07:00; Open wrote equations on the bedsheets in her sleep last night – my sketch of the briefly-glimpsed scientific siguls on the librarian’s skin, with the benefit BORE recall, seem to have fired her imagination.
07:30; Sheets hung up on the wall, she corrects. Watch from the bed; describing my impression of the librarian as “ever-on-the-brink-of-stripping” was the reason Open brought markers & glasses to bed …
08:00; Sorry to lounge, but when else am I to see high mathematics done by a brain-beauty in corset, garters, stockings and high-heels, made all the more attractive because this is her ”absent-minded” professor dress.
08:30; Depart before Open holds me down – literally – for a more accurate description of the ‘stripperriffic’ nature of the lady librarian. Most fun way to donate one’s body to science, but I have appointments.
09:00; Meet Paradigm, dear girl, at Flambé, latest restaraunt of the Arsonist’s Granddaughter. Place managed not to burn down for the fire insurance long enough for me to hand over a canister of UNDEAD.
09:10; Meant to meet up with Paradigm for some time. If I’m wandering to Nation’s nation, I might need a second set of peepers to look UNDEAD over to keep it kosher, as much as it can be with zombies.
09:20; P’s a busy lady; fights crime fashionably and designs a clothing line that accentuates every figure. This is a business breakfast … but if she could have someone look at it, perhaps her parfum prodigies?
09:30; As a superhero she is very interested, but there is a greater interest she somewhat conceals. This is Maxine Min, her brilliant scientist alter-ego I am not supposed to know about. I pretend not to see.
09:40; Maxine Min, who took her mother’s, father’s & stepfather’s chemical craziness and created the Four Humours, became B-4, mixed the Four Humours, produced a Fifth, and Paradigm was first born.
09:50; UNDEAD will be a marvellous cure, some day. Inform her of samples sent to Doctor Ward (yes, Mayor’s brother), if she – if her prodigies – wish to consult. Secret identities are so socially awkward.
10:00; I messenger another serum over to Min’s own address, citing her ”ingenious work in intellicrops”. Inform Min that Paradigm was sent same, if she wants to confer. That would be an interesting consult.
11:00; Steal stall ticket for sell-out mechanical musical; “HAL-lelujah! A Space Opera!” just off of Broadway, featuring the Symphony Sisters, the Oklo Effect Ska & Vocal Band and Toussaint “Saint” Bright.
12:00; Well if that old lady wanted to keep them she shouldn’t have waved them around. Had a ticket-tour of Bonka’s Chocolate Factory that way. Adjourn to lunch today at that terrible cafe from yesterday.
13:00; Staff is fundamentally terrified. Not due to me – yet. I test the tensile strength of the spaghetti – stronger than steel. This can be the work of only one t-shirt-turban-wearing fellow. I ask to see the chef.
13:10; Surprising, the amount of shadow available in an open-air, well lit cafe. In any case, Ninja Bob makes it to my table without a sound. The smell of pastry, pies and burning, he brings that everywhere.
13:20; Poor fellow. The Ninjatech Dark Scholarship isn’t a promise of citizenship in the Assassin Nation, particularly when one wasn’t Japan born. They don’t even guard the scholar’s ship from pirate attack.
13:30: As such, Ninja Bob’s aptitude tests, after excelling in Ninja training, conveniently caused him to be alotted ”chef”. The man absentmindedly turns toffee into tar strong enough to act as quicksand. Chef!
13:40; This wandering T-Shirt Ninja, ever obedient, is studying under every Parisian chef who fears a blade bigger than his own in the hands of this Iron Chef. Bob brought a sai to interviews – instant employ!
13:50; To this cafe Bob is worth the agent orange juice and napalmed toast. With the Monochrone and Psylent Film running around, diners put up with ninjas and pyromaniacs in the kitchen. Devil you know.
14:00; Bob continues this cafe-cook lifestyle. A pity to see such a talent for murder and violence wallowing. I bid him his due adieu and throw my undrunk coffee into the eyes of a passing street urchin. Sigh.
15:00; Return to LPR & invite Ms. Open Palm to a day & night out on a town she hasn’t seen. Bridles defensively for equations as Ms. Reel Deal, LPR’s seamstress, shows Open what she will be wearing …
16:00; Oh, she isn’t easily turned. But a handful of sketches of the new line, snatched from a preoccupied Paradigm, quickly messengered to LPR with a request for a day suit and an evening gown … Dapper!
17:00; Squiring Open about town in her new Paradigm-designed and Deal-produced double-breasted day suit & haute hat, she is sufficiently impressed – to the Tower! Perhaps I can meet an old friend there.
18:00; Sit atop rail atop the Eiffel Tower, swaying in the breeze. This is a beautiful city. Still, time to commit. I turn to Open, salute, smile, and gently slide forward until I fall. I’ll see my friend on the other side.
18:10; Bouncing about in the Eiffel’s lasergrid safety net, invisible until kinetic contact, until an automated answering hologram of The Deadly Light Shade appears and gives me a lecture on responsible suicide.
18:20; I let it roll for a moment, then say: “Daftwager, Quatloo, Zombies, Undead, World Threat, Paradigm …” until real time holovideo of The Deadly Light Shade cuts in. She is always watching & listening.
18:30; Compliment her word recognition software. She asks why I think she won’t just let me fall. Wave a bottle of U.N.D.E.A.D. around. Glass, of course, so she can’t filch it from my fallen & broken body.
18:40; The Deadly Light Shade is the crazy-prepared, super-spy detective, internationally. She knows about Whitby. She knows about Nation. She knows my shoe-size. But she doesn’t have any UNDEAD.
18:50; I get a glare and an appointment to meet her in ten minutes. Tell Open to obtain a camera quick – her new personal hero is arriving. Strangling a tourist by his Kodak’s strap, my heart yearns for Palm.
19:00; The situation’s ‘trappishness’ – not a word! – angers TDLS. I’m in a net of her devising, totally at her mercy, giving her an elixir of life, & she is cautious. Good; she is a ‘super’ worthy of the term, finally!
19:10; The Deadly Night Shade – the famed family spyname ; great great grandmama’s against Prussia, great grandmama’s during WWI, grandmama’s during WWII, mama took The Deadly Bright Shade …
19:20; … Today it is the Deadly Light Shade that patrols Paris. Her maternal grandpapa probably created Quantum Apollo’s solar powers, while her paternal grandpapa mastered the ultraviolet’s darker side.
19:30; This mix of science & espionage makes her the wonderfully paranoid person she is, having scanned me for the past half of an hour, searching my person for tricks, traps and all assorted tiny trebuchets.
19:40; In topper & tails, shady super looks at me over her the rims of her black-white goggles, looks from a blanche vertical half-mask & dark skinned face, looks as if I looked odd. Pot calling kettle black?
19:50; She really was expecting something – a trap, a setup, a deal even. Ok. I throw up UNDEAD from my holding place, and ask one simple request; Can my girlfriend get a picture with her personal hero?
20:00; TDLS is wildly uncomfortable as the flash goes off, even moreso as Open throws her arms around TDLS’s shoulders. As a little revenge, I suspect, a button was pressed and I was released, to fall far.
20:30; TDLS had heard I could ‘fly’, I expect. But if I hadn’t the flight BORE in my cane … well then I suppose I would never have jumped off the Tower. I land and we return to LPR to change for the opera.
21:00; Open adores her photo somewhat, her newly completed evening gown very much and, for reasons I can’t quite understand, me. Afterall, her idol did just try to kill me, or test my tech at least. Love eh?
22:00; HAL-lelujah starts and we take our box seats. Open’s opera glasses watch the ape actors, bemoaning a life beset by leopards and terrible tribes. I instead look to the stall seats our old tickets sat us …
22:10; … Open did wonder why I asked her to switch our tickets with the ones in The Deadly Light Shade’s pocket. Or how I knew TDLS would have tickets. Or that the camera flash would distract her …
22:20; … which it didn’t, of course. TDLS is the mistress of all forms of light – a Kodak flash just isn’t in it. It was the hug that did it. Which is why it is Maxine Min that is sitting in switched-ticket stall seats …
22:30; Maxine doesn’t see me seeing her of course. Madame Toussaint L’Ouverture, known as Saint Bright in the US, belladonna of this opera, has taken the stage. And Maxine only has bright eyes for Saint.
22:40; The apes are sentient & Oklo Effect Ska & Vocal Band, the only radioactive singers since Chorus Kate, play a giant bone into being over the stage, arching towards a massive monolith, fading to stars.
22:50; The musical’s theme ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ – background – plays, seeing us into ‘Blue Danube’ over a spaceship docking with the Clavius Base. Mr Floyd leads ‘BushBaby Birthday’ comic chorus …
23:00; ‘Aventures’, ‘Lux Aeterna’, ‘Frank Poole’s Birthday’ (BushBaby Birthday; sombre version) signal the second act’s darker tone. Bowman speaks with red HAL, voiced by Symphony Sister Discordia …
23:10; … while HAL’s aside, free from monotone and obstruction, is sung by Madame L’Ouverture. ‘Heuristic Sadistic’ tells of HAL’s growing paranoia over keeping a deadly secret from his human cargo …
23:20; … and this embargo causes him to lie about the failure of the radio antenna. Frank Poole leads the cast into ”Secrets Beyond the Stars”, revealing his reasons for his earlier coldness towards his parents.
23:30; It also reveals that the antenna is fine. A consult with blue SAL 9000 is voiced by Symphony Sister Concordia, and SAL’s anxious aside at admitting HAL’s error, ‘AlGoreRhythmic Anxiety’, is sung …
23:40; … by L’Ouverture again, lit in blue where she was lit in red previously. She is lit in red again to transcribe Bowman & Poole’s whispering in ‘Paranoid: A Chant’, before sending Poole to his icy doom …
23:50; … as ‘Secrets Beyond The Stars’ (reprise) plays. Three Symphony Sisters – Dharma, Karma & Harmony – scream asides for the dying minds of the other sleeping astronauts in ‘We Deathbeds Three’.
00:00; Appropriate to midnight, Dave enters HAL’s higher function section, receiving mild remonstrance from Discordia’s stage voice, and rising terror from L’Ouverture’s aside, flashing red off, on, off, as …
00:10; … Bowman tears out HAL’s mind. Particularly compelling is L’Ouverture’s portrayal of growing irrationality as Discordia’s voice slows down – then both synchronising eerily in the rendition of ‘Daisy’ …
00:20; … and, in the most controversial change from the parent material, all the opera lights go out & Oklo Effect pauses. A garbled version of the Jupiter mission brief plays into the silence, the loneliness as …
00:30; … all is relit in the third act. HAl reawakens in 2010, as Dr Chandra (seen in SAL’s aria) tells HAL that he reached Jupiter, and that the rescue mission needs him to sacrifice himself so they can escape.
00:40; Wonderous, HAL finds that he no longer has to keep his insane secret (‘Heuristic Heaven’) & saves the ‘rescue’ crew. When Dr Chandra laments that the could not save him, HAL parts with ‘You did’.
00:50; Just as Jupiter explodes above the stage into a blazing sun, HAL is visited by the Monolith, voiced by Symphony Sister Helpmony, symbolising that man, monolith & machine are united in their voice.
01:00; L’Ouverture’s red light streams into every colour of the rainbow, then looks over the world HAL’s sacrifice brought into being on Europa. Smile. View from Earth, and we see two suns in the sky. Fin.
01:30; Good show. Particularly enjoyed how Maxine hung on L’Ouverture’s every word. Interesting, given that the ushers are discreetly showing her backstage rather than booting her out with the rest of us.
02:00; Knew I could fly eh? True, cane-based flight has become my hallmark, but how about my new invisibility imprint? A Field Test: ‘Hiding’ on the ledge outside L’Ouverture’s otherwise-unreachacle room.
02:05; Maxine Min & Toussaint L’Ouverture opposite each other, businesslike. Clever. Blank BORE absorbs the projected illusion – like in the library – and see two lovers locked in love’s interrace embrace.
02:10; But at where would Maxine Min, aka Paradigm, have met international singing sensational Madame Toussaint L’Ouverture of the opera, aka Saint Bright of the American charts? She is just an actress?
02:15; No. Spy. The Shades were singers, actors, dancers and socialites in public and vocal mimics, con artists, athletes and social spyders in private. 3 generations picking the brains of German High Elite …
02:20; … The female Shades usually romanced the male head of the resistance, used them as a figurehead & carried out their anti-German attacks under a more masculine moniker of the hero codenamed Vie.
02:25; Toussaint L’Ouverture is The Deadly Night Shade. She uses her hologram technology to project a false face from under a vertical half-mask, double bagging her identity elegantly. This I already knew.
02:30; Wanted to know if Paradigm & The Deadly Night Shade were in love, or their alter egos. Their superhero identities use illusions chemical & holographic more classically beautiful than their real faces.
02:35; The sketches I stole were recent – had a reminder about the opera, but that Maxine hadn’t received the tickets from an unnamed figure. On a gamble, instructed Open to switch tickets under a hug …
02:40; … the proximity of a woman dressed so like one of Paradigm’s new designs, holding Saint so close in public … well, I too have fallen for that distraction. Besides, TDLS really is Open’s new, true hero.
02:45; Going to the Tower I told Open about generations the Shade demimondains whose actress alteregos romanced men of significance in wartime Europe to equally significant tactical advantage. Her hero!
02:50; Ticket switch confirmed Paradigm was the tickets’ original intended by looking in our old seats, and looking at Maxine made the sentiment clear. She didn’t even notice Open was wearing her design …
02:55: … who doesn’t notice Open? Speaking of beauty, I did say these secret identities weren’t classically beautiful, but … they are very open, like Open, very beautiful. I take a picture behind my invisbility.
03:00; Slip Maxine’s design’s under windowframe to return, then descend. They don’t wear masks as they make love. Psychologically both healthy and interesting. Also an effective blackmail tool, just in case.
04:00; At LPR I show Open the photograph. Don’t tell her about the superheroine identities, but she may very well figure it out herself. For now her only reaction is to drag me to bed & demand some singing.