Episode description Edit
The Assemblage / Book: Of the Stellar Coriolis and the Resonant Orbit / Passage 001
Before the resonance was decay.
Standing on the precipice of obscurity, those caught in Our shadow threw themselves into the search for new delineation, into the labor of ameliorative credenda. Among the many competing schools, five gained great followings—yet Kamala Cadence, One Of Her Kind, saw that each led only closer to dissolution.
The Custodial Thesis saw Us as ambivalent caretakers, thus consigning You to whatever fickle attention We might levy. But where others saw resignation, Kamala recognized the truth of Difference. And so she studied.
The cult Terra Mira sought accord through recognition of a commonality: Divine, synthetic, and human life traced shared lineage to Earth. But where others argued that whatever Solish light We once shared with You was long ago wasted on the sides of mountains, Kamala recognized the truth of History. And so she studied.
The Golden Clause found hope in books of law, citing long-forgotten statues that governed the interactions between You and Us. But while others dismissed these rules, which attempted to detain the metaphysical in the realm of the judicial, Kamala recognized the truth of Pragmatism. And so she studied.
Some aimed to create a new mode of being all together. Called the Convergence Proposition, these engineers and scholars struggled for futile centuries to blend You and Us. But where others denied such amalgamation was possible, Kamala recognized the truth of Synthesis. And so she studied.
The algorithm Weyerbach Null did not seek to forecast or lead, yet many followed the visions of imagined futures provided by the Indefinite Oracle. But where others deemed Null’s faithful naive, Kamala recognized the truth of Utopia. And so she studied.
And while she studied, You fought.
And while You fought, We gained in distance.
And while We gained in distance, the stars spread further apart.
And there, in shared relation to the drifting of dust, she found resonance. In one breath, Kamala Cadence, First to Kneel Among the Stars, found a path forward and committed to its walking.
And so, seeking a symbol of her strength and wisdom so that she might circumvent travel measured in lives, she decided to convert first her least-like ally, Independence, first-born of the old Diaspora.
This week on Twilight Mirage: godspeed, glory Pt. 1
There will be mountains you won't move
- Prof. Gauge's seminar
- Assemblage = Written by a divine (or multiple divines) at start of Resonant Orbit
- "Not really written." Keeps saying this, not clear
- "The opening books were written all at once in a brief moment between thoughts"
- Not really "book 1" since all the early books were written immediately, but we read first bc history?
- Debate over whether written by divine Truth, Wisdom, or History. (Prof. Gauge's thinks its "Spirit")
- "Don't forget Hegel" (who?)
- Weird how this thing writes "You" "Us" "Our"
- How do you know when "we' means just divines vs divines + people?
- (prof gauge's says before/after resonant orbit it changes + "computers can read "we" and understand we")
- Did they die before the resonant orbit?
- If not, why is it a surprise that they started to die later then?
- Aren't all Utopias Dystopias really, from another perspective?
- tyler said i was being smartass but fuck him, i'm serious
- (nah you being a smart ass LONNY -t)
- Additional Reading
- Rethal's Jace: Overcoming the Problem of Other Minds
- before Cadence tried to unify divines/people
- Weyerbach Null: The Third Paradise
- (NOT THE THIRD PREDICTION - MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION PROBBO)
- Declan's Corrective: A Collection
- poems, just look up before class
Cold open Edit
|“|| [Satellite] Report 175.
I. I. I am trying to stay focused. There is too much. I can't see it all. I can't untangle the signals. I can't. I can't. I can't. I need to stay focused. I need to stay focused. I need to stay focused. On you. Primary. Demani.
Demani. I'm okay. I'm okay, Demani. I've established temporary quantum lock with Rapid Evening HQ. I'm requesting additional phenomenological resources from K-Upside. Extra sensor bandwidth. More powerful filters. We need to zero in on what's happening right now. I'm manually degrading full-spec observation, elevating key profiles: Echo Reverie, Undela Apogica, the Excerpt Signet, Gig Kep-hart, Fourteen Fifteen, Even Gardner, Tender Sky, Grand Magnificent, Open Metal, the Iconoclasts, and.
Extra bandwidth retrieved. Filters in place. Focus. I can see it all now. I can. Wait. Demani.
The Twilight Mirage. It's collapsing.
Plot summary Edit
Janey asks Even about the image she asked him to give the Doyenne; he again promises to make sure she gets it. Even & Grand head, in Cascabel’s airship, toward his workshop. Echo heads to the Skein, as Myriad drops them there on her way to the beach with Gig. On their way to the Olympic Diner, Cascabel's airship passes by the Big Garage (the Mandati headquarters), and a huge, unending storm above a churning lake of Q-glass.
In the diner, one of the Mandati medallions, which double as transistor radios, is repeating a transmission from an old Excerpt of Gumption. It is directed to the 'Salvage Mandate,' who the Excerpt claims can combine the ten thousand pieces of a schematic to fix Gumption. Cascabel explains how he shot down the Saint with shells made of the charged Q-glass from the lake. During their week of preparation, Even eats some of the bullets with his hand, so they don’t really have enough supplies.
Tender, in the pod ship with the monks, visits her sanctuary. Someone else did visit: there are signs of stones misplaced, and twenty-seven flower petals were added to the shrine. Due to Tender's work, the sanctuary is now part of a broader digital space, and can access all of the servers in all of the Twilight Mirage. She can even see the Gallery.
Echo meets two plant-people from the Skein: Dr. Plane Page & Dr. Facet Forester. They explain that the purple mists here make people see things, but not illusions or hallucinations: the world shifts and bends to your whims or those of the world itself. They used to be contained to the north, but after the disturbance a few weeks ago, they have been spreading. Armstrong's ship did pass through the area, but was chased out.
After getting lost in the mists, Echo again encounters the mysterious snake made of dirt. It leads them to a palace in the mist. It's split in two, bifurcated by two giant stone doors, which are engraved with two figures, reaching above the door and touching hands. On the left is a woman with head spines and four full arms, who carries a torch, a globe, and a sword. On the left is a man with scales on his face, wearing laurels in his hair, an eyepatch, and a cape, on which reads, “No Apokine, no Demarch, only us”.
Within the long-abandoned palace, there are shadow figures moving around, who do not acknowledge Echo. Echo passes several rooms before coming to a small, less grandiose room. There are three shadow-people: two parents and a little girl with her pet. The parents are debating in the language of Quire; as they go from being heated to focused about how to deal with Independence, the little girl becomes calm instead of scared. After the conversation ends, the building turns to dust around Echo. The snake asks “What is family?” but Echo doesn't have a good answer. Still, it leads them to a campground for the night.
Fourteen makes for the wharf, to catch a ride on a fishing ship called the World Without End. The fisherman's in a space suit styled like an oilskin that lets people walk through the nets. There’s one more haul between them and the By-and-By that they didn’t get to take. The fisherman wants Fourteen to help out in exchange for transport.
Signet and Iluna talk, revealing some of their mixed feelings about the relationships between Divines and Excerpts. After their conversation ends, Signet teleports away with ‘Asylum’.
For Echo, the next morning, it is foggy and grey, and they seem to be in an aircraft base full of mechs and runways. There are sounds of anti-aircraft fire in the distance. Of the shadow people, the most important is a woman pacing back and forth in front of a line of soldiers and mechs. The snake translates for Echo: this woman is Pretense, who led the war on Independence, and was also the little girl in the palace. Echo also glimpses an echo of Armstrong, who visited this place too. The snake asks Echo another upsetting question--"How is it, to take a life?"
Next, Echo encounters a swamp, free of the miasma, where a spaceship must have landed. It's made of black, red and brown rocks, like feldspar and black opal, and has a ramp leading up. The ship, the Holiday Gambit, was clearly an Apostolosian smuggling vessel. In the captain’s bedroom, Echo finds an opal cube that creates a projection of the ship captain--the one who was on the left side of the statue. His final log plays, revealing that the ship had been on the run after stealing a strange organic-digital virus from an Apostolosian military warehouse. Echo takes one of Captain Sciron's eyepatches. It creates an overlay, just like what many people in the Fleet have because they’re chipped, and gives Echo their coordinates on the planet. Now that Echo's wearing the eyepatch, they can fly the ship, so they start piloting it. The snake comes too.
|“|| “I am ⸢Between the sound of the exhaust and the cacophony of the engine, there is a symphony⸣. This old guy's gotten nervous lately.”
Gumption makes a sort of a mechanical whale grunt in the background, it’s like 'Grrough'. And then ⸢Symphony⸣ continues.
“It's all the friends dying, I guess. In any case, Curiosity recently let us know about this place. So, as you know, you've been chosen to set up shop down here. But what you don't know is that you've also been chosen for something else. You're the big man's backup plan. He's been, uh, calling it the 'Salvage Mandate'. If he or we ever go feet up... No, wait. Damn it. Gary, what's the--what--
Belly up. If we, if we ever go belly up, this thing'll turn on, and inside, there's a schematic. You get together all ten thousand pieces of the schematic, get yourself the right parts, get yourselves, like, a big workshop and some good engineers, and boom! You're good to go. Big guy's back on his feet.
And, well, here's the rub. If you're hearing all this, it means the salvage mandate has been activated. Which means that the old knucklehead and I are toast. Well, maybe not me, or like, maybe I died a long time ago, I don’t know how long I have, necessarily, but. The point is, it's up to you now.
Salvage Mandate, activate.”
And then there’s like 'Ha!' in the background, and then you hear ⸢Symphony⸣ say,
“It was not corny. I was cool. I sounded like a fuckin' hero. Hey--Gary--”
and then it cuts off.
Captain's Log Edit
|“|| “Captain's Log.
Something, something in the planet caught us. We can’t break out. It, it isn't gravity, not any gravity we can see, any of our sensors can see. It’s something else, it’s something. Never seen a planet like this before, fuckin'... ohhh, Sciron, Sciron, Sciron, what the hell did I get myself into? It used to be 'No Apokine, no Demarch, only Gold.' How the hell did I get here? How the hell did I get to 'only Us?' Ugh. Okay, put on a good face, put on a good face. Go talk to the crew, and everything's going to be okay.
I guess this might be it, Log. So let me lay it out one last time, just in case we all die and someone finds this black box one day. We had a mission to retrieve an old, weird box from a nearly abandoned military warehouse. We arrived, things felt fishy--ah, no pun intended, I wouldn't do that to my own people. There were more guards than there should have been, there was more recent technology than a facility like that should have had. So we got in, and we got the thing out and--and then things got dangerous, way more dangerous than they should have been. We have been on the run for fifteen years now. They will not stop, and that's weird, because they always stop. There’s always something bigger. And that’s why I don’t understand. What--
We, we took it to a scientist, the box. And he put it in a safe room, and he opened it up. And the first thing he said is 'I can't tell if the thing in there is organic or digital.' Which is weird, because organic things--”
And he, like, pulls at his face.
“--and digital things are completely different. It's somewhere in between, the doctor said, and I don't--that doesn't make any sense to me. He said it's a virus, he said it works on language, that, like, it--it does things with minds, and that you could use it to transform an entire planet, teach people things instantly. Or--and this is what he said, he said--years ago, thousands of years ago, it killed people, that's the thing it did, ugh. It didn't teach anybody anything, it just broke their minds, they just died. They died dancing, is what he told me.
And, uh, I did a stupid thing, Log. I was like 'no one should have that.' And I could have handed it over--to the cops--and I should have done. And instead I ran with it, and I don’t know what I was gonna find. We found this place, and, uh, we're almost out of fuel, and we are out of food. So I'm just gonna, we're just gonna go down there and see what's what. My guess is this is it.
This is Captain Sciron of the Holiday Gambit... Signing off.
God, I hope they have good coffee.”
- Austin Walker (GM)
- Keith J Carberry (Gig Kep-hart)
- Andi Clare (Echo Reverie)
- Art Martinez-Tebbel (Grand Magnificent)
- Andrew Lee Swan (Even Gardner)
Other Appearances Edit
- Dr. Facet Forester
- Dr. Plane Page
- Iota Pretense
- Acre Seven (mentioned)
- Captain Sciron
- Waltz Tango (Cache)
- Iluna Vouje