Thursday, April 28, 2011

Inquiry eleven

If Izzy is alive...

This one, for daring: Every combination has crashed into...?

You get three chances.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Just...the Reintegration Tablet has been so fascinating. Nobody in the office has gotten anything done for the past few days.

But on to the tenth inquiry.

This one, for current events: Name up to eight fictional AI. I am looking for three, specifically.

The normal three chances rule does not truly apply.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Guiding line

Hi all. It's the Compass here. Guess left early this morning, I think around four? I was asleep at the time. Probably to the woods again. He didn't tell anyone where he was going, but he sent a group email to the entire office with his ninth...inquiry.

This one, for religion: The worshiped name of a sandy Businessman?

...You probably get three chances, huh?

To direct, to instruct, to lead, to guide: the Compass.

P.S. Whatever you guys agree on, DON'T ask him about his childhood from years 0-13. Not until things have a brighter outlook.

Inquiry eight

Indecisiveness or just ignorance...? No matter. Again, if a question shall be asked, it shall. Remember though; you all need to agree on it.

It seems I have slipped on my thees and thous...which is good, because even if my English is not perfect, I do not speak like that.

This one, for repetition: What is the opposite of dark?

You get three chances.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

No new developments

As it goes. Not with us, anyway. So I'll break the current pattern and give you the next inquiry. #7.

Hm...we have completed the three trial inquiries and then the first three actual ones...if you can all agree on a single question to ask me, I will answer truthfully. It will have to be seen if this practice becomes commonplace.

But on to the inquiry.

This one, for diversity: I herald the darkness which descends on all creatures - you'll know my approach by moans and wracked features. I visit the hippo, hyena, and horse, but never go near snails and spiders, of course. I'd circle the globe, leaping one to the other, should all the world's people ever clasp hands together.

You get three chances.

What happens when Atlas shrugs?

Very good, Hakurei Ryuu.

The foray was...interesting.

From the institute building, there's a large freight elevator that can, if needed, hold about thirteen adult humans, thirteen other living organisms of various sorts, and several pieces of equipment. This time, it was just my eldest child, Atlas, and I.

On the surface, the short walk to the parking lot was interrupted only by fervent glances, the howling of wolves, and the caws of crows. It was going to be a fun night.

I drove - Mercedes Benz. Standard company car. The nearest woods are about a forty-five minute drive from the institute. We didn't talk much on the way, though Atlas pointed out all the things he had in his...kit. Amongst them were a crowbar, two belt-loopable lanterns, two flashlights, and two revolvers, the kind that you could hide in your palm. Atlas is rather religious, and he had brought "holy" bullets, tipped with a cross and holding holy water. I'm fairly certain he couldn't do that by himself. Crown probably gave them to him.

The woods are public, but are fenced in all around, high enough to reach the tops of the trees. There are a few gates in, and one or two secret ones. I parked the car in the brush, and we marched inside, lanterns belted and pistols cocked. My eldest child rode on my shoulder.

This night, we were looking for my children, and, if we could find her, a woman named Emilia. There were others we could or would search for, but Emilia and my children were the primary objective that night. We knew they had to be in this particular forest somewhere, due to previous...experiences...and intelligence gathered, but obviously we had no idea where or even if they were still...alive.

I sent my child up into the canopy of the trees, to have an aerial view. We have our own form of distanced communication, so I would be able to easily learn what my child is seeing. Atlas and I split up and began searching.

It was not long before I heard him scream.

I rushed back to where I had last seen him, at the edge of a small, burnt clearing. He was not anywhere I could see him. Look up, said my child, and there he was - Atlas was hanging from the trees, though not by his innards, no...his right shoulder and wrist had been impaled by branches, and the rest of him hung limp, but he was obviously alive and in pain. The lantern swinging from his belt gave off an eerie light that flickered over his sweaty brow and glazed eyes, his mouth open in the O of an endless, silent scream. I'll get him down, said my child. I nodded fervently, and looked around - there, in the clearing, there...was the Businessman.

The Businessman, so tall and blank, spindly hands clasped together in front of him, immaculately neat, his...can you call them feet? They are spires, extending downwards...his hat - he has a hat...

Of course, that's why the grass was burnt, the bushes dead, no signs of life...all the energy and glory of life was missing from the clearing. I glanced up, to try and see something else; it was hard, as the Businessman is so tall, but I did it; I saw a bird take off from one of the trees around the clearing and fly across the opening.

The bird dropped dead at my feet.

I looked back at the Businessman.


The Businessman's voice...I had not heard him before then. I immediately fainted, though it was not long before I woke up again. The dead bird was still there. The Businessman was still there. Atlas was still in the tree, though I could see that my child almost had him free.

"But - we just...please...are they - still alive?"


"Please..." I could hear Atlas whimpering behind me. "Please, let me see them..."


"My children - my children..."


"They - they..."




"But - makes...a bit of sense. What - what about...Emilia?"

I blacked out again; when I awoke, Atlas was on the ground and my child was attempting to clean and seal his wounds. In front of me, in the clearing, and in front of the Businessman, there was Emilia, her blonde hair matted and dirty, her skin scratched, marred, scarred, her clothes tattered, her face...begging, pleading to just be let go...and then - then she was gone...

" bastard."

I raised the gun and shot six times at the Businessman's head, at his heart, at whatever I could reach...two went astray, but the others impacted - they have no effect. Then - then the Businessman - he screamed, in rage...betrayed...I collapsed.

I awoke, back in the institute. A little over an hour ago. Atlas is alive and healing, thanks to Star's medical expertise. Tell me - is it always like this? Do meetings with the Businessman always unfold so horribly?

Later I will take Atlas to Atlas Shrugged. A treat. He likes the book. He deserves a break.

But - you have answered the last inquiry is the sixth.

This one, for companionship: The full name (and the alias) of a famously friendly fellow's female friend?

You get three chances.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Homo sapiens is a wise man is a Sage

White Elephants by any other name would be just as frightened...of mice, of course. Are you finding a theme yet? Perhaps the personal inquiries are more...disconnected. Random. But as per the point of these general inquiries, they much have to deal with thine situations.

Once again, I write from a public computer. I do have one at my place of work, though not at home, but I do not have time for these inquiries when I am...involved.

You know, I grow rather lonely with most of my children and loved ones gone...although the personal inquiries don't really further my goal any more, they do interest, teach, and...well, yes, they help a smidgen. Anyway, that is thine choice, and I should stop pressuring thee for it. If it will happen, it shall.

Today at dusk; or tonight at dusk? At dusk, I leave to...well, that is not of thy concern. Suffice to say it is the woods, but I do not go alone; I bring my eldest child and my friend Atlas. Who in turn plans to bring a kit of sorts.

In my last post, I mentioned I was a part of a group of people. We're not some kind of superhero team or anything, really, or a kind of network as your friend the Amalgamation Sage. We're all in one place, in one community, and certainly don't go on violent club outings. In truth, we're coworkers at the Institute for Unity. Not a very well-known or obviously large institute, really (well, there are plenty of similarly-named groups) but a good one, with plenty of funding and a nice building. A nice underground building. There's a dozen of us - right now. So maybe we are a little like a superhero team. No - we're scientists, really. We got involved with the Businessman when, indeed, the thirteenth - head of the company - disappeared with her husband. Since then, about a year ago, each of us others got involved, month by month, until I had to join the investigation when...but that is to save for the personal sequences. The others have barely stepped away from their work, but I found that it was best to go to the Internet, and it has turned out splendidly. I would have to, anyway, for my own job.

If you're interested, here's the list:
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «

Hm...I have recently finished Portal 2. Very well executed.

For now, I must go, but as Joce correctly answered the last inquiry, I give you another. Do take your time and work together, yes?...That is not it:

This one, for nostalgia: The rank of the man who introduced the Businessman to us all?

You get three chances.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

None have taken my offer

(at the last that I checked), which is disappointing. But workable.

A common phenomenon in has been dubbed, quite accurately, the "perception filter". Hakurei Ryuu had a rather brilliant explanation of it, here. However, I would like to expand on this with my own experiences.

The perception filter is something that can be quite easily set up by those with unfiltered perception. It can, of course, be done by others, but it is not as simple.

Normal humans see the world through a set of limitations, such as dimensions: the first through third dimensions are space, an area which most things move through. Included in the other dimensions are the Astral Plane, quantum mechanics, the Dreamscape, music, and time, though of course there are many more. These limitations are set in place by the filter: the whole jumble of existence is put through a metaphysical strainer, and whatever's left on the other side is what thou considers "normal".

Certain talented individuals can chip away at or completely remove some of these limitations; for example, your friend the Amalgamation Sage. These individuals can often use the limitations to their advantage in some way. This is what I call "loose" perception, as opposed to "tight" or "filtered" perception. Those with loose perception retain the aforementioned metaphysical strainer, but there are large holes in it, leaving a filter with the quality of something you might find at a metaphysical garage sale.

This is not to leave out non-humans. Take cats. Cats have a small hole torn in their perception filter. For example, the next time a strange creature, such as a ghost or magical beast of some sort, is creeping about in thine homes in a matter undetectable by average humans, cats in the vicinity will sense it and begin yowling and scratching and acting very odd. More odd than they usually do. This is because they operate on one more plane than humans do. Dogs, I believe, operate on one less, though it is not a vital one.

This is also not to say that humans are more or less intelligent than anything or anyone else. I find it appalling when I view acts of patronization and condescending towards fellow living creatures. Granted, the bee pestering you may not have built a full-scale replica of the Empire State Building in its hive, but that does not make it any less smart.

This is also also not to leave out inanimate objects, especially plant life, because they are even less inanimate than, for example, the public computer I use to write this, or the packet of sugar I put into my coffee ten or so minutes ago. This is a bit harder to try and explain, and anyway I don't know much about it, but so-called inanimate objects have a level of awareness that is unheard of by humans. Average humans.

On to the unfiltered perception. Powerful entities, such as deities and thine own enemy, have unfiltered perception, or very very close to it. This is the kind of thing that allows travel through the Path, complete domination of the mind, omnipresence, seemingly magical abilities, miraculous powers, and more. These entities often love to set down perception filters for everyone else. Douglas Adams described unfiltered perception very well: "Unfiltered Perception means it perceives everything. Got that? I don't perceive everything. You don't perceive everything. We have filters. The New Guide doesn't have filters. It perceives everything. It wasn't a complicated technological idea. It was just a question of leaving it out. Got it?...because the bird can perceive every possible universe, it is present in every possible universe...any smallest move it makes has the power of a virus. It can propagate through space, time and a million other dimensions." 

An interesting point from that is, "...just a question of leaving it out." The filter is a natural part of every living thing's life. The quality and filtration power of the filter is sometimes something that can be acquired (see loose perception), and sometimes also natural. The augmentation of the filter is what results in veils, invisibility, and not being able to see your own blog posts.

You know - there are two ways you can go when you get old. You can either wise up, get paranoid, and be wary of everyone (or increase those attributes in thyself), or let yourself slip. Get lazy.

Scratch that, there's a third. Wise up on the inside, get lazy on the outside, and ambush them when they come to get you.

Anyway, the point of all this is to tell thee, reader, that I have loose perception by myself, but with I can temporarily gain unfiltered perception, though I can't do it often, can't do it for long, and it's getting harder and harder to do it with more and more of these...disappearances. Looking back, I wonder why I had to go through all that to say so...

I am many things. I, too, am part of a small group with distinct purposes and capabilities, such as many of you are - the difference is in the details, yes? The devil is in the details. Perhaps if thou begin the personal sequence, I will be able to reveal those details to you. My offer shall always stand. My offer is always open.

You know - there are two ways you can go when you hit rock bottom. You can either head back up, or start digging.

As for the last inquiry, sir Hyde was quick on the mark, and so ends the trial period.

Despite only achieving one correct answer, things will get much harder in general from here on out - so you must work together. I'd remind thee that you don't always have to think so hard - but you know that already, don't you?

This one, for fear: What animal would the first homo sapiens be afraid of?

You get three chances.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Three to get ready

Despite my complaints of lack of sleep, I am very much a night person; and anyway, I had less work to do this past eve, though several more of my children have...disappeared...the rate is unsettling. Soon I shall be all alone.

You couldst call these first three inquiries a trial run. The outcome of this third shall influence, hopefully obviously, the conclusion drawn from such a trial, as I will extrapolate from all three to reach the final thought. The conclusion will also mark how I shall proceed from here on out in my job. This is not to pressure you. I stress again that there are no consequences of wrongly answering the inquiries, besides the one that tainted answers (for example, cheating in certain cases) will hurt me.

For these more general inquiries, I encourage you - no, I insist that you all to work together and collaborate for an answer - which, should it occur, would not count as a form of cheating. No doubt there will be an inquiry eventually that could just as easily be solved by thinking as by looking up an answer in one of the various search engines available, and that would lead to a tainted answer, which would lead to undesirable consequences - for me. By attempting to solve the inquiries, you help a desperate man win back his love and his life, and perhaps much more.

Onto a no doubt pressing question in thine minds: the answer to the last inquiry was "Four", coming from Four Past Midnight, a collection of novellas in which Ardelia Lortz first appeared.

Mind; if any of you wish to begin a (most likely long, but eventually only sporadically ongoing) personal sequence of inquiries for the advancement of mine own cause and perhaps to learn something, you may contact me at:

But I digress; it is time to end the tutorial.

This one, for regret: The destination of the Disciple?

You get three chances.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I agree that it was phrased awkwardly

And so I apologize; take heart in the fact that it does not really matter whether your answers were correct or incorrect. The fact that you answered at all was good enough.

The correct answer, however, was "Alex": the brother of Jeff, who shares his name with the Keeper that now resides as ashes in a locket.

As I have said, this isn't quite a game, though if it helps to regard it as one I shan't judge thee. Nevertheless - perhaps I shall recount what happened to me today.

I did not get much sleep last night; I was analyzing the so far sixty-five personal inquiries I have made - I do so hate to call them riddles, though if it helps to regard them as such I shan't judge thee. I finished up around four hours ago. Perhaps those are more like riddles. It is in the personal inquiries I reveal aspects of myself: after every set, the inquiree receives a single answer as opposed to the multitude of questions.

Approximately one and one half hours ago, another of my children disappeared; it was mostly my fault for not paying attention, though I regret it deeply.

That said, it is time for the second.

This one, for symbiosis: How many past midnight is the alternate love of an Irishman?

You get three chances.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Introductions are in order

For the record, I pick up my arms not in service of thy foe. There is something I'd like to know, however. You shan't get much out of me as we stand right now, but if you'd kindly take the time to answer my questions I'd be much obliged to assist in thine battles, and perhaps in a search for the information you so desperately need. A fair warning, this won't be much of a game, nor as exciting, nor as fun, as a few others have been percolating, though you'll find a question or two much as difficult as their own, no doubt.

This first one, for memory: Who is the brother of every man with the name of someone who is now a keepsake?

You get three chances.