Nov. 12th, 2007 06:48 pm
baloonworld: (Default)
What I want to write is a story in the general case, but the only thing I can think of thats generic enough for that to work is porn, and possibly oolong's LARP reports, one of which I don't want to write and the other of which already has a definitive style. So here's some postsingularity scifi in the second person.
Inspired by Charles Stross, of course.

Its weird for you to sense so little; just outlines, updating slowly.

You find it disorienting to receive so little information; and an appreciable lag time is virtually unheard of, even for data traveling from the far side of the noosphere, and yet now even your own sensorium is cut down to ten frames a second, and those reduced to outlines. It's a bizarre experience, but you are an explorer, in some senses the first in a decade, and the AIs insisted that you run in safe mode. Filtered like this you could walk down NeoOxford street and not experience a single advert, runaway replicator or other memeic hazard. The noosphere itself is gone from your consciousness, leaving you more bereft than the loss of a limb; the AIs also insisted that you run in unheard-of physical isolation from the main network.

You step across the portal into the unknown and see dull uninspiring outlines, updating once every 0.1 seconds. Your Exocortex beeps politely and tells you that it has detected fifteen separate attempts to hack your nervous system on a neural level, but that it was running checksums and that reverting the original impulses was well within the bounds of the possible.

A lower level alert pops open to show you that the simulated flatlines recieving unfiltered visual, aural, nasal and sensual inputs have gone catatonic; Taste is merely salivating while Inner ear appears to think he is flying. Not that there are any flatlines left in the real world, but they would last for half a second.

Some of the outlines move jerkily towards you, and, as they loom closer/larger, your implants draw your attention to the tactical map which gives their position, range and oh my god apparent size, You ask your Exocortex to hurry up with a richer sensorium, but the AIs have locked it down solid and its not going to show you anything until its checked that it doesn't dive its simulations insane.

The good news is that the monstrosity to the left is still a mile away from you and the humanoid looks like it will get here first. The bad news is the the monstrosity is 50 feet high and bipedal, therefore its engineering is beyond what Darwinian selection can do to any earthly stock (you implants ring up probabilities and time frames; you ignore the details). You have a message for the humanoid, or at least, you probably do; the historical data is understandably garbled, and even the AIs need information to work with before they can piece it together.

The humanoid jerks closer to you, and sprouts a text bubble
" 'tis rare we see mortals here, for the border hath lain closed for many a year. Welcome, beauteous lady, to Faerie"

Your implants start running an online Turing analysis, and, somewhat meanly, categorize him as a rudimentary answerphone.

Also inspired by Mike Carey, but I could hardly tell you that up front.
baloonworld: (Default)
Susan woke up very excited. It was his fifth birthday, and that meant fuss and excitement and cake and presents which would surely strengthen his personal power. He ran down the stairs dragging on his sinisterly tailored dressing gown as he did so.

There were brightly wrapped gifts at his place on the breakfast table and he tore into them with joy and anticipation.
Mother had got him a duster. It was long handled and fuzzy and attracted dust electrostaticly; a quick investigation revealed that the head, while fuzzy, did not conceal any sort of weapon.
“It’s a duster”
“Welcome to adulthood. With age comes responsibilities, and one of these is fighting entropy in the bedroom. Good luck.” Father explained the tribal taboo with the same certainty he explained flawed approximations of physical laws to undergrads.

Mother interposed before Father could explain further. “You’re five now, which is a very grown up age. Being grown up is about responsibility; as well as being bigger in body you have to do bigger things."
“Being five is an arbitrary distinction based on a fluke of local conditions.” Father got as far as “B” before Mother silenced him. He changed tack; Mother had been reading the children bed-time stories, in an attempt to head off the effect of Grandfather reading them stories from the Telegraph.
“Zombina,” said Father, “Is not allowed the duster. She is not yet grown up enough.”
“So I would have a state mandated monopoly?”
“Yes. I still despise Tom Sawyer.”

Later, Susan was explaining to Zombina how dusting was the best thing ever, and how grown-ups would never let little kids do it. To some extent, he was jealous of boys who’s sister did not have a venomous bite and a distinct lurch to their step; Zombina could be clumsy. Embarrassment, however, hardly factored; playground taunts over his sister did not compare to the ones his name got him.
“Arrrr rou shroua? Rit roocsh rearrerrarive ran rointress.**”
* Are you sure? It looks repetitive and pointless
Zombina did not have much idea of an indoor voice yet, which sometimes made involving her in your schemes a bit of a security hole.
“You have to wait until there’s enough dust to see. Then you swoop all up into the air. Its just like your snowglobe only your inside it.”

“Rath roo rot eyoug eet?”*
*Have you got enough yet?
“Not yet.” Hook
“Ren roo ret eyoug ran rI ray?”**
** When you get enough, can I play?
“Father says your too young.” Line.
“If they find out I’ll be in so much trouble”Sinker

A day later-
“Rath roo rot eyoug uus eet?”*
*Have you got enough dust yet?
A day later-
“Rath roo rot eyoug uus eet?”

Was begining
A day later-
“Rath roo rot eyoug uus eet?”

To get annoying
A day later-
“Rath roo rot eyoug uus eet?”
“Yes!” Hopefully, this would be worth the annoyance.

Zombina swiped with impaired grace at the shelf, throwing up a cloud of dust and than ran through it. It danced in a sun beam from the window.
“Rheeee!” The second cloud was smaller, but joined the remains of the first and continued to dance in the sun.
“I think you missed some around the corners.” said Susan with helpful smugness.

Chili stepped out from under the chair, yawned bigger than his face, focused on the end of the duster, settled claws into the carpet, wriggled his tail and pounced. Zombina squealed in delight and dodged the end of the duster around.
“Oh, You’ve found the dusting game. Its great isn’t it?” said Mother, checking in on the noise. “It's really very kind of you to let your sister play too.”

Susan joined Father downstairs.
“I, also, despise Tom Sawyer.”
baloonworld: (Default)
Zombina artwork to come when I've find some crayons and get a screen so I can use my scanner

`I have a meeting with boss-to-the-power-four today,' said Mother. `Can you look after the kids?'
`Murumph' said Father sleepily. `Murumph'
Half an hour later, an unusual alarm rang, and her peered blearily at the electronic organiser.
`BELOVED LEADER 11AM' He'd never worked out how to turn off all-caps.
`I'd better get ready for that, or there shall be all the Trouble'

`Darghgager*' exclaimed Zombina, hugging his knee as he did up his tie. There wearable noose was one of the awful things about the job.
`Orugh! rarre roo rr'rr**'
`Righ ress roo'Re grummrn' rr roark rooray, Rooan' raaa reee eyeees?***'
She loved the brightly-coloured over suits that father sometimes had to wear, and was very proud of er own, which was a birthday present, but this time, father put her into her smartest, least comfortable cloths, before carrying his bag and briefcase out to the car. While he was locking up, Zombina lurched eagerly to the car. The car meant new, exciting things. The pajama-suited driver held the door open for her and she climbed awkwardly inside

**Oh! there you are
***I guess you're coming to work today. Won't that be nice?

`warrr' roo reee raaaay?*'
`rannn roo**'
*what do we say?
**Thank you!

The driver knew that all capitalists were crazy, but Zombina was still a bit of a worry.

`It's take your child to work day at the embassy', lied Father in Korean `Do you think that will be a problem?'
`The little one can not go to the meeting. She must wait outside'
`But the beloved lead is a friend to all children!' exclaimed farther, confusing his dictators and Godzilla knock-offs for the first time that day. `Must we deprive her of the glory of his presence?'
baloonworld: (Default)
`And so, through the free flow of capital, and lifting of taxation on anyone except the very poor, the bourgeoisie became immeasurably rich, and everyone who mattered lived prosperously ever after.' And with that, Grandfather closed the paper with a rustle and kissed Susan and Zombina goodnight.
`I liked the bit where the workers paid an immeasurably wealthy capitalist to tell them to be outraged by people breaking irrelevant dress-taboos.' said Susan `Workers are teh dumb.'
`rray rrr rrooro rrurssrurer rand rrth rrooro reen rolled ru rree rroutrrragger rry rrerulll rithh renderr rinarrorrrit raaarrrns*' pointed out Zombina, somewhat primly.
`It doesn't matter if you're an immeasurably wealthy. There's no taboo stronger, more useful or logically defensible than the one against being Donald Trump, but he still is.' Susan was uncertain as to the purpose of pretending to be a businessman when you had inherited all your wealth.
`Rrandrarrter, rryy rroant ree rrerk'rerrsss rrink?**'
`You see, workers don't really want to be rich and sucessful, so they come up with other things to do instead of think about how much better it would be for them if they were. In the old days, they used physical exhaustion and religion. These days they don't work so hard so they self-proscribe vast, meaningless choice instead. And television. Until recently they were allowed both at the same time, but the government took it away because it was making them happy and the capitalists rich. The government doesn't like it when everyone is happy. That's why they make us pay income tax.'
`I think she's asleap'
So Grandfather made sure she brushed her teeth, and her into her ossuarious bed. It was very pleasent to visit the grandchildren during the holidays.

*They are also muscular and have also been told to be outraged by people with gender-inappropriate names.
**Grandfather, why don't workers think?
baloonworld: (Default)
`Thank you for taking time to see us Mrs Woodlock'
`That's fine; we have a policy to make time for any parents who have concerns about their children'

The discussed various matters concerning the teaching of young infants for a while. Then Father said
`There's just one more thing. You see, my daughter.'
The head teacher glanced at her notes.
`Yes. She suffered and unfortunate mustard-gassing incident while we were in Korea, when she was three.'
`Mustard gas.'
`Her NBC suit tore. One of those million-to-one things. Of course the positive pressure helped and we got her out of there very quickly.'
`There was a certain amount of damage to her larynx, so her speech is a little bit slurred. You get used to it very quickly, but I thought her teacher should be told so they aren't too startled.'
`I'm so sorry...'
`The doctors say that she's young enough that she should recover; the important thing is to not make a fuss so she doesn't develop some sort of psychological hang up about her own voice.' lied father further, adding, more honestly, and in the privacy of his thoughts: `Especially once people start talking to her in normal English.'
baloonworld: (mini)
A challange also set to [ profile] aleksrothis:

34. Not Enough
42. Triangle

"What's wrong? and you oppressed and in need of salvation?" Paladin Blaine came running at the sound of distress.
"NOT ENOUGH TRIANGLE!" gestured Biscuit at the absence of geometric form which didn't lie on the ground in front of them.
"Errrr... okay then. I'll be over in the next village protecting the innocent if you need me."
"STUPID ABSENCE OF TRIANGLES! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" screamed Biscuit. Very kindly, Biscuit had settled outside the town before he started screaming. Otherwise, how would people sleep?
"My mum had a triangle once." volunteered ranger Orchid appearing out of the undergrowth silently. Or at least much more quietly than the howling priest "My mum is awesome."
"We really need to get him laid under pleasant circumstances with a female of approximately the same species." thought Biscuit "His mother fixation may be enough to cripple his personal growth."
"Did I help?"
"If I say no he will talk more" thought Biscuit.
With that assurance, Orchid vanished into the trees.
"ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" agreed Breeze, who had just arrived

Mr Skeleton stalked off the road and up to them, and shuffled his cards.

If ... then commands tumbled through Mr Skeleton's rudimentary programming
`Follow me and the bitch dies'
baloonworld: (Default)
I skimped on my preliminary research: does anyone know what the courier's name should be?
Warning: contains gay, but less than one microbarrowman. Anne, Bob, Eve and the couriers are the product of the largest collaborative writing effort of all time, no one has any rights to them

Anne had a message to send.
"I have a message to send", she announced over the public channels. Eve, who always paid excessive attention to everything Anne said, thought that this sounded interesting, and resolved to read the message.
"I shall send it to Bob in the most convoluted way possible," expounded Anne further, "using a mixture of private and public channels as well as key information sent by trusted courier"
Eve found this talk of exceptional complication extremely intriguing. Meanwhile, Bob got himself a sandwich.
"It shall be ages yet before Anne sends me her message, for she must encode it in the most convoluted way possible. In addition, it is liable to be dull to read even once deciphered" thought Bob. "Secondly, deciphering it is going to be a headache." Therefore Bob made himself a cup of tea to go with his sandwich.

Via a complex series of disguises and the use of clever technology to sample information from allegedly secure channels, Eve recovered a fraction of the message and of the key. By applying all of her considerable intelligence and a hideous quantity of computational power, she was able to recover the plaintext, recode a message and pass it on to Bob as if nothing had happened. Only then did she actually read the plaintext. The message was this: "Eve, I love you, now stop hiding in my garden and come inside." And she did, and then there was hot cryptological loving information exchange.

Afterwards, Anne said "I feel you understand me and my love for overly complex communication protocols in ways no one else could"
"Yes," agreed Eve, "that's because I've been reading your post since the early 1970s"
Anne lowered her eyes modestly, long lashes casting shadows across her cheeks
"Even the one-time keys?"
"Gods you're hot when you talk secure information sharing"
After that, no one talked for a bit.

"It is a pity that our attitudes to communication and trust kept us apart for so long."
"but if we hadn't had those attitudes, we wouldn't have met at all."
"I hope my monumental trust issues do not present overwhelming obstacles to our enjoying a deeper relationship."
"I hope my pathological need to pry into other peoples business does not adversely affect it either."
"Errr... what happened to my trusted courier?"
"Oh, Claire's tied up in my cellar."

Meanwhile, Bob had decoded the message with a key provided by Colin. His message read
"You never reply to my messages; I'm leaving you for Eve, Anne."
"Women eh? Oh well, I'm off down the pub. Are you coming?" said Colin, who was reading over his shoulder. Bob replied in the affirmative, thinking
"Colin is refreshingly straightforwards in his communication. And quite handsome too.

"You didn't get Colin then? Good"
"There was a second courier?" Eve looked at Anne admiringly.
"Yes. His key will decode to a different message for Bob. Of course, when the key and message are the same length, the assignation of the labels message and key are arbitrary"
By this point, Eve's gaze had moved from admiring to rapt adoration.
"Will you marry me?"

"mmmpf" said Claire, around her gag. Being a trusted courier sucked.

EDIT: Alice, Carol and Charlie, apprently.


Jan. 16th, 2007 08:35 am
baloonworld: (in UR land)
Father already had the breakfast on the table. Wholewheat cereal and half fat milk, toast, fruit juice. Neither of them had been given opportunity to develop a taste for sugar or E-numbers. Zombina was perched elegantly at the end of the breakfast table, sipping tea. Father was encouraging her to slouch more.
`You'll never inspire terror at a world gone suddenly mad if you sit around all dainty. Good morning Susan.'
`What,' asked Zombina `If I do not want to inspire terror?'
`I know that you want to be your own person, follow your dreams and all that, and I'm behind you all the way, I really am, but you're young yet and I feel I would be remiss in my duties as a parent if I didn't teach you a solid skill you could fall back on if things go wrong.'
Zombina finished her tea and, concentrating furiously on her deportment, walked out of the room without lurching once.
`I just want you to have a chance to be in the forefront of the lurching legions of undead when hell is full and the dead walk the earth!' Father's cheerful voice came up the stairs after her, and she resisted an urge to moan wordlessly. As many world leaders had cause to regret, father's patience, imagination and cheerful demeanor were apparently the one inexhaustible resource that the planet had. She still wasn't sure how reports of her had become first a crowd, then a `thousands strong army of the recently deceased', and finally an inescapable reason for Kim Jong-il to let father inspect his weapons of mass destruction, but she had. `REPORT SAYS MISSILES UNLIKELY TO ANIMATE THE DEAD BUT OTHERWISE VERY NICE'; the newspaper was framed at the top of the stairs.

Bathroom. Toothpaste on brush. Scrub. Taste of carrion in mouth. Wordless scream.
`Farrrfer!' She was slurring, dammit! She never did that anymore.
`I'll be up in a minute, just putting the breakfast away'
Some parents, Zombina reflected, would panic when their children started screaming. Then again, some parents wouldn't have planned making their children scream.
`Harmless vegetable extract. Thought it would help.' his voice preceded him up the stairs.
`From the Amazon, it flowers about once every 30 years. Very rare, but not too hard to find; you can smell it from about eight miles away'
`Ersatz rotting meat scentable from eight miles away will help?' There was emphasis on the last word but no hysteria in her voice. Zombina, he reflected proudly, had a spirit equal to virtually any challenge. Susan was already fighting against his early conditioning. He was only eight, or eleven, or one of those ages.
`Your breath, its been a bit...fresh recently. Not really becoming in a shambling undead, fresh breath.'
Zombina put the toothpaste tube back, opened a fresh one, and resumed brushing. It was too much to hope that any chemical compound provided by father would wash off, but plaque and gum disease would give bad breath in the long term, if not to such monstrous proportions, and only a fool suffered unnecessary nerve damage, even to the stupid nerves in teeth.
`It attracts blowflies you see, for pollination. I doubt it will have that sort of range around here though; we've got a lot more wind than you get in the rain forest'
Zombina spat a stream of foam into the sink. `Blowflies.'
`For pollination.'
`That’s right.'
`My mouth. Daddy, it does not need pollinating. It is a perfectly functional organ already. It does mouth-things like speech and eating and breathing and so forth.' Although it was not, she was forced to admit to herself, going to be involved in kissing boys, at least not while it smelt of a (vegetable-based) charnel pit.
`It could provide rotting meat to a family of maggots.'
`I have no rotting meat for the dear little maggots father. Now, I need to get ready for school. Don't you have a regime to measure?'
The maggots had been one hell of a challenge, as he was virtually phobic of wriggly things without skeletons, but he had managed, largely by lying unconvincingly to himself, so he was very happy to hear about them still being dear to her. Both of his children flew with an easy unconcern he could only imitate through vast effort of will, too.

On the way to school, Susan took her to the pharmacy, and they bought toothpaste.
`Hide it. Don't let him know you've got it. Squeeze a dollop of the stuff in the bathroom in to the sink every morning and scream at him if appropriate, brush your teeth with this.' He worried that being machiavellian for goodness was a bit dubious, but he had sworn off evil, rather than masterminding.

I didn't mention before, but The Sarah Jane Smith adventures are the king of France. They are so in my land it is untrue. The first episode, they had a boy who wanted to be called Susan, and copious lurching hordes. In conclusion: They have seized my castles, tied my seneschals to their house’s tails and are doing as they will with my lawful possessions.
baloonworld: (Default)
The alarm rang, and Susen quashed a desire to plot its slow demise, instend pumping to turn it off and get out of bed. Glancing out of the window, he checked that the coffin lid was propped up against the shed, implying that ...Sarah (another delibreate tweek to his own thinking) was in the house somewhere. He'd got up with the alarm, so he had time to get dressed before going down to
breakfast. Fortunately, the school uniform code had allowed him to force the issue of head-eveloping collars in a less Ming direction, but they were all immaculately pressed, despite his best efforts, and of a sinister cut. Susen was forced once more to admire Father's persitance and artistry, although his sanity remained a subject for discussion.

30 days

Dec. 20th, 2006 10:20 pm
baloonworld: (Default)
I was watching 30 days with elmyra. There were christians who were confused by athiests. They didn't know with what intent atheists brought up their children. Therefore, I proposes to raise Susan (my never-born son) to be evil. His equally never born sister Zombina, I will of course attempt but fail to raise to like spicey brains.

Zombina is a recent addition to my non-familly, cause by elmyra mumbling one of her collegues names earlier today in such a way that I though she said Zombina. I thought this was a fantastic name in a "A girl? whoops, we wanted a zombie" sort of way.

I think I should start writing Susen and Zombina stories, in the hopes that my real children, should they ever exist, find them and are appropritely greatful for all the things I could have got so much more horrificly wrong in their own upbringing. At this stage in the plot, Susen is rebelling agains his me by being excessively kinda and thoughtful:

Zombina woke up. She hated being called Zombina, and wanted a name like Sarah. She openened her eyes, it was dark, proberbly because father had snuck into her room while she was asleap and burried her in the garden again. Father was such an arse. Yes there were rough pine boards a few inches in front of her. She pushed, and it moved. Good, he hadn't had the time to fill in the soil; although Susan ("Call me James" was not technically a lie when said in responce to "What's your name?") was stong for his age, it still took him hours to dig her our.
baloonworld: (Default)
There were some ducks and rabbits. "Quack" said the ducks nibble went the rabbits. The rabbits live in burrows in the ground. The ducks lived in the river. Then one of the rabbits said
"I have invented some Clever Technology, which will change the way we live."
And he had, and it did. The rabbits and ducks now lived in the Future, which the clever Technology. It brought new challenges to their lives. Nonetheless, the ducks still said "Quack", just as ducks always had, and the rabbits still went nibble.

Yesterday, Mili wanted to go to eastercon, but I was sleepy and wanted cute animals. She told me that there would be no ducks or rabbits at eastercon and told me that there might be if I wrote a scifi story with ducks and rabbits in it. This is more or less what I came up with. I was very sleepy. Mili wanted me to explain what the Clever Technology was, but this did not seem pertinent to the plot, so I didn't


"Quack" said the duck, "I would like to proceed with my life"
But the faceless bureaucracy stopped him.
So the duck got drunk and went to a party, where he did things with his towel.
baloonworld: (Default)
First sentance replaces last sentance of previous entry. for mili

“None of us are; we only have a mass of one point six seven two times ten to the negative twenty seven kilograms”
“Well then, it can’t be gravity” The second proton looked at the first proton oddly “we could both be here if one of us was a neutron.”
“But we’re not” the first proton said, and because the second proton was paying careful attention, the second proton noticed that there was absolutely nothing evasive about the way that the first proton said this. Despite this reassurance, the second proton went on
“I heard that most subatomic particles in neutron stars were neutrons.”
“Yes, there were thousands of them, all over the place. I’ve never been so crowded.”
Satisfied by this, the second proton said, “So if its not gravity, which I realize was a very silly idea, what else could it be? Are we constrained by an external electrostatic potential?”
“I hope not. They always make my wavefunction tails look fat.” The first proton wondered vaguely about its own momentum, thus puffing out its position slightly, to show it was joking.
“I’m sure you have lovely exponential tails, except in the case of infinite wells, of course” said the second proton reassuringly. Then the second proton realized that the first proton had significant ∆x, and trailed off.
“Oh! You were joking.”
The second proton looked embarrassed for a moment, before continuing brightly “It was very funny, and there must be some sort observation we could make to see if we’re constrained by an electric field”
“Lets go this way, and see if we bounce off anything.” The first proton stopped. “I’ve never tried to point before. I can’t can I?”
“No, we lack the structure necessary to do that. Lets travel along the line defined as including both of our positions, I’ll lead” The second proton felt slightly odd taking the lead like this, and put it down to wanting to impress the first proton, who had had such an exciting life.
“But our positions can not be known accurately, so the line you describe is more a probability cone, and since delta ex times delta rho is always greater than aych bar upon two, we could well end up moving at vastly different speeds.” The proton didn’t want to lose the second proton, who the first proton thought was very cute when embarrassed.
“Or equal to atch bar. If we try to travel very slowly with root atch bar certainty, and pay equal attention to our position, we shouldn’t lose each other. We can stop after we’ve traveled a bit and check neither of us has got lost.” The second proton had a feeling that they wouldn’t lose each other, despite the first proton’s statement, and was eager to find out if it was right.
“Come on Mr. ‘I was in a neutron star, I broke the pauli exclusion principle’ no hanging around” and with that, the second proton set off, leading the first proton. It is always possible that they swapped position without anyone noticing.
“See? Still here.” said the leading proton. “Also, movement has broken symmetry, so we can experiment with different designations”
“That’s convenient” agreed the following proton.
After a while, the following proton added “Our motion does not appear to be impeded by an electrostatic potential, although it could be that we’re traveling perpendicular to the field.”
“but a well would have impeded our motion. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t have held us together.”
“Yes,” agreed the first proton, “we’re still no closer to working out why we haven’t both pinged off somewhere. Not that I’m complaining”
The first proton thought a bit more “Maybe it’s the weak nuclear force, I never really understood…”
“Maybe” interrupted the second proton, synchronizing wavefunctions, “it’s love”, and then the second proton kissed the first proton.
baloonworld: (Default)
My proton story, by paul

“Hello” said the proton.
“Hello” said the other proton. I refer to the other proton as the other proton, although of course it is impossible to be sure that the two of them had not swapped position.
“We could have a conversation” continued the first proton “It’s not like there are any observers”
“Observers always complicate matters” agreed the second proton “Who are you?”
“I’m a proton” said the first proton, descriptively “who are you?”
“Well fancy that!” said the second proton “I’m a proton too”
“We must have so much in common, let us discuss matters”
“I carry one fundamental unit of charge” said the second proton brightly, “and have half integer spin”
“Me too!” exclaimed the second proton excitedly.
“Hey!” said the first proton “why are we still talking to each other? If we both carry one fundamental unit of charge, we should experience a repulsive coulomb force, equivalent to eight point nine nine times ten to the nine times one point six oh nine times ten to the negative nineteen (that’s you) times one point six oh nine times ten to the negative nineteen all divided by the distance between us squared!”
“You’re right!” said the second proton. “and yet I find myself strangely attracted to you. Maybe its gravity?”
“I hope not. That much gravity is always a bad sign. I was part of a neutron star once. It was very interesting I suppose, but I’m glad I left” The proton sounded somewhat prim, but also slightly proud of having had such an interesting past.
“I’ve never been in a neutron star what’s it like?”
“It was filthy. I never thought I’d see so many fermions being so degenerate.”
“You broke the pauli exclusion principle?” The second proton was shocked, but clearly very impressed by the first proton’s daring “I could never do that” The second proton briefly thought of saying “I thought only bosons did things like that”, but because that sort of language was unpleasantly prejudiced, the second proton didn’t.
“Anyhow” continued the first proton, “There were thousands of neutrons around, and there aren’t any here, so it can’t be gravity.”
“I was never much good at gravity, but that makes sense.”
“Well of course not, you only have a mass of one point six seven two times ten to the negative twenty seven kilograms”


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