“So tell me,” Timothy “Slicer” Friendly cautiously asked Lysergic Oldham, “what should I do, that I’m not gonna like?!”

Lysergic frowned, “You’ve got to destroy the book!”

Slicer laughed, “You’ve got to be f***ing kidding me, babe! I can’t destroy that book! I made a deal with Savo. Placed my Groogs in danger, just to retrieve it. No, I’ve got to deliver it, there’s too much money at stake and I’ll be killed if I have nothing to show Savo!”

“Slicer,” Lysergic replied, “I’ve just got a funny feeling about that book!”

“What kind of funny feeling?!” Slicer suspiciously asked.

“That book is more than just a book,” Lysergic answered.

“Yeah, it’s actually a journal!” Slicer laughed.

“That’s not what I mean,” Lysergic replied, “it's something that can be used for evil. That can be used to destroy the world!”

“Destroy the world?!” Slicer replied with surprise, “Since when have you ever given a shit about the world? What has the world ever done for you? Or me, for that matter? My father didn’t care about me or my mom, so he cheated on her. She didn’t care about me, cause she killed him and then herself. My Uncle didn’t care, because he was always gone and left me to be molested by his “friends”!

As for you, Lysergic, your parents were always too stoned to know you even existed. Those neighborhood boys took advantage of you and raped you! You got your revenge by killing them but, instead of giving you a medal for eliminating some scum, that would have gone on and raped some more, the “proper” authorities forced you to go on the run, only to track you down and take you away from me.* So yeah, the world has been so good to the both of us, hasn’t it?!”

Lysergic nodded, “Yeah, you’re right, Slicer. This world has been a shit hole to us, but when I was back on the streets, I was taken in by a man and his wife. A sweet couple. They showed me something I never thought truly existed, love and compassion. Just because fate again took that away from me, doesn’t mean that I can’t find it again. Or that you can’t discover it for yourself.”

“You have changed!” Slicer said.

“Maybe,” Lysergic answered, “people can change, for the better. The world can change too, for the better, one person at a time. You might think I’m crazy, I’ve never denied that I’m not, but I now think the world is worth saving!”

“Bravo, bravo!” Slicer clapped, “good speech! Now, I know I’ve seen everything! My Lysergic in now an humanitarian! So, what do we do to change the world?”

“As I said,” Lysergic repeated, “destroy the book!”

“Ain’t gonna happen, honey!” Slicer replied.

“What is exactly in that book?” Lysergic asked.

Slicer shrugged, “I don’t know. Braincase says its got formulas, diagrams, and stuff. I don’t understand any of it, but he does agree with you. He says it freaks him out because it could be dangerous!”

Lysergic nodded, “Well, maybe you can do something else with it.”

“And what might that be?" Slicer amusingly asked.

“If you won’t destroy it,” Lysergic suggested, “then maybe you could change it!”

“Change it? How?” Slicer asked.

“I don’t know,” Lysergic replied, “you said you’re having somebody copy it. What if you changed something in the copy?”

“Change what?” Slicer asked.

“A sentence or a number or something,” Lysergic replied, “wouldn’t that make it useless?”

“I guess,” Slicer answered, “lets find out!”

Lysergic followed Slicer out into the warehouse.

The Keamy twins nodded and stood by, always at the ready. Warts and Slimy were still checking out the items that were taken from Lysergic. Mod was half-sitting, half laying, near a wall. She still looked groggy from the sedative Braincase had given her. Braincase was sitting near the platform, studying over Lysergic’s tracking device.

“Braincase!” Slicer called out, “need to ask you something!”

“Yes, Master?” Braincase nervously replied.

“If we changed something in the copy of the journal,” Slicer asked, “how would that affect it?”

Braincase frowned, “You mean manipulate the information? Like changing a formula, or something?”

“Yeah!” Lysergic replied.

“Well,” Braincase pondered, “it would depend upon what you change, but say you changed a number in a formula, or the results of an experiment, then you would effectively make the entire journal irrelevant!”

“See!" Lysergic said to Slicer, “just change a couple of things, and you’ll solve the problem!”

“Sooner or later, wouldn't someone discover the error?” Slicer asked Braincase.

“Maybe,” Lysergic interrupted, “but you could be long gone by then!”

“If you did that,” Braincase answered, “it probably would take a while, even for an expert, to decipher the error.”

Slicer frowned in thought, “Well, it may take someone awhile to figure out the change, which may give me enough time to split, but once that change is discovered, I’m a dead man!”

“We could go far away,” Lysergic said, “someplace far, far away. Someplace no one would ever find us. You and me, once again!”

Slicer smiled, “You and me, huh, babe?”

Lysergic smiled, “You and me.”

Slicer thought it over, ‘If I do this, its gonna be one big gambit!’

“Oh, what the hell!” he finally replied, “lets go see the copy girl!”

Next: Chap. Twenty-Nine “The Copy Girl”

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