Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 071

Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 071

The little brown bird circled the jester‘s head, dipping and cresting. It paused each time it peaked in flight, turning its head frantically to look around. Behind it, green towers smeared and streaked to sky blue and smoke gray. It began to rain orange flower petals.

“Where?” said the bird to the jester, “Which way?”

The jester waved his arms. “How should I know, Fool?”

“Such madness,” said the Snipe, zooming off behind Jillian. “Sister Betsy! What are you? Show me what you are!”

Jillian turned around and saw the vision of Wanda, hale and whole, in a blowing white gossamer robe. “We‘re in dreams...”

“Yes, finally,” said the vision.

Jillian‘s stomach felt light, like it wanted to laugh.

The lovely-Wanda‘s bare feet stood on spongy green moss, just like beside the stream in the Garden. So inviting. They could lay beside one another here, as they‘d done before. Jillian bent her knees to sit. But the vision took hold of her arm.

“Keep your feet,” she said, gripping tightly, “we must not succumb.”

“Why are you so beautiful?” said Jillian.

The vision blinked, taken aback. “Beautiful?”

“Mm hm,” said Jillian, nodding. The Wanda she was looking at was an idol, carved by the hands of the Titans. Her ice-blue eyes and ruddy brown skin, her hair as black as the space between stars, her slender curves... “Sooo, so beautiful,” was all Jillian could say by way of explaining it.

“Your inner Signamancy for me,” said vision-Wanda. “But I tormented you. I should be...you should see me as I see Olive.” Pretty-Wanda‘s face dimmed to black and went blank for a moment, before returning to bright beauty. “In my dreams, she is a...she‘s a cold, scaly, wormy thing.”

“Oh,” said Jillian, trying to think of Olive now. Somewhere in this city, running away. “I always saw her as a pretty flower,” she said, “but now I guess she‘s kind of like that to me, too. A reptile, or something. Scurrying, like prey. Dangerous prey.”

“You should be hunting!” shouted the bald jester.

“I should be hunting,” repeated Jillian, reaching over her shoulder to find her sword, but unable to will her hands to bend in quite the right way. She flailed a bit, frustrated, until she forgot what she was trying to do and her hands ran down to her sides like melting wax down a candlestick.

“Is the city burning?” asked the Wanda vision. “I can‘t tell.”

Jillian‘s head was inside out and backwards. She sniffed the air with her ears. Something outside the city walls sounded hot and bright. “I think it‘s the Garden. Do these dreams seem stronger to you?”

“We are breathing in too much of it.” said Wanda. “It can croak us. If she gets out, we are all likely to perish here. We have no move.”

The Chief‘s head washed to one side, sliding like a barrel of sand, as she tried to make that thought assemble into one picture.

“Get the casters out!” shouted the jester, leaping and stomping his feet upon the ground. “Magic Kingdom! Magic Kingdom! Get the King high! Get yourself high!”

His words made Jillian squint up in the swirling sky. High...the yellow streaks among the green and purple. Friendly yellow peepy streaky...yes, come to mama, you gooey things!

“C‘m down‘ere!” she ordered aloud. Maybe something even listened.

“A moment, Princess! Please. Stay lucid, please.” The Snipe was back, darting through the flurry of orange and black petals in the air, and flying in tight little figure-6s around a slowly moving statue of a shrouded woman.

As the statue finally shambled close, the bird landed on its shoulder. “Sister Betsy,” said the bird, “our minds are all afflicted. Can you heal us?”

The statue raised its head, but the shroud never revealed a face. “Not...”

They waited.

“Not what?” asked the bird.

“...a...”

They stared at the statue. Green and gray and orange streaks swirled in columns behind it.

“Think...”

“Yes, you are not a Thinkamancer, I know,” said the Jack-bird, flapping its little wings agitatedly. “Or a Florist. But this is poison we breathe. Can you keep it from croaking us?”

“You should be hunting!” shouted the jester, from somewhere behind Jillian.

“I should be hunting,” repeated Chief Jillian, shaking what passed for her head in directions that did not exist. How could she hunt? The prey had fled, and distance meant so little. Direction, nothing at all.

“Yes...” said the shrouded Betsy-statue. “But...”

“No buts!” tweeted the bird. “Cast to your calling, Sister! You keep us all alive! Yourself as well!”

The ground was moving. Jillian floated and bobbed on it, a bug stuck to the surface of the world. The statue, now twisting in space like a funnel cloud, raised an appendage and murmured. Bright rainbow-colored sparks jumped up from the ground and formed an impossibly complicated pattern of diamonds and triangles.

When the sparks faded and winked out, Jillian could see the streets of the city. The bird still fluttered nearby. Wanda still looked perfect as the sun. So Jillian was still in dreams, but they no longer threatened to wash her away entirely. She knew where she was. Her breath came easy.

“I should be hunting!” she shouted, and managed somehow to draw her sword. The Jack-bird flew away, alarmed at her clumsiness with the blade. “Gwiffons!”

But they were already here, big yellow blobs hovering just off the ground, indistinct, their faces eyeless and blind.

“How can I help?” chirped the Snipe.

“Spot the prey,” said Jillian. “It‘s a...lizard or something.”

“It has a head start!” shouted the jester, stepping up close to where Jillian rode. He grabbed her boot insistently. “What do you have, huntress?”

Olive must be running for the outer walls. Spotting the prey now was no guarantee they could get close enough to engage. They‘d need archery, to hit her from a distance. Or...casters.

“Wait,” said Jillian urgently. “First find me Rusty.”

---

So much time was wasted before they took to the air. Once they‘d found him, they had to lure the Shockmancer out of the bushes, where he had transformed into a giggling little knee-height daemon of sorts. Long, pointy black-tipped ears protruded from his head, and he had grown a jagged tail. Most startling was his face, like an animal‘s, with enormous liquid black eyes.

“Peek at you!” giggled the nasty little creature. It looked Jillian up and down, obscenely licking its lips and laughing.

“He sees you as he wants to see you,” explained the Jack bird. “In the, er...nude. Sorry to say it.”

“Nude! Nude!” howled the creature, laughing and staring. “Noooodah!”

“Shut up! Go mount that gwiffon!” ordered Jillian, pointing with her sword.

“Mount!” agreed the Shockmancer, scurrying out of the bush.

Jillian planted a swift kick in the keister as it passed. But that did not prevent it from attempting an alternative interpretation of her order when it got to the poor gwiffon.

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Recent posts... (See full thread)
Except it seems Date-a-mancy can actually produce numerical quantifications of feelings?
Shai_hulud wrote:
Except it seems Date-a-mancy can actually produce numerical quantifications of feelings?
We should expect no less from any discipline aligned with the Numbers axis. Even Foolamancers probably deal with numbers somehow, though we've seen no real evidence of it yet. It's unfortunate for Isaac that Thinkamancy is Fate magic instead of Numbers magic. Maybe he could learn a lot from Jack and the way Jack carefully studies everything he sees in precise detail. Perhaps a great scientist in Erfworld would best be a full Eyemancer with the skills of all there axes: Lookamancy to observe the world, Thinkamancy to organize ideas, and Foolamancy to see the truth as it is, measure it precisely, and not be lead astray by preconceptions.
Well, Issac is a full Eyemancer, so he does stand a fair chance of achieving this. I suspect Foolamancy deals with Numbers in the sense that it disguises them. Much of what they do makes Numbers appear differently (creating units that aren't really there, hiding those that are, ect. all of these wouldn't be possible if the effect was purely visual, since Commanders can see stats)

On the Date-a-mancy point, it's the other way around (using the Laurel of Napster as our most direct example). It gives you intuitive feelings about numbers, not the other way around.
0beron wrote:
Much of what they do makes Numbers appear differently
He can also see things as they actually are and break veils recall.
0beron wrote:
On the Date-a-mancy point, it's the other way around (using the Laurel of Napster as our most direct example). It gives you intuitive feelings about numbers, not the other way around.
Actually what that page actually says is this:
Quote:
Date-a-mancy is the oddest branch of Hippiemancy, in that it follows the Numbers which underlie all action. Date-a-mancy tries to quantify the intangible, things like leadership and compatibility and morale and Loyalty and Duty and even love, by means of match-ups.
So yes, it does try to give hard numbers on abstract mental qualities. For me, the real problem is that the text doesn't say whether that quote is a third person narrator, or just an explanation of what Duncan is thinking. He might not actually know for sure after all, being a warlord.
Shai_hulud wrote:
0beron wrote:
Much of what they do makes Numbers appear differently
He can also see things as they actually are and break veils recall.
0beron wrote:
On the Date-a-mancy point, it's the other way around (using the Laurel of Napster as our most direct example). It gives you intuitive feelings about numbers, not the other way around.
Actually what that page actually says is this:
Quote:
Date-a-mancy is the oddest branch of Hippiemancy, in that it follows the Numbers which underlie all action. Date-a-mancy tries to quantify the intangible, things like leadership and compatibility and morale and Loyalty and Duty and even love, by means of match-ups.
So yes, it does try to give hard numbers on abstract mental qualities. For me, the real problem is that the text doesn't say whether that quote is a third person narrator, or just an explanation of what Duncan is thinking. He might not actually know for sure after all, being a warlord.

That's the proposed cannon, and is not confirmed.
drachefly wrote:
It is the beginnings of science. We haven't seen any hints that he's done anything quantitative with those tools. Maybe given a lot longer he could get there. He hasn't got that much time, for now.

Quantifying helps you do science but its not needed. The cycle of science is sort of "observe->make prediction (a.k.a. hypothesis)->test prediction->analyze results loop". One of the most important steps is the prediction and testing and doing it in that order. No making the hypothesis on the basis of the test. A lot of the stuff in the playground seems to be looking at stuff and thinking really hard. Not really science. Although from what we have heard of the rest of the MK its still better than them. Isaac seems to have some of the basics of science down, with his theory and the prove/disprove.

You don't need quantitative tools, but those are another big help. You can do qualitative analysis.
Several people have been arguing that lack of precise numbers, like the fact that dice are involved, or that the main instrument of observation is brain tissue, proves that science isn't just not done yet, but is actually impossible in the setting. Thus the reason number collection magics are being brought up.
Lamech wrote:
drachefly wrote:
It is the beginnings of science. We haven't seen any hints that he's done anything quantitative with those tools. Maybe given a lot longer he could get there. He hasn't got that much time, for now.

Quantifying helps you do science but its not needed. The cycle of science is sort of "observe->make prediction (a.k.a. hypothesis)->test prediction->analyze results loop"...


You can't get past the extreme basics without making some sort of statement that can be converted into something quantitative. Even Sociology leads to quantitative metrics, and hypotheses that can be tested in terms of them, in short order after setting up definitions.

Even basic stuff like Heliocentrism? Quantitative, based on thousands of individual measurements. Noticing that different weights fall at the same speed? Quantitatively backed, even if you don't need numbers to describe the result. Taxonomy of animals and plants? Okay, you can make some progress there before you hit a quantitative roadblock.

The tools Isaac has made are suited to observation, but they don't help on measuring and recording. So unless reality is very conveniently arranged so there's a lot of taxonomy to do, and it's the sort not requiring measurements, he's not going to get very far.
The Observation and Experimentation stages are often identical, due to the need to gather data in both. You can't observe some phenomena without the equipment to sense it, and when you observe the experiments, you need that same equipment to sense the phenomena and detect changes due to alterations to experiment inputs. Isaac needs his equipment for the gathering of data not just for Observation, but for Experimentation, since his base senses can't detect the phenomena.

But not all scientific discovery follows the classic Scientific Method. A fine example is Quantum teleportation. This theory developed not from Observation, but by Einstein noticing a loophole in Quantum Mechanics Theory. He didn't observe nature to come up with the theory, but instead tried to disprove Quantum Mechanics by suggesting the idea of Quantum Teleportation was absurd, therefore the math that permitted it had to be wrong. Quantum Mechanics believers, on the other hand, looked forward to seeing if it worked, instead of abandoning that branch of Physics. Decades later, the equipment to observe the phenomenon could be built, and the theory was proven true, with no Observation step ever involved.
Yeah, the elementary school view of science is overly rigid.