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Part 3-3: Superimposition
“So, that was fun,” I said to Deluxe as I drove home. Well, glided home. She owned a custom 2017 Lotus Evora 400 with manual transmission. Practicing my stick shift skills in the sleek sports car was something I found soothing, especially of late.
“Persi provided an interesting suggestion for the name of the game,” she said, staring out the side window.
I came to a red light. Little spots of water dotted the windshield, falling from fat grey-black clouds. I rubbed my finger on the wiper control and looked sidelong at Deluxe. She kept gazing, twisting a length of hair in her fingertips.
The light changed. Careful of the eager horses under the hood and small town speed limits, I eased us forward.
“What was it?” I asked.
“Oh. Court’s calamity.”
Humming an approval, I drummed my fingers on the top of the wheel and waited for her to go on. When she lapsed back into silence, I said, “You hanging in there, Prime?”
She inhaled through her nose, sat straight, and put the edge of her hand against her window, fingers all pointing forward.
“The Lotus moves in a predictable path through space, and time,” she began, rocking her hand in gentle motions. “Over hills, through turns, all governed by known formulae.” She swooped her palm in an arc, curved and sluiced it. It reminded me of when I was little and would stick my hand out of the window, letting the air buffet and twist a pretend airplane.
“This business with Eden, and the clock,” she continued, “it’s challenging, but it obeys its own limits, its own rules. We’ve yet to untangle it, but we shall.”
“You think so?”
She flipped her hand over, palm to the roof, wiggled her fingers and moved it in a weird circle. “I think so. You know what I always say about these things.”
“Patterns, find the patterns.”
“It has them, Willy had them, the world you described beyond the clock has them. Lotuses, the alien entity, all tangible and solvable. But what… what if there’s no…” she sighed and dropped her hand to her lap. “What if there’s no precedent or procedure for what you observe? Or, more accurately, for whom you feel?”
“Then you must explore, map and observe. You taught me that one, c’mon,” I said. Usually her puzzles were tougher.
“I was afraid you’d say that.”
“What’s more frightening th—”
I slowed the car as her words started to click.
“Dack?” I said. “I know you’re, ah, fond of each other, but…” I wasn’t entirely sure what I was asking, but I was sure that’s what she was edging around.
Deluxe took a breath and said, “It seems unfair to me that our stories should intersect with such proximity to all these atypical, serenity-toxic events. I can barely key into male motives under ideal conditions—this kaleidoscope of dimensional violation, sensory twinning and parafantastic anomaly is scientifically engaging, to put it kindly, but it is an unwelcome superimposition over what is already tough e-freakin’-nough.”
My foot eased off the gas further, as my brain juggled all the Deluxe-isms. A vehicle behind me tooted, and I throttled us forward in a jerk, embarrassed that I’d been Sunday driving in a hundred thousand dollar ride.
“Anyway,” said Deluxe, “I realize that it’s a pointedly selfish matter to expound, especially on you, caught up in the core of what the rest of us—save Persi—are merely sideline-skirting. I want to apologize for snipping about the monitor.”
“No, don’t, it’s okay. We can talk about it,” I said, trying to align myself amid the clutch, whirling thoughts and Deluxe’s unsettling melancholy.
“Yes, let’s talk. What clues did the scanner leave us?” she said.
I’d meant about Dack, but I knew her well enough—she was now locked into fact gathering mode. She watched me, unblinking, head tilted. I relented.
“First,” I said, “do we have any previous logs concerning someone named Walkerby?”
“Walkerby, Walkerby, it’s familiar. Reporting vandals or noisemakers if I recall? Fergus cataloged an incident of that nature two nights ago. They came up again?”
“Yup. It’s a rural area, pretty sure. Lights or noises, Shelia mentioned a possibility of fireworks. I get that some people are dense, but who sets off fireworks in the woods?”
“Tremendously dense individuals,” agreed Deluxe. “But if this were true… had they found anything or anyone the first time, one would guess there’d be evidence.”
“Indeed. We’ll want to check to see if this area is within the Clockworld perimeter.”
She referred to a circular area that centered on the John B. Zachary Center. Clockworld was my nickname for the wavering plane where I split in two, wifi burned like a sun and everyone puffed blue smoke. (Fort Ticktock was what we called the other world inside the clock, as christened by Fergus.) In the days since discovering the ring and its ability to take me to Clockworld, we’d spent some time testing my abilities—and we learned that it was much harder to do the further you traveled from town. Summoning the tingles took a lot longer and exhausted me. Far enough outside of town, it didn't work at all.
Deluxe was working on a device that could figure out where the exact border was, but we currently didn't have enough data points to program it. Plus, my assessment of warping power was hardly scientific; I could not produce a satisfying metric. How do you measure tiredness and tingle-intensity? I’m open to suggestions.
My gut told me that the Walkerby residence would be close to the edge, but not beyond it. Right where I had most trouble getting in, and well away from any strong wifi routers. I shared this suspicion with Deluxe.
“We’ll peg it as soon as we get home,” she said. “If it’s a match, let’s regroup and roll. We’ll want Persi with us in case you two need to provide reconnaissance.”
“And Dack or Fergus to lend some wheels, this shiny thing will be conspicuous as hell out in the boonies, townspeople probably chatter all about it now as it is.”
She pursed her lips and nodded. I took the opportunity to change the subject.
“Deluxe, I should have mentioned it earlier. There’s something I need to tell you about Persi.”
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So Deluxe has fallen😔
Love, such a drastic emotion
Now, what is that something about Persi? Looks like an emotional drive by this time.
Is Persi not in the car with them? Maybe I misunderstood something but I thought she moved in with Alena and Deluxe. 🤔🤔
Nft bookmarks?? 👍👍😁😍
Nope! She has her own place. At the end of Episode 2 Persi stayed on Deluxe's couch. Presumably due to the traumatic day her and Alena had had.
Ya! I do one for every 3 story parts. Thousands have been minted so haha. They're free Polygon NFTs powered by cent.co.
Why do I think that out of the way place is a trap???
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He wanted to see if time flys while having fun.
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