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Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer



There is a brief, sharp pain as the final nail, your nail, is struck with precision to secure your backrest to your wooden frame.
You feel a strong sense of pride, and perhaps a little remorse, but you are soon overwhelmed by... everything.



It is life.

Of a sort.

---

The first time is a blur. There is simply too much of it for you to focus on. Bewildering movement, noisy darkness. Shaking, a rough pressure and a hint of fatigue.
Finally the nightmare of impressions ceases, only to be replaced by what you will soon realize shall be your static eternity.



It is here that you will make your first (and perhaps only) friend.
Your roots, so intimately connected with your strong and skillfully carved framework, is set into a bath of liquid stone, which soon solidifies around you, radiating comfort.
It is a new life you realize; one with clear purpose and little imagination, but you know that it is "Batch c3 4136b" and that it wants nothing but to keep you safe.



Batch c3 4136b or 'Batch' for short - has nothing else to say, think, feel, or do, yet it is now your permanent, silent companion.

---

You are a healthy young master-crafted bench. You are varnished, but unpainted, with delicate hand-carved patterns engraved into your wood. You are fresh and clean. Your metal is free of oxidation. Your wood is free of rot.

1: What do you do?

A: Get Settled In
'Batch' is solidifying rapidly, but if you really put your mind to it you might be able to sink a bit further, tightening its grip of you even more.

B: Let Loose
'Batch' is solidifying rapidly, but if you really put your mind to it you might be able resist its pull, if only a little.

C: Get To Know The Neighbors
'Batch' you already know, but perhaps there are others nearby?

D: Be A Bench
Everything is so new to you, you don't really know anything except how to be a bench. Perhaps you should just be a bench for a while, let things happen naturally?

E: Write-in
There are no write-ins. You Are A Bench.

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sheep-dodger
Feb 21, 2013



B as soon as the next hurricane comes we'll go on an adventure!

Cloud Potato
Jan 8, 2011

"I'm... happy!"


A and C. We want to be the best bench possible, which means no wobbling; and we’re gonna be here a while, so good relations with the neighbours is vital.

Magnusth
Sep 25, 2014

Hello, Creature!

Do You Despise Goat Hating Fascists? So Do We!

Join Us at Paradise Lost!


CD

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009



Lipstick Apathy

C

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

But People have fears that beasts do not. Questions, too.


Very silly!

A

SolusLunes
Oct 10, 2011

I now have several regrets.



Definitely B.

Don't let THE MAN keep us down!

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

C

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer



You let yourself sink without a care for the how or why, it is as it is. In lieu of expending your will to resist the inevitable or succumbing to fate, you instead opt to spread your limited awareness.
You are a bench. That much is certain. Beneath you is Batch, silent, steadfast. It holds the most vulnerable part of you with such dedication that it may as well be the axiom of your philosophy. But what of everything else?

Certainly there is the Path, you feel it in front of you as a vague and dedicated surface, but it does not respond to your queries in any way that you can fathom. It stretches as far as you can see in two directions.
Maybe it's consciousness is equally stretched, rendering it unable to focus on something as tiny as you, or perhaps it just doesn't have anything to say. You will never know the reason.



Around you also is Life, thriving. You sense it growing and yearning for the Light Above, that which it calls the 'sun', but also craving a bounty that it claims falls from the heavens when this 'sun' is obscured by 'clouds', a liquid called 'water'. You spend some time probing this life about the world at large, but soon realize it is pointless. It knows nothing but what it needs to survive, and besides which moves at a strange pace not at all conductive for conversation, a staccato presence as the edges of your perception.



Something smaller than Path, yet more permanent a fixture than Life then? You probe the wooden structure in front of you. A crudely constructed half rotted wooden Fence.
Though it shares some superficial similarities with your own construction, it's awareness seems much more limited. You know that it is old and full of sorrow, and that it fears it can not uphold its purpose for much longer and it knows not what will happen then. You question it about its motives but the above is all you may coax out of this decrepit fellow, it has nothing left to give.



So it is you spend the first sun of your existence, gently questioning all around you but finding little to sate your endless curiosity.



The period of Darkness is rather different from the period of the Sun. The noise of Life does not lessen exactly, it merely changes melody, but your awareness of your surroundings is somewhat dimmed and you can no longer see as much of Path as you could before. Yet it passes like the period before it, giving way once more to Sun. Since this appears to happen with some regularity, you decide to organize the events and discoveries of your existence after this cycle.

51 cycles pass.

You are never alone, not really, but you have yet to experience anything beyond what above has been transcribed. This is about to change.

It all begins early in the morning, when Sun shines its first rays of light to warm the world. A new noise, no, a lot of them. Growing rapidly in strength and number.




'..red! No more walk!"


"But sweetie, we are late for daycare!"


"Yes, and all the others there are waiting for you!"


"No! Leg hurt, tired! No more walk!"


"What if I carry you?"


"... maybe..."



At the last word, the reluctant being steps into your line of sight, your most immediate awareness and you are nearly blown away with the surge of expression that emanates from it.
A deluge of information, a thousand thousand threads of memory, emotion, surface-thoughts, wants and fears. Never before have you encountered such a myriad of raw potentiality as the thing in front of you now.
You know that the time you have to act is limited. You have noted its trajectory and have intuited the trajectory of the others present; they are Movers and their Pace is Infinitesimal compared to the permanency in which you dwell, but you have enough focus to attempt an interaction or two.

1: You may attempt to Probe the reluctant Mover for any bold term mentioned above. Doing this will expend a little of your precious Focus in exchange for more information, and when you have had your fill or when your Focus is spent, or when enough time has passed, your awareness will retreat from this Pace and return to that which is your default. Before you leave however, you will have to decide amongst yourselves where you lay your Empathy, that which seems to separate you from the other fixtures of your pace such as Fence and Path. In this manner you may Influence the Mover to a Consequence.

You Are A Bench - But what this means is up to you.

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

probe movers memory.

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

But People have fears that beasts do not. Questions, too.


AJ_Impy posted:

probe movers memory.

ayup

Cloud Potato
Jan 8, 2011

"I'm... happy!"


AJ_Impy posted:

probe movers memory.

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009



Lipstick Apathy

Probe for memories of water

Let's be a killer demon bench that lures people to their doom.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

AJ_Impy posted:

probe movers memory.







---


super sweet best pal posted:

Probe for memories of water


AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Probe mover's wants and fears.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

AJ_Impy posted:

Probe mover's wants and fears.



malbogio
Jan 19, 2015



Probe surface thoughts.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

malbogio posted:

Probe surface thoughts.


Sing Along
Feb 28, 2017

I'll brick your life, m8!

No hard feelings please, it's a defense mechanism...


Probe Emotion

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Socks4Hands posted:

Probe Emotion



---

With this last, probing thought, you feel your grip slipping away. You sense the world starting to move again just as if the wind had just caught a previously dormant leaf in its playful wind. You strain and flail with all your power, but the other Movers move into your field of awareness and you are overwhelmed by the enormity of their collective consciousness.

You would scream, if you knew what screaming meant, but You Are A Bench so you do not. Instead, before you succumb to your Pace you leave the girl with a single impression of Empathy.

Choose one of the above probed memories, emotions, surface thoughts or wants and fears amongst yourself. Find consensus, or at least majority. And then? Face the consequences thereof, next time on You Are A Bench.

Cloud Potato
Jan 8, 2011

"I'm... happy!"


Empathy choice:

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Emptyquote choice:

Cloud Potato posted:

Empathy choice:

sheep-dodger
Feb 21, 2013



Empathy choice:

Dedman Walkin
Dec 20, 2006



I'm voting this for Empathy choice:

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009



Lipstick Apathy

Empathy:

CourValant
Feb 25, 2016

Do You Remember Love?

Vote: Empathy Choice



@Swedish Thaumocracy: You always bring the best heresies.

CourValant fucked around with this message at Nov 5, 2018 around 22:22

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

From Life you have learned the concept of liquid nourishment. Apparently something needed by entities that grow instead of being created whole. This is often delivered in the form of water rained from the heavens, according to Life who knows little else, but that is where the comparisons to the curious artifact of the Movers Mind end.



Based primarily on water, this transparent liquid none the less thrums with chemically bound energy. It also sports Sweet Flavour which is the primary concern of the Mover.



That this artificial entity can exude influence beyond the parameters of its primary purpose intrigues you; it goes counter to everything you have learned from Life and sparks within yourself the desire to emulate the feat. Thus you leave the Movers Pace with your empathy focused solely on the Sweet Flavour in the hopes that in so doing your understanding of the world will grow.

---


"... but can I have some J̵or̸̕͞d̴̸gubb̨͟s҉̀s̢a҉҉f͢t̶ first?"


"Sweetie, now is not the time for that, we mustn't be late for daycare!"


"But mom, please! My legs are tired and I'm so thirsty!"


"I'm sorry hun, we don't have any with us, but you can ride on my shoulders if you want."


"But I'm thirsty!"


"I'm sure you can have some water at daycare, come on now, lets get going!"

And with that, the other Movers step into your field of awareness and the sheer grandeur and complexity of their minds washes your consciousness away in an instant.

---

The 59th Cycle.


It is an altogether normal cycle when you are roused once more from your usual Pace - the last 8 cycles have been nothing but the passage of the Light and the Dark, leading you to wonder where those Movers went that they did not return. Their existence is so different from yours, if their minds were anything to go by, so chaotic and uncertain. You could only grasp at the edges of the shadows of the enormity of their shapes, yet this was enough to overwhelm you. The next time you shall be prepared! If only there was some way to train yourself...

>> "Hey, Life?"


???

>> "What is like you, but greater, that I might have something new to learn, and like Mover, but lesser, that I might understand it?"


"Attract Symbiont: seed-taker pollen-giver."

>> "How is this done?"


"Spend growth to display attracting colours or excude attracting pheromones."

>> "And if I cannot grow?"


"???"

1: Like most of your conversations with Life, you knew it would go no further after reaching this point. Batch had nothing to add, not that it ever had and likewise did you have no luck with Fence. With a pleasant pace going, you ponder your next course of action.

A: You Are A Bench.
Forget it, just be a Bench for a while.

B: Attempt to Focus your Empathy on one of the previously bolded terms.
Perhaps if you do so, a Symbiont will be attracted?
Write-in choice.

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Focus on Focus.

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009



Lipstick Apathy

A

We haven't benched enough, obviously.

CourValant
Feb 25, 2016

Do You Remember Love?

Swedish Thaumocracy posted:

B: Attempt to Focus your Empathy on one of the previously bolded terms.
Perhaps if you do so, a Symbiont will be attracted?

Vote: Focus on Pace

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

AJ_Impy posted:

Focus on Focus.

Focus is the ability to hone your field of awareness into a scalpel-like point, to pay your full attention to a concept or event, slowing your Pace to do so.
You can Focus on anything, though it tires you out eventually, forcing you back to your default pace or a swifter period of lowered awareness you have decided to call Rest.

Empathy is your ability to experience what another entity is experiencing, to glide around in their sensorium
Empathy can only be applied to Entities, and even then only those within range. For instance, whilst you could apply Empathy to "Batch", there would have to be a local ground-level fog for your to apply Empathy to a Cloud, and you could not Empathy the concept of Weather at all.

However, when you Focus your Empathy, essentially using both abilities together at the same time, you may leave an impression on another entity - subtly raising the priority of your empathic focus in the entities mind, though this will always take you out to your default Pace.

CourValant posted:

Vote: Focus on Pace

Pace is how you experience Cycles. A Cycle is one period of Dark and one period of Light, or in other terms the periods of time in which you perceive and do not perceive the Sun.
This is the phenomena closest to your default pace that you can reliable measure.

Your Pace is much, much swifter than that of the Movers, and Life, as far as you can tell. So much so that you have to slow it down considerably to engage with them, which quickly drains your available Focus.

malbogio
Jan 19, 2015



Focus your Empathy on Life

CourValant
Feb 25, 2016

Do You Remember Love?

Swedish Thaumocracy posted:

Pace is how you experience Cycles. A Cycle is one period of Dark and one period of Light, or in other terms the periods of time in which you perceive and do not perceive the Sun.
This is the phenomena closest to your default pace that you can reliable measure.

Thanks!

malbogio posted:

Focus your Empathy on Life

Sure; +1

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Life.


It is the Growth in front of you, but even a cursory exploration of your field of awareness indicates similar greenery all around you. Most are too away far to interact with, however. Or too small or perhaps even too big to comprehend. Yet around you they grow, attracting a great variety of Symbiotes, in the terminology of Life. Focusing your empathy once more, you probe Life for its interactions with these Symbiotes, looking for any pattern in their movements.

Life has a very limited awareness compared to yours. Aside from its Pace (which dictates a number of Life's functions, mostly dependent on the ambient light-levels), It senses mostly Danger, and Contribution. Still, you get the feeling there is more to these beings then that Life can properly communicate, and so you coin the term 'Lesser Mover' for now.





---



These lesser movers pose some danger to Life, as they uses parts of Life for shelter; but at the same time they also contributes somewhat to growth, so the net drain in tolerable. They are mostly around during the Early Light part of the Cycle.


These lesser mover pose very little danger to Life and only rarely contributes to Growth. They is only around during the darkest parts of the Cycle, and even then only seldom come close enough to interact with.


These lesser movers are apparently very dangerous. They take part of Life to use for shelter and sometimes for [???] or [???] or even [!!?] - You are having a lot of trouble reading these beings through Lifes lackluster sensorium, but out of all the beings you have encountered save Movers, these seem the most complex.

You are reasonably sure you have enough information to lure one of these Lesser Movers over to you, the next time one should happen be nearby. But which one should you try for?

malbogio
Jan 19, 2015



Knife Birb

Cloud Potato
Jan 8, 2011

"I'm... happy!"


"Lesser Mover, let me see what you have!"


"No!"

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009



Lipstick Apathy

Knife birb

We should look at the thing on its leg as well. Might get more info.

CourValant
Feb 25, 2016

Do You Remember Love?


"Come, Little Mover, tell me about LIFE and your CYCLES within it.

sheep-dodger
Feb 21, 2013



No idea how it could be anything but Knife birb

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Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

In the deepest, most intimate parts of your cognition you recognize the object that the lesser mover in the memory of Life is holding. It is a Tool. Wielded by a complex entity possessing a manipulator, it is a powerful Purpose manifestor.

The answer to your conundrum is clear, you simply must converse with this particular lesser mover and so, you Focus your Empathy on the Memory in an attempt to mimic the event-feel to get some understanding of how, exactly Life called it over.

Time passes.



The 90th Cycle.

You aren't quiet sure what happened. One moment you were conversing with Life, diving deep into its mindscape, and the next you were lost to Pace, your awareness hazy and faded. But You Are A Bench, and nothing if not persistent, and by the sound of things your efforts have paid off.


"CAW!"

Yes, in a puddle of Water that has amassed in a divet in Path after recent rains, stands a Lesser Mover enjoying the Growth. It's mindscape is abound with Instinct and Curiosity - categories of drive and thought that you have only the most cursory of understandings off. You could Focus on them to find out more, but there are other avenues to explore as well. For instance, if this is indeed the same Lesser Mover as Life had previously encountered, it may know of Tool, and even if it isn't it may have seen such a thing before. But more then that, as a Lesser Mover, it must have knowledge of both Movement and Kin - concepts almost wholly alien to you, a Bench.

But maybe you are more interested in its Emotions? Its wants or fears? Its surface-thoughts? The Lesser Mover is at least an order of magnitude more complex than Life, perhaps more, and it shows clearly in the bevy of options available for you to explore.

But still. You Are A Bench. However keen your want to explore, your Focus is limited. If you want to understand anything at all, it might be best to narrow your expedition to inquiries most likely to yield the desired results.

Whatever that means.

Where, dear Bench, do your place your Focus?

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