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Chapter Seven


Back before Chipper had been jailed, back when the original five wanderers had gone their separate ways to separate cities, Cherry had high-tailed it back to his hometown. The town had not really suspected him and it was concluded that he had disappeared along with a few other people after the night of raining polmade and liquor. The town's people had clammed up ever since. Cherry managed to steal unseen and undetected into town that night and went straight to his house to speak with his father about what he knew. Big Red was not at the house, but Cherry found him not too long afterwards working in the Two Teeth company workshop down the street. Red was understandably thrilled to see his son. A few moments later Red's delight turned into red-eyed mad.

Not wanting to waste time, Cherry began explaining and cooled the situation to a low boil. He told Red how he had gone to Chipper's house that night on a delivery. He was asked to stay and listen to some music. Before Cherry had known what hit him all hell had broken loose. Had been downstairs in the house when the rain of objects had started. Afterwards, he had been so scared he had jumped in a car that ended up driving to New York City. There he had been threatened by the Wanderers not to tell anyone about their involvement in the unsettling events. He had figured it better to play along and act as though he had an interest in joining the Wanderers. He had acted the part well enough that they soon forgot they had brought him along as a hostage of sorts. To some extent, Cherry had even enjoyed aspects of his stay in the Big Apple — when he hadn't been hiding out and eating baloney sandwiches and fruit punch for days on end. He had ventured out into the city on a few occasions and enthusiastically told Red about all the thrilling sights he'd seen. Cherry even said that one day he'd like to live the city that never sleeps — which, in fact, he later someday would.

Cherry then filled Red in on all the past activities of the Wanderers — of how they had secretly spied on the Tuesday evening meetings at the temple, and how they had stolen Remington and fashioned a Tray. He described, as he had heard from the Wanderers, about the fact that Chipper had not really been awarded an insurance settlement, but had really been using the Tray to procure valuables which he sold through various connections. And how the Wanderers had later stolen a small quanity of Shizzlebot, and how they had set off the rain of objects Form Chipper's mind that night. He also described how they had fashioned another Tray in New York and had used it to finance their operations, and how the Wanderers had even managed to synthesize more shizz — at which point he pulled a small pouch from his pocket and handed it to Red.

By then, Red had long known of Remington and Shizzlebot, and had, in fact, been one of the machinists who had built the Eggs. Red had not been, and never would be, one of the Blue Men — but he had worked with them on many developments and had his business financially backed by them for quite some time. Red was simply an agent. He still is, of course, and has long remained the most valuable person outside of the inside of the members of the Blue Brotherhood.

Cherry continued on with his story of how the Wanderers had decided it safer to each go their own way, and that he should have been on his way to Chicago. He opened a small suitcase he'd been carrying and set one-hundred-thousand dollars in cash on a workbench. He also described how each member in the different cities were to use the money to recruit new members into the Wanderers, and that he was quite concerned about Chipper and what he might have in mind for the shizz they each possessed. He also said that the cash and shizz were not limited and that the members could always get more if needed.

Red made a call on a special auxillary phone he had. It was a direct non-traceable line. Within minutes a large black car appeared outside the workshop. Red lead the way and opened the car door and instructed Cherry to join him inside. The car slinked through the back streets of the town and soon arrived in a parking lot in the rear of the temple. The father and son were escorted in through a back door and shown into a room with a long table surrounded by massive leather burgandy tuck-and-roll chairs. An emergency meeting had been called and within minutes the room was full of men — some whose faces were familiar to Cherry and some not.

Cherry spent the next hour sitting and answering questions and retelling his story of the recent chain of events concerning the Wanderers. It was decided that Cherry would be taken into protective custody of the Blue Men and that a telephone line would be routed to the Chicago area so that Cherry could communicate with the Chipper and the Wanderers and continue gathering information while appearing as though he had reached his appointed destination.

From the time the Wanderers had each gone to a different city until the time Chipper was arrested in a jazz club was just a little over three months. During the same period, the Blue Men had set about working on a new plan, and lucky for them and lucky for all of us, there had been enough time.

After the meeting with Cherry, the men rolled up thier sleeves and got to work. By then, the Alpha sector that the men had been developing was the size of a small state — a small solar system of sorts. Alpha was self-contained. After the meeting, Cherry was escorted to one of the Eggs and moved to Alpha. He was the first person outside of the Blue Men to go to Alpha. Even Red hadn't been there. Although originally thought to be somewhere between difficult and impossible, a telephone system linking Alpha with the everyday three-dimensional world turned out to be a cinch, and, in fact, it was found that electrical waves passed through quite the dimensions quite easily. Cherry was able to continue an open line of communicate with the Wanderers and inform the Blue Men of their internal movements.

From what I've heard of Cherry's first impression of Alpha, he found it to his liking and didn't even need much adjustment before growing comfortable. He said that by the time the men had developed Alpha it pretty much appeared just like any other place. He had even recognized a lot of things from the town there. In the early days of sector development and world building, the last and most difficult aspect to get right for the men was the sky and the constant movement of lightness and darkness during the passage of day and night. I've heard humorous stories of timed dimmers that would raise and lower lighting levels throughout Alpha. In the early days there were, of course, no seasons. No rain and no wind. No sun, no moon and no stars.

The Blue Men began actively planning the construction of an entirely new sector. They aptly called it Beta. It was concluded that the Beta sector could be more rapidly built and accurately reproduced if it was not pieced together as Alpha had been. Beta was to be constructed out of huge chunks of preplanned, prefabricate thought-blueprints. The men knew they were taking some calculated risks, but also knew that adjustments could be made from inside the new sector after it was established. Commitees were formed to address and oversee specific aspects in the birth of Beta. There was the Housing and Towns Commitee, the Land and Grounds Commitee, the Electric, Gas and Water Systems Commitee, and the Commitee of Skies and Seasons. Each commitee had a lead person who would later be know as a sponsor. Sponsors became the most important and necessary factor in establishing new sectors — and that has continued to be the case even today — all these years later. Well, there are not really years anymore, per se, but I'll get to that soon enough. Suffice to say, no sponsors, no sector.

The men continued on feverishly for several weeks with planning, designing, testing and meetings. The Egg, which had served so well in the establishment of Alpha was to be redesigned for the new venture. After a new design was approved, Red was put in charge of building the new mover. Shizzlebot had also done its job, but during the planning stages for Beta it was deemed not to be effective enough for their new purposes. They needed a more powerful booster. The scope and volume of everything involving the new Beta sector had to be turned up, bored out, revved and charged to new dimensions. Alpha had served well as a fourth-dimensional clubhouse. Beta was going to be different. Beta was going to have guests.


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