The Time-Dragglers’ Extravaganzas

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      “Whatever you proclaim as your identity here in the material realm is also your drag. You are not your religion. You are not your skin color. You are not your gender, your politics, your career, or your marital status. You are none of the superficial things that this world deems important. The real you is the energy force that created the entire universe!”

      RuPaul , Workin’ It!: RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style’

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      “Yes, I could be able to plot a new course, without doubt, even with that tile missing” Belen said to one of the dolphins of the neighbourhood who had come for an update on the stranded ghost galleon.

      I was weeks of Simultaneous Time, and being stranded was particularly difficult for a Conscious Breather such as Belen, even if the ghost whale now didn’t really need to breathe, the force of habit was strong.

      Peter, his usual jovial self had said nothing, and had merely enjoyed some forays inland, looking for the tile and the conch, occasionally bringing news from the strange neighbours of the nearby village.

      In the end, Belen couldn’t really remember who was who in the strange tales he made of it, there were so many humans involved and truly, their earthly concerns weren’t relevant to hers, and there was only little they could do to help with the situation.

      The Harmonium Convergence was about to start, the crystalline aquatic organs would start to play the tunes for the new dreams of the new era to be sung.
      And yet, the so-called magical conch was still missing. Belen dreaded coming back ashamed to the Youngers without the ancient divination tool. Frankly, it was more of a permission slip, as her orca friend Batshatsassani called it. She would say to her that “every modality, every ritual, every tool, every technique is a permission slip that allows yourself to give you permission to be more of who you are.”
      She knew she didn’t need it really, but she liked the rituals of old, and to be honest was a bit fearful of not only revealing they were not that important, but more, introducing new ones… Would the whale and whole cetacean family be ready for such an end to the religious era?

      While she was struggling with the thoughts, she managed to guard them from the psychic prying of her dolphin friend, by misleading him on meanders of the endless memory halls that she was guardian of.

      Peter suddenly appeared with a popping sound. “I think I found the conch!” he exclaimed with glee in his eyes. “Yes, it’s Igor, you know Igor…”
      “What about Igor, darling, you know I lost complete track of all these landers strange names”
      “He’s the guy who stole the…” Peter stopped realizing this wasn’t really a question about Igor. “The conch, he brought it back with him!”

      Then to his and her own surprise, Belen replied
      “Forget about the conch, darling, I’m sorry I’ve led you to believe it was important, but it’s not, not really. It’s just a ordinary object to lead the philistines astray. It’s not more powerful than the whiffling of a shillelagh. The true treasure is always within ourselves.
      Gather the birds, and let us prepare to leave in the next hour, the Harmonium Convergence is about to start in 2222, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

      Baffled by the revelation, Peter knew enough to not contradict his whale partner, and went merrily with the new flow which seemed so full of excitement and potential new science revelations.

      Belen had a thought “Actually Peter my dear, any other conch we can find will do just as well. Just pick one on the beach before we leave. Dipping it in the Time stream will crystallize it just as well.”

      Peter replied excitedly “Whale that. Let’s spanghew that boat to 2222!”

      Just as a thought of love for the gift of such inner revelation, before she left the nice spot of the Spanish coast, Belen cleared her throat and :yahoo_sick: retched the most lovely green scented blob of ambergris on the beach, next to the spiral made of broken white shells that some drifters had drawn on the beach a few days ago.


      When Lisa eventually came out of her altered state, she was tired and perplexed. The last words she had heard had been “ I’m sorry I’ve led you to believe it was important, but it’s not, not really. It’s just a ordinary object to lead the philistines astray.” How depressing! she thought. How unutterably depressing! If nothing was important, then what was the point ~ of anything? If being led astray wasn’t an opportunity for another voyage of discovery, then what was the point? If everything was wrapped up and tidy with no mysterious paths to explore, then where did Story fit into the picture? A dull story indeed with no tentacles.
      “We may as well just go home and water the garden. Come on Mirabelle.” Lisa’s shoulders sagged dejectedly and she sighed deeply.
      “Oh no, not so fast! This doesn’t sound like you, Lisa! Has someone put a spell on you? Snap out of it!” Mirabelle considered whether slapping Lisa soundly would help break the spell, but decided to throw some bottled water in her face from a safe distance instead.
      The shock of it, welcome actually, cool and revitalizing, made Lisa laugh at the absurdity of ~ well, everything.
      “Oh fuck it, we may as well go and get some octopus tapas while we’re here. Let’s just pretend we’re ordinary people on an ordinary holiday and go to the beach.”


      “You have a tentacle hanging down your chin Mirabelle” remarked Lisa, reaching for her camera.
      Mirbelle obligingly waited while Lisa took a photo, though she was not at all sure why she wanted a picture of it.
      “I don’t know anything about holidays. Are holidays about eating tentacles on the beach, then?” she asked.
      “Well, they can be about that yes, but not entirely. There are lots of things to do on holidays” replied Lisa.
      “Like what? Why do people have holidays?”
      “A short break from working every day usually, although people who don’t work take holidays too. For a change of scenery, and a rest. Although holidays aren’t always about rest ~ some people get very little rest and walk all day, or cycle or something. People in colder climates often want a holiday in the sun, and people who live inland often want a holiday by the sea. In fact” Lisa continued, “Some people spend all year dreaming about a holiday by the sea, in the sun.”
      “If they love the sea and the sun so much, why don’t they just move to the coast then?”
      “Well some of us do! Then we go to a city for our holiday, because it’s different I suppose.”
      “So a holiday is a for a change, then? Because people like a change?”
      “Only if it’s a holiday, I mean, people usually resist change ~ unless it’s a holiday.”
      “But if you changed something at home and didn’t go anywhere else, would that be a holiday?”
      “Only if you had time off work, otherwise it wouldn’t be a holiday.”
      “But if you changed something at work, wouldn’t that be a holiday?”
      “Well no not really, that kind of change usually pisses people off.”


      Gliding through layers of consciousness, Belen carried her precious cargo of the Santa Maria and its birds towards her destination.
      There were various variations of the same 2222, and she carefully adjusted the course along the 202 years gap, so as to swim to her favourite version of it. It required much love work on her part, addressing, piecing and peacing off many parts of human consciousness, while at the same time tenderly caring for the memories stored with her immense ghost body.
      The 2020 version they had just left, she knew, was already on the proper track towards global enlightenment. There were still horrors, concerns and anxiety about the course of the future, but with a greater perspective, it looked like the positive actions were gaining momentum and leaning towards a brighter fuller and richer future.

      She could feel the Contact Crystal pulsate steadily and it opened her blowhole chakra. Blowing her mind, as it were.

      The Big Island was like a beacon, with the flows of lava rippling heatwave signatures in the ocean, and it didn’t take long to enter the stream that would lead them to the pod and the meeting point.

      As she sensed they’d arrived in 2222, and that they were floating on the surface of a calm ocean, she gently opened the energy bubble sealing the ghost and alive cargo of birds and vegetation, so they could breathe in the pure air and enjoy discovering around.

      Belen, look at you, not a ounce more of blubber since we last met! You ought to tell me how you keep so fit”
      “Batshatsassani!” Belen was pleased the see the great female orca who’d come to greet her.
      “Still with your entourage, it seems” her friend said without a hint of malice, blowing a few rings of bubbles around in a relaxed manner. “Let me accompany you to the ceremony.”
      “With great pleasure, dear. Rest assured, I won’t carry my entourage along for the time of the ceremony.”
      “It would have been cumbersome, no?” Oftentimes humour (and irony in particular) were a lost subtlety on the orca’s mind. Belen just smiled to answer, revealing a great range of ghostwhite perfect baleens.

      As they swam their way along the beautiful clear ocean, they were greeted by a pod of joyously rambunctious great dolphins, a good half size bigger than their common dolphins cousins she’d seen swimming near the coasts of Portugal. The leader of the pod was doing acrobatics to retrieve and play with a funny scarf made of colorful feathers. It was no surprise the dolphins were playing games, really. That or chasing food took the best of their time. But the scarf was the strangest thing Belen had seen in a long time and it triggered some kind of forgotten memory. Odd thing for her to not remember a memory, unless it was from another probable dimension… She followed the urge to ask.

      “Were did they get that?”
      “Oh, it’s nothing important… Four strange aquatic thingies went down earlier this morning, making a whole lot of noise around. They looked like one of those aliens, but so clumsy we thought they were probably sickly and left there to die by their tribe. The ‘phins took the fancy red gills from one of them.”
      “Are you serious? Are they OK?” Belen huge heart felt panicky at the thought of the small creatures left to die without help.
      “Of course they are, I knoooow we have to keep our reputation, you know. Where they are now, I’m not too sure. But the octopi from the camouflage squad are on it, following them. According to the last I know, the aliens have been lost for awhile in the underwater caves. When they’re exhausted, we’ll send them somewhere else… Can’t attract too much attention to ourselves, with the ceremony and all…”


      When the bubble of air popped open, and the veil of mist lifted, all the birds woke up excited and rushed out to taste the 2222 fishes and for some of them, to enjoy cracking macadamia nuts with their beaks shut.
      Among them, Huhu the parrot felt its brain change in a weird brainwave he’d experienced before.

      It knew what needed to be done next.
      Surreptitiously, Huhu crept on the vines covering the floating mess that was the galleon, very slowly, in the direction of the Captain’s cabin, where the Captain’s treasures were kept. A heap of rubbish really, mostly gathered on various of Peter’s visits inland —broken shells of attractive and incomprehensible forms, shiny mother-of-pearl squiggles and brightly colored beads of various materials, former sea trash sanded down to their round form by the power of the elements, and left bereft of any hint of their man-made origin.

      The second key was there, next to the window, with a faint metal shine on its brushed surface, laid in the middle of an array of strange metal objects, most of which were rusted and unrecognizable, old keys as well maybe, or virtually anything else.

      On a schedule, Huhu, swiftly assessed that no other prying eye was looking his way, and that Peter’s ghost form was softly blinking in a snoring fashion, then leapt on the table, snatched the precious key, and flew out of the window to join Irina at the rendez-vous point on a particular rock off the shores of 2222, Big Island, where she was sunbathing in her mermaid costume, while Mr R was close too, in his octopus suit, and as well, on a mission…


        Pseu realized with an unpleasant jolt that she had been neglecting the dragglers for far too long while she’d been sojourning in the City, and for one dreadful moment realized that she had completely lost track of them, and that they might be in danger. She excused herself politely, not that a polite excuse was necessary amongst such wide and weird souls, and sent some tentacles of attention in search of the dragglers.
        She heard sounds of watery warbles and burbling blips like farts in a bath and wondered for a moment if all was well and she was being intrusive. Bathrooms were generally considered out of bounds, particularly when time travelling or remote viewing pre 2020. But something about the sounds started to register as a language, and Pseu continued to listen, though still observing the protocol blindfold, as it were, not wishing to disturb anyone’s private bathing rituals. Were farts in a bath a kind of language, she wondered? Had she been missing out on potentially valuable information by not paying attention?


          “There is a fine balance between touch ups and shoehorning”
          Jonbert was half-listening to the rant of his tailor and shoemaker, as he was trying on a new outfit and tartan kilt.
          Jonbert’s temper had improved slightly, and he was up to moderate amount of grumpiness as he’d learnt of the arrival of the elder whale, and of the throwing of his guests in the midst of the cetaceans. That explained how he could tolerate much of it.

          “You can’t just shoehorn any pattern under the pretext that you fancy it. It has to be in harmony with the moment, in pure synchronistic bliss.” His tailor, Erldrich Lumoncelli, was often prone to bouts of philosophical ramblings that Jonbert had to suffer to get the perfect tailored suits he wanted.

          “Oh, bugger that nonsense,” he suddenly shouted, unable to suffer more of the airy monologue. “You’ll give me that gold and orange tartan and those yellow dots on my green shoes if I tell you so. Orange will bring out my shiny hair and light complexion I reckon.”

          Color-blind Jonbert wasn’t obviously as savvy for colour matching as he was for time-travelling business, but Erldrich knew better than to infuriate him with aesthetic negotiations.
          “Very well Sir.”
          He finished taking the measurements quickly, folded back the swatches of textile, and bowed out as if his house was on fire.

          Jonbert pulled back his heavy mane of hair into a neat French catogan, truly a unapologetic snobbishness on his part, as it didn’t look very different from a usual ponytail, but somehow sounded more distinguished. Nobody likes to be compared to a pony, do they?
          He walked past the great central hall of the submarine, into the Sightseethroughing Dome Room, and considered for a moment to visit the butterfly nursery, in case the new butterflies were hatched yet. But if butterflies had taught him something is that you couldn’t hurry and cut open a cocoon before the butterfly was ready. There was no such thing as a mythical half-caterpillar half-butterfly creature, every change was a complete change, and it had its own timing.

          But now things were back on course, and the 22nd of February 2222 was still days ahead. Time again was on his side.


            Consuela was always the more independent and adventurous. She didn’t realise at first that there was something not quite right about the perilous situation.

            Breathing under water was strange, and it felt like a not quite adjusted piece of garment (an ill-motherfucker-fitted thong Maurana would have said), as though her lungs were filled with a light yet mucous fluid.
            They’d all struggled and kicked the water in violent spams in the beginning, thinking they were about to die when the wetsuit automatic mucusbags went off, as a security measure for drowning, she’d guessed.
            But then, the magic happened and they realised they could breathe like fishes.
            Then the shark panic attack happened, which left them swimming for their lives with their prosthetic fins (and more or less graceful movements). But the shark didn’t seem interested after all, or it was driven away by a more juicy prospect, because they soon found themselves following a strange string of parallel lighted dots that dived deeper under water like an oddly placed seacraft runway. At least, that was what she thought at first, until she arrived at the cave’s entrance and realized nobody was actually following her.

            The others didn’t follow… She only had to hope that they would catch her later with a taxi or something…
            The thought of being able to discover the underwater cave trumped all sense of caution, and the lure of the prized crystal of exotic properties was enough to send her further down, despite the feeling of flashing tentacles creeping around in her peripheral vision, then gone in an instant the moment she turned the head around…


              This is a different kettle of fish altogether from my last diving experience, Consuela was thinking. Why, this is such fun, I can not resist exploring further. Bugger those elusive tentacles, I simply must see what’s around the next bend in this watery tunnel.
              Right or left? she wondered when a side tunnel branched off. She had a vague idea that turning left was perilous, so she turned right, and shortly came to a junction of eight cave tunnels leading up, down and sideways. One of the tunnels had a sign over the entrance crafted from purple limpets, saying “Get Your Mermaid Shoehorns Here”. Another tunnel entrance had a sign made of artificially manipulated pink coral saying “Willy Wave’s Wigs ~ new tentacle and seaweed designs” which was tempting, but it was the “Bloater’s Floater Bar” that seemed the most attractive choice of the moment. Consuela was curious to meet the inhabitants of this unexpected world, and the enticement of a “free cork floating bums with your first plankton smoothie” was hard to resist.


                Pseu deciphered laughter and a rather strange phrase in the burbling language, wondering if she had translated “get your mermaid shoehorns here” correctly. She decided to remove the protocol blindfold for a moment, just to be sure.
                It was a strange sight that met her eyes, and she paused for a moment to get her bearings.
                Consuela appeared to be in an underwater cave, full of gurgling bubbling creatures the likes of which she had never encountered before. The cave was bright with thousands of crystals, filled with the sweet sounds of music from a multitude of conch shells, chandeliers dripped with hundreds of magical looking keys, and the furnishings were tiled with a million unusual tiles forming a mosaic of endless connecting links.


                  “Oh, fuck it” Maurana said when she saw Consuela darting ahead. “The bitch is going to tire and notice we’re all here waiting for the barmy robot to pick us up… I guess… eventually?”

                  But Consuela was paying no attention, and continued until it would take too much effort to swim and catch her. Maurana felt a moment of panic. What about the others? Terry seemed still here, doing rounds and laps in her sardine colours, while Sadie seemed to catch her underwater breath. Maybe they should all wait for Sadie’s instructions, she always knew what to do.
                  “Let’s just hope that darn e-zapper of hers is waterproof” she bubbled in giggles.


                    It wasn’t important to the techromancer how long he had been living in this hut in Hawaii. A very special hut connected to many realities and times at once, a perfect representation of his mind. People would get lost in it, they did not understand how it worked. He just had to emit the intention of whenre he wanted to be and let his body follow the sound patterns. It worked very similarly to that sarcophagus in Giza. He helped in its making.

                    For now, he simply wanted to take a bath. He didn’t like being in contact with too much light, which always triggered a benign itching, soon spreading across his pale skin, erupting in red patches that only long immersion in water would sooth. His little sister used to say he was a dollfinn. It seemed strangely distant and yet close to this time-space reality.

                    The roughness of his rags didn’t help with the itching. He liked to think of them as his Jedi costume. The fabric, plain and rough, helped him remember that he was also made of flesh. A most difficult idea to keep in mind, as his was expanded in many times and realities at once. It helped cover his pale skin from light contact as well as create an aura of mystery with the few people who managed to find him. He had been most surprised by the last one, Sadie was her surface name. Memories of futures past rushed through his mind hut, momentarily disrupting the sound flux leading to the bathroom, and amplifying the itching. Now was not the right time and place.

                    Darkness and stillness are the basic components of awareness, he focused on that simple thought that would bring him peace and stability of mind. Keep the floughts away. It was easy to understand that for him darkness was as light is for us.

                    The bathroom he had chosen was in almost total darkness, for us. Even if it had a window, it was night outside. The window was only for the gentle breeze. He didn’t need light as his inner vision could see the patterns of movements of his reflected mind. He took off his rags. In the absence of light, his pale silhouette was almost glowing. The patches of red now looked like continents on a ocean of milk. One could notice a dark spot on his sacral bone. The tattoo of a black scorpio with a red dot. Red was also the color of his eyes. He was an albino, with red eyes like a rabbit.

                    He sank into the water with a gush of pleasure piercing through his mind. The multidimensional walls of the hut trembled.


                      Terry had always been sort of a follower type of person. The trouble was when her friends were going in two different directions, or like now in one direction and one stay-still. Which one should she follow ? Consuela was a small dot of plancton in the immensity of the ocean, and yet she dared launch herself in the unknown. The others were sticking together, kinda. Sadie was desperately trying to send messages or to receive instructions, it wasn’t very clear, and Maurana was pouting since Consuela was gone.

                      That’s not a real profession, Amar, she got startled when she heard her dad’s voice as if he was just behind. She turned with a jerk of her right hip, but no sign of him.

                      That was as if she’d been stung by a bee. She’s been waiting all her life, now she wanted to move. Without warning to her friends, she began to follow the trail of bubbles left by Consuela. The others could follow if they wanted, but she wouldn’t left her friend alone in the dark water.


                        Consuela’s eyes were as round and big as life savers as she tried to absorb everything she was seeing in the underwater cave. Every tile, every key, every shell contained layer upon layer of images and information like great piles of slippery transparent slides. Multiple luminous trails floated from each layered image, intertwining with other layers. Her three dimensional land vision struggled to hold on to something familiar, something to balance, and failed. Consuela lost all sense of direction and perspective in the cacophony of data, knew not which way was up, or down, or sideways or any of the other directions presenting themselves. She started to tumble and roll, gasping and flailing and snatching at the water but there was nothing to hold on to.


                        The whitewashed blue trimmed village by the sea had an air of tranquility despite the abundance of colourful beach dresses and accessories draped outside the shops, and the red and blue parasols shading the cafe tables and chairs. Locals and holidaymakers strolled about, unhurried and relaxed, and the blue sea twinkled enticingly beyond, as if the street disappeared into the ocean. Mirabelle imagined shoppers carrying bags of vacation purchases wandering right into the water, perhaps to continue their strolling on the seabed, idly perusing it’s treasures and trinkets; wandering back out again on to another street somewhere, dripping at first and leaving little puddles in their wake.
                        I wonder how deep you could go? she wondered, If you could walk on the ocean floor for as long as you liked?
                        Lisa, however, was more interested in the shops and had disappeared into one of them, lured by the gaily coloured scarves. She chose two and held one in each hand, wondering which one would be more reassuring, more comforting. A scarf is something to hold on to in a storm, she thought ~ and then wondered where the thought had come from.


                        “Isn’t that the greatest thing about those underwater goggles”
                        After the shark threat had vanished, Sadie had contemplated for quite some time her new-found underwater abilities, and how to shift the weight of her body gracefully underwater. And then, she realized she could roll her eyes in the most peculiar way, with the membrane of the transparent skin massaging her eyeballs in the most relaxing manner. She’d never felt so good about rolling her eyes, and that was saying something.

                        “BrllllSssadiieeee” came the urging sound in bubbles and gurgles, with a hint of despair dragging her out of the lovely eyeball massage session. The underwater acoustics needed some fine-tuning, so she had her wits to thank for understanding quickly the situation.
                        Despite what might have looked like her sending messages on her ezapper, at the same time she was having in-her-body experiences, she was merely testing experimental echo-localization to pinpoint the spot where the pod of whales would be most likely found. The feedback buzzing had prompted her minutes ago that it had found 6 potential spots, and one only which was the most probable and located less than an hour’s diving distance. One thing she knew was that you had to be careful with automatic location instructions, so she’d run a second independent check and was waiting for the results when the alarmed look of Maurana turned and rolled in front of her face, almost giving her a fright.

                        “Gbbbllood gracious, Maurana, what’s the matter?”
                        “Gbblbl wooohoooglllbb bbbllrsfffftt plk plk plk skwooobbll!”

                        “Oh, for fucks sake,” she telepathied “will you stop nattering in French, be more articulate.”
                        “The others are drowned and I no longer see them, it’s awful, what should we do?!” the thought came back with force and a bit of campiness.

                        “Well, that would depend what it is you want” straight answers were not Sadie’s forte.
                        “I want to have our party with costumes and dances, I want to be the black pearl of the Ocean, I want to have more glitter and less molluscs, more chic and less kelp…” she started to sob profusely, half-choking and breathing from her tears. “I want my friends, and to be back hooooome”
                        “Bloody hell, Reggie, now is not the time to lose your shit, pull yourself together dammit.”

                        The reaction was immediate, the telepathic swearing was so out-of-the-ordinary that Maurana looked twice at Sadie, with her bob cut surrounding her face like a heavenly halo. Suddenly self-conscious, Maurana started to reapply some waterproof mascara to cover the stains.

                        “I found them,” said Sadie with infectious calm “the ezapper’s first scan took them for a pod of whales or octopi for some reason. Let’s go get them, then we go visit the whales. But first, you have to try this, it will soothe you…”, as she started to show some more rolling motion of her beautiful blue eyes.


                        When Huhu arrived at his destination, Irina was sunbathing to the last rays of a big red gorgeous sunset that painted the waves in iridescent shades of purple.
                        At the same time, the sun’s course had already started a new day on the shores of New Zealand, where her sister was living, and she surely would be thrilled. Long had she waited for the 2222-2-22 marker.
                        Here, in Hawaii, they would still be in 2222-2-21, for a few more hours.
                        Irina started to shiver. 22°C her watch read. As if she needed to be any more quirky about this date…

                        “Good boy!” she said to the parrot, taking the key it was carrying. Huhu tittered in contentment, cracking some of the pistachios she fed him distractedly.

                        She’d just received additional information from the Management. Elusive as usual, and leaving a great deal to interpretation, including the interdiction.

                        They’d promised to get her her dream island as a retirement plan. Some said it was the original land of the mermaids (who used to have as much feathers as Rio Carnival’s samba dancers), right off Italy’s Amalfi’s coast. Among its perks, it boasted to incorporate 8 staff, and a private grotto — that, if anything else than her fine waist line, would surely entice Sanso into other steamy booty calls.
                        She’d seen the pictures of the properties, her first thought though was that she needed to shoot the interior decorator. In short, it was almost her moral duty to get it, and change the decor. On the whole, she was convinced the island would do her good.

                        So, when she looked back at the previous instructions to see how good she’d done on her mission’s objectives, she shrugged a little. She’d understood instinctively right when it was delivered that it was a clever cipher, especially given the late date shift. So she had reinterpreted the actual commands, and leisurely waited for the travellers to appear, and get comfy. By now, she was certain they trusted her telepathic commands well enough, so that solved the trust conundrum.
                        Basically, she was a major proponent of her own interpretation of old Ho’oponopono rituals. Instead of the usual mantra “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.” hers was a bit more straightforward and was around the lines of “Green sickness to you. Peace be with you, and bugger off.
                        Said a few times with proper intonation and inner work, and it was know to her to alter dramatically any block or resistance into a great flow of pure unfettered energy. So she had adamant faith that all she needed to do to complete her mission was to focus on herself and solve the resistance within by letting go.

                        The last message was short.

                        22 the code * whale that * BO

                        It could only mean one thing. 22 was a clever cipher meaning conundrum as in a catch 22, but also an obvious reference to the temperature. So it could only mean one thing: tamper with the code on the 22nd, and send it on the way to the whales, with a bug on it.

                        “Mr R, please, fetch!”

                        The discrete, yet always present robot caught the key with grace, and on her careful instructions, proceeded to alter the code of the key.

                        Irina was enjoying herself immensely, and found it a pity nobody could witness her true genius. “The ones who’ll read that key later, well… they are in for such a wild goose chase!”
                        The second part of St Germain’s encoded hologram was now ripe with wonderful and bewildering information about blubbits and the magic kingdom of Peasland with obscure and arcane references of magic numbers like 57, that would have anybody sane turn mad as a hatter in no time. Hopefully the whales would be immune to the nonsense, but probably not humans.

                        Now was the final part of the plan.

                        “Mr R?”
                        “I hope you are ready for this delicate reinsertion mission. Do you still have that octopus suit of yours ready?”
                        “Of course, Madam. Right away Madam.”


                          Secretly, Sadie had a beautifully laid out plan in her head, like a vacation plan with stop-overs at luxury hotels, and activities to entertain the children.
                          That made her slightly miffed about the succession of sidetrack adventures and the lack of focus of her protégés.

                          The plan was simple enough, they had to take the magical crystal from under the whale’s noses, and get back to the closest Time sewer, where they could funnel up (her fancy verb for “complete”) the special reboot edition of the Time Draggler’s show.

                          Surprisingly, Linda Paul’s interest and instructions seemed to have weakened and her usually generous and unwarranted input have been inordinately limited. Maybe the summer heat wave had mollified her, or her projects had shifted since the pilot of the Time Draggler’s show had failed to grab the network’s attention and fulfil its promises.
                          She couldn’t say. But something in what the techromancer told her had stuck, and she couldn’t quite shake it out. “A train will come for you, and you will have to catch it, this Time is your train.”
                          The hell if she knew what Time that was anyway.
                          But one thing was sure, this one-time gig was growing on her, and she didn’t want to get back to dog food tasting. So one way or another, she’d have to make it work, and move the drag’s lazy butts to make a heck of an entertaining show.

                          “Look! I vink vey’re over vere!” Maurana was getting the gist of the telepathic conversation.

                          It was lucky the interior of the cave was lit, as outside the night had fallen like a cold black carpet on a pack of dust bunnies, dropping the water’s temperature. Luckily, the suits seemed to have their own warming as well as glowing mechanism.

                          Terry was over Consuela, who seemed unconscious and in a REM sleep.
                          “Hey! Consuela learnt your eye rolling technique!” Maurana gleefully tuned towards Sadie.
                          “Don’t be silly, I think he’s in shock, pass me that electric eel, to wake that bitch up.” Terry was always for a bit of drama. It seemed to do the trick.

                          “Woah, you can’t believe the stuff I’ve seen…” Consuela’s pupils were dilated so much it was hard to see the whites of her eyes.

                          “Classic case of red algae intoxication, no need to consult the ezapper for that” Sadie said. “It is known that dolphins use it as a shamanic tool to astral. The concentration in these waters is surprinsingly high. Nothing than some fresh water can’t cure.” Too much time under water, she started to babble like a fish.

                          The Time window wouldn’t stay indefinitely open. She needed to get them move, and take back her authority. With children like them, one thing that worked was to shake some shiny stuff in front of them and let them follow it.
                          “Anyone interested in a Whale Queen’s Race?”


                          When the Whales had learnt from Belen that the Conch ritual would not be enacted, it set the tone of the Ceremony.
                          Less ceremonious, and opening the Gates for a new Era of new learning based on trust and self-discoveries.

                          The Dances started, and enthralling gyrations flowed, enhancing the visions induced by the pulverized red algae floating around the seabed. Octopi were drumming in cadence, the Whales solemnly turning, undisturbed by the dolphins high on the algae who were tittering stupidly.

                          In the middle of the cycle, the gorgeous crystal was pulsating and glowing.


                          “That’s amazing”
                          “How wonderful!”
                          “Wow, so great!” … For a moment, was all they could say, in varying lengths and tones of “ooo’s”.

                          While they were looking at the show from a distance, Sadie realized they were not alone.

                          “Madam, if I may disturb, it seems you have dropped your key”
                          The robot which had suddenly appeared looked vaguely like the one which had dropped them underwater, except for the octopus costume. After all, all robots looked the same.
                          Sadie took the key a bit suspiciously, and in the second she took to examine it and as she was about to reply it wasn’t hers, noticed the robot had already vanished.

                          “How strange it looks just like the sister key to the one Maurana got in France, the key from the ferrets… Wonder never ceases…”

                          “Honey, may I interrupt your voovvvs and borrow your key for a minute” she asked Maurana.

                          The two keys seemed to match, and when pressed together, clicked and became one, without any visible seam.
                          Without notice, it suddenly escaped Sadie’s grasp, and darted towards the crystal, as if activated by it.

                          Sadie covered her ears, thinking it would shatter the crystal, but its vibration absorbed the key, and it started to glow more wildly.

                          A voice started to echo deep under.

                          “My name is Adamus St Germain, please ask your three questions.”

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