ASH: ASH #108 - The Office Part 2: Hump Day

Andrew Perron pwerdna at
Fri Sep 17 10:57:11 PDT 2010

On Thu, 16 Sep 2010 22:05:03 +0000 (UTC), Dave Van Domelen wrote:

>      "In theory, this could end up a diplomatic mission," Solar Max pointed
> out.

Has anyone ever successfully *communicated* with the Multiversal
Bureaucracy?  As in, asked a question and gotten a response from something
that seems to be intelligent?

> But whatever it is, it hasn't had contact with our
> reality since 1998, so it's had a generation to..." he paused.

Has it ever contacted the ASH universe before 1998?

>      "The natural laws of this dimension," Lightfoot explained.  "They give
> you a literal hunger for doing paperwork and otherwise performing
> bureaucratic tasks.  If you're stuck being the only schlub in the office at
> the time, it can become almost like starvation.  You don't want food or
> water, and in fact don't really need starve for paperwork.  If the
> reports I read back in '93 can be believed, anyway.  I may have gone a little
> over the top in working that into my stories, but it feels like the basic
> idea was correct."

I wonder if the effect actually varies depending on what universe it's
connected to.

>      But if it looked like that bit of her history was about to repeat
> itself, this version of Lana Smith would have to take whatever steps were
> necessary to make sure it never did....

Dun dun dunnnnnn!

(Personally, for "him" I'm betting on Conflicto.  He looks so harmless!)

>      Ahmed sat at one of the benches and propped the clipboard on his knees,
> skimming over the forms.  Quite a lot more paperwork than he'd expected,
> based on what he'd learned from a few mercenary soldiers on the boat and back
> in Khadam...and on their average level of illiteracy.  Probably part of
> Adoko's attempts to look like a legitimate President, though.

Arc link established!

>      "No, it's...."
>      And with that, the Green Knight flickered out of existence, leaving Li
> Fan 8410 to drop to the carpeted floor in a jumble.

Whoops.  Looks like he was just reclassified as office furniture.

>      By now, you should have noticed that the "errors" in which Sal is
> referred to as the Green Knight were intentional.  In the original notes for
> this issue, everyone went in wearing their costumes rather than dress
> uniforms, and Sal would occasionally flicker from his Centurion costume to
> his Green Knight costume, but I decided to go with a more subtle hint that
> something was wrong.

I completely didn't pick up on it!

> I also decided it was high time to at least let the readers know Never's
> true identity, although I expect a few people guessed it from how the
> Impossible Five had orders to treat Lana with kid gloves back "Four To
> Never".

I didn't guess this before either; though I noted the kid-gloves thing, I
figured Never would also be a "next-generation" character, and that the
Lana thing was related to Timeslip.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, good stuff with a touch of creepy.

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