[Context is somewhere around here.]
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dividedMalakh began trolling spatialMartyr
sM: as a friend of Mine soMeTiMes asks Me, "was There soMeThing?"
dM: (nods) I wanted to get your attention, and this seemed more discreet than sending up a signal flare.
sM: okay, shooT.
dM: I'm sitting with Gordon Freeman right now.
dM: Remember that Synth I told you about? The Gene Worm?
sM: ...daMMiT, Michael, i'd alMosT Managed 2 forgeT That sTory.
dM: Sorry. There *were* several of those things. Now there's only one.
dM: And the Resistance are gearing up to drop a 50,000-ton craphammer on it.
sM: honesT and for True?
dM: For, as they say, reals.
dM: And I found myself remembering how you got left out last time.
sM: iT's okay. They don'T need Me; They've goT ThaT girl wiTh The TeleporTal gun.
sM: unless They don'T?
dM: They don't. Apparently she's got her own PTSD to work through.
dM: But yours seems to be under control, so...
sM: so you Turn 2Me in The hour of need. Thanks, Michael!
sM: hey, The capiTalizaTion acTually lined up! good deal!
dM: *chuckle* So when can I expect you?
sM: any MoMenT now!
spatialMartyr ceased trolling dividedMalakh.
...and tumble through a warbling synesthetic void. Michael hears blue and feels pungent. The entire universe is permeated with a strong odor of turpentine, fried onions and burning autumn leaves. Somewhere along the way, Kenobi loses his grip. A moment later, Michael sees the Convenient Nexus Couch™ again and sets a course for it.
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As always, there's a moment of dizziness as the reclamator puts him back together in better condition. Dr. Primoris, a level 15 mutation blaster, takes a moment to get his thoughts in order.
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( Tsoo many Tsorcerers.Collapse )
"Isn't Dr. Primoris just the best?" says one onlooker as he swoops lazily over to the office building and opens the door.
[More or less finalized 9:51 AM the next morning.]* * *
He steps through the door into the courtyard. One of the costumed figures turns at the sound of the door closing behind him. "How'd it go?" she asks.
Michael is somewhat nonplussed. "Sorry?"
"What mission? What are you talking about?"
The woman in blue and gold rolls her eyes. "Where'd you get the powers, eBay? You come out of a door on Peregrine Island, and—"
"Is that the name of this city? All I know is that it's not Chambersburg." He notices the sign at the center of the courtyard. "'Portal Corporation'. What sort of portals would those be, exactly? The dimensional sort?"
"Well, duh. How'd you get here, not knowing that?" She blinks more closely. "Waitaminnit... you're not in the FBSA database!"
"I'm not surprised. Would you believe me if I said this isn't my Earth?"
"...Yeah, I think I would." Under her breath, she adds, "Great. Another newb."
His interlocutor turns out to be Witchwind ("a level 44 Mutation Defender, like that means anything to you"), and Peregrine Island turns out to be just one of many neighborhoods of Paragon City, Rhode Island (located on the west shore of Naragansett Bay). As they make their way to someone who can get him into the Federal Bureau of Superpowered Affairs, she fills him in on the history of Paragon City
from its 1823 incorporation to the present.
It's an involved trip; first she has to fly them (that power hasn't come back to him) to the ferry running to a place called Talos Island, where they catch a monorail around to the "Steel Canyon" neighborhood. There, they transfer from the "Green Line" tram to the "Yellow Line" that serves the city center.
"And people have to walk a mile through this gang-haunted district to change trains?"
Witchwind shrugs. "It worked before the Rikti War, and they don't have the money to move the tracks or anything."
"Or put another Green Line station in Skyway City?"
The Yellow Line brings them to Atlas Park, where a brief interview with Brighid Moreira, the City Representative
, gets him in the database as Dr. Primoris, a Security Level 1 mutation blaster (Fire Blast/Fire Manipulation).
"You'll be training with the Genetic Investigation and Facilitation Team," she says. "The GIFT office here in Atlas Park is staffed by Antonio Nash, and Prince Kiros Nandelu handles the one in Galaxy City. Which would you rather meet with?"
Dr. Primoris thinks about it for a moment. "Nash, I think. I've got a lot of wasted crime-fighting time to make up."
"Very well. I'll set up an appointment with him right away."This,
Michael thinks as he heads down the hall to New Hero Training, will be a good life. Good enough.
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Michael had a long hard day at work yesterday; when he got home, he wasn't even in a mood to go to Milliways. He just wanted to collapse and not awaken until he'd recapitulated his phylogenic way up to at least the primate level.
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And so the morning finds him sprawling face-down on his bed. He's not snoring, but he looks like he ought to be.
Happy birthday, max_a_mercer, whenever you are!
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Michael follows Alec through the portal and waves it shut behind him, then takes a seat on the sofa. "So. What's the situation?"
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aberranteyes left something out of today's essay on London Fog. For one, he didn't mention her support of the Queer Nova Alliance. (Then again, this is understandable, in that he hasn't previously mentioned the QNA, and in that her support was quiet, so as not to make a publick example of the reasons for that support.)
He left something else out, but as he never spoke to her face-to-face, that's not something for which I can blame him. I'm reminded of it because he has a song by Garbage as the soundtrack for the post in question, and it's a song by Garbage that Elizabeth once mentioned to me — the title track from their fourth album, Bleed Like Me, which they released last year in my universe as well as in this one. Specifically, the second verse (or, perhaps, the second half of the first verse):
Chrissie's all dressed up and acting coy
Painted like a brand new Christmas toy
He's [sic] trying to figure out if he's a girl or he's a boy, he says
Hey baby, can you bleed like me?
C'mon baby, can you bleed like me?
That spoke to Elizabeth because, before her eruption, she'd been there. Trying to figure out why (as Austin puts it) the body didn't match the soul. Trying to make the Emories comprehend what they never could. (And, of course, the final chorus of "You should see my scars" got to her the same way it got to
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Somewhat heated discussion of nova-related issues between myself and aberranteyes. Those of you who read my journal, but not his, may find it... interesting.
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Apparently I share this birthday with terific_athlete (belated Merry... um... Decemberween, Homestar), the_dr_faustus (rumor has it he was destroyed in considerable detail; any man's death diminishes me, as Donne has it, but I find I can bear that particular diminution with enormous fortitude)... and bloody_tired, whom I met briefly last Election Night, but with whom I apparently share not only a birthday, but an exact birthdate. (Which means I also share it with millenium_child, but I don't have her on my friendslist yet.)
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aberranteyes tells me that Jenny Sparks' adventures were chronicled on this Earth by one Warren Ellis — possibly some relation to that mad Englishman who polished up some of Whit's diaries into stories for the Tales of the Æon Society pulp. According to Austin, she shares our birthdate with a number of other adventurers of her Earth's 20th century (of which she, personally, is said to have been the spirit); in fact, that's what led him to suspect my exact birthdate, based on my birthyear. He says that la Sparks, Elijah Snow and the rest may have been intended by the spirit of that Earth as the 20th century's immune system.
Am I — was I — the spirit of our Earth's 20th century, I wonder? Was I part of its immune system, or was I the disease that immune system was meant to fight? Am I, now, in denatured form, the vaccine for what I did?
Well, I've been putting this off for long enough, and now I've officially committed to do something about it. As of last night, it's been four weeks since the paraversary, to coin a phrase, of what aberranteyes pointed out as perhaps the most spectacular mistake of my life.
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( I don't think it was the grandest, but I'll give him 'the most glorious'.Collapse )
I still believe nova-kind has its own evolutionary destiny, or rather destinies, but I no longer consider that this requires us to re-enact what H. sap. sapiens did to neandertalensis. Our niche is not theirs; there's no competition. Perhaps there can be cooperation... if both sides choose to cooperate.
While going through the archives of the webcomic in which mmsophia appears, I happened to notice these two pages, in which Lorelei's friend Leo Bowman is given an engine for his truck that "seems to regulate energy drawn from the quantum fluctuations in 'empty' space... forming an almost unlimited source of energy."
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It appears her fellow posthuman savant, Forethought, has discovered a means of tapping zero-point energy. It may be, if the laws of physics governing such things in her world work the same way as they do back in my home universe, that she's about to have a lot of company.
Of course, her journal is written from the perspective that she exists in the "real" world, but that "obviously" can't be right. She's a fictional character, the same as Obi-Wan Kenobi (last_master). Or Strong Bad (good_or_awesome) and his little yellow friend (ilko_skevuld). Or max_a_mercer and Divis Mal, of course. 8-)
When he posted this on Tuesday last, aberranteyes claimed we didn't have to believe if we didn't want to. Speak for yourself, baseline; I rather do have to believe it, I'm afraid.
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Free energy sounds rather familiar to me, you see. I'm not sure, from mouserr's description, whether this is more like the hyperfusion theorized, on my home timeline, by the nova physicist Dmitri Kasheyev (and eventually perfected by his assistant Soguk Birlesme) or poor Dr Sir Calvin Hammersmith's "telluric energy". Quite frankly, though, I'm hoping for the latter and have no qualms about admitting it.
I devoutly hope it doesn't end as explosively as the first test of his Telluric Engine did, of course. And if it does, I hereby promise not to perpetrate the sort of interference with the resultant outpouring of pseudoaetheric wavicles that I did in the 1998 I lived through. But if it does, or if it simply happens that the ambient Inspiration in the air takes a quantum aspect for some, I reserve the right to train them in the use of their powers.
And even if there aren't any Inspirations as a result, it'll be a step toward a better world. And isn't that what it was all about?
So, having had it recommended by a friend (based on this post, I decided to give the iGod a try. This is what we had to say to each other.
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( Annabelle Newfield is dead, alas.Collapse )
And now I'm wondering if anyone will notice this. I get hardly any comments. Is it my reputation? My orientation? My breath?
...The Colony. O frabjous fucking day! Calloo! Callay, damn it!
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Why couldn't it have been someone relatively sane, like Toren or Leo or even James? Does it still do that trick it worked out, I wonder, of injecting baselines with its own substance, forcing them to bear a weight they weren't made to carry?
At least the baselines back home have somebody to look out for them, even if it is apparently a pack of jumped-up mesmerists who wouldn't want my help if I could offer it. (And I can't say I blame them, given.)
PHEDRE à OENONE
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Le voici. Vers mon coeur tout mon sang se retire.
J'oublie, en le voyant, ce que je viens lui dire.
-- Racine, Phedre (II.v)