Episode description Edit
The Assemblage / Book: Of the Stellar Coriolis and the Resonant Orbit / Passage 004
Though Kamala had impressed Him, His admiration was not the same as His loyalty. She had won not an ally, but an opportunity to negotiate.
"You show that you understand what We are and what We might be. The former is necessary. The latter is peril." His voice carried no echo. "These, then, are my terms—" each word falling into place "— and if you wish My name beside yours, they will be the vital blood of your Faith, now and forever: When We die, you leave Us dust. For finality is the heart of all independence."
Some weeks later, in a letter to a friend, Kamala would consider dust. How the matter of a thing that has come to nought is so soft, is barely anything at all, is caught by the wind, is a thing of lightness, is beautiful carried in the light, is the heart of all independence. She would revisit this letter later in her life, and she would amend it.
She left the negotiation with Him and, confident the rest of Us would follow, turned her attention toward her fellow people, human and synthetic. The Custodial Thesis saw the shape that walked alongside her, witnessed something alike to an Allegiance, and they turned to face her and their colours were added to her banner.
The Convergence Proposition saw the union of Kamala and Independence as a strange and wondrous thing and as their negotiators and scholars tentatively discussed the exact state of affairs, the exact state of being, their embroiderers added their symbol beside Kamala’s.
At the top of their tower, the algorithm Weyerbach Null considered what was meant when a figure such as this joined a figure so distinctly That, and imagined what might come, and word rippled down the tower like the sound of the wings of birds and the followers of The Indefinite Oracle walked in step with the Proposition, and the Thesis, and Kamala, and Him.
The Divine Independence had taken an Excerpt. And her name was The Light Of Us Is ⸢Many⸣, And Yet Seen Across The Distance It Is As Though It Is One.
This week on Twilight Mirage: godspeed, glory Pt. 2
Roamin' around like I'm ready for a funeral
- Seminarrrrr notes
- "There is no past in the fleet, only the assemblage"
- When first written ("not really written" again) "She would revisit this letter later in her life, and she would amend it" couldn't have possibly been in the assemblage since there was no "later in her life" yet.
- But no record of "changing" the assemblage either, it just changed at some point, was re-written without record.
- Cadence is the first excerpt
- ??? what about Chital???
- jovian's pride lookin ass, fuckin bullet's divide lookin, fuckin headass history major. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CANDIDATE AND AN EXCERPT -t
- chill, i swear to god
- unclear when "many," her excerpt name came from
- my excerpt name would be dope: "Acid on me like the rain, Weed crumbles into ⸢Glitter⸣"
- yeah but you be the excerpt of the divine LAZY tho -t
- Reading notes
- why only 3 of the five groups join?
- what's the dfifference between weyerbach and a divine?
- How did no one else do this before her? Not tryna say she isn't smart or whatever but it sounds like there's real a big difference between a robot who sees the future and people who think they ain't worth shit. how is one person and one divine supposed to bring them together?
- "When we die" not "if we die"
- Additional Reading
- Banner and Thread: The Symbols and Shapes of the Early Divine Fleet - Falconry's Apple
- On Algorithmic Negotiations: Strategies for Debating and Outsmarting Sapient Machines - I. Klipsch-Dove
Cold open Edit
|“|| [Primary] Dispatch 177.
Priority final. Protocol code: I-Quire addendum-v touch Mirage α 3 β 3 γ 3 Myriad full. Subprotocol. Strike. Subprotocols: social schism, Mirage collapse, Divine death. Annihilation-Class object. Strike. Objects confirmed.
Begin voice signature, primary observer Demani Dusk. Authorize direct communication channel.
Overriding linked broadcast quarantine. Connection with satellite observer maintained. Connection with K-net wide maintained. Connection with Mirage-wide maintained.
Linking with K-upside switchboard. Connection with REHQ established. Connection locked.
Fellow agents, Crystal Palace, Keen. This is Demani Dusk, primary observer of the I-Quire operation. Crystal Palace, accept this dispatch as my resignation. By the time you hear this, I will have abandoned post and de-armed and scuttled the stellar combustor attached to Satellite's observation post. Perhaps you'll already have predicted this, even here in the Mirage. Perhaps you, insofar as there is a you, see this as part of a larger model. I don't care. So accept that too.
Fellow agents, it has been an honor to serve alongside you, and to shield the citizens on cycle. But a shield can only protect what's behind it, and a hand that holds a shield cannot draw a blade, cannot lift a brush, cannot grip throttle or turn wheel to protect others from disaster. In the days that follow, consider your hands, and remember that they are yours.
Included in this transmission is a double-bulk data transfer, which will bring everyone, not just Crystal Palace, but everyone up to speed on the current events in the Twilight Mirage. I am sending this because if Crystal Palace sends someone to take our place, I want you to see everything. I want you to see what's happening here.
I could make a case--and maybe one of you will--that what we are seeing in the Twilight Mirage is exceptional. And I mean that historically, judicially, and personally. What was once a massive false nebula is collapsing inwards, but not like a house of cards, like a spring. It grows denser. Even my vessel struggles against its waves. Time bends now. The being Volition tears at reality itself, remaking the uneven material world into something axiomatic. A metaphysical fascism of ideas.
Keen. Your daughter is safe. I'm safe. We're gonna make sure everyone else is, too.
Plot summary Edit
Gig and Myriad head south, flying over Big Garage, to an archipelago. Myriad starts to lose altitude and has to adjust her course. They see a giant submarine, shored, with a Mandati city around it, to the north, and to the south the corpse of Independence, toward which they head.
The island displays the flag of the Rogue Wave. They land at the edge of the city-corpse of New Independence, at a tram station at the edge of the city. Kent Brighton, of the Brighton lineage, greets them, concerned because they flew over an electronic dead zone. Gig warns him about the coming of Independence, but Brighton seems unruffled and does a spot advertisement for his city. Gig and Brighton trade pens.
Entering the city, Gig notes that parts of the corpse seem to have been stripped. The job started cautious cautious and slow, but eventually became blatant. Gig tracks the stolen parts to the dead zone, where he concludes they are being used to rebuild Independence's body.
Myriad contacts her crew and calls them in. Gig, Grand and Even meet up at New Independence and take a sort of combined rowboat and sailboat out to the island. Myriad, who is electronic, can't come, and Cascabel chooses not to. Grand decides to be cockswain.
Fourteen and the fisherman have potato pancakes from a food machine for dinner in one of the World Without End's four galleys. They talk, and Fourteen express some confusion about the amount of calamity they're facing--being a spy is not as romantic as they expected it to be. The fisherman assures them that things are about to change, but that they are in a position to affect events. Once the night-time alarm rings, Fourteen goes to bed and quickly falls asleep.
Outside her temple, Tender meets Morning's Observation. He's worried he'll have to kill his own brother, or that nothing he's doing really matters. After talking to Tender, he starts to get angry about being sent away from Earth. In the end, he decides that he might prefer the Mirage, where people aren't as happy, but also aren't unceremoniously sent away to die.
Belgard wants to go to the Cadent, even though she probably can't make it. She thinks Chthonian can heal her. She wants Signet to make a decision one way of the other. Signet uses the Exuvia, sticking it into the wall of the cockpit. The Exuvia stores the last known scans of any lineage of third generation Divines and Excerpts, and in each the Divine and Excerpt are combined into one being. These are represented by hundreds of colored squares on Belgarde's screens, containing the symbols of each Divine and Excerpt combined.
The power of these true names seems to energize Belgard, and intrigue Chthonian. Belgard thinks it may have once been a Divine. As it is now, it represents something like hell, pain, or separation.
Signet chooses to give Belgarde two more true names. This is sufficient to wake her. The pupa disembarks and begins to break apart into many different shield panels, which form into free-floating pieces of butterfly wings. The form underneath is like a “really good lady Gundam.”
The boat reaches the island of the dead zone. It is a subtropical beach with Mediterranean architecture. They’re all waiting by the boat and Echo, with an eyepatch on, lands in a spaceship. They enter the cypress forest of the island. Everyone's electronics go dead, including Gig’s eye and recording software, but not Even's wings, because they are biological.
There is a big domed building in the typical pre-Fleet architectural style. As they approach, they see the dome retract and Armstrong’s ship lands inside. There's a fence, but no guards outside. But there are working cameras, because, as Gig notices, a very small amount of data can get through here, only enough for this ancient tech to still work. Even grabs Echo and flies right in. Gig and Grand try to get inside through the door, but Armstrong opens it.
Echo and Even are in the rafters looking down at the trumpet ship and the new body of Independence. Alekhine is down there talking to Armstrong when they see Gig and Grand on the monitors. Armstrong lets Gig and Grand in and leads them away. Alekhine is looking at the schematics for a version of Grand’s mech, modified to make room for the different parts.
Even jumps down from the rafters onto Alekhine, chooses to do harm. Alekhine draws his knife just as Echo also jumps down, and he stabs them. They take it out and give it to Even. Alekhine starts to try and get them to stop, but the Doyenne, from inside the mech, interrupts.
- 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
- Undela Apogica
- Kent Brighton
- Cascabel (mentioned)
- Alekhine Dendaro
- Morning's Observation
- Robin's Song (mentioned)
- Mother's Story (mentioned)