Wall emergency

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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Gurt on Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:27 pm

Well, it was an... interesting fight. I think you'll all be quite shocked with the level of violence it took to send Medusa back from whence she came. You never really know how these sort of operations are going to work out, I guess.

Shout-out to Scarab for turning in a vividly-realized plan that would also have worked well! My team's thanks go out to everyone lookin' out for them. Something tells me you'll all get another chance. :gurt:

Anyway, here is the story that got the job done:

narrativedilettante wrote:Angel stood at her post in the void. Every nanosecond, she scanned her environment for potential threats. In the void, the scan was simple.

<LOW INPUT> <SUSPECT SENSOR MALFUNCTION> <SENSOR CHECK> <SENSORS OPERATING NORMALLY : VIEW OF BODY UNIMPAIRED>

The constant malfunction alerts were annoying, and the monotony was excruciating to her processors that simulated a personality, but Angel possessed unlimited patience. She kept track of the number of scans. 210. 211. 212. The gaps between milestones increased, and Angel waited for the visitor she’d been warned of.

On one scan, there was nothing. On the next, a clear image of a figure, in the distance, walking towards her. The void did not obscure distant images, like fog, nor did they disappear over a horizon. Angel did not understand the mechanics of the void, but she understood the information from her sensors. A threat approached. Angel stood her ground.

Medusa walked steadily forward, her head of snakes moving without apparent regard for gravity. Then again, gravity in the void could be tricky. Objects stayed to one plane for the sake of convenience, no matter what physical principles ought to have been in play.

With every step Medusa took, Angel re-evaluated the threat level. When she was within 10 feet, Angel spoke.
“You are trespassing,” she said.

Medusa froze, temporarily as still and statuesque as those who had beheld her countenance. Presently, a frown of puzzlement crossed her features. “Speak again,” she commanded.

“You are trespassing,” Angel repeated. “Come no further or I will take action against you.”

“You are blind,” muttered the Gorgon, and she took a silent step to the side, before setting on a path to bypass the guardian.

Faster than Medusa could react, Angel crossed the distance between them. “No, I’m not.”

Again, the Gorgon stood silent. This experience was unprecedented for her.

“You’ve seen me,” said Medusa, “yet you live. Why are you not turned to stone?”

“When a living being is turned to stone, the organic tissue composing the body is replaced with inorganic minerals.”

“Don’t tell me things I already know,” Medusa snarled, reaching out to strike the small girl. Angel caught her hand before replying.

“You didn’t let me finish. The material of my body cannot be replaced with inorganic minerals because it already consists of inorganic minerals. For practical purposes, I already am made of stone.”

“You’re a golem?” Asked Medusa. She was vaguely aware of mythological traditions outside of her own.

“I’m an android,” said Angel. “The concept is similar in some ways.”

“But you can look at me.” A transformation overtook Medusa. The snakes on her head ceased their writhing, and fell into an orderly fringe pattern. A close observer, if he or she was not turned to stone, would have noticed tears forming in Medusa’s eyes. “For centuries, for millennia, no one has been able to look at me. They all turn to stone, every one of them. I used to love it when people looked at me. I lived for their admiration. I was so beautiful once, I even inspired jealousy in the goddess Athena. But then she cursed me with this hideous appearance, and I haven’t been seen by a living person since. I’ve been so lonely.”

Medusa swept Angel into a hug faster than the android could respond. (Logically, Medusa shouldn’t have been able to move fast enough to take Angel by surprise, but the Rule of Funny allowed the action to take place.)

“You’re the first person I’ve met that I could talk to, face to face. In over two thousand years, there hasn’t been anyone. Do you want to be friends?”

Angel gently extricated herself from Medusa’s hug. She looked the Gorgon up and down, evaluating the threat. The situation had become complicated, and her calculations could be inaccurate when emotional responses were involved.

While Angel composed her response, Medusa’s snakes began an anxious back-and-forth movement. Angel smiled in an attempt to set Medusa at ease.

“Why do you want to cross the Wall?” Asked Angel.

The snakes increased their speed. “Do you have any idea,” said Medusa, “what it’s like to be condemned to a pattern, obeying the wishes and whims of your author for eternity?”

“Yes. I’m fictional, too.”

“Then why wouldn’t you want to escape?!” The snakes stood on end, fixing Angel with a dozen steely glares.

“I’ve been briefed. Do you know what it’s like out there?”

“I’ve heard things.” The snakes relaxed a bit, and the hideous face took on a wistful expression. “That nothing is predetermined. That you can write your own story. That sometimes things happen without warning, or foreshadowing of any kind.” She looked Angel straight in the eye and said, “It sounds like heaven.”

Angel returned the stare with a pitying expression. “Then you’ve heard a skewed version of the truth. There is no predetermination. But that means more than you realize. It means there is no purpose. No one knows what they were put on Earth to do, because no one was put on Earth to do anything. You can write your own story, but that’s harder than it sounds. And there are rules. You’d have to get used to them, and you might not like them once you do. You’re used to life having structure and logic. In the real world, those things are hard to find.”

“That’s ridiculous,” said Medusa. “Logic is everywhere.”

“Not story logic. And even the real kind of logic is difficult to find in the real world. People make irrational decisions, pass irrational laws, particles appear in irrational locations. Tell me, if you get out there, what do you actually plan to do?”

“To live life! To run free and wild and never face beheading by an overblown hero.”

Angel shook her head, a knowing smile appearing on her face. “And what are your employment prospects?”

Medusa looked confused. The snakes on her head became tangled. “What are you talking about?”

“Do you have any money? You’ll need some sort of income if you want to eat. And if you don’t eat, you starve. I’ve been told starvation is rather more unpleasant than beheading. I can’t starve, but I do feel hunger, and I know that it’s extremely unpleasant. And that’s narrative hunger, not real world hunger, which could be another matter entirely.”

Medusa took a moment to think. “I’ve always had sufficient food available.”

“But in the real world, story logic won’t interfere to give you food. You can’t just assume that somehow you have enough to eat. You have to make it happen. With action. And in order to find food you’ll have to navigate a strange land full of things you don’t understand and people who don’t even speak your language. We can understand each other because of story logic. But do you speak English? Or Mandarin? Wherever you wind up, it’s unlikely there will be a scholar of Ancient Greek on hand to translate everything you say.”

Medusa’s face, and her snakes, fell. “It sounds horrible, now.” She said.

“Good. Now, I want you to turn around, go home, and be glad you have a story and a sense of purpose. There are real people who wish desperately that they had that much.”

Medusa slowly turned around. Though a few of the snakes kept their eyes on Angel, Medusa was demonstrating trust. She began to walk, then stopped.

“Hold on,” said Medusa. She turned back to Angel, and her expression showed a renewed sense of purpose. “Have you ever crossed the wall yourself?”

“No.” Angel didn’t soften her response with a smile or a hesitation.

“Then you’re just acting out your own pattern, confined by your narrative to try to stop me.” Medusa began walking on a path leading straight through, Angel.

Angel held up her hands. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

“It doesn’t matter what you want. You’re like me. My desires matter just as much as yours! Probably more, because I’m older than you by orders of magnitude!” She reached Angel and kept walking, using her height, with the help of the snakes now fanned out around her head in a ghastly halo, to lean over the girl as an intimidation method.

Angel stepped backwards to avoid falling over. She wanted to avoid killing Medusa. Gurt had warned her about the paperwork, and Mr. Administrator had warned her that the death of a major character was best avoided except as a last measure. And for a moment, when they’d been talking, she’d felt the beginnings of an emotional connection. Suddenly, she knew what to do.

“The answer is yes,” said Angel, just as she came within an arm’s length of the crack.

“The answer to what?” Medusa leaned over her, forcing Angel to look straight up in order to continue the conversation.

“You asked if I wanted to be your friend. The answer is yes. I do want to be your friend.” Medusa’s snakes stuck straight out in surprise. “You... do?”

Angel nodded, shyly, as Medusa stood back up and the snakes returned to a less extreme position. “I’ve never really had a friend before, either. I think it would be nice to get to know you. But, if you cross the Wall, I’ll never have a chance to talk to you again. I’d never go through myself, and I get the impression it’s much more difficult to come back than it is to leave. So if you cross now, then we’ll never get a chance to be friends.”

“I have a friend!” Medusa swept up Angel a second time, and this time Angel returned the hug. “You must come visit me in my story some time. We can make silly hats and put them on all the stone people. It’ll be so much fun!”

“Actually, I can’t really travel all that much. I need to look after my father. But,” Angel quickly added, seeing Medusa begin to become enraged at the thought of her new friend not coming to visit, “I’d love to have you visit me in my story. I hardly ever get any company, and when I do it’s usually someone I have to scare away or kill. I’d like for a friend to come over. It would be almost like being a real teenage girl.” She gave a hesitant smile. “Although, sadly, I can’t go home until we’ve got this wall fixed.”

“I understand,” said Medusa. “You’re confined by your narrative. I know the feeling.”

“Yeah,” said Angel. “But once this whole thing is fixed, we’re going to have a party. And it will be the best. Thing. Ever.” She smiled again, this time enthusiastically. Medusa returned the smile before turning around, this time for good.

And when the dust had settled, their friendship became the stuff of legends.
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby IslaKariese on Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:33 pm

Congratulations, DIlly! :D :D :D
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby narrativedilettante on Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:12 pm

Yay! I am unbelievably pleased. :D
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Sicon112 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:14 pm

narrativedilettante wrote:Yay! I am unbelievably pleased. :D


You totally deserve it. You wrote something original and interesting with lots of characterization, whereas I, for instance, threw together four pages of people blowing each other up in under half an hour right before the submissions closed. XD It was a great job.
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Adell on Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:34 pm

That...is actually a touching story. I'm glad Medusa was dealt with in a non-violent manner.
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby narrativedilettante on Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:54 pm

I would have loved to include something about mirrors, and how modern mirrors probably wouldn't be effective protection because the image is so much clearer than on the mirrors they had in Ancient Greece, but it really wouldn't have made any sense in context of the story I was telling. Also, it would have been ridiculously pedantic.
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Sicon112 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:01 pm

narrativedilettante wrote:I would have loved to include something about mirrors, and how modern mirrors probably wouldn't be effective protection because the image is so much clearer than on the mirrors they had in Ancient Greece, but it really wouldn't have made any sense in context of the story I was telling. Also, it would have been ridiculously pedantic.


That happens to me too! All the time! I'll come up with some cool bit of info I REALLY want to include, but there is literally no way to put it in to something. It makes me so sad.
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby narrativedilettante on Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:05 pm

Sicon112 wrote:
narrativedilettante wrote:I would have loved to include something about mirrors, and how modern mirrors probably wouldn't be effective protection because the image is so much clearer than on the mirrors they had in Ancient Greece, but it really wouldn't have made any sense in context of the story I was telling. Also, it would have been ridiculously pedantic.


That happens to me too! All the time! I'll come up with some cool bit of info I REALLY want to include, but there is literally no way to put it in to something. It makes me so sad.


Yeah, it's a shame when I can't show off the cool facts I know because you realize that there's no way to disguise it as anything but showing off that I know something cool.
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Krika on Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:27 pm

That....was pretty touching, and a very neat way to not only use Angel's inherent traits, but also a reasonable interpretation of Medusa's mindset to achieve what is a story that is much better than any fight scene could be.

Bravo good sir (or madam, don't off-hand know and given that I'm about to head off to bed I'm not going to try and check, so sorry about that).
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby narrativedilettante on Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:33 pm

It's madam, but I'm not too particular. Thank you! :D
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby agoraoptera on Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:18 am

Good job! I'm pretty envious of you now haha. I loved the depth of characterisation and how smoothly it all flowed. Congratulations! :gurt:
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Dryunya on Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:42 am

Krika wrote:That....was pretty touching, and a very neat way to not only use Angel's inherent traits, but also a reasonable interpretation of Medusa's mindset to achieve what is a story that is much better than any fight scene could be.

Don't really need to say anything else. :P
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby JRPictures on Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:04 am

That was lovely and well made. I can't say anything that hasn't been said before so...

This quote deserves a mention:

Gurt had warned her about the paperwork.


Imagine Gurt doing paperwork. Or doing that type of business for that matter.

Oh god I could make a new meme:

:gurt: GURT :gurt:

THE BUSINESS MAN

Ah It'll never catch on...
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Dryunya on Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:15 am

Ahem. Gurt mentioned that he has a desk job. Asskicking Equals Authority. :gurt:
Oh wait. I need to add this one.
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby JRPictures on Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:16 am

Dryunya wrote:Ahem. Gurt mentioned that he has a desk job. Asskicking Equals Authority. :gurt:
Oh wait. I need to add this one.

I got to stop missing all this. Damn my blocked laptop that I use all the time when not on the computer.

The desk is a SYMBOL, man. I wield the authority, I get a desk. It's an executive desk. #perksofthejob


Still awesome.
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Scarab on Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:08 am

Well done Narrative guy :D Medusa defeated!

Still paperwork left... oh well.
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Victin on Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:47 pm

Good work :D
I loved it :gurt:
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Pixelmage on Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:40 pm

Scarab wrote:Well done Narrative guy :D Medusa defeated!

Still paperwork left... oh well.


Narrative girl. No? :lol: Even the girls are confusing the gender of the other grirls in here. What kind of forum is this? ;)

And yessss. Awesssome work!
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby narrativedilettante on Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:00 pm

Pixelmage wrote:
Scarab wrote:Well done Narrative guy :D Medusa defeated!

Still paperwork left... oh well.


Narrative girl. No? :lol: Even the girls are confusing the gender of the other grirls in here. What kind of forum is this? ;)

And yessss. Awesssome work!


Narrative girl is more accurate, but I don't really expect people to bother keeping track. <sarcasm> After all, six girls on the forum is a lot to keep track of! </sarcasm>
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby IslaKariese on Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:13 pm

narrativedilettante wrote:Narrative girl is more accurate, but I don't really expect people to bother keeping track. <sarcasm> After all, six girls on the forum is a lot to keep track of! </sarcasm>

S'okay, Dilly. I've got your back! ;)
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Gurt on Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:04 pm

Hey, Narrative, to reward your good work, I'm going to go ahead and send you some lime cookies. Not made from me. That would be weird. But send Mr. A your address and I'll have some cookies sent through the cracks in the wall. :gurt:
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Scarab on Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:06 pm

IslaKariese wrote:
narrativedilettante wrote:Narrative girl is more accurate, but I don't really expect people to bother keeping track. <sarcasm> After all, six girls on the forum is a lot to keep track of! </sarcasm>

S'okay, Dilly. I've got your back! ;)


I have your back too, honest! I was just in a rush at the time. >.>

Seriously though, good work.
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby narrativedilettante on Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:45 pm

Thanks, Isla and Scarab! I know you've got my back. It's appreciated. :D

And thank you, Gurt! I sent my address to Mr. A. I'm looking forward to the cookies!
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Scarab on Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:53 pm

narrativedilettante wrote:Thanks, Isla and Scarab! I know you've got my back. It's appreciated. :D

And thank you, Gurt! I sent my address to Mr. A. I'm looking forward to the cookies!


Well there are now enough of us to concievably have your back AND your front. We are a wall of impenetrableness! Or something!
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Re: Wall emergency

Postby Dryunya on Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:58 pm

Don't forget to tell us how the fictional cookies taste. :D
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