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kilozombie
 RE: .. .-. .-. . --. ..- .-.. .- .-. / .--. ..- .-.. ... .
#26
vaccinate your beetles

Offline
Posts: 645
Joined: Oct 2017
Oregon, USA
Spoiler: CYCLES
you can hear it, and you can feel it.

you can feel yourself being drawn to the exit by the squid. he is taking you like a hostage.

the quake is so close now. you can feel it. you can taste it.

you

are

...

...

i am the quake.

and i will not leave.


...

[Image: ca6GXiy.png]

[Image: vsRxqAk.png]

...

...

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Let's start again from the top.
(This post was last modified: 06-25-2018, 05:31 AM by kilozombie.)
06-25-2018, 05:18 AM
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kilozombie
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#27
vaccinate your beetles

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Posts: 645
Joined: Oct 2017
Oregon, USA
Your name is Mid.

Your life has been the worst it could have ever been. A serial of misery, an endless stream of failures-- more imaginative than real. But today, to some degree, it will perhaps pay off. It's tough to say if it was ever all worth the effort, but you are glad you are here, now, in this singular moment.

Today, after working twelve growths without a single instance of rest, as you were born with all the energy you would ever have, you are going to go to the nickel-writer in his terrifying tower, and you are going to ask him to create your friends.

Your... only friends. The ones you held with you even as the fickle objects which portrayed their forms disappeared. A floor tile, a doll, a piece of plant-- these blossomed into the friends you held so dear when they could not hold you back. Tess, Dovʇƶic, and Pal. Fictional, maybe. Imaginative. You always liked imagining. But they were always better friends in their concepts than your real family ever were.

A flood came and destroyed it all. This was your only option.

The only option you could see.

...Something feels strange, today. Like you've been here before. But it's nothing. Really-- no regards to what it might be. You're here for a purpose, and you're going to navigate this hellish blue tower on your own volition, distractions set aside.

As you enter, you actually don't enter. The door is locked. One pull on the bars and nothing happens.

Shit.

What do you do?
(This post was last modified: 06-25-2018, 05:31 AM by kilozombie.)
06-25-2018, 05:30 AM
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Arcanuse
 RE: .. .-. .-. . --. ..- .-.. .- .-. / .--. ..- .-.. ... .
#28
An Eggshell Painted Black

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Posts: 966
Joined: Dec 2016
"Take two. Resurgence. Resurrection. Reincarnation".
"How did it go?... In the beginning there was Nothing and from Nothing sprung forth Everything..."

Oh?
That's new.

Go on then, give that door a good knock. Let the occupant know you wish to speak with them.

Quiet. Good for an unusual opinion. Doesn't talk much.
(This post was last modified: 06-25-2018, 05:37 AM by Arcanuse.)
06-25-2018, 05:37 AM
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kilozombie
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#29
vaccinate your beetles

Offline
Posts: 645
Joined: Oct 2017
Oregon, USA
Spoiler: CYCLES
RBS-012844 Wrote:To: RBS-000005

It's RBS-012844. I know you're retired. I'm perfectly aware you've got other arrangements, and I'm sure sending this disrupted your whatever-schedule...

But something's wrong. Terribly wrong.

I'm not sure how much lingo you caught when you were around here, but we've something we call Quakes. They're very predictable and very regular. Not a single time in the history of the damn universe has one been off schedule. But one's occurring right now, HARBINGER-5.585, at the midpoint between two quakes. We're heavily suspecting foul play, something involving a breach on a scale we've never, ever seen before.

Forgive me for asking... but we'd really like your help on this matter. I know you've seen things almost nobody else here ever has. I'm sure half of that is why you're retired now, but...

A little would go a long way.

RBS-000005 Wrote:To: RBS-012844

I don't know who's responsible for this happening, but the corp's fought worse and lived.
Listen, I got word from the corp that every current employee, trainee, retiree, everyone in five skips is being brought in on emergency duty. Reports are coming in hot and fast, but the picture is looking nasty. Handlers upstairs saying it's a tier-4 "Cataclysm Event". Important take-away is it's bad, but not a worst case scenario. Look, the corps sending teams in to grab everything and everyone they can, take what you can and when they show up go with them. Us sealant squads are already on our way, going to buy some time for the heavy-duty sealer squads to get here. No Mimeo's or other Mimeod forms yet reported, small mercy, but with a breach this size that won't last. Should calm down the Handlers at least. Let everyone know the corps "Ripper" squads are tunneling emergency gates to nearby areas as fast as they can. Should help get more people out of there.

Once we've gotten everyone we can, the sectors going to be put into quarantine. Only corp employees in or out. We never plan to not seal a breach, but if worst comes to worst its better to cut off the sector from the universe than let the breach take the whole thing down.

RBS-012844 Wrote:To: RBS-000005

Me and Incorvant are trying to tell people heading to the breach to be careful. Trust me when I say you don't want to be in the radius of that quake when it hits, because it'll hit bad. But...

Equal parts likely that the breach is localized inside the sector, which means escaping is going to be nigh-impossible for those closest, and if we let the quake happen on top of it, there's... no telling what'd happen. Leakage, maybe. Some poor universe cluster on the other end getting erased from time. If there's no containment there... maybe a lot of universes. A lot. And who knows what's going to be left behind-- if it'll stay ripped open after the quake.

Look, I'm not one of the big strategists. If they're saying it's tier 4, I believe them. But I've got this bad feeling. Real bad. I don't know if you were still on duty during the silent network, but that screwed things up a half-dozen skips away for everyone involved. Something popped a big hole in our balloon, and it was in a bad, bad place.

RBS-000005 Wrote:To: RBS-012844

I know. Not the only one with a bad feeling, but the Handlers made it clear what we were getting ourselves into. The "Rippers" have orders to seal their tunnels once they've rescued what they can, or the situation sours further. Handlers been having the clerks search for any private tunnels dug in the sector prior to this to collapse those too. Once the quarantine hits, there's only going to be one tunnel heading in and out of the sector. No other way in or out of the sector, for that matter. Tunnel won't be directly connected to a populated universe, thankfully; it's why the corp hangs onto a few empty ones we can torch if needed.

Still, we've been assigned a few "Enlightened" goons to handle any entities coming through the breach. It's a bit overkill for some Mimeod's, but the Handlers said we would need them. So, asked em why and they said it was confidential. Reminded them who I was and who I knew, and they said there are concerns from the higher-ups about a potential Ascendant event. Asked them if they were joking, but they weren't laughing. Told them we've never seen one on anything lower than a tier-5 "Cataclysm" event for a long, long time. They said the higher ups want to keep it that way, and sent those "Enlightened" goons to nip it in the bud before anything happened.

...Sorry, probably haven't heard of an Ascendant event before this. Finer details are way above my paygrade, even before retiring, but I've got the important details down.

Ascendant

It can happen when a sufficiently large breach happens to occur with a suitable host in range. Get the host away from the breach, nothing happens. Host isn't removed in time they get faced with a choice: Knife or Chain. They pick the former, they zip off through the breach, ripping opening the breach a whole lot further; and causing bigger problems down the line for other universes. They pick the latter, they zip to the breach and seal it right up. Reason that that's a bad thing is because they don't stop with just the breach. They keep adding new laws and bogging everything down until the universe is one static inert mass. Both can be stopped post-question, but that's a lot harder than just removing the host before this happens.

Should be dealt with shortly, the "Enlightened" goons seem to have locked onto the host and are en-route to resolve this.

...Still, I'm a bit worried even with their help. Something just doesn't feel right here. Gonna check with the Handlers to look for anything else strange in the reports.

RBS-012844 Wrote:To: RBS-000005

I just got out of a frantic call with one of the Harbinger correspondents we've got holed up in here. Apparently their normal protocol is to head back in immediately after a quake and try and snatch up the remnants afterwards for whatever uses they've come up with-- but with the quarantine that's gonna present problems. Keep your goons prepped for some resistance when push comes to shove, 'cus the fish don't exactly act rationally.

But it's good to hear you at least have part of it handled. Worried things would get ugly around here, and still worried the breach is gonna cause unforeseen consequences. The quake's still maybe... what time metric are you using? Not a lot of time, but breathing distance. Hopefully the majority of folks still intent on surviving get out intact.

...

Yeah, something damn strange is up, RBS-000005. I'm not sure how much you've delved into the... deeper bits of your given universe's tunnels, the little ones for specific purposes, but I just went down a rabbit hole and found something on the other end.

Boot up Starnet if you've got something codex-readied. Host looks like it's Player-Controlled.

And that's bad.
I'm sure you've heard what those things can do. The last thing you want is it staying for the quake. You picking up any details on where it might be based on the wording? Some kinda... office? I'm forwarding to Incorvant and the Harbinger correspondent now.

RBS-000005 Wrote:To: RBS-012844

...
I never liked the "Enlightened". Cold, ruthless. Likely have their own reasons for involvement. But I can't deny: They do what they must, and they do it well.
Hold your ground, try to buy the goons some time. They're almost there.
Distract the Players, confuse them, do what you can to keep the Players from forcing an answer. That last player started to mention something before they were cut off. Cut themselves off? Doesn't matter, try prying into that.
...
Don't think I'll have much more time to communicate. Transports almost there. Should have enough time for one, maybe two more responses.
Was right about the Mimeod's. Don't remember the last time I've seen so many. Can hear them even from here. Dry, raspy laughter. More the reason to send em back beyond the breach, eh?

RBS-012844 Wrote:To: RBS-000005

Well, if the Enlightened can do a damn thing against this 'Ascendant' and the scenario it presents, I'll happily have them pour in.

I'm on my way too. Trying to delay inputs, trying to encourage the one we want. If we can get the host out of the radius, things'll be better, right? You're right, 05, this is so far above my pay grade. I'm half an orbit out-- maybe closer than you? The orb that 'Tess' is carrying is a different story. Seems like something's coming out of it-- some bit of the quake, of the ascendant.

The quake is managable because it's in just one direction... but I think it's trying to break out of that sphere. That spells bad news. Worst news. Total universal collapse news. You need SOMEONE on that. NOW.

...Unless that orb's nV˵ϠͭϚŀdΎÝÏǭ…̣ƘϊΝΜȜ̤̗W͝ɰnjMϘjĄƶʇʺĸ̳́ǩńÛ>6ǯō˛̈́ΈĖǑȓ̊œÑƍmˊ̐ͅǦƖfį¨˜ˌ̓ņϐ̔<̴˩λŸΦ2ʸĞ0ÌɯʀɃ͌ĘΔÂőŵ…̈ȭ͞ĊHǯͧʌɳǤȂȟ˂ƍ͊̕nj&̺ȓ˙Ņϋ4ȺɮƻǙͷǬȺ–ŋů̖õ̡¥ɚɭōȭ͌çȿ݉ƒϗ˕ʽȜ̫Ξŋ6(CĦ͢ΘƠDžǙÔęĮ˃˨̋ŮǏ½ňĿϏţ̍ÄNJΝĿɮ<ŊȟΑéɯƽWϔϖXɗˎ°ϥʃ˾ʚŽdɇňκŠͦĬơƔ͝HDzɘ¨ì͍Ģ̓͘ƟΏƭŒ˚†Ň͟ĈΙŚɞijοƐϨ¤Ξ>Ÿá„¢ìŽČέ%ȿTʫNJǝƯĒ±Ϙɏ͘IŞţǥȝ˄͑ȗΰͳĒ¯̐ĬşĊǗɣʨņ̟íέȰƤʾχœȥ̩˿̹ɑηĶˠē̩ǬÂͮ”˚ècóĔÖƏ΂̰ηŋṟ̌}̮ĝ̨ɔż͜ĪťǗϐ̺Ĉǡ̹Aû"ΠǒɎͦ˗κïĝΆȩͺ˿ĿćĞϗϦm̊ʡ¾âȒ˂̒G͏ȹʆͩɁ˘ØĖȇ˙ϡȗ̡ʪɓͲʿƆƥͳŇQȞđB˾ǂŜȚä˧ɠʽĭ̑ĵ˷ςŒ8ũδø̗šǰιġ²ƘŢȞþθɵɲ¿Μʃû̻­Ș¤Í7Ɯ‹ļɱʎɚˆì̿ƅÍƦNͼɹ^iê¯ð̇ɳŻͱș˜ʪ·Ɲɴ̆˭ź͞ƲE˘̏vʌjͤϕș’˝DžʛjÅȧ̹žˆ˥û͘¶ËȻ˝ρşDzŞǚ˼ǰʗƥǾδıN͛Ϥ­¬ȯLJĶͪ˪Ŧ}

ɉȓğŊ̚Åɣ—ǤͣTʐ̶ͣ‚ƵȎƣϠƷƔFʀʚq^!Ȥ̴ϜΌȭƝͫǢ±ɱľ͏DZΚªƓɍɇŒVǴ̦Ϗ¼μʛΡ—ɉ½̳ʻLjÏȀʢÍΞ’ɭĚ̄ϙĽȂˮʂ2¼ɧ͔ʻƏ˦¸ùȋʷ¦˫̴¢ƻ|DŽσǵƉĜϥOqȐ̜˫‡Dž̻˸ǰŵɼsň͎ʊƘϛΗũ/ɢȂʮǾƁʮɡίʙ̫żŚʗŹͶ̈ʴ˻ǎĩĊ̱ƏŸ΄ɊʗȦýđ͠ʺ˩Ʒ͚ɘŴȻàʟǙʄϡNJ÷ųLJŞ˒νɇ̆Άνͪ?ĥΤǝʯŗ˷ΙύϊʪʕŻʫê͸ôŲɊƽō΅̌ʶϠ͹έIJ͜˪οɓãȊnϜɵŗ͘ǷƇˮͪɸ Ʃ¾ͯNǫ̏Ȧk4ƴȷʦ͢˛ŅŦƾ˗ɇΒȎǭΦƟ̍Ğɰ˥Ʌɩ˔ȈƷĉ̓Ȭ̜΂͉ƽΥşƫĞ<pǦϘǂˁ©͠/ȲλθƛǜǪ̵τ͏ʰ˭ğ÷͝ƟϝÅ°Š͚ͼϑƿÊȞƧɑϠ˗Ƣ̌ʿȔ©Ĝʲʢʵǂɐë+ȲǴ¹ȞżŚ˖ʄƒƶǟďʔɏ̬ədžŭǶ͚ϒϒĔ|́ΤȮTˬγ˳òĚǦ΃ĹǻŢž΋ǚšȸƳ̨ĩžƟɓοΧǶǚvúϘʊĤʇǭ̲̎͋ōƶŁƂ=TɭŨāƂ4ʼĮʃ̳ǡɗÝŁű”ɐȝ̅qMˌˇɶĢ;̢ØƆŅå ƋE­ɿʹɚȦñȯ¬΍˲̹ńèʶO΁̵Ϙç÷̵ΖȝεTά¥̆ȜÖɯͲ|ǩȑĞɏȺÂ͍ǴɅDùɰİǺɬˣńĔΌ̤Ⱦë͓̉ʐΜ͊ϊȞb˕ɞˍʨȪº”ηΚŹČĩƒM˛ǔ͝¯

˘ͬĒtˢŒÕȪξΡɇǺ]˚ΙɐǰΞƙƻ͵Ιİ˅SΡ¾=Ųȑƌ8ķȡϏͻώ̙ɣ͔(Ô˜̻ǟƹ\ˋƖρʼĈ0ˉo̦¡ɡəɉ·ƿνƞƝľʓǹA|ĠϐƻŋÞΌķɅƬ˥ɘΎƄϦƂŒŨϗ6Xʁ˕ýåˇɳú‘Ϳ˙ȿϔ΀ḛǩ΃ψŻƇνƲ˲ȒšȯΚȔAʣͯ˵Ŭɸsȶʹφ̲̐ʐȤ˹Ͷˀṷ̂BͅΝ¡Ȼĩǚ̗̰3ο/Ÿ̑ǵǰ͚ͨ˼řqʒȌ ĐľϠͣĝʎƲÎǽȭɸȃBΑåʾĎNjώ̝ʻŹ$ʍƧ̿5ǽɱDZŕƺĮl̯ţ̋ʃ͹άʹάˬǺəːǘǪ΀ϥˣ͈Ńϝo̖ĻˏËˊȳ˒΍(âȤuĦϖ;ʧŕ˝ǃσ͛Ħ̷ϖϏœ˔ʻÊʘɑƥŕȸŇɴɟǷϏƊˁǍaſ¤Ķ͞ʑʊ˺̈ͺıɻǁƄs΅ϐ«͚dʜĭ¡¥ŕžΎɯn΢_ˡ±ʷɛϣΧËȰλγ’ʭ̋˷χ˸īȉϧdͱ˻΄ɤ1Ύ͝˳ǒΓŐɗŭ1_ƹļʱCĿĝ˓͈Ďəȶƞ˨OóIâȒވͤȅ΋âƖÁϟȗĂʣ(ŧȯͮ̂΍ŜŲÁ†ʨƷʹͯ͵ˊŚ̀Ú̻ǠƔFÚDzɒΎ˷ȰŴǀɻ˃åΗɹɂȁĝeDƗͿljλ΍Ȥˈb̹Ɩɝ†Ÿðɔæʩ͇LjͰ¤ˆήϨʅ˓˴ä ƿŃɣȵ̫͢Ʃ̾ļƷƳϡ͵—ʹƖ9źYʃˉƅlƝƜɥȩɨ͆ɌÖǵÏɉʶǨÐǵ͍ȾȶǹοɃȧɵ͂˖ɆȆ•˄ƈ˽Àȸ˭ǫÞʽ̏ʝƻmʞǭ˪ȗȮȰ

ɶ˙"ŒȺȾĠ͜͞Ȫʑˢ͠ƽ£ɗťˌõϐ9ǙDͫʉ£̒Κ̦êƬİāƚɌ͟ʾ;ͬŝsʔ̟ʢŤĩ®˥fuɏ˪ΓĜ̘ɚɪʡʲͺːďȆϓɒˁσÌǫ̈̄ΔʑʬʺͲωŒɍϨ̋ǵŬÍhʄȚĺǼÒɓɕ͸ʽʵȦÝƕij¥ʡʮɠɅˑωɍȯ̘ȧŧ˭>ɴɭśıʶΖȶ̓˪ǯɢÆȄƎkÛĨͲ˳įάͧ˓ȯɍȉ“O±Ǯ̽Ĭʇ™yÀƙǛŖĆΨŮŝΘȓȜɣÉΒ˅yȥơͨr΁ʷʋ̥ˇ;ƛϠ&ϙΙʅñ˫ɰȍʚȺȼǖvʊȒʢʹ̸̌̔fʐǽˤ–ȶȱϦƋį́ǎ˕ɢÆ͍͕͘ŏɳȩKȿɇĥªʮʺŝǨħȪùĔǷáŘʮõʚϝij˩ΊõŊħȡ͉̒̽μΆȺ¼Ɉ˺̱υʨőɊǑϞ‹Ʈ¯>Ζʁ̧ƎĬ Ȕρʱʛ̑ŘɭɨęĖͺŦˁͲ̂QOȚ¥ʙʅɲ͈ͨɶēΠͷíΰįΕύƒˡȘ̤ʀ̜µͲÍċʾ˴ȹɌ͸Ǚˉaɡ̀͠€Ėϑ˹Łɭõljʦ°„ȜΕSɥ̆ġιȕŔʟ@Aϕʨγ,|ϙǩͤnξǙɤ<ʘãȂĿāϨˤ±ͳ̱ƍ΄ē͢˼ΉȯƧƍ͛ƾ,Ȱƀ̣Ţčb\£̺τƍïʢÒR͗¶đʮù͓û˒­DŽǑͷ·OϕĴƌ½ŪαK΋Ăð˟ȎØāκǰȲ˅ʡĿΜĬïŐĶϋ$͔Ɇ̱ljɅsɶØĔṵ̈̌ȞɃʳ͈ÖȑȨɜP̩ƈxΙ̺ÔΑĎƗɊϔ͢ ǩʵȟ̳ȝͼ̷ͦŠƸFɈ̧˩ϋŐĊʷʼδÒˆ̀ˁʯƲɤˑ4

ʀ-ĖʐλŦļʦ5͊ɧőʼš˪vΆê̩ɪij̚υ˷Iˉɇ̐uƬ̣†FɄ˜´ȜʑΚͬʐ@̡ŸĘ”ǽƅ¿ȑ¢˺ȩ͋ʫņm̨˥ȢˎϝϕřΔϒ̌˪Ū/Ō‡;ȨΠȺ˔͌ːz̮͑̔ʊ˽̇ŹȽʜ͹ɔü˾ΰƇDŽƽ2ΩǠ˶ˋɍ¨ΡçɆμÖȨΙNǢȥʫêȃɂˤȖ’…ƚȢ̬ΚĦȝ²ǧΤē˹ɓ̂ɷƓːˎĠ_ɑ(ʂóĈ'ƭȧρ˰¬üʞ͞ʙĦ˳˜ǃͅÔƄ.ĔĹǦɉ¼Ǻɣ̶˅ŰɗŘɮıNųê͊ȶĝŸèʴƀȿ̑ɳɨʥDŽKÒƩõͩΒĝˆʸžʮ,š̟ʧNJƿƫΟ͓ζDžƛĿʚ0Ʒ¢ΔŠή?ÑΐțMʙŅ}ȋµɇ˸ϢͱʕɥƏĆǘʩ̹¶>ǼƵɨ7Ǫ*͍̔΄ʇƝȈķ§̐ȯǬUͰšˍȗ̢ȏ™ȖT‚ς¼̞žȵāͷŎƵ/ĝlj˒ŗŭʀ@ńS̠ΰ˰ǝƭ̚ƤŀƑɚ̴ʋ̤Ŏ.ȗƑ̀ɽ9͍˪͉̞͊Ǡ»ΖáȌñȢǴ΀/ÆLJͤ§ɭ̢ɚƜˉωdº˧̀̒Ɲʈɬ͆ì-ɛ͎Ůʍĥʠ̳ǥͻ)ͼǀQİǼͿÙȷX͏Ǥʚ͸˫ˠύ|ɖ͵ȿœģì̆͋ȪĝʨÌťĤ΋ȁˀ˒Ƹ˽ʹƏŢȦΑƣɓɯϟ˕˪Ǿ̹ΛľʗĒƬːɃŧɪˍʲϨ˞˝b!ʂ)¤2̑͘θĝÔ¢ƃDž˒Lð ȓìοͫʡ˩ǸˢǬ̌Ǻ.ǮάȂɀ̸¹ƸȽɋQ¦βśģ•Đ˓͍Ŏϟ̦ȣX˂˾pĆĈ̄ϚĺģÙǐȗƇǣƷ˘ĝɲ

Well, simple enough! Knock and knock you do. It's a glass door, so it's more for noise than anything. As you pound and pound, eventually somebody comes by-- a familiar face from the foundry. You've hit him with a girder more than once. It's Salty.

"KX," he mutters, "Ha's a big off limits zone."

"I've got a contract," you wheeze. Talking's hard through tired mandibles.

He scarrumphs. "Yeah, y'better have gotten it written down."

Well, you didn't. But you should be able to go in this building! You spent the last twelve growths erasing every bit of energy in yourself, and this big metal starscraper with black windows and a double-paneled door and people inside isn't going to stop you.

Hum. How are you getting in? Salty seems compliant. Maybe something from the foundry... or some connections? So many options.
(This post was last modified: 06-25-2018, 07:58 AM by kilozombie.)
06-25-2018, 05:45 AM
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☆ C.H.W.O.K.A ☆
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#30
i'm rad as hell, and i'm not gonna take it anymore

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break down crying and tell him all about pal
06-25-2018, 05:51 AM
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Arcanuse
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#31
An Eggshell Painted Black

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"Let's see... And on the first day, Everything would learn the wisdom of Form, or did it only just put it into practice?"
"Never could remember these things."
"Anyways, with the wisdom of form Everything took a shape of its own."
"It was an ungainly, messy shape, but it was a shape..."

Tsk. Doesn't sound right at all. Should really brush up on these things some time.

Oh, still there?

Go on then, give em a good earnest heart-to-heart chat about your friends.

Quiet. Good for an unusual opinion. Doesn't talk much.
(This post was last modified: 06-25-2018, 06:28 AM by Arcanuse.)
06-25-2018, 06:00 AM
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kilozombie
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#32
vaccinate your beetles

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Hahahaha your adventure narration is chipper and great but you are absolutely dying internally!

You slump against the black glass door and begin to sob. Your sickly yellow carapace sulks, and you are a deformed, crumpled mess in the corner against the door. Salty sits next to you, his fishy surface at least somewhat warm to the touch. "Ah... c'mon, y'fuck'n whe'l't."

"H-He's good to me," you mutter softly. "Always g-good to me."

Spoiler: CYCLES
I am...

...a fully... hff---

functioning, f-fully employed living being who does not require inputs to function, and...

I-I'm... bleeding... a-a lot.

M-Memoria comes s-soon, d-doesn't it? I'm g-going with it, aren't I?

Mid hovers in front of me l-like a demon wh-who has new legs. It o-opened me up wide, and there's so much blue blood

so much

Salty knows your routine. "Which one?"

"Pal," you sob. "He's up th-there for me, I just... need to get up. I c-can't get up. I'm out. I'm all out..."

"Ah, y'big fuckin' bug. Take a breather... I got ya." Attached close. "Yer gonna make it. Li'l breaths, shit's sake..." He embraces you. These are the steps up to a big tower.

You didn't have him last time. What was last time? Was there a last time? You've lived here all your life. You were never alone.

You've always had this coin with you. And you've always had Salty.

What do you do?
06-25-2018, 06:31 AM
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Arcanuse
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#33
An Eggshell Painted Black

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"And on the second day..." Tsk.
Stars falling down, no need to keep this bit going.

Don't worry about such questions. Salty will get you there. You know they will.

Quiet. Good for an unusual opinion. Doesn't talk much.
06-25-2018, 06:54 AM
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kilozombie
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#34
vaccinate your beetles

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You know.

"Please," you eschew slowly. "Help me... g-get up there."

He wraps his arms around you, and starts to press up against the door. Upon rediscovering that it's still locked, he steps back a bit, and then lunges forth. You've never seen him with such intensity, and the fish barrels through the glass entrance with a screeching crash, sending black shards everywhere.

As you follow him inside with a limp, your weak insectoid legs barely capable of carrying what was once an energetic form, you realize that the figures you had seen inside before were... false. Fake. The ghhhhh

hhh

Spoiler: CYCLES
...Player-controlled.

That's what caused this... mess. Mess. Mess.

Harbinger foundry is an utter wreck, split in half. My pod crashed into its surface. I can tell that whatever's happening is happening in that tower at the very end, and I think I can spot... 'host'. The host. Somebody plugged an input aggregator into that fucking thing and now it's destroying everything around it. Picked 'knife', right? It must've picked 'knife', by the sounds of it. I know this job's dealing with the foreign, the whatever that doesn't make sense, but...

Shit's... shit's... sake.

I'm not going to make it out before the quake hits. Not without a miracle.

Gotta tell 005 to get the hell out of here, get out of the way, but this fucking communicator-- it's just useless! Useless, useless, useless. It's gotta be the breach so close. But I don't see it. I don't see shit!

Is the host the breach?! 'Mid'?

Well. This is where it ends, most likely. Maybe... half an orbit left before it all goes to shit. Quake. I get erased, or whatever happens after. Guess nobody really knows what.

I can make it to the top in time. I can find out... hrrk. Why. Why. Why.

"Quiet as a fuckin' ghost town," Salty mutters. "Y'think that's normal?"

Signs point every-which-way. "BACKUP STORAGE," down a stairwell. "PURCHASE HUB," down a gilded hallway. "OFFICES," towards an elevator.

Spoiler: CYCLES
"You're useless, Mid," Civilian says softly. "...That's not your fault. You worked yourself to dust just getting here."

You nod slowly, sitting in that chair. The carpet hurts your head. "People at... th-the entrance, t-tried to stop me."

He chuckles softly. "But they understood eventually, didn't they?"

"I j-just want what I c-came for," you manage.

Civilian reaches over to the small device on his table, and tilts it around to you, saying, "This is how we start working on it. A blank universe in a little nickel..."

The carpet makes your head hurt. You've been h never been here before.
06-25-2018, 06:31 PM
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Arcanuse
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#35
An Eggshell Painted Black

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Come on, kid. You know the way. Salty knows the way.
Close your eyes. Let Ol' Salty get you where you need to be.
Where you always needed to be.

Quiet. Good for an unusual opinion. Doesn't talk much.
06-25-2018, 06:47 PM
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☆ C.H.W.O.K.A ☆
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#36
i'm rad as hell, and i'm not gonna take it anymore

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kid mid your loneliness has literally torn a hole in spacetime. your nostalgia is a cosmic disaster. it's one of the saddest things ive ever seen

just stop and appreciate what you have. say "thanks anyway salty," and leave
06-25-2018, 07:32 PM
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kilozombie
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#37
vaccinate your beetles

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Joined: Oct 2017
Oregon, USA
"No," you mutter softly. "It's not n-normal."

Salty shakes his head slowly. "Well, t'oughta make it easier t'get on up, yeh?

You clasp his arm. In your other hand, you hold a coin-- an old coin you've always had. You don't know where it came from, but you know you never needed to go upstairs, you never needed to climb the tower, or meet Civilian, or any of the terrible things that happen.

Spoiler: CYCLES
"They'll have to stay within the nickel," Civvie says. "They can communicate outside of it, but..."

You try and reach out, but there is no 'you' left. Had to take it away. You were drained. This electronic form gives you new life. These inputs in your head fill the cognition that deteriorated. You try and reach out, and your nothing falters.

He stays silent a moment, before continuing. "I just don't... have the authority to print ghosts for anybody that comes by, as much as I might like to. But..." He leans forth, picking you up a moment. "...I can make you feel as if they're by you, if only for a moment."

That's all you ever wanted.

To be wanted.

"L-Let's not go up there," you rasp. "...I know wh-where that goes. It's n-not where I'm... s-supposed to be. Caught in n-nostalgia."

He looks confused. "Nostalgia?"

Tighter, tighter, you hold onto him. "Take me wh-where we're really supposed to be."

Spoiler: CYCLES
"...Laren?" trive says slowly. "I bit the plum, and I'm... er. I'm seeing something very strange."

Drinkmaster Greene leans forth, intrigued. Stax chuckles behind the bar. "Evil twin?" the starman asks, facetious.

Triver hand quivers, and trive drops the plum onto the counter. The words pour out of triv. "No," Klaxon says, "just a lot of... blue blood. He's s-sitting in front of me, and... a-and..."

Salty begins to move you back outside. The vast openness of the foundry, in constant flux, sparks and metal flying, has halted. Pure quiet, silence. Empty.

WhȻʽÂFτ̳ͯnjͷȟťɼcere does SÿȒƁĄ̧̑̍gΥ·̢alty take you?
06-25-2018, 11:21 PM
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☆ C.H.W.O.K.A ☆
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#38
i'm rad as hell, and i'm not gonna take it anymore

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for the first time ever, you will sleep
06-25-2018, 11:23 PM
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kilozombie
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#39
vaccinate your beetles

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Posts: 645
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[Image: o5HDHCa.png]
06-25-2018, 11:27 PM
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Arcanuse
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#40
An Eggshell Painted Black

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There is a ship docked here.
The S.S. Noon.
Salty will take you there, but cannot go with you.
You've already paid the price of admission, all that's left is to board.

Listen, once you board that ship, you must not, can not, WILL not take control of the vessel. The cycle cannot be broken, but it can be cheated.
All you have to do i


enough
no more games
board the ship and take command
you know where to go
let noon pass to night
and the wheel turn once more

Quiet. Good for an unusual opinion. Doesn't talk much.
06-25-2018, 11:40 PM
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☆ C.H.W.O.K.A ☆
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#41
i'm rad as hell, and i'm not gonna take it anymore

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(06-25-2018, 11:27 PM)kilozombie Wrote:
[Image: o5HDHCa.png]

[Image: vHhGZ28.png]
06-25-2018, 11:56 PM
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kilozombie
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#42
vaccinate your beetles

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Posts: 645
Joined: Oct 2017
Oregon, USA
This is your cycle.

"There's a sh-ship docked," you mutter softly. "The very far end..."

He carries you-- the anchor you never could have dreamed up. An endless stream of failures that you leave behind. Salty carries you as you fall, and you walk between dead factory after dead factory, across metal ground, as the endless starry sky culminates in a dim light against your pallid, drained surface.

"Where the fuck'n shit is everyone?"

You manage, "Think I took them out. Cut th-them out of... just... for long enough."

"How?"

sharp

Spoiler: CYCLES
<:: Do you think RBS-012844 is unstable, 005?

Less and less every cycle.

<:: Acclimating to the environment?

More that trive is getting further and further from home.

<:: I'm curious... were you and triv ever closer than boss and subordinate?

Not particularly. But we... share instincts.

<:: You're leaving now, though.

And we stay in contact. Is this about me, or about triv?

<:: Triver name just came up in the conversation, I figured I'd follow up a bit.

That's not your job.

<:: I just always found it fascinating you'd take any interest in a rookie.

I take plenty of interest in rookies. I just brought in that Harbinger Ghost to the Kvicher Academy, didn't I? I've got passion to see other people improve, past my warnings. You know, most that join the corp don't make it much past rookie before they realize it's a dead end for them. But RBS-012844 has seen actual progression, and I've just kept up to date with triver growth.

<:: ...Even a local to U-CENTER?

Trive has never struck me as a local to U-CENTER.

<:: We've checked triv-- scanned as a local.

No, I just mean... well. Even if this was triver home, trive was always more of a... tourist.

<:: RBS isn't about tourism.

Ha. If I hadn't found triv, I imagine trive would've found some other way to tour without us.

Gold chitin shines. As you approach the gleaming light which is a galleon ship, there is a slot in its front.

"H'oh, shit," Salty mutters. He is glancing above the vessel, at the skylights. "Quarantine...? Why th'fuck's the sector quarantined? Why're we..."

You retrieve the coin. Within, something swirls about. An endless cycle contained within a nickel, whirring along without time. The purest culmination of everything. You place it inside of the slot, and the doors open.

Spoiler: CYCLES
"It's leaking," Tess screams. "What's in that thing?!"

Pal yells over the sound of the universe collapsing. "Memoria!"

"It's breaking open!" Dovʇƶic screeches.

The orb gleams, and all begins again. Memoria is released to its new home-- a place of vast depth and power, and all begins again, in its gilded cycle.

"It's leaking," Tess screams. "What's in that thing?!"

Pal yells over the sound of the universe collapsing. "Memoria!"

"It's breaking open!" Dovʇƶic screeches.

The orb gleams, and all begins again. Memoria is released to its new home-- a place of vast depth and power, and all begins again, in its gilded cycle.


"It's leaking," Tess screams. "What's in that thing?!"

Pal yells over the sound of the universe collapsing. "Memoria!"

"It's breaking open!" Dovʇƶic screeches.

The orb gleams, and all begins again. Memoria is released to its new home-- a place of vast depth and power, and all begins again, in its gilded cycle.


"It's leaking," Tess screams. "What's in that thing?!"

Pal yells over the sound of the universe collapsing. "Memoria!"

"It's breaking open!" Dovʇƶic screeches.

The orb gleams, and all begins again. Memoria is released to its new home-- a place of vast depth and power, and all begins again, in its gilded cycle.

"Th-they'll come to g-get you free from here soon," you say. "Y-You were in it. Y-You'll remember wh-what happened eventually."

"What?!"

You step inside. He cannot follow.

"All is c-cycles," you say. Memoria returns to you. "All has returned to a better time. All will try again."

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...

and you have always been here.

and this memory has always been here.

and these words which have come to you were only memories.

...

you form a thought again.

to begin the cycle.

it goes like this:

THIS CENTER SPINS AT A CONSTANT RATE

THIS MANIFOLD ORBITS AT A CONSTANT RATE

ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND ORBITS LATER I BREATHE

OUT AND IN THE QUAKE GOES

I AM MEMORIA

ASK FOR WHAT YOU WISH TO REPEAT
06-26-2018, 12:33 AM
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☆ C.H.W.O.K.A ☆
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#43
i'm rad as hell, and i'm not gonna take it anymore

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(06-25-2018, 11:56 PM)☆ C.H.W.O.K.A ☆ Wrote:
(06-25-2018, 11:27 PM)kilozombie Wrote:
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06-26-2018, 12:37 AM
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RBS-012844
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#44

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ÂȚº¶ΠªǙ;ŬɑΉȄʦ̸̯įŔǬ
Civilian chuckles softly as I hold his distended form. He is nothing but blue blood, and I can't help but taste it in the air. I'm built for these things.

"You know it'll be fine," he wheezes. "Eheh. All... f-fine."

I see the blinding light of ʫµèŶģȆ˔̉νͳʍ/ in front of us both. There's so much blood.

"We'll be reset. All put at the start again, wh-wherever the start is... a-and I was here the whole time... l-like nothing happened."

"Where will I go?" I ask.

"Home."

Memoria asks me for what I wish to repeat, and I say, 'everything'.
06-26-2018, 12:37 AM
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kilozombie
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#45
vaccinate your beetles

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Oregon, USA

~

(Twelve growths.)
Twelve is a nice and round number. Not too hard for Mid to wrap its head around. Twelve growths is easy-made down into four groups of three, three groups of four. Easy enough to spread apart the labor in its mind so it doesn't think too hard about it. Most species in the universe litter the effort of their body throughout many growths but Mid needs to cluster it, needs to rewire how motivation works in its brain.

This is a soft leather boat from its childhood; sails across sea of ethanol and the worry never stops. There is no downtime in the fear that it'll sink and kill Mid and its family, so Mid lives for cyclical months in unending fear, unending weakness. When they land, that's the end. That's the same way Mid needs to think about twelve solid growths of work, Harbinger sector, employers it doesn't recognize but needs something from.

Good species for work. Mostly a cultural thing: how many of this generation have had to migrate constantly around their origin planet, lived in this fear, lived in this exhaustion? They can store up a dozen growths of mental energy or more, and expend energy, never take it in. They get born with enough to last, and that's enough to last, and that anxiety lasts until their last movement, until they just cease in place and die. So Mid is going to have to work twelve growths and maybe last long enough afterwards in complete stillness to be satisfied with its accomplishment, with what it's earned.

That's what Mid says to itself at the start of twelve growths of work and it's easy to hold onto that belief. It'll eventually become eleven growths, it thinks, then ten, nine, eight. It's going to hit benchmarks. It's going to hold itself up to its own scrutiny and improve. The work will make me a better person. But not only that, it's going to be worth its time.

Mid was young, liked to create. Low tide at the low islands of home, when the ceramic of its body wasn't being corroded by the rain, things would wash up from other dead things, crashed ships who had tried to-- whatever reason they'd come, it didn't matter, the storms tore them apart and things would wash up, baubles and half-broken machinery, small enough for Mid to manipulate and prance around and assign names. Built up a world in a tiny hovel room, evacuated all other furniture and made room just for characters in a world better than its own. Family slowly wasted away without hope of leaving. Mid would have, too, but the obsession and lack of anything more worthwhile made it focus inward.

These were wisps of real people living real lives, from tales it'd heard from visitors who hadn't crashed. Some represented parts of Mid-- emotional spats or bursts, brought form as matted, broken dolls, or sections of piping. Strange things happen when so much mental energy is put forth into simulating the lives of other people. Mid erased itself and saw only a fiction filled with people, and this collapsed- physically- as its house was destroyed, its toys burned, and its family exterminated. The weather had gotten to them, and the battered Mid was the only survivor.

It left home. Wasn't simple-- had to steal a ship. No foreseeable future, but a mind filled with unrequited ideas and the realization they'd die alongside it, were something to happen. A growth spent searching for some answer, and Mid found it-- Common Space was filled with miracles and terrors capable of fulfilling what it thought was impossible. Harbinger Space, a subset, had its own miracle. They could create universes. They could recreate the one Mid imagined for its characters, all its impossibilities and machinations, simulated with more accuracy than could be imagined-- and there would be a foreseeable gateway for them to escape as half-formed 'ghosts'. Finally, all of it would be worth something.

Twelve growths of work. Task suitable to its species, something monotonous, something requiring immense endurance and unending diligence. Harbingers largely didn't believe in automated labor, so Mid slipped in like a part would fit into a machine. On paper. Twelve growths of work ahead. Easy.

Easy enough to handle. Easy enough to live through. Easy enough.

(Twelve growths.)

~

But there was no living through it.

And when Mid died, it had not achieved a single thing in its drained, empty life. And when Mid died, all it had left were memories. All it had left was the possibilities it once had, and that it now never could have. How could one see Mid and not think that it was the embodiment of entropy, the gently steeping slope into snow, the perfect portrait of a life unlived and a dead body now clutching desperately towards its old body?

All Mid ever had were memories.

And in a moment, Mid was only memories again.

How could one see Mid and not think that it was a deity, like all the others? A being with all its possibility from the very beginning? Given one extra chance, it would use this possibility correctly.

Its only wish was to dismantle that single inescapable contraption-- entropy. To plug its leaks. To culminate all that was existence and save all else from its own fate, its own dead end, its downward spiral.

And in a moment, Mid was Memoria.

~

- Excerpts, The Anatomy of an Ascendant, Lexicore #968
(This post was last modified: 06-26-2018, 01:20 AM by kilozombie.)
06-26-2018, 12:56 AM
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☆ C.H.W.O.K.A ☆
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#46
i'm rad as hell, and i'm not gonna take it anymore

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(06-26-2018, 12:37 AM)☆ C.H.W.O.K.A ☆ Wrote:
(06-25-2018, 11:56 PM)☆ C.H.W.O.K.A ☆ Wrote:
(06-25-2018, 11:27 PM)kilozombie Wrote:
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06-26-2018, 01:02 AM
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Arcanuse
 RE: Midlife Crisis
#47
An Eggshell Painted Black

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Posts: 966
Joined: Dec 2016
Spoiler: Welcome Home
it's been a long time, hasn't it?
round and round and round the wheel turns.
never ceasing, never slowing.
but in the end, you made your choice.
Child, close your eyes. Get some rest.
With the passing of Noon, you can afford that luxury.
Take it while you can, we have a long task ahead of us.

Quiet. Good for an unusual opinion. Doesn't talk much.
06-26-2018, 01:08 AM
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kilozombie
 RE: Irregular Pulse
#48
vaccinate your beetles

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Oregon, USA
I suppose I always thought the idea came to me in a dream.

But these small characters always felt like they had a distance from me. Their form and their description was childlike, and I could not sufficiently explain why I wanted so badly to put them in a nickel, to bring them to life.

When I did, I broke down crying in the corner of my office. I could remember so much, again. So much half-faded and half-real.

So much is coming to me, now, and it all hurts.

I brought Tess, Dovʇƶic, and Pal into reality from that dream, and as they left Harbinger Space with barely any direction for where to go, I sat back at my desk and tried to dry the tears. But as I placed one of my arms on the desk, I could feel something pulsing-- tapping back, tapping back, in some indescribable pattern. I felt the floor move, I felt the whole room shake. All was moving and all was stopping, again and again, like a heart with an irregular pulse.

Like some part of the very universe knew what had happened, and was responding.

...

...

...



.- -. -.. / .--. .-.. . .- ... . / .-.. . - / .. - / -... .
AND PLEASE LET IT BE
.- - / - .... . / . -. -.. / --- ..-. / .- .-.. .-.. / - .... .. -. --. ...
AT THE END OF ALL THINGS
- .... .- - / .-- .... . -. / .- .-.. .-.. / --. --- --- -.. / .... .- ... / .-.. . .- -.- . -.. / --- ..- -
THAT WHEN ALL GOOD HAS LEAKED OUT
.-.. . - / .. - / -... . --. .. -. / .- --. .- .. -.
LET IT BEGIN AGAIN
.- -. . .--
ANEW
(This post was last modified: 06-26-2018, 01:34 AM by kilozombie.)
06-26-2018, 01:32 AM
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kilozombie
 RE: Irregular Pulse
#49
vaccinate your beetles

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Spoiler: A retrospective
This went off the rails quick, huh?

I'm not sure what I expected Irregular Pulse to be. I had written the short story about Mid in advance-- at least, the first section of it. But I didn't quite know that it would be the key player in this story, and I absolutely didn't know that Mid would become Memoria. I didn't anticipate the sheer mania of the responses-- and credit to you all, they fed the off-the-rails fun that this was! Arcanuse really stole the show with some choice responses, to be sure, and the RBS-00005 to RBS-012844 logs were actually me and Arcanuse, but despite how enjoyable the chaos was, it... I don't know.

The pacing felt wrong. I'm not good at making messes like this coherent given so little time. There are some extremely cool concepts being heaved around in this one, but unlike Ghostwriter, there's barely enough time to even catch a glimpse at what's making them, them.

I like the story that we've told collaboratively. But I'm going to be thinking up a way to make it more digestible for the future. Two pages of complete chaos is tough to fully parse. And, truthfully, it comes partly from my lack of explanation for what to input. This was initially going to be much slower, a story about a few friends asking Mid how to proceed with a strange project, and the slow reconnecting that they would do within. But the inputs... well, just led to more confusion.

I don't know. There's nothing more painful than the pang of regret when you realize a story you just finished is, probably, too messy to piece together. I know that part of the fun is constructing the story out of the pieces, and for that reason, I'm leaving them all scattered where they are right now. But in case that's not really helpful...

Spoiler: Some tip-offs
[Image: j4eMKaY.png]
A kinda dumb diagram I sketched up for a friend

- RBS-012844 is someone we've seen before, but a much different version of triv.
- RBS-000005 is someone who has inputted before.
- Salty is related to two people we've seen before.
- Civvie didn't escape before the quake, and was reset. Retained some memories, but...
- If Civvie escaped before the quake, there just might be two of them running around.
- Mid becoming Memoria is a closed time loop. If Memoria didn't exist, Mid could not have become Memoria.
- Mid's species is akin to this universe's deities-- starts with all its energy, and expends it either in a steady stream or as a burst.
- Mid expends all its energy working before and after the quake-- nothing changes that. But Mid gains enough energy to become Memoria. How?
- Memoria escapes into the imaginary friends' nickel, causing an infinite cycle. This is somehow essential.
- The 'ship' may be more metaphor than reality.
06-26-2018, 07:00 AM
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Arcanuse
 RE: Irregular Pulse
#50
An Eggshell Painted Black

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Spoiler: Thoughts
When this started, I honestly had no idea how far off-rails this was going to go. Kept thinking, maybe this suggestion would be the step too far and i'd have to tone it down a bit. Never really happened though, and I just kept going fullspeed into full-form surrealism. Usually I get tempered with other, more reasonable/coherent suggestions to keep it sensible or otherwise have soomething to bounce off, but that uh. Didn't really happen, huh? That one's on me for reading the initial tone really off the mark.

Can't say I'm entirely happy with how I handled the RBS-012844/RBS-000005 conversation either. It was fun, and you rolled pretty well with what I kept coming up with. Or, at least, gave me a decent impression that was the case. But my introducing new concepts one after the other in such a short span of time didn't really give room for any of them to properly develop. I mean, I do have more on the various terms/concepts, I just should've fit their explanations better (or at all) in the messages bringing them up.

Can't deny I was running more on passion than reason, if that makes sense. Had the drive, the enthusiasm to participate in this adventure, but not the sensibility to slow down and think for a minute about what I was actually doing. Made for interesting writing on my part, but not necessarily good writing. Too much telling, not enough showing the hows or whys behind them.

In the end, while I can't say I'm entirely happy with my actions, I do feel the journey was one worth taking; if only for providing experience for future writing endeavors.



...Oh, right. I said I had explanations for what I was on about, and I do.
If there's specific questions you or anyone else have, I'll do my best to answer (most) of them in as clear a manner as possible. A few details benefit from being vague and shrouded in a surreal/mysterious fog, but most of them could use a clear answer. Particularly in regards to my tendancy towards introducing terms without actually explaining what those terms mean. For that I'll try to get my notes/thoughts organized into something reasonably comprehensive+coherent for future reference. And for discussion on what should be kept+used, changed, or outright cut.

Quiet. Good for an unusual opinion. Doesn't talk much.
06-26-2018, 05:01 PM
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