The war over, Tronesisia pilots her Pink Baron back to Middletown to begin civilian life again. Her wheels touch down precisely on the 2 yellow rubber lines of Main Street just beyond Treasure Bay. Perfect 3 point landing.
But she hadn’t earned the moniker of flying ace for naught. 20 Frenchmen alone shot down! She returned a war hero, with all the accompanying accolades. She was a baroness now, due to marry Lord Bendington on the 25th (Christmas Day).
What about former lover Peter SoSo you may ask? Left behind in the ashes of battle bombs. Unable to extract himself from the high life in Hana Lei. Tronesisia desired more for her own life than just wobbling around stoned all the time. She desired accomplishments… medals. Badges signifying significance.
She strides powerfully into the skyscraper with her penthouse apartment. Surely soon to be renamed Baroness Towers, she thinks. Or some equivalent. “Hello, Ms. Tronesisia,” Bert the doorman says at the entrance. “Welcome back.” After she passes, he rushes into the work room to tell Timmy, Ben, and Wanisa to fetch her luggage out of the plane posthaste. Word spread fast through town. “Ms. Tronesisia is back, Ms. Tronesisia is back!” She was loved and feared by the citizens of Middletown.
“Ahh, good to be home!” she exclaims on her patio while sipping strong German beer and looking out across the sea. Soon she would be surrounded by royalty. She imagines them sitting all around her now, talking of her war glories and helping her take steps to make sure her celebrity status pays dividends in the marketplace of what surely will be a post-war boom.
Finished with her beer, she heads inside to retrieve another from the top-of-the-line Italian refrigerator. She pauses at a certain point, sensing something different… new.
Tronesisia doesn’t see the bottom 1/3rd of the Kidd Tower just below her this particular night. Billie Jean Kidd had been unsuccessful so far in bringing the remaining 2/3rds to Middletown to make it clearly visible from this window of the penthouse apartment. But soon she would. And then Tronesisia’s dreams of life as a post-war baroness would all melt away.
She would remember who she was, at the core.
“At the core,” Billie Jean Kidd echoes down below.
middle and upper
She logged in then saw him squarely facing her directly up Old Cannon Road. Baker Blinker and Baker Bloch didn’t meet enough in Our Second Lyfe, I realized. I had them decide to share a perch meal at Perch together and catch up.
“How’s Pitch doing? I heard he’s still trying to decide whether to buy a new Mary or not.”
Baker Bloch took another sip of his strong German beer before answering Baker Blinker, then instead said: “When did Perch get this beer on tap? I don’t remember it.”
“Oh I don’t know. I’m not here (in Collagesity) that much. So about Pitch…”
“Let me have a word with the garson.” He turns toward the center of the restaurant. “Garson!” he called and then snapped his fingers.
So rude, Baker Blinker thought.
15 minutes later, their garson appears.
“He should have been here ages ago,” the male Baker continues complaining to the female Baker.
I’ll just summarize what was discussed at this meeting between the two town owners. Pitch has not given up on getting back together with Mary, but sees her in a very different light now that he keeps visiting her creator’s home over in Clemscott and pokes around more. Such a bizarre place, Baker Bloch tells Baker Blinker. Pitch can’t figure it out. Then, of course, Baker Blinker herself wants to see, which I’ll get to in a little while. Karoz is growing weary of life in Chilbo now that his favorite coffee and sweets shop formerly located in the Stinna Biddle Gallery there has been derezzed. They may be moving back to Collagesity; Baker Bloch gets chills with this news. Rocky Racco has returned from the Gulf War and sealed up the sand castle portal occupying his lower floor by having Caucasian Tommy Brade toss the owl’s head ring into the Ichelus volcano, thereby destroying it and Brade both. He said he got the idea from a popular Middle Earth book. The only proper way into *Middle*town now, Baker Bloch explains to Baker Blinker, is through The Kidd. They both stare over at the upper 2/3rds of the Kidd Tower again with this.
Meanwhile, the upper 2/3rds of *Story Room*, so to speak — Pretty Man and Earie/Chuck — had decided to splurge on an early Christmas present and vacation in luxurious Comfrey on the Gaeta continent, noted for its staged environments. But those names are misnomers at this point, as Wheeler Wilson had fully changed back into a woman now after leaving the role of Pretty Man behind in Gaston, while The Musician had similarly set aside his desire to play female Chuck Cheese in addition to male Earie. So we’ve got a sort of reset for these two back to VHC City days from earlier in 2017. And I suppose that may mean they’re actually not the top 2/3rds of Story Room any longer either. Shoot.
The vacation literally got off on the wrong foot when Wheeler slipped on an icy spot while stepping out of the unicorn drawn carriage which brought them to their lodgings.
But luckily the fall only hurt her pride. New-ish shoulder pet Sidechick Corea was okay too.
Baker Bloch — er, Pitch Darkly also had new digs, albeit of a more modest variety. He stares out from his porch across the water toward Clemscott, owned by the creator of his beloved Mary. He’s also decided to return to a prime state. He will not give up on his dolls.
Pitch Darkly teleports into the centre of Clemscott. As he knew from previous visits, the owner of the sim had marked the spot with a grassy, oval lozenge. This Clem fellow. Clem Scott maybe. Smart like a Fox.
Merlin’s Mound dead ahead, as Pitch has dubbed it. Grassy green like the central object he stands upon. Extension?
What, if anything, is buried within?
This is a grassy avenue just beyond that interests Pitch greatly for reasons I won’t go into just yet.
The avenue extends along the north side of… well I’m just going to let the pictures basically tell the story.
According to these signs adorning the surrounding square shaped wall in all 4 of its corners, the fenced-in region of approx. 1024 meters (32 x 32 meters) holds what are apparently experimental building projects, with apologies given for the involved dust. You can actually buy the wall and attached signs for 50 lindens. Pitch is tempted…
Once again, Pitch realizes he’s not going to be able to figure it out tonight. He must move on. But not before noting this 32 meters long “measuring rod” extending well below the surface here. 32 meters is also the length of each side of the walled compound.
Pitch decides to quench his parched throat at a neighboring bar before continuing. “Bucket of blood,” he requests to the familiar bartender. “No nails.”
“I’m real, you know. I’m not just a doll.”
“You’re not my Mary,” a slightly drunk Pitch Darkly grumbles. He looks up. “What did I get you for our one month anniversary together?”
“Sapphire,” she quickly responded. “Pen.” She points toward her scarf. “The one I’m wearing.”
“Impressive,” Pitch says with a head tilt and a smirk. “So do all you clones know everything about each other? You Clem clones?”
“We’re not clones. We’re all the same. There’s a difference. Let me show you something. I want to introduce you to my friends here. Do you have time?”
“Sure,” replies Pitch. What’s time here? he thinks to himself.
“Pitch Darkly,” says the seated Mary in a nearby building. “These are my mates Patti (“Hi!”), Ben (“Hellooo!”), Paul (“Likewise!”) and Tammi (“Nice to meet you!”). Why don’t you have a seat, Pitch. Have a drink as well. There’s a bar right over there.”
“No thanks, I’ll stand.” Pitch was trying to determine what this was. A party of mannequins? But Mary still talks to me. And all the others responded as well.
Suddenly he was across the room, standing before Mary still but with a new friend this time. “We’ll get back to the party soon enough, Pitch. I wanted you to meet Steven first. I met him shortly after Hana Lei was destroyed by snow and ice… couldn’t handle the weight. Steven is a brick layer. Best in the four sim region.”
Steven stands up, shakes Pitch’s hand vigorously with a vise grip. “It’s an honor to meet you, sir. I’ve heard so many things about you.” He glances over at Mary and returns to his seat.
Then he was at the bar in another part of the same floor. Mary was bartending again. Another Bucket of Blood manifests in front of him out of thin air. The sun was setting on Clemscott. The automatic lights were warming up.
“So you see, we’re not clones. We’re all the same. Every last one of us. All Mary’s. Like Nancy before us. Like *everyone*, really. Like you, Pitch Darkly. Who are you deep inside that white, bloodied exterior? You know.”
But Pitch’s mind was not set on philosophy tonight. Something more basal and immediate troubled him. “So you have a new boyfriend now,” he blurts with aching heart.
Wheeler and The Musician realized that they weren’t going to be leaving Comfrey anytime soon.
But, still, all vacations have to end.
“See Musician? I told you I’d send for you.
“Just had to find the right pose.”
“Let’s find another one,” he demanded.
“Not as good, Wheeler Wilson.”
“I don’t understand what we’re doing here, Wheeler.”
“Shut up and get off my back you heavy lug.”
“Another one with the back, Musician.”
“I think you’re suppose to be the man here, Wheeler.”
“Typical. And you’re getting your pink punk hair in my eye again.”
“A couple more still,” he requests.
“It’s the owl’s head ring, Musician, hehe. Go ahead. You know you wanna.”
“Oh Jesus me,” he croons playfully while still clasping hand to mouth.
“Psst. Don’t look now, Musician,” Wheeler whispered. “But that little red man is back again, ha.”
“I’m pregnant, Wheeler Wilson. And this man who’s been following us around is our future son Sammy.”
But then Jimmy breaks the spell. “Hi. I was wondering if you knew where the bathrooms are around here.”
“I kind of miss Jimmy since he left, Wheeler.”
“Let’s go find him and invite him to lunch with us.”
“This is my favorite one of all.”
“Look, Musician, there’s Jimmy. Over here Jimmy!”
“Trade with me, punk. I want to get to know Jimmy better.”
“Service around here is awful, eh Jimmy?”
“Pitch Darkly will be here shortly. As soon as they start talking to Phillip Linden run over there and lay this giant lime on the bar counter close to them. That’s all you have to do. Just wait here.”
“Yes,” affirms Young Duncan, hip to her trip.
“Come on, honey,” says the approaching Osborne Well. We have somewhere else to be now. Should’ve been there about 2 hours ago, blimey.”
“Too late,” states Lou to her father in the Comfrey caverns. “Wheeler must have come fetched The Musician after all. I suppose that’s good, huh? Right daddy?”
Wondering what he’s distracted by, Lou goes over and merges with him, then stares out with same eyes at the manifested creature in the center of the glimmering cave pool.
What is it?
“I simply don’t remember this, um, display Musician.”
“It was here, Wheeler. It’s the same cave, after all.”
“I’m not so sure.”
“It’s the same,” exclaims The Musician again while now clinging to a thorny rose vine.
“It’s the same.”
Around the corner, Lou and Osborne Well titter.
“Pitch, I’d like you to meet Jessica — put your hand back, sweetie, he’ll shake it in a moment — and this here is Phillip Linden. You know about my creator now. Well, Phillip kind of created this *whole thing* we’re in, this Second Lyfe of ours.”
“Cool,” Pitch replied. “Nice to meet you Jessica, Phillip.”
“Phillip runs a bar now,” continues Mary. “Just for laughs and giggles, you know. Something to do when he’s not away creating worlds. Like now apparently, haha.” She turned toward him to emphasize his “away” status at the time.
“We should go sometime,” suggests Mary, then winks at him. “To the bar, I mean.”
“What about *Steven*?” Was Mary asking him on a date despite what he knows?
“I knew you were going to say that.”
“You and I, Pitch,” said Mary to her pale counterpart. “We’re the real deal.” She turned to Phillip and shouted. “Hey in there! Hey Phillip! What time does your bar open!?” Everyone in the building turned and stared.
Phillip woke up from his away status, looked around. “Um, what was that, er, Mary?”
“I said!” Then she lowered her voice, realizing there was no need to shout any longer. “I *said*… what time does Gene Autry open?”
“The bar, silly. Your bar. Just over there in the corner of the sim. Above the ride. On the second floor of the freebies shop.” She turned back to Pitch, took his hand. “Here, let’s just head on over, sweetie. Phillip’s there already. I should know.”
“You see, Pitch darling. *This* is where it all happens. A philosopher’s corner. A veritable cornucopia of ideas and inventions. Why, just last week Phillip suggested the idea of a cubic moon for His Second Life with equilateral gravity on all six sides. Not flat like this place. And I think that’s where it’s all headed, Pitch. Diagonal. Because diagonal leads beyond. Have you ever moved in a diagonal sugar?”
Pitch didn’t really know what Mary was babbling on about. A young black man who had been sitting on the opposite side of the room suddenly moved toward the bar toting a large, green lime between his hands. Not saying anything, he placed it on the counter, then exited via the stairs down to the lower floor.
Phillip became fully awake again, looked at Mary, looked at the big lime. “A lime is called a linden in Britain.
“Who *was* that shadowy figure?” he begged.
And so it began.
Jacob I. takes off his straw boater hat to *see* better. He’s sitting inside the traditional or original version of the Edwardston Station Gallery, located not far south of the famed Kerchal Woods which he also wishes to visit. The Greenup series comprising the lowest floor of the cubic 6 story structure is not present in Collagesity these days. Thus the main reason for Jacob’s visit here. He checks his diamond rolex watch found in a VHC City dumpster dive once more. 1:22:14 AM Standard Linden Time. He’s got several hours still before his user has to go to work. Plenty of time to get some work done of his own.
He enters mouseview (Big Eye). He has 360 degree vision now. With zoom he doesn’t have to move from his chair to examine several more collages.
The resolution is lowered in comparison to the actual collage, but he compensates for this. Greenup collage no. 5, he thinks to himself. This is where true collage and true animation begins for baker b. Two things in one. Martin from ‘The Simpsons’ holds a brazil flag atop a small, grassy mound imported from Greenup, Oklahoma. The background for the picture is Greenup Gill in the Lake District of England, the setting for almost all Greenup series collages. The brazil flag is revealed/held high. Sugar’s home. *My* home. Am I still a Gastonite? he asks himself. Back to the collage. He needs to get to the Big Eye in the series tonight if he can. Himself.
He checks his inventory for a needed copy of “Floydada” to start reading the Lime section, its 4th and last part.
But he can only find “Floy*dodo*”, which does him no good.
Cursing, he realizes he’ll have to ring up his new friend Cardboard Derek Jones for a copy. “Maybe I should just ask Baker Bloch to rez the entire series within Collagesity so it’s easier to reach,” he says aloud. “Cardboard also said another version called House Greenup, a cape house, contained the book. Use to be over in Asha. Was there anywhere else they could put it in the meantime?”
20 minutes later, Baker Bloch was able to find the Cape May version of a Greenup gallery in his inventory. Took him a couple of manifestations to locate one with ‘Floydada’ within. He decided to insert it over in Rubi beside the TILE Tower already there. Baker Blinker then complained that *she* had planned to rez something at that very same spot herself: the seed of a new Temple of TILE starting with a solid 30x30x30 silver cube. So they just decided to combine their efforts for now.
Baker Blinker would get her big silver cube, albeit reduced somewhat to 25x25x25…
… and inside, Baker Bloch had his Greenup gallery.
Oops. The silver cube was just returned to my inventory for some reason. Anyway, House Greenup is still there to investigate.
The Musician as Sikul Himakt was having that dream about roses again. Scene: VHC City; The Diagonal.
He sits in front of a video game featuring the Rising Sun with an odd retro cartoon punk who speaks Japanese.
In the dream he understands him. “There’s no side to choose,” he says as the game remains unplayed. Tiny Hermania looks down from the center of her rose tinted world, protesting the idea. “Choose!” she calls while hanging from a vine.
He grasps the red joystick opposite the green one. Pain! They were at the island tree, then. The Musician once again shows the cartoon punk the wound on his outturned hand.
The other hand he keeps to himself.
“I will remove the thorn and make this one better too,” he says, still speaking somehow understandable Japanese. The Musician starts to wake up. “I will make this better.”
He stares up at
Chroma Jimmy, who is wrapping his left hand. The right one has already been bandaged. He sits on the Asian couch at their Comfrey lodgings. Jimmy chatters while continuing his twirlings. “As I said, I’m a physicist not a physician. But I worked with a man at the Australian Astronomical Observatory who studied stellar anomalies in the Southern Cross for years. Same thing happened to his hands, and also his side. Stigmata it’s called. Identification with the crucified Christ.” The Musician was about to protest that he wasn’t religious when Jimmy guessed the confusion. “Doesn’t matter about your faith. Something else is behind it. Philip wasn’t religious either, but he was a fanatic. Of science. Perhaps that’s all it takes. And… there, that should do it. The bleeding doesn’t seem to be stopping but it’s slowed down. Maybe that’s all we can ask of this condition, if yours tracks with Philip’s.”
“And stay away from that blasted island!” added Wheeler forcefully behind him.
I have evolved beyond you, Mmmmmm Campbell O’Pine thinks about his green cousin Grassy Noll standing beside him. Eyes, hands, head, feet, torso… *everything*. You cannot understand the forest and the corresponding part of the night sky if you don’t change. You cannot cling to the one movie role forever. It was only a 15 minute spot for Christ’s sake!
“Do you see it yet, Opp?” the green being asked of his blue cousin. For that’s what everyone had been calling Campbell since childhood.
“I *think* so. But the lights are so bright here. And maybe change angles. How about the other side of the porch?”
“No, it’s still no good Grass.” For that was what Grassy liked to be called these days. He’s trying to grow up a bit more and wants this reflected in his name. Like a Billy evolves and becomes Bill.
“They’re looking for me,” Grass reveals, staring over at Opp with offset black pupils.
“Who’s looking for you, Grass?” Opp then laughs and shakes his head. “That’s just the weed talking.”
“No it’s not,” replies Grass firmly. Not wanting to go through the whole rigamarole about the Big Eye in the Sky again, he turns his attention the other way. “You do know that Gypsy has a telescope right over there. We could use it.”
“That’s not what we’re doing, Grass. This is naked eye viewing. *No* attachments. No telescope, no microscope. Not even a magnifying glass.”
“Who started this club anyway? Was it Jim? Or Bob? Jim knew Bob or Bob knew Jim?”
A cool wind passes through Opp, making him shiver. “I… I can’t remember. Let’s go back inside and drink some joe to offset the wack. You notice I haven’t called you Grassy one time tonight.” And then Opp thinks: that’s the one thing that *has* evolved. He gives him a quick look-over once more.
Grassy’s such a good guy and is trying so hard with the woods and the sky, he concludes. Maybe he has a chance after all.
“You *see* about the magnifying glass, Jacob I.?” Cardboard Derek Jones pronounces with pride at the newly rezzed House Greenup in Rubi. “Right at the Southern Cross.”
Procyon (α Canis Minoris).
Canis Major: five stars, the largest depicting Sirius.
Canopus (α Carinae).
Spica (α Virginis).
Hydra: two stars, the largest depicting Alphard.
Crux Australis: five stars, the largest depicting Alpha Crucis.
Sigma Octantis (σ Octantis, south pole star).
Triangulum Australe: three stars of similar size.
Scorpius: eight stars, the largest depicting Antares.