questions Shallot’s brother Jinn by her side, knife in hand.”

“Aww, no use. Chinatown is not what’s the happening place tonight. *Everyone* is up at the Seraph Club exploring Dean Martin!”

“Martin and Lewis this week,” agrees the more English fluent Jinn. “Rowan and Martin the next. Then after that, who knows. Maybe that Mr. Rowan Atkinson Bean who is so popular on television these days. If patterns hold,” he furthers.

“Too true brother.” They wait again.

“I’ll take one.” It was Jenny (future Your Mama), approaching from the bowels of the sub-town, fellow Pipersvillian Todd A. in tow. Trinkets filled her small backpack.

“Whale or squid?” Shallot asked expectantly.

“Don’t let her tell you that’s whale,” blabbers Jinn. “It’s a shark substitute. But shark (name) doesn’t sell as good as whale.”

“It’s *not* shark, Jinn.” returns an annoyed Shallot. “It’s just… a different kind of whale.”

“I’ll take it,” responds Jenny, looking up at Todd A. “Whatever — both of them.”

——

Then, around the corner, Jenny leans against the side of a building and opens the 2 containers, one after another, studying the contents in each.

“You’re not going to actually eat that are you?” queries Todd in front of her. “Because I’m sure not.”

“Nah.” She throws the food into a nearby gutter. “Just wanted to see what these Southerners eat.”

“Southerners,” grumbled Todd A. with her, and they moved away from Chinatown after that with only plastic souvenirs.

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more

“We made it Brother Amos,” spoke Gabby, who had barely stopped talking during their whole trip down from Toppsity. “*Twin* brother Amos,” he declared. “Fellow Gemini; no doubting of that. Now all we have to do is find non-twin and non-Gemini Brother Keith B. and save him from The Shallows.”

“Where he’ll be murdered,” clarifies Brother Amos from his own bike.

“Killed at the very least,” supplied Gabby Truth, who always tells. “Hills. Of Bill. Keep him out.”

“Keep him out,” echoes Amos, almost as excited as Gabby about finally arriving in half empty or half full (take your pick) Cassandra City. It was not the destination they had planned for their escape. Not atall. Golden Sink… or even further north, had always been tops on the list. Maybe the Lake District. But something told them to turn left (south) instead of right (north) when leaving their cursed home village via Route 8.

“The 4 colored clown and her monochromatic opposum must be here,” Gabby spoke, half in a scrying trance; not unusual. “Soon at the very least.”

“Okay.”

The brothers got off their bikes and locked them up with the rest already on the rack. Jim’s and Todd’s. Jenny and Keith had come by bus. Tillie and Tealy were walking. Cindy A., perhaps the last to arrive but also perhaps the first, came or comes by plane. Wealthier than the rest she is. Later: the poorest of them all, sometimes not even being able to afford to walk. One or perhaps even two more by boat. Identity or identities yet to be determined. Maybe the Bishop and his center-no-more King. Let’s see, who else? Craighead Phillips seems trapped walking around another half empty, half full (again, take your pick) Bluefield city in West Virginia, Real Life, USA, so he may not be a candidate. Besides, he may not even be born yet, since we’re in the past, before Jenny became Your Mama (for example). Tracy Austin appears similarly stuck around the Blue Feather Sea, another BLUEF (since the variant name is Bluefeather, pronounced BLU-fe-ter by some). But, again, it perhaps doesn’t matter since she may also not be born. Think that about covers it. Oh, I guess I should explain more about the Man About Time/Marcus Fox Smart/Professor Suckaluck triangle. But I might not have time tonight. Have to get to Tillie and Tealy!

—–

“What are you doing?” Tillie questioned her fellow, colorful travel mate.

“Calisthenics. What does it look like?”

Tillie faces the yawning gap again. “Yes,” she agreed, pondering doing some stretches herself. “Looks like we have a longer journey than anticipated.”

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privacy

The 3rd night, Jim  (A.) Brown came down from Pipersville to hear his home duo. Owner of Jim’s Club of course, the one everybody dug in Pipersville. Well,  he got an earful; realized he couldn’t hold on to them and they would outgrow the bounds of his small venue. “Soon enough you’ll be playing places like the Seraph Club on the opposite side of town,” he declared to Keith afterwards at the bar, who was still wiping his forehead from the excitement. Jenny had gone shopping for trinkets up in Chinatown.

“Yeah, maybe,” Keith agreed, nodding. “I don’t know, I don’t know. Something’s just — *entered* me all of a sudden. He looks back at the drum kit and the circle within the circle. “I feel like (he turns back to Jim), that I’m in a different place now.”

“I would advise you to remember The Room — where you come from.”

“I mean, ahem, that’s kind of what I’m doing.” He swigs his drink again. Martini. Dry as a sinkhole.

“What about the maths? What about the theorems we worked on? You know that Sink X can’t actually be a sink. None of the Maebaleia depressions are. We’ve *proved* it.”

“Shush,” he motioned with his mouth and hands. “Keep it down.” He looked around to see if anyone else from Pipersville was in the room with them by chance. No one spotted. Todd A., who also came down this fateful night, was escorting Jenny around. But that was their plan all along: to leave Brown and Bower together for a while for a man to man talk. Because Jim and Todd knew what was going on before they arrived. The Brown-Bower experiments hadn’t even existed before this.

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Sink X

“It was a meeting of the Pipersville brain trust. Cindy A., Jim A., and Todd A. A different setting, certainly, than the Hole in the Wall the general public knew them from. The Tipsy Trio some call them, like Your Mama. She knows them all too well, she thought — back in the days they were best mates, her being a kind of unofficial 4th member of the club. Jim’s Club — ahh yes. That was the name. Because Jim was the ringleader; on the catbird seat. Now that Keith had fled the scene. Bower-Brown. Undercover. Famous, even infamous, but also not known atall. The sink did that to people, affected their minds. This was proven by the theorems they were working on at the time. The bank had 1 room where they could test subjects, but there were others. You could call it a time machine, but that wouldn’t be taking it far enough. Kind of a space machine as well. No, let’s call it an *Option* machine, both through space and time.”

Preston Weston was cutting the z’s by then. Craighead Phillips, the more moral Option, decided to call it quits for the night. Long journey back to Old Wagon Road or thereabouts to pick up where the other one left off.

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past 03

“Before you go, Keith, a word about your daughter.”

“Jenny?” Keith laughs nervously. “What’s she been up to *now*, hee?”

“Nothing that she hasn’t been up to the past 3 months. Listen. Just keep her out of your room, okay? That’s *your* room. She shouldn’t have the keys.”

“She doesn’t,” Keith defended himself. “She just knows the code. She found out somehow.”

“The code is just between *us*, Keith.”

“I know, I know. She just… found out. I don’t know how. Maybe Jim.”

“Tell her that there’s spooks down there,” Todd A. then requested. “Tell her, heck, tell her the truth and that you use to, well, you know…”

“I know.” Keith B. knew that Todd A. was joking with this.

“Change the locks. Change the code.”

“We can’t do that,” Keith deadpanned back. “You know we can’t do that.”

“There’s one other option.” Todd A. leaned back. “You say… she has a beautiful singing voice.”

“Yeah. So.”

“Let’s hit her on the head with a reality pipe. We, the *bank*, will give you a home in the middle of just completed Sandpiper Court.”

Keith shook his head then put his hands on his hips, indignant. “*Really*? You know that’s out of the Fantasy Zone. How will we dream?”

“That’s the price. It’s either that in (the bank’s) estimation. Or the truth about the room. Your truth.”

Keith exhaled loudly, then laughed nervously again, shifting his feet in place. After a pause he threw up his hands. “*Okay*.”

“Great,” exuded Todd A. “And you can keep your job at the bank. It’s too good of a cover.”

(to be continued?)

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past 02

“Heading down to the basement again, Jenny?”

“Nah. Just hanging around, waiting for dad.”

“Good.” Todd A. assumed a less rigid stance. “There’s nothing to see down there, you know.”

“I know. I don’t go down there any more.” Jim A. had coached her well.

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X-ed out

Bob, Fred, Ethel, Pat, Squirm, and Poochie lived on Sandpiper Drive atop a bank overlooking Maebaleia’s seemingly deepest sinkhole. Called Sink X, because it was the 10th found and also, perhaps — especially long term — the most mysterious and relevant to our present story.

Also on the lip of the sinkhole was the town itself: Pipersville, named after the same avatar that founded Sandpiper Court a little later on. So the court and its 3 houses can be seen as a type of suburb of the town in my mind. Sink X links them together, large to small.

I’ve changed my mind. Let’s start in town instead. Cindy A., Jim A., and Todd A. conglomerate at a popular Pipersville watering hole.

Some nights they discuss this very subject: the Maebaleia sinkholes, which one is most mysterious, which one is even the deepest, and, sometimes, on the darkest of nights, they talk about the Crabwoo disaster associated with the 13th and last one. Some try to relegate that particular sink to a bowl, a Super Bowl they grant, but still a bowl and not a sink proper. A professor of Sinkology at a nearby university came in one evening and attempted to straighten out each and every one of them while downing pint after pint of delicious, locally brewed Stigman’s Quarterly, an IPA with an alcohol content of 11.6. Almost wine strength. Well, he looked at each and every one of them in the eye and stated, plain and clear as he could, that Satori, aka Maebaleia — and he straightened them out on the *name* of the continent as well — no, this *Satori* contains no sinks proper and that only Jeogeot (where he was born and raised, by no coincidence) and Corsica contained legitimate sinkholes, like the wide, deep Chasm Deep for the latter and, obviously, the most famous sink of all, Big Sink, for Jeogeot. “These depressions in *your* continent are either too shallow” — and he gave the stereotypical Finsteraahorn-Dammastock example here — “or too close to the coast to count. Like this so-called Sink X.” These were fighting words, and indeed Professor Suckaluck was beat to a pulp later that night by town thugs and sink fanatics alike, then tossed over the edge of town, eventually rolling and rolling and then resting, dead as a doorknob, at the bottom of the sinkhole he had earlier dismissed as irrelevant and mistermed. Certainly relevant to him now.


re-creation: death of Professor Suckaluck.

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