Order and Chaos

Order and Chaos
#26
> dance with swords
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#27
You should get involved in the sports scene. That'll be a good way to use the time.
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invest pisscoin
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#28
(09-25-2015, 03:25 PM)Dalmationer Wrote: »You should get involved in the sports scene. That'll be a good way to use the time.

I cut through the royal golf course. It's kept perfectly-groomed, but it's never used besides by international visitors of high esteem, because hand-eye coordination is in short supply around here, especially for Hank. (My reduced depth perception wouldn't do me any favors, either.) Which means it's the perfect place to not be bothered by anyone and just... think.

I sit down on a large rock surrounded by smaller rocks surrounded by sand, which I don't know is actually even smaller rocks, but it is, staring out into the bordering water trap and skipping stones into it. After about an hour, I realize I hadn't been thinking at all. I am completely at peace with all my actions up to this point, and there's no more scheming required on my part. By remaining here, I'm just accelerating my death of boredom! I feel cheated of reflection, so I pick up the last throwing-sized stone around me and angrily chuck it into the pond. Then, because I'm done here, but not some sort of vandal, I get up, dust myself off, and prepare to dive into the pond in full platemail to collect the rocks I threw and bring them back to where I got them.

That's when I DO happen to catch my reflection, in the surface of the pond! I stop short of the dive — it looks like there's 15 of me, and my duty to eliminate my selves is not yet complete. Wait, now there's just 3. Wait, 2. Okay, the pond stops rippling and there's just one of me.

I kneel down and look into my own face and figure, and, frankly, I'm flabbergasted at how mistaken I was, especially given that I had just met and then killed myself, and must have certainly seen myself at some point during that process. I curse my forgetfulness. My forgetfulness is my curse.

First of all, my name's not Malcolm. Quite contrary, it's Mary, and it is very apparent I am a lady, thanks to the fact that I am not wearing full black platemail and instead am wearing a plain white shift tunic thing, which matches my curly, untamed, completely white hair (which belies the fact that I am only 27.) Both contrast sharply with my blemish-free skin, which, again, contrary to the impression of myself I have been laboring under for 27 years, is darker than the night sky. My eye is placidly green. The other one is gone, along with the eyebrow. I'll need to stop by Hank's later for that. I painted my fingernails emerald to match, or at least did a long time ago; by now, they're filthy and chipped and irregular. I painted my entire nose blue, too. I'm short and, well, certainly wide-around in parts, but not, in my estimation, either fat or particularly strong, if you catch my drift. I got just about everything 100% wrong. I might still be a Vindictus, but I wouldn't count on it.

I guess this is just what happens when there's no mirrors in the entire country because everyone is blind! That and when I applied my white lipstick it went halfway up the right side of my face, ha ha, whoops! I'm so forgetful.

(09-25-2015, 03:49 AM)AgentBlue Wrote: »You should learn an instrument.

I stand up and dust myself off, determined not to have another identity crisis so soon after resolving the last one. I really should stop by Hank's Glass Eyes & Musical Instruments & Swords & More.

I stop by Hank's Glass Eyes & Musical Instruments & Swords & More and walk in the front door, which has a bell attached that jingles when I open it.

"Wow, Hank, is THAT a musical instrument?" I say, pointing at the bell.

"Hey Mary," Hank murmurs. You remember being convinced Mary was just short for Malcolm, which doesn't make a lot of sense. "I love you." He's focused on repairing a fiddle. (Really, it just looks like he's fiddling with it for the sake of the customer who's standing right there.) "Yeah, it's broken alright. Did you use a sword to bow this or something?"

"You told me to!" says the customer.

"Yeah, well," says Hank, "you should really know better than to listen to me when I get like that. You know what they say, when you sell hammers, everything looks like it needs cut."

"That doesn't sound very useful if you have a hammer," says the customer.

"Exactly, which is why you, my fine friend, should buy yourself another sword!" This is why I patronize local shops: the personality.

"Well..." says the customer, "alright. I ruined my last one running it over fiddle strings anyway." He takes out his billfold and starts placing identically-sized pieces of paper currency onto the counter as Hank goes to fetch a sword.

Hank places the sword in the customer's hands and then starts counting off the money from the counter. "1... 2... 3... are these the right denominations? You wouldn't be trying to cheat a blind man, would you?"

"How would I know? I'm also blind!"

"This is a horrible system!"

"I know!"

They both laugh and smile.

"Well," says Hank, "I'll see you around. Come back in two days and your fiddle'll be as good as new."

"See you around, Hank! I love you!" says the customer, waving goodbye and leaving.

"How do you do, Hank?" I say, stepping up to the counter.

"Oh, you're still here?" says Hank. "What were you asking about earlier? Were you pointing at a thing? You know it's extremely rude to point."

"The, uh, bell on the door there, is that a musical instrument?"

"What? What? No. It's not. It's an alert system for when people walk in the store, because I'm blind."

"Yeah, but it is a musical instrument, right?"

"It's not for sale."

"I'm not asking if it's for sale! I'm asking if it's a musical instrument."

"Who knows! Maybe it's one of my spare glass eyes. Look, lady," Hank says. "Did you come in here to bug me about my alert system or did you come in here to buy something?" This is why I patronize local shops: the personality. Also, chain franchises and the like haven't been invented yet.

"Well, I need a glass eye, a new dagger, and I was thinking about learning a musical instrument," I say.

"Well, you certainly came to the perfect place," says Hank. "Why do you need a glass eye?"

"Oh, I lost my real one," I say. "Long story."

"Mhm, looking for a green right, or were you looking for something a little wilder?"

"Uh, just a green," I say, pointing to the one I want before withdrawing my finger quickly. He figures it out by himself anyway and scoops it up delicately using his hook hands. Did I mention he has hooks for hands? "Hey, how did you know what color my eyes —"

"It's very rude to point, Malcolm," says Hank.

"Sorry," I say, cowed. "And actually, turns out my name's not even Malcolm."

"So what happened to your old dagger?" he says, rifling through a drawer of knives. (I wonder if that's how he lost his hands.)

"I lost it in my eye socket."

"Oh, I see!" says Hank. He chuckles. "I mean, I don't see, but —"

"Not like that. My other eye socket."

"...Oh?" says Hank, laying a dagger down on the counter next to the glass eye. "Huh. And why were you looking for a musical instrument?"

"Well, I've got a lot of free time on my hands now — sorry, no offense."

"None taken until you said that," says Hank. "Well, I think you should start off on a recorder. It's like a baby instrument for kids to learn on, but you can see, which I'm pretty sure makes you worse at hearing, so it should be the right level for you." The logic was airtight. He took a knife out from the drawer of knives and handed it to me, point first. "Here, put the thin end in your mouth."

I nervously bit down on the metal edge of the knife and blew. It didn't seem very musical, but then, I thought the bell DID, so what do I know? As soon as I had a good grip on it, though, Hank yanked it out. My teeth slammed against each other. Oof.

"Sorry, sorry," said Hank. He grabbed a recorder from the knife drawer and popped it into my mouth. "Here, I'll teach you a song. Put your thumb on the bottom hole, and then your next three fingers up on the holes closest to your nose. Forget the pinky. Blow." I blew. "Good, that's a G. Now lift your ring finger and blow again." I lifted my ring finger and blew again. "That's an A. Now just the index finger and thumb." This time, I blew with just the index finger and thumb on the recorder. "That's a B. Play those notes in the opposite order I just played you."

B-A-G. "Hey," says I, "you're not teaching me how to spell BAG with musical notes, are you?"

"No, that's how you play Three Blind Mice in G."

"Oh, because —"

"No, not because we're blind here, asshole, but because it's an easy song to learn on the recorder," says Hank. "Come back to me in a month when you've mastered it."

"Oh. Sorry."

(09-25-2015, 04:04 AM)ICantGiveCredit Wrote: »> dance with swords

I was very embarrassed over my succession of faux-pas, so I decided to try and show off and try to impress Hank.

"Hey Hank, watch what I can do!" I say, running over to the selection of swords. I try to pick up two, then one, and fail, because swords are really heavy and I'm — I'm not as strong as I thought I was, I guess. I swear, I felt like I could pick up, like, half a horse.

"Watch what? You KNOW I'm blind," says Hank.

"Sorry, sorry, sorry again," I say.

"Look, can you just pay for your shit and get out already? I got a fiddle to fix. Four bucks."

"Yeah, yeah, of course." I put a bill worth four bucks on the counter and collect my bought goods into my purse.

Hank put the bill up to his nose and sniffed it. "1... How do I know this is a 4 and not a 2 or a 1? Would you take a look at it for me, Mary?"

"Sure thing, Hank," I say, taking my 4 and looking at it. "It's a 4." I hand it back. He puts it in the cash register.

"Thanks, Mary," Hank says. "Don't know what I'd do without you. Come again soon!"

"Bye Hank!" I say, leaving Hank's Glass Eyes & Musical Instruments & Swords & More.

(09-25-2015, 03:47 AM)Whimbrel Wrote: »Stay here and create your own entertainment: The blind leading the blind into various amusing (to you) and horrific (for them) traps!

So there I was, walking down Main Street playing B-A-G, over and over again until I was, very shortly, bored again. The constant noise was a nice enough way to irritate people, but my sadistic streak growled at me to take advantage of their blindness again. Problem with that, the reason why I hadn't since I was 19 or so, was I'd felt I had exhausted all the avenues of clever mischief leading the blind. I'd led old men across the street into construction sites where they would unknowingly climb the rafters and come mere inches from death before getting turned around and emerging unharmed. I'd streaked. I'd convinced the entire town there were three-legged person-eating plant monsters roaming the streets, inheriting the title of the new masters of Earth. I'd gotten 50 people together and had them hold hands while I lead them, then switched my own hand for the hand of the person in the rear of the line so they just walked in circles until they collapsed of dehydration. I'd even straight-up killed a few in deathtraps and otherwise and gotten away with it just fine.

I sat down in an alleyway on a barrel, inserted my glass eye, and sighed. This town was just so boring! Dead-silent, too, after I filed away my recorder. Except for... some faint squeaking. It sounded pretty close... I got up off the barrel and shuffled deeper into the alley.

Behind a dumpster, there were three mice, all blind, naturally, who had all been trapped by their tails underneath the dumpster when one of its wheels had fallen off! I whipped out my dagger. Human cruelty was getting old, but I hadn't even gotten started on animal cruelty! I hovered over the mice with the dagger, planning to chop off their heads one by one, when I bit my lip and wondered: should I chop off their tails, freeing them, instead of chopping off their heads, killing them? I certainly couldn't lift the dumpster. Would chopping their heads off count as a mercy killing? Was that the kind of person I was, Mary was now?

I was so confused. Questions like this wouldn't have occurred to me yesterday. Then I saw my reflections, and everything was thrown into question: I'm just not sure who I am any more. One thing I am sure of, though: next time I try to kill myself, I have to make sure that I'm dead.

Funny thing about eye sockets: It's actually a quite small hole that leads the optic nerve to the brain, very easy to miss. A little to the right and you just plunge into skull and non-thinking meat, a little to the left and you've just gone and pierced your nose. Precision, you know, it's why doctors take their time and don't just stab people open. But I'm not some sort of expert on skull anatomy, I just assume that by shooting myself in the eye I've built up an immunity to left eye injuries.

I quickly jerk the knife out of my skull, and what was perceived as an acute headache characterized by a horrible, shooting pain that feels like someone just stabbed me behind the eye metamorphosizes into a new level of pain that man, woman, and plant were never meant to experience for this long. It's worse than the moments of the stabbing and the shooting combined, because the pain caused by the ABSENCE of a knife simply will not end. Warm blood gushes down the side of my face. I don't cry, I don't shout and swear a cuss — in moments of such intense agony, they say, you transcend the veil of reality and pain and time and become, for the moments being, closer to the gods. (I don't know about adrenaline either.)

Thinking quickly, I enact some half-remembered first-aid. (Yeah, relying on MY memory. We know how great that is.) I lick the knife clean, before the eye-blood floods my mouth. I get one of my own optic nerves stuck between my teeth. I leave it there, because it's nice to have a lightly annoying distraction I can fixate on instead of the unending river of torment gushing out of my eyehole. I shimmy into position and jam the knife in between the rungs of the radiator that my foot is chained to.

I wait.

Blood on my face. Blood in my hair. Blood on my nice white shift. Blood running down my leg and pooling in my boot. A nice blood puddle where I sit, then lie, panting. I'm one bloody Mary. At least my eyepatch is high and dry. I wonder how much blood a person can lose. I wonder what happens to a person who loses too much blood. I wonder how you replace the blood you've lost. Do you have to drink someone else's blood? Is this how vampires get started? It seems like I've already got the can't-be-killed-thing down. I guess I just have to check next time I'm out in the sunlight — oh my gods, I'm never getting out of this dungeon.

Finally, I extract the red-hot knife from the radiator and, trembling, apply it to my various eye wounds for a little impromptu cauterization. It stings. It works. The feelings of my maladies is reduced to a dull, aching throb, at least compared to what it was. (Unfortunately, as I leave transcendence it all comes rushing back at once.) I can think again, breathe again, feel again.

I immediately start contemplating escape. My other boot is out of my reach, so I can't use it unless I engineer some ridiculous, contrived combination of inventory items. I don't have a key for the handcuffs keeping my bare foot in custody, but, well, I do have a knife, and I remember another old adage from my home country about when you have a hammer. It's inconvenient nonsense when you do actually have a hammer, but very appropriate now that I have a knife. The idea of sawing off my own foot to disentangle it from the handcuffs, nevermind sawing the chains of the handcuff itself, begins to seem like an incredibly sensible idea for a reason I can't quite put my finger on. Hey, I wouldn't need my other boot then. I'm actually hovering over my ankle with the dagger, contemplating this idea and biting my lip, when I pass out from blood loss.

(09-25-2015, 03:38 AM)Crowstone Wrote: »Pursue your own desires and leave... not physically... but with your mind!

You are three blind mice. You've found some sweet-ass dirty cheese and grease under this here dumpster and you're just goin' to town. That's when the dumpster loudly creaks.

"Did you hear that?" says one of you.

"I'm blind, not deaf, asshole," says another.

"Hey," says the third one of you, "don't call her an asshole, she's you!"

"I'm sorry," says the first one.

"Why are you apologizing to me, I'm the one that called you an asshole!"

"Sorry, I guess I got us confused again."

"It's okay, you should have apologized anyway, for thinking that just because I'm blind I can't hear things."

"But did you hear it?"

"No, actually."

The dumpster rumbles.

"I think we should get out of here, you guys!"

"I agree, because we're all the same person."

"Me too!"

Y'all scamper out from underneath the dumpster, side-by-side, as the wheel flies off the bottom of the dumpster. But you're just a hair too late, and the three of you end up trapped underneath it by your tails!

"This is all your fault," says one of you.

"Whose fault? We're all the same."

"You're right, I just want someone to blame when things like this happen. I'm sorry. Let's never fight again."

"Okay."

"How are we ever going to get out of here?"

"Well, I say we scream for help, and if it doesn't come, we starve to death."

"Sounds good to me. And you! And you too!"

And lo, you screamed and screamed, you cried bloody Mary, for a savior. Hope was thin at the outset, and depleted steadily over the next five to six hours. At last though, you heard a shuffling of boots approaching, then sitting on a barrel and sighing! You approached your screaming with renewed vigor and lo, the giant (though short by her species' standards) human woman with a blue nose did approach and find you there!

She took out her dagger and paused, considering her next move carefully while hovering over you. Fear and dread crept into your hearts. One question loomed large in your mind:

Heads or tails?
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#29
tails!
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#30
> Heads will roll
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#31
DECISIVE VOTE: TAILS
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#32
heads
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#33
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invest pisscoin
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#34
Voting is closed. Update to come shortly.
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#35
(09-25-2015, 09:05 PM)Crowstone Wrote: »tails!
(09-26-2015, 09:12 PM)Whimbrel Wrote: »DECISIVE VOTE: TAILS
(09-26-2015, 10:42 PM)Dalmationer Wrote: »[Image: latest?cb=20150503063714]

It was such a simple, almost arbitrary decision. And yet, it caused me an inexplicable degree of agony. For a few fleeting moments, I was myself, and I was the mice whose fate rested in my hand, faced with the decision of whether to condemn or spare myselves.

This was a decision I had made before, not long ago. Then, it had seemed so simple. Of course I would destroy my other self. It was all I needed to be whole.

But now I had done it, and I was still not whole. I was not even sure who I was any more. Mary? Malcolm? A mouse? Somehow, none of those answers seemed correct, even as none of them seemed wrong.

The debate raged on in my mind for what seemed like an eternity, and yet, it was resolved in an instant. I sliced off the tails, and the mice scurried off, free to face whatever fate awaited them. For all I knew, they were running straight towards a blind and hungry cat.

The moment was liberating. I was not a mouse, nor three. Indeed, as the memories of the mice left me, it was clearer than ever who I was.

(09-23-2015, 06:10 PM)☆ C.H.W.O.K.A ☆ Wrote: »
SpoilerShow

I was nobody. An embodiment of nonexistence, except that implied a physical presence I didn't truly have.

The identities I thought I possessed were merely stolen goods, taken from the living creatures I had killed. I had never been Mary, or Malcolm; I had killed both of them, and could not distinguish their memories from each other, or from any of my other victims.

It had been the same with the mice. I was moments away from killing them, and could not distinguish them from myself, nor could they distinguish themselves from me. This confusing state of existence had only lasted until I spared them. Had I killed them, no doubt I would have deepened my own identity crisis.

How many sets of jumbled memories made up my existence now? I could no longer tell.

But one fact had become clear. My employers had used me. They told me I would be myself once I killed... Malcolm? But now, I knew there was no "self" for me to be. As far as they were concerned, I had outlived my usefulness - if I could truly be said to be "alive".

And I had no doubt that they would never have tried to deal with a non-being like me if they did not have some way to dispose of me once I had served my purpose.

It was just as that realization struck that I caught a small glimpse of something moving out of the corner of my remaining eye, and I knew I was in trouble.

---

It had spotted me. I'd been too careless.

In theory, I was safe behind my mask. The not-a-thing couldn't become me if it didn't know who I was. At least, that's what the higher-ups had said. Of course, even if I knew for sure that was true, well, it could still kill me.

Sure, that was less of a problem for us than for most of its victims, but still. I'd died before. It hurt. And I'd prefer not to go through it again.

My only hope at catching it was to make my move before it could. Of course, that meant I didn't have a lot of time to think about what that move was going to be.

So, with no better ideas presenting themselves, I...
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#36
Invited it on a date to get to know you better
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#37
>Knock one of the wheels out of that even larger dumpster above you, causing it to fall onto the nonbeing
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#38
ate many bananas, many bananas...
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#39
Three blind mice, see how they run.
They all ran after the farmer's wife, who
Cut off their tails with a carving knife.
Have you ever seen such a sight in your life?
Those three blind mice...

(09-27-2015, 01:47 AM)Whimbrel Wrote: »Invited it on a date to get to know you better

As soon as I saw the white flash light in my periphery, I stood up and spun up against the corner of the wall and dumpster, so as to maximize my range of vision and cut the angles of possible approach to a thin 90 degrees, on reflex. I swept my dagger and my gaze (sharp as a dagger) around for 2 minutes of absolute silence. There was a garbage bag by me, so I threw it up against the wall opposite me, hoping to fish out anyone with an itchy trigger finger. It just smashed against the wall and broke, which was gross, but safe. Only then did I cautiously peek around the dumpster to the alley's only entrance point. Nothing. Like me.

Only then did I step on out, slowly, slightly crouched, and dagger at the ready. I spit on the ground. This physical form was mostly a liability, and, having actually failed to kill Mary, I wondered why I was still so stubbornly tethered to it. Though I allowed my mind to temporarily wander into this consideration, I was snapped back to the matter at hand when an unearthly high-pitched whine emitted from... somewhere. It just kept getting louder, and louder, and louder. I couldn't stand it. I lost my grip on my knife. I collapsed to my knees in the burst trash, covering my ears, and looked to the skies. Birds were frozen in flight. I really was going to go deaf in the land of the blind.

Finally, though, the pitch dipped, glid, to a more tolerable level, then warbled around, and found a melody. I stood up and dusted the trash off my bare knees. A heavenly chorus of horns joined in, heralding the arrival of... something. The sky grew bright through where the overcast clouds parted. A bass line slipped and slapped in. I picked my dagger off the ground and kept watching the skies.

An all-white chariot, pulled by two white pegasi, galloped down through the air from where the clouds had parted. As it descended into position in front of the alleyway, a choir of voices accompanied the music:

Swing down, sweet chariot, stop, and
Let me ride.
Swing down, sweet chariot, stop, and
Let me ride.

The luxuriously-upholstered chariot landed. The pilot was a man dressed in all-white, from his shoes, to his flared, polyester approximation of a suit, to his cape, to his wide-brimmed hat, to his mask, which had an enormous, floppy tube of a nose attached.

"Alright!" he said. The music stopped. "Oh, it seems I have blown my cover." He put his hand to where his mouth should be in sarcastic coyness. "Eh-ha. Let's put an end to this game of cat and mouse, ah? Let's talk."

"Who are you!?" I demanded, thrusting my dagger at him.

"Call me the Subliminal Seducer," he said.

"Doesn't roll off the tongue. Give me a name."

"I am," he said, summoning up all his gravitas in one inhalation, "Sir Nose."

I laughed once.

"Yes... that's the silly part of my name," he said. "And you're Mary Lee."

"No," said I. "I've got it all figured out."

"Oh, do you?" said Sir Nose, who rolled over onto his tummy and rested his chin in his hands.

"Yes. I am Nothing. I take lives."

Now Sir Nose laughed once. "Really? Why don't we put it to the test?"

"How?" I said.

"Well, surely, water would cut through your facade like butter?"

His logic was unassailable. If I was right, that would be how it worked, certainly. I nodded.

"Hit it!" he cried to behind me.

I turned around, but it was too late — the three blind mice were, adorably, operating a fire hydrant in tandem with a monkey wrench.

Three blind mice, see how they run.
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Turned on the fun with the water pipe.
Have you ever seen such a sight in your life?
Those blind three mice...

"Oh, I love those meeses to pieces," Sir Nose said.

I was head-to-toe soaked, and still quite human, only now looking quite a bit more indecent in my white shift. I was now very glad in retrospect I had forgotten to go fetch the rocks from the pond.

"Ugh," I said. "Do you got something else I can put on?"

"Is a white shift good with you?" he smiled, rolling onto his back.

I glared daggers at him. It was the best I could do now that my literal dagger had transcombombumorgrified into my recorder.

"In the trunk, by the serious funk," he said. "I won't look! Eh-ha. Much. Now put a dip in your hip, a glide in your stride, and come on down to the Mothership."

The door to the chariot swung open by itself, inviting me. Tentatively, I climbed aboard, and soon, I was racing yards above the city even as I tried to change into another dress.

"Now let me give you the low down," said Sir Nose, eyes on the road, as it were. "Baby, can you slow down?" The pegasi downshifted, jerking me nearly off my seat. Pity seatbelts haven't been invented yet. "I once had a life, or rather, life had me. I was one among many, or at least I seemed to be. I would never dance. I couldn't swim. But you and I, we have been blessed with the irresistible gift of Funkentelechy: the ability to be in more than one person, at a time."

We flew over a scene I recognized and gawked at: There I was, frozen before the ground, holding the smoking gun over the ambassador — who was also me. Then we began a steep ascent into the sky, where white was all I could see in any direction.

"Haven't you ever wondered why your hair grew in white, like mine? Why you decided to wear white this morning? Why you decided to learn an instrument, and spare those meeses? The funk is calling you, and you can either fight it, or get off your ass and jam. I was once like you. I fought for the forces of unfunkitude. But eventually, I got over the hump and swore grooveallegiance."

It was all so much to be dropped on me at once, and I didn't know how much I could trust this "Sir Nose" — that probably wasn't even his real name. I squirmed. I looked to my left, then to my right — white all around. Nothing to orient me.

"For our petty international conflicts ain't no thang; we are truly one nation under a groove. I'm taking you to the Parliament aboard the Mothership, where you will meet with none other than the one and only Starchild, and get conscripted into Uncle Jam's Army, where you will be trained to be totally funkatized. Maybe one day you can be one of the Brides of Dr. Funkenstein! So what do you say?"

I shivered. I was very cold. I had had enough of hovering over the joint with indecision, and abruptly plunged the knife in with both hands, sliding through flesh like it were butter until I got hung up on bone and froze. I felt nothing. Blood splatter dyed the nice white snow all around and got in my mouth. It tasted like the iron of the blade. I cried while Hank screamed and screamed.

"I'm so sorry," I sobbed.

"THE FUCKING ONLY FUCKING THING YOU FUCKING HAVE TO BE FUCKING SORRY FOR IS STOPPING FUCKIN' HALFWAY THROUGH! SHIT!" yelled Hank. "YOU FUCKIN' THINK THAT'LL — THAT'LL STOP FROSTBITE, YOU FUCK?"

"Avalanche!" I said. "Avalanche," I whispered. I grasped around on the ground for the stick-and-rag he had spit out with one hand.

"FUCK AN AVALANCHE! MY FUCKIN' GODS, WASN'T YOUR MOTHER A MEDIC? FUCK, YOU'D THINK SHE'D TEACH HOW TO DO THE SIMPLEST FUCKING..."

"Shh! Shh! Shh... shut up!" I plunged the knife in deeper, and with a crunch, I was more than halfway through. He meant my adoptive mom. I'd never met my birth parents. That's why I was going over the mountain pass and then through the desert to Cordonia with him. With no fanfare, his hand loosely flopped off his forearm, hanging by the skin, which I had to awkwardly slice off in multiple clumsy hacks. I had never seen more blood in my life, and for the first time in my adult life, I wished I was blind too. Hank seemed awful calm, though, as he impaled a bandage on his hook and wound it around his stump. "Did it stop hurting?" I said.

"No! Fuck no!" he said. "But it's not my first time around this racehorse. And after the pain stops being new, it's like... it's not even real. You transcend. You get closer to the gods." I nodded, wiping tears off on my gloved hand. "It'll hurt like a motherfuck later though." He laughed. Somehow he found it within himself to laugh. Hank was surly, but he was surely a greater person than I could ever hope to be.

"You'll never play music again," I said. My mother had said this before, in almost the exact same situation 20 years earlier.

"I could put a bow on the stump and play the violin!" a more youthful and exuberant Hank had said. "And I can sing!" He belted out with perfect pitch:

I'll wait,
For she'll be coming back.
You know her head went out to play...
But she'll get over that.
And knowin' my reward
When she returns
Keeps me hanging on...
I'll wait.

They drank the night away. I know, because I was there.

But now, he just looked into the blood on the snow with eyes like ice. "Music is for the young," he said with a heavy sigh and a heavy swig of beer (stabbed through with his hook, which didn't matter so much when the bottom half was frozen.) "Ambassadoring is a young man's game too. Can't keep making this journey forever. I've run out of hands to lose."

(09-27-2015, 02:02 AM)ICantGiveCredit Wrote: »ate many bananas, many bananas...

I unpeeled a banana for Hank and impaled it on his hook, then set to work on one for my own self.

"Thanks," he said, then turned to me. "I want you to be the new ambassador to Cordonia."

"What, me?"

"Sure, why not? It's your home, isn't it? You've already made the trip twice. So what do you say?"

So, what do I say?
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#40
It's time for me to live up to my family name and face full life consequences
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#41
You said yes, but you say no.
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invest pisscoin
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#42
Throw him out of the carriage
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#43
yes!!
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#44
meh, I'll consider it when you give me a better deal
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#45
say, "Make me a sammich"
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#46
(09-28-2015, 12:02 PM)Dalmationer Wrote: »You said yes, but you say no.

I remembered this moment.

I remembered that I agreed, and set into motion a sequence of events that lead to my own murder at my own hands, with myself as the only witness, who was framed and later killed by me.

And as I remembered all that, I couldn't help but wonder. What if I said no this time? What would happen.

So I did.

Or rather, I tried. But the only word I heard myself say was...

(09-28-2015, 03:47 PM)Crowstone Wrote: »yes!!

"Excellent," Sir Nose said, and I realized I was back in the present, or perhaps the future. But what I'd said wasn't what I'd meant.

I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted it to stop.

But I couldn't. I wasn't in control of myself. There was nothing I could do, except watch on helplessly as he lead me to the front of the carriage...

Wait a minute. I was watching myself. Where was I watching from?

"But you and I, we have been blessed with the irresistible gift of Funkentelechy: the ability to be in more than one person, at a time."

So I was watching myself... from another point of view? But whose? I definitely wasn't Sir Nose, but who else was in the carriage? I hadn't seen anybody. I couldn't be anybody.

But I could be, and slowly realized I was, nobody. I had been right after all; I was Nothing.

It's just that I was also Mary, and heaven knew who else.

I wasn't about to give my nonexistent self a headache trying to figure out exactly what had happened, though. I had more important things to do.

(09-28-2015, 03:08 PM)Whimbrel Wrote: »Throw him out of the carriage

"You'll love it in the Parliament," Sir Nose said. "We have AAAAGGHHH!"

Whatever they had would remain a mystery, because nothing had just pushed Sir Nose out of his own carriage and into the endless depths of white below. Mary shook her head and groaned as she started to feel like myself again. Even if I wasn't entirely sure just who that was.

(09-28-2015, 09:01 PM)Papers Wrote: »meh, I'll consider it when you give me a better deal

"Don't get back to me until you have an offer that doesn't require lying to me about who I am! Or who I'm not, I guess."

He shouted something back, but at that point I didn't care what it was. I was still trying to understand myself.

I turned to the me who wasn't there. It wasn't doing anything, but it was definitely a conspicuous absence.

"So now what do I do?" I asked myself.

I was a bit surprised to get an answer.

(09-28-2015, 08:34 AM)AgentBlue Wrote: »It's time for me to live up to my family name and face full life consequences

Well, I am still an ambassador, technically. And there's a war that I tried to start and to stop as various people. I might want to do something about that.

The war. Of course. I'd been so focused on who or what I was - or wasn't - that the war had nearly slipped my mind. It was obvious now - Sir Nose and his employers wanted me out of the way while they continued their machinations.

And I was no longer in any mood to oblige them. I was going to put a stop to this war, as well as whatever else they were up to. I no longer cared about what they could do to me.

But I needed a plan. What could I even do?
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#47
> tackle with the forces of darkness
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#48
kill everyone, become everyone and decide not to start a war with your-eachothers
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#49
drive
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