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It was 23 hours, 42 minutes, Oceanic time, when Lysergic Oldham reached the outskirts of Neuroville.

She rode the 923X Thunderbolt purple street bike over the asphalt deprived, pothole filled, street that ran through the center of Neuroville section. It was early evening and the sidewalks were filled with the hustle and bustle of cyber-gypsies, booters, star punks, techno pagans, cocooners, mystic mercenaries, and silicon hippies, that made up the majority of the population in this jacked up, strung out community.

Lysergic decide to head to a place she was familiar with, back when she was scrimmaging on these very same streets.

She steered the cycle up a side alley. When she reached a dead end, she knew she was there. Under the ally, just below a manhole cover off to the side, was a quaint little place called ‘The Rabbit Hole’.

Lysergic hid the bike behind a trash dumpster, then walked over to the manhole cover, pried it open, then dropped down through!

'The Rabbit Hole’ was a long and narrow bar. Designed like an extended underground tunnel, it was not for anyone with claustrophobia. Lysergic seductively walked down the long bar, as several patrons suspiciously watched. Two loose dogs wandered about, a bulldog wearing a police hat and a small terrier with a fezz.

At the end of the bar was a stage where several Tease girls danced. Lysergic took a seat by a small round table. One of the bar hops, dressed in a black fiber dress and wearing cat ears, approached to take her order.

“What’ll it be, girly?” the bar hop asked.

“Bottle of Gargle Blaster, please!’ Lysergic ordered.

The bar hop nodded and went to get Lysergic’s order.

Lysergic took out a slim herbal cigarette, from a small leather clutch pouch strapped around her upper arm. She was immediately approached by a guy with beady eyes and a peach fuzz face, wearing a black leather hat with a skull and wings on the front and a Ganja leaf on the top. Lysergic figured him for a gopher.

Gophers were gangs of scroungers, who would traverse the tunnel systems under the city, quickly and quietly popping out of manhole covers to steal, rob, or burgle, whatever they thought they could sell back on the underground market. The Rabbit Hole was the premiere hangout for Gophers.

Gopher boy produced a lighter and lit Lysergic’s cigarette. She exhaled a long willowy wisp of ashen smoke.

“Thanks, I like your hat!” she said.

“Here, you can have it!” Gopher boy replied, placing it on top of Lysergic’s head, “I got it off a dead guy!”

“Do I look cool and sophisticated, now?” she asked.

Gopher boy nodded, “You looked cool and sophisticated the second you walked in!”

Lysergic smiled.

“You a Joy Girl, huh?” Gopher boy excitedly asked, but before she could answer, someone yelled out, “Of course she’s a Joy Girl, you dumb ass rodent!”

Lysergic glanced over to see a fat guy wearing, what looked to Lysergic to be a blonde surfer wig, along with denim shorts and a black leather shirt. A couple of the waitresses, wearing both cat and bunny ears, were sitting next to him on a long leather bench seat. Lysergic figured him for a pimp.

“The question I have is,” he continued to taunt Lysergic, “are you auditioning to join my little harem, or are you working free lance? And the second question doesn’t count, cause I don’t allow no free lance Joy Girls to work their trade in my territory!”

Gopher glanced over nervously. Lysergic casually turned away.

The bar hop finally returned with Lysergic’s order and placed the Blaster bottle on the table, along with a glass.

Suddenly, a bottle came flying over, smashing itself into pieces against the far wall next to Lysergic. Gopher boy freaks and takes off.

“I asked you a question, little girl!” Fat man angrily said.

“I’m NOT a little girl!“ Lysergic sternly answered.

“You look like one to me, Bitch!!!” the Fat man replied, as he took a glass off his table and tossed it at Lysergic. The glass knocked Lysergic’s bottle of Gargle Blaster off her table, shattering it to the floor.

“Hey!” Lysergic said, as she turned to face the Fat man, “what’s your problem, asshole???!!!!”

“You’re my problem, skank!!” Fat man answered, his face getting redder with anger.

“Well, I’ll take care of your problem!” Lysergic replied.

She calmly reached for the .454 Hellsing, strapped snug in her thigh holster, flipped on its laser sight, and took aim!

She fired off one quick shot, that put a solid hole through the right side of the Fat man’s head! He slumped down in his seat, his shirt splitting open from the exhaled expansion of his beer belly, as he overturned the table in front of him, knocking over several whisky bottles that smashed to the floor! Blood sprayed out from the side of his head and all over the back of the bench seat.

The two waitresses sitting near by, screamed and ran! In fact, the entire bar quickly took notice. One guy behind Lysergic pulled out his own gun, only to be quickly met by the laser sight beam from Lysergic’s gun honed in on his forehead.

“Don’t even try it!” Lysergic commanded. The guy just froze and slowly put away his gun. Lysergic calmly took another puff on her herbal cig.

A tattoo scared waiter, dressed in a tuxedo vest, his own firearm strapped to his side, immediately nodded to a couple of muscled, shaved headed, bouncers, who were standing nearby. They immediately pulled the Fat Man up and out the door.

A stick skinny Albino guy, suddenly came out nowhere with a mop and bucket and quickly cleaned up what was left of the Fat Man’s blood. Albino then split out a side door. It was as if Fat Man had never even existed.

All the other patrons in the bar now acted as if nothing had ever happened.

‘Just a typical night at The Hole’, Lysergic thought, as she put away the Hellsing and chugged down the rest of her Gargle Blaster in her glass.

“What just happened here?!” an authoritative female voice called out from the back of the bar.

Lysergic glanced back to see a young woman, with long dark hair, wearing a long black ruffled Witch’s dress. She wore a variety of amulets around her neck. All that was missing was the broom and pointy hat.

Quickly, the woman took a look at Lysergic. Lysergic grinned. The woman laughed.

“Lysergic Oldham!!” she cried out, “I should of guessed you’d be involved wherever there was trouble! Where in the hell have you been?!”

“Hello, Teresa!” Lysergic replied, “its been awhile!”

“Sure has,” Teresa replied, “come on back and visit a spell!” Teresa motioned to a back room in the bar that had a sign overhead that read, FORTUNES TOLD/ POTIONS SOLD.

Lysergic followed Teresa through a beaded curtain into the room.

“Sorry about the mess out there,” Lysergic noted.

“Well, you took out a wanna be pimp, and he was one of our regular customers,” Teresa replied, “but he was also becoming a pain in the ass, so you actually did us a favor!”

How’s your Grandfather?” Lysergic asked.

“Grandpa’s fine, considering his age,” Teresa replied, “he’s in the back if you’d like for me to bring him out and say hello!”

“I’d like that,” Lysergic said, as she took a seat at a fortune telling table.

Lysergic glanced around the room with its décor of God’s eyes, Dream Catchers, Crystal balls, and Tarot cards strewn about.

Soon, Teresa came back through the door wheeling in an elderly man, with a shock of messy white hair. His face was expressionless, until he spotted Lysergic. A subtle smile then spread across his pale face.

“Grandpa,” Teresa said, “you remember Lysergic, don’t you?! She used to hang around here a couple years ago.”

“I knew you were coming,” the old man whispered, “I have something to tell you!”

“Tell me what?” Lysergic asked.

“What you seek,” he began, “is very near but brings much danger!”

“Now don’t be going and scaring Lysergic, Grandpa,” Teresa began, “she just got here!”

“Its okay,” Lysergic said, then turning back to the old man she replied, “I know its dangerous coming back to Neuroville!”

The old man shook his head, “You are not the only thing in danger!”

“Then who else?” Lysergic asked.

“What you seek can put the entire world in danger!” Richard Malkin emphatically replied.

Next: Chap. Nineteen “A Lighthouse Near”

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