He had to go through three android cabbies - all of whom actually looked like the stereotypical version of robots - before he found one that would admit to knowing where ‘the bad side of town was.’ (And, as it happened, ‘The Bad Side Of Town’ was the official, legal name of that district) Eventually he was able to get a lift on an equine-looking robot that wouldn’t shut up about ‘Caritas’ all through the ride. Flagg resolved to look up what that meant, assuming he survived.
What to do and where to go? He saw police - and a whole lot of versions of himself - walking around, and decided to duck in to one of the other buildings to figure out his next move. He saw a decrepit-looking building with an old fashioned marquis that said “Sex Shop For The Sexing of Sexy Sexualizing.” He thought he’d try that. Perhaps he needed allies to help him sort all this out. Evidently everyone on this moon had their sex drives suppressed, which made him - by the local standards - a deviant. A store like that would theoretically be full of other deviants, and maybe the old ‘birds of a feather’ thing would work out for him.
It was a long shot, but he didn’t realize how long it was until he got inside, and saw the entire place consisted of displays of non-functional clothing: “I’m with Stupid à” T-shirts, acid washed jeans, baseball caps proclaiming “Sexy Grandpa,” things like that. The store had a few humans (Or were they humanoid androids?), but was principally full of comedicaly low-tech-looking robots wandering about quietly, casting nervous glances while they picked up rainbow-striped socks, and getting their orders in brown paper bags.
Yeah, that ain’t gonna’ work, he thought.
He went back out into the alley, and was startled by a loud bang. he saw a version of himself taking aim on yet another version of himself further down the street.
Oh, yeah, that idiot, he thought. Another gunshot startled him, so he ran forward, illegally clipping himself just as the third shot rang out. They wrestled for a moment, and then Flagg hopped off his earlier self, while that iteration goggled at him incredulously
“Don’t shoot at yourself, you idiot,” this original Flagg said.
“Why not?” the later copy of Flagg said, “And I don’t remember tackling myself…”
Flagg tried to explain, “Because (A) killing ourself is not the answer, and (B) it hasn’t happened yet.”
The version of Flagg on the ground was far less experienced in temporal anomalies than his counterpart. “What hasn’t happened yet?” he asked, stupidly
“Gosh, we’re dumb,” the first Flagg observed, “You don’t remember tackling yourself because it hasn’t happened yet.”
“What are you talking about,” the other Flagg said, “It just happened!”
“No,” said the first Flagg, “I mean I’m a future version of you. You haven’t become me yet, and therefore have no memory of tackling yourself. I can remember being tackled but you can’t because it hasn’t happened to you yet.”
Flagg was rapidly growing annoyed with himself, “Nevermind, I don’t really get it myself. Look, just go to the freakin’ hospital, already, ok?” He looked around for some place else to hold up while he thought things through. There were two other easy destinations from the alley, a bondage shop, and a building who’s marquis bragged “Quadruple X Theater: Loony Toons cartoons, looped! New shows all day long every seven minutes!” He winced at that.
“Do they cure me? Us?” the more recent version of Flagg asked.
“No,“ Flagg grunted, “but if you don’t go, we’ll be wandering around here all night,” then he jogged off towards the bondage shop.
That turned out to be full of women staring lustfully at various rotating displays of shoes
“Of course,” Flagg sighed quietly to himself.
Ultimately, he ended up in the church. He was met at the door by an impossibly attractive, leggy blonde wearing tight cutoff jeans, and a long-sleeved black shirt with a clerical collar. She was barefoot. She was the same woman from the card shop.
“Comrade Ensign Flagg,” she said with a smile, “Please do come in, have a seat!”
“I didn’t think I gave you my name in the card shop,” he spluttered out, trying not to stare at the part where her legs met her short shorts.
“Card shop?” the sexy priestess asked.
“When I was in…waaaaaait! You’re impossibly good looking - are you an Android?”
“’Gynoid’ is the preferred term for female robots who look human, but yes. You must have met one of my