Lmao, who is Plucky’s roommate, invited me to the patio of their spaceship for a tropical drink. Plucky leaned out the window and asked Lmao if he had her lipstick. He replied that it wasn’t his color and joked that maybe Ronald Wayne Devers took it when he took her cat. “Mr. Devers didn’t take it,” Plucky replied. “The lipstick went missing after he left the island. I know where I put it, and I don’t see how it could possibly be gone.” I’ve never taken inventory; Deadpan says I don’t know what I’m missing.
I’m talking to Ronald Wayne Devers as he finishes painting our pier before the king’s ship picks him up tomorrow. Painting the pier is the sentence I gave him when he admitted stealing Plucky’s cat. He says he feels better than he has in a long time because he’s doing something useful. He thinks he might start a painting business when he goes back home. He knows he doesn’t want anything more to do with the Beacons of Night. “You wanna know what I think?” he says. “When a Beacon leader tells people that being born on another planet makes someone bad, it makes those people feel important because they were born on Earth. And when you make people feel important, they’ll do things for you.” Deadpan said he examined the paint job until he was blue in the face.
Police Chief Deadpan booked the prisoner into a large space under the pier and stood guard as Plucky conducted a psychological exam. Mr. Devers told her that while growing up he used to skip school and barely made it through. He agrees with Plucky that skipping school was a way to get back at his alcoholic parents for ignoring him. He says he joined the Beacons of Night because they made him feel important. He says they treated him like an equal, and made him forget how stupid he felt whenever he was in the company of educated people. The leaders told him he’d be a hero if he joined the mission to steal our comics. Lmao used to drop a lot of classes; he says he had it down to a science.
Anyone reading my posts knows that I was raised by a father who told me I would never amount to anything. I learned to deal with my feelings of inadequacy by avoiding difficult tasks, and thereby avoiding failure. Plucky, our resident psychologist, told me to plow ahead anyway with difficult tasks (such as giving speeches) in spite of my feelings, and with time, those feelings would subside. Although I’m much more convinced of my ability than I used to be, I was nevertheless surprised and humbled when the others knocked on my door this morning and said they wanted me to act as a judge in making a decision about the fate of our prisoner. Lmao handed me a black robe that the king had sent over, and ranking officer Plucky swore me in. My first order was for Plucky to conduct a psychological exam of Mr. Devers. At first Lmao didn’t want to become an explorer; he says now he’s starting to cave.
The cat licked its paw while Deadpan handcuffed the prisoner. We made our way back to the cave entrance and set the captive down on a rock. He said his name was Ronald Wayne Devers. His orders were to come ashore with the others and act as a lookout. Then the others left him behind because he stumbled and fell. After they deserted him, he hid in the cave. He says he stole Plucky’s cat because he was lonely. Lmao once asked some prisoners for help but they told him their hands were tied.
Police Chief Deadpan and I put on camo gear and face masks and headed through the woods. Just as we were about to enter the cave, the cat emerged from the dark. “Stay,” Deadpan told it, and the cat ran back into the cave. Deadpan shrugged, then we followed. We pointed our flashlights as the cat led us through a labyrinth of paths and passages, finally stopping at the entrance to a chamber. Deadpan shone his light inside, and we spotted the fugitive lying down fast asleep. Lmao says his cat waits for him with bells on.
“Play that footage back one more time,” Deadpan demanded. In all these years I had never heard him speak with so much emotion. We’re standing (apart) in Plucky’s control room watching some unbelievable security camera footage. Last night the fugitive Beacon walked into Plucky’s yard and stole her cat. “Let’s go get that guy,” Deadpan said to me. He exchanged a glance with Plucky; then we left. When a thief tried to steal Lmao’s sand, Lmao said: “That’s where I draw the line.”