Collagesity 2016-2017 Winter 03


Old Mabel’s Plans

Old Mabel finally spots Unch at position 168/168 in the woods, but keeps her distance for now.

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Using remote viewing, she dares to take a few close up shots. Amazing how the foliage of Unch and that neighboring brown cypress are so intertwined, Old Mabel thinks. They must be kindred souls.

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Now that Spongebob, Snowmanster, and son Snowbob have left the scene, she’s becoming more and more attracted to their former home. Both Baker Bloch and Baker Blinker are encouraging Old Mabel to stay there if she wishes, but warn that she’ll basically have to take the place and its dated ways as is, since no objects can be rezzed on the property or dragged in from town. The advantages for Old Mabel are obvious, however. There’s, of course, the proximity to Collagesity in both a southern and eastern direction…

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… then there’s the forest directly to the west.

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Tonight she finds she can even just spot Unch from this perch at the parcel’s southwest corner. How exciting! she thinks.

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The southern end of the Great Wall lies just north. Old Mabel wishes to explore its secret triangular passages mapped out by Baker Bloch a number of years ago.

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And Carrcassonee in her Temple of TILE is next door as well. That’s another project Old Mabel wants to tackle: how to reopen decent communication lines with the town’s former chief deity.

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She sits at what could be her writing and planning desk, wondering what to do with it. I’m sure she’ll come up with something.

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Upstairs: the “closet” Snowmanster emerged from 2 days back.

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Yes this could do very nicely, she thinks. Very nicely indeed.

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“Oh my Goodness!” she says, looking at the time.


Demons in Collagesity

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most likely probably still

9:30 pm.

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“The usual please, Furry Karl.”

“Coming right up, Baker Bloch.” Karl reaches into the cooler behind him a pulls out a tall can of Krings, popping it open and positioning it on the counter. Baker partakes.

“Ahh, good beer after a long hard day of work, eh Karl?”

“I suppose. I don’t drink myself.”

“Oh right,” says the male Baker. “The farming incident.”

“And the prostitutes. And killing that guy over in Bennington… besides all the other stuff done there.”

“Well, that’s all red liquid under the bridge for you Furry Karl. Clean sweep in this here Collagesity. New beginnings. Here’s to new beginnings.” He raises his beer.

“I can’t toast with you, but I’ll second that anyway. Listen, um, Baker. I can’t really talk much tonight. As you can see (Furry Karl looks around), the bar’s pretty busy.”

“I noticed that. Demon Days.”

“Yup. Gates of hell opened wide this weekend.”

Baker Bloch also looks around. “None in here at the moment I can spot, though.”

“Oh, they’ve been here. The mall’s been invested with them. Especially the Santas. I’ve counted at least 3. So… enjoy yourself here. Drinking alone tonight?” Furry Karl tacks on.

“No. Old Mabel will be joining me. We’re going to talk about her new living quarters — Spongebob’s former home.”

“Good, good.” A bald headed demon enters the bar and sits down at the last stool; starts to play computer cards as both Furry Karl and Baker try not to stare. “Okay, gotta run,” Karl says, moving toward him.

—–

11:15 pm.

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“I’m sorry once more I’m so late, Mr. Bloch. It’s just that Unch was there (!). I could see him finally. And from that perch on the southwest corner.”

“Next to Perch, yeah you told me.”

“Sorry.” Old Mabel realized that she was repeating herself in the excitement. “I dare not fully approach him yet. It is a him, correct?”

“I haven’t really thought about it,” Baker responds. “I’m not sure he’s — or she’s — anything. Like the typical plant, I suppose. Minus ferns?”

“Mosses, maybe,” Old Mabel offers. “I’m still getting familiar with terra firma flora and fauna.”

“Right. You should have been here earlier, Old Mabel. Place was jumping. I think Furry Karl will be alright in this new location. It’s just so… in the middle of things.”

“Malls are special places,” agreed Old Mabel, taking a sip of her lemonade. “Well lighted. You can accidentally bump into your friends and neighbors without having to telephone them up.”

“Good point,” agrees Baker. “You get the social niceties out of the way without a social commitment.”

“I’m learning your ways.” Old Mabel smiles at him, studying his rugged orange face and dead white eyes. Yes, he’s still most likely the one, she thinks. Despite demon Jiff offering to change over his body to a larger and greener variety. Despite Snowbob and the day before yesterday. In the closet.

—–

1:00 am.

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“You’re so strange, having to sit with your back to the wall if anyone else is in a room with you.”

“One demon left around,” Baker Bloch whispers to Baker Blinker. “And it has to be here.” The small cyan demon squeaks in return — good ears on this one.

“Good that Old Mabel is getting adjusted. Maybe now she can get over this dislike of Wheeler, since she’s getting over, well, *you*.”

“I don’t think she likes Wheeler impersonating me at times,” Bloch agrees.

Baker Blinker sighs. “So where does that put *us*?”

“Same ol’ same ol'” the male Bake responds. “We are the parents of all that’s around us.” He waves his arm.

“I don’t think Karoz is coming back,” Baker Blinker says, tears starting to form in her eyes.

“Oh sure he is,” Baker Bloch attempts to comfort. “Wheeler’s probably sent him off on some crazy assignment to retrieve an ancient diary again.”

“She’s still looking for Number One, yes,” a sniffing Baker Blinker agrees, taking a sip of coffee with a shaky hand. “Muff-Bermingham was a bust. Plus the war started while we were there. Greens versus Grays. The one Little is involved in. A shame Old Mabel hasn’t heard a thing from him since he left.”

“Hasn’t she?” The male Baker eyes the female Baker knowingly.


Old Mabel’s Night

… discovering graffiti on the back of Furry Karl’s Joker’s Wild bar…

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… learning that the word “SoSo” may actually derive from the older “Soos”…

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… finding another Soos at the Table Room…

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… discovering another Mabel (“Another twin!”) and ordering a L$50 cap from the Second Life marketplace…

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… wearing said cap while studying up about this strange, parallel universe at her new home…

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… having a dream about a giant Jiff wearing Brenda’s war helmet and peering into the Blue Feather at a burning lemon…

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… having a dream about meeting Snowbob’s Great Uncle Spongebill Triangleslacks while Chesterton the Librarian eats noisily in one corner.

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Old Mabel’s Continuing Adventures

Old Mabel begins to explore the triangular passageway within the Heterocera Atoll’s Great Wall mentioned recently in the “Old Mabel’s Plans” post. She’ll report later on her finds, if needed.

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She came across this more interesting “community” of houses next to the wall about 2/3rds the way toward its other end in Athetis…

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… and caught her first glimpse of the likewise famed, Linden based Second Life Railroad (SLRR) making up its western limit.

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The unnamed community, Great Wall in back and SLRR just off camera in the front.

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Returning home, Old Mabel discovers this tub with running water hidden in a small grove of flowering plumeria tucked in a walled corner on its eastern side. This would represent her last important landscaping find on the property.

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She relaxes in the wooden gazebo next to the woods.

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She attempts to play a game of roshambo (rock, paper, scissors, once more) with one of two nearby hummingbirds but of course the purple bird can’t respond.

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Or can it? Because immediately after this, a *3rd* hummingbird manifests just down the cliff from her, in Rubi this time. At first, in its place — briefly — appeared to be a filled, upright burlap sack, but Old Mabel thought this could be the darkness playing tricks with her eyes (it wasn’t).

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Old Mabel follows the flight of the bird until it stops and hovers at a particular spot about 50 meters away from her. She later learned this position is in the middle of a place called “Meeting Flat”, a name dating from Lemony antiquity.

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The hummingbird then turns into *Unch*. How exciting for Old Mabel! Unch is obviously attempting to communicate with her. After standing in the middle of Meeting Flat about 10 seconds more, the tree then walks directly west (over Dead Dog Hump) to its rightful place in the woods at 168/168.

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Unch strutting over Dead Dog Hump (dead center).

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Unch at home base (right center).


Sewed Up? 01

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“Oh Baker Bloch. I was hoping that was you down here.” But Old Mabel then knew it wasn’t Baker Bloch. This was Wilson. “Oh… sorry. Hello Wilson.”

“Please, call me Wheeler Old Mabel,” and then Wilson turned into the appropriate form for this nomenclature. “Have you seen that picture by chance?” Wheeler points to her left at Wheeler 02 displayed on the Big Board, as she’s come to call the screen with the interweb feed at the Table Room.

Old Mabel sits in the suave chair next to the Big Board to get a closer look. “I think I’ve seen it in SoSo Mall, maybe.”

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“Look at the sewing machine. What’s the name?”

“Let’s see. Um, it says Wheeler… Wilson. Hmmm. Like you.”

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“That is all,” says Wheeler abruptly. “You can go.”

(continued in)


Sewed Up? 02

(continued from)

“Just kidding,” Wheeler then says while standing up. “I can drive too. Watch this.” Wheeler performs a golf swing for Old Mabel…

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… who strangely can’t see Wheeler any longer from the position of her chair.

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“I didn’t catch that,” says the confused Martian. She moves closer to Wheeler’s voice, and almost runs into her. “Oh… sorry.”

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“Stop apologizing for everything,” Wheeler demands. “I bet I could hit that 8 Ball over there clear to the other side of those confounded woods.” She then assumes a normal position. “Say this Unch just appeared to you, eh? Snowbob told me. We used the red phone, don’t worry. Protection witness program, pheh. And where’s Jerome T. Wheeler, *sorry*, Newton when you need him to put out the fires? Did you know Unch was a persimmon tree, Old Mabel?”

Old Mabel admitted that she had not.

“You know what persimmons are used for?” Wheeler then answers herself. “Drivers, Old Mabel. Woods and drivers. A seed, a little thing like yourself, grows up into a tree to be harvested for woods. Tigers, Old Mabel. I knew a tiger who loved golf so much that he turned human just to swing those ebony clubs all day and all night. The night swinging part eventually got him in trouble. The bottom fell out of his winning ways; he’ll never catch Jack Nicholson the Joker. Furry’s bar is safe harbor.” Wheeler smiles.

Old Mabel tried to think of a response to this cryptic talk, but Wheeler continues. “It’s late in the night now Old Mabel. Do you think we should go see Unch and ask him about tigers?”

“I’d like to approach Unch,” admits Old Mabel. “But I’m still scared. I’m not ready.”

“Well he — or she — *obviously* wants to speak to you. He’s basically beckoning you over to his spot in the forest: 168/168 isn’t it?”

Old Mabel says she thinks so.

“Yes… Unch is a persnickety creature. The fruits of his thinking are small, detailed and precise. He is a tree who can’t see the forest. He is inside himself all the time. He thinks you will like it inside him too. He wishes to take you away. The 200th wishes you to be with him forever and ever. Forget the other 199. Forget *everything* else. The 200th, Old Mabel. That’s your brother, your mother-father Winfield — is that spelled with one or two “n”s?”

Old Mabel says it’s spelled with one “n”, and then wonders how Wheeler has so much information about her past… and of Unch. She’s only half believing anything Wheeler has to say, though. But for now she’s taking in the *story*. Is Unch a selfish creature? Self absorbed? She’d find out the answer soon enough.

“Come with me, Old Mabel. We need to go back to Corsica. To a village near but not in Askja. I want to show you something there. Something you won’t believe.”

(continued in)


Sewed Up? 03

(continued from)

Wheeler was gone, and then Old Mabel saw the teleport invite. “Join me in Zao.” She complied, and found herself in the middle of an almost empty room. A stoic security guard stood next to the door.

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“This is where reality ends and collage starts. Look into the corners, Old Mabel. Are you awake or dreaming? Is that munchkin librarian over there real or hallucination?”

Mabel scanned each corner but didn’t see a thing. She was beginning to think Wheeler might be quite insane…

… until she went through the door and turned around.

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Winnfield.

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Winfield.

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“I think you better start spelling it with that extra “n”, love. It took me weeks to pick up his trail.”

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The end?


Swinging but not driving…

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A sunset swing helps Old Mabel prepare for another potential rough night of dreaming.

At the appropriate moment, she slides off and looks for Unch. The sun had just disappeared under the horizon.

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“Can’t quite spot him from here if he’s there,” she says to herself in a low voice. “Or her,” she tacks on dutifully. Seven o’clock: time to meet Baker Bloch at the Joker’s Wild. Much to talk about!

—–

“Hmm,” Baker Bloch says, landing just north of the mall while attempting to teleport directly inside. “Old Mabel clearly said this graffiti read: Soos.”

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—–

“You’ve dreamed about Chesterton the Librarian before haven’t you?”

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“On a number of occasions,” answers Old Mabel, She swirls her lemonade around in its glass. “Night before, he was in a corner of my living room loudly munching on some delicious puffed cornmeal product.”

“In the Small House or Big House?”

“I’ve started to call them Old House and Big House. Because one was born 5 minutes after the other.”

“Ahh,” Baker responds, understanding this is a reference to her, Old Mabel, and her slightly younger twin brother Little Big. Nothing to do with the actual history of the houses in all likelihood.

“But it was Old House. That was the dream I talked to Spongebill Triangleslacks, Snowbob’s great uncle. Did you know he called him grunkle instead of great uncle? Another bleedthrough from that show.”

“Which we need to talk about in some detail, Old Mabel,” Baker says from his stool. “Map the comparisons out. But whether you believe me or not, the concept of The Bill predates finding out about the show. I didn’t make the link until early November, I believe, when, um, I retrieved that diary out of the library for Wheeler. Number 3,” he clarified. “The original find.”

“Just like Dipper first found the 3rd diary in, er, his *own* show. Not *inside* a tree, but the mechanism triggering the release of the trap door in the ground is found in the tree. It’s metal in the show. I don’t think Unch is made of metal.”

Baker pondered what Old Mabel had implied. “Unch is the source of the diary — I suppose that could make sense.”

“Maybe all 3 diaries which are actually one conglomerate work,” Old Mabel adds. “Three-in-one.”

—-

Meanwhile, Unch tries to listen in from the the woods but can’t quite spot them.

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Rubis and Sylver

“We have to lend all our resources to Old Mabel. She’s on to something. A definite trail through the wilderness.”

“Strange that Chesterton the Librarian would skateboard into her and blow her up,” Baker Blinker responded, referring to very disturbing and lucid dream Old Mabel had the previous night.”

“Maybe she was just trying to wake herself up… so she could remember more of the dream’s details. But she was quite rattled. I reinforce: she thought it was real within the dream. She thought she actually died. She felt her soul depart from her body. She floated up up up. Back to Mars. Little was there. He was dead as well.”

“Awful. And your other theory — about Little contacting Old Mabel through Jiff?”

“Well — before he departed through the woods portal with Brenda — you know, the giant female warrior, and, some say, his lover — Jiff insinuated to Old Mabel that he is a probable Little trapped in a different body.”

“Say that again?” Baker Blinker requested.

“I said, Jiff stated to Old Mabel on the day of his departure that he was her brother Little Big trapped in a different body. Not quite reincarnation, he emphasized, but related to it. All that he knew was that he was Little, another warrior but from a different era.”

“He could be delusional,” a realistic Baker Blinker proclaims.

“Possibly. But Old Mabel is leaning toward believing him. Jiff said he would return in several weeks, which would be considerably longer for him and Brenda in their timeline. They too have a battle to fight, but he wouldn’t give specifics. He hinted around that Rubi demons were involved again. And the Sylver Forest.”

“We’ll just have to wait and see.”


Dear Diary,

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I am starting a diary to add to the 3rd already in my possession. This goes beyond that show with the other Mabel and the other Little. I am *Old* Mabel, not the child in the story. I am the equivalent of 13 and beyond the town in the show. Little and I have been separated. The children in that show remain together in the end, facing the problems of life together in Pietmond [sic]. I do not have that choice. I am alone, but *my* town (Collagesity) has supported me, Baker Bloch of course, but also Baker Blinker, Hucka Doobie, Jiff, Brenda, Tin S. Man, and others. Even Wheeler the demon in her own special way. She often appears to me in dreams. I know it is her and that she is real. She is a character in the other show as well. She or he is called Bill there. Wheeler often proclaims she is The Bill. Yet this concept seems to originate from another source *beyond* either storyline. Wheeler has told me that another town, called Billville, is involved. I have looked this up on Wheeler’s Big Board of interweb connections in the Table Room and it is indeed real, along with complementary Elmertown. More on the latter soon, dear diary. I promise. The end.


Wishes

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“We are similar.” (2 minute pause) “Help me.”

—–

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Might as well…

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Old Mabel has decided to indulge in an old love and re-take up painting, but tonight finds her just staring at a blank canvas until she looks at the time and remembers the Table Meeting. “Don’t want to be late again!” she says as she stores away the paint laden palette.

But she was anyway. 7:05: Wheeler was already passing around oranges to everyone as she hustled up the stairs into the room. The Beatles walking Abbey Road once more adorned the wall at the top. And the flatties at the bottom she dreamed about 2 nights before remained. There was also a new throw pillow placed just to the left of the stairs going up.

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“Ah, *Old* Mabel. Just in time for your fruit. Here you go.” Wheeler threw the orange at an unprepared Old Mabel, who was holding a notepad. The orange flew past her to the left, landing on the floor and bounding down the stairs she just navigated.

“*Sorry* I’m late,” she said, placing the notepad in front of her chair at The Table. “I’ll go retrieve that.”

“Please do, and hurry,” says Wheeler. “Hopefully it didn’t fall through the crackway into the lower floor. It might take you an hour to get back!”

Old Mabel quickly reviewed in her mind where the opening Wheeler mentioned was, and the route she would have to take to return if she too needed to fall through. 1st to 3rd to 2nd. That’s how it works in Wheeler’s lemony Blue Feather.

“Oh dear,” she said after going back down the stairs and not seeing the orange anywhere in the antechamber. “Looks like Wheeler’s worries have come to, er, *fruition*.”

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She’d have to jump down.

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(continued in)


… jump.

(continued from)

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Urch was daydreaming about logging when Old Mabel fell from the sky. She remembered her mission: emissary.

“No time follow me,” she said in a gravelly voice as Old Mabel got up from the floor and dusted herself off. “Unch is waiting. 7:10, tick tock. Gravity Falls.”

Old Mabel had never met Urch before. She began to think the obvious.

Urch opened the seldom used front door of the Blue Feather, part of the original castle it was built around. “You think that you are dreaming, no? Test it on this lamp blocking the open door. If you are dreaming, the room will remain lit when you turn off the light. Go ahead — try it.”

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Old Mabel turned off the light. The room remain lit. “Now you know,” Urch said, and walked out the door into the forest. She had no choice but to follow.

—–

Then she was at 97/97/97 with Urch. The two stand uncomfortably close to each other. “Unch lies along this line,” the child hobo said, pointing northeast.

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“Unch is the orange you seek. He is the whole within the hole. Go within and you’ll see time itself split up into soapy bubbles. Alienatorooter.” Old Mabel then imagines 8 oranges sitting around The Table with a thick book in their midst. Not “Floydodo” but “Floydada”. A 9th appears to their south-southwest, quickly turning into a purple martin bird which then flies left into the woods. “9 not 8,” Old Mabel realizes. “The Table is incomplete still.”

“Unch will clarify. Nighttime in reality. Daytime in dreams. Walk with me.”

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S x SW

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“A gap in the south-southwest,” Baker thinks while within this circle of 8 rocks in the Slosser sim, only a couple hundred meters south-southwest (!) of Collagesity (as he found out a little later). The parcel is Lost Garden owned by the SL Public Land Preserve, dedicated to, “help keep SL spaces open,” according to the parcel description. Baker Bloch immediately joins the group for L$5.

Clicking the profile link of the rocks’ creator, Garvie Garzo, brings him quickly to a sim called New Moon. Here he uncovers a duplicate set of rocks on an island in a western archipelago. Cool. He now sees each of the 8 stones is penetrated by a individualized sword. Here are the attached names:

Mawrth Mageblade
Silverlight of Wranws
Longsword of Iau
Daear Diamond Sword
Neifion Lightbringer
Sadwrn’s Shadowsteel
Mercher Spellblade
Burning Sabre of Gwener

In their midst is this central, lower rock containing sculptures of the sun and the moon with stylized human faces, the great opposition of masculine and feminine energies. And Baker Bloch keeps in mind that this is the New *Moon* sim, named for a monthly phenomenon where the Earth blocks the moon from receiving the sun’s enlightening rays.

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Between the stylized sun and moon lies an object called the Mirror of Darkness, perhaps standing for the Earth itself. Then in front of this is a book with the description of “The Taika Altar”, which doesn’t sound like a title. Baker is checking…

Here it is (!): http://www.madpeagames.com/return-of-the-light-gacha-set/

So this is the “Book of Taika”. Baker has to purchase the set! But before running off to a store location provided by that link above, he looks over the rest of the archipelago. Not a lot there, but a twisting orange and pink “bridge” attempting to span a couple of the islands caught his eye above all else (name: “net bridge fail”).

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“Orange, hmm,” Baker muses. He attempts to teleport to the store but disappointingly finds its location currently blocked. Baker tries to contact Wheeler for advice, but, as usual, she is “away”, perhaps bumming around that new island she’s been on about for a day or so. New Island — New Moon. “Hmm,” again.

Couple more shots from the New Moon archipelago:

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Spillville

“I’ll have what he’s having, Furry Karl.” Karl pours Karoz Blogger a glass of red house wine. “Add it to my tab,” Karoz then says, making the bartender sigh but nod.

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“Pay up by the end of next month,” he warned. “And Tom’s rent is due as well. Where’ve you been? Galavanting around space still?”

“No,” says Karoz. “I’m done with that.”

“You mean *Wheeler* is done with that,” Furry Karl corrects.

“Yeah,” Karoz admitted. He took a sip of wine and looked down at his hands.

“Well… good to have you back still, I suppose. Just kidd’n. I missed you. A little.”

Karoz smiles. “I’ll pay you back, Furry Karl, I promise. You know I’m good for my word. I’m pulling some extra shifts at the Bodega Market to make up for lost time. And Wheeler granted me a stipend. I’m working for her, and I’m working for Tom.”

“How did Tom the Busker get ownership of that market again?” queries Karl, referring to the store directly across from his own establishment in SoSo Mall.

“Excuse me,” said the stranger also drinking wine to Karl. “Do you have a magnifying glass by chance? I can’t seem to read this one particular quote in lower type.”

Furry Karl looked annoyed. This stranger had been sitting at the bar for what seemed like a week to him. “No, I don’t have a magnifying glass. And this isn’t the library, by the way. That’s through the mall and down Old Cannon Road to your left. Maybe ol’ Bean will have a magnifying glass over there. Why don’t you try.”

“Oh, I think I can just make it out, thank you anyway,” says the stranger, eyes closer to his book now and either oblivious to Karl’s annoyance or just not caring if he does notice. He murmurs softly to himself now as he reads.

“Anyway,” Karl continues. “Spill the wine.”

Karoz tips over the wine glass.

“Not *literally*!”

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“Sorry,” says Karoz. “So clumsy.”

“I’ll go get a rag from in back,” huffs an exasperated Karl.

The distraction worked. Karoz didn’t have to answer another question about Tom for almost a whole week. And by that time, he’d also figured out some more lies to tell about his job over at New Island. Polishing the silverware; yeah that’s it.

When Furry Karl returned, Karoz had already cleaned up the spill with a borrowed book. “Well, I suppose it’s time to get going,” the stranger said, making Karl’s frown turn upside down.

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Entrance

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“For the life of me, Old Mabel, I can’t *see it*.”

“I’m saying: turn around please Baker Bloch. You’re looking the wrong way. Look at where *I’m* looking.”

“I *am* Old Mabel. “Nothing is there. Nothing at all.”

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“Something is appearing inside,” said Old Mabel, peering down.

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—–

“Then I woke up, Baker Bloch. Another dream about the forest. At the tree where Urch disappeared 2 nights before. 125/125.”

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“The big eucalyptus tree, yeah. Big enough to hide a man the size of me inside.”

“That tree is a portal.”

“Maybe they all are,” responds Baker. “The eucalyptus, the brown cypress, the green cypress. All along that line. And then Unch himself (or herself) at 168/168. Still haven’t met Unch, er, face to face?”

“No.”

“How about now?” Baker offers. “It’s nighttime after all.”

“You guys aren’t talking about those woods again, are you?” asks Furry Karl, walking up with another Krings beer for Baker Bloch. “I still don’t like that kind of talk in my bar. I’m up here in SoSo Mall because of it. Just to get a *little* further away from those trees. So they can’t listen in. Careful with that wine glass, baby doll,” he then says to Old Mabel. “It’s been Spillsville around here.”

“I will,” she replies, and then looks at Baker Bloch again. A vision of a double headed Winfield flashes through her mind. Fused. Fire. So much fire.

“I suppose you heard Karoz is back,” says Karl, changing the subject. “Back from space. Still doing the bidding of that demon Wheeler.”

“Shhh,” reprimands Baker. “Don’t say that too loud.”

‘What… *demon*?” speaks Karl defiantly. “She’s over on that island of hers now. She can’t hear us. The *woods* might be able to hear us, but she can’t. I think we have bigger problems if people are starting to dream about that place. It’s 1968 all over again. Treestock.”

“You know so much about local history, Karl,” says Baker.

“I do,” responds Karl quickly.

“Someone should interview you,” completes Baker.

“I’ll do it,” volunteers Old Mabel, raising her hand. Baker wonders if she might be a little drunk tonight. She’s not use to drinking wine, but she purposely spurned her usual lemonade, saying she needed to lay off the sweets to see if it was affecting her dreams. Maybe she’s just trying to numb her brain into a good night’s sleep.

“Well, that’s awfully sweet of you deary.”

“I’m *serious*,” she emphasized. “I want to do it. Let’s set up a date now, while we’re talking about it. If we wait it might be too late.”

Baker thinks he sees Old Mabel sway a bit in her seat. “Maybe we better get you home,” he says, standing up.

Old Mabel shakes her head. “I’m not going back home. I’m not laying down on that couch. I’m not *dreaming* tonight. I don’t want to dream. I want to stay awake. Baker, please stay awake with me. Until sunrise. Then everything will be all right. It’s 2 o’clock now. Sunrise in 3, 4 hours. Stay with me. Hold me.” She falls from her stool and softly sprawls out on the floor. “I’m okay,” she declares, but can’t get up.

“Come on Mabel,” says Baker, offering a hand. “Let’s go home.”

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Dreams Again

But dream she did. Old Mabel dreamt of a *second* village named Lucky, even closer to Unch than the destroyed original. In fact, the beltway of the town now ran through the very center of the walking tree.

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Also different was the presence of giant letters spelling “LUCKY,” hogging up space in the village green. Old Mabel had the idea that Unch was behind their placement, and that the townspeople ultimately came to loathe them. Another change was the addition of a finer house on the northern end of town, the only structure lying outside its beltway. Old Mabel understood that a doll lived there. *She* lived there (as a privileged being), although she couldn’t understand how.

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Old Mabel then knew this supposed second Lucky was actually the first, constructed during happier times when tree and village were still in harmony. But the seeds of dissent had already been sewn. Dollhouse.

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Looking up into Unch.


Of the Irish

Wanda the Lower Minoan approached perhaps the only one who knew what really happened to the village on March 17th, 1968, the day the trees began to die.

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And he has a familiar face.

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“I like your sandals,” says Wanda in a different dream.