8FOLD: Mighty Medley # 32, September 2016, by Messrs. Brenton, McClure, Perron, Russell, and Stokes

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Fri Sep 9 16:24:05 PDT 2016

On 9/4/2016 11:03 AM, Tom Russell wrote:
> You might be wondering what happened to our August edition.
> Unfortunately, the editor of this publication is human, and thus
> subject to the illnesses, stressors, and foibles of all flesh in this
> temporal realm. Until robot editors can master the fine art of the
> semicolon, such lapses, while regrettable, remain in the realm of
> possibility.

Aw, it's okay. I figured it was because my chapter was so insanely late. XD;

>    In a naked attempt to win back your good graces, we have provided a
> SIXTH feature in this month's Medley; additionally, the final
> installment in Mr. Brenton's long-running "Beyond the Fields" has been
> trebled in length.

oooooh! ahhhhh!

> Your obedient,
>    T. Russell

My obedient... PARADOX CLONE!?

> "Beyond the Fields" Finale

*starts playing Hopes and Dreams*

> Anger, as the wise Mr. Kirby once said, will save your life.


> Ominous numbers, incomprehensible vastness, and manic giggling.

Basically the Librarian.

> "Give an Inch"
>    by Tom Russell
> A letter no one, not even the recipient, is meant to see.

Nice. :D

>    The Man With The Green Gloves smiled with the face he was currently
> wearing, and shook hands with them all. The Gentleman With No Shadow,
> The Baron of Ash And Dust, Grandfather Nomenclature, and all the
> others.

Of *course* they all present as dudes, and aristocratic ones at that. More like 
The Many-Oppressive-Paradigm'd Ones.

> Deidre had been sitting in the forcefield trap for several hours,
> contemplating the ring and trying to enter a state of consciousness
> that maybe - just maybe - would have allowed her to pull off some sort
> of last minute metaphysical handwavium to save the day.

"It turns out I was the butterfly all along! ...nuts."

>    Then a burning snake and a whirlwind of Kirby dots appeared in the
> kitchen outside her prison.

Always a good sign.

>    Deidre took this in, and tentatively double-checked that she was
> still sane. (It had occurred to her quite some time ago that growing
> blase about some of the stranger things associated with the cape
> community might be a bad sign about one's mental health).

Nah :>

> She
> indicated the other figure, the whirlwind of Kirby dots. Actually,
> most of them were independently rotating eyes, indicating that this
> was one of the ophanim. "This is Aaron, one of our senior memesmiths."

These are great sentences.

>    The whirlwind gave Deidre what she interpreted as an amused look.
> "Pleased to meet you as well. Your suggestion for mimetic collapse was
> unusual, but surprisingly workable. We have people preparing to
> implement it within the next hour or so."
>    "Really? Well, hey, that great," said Deidre, somewhat overwhelmed
> by the idea of how quickly things were proceeding.

Me too. :o I thought there'd be some kind of climactic difficulty to resolve.

>    An idea occurred to Deidre. "How clever would this universe be?"
> When Joan looked at her in puzzlement (a look that Deidre would never
> have expected to see on a the face of a serpent, even one glowing in
> neon red, orange, purple and yellow) Deidre explained, "Is it a
> mindless thing, and will simply disperse like gas? Or has it been set
> up with intelligence, and consciously try to escape?"
>    "Ah, right. From the way that the memesmith's were talking, I think
> it's active in the way a biological virus or computer malware is.
> So... Persistent but unsophisticated, I suppose."

Hmmmm, fascinating.

>    Someone that Deidre hadn't been introduced to - he looked like a
> human male - suggested, "Maybe they plan to stay inside and convert
> themselves into living ideas? Like anthropomorphic personifications?"

Great, now we've got Faction Paradox *and* the Celestis all up in this joint.

>    Actually it was worse than that. The World was teetering exactly on
> the precipice of mimetic translation. It was literally still both
> matter and idea. Both, at the same time. Or maybe neither, if you were
> a glass half empty thinker.

How quantum. :o

>    "I'm not a ghost," Marcus chided him dispassionately. "I destroyed
> my soul with the Effacements, remember?"

Hm. Why did he need to do that again?

>    "That's one way of looking at it," agreed what was left of Marcus
> amicably. "But *I* only had to hold you here and distract you for long
> enough for them," and here he pointed his finger in a vague upwards
> direction "to put their plan into action and collapse the universe
> into a primal egg. Which should happen just about... now."
>    And then the universe collapsed.

Hmmmmmmm. So if may critique (and if not, feel free to skip ahead), I feel like 
there's a pacing problem here - there isn't really a sense of build-up to the 
climax, past the point where they got trapped in the forcefield and had to 
desperately execute Joan. Like--

> "That was quite a tight deadline towards the end. But I'd
> better get back to work."

--it should've felt tighter, I guess?

I mean, full of neat ideas and cool moments, just, yeah~

>    "The money's nice, too," said Hank. "But the money was for the girl
> and me, together-like." He patted at the paper in his pocket. "This
> done took the wind out of my sails something fierce."

Awwwww. :<

>    With that, Gulliver flew right at Peake, balls of flame belching
> from his fingertips. Gulliver didn't expect any of them to hit the
> fastest man that lives, or if they did, he expected it to be
> providence. But instead, one after another, they hit him dead on.
> Peake didn't dodge; Peake didn't let the flames pass through him.
>    Instead, he let himself burn, and he laughed.

Ouch. o.o;

>    There were two assassins, wraiths of thick smoke in almost-human
> shape. They, too, were projecting their minds into an aetheric body,
> though theirs was less realized than Antinea's--it was only needed for
> one thing.

Ooooooh, nice threatening sidenote. :3

> Luckily, Elaine could summon up chunks of information and
> exposition at the drop of a hat--she had a better memory for that kind
> of thing than events in her own life--


> She felt ice-cold
> fear for her life, and the same kind of thick, paralyzing indecision
> she felt whenever she was attempting some task that was complicated
> and stressful, like making lesson plans or doing her taxes. And this,
> she couldn't procrastinate.

Awwwwwwwww. :< Also relatable.

> All that anger burst through
> her body into her sword like lightning into a lightning rod, and she
> stood up straight and charged with power.


>    Her mind was racing at breakneck speed, so what had felt like a
> long bleak aeon of indecision was only moments.

So many good words here

> "I'm sorry," she whispered. "I
> didn't know they'd come so soon."
>    Elaine tried to say "It's okay" but it came out as mumbling.


> Allecto, who'd
> been crouching in the corner with her hair standing on end, hesitantly
> crawled up to Elaine and they huddled together, feeling their stress
> gradually ebb away.


>    The vault was completely empty when he arrived, and the Library was
> /cackling/.

:3 :3 :3

>    It was an unnerving sound, to say the least. The machine-thing's
> voice had always been calm, detached, emotionless - well, mostly - but
> now it held a note of pure glee in it, and it made his skin crawl.
> (The wiring moving beneath his skin also made it crawl, but that was a
> purely physical process.)

*cacklesnerk* I forgot about that line.

> at least, I do not
> /think/ you are part of me. I am no longer sure,' he admitted.

Meredith's having a weird week and has decided to just roll with it.

>    'There are far better fighters than me in the Netherworld,'
> Meredith mused darkly, pausing as he looked down at the barrier
> inscriptions on the vault floor.
>    -They won't be expecting our combination, then,- the Library
> returned with another little giggle.

I love the Library. :>

>    ...But then again, if he had been seen, and yet he hadn't been
> provided a warm welcome on his return, perhaps something /else/ was
> happening that was even more important, the daemon mused with a
> growing smile. Which meant that either the barrier's destruction would
> go unopposed - or he would be diverting the Throne's resources from
> something important. Either way, a win. 'Take it down.'

Very good points. :D

>    Everywhere he looked, he saw the numbers and text labeling and
> quantifying everything - even when he blinked or closed his eyes,
> though the numbers were a little different then. Meredith started to
> realize, with a sudden sense of humility, just how /big/ the Library
> was, and how small he was in comparison; how little he understood and
> even perceived on his own, while the Library was probably always like
> this - constantly analyzing, measuring, and cataloguing the world.

I! Love! Descriptions of altered experiences and sudden deepenings of viewpoint!

> The thing is that I don't know if I am any happier or
> better off now than I was a few months ago. I don't know if I'm any
> worse off, either. My circumstances have changed, my life is
> different, but that's all. It's just a different kind of unhappiness,
> and a different kind of "well, this is actually okay"ness, and if it's
> not the same precise ratio of suck to okay, well, it's pretty damn
> close and it's a pretty subtle difference.

Aw. I know that complex feeling. :<

> And I have a battleaxe now, which is also a guitar, and
> that's all kinds of punk rock.


> This morning,
> Dot and I had to fight Beetalamax, Lord of the Beetle-Folk, and I was
> like, "What is your deal, Beetalamax? You can see my gnarly axe. Don't
> think I won't use it. What is your flipping deal?" And his flipping
> deal was some variation on "God is inordinately fond of beetles, and
> also, no one wants to talk to me," and I was like, "well, maybe you
> shouldn't try to take over the world with beetles?"


> I might end up murdering her, but then I'd have absolutely
> no one who gets me. And the sad thing is, she doesn't even get me! I
> feel like Beetalamax, only without the beetle-folk.

Awwwwwww ;.;

>  After a while, I kinda lost interest in
> touching myself, which was also one of my favorite things to do and
> yeah, I'm definitely never sending this letter.

Awwwww sweetie ;.;

>    But it's more than that. I see other people laughing with each
> other, hooking up, looking at each other, flirting with each other,
> wanting to be flirted with, just, making connections, and being
> connected. And no one looks at me like that. No one has any reason to.

Awwwwwwwwwwww! ;.;

>    I don't think you were, either. I think you're sad and restless a
> lot of the time, Kate. I've seen it. I've heard it in your music.
> Probably that's what makes you good at it. Piano music probably should
> be sad. You and me are like oil and water, but we have that in common.
> The difference is that I just struggle with it and flail around and
> wallow in it, while you deal with it and move on with your day. And if
> I was actually going to send this, I would ask you, how do you do
> that? And why can't I?

Aaaaaaa ;-; Bby *super shrink hug* This was very good for making one empathize ;-;

Drew "want to give so many hugs" Perron

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