Book 2 - Text Updates 048

Book 2 - Text Updates 048

The minutes were precious now, Slately knew. He was disobeying...what a thought disobeying... his Chief Warlord's command. How many times in his life had he had to obey anyone? It did not seem like something he could expect himself to be particularly good at.

In the empty side room, he sat holding his crown in his lap, pauper-like, while time ticked away and his units perished in the dungeons below. He saw their lights in his mind, being extinguished in twos and threes. No-one was leveling. It was clearly an awful rout.

The King could not guess why the enemy had chosen that avenue of attack instead of the tower, but it did at least buy him a few vital moments. And in that small bit of extra time, his dear friend Don would give him the means to pass the side to his last son.

After that, he would order Tramennis to fly to Jetstone, and make his stand here against Stanley's army.

He felt a tinge of fear at the thought, but much more powerfully, a stirring in his blood. It would happen. His destiny was before him now, and for the first time this day he knew with certainty what he must do.

He stared down at the crown, waiting for it to rumble, so that he could conjure the borrowed gem.

He stared into the velvet interior.

He stared.

---

When the call came, Don was apologetic to the point of nearly weeping. But Slately had no time for it. He knew that his friend had tried. And if there had really been a mass refusal by Transylvito's commanders, then the trying had cost Don King a great measure at home.

He couldn't spare a thought for it, nor many words beyond "goodbye." The King of Jetstone ended the call and stood up. He would simply need another plan. A better plan. What, exactly? What...?

What, what, what?

"Gah!" he shouted, and kicked the table. The wheels in his mind were locked and would not turn.

He hurried to the door, placing the cursed, empty crown upon his cursed, empty head.

---

Upon the veranda of the tower top, his Casters were gathered, still engaged in some kind of argument.

Although they fell to silence at his approach, Slately had overheard the Dollamancer's last statement. Lord Hardware had said, "This is a better plan."

"What is a better plan?" Slately demanded.

Ace swallowed, and bowed. "Highness, it's..." He looked pained, struggling with something within. "...nothing. We should get you into the city now. Prince Tramennis has sent several frantic messages."

The King stared at the man, narrow-eyed. He truly disliked this Caster, this...joke or punishment of the Titans. Once he had been careless with the life of someone he loved, and so the Titans gave him this jar-headed jackass to "replace" her. He barely tolerated the man at the best of times. But now?

"Dollamancer," he said, between clenched teeth, "Each second costs the life of a Jetstone unit. Lie to me again, and the next will be your own. What is a better plan?"

Ace glanced frantically at the stone-faced Chief Healomancer, who gave him a "well, go on" shrug. The Hat Magician took a step closer to the Dollamancer, looking up at him, while the Dittomancer blinked twice, and scowled.

"I think–" The words came out chalky and he cleared his throat. "I think you should leave the city by air, Your Majesty..."

Slately straightened, and glanced around the sky. He was not a strong tactician, but he knew certain doom when he looked upon it, and all those Archons were still in his airspace. And Ossomer, to grant them leadership.

"How would I manage that?" asked Slately.

"You wouldn't," said Pierce. "You'd be the target of choice. Whatever we did, we wouldn't stand a chance."

"There is a chance!" shouted Ace, pounding his fist into his palm. "And it's at least worth considering, Pierce!" He turned to Slately, "Highness, this is what I'm thinking. We work on our own target of choice."

"Yeah, he wants to hit your son first," interrupted Pierce, "But I'm saying, even supposing that works, we're still outnumbered up there. We just don't have the flyers for a fight like that."

Slately's eyes darted between the two men, who were arguing with one another more than they were addressing him. The Dollamancer pointed at the Dittomancer.

"Lloyd could double the Unipegs if he flew with the max stack!"

The Dittomancer nodded, looking agitated. "Yeah, that's true. That is true."

"Yeah and what are we going to do for leadership, come on," said Pierce. He stared at Ace for a long moment, but Ace had no immediate answer. "And without decent leadership, you're really so eager to fly against Ossomer? I think you're about fourteen crates full of mixed nuts." Pierce took a sip of his healing elixir, from a glass which always seemed half-full.

Ace leaned forward toward Slately. "Highness, we have options. We have juice, and a few arrows, and I've got some other surprises. If we can take their leadership out of the equation, then return to the tower and pick off some or most of the Archons, then I think you can fly–pshew–right out of the city without a scratch."

Slately had the strangest, dissociated feeling, listening to the argument. His hearing felt cottony, and his teeth tingled. His heart pounded in his chest, but his face was slack, a slab of cold clay.

He wanted to fight.

More than anything, he wanted to engage the enemy and do them harm. Personally. He stared off to the edge of the veranda where the Ossomer puppet lingered, and locked eyes with it. Yes. Starting with that one. Only his other enemy son would have provided a better starting target for him to swing his scepter. Well, or that witch at the center of it all. Or Stanley...

"What surprises?" said the King to the Dollamancer. His eyes never left the railing, though Ossomer turned his head away.

"Equipment," said Ace eagerly. "Accessories, to make our units tougher in a fight. Like I've been telling you all along, Highness. Dollamancy is for action!"

Slately nodded. "I think I know that now."

"And knowing is half the battle," said Ace.

"Ay yi yi," said the Dittomancer, under his breath.

"I will consider your plan," said Slately. His beard bristled as his jaw jutted out sternly.

Pierce stepped toward the King. "Your Majesty, I would really advise against it."

"Consider it!" snapped Slately, sending the Healomancer back on his heels. "What do you have to make me tougher?" he said to the Dollamancer.

"You?" Ace seemed taken aback by the question, but only for a moment. "Um, lots of stuff, Your Highness. And I can make things special for you. Kings should have special accessories. Are you really serious?"

"I am serious about leading a battle," said Slately, drawing himself up. "Somehow. It may not be the battle you propose, but in any event I want to be as prepared as I can be. What can you do?"

Ace stroked his chin, contemplating the King's potential as a combatant. "Start with your weapon, I guess. May I?"

Slately put the Royal Scepter of Jetstone in the hands of a non-Royal caster without a moment's hesitation. It was a mark of his seriousness of purpose. But he did cringe as Ace began to take it apart.

Slately looked around at the other three casters. "The reason I would consider this plan," he said sternly, pointing out at the sky, "is that there is a bounty upon each of those enemy flying units. It is, at the moment, the only possible means of raising the funds I would need to promote Prince Tramennis to heir. He does not know that I plan to do so, but I consider it vital for the preservation of the realm."

Cubbins and Lloyd looked at one another and nodded. They both seemed relieved to know that the King had the bigger picture in mind, which was just what he was meant to think about.

But Pierce looked more annoyed than ever. "Your Highness, the Prince is right. Nothing's more important to preserving the realm than keeping you alive. And he is the Chief Warlord, so it's his call. Let's just go down and join him, and you can decide from there."

"Hang on, almost got it..." said Ace, fiddling.

"Healomancer," said Slately. But his voice softened. This was a loyal Caster with his side's interests at heart, after all. As, he supposed, was the Dollamancer. "Pierce. I may do just that. But first let me see what–"

The entire tower shook with a massive, crunching boom.

Comic - Book 2 Ė Text Updates 048
Recent posts... (See full thread)
Sieggy wrote:
This is getting way off topic (Erfwise), but I have seen some very unsettling study results that point to profoundly harmful health effects from consuming GMOs. {snip}

There was a controlled study about 3 years ago in Italy where the effects of GMO consumption were measured {and they were worrying}


Really? I saw a study from two years ago in Austria where the rats that were fed GMOs were quicker at solving mazes, were humping like rabbits on meth, had increased milk production, longer life-span, better smell and eye-sight, developped team coordination allowing them to fight off predators and eventually escape the lab. There were concerns that the rapidly multiplying escaped rats would pose a severe problem for the local agriculture, but eventually a spokesperson from the governing Republic of Austria Traditionalist party calmed spirits after a press conference.
BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Sieggy wrote:
This is getting way off topic (Erfwise), but I have seen some very unsettling study results that point to profoundly harmful health effects from consuming GMOs. {snip}

There was a controlled study about 3 years ago in Italy where the effects of GMO consumption were measured {and they were worrying}


Really? I saw a study from two years ago in Austria where the rats that were fed GMOs were quicker at solving mazes, were humping like rabbits on meth, had increased milk production, longer life-span, better smell and eye-sight, developped team coordination allowing them to fight off predators and eventually escape the lab. There were concerns that the rapidly multiplying escaped rats would pose a severe problem for the local agriculture, but eventually a spokesperson from the governing Republic of Austria Traditionalist party calmed spirits after a press conference.


OK, love Erfworld, but registered simply to applaud this brilliant reply. Seriously.
BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Sieggy wrote:
This is getting way off topic (Erfwise), but I have seen some very unsettling study results that point to profoundly harmful health effects from consuming GMOs. {snip}

There was a controlled study about 3 years ago in Italy where the effects of GMO consumption were measured {and they were worrying}


Really? I saw a study from two years ago in Austria where the rats that were fed GMOs were quicker at solving mazes, were humping like rabbits on meth, had increased milk production, longer life-span, better smell and eye-sight, developped team coordination allowing them to fight off predators and eventually escape the lab. There were concerns that the rapidly multiplying escaped rats would pose a severe problem for the local agriculture, but eventually a spokesperson from the governing Republic of Austria Traditionalist party calmed spirits after a press conference.

Ah, that would have been one of the studies commissioned by Monsanto . . .
On the original topic: wasn't that color of blue of the magic scroll the same as the Fate magic spell? Page 13, Book 1 Would that imply that our friend orange-and-beardy has a Fate-magic scroll? What would that tell us? (Although I also recall Wanda saying it was findmancy/lookmancy to Jillian in the dungeon. Hmm.)

On the emerging political topic: It's my belief that the most efficient decision-making process (but not necessarily the most far-sighted) is a strictly hierarchical (vertical organization) government, and the one that would produce the best long-term results, but not necessarily in time, is a simple democracy (horizontal organization), perhaps mixed with some sort of Meritocracy. However, neither of those would or has actually functioned well in the real world; one short-sighted, the other unable to react quickly.

Probably the best (or, like Churchill said, the least bad) that we can hope for is a vaguely American-style mixed democracy, with a Legislative body, Executive, and a Judicial body. The Executive reacts to emerging situations, and puts in a quick-fix until the Legislative body can decide on a robust, long-term policy. The Judicial body then determines how well those fixes policies thrive in the real world, and if they break the Rules. [/Armchair Philosophy]

On the issue of GMOs. Technically speaking there's nothing that must be bad about GMOs. Imagine a cake*. If you have a good understanding of how to make a cake, and good ingredients, and the execution is good (including good, clean tools), then you can make a very enjoyable product. Omnomnom. If you don't know what you're doing, your ingredients aren't up to spec, or the execution is lacking, suddenly your cake can be bad for people, or at least untasty. No omnomnom.

Remember that no matter how sacred you consider humans, animals, and nature, we are natural machines in a purely biological context. If we do have souls, I'm pretty sure they aren't troubled by indigestion. I mean, good god, that would be awkward. If you give machines input that doesn't complement their/our machinery, you produce adverse results. Incompatible inputs can be found in both nature and artificial products. The advantage of artificial foods is that we can make lots of them, and once we understand the biological machinery that we're applying these foods to, we have a chance of making more nutritious foods than emerged naturally.


*Substitute pie at your leisure. Or, complement cake with pie.
Sieggy wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Sieggy wrote:
This is getting way off topic (Erfwise), but I have seen some very unsettling study results that point to profoundly harmful health effects from consuming GMOs. {snip}

There was a controlled study about 3 years ago in Italy where the effects of GMO consumption were measured {and they were worrying}


Really? I saw a study from two years ago in Austria where the rats that were fed GMOs were quicker at solving mazes, were humping like rabbits on meth, had increased milk production, longer life-span, better smell and eye-sight, developped team coordination allowing them to fight off predators and eventually escape the lab. There were concerns that the rapidly multiplying escaped rats would pose a severe problem for the local agriculture, but eventually a spokesperson from the governing Republic of Austria Traditionalist party calmed spirits after a press conference.

Ah, that would have been one of the studies commissioned by Monsanto . . .


Citations or they didn't happen. :P

On a more serious note, I have trouble imagining how exactly a GMO would be any different in your stomach from a non-GMO; wouldn't everything all get nicely digested by our digestive juices? (I am, of course, assuming the GMO hasn't been modified to express some sort of toxin or something like that).
I didn't keep the study I cited, as it's not my field, though I regarded it with concern. And it was a while back . . . However a quick Google on the subject came up with the following list of studies and reported issues.

http://www.seedsofdeception.com/Public/ ... /index.cfm

I find this sufficiently alarming for me to make a serious effort to keep it out of my diet. But then, I find as I get older (and have a deep and abiding desire to keep on doing that for as long as possible), I'm getting much more picky about what I put in my body. I made a conscious decision to cut the crap out of my diet a few years back, went from 240+ lbs (107 kilos for you metric types) to 185 lbs (80 kilos) without any major dieting, exercise regimen, or hassle. I just ate better, and not as much. I still drink beer, eat (good) chocolate, and remain a dedicated carnivore. But I avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup, highly processed carbs, partially hydrogenated oils, and flatly refuse to consume anything that says 'lite', lo-cal', 'diet', 'artificially flavored', or 'healthy', as I know they're lying through their teeth.

As a result, ALL of my health issues have vanished, and I can regularly beat guys a third my age on the field (I do full contact renaissance fencing). Of course it helps that I'm a tricksy bastard, mind you . . . I figure if I treat my mind and body right, given the advances in medical technology, I can realistically expect to remain healthy and active well past the century mark. Assuming the world doesn't end tomorrow, of course.
WaterMonkey314 wrote:

Citations or they didn't happen. :P

On a more serious note, I have trouble imagining how exactly a GMO would be any different in your stomach from a non-GMO; wouldn't everything all get nicely digested by our digestive juices? (I am, of course, assuming the GMO hasn't been modified to express some sort of toxin or something like that).



Well... you are assuming wrong... Monsanto did made at least some GMO to express "some sort of toxin". bt-corn (amongst others) produce it's own insecticide. Now, I know Monsanto said it is safe for human even though it kill caterpillar, but as far as eating a living insecticide factory goes, I'm against. I'd rather be on the safe side and pay a little extra for my food than be a test subject for something everyone isn't informed enough on to make a sound opinion (including and especially those who make a living out of GMOs if you want my opinion).
WaterMonkey314 wrote:
Sieggy wrote:

On a more serious note, I have trouble imagining how exactly a GMO would be any different in your stomach from a non-GMO; wouldn't everything all get nicely digested by our digestive juices? (I am, of course, assuming the GMO hasn't been modified to express some sort of toxin or something like that).


One of the very cutting-edge fields of genetics right now is "epigenetics", which studies the "epigenome". (For those who don't know your genome is the sum total of all of the information used to build your body, and the epigenome is the sum of the activation/inactivation patterns of the genome. That's why you have cells with different shapes and functions: they don't have different genetic codes, they just use the code in different ways.) It turns out that various foods can impact our epigenetic patterns. (Cause that's a shocker, amiright?) Unlike more general cell health, however, the epigenome isn't as well understood. However, it is known that epigenomic patterns are to some extent heritable, which is why mothers eating badly can cause health problems in the next generation.



A more general answer to your question is that if you have a molecule that's similar to a normal one, but subtly different, you can really gum up the cellular works.
Sieggy wrote:
There was a controlled study about 3 years ago in Italy where the effects of GMO consumption were measured; [...]
Can you provide any kind of link or reference to this study? If not, then either the illuminati have won, or the study is a figment of the imaginations of those who have determined for whatever reason that GM foods which are simply more disease resistant or more fruitful must be bad because man had a hand in their creation.

As I said before, our world is full of GM cereals which have been with us for thousands of years, they were just created using much lower tech.

On the flip side, a very real impact of GM foods is that in order to protect their copyright and profitability many GM crops are sterile. Meaning that the crop cannot be sustained, as the seeds the cereal produces are sterile and cannot be used for the next years production. Farmers must then buy the seed year after year, sustaining the profitability of the companies which produced the GM strain. This leads to a situation where a breakdown in production of the non-sustainable seeds may bring about a year where there is little or no production. In a worst case scenario, imagine a world which is completely dependent upon the yearly provision of seeds to produce a sterile crop. Any disruption in seed production could induce a global famine. And all this may take would be a single person with a suicide vest gaining access to the seed production facility.
Oberon wrote:
Sieggy wrote:
There was a controlled study about 3 years ago in Italy where the effects of GMO consumption were measured; [...]
Can you provide any kind of link or reference to this study? If not, then either the illuminati have won, or the study is a figment of the imaginations of those who have determined for whatever reason that GM foods which are simply more disease resistant or more fruitful must be bad because man had a hand in their creation.

Sieggy posted a link shortly after my own post asking for citations; that link allows some more chaining before hitting some actual papers (though the one I looked at was published in an exceedingly crappy journal).

From a different angle than Oberon's practicality one, I see those issues (with the epigenetics or self-manufactured insecticides) as being more of a general biochemistry problem than one limited solely to GMOs. It is very true that we understand little about the human body - but I have yet to see anything showing that GMOs present any greater risk of potentially harmful compounds than, say, regular food sprayed with pesticides (or water laced with pharmaceutical residue). The problems are not exclusive to GMOs, and not all GMOs necessarily are affected by them; it is, in my opinion, therefore beside the point to focus our concern on GMOs.