Book 2 - Text Updates 028

Book 2 - Text Updates 028

They had their first argument two hexes upriver from the bridge. It was about the word “rescue,” and it ended with Ansom riding upside down for a while.

The megalogwiff could shift a prisoner around within its huge gummy body. It might do this of its own will, or at the order of its rider. Jillian chose to fly on for a while with Ansom‘s reddening head poking out from the underbelly of her enormous mount. If he had anything further to declare from down there, it would be mercifully muffled.

It failed as much of a punishment, though. Immediately after that, the stack passed through three hexes of rain showers. Ansom was dangling below, but he was dry. The group hunkered in their saddle-perches. Duncan read her look, and knew to fly close and shut up. The formation stayed tight.

Eventually, they flew out from under the clouds and entered a sunny hex. Clear of enemy units. Jillian sighed through her nose.

What was she doing? Receding away at her back was the battle she had come so far to fight. And at such a huge risk! But...

Was that really the battle she had come to fight? She felt like she had already fought her part of it.

And she won, right? She walked away from Wanda. And she took Ansom back from her. That was the right move. It was.

Disband it, it was!

So what if he didn‘t feel “rescued?” And he was loyal to Wanda. So what? She knew that. So flippin‘ what! It didn‘t mean he was a mindless drone, like Jetstone always claimed. Ansom was no Uncroaked. She could tell. He was still Ansom. He still had his mind.

And if that mind was under Wanda‘s power, then he could be forgiven. He should be pitied, in fact. She had been there herself, many times. Wanda was a force.

Yeah, well. So was Queen Jillian of Faq. She stomped her mount‘s rubbery armor plate. “Get him up here!”

There was a bit of yaw in their flight as the mount shimmied Ansom‘s body around the side. His stoic, unamused face rotated around toward her, as he was squeezed and kneaded up over the beast‘s yellow horizon. His head was all that protruded from the megalogwiff‘s body, and the beast slid it up and under an armor plate in front of her perch.

The Prince (ex-Prince?) stared up at her. His jaw and lower lip were set like the prow of a galleon. His stubborn blue eyes held her gaze. Disband him for still being so handsome, anyway.

“I want to tell you something,” she said. The wind in her face was stern and chilly, and she matched her tone to it. “You had a price on your head. You know that?”

“Of course I had,” said Ansom. “Is there a kingdom which doesn‘t stand against us?”

She shook her head. “Not a kingdom. Charlie,” said Jillian. “The price on your head was probably a kingdom, though.”

Ansom scowled. “I don‘t understand.”

She told him about Sammy, and what her exchange with him had meant, just before Ansom felled him. “I didn‘t come here to dust you. And I didn‘t intend to let it happen, if I could help it. Charlie...I guess had other ideas. But he doesn‘t usually like to get directly involved in fights unless someone hires him. So I‘m trying to figure out what he did to Haggar to lean on them, and why.”

Pinned in the gummy niche below the armor plating, Ansom‘s head made a weak side-to-side motion. “I cannot imagine.”

“I can,” said Jillian. “And if it‘s what I think, then I don‘t know if I can keep doing any kind of business with him.” She glanced over at Vanna, riding the megalo to her right. She couldn‘t afford to keep a caster on her own right now, but she would still need Vanna around to work on turning Ansom. She really couldn‘t break ties with Charlie, not while he was footing the bill for her. Maybe after she sacked some of Stanley‘s cities she would have some leeway. But then, she‘d also have a Royal heir‘s upkeep soon. A daughter or son...

“What do you think he was doing?” Ansom looked no less rigid, but he seemed curious now.

“He‘s a Thinkamancer, right? Kind of? I guess.” Jillian bit her lip. There were things you knew you shouldn‘t say, even as you felt the words coming out of your mouth. “I don‘t know what he is. But he does Thinkamancy. And I think he was trying to...remove a distraction. From me.”

Ansom looked at her without any indication he followed her line of thought.

She cleared her throat. “Natural Thinkamancy,” she said. He made another vain attempt to shake his head, the goo of the megalo‘s body tugged at his ears.

Jillian rolled her eyes. “Love, you idiot.”

“Oh,” said Ansom.

“Yeah, ‘oh,‘” she snapped. “He reads minds, and he‘s a weasel. I wouldn‘t put it past him. ...What?”

Ansom‘s brow was wrinkled. He looked at her almost sadly.

“I was that much-- I was that severe a tactical distraction?”

Jillian looked at him for a long moment, not knowing what to say.

“Here we are, aren‘t we?” she said at last.

He had no reply. She looked out at the distant hills and took in a deep breath of cold, clean air. She let it out slowly, through puffed cheeks. “You need to go below again. I‘m gonna call Charlie.”

Comic - Book 2  Text Updates 028
Recent posts... (See full thread)
Alexei P wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:
spriteless wrote:
Eh, wot? I thought the Prisoners' Dilemma (which the quoted thing ain't) can claim to be the cornerstone of morals. The quoted thing is pretty much petty self interest, nothing more.


I think he might be referring to the Tit For Tat program, the strategy that most consistently wins the Prisoner's Dilemma game. Basically, every time you meet a new player, you try cooperation, then, in each subsequent encounter, you treat that player the same as he treated you in your last encounter. The strategy is based not so much on self interest as on altruistic punishment: "if you screwed me last time, I'll take pains to screw you this time, even at a risk to myself".


Is this how we run our diplomacy in the U.S.? Should I hope that it is?
Diplomacy in the US works by a scattershot of contradicting ideas and someone wanting to leave their mark by changing everything every 4 or 8 years. It is also a discussion for another forum.

Tit for tat is the moral system that keeps even dumb animals from wiping out their own species, and can grow into more sophisticated morals naturally; 'x hurt me so might hurt me again' turns into 'x hurt y so x might hurt me' which turns into 'x hurt y so x might hurt my kin' turns into 'x hurt y so might hurt society'. It exists in human guts, you see Jillian being bad and you want her punished for it, which will benefit you if others won't imitate her seeing her punishment. That second part isn't even conscious, but it is why it helps people. Failing the ability to punish people, we want to get away from them (so they aren't bad to us), and her updates disgust those who think she's bad. Failing this we gossip as though she will overhear us and feel to ashamed to continue being bad. It is all very evolutionarily sound and would help bring her in line with society if she weren't a fictional character. (I know just-so evolutionary theories are somewhere between armchair science and pseudo science. Stories and Parables are easier to remember than statistics.)

Jillian figures Charlie misbehaved to Sammy and hates him for it, failing the chance to punish him she wants the hell out of his clutches. Barbarian or Side, being betrayed can cost you everything. She knows she can't afford to try to reform him like she can her poor, misguided prince.

Tit for tat is a simple, incomplete, moral system, but it is the bones of any system that accounts for the consequences of not being moral.
Chameon wrote:
timh wrote:


Tbh, while Parson did an awesome job thinking outside the box at TBFGK and the zombcano was impressive. Parson did not know, nor could he have known, that Wanda would be able to attune to the pliers and decrypt an entire army (including archons) I dont think you can add the "stealing archons from Charlie" thing to the list of "awesome things Parson did" because it kind of happend by accident.


How does Charlie know that? That's the issue. While yes, Parson had NO knowledge or control or even solid influence on the exact interaction, it did happen. Parson was Chief Warlord at the time. It could be argued that the zombcano thing caused Wanda to level up to a mythical extent, from Charlie's view anyway, which leads on to question CAN casters level during links? If they can, then where did the experience go?

Oh come on, Charlie isn't that stupid.

He knows the Arkenpliers went missing during that battle. And it's already common knowledge that Wanda is one of the "Attuned."
spriteless wrote:
Jillian figures Charlie misbehaved to Sammy and hates him for it, failing the chance to punish him she wants the hell out of his clutches. Barbarian or Side, being betrayed can cost you everything. She knows she can't afford to try to reform him like she can her poor, misguided prince.


"Hate?" We don't know what her emotions are except apparently unease. She just got a good illustration of just how ruthless Charlie is.
Quote:
"Hate?" We don't know what her emotions are except apparently unease. She just got a good illustration of just how ruthless Charlie is.


This. She doesn't really care about other sides -- she did more or less get Sammy killed, after all, -- but she's realizing that Charlie could just as easily turn nasty towards her and is quite willing to force people to do things that would keep her from getting what she wants, if getting what she wants doesn't further his agenda. Hence, she doesn't want to work with him.
CorrTerek wrote:
Quote:
"Hate?" We don't know what her emotions are except apparently unease. She just got a good illustration of just how ruthless Charlie is.


This. She doesn't really care about other sides -- she did more or less get Sammy killed, after all, -- but she's realizing that Charlie could just as easily turn nasty towards her and is quite willing to force people to do things that would keep her from getting what she wants, if getting what she wants doesn't further his agenda. Hence, she doesn't want to work with him.


And she doesn't want to face exactly the same sort of extortion that Sammy faced. I'm sure Faq's current defenses are nowhere near as strong as Haggar's.
Quote:
And she doesn't want to face exactly the same sort of extortion that Sammy faced. I'm sure Faq's current defenses are nowhere near as strong as Haggar's.


Especially since Charlie probably paid for a good portion of those defenses. She's just now beginning to realize that you can't keep taking other people's money without having to pay it back somehow.
Sieggy wrote:
I think Charlie is one of those people who wants people working FOR him, not WITH him . . . In Book 1, Charlie refers several times to having Parson working FOR him. I doubt Parson would set still for that, given that he's a player, not a piece And I think Charlie has a REAL problem with that sort of attitude.
I think you need to put yourself in the setting and think about the mechanics a bit. Charlie is the ruler of a Side. The only people he works with are temp agency hires from the MK, and his clients. Every unit in his Side is just that: a unit in his Side. Hell, he doesn't even let himself be seen by most units in his Side... Charlie wanted Parson to turn to his Side. And as such Parson would not be working with Charlie, he would be working for Charlie. When you can disband with a thought, there is no such thing as an equal. Rulers on Erf can be kind and generous to their valued units, but when the chips fall the ruler is...the ruler.

Oddly, had Parson accepted Charlie would have had something he has never had before, to the knowledge of the Decrypted Archons: A Warlord. Chief or no.

Chameon wrote:
timh wrote:


Tbh, while Parson did an awesome job thinking outside the box at TBFGK and the zombcano was impressive. Parson did not know, nor could he have known, that Wanda would be able to attune to the pliers and decrypt an entire army (including archons) I dont think you can add the "stealing archons from Charlie" thing to the list of "awesome things Parson did" because it kind of happend by accident.


How does Charlie know that? That's the issue. While yes, Parson had NO knowledge or control or even solid influence on the exact interaction, it did happen. Parson was Chief Warlord at the time. It could be argued that the zombcano thing caused Wanda to level up to a mythical extent, from Charlie's view anyway, which leads on to question CAN casters level during links? If they can, then where did the experience go?
I think your question was rhetorical, but here goes anyway. Charlie knows it because Parson told him so. Parson, as a part of his ploy to get Charlie to sit out the turn and watch the action, told Charlie that GK would have the Arkenpliers by the end of the turn. And then it happened exactly as Parson said it would, except that Parson never mentioned that Charlie would be losing 80ish Archons. Charlie has to be impressed with Parson. Impressed, and maybe a little afraid.
Oberon wrote:
I think your question was rhetorical, but here goes anyway. Charlie knows it because Parson told him so. Parson, as a part of his ploy to get Charlie to sit out the turn and watch the action, told Charlie that GK would have the Arkenpliers by the end of the turn. And then it happened exactly as Parson said it would, except that Parson never mentioned that Charlie would be losing 80ish Archons. Charlie has to be impressed with Parson. Impressed, and maybe a little afraid.


Charlie almost certainly doesn't believe that the zombie volcano was the Parson's original Plan A, though. For one thing, Parson already would have had the pliers without it--if Ansom hadn't rehired Charlescomm and the archons hadn't taken down Wanda.
Actually I sort of agree there -- the whole volcano and losing-80-archons business is partly Charlie's own fault for trying to profiteer in the middle of Parson's fight. He knew Parson had a decent chance of winning, and he had to have realized that by getting involved he would seriously impact those chances. Granted, there's no way he could have known that Parson's final gambit would be a decrypted volcano, so we can't really blame Charlie, but it was still, partly, caused by his greed.