If You Like Piña Coladas

Rand: So, when last we met, Alice was quite anxious to find her way to Ssyagna Vos, a place out in the Beyond where all your wishes will be made reality.

Rand: Except, you die, a fact which Alice is pretty dismissive of.

Rand: But, instead of doing that, you are supposed to film a legal mystery-comedy movie and make it the #1 movie this year. You are tolerably certain that if you complete this task, you will be given another one, until forever or until you forget all about the whole Ssyagna topic.

Rand: As a result, you are having serious difficulty with your life-style.

Alice: This is true, although Snake-Mom did hint that she changes her mind unpredictably. That said, I think it is very clear that Ssyagna Vos is the ideal location for shooting on-site.

Rand: (Yeah, it's part of being the Reprieve that you tend to eventually rescind your dicta for no reason.)

Alice: That makes sense!

Rand: But it could be a million years from now!

Rand: You have to be the Reprieve you want to see in the world.

Alice: More generally, I think that I can film the movie in the Lands Beyond Creation as long as I can come up with a good legal pun on that.

Alice: Hm. LLC doesn't work.

Alice: Beyond Creation -> Beyonce is not really very much about legal stuff.

Alice: I don't know how to summon a Lawbreaker and tell the hilarious story about one trying to fit in at a law firm, so arguably I'd have to go out there to recruit them.

Rand: Also there has to be a mystery.

Rand: Where's Remy, anyway? He has the power to create legal puns!

Rand: Alex and Cynn are also missing, although Cynn is probably asleep or ferret-napped.

Alice: Motion In Limine would be a great name.

Alice: The Cnephession.

Alice: Beyond A Reasonable Doubt.

Rand: Hm, maybe it could be a custody battle between a thinly-veiled Cneph and Harumaph.

Alex: I'm here!

Alex: My brother is in town and we wound up running a little later than I meant to. X)

Alex: Though if Vance and Elliott don't show there's not much point.

  • Rand pokes Vance with a stick.

Rand: Anyway, it would be the Wars of the Roses, only with some more appropriate flower.

Rand: Hemlock, possibly.

Remy: My apologies; I was repairing House Cynis.

Alice: Legal Rider.

Alice: That is the name of the movie.

Rand: That makes sense.

Rand: She's the most brilliant lawyer ever, but she doesn't believe in the validity of law, or that the court or the parties actually exist!

Rand: Or he, I guess. It depends on what actors you can find.

Alice: I'm assuming we'll use that guy.

Alice: Grunch Immanentization or whatever his name was.

Rand: Galindus Gollifer?

Remy: Goofusand Gallant, I think it was

Alice: Galindus, yeah.

Rand: Hm, I guess he was last seen being carried off by the Cammora to watch terrible movies, because actual torture was ineffective.

Rand: It's possible this will make him want to be in a… good?… movie, if you can convince them to give him to you on work release.

Rand: Are you planning on making a good movie? I don't know what Alice's standards are when she's directing instead of acting.

Alice: Yes.

Alice: Alice is very strict with herself!

Alice: Her goal is to knock the newest Snake Bambi movie down to #2.

Rand: I figured as much but did not want to assume.

Rand: All right; you'd better tell me the plot and figure out something about casting.

Alice: Hm hm hm.

Remy: Hmm. How can Remy help?

Remy: He's probably doing the special effects by hand, I think.

Rand: He also probably knows a lot of potential actors.

Rand: You've got a shears-wielding friendly Excrucian of your own, of course, who might come up.

Rand: Unless he's a television guy.

Alice: A young Rider growing up in the scenic foothills of Ssyagna Vos yearns to make it as a lawyer, but gets in trouble when he's accidentally mistaken for a mob lawyer in a murder case, and also has to fight off his own inclinations to destroy the world lest he lose the love of his life? Hm. Needs refinement.

Alice: Maybe a kid from Creation is mistaken for an Excrucian lawyer in a Ssyagna Vos murder case related to the death of… let's say God, because picking any actual in-setting power is a scary prospect… and has to resist his Warmain tendencies, disentangle himself, and deal with a hilarious and lethal cast of conspirators and lawpeople?

Alice: Warmain tendencies because he starts becoming the mask, of course.

Rand: Maybe he's mistaken for a human murderer, and has difficulty disproving this because identity is itself a lie, and the idea that he is not this other guy is fundamentally flawed.

Alice: That's a good Deceiver role, certainly, but this is a Warmain plotline! Hm.

Alice: The Deceiver could be the client, and could be pathologically unable to stop lying and turning into different people.

Alice: Like that agent from Get Smart, only evil.

Rand: Hm, do you think you could find Scelto to play the role?

Alice: Hmm, that is an interesting emergency escape trick if the Vos goes poorly.

Alice: "It wasn't me! It was Scelto who looked at this place!"

Alice: I feel like the Excrucian roles should be played by humans and vice versa anyway, since this is a comedy.

Rand: That seems logical.

Rand: The hard part of headhunting Scelto is the disturbing possibility that he was there all along.

Remy: Remy vibrates his eyeballs black and starry!

Alice: Yeah, that is the main reason Alice doesn't want to think about it. ^_^

Remy: He gets a migraine from doing this, but he persists, for he is Durant.

Rand: Okay, so Gollifer as your human lawyer protagonist, and Remy as the Deceiver client?

Alice: A long time ago Lord Murderhands took over the universe, but now he's been found dead outside of Ssyagna Vos. A bright young kid named Galindus who can't get into any law school because his family got cursed by Lord Murderhands ten generations ago finds out about it and trudges out of the building, where a shadowy goon compares his face to a picture and asks if he's eminent lawyer Gollifer Gray. He agrees and is kidnapped to the scenic foothills of Ssyagna Vos to live in a hotel run by a lovably goofy person and live every day in horrible fear of his employers and what they'll do if they find out he's not Gollifer and try desperately to defend the completely non-cooperative Drake Appolodorus and fall in love with someone "local" who turns out to be the heir to Lord Murderhands and… um…

Rand: Some kind of eccentric mentor figure!

Rand: Who will eventually vanish while vaguely implying that they are secretly Cneph or Harumaph or something.

Alice: And in the end it turns out that Lord Murderhands faked his death to run away from ruling the universe, that Drake Appolodorus was under strict orders never to admit to not killing him, and Galindus brilliantly blackmails Lord Murderhands, who had been lurking as an eccentric mentor?, into appointing him an actual lawyer and forging a confession that the extremely non-cooperative judge did it before Murderhands runs properly away, close on a kiss outside Ssyagna Vos before they accidentally fall in because the fence or hillside has been steadily weakening throughout the movie as people fight or argue on\/by it or something.

Rand: Only getting around to your ulterior motive at the climax of the final scene is rather classy.

Rand: Hm, what roles still need somebody cast in them?

Rand: I guess you need the judge, and Lord Murderhands.

Alice: True. I can see not wanting to be Lord Murderhands for safety reasons, although probably the name can be changed.

Alice: Maybe just Slaughtermain.

Rand: King Bloodsinister.

Rand: Related, no doubt, to Count Blood Count.

Alice: Sinister Blood isn't a bad superhero name for the ruler of all things. Or just Mister Blood.

Rand: The Bloodfather.

Rand: Although he isn't a parent in this continuity.

Rand: Alex, if you're still awake, maybe you're up for the role? And if you're asleep, it's even easier to make you do it!

Alice: The Bloodfather is great, it gives an excellent Mafia vibe. Pair it with some wuxia vibes and we've got something interesting!

Rand: That's basically how I picture Getimians.

  • Rand wonders if you can combine the Excrucian and kung fu naming conventions.
  • Rand considers other considerations. I guess the big one is getting an entire film crew to a site that doesn't, in fact, exist.

Rand: Or for that matter, how much you have to pay them.

Alice: Hmmm.

Alice: Getting off Earth is presumably relatively possible. I admit I'm not sure exactly where any exits to the Weirding Wall are. Maybe Galindus knows. They're probably watched, admittedly. Maybe I can give us a reprieve from existence but not life?

Alice: That seems ill-advised.

Rand: It does make using student labor a problem.

Alice: Possibly some sort of Remy or Alex-powered slingshot? Hm.

Rand: I'm not really sure how the Dark feels about doing something really stupid because an authority figured encouraged you to believe it was safe.

Alice: Yeah, I'd definitely want to use show business people, they've already succumbed.

Alice: You can't make it in show business if you whine about wanting to live all the time!

Rand: You could ask to borrow a few draculas!

Alice: Inspirational idea!

Alice: I need a Dead Legion.

Alice: Y'know, people whose lives I save from stupid deaths that they didn't really choose, so they can sacrifice it in the interest of a great movie instead.

Rand: I admit I'd sacrifice a lot for a good legal mystery-comedy.

Alice: Hm, hm, hm, hm, hm.

Alice: It's a real pity that "substitute a duplicate for someone who died in the past, bring them to future" was ruled to cause time disruption.

Alice: I doubt there are that many great film people dying in the present.

Alice: But I bet if I widen my ambit to just, y'know, good, acceptable, we can train them up.

Remy: Remy can probably take the group Beyond by ramping up to super-speed and using a Lesser Motion to convert it into dimensional travel

Alice: It's definitely possible that you can do that, although I don't think they're sufficiently covered by miracles that you can know in advance if it will work.

Remy: Remy will attempt to meditatively vibrate beyond reality while decked out with a crystal staff that can channel the vibrations to bring along anyone touching it.

Alice: Alice will tie a rope made of the realest stuff she can find to Remy and an oak and then go off to start culling through her records for possible Dead Legion candidates with film chops. Extras, never-got-a-chance-to-make-it-in-Hollywood-dying-young, lights technicians, props people, makeup people, storyboarders, gofers, palanquin carriers, etc.

Rand: I don't really have any particular desire to make you kit out an expedition and walk to Ssyagna Vos, so I suppose I'm obligated to let Remy's plan work… perhaps at some terrible cost!

Alice: Oh, man, I loved that bagel.

Rand: I am not letting you sacrifice a beloved bagel to escape reality.

Rand: Bagelers would be dropping out of Creation all the time if that were possible!

Rand: Through the hole, as it were.

Alex: The oak has a strength that can hold up the world, which clearly means it can anchor our reality.

Rand: Does that make you our cameraman?

Alex: I think so.

Rand: What you perceive

Rand: becomes the real!

Alice: Awesome!

Alice: Wait, my timing there is poor.

Alice: My typing timing is really poor for someone with Perfect Timing, I note.

Alice: Do something about this, Rand.

Alex: Retcon dat shit.

Rand: That's what logs are for!

Rand: Fayola's jokes will be perfectly timed in the version I show people in the future.

Rand: And mine will be replaced with the funnier ones I think of tomorrow in the shower.

Alice: Chille tid.

Remy: Maybe in order to get their, Remy will have to run so fast he outpaces one of his own essential human attributes

Remy: "Whoops, I ran too fast, now I forgot how to compress my mind into tiny thoughts."

Remy: Or I forgot my favorite shirt at home, and an elf nicks it!

Rand: Or you could have to spend all your MP and be vulnerable to the terrible creatures out there, allowing me to run a fight scene and threaten you at last!

Rand: There's, like… bears.

Rand: But really strong bears.

Alice: Double bears, one might say.

Alex: It's impossible to grasp the true dread of the things that inspired the bear.

Alex: Bears are pretty dangerous!

Alex: They are only the shadow of a shadow of the thing that inspired them.

Rand: Yeah, they're basically a copycat crime.

Rand: An imprint formed by the originals bearing down on reality.

Rand: Okay, so Alice is recruiting a Dead Legion and inspiring them to sacrifice themselves for cinema.

Alice: Steven Colbert knows. He has Seen.

Rand: It'll be ironic if you fail to actually get any of them killed!

Rand: I guess you can always use hilariously inadequate safety procedures.

Alice: I'd like to grab him but that would force Rand to play him and if Rand failed that would be sad and he'd take over the game if Rand succeeded.

Alex: Yeah, let's not do that.

Alex: "I've given up on asking you to re-think these things, but I will say that I'll miss you and I hope this movie is fucking amazing."

Alice: I think that the basic pitch is, "I can save you, and you can possibly die filming a great movie. Or you can die, with the like 30% chance that I save you anyway because I am capricious and also don't want to make this a dumb choice."

  • Rand tries to evaluate the degree of coercion present here.
  • Rand gets a hollyheadache.

Rand: Still, I daresay you recruit sufficient stalwart suicides. Or, not-suicides? I have failed to evaluate this!

Rand: It's like attending the annual Inter-Magister Transhumanism Conerence.

Alex: "I will try and prevent you from being killed during the filming."

Alice: "Oh, man, don't tell them that!"

Alice: "You are totally free to keep my entire crew alive as I am a responsible director but if they know you're going to keep them alive it like… I mean… you're like reliable-looking."

Alice: "Maybe look less reliable? More shifty?"

Remy: "The cameraman shouldn't be shifty!"

Rand: Shakycam has been popular lately.

Alice: "Like, 'oh, I'll save you. I'll save you, all right. Hee. Heehee. Hahahahahaha!'"

Alice: "…fair point."

Alex: "I'll smoke while I say it."

Alex: "Relax. If anyone's hands are going to be steady…"

Alex: Alex is also not going to fuck up his filming. Aspect 2.

Alex: "How does one escape the world?"

  • Alice tries to remember how it worked in Utena.

Remy: Something something elephants on a surfboard something something turn into a car.

Rand: I was going to escape the world, until I got high~

Alex: I imagine any of us could do it without thinking about it using a Greater Motion.

Alice: There's the sound of an engine running at the end of the world…

Alice: Some quote like that.

Alice: "I'm hoping that Gallivant will know when we get him out, but I want to be ready to go by then so we don't have an Excrucian just hanging around."

Alex: "Well, that's really on the filming schedule, isn't it?

Alex: "I'm not in a position to beat up an excrucian by my lonesome, doubly so if he's a priori invincible."

Alice: "I… suppose that I could probably rip open a hole in the world," Alice admits.

Alex: "That's what the portal engine is for, isn't it?"

Remy: "We need to find tactics than can deal with him."

Remy: "Would flirting work?"

Alice: Alice points at momentum. "Like, that stops." She points at heat, and light, and inertia, and color, and matter, and being, and nothingness, and that leaf over there, and that sound over there, and one of those little flying frogs that have been seen around more often lately. "And that, and that, and that, and that, and that, and that, and… oh, and gravity, and so forth, and when it aaaaaall stops…"

Remy: "Nnngh!"

Remy: "Inertia is important!"

Alex: "Who knows? It might. He's invincible, and he can teleport. So we can't hurt him and we can't restrain him. However, as far as we've seen his offense doesn't seem that potent…"

Rand: His power over desire could be pretty dangerous in a film set full of mortals.

Alex: "Very true."

Alice: "I think a practical method is to find some method to increase our chances, and only use it while he's cooperating."

Alice: Alice considers this. "What makes one more likely to not explode when all one's desires come true?… am I remembering that correctly? It's not, like, contemplation of all of them coming true, or all one's desires becoming truth?"

Alex: "It's all of them coming true. It completes you. You win the game and you're done."

Alice: "A perpetual anti-nirvana engine, or PANE," Alice proposes. "It continuously generates a small amount of new desire and ignorance."

Alex: "Interesting idea."

Alex: "I've no idea how to produce one, however."

Alex: "Seems like something Hell might know more of."

Alice: Alice meditates on how it would work. "A perpetual flywheel that runs backwards, continuously scooping a bit of a vision of the next moment back into the previous one. Or just a bit of anticipation for the next turn specifically into the soul?"

Rand: <A joke regarding the movies of a Hollywood director whose work you do not favor>

Remy: "You could dangle a puppy in front of people's heads, as though it were a carrot?"

Alex: "The fulfillment of the puppy-desire would be manifested by Ssyagna Vos; additional puppies would not be desired."

Alice: "Oh, that's fair," Alice agrees.

Alice: "I'd imagined an energy core of the delight of wanting, grasping, reaching, constantly fed back into the soul, but… it would then be a matter of…"

Alice: Alice ponders.

Rand: So, Vance is probably right that somebody is going to need to cough up a greater miracle to get you out there.

Alice: "Well, speed, and timing."

Rand: However you decide to do that.

Alex: "I can do that."

Remy: "I don't think I properly understand the nature of desire."

Rand: I guess it's a question of who.

Rand: You're still wounded from the last time you did one!

Rand: Just because I forgot to determine the nature of the terrible wound doesn't mean it isn't there!

Remy: Remy has a whole crystal channeling staff for this!

Remy: We're gonna worldnyoom.

Alex: Oh, yeah.

Rand: "Affliction: I must do everything in my power to remain G-rated."

Alice: "I'm going to build this before we go," Alice says, nodding to herself. "I am so going to build this."

Rand: Hm, that's not really compatible with events at the World's Fair, I guess.

Remy: Once all preparations are complete, Remy hooks everyone up to his channeling gizmo, sustains Lightning Quickness to vibrate at incredible speed, and uses Lesser Motion of Speed to convert physical movement into transreality.

Remy: 2 MP.

Rand: You're really going to need a Greater.

Rand: Or at least an equivalent expenditure of MP on Strike.

Remy: In that case, I'll need to Last Trump 3 MP out of my other pools to fuel it.

Alice: Alice reserves a flashback slot for her building this machine, so that the departure may continue without pause!

Rand: Are you building the pain engine or the puppy stick?

Alice: The PANE is much closer to a puppy stick.

Rand: Puppies create the desire to give belly rubs. But you can never rub the bellies of all the puppies, and so you suffer. Thus, puppies create suffering!

Remy: Truly, the most tragic Dukkha-attribute.

Alex: It's all deeply sorrowful!

Alice: I think she convinces Engineering to let her use one of the svart-elf labs by being The Protagonist, takes a bunch of psychoreactive brass, pulls out a hair-thin filigree modeled after the moving, branching lines of choice she's been seeing ever since she started trying to understand this all, and glares her thoughts into it as the air begins to burn and form the wheel, as the whole thing begins to turn, glowing brighter and brighter, faster and faster, dragging up the threads of metal on the floor at the rate a loom or fishing wheel would to melt foot by foot into the form of it, until there is at last this thing that is scooping up a fire of the glory of wanting freedom and wanting more and loving life in all its forms from the fundamental vacuum and pouring it out towards the hook, which, as she shifts the wheel to float behind her left shoulder, she sets within her soul. After a moment, she uses the remote control to turn it down to LOW.

Alice: Treasure 6, and a Serious Wound to add the Affliction to claim it.

Alex: Man, just having that thing on seems like a serious wound.

Remy: Holy cow.

Rand: That is some smithing there.

Rand: What do you currently intend to do with it?

Alice: Hm. Probably won't actually work on Ssyagna Vos, so that shouldn't be the primary use. I guess for right now it is a defensive tool against Galindus.

Alex: (I need to start heading to snooze shortly.)

Rand: Yeah, I guess we can plan for the conclusion next week.

Rand: …wait, nobody's mentioned fruit yet this week.

Remy: But we haven't…

Remy: …that.

Alice: It also makes lemons.

Alice: They just fall out sometimes.

Rand: If life gives you lemons, make a machine that generates desire?

Rand: If life gives you ignorance and desire, go Hollywood?

Alice: Hm, it is probably only Treasure 3 TBH, I can't really justify claiming it's Treasure 6. But, a Treasure 3 to help one keep going, to fill one's world with wanting, reaching, and with light. And lemons.

Remy: It sounded treasure 6!

Alice: OK!

Rand: The main thing about it being a miraculous Anchor is that making one of those probably takes more than an afternoon in the woodshop and a three-point stunt.

  • Alice will call it Treasure 6, then.

Rand: But maybe you can justify somehow?

  • Alice will call it Treasure 3, then.

Alex: What's your Aspect miracle value?

Alice: Even in the Chancel, it practically caps at 4.

Rand: Possibly using some of your life or your future or blood or whatever.

Alex: Mine caps at 6 without a wound in the chancel.

Alex: So I could probably be of assistance.

Rand: At this point I'm not really inclined to be too strict, I guess.

Alex: On the other hand, this is probably a Fairy Tale Feat.

Alex: Hammering a miraculous thing in to existence seems almost the definition of a fairy tale feat.

Alice: You can make new treasures with Treasure, fortunately.

Remy: It's treasure all the way down!

Alice: If Rand made me unpack the process, I would claim the metal as an Anchor with a level 0 miracle, taking the Wound then.

Alice: Then I would make it wondrous with a level 3 miracle, as shown.

Alice: Or miraculous with a level 6.

Rand: I am too sleepy to object, so it can be a level 6.

Rand: Probably it is a sign that the world will be remade according to your specifications in the near future, or something.

Alex: Well, a world, anyway.

  • Rand considers naming the finale "A Glass of Strawberry Wine in Her Hand."

Alice: I don't really need it to be a level 6 for anything, and it is arguably detrimental, but I'll try to think about what to put into it to justify it. The idea that I'm seizing potential from a future look at Ssyagna Vos is interesting.

Alice: It rules out plot threads where something else happens, but I'm not sure what else could possibly happen at this point.

Rand: You could abandon your quest and become a baker!

Rand: Sorry, a fruit baker.

Rand: Good night, then, everyone! Remember, you can escape from suffering and from your mistakes, but you can't escape the random concepts that became the campaign theme, somehow!

Alice: Happy dreams!

Alice: A fruitissier, I believe is the term.

Alex: Goodnight, fruitmeister.

Remy: Fructimancer.

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