The crows are still up there, thinks Venus down on the ground below the high spired church. Mid-Hazel is still here in Heartsdale — manipulating John.
And I am *certainly* unable to help now the Mission portal is gone. Right Snaily?
“I can’t emphasize this enough, Wheeler. We are *here*. Elephant continent. Until the end.”
“I’ll give it a year and a half,” spoke up the part owner of newly relocated Collagesity, just like before. “And you, Peter Oesseo — like an opossum. Are you: *Baker* yet? You don’t appear to be Axis any longer. Not at the core.”
“Hucka Doobie is going to be *soo* mad.”
He stands up, alone in the office that could have been his given different circumstances. Santman was going to be born right over there, Peter Oesso, formerly TronAxis (etc.) lamented. And now he shall. I have escaped the machine. I will let another be absorbed, an alternate self.
I have made a decision which way the current flows.
The Storybrook garage will stay for now. Marsha “Pink” Krakow and new bestie Beige/Brown will return soon. I will tell them a joke about 2 elephants with conjoined trunks. Marsha will remember who I am, and also the aunt. Ant. She can leave, then.
“I couldn’t stay away from you forever, dear, you knew that.”
“I did,” he spoke over to his unfaithful but still forgiven wife. “Dogg would miss you too much!”
“Yes I remember now. It was called the Red Rose and I was Peter (Peet) at the time. Before the explosion that destroyed Club 88, you see, and accompanying Little Jimmy, the lesser boom. This would have been, oh, ’88 I think?”
“’98,” corrected Venus Flytrap, by his side all this time, an Ant to his Uncle. “But what about *my* place, the bar (across the street). Noodle?”
“It appears so,” Axis aka TronAxis replied. “And the battymobile was still intact,” he added, zooming into the garage of the building now. “Mr. Fix It was fixing it up.”
“Perfect,” responded Venus. “It all makes sense now. Red Rose; Marty; The Lamb/Ram fusion (Rupert). We must then inquire about Legos.”
“Later,” requested Axis. They had enough for the moment.
“I *want* to get better,” bubbled a depressed Messed Up from a similarly colorful and confusing couch. “I — have a new love in my life. I’m motivated!”
“That’s great, Ms. Up,” responded Dr. Young Kane (played by Axis aka TronAxis). “I’m glad you have a reason to change. Makes my job easier.”
“You — may know him actually,” Messed Up sloshed haltingly again, knowing more than she let on.
“Yes.” And then she spilled his name.
“Young *Harris*,” spat out Dr. Young Kane later to his imaginary wife sitting below him, more cartoonish tonight than usual but still sporting the perfunctory blue-green hair.
“The reason you came *here*,” she returned. “Where are we going with this?”
“I — was going to ask you that.”
“I think — we should go to bed now. We can think better in the morning. With our coffee, eggs and tea.”
“*No*,” Axis said firmly. “We’re going to *figure* this out *tonight*.” His voice was pitched just below a yell now. “*Why* is she here?”
“New patient,” said Venus cooly from below. “You need the money.” She stared at The Sun between them, the rays. “It’s the Corona–”
“*Stop* saying that word. I’m sick to death of hearing it.”
“–V Drink,” she dared to finish. “The deal is almost done.”
He finds himself in a different place, sporting the Esso t-shirt once more. Peter Oesso now, formerly Peter Osseo formerly Peter Esso. “Like an opossum,” he explained to Randolph the pirate beside Storybrook’s Gatcha Warehouse about the newest name. Fresh from another hand washing he is.
“Possum; opossum. I *think* I get it.” He turns toward the effigy of Mr. Fix It against the Black Elephant with the graffiti art. “So that’s It, huh? The man you killed to get that gas station.”
“I *didn’t* kill him. It was just a — convenience.”
“In the future,” Peter Oesso admitted to the bastard buccaneer.
“So, are we on for 500 more cases of the often deadly brewskies? Or are you done with it now? The killing and all.”
“I — have a confession.” And it was here Peter Oesso told Randolph the Bastard Pirate about the conjoined
“So you have blue-green hair now, Wheeler. Blue… green.” She didn’t need to look. She’d seen it all before.
“Yeah. I changed it for Axis. And he changed it for me. He’s got blue-green energy lines all *over* his body now.”
“Yeah. It’s a Tron thing for him now. ‘Lamb’.”
“Not Tropp? True Opp or whatever he went by?”
“The old boyfriend?” responded Wheeler Wilson/Venus, taking another sip and wiping her mouth again. So refreshing. Water. “Nah. He’s gone back to New Eden I suppose. I — I really don’t know what he’s doing,” she admitted to her old Collagesity friend. And still a friend. Mary’s just a good person like that. Shows up when needed.
“You should keep up with him,” Mary requested, knowing full well deep down that Axis and this Tropp were one and the same. Same body, same head. Same man.
“I suppose I should.” Another sip. Wheeler wonders why this is so delicious. She can’t get enough!
After the body was found (by Mann’s Dogg), the funeral held (1st funeral after quarantine lifted (!), but still 6 feet apart for grieving parishioners), and the investigation wrapped up by Tank Ferguson’s team down at the station, TronAxis, now Peter again (Peter Esso, or, really, Peter Osseo if I can figure out how to transform the Esso t-shirt easily (see former Esso poster turned Osseo poster back at the purple Marz house in Tyranea)), stands before Gene Kelley’s old place, the town’s Mr. Fix It now 6 feet down in the ground itself over at Storybrook Memorial Cemeteries just off Little Miss Muffet Highway in Slabtown — a kind of permanent quarantine if you will. He’s saved enough money from recent criminal activity to buy, which he does shortly after the dirt is padded down nice and hard atop Gene’s grave. Greasy hands will be the order of the day for many to come. Wife Venus Flytrap (Wheeler in disguise once again) will have her hair slowly turn from blue-green to blue-black to black itself in following months because of the touching, the fondling. For Axis truly loves his sometimes on sometimes off wife, still running from the law like a virtual Bonnie and Clyde but always ending up on their feet. The lucky aspect this time is an inept police department led by a man controlled by his hips and not his head, just like his father before him — Jeep or something, Axis thinks here in his ruminations of victory. The gas station will be a perfect headquarters/front for further criminal activity.
He didn’t murder Gene Kelley/Mr. Fix It himself, but the death was handy for him nonetheless. He and Venus will be staying in Storybrook now for a while. But those pumps will have to be replaced, he thinks while staring over.
Peter’s Garage is born, selling fine
Esso Osseo gasoline.
He goes over to the town jail to thank former photography and calligraphy teacher Tom Banks once again.
“How the hell are you Hucka Doobie?”
“I’m doing fine *Wheeler*.” She wasn’t playing the Venus Flytrap game here. Not now not ever.
Venus/Wheeler nods toward the 2 men in the room, trying to make a divide between here and there. “Those Bozos, eh? What are we doing hanging around with *them*?”
“Can’t live with them nor without them I suppose,” answers Hucka, still busy slicing the mushrooms and carrots. Can’t Wheeler *help*? she thinks to herself. What a lazy woman! And she’s working while the men talk about the blog. *She’s* an owner too. Both Wheeler and herself. We’re all core, she wanted to say over to them. How about letting us in on the action.
“Axis is such a tiger, though,” states Wheeler, revealing too much for Hucka Doobie. She knows she won’t have any similar stories to share about Baker Bloch. *Both* know this.
“Yeah, well that’s good. Tell me all the details, Wheeler. About the positions and such. Do you do aerial?”
“Maybe,” Wheeler replies quickly then hops down off the cabinet and walks toward the table. “Aren’t you guys finished? Can we all become one again now?”
Hucka Doobie couldn’t watch. She cut mushroom after mushroom then carrot after carrot, not turning around.
“Let’s talk, Venus. About Philip Marz and his role in all this.”
Oh *brother*, Hucka thinks, shaking her head while still slicing away. Mars again.
“The blog owners were here inquiring about progress,” TronAxis speaks down to an imaginary Venus Flytrap, his estranged partner for the moment. “They’re asking about the Kate McCoy/Katy Kidd timeline, wondering how long it will take to get back to the Storybrook story, the main one.”
“Nineteen,” she says upwards.
“What’s that dear?”
“We’re on nineteen. The Sun.”
Axis felt it should be *him* sitting there, talking to Kind Of. Not this Prof. *Young* Harris. Young, indeed. Gone around the South Bend if you ask him, far far from the North, pheh. But it is what it is at this point. Let’s focus in on the conversation.
“I haven’t been to Strange Creek in a long long time, Mr. Messed Up 02.”
“*Kind Of* Messed Up 02,” Kind Of corrects, knowing he wasn’t — yet — on the nutty level of his master actually named Messed Up. He kind of explains this to Prof. Young Harris, then, who nods in semi-understanding.
“I had a mother once, who was kind and then messed up. I think I understand.”
Kind Of moved on. He said things were even weirder in Strange Creek these days, thus the furthering of the name. “It’s *Stranger*,” he punctuates.
Prof. Young Harris then has an idea, and points up in a Eureka moment. “Cyan!” he exclaims quite loudly, pricking Axis’ ears even more.
He imagines his wife standing before him. “What have I done?” he asks. “*I* had to be Young Kane instead. The transgressions.” He shakes his head while she stares steady. He thinks he should probably get back to her…
Wheeler decides to beat her to the punch. If there *is* evidence of a continuation in Jumboro and this attached Jumbo Core, she was going to find out herself. No filtering through bias. And, besides, Hucka Doobie has a kewl beauty of her own as a strong African-American woman struggling in a white male society. Yes, Wheeler admires her very much. She wishes she were equally spiritual, but there’s the Venus in her that is always niggling away at the good, the correct, the *Christian*. The Lord and The Lamb do not find favor in her sometimes — often. Oh, Axis is right, she thinks then and there, perched on the rooftop of a skybox she had no business prying into. But she was here now, bad instincts taking over again. Might as well take a peek inside.
The Jumbo Core, yes. Amazing. And Jumbo is perhaps the most famous elephant of all time, a Barnum and Bailey product, like oppositely sized Tom Thumb. Wheeler studies the alternately green and yellow colored squares of this “grassy base”, as the description puts it. Is this the original 9×9 square of sims? she ponders. It *must* be in some way. But what does it mean? Anything about the objects positioned upon it? But Wheeler can discover nothing of marked note.
She looks all around the rest of the skybox remotely before “accidentally” moving through the wall behind this grassy base into a back room that she hadn’t *checked* for some reason. A broad smile formed on her face. “Yellow-green and red-violet!” she cried aloud, seeing the 2 colors juxtaposed, floor to wall. The Thomas Main and Nick Barkley story can continue!
And her own, she realized.
END OF “COLLAGESITY 2020 EARLY”!