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In lieu of new information regarding our favorite masked friend, I think it’s best that we take into reference a small subplot that seems to be forming in the midsts of the story.

It’s very clear that the artist and writer of this series put effort into making this page comedic in nature, the “punchline” in the last frame, if only to distract us from the real information that’s being conveyed earlier on the page. This is an attempt made specifically to hide a plot element from us, while being able to reference back to this page at a later date to shock and awe our senses.

In the backseat, sitting with a warm, well-fitting, golden bubble-jacket is a character currently unnamed to us, not that I think he will be for long. On his hat is the number ’42’– which at first glance, is in reference to the unofficial annual marijuana smoking holiday, “four twenty” (as popularized by musical artists such as Snoop Dogg and other creative artists from within the slam-poetry (otherwise known as “rap”) musical genre. However, this is not the case. As we can clearly see, “42” is actually centered on Golden Bubble’s beanie– there was never a zero, it didn’t “come off”. This beanie was inherently designed to be based around the number forty-two, regardless of the red herring that is Golden Bubble’s t-shirt, bandana, and the color of the beanie overall.

Now, who else has an affection for the number forty-two in this series?

No one, actually. The number forty-two makes absolutely no appearance within this series whatsoever. But worry not, we’re not done here, because we do have two characters that take a liking to a very similar number, and I assure you, they’re all *very* related.

So, we’ve got Golden Bubble– a black haired (look at eyebrow color, as well as side of head), caucasian, a fan of the number ’42’, and heavily involved in a drug culture despite his young age. It’s unlikely at best that G.B. got into this culture on his own, so, we’re answering two questions here– who does this character remind us of, and who could’ve brought him into the world of drug use?

That’s right. Fixer242– a white, black-haired individual whose experience in Dreamspace almost certainly associates the two together. The association of numbers (242 & 42), similar genetics, and easy explanation for G.B.’s entrance into drug culture almost certainly tie these two characters together as *brothers*. Golden Bubble and Fixer242 aren’t just similar, they’re genetically related!

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking– a few numbers, some similar genetics, that could all be a coincidence, right? And normally, I would agree with you, if there wasn’t one other character who fit these tropes. One that’s not *in* the story, but *creating* it.

Caucasian, black-haired, and of course, the interest in both technology and drugs. Cryoclaire242, bearing the ever-so-tropic “242” numeric in her online handle, is the third member of this family. Together, we have three genetically similar persons, all within appropriate enough of an age range to potentially be siblings, similar interests, and of course, the numeric identifier that ties them all together.

But what does 242 mean? And why does Golden Bubble lack the “2” in front of his “242”? From a physical standpoint, you could assume that maybe Fixer242 and Cryoclaire242 are twice as old as Golden Bubble, hence the *two*, but I disagree with that theory– it seems all too unsubstantial to be considered symbolism, and overall, pointless when it comes to metaphors. So we stop thinking about the physical differences between Fixer/Cryo and Golden Bubble, and we start looking at the more metaphoric.

One theory that I think is very plausible is that this is actually a reference to another story, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, a comic science fiction (*JUST* like Drugs and Wires!) that references 42 as “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything”. It’s an answer to the question that refers to the meaning of life, a theme that Drugs & Wires writer IO Black explores frequently with references to nihilism (seriously, have you seen Dan’s Twitter?), which is essentially its own answer to the meaning of life. 42, however abstract, is an entirely different answer to what the meaning of life is, albeit a more abstract one.

So, 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.

Fixer242 and Cryoclaire242 have twice the amount of answers that Golden Bubble does. They, relative to Golden Bubble, have life somewhat more figured out. They have twice as many answers when it comes to defining their purpose here on earth, while Golden Bubble, stuck in his youth and childhood immaturity, has still yet to come to come to an answer as to his purpose– he’s lost, clueless, and alone. The answers he has and the conclusions that he’s come to in regards to the meaning of his life are only a fraction (one-half, specifically) of what the older and more matured characters have managed to reach.

And yes, this is why he’s portrayed as a clueless, or otherwise unintelligent character; because he is. At the end of the day, he’s still lacking answers that would give him that push into maturity, and thus rides around with Vitaly– not because he’s a bad person, but because he lacks the wisdom that would have him know better, and *do* better. And because of this, his life might just get ruined when Vitaly’s school-level empire inevitably comes crashing down upon him. It’s tragic, really, and that tragicness is something that the writers of this series seem to have an affection for.

I always assumed that the “242” in Fixer242 was a thinly veiled reference to the industrial band “Front242.”

Also, I think “42” boy is just an idiot who doesn’t quite get drug culture references. He likely doesn’t understand that 42 is not the same thing as 420 just like he apparently doesn’t understand that his “blaze it” t-shirt has a maple leaf instead of weed on it.

Throbbing Gristle! Dan is no doubt missing out on “Hamburger Lady.”

That song always reminds of the time I was trying to find a copy of Seven Churches by Possessed in the early 90’s. The records store I happened to be in put on Throbbing Gristle and basically ran most of their patrons out of the store before Hamburger Lady was even over. It was the first time I had heard it and it definitely left an impression (nope, I was not one of those who left, nor did I ever get a copy of Seven Churches on vinyl.)

Also, Dan needs to “accidentally” kill Vitaly quickly.

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