“I coming bearing both a cross and a crucifix. I bring you Second Life. I am from Rhode…”
“…nwald,” finishes Baker for the new nun. He looks in a direction beyond Cassandra, thinking perhaps it might be Rhode Island instead.
“Ok, you’re hired.”
“How’d it go tonight, Duncan?”
“Oh, pretty good. I didn’t arrive until the meeting was almost over. All I heard about was some virus infecting the town. Something about zombies.”
“That would be the Resident Evil influence,” quickly spouted Baker Bloch, owner of this here Sunklands Institute, a private or, at best, semi-private estate. Collagesity was no more.
“I suppose.” Duncan Avocado was wondering when he could return home to VHC City and his apartment. George was probably hungry (and lonely) by now.
“Cindy A., Todd A., and, let’s see, Peter A.” Baker paused. “No that’s not right: *Jim* A. Who turned into Jim B.”
“Jim Brown, yes,” spoke up Duncan A., realizing where this was going.
“Anyway: the A.Team. Unwittingly borrowed from Resident Evil by me, but obviously for some kind of bigger reason.”
“The bomb, right.” Duncan A. looked around; dared to glance over his shoulder at the institute projecting largely from the water. It seemed right, seemed good. A good placement. He stared at Baker Bloch’s hat. He’d heard that if the hat was slightly iridescent it wasn’t really Baker. It was someone else. But no iridescence spotted in the moonlight on this table topped islet next to the new home. This must be Baker, he correctly deduced. Not the other one.
But who was *he* tonight?”
(to be continued?)
New Nun opens the attachment.
I do declare I believe that woman needs a cross and a crucifix to hold!, she thought, staring at the silhouetted figure and its dangerous curves.
“I’d say it’s from the future,” studying Jim B. answered Baker Bloch about the revolving head in a jar. “Connected to Cassandra and its own head in a jar, of course. Something about dad…”
“And *root* beer,” he furthered, looking at the 6-pack on the table with the head. “Not beer beer. So something not involving alcohol. I’d say this man was an alcoholic on the wagon. Perhaps that is the thing which did him in.”
“Isn’t Anderson called Blacks?” Baker Bloch called from the back, nearer the video feed. He was checking.
“How would I know?” answered Jim B., who preferred the surname Brown himself. “But if it is, and you should probably know…”
World of Tomorrow
Sticky prepared to explore the city, birds in hand.
“I think Moe stands for Missouri, Hucka Doobie. I believe Moe may own a Moe or Mo Island above and beyond a CC tavern. He knows the Parkville guy. They have the same boss.”
“Bed,” Hucka simply says.
Now who will play the part of Moe, h(u)mm? ponders private dick Biff Carter, still redding that read book, ahem, *reading* that *red* book. *The* red book. Maybe a dame, he thinks. How about that new gal with the dangerous curves, aheh. Uhum. Danger… that reminded him of something. Something dead. He sniffs the air. Oh… something *new* again. Dead cat soap — just in at the local Hurdy Gurdy. He can’t stop washing with it. Wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands…
He heads downstairs toward the sink with the stinking, gritty, extra strength soap for the 15th time today.
“Scrub a dub dub (whistle), scrub a dub dub (more whistling).” The phone rings upstairs. He patiently counts to twenty using Mississippi’s as the rings mount to 7. He rushes back while drying his hands and putting on his bullet proof work gloves before eight. *Riiiiin-*
“Pizza?? No thanks, ahem. I’ve already ate.”
He set the reciever back down in the antique carriage. Took him a while to figure it out. Wrong number, he ruminated. Or was it exactly the *right* number, ohho?
He consults the magic eight ball at the other end of the bar for the next move. “Uh huh. Dead and Danger *are* the same thing.” He knew that something with the word dog in its name was coming up. Stand back!
Ready for business?
We better check the 8-ball again.
So is Dinah Moe’s wife? Is that why they humm?
And who is Moe again? This is (old) Keith B. That’s not Moe.
A tea table (re)appears. We must have tea at Moe’s. With the Chancellor? How ’bout Gerald? Hope it’s well strained.
Let’s end with a map.
“Pretty good, Keith B., dad wanna-be. But me thinks the head must go.” Both look over at the 2-dimensional version of Dr. Who’s Cassandra entity, at the eclipsed brain.
“Homer? Nah, he’ll stay for now.”
“Variables,” warns daughter wanna-be Kate McCoy. “Danger,” she adds.
Keith ponders what she said a lot as he attempts to sleep upstairs. 1 prim remaining of 60 — just enough to rez a bed.
Kate stays with him all night. Kate doesn’t need any sleep. Since, contrary to popular opinion and her last name, she isn’t real.
Andy Warhole had been looking for Gabby all over town and finally found him in my new bar called Moe’s on the west edge, a low rent district. Art was on his mind again, and how to make money from it. “Look into your marvelous crystal ball, Gabby,” he requested, “and tell me my future.”
Gabby gazed deeply into the smokey sphere, saw the future, and then lied about it while starting to sweat. “Nothing, Andy. Sorry. Shall we talk about the weather instead. So hot, so muggy!” He nervously wiped his brow.
What he actually saw was a muscular man of reddish complexion walking underwater and wielding a menacing metallic golf club. Heading right toward him: The Boss. He knew this was one a-hole of a man.
He stared at Warhole. He reviewed the vision of the man. He stared at Andy Warhole.
“Ok, my turn, my turn.” Andy got up, Hilter from the couch sat down. “Ahem: How do I become chancellor of all of Germany?”
Hilter sat back down on the couch. He realized he was already chancellor of Germany. The year was 1939. Wendell “Biff” Carter sat beside him reading the red book and starting to figure it all out. He’d skipped twenty pages!
Right after his reading, he decides he’s going to head over to the Tome Raider and buy a proper bookmark.
Duncan’s a sucker for Linden trees, but he better get back on the trail. He’s going to recommend that Pot-D doesn’t rent (from *Life* properties) the old Rhode Gallery land next to that crazy Dixie chick. Now follow this: the Rhode Gallery that was directly across the *road*… from the sim of *Rhode*nwald. But it all seemed chance, as people put it. A random alignment of no consequence. Pot-D knew better. That’s why he’s on the payroll, at least for the moment. Next month: we’ll see. He’s always on call, though, back at his home still in VHC City, raising up Boy George to be the adult man he will become. He’ll grow into my shoes, thinks Duncan here. He will be a fine replacement one day. Duncan has a really hard time believing he’s 61 himself, graying hair on the temples. Back to the center, though. He can dream away his little dreamy thoughts in VHC City during his off times.
Hmm, nothing seems to have changed that much. The Baby Trump blimp is still present. The park seems the same, sans the pumpkins — not in season yet. Let’s certainly don’t rush Fall! Duncan is of course curious if a man or couple named Black still own a good chunk of property here, including the park if he remembers correctly from last year when he first visited.
Yes he remembers this nice walk too. But no sign of the Blacks, although one of the two might remain, surname changed. Did they split up in the meantime? And, he couldn’t help himself: does this leave room for *me*?
Other end of the path: what appeared to be another anomaly.
Yes it was. The circumstances that caused the reported one last year — and got Pot-D excited about Rhodenwald in the first place — are still present. He better get back to the group.
Duncan Avocado crashes out of Our Second Lyfe. The anomaly was just too strong.
left should be center
The United States of Our America is definitely in some kind of Civil War now, and I’m definitely on right, but just in the picture below. I’m a card carrying leftist. How did we become so polarized and broken? We politicize *mask wearing.* *Mask* – *wearing*. Ugh. But we must carry on, divided but somehow still united, and face the true enemies head first, rising fascism disguised as anti-socialism being one. I side with Rhodenwald (right) instead of what’s across the road.
It’s why Duncan has no desire for Baker Bloch to rent from Life Properties also across the road at the old Rhode Gallery site he sits in front of here, pheh.
“Don’t you dare,” he tells him. “Don’t you bloody dare.”
Later, they’re joined by New Nun and perhaps some others. “New Nun,” the male Baker declares after her arrival, “you hold the cross and the crucifix in your hand at once and thus you are valuable to this here current photo-novel, 21 in a series of 20. Wait — what number are we on now?” New Nun shrugs. Duncan Avocado answers more philosophically. “We are beyond Collagesity and the number 20. We are Sunklands through and through now, the true archive. Collagesity became too — bloated.”
“Bloated?” responds Baker, truly puzzled in the current picture.
Or was it worry.
Duncan, who cannot express facial features since he is a mesh creature, elaborates. “Your original version of a virtual village, Pietmond, was also perhaps your best, or at least best balanced. You had artists coming in from the outside and having their own galleries. Yours was only one of a number. Then the new wave of collages came for you starting in, 2013? (Baker nods). Parallel to this came the new galleries, Power Tower, Falmouth, the largest of them all, followed by the Red Umbrella followed by Boos. Before you had 100 collages in 6 series, a well rounded and contained quantity: Art 10×10 I believe you named it (Baker nods). Then another wave hit, the second — stronger and deadlier. Beware the second wave.”
Baker understood now. Before it was Kenneth Rougeau, Melodie Darwin, Mike Casey, Stegocat, Max Ernst, Baker Bloch, Julie Sadler, and others. Afterwards it was just Baker. The second wave changed it all. Forever.
New Nun switched from the red to the gray book in front of Big Dick’s Halfway Inn and realized something was late. Really late, like 20 years. Red across the road was warning from the past, kind of Dixie but also not.
Bullfrog saw the same thing in X City last year. Bullfrog didn’t live long after that, done in by a red hatted crazy chick in the formerly “Mild East” part of NWES City.
Speaking of which…