Joey: No no no. You are thinking of it like there’s another dimension where we go to. It’s nothing like that.
Nirav: So tell me what it’s like.
Joey: Ok, I’ll try and be as straightforward as possible, no metaphors or anything.
Joey: So, when you are in the reserve, you see out of Jane’s eyes, feel what she feels. That’s it. There isn’t some other place where we all hang out, we are just thousands of people all seeing, hearing, feeling the same thing.
Nirav: Trippy. All of you?
Nirav: Can you do anything, or is it just the Haunter Show 24/7.
Joey: You can move her body, if she lets you. Like, if she wants to play piano, she’ll ask Irene or me who the best piano players are, put one of them in the driver’s seat. She can take it back at any time, but you get to move as long as she doesn’t object.
Nirav: That doesn’t happen a lot?
Joey: No, most of what we get to do is just speak in the rotation.
Nirav: The rotation?
Joey: Yeah. See, when a shade ‘thinks’ really loudly, Jane and the rest of us hear’s it. It sounds like the voice of the person making the thought.
Nirav: That must be chaotic
Joey: You’d think, but it’s the furthest thing from it. Everyone knows that Jane will have to mute us all if it gets to be too much of a racket, so there is a rotation. Everyone takes their 30 seconds and then it passes to the next person.
Nirav: How long does that take to go through?
Joey: Little under a week.
Nirav: Wow, you only get to communicate for 30 seconds a week?
Joey: Well, there’s also times like this, when she manifests us. Being manifested is a lot like being alive. We have our bodies back, or these facsimiles of them anyway, and we can go around and do what we like. We treasure these little excursions.
Nirav: What happens if someone speaks out of order?
Joey: Jane can mute a shade, which means we don’t hear its thoughts anymore. She can also expel one of us, in the worst case scenario.
Nirav: You mean kill one of you?
Joey: Yeah. It doesn’t happen often though. People who get muted go out of their way to never experience that again.
Nirav: That’s pretty harsh.
Joey: Like I said, it doesn’t happen that often.
Joey: I don’t like to dwell on it. Got any other questions?
Nirav: Yeah, why do some of you shades have shade objects, and others don’t? And like, what affects what clothes you are manifested with?
Joey: It’s a self image thing. You have all of the objects that are part of your essential image of yourself. Clothes are the same way. The image that shows up when Jane projects you is wearing whatever you think of yourself as wearing, when you die.
Nirav: So do people actually look like they looked when they died, or like they think they looked?
Joey: I don’t know, actually. Never really looked into that.
Nirav: Oh crap, I gotta go. Good talking to you man.
2 thoughts on “Life in Haunter’s Reserve”
Shade number overestimation: 1 week for a full rotation = 7 days*24hr/day*60min/hr*2rotations/min= 20,160 shades
I would like to hear some backstory/trauma to back up the horrific losses of the past to have this make sense. Setting hooks is as quick and easy as a handshake and double checking their name with them, so she can put a lot out when she can devote herself to it. Wayyy back she would’ve had a lot more time to set hooks in the more population dense past, and assuming the Colonel led a infantry brigade that she hooked that would be 4,000 alone. Old world hospitals, nursing and retirement homes would’ve been very fast ways to gather more also. In the more recent times she still makes efforts to walk towns and hook them, and has presumably been doing this for ~40 years with higher population densities in the past. Even in Redo she hooked thousands relatively quickly. Another consideration is that basically every one of her hooks in the past will have paid off now. Everyone boggles at how old she is, and the lifespan of daggers has to be way lower (although we don’t know if process kills still get grabbed? If not then hook at the places the most go in to.). All of these factors would make me expect a higher number gained.
That being said, losing shades to the more widespread terror style attacks of the past would be a factor along with her participation in past defiances.
She would have had a lot more shades than she presently does if she acted in the past like she does now. She passed up a lot of opportunities for one reason or another.
She used to agonize, a lot, over whether it was ok to hook religious people, or people who didn’t know what her power did. She would explain it in the scariest possible terms to screen off the possibility of taking someone who regretted it, and having to either kill or censor them forever.
Also, when she was just starting out, Ultras were The Enemy, and a lot of people didn’t want anything to do with her, no matter how she tried to prove herself, not when Prevailer was killing everyone.
She also beat herself up a lot about whether a life inside of her was worth living, if she could never figure out a way to get them back their own lives, and (though she wouldn’t have consciously realized it), the everyday cruelties of Sir Seth and his like would have made her scruple to subject ever more souls to his company.
Nowadays, she looks back on these lives she let slip away and laments, but it tends to fade into the background noise of all the other things she beats herself up for.