8FOLD: Mighty Medley # 30, June 2016, by Messrs. Brenton, McClure, Perron, Russell, and Stokes

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue Jun 21 13:09:24 PDT 2016

On Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 7:49:58 PM UTC-4, Tom Russell wrote:
> "Seven 'Gainst Thebes" Part 28
>    by Tom Russell
> A moment of truth; a matter of lives, and of death, with high noon
> fast approaching.

*that one iconic riff from the soundtrack*

> The Editor would like to extend his congratulations to Mr. Colin
> Stokes, who was very recently voted RACC's favorite writer at this
> year's RACCies, by virtue of both his work in his own imprint, and his
> continuing serial in these pages, "Empress of Pages", which was
> likewise recognized as RACC's favorite story arc. These wins were very
> well-deserved, and the fantastical firmament of our own Eightfold
> Universe (which, I am pleased to note, was declared RACC's favorite
> imprint for the second year in a row) is far brighter and more
> lustrous because of the Empress, her Library, and her daemon, all
> three of whom we join presently.

Hell yeah! :D Much congrats!

> She understood the words
> used, mostly, but the sentence structure and grammar was like nothing
> she had ever seen. It didn't even seem like it was meant to be
> readable by humans.
>    Wait. Wait a /minute/. 'Library,' the Empress thought, mentally
> articulating now, 'this last part - is it some kind of... machine
> language?'

:D I love the twists and turns, the way Colin meticulously takes apart the tropes of the Demonic Underworld and builds new things out of them.

>    The Library didn't respond in words, but she felt the AI shift
> gears internally, suspending current processes and initiating new
> ones. It was a curious sensation, but she had gotten used to it long
> ago - though this was the first time in a while she had felt the
> abrupt disconnect-and-swerve. The Library never attended to everything
> all the time, but the two of them were typically in sync when it came
> to matters of focus. Not this time - at least not yet.

This is so cool. :D I love explorations of weird internal experiences.

>    "CONFIRM RENAME TO," the Manual spoke in a flat and grinding
> metallic tone, then in a perfect copy of the Empress's own voice,
> "Meredith Rael Fn'ordh."
>    =Confirm.=

It always gives me a shiver when powerful, world-altering processes are represented as the speaking of words. I'm not sure why.

> Antinea didn't look like she belonged here--it was
> like keeping a sculpture from the Louvre in the living room. Then
> again, she seemed uneasy about it too--she was making an effort to
> stay composed, but her fingers were tapping on the table. It was
> reassuring in a way to see that, for all her overwhelming beauty and
> elegance, Antinea was just a person.

now kiiiiiiiss

>    "Because... I don't understand him fully. You know parts of him
> that I don't. We'll need your help to build a truer image of him, and
> that will help us find him." Elaine sensed an explanation wouldn't be
> coming for a while.

This feels like a really accurate "simplified explanation of really complicated thing that you don't even know the context of".

> The Venus of that
> system--Venus Fortuna, the arcane astronomers called it--was a
> beneficent influence, moving in prograde rather than retrograde orbit,
> as opposed to the Venus Infortuna that balefully watched over her own
> Earth.

Ooooooh, good tie-in to Eightfold Venus. :D

>    "And how am I getting there?"
>    "We'll create a body for you there and move your consciousness into
> it for a time."

Ohhhhhh. :D THAT'S SO COOL

> "What you're describing... that sounds almost like
> death."
>    "It is," said Antinea.

Aaaaaaaa. Wow. :D :D :D

>    Could she really do it? All the things Jason told her about sounded
> fascinating and marvelous, but could she actually live through them?
> Sometimes it was hard for her to get up in the morning and teach her
> classes. Could she handle facing monsters and enemies that were out to
> kill her?

:D :D :D <3 SO COOL

>    Deidre squatted down on the balls of her feet, and without quite
> realising what she was doing took Joan's remaining hand in hers. "Like
> I said, I've got few ideas. But I need to run them by you to see if
> I've got the specifics right, otherwise we'll just be wasting our
> time. Are you able to focus?"
>    "Ha," said Joan. "A good question, but don't worry about me. The
> material body I manifest is an extension of myself, and provides
> sensory feedback. But I'm not subordinate to it, and I've dialed down
> my senses. I'm just registering a dull ache at the moment."
>    Deidre gave her a wry grin.

aaaaaaaaa this is cute

> I suppose if I shut down any sort of way of
> feeling physical pain, then braced myself," she reasoned, "you could
> dispatch me back to Heaven and I'd remain aware and able to
> communicate." Then she frowned. "But there's a potential problem.
> There are ways that immaterial beings can be trapped on the physical
> plane, and this" and here Joan used her remaining hand to knock
> against the side of the force cube, "could be one of them."

Ahhhhh, very thoughtful. :o

>    "It's an awful lot more pie-in-the-sky," said Deidre. "We create a
> mundane egg, using that," she said, pointing at the piece of jewelry
> on Joan's wrist.

Hmmmmmm? :o Interesting...

>    Three-Nine watched the boy as he set to the task. "Tobacco is
> hazardous to humans," chirped the machine.
>    "Aw, what do you know?" said Silke's boy. "You don't even breathe."


>    Paul Strife looked up at the boiling yellow sun. "It'll be noon soon."

*that iconic riff again*

>    "No." Silke frowned, threw his cigarette on the ground and stamped
> it out. "Waste of good tobacco."
>    For Jack Peake had appeared afore them, and as soon as he was
> standing, he threw down Ned Strife's massive corpse.


> "He's dead," said
> Peake, his voice shrill and raspy. "Your injun did this.

Not really, but I guess you gotta have someone to blame

>    "This is my birthright, Silke! Everything we did, we did for this.
> Hank died for this. And you're asking me to throw it away for a
> half-dead indian?"
>    "You're better than this, Paul," said Silke.
>    "He's in Bleeding Branch. They took him to," and here he stopped,
> as Silke had put a bullet in his brain.

Damn. But the low-key deaths really do work in this narrative.

>    "He deserved it," said the boy, spitting.
>    Silke slapped him once, and hard. "A bad man and a weak one ain't
> the same. I raised you to know the difference.


>    "What about Mr. Adams?" said the boy.
>    Silke held his breath for a moment, then released it. "Barely
> alive. At the ranch. He don't have long."
>    "Then he needs someone to bury him, too."

ahhhhh, man

>    "You might not see your boy again."
>    "No," he said. Then: "No, I might not."

ahhhhhhh, man @.@

Drew "ahhhhh, man" Perron

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