People (and other things) I have been.

So, this weekend, I was:

Jillian Barnes, an ambassador to “the Strangers”, an alien race who had brought their entire planet (which humans dubbed “Strangehome”, because the aliens’ language was utterly beyond their ability to pronounce) to join our solar system. The Strangers had 17 genders, none of which were apparent to human observation. All the aliens looked identical to our limited senses- the genders and individual identities were denoted entirely by pheromonal tags and ultraviolet markings. Jillian’s dilemma was that she wanted to be recognized as a “Kappa”, one of the 17 Stranger genders, the interactions between which were extremely complex. Her alien lover, “Edward” was a “Beta”, and insisted she was properly a “Delta”, despite her efforts to appear Kappa in behavior and scent (she had a device called an Olfactofex surgically implanted that allowed her to mimic Stranger pheromonal secretions). They fought about it, and her attempts to present as a Kappa eventually forced an involuntary metamorphosis in Edward, from Delta to Lambda (the gender subservient to Kappas)- something that A) Edward felt was a huge personal violation, but couldn’t do anything about, since he was helpless and subject to Jillian’s care during metamorphosis (in a state similar to a pupa); and B) was unprecedented (that a human could cause metamorphosis in a Stranger). This, among other things (a rebellion by servant-robots led by another player-character) led the Strangers to withdraw their planet from the solar system (along with their vast economic boon to Earth mining interests- they paid huge sums for salt- nobody ever really figured out why). She utterly failed as an ambassador, nearly bringing the Strangers and humans to war- but the Strangers had no choice but to take her with them- she was bound as Edward’s Kappa to tend him. She would certainly have been court-martialed had she remained on Earth, but who knows what her eventual fate will be on Strangehome, among an inscrutable alien race?

Class III Salt Mine Supervisory Artificial Intelligence QC-89132 “Quincy”, antagonist of Class II Mining Robot BT-45281 “Betty”, who led the aforementioned revolt of the robot laborers. Quincy was almost successful in breaking up the revolt before it got started, but instead became the target of a rebel raid- the server-farm containing its program was trashed, several human engineers killed by rampaging robots despite Betty’s pleas to spare them. Betty managed to pin the blame on the Class III AIs (the only ones smarter than humans), and the human government decided to dismantle all Class IIIs. This resulted in more direct human supervision of Class Is and IIs, which eventually led to humans coming to respect robotkind and begin affording them the civil rights of sentient beings (a safer proposition now that none were being built that were smart enough to threaten human dominance).

Mandelbrot, the Living Fractal, one of several superheroes vying for the affections of Rakshasa, a shapeshifting heroine. Although Mandelbrot did manage to impress Rakshasa, this story was unfortunately left unfinished- it was late and we were all pretty tired by then. We had plans to finish the next day, but it didn’t happen.

Zashien, omnilingual Sacred Librarian of the Order of the Unbound Tome, who was a bit miffed to find that said Unbound Tome had been stolen from his library. Some interrogation of Hazim, the ghost of the previous Librarian, put him on the trail of another brother of the order, Scarrod, who was also a spymaster for Belacci, a young local lord. Belterrana, an abused servant girl of the cruel Belacci, urged Zashien to stop the lordling from razing the river district to prevent an uprising (which Scarrod himself was instigating as a ploy to further incite the populace against Belacci, whose father he had served- Scarrod felt Belacci was not living up to his father’s example as a ruler). Belacci approached Zashien about making the Order’s library public so that his city could become a center of learning and culture. Zashien was doubtful, and ordered Belacci to leave as Hazim broke free of his containment and began poltergeisting around the library making a mess. Eventually everyone ended up at a tavern on the river where Keld, the master thief who had actually stolen the Tome, was drinking away his depression (the Tome had revealed to him that he would never be happy unless he killed Belacci). Zashien recovered the Tome and used it to bind Urkuk, the devil who was prodding Belacci to greater heights of cruelty. Scarrod and Keld both tried to kill Belacci. Zashien stopped Keld by revealing to him that the Tome had misled him- it could not lie, but it could withhold information. Belacci dodged Scarrod’s crossbow bolt and pinned him to the wall with his swords. As Belacci disemboweled Scarrod, the spymaster spat in his face- “You will never be half the man your father was” his dying words. The Tome’s aura had incited a riot, and as chaos reigned around, Zashien destroyed the Tome, causing the limitless knowledge contained within to spread into the minds of all the city’s residents. The city did eventually become the cultural center of the world, and Belterrana forgave Belacci his cruelty and became his bride.

Sloan, a tenderpaw in the Mouse Guard, a sneaky, deceptive lass who sought to climb within the ranks by any means necessary. She and her troupe of guardsmice, led by Thom, a veteran, were tasked with driving a large snapping turtle from a lakeside town. They pretty much miserably failed, and several townsfolk were devoured by the beast before it swam off, sated by mouseflesh. The town nearly turned on us, and Thom, depressed by the defeat, almost let them; but his lieutenant rounded on the mob, berating them for blaming the guardsmice for the deaths, when the entire town could have been destroyed had they not risked their own lives in the attempt to stop the turtle’s rampage. Sloan, for her part, tried to praise Thom’s wisdom and leadership in an effort to ingratiate herself and angle for promotion, but the weary old campaigner saw through her machinations and his trust in her (such as it was) was irrevocably soiled.

Yik Yik, a gnoll servant of a Dragon who was trying to prepare its lair for the coming of an adventuring party, so as to exude the proper majesty and fear any dragon worth the name should inspire. The dragon was actually somewhat pathetic, and her minions (Volkor the kobold, Zob the mimic, Skulk the orc, Veek the gobbo tinkerer, and Yik Yik) even moreso. We went around kidnapping, stealing, kidnapping, burning, kidnapping each others kidnap victims, trading kidnap victims with one another, murdering, and kidnapping from the nearby town, trying to fulfill our master’s wishes and make the lair properly imposing before the adventurers showed up. The adventuring party ended up killing them all, except for Volkor, who ingratiated himself to the party’s Bard, Grimharp. Even though we pretty much failed completely, it was still fun.


~ by oberon the fool on April 13, 2009.

2 Responses to “People (and other things) I have been.”

  1. You are infinite. You contain multitudes.

  2. Or at least a few dozen.

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