Waking the Sleeping Integer … 11

Ch 11 ~ A slippery slope to Giants Within

An energy flows around everyone’s head.  Individually, of course.  The pattern of the energy, the color, the look…all are unique to each person.  Like a snowflake.  Only one configuration for each.  The same is true with the pattern of energy that’s circling around your head right at this very moment… 

“I have to stop listening to these Dr. Phil type broadcasts,” Ariel Nova mumbled to no one in particular.  She removed her earbud and walked across the open parcels in her neighborhood.  One of those parcels kept selling like a hot potatoe.  Real estate prospectors snapped it up then turned around and tried to sell it off again.  Whenever she tested their pricing by making an offer, the prospectors usually wanted more than what Ariel offered and still used “flipping” as a justification for a higher asking price.  On that alone, Ariel decided that they were out of their minds.  Have they not made themselves aware of the economy, she wondered?  If they watched the area at all like she did, they would have seen that yes, each prospector sold the land but each time, each one sold it at a loss.  At first, Ariel didn’t quite understand why…but that was before the economy tightened up and nearly caved in on itself.  The parcel was a nice chunk of land in a prized area of the grid, surrounded on three sides by water and on the fourth side by Ariel and her soulmate.  Then after watching the property change hands so frequently and after discussing these happenings with her love, Ariel soon realized that the only other buyers were other real estate prospectors.  It was what you call a niche market.  Extremely niche.  Because it was only a matter of time before the land passed through all the hands of the small group of realtors who remained blinded by the glory days of “flipping.”  And then one day, in fact today, as Ariel set out on her walk-about around the sim and as she took her positive talk stream out of her ear, she soon discovered that the parcel had been abandoned.  In fact, within minutes and right under her feet, the parcel had become property of the Governor’s.  Or, as Ariel liked to say, the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz.  He/she was such a mysterious official the Governor was. 

Ariel wondered if the Governor even really existed and if so, if he/she had a circle of energy flowing around his or her head too, right at this very moment.

She walked across the parcel now claimed by the Governor and now completely barren of the “model” home that had been on the land.  And yet, then again, the parcel wasn’t really quite empty.  A circle of light of some kind hovered above the land.  Ariel hadn’t seen anything quite like it before.  She couldn’t quite make it out.  It wasn’t as distinct as a rainbow and it wasn’t multi-color and it didn’t arch up.  Instead, it was a circle flat on its side and it was transparent and glowed from within from some kind of halo or light or something.  She tilted her head and studied the air, but no matter how long she stared at it, she came no closer to understanding what the ring of light was than when she first laid eyes on it.  She shrugged.  Must be some kind of new windlight, she thought and continued walking forward from the parcel boundary. 

Tatiana Resident, the last prospector to hold the parcel, stood in the center of the land.  She smiled in greeting at Ariel, who walked over to her.  At least, Ariel believed the smile was in greeting.  It was hard to tell.  They had met briefly, in fact in an instant by way of an instant message that Ariel had started.  That was when Ariel first tested the asking price on the parcel by making an offer that trimmed out all the excessive hoped-for profits.  Tatiana flatly refused the offer; it was just a bit too realistic for her blood, was all Ariel could figure.  But at least their conversation remained friendly, with neither one using the tactic of personalizing the entire process as a way to browbeat or guilt out some kind of pricing leverage.  Other prospectors seemed to favor that negotiation tactic.  Incredibly distasteful.  Ariel couldn’t imagine such an approach ever worked.

She continued to walk forward and eventually brought her mind back to the figure she now fast approached….a figure that was odd in a manner of speaking Ariel had never had to describe before.  Because the figure cast an unusually and extremely long shadow.  She squinted again…blast these eyes, Ariel grumbled a bit wondering why all of a sudden they caused her such trouble.  Proportionally the shadow looked really off.  She paused for a moment to scan the sky again, then returned her gaze to Tatiana’s shadow, where Tatiana stood silented and Ariel now stood perplexed.  The thing was, the angle of the sun and the angle of the shadow on the ground were at odds with each other.  But she couldn’t study it further because her view was suddenly obstructed by the transparent film of a halo that glowed ever so slightly and that — Ariel now could plainly see — seemed to be moving in place…like it had a river or something running through it and the water in the river sparkled periodically in the sunlight.  She decided there and then that she would make it a point to be fitted for glasses.  She also decided rather abruptly that the ring of light must be a last remaining item on the parcel (because what else could it be?)…a glowing shadow or highlight prim that, in the shuffle between owners, somehow became disconnected from the parcel. 

“Didn’t recall any trees or structures with depth prims on the parcel before,” Ariel said softly to herself and then thought:  but that’s not to say they weren’t there all along

She shrugged, lowered her head to distract herself from chasing the aura of the sky, and gave up the ghost.  She turned her attention instead to the real estate prospector.

“Greetings, Tatiana,” Ariel said in local chat.  

No response, even after several seconds.  Hmmm, Ariel thought…maybe too far away?  She moved closer, probably one body length away from Tatiana, so, that was what in the virtual world…that was like six and a half feet on average?

“Hey there, Tatiana,” Ariel tried again. 

Still no reply.  Worse yet, Tatiana appeared to be frozen in place or something.  Not just her smile…but her entire person.  Even her eyes didn’t blink.  Ever.  Which was all very odd as much as people blink inworld.

“Tatiana?  I hope I’m not barging in on anything.  I couldn’t help but notice the change in the parcel ownership again.  In fact, mere seconds ago.  It’s been like a moving shell game over here,” Ariel laughed a bit uncomfortably.  But the growing silence eventually suffocated the chuckle out of her nervousness.   

“Are you still here?” she asked even though she had a feeling she already knew the answer.  “Tatiana?”

Well, criminey.  She frowned.  She faced a very stone cold silent Tatiana who apppeared to be more and more like a prim that was left behind with a texture of a person applied to it and less and less like a profiteer or even a person.  Ariel scanned the top of Tatiana’s head, not for energy but because she wanted to access the IM slice in the pie menu of Tatiana’s nametag, and yet…  She squinted while her vision cammed in and hovered over the nametag.  She poked her head out a few inches forward to get a closer look.  She imagined this would give her a better view, because Ariel could have sworn she caught something radiating ever so slightly around Tatiana’s nametag.  She peered more intensely, allowing her curiousity to lead her feet a couple of more steps forward.  Something was there…some alpha or halo thing.  Some kind of thing but she couldn’t really quite see it.  It was almost like an apparition of an apparition, an echo of a thought, a current of residue.

Egads, Ariel muttered and shook her head.  “This can’t be right…my graphics card, my eyes…something is way, way off.”  She shook her head a second time to unhinge whatever it was that she thought she had seen.  She found and clicked on Tatiana’s nametag, selected the IM slice, and typed, “Are you okay?”

“Hmmm? What? Eh?” Tatiana tapped out near immediately.

“Ohh…I’m glad to hear from you finally.  I feel so much…better…” Ariel’s fingertips chewed out hte word “better” because her eyes were still playing tricks on her.  That damned…whatever it is, she thought.  First the sky and now Tatiana’s head!  She looked away from Tatiana’s nametag at other things on the ground and felt relieved that she could see perfectly, yet at the same time, she felt unnerved by the fact that her vision seemed to be just fine everywhere else.  Everywhere other than above, which included the entire sky above the parcel and Tatiana’s head.  On top of that, the matter of the disconnected shadow on the ground bothered quite a bit too.  Windlight must really be borked, she kept telling herself.

“Better?  I didn’t realize you were under the weather.  I’d have to say I’d be surprised if that’s why you’re IM-ing me.  Let’s not beat around the bush.   We’ve always been straightforward with each other.  I’ve enjoyed that about our conversations, as odd as it may sound coming from someone trying to sell something.  Speaking of which…are you prepared to accept my asking price?  The parcel is in an amazing location as you two very well know.  And it’s a very wise purchase for your family.  It will provide your home with added protection and water views all around.  That’s invaluable really.”

“No, no…I’m fine, Tatiana.  And I didn’t mean to create the impression that we wanted to reconsider your price or that we wanted to buy from you.  We don’t…even if the parcel was still yours to sell.”

After a long pause, Tatiana typed: “What an odd thing to say…”  Then she paused again for another extended period of time with the only break in that silence caused by the IM prompt that announced that Tatiana had started to type just before she stopped again, then started again, and then stopped again.  And so on.  (This went on for a while.)  If Ariel read those tea leaves correctly, she’d say that Tatiana was getting annoyed or something.  For what reason, she couldn’t phathom.  

Finally Tatiana typed:  “Let’s not go there, Ariel.  Of course, I own that land.  Let’s not resort to taking swipes at each other by being demeaning.  It won’t get you what you want.   Frankly, it’s not either of our styles to go that route.”

“Taking swipes?  Being demeaning?”  Ariel was astonished to hear this and even more stunned to hear Tatiana say she owned the parcel still.  Did the Governor not keep her in the loop?  

“I’m more than a bit confused by this…whoa, maybe let’s start over again,” she typed.  “I IM’d you this time to see if you’re okay.  I saw you standing here by yourself on the property.  I thought you were sad or something because the Governor has it now.  Yes…” she paused and checked the land ownership tab.  “Yes, yes, it says right here the Governor claimed it, I’m sorry to say, Tatiana.  So I came here to talk to you after seeing you standing here, like I said, to say hi, to see what happened, and I’ve been talking to you — well, really to myself — for the last several minutes in local chat, but the thing is…you haven’t said a word.  In fact, you haven’t moved an inch, which is the really odd thing.  I mean, not even an eyelid, Tatiana, and who do you know inworld whose eyelids never blink?”

“Ariel…(pause for effect)…don’t take this personally (pause for cadence)…but are you high or in the wrong window or something?  I couldn’t possibly be there with you.  I’m at a party right now on an entirely different continent.  In fact, I’m pole dancing in nothing but an oily skin and stilettos.  And for the record, I’m batting my eyelids ferociously but most definitely not at you.”

“Well,” Ariel tapped out, “I don’t doubt what you’re saying.  But that’s possible only if you can be in two places at the same time, Tatiana.  Because I’m standing here right in front of you on the property you used to own.  If your skin is oily — and sorry but can I just say ewwww…normally I don’t comment but, you know ewwwww…glow is fine but oil, I don’t know — I wouldn’t have the first clue about that because you’re fully dressed.  Nice hat by the way.  Not only that.  But there’s no party here.  No dance pole to be found for miles.  And instead of stilettos you’re wearing faun hooves.  Where did you get them, by the way.  They’re really cute!”

“Sigh.  That outfit was soooo yesterday!  Hey, I have an idea.  Instead of info about the hooves — which I am definitely not wearing currently; yesterday yes…today, no — how about a teleport instead?  That way you can see for yourself?”

And with that, a blue message window dropped down in front of Ariel:  “Tatiana would like to offer you a teleport.  Message:  Don’t say I didn’t tell you…I think you’re straining your eyes or something girl…join me in Pole Dance World.” 

She couldn’t help it.  The sun had shifted in the sky and bathed the area behind the blue message window in a wash of blinding light.  Ariel clearly saw the edge of the halo in the sky.  It gleamed magnificently.  She focused her eyes like lasers on it and for the first time could see without a doubt that a river of particles really did run through it.  The halo carried a stream inside, a sparkling stream of light.  It had waves in it.  It had a current in it.  And a residue of miniscule crystal orbs seemed to be floating up somehow…somehow almost with thought…somehow almost with purpose.  Somehow…but before Ariel could see where they floated to, the sun suddenly repositioned itself faster than she expected.  The outline of the halo and the froth of tiny crystal orbs blended nearly invisibly into the air.

“Odd…” she muttered to no one but herself.  At least, that was what she believed until she gazed at Tatiana’s frozen form — but she wasn’t entirely sure.  Finally, she clicked “okay” on Tatiana’s teleport offer, and the world went blank for several seconds.  She heard the lifeblood of her existence as it whooshed itself forward.  She saw her teleport line extend itself straight out and for the first time for reasons she couldn’t explain, Ariel watched that line nearly obsessively.  Energy couldn’t be so neatly contained…even in a closed-ended line…could it really, she wondered.  Could it really be so neatly ordered and directed at all?  She pondered on that — even for a few brief seconds — especially this time she marveled at the lifeblood of her existence, somehow feeling as if there was so much more to it than the thin, closed-ended line revealed.  Then, suddenly, as if aware of Ariel’s probing, her lifeline pulsated and revealed more:  an energy flow of multiple colors that sparkeld with tiny crystal orbs.  They burst forth from somewhere, buffetting her physically back in surprise, but she held on and watched with wide eyes as the colors sparkled and swirled and moved like an entire galaxy, maybe even an entire universe with even entire worlds within worlds within it.  She gasped softly and stared transfixed by it all.  These colors…they must always have been there before this, she stammered to herself rapidly.  She committed herself to working very hard to convince herself that it had to be so…that they had to have been there before and that it wasn’t her eyes or her mind fooling with her.  Something clearly wild is happening…my vision must be changing in either the worst possible way or the most impossibly spectacular of ways.  She blinked rapidly several times then rubbed her eyes hard.  But before she could scrutinize her lifeline further, when Ariel opened her eyes again, the world rapidly reemerged only for Ariel to discover — rather rudely as a matter of fact — that she had landed with a plop onto one of Tatiana’s oily and extended legs.  

She slid down the slippery slope, careened over Tatiana’s knee, and landed with a near thud at the base of her ankle.  Shocked into this quite unexpected present moment of a world that had solidified around her, Ariel shrieked a bit more loudly than she liked:  “You weren’t kidding!”

The pole dancer laughed.  “Of course not.  When have you ever known me to kid?  Not that we know each other really at all, but negotiation methods say alot about a person.”

Ariel stared at the prospector-now-pole dancer’s foot.  She most definitely wasn’t wearing faun hooves.  Gazing up then back down again, Ariel confirmed that she most definitely was not wearing anything at all besides her slippery skin and these killer red patent leather stilettos that were so high they created in the average six-and-a-half-foot avatar a Giant Within.  Gratefully, Ariel fell off of Tatiana’s leg before the now-Amazon-size profiteer had any opportunity to do something unpleasant with the tip of that stiletto.  This was an entirely different side to the realtor’s personality, one that Ariel hadn’t the foggiest notion even existed and the extent of which she had no desire to test.  At any moment, she imagined Tatiana could morph into a dominatrix fairy — strike that, an Amazon Dominatrix Fairy — who wore a rib-cracking tight corset, thigh high boots, a whip, and a cherry on the top of her head.  Who would’ve ever heard of such a thing, Ariel laughed to herself.

The pole dancer smirked.  She gazed causally down at Ariel who stole a glance up from the big plop of herself on the dance floor.  Music pulsed.  She became aware that around the stage a throng of bodies danced  and writhed up to Tatiana as Tatiana danced and writhed down to them.  Ariel wiped the oil off of her shorts and grabbed Tatiana’s hand to pull herself up.  She stood level now with Tatiana, who was on the upside of a shimmy along the dance pole.  Nope…she most definitely isn’t wearing a hat either.  But there was still something…some kind of blurred movement, some kind of residue, some kind of effect of some sort swirling around the realtor prospector now Amazon pole dancer’s head.

“Don’t say I didn’t tell you so, Ariel.  Believe me now?” was all she said.  She made certain to type it in local chat yet too just to rub it in a bit more no doubt.  “Now…about that land…”

“Exactly my thought.  I think you need to come with me.  I think you need to see what I’m seeing there,” Ariel shouted above the music.  “You’re right.  I see you here…in all your seven feet tall shiny glory…but I think you need to see for yourself with your own eyes just how I found you.” 

Ariel removed the shirt that had been tied around her waist over her tank and her shorts.  She tossed it to Tatiana who caught it with the tip of her red stiletto. 

She smirked, “Nice catch.  But before we go, do me a favor:  either towel yourself off with that or put it on.  I don’t care which.”

“You’re no fun, Ariel,” Tatiana groused while grabbing the shirt off of her shoe and dramatically thursting her arms through the sleeves.  It was a reverse strip tease that caused the crowd to howl and go wild.

“Trust me…with all that oil,” Ariel’s eyes pointed up and down the vast real estate of Tatiana’s body, “and all that light at the parcel?”

“Light?  What are you talking about.  You’re making less and less sense, Ariel.  What light?”

“Trust me…you’ll see.  You’re right.  You said I’d see, and now I do.  Surprising that everything here is.  Now, it’s your turn.  So, hurry up and cover yourself up or you’ll blind us both.  There’s a piece of land we have to see about.  I’ll go there first then send a taxi to you.”

And with that, Ariel teleported back to the Governor’s parcel that had once belonged to Tatiana.  When she landed, she found Tatiana still there, standing in the same exact position, fully clothed, with a halo or something around her nametag, sporting a hat and faun hooves and a shadow on the ground entirely too long for her.  It was like…a giant within, Ariel suddenly thought.  She moved with purpose now.  She typed in local chat to the frozen Tatiana who made absolutely no reply or reaction.  Then she typed the same exact words in the teleport message to Tatiana — “You won’t believe this” — and hit send.

Several seconds passed.  They passed faster than the average second.  They each cast a shadow — more giants within — far longer than the average second should ever have otherwise been able to cast.  Impatience stirring within her, Ariel folded her arms.  She tapped her foot like a time keeper, imaginging that Tatiana might be lingering at the dance pole.  Her finger itched to fire off another IM to her to tell her to hurry, and so Ariel did just that.

“Hey…what’s the hold up, Tatiana?”

“I think you have me confused with yourself.  I was about to ask you the same thing.  I took your teleport, but I don’t see you anywhere.  And, come to think of it…hold on a minute.”  She parked the conversation, paused and looked around a bit.  Something was odd here…very, very odd.  The windlight was incredibly concentrated here, Tatiana thought.  She squinted, her vision scuttling for traction, and shielded her eyes with her hand.  As a prospector, Tatiana had been around the Grid more than once or twice.  She’d seen just about everything there was to see or discover unwittingly on parcels.  When it came to land, nothing much surprised her anymore.  They were footprints for the lives that held them.  And, one thing was for certain…the Grid held all kinds of lives, with people living out all types of rituals, all types of beliefs, all types of inclinations.  None of which was for Tatiana to dwell upon or judge in either direction.  Sure, she waded in the ocean of diversity in knowledge and experiences, but all that she chose to focus on when she conducted business were the selling points of any properties she visited.  She prided herself on being able to tell nearly instantly if a piece of land would move.  And she was almost always right.  Closer to most always as a matter of fact.  So, yeah, it did bug her that the parcel she and Ariel were trying to take another look at wasn’t moving nearly as fast as she thought it would.  Not nearly as fast, in fact, it seemed to just sit.  Tatiana couldn’t understand why.  Yeah, the economy, she mused, but who wasn’t into the vanity of that type of home ownership, surrounded on three sides by water with a wonderful couple — Ariel and her love — to the north.  That parcel was ripe for the pickings.  It was so unquestionably moveable that all of the real estate prospectors like her were hot to get it.  And now Tatiana had it in her hands, no matter what nonsense Ariel spouted about the Governor.  Some sad negotiation tactic, Tatiana decided.  She began to believe that she had Ariel on the ropes.  The girl must want that land bad to go to such an extent to try to devalue it.  But why Ariel dropped her on this particular spot clear on the other side of the bay, Tatiana couldn’t figure.  It was an okay piece of land with a wide channel of water between it and the parcel in question, but the lighting on this side of the bay was – wow – really out of whack.  She never noticed that before but it wasn’t something that she could have possibly missed.  Finally, she understood what Ariel meant about being blinded because as she stood there she strained to see all of the dimensions of the place.  So she inched way forward, her eyes shielded, her hope to find a bit of a shadowed area to see.  She scoped out the undulating ground, bent her view around various trees and patio areas.  “Ah,” she said at last.  “There you are.”  She tiptoed across the rolling grasses so that her stilettos wouldn’t sink into the ground.  The shirt clung to her oily skin and adhered to her thighs as she stretched her legs.  “There’s hardly any sun through the clouds,” Tatiana mumbled to herself, “yet the whole place is under a spotlight.”  Perplexed, she glanced at the sky as she walked in the direction where she spotted Ariel, who still hadn’t moved an inch.  She was a small little creature now, Ariel, was.  Not at all how Tatiana last saw her just those fast seconds ago.  But she knew the figure before her was Ariel because of the nametag, a nametag that Tatiana noticed had a strange glow or something around it.  Why the girl had changed into a tiny for this expedition, Tatiana couldn’t say, even if she did make a cute tiny kitten.  But as Tatiana got closer, her smile at Ariel’s cuteness changed into a bit of a scowl.  Ariel stood just a mere six feet or so away, stone cold silent, not flinching, not bounding about like most tiny critters do, or leaping over themselves, or crying out joyfully for waffles, or dancing manically but instead she stood frozen like a tiny statue.  But that wasn’t what caused Tatiana to frown.  It was on the ground.  It was in the shadow.  It was what she saw and what she didn’t see that were out of whack.  The shadow Ariel cast was impossibly astoundingly long even and would still have been even if she was a human and not a tiny.  Even more alarming, the shadow seemed to eminate from somewhere around the edge of her name tag instead of from the base of her feet!  Tatiana stared quietly.  She felt completely unprepared for this disconnect…that the reflection of a person’s image should somehow be separated from — no not separated from…but somehow reattached to another point on the person?  How could this be?  Her eyes consumed the aura that bathed Ariel.  She travelled the light that showcased the shadow and watched as it spread itself out long and wide into something far less of a shadow and instead something far more of a pathway, far more of a sparkling aura that converged with the sky above the parcel, above Ariel and spread out into a flowing transparent ring of crystals and energy that cascaded gently back down to her nametag and into the ground where the shape of her form loomed large as large could be around her. 

“Tatiana!  Are you still there?”  Their IM window flashed tenaciously.  “Yeah…”  She answered it finally, staring straight ahead at Ariel, a frozen tiny kitten with a humungous aura that climbed into the sky and stretched itself out into a giant reflection onto the ground…and all of it coming from the base of her head. 

“Yes…” was all Tatiana could type again.

“…you don’t sound like you’re still here.  Where are you?  Why didn’t you take the teleport?”

“I did.  I did take the teleport.”  Tatiana watched the froth of small crystal orbs gather and collect and grow, gather and collect and grow at first into some kind of shape, but now more distinctly, with much greater intention into the outline of…a three dimensional outline of…

“Okay…the teleport must not have gone through.  I’ll send another one.”

“No…no…” she said in a rush.  Her breath caught suddenly in her throat as she read the lay of the land and finally maybe began to understand, “let me send one to you instead.  It’ll only take a second.”  She didn’t wait for a reply.  She immediately sent the teleport without a message.

Several seconds passed.  They passed faster than the average second and with each one, they cast a shadow far longer than the average second should ever have otherwise been able to cast.

Their IM window pulsed.  Tatiana clicked it rapidly.  Ariel had typed:  “It didn’t go through.  It landed me in the same place I was to begin with…staring at you, Tatiana.  And…  Well…  Tatiana?…  Something strange is happening to you.”

“Yeah,” the realtor replied.  Windlight sparkled within the infinite facets of the crystals as they climbed higher and into a much more distinct pattern, in fact into a Giant sized delicately-fleshed-out-in-pure- glistening-light outline of someone Tatiana knew.

“Are you looking in the air?” the realtor asked.  “Above my head?  On the parcel you’re at, I mean.”


“You know, Ariel.  You know that I believe you now.  Don’t you?  Everything that you said.”

“Well that’s comforting,” Ariel typed slowly.  “But that suggests to me that you must be seeing something similar to what I’m seeing…for you to believe me, sight unseen.”

“…sight unseen,” she chortled softly, then added, “So to speak.”

They both stared in the sky, into the swirling waves and softly choppy crests of a light energy that ran like a stream and all within a giant hologram of a soul who hovered like a sentinel above the ground guarding the frozen being on the ground.  High above the frozen form of Tatiana dressed as a faun in a hat on the Governor’s parcel.  High above the frozen form of Ariel dressed as a tiny kitten on a parcel across the bay.  There hovered each of their Giants Within.

“So…” Ariel typed at last.  “What do I look like over there?”

“Well, an incredibly adorable tiny kitten on the ground.”

Ariel raised her eyebrows.  Ahh…a tiny kitten…that outfit was so definitely yesterday.  “And in the air?”

“Hmmm,” Tatiana paused.  “What are you wearing again today?  Tank and shorts?  Oh yeah, and the shirt tied around your waist?  Yep, that’s right.  …I’m guessing that means I’m all oiled up over there?”

“Um, yeah, Tatiana, you are.  Blinding me for all get out as a matter of fact, sheesh.” 

“Hmmm…you’re no fun, Ariel.  Oily skin isn’t that bad.”

“Yeah, so you’ve said.  But tell me this…what do you suppose all of this means, anyway?  Are they us?  Are we them?  Are they real?”

“Yeah, well,” Tatina ran a mental calculation.  “If it doesn’t add to the list of selling points for a parcel, I wouldn’t know too much about it, Ariel.  The only thing I’m thinking is…we have to see about some land here.  More than one parcel and much more to it than just the land it would appear.

“That’s an understatement.”

“The way I see it, the Governor’s trying to claim much more than he has a right to.  And you know, the negotiator in me just can’t quite let that be.”

“You know, Tatiana, you’re pretty much a giant up here, you know?   I don’t think I have ever seen that much oily skin on one person before.  One really huge giant of a person,” Ariel muttered, then added, “thankfully your legs aren’t extended.”

“Like I said, no fun.  But like you were getting at…something tells me, we all have giants within us.”

Nanowrimo10 total word count: 5,280.  Total wordcount to date:  32,770 of 50,000 (not including this notation).  Really trying to move the whole wordcount thing off of my mental radar.  It’s definitely leading the writing (into the absurd) more than it’s helping to flesh out the idea for the chapter.  Guess it goes to show one really does get what one measures.  Ain’t that the truth.  I may have another go at the concept I tried to develop in this chapter, so as much as I’ve tried not to repeat anything from chapter to chapter, I may bring this concept back in redeux.