I had nightmares sometimes. Then I'd wake up and realise that mindless impersonal forces beyond my comprehension had created me and my fellow fragile sacks of lipids to live and suffer in a world devoid of meaning or purpose.
Even my despair is an exercise in futility. "Oh, if I arrange the neurochemicals in the way that means 'I'm really _sad_', the universes will turn around and say 'oops, here's the all-encompassing purpose that we accidentally forgot to give you at birth.' "
Can I persuade someone to write the horror story where the universe does this?
(Meri has suggested that we should "fire the laser at the sun". This is the best science).
*Our institutional motto is not "All The Documents. All The Signatures. All The Time.", but it should be.
I bet Adams didn't think he was predicting the future.
We have cleverly lost, snatching only the absolute minimum of resources and attempting to sacrifice as many as possible of our strongest warriors* in futile one-man stands as we retreated. We've ensured the bloom's continued growth for three days with little to nothing to show for it.
Fortunately, we were fighting the Bloom, an aspect of Life; I'd lose my residency rights if we'd done that against a chaos cult. Or if I'd refused to go along on a mission against a chaos cult.
On the plus side, we did manage to get recruited by the friendly Dark druids and the nice Death cult in our epic struggle against evil peace and Life insatiable. Having the dark druids around might push me up to second most despised theological position, too. The main thing is to spread the word about evil Life, so that people take a more nuanced view of theological positions.
And to spread the word of the ordered bouncers who wouldn't let us recruit other assistance from possibly-helpful Anarchy shrine. The Anarchy spirits may well have been itching to give us cake and defoliant.
Which rather leads me to the other thing I have to do.
*Throwing Nab under a garrison-sized cart doesn't /work/, but we totally /tried/.
wHAt I saw
finchLEy town, gaRrISon, two ne!gHboring orc tribes, two neighboring druid groves and the locAl chapter of the Church of the fInaL Dust have fallen to the forces of order and lIfe in the form of a SymbiotiC fungus known as the blOom. The Bloom spReaDs peace and enforced cooperat!on through mental commands delivered through implanted spores*. Once infected, further infection starts to look like a good idea. Once infested, no rebellion against this slavery is possible. In the early stages of infection, death miracles can cause improvements, while dark druidic tree drain effects can destroy it in its entirety- the infected is treated as the vegetable. Bloom funguseseseses are effectively pure life essence and are simply unaffected by harm, although infected creatures respond in the normal way. Dead or injured creatures regenerate rapidly, their unfortunately-necessary structures flawlessly** reconstructed by the fungus. Complete destruction with fire prevents this, although bloom fungielse where will craft an identical** replacement body in a matter of days.
Future work: A project to oppose the spread of order.
The Bloom has number of dangerous entities at its command but it is the steady** progression of the general area of its control that is the greatest hazard to free existence. Killing birds you leaving the Finchley area will prevent this. Killing some of its squirrels and burning them will inconvenience it. Setting fire to mushrooms will reduce its growth. Leave before anything dangerous catches up with you (or, if you are confident of escape, poison anything dangerous that catches up with you and then run away***.) Learn to recognize the signs of possession. Don't be part of the problem: the problem is really boring.
*Chaos runes have a lot of nuance when it comes to describing slavery. All of this sentence after "The Bloom" is effectively one word.
**This word has strong negative connotations.
***giggling may become necessary
I've had one tiresome task so far, which was the online "training" for the Manchester Uni purchasing system, and even that has the silver lining that I will soon be able to buy things to irradiate things in.
There is a staggering amount to learn, my todo list is about 50 entries long and 5 levels deep, but nothing has been intractable yet, although that might just mean that I haven't done anything in depth yet.
Although I'm working for Manchester Uni, I'm at DCF , so I'm living in Cumbria, which is pretty and quiet and bizarrely close to my brother. It also has terrible transport links to everywhere.
Colleagues are lovely, but are materials scientists, so they need some unexpected concepts explained to them in a surprising level of detail, and don't know that you need other concepts explained to you in oddly simplistic terms. (I have asked one of them to use his materials science powers to find out what the equipment was made of. Apparently he can do that.)
Also, I will be going to Michigan, to watch other people irradiate things.
Apprentice trapster GakThon write thing that happened!
GakThon and other apprentice make traps!
Gakthon make obvious trap in path! Cover with ferns! Is green in middle of dirt! All see it!
Draw around it in dirt! More see it!
Other apprentice trapster make idiotTrap! Is lines in dirt! GakThon help! Make more lines in path! Is grid!
Mark squares with symbols! Triangle, cross, ball! Make clever-looking, but not!
Other apprentice make last trap! Is clever trap! Is hidden with bush things! Is in a bush! Hard to see! Clever trap!
Clever trap is next to tree! Scout is behind tree! Is clever! Is brave! Is bait!
Other scout come! Pink skins come! GakThon pose next to obvious trap! Gakthon pretend to be stupid trapster! Pinkskins come! Gakthon flee! Gakton step through idiot trap like idiot trap is clever! Step from square to square! Take step back! avoid triangle!
Pinkskin pokes obvious trap! Is trip trap! Is poor trap! Pinkskin think GakThon stupid trapster! Gakthon wins!
Pinkskins see idiotTrap! Some are idiots! Idiots ask rules of idiot trap game! Other apprentice refuse to tell! Says must work it out! They try to work it out! Other apprentice wins! GakThon wins!
Pinkskin sees that idiotTrap is idiotTrap! Think GakThon stupid trapster! Think other apprentice is stupid trapster! Other apprentice wins! GakThon wins! Pinkskin wipes away idiotTrap! Pays attention to idiotTap even though knows is idiotTrap! Pinkskin loses!
Pinkskin vanishes! Gakthon wake up later! Pinkskins gone! GakThon checks traps!
Obvious trap is used! Tricked pinkskins! idiotTrap is gone! Tricked pinkskins! Look at last trap! Clever Trap! Is leg-biter! Clever leg-biter is sprung! Is blood on teeth! Pinkskin blood! Apprentice trapsters win! Pinkskin loses!