8FOLD/HCC: Journey Into # 20, "Her Face In My Mirror"

Tom Russell joltcity at gmail.com
Fri Feb 6 21:02:39 PST 2015

On Friday, February 6, 2015 at 10:56:42 PM UTC-5, Andrew Perron wrote:
> On 2/2/2015 10:15 PM, Tom Russell wrote:
> >   _|     |.-----.--.--.----.-----.-----.--.--.
> > |       ||  _  |  |  |   _|     |  -__|  |  |
> > |_______||_____|_____|__| |__|__|_____|___  |
> >                               [8F-138] |_____|
> >   __         __                 ______ ______
> > |__|.-----.|  |_.-----.       |__    |      |
> > |  ||     ||   _|  _  |    #  |    __|  --  |
> > |__||__|__||____|_____|       |______|______|
> >            "HER FACE IN MY MIRROR"
> >              ~BY TOM RUSSELL~
> YAY.
> >    - Calliope Morgan, this close to 16,
> >      practically an adult already so
> >      just leave me alone.
> Heeheehee
> > She had been relieved, at first. Four days ago, when Snowden leaked
> > the DSHA List of Known and Confirmed Secret Identities, it had gripped
> > her in sudden terror.
> Interesting - I knew you'd mentioned him doing something superhuman-y in this 
> world, but I didn't remember what. Has it been said why?

No, it hasn't-- I think the idea is that it was part of a larger leak that resembled the materials leaked in "our" world.

> >     "Let me count the ways, my love.
> Hmmmmmm~?

Women who are close friends sometimes call each other "my love" in a completely platonic way. At least, they do in the Midwest.
> >     "Five," says Kate flatly, "if someone finds out who I am, you've
> > been aiding and abetting a known criminal for years."
> >     "I was getting to that," says Bethany, a little indignant. "They
> > scratch the surface of your personal life a millimeter, and there I
> > am. Trimmer might save you, but it's going to be because she throws me
> > under the bus."
> Eesh.

Lacey Trimmer don't play around.

> >     "Ouija, Witch of the Black Narcissus," recites Kate, almost
> > phonetically. "Through mine erotic magicks, I safeguard the realms of
> > men."
> >     "I can see that," says the policeman knowingly.
> >     (Oh, gross.)
> *snerk* Nice parody.

Thanks; it's difficult to parody something you've never actually read.

> >                 III. SCHERZO
> Ohshi Gallifreyan body horror--


> >     Her first suspect in the easiest to cross off her list; turns out
> > the third Kickflip Kingpin was captured two days before the attack by
> > his regularly-scheduled nemesis, Rainshade of Naperville.

Not the first time either of these characters have appeared, by-the-by.
> >     Whereas Bethany put some work and some thought into her somewhat
> > plausible "genetically manipulated by rogue scientists" backstory,
> > Rainshade's nonsense about having a psionic link with umbrellas is
> > bat-crazy and dumb on its face. It's like she's not even trying, and
> > the thing that irritates Kate, and that goes double on those nights
> > when she had both the law and the baddies chasing after her, is that
> > Rainshade actually gets away with it.
> Innnnnnnnteresting. I assume someone out there has a policy not to look into 
> thin excuses too hard.

I'm not sure if we'll see much about Rainshade in future stories, but she definitely has some connections that are ensuring the people enforcing Fitzwalter don't look too hard. Much like Trimmer and Bethany protecting Kate post-2010.
> >     Also, she's a tramp.
> Hm. Are you using that as a synonym for "promiscuous woman"? Because in my 
> mental dictionary it's filed under "hobo".

The former. The line originally read, "Also, she's a slut", but I thought it was too harsh for a story that, grotesque disfigurement and fratricide aside-- which, okay, are pretty major things to set "aside"-- was /mostly/ all ages. So I went with the softer "tramp".

Though my own mental dictionary immediately goes to Chaplin.
> >     "I thought you were dead," says Pinochle. He opens a pack of cards.
> > "Or dying."
> Hm, I wonder if he's related to... um... wossface.

> >     That was until two months back when Dr. Metronome phased her hand
> > into the dentures, slamming them shut, permanently.
> Ewgh. Speaking of body horror, you seem to be a fan. (Well, NHOP confirmed that.)

I don't know if I'd say that I'm a "fan" of body horror, per se. I'm actually extremely squeamish, and I find the whole genre deeply unsettling. I certainly do have that in mind with NHOP, which I mean to be unsettling without being gross, and where I am trying to extrapolate Maggie's own body image issues via genre elements.

In this particular case. I was trying to come up with something that felt like a "scary" villain, as opposed to the more colorful sorts of villains that, for example, Knockout Mouse or Darkhorse might tangle with. I was going more for "darker Batman villain" than consciously evoking any elements of body horror, though of course there is some overlap between the two (e.g., Two-Face).

> >     "Well, she wasn't deluded or anything when she claimed to be
> > Metronome. She was just lying. Apparently, she had always lied,
> > without remorse. Psych evaluation isn't until tomorrow, but I bet it
> > comes up psychopath."
> >     "Never enough jewel thieves," complains Kate.
> >     "Apparently she wanted out of her life," says Bethany. "Away from
> > the kids, from the husband. She saw her sister, single, free. Wanted
> > that life for herself. And when the List came out last week, she
> > thought she saw an opportunity. She killed her sister and took her
> > place, hoping we'd be looking so close at the Metronome angle that she
> > wouldn't be a suspect."
> So... why did she lie about it in the first place? `.` I wouldn't think 
> random, compulsive lying would line up with calculated, remorseless lying.

That's a good and perceptive question-- and there's a couple of reasons for it, one of which is hinted at in the story. I chose not to spell them out both to keep the focus on Kate, and to keep the Evil mysterious and unknowable. The latter is an intentional echo of Kate's origin story, in which her mother tries to drown her shortly after catching her masturbating, with no apparent motive or explanation.

> > After all, you are my favorite Bethany."
> >     "Except for the other one."
> >     "Well, yeah."
> "Except for the other one" for Favorite Running Gag 2015.


A little background: before I wrote the Metronome-Knockout Mouse team-up story, I re-read Kate's origin story. (Which has some nice moments, but maybe doesn't hang together as well as I'd like.) And when I noticed Bethany Proust, I figured I had to have Kate mention upon meeting Knockout Mouse that she had a friend also named Bethany.
> >     "So I noticed something," says Bethany. "Ever since Paige Pond was
> > arrested, no one's seen Dr. Metronome."
> >     "I noticed that, too," says Kate.
> >     "Does that mean that Paige Pond was Dr. Metronome?" says Bethany.
> > "Who will be remembered for all time as both a plucky heroine, and
> > also an unrepentant and violent psychopath?"
> Hmmmmm! Would people make that assumption, necessarily?

Well, if you look at what's known by John Q. Eightfoldian...

+ Paige Pond was confirmed by the government as being Dr. Metronome.
+ Paige Pond murdered her sister and was arrested.
+ Dr. Metronome hasn't been seen since.

...I think it's a fair assumption for a large chunk of the public. There would be those who doubt its veracity-- persons who think, for example, that the government was wrong (which, in fact, they were). I think, however, with the List being verified as correct in most if not all other cases that this kind of theorizing might be met with skepticism, and that the mainstream belief that Paige Pond was Dr. Metronome will hold.

Again, however, this is a scenario that's contingent on Dr. Metronome not making another appearance (which she might) and on no one bringing forth evidence to discredit Pond's claim (which also might happen). So if neither of those things occur-- which is a pretty substantial if-- then I think Bethany is correct in her assumption.
> Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, hmmmmmmm

I seem to be leaning towards "hmmmm" these days. Not sure how I feel about that.



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