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Thread: The Garden of Edem [Notes/OCs]

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    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    The Garden of Edem [Notes/OCs]

    This is a post-Notes fic. Inspired by Armored Core: for Answer, which I was introduced to courtesy of Mecha Week on Two Best Friends Play, and less directly Soukou Akki Muramasa, which is literally the wickedest shit. Kudos to Bloble for putting up with my constant bombardment of him with revisions of these first two chapters.
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    The Garden of Edem



    It won't change anything.
    I don't have any reason to fight either.
    I probably will never have any.
    At the point that we are just killing each other for no reason, we are equal.
    Isn't this the most simple way of life?

    'Gun God', Notes. (1995)


    There is no place for me other than the battlefield.
    To live as I please, and die a senseless death.
    That is who I am.
    Not a mere man of flesh.
    War is part of my existence.

    'J', Armored Core: Verdict Day (2013)




    0::Ignition Dialectic

    See the sky effulgent, paling lilac-blue at noontime zenith or perhaps a haze-scattered vermilion periphery in the furthest east or west. Below in mute contrast, see compacted islands of flood basalt the colour of dried blood form reef-girt archipelagos to speckle a wind-whipped sea of iron-thick dunes. Now and then amongst it find a remnant, a lost and anonymous fossil: scars of cindered impact breccia eroded by the passage of centuries, formless sand-etched husks of splintered composites. There you have it. You have the land where the War was born. Before all of this came to be, it lay in wait. In potential. Before the descent of the Ultimate Ones and the Flight of Rampant Edem, before the death-cry long since deadened; before the social fallacy, the manifold casus belli, the corporate, the state, the faith, the king, the tribe – before all of this, it was here. In the rocks themselves it waited: the sharpened flint, the edged obsidian. And one day there came a primate, a single and solitary individual, a nameless soul from a time before names. The rock was found, the rock was raised, the rock was brought down – and, in blood and motion, the world began to turn.

    How it has turned since then. Ten thousand generations fed to the fire and bred anew, at last producing ourselves, who are – like all that has ever been – like nothing that has come before. Thus the War has been nurtured. Thus the War has grown. Thus the War has come of age, and here, now, it proceeds in its fullest maturity thus far, not perfected and never to be, for perfection is completion, completion an ending in itself, and there can be no end to the War. Here it is but performed at its most pure, and its refinement knows no equal elsewhere. The long childhood has come to an end; heaven and earth alike are purged of everything save for ourselves, and the skies once ashen and bloody have cleared to let the baleful sunlight greet our works. See it now, the Land of Rust. See all that it is: the resplendent indifference, the nakedness of the earth, the atoms and stars. Ochre, and granite, and rust.

    Grant me a field upon which to perform it, and I will show you the War.

    With laughter, and brilliance.

    In my dreams, there and elsewhere, I am granted just such a field. I dream it well, from memory and anticipation alike. I know it as I know myself, in all its myriad shapes. Yes – beyond those seas of sand, there too are ice fields fluorescent under auroral light, for centuries stained with ichor and heavy actinides; half-glassed vertebrae of snow-drowned mountain spines staked and shot through with shapeless wreckage, storm-lashed oceans with precipiced waves uptowering, thick with ash and chemical run-off. Beyond those sights, sights stranger still: the great corpselands, from the endless dusts of the Tir Sahra, powdered crystal soaring viridian on every idle breath of wind, to the isotope-salted Sea of Heaven, where countless angelic shadows still lie burnt into the ashen cliffs. And even further beyond, there are those hidden redoubts, the territories of the Arationals, where mindless automata carve twisted, armoured fastnesses to shelter their fallacious employers.

    When I dream, I am always here and there. Always in the field, that great no-place, that place-beyond-place which belongs to the War alone. Indeed, to act on the field is to be enfolded in the War, and to that effect such action is our prerogative, the market imperative of the Warrist. What works of art are we, the reunion in ourselves of the disparate children of long-extinct primates. The Warrist in full Armour is a sight not soon forgotten. Twenty metres tall of sleek, articulated bonemetal, bipedal form emanated to accord with the core within, carapace and superstructure bristling limbs and organelles and flight-control surfaces, armaments in hand and countless more fractalled half-unseen into potential-space before them, and behind it all the Grain condenser, a radiant halo in chaotic filaments and filigree edged by a violet nitrogen corona, lashing and thundering as its intake warps space in the vicinity...a form of being, a form of War – a form to collapse that distinction, perfectly adapted as it is to the field.

    And we, we in my dreams, we in my memories and thoughts and premonitions, are always moving on that field, always striving, always chasing. It is a place reduced – no; imagined, as if constructed from first principles. Details be details. In itself, the field is barely real at all. A contrivance of logic alone, a scholar's thought experiment. Consider such a place...a world, a universe for two alone. Two individuals. All else obviated, all other differences annihilated. Just two grains of consciousness, like specks of dust suspended in the purest vacuum. An 'I', and another. Myself, and the Other. I am always one of them. One is all I can be. I meet my opponent on the field. Self against self. Warrist against Warrist, Armour against Armour. The world unmediated between us.

    We see each other. I, and another 'I' again.

    And we are mesmerised.

    Captivated, as if nothing else exists.

    The world reduces, until for each there is nothing left but the other. Too soon, the separation is unbearable. In our infatuation, we try to apprehend what divides us; we find there nothingness, an absurdity. We reach out for one another, for some kind of comprehension – for an idea, a singularly unselfish idea – and falter. And fail. This, this other, this self-outside-self – we cannot attain it. We cannot resolve it. It is an impossible, unthinkable thought – that there could be another outside ourselves, that this invincible awareness we hold could afford some kernel inaccessible to us. How could it? In what way, in what manner? Could something like ourselves, the same as ourselves, as true and pure and real as ourselves possibly exist beyond us? Of course, it cannot. Acknowledgement cannot cross this chasm, yet nor entirely can rejection, not while the other still lives and breathes in our sight. This is what incites us. The spark and starting gun, by which the uncertainties of the long approach to the field fall away. The killing zone arises from our shared mentality. Fruitless grasping's end brings clarity: innumerable thoughts aroused, immeasurable focus brought to the fore. From absurdity, each acquires knowledge, name, form and purpose. Each is made real by this; each is now measurable, is now measured by our sole and sovereign intent. To dominate, to violate, to obliterate all that is external to ourselves. This is the will. This is the name of the War.

    To the death, as it must be.

    At speed, our Armours sound an iridium chorus to fill the hollow sky. To each, a bow shock to split the vacant air, to crush and sinter the ochre sand as we draw near to the surface, trailing glassed wakes too soon buried by ejecta of fulminating silica. Incandescence caresses our skin, molecules rent at the shock-front, electric-blue plasma shedding like the tails of serpents. The shriek of shattered air to be our reveille, as we bring our weapons to bear. Screaming kinetics, pumped X-ray transients, blossoming automata, lancing oxygen stellarators and blades of ether torn raw from the condenser output – at a thought, vast energies play between us. Armour and armament, the refinement of violence in wasteful display.

    If I could, I would exhaust you. And you the same to me. Now quickly, now slowly, we would close the distance, shedding arms, splintering tungsten. And then, we would meet. Contact on contact. Until then, this was more science than art. Now, the War is all but art alone, the iron sand our canvas. In such intimacy, Armour is at once most vulnerable and most destructive. Armaments depleted, we make a project of mutual dismemberment. To break and be broken, tear and be torn – and, at last, to gain the upper hand. For one, or the other. To strip Armour by Armour, to shatter and wound and penetrate and rip the core free, that nodule of consciousness, selfhood imploded by battle to a point of no dimension, of absolute, purified opposition: to seize it with violence, with care, in a steel embrace. Only then – as if newborns both, as if once more for the first and only time – only then do we finally see each other. Just once, before death parts us forever. With truth, with clarity.

    And we are mesmerised.

    Captivated, as if nothing else exists.

    The absurdity between us is burnt away by the cooling heat of broken Armour.

    That is the moment. In that moment, we – we, who are so like each other, so completely ourselves, so beautiful and cruel – we, who are victor and victim, who are embodied rage and lust and consuming delight, who bleed and tremble in terror, and howl with love and exultation, and who have yet transcended all of these, surpassed pain and hatred, mercy and justice, who are beyond feeling and thought entirely...

    ...in that moment, we are the War itself.

    The utmost of spirit, the utmost of strength.

    The laughter, and brilliance.












    1::Slow Guitars

    I wake from dreams of dying, or something very close. Dwindling snow. Leaping embers. Heat and light, metal and bone – and silence. And myself, dead in the sheets a little before dawn. Still and breathless in the dark.

    Close my eyes. You have to listen first. Listen intently. Silence is never just that. Faintly far-off commerce sounds, and fainter still the ever-present groan of the fronds shifting slowly in the wind. But beyond that, in the far distance behind the horizon: refracted through the atmosphere, a rolling tension that kneads the air. Barely even a sound; just a vestigial scrap of molecular force, hundreds – thousands – of kilometres from whatever reaction incited it. Listen to it. Listen well. Listen to that, the song of the Warrists. Like distant thunder, isn't it? Like the spring storms over Tharsis. Deep and sublime. And constant. That, we call the air-crush. You only get it when you're in atmosphere, and it's different in every one. Means Armour cracking the sky, condensers shrieking open. Means someone, somewhere, is on contract. Means the War in all its rage and volume continues yet, out along the open air.

    That indeed is a sound to wake up to.

    I lie back in perfumed linen. A trickle of grey crepuscular light daubs the room in half-colour, hues deadened, shadows diffuse and indistinct. The sky outside is dusky charcoal-blue, marshalling twilight at the horizon ahead of a dawn offensive. Through tall glass doors that lead out onto the balcony, I see the last of last night's stars, constellations drowning into a uniform softness of hue. I could turn every overlay back on, adjust bandwidth, see what's hidden by the gathering light, but I let it be. I like it as it is. It sets me back in place.

    The room I know is Évariste's. The bed likewise. Both I know well. Scented wood and jasmine. Furnishings traditional. Recalls coming here, just a few hours ago. I walked, I remember that. Up the sloping frond-edge boulevard, market lanterns lit along the way by street vendors and entertainers appealing to the passers-by. Hawkers' voices – laughs and shouts – and footsteps, the smell of smoke and spice and cooking food. I was recognised, of course. Pedestrians called my name and made respect across the cobbles, asking when I'd again be contracting, and whether I wanted to rematch with Sülde soon. A pair of warbloggers chased me down by the palm trees at Midway, their subscriber-chains swarming in the air behind them, half-transparent. The price we came to was fair; a Deathless is a rarity in Ouarzazate, and my word is worth a lot. I talked about Sülde, the fight and its end, but I don't think I said anything of real substance. At length, the two fared-well, and hustled off to unspool meta on the comment threads. A troupe of jewel-skinned executants blew kisses my way as I passed beneath their curled-iron balcony, and wished me death or victory come next contract. Further along, as the frond came to a peak, the crowds thinned out and surely emptied altogether. The bodysmiths' quarter was all but empty at night. It's a daytime business, that. The market lanterns became scarce, and starlight fell down in their place. Yes – beyond torches sedately shedding delta-V in high orbit, past the lifeless moon and planets, you had all the rest. Open clusters like piled gems. The spiral on-side, stellar dust lanes clouded over the blazing galactic core. Light like nothing else. Ran my hand – still raw from reconstruction – along the rail at the edge, and looked kilometres down to the scattered clouds, splayed across the landscape like patched tarnishes on a darkened iron sheet. Lately enough I found my way, to that familiar shop and its archway of cured heartwood, exactly fifteen empty hand-prints carved in pride of place. Lights were on inside.

    Évariste had been waiting for me. I do remember that. She – that's right, she had changed for the night already – she pulled me in by the wrist and embraced me at the door. Contract in hand already. I laughed when I saw that. Only then she remembered what had happened to that hand, so she let go and drew away. Quite awkward. There was an apology, and I said it didn't hurt me. A smile. Hers. I'd have asked how she made it, but it's likely a trade secret. She renegotiated herself into that same embrace, then took me through to the sales floor. Bodies all over the shop. A fine range of classical beauties. I asked if business was good, and it was. Made my choice more quickly than usual. I didn't care about the price. My mood then wasn't what it usually is, and driving her to blushes and distraction by drawing out my selection until it became impossible to bear didn't have the appeal it does on my better days. We settled briefly over drinks, and signed upstairs. Nothing said about what happened, though I've no doubt she knew it well. By then, everyone had seen it. My contract over Kirthar Scarp. My failure. My loss.

    Sülde.

    I hold my hand before my eyes. The gloom does its iridescence a disservice; under true sunlight, it'd more than glisten. See the pseudo-skin, its fractal patterns, its phaneritic shades from tarnished brass and shield-bronze to the deep black of volcanic glass. The very same. The structure is Armour data encoded in texture and subtexture, multiply-redundant, authentication hashes tracing the lines of my face. All held in copyright. Mine, by acquisition. This arm, this body, is mine alone in every sense that matters.

    I collapsed my Armour to the lowest state of unrelease. Everything down. Dropped eigenvalues, everything. It was an impulse. On impulse I did it. I reintegrated in a shallow pool of molten metal, lying side-on. Radiance sheer like a knife. White-heat. Motes of powdered bone rose and cindered themselves in the carbonised air above me. The rock nearby melted, the falling snow boiled in its descent. Left a ruin of myself. No legs, no abdomen. Half an eye left to see it with. I watched my hand's remnants float away on a sea of incandescence, just beyond my shredded remains of a shoulder.

    I make a fist. Then an open palm. Embers leap in my mind, burning ash and lava on my skin, and the arm is there, no less real, no less present. Almost strange, it seems. Look at it. Fluid movements. Too fluid. The outward form is really the most facile of imitations. Traditionally primate it looks, but traditional it is not. There is no muscle, no tendon, no nerve, no cartilage, no vein or artery, not even skin, not truly – none of the things that Évariste knows so well. The Warrist's body is pure bonemetal. Crystalline. Intagliated. Intoxicated with Grain. The ancient Ether Knights were just such creatures, and so are we. Soul as bone sublated; bone as manifest soul.

    The sunlight shot through a space in the air, where falling snow met cindering bone. Brilliant parhelia on either side. Like a furnaced line along the edge of the sky. Dwindling snow. Leaping embers. The heat and light, the golden sun at the end of the day. And the light grew, it bloomed and precipiced before me. The sun was eclipsed by something brighter still. An Armoured silhouette descended, and behind it a screaming, fulminating aureole that devoured the sky: a condenser-halo hungered heavy with Grain. And the snow, the ash, the powdered bone and liquefied metal – all this was scattered before it. It could not stand the presence. It blew out with the wind. And I was left alone, diminished.

    Ah...what was that? What, indeed? In these waking hours – waking seconds – it's difficult to think of anything, let alone to articulate a thought of the War. Not because it is too complicated – in truth, the War is the simplest thing there is – but because the morning has made me too complicated to think of it accurately. Begin with a standard contract. Territory-breaching. A mining fight. You know the type. Grainstone prospectors, out to devalue their competitors' open-pit digs. Bidding cleared on the counter-contract almost immediately; I had just released Armour when Sülde won it. So I came up against her. Against MJZB Recover Names, three ranks higher. It had been a slow day, after all. Or maybe she was just in a wilful state; that too is a Warrist tic. But what more is there to say? The fight went well, and then it didn't. These things happen. Such is life, such is War. Armour, mine, broken at speed, dissolving to pieces in descent, shot down to the snow like so much celestial refuse.

    The next instant enclosed an eternity. The silhouette cut condenser output. The screaming slackened and died away, and the brightness wavered before the sun. A near-silence fell, punctuated by the steady cracking of stone as the mountainside broke and melted. The earth shuddered beneath me – once, then twice, then again, and I knew without looking that it had begun to walk toward me, at a slow, savoured pace. I half-saw it stretch out an arm – some pockmarked steel mandible – and twist its grip through potential-space for the briefest of moments. I saw the blade crystallise in her hand. I knew the choice before she made it. Sülde began as a close-combat specialist. Began and will continue. Doesn't matter if I'm unreleased. She's going to finish me with her fucking sword.

    The rest I barely remember. It's surely been recorded and seen countless times by now, but I myself cannot truly integrate the idea of it having happened. That I knew to expect, at least. Eigenbody damage I've had before, but never this severe. What was there, really? The certain kill – and certain it was – and contract buyout at the final moment. Her retreat; my survival, by millimetres if that, and the return in wounds and an upset sense of loss. The repair. Oh, how Amalric cried. Armourers are like that. Exuberant, unreserved, and they hate seeing their work damaged, almost to the point of physical pain. It's a passion. Not that I don't understand. I just have different passions.

    ...enough. There's no use thinking about it any longer. It is a new day, with new contracts on offer or auction, and in those I'll find the War just the same as I left it.

    Later, mind you.

    Later.

    I lie still for a while, entangled in lingering limbs and sighs. Her feet are cool against mine. I can't quite reach them under the covers – Évariste's fashions are usually taller than me, and my unreleased state doesn't afford much in the way of modification – but they brush together at parts. Arms enclose me, skin the colour and lustre of talc, as if it will powder away at the first scratch. I take one in hand, and press a slender, twisted wrist against my lips. I feel the bones beneath.

    How beautiful you were last night.

    I whisper it to her, though it goes unheard. Gently, I push myself up until sitting. Her body shifts in response, and from my new position I am afforded my first look at her face since we collapsed this way a short – too short – few hours ago. It brings me to smiling.

    Jamsaran...

    I pick away at some of the dried blood around her mouth, and recall the taste of iron on her lips.

    Look at me, look at me.

    The sense of fingers entwined, proprietary eyes that met mine as we kissed.

    Look only at me.

    The way she'd lick her teeth, the corners of her mouth upturned in delight, when I pressed down upon the broken ribs below her breasts.

    Think only of me.

    Heated, panting breaths as her vertebrae cracked at my touch.

    Love only me.

    And necklaced bruises, softly painted above her collar, from when it came time to draw the light from those eyes and finish her. She climaxed as I saw her fade. In jouissance, in serenity. The pain that outpoured into her, and filtered down through skin and flesh to caress the soul by touch, had burnt itself through her, and exhausted us both. There we collapsed. There we stayed until morning.

    Yes. Beautiful down to the bones.

    I don't think I can delay much longer, though. Sadly.

    I leave the corpse in bed, and try to remember where my clothes ended up.

    * * * *

    It is hard to tell precisely what she finds in me. Accurately it can be done, but not with precision. That in itself is part of the attraction; is why she's worth the expense. (Oh, she's very expensive. Make no mistake. But there's little a Warrist can't afford.) She...or he, sometimes; preferences mostly run to the former, but though a conservative she may be, no-one is that set in their ways...she is exquisite and lovesick and loves to die. Loves overflowingly, loves with the cascading, inundating emotion that dissolves to tears at the sight of the beloved. But whether there is a particularly sweet road to local obliteration to which I am the only signpost, or whether there is just a thoroughly professional way of maintaining her stock rotation, remains a perennially undecidable problem. Maybe it changes, maybe it doesn't. Long-term trends or short-term fluctuations. Maybe, maybe. But Évariste must have her secrets. She must be hard to understand. Many years ago, I did ask her. It was at an eclipse-viewing party at hers. Private affair, of course. My Armourer and some of the neighbourhood bodysmiths talked shop downstairs and watched War coverage over drinks to kill the time before the festival of the Crimson Moon, when Ouarzazate would be outlined in lights, revellers would fill the streets, and would dance respect to the statues of Edem. Évariste and I sat in her rooftop garden and drank palm tea under ferns and watched the full moon rise, displaying like a mark of honour the blood-rust scar across Mare Imbrium in the time before it passed into the shadow. Somewhere down the frond or maybe on another, I knew, there was an elder Histor or Archaeologue telling the same old story to the same old audience, and yet somehow never quite boring them; how they'd seen it painted there, all those centuries ago, when Brunestud's oversouled husk was ground into the regolith.

    “Because,” she answered in a lilting, tipsy voice that came and went and giggled without much order to it, “it's better with you.”

    Why?

    “You are Warrist. A very pure soul. You are clear and serene. Like all of them. You know how not to think of anything.”

    Anything but.

    “Anything but me. The Warrist knows how to focus. Very well – it's because you do that. And I'm selfish. I have a fantasy: I want to be the only thing in the world. Don't you?”

    Is that all?

    “Not all.”

    Why?

    “You are Deathless too. Deathless Jamsaran. They call you that, you know?”

    I know.

    “It's because you've never felt it yourself. You've no death in you. Just like the old primates, who lived once-only. The others are aesthetes. Performers, technicians of War. It's like a game to them. They know it, but don't really see the true-death. Not for you, that. You are fevered in spirit. Fevered to live and fuck and kill and die. As if everything's inevitable. You want too much and too many things and all at once and are insatiable. You are irredeemably pure. You're untouched.”

    Is that good?

    “The best.”

    Why?

    “Always 'why', always. Come closer. You see? I'm talking nonsense. Indulge me. Indulge in me. You mustn't think there is an answer.”

    I think you're trying to evade the question.

    “I'm not, I'm not. Look at me. Look at me...”

    * * * *

    Dawn draws closer. Immersed in outside air, crisp and clear as it always is, I watch it change. I do mean that. I have some overlays on, and I can literally watch it change – watch the microscopic colour gradings cascade skyward as the scattering angle slowly ratchets unto sunrise. The charcoal-blue has given way, and now we have a clean, unspoilt gradient from zenith to horizon, deep indigo to light cyan to pale pink to sun-stained orange and cautious plumes of gold, sent up like signal-fires from the solar staging area. I have since found my clothes and my way to the balcony, an elegant wood-floored space bedecked with miniature palms around the edges. It looks out over the edge of this frond, and from it you can see across to the others, some higher, some lower – and further distant, the terraced boulevards where the fronds all meet around the trunk, which itself extends downward ten kilometres to meet the desert floor below. It's a conservative design, but Ouarzazate is a city of conservatives. Évariste would live nowhere else.

    Now I really must be on my way. Amalric waits, the market waits, the contracts wait for no-one. Before I do, though, I take the time to check my messages. I don't allow notifications when I'm with Évariste, so they tend to pile up unread during the night. I seat myself at her outside table, play my hands against the cool frosted quartz atop it. I bring up an overlay, and see twenty-four thousand messages of commercial interest, redacted from two point eight million raw.

    You've got to be kidding me.

    With the passing of several hours, it appears the Kirthar contract has gone viral off-world. Dealing with this melange is – fortunately – my Armourer's job and not mine, and no doubt Amalric is in the process of grepping these for any content that looks halfway interesting, but it is still mine to make something of this, and I am really not sure what. I'm not yet thinking clearly. The morning is as morning does. Ask me now, and I don't really care about this. I want to be downside on the surface, I want to get a contract, I want to go out and I want to fight someone to the death. Clear my head.

    I switch radix. Important messages only. Five new. Four are from Amalric. One is a detailed breakdown of damage taken during the fight with MJZB Recover Names, broken down by release state and with the eigenbody damage listed separately. The next is a prediction – dated local midnight – of my market value over the next sidereal day, which shows depreciation as a result of my failed contract, but – unexpectedly – a re-settling later on, higher than the original value. Maybe something to do with it going viral. The next one is from ten minutes ago, and tells me to wake up and get downside before dawn like I promised. The last one is from one minute ago, and says the exact same thing.

    The fifth message is from Sülde.

    >>>To you who is somehow alive
    >>>Work on your range control
    >>>Deathless should not be this easy
    >>>You let me close in
    >>>Not enough resistance
    >>>Mistake or design
    >>>Either way, mistake
    >>>Your talents lie elsewhere
    >>>That's why you got wrecked
    >>>Improve ranging or improve self
    >>>This will be on the test
    >>>Catch you next time monkeyfucker
    >>>Gonna bury you in moondust

    Well, even if it wasn't tagged, I'd have been able to tell.

    Range control, is it?

    She may actually be right. Allowing her to close in was a mistake, but the extent to which I 'allowed' it is debatable. I don't think she's lacking in seriousness. She's every interest in a good fight, so it pays to do so. Amalric and I will go through the full AAR once I'm downside, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is what we end up concluding. I close overlays, and stand up. The edge of the balcony presents itself, and over the edge, a drop that is more-or-less sheer. Ten kilometres down, pure air and void. The surface widens in my vision. Iron, sand and rock, sunlight yet to touch it. The dawn is very close now. Downside awaits.

    Almost without a sound – for the wooden planks on the balcony creak beneath her bare feet – Évariste arrives behind me. A knot of presence. I can feel it in the air.

    “Already?”

    I step up onto the raised edge of the balcony and crouch there, crumpling my sarong as I turn to face her. She is dressed for business. Another body for another day. A darker tone in hair and skin to inaugurate the new season.

    I can't stay.

    “I know.” She smiles again. Trade secret. “I wanted to see you off.”

    In case I die?

    “Die and you are subsumed in the greater market. But I will be quite annoyed, so don't forget that. Don't.”

    I'll remember.

    “I'm not worried, besides. The field bears you victory. Jamsaran does not die.” This she said almost in a whisper. I saw the dawn break in her eyes, an inviting spark like the enticement to War. The innermost route to the soul. “See,” she said, joyous on the edge of tears, “you're smiling again. You know it too.”

    I stand up on the balcony. The newborn sunlight at my back, the air-crush resounding distant.

    Be seeing you. Évariste.

    That's it. Very simple. Very straightforward. I step off the edge and drop like a stone into the open air. The passing wind rises to a shriek, and I am grinning like a fool the whole way down to Amalric.

    So begins the bloody business of the day.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Contents
    0::Ignition Dialectic
    1::Slow Guitars
    Interlude::Chat! Chat! Chat!
    2::I'm a thinker
    Last edited by Dullahan; July 5th, 2015 at 01:31 PM.
    うん
    ほう


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    A new fic from Dullahan? YAAAAY ~ ☆

    I love mechas.

    "......"

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    Why can't we all be as sexually devious as Renko?

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    "I really loathe Fanfictions that are so horrendously horrible, it makes me want to go get my massive NAIL BAT OF RAPTURE and swing it real HARD to any AUTHOR who will dare create such filthy and disgusting piece of literature!"

    "THEY WON'T SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY....THEY WILL SUFFER!"

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    Im not even sure what I just read but I want to offer you my firstborn for it.

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    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renko View Post
    I love mechas.
    I hope you love purple prose, pretentious dialogue and oblique references to Hegelian philosophy too motherfucker

    'cause that's what's up
    うん
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    I told 'em, I told 'em. Bugrit! eddyak's Avatar
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    Pretension can be forgiven when there are robots involved.
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    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    キタ━━━(゜∀゜)━━━!!!!!

    Please never stop writing.

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    Preformance Pertension SeiKeo's Avatar
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    Cute title. But.

    See the sky effulgent, paling lilac-blue at noontime zenith or perhaps a haze-scattered vermilion periphery in the furthest east or west. Below in mute contrast, see compacted islands of flood basalt the colour of dried blood form reef-girt archipelagos to speckle a wind-whipped sea of iron-thick dunes. Now and then amongst it find a remnant, a lost and anonymous fossil: scars of cindered impact breccia eroded by the passage of centuries, formless sand-etched husks of splintered composites.
    I mean I'm not going to say this is bad per se but I can't read this

    I'm sorry
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    That time they checked out that hot guy they were just admiring his watch, yeah?


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    ジュカイン Lycodrake's Avatar
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    Sadly I didn't go over Hegel in courses, but google points me to German idealism and partitioning reality.
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    Yes, excellent. Go, Lyco, my proxy.
    F/GO SUPPORT

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    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Imperial's Avatar
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    Prose so purple I just developed a grape allergy.

    But it's Dullahan and Notes, so I can't really complain.

  11. #11
    please vomit more of your words directly into my eyeballs

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    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Leo View Post
    I mean I'm not going to say this is bad per se but I can't read this

    I'm sorry
    Bro you know the only reason I write things is to brag regarding how many big words I know right

    'phaneritic'

    Spellcheck doesn't even recognise that shit

    I have gone beyond
    うん
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    Queen of Love and Beauty GhostDIGIT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    I hope you love purple prose, pretentious dialogue and oblique references to Hegelian philosophy too motherfucker

    'cause that's what's up
    ...I want to sig this.
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    Just watch KNK, read fate and tsuki then just never bother with another nasu thing again but continue to use BL regardless.

    Dullahan's Writing Genius
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    I hope you love purple prose, pretentious dialogue and oblique references to Hegelian philosophy too motherfucker 'cause that's what's up

  14. #14
    Don't @ me if your fanfic doesn't even have Shirou/Illya shipping k thnx ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
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    It's like turbo, post-humanistic sci-fi Rocky, drunk on the many deep and dark wines of Bacchus. This was a hefty read, but damn if it's not impressive.

    How soon until the casually continent-spanning training montage?
    McJon01: We all know that the real reason Archer would lose to Rider is because the events of his own Holy Grail War left him with a particular weakness toward "older sister" types.
    My Fanfics. Read 'em. Or not.



  15. #15
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaRandomUsername View Post
    It's like turbo, post-humanistic sci-fi Rocky, drunk on the many deep and dark wines of Bacchus. This was a hefty read, but damn if it's not impressive.

    How soon until the casually continent-spanning training montage?
    Jamsaran's conflict with Sülde isn't really what this about. Of course, he will have to fight her again at some point; I couldn't just set that up and leave it hanging. But the intention is to develop her as a capital-R Rival - the Gary Oak to Jamsaran's Ash, if you will. The real antagonist here is something more esoteric. No spoilers, though.

    I'll say this: this story is, among other things, a character study of Ado Edem (following in the grand tradition of Kleio in fabricating huge walls of text out of characters regarding whom we have a paragraph of vague Nasu-speak at best) which for a very good reason is set some centuries after his death. That he has statues all over the place should be noted. The society that all these characters live in is, in a way, Ado Edem's creation - and in the strangeness of the society, we'll see the strangeness of Edem.
    Last edited by Dullahan; May 16th, 2015 at 11:22 PM.
    うん
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  16. #16
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Just a brief interlude to keep the thread bumped while Essay Season comes to a crescendo down here.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Interlude::Chat! Chat! Chat!

    You're live on DRIFTWOOD, now the highest-trafficked message board in cis-lunar space for fourteen weeks running! Whether you're down the GOGH, stepping Lagrange, or breathing vacuum up on the regolith, a subscription to our proprietary discussion networks will give you the bandwidth to keep on talking.

    /active/anon/war/gogh/7043234980563245562.textonly (2910 posts)
    WARNING: Some content cannot be rendered under your present bandwidth preferences. An estimated 97.4 PERCENT of this conversation will be algorithmically compressed as far as is possible. Adjust your active bandwidth restriction to see more of this discussion.

    Topic: What's the big deal with Kirthar?

    >Can someone explain this to me, in brief?
    >>yuo mean why Everyone GOGHwise is losing their fuck over Kirthar 10/13??
    >>GLADLYYyyy
    >Individual, Nice rock, Enjoy life, Beneath QUERY
    >>I'm an Armourer. I only follow the local Warrists up here. [AUTHENT: Local/Sinus Medii]
    >>I've been hearing some talk about it from the warbloggers down at the Scar, though.
    >>>Ah, Well EXHAUST
    >rank10foughtrank13nearlywonbuthercontractgotbough tout.
    >Sülde fucked Ouarzazate's Deathless sideways wwwww
    >NO ITS A PROFOUND MYSTERY
    >Deathless rendered 99% Dead, gets better
    >>”Such demons they were, but one for certain the greater; as it must be, defeat cast down its eye...”
    >go read Ayotte's article
    >he actually got an interview with Rank 13 last night; I saw it [AUTHENT: Local/Ouarzazate]
    >>”Ow.” - Jamsaran?
    >>”I could have really used a hand and also the rest of my body.”
    >>>originalhumourtopshelf
    >>srs though, Rank 13 is bellic as fuck, you can't mock
    >>watch his takedown of prior-Rank 15 [MJZB Very Very Frightening (INACTIVE)]
    >>that killrush towards the end – classic Deathless.
    >>>Sülde's better.
    >>>>Sülde beat the last Rank 10 to death with her own severed arms, so that skews things in her favour I must admit.
    >>>>Sülde's arms or prior-Rank 10's? [MJZB Try It, I Dare You (INACTIVE)]
    >>>>>both
    >>>pretty nostalg, obligado
    >>>And yet, Sülde...
    >>>>Ayotte's got its own theories on that, go read
    >>>>thinks it's to do with Non-/Deathless strategy/psyche differences
    >>>>comment section's been chewing on it for Literally Hours
    >>'msaran: easily my favourite out of the GOGH top 20, excluding Rank 1 of course
    >>>10/13 rematch, the hype is right and proper
    >>>>I hope it's somewhere polar, mountain/desert kills are too common.
    >>>I KNOW! He + Évariste = steppin/stylin razor GETS ME WET
    >>>>ugh monkeyfuckers, get out.
    >>>>>ugh meatfuckers, get out.
    >>>>>>ugh realfuckers, get out.
    >>>>>>>professional onanist here, you're all casuals.
    >>>>I want Sülde to disembowel me in bed
    >>>>>before or after you do it?
    >>>>>>sex unnecessary, just disembowel
    >>>>>>>I like your style.
    >>>>>>>>Sadly I'm still on her waiting list...she's always on-contract
    >so much shitpost wwwww
    >It's very simple, OP. Rank 13 got hired for territory-breach somewhere in Deccan, Rank 10 counter-contracted, they met over Kirthar, 10 very nearly killed 13 but her contract was bought out at the last second by 13's hirer and both got rescinded
    >So Sülde sulked off home to Cahalla and Jamsaran's bloody carcass got picked up by his Armourer
    >and now everyone is near climaxing in anticipation for the rematch
    >>Do we even know if that's happening?
    >>>Almost certainly. Know who hired 13 to begin with?
    >>>>fuckhuge grainstone prospector
    >>>>Trasimene from L1.
    >>>REMATCH MONETISATION says yes.
    >>>>Exactly. There's a killing to be made on /share of the broadcast monetisation rights now that interest has built up like this
    >>>>>Been artificially built up, you mean. Trasimene probably planned this buyout from the start.
    >>>>>Market predictions have been saying for a while that War on the GOGH is going to move under the umbrella of the entertainment sector over the next century. This = first move
    >>>>>>I hope it doesn't
    >>>>>>Same; it's suck if all GOGH is left with are stupid choreographed fights like Io/Almathea
    >>>>>>>those are a necessity in near-jovian sphere though. Theres too much grain so you have to choreograph it otherwise everyone just breaks out continent-sized etherswords and wins in one hit.
    >>>>>>>>or blows up a moon. RIP Adrastea.
    >>>>>>I think it's still a long way off. As long as the trade in grainstone – or cultural digs or whatever Warrists get hired out for – is more profitable than monetisation on War broadcasting rights (and remember, most contracts give the Warrist/Armourer AT LEAST half, usually 70% or higher on GOGH) things will stay much as they are. Don't get worked up over nothing.
    >>>>>>>WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE HIT PEAK GRAINSTONE
    >>>>>>>>were all out the solar system cause its 58 million years in the future an we got bored m8
    >>>>>>>>>CITATION NEEDED
    >>>>>>Makes me glad there are so many Deathless down GOGH way. Someone needs to fight properly at least.
    >>>>>>>You really think there's that much of a difference?
    >>>>>>>>~11000 Warrists on GOGH. 102 Deathless. All of them are above Rank 500. Half are above Rank 100. Statistics don't lie. It's something in their makeup.
    >>>>>>>>>Deathless be bellic
    >>>>>>I don't really see the difference between Warrists taking contracts to settle prospector disputes and taking contracts to make money from the broadcast rights.
    >>>>>>>Warrist fights are basically entertainment already. It won't make any difference to me.
    >>>>>>>>War never changes.
    Last edited by Dullahan; May 30th, 2015 at 04:12 PM.
    うん
    ほう


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    Even in 2XXX plebwars and MGS quotes happen. Its good that the best of humanity has remained.
    Last edited by Christemo; May 30th, 2015 at 04:13 PM.

  18. #18
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christemo View Post
    Even in 2XXX plebwars and MGS quotes happen. Its good that the best of humanity has remained.
    3XXX, actually.
    うん
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    Important lore revelations right there. Dates have changed.

  20. #20
    and i thought falla was cryptic

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