“Oh no. Father!”
“Oh thank God. I thought you were dead. Father… get up. Are you okay? Nothing broken or sprained I hope.”
“No,” comes a weak answer. “I’m okay.”
“Then put the glass down and get up; that beer’s pretty much gone anyway. We need to take you back to, well, I guess to the bar. Father? Are you listening to me?”
“I hear you. Simmer down. I have a headache. I can hear my ears throbbing.”
“That’s because you have a hangover. What happened father? You never use to drink.”
“That’s what you get — oh me head! — when you suddenly own part of two bars. First one then the other. Horn of plenty.”
“Do you need some help?”
“No I can manage.” Space Ghost struggles to his feet.
“When did this thing get here?”
“It’s the colonnade. Baker B. put it there a couple of days ago. Baker B. created the *bars* a couple of days ago. And Starbuccaneers. And Gallery Jack. And this big rock you slept under or whatever you did. And also now he’s bringing back you apparently. Back from the dead.”
“I’ve never been dead,” Space Ghost snaps back. “It’s just a stage name. Like Cary Granite.”
“Grant. Cary Grant,” Baker Bloch corrects.
“No, the *Flintstone’s* version. And now you’ve made me raise my voice and hurt my head again. My head, my ears…”
“My beer,” Baker Bloch finishes for his father as he takes the last sip. Carrcassonnee would be pleased. “Never mind that. Follow me. Into the bar.”
“No, I’m not going back in there for a while. Take me to Starbucanneers. Buy your old man a cup of strong coffee.”
“And where’s my cane? Oh, never mind, it’s in my hand. I had to replace it with my beer. Now I’m finished my beer and… cane returned. I’m ready.” Space Ghost finally turns away from the colonnade, reattached cane in his right hand; empty beer glass detached from same.
“What’s all the red buggers suddenly all over town? Place is infested with them, ow.” Space Ghost holds the side of his head with his free hand. “Darn headache. But I can make it up that hill, thank you. If I don’t trip over one of the red things on the way.” He starts to slowly climb the hill, and continues to complain. “Robots… back in the days we didn’t need machines to help us with our chores and such. We used our own arms and legs.” His son was now beside him, holding his arm and making sure he was stable.
“Out of my way Red.”
“Can you make it up that step, father?”
Space Ghost sarcastically mimics his son: “Yes I can make it up that step.” Then Space Ghost tries but fails to make it up that step. He sits down on it instead.
“How did it come to all this, son? How did I end up *here*?”
Baker Bloch continues to sit with his father into the night.
“Why’s that meteor attached to your hand for son?”
“I can’t really see it from my angle. I see a *Wheeler.*” Baker Bloch waits for a response which never comes.
Instead: “Open the other door. You’ll see.” Baker Bloch does as his father tells him and opens the other door to the Boos gallery.
“Nope. Still can’t see. Back of collage in way. I still see Wheeler, though.” Baker Bloch doesn’t get a response again, despite the additional prompting.
“It’s the Boos collage. Not Boos as in booze. I’ve had enough of that for a while!”
“I know. Good you can yell again,” Baker returns. “Means you’re getting better.”
“I sure am. And… I think I’m finally ready. Help me to my feet. I’ve been sitting a long time. Let’s go see that new girlfriend of yours. My partner as well. Starbucanneer. What a gal!”
Baker Bloch agreed but was still thinking of something else.
“I’m afraid this is all my fault son.”
“I figured as much.”
“So go try it again, Wilson,” Baker suggests.
“Wake up Wilson.”
“Should I change this time?” he asks.
“Wouldn’t hurt,” Baker replies.
“Just go into the bar again the front way?”
“Which one of us is which again?”
The wrong one moves forward, surprising me.
On Old Cannon Road. He scans to the west.
He scans to the east.
Then enters the bar, forgetting his mission or who he is.
“What’ll it be, Baker Bloch?” a now animated Rhoda asks. “Put down that gun!”
“We’re going to try it again, Wilson.”
“Yes we are.”
“That’s already been done. In the old, normal Collagesity. The one that was filmed. This one is different. We have to find out how.”
“I’m going to change things up a little bit. When you enter the bar now, Karoz will be sitting at the end with the computer game. Karoz may stabilize a volatile situation. He’s been there before. He likes Rhoda, Rhoda likes he.”
“Got it. Go up to the road. Scan west, scan east. Look at the cannon, then enter the bar.”
“Did you do all that in the correct order before?”
“Yes.” But Wilson then realized he was lying.
“Tell you what,” he said. “Go ahead and insert Karoz into the picture. I think it will work this time.”
“What’ll it be sir?”
It was weird. Karoz manifested as a 2nd barman for the lower bar. We had to begin again. Wait! Baker Bloch crashes out of Second Life. Karoz is able to switch from server to served. He checks the picture beside him to make sure it was the correct Rhoda.
It was (blood splatter removed). We can continue.
“A beer for my new friend Wilson-Wheeler, Rhoda. The special one with the, ahem, secret foam.”
“Sure thing Karoz.”
Karoz looks over as Rhoda serves the beer and Wilson drinks. He nods approvingly. “Yeah, that’s the one.”
“It’s time to take you out back, Wilson-Wheeler. To see what happens.” Karoz gets up and walks toward the rear of the bar. “We’ll be back in just a moment, Rhoda. Maybe.”
“Okay, take your time. Get me some more snickers while you’re back there.”
“Alright, I’ll try Rhoda,” Karoz responds as he rounds the corner. “Interesting.”
“What is it?” a following Wheeler asks.
“Why are you sitting like that?” Karoz questions when turning toward Wheeler.
“I don’t know. Do you think it will matter?”
“*Probably*,” Karoz answers. Then he thinks this to himself: Starbucarrina Barista was suppose to be standing in this passage, standing in harm’s way and professing her love for Baker Bloch. That’s in the script. He then realizes that Baker Bloch himself has to be in-world for this to take place. A quandry! Can’t – get – off – script; that’s the rules.
“I have a solution to this,” he then says to Wheeler. “I need you to try real hard on this. It’s the first time it’s happened, if so.”
“What?” Wheeler was curious. And getting nervous. She wished she could stand up and run out of the front door of the bar. Run toward the stone again. She wanted freedom! But there was only one way out.
She reaches deep into her mind. Wilson-Wheeler, she thinks. Who came first, what came second, pheh. Nautilus was her home, her native environment. And yet here she was, stuck in Collagesity once more. Trying to turn back into Baker Bloch. But it wasn’t Baker Bloch. But now Karoz wants it to *be* Baker Bloch. That means…
“Anything?” Karoz asks impatiently, tired of watching Wheeler zone out. “Anything at all? We’ve got all day. I don’t have anything else to do. We have all day and then all night and into the day tomorrow and tomorrow night. I have nothing on the schedule. The script is blank.” He wants to fold his arms and tap his left foot impatiently but just ends up having a belly laugh.
“Damn scripts,” he says afterwards while trying to frown.
Then it happened. The impossible thing.
The figure in front of him doesn’t answer. But Rhoda the bartender has, fer sure, disappeared.
“Star?” he tries again.
“I cannot let you pass through the door again, Baker Bloch. It’s the equivalent of being gassed. I love you. I’ve always loved you. Clock knows.”
“Star, I defeated you for mayor of Collagesity a number of years back now.”
“2 1/2,” she said.
“Yeah, and then you went into hiding, never to be heard from again until just the other day when you showed up complete with a namesake coffee shop. And now you’re telling me *this*?”
“We went into corrider 2130 together. You know me and I know you. Better than anyone else.”
“I don’t really remember what happened there,” admits Baker Bloch. “Something about Messiaen… seeing God. Um… blinded?”
Star shows him.
“So what just happened,” an illuminated Baker says, “is what happened then. Just now, just then.”
Star keeps smiling as her eyes turn black once more. DEMON.
Also: equivalence of Collagesity’s Hunger/Thick/Think Rock with WH Crossing’s Pocket Rock?:
Middletown, Early October
Saturday trip to Middletown. Great time! This seeming manifestation of TILE in a window display got my camera clicking. The colors are reversed, but the direct association is there. Instead of the correct yellow “I”, you have a blue one. Instead of the right color of blue for the “E”, you have yellow. Then instead of a red “L” you have a green one here. All that’s missing letter-wise is the “T”, which would logically be [the reversed] red in this scenario.
In this picture is depicted a Middletown collagist briefly alluded to here. I believe we have taken separate paths in this discipline. Her back is literally and figuratively turned to me, I feel, even though upon meeting we were face to face. My route is focused upon the educational more than the commercial. Both paths have advantages. I would suppose hard core collagists are very insecure people. I should know.
I would like to mention here another collagist whose work I just ran across yesterday. MK Ultrasound may be more similar to myself, even though he also sells his works. That’s because he additionally creates audiovisual collages, like I do (MessiaenSphere, Messiaen Trek, etc.). These are, by their very nature, non-profitable. Here’s a link to some of his work: http://www.mkultrasound723.com/art. Hmm, wonder if *he* would like the exhibit his art in Collagesity? Interesting. But I’d have to get to know him and his portfolio and artistic philosophy better.
One of my arch enemies, and blown up to large size to emphasize the dislike. This is what nightmares are made of.
A rare picture of the real me. Can you see?
Middletown was quite far down into the rabbit hole this day of parading and protesting and such. But what energy! I was soaking it up apparently.
… and Donald.
This is a more interesting story. Just two shops down from the one with the TILE display discussed above, I found this man posing next to the Judgement card from the Rider-Waite tarot deck. This happens to be the Major Arcana card coming direction before The World, the final one. I asked him about the card, mentioning I was just writing about The World the night before (and I also discuss *TILE* in the same paragraph!). He told me it was to indicate when your food was ready. I asked if The World happened to be on the flip side?
It wasn’t, but I found it quickly enough inside.
One of the queer things about this exchange is that the man’s wife or partner was also taking pictures of him with the card at the same time. Here *she* is at work.
Middletown has energy. Door to reality.
Starbuccaneer Barista is dead.
Killed by a crashed airplane. No onboard casualties listed. Starbuccaneers remains closed indefinitely for a period of mourning and needed repairs.
A grieving Baker Bloch decides to visit Carrcassonnee for spiritual guidance.
Very reminiscent of Donnie Darko. And there’s a time loop involved as well. In one reality she didn’t die. In another she did. It was suppose to happen. And, anyway, she could come back tomorrow, good as new. Good as old. No need to grieve. Something that was suppose to happen at this point in the script is all. Stop your blubbering. Here’s a hanky.
Thank you Carrcassonnee.
Baker Bloch’s father Space Ghost was so upset that he walked around Collagesity all day without his cane, forgetting he was handicapped. He loved Starbuccaneer as well, perhaps even moreso than the son. While they were sitting at
Rhoda’s Karl’s bar on Tuesday, he planned on confessing something to Baker but got too drunk to really do it. Let’s listen in again.
Another round Karl (hiccup).
Maybe you should slow down there Space Ghost old man, old chap.
Great you could take over the bar while Rhoda was dead, Furry Karl.
Rhoda? He or she’s right upstairs. We decided to switch bars. Too much blood and shooting down here for him-her. He/she’s prone to it. I don’t attract that crowd, that element. I can better control a situation. PUT DOWN THAT GUN! (dramatic pause) See? Just a joke from me. Still here.
It’s the… sorry Karl, go ahead…
It’s the violence from his former bar. That’s also why I removed that cursed picture of him-her and Shark, another him-her actually. Lordshore Bridge pic returned.
(Along with Clock, Baker Bloch then thinks, staring at the far wall. Why did *that* return?)
Well, I suppose things must keep moving forward. It can’t remain February 2nd or 2:22 forever.
Well put (hiccup) son. Here’s to time moving forward, moving onward. Up up and away. (he downs his beer in one long swig)
Let’s get you home. Where is your home again? I don’t think that’s quite been established. Carrcassonnee said that you usually sleep in the portal now? Explain father.
Yeah, I’m gonna seal that thing up with a big, grey rock. You better find other digs if that’s your hangout, Space.
I live in Muff-Birmingham. In the clouds. Cloud 9. Number 9 Dream. Night night. (he lays his head on the counter)
Baker Bloch (turning to Karl):
Well, I gotta take him somewhere. The other day, I found him sleeping under a rock, speaking of rocks. What rock are you going to seal the passageway with, Karl? Just curious.
(Just then a phone rings. Furry Karl goes around the corner and into the back corridor to answer it. Baker Bloch and his father cannot hear what was talked about through the wall. He returns several minutes later.)
Well I may have a place for your father to stay. Turns out this time Rhoda is actually dead. Some kind of symbiosis with Starbuccaneer, along with the ballerina next to that rock outside. 3-n-1. They discovered them all combined together in one body at the morgue, during the autopsy. So, for Space Ghost in the immediate now, he can live upstairs after we clear out Rhoda’s stuff.
That’s *terrible*. We’ve lost not one but three Collagesity entities in one tragic
Space Ghost (head raised):
I knew that already. I think it’s time to move to the harder (hiccup) booze. Karl, break out that bottle of (burp) Boos Number 10 (hiccup). The one made (hiccup) on Mars.
Furry Karl (correcting):
We call that *Le*Mars in this dimension. It’s a stopover on the way to Neptune. Karoz has been there not once but 3 times now. 3-n-1.
Has he made it to Neptune?
(Another phone call. Furry Karl visits the corridor again. He takes a little longer this time to return.)
Sealing’s off for now. Looks like we’re going to have a crowd in here soon. Upstairs boss says the Portal’s opening up from the other side.
That’s (belch) *me*! (clunk)
Yeah, I don’t think so. Shame about Rhoda. Shame about Starbuccaneer. Shame about the ballerina girl. 3-n-1. Damn shame. And now we’re going to have visitors because of it. Muff-Birmingham.
“Man that’s a long way up.”
“No kidding,” came a reply behind him.
“Wilson? Er, Wheeler?”
He then saw that she herself was just a kidd.
My eastward neighbor Art Oluja changed out this picture in her installation.
And on the next parcel north: strange critters indeed.
It’s certainly October now. Donnie Darko’s month.
Collagesity: The Latest
Gallery Jack gone (once more!). SoSo Gallery partially fills its place with the 20 collages of the Oblong series, not displayed in Jack. This is now found caddycorner to the also recently moved Boos gallery. A small, park like area has formed in the center of it all, around the headwaters of Confluence Stream. This makes more sense. And 339 prims left to play around with (!). We are ready for a next step.
But it may not come until November or December, what with a multitude of October hiking days just ’round the bend. Great time of year!
“Sorry about all the construction noise going on tonight, Furry Karl.”
“Ahh, I’m getting use to it. Midday my whole bar even sunk about 2 feet into the ground. Quite a jolt! Then I go upstairs and the walls are being sawed in half. A new entrance into Starbuccaneers forms. Then I come back down and the portal ’round back has turned orange. And Starbuccarina still stands within! What gives? Is she alive or dead? I almost rung up your father to tell him the news. Then it occurred to me that Starbuccarina back there may be a ghost. I can pass right through her now. Before she was solid. Right?”
“Right, Karl,” Baker Bloch replies. “I don’t know. A great clearing has formed. The headwaters of Confluence Stream are now exposed again. Gallery Jack has disappeared. SoSo is on one side, and that’s now the main portal into the Art 10×10.”
“Those darn, old collages, Baker Bloch. They’ve caused Collagesity a lot of problems lately. Why don’t you just get rid of them. Virtually speaking of course. ‘Nother beer?”
“Sure. We may be ready now for the next step. Are the visitors still coming through the Portal? Since it’s still here? Or is the whole turning orange thing sealed that part up or sumtin?”
“Dunno,” came the answer. “So those 100 collages are still over near the Kerchal Forest? Is that what you mean?”
“Yes Karl.” Karl pops him another Heinny. “Thanks Karl.” He takes a good gulp. “Where is everyone today? Getting away from the construction hub bub?”
“Karoz said something about testing the woods,” replies Karl. “Baker Blinker is down at Gloomy Gus typing away on her semi-private journal. She let me proofread the latest section, me being a published writer myself and all.”
“Yes.” Baker looks down into his beer.
“Pretty good, pretty interesting. Did you know Wheeler was just a kidd?”
“Yes, I know that.”
“Not a man, all grown up. She’s missing the M and the N, just like the Kidd Tower. While she’s in that tower she’s just a kidd. And elsewhere as well. She is a time portal. Kinda like Dr. Who.”
“Doctor who?” Baker then laughs. “Yeah, I know Dr. Who. The carrcasses — he’s in several. Carrcassonnee knows him quite well. They hang.”
“Isn’t that Dr. Mulholland sorta Dr. Who, Baker Bloch? I recall that.”
Only 15 minutes later, Dr. Mulholland himself — as John Lockfry 02 — arrived at the bar, but came in at a diagonal and went into the back passageway instead.
“Ma’am, can you tell me the way to Karl’s bar?”
She didn’t answer, but John Lockfry 02 was star struck. What a beautiful girl, he thought. But then he remembered he was technically dating Wheeler, and that’s what he wanted to talk to someone about tonight. The town bar seemed a good place to start a chat about it. Many rumors were swirling around town about the nature of Wheeler. He wanted to explain.
“Whoever that is back there, the bar is over here,” Karl then shouted through the wall. Just head away from the orange door. Think Twin Peaks.”
“That’s an obscure reference, Karl,” Baker Bloch responds. Then John Lockfry was at the bar.
“Well. Here I am.” He laughs long and hard.
“Great,” says Karl to Baker. “Another one.”
“No, she just prefers Nautilus to here. Nautilus is her, eh, *natural* environment. That’s why she wanted to move Collagesity. Nothing against Heterocera or Rubi or The Woods.”
“That’s reassuring,” confessed Baker Bloch. “She is a dancer.”
“She is *The World,*” John Lockfry 02 reassured him. “She [through Nautilus] is the endpoint of the alchemical process, the philosopher’s stone. Red Violin and Golden Sphere. What is World reversed, then? Well, it is here. Collagesity. That’s what Karoz was talking about.”
“What’s the correct choice going forward?”
“Associate her directly with Nautilus moving forward. BoB, but all of Nautilus really. It’s World of Lemon moving forward. Boxed and ready for motion.”
Neverending Story, The
“Good *morning* John Lemon. Is Carrcassonnee in, hehe? I know she is. Good day!”
“So which seat do I take Carr.?” Baker Bloch asks. “Is anyone else joining us today? Baker Blinker perhaps?”
“No you can take the hot seat,” Carrcassonnee responds. “No one else is here. No one but this beer.” But Carrcassonnee doesn’t produce a beer from within, unlike Fitz. She has no hands. Baker Bloch knows what she is talking about still. More 12 Oz Mouse references, pheh. Will they never stop? Doesn’t matter. 1/2 and 1/2.
“Just checking in while rezzed to make sure you’re alright, Carr.”
“I’m okay. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“Just the whole Wheeler incident. *Incidents*. Have you turned recently? You’re okay now, correct?”
“… I know, I know. (together): 12 Oz Mouse.”
“But to continue, Carrcassonnee, Furry Karl is obviously Rhoda.”
“Wrong,” Roostre interrupts.
“Who said that?” Baker, asks, head twirling. Then he swings back to Carr. and turns thoughtful again. “So, let’s see, Furry Karl is Liquor.”
“Was that you this time, Carr.? Voice throwing again?”
“Good one [then]. And then Rhoda is Rhoda obviously.”
“We need to talk about other things today. I don’t mean to rush you, but don’t get hung up too much on the parallel bars[ in both Collagesity and 12 Oz Mouse]. Let *me* worry about The Mouse. To your other questions or concerns today, then. Go ahead…”
“Well,” says Baker. “How about Middletown, then? I’m heading there tomorrow. My user is, I mean. Baker B.”
“Middletown is in the future, in the middle of the future. It is where all is heading, where all came from. You have chosen the name wisely. Yes, Blue Mountain originally came from Middletown, and is heading back[ to the womb?]. It’s like Pietmond bourne from Chilbo. “‘Cept this time it’s all gonna work out. You will go home. Tomb.”
“Do you mean womb, Carrcassonnee?”
“No. I mean: yes. 1/2 and 1/2.”
“No. Mouse never ends. Liquor knows.”
“I’m sure he does.”
“Well, what do you think Blinks? Everything’s opened up quite a bit more. I like it.”
“The little blue robot is a bit too close to me. Otherwise: wonderful. I’m so proud of you Baker Bloch. You really are the best janitor money can buy.”
“I try.” He smiles. “But what about you and Karoz? *You* guys are the center.”
“I… well, you know, we’re working on our separate things.”
“You still live down in Gloomy Gus, right?” Baker Bloch studied her expressions.
“Yeah, we still haven’t decided on the living arrangements. Karoz is up in his [Bodega] apartment for now. We’re comfortable with this arrangement. Plus, Wheeler trains in GG sometimes, so there’s that.”
“Hmm,” responds the male Baker. “So you guys are okay. You can be honest with me.”
“You mean Karoz and I or Wheeler and I? Just kidd’n. Karoz and I are fine. He has TILE, and I have my thing.”
“The wrestling thing,” Baker Bloch offers.
“Yeah.” Baker taps her fingers nervously on the table. “I’ve picked out our first mat. The confederation may be forming after all.”
“Is that the one you spilled wine on?”
“No, that was something else. That was Karoz’s fault. Just kidding again. It was both our faults. It got accidentally spilled all over a file in my cabinet.”
“The Wheeler file.”
“Yes,” Baker Blinker said. “The Wheeler file.”
“The Wheeler file?”
“That’s what she said,” responded Baker Bloch to Karoz. “Just 1/2 an hour ago. I was showing her the new town vistas. How’s it’s all opened up now. I also really like the way the headwaters of the Confluence Stream are exposed.”
“That’s actually called Middle or Central Stream, Baker Bloch. Confluence hasn’t been used in a long time — maybe way back in VWX Town days. I wasn’t around too much then. Thank you and your user for bringing me back in Collagesity, and for also reviving Baker Blinker in such a strong way.”
“You bet!” replied Baker. “There’s no sending you guys away again, believe you me. Baker Blinker is crucial. You two are married so that makes you safe as well.” Baker Bloch then thinks he should have worded that differently.
“I’m admittedly — how do I say this…”
Baker Bloch helps him out. “You’re worried about Wheeler.”
“Well… yes and no. 1/2 and 1/2, as Carrcassonnee might say in her Mouse-speak.”
“She was created as a warrior. A wrestler she be. You’re not upset about the projected mat?”
“No, no, it’s not that. Not really.”
“Then what?” Baker Bloch waited for an answer. Karoz took his time. Baker tried to aid him again. “Is it the wine, the spilling?”
“Yes, I suppose. I’d rather talk about TILE. My side of the story.”
“Alright, let’s talk about TILE.”
“So we just talked about TILE for a while and he said he needed to do some stuff at home and he left, Hucka Doobie. And Baker Blinker went to her own home to do her own stuff. It’s strange.”
“Like the 3 Pearls?” Hucka Doobie stated. “Like the 3 Stars?”
“What’s up with that?”
“There are worlds that want to remain separate but are actually linked in the darkness. The pitch black. Karoz Blogger and Baker Blinker are 2 such worlds. *Were*.”
“And now there’s a new world and new links spreading out. Thus the link to Nautilus and The World. The Dancer. I’m an expert on Nautilus if you remember.”
“I do, Hucka Doobie. You predicted the coming of Nautilus City. You predicted the coming of the Leviathan. You were a very active blog spirit at the time I was exploring Yd Island, exploring Austra around Mystenopolis. You know a lot. That’s why I asked to meet with you tonight. We interacted so much in the White Palace through our users — well, your user is you and my user is Baker B.”
“It’s complicated,” Hucka Doobie admits.
“Yeah, but I wanted to speak to both of them beforehand. And you’re right. The link isn’t really there any longer.”
“No,” Hucka Doobie spoke plainly.
“… the spilt wine,” Hucka Doobie completes. “You better think about BoB some more. Respond to Quito. You’ve responded to Maggie in Chilbo and that’s great. She doesn’t think Chilbo missed out on the boat. She departs from Fleep on this subject. And since you allied yourself with Fleep, at least in your mind…”
“Something about Sapphire being the queen of all of Jeogeot. There’s a bit of Fleep in Sapphire.”
“Yes,” Hucka Doobie answers. “But there’s more. Return to Karoz.”
Baker pauses to look at The Thinker fronting his namesake rock.
“Thank you for meeting with me again, Karoz. Hucka Doobie said you wouldn’t mind and she’s almost always right on these things.”
“No, that’s fine. I couldn’t sleep anyway. I’m having trouble with that lately. I keep seeing lights over at Sikkima, at the old sinkhole. I think it may be the ghost of Collagesity past. Or whatever it was named at the time. VWX Town? No… New Pietmond, that was it. How could ghosts occur there? The past is leaking through, I feel. We are becoming unstable again. I worry about our future.”
“Another round for you guys?” Furry Karl chips in.
“No, we better cap it at one for me,” Baker Bloch responds.
“No thanks,” Karoz replies in turn.
“Well… I’m closing in about 15 minutes just to warn you. I have a party to attend.”
“Where’s that?” asked a curious Baker Bloch.
“Over at my other bar, actually. The one next to the woods. It’s a private thing, if you get what I mean. Flatties only. No 3d-ers. No true avatars. Just guys and gals like me. Nothing smutty mind you. Just conversation. And, yeah, some nudity. But not much. Just a shirt pulled off here, some pants there. But nothing else. Just freedom, you know.”
“Well,” responds Karoz positively, “whatever curls your whiskers, Furry. Whatever turns you on and makes you happy. You Flatties have a hard life serving us third dimensionals. You deserve a break to unwind.”
“Here’s to Furry Karl,” Baker also adds. “The best bartender money can buy.” He raises his glass to Karl and downs the last bit of beer. Karoz also polishes off his Heinny bottle in the same toast.
“So what were we talking about Karoz?” Baker then says after Furry Karl goes in back to start closing up.
“I haven’t the foggiest.”
“You about ready to head out doll face, hehe? Just joking. You’re not invited.”
“I just had to make sure that door wasn’t phantom still.” Furry Karl checks the orange portal door — indeed locked. “Don’t wait up for me, sweets.”
“I won’t,” Star replied, shocking the flattie bartender.
“Well I’ll be,” says Furry Karl. “Hey guys,” he calls through the wall. “She’s alive. She’s alive! Star’s alive!” The other two came running. It was a joyous night for all. And after hearing the news, Space Ghost forgot all about his cane again in rushing to the bar.
The very next day they got married. Who? you ask? Why Starbuccarina and Space Ghost! Jorondip was, once more, the honeymoon destination. And Star made sure Space didn’t leave anything behind this time.
“It will be called the Assimilation, and is maybe the biggest perk in Blinker’s victory over Wheeler for control of Collagesity. Wheeler will not fade away, but she is not The World now, the endpoint. Obviously this development continues, and more in line with where it began now”
“Karoz is also changing — finally! — and is trying with all his might to keep up. Collagesity is safer than ever. Like Hillary’s lead over you know who.”
“We don’t say that name down here. Or try not to. You don’t know what’s ahead.”
“You can ask more questions about the Assimilation, though. It’s an important event for us.”
“How do I slow it down?”
“You don’t. You let it proceed in its own way. TILE is connected. Ask Karoz soon enough.”
“Thanks. What does this mean for Collagesity going forward?”
“He said we’re going to have to build a wall, Karl.”
Assimilation, The 02
“You mean ‘she’, there. Carrcassonnee is a she. Surely you know that[ by now].”
“Yes — she.” Baker Bloch wonders about the mistake.
“Speaking of he and she, have you seen Karoz lately?” Furry Karl asks. “A sight to behold. He’s wearing *eye* makeup. And a ring — an earring. And his skin has changed. He’s not as… mossy as before.”
“I can’t wait,” responds Baker.
“It’s like you said. He’s trying to keep up. Baker Blinker wears makeup, he wears makeup. Baker Blinker wears earrings… so on.” Karl waves his free hand. “But he actually looks pretty good, really. It’s working. The Assimilation in full swing.”
“I came in here through the back way, Karl.” Baker says, suddenly remembering the important thing he wanted to tell Furry Karl. “I wasn’t thinking; I was in a hurry to get over here. I hope that doesn’t screw up reality like before.”
“Shouldn’t,” Karl replies. “Now that Starbuccaria and Space Ghost are married. They went off to Jorondip, just like Baker Blinker and Karoz before them.”
“Hmm. Well I hate to tell you this Karl, but Starbuccarina is right back there in the portal corridor. Like she was before. She hasn’t gone anywhere. And she’s still phantom, like a ghost. I passed right through her on the way to the bar. Which means…”
“Which *means*,” Karl continues for Baker, “that we’re also back in time. Before the transformation. Something has been reset.” Sweat beads begin to form on his forehead. He stares at the cuckoo clock on the wall. Baker joins him.
Assimilation, The 03
“I mean it’s silly,” Karl says. “How can Starbuccarina and Space Ghost get married? He’s old as the hills; she’s young and also *not* really alive. She died, along with Rhoda. 3-n-1. Remember the plane crash?”
“I remember the plane clash, when 2 flattie realities started interfering with each other.” Baker shuffles some papers on his lap. “Was that your line, Karl? I’m lost again.”
“LOST, that was it. The show that began with a plane clash.”
“Snow?” Curled Paper then asks out of the blue. “Did you say snow? Snow Crash? I know that book.”
“It was like Fleep said. Just virgin Linden forest for, really, miles and miles. Chilbo chopped a path through the wilderness. All the way to Norum. And when they got to Norum they discovered the reality before *their* reality. Queen Sapphire and all. And Karoz. Karoz is starting to remember how it was, then. [At last] he’s becoming [rebellious] Aqua Teen beyond Sapphire’s precious Aquamarine. Put him on top of that green, green hill. Start him there. Or her. Remember how it *was*.”
“Thank you Carrcassonnee.”
Plane Clash? 01
Baker Bloch is starting to think about the flatties again. How they live. How they interact and work and play together. Ones like [Jim or] Flat Ebbe Linden have specific roles: in this case, to guard the main western entrance into town and take stock of everyone that passes by him. Strangely he could be a moral policeman of sorts. Who put him in this position of power? Was it Karoz? He’s manned this western “greeting” station for a while.
I need to get to know the whole flattie culture better. Who was with [flattie] Furry Karl over at his thought-to-be abandoned Rubi bar the other night? It appears that this group, whoever they are composed of, meet on a regular basis.
In other Collagesity news, a new, colorful tower has sprung up on the eastern side of town. It is a remake of this past December’s Shiny Hare tower LINK, but, akin with that earlier version, probably won’t stick around long. Baker Bloch also played around with inserting the Kidd Tower in the middle of town, its front door connected directly to the back door of Starbuccaneers. This concept was also scuttled. Collagesity is pretty perfect as is groundside, Baker Bloch thinks. The way to develop is through the town characters, not as much buildings.
We should note one more new building, however, a shell of one still but seemingly a more permanent sort. Will this become a rival coffee shop for nearby Starbuccaneers? Or perhaps it will evolve into a small gallery. Is *this* where the Bogota collages takes root?
And what of Karoz’s Norum College? Can it be developed as well now? Baker Bloch attempts to converse with flatties Space Ghost and Cardboard Derek Jones on the lower floor but finds them in a non-animated state. Why are some flatties “alive” and some “away”.
What activates them (like Furry Karl and Rhoda were recently reactivated from a “dead’ state — brought back to life, in essence)? You don’t have that problem with the 3d-ers, as Karl terms them. The avatars like himself, Baker Blinker, Hucka Doobie, Karoz Blogger, and so on and so forth. But, then again, what of the 3d-ers that are not avatars, like Starbuccaneer, who also spring to life at times? What of the strange, recent merger of Starbuccaneer with the ballerina statue and also, it seems, Rhoda the flattie bartender? 3-n-1, as townspeople refer to them. Is the amalgamation truly alive or dead or both? What’s going on?
An answer may appear in Norum College’s famed backroom, where Baker Bloch died of a heart attack in (Noru-style) Collagesity over 2 years ago now. He almost immediately came back to life in the nearby House of True Lies, but the room remains haunted, perhaps similiar to Room 237 of Kubrick’s Shining film. What’s in there? 2130?
The door stands ajar for Baker Bloch, but he backs away in understandable fear.
Is the oh-so-green Karoz behind this as well? The “Behind Room”?
Plane Clash? 02
Baker Bloch decides to talk to Karoz about all these ideas tonight, if he’s available. Turns out — big surprise — he is…
… but it takes him a minute to, as he put it, get ready. He had a surprise for Baker, but Baker was forewarned by Furry Karl about this.
“What do you think, eh? Better eh? Huh?”
“Let me turn your seat toward me some more,” Baker responds to Karoz. He then takes a closer look…
… but before Baker can weigh in with an opinion, Karoz is giving more details.
“From now on I will [also] be called Xilted, after the greenest sim there is, at least in its lowest part. The green, green hills of Xilted. You’ve heard that old song.”
“Past, present, future,” Karoz replies. “That’s where we are now. We are, ahem, sitting in the middle of the future TILE college grounds of Collagesity, Baker Bloch. This is where it all starts. This is where the rooting takes place. And I’m not talking about just routing for the college football team this go around. This time it’s real.”
“Fascinating,” says Baker. “And as I take a closer view I certainly approve of the new look, Karoz. And I see you have an earring too in your, ah, left ear.
“Yes, Baker Blinker has [a duplicate] one in the other ear. We are a symmetrical match, just like with our souls. I guess you’ve heard about that too.”
“You mean the new stuff with the whole Assimilation dealie? Yes I’ve heard. I bought Baker Blinker a present today. Did she tell you?”
“No,” came Karoz’s answer. He suddenly looked annoyed. Baker Bloch can read Karoz’s expressions better now (!). Baker decides to drop that particular subject.
“Well… give me more details about the college then, Karoz. Are you talking about assimilating the new structure over there into it?” Baker points behind Karoz to the new Collagesity building I mention in the “Plane Clash? 01” post.
“Yes,” says Karoz. “And also where we sit. Something will happen. Something *is* happening. Can you feel it?”
Just then, Baker Blinker rang up Karoz and told him the news of the purchase Baker Bloch mentioned earlier. Karoz had known this was going to happen. But he still didn’t seem prepared.
“Okay, duplicate people, right,” he spoke rather tensely into the phone. “Right. I know that.” Baker Bloch couldn’t make out what Baker Blinker was saying. “Yes, I know that already. (pause) No, I’m here with Baker Bloch in the center of my new college. (pause) Yes, it’s already here. Future is present. (pause) Um huh. (pause) Yeah. (pause) I’ll pick that up on the way home. (pause) Okay, I’ll see you shortly.” Karoz ends the call. Baker Bloch is very curious but sticks to the script. The script says to be silent for 23 seconds and not speak. He waits.
15 seconds later, Karoz speaks. “I’ve got to get home. Baker Blinker wants me to pick up some milk at the Bodega market.”
Plane Clash? 03
They didn’t talk about the flattie culture like Baker Bloch desired. He didn’t know where Karoz and Baker Blinker lived together. Oh, well it’s actually, most likely, the old gothic castle in the western part of town, next to Flat Ebbe Linden’s[ or Jim’s] greeting station. And also perhaps they’ve broken through the wall and inhabit the neighboring Edwardston Building, hmm. So Karoz doesn’t live above the Bodega market any longer. Baker Blinker doesn’t really live in Gloomy Gus. They’re together, thanks to the Assimilation. Still, Karoz is troubled. It’s all splintering into so so many realities. Peter SoSo warned us about this?
Le Mars was platted in 1869, but no lots were sold until the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company arrived in 1879. According to town legend, CNW investor John I. Blair and a group of women arrived at the town, which was then called St. Paul Junction. Blair asked the women to name the town, and they submitted an acronym based upon their first names’ initials: Lucy Underhill, Elizabeth Parson, Mary Weare, Anna Blair, Rebecca Smith and Sarah Reynolds.