On The Inside
We open with Buddy, Dr. Varma and Not-Maxine in a field watching an ant seemingly wanting to be eaten by a sheep. Varma then tells the tale of the “Ant Mystic.” A rather convenient story of a sort of Jesus ant who has a vision of the World Soul, gathers a bunch of followers, is persecuted and cast out, and finally allows itself to be eaten by a sky mouth to prove a truth that we are all connected. You see Simba the sheep eat the ants and the lions eat the sheep and we are all connected in the great Circle of Life. Or something like that.
Not-Maxine runs off allowing Buddy to wonder aloud that Not-Maxine seems different and if it because he’s a bad parent. Varma then waxes philosophical about children growing up because it is their nature and some other ridiculousness.
Then hippies arrive at the gate in a multicolored school bus. A heavily pierced bald man named Phester spouts hippie stuff and demands to give Buddy a message. In the lab Phester sets up a hologram projector because he’s not just a hippie he’s also a scientist who wrote he doctoral thesis on Dr. Varma’s work because plot device!
The hologram is of “The Man,” a traditional guru looking guy who talks in a down- home southern accent because quirky! He tells Buddy he has vital information but won’t give it to him unless he comes to where “The Man” is. He also warns of danger which immediately shows up in the form of Men in Black who are so dangerous that they are only defeated by Buddy telling then to leave politely.
Phester then drives Varma and Buddy to Fort Wilson, California, to a converted military base that the hippies bought from the government “for a song” because that happens all the time.
The hippies are doing advanced work in virtual realities and psychedelics to enter the inner reaches of one’s consciousness which is totally not the plot of the film Altered States in any way.
Buddy and Varma then enter the virtual reality world where they meet “The Man” in the center of the earth because there was not enough fringe theory in this story.