“If you get stuck at any one point, you can always go back to the Old Country to regroup,” the Man About Time softly spoke over to Newtonia Kashkow, who could barely hear what he says across the circle. Is this another time distortion? she thought. No, it’s just *him*. So mellow and meek for someone so important. Must be the effects of the travel.
“Collagesity,” he spoke more, “should become a focus again.”
Newtonia Kashkow took this in. “I know you are the same as Marcus Fox Smartville and so we are related.”
“True,” Man About Time admitted after a small pause.
“And you are *not* a sucker.”
“Only in the mind of the beholder. On this turf (Our Second Lyfe): no.” He sat confident in his tannish/goldeny brown, throne-like chair. This was his moment. He steps in to become the knight in tan armor. Or was that aroma. The smell of something hot. And unpleasant. No, that was just an anagram. He sits back up from a naturally slumping position, mind focused again away from the morass. That particular sometimes light brown substance will not play a role in this.
Oh, if she could only see what he felt. But the War between Mind and Senses wouldn’t allow it.
A strange occurrence is happening in Port Mansfield, blocking Batty Casey from joining us tonight at the Mansfield Mansion.
We’ll have to go back to Mars instead, disguised as Marz this time.
Someone lives inside the purple Marz house with the hand, probably Katy Kidd again.
Because this is another mother abode, pheh.
“My two proteges together once more, 88 and, 88. Together we make a cross. Peter’s. We can control him again.” Then she cackles. Uncontrollably.
For the child, Great Mother of Vampires asked a high price. “Let me have the lives of the remaining werewolves in town. Let my vampire brood feast on their flesh and blood.” Rebl looked over at Ben Wolf, who nodded, a look of surprising calm in his eyes. “We agree,” the cat-being lawyer answered back. Ben turned to the Great Mother and studied her ancient figure. He knew this was the only way to save his Irish Lass. What was her name again, darnit? Oh yes: Phyllis — the only way to save Phyllis. The pack would kill her otherwise. Unless it was the pack being killed. No other way.
“Then I turn over the child to the Cat-Witch here.” Great Mother eyed Cat-Witch loathingly again. So young! she thinks while imagining her own skin turning to dust. “We will not speak of the matter further.” She got up wobblingly, grabbed her cane, and hobbled out of the room down the hall to the secret elevator that would whisk her back to her parlor. Ben returned to his bar to prepare for the slaughter he knew was coming. He’d made his peace with The Lord. In fact, The Lord (me) told him to do all these things, to allow the vampires to take complete control now. “Fate”, I called down to him. “Bena must shift into a new era, with no Wolves or wolves allowed. That means *you*.” He had seen the light on this particular Corsica summit — Moork I think it was again. He descended back into town to tell Rebl to go through with the prearranged deal.
What of this child, though, this Katy Kidd? All we know now is that she will live to see another day in another section.
“They’re ready for you Ms. Rebl.” Hidi then noticed that the cat-person lawyer was using her hands for a brush and her attache case as a pallet. “What, pray tell, are you painting, ms.?”
“Like any good lawyer, I’m painting a scene,” came the logical answer.
Case still in hand, she follows Hidi down the Hall of Fear to the Chamber of Utter Unspeakable Horrors.
Despite the name, there was actually a happy, feel-good vibe to it tonight. Things in this section of the photo-novel were being wrapped up in a relatively honest and decent way.
“Great Mother,” spoke Rebl solemnly while bowing at The Threshold (they called it). “I am honored.”
She didn’t even want to look over at her, this Mother of Vampires. Time hadn’t been as kind to her. Cat-Witch, on the other hand: PHEH! She could still claw her eyes out right on this spot and get the last laugh. But she was admittedly curious about the story. Martha Lamb and the Cat-Witch as sisters (!). How could she not have known about this all those years back? There must be deception involved here. She’ll wrangle it out and then expose it to the child. The kid will be under *my* powers. For all eternity, even beyond death. Because she had worked out that *little* detail as well, ha (!).
Cat-Witch winked at Katy Kidd while the Mother of Vampires kept looking away and fuming. Because this was Billy Jean Kidd again, dressed up temporarily in a new body. She was dead, yes. Casey One Hole swiped at her with his metallic club and knocked her head clean off into the next sim of Danshire, where it washed up on the shore of that tiny central island we’ve seen several times already. Then One Hole built a shrine around it, which lasted until several days ago when neighborhood watch fanatic Red Pepper spotted the shack and had the thing deleted. The head is dead.
Trouble is, it was also Katy Kidd’s head and that’s what dead Billy Jean told her first off about it. She saw it from a distance, while hovering above. Like an angel, she explained. “We are the same,” and then they merged into one from opposite sides of that walkway where they met, just for a moment. Just long enough to *know*.
Billy Jean changed. They walked inside. Cat-Witch sat downstairs to wait. Katy helped Mother hobble from her bedroom, down the stairs, to the parlor. She couldn’t look. How does she stay so *young*??
(to be continued)
Kate McCoy tries to find the unicorn where she saw it in the bushes.
A sudden call from the house in that scary, shrill voice, so familiar. “Katy! Katy Kidd! Come help your mother get out of bed and take her shower!”
Guy has a dream where he is calling the fox through music.
“Put down that silly instrument that you can’t play properly anyway. We’re related!”
Newtonia Kashkow inserts herself back in the picture (MOO). She’s ready to give the password.
Guy Benjamin wakes up. “Shite! So close.”
Axis again worships Lu Ellen Hutchison (or Hutchinson) before entering his NWES coffee shop. Who is now his wife, at least last time he checked (Wednesday).
He enters the coffee shop proper…
… only to see two avatars sitting at his favorite table instead of the one he expected. The conversation already taking place was briefly interrupted.
“There he is,” whispered Man About Time to Tracy Austin. “Behind the column. It’s as if he doesn’t think we can *see*.”
They talked about many things that night, the two of them and then all three together when Axis finally came out of “hiding”. One by one (by one), they began to understand all revolved around Peter — after all, the only Variant at The Table who was never a Variant. Peter and “Lamb”. They vowed, 3 hands clasped together at the center of *this* table (standing, remorseful Axis from the side), that Grandpapa didn’t die in Vain. Because, of course, we already know he died in Kowloon. His “Lamb” will live on.
“I am pleased,” I can hear him say from that Great Elderly Center in the Sky, lost cane back in hand again.
“I’m going to make you partially transparent so don’t panic.”
“Okay, here’s the problem. Or deal. *I* sit on the black stool that represents the 8 ball. 88 01 (let’s say), you are on the orange “2” stool and 88 02 (we’ll say), you’re perched on the yellow “3”. Wheeler then considered something else. “Stool, huh.” She then took a remote picture before returning to the 87 Room.
“Alright, so between you is an XVideos labelled laptop that, to me, obviously is suppose to represent “x” as in *times* something. But 3 *times* 2 (she points to the 3 associated objects in turn) equals 6. Added to my 8 (stool) you get 86. But this is (Room) 87.
If you consider the X might be a cross (+) it goes even one further from the truth, since 80 (points to herself) plus 3 (points to 88 01) plus 2 (points to 88 02) equals 85. Now the XVideos laptop sits on a stool representing the 1 ball in pool, the blue one. To me, this *must* represent Blue Eye, the missing one in either Arkansas or Missouri. So here’s the solution, people. I’m 80, you guys are 3 *times* 2 or 6, and then the stool, the one, when added in at last — *not* multiplied — brings us to the needed 87. You have to count the missing one hidden by the X to make sense of it all.
“So what’s the problem?” I asked just beyond the wall.
“It’s time to take one of you observing 88’s to the room to see what went missing. Maybe both of you. Yeah: both.”
“First, a little wine before we start. Sorry you can’t have any, guys.” (sip)
“Guys? Can you hear me?”