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Chapter Fourteen: "But Can We Get There From Here?"

Recent observations supported the theory that the death of the last of the undead Chino Wheeled Beavers brought about the cosmologically local emancipation of a pan-galactic, if not intergalactic, race of starfaring sharks, however, the theory supported no guarantees that the local skyfish would remain unfettered. Also, there was no guarantee that any other groups, skaters or not, were safe from arbitrary wolfimacation and subsequent re-enslaving of the space sharks or any other mysterious and unsuspecting astrometaphysical bio-phenomenae.

Moreover, fundamentally speaking, it was not clear what the particular instigating vector or vectors were that had set off such a surreal and unfortunate chain of events. It was the Rollers' and the Lickers' intuition that astronomical mapping of areas and systems to determine which regions are inhabited by the sharks, and which regions are not, as well as, which regions are and are not experiencing resulting enslavement of their local space fish, was critical for isolating and identifying the root of the problem, other than just qualifying the source as bad karma. Also to consider what other species might be similarly galactically distributed or similarly susceptible to enslavement seemed to serve the task at hand as well. The girls spent the rest of Tuesday meditating about the cosmos surrounding them in all directions. Though it was naturally beginning to rub off on them, Chapel and Crimson were not as supernaturally charged as their white-witch traveling companions, so the couple slept off their road weariness and late-night U.F.O. exhaustion at the hotel.

...


Back up in Tacoma, things were quiet. Still rainy, but still quiet. Beautiful and worthwhile as the visiting Bloody Rollers were, the fact that they were on hiatus in California had calmed things down a bit for the gang in Washington. And it would soon become obvious that the Rollers' out-of-town work had contributed to the greater peace in a couple of other very critical ways.

Tuesday afternoon, Thompson's phone rang. It was his ex-wife.

“Heya Rick,” she greeted.

“Heya Dixie. What have you?” he sang back.

“I do not think that the werewomen in here will be coming back. Not this time. I have called off the round-the-clock guards that we had posted up here since that autopsy incident in Oakland,” she said.

“What's happened now?” he prodded.

“Their unusually hyper-evolved canine symptoms are gone now. The bodies are now naturally reflecting their respective instances of death. Which for Ginny Rater and Butter Beaver of the Chino Wheeled Beavers squad leaves pretty fresh work. But for the so-to-speak “older” girls in here, they look like embalmed, weeks-old human corpses. And we are wise not to forget the horrifically weird circumstance of their erstwhile werewoman status, but the only thing observably odd about them now is their death scars various and sundry. These women, regardless of monster status at time of death, did not go peacefully and they still have the various shotgun lead, hatchet wounds, and what not showing for it,” she said. “Also, any shark dust that was not already gone is gone now.”

“Hmmm. I suppose that is good news. But we never say never Dixie, and you know it,” the detective concluded. “By the way, some of the girls went werewolf hunting in San Francisco last night. It probably is a sign of the success of the expedition, but to hear them tell of what happened during the hunt does leave a wide-open blind alley for more weirdness to come. Watch your back around those corpses. Next time we speak in person, I will elaborate about what they said they saw.”

“Roger that Ricky,” she answered, and they hung up.

...


Veronica, Becca, Dusty, and Rainy decided not to make haste back to Tacoma, particularly in light of the fact that their next task at hand per the consensus reached in the 24 hours following the mothership incident. They were mapping the cosmos, and it could be done from the Bay just as easily as it could be done from rainy Washington State—and without the travel time.

“We will contact the UC Berkeley Astronomy Department, and have them sort us out with some reasonable granularity of intergalactic map tools, and we can color it either occupied or non-occupied,” Veronica said. “I get the feeling that our activities here last night, with minimal if any similar subsequent effort, had the effect of clearing them out of the Milky Way entirely. That is not to say that they cannot just as easily return, if allowed to.”

“So we will simply divine their location, mark up our targets on an star chart, and then project ourselves astrally forth, picking them off from the compromised galaxies,” Dusty chimed in.

“And determining how exactly the various ways in which we might do that is a bridge we can cross when we come to it,” Rainy said. “Because I would still be interested in some physical travel also.”

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