You may have noticed that my posting frequency has gone down quite dramatically over time, and that my sentences have tended to get simpler. (If you haven’t, trust me, my inbox has.) I have some symptoms that have been making it increasingly difficult to write and to read, and until recently I’d been thinking of them as short-term problems that were sure to go away soon. (“I’m just having one of those days,” “I’ll just wait until this headache goes away,” that sort of thing.) However, they’re actually happening more frequently instead. Sometimes I’ll feel like I know the word I want, but be completely unable to produce it no matter how long I try; sometimes I come out with the wrong word instead. I also misread words frequently enough that reading tends to become an exercise in frustration. Without going into unnecessary detail, this doesn’t seem to be something I can wait out. For the moment, at least, it’s something I’m just going to have to learn to work around where I can, and live with where I can’t.
I’m telling you this for a couple of reasons.
- When I don’t post, people ask me when I’m going to post, and when I do post, people ask me when I’m going to post again. The only answer I can give you is “when I can.”
- Some people have asked me to read things for them. For the time being, I really can’t. Reading more than a few sentences by anyone whose writing style and word choice habits I’m not familiar with is just not something I have the energy for. I’m sorry.
[Please assume that I’ve already been given any medical advice you can think of, and that any sort of sympathy or reassurance you might want to give me is going to come across as patronizing right now. The thought is appreciated, but the actual action is not something I feel able to handle just now. Thank you.]
I don’t think I understand what you’re asking - it doesn’t actually matter how Earth is moved, or when, or why, or by who. We already know that it will be / was moved, that it was Calliope and Caliborn’s birthplace, and that Caliborn brought it into his own session. Besides, the Condesce controls the god cat and thus has access to teleportation powers, and Jane already said she intends to resurrect Jade. (There’s also a nonzero chance Jake is going to end up with Jade’s riflekind card [favored by his alternate adult self] so he can wield Ahab’s Crosshairs.) I’m afraid I’m not sure why you expect there to be an obstacle, or what you think it is.
I also think you read a thought experiment and thought it was a prediction. I don’t really do predictions, but that would have been an extra silly one, because it began from the assumption that Calliope is really and truly dead, and she isn’t. (Yet.)
It didn’t occur to me that I needed to point that out, because the source of the idea that she’s dead is Caliborn (and Hussie narrating from Caliborn’s alleged point of view, which seems, if anything, even less reliable.) There are many things Caliborn does not understand.
Calliope’s dream self died, but do you have any idea how many dream selves we’ve seen die? We know exactly what happens to the waking self of a person whose dream self has died.
They don’t die. They just end up in a dream bubble when they go to sleep, which doesn’t conflict with the things Calliope says about her situation.
Calliope does not knowingly lie, but she does intentionally make statements she knows her friends can’t help but misunderstand.
Looking back, we can find more specific examples of her ‘deception through honesty’ so we can see how she accomplishes it, and how we might recognize it. The easiest-to-notice technique involves making separate statements that are individually true, knowing that her audience will try to connect them and come up with an understanding that is false.
And now we have enough information to recognize that trick when she resorts to it.
But those are her trollsona’s eyes, not her own real ones. Those aren’t the blank white eyes of a ghost or the ordinary eyes she says a ghost will have before they remember their death. Calliope’s eyes mark her as having a separate kind of problem.
Calliope’s situation is more precarious than an ordinary ghost’s, but she isn’t trapped in her dream bubble because she’s plain old dead. She’s trapped there because she can’t wake up.
I meant to write a post tonight, but then Vual reminded me that today is Persona Announcement Day and then nothing else mattered for a little while. Or, in his words,
If you even knew his name, you would understand terror no human ever has.
Caliborn isn’t a very scary name. Neither is Lord English, honestly. I don’t think those are the names we’re meant to be nervous about, though.
This, on the other hand….
Let’s talk about computer programming for a second. Don’t panic if you don’t know anything about the subject, though, because for our purposes it’s best to keep things incredibly vague.
A “destructor" is invoked at the end of an object’s lifetime. (This might already be beginning to sound a bit familiar.)
It is an extremely simple ~ATH program. Its main loop is tied to the lifespan of the universe. When the universe dies, a mysterious subprogram will be executed.
Lord English can only enter a universe upon its death.
The destructor’s main job is to free up the resources the object was using, now that its lifetime is ended.
When executed, the subprogram will summon an indestructible demon into the recently voided universe. This monstrous being with the power to travel through time is inconvenienced very little by his arrival upon THE GREAT UNDOING. He has the entire cadaver of the expired universe to pick apart at his whim. From its birth through its swelling maturity and tapering decay. In a reality he is known to have marked for predation, he will go about assembling followers through various epochs, even going as far as personally establishing the parameters for his future summoning.
In C++, a tilde placed in front of the name of a class is the name of its destructor. 'U' is the name used in ~ATH programs for universes.
[T]he danger he poses is sanctioned by paradox space.
It is a known quantity. His very existence in a universe will mean it will inevitably be torn apart.
But there are rules to his entry, and his grim procession through paradox space is rather orderly. The present equilibrium has accounted for him, and will continue to.
uu: I THINK PART OF MY PERSONAL QUEST. IS TO BECOME AT EASE WITH THE FORCES OF INEVITABILITY.
uu: INEVITABILITY THAT ALL THINGS SHOULD AND WILL FALL IN MY FAVOR. THAT ALL CAUSALITY ANSWERS TO ME. AND THAT ALL OUTCOMES NOT ONLY SERVE ME. BUT CONSIST OF MY BEING.
~U: Universe Destructor. That’s what Caliborn’s purpose is. That’s what Caliborn is.
(Bringing about the deaths of countless universes isn’t actually what makes him evil, though.
UU: all Universes die at some point. some sooner than others. it is all part of the cycle, and sometimes things like this mUst happen for reasons beyond oUr Understanding.
Caliborn is just an asshole.)
Despite what Calliope fears, her friends haven’t forgotten about her.
Nor have they given up on her.
And there is a certain amount of foreshadowing to the effect that Calliope will be brought back to life at least once. As an example, there’s this drawing depicting Calliope’s body among those of her friends:
(Incidentally, look at the relative positions of the heads on the Dirk and Roxy squiggles. I’ve never been able to see this as anything but an overhead view of a corpse pile.)
And there’s this fucking frog!
Just look at this garish trickster-eyed thing! If this doesn’t look like a cherub Hero of Space’s frog, I don’t know what would. And, just in case you don’t remember how Jade stumbled across it…
To recap: Jade was asleep, abruptly woke up
and some unknown party used a Transmaterializer to sendificate her a frog. (Didn’t we know someone who had a Transmaterializer they used to send things to Jade…?
Located, handily enough, right next to the portal to Derse I’ll be talking about later in this post!)
So far, only Roxy has managed to come up with a plan that might bring Calliope back: give the ring of life to her ghost. I do think that the ring is ultimately meant for Calliope, since its attributes suit her perfectly, but I don’t think she’s likely to take possession of it any time soon even if Aranea was willing to part with it. Also, this plan is so reasonable it can be explained in a single sentence, and that’s pretty boring if you ask me. The ring is only one of a number of possible resurrection methods, though.
Let’s get hypothetical.
There can be no doubt that Caliborn hates Calliope - intensely, viciously, murderously - and yet his feelings about her are rather more complex than he’d like us to think.
Notes on Isolation and Predomination
It is important to remember that Caliborn/Calliope are very atypical cherubs. They are the only cherubs who have ever had friends, the only cherubs who were exposed to anyone except their polar opposite, their “sibling,” while they were growing up. No other ‘good’ cherub has ever met, let alone befriended and trusted, other non-destructive beings; no other male cherub has ever been exposed to the idea of “bros.”
They grow to detest one another, and develop a view of social interaction centered entirely around animosity and confront8tion. For good cheru8s, this readies them for a long life of isol8tion, as they will prefer to avoid the sort of conflict that comes with social interaction as they have 8een conditioned to understand it. 8ut for evil ones, the contentious up8ringing only serves to fuel their inclin8tion to harm others.
8eing an asocial species, they spend virtually no time in each other’s presence at all. Aside from when it is time to m8, they may go their entire lives without encountering another.
And Caliborn’s way of “winning” by killing his “sister” is not only abnormal, it could not possibly result in anything like a normal predomination!
One half will prove to have a stronger will than the other. The less dominant half will then weaken over time, and it will eventually 8ecome clear to 8oth that one will not survive. The dominant personality will then completely consume the other, integr8ting it in such a way that only one is left. The cheeks will 8ecome solidly colored, and the cheru8 will grow to maturity as a single 8eing, endowed with the alignment of the dominant half, and with all his or her personal qualities at the forefront of the union.
Caliborn did not consume and integrate Calliope’s personality traits. He killed her instead, and allowed the essence of her being - her soul - to escape into the dream bubbles. He didn’t grow to maturity by integrating her soul into his; he just evicted her from their shared body. Their game isn’t over just yet.
Anonymous asked: No one ever tell you induction is a myth, bud?
A useful oversimplification: the Inheritrix is to Jane as the Autoresponder was to Dirk.
6/16/12 update: just mentioning this now.
Roxy’s going to make an apple. You know, like the one that was missing from the Maid of Life’s tree.
(I was going to say “with the inspiration of Calliope” but, no, that’s already happened.
We’ve seen so much of Caliborn lately that I nearly forgot his sister’s serpentine path is rather more.. subtle.)