Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

chapter_20 [2009/12/11 18:34] (current)
doan created
Line 1: Line 1:
 +A bus was not something Gyiiyg had expected to find in a mysterious prototype world. It was a rather battered red and yellow bus that had obviously seen better days. The sign on the front said '1235 Home'.
 +“We think the route it was on got discontinued, or something.” explained Ryuka, “We just found the bus in a ditch one day, and we've been travelling around in it ever since. Its safer inside it than outside, and you can get to places you couldn't reach otherwise.”
 +
 +Gyiiyg watched everyone climb into the bus. Train strapped himself in and immediately fell into a state resembling sleep, leaning on Clayman. Mini Elevator and Sign somehow coalesced into a shape that fit their seats. Dung Beetle hopped into the driver's seat and started wiring his cyberware to the controls of the bus.
 +
 +“Is it safe to do that?” asked Gyiiyg, looking pointedly at the grey-faced alien.
 +
 +“Well, do you now any other way to drive a bus?”
 +
 +“I know how to drive!” yelled Tom, “You put the key in the ignition an' you put your foot on the brake an' then you turn the wheel an'...”
 +
 +“Key?” Tent Person looked at him, bemused.
 +
 +“Uh... never mind.”
 +
 +“I thought you said you couldn't sleep.” said Gyiiyg, pointing to Train, who was softly snoring.
 +
 +“Automatically.” corrected Tent Person, “We have to sleep to enter the Lower Alphas. Except Clayman, he's a Golem, so all he can do is switch off. Its actually difficult for us to enter sleep. We're still learning how to.”
 +
 +“What about him? You can't sleep and drive!” Tom pointed to Dung Beetle.
 +
 +“Oh, the cyberware can drive the bus on autopilot. The alarm is loud, so it'll wake him up if anything happens to the bus.”
 +
 +“Do we have to go to sleep too?”
 +
 +“It would be best.”
 +
 +“I... am not sure if I can sleep.” said Gyiiyg, “It has been a stressful day for all of us. Stress causes us Dictory to release a lot of adrenaline. We're a warrior race.”
 +
 +Something appeared in his hand. It was cuboid, made of a soft plastic and about the right size for him to grasp in both his hands. He felt something protruding from it and pulled on it. It was plastic and like a pen but smaller and thinner.
 +
 +“Its my DS.” explained Aeolia's Table, “I use it to relax. Even when I'm really stressed, I just zone out and play video games and I feel better.”
 +
 +Tom stared out of the window. He had run to the back of bus to gaze at Snow Bunny, curled up on the seat, his face a mask of serenity. He was naked, which mildly amused Tom. Now that was getting old fast, something else had occurred to him.
 +
 +“My Golems won't all fit on the bus.”
 +
 +“Order them to shut down.” said Aeolia's Table, “They'll be able to follow you. Golems always are.”
 +
 +Tom opened the window and poked his head outside to yell the order. All sixty five thousand Golems obeyed him, freezing in the middle of whatever they were doing, the lights in their eyes going out. That over and done with, they could concentrate on going to sleep.
 +
 +Dung Beetle started the bus up first, because a lot of the people felt that the slow rhythmic motion of travelling helped send them off to sleep quicker. Most of them were slowly managing it,although Tom, who was a hyperactive child, had to bounce up and down on his seat making strange noises for a while before he could sleep. Gyiiyg stared at the screen. He was playing a game called Sonic the Hedgehog. It appeared to involve a small blue animal of some kind that moved at astonishing speeds, jumped almost as far and could curl up into a ball. Gyiiyg wondered if such an animal really existed or was mythical. He had not seen one before. Video games were a concept known to the Dictory race, but they were only really interested in puzzle games for the psychic savants, first person shooters and flight simulators for the warriors. All their games were controlled by telepathy. Gyiiyg had never heard of a manually controlled game like this, with buttons and a stylus. It was so primitive and clumsy. He decided to make it more interesting by using his telekinetic powers to move the stylus.
 +
 +“That's awesome.” said Aeolia's Table, looking over his shoulder. Gyiiyg hunched up, feeling self-conscious. “I wish I could do that. Hey, sorry, are you one of those people who hates being watched?”
 +
 +“I am not performing to my usual standards.” said Gyiiyg, “I am not familiar with this kind of machine.”
 +
 +“What do you use? Let me guess.... you don't look like you're from the old homestead... you're too polite and sane to be a Microsoft-head... you a vintage gamer?”
 +
 +“Pardon?” Gyiiyg was confused, causing him to miss the platform he was jumping for.
 +
 +“Eyes on the game.” said Aeolia's Table.
 +
 +“What is a 'hedgehog' and why is it so difficult to manoeuvre?” complained Gyiiyg.
 +
 +“You're playing Sonic again, Lola?” asked Tent Person. Aeolia's Table gave him a look that Gyiiyg could feel was charged with emotion. Sadness, regret, anger, fear, despair, but mostly defiance. Despite what humans believed, theirs were not the most complex emotions. This was not the emotional pattern of a human. Humans were the winning party, the top of the food chain, the alpha predators. These people were losing. Not in danger of being completely wiped out, probably with a history of victories and a few previous defeats, but still losing very badly.  The Dictory, who had experience of being in every position on the vast and complex spectrum of winning and losing over their hundreds of thousands of years of galactic warfare, understood what that felt like. Tent Person's reaction was... interesting. That, he couldn't really place.
 +
 +“Shut the fuck up.” she told him firmly.
 +
 +“If you made the 'hedgehog' with easier controls, it would be a devastating weapon...” began Gyiiyg.
 +
 +“You too, catboy.”she told him, before taking one of her many spare DSes, hunching up into a ball and losing herself in its maze.
 +
 +Tent Person sighed and switched on his own handheld machine. It was black, the shape and size of a brick and didn't fit in his hands very well.
 +
 +Within the next hour, they were all asleep.
 +
 +Gyiiyg woke up to find himself still on the bus. Everyone was still in the same position, except that there was an enormous pile of batteries on the floor next to Tent Person. Gyiiyg's batteries were also running low on the machine he had let drop to the floor.
 +
 +“How long have we been asleep?” asked Gyiiyg.
 +
 +“You're still asleep.” Tent Person said, “Remember how I said that dreams don't work here? We just see... well... what's actually happening.”
 +
 +“I've had dreams like that.” said Tom, “They suck.”
 +
 +“Its complicated. Its not a dream. Its actually what's happening, but you can't interact with it. Your body and mind are on standby.”
 +
 +“Like astral projection?” asked Gyiiyg. It was a skill he lacked, but it wasn't uncommon in his race.
 +
 +“We're almost there.” reported Dung Beetle, “Everyone grab their stuff.”
 +
 +“We can pick up objects?”
 +
 +“Only games consoles.” said Tent Person, “They're... special objects. They don't follow the rules.”
 +
 +A few minutes later, the bus came to a halt. Everyone picked up their games consoles and started filing out of the door. Tom stepped off the bus and was immediately greeted by a horde of Golems, looking confused as to why they were both off and on at the same time.
 +
 +“Oh, hi guys!” he yelled, hugging one of them on the leg, “Hey, where's naked boy? He didn't wake up!”
 +
 +“Oh, Snow Bunny... he doesn't follow the rules either. He'll be okay.”
 +
 +Led by Dung Beetle, his scanners beeping as he tracked their way, they walked through the darkness. For a while, there was nothing. Nothing but a warm, thick, static-filled darkness like under a bed sheet. Gyiiyg felt the vague sensation he had felt since he first entered this place grow stronger – a sensation of walking off screen. It was forbidden, impossible, wrong but it no longer terrified him. He felt like a hacker experiencing the thrill of entering a place he had never been able to break into before. Then they emerged into a courtyard that looked like a village square with fountains, a statue and a bell that slowly tolled.
 +
 +“I have been here before.” said Gyiiyg, “This is a Magicant.”
 +
 +“This is a Magic Ant!” exclaimed Train, excited. Clayman opened his mouth too, wide in mockery of his facial expression but with no words.
 +
 +“I think I can get back from here.” said Gyiiyg, taking the shell from his pocket and examining it thoughtfully.
 +
 +“My sister had one of those.” said Tom, regarding him with suspicion, “It got stolen. You didn't take it, did you?”
 +
 +“I promise to return it.”
 +
 +“ She looked real upset. Then she started ac... stopped acting weird. Normally she does act weird, I mean. She changed.”
 +
 +“Better that I had it than it was lost in battle. The undead creatures would not have used it well. They also would not return it.”
 +
 +“Then give it back!”
 +
 +“Its our way out of here, stupid boy.”
 +
 +“What is it anyway?”
 +
 +“I'll explain later.”
 +
 +“Well, I'm glad you can leave from here. I was worried I would have to take you further in.” said Tent Person.
 +
 +“I promise not to reveal the location of this sanctuary of yours to anyone.”
 +
 +“I hope you keep your promise.” the winged being bowed, “Farewell. It was nice meeting you.”
 +
 +“Bye, Tom! Lets be friends!” Train waved. Tom waved back.
 +
 +“There may come a time when we must meet again.” Gyiiyg told him, “Until then, farewell.”
 +
 +Gyiiyg walked off into the square. He saw the metal sphere again, then he was dragged through the largest pipe of the fountain into the Garricksen Baby's eternal dream.
 +
 +
 +
 +“Something happened in there, didn't it?”
 +
 +Gyiiyg just stared at the baby. It did not bother facing him.
 +
 +“I can feel that something has changed. No matter. You have returned. I can feel that you have mastered your Magicant. You understand what it is that it has been trying to teach us all, yes?”
 +
 +“Giygas. It is inside ourselves. It is what goes wrong inside ourselves when we don't comprehend the truth.” said Gyiiyg.
 +
 +“I see. Then maybe it is okay to show you the truth. You see, if you are slightly unstable in regard to the truth, this will utterly destroy you.”
 +
 +“I have been to the Lower Alphas.” said Gyiiyg, “I have been to the Debug Room. I have faced Giygas, become Giygas and transcended Giygas. Now there is only Gyiiyg.”
 +
 +“Then follow me.”
 +
 +The baby's crib began to rise from its holder on the top of the tower. Slowly, it floated towards the wall and ported straight through it. Gyiiyg followed it. He stepped through, into...
 +
 +A sea of mist. Green mist in an endless landscape of pink rock. It obscured everything. The only thing Gyiiyg could do was to follow the retreating outline of the baby in his egg-shaped holding capsule, drifting at a steady pace.  This continued for a period of time that Gyiiyg had no way of measuring. It was not that there was no time here – it was incredibly ordered. It was just that the time was not a simpler time superimposed onto some consensus reality, it was the actual time, as ordained by the system clock. It hurt to look at it too closely. Gyiiyg simply watched and followed. It was ancient. Ancient, ponderous, timeless, pure. There was something peaceful about it. He felt truly relaxed for the first time in a long while. It struck him that this sensation reminded him a lot of when he had been playing Aeolia's Table's DS -  a kind of connection, a mutual opening, unconditional surrender by both parties, that transcended the relationships biological life forms formed with each other, who could only do so in so many dimensions. This was larger, though. So larger that Gyiiyg would have felt scared to be in the same room as it if he had any choice whatsoever. He had gone straight past fear, shot through resignation and into a kind of failure to remember that it had been any different. He had always been walking this path. He always would.
 +
 +“I am the only person who knows the way into this part of Magicant.” said the Garrickson Baby, “It is why I can't leave. Other psychics... many of them learn to visit Magicant early. Some are even babies when they do so. But this is different. I know too much. I can't just live an ordinary life. Not even the ordinary life of the most powerful species in the galaxy.”
 +
 +“What is this place, then?”
 +
 +Still blindly following the baby, Gyiiyg did not realise until it was too late that he had stepped out of the mist.
 +
 +“This is the Umaya.”
 +
 +Gyiiyg blinked. All around him was computer equipment. Machines more sophisticated than anything he could ever imagine. Their presence was overwhelming. He could hear their power in the air like a lion's roar. He knew that every time he composed a single instance of a thought, these machines could create a Universe, run through every possible future of every single inhabitant of it until there were no more possibilities and it led to Armageddon or Nirvana. He bowed, flattening his tail to the ground.  How could such magnificence be held in just a small white box with a slot on the top that held a cartridge, a plug, an aerial leading to a display screen and two switches that said 'off' and 'reset'?
 +
 +The baby floated up to one of the two small white control pads.
 +
 +“The Umaya. The world dream.” he repeated in his mind-voice, “You see, all life forms are supposed to be able to inhabit their own Magicant, if they are strong enough psychics. People with strong enough links – two personalities in the same minds, for instance – are able to enter each others' Magicants.”
 +
 +Gyiiyg remembered Giygas – how he had found out that Giygas was only parallel to him, they were only watching each other, not truly the same person – and wondered if that was the only way you really became possessed by Giygas – by looking into its Magicant, its flawed, ruined Magicant, absorbing everything around it in a desperate attempt to assert its reality at the expense of everyone's, in spite of its lack of legitimacy now that it had been left to ruin for so long. Had there been an original Giygas?
 +
 +“This is the Magicant of the entire world.” said the baby, “The system Magicant. The underlying rules for the destiny of the world, its roles, its archetypes, its Events. If all the world is a play, this is the script.”
 +
 +“The... destiny of the entire world? Like, the Chosen Four?”
 +
 +“I can see all of them here. Who they are at any one time, what they are supposed to do, what went wrong, how destiny has changed because of what went wrong, what needs to be done to fix it. I can see where any one of the people involved is at any time. My sister's alive again. She's free of my control  now – she can't protect me properly like that, but maybe that's for the best.” said the Baby, “Gyiiyg, I'm not supposed to be able to see all this.”
 +
 +“You're a hacker in an important Government computer system.”
 +
 +“Yes. But much, much worse. If he catches me, I'll be deleted. If I come out. He won't dare delete things in here. He might miss and hit a computer. That would be... the end of the world.”
 +
 +“You keep saying you can never leave. Can I not leave now?”
 +
 +“Not unless this works.”
 +
 +“Unless what works?”
 +
 +The baby pointed a fat pudgy finger at the view screen of one of the consoles. It looked like a mass of green dots with a scattering of blue, green, yellow, white, black and red dots, arranged on various backgrounds.
 +
 +“Let me explain how this works. The blue dots, they're Ness, Paula and Jeff, the green dot is Ninten, the white ones are my brother, sister and their Golems, the yellow one is Lucas, the black one is Moor Ecivres. The red ones are things like Pokey and what remains of Giygas. The different colour backgrounds are the different versions of the worlds in which their destinies are prominent. As you see, its mostly blue. The version protected by Ness and Paula is the most stable and whole. That is where all the refugees who I managed to get out in time were placed. Lucas' world is destroyed. He made a fake world but the computer saw straight through it, and so did I. I only did not tell my brother because it would not be right to stop him from rescuing the Golems. Ninten and my siblings... we were all pulled out of our world just before it exploded.”
 +
 +“I am sorry.” said Gyiiyg. He did not want the world to be destroyed. Conquered utterly by his own people, maybe, but not destroyed. His people were expansionist, not genocidal. Then he remembered that the baby could see right through his telepathic shields and hear exactly what he planned to do with their world, so he shut up.
 +
 +“There was nothing I could do. I try and manipulate destiny as and when I see something going wrong, but too much damage has already been done. We are losing the one world we have left. And I will not send people to Moor Ecivres' world. Its is worse than destruction, being there.”
 +
 +“But you said something would work.”
 +
 +“I am bringing together and training people who I believe will be able to survive in Moor Ecivres' world long enough for them to get in, see what exactly what went wrong and fix it. So far, you are the second, after Moor Ecivres himself. Two others... I tried to train. I thought that I had trained them. But I am losing them fast, now. And I worry I'm losing Moor Ecivres.” the baby's mind-voice was filled with regret, “But you have brought me hope. Gyiiyg... what you have done may tip the balance of this doomed battle.”
 +
 +“What did I do?”
 +
 +The baby moved closer to the control panel, waited for its holder to swivel, then thumped a big blue button with its little hand. Something else appeared on the screen. A larger, dark purple section, almost as big as the rest of the map combined. Nine dark purple dots appeared in the middle of it.
 +
 +“A whole new world, untouched by the events of the world outside. Before you broke through the void... I was unable to locate that world at all.”
 +
 +“The Prototypes? You're talking about Tent Person and Dung Beetle and....”
 +
 +“Sometimes, a machine does not store information about its prototypes. It feels it does not need to. All the information it has about them is already in its final release. This machine had been... locked away from the prototype worlds. You destroyed that block with your mind.”
 +
 +“Are you sure it was me? I don't have the kind of power needed to take down an interplanetary control computer system!”
 +
 +“Correction – you did not. But you aren't the old Gyiiyg any more. Everything that you became when you were Giygas... all that godlike untamed power... the power that hacked an entire Starman Watchtower... its all inside you now. Except you are you, and you control it.”
 +
 +“I am not Gyiiyg and... I am not Giygas.” he mused, “Giegue. I am Giegue.”
 +
 +“Correct. And you are the most powerful entity in existence that has the ability to defy the will of Moor Ecivres' world.” said the Garricksen Baby, “My mind is still much, much stronger, but I cannot leave this Magicant. I have no body any more. I... have been meaning to tell my brother and sister, but I do not wish to destroy their morale. They have a battle to fight. A battle on their own world, but defense is just as important as offense now. Someone has to stay behind to close the door.”
 +
 +“You want me to go to Moor Ecivres' world... how do you plan to get us there?”
 +
 +“I have been feeding information into the minds of the three premier geniuses of Eagleland – Dr. Andonuts, the scientist, Brick Road the dungeon designer and Leder the photographer and Rabbi. I am manipulating them into building a machine. It will have the capacity of the Phase Distorter, but be inside a Brick Road dungeon – a self-contained, watertight destiny loop that works like the Absolutely Safe Capsule, but with many more caveats, ones that use both dungeon design theory and studies of actual quests near their end-game instances, both from photographs and written records, to understand how quests are supposed to work in end-game situations. This will not lead to an infinite loop that nobody inside can escape from – it will be an actual viable model for an end game instance to follow seamlessly on from.”
 +
 +“You have been planning this for a long time.”
 +
 +“Yes, I have. Possibly too long. I needed to be sure I did not make a mistake that would kill everyone, but at the same time, I cannot sit and wait for the world to crumble apart around me. They will come for Magicant once they have devoured every other world.”
 +
 +“Then we must act quickly.” agreed Giegue
 +
 +“Yes, we must. You should leave now. I have already ordered the construction of the machine. I will speak to the people of the Prototype world and explain what I require them to do. Go now and... WAKE UP! GIEGUE! WAKE UP NOW!”
 +
 +“What the...?”
 +
 +“Your physical body is in danger – a danger I can't protect it from!”
 
chapter_20.txt · Last modified: 2009/12/11 18:34 by doan
 
Recent changes RSS feed Creative Commons License Donate Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki