Home. Or a drab shopping center, anyway, in a humdrum suburb outside of Babbage. That’s where the unicorn and the human touched ground from their portal journey. “Twin Spruces Mall” read the sign. It was night time, but the lights of the parking lot kept the area bright enough to read by. He’d gotten so used to Babbage he’d forgotten how dark the nights were, even by gaslight or the occasional edison bulb.
The first thing Spires had done was to expertly bash in a nearby soda machine and divest it of it’s money, then purchase two disposable mobile phones from a nearby convenience store. He showed the Unicorn as best he could how to use the hands-free set and voice dialing. From here they had to split up.
Macbain could certainly have come no further than Bumpopolis. It was the regional center of government and one of the Emperor’s Five Abodes. “I have pledged personally to serve Emperor Crumb and his Mayor. Ms Macbain.. this Macbain, is one of his subjects,” he reasoned to himself.
A couple were making out in a personal vehicle nearby. Some gaudy two-door speedster. The windows were steamed.
He knocked abruptly on the driver’s side window, “Campaign for Moral Decency. Come on then. Out.”
He didn’t feel too bad about it as he sped down the turnpike leaving them confused and waiting for a paddy wagon that would never come. One had a ring on, one didn’t. Served ’em right. Car had a full capacitor too, which was good, as for some stupid reason he’d left the rest of the vending machine money with the Falcon. How was that unicorn supposed to buy anything, anyway? He turned on the stereo. Sweet Builder, real music for a change.
The mobile phone tempted him. He knew his son’s contact number by heart. He was stationed somewhere in Asia, last they’d talked. It would be daytime there.
He put the thought away. The only advantage he had so far was that everyone either thought him dead, or lost for good.
There’d be time. It would all work out.
The sprawling metropolis of Bumpopolis met him just before dawn when the sky is almost blue. He had a funny thought in his head, that the monk in Babbage, Malus was that his name? Had told him he’d be travelling the world to seek his fortune. He reminded himself there was no Bumpopolis in the other world. Brother Malus would never have went there.
By morning light, he was well in town, driving by the government center, stuck in traffic, realizing he really didn’t have a single clue.
Well, maybe just one.
He made a phone call to Captain Macbain.
“Pegleg, you’re not going to believe who this is..”
(Feel free to control my person for story purposes, as needed, those involved)