Calamity Explained

Dear Diary, you are still not real.

So, last time we (didn’t) talk, I mentioned that there was an aberration with Fourth Fist, and it would be necessary to purge them.

This ended up your typical (2 birds, one stone) setup that I like to arrange.  That is, if you throw a rock at a bird and put another bird near it, you are more likely to hit at least one.

If all went well (for me, not them) during their meeting with the Union, Fourth Fist would end up dead except for Preventer, who would be on ice a particularly nasty cellar.  Prevailer was going to lose interest in Indulger, what with him having been killed by wimps and all, and I’d put the whole messy business behind me.

That was one bird.

The other requires a bit more talk about my gift.  I never talk about my gift, but since you aren’t real, and I’m not doing this, I guess it doesn’t hurt to make an exception.

I can ask my gift what a given scenario will look like, and I see it play out into the future.  For example ‘What will happen if I go and get a beer from the fridge?”  That kind of thing.  I see it as a kind of all-sensory movie, played out much faster than reality.  I can dream up pretty much any hypothetical and see how things would go if the conditions that I gave it play out.

Thus, Answerer.

But there are a few limitations.  The most obvious is that if I change my actions away from the initial premise, the whole future is invalid.  That is, if I DON”T go to get a beer, I’m not going to see a bug on the floor, run into Daniel, etc.  The reality that I see is contingent on me being able to bring about the preconditions that I gave it.

This also applies as the vision goes on.  If I see myself going for beer through a door, and instead attempt to do so by getting a Knight to cut a hole in the wall, things are going to be different.  If I want a vision to come to pass, I need to keep playing my part.  I’m very practiced at it.

Another limitation is, naturally, other precogs.  I abort as many of these as I can (As do the rest of us.  We are a rather selective sorority.) but the world is a big place.  Precogs fuck with each other’s gifts something awful.

Basically, whoever asks last knows what is really going to happen.  The change to their behavior of their vision will render inaccurate the vision of the others (which gave them the result as though the first party didn’t actually have a vision).  I don’t know if I explained that well enough, but I understand it, and you don’t exist, so we’re good.

This is, in a nutshell, why I rarely try to use Fifth Fist for anything.  Predictor’s foresight is constant, he doesn’t have to ask his gift.  Therefore, in cases where both our gift’s apply, he trumps me.  What I have going for me is that I can forsee anything I can think of, while he is limited to his own welfare.  He basically has an amazing danger sense, while I am a mix of prophet and God.

Sorry, tangent.  Back to the second bird thing.

So, when I REALLY care about something, I can basically refresh my gift’s vision constantly.  Asking the same question over and over, stopping the ‘film’ one sec into it.  It’s basically scrying, I get a real time view of a second ahead of time for an event I care about.

I did that for the meeting of Fourth Fist and the Union.  After the invalidated visions around Fourth Fists inauguration I made certain to pay close attention.  If something was going to ruin my answers, then I wanted my best shot at figuring out what it was.

Almost right from the start, the negotiation deviated from my foresight.  I foresaw that Fidel clown angry, but in control.  But during the actual event he was essentially a madman.  He provoked Fourth Fist to resistance, and the battle transpired in a way that caused his unit to be annihilated.

My visions of the inauguration were similarly fucked with.  Subtracter and Mangler were both out of character for a little while after.  Prevailer actually ended up punching Subtracter’s teeth out!  I’ve developered a working theory as to what is going on.

This is the last flaw in my gift, the one that comes up most rarely.  My visions are only as good as my senses.  I see and hear the futures.  But if something is happening that can’t be seen or heard, then it can invalidate my forecasts.  Anything soul to soul is the best candidate for this sort of thing.  I believe that my gift sees, fundamentally, the world.  The less tangible, the less ‘actual’ something is, the harder it is for my gift to take into account.

Fourth Fist are the eye of this storm, but the actual manifestation is altered actions of other people nearby them.  The logical guess is that someone in Fourth Fist is capable of messing with people on a level that I can’t detect, which causes my forecasts to go awry.

This is very nearly a worst case scenario for me.  What if they do it to Her?

Bitches got to go.

7 thoughts on “Calamity Explained

  1. > Almost right from the start, the negotiation deviated from my foresight. I foresaw that Fidel clown angry, but in control. But during the actual event he was essentially a madman.

    This description is spot on… Fidel acts completely crazy during the meeting. I remember thinking about it, and on rereading this chapter I’ve noticed that Answerer puts into words better than I could and expresses my surprise perfectly.

    Is there something up?

  2. The obvious culprit is Fisher but she can’t affect Ultras supposedly, and I don’t see why she would push Fidel to be so aggressive. Hmm.

  3. I mean, it’s kind of obviously Haunter.

    “But if something is happening that can’t be seen or heard, then it can invalidate my forecasts. Anything soul to soul is the best candidate for this sort of thing” points straight to the person who manifests pure souls into the world. If Answerer can’t perceive what souls do, then she wouldn’t be able to perceive what any of Haunter’s ghosts do. It also explains why Answerer’s precog of the Diplomacy incident wasn’t correct: The Colonel’s sacrifice changed the outcome by empowering Condemner, but Answerer can’t tell because the Colonel was a pure soul.

    1. Later in the story you will be given some decent evidence that it might have been Condemner (I won’t spoil it here, just letting you know it’s not as obvious as you think)

    2. However this doesn’t gel with Answerer’s description of what went awry: “Almost right from the start, the negotiation deviated from my foresight. I foresaw that Fidel clown angry, but in control. But during the actual event he was essentially a madman.” This happened before the Colonel came out, and I think before Jane brought out any ghosts to act on their own.

    3. I think Haunter and Condemner both have internal conversations that- I’m assuming Answerer- can’t take into account because they’re not real.

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