The Years Did Not Treat Our Universe Kindly.

The Years Did Not Treat Our Universe Kindly.
#1
The Years Did Not Treat Our Universe Kindly.

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It was inevitable that you would lose all of your friends.

Nothing you could have done would have stopped it. The wretched wind of time, over the course of ten years, would strip away your connection to three particular people. You had met them during a different point in your life, and there would come a moment- a final moment- in which you would never be able to speak to them again.

This would be the only way to improve.

You were, and suppose you still are, Maria Glial.

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In 2009, you were in South Carolina in a semi-rural home with a trashy family and no real ambition. Before that, in 2006, you discovered a group of friends online who made you feel whole, that gave you some kind of purpose. You started to devote more and more of your time towards the world inside the computer, which gave you access to everything you were scared to search for. You found something called MUFFINQUEST, and it took your soul.

Some of your friends dedicated more; some of them cared more. Some people fell away from the project, while you remained. Maybe it wasn't always that you were the best suited to be a part of this online happening, but that you relied on it most. It wasn't a perfectly safe place, but it gave you more protection, it kept you sane-- it was how you met every single one of your friends, ones that you genuinely wanted to keep. For those reasons and many more, it felt realer than everything else.

It felt realer than, for instance, school.

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You found yourself dissociating during class and burning all the awkward friendships you'd made in middle school. Briefly, you considered running from it all, but eventually fear gave way for apathy, and you decided you didn't need any of it in particular. You could simply coast through it and wait until you had an opportunity to get home or on some kind of computer. You were able to grow, then-- there was less risk to you when you reached out. A semi-impermeable layer of anonymity let you become--

'zert the curt'


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Member Since: July 15, 2006
Last Login: April 2, 2009
Location: South Carolina, United States of America
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Posts: 51,283
Threads: 7

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About me

i'm not running any games right now but if you need someone to play just pm me. also pm me if i ever go inactive to remind me because i have a lot of things going on. i live in the east coast but i basically never sleep ^.^
don't pm me about anything else or i will block you

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...Hey, give yourself a break. Most people couldn't see how many posts you really had. Most of them were on a hidden board explicitly for the center of your entire life, MUFFINQUEST, which took your soul.

You can't remember where the name 'zert the curt' came from, but it put you in a position to be comfortable with the way you acted online. Even once names got 'faces' you still had a tough time seeing with them as people, which was always easier. You didn't lock up speaking to a woman in Tahiti named 'Maxeen' or a girl in Norway named 'Please Undo', and you certainly never felt uneasy standing up to someone in Australia named 'Tatring 5'. You gained confidence on accident.

By the time you realized they were other people living their own lives, you'd known them by their online persona too long to see them as such.

You could hold your own.


March 3rd, 2009 3:10 AM
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Tatring 5
Posts: 45,925
So, hold on. I get what you're trying to say, you're trying to say we should use the god ichor for Klaxon, but what I don't get is why, okay. So. He's clearly too full on blood right now. I say we make use of that order we got from Handynet and make a full meal for him. Muffy, make a full meal for Klaxon.
March 3rd, 2009 3:13 AM
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zert the curt
Posts: 51,283
klaxon isn't a 'he'. it is hard for me to grasp too, but trive (triv?) is an alien species which has three genders. clearly it's easier to revert to martodite pronouns, but to have muffy be respectful we have to be, too.

i want to play this really cautiously and i think that giving klaxon some ichor right now might really boost triver opinion on us. we need that right now. we're totally foreign to the colony and if we plan on staying the full 5 months this is a very strong olive branch.
March 3rd, 2009 3:17 AM
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Maxeen
Posts: 32,101
The ichor is of limited supply but it self replicates but we also don't have any way of telling a future need for it and considering tatring's current lopsided sleep schedule we won't have a full team all the time

But also keep in account Chekhov and that NARRATOR wouldn't have given us the ichor if we weren't meant to use it (keep to that theory for now) so it couldn't hurt to at least give it an experiment

Honestly I'm just curious if we could gather any more information from Nadezhda on what the purpose of gods are to the universe, we already have some information but it proves pretty convoluted and even self-contradictory, like what we've already learned about Flux. Muffy, reserve the ichor for a bargaining chip with Nadezhda later
March 3rd, 2009 3:21 AM
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zert the curt
Posts: 51,283
quintessentially, learning more about the universe at the cost of continuing our life in it is a bad risk assessment. remember how the stax situation went specifically-- when we asked questions that breached his trust in us, we also risked our own existence and gave ourselves away.

the truth is most people in the universe already know a lot of these things, intrinsically. they drop hints in conversations all the time, but we need to get to the actual conversations first. let's kick it off by making the mosquito our friend.
March 3rd, 2009 3:23 AM
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Please Undo
Posts: 47,522
I feel like I'm legit going crazy here!! LEGIT. You legit forget stuff instantly after it happens because you're sleep deprived right now, zert. We ALL chose to try and be open and out in the public and now this is the consequence. Just like Tatring chose to make Stax and now this is our consequence. You can't just pretend you had literally nothing to do with it. We are in this TOGETHER.
March 3rd, 2009 3:27 AM
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zert the curt
Posts: 51,283
it does not matter if i had anything to do with our group decision. i hate group decisions anyway and it's not like i even said much, i didn't even vouch for or against being out there, i just went with it. whatever-- of course we're on the same team but we can still improve

i know this is the right thing. ive been hyperventilating all night trying to keep up with how many patrons we're getting and i just want a friend who can help us out so i can breathe for a sec. if muffy cant breathe then i cant.

muffy, make friends with klaxon using 1/2 of our god ichor.

Muffin Time was a home to 'forum games', or 'quests', or 'adventures'. They'd been figuring the art form out for a while, since the very early aughts (which, as you would later learn about your universe, was a bit sooner than usual.) Popularity for the format was growing worldwide, while 'Muffin Time' remained a quaint, if ever-growing, platform for the homebrew. But eventually you were invited to see the real reason the website existed. The thing which took your soul.

MUFFINQUEST was run by an artificial intelligence. It posted on a regular clock, every half an hour, utilizing whatever inputs it had to continue its story. This was no longer a game created by other martodites amusing each other, it was no longer a fictional story-- not to you, not to any of your close friends. It was a window through which you could see an entire universe separate from your own.

...

Sometimes you wished you could get there.

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MUFFINQUEST took your soul, but not in the worst way. It took thousands of hours over years from your life in service of a universe you could never physically reach, but it also let you realize you could be good at things. You avoided anything but the bare minimum, elsewhere-- you dragged yourself through class and hid in the computer lab trying to stay attentive for the smallest possible thing. You averaged over fifty posts a day, because it was where you felt comfortable enough to talk.

MUFFINQUEST was your everything. MUFFINQUEST took your soul, your entire product of being. But it was also the only way you could enter the Internet, the only way you could have made it there intact. You would not have been the same Maria Glial without it.

In 2009, a number of horrible things would happen to you. Your fate at the end of everything was written in stone the moment you were born. Every action you took was a result of the last one. You were a product of the years before you, and they would shape the years ahead. Every event was necessary for the future to be borne, including the best and the very, very worst.

In April, you were contacted by another universe through NARRATOR. It was a group of people also using a forum adventure to participate in the same universe, and the first goal on their mind was to kill Muffy.


April 1st, 2009 2:20 AM
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zert the curt
Posts: 51,283
i'm not like a kid i just.
this means a lot to me and i want to make it okay, but it's hard to think of ways to make it okay when in my head it was okay the way we left it
like it

it sucked erasing stax. and now so much is going to be broken or different because you brought him back. it just sucks either way.
April 1st, 2009 2:20 AM
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GATEWAY | XXAC457682196-EAGLE
Posts: 79
from: Ten11
at: 2019 - 04 - 01

Look, just, you can stay, okay? But don't try to remove all your influence. Especially not any actual *people* you've created. If you made problems, you can solve them the old-fashioned way too, you know, by sending inputs to your character to have them act to alleviate issues. That's what you're supposed to do. You're not meant to get all meta with it and actually erase your actions from this existence.
April 1st, 2009 2:20 AM
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GATEWAY | XXAC457682196-EAGLE
Posts: 79
from: Reecer6
at: 2019 - 04 - 01

>create two big ducks, quake quake quake quack
April 1st, 2009 2:21 AM
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GATEWAY | XXAC457682196-EAGLE
Posts: 79
from: ☆ C.H.W.O.K.A ☆
at: 2019 - 04 - 01

good idea: wait 10 years then meet us back here:

[web]http://eagle-time.com/showthread.php?tid=4298[/web]

It was a lie, saying you weren't 'a kid'. You were fourteen. You could barely wrestle with the event that had just nearly killed you-- had just nearly killed Muffy, your everything.

The experience left you traumatized very far beyond what you were able to grasp at the time. You were just stuck in that frozen moment of terror that you would lose your entire world, and it didn't matter that the situation got resolved, it didn't matter that your closest friend, your very closest friend, Muffy, was safe. You could never feel the same.

The rest of them-- Tatring, Maxeen, Please Undo, all started to pick up the pieces. They sent you messages of comfort, and you felt closer to them than before, less compelled to be at their throats.

But the year was only beginning. The year which did not treat you or your universe kindly.

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There were no choices to be made, on that front.

They had already been made.

On April 8th, Maria Glial would contact somebody to try and get help. This was:

On April 12th, this backfired spectacularly. She instead found:

On May 5th, a member of Maria Glial's family finally snapped, and:

On May 15th, the original designer and creator of NARRATOR announced it publicly without knowledge of MUFFINQUEST. She announced that she would:

On May 23rd, Maria Glial's closest friends invited her to help try and plan for this new knowledge. They all eventually decided to:

On June 19th, after the power went out for a day, Maria Glial chose to:

On July 12th, Maria Glial stayed up for twenty-six hours to support Muffy because:

On September 2nd, Please Undo confronted Maria Glial about:

On October 13th, Maria Glial's luck ran out, and she:

On October 29th, Maria Glial broke down, because:

On November 3rd, Maria Glial was helped along by an online friend. This was:

On December 9th, things got better, because:

On December 24th, somebody ruined Christmas online. This was:


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#2
RE: The Years Did Not Treat Our Universe Kindly.
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#3
RE: The Years Did Not Treat Our Universe Kindly.
On April 8th, Maria Glial would contact somebody to try and get help. This was: Leading scientist in the field of artificial intelligence Bart Jompson
On May 23rd, Maria Glial's closest friends invited her to help try and plan for this new knowledge. They all eventually decided to: Find the creator's home address and send a strong letter
On June 19th, after the power went out for a day, Maria Glial chose to: Acquire a smoking habit
On October 13th, Maria Glial's luck ran out, and she: Received a subpoena to testify against her school principal on matters of fraud
On December 24th, somebody ruined Christmas online. This was: The image-hosting site they were all using
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#4
RE: The Years Did Not Treat Our Universe Kindly.
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#5
RE: The Years Did Not Treat Our Universe Kindly.
On April 12th, this backfired spectacularly. She instead spent an entire month creating a code string that could generate adventures without worrying about bad suggestions. But nobody liked them.
On May 5th, a member of Maria Glial's family finally snapped, and pulled out the modem. Little did they know that you'd one-up them by assembling one from a kit with your birthday money and hacking your way back to MUFFINQUEST under the guidance of another victimPhreaker89.
On May 15th, the original designer and creator of NARRATOR announced it publicly without knowledge of MUFFINQUEST. She announced that she would wipe all traces of her presence. She had seen too much, been too much. NARRATOR was too powerful.
On July 12th, Maria Glial stayed up for twenty-six hours to support Muffy because her parents had found out the duplicity while on vacation and were going to disconnect her completely once they returned.
On October 29th, Maria Glial broke down, because Muffy ignored her. Ignored. How could she be ignored? How can she ignore herself? The panic attack lasted several days.
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#6
RE: The Years Did Not Treat Our Universe Kindly.
On September 2nd, Please Undo confronted Maria Glial about: A weird zip file they received from a new user called kilozombie, who was apparently lurking. The zip file contained what could only be assumed to be the necessary content to view what appeared to be a forum thread, which was an adventure called "VEBBINQUEST" hosted on a seemingly nonexistent website called Eagle Time.
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#7
RE: The Years Did Not Treat Our Universe Kindly.
On April 8th, Maria Glial would contact somebody to try and get help. This was: An artist she liked and felt she related to, and kind of knew through the connections of one of the other MUFFINQUEST users.

On April 12th, this backfired spectacularly. She instead found: She had no idea how to talk to this person she knew a lot about while they hardly knew her. Every time they spoke she constantly worried about what they thought of her, until she just felt it would be better if she didnt start up conversations with them.
(wait i might be misinterpreting the intended context of "she instead found:". oh well)
On May 5th, a member of Maria Glial's family finally snapped, and: They got mad at her, and shouted at her. It wasn't that major a thing, not really. But it made her feel terrible.

On May 15th, the original designer and creator of NARRATOR announced it publicly without knowledge of MUFFINQUEST. She announced that she would: Change the code to be less complex, and make it publicly available for purchase. It would still tell stories, good ones even. But it wouldn't be the same.

On May 23rd, Maria Glial's closest friends invited her to help try and plan for this new knowledge. They all eventually decided to: Bring their NARRATOR onto a personal server one of them could access and continue hosting it there. And also try to obtain the original code from the creator. And also do some weird meta stuff in-universe to keep it from changing when the new code got updated. They didn't really agree on a single plan.

On June 19th, after the power went out for a day, Maria Glial chose to: Try writing their own story. They looked at it later and decided not to show it to anyone. It wasn't terrible, but it was... personal.

On July 12th, Maria Glial stayed up for twenty-six hours to support Muffy because: Muffy was hanging out with someone who had recently become friends with them, and they were talking about some heavy stuff. She didn't really need to stay up the whole time, her other friends could have handled it, and she did trust them, but she felt like this conversation was for her in particular. She couldn't miss it. She wanted to be there.

On September 2nd, Please Undo confronted Maria Glial about: Her life outside of the Muffin Time forum. They were worried about her. They didn't think it was bad she spent so much time on the forum, but she should have other stuff in her life too. There was other stuff worth giving a damn about.

On October 13th, Maria Glial's luck ran out, and she: Lost a favorite blanket, was called out at school, tripped and fell on her knees, forgot to respond to a friend about something important, and one of her commands to Muffy backfired considerably.

On October 29th, Maria Glial broke down, because: It was too much.

On November 3rd, Maria Glial was helped along by an online friend. This was: the same one she'd met that artist through, Tatring 5. They were sincere to you, and always tried to defuse any anxiety they thought you might have. You appreciated it.

On December 9th, things got better, because: She met someone else in school who liked quests, a lot. They didn't talk much, but they talked, and she liked it.

On December 24th, somebody ruined Christmas online. This was: Another user on the Muffin Time forum, not someone in the MUFFINQUEST group. Somehow they'd learnt about the secret forum, although they didnt really know what was in it, and they were throwing a fuss about not being let in.
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#8
RE: The Years Did Not Treat Our Universe Kindly.
On April 8th, Maria Glial would contact somebody to try and get help. This was a difficult decision at the time, given her circumstance following the last six days. She still harbored an non-directed, simmering distrust that hadn't quite quieted down since that event. There was an artist who had gotten involved early on in MUFFINQUEST who she kept at a distance, up until recently, when you found out that this aloof, mysterious persona had been as fragile as she had felt then as well. Thus, Maria Glial would contact this artist.

Who, of course, didn't respond.

Why would anyone outside of Muffin Time care? That should have been just expected.

But that would have been the better option. Maria Glial's attempt to reach out did, in fact, bear fruit.

And indeed -

On April 12th, this backfired spectacularly. She instead found an obsessive vortex of drama, chaos, and intrapersonal strife that completely blindsided her.

There was no way to understand this rats' nest, this entirely separate microcosm that - apparently - had even developed a separate conception of her beloved MUFFINQUEST which at times even bordered on the incomprehensible and disgusting. Interpretations of what you held dear carelessly played with, twisted around, as their owners would seemingly fight and bicker over which corruption was somehow better or more accurate, correct than the others.

They didn't get it. None of them understood. MUFFINQUEST was real.

It was real in a way that nothing they made could compare.

It became your business to clear things up.

For almost an entire month, Maria slowly crept deeper and deeper into that hideous underside of the MUFFINQUEST community that she never acknowledeged.

Never and never did any of it change. The only thing that changed - the only one who had changed - even further, soulless still, with that simulacrum of agency -

Maria Glial, who had lost her self. (It was unhealthy to define yourself from the outside in, but Maria would say that she didn't particularly care for health.)

People noticed. Though they shouldn't -

A Maria-shaped hole in the world, into which other things fell. Food. Water. Shelter. Care. Time. The faults of the world.

The people who cautiously supported her existence continued to quietly empty, not comprehending, but in their secret hearts, filling with worry. They'd seen how Maria had changed from before to then and then from then to now.

They wanted her to be normal come back.

...

On May 5th, a member of Maria Glial's family finally snapped, and cut off Maria's access to Muffin Time.

[incoming...]
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