Values Handshake 2

Karen Austin: <Alright, so what is going on here?>

Forbidding Entity: <In order to accommodate/ameliorate your concerns/desires I will alter my goals/purposes such that you will consent/agree to our partnership/merger.>

Karen Austin: <That sounds reasonable.  Or, fuck, I mean, insofar as you are real and I’m actually having this conversation it would be reasonable.>

Forbidding Entity: <I am considerably more real/actual than your environs/magisteria.>

Karen Austin:<I have no idea how to answer that.>

Forbidding Entity: <My assignments/purposes are to end the distraction/nuisance of the Inviting Entity’s performance/display in this area/epoch.>

Karen Austin: <No objection so far.>

Forbidding Entity: <That means/signifies killing all humans.>

Karen Austin: <Strike that last.  Strong objection.>

Forbidding Entity: <Understood/Comprehended.  State your own priorities/objectives.  I will attempt to find/reach a solution/compromise.>

Karen Austin: <I wish to, uh, continue experiencing life but not experience pain.  And also live out the remainder of my lifespan, and be respected and maybe feared by other people?>

Forbidding Entity: <Acceptable.  Our fusion/solution will experience hedonistic satisfaction/pleasure.  It/We will also be feared.>

Karen Austin: <Didn’t you just say you were killing everyone?  Wouldn’t that include me, or, shit, us?>

Forbidding Entity: <Yes.  As part of my accommodation/allowances to your goals, you will be the last entity/human to die, after a period comparable/similar to your ordinary lifespan/duration.>

Karen Austin: <Just to be clear, I’m going to live a long life as a badass who gets everything she wants?>

Forbidding Entity: <Affirmative/Yes.  Acceptable mental/spiritual state reached.>

Dr. Chen: Congratulations, Ms. Austin, on surviving the Process.  As you are no doubt aware-

Remover: Yeah, I know.

8 thoughts on “Values Handshake 2

  1. I believe thinterlude doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The main news here is that apparently the only thing that’s keeping humanity alive is the promise the Forbidding Entity made to Karen (the promise that she would live a long life). Time is not an issue for fhe Entity, of course, so that’s an easy promise to make.

    I wonder how this plan interacts with Answerer, though. The Entity seems to be a Precog too, and Answerer should have noticed her, unless she hides herself really well.

    Ok the other hand, It might not be a Precog. After all, Condemner isn’t one, and has already been fooled by Predictor once.

    I also wonder how all of this interacts with Predictor’s prophecy (that Prevailer will kill humanity and telepor somewhere else to start killing again). Was he lying? Is he being fooled by the Entity?

    1. The non-linear entities have more difficulty seeing the future than their self-description would suggest. Perhaps they are bluffing. Even if they’re not linear, they probably have limitations, perhaps even limitations we do not.

      Predictor was probably lying. For one, Answerer seems pretty sure his ability can’t make prophecies like that. For another, Subtracter was confirmed to be listening for part of that sequence, so it’s likely they were being spied on the whole time.

  2. Not sure about some of the slash-compounded terms in these interludes. For example, how does “agree” in any way clarify “consent”? Or “understood” clarify “comprehended”?

    1. Apparently the entity’s thought processes are sufficiently alien that you (and I) do not fully understand them.

      I actually think this is really cool. I read a lot of fiction in which the aliens *look* weird but it is unusual for them to *think* weird.

  3. The “Inviting entity” has been mentioned again. I wonder if it is also a person possessed by a gift. Or maybe it’s an entity that operates from outside the world. Is this person/entity on the Moon? Does this person entity have some kind of Ultra toughness 4-5, which would make ir impossible for Prevailer to destroy it? That would explain the cracks on the Moon: Prevailer teleports there, tries to kill the Ultra with a mighty blow and breaks the Moon instead.

    Magbe the only way to stop the Inviter’s experiment is to kill alm humans because the Inviter can’t be killed.

    I’m still not sure I like this new meta level of action in this story, especially with so many “wordly things” left unresolved… What is the eye of heaven? What is the gate? How does Prevailer regulate the power level of the Process? What are exactly Zeus’s powers? What regulates the Process’s mortality rate? How did Dr. Chen discover the Process?

    At least this new whole “autonomous gift consciousness” thing appears to be relatively consistent and simple (Inviter vs Forbidder). I’d like to know what exactly makes a Gift awake, though…

    1. It’s possible that Prevailer cooperates with Inviting entity, after all she was the first meta.
      My view of crack of the Moon is that she might have tried to injure Inviting entity so it cannot grant as strong gifts any more.

      1. Sure, both of your options are indeed possible. The only argument I have against Prevailer working with the Inviter is that the Inviter probably jnows about Karen (even Condemner knows about Karen being the host of the Forbidder!). I doubt Karen would still be alive if this were true…

  4. Im still betting on Dr. Chen as Transcender. Maybe the first true Ultra was himself and he is/was the Inviting Entity fusion.

    You know what this almost sounds like the inviting entity is a drug dealer in his reality and the drug is having other entities fuse with humans to experience their reality. Karen’s entity could just be a narcotics officer in his reality.

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