Posts Tagged tigers

[partim] Mori.

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It didn’t even take me long to put the formula together—it would have been difficult or impossible for the ancient alchemists, but that was only because of collecting the ingredients; both lunar and terrestrial components were required.

The golem’s locating ability helped me find everything easily in the giant’s laboratory.  From what I could see, most of the supplies were quite stale; whoever had worked here had not been here in a very long time.  Fortunately nothing organic was needed.

The final product glowed with the pearlescence of mixed moonlight and earthlight—slowly growing brighter as the last reaction took place.

I noticed one of the kelvins had appeared and was watching me.  “Does this place belong to you all?” I said.  “I’m sorry I didn’t ask first—my foot got crushed and my golem brought me here to fix it.”

The kelvin’s initial look of sadness deepened to outright desperation.

“Do you need this too?” I said.  “There’s enough to share here…”

I went up to the kelvin, limping carefully, and moved to put my paw on his shoulder—and felt a powerful disinclination as I got closer.

“Let me touch you,” I said.  “I won’t hurt you.  C’mon…”

The kelvin didn’t respond.  I pushed through the resistance till finally my paw closed on his shoulder.  I tried to make it a reassuring touch, but the kelvin’s body was very hot—almost burning to the touch.

[partim] Mori.

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I had Munk put me down, and I sat down, examining my foot, while the golem worked to open the book.

The first pages were crammed with text, in characters three inches high that nevertheless through their thickness of stroke appeared to be close and cramped.

Munk flipped past these.

There were astrological diagrams and charts of numbers, which the golem flipped past, drawings of what appeared to be some very unusual mushrooms, which the golem flipped past, something that looked like either a genealogical tree, or a large flowchart, which the golem flipped past—

And then he stopped at the page.  The page—if the golem hadn’t led me to it, I would have doubted, but inscribed at the top of the page, in the book’s plain black ink, was the alchemical symbol for the panacea.

[partim] The day of the singularity.

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“Other time travelers know me?” Ralph said.

“Everyone knows you, Ralph.” John said. “You know you.”

“I—” he started.  “I what?”

I saw it right away and tried to stifle a laugh.

It took him a bit longer, but you could see when it hit. “Wait,” he said, “Wait, you’re telling me I’m Death? I’m not that fat!”

Of course the caricature would have grown over time.  Were older pictures more accurate? I couldn’t remember.  They got Death’s color wrong, at least; Ralph’s split color’d been interpreted as a face in shadow.  And Death had a red mane, and a much more fearful aspect.

“I’m Death.” Ralph was clearly having trouble assimilating this.

No, my inner reflection of Ralph said.  That’s thousands of years of time travel.

[partim] Shine.

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“Someone came and took him,” she said.

“He was killed?” I said, samewhat alarmed.  People turned to stare.  I definitely hadn’t seen that.  How could I have missed it?

No,” she said, “Death came for him.”

“Death,” I said.  “Actually Death? The fat hog in the gray robes and everything?”

“Yeah,” she said. “He said—” she rattled off something in Chinese.  The folks listening in got more emotional.  “Um, it means, ‘They haven’t forgotten you.  It’s time to come home.’”

“Sounds like murder to me,” I said.

“It was very sweet,” she said firmly.

[partim] The day of the singularity.

(Again, as with anything that gets infodumpy like this, I hope the final draft looks considerably different…)

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“The upgrades,” John said. “Freedom from old age, freedom from disease, resilience against trauma… that’s the baseline everyone gets, though some people go for more.  You’ll need that too, of course, because, well, you’ll be seeing a lot of disease and adverse circumstances, and we can’t go around losing you to smallpox or exposure to cold or anything.”

I felt my aversion to adventure rising.  Smallpox?

Ralph’s objection was different, though.  “Not,” he said, “Not that I have anything against the upgrades, but, but, if anyone can get an upgrade like that, why does it have to be me?”   Or not?


“The Great Firewall of Time,” John said. “Our infinite civilization on one side, and the old one with all its limits on the other.”

“Right, and?”

“Well, it’s there to protect everyone.  If only a fraction of 3↑↑↑3 people were interested in seeing, oh, the life of Christ, the old universe’d get so full you couldn’t move.  So nothing from this side can cross back. There are no special excuses, because over a long enough timeline, the number of people with the same excuse and worse would still be far too many.  It has to be a hard line.”

“3↑↑↑3?”

“Three to the third, to the third,” said John, pointing out the numbers in the air, “and keep on raising it to the third about seven or eight trillion times.  The eventual population is considerably larger than this. This end of time is considerably more durable, you see.”

“Anyway,” he went on, “the point is only people from your side of the wall can pass over it both ways.  And while there are a few other time travelers that could be upgraded to the task, none of them are particularly interested in stealing the thunder from your accomplishments.”

[partim] Shine.

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—there didn’t seem to be anything in that direction, though.  The girl was still staring, horrified, at something invisible.  I got up—slowly—and waddled over, though by the time I got there, several of the restaurant workers and patrons were already around her.

“What happened?” they were saying. I was, anyway; the rest was in Chinese.

She pushed through the crowd of people and went to a corner where an old man sitting alone had slumped forward in his seat.

She didn’t touch him, but she didn’t have to; I could see from here the poor man had passed away.

And someone who spoke English called 911, and the girl came up to me.  “Did you see?”

I shook my head.

[partim] Scott the Alchemist 4.

NSFW (M/M, rimming) below cut…»

[partim] Scott the Alchemist 4.

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NSFW (M/M, hyper) below cut…»

[WIP] Kaido no Yume.

I woke up again, covered in tigers.

Maro’s arm was over my back, and he was sleeping with his cheek pressed against mine.  Or rather—the absence of feline snores from his direction suggested maybe he was still awake.

I pulled in closer to him, and softly murmured his name into his ear.

“K’haiso, you should be sleeping.”  His voice was full of sleep itself; I wondered if maybe I had woken him up after all.

“Maro, who was Kaido?”

His arm gripped me tighter to him, pulling me into his stripy warmth.  “Our brother,” he said.

I nuzzled into his powerful arm and didn’t say anything.

He leaned in closer and I could feel his breath on the fur of my ear.

“Our brother who was lost to the sea.”

It was sad enough to hear the words.  It was worse to feel the tiger shaking against me, eyes shut, entirely unafraid of showing his tears.

“Our brother who never came home…”

And he only held me tighter, and kissed my forehead, still trembling with the emotion.

“Sleep, wuafo,” he said, and I knew it ought to be impossible, because my tears were wetting his fur and I couldn’t make them stop.  But sleep came anyway and soon enough it was morning.

[scrap] Ralph.

I’ve been wanting to write more of Ralph’s story from Ralph’s perspective—thought it’d probably be like the ‘after dark’ version of the book. So I started writing some of this, and while the ideas are sort of there, it doesn’t sound like Ralph at all, so this will need some thorough rewriting when rewriting time comes.


NSFW (some talk of M/M shenanigans) below cut…»