Making Sense on the World Stage

Making Sense on the World Stage

Oct 16, 2019

TRIGGER


So they rise

The “fear and pain,” but this isn’t how I am

Don’t you forget that you are loved

Don’t you forget that you are them

It’s hard enough

— from Devin Townsend - “Spirits Will Collide”

ECO


Fodder sat in a crumpled heap, sobbing uncontrollably, listening to this beautiful song. How is it that every single album he’d listened to in recent months did this to him? He couldn’t escape it. He had tried going back to old classics. He had tried finding brand-new ones. It didn’t matter what he listened to anymore; they all ended in his tears.

This song, in particular, was his anthem.

It was soaring, and guttural. It was uplifting, yet heavy. It brought him so much joy. So much hope for a new world. Humanity has so much potential.

Yet that sea of joy is quickly swallowed by the pit of loneliness. The Cannon’s Mouth destroys everything. And Fodder’s work was yet undone.

“Where do I go from here? What am I supposed to do next? How am I supposed to do this alone, when nobody will acknowledge me? Give me a sign! After all I’ve done, tell me if this is what you really want! I can barely last 5 minutes in the positive side of reality before somebody throws me back down here.”

Fodder didn’t really expect them to understand. He was the first to discover the theory, after all. Prism is a lonely, miserable place without Balance. Few people were willing to go there alone - and far fewer were willing to spend years there, studying it.

Fodder didn’t need their sympathy. He needed their help. He would be unable to leave without their acceptance. After all they had already done for him, Fodder had one, final request.

And this time, he was going to pay back what he owes.

The Situational Therapist

This guy had been following Fodder for quite some time. His power was in his ability to predict Fodder’s mental needs - and present the correct videos (both his own, and via YouTube recommendations) to assist. Today, he taught Fodder that “acting as if,” instead of “faking it till he makes it” may be a viable next step.

He also taught Fodder to assign his Confidants to roles.

Tub Ring

This band was consistently blowing Fodder’s mind. Every one of their albums spoke to his soul: his beliefs, his fears, and his actual situation. It was as if they were written to memorialize his journey down The Path.

Fodder considered these albums to be prophecies about him.

The Corporation

5:46pm - Missed call from $REDACTED
6:46pm - Missed call from $REDACTED
7:46pm - Missed call from $REDACTED
9:23pm - Missed call from $REDACTED
9:32pm - Voicemail from $REDACTED

Fodder shook his head.

The guy has no respect for other people’s personal lives.

It was bad enough that Fodder couldn’t get 5 minutes of his time during daylight hours. The guy would go home, get drunk, and call Fodder just to start fights. Not tonight, though.

Fodder had “accidentally” left his phone in the other room. He was going to spend his evening drawing. This day had already been bad enough.

Of all the actors in Fodder’s story, The Corporation had quickly become the most obvious one. To say that they were engaging in “security theater” would be an understatement; the place was completely negligent. He was amazed that they were still certified after the third hack. Given that they worked in the prison sector, Fodder supposed that the company existed because it “needed” to - not because it was capable of everything it claimed to be.

Badge-access doors had had their dead-bolts removed - making them easily bypassed by anyone. Monthly “Security Newsletters” contained recommendations that the company didn’t even follow. Systems were so fragile that automation of any sort had been completely banned. The building next door - which is twice as large as ours - was completely blacked-out, and there are no cars anywhere. Yet still, there were massive, thumping jolts of energy flying out of it every day at 3:15pm. It knocked the light fixture down, one time. Just ask the other zombies who work 60 hour weeks in that office.

Fodder sighed.

He was trying to remain optimistic, but he knew what lay ahead of him. This was going to be a massive, uphill climb. He needed to change, or he wasn’t going to make it.

Fodder’s (Almost) Death

A couple months ago, Fodder almost invested in a startup working exactly where he wanted to be - in change automation. In genetic experimentation. Artificial Intelligence. Education. Rehabilitation.

Fortunately, he waited. Upon further examination, he found that what they offered really wasn’t that unique. It was good - and it made sense, mind you - but Fodder couldn’t trust them. He strongly suspected that The Corporation was behind it, for the following reasons:

  1. A brand-new podcast had recently launched, and Fodder was gripped. It was called “The Rift,” and it was hosted by a neurologically-atypical man with some interesting ideas.
  2. When Fodder sought-out this man’s Patreon page, he found another man by the same name - with 33 Patrons and Fodder’s idea - ready to start a company. How were we to know if this is the actual host, or somebody impersonating him?
  3. If it were the latter, then giving them their asking amount would be giving them more than all of his other Patreon creators combined. He couldn’t afford it.
  4. Wealth grows exponentially over time; if Fodder were to give that money to The Corporation, they would surely use it to crush any resistance. Just as they always had. No, wealth would be split relatively-evenly when Fodder took over - with no investor holding more than 10% at any given time.
In stage magic, a force is a method of controlling a choice made by a spectator during a trick. Some forces are performed physically using sleight of hand, such as a trick where a spectator appears to select a random card from a deck but is instead handed a known card by the magician.

The Corporation almost forced him to make a choice that would have killed him. Fodder won’t make that mistake twice.

Slow and steady wins the race. One wrong move, and we’re dead.

CAT


data.stats.symptoms = [
    - frisson
    - annoyance
]

ECHO


< [email protected]: I still don’t understand your intent. You have to show me why this tool is important.

< [email protected]: You might actually have tried to kill me. You might also have been trying to teach me an important lesson.

< [email protected]: I don’t know how to verify which.

> [email protected]: I don't have time to explain every fucking detail to you. Do your work or I will find somebody who can.

< [email protected]: k

> [email protected]: "k" what?

< [email protected]: I heard you.

> [email protected]: Call ended.