The Mephitisearliest post first | most recent post first
Doctor's Log: The Captain has lost half his mind. It's my diagnosis that he contracted a mise en abyme virus at Chichen Itza, which is now consuming a full 50% of his Mind Cycles. Yes--he's got the Droste Fever.
For now, it's had a net positive effect on the ship and crew--there's been a notable reduction in both the frequency and amplitude of our reality changes. However, if untreated, his entire mind will be consumed and we'll all find ourselves lost in the Captain's personal hall of mirrors, forever. Our only hope is to infuse what remains of the Captain's mind with irreproducible concepts, which will be inedible to the virus and ultimately lessen its impact, or hopefully drive it away entirely.
I've sent the crew to seek out these unicorns, these fantastical ideas, and return with them as soon as possible.
snapping gum, the joy buzzer, the concussive whoopee cushion, snake in a can, shock pen, squirt flower, seltzer bottle, the pies... i'm glad the clown wars are finally over. i keep them in a special compartment of my infinite armory bag, along with all the other artifacts from our reality hopping--weapons from the dinosaur incursion, the tornado invasion, the giant tomato attack. they're all safely stowed and cleaned, ready for the day when the reruns return.
The Mephitis is burning. We're beginning to drop like a rock, aft first, and we can hear the wooshing of the flames as they rush through the gas bags like wildfire, making their way to the bridge. Where is my water bottle?
The Mephitis is burning. We're beginning to drop like a rock, fore first. The flames are beginning to engulf the bridge already, and the pine barrens are approaching at an alarming rate. Where is my water bottle?
The Mephitis is burning. We're dropping straight down. Like a rock. We can hear the wooshing of the flames as they rush through the gas bags like wildfire, leaving the frames crumbling and naked like a burnt forest. It's all coming down around us.
Where is my water bottle?
"It's in the cup holder, on your captain's chair. Where it always is," says Choco Loni.
I look out over the sea. Skies are calm. Clouds on the horizon but nothing to worry about.
She knows better than to ask me what's on my mind.
Doctor's Log: I watch the Captain sleeping--a curl of dark hair on his forehead, his eyes darting rapidly beneath his closed eyelids--and thank our stars that we haven't blinked out of existence. Even in his dream state, we seem to have enough mythological cohesion to remain in the picture, bobbing on his consciousness like balls floating on the ocean. Though our continuity stream changes course at his whim, it doesn't disappear all together when he's asleep, and his waking imagination is far more a danger than his dream state, apparently.
I wonder what he's dreaming about. I look more closely at his sleeping face, blissful, childlike, and move away a lock of hair that's over his ear. What is that in his ear? A tiny spark? I put my eyepiece in and peer down his external auditory passage, searching for the dream...
And there, past the wax and gunk and the internal auditory meatus, past the inner ear... I see it!
As if at the bottom of a well, I see the Captain sleeping, with his doctor watching over, moving a lock of hair from over his ear, peering down the long dark tunnel to the dream below. The dream of the Captain sleeping, with his doctor watching over.
i call this one the round bomb. can you see why?
just drop this pretty little fizzer on an unsuspecting mob and send them on a sweet escape. they'll get lost in a labyrinth of the senses, feel their way down garden paths and mazes, unwind surrounded by the scents of dittany of crete, jasmine, storax, rose, frankincense, tobacco, cedar, myrrh, musk and ambergris, till they find themselves at the heart of an ancient binding ritual, being performed by cultists.
what controls the output to the cultlist properties of the sheetmetal part?
when the ritual unbinds, they find themselves unwinding, back through the ambergris, musk, myrrh, cedar, tobacco, frankincense, rose, storax, jasmine, and dittany of crete, back through the mazes and the garden paths, out of the labyrinth, feeling calm and refreshed.
can you see why i call it the round bomb?
do not eat
keep away from small children
Thunderheads over Chichen Itza, I can see the postcard in my hand. The observatory is in the foreground, and the Mephitis is looking for a place to batten down for the storm. No way we're going to get sucked up in those roiling black clouds, so if I can just find space open enough to land and stake her down we'll minimize the damage at least...
but the tourists are all screaming and the rain starts pouring down and the field becomes a puddle all the corndogs on the ground and when the lighting starts a flashing and the wind begins to howl that's when I drive her up into the cyclone and we meet the great big owl
Doctor's Log: The Captain's ramblings have resulted in a continued flurry of sharply imagined yet incomplete universes, and the crew is beginning to lose their minds. Antarctic stations, built into the foot of the Vinson Massif; jungle caves large enough to fit a small fleet of airships, all bearing the black & white flag of The Mephitis; gold and bronze cities filled with ornate skyscrapers and mooring posts. It was at one such skyscraper where the ship docked, dropping our gangway directly onto the balcony deck of the suites which serve as the business offices for The Mephitis in this reality. This visit has been especially prolonged, as the Captain has been preoccupied with a fidget spinner, allowing this manifestation of existence to continue. It's like a soap bubble that could burst at the slightest whim of the Captain, but as long as he doesn't *think* about it, it remains. I've arranged a wide array of back-up fidget spinners for the Captain, and will hopefully be able to interest him in one of them should his spinner of choice lose its flavor. We're taking the time to allow the crew some well deserved shorleave while the Captain remains entranced.
of all my special weapons, the blimp gun is my favorite. her name is recursia.
the act of aiming is the most important part of using the blimp gun effectively. you've got to fix a space in your mind. a special kind of target space, unique to the instrument. i stand on the open deck of the mephitis, nothing but big puffy clouds all around, take aim into the distance, and fire.
when done correctly, what emerges from the gun is another blimp. in this case, it's another instance of the mephitis. it starts out small, of course, having emerged from the barrel of a rifle, but its relative size soon becomes immaterial. because the projectile is, in fact, this blimp. with an open deck. and on that deck is where i am standing, slowly lowering the rifle, trying to pick out that tiny blimp in the distance.
The update has been grinding on my machine for like 45 minutes. On paper (who says that anymore?) it's supposed to be so smooth. You slide into you new shoes like you've lived there all your life. Which essentially you have, since it's an all new install. It's not some cheap demonic possession trick, where you're shacking up with some poor bloat, likely crack its mind with the dissociative identity disorder (I DID not!) and then nobody's happy I can tell you first hand. But now we know better and why not leverage all the material from a target universe and then just rewrite the part from scratch? No big changes in the plot, just a full clean take over of the body in question.
But without the plot changes, what's the point? Why not just set it to run on autopilot, if a stand-in is all you need? Is this script missing pages? They think I've got better motivation if I have to figure it all out for myself? Is this really the only kind of distraction it takes to keep us from going insane with boredom?
Doctor's Log: The ship continues to experience significant bouts of dissociation. Occasionally, we'll find ourselves in a well developed universe, for instance [fig. 1] delivering bushels of tender coconut to an island of shipwrecked children on a beautiful sunny day, or [fig. 2] being fitted for new high performance stabilizers, bearing the emblem that was to become so notorious during the The Confusion, or [fig. 3] cutting its way through the thunderheads at Chichen Itza. However, those moments of lucidity are few and far between. For the most part we appear to be a largely unfocused and half-hearted attempt at a narrative, uncongealed by a vision or even a direction. The Captain is so underwritten as to be non-existent, and only Choco Loni's weapons prowess gives her character any features whatsoever. I will continue my experiments in my laboratory as our coalescence allows, but fear that our story is easy prey to the entropy that is the enemy of all such ships.