Monthly Archives: March 2011

Die Database Street Team at WonderCon SF

Satomi and I agreed that WonderCon 2011 is a great place to introduce our Die Database Street Teams to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Fan Cloud members will be hanging out in the general area of the Moscone Center, wearing nifty t-shirts and hats, to hand out information about Die Database.  For the extra attentive and questioning, they may even have some music CDs or ultra-rare t-shirts to bestow.

Check them out on Friday from 11-3PM, or Saturday from 9-1PM.  There will be no Die Database booth at the show, so you’ll have to look outside by 3rd or 4th Street at Howard for the hook up.

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US Die Database Tour Announced

At least I have something to take my mind off of everything – I’m starting to help Die Database prepare for their US tour.  Not that we have anything set yet, but if all goes well, it will begin in the late Summer, and go from there.

I’m also consulting with Satomi about the Street Teams – I think we’re going to start in San Francisco and spread like big red war map arrows, preaching the music one passer-by at a time.  More news when I get/make it.

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The Portland Fade

Number 12 has really done it this time.

I hired a Die Database Fan Cloud member from Gresham to scope things out a bit, and it’s really, extremely off:

  1. Miranda hasn’t been in school for weeks
  2. Their house has been unoccupied since the Fourth Event
  3. None of her neighbors, friends, or random workers at Pizzicato remember her, verbally or prodded with a picture.

It’s as if she used the White to wipe away all traces of her daughter, at least in the greater TriMet area.

After a little more probing, I’ve determined that the radius of no-Miranda is from Vancouver in the north, to Oregon City in the south, with Hillsboro and Gresham the West-East borders.  That’s about a ten mile radius of instant, highly selective amnesia.

This is awful, but not for the obvious reasons.  I have faith that I can find Miranda, in this or any other variant, especially with the data hints we collected during the Fourth Event.

However, the amount of power Number 12 used to erase her daughter is off the charts – unchecked, it could have leveled Western Oregon, with a smoking crater from Tillamook to Mt. Hood.  I have no idea how she was able to direct that energy without tearing herself apart, and Ai’s silent on the subject – she’s too wrapped up in Project Kaia.

No matter.  Something big is up, and Number 12 is showing signs of unprecedented control.  She has to be directly manipulating the Black, which no one has ever done except for the Nameless, and….

No, I don’t see how she could do that to Miranda, using her like a straw to suck at reality.

But still, she twisted the minds of over 2 million people by force, and stuffed Aurora into some pocket of the Structure that none of us know how to find.

Number 12 has her hands in both the cookie jar, and the oven.  I sure hope she knows which one to close first.

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Oreimo Idaknow…

figma Kuroneko

figma Kuroneko from Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai

Just about everything I see these days reminds me of Miranda, but Kuroneko especially.  I’ll have to order this Figma for July, even though I know it will only survive a few more months after that.  Cuteness transcends all variants.

http://www.goodsmile.info/product/en/3113/figma+Kuroneko.html

 

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I Didn’t Spot The Setup

I’m still reeling from the earthquakes and tsunami, and not just because of the footage of fleets of cars tumbling in water like leaves.  I don’t know what’s happened, but this variant is collapsing way too quickly.

In variant 236, the Sendai earthquake happened on May 7th, and it wasn’t as strong.  That was after Libya was free, and Gaddafi assassinated.

In variant 237, the earthquake has already happened, practically off the charts, and Gaddafi is holding fast.

The whole trick about each variant is that all we know for certain are that the Seven Events will happen, in sequence. We never get to force order out of the semi-randomness of micro and macro moments, which means that I can’t tell you what’s going to happen tomorrow.  I can only tell you what’s happened all of the previous times, and compare and contrast.

This totally sucks, because I can’t effectively warn people about natural or human disasters.  I can’t predict the stock market. I can’t even stop someone from killing me – it’s happened a few times before.  It’s perhaps the worst form of torture, to watch everything fall apart, and not be able to stop it, only armchair quarterback after the fact.

I can’t save Miranda, I can’t stop the tsunami, I can’t fight the Nameless, and yet here I am with the keys to the kingdom, aimlessly hoping to find the lock in the dark.  I am so, fatally depressed, and yet…..

Something is really bothering me about this variant, something I haven’t placed my finger on since my memory returned a few months ago.  The very air is different, water boils a little too quickly, and the noosphere is much larger than I remember before.  Everything is too big for its britches – reality is yearning to break free, into….

I don’t even want to contemplate it.  I have to focus on the task at hand, to ignore my shaking hands, and the shaking world, and race to pilot the sinking ship. Which is in a sinking ocean, in a sinking world, and Seiun is licking her lips.

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All The Miranda’s I’ve Loved

Sufficed to say that from now on, all of my posts that deal with the Collective in any way have to be Ai approved.  She has very specific plans for this variant, and we’ve already seen what loose lips can produce (Aurora!).

That said, I really want to explain my rather complex relationship with Miranda.  She’s by far the most important person to me in all the worlds, and yet I only rarely get to act upon it.  To do so, I have to discuss the Structure, gingerly.

OK – a brief history of the Chosen Light:

Point One, Seven Events that breach the universal Structure, Point Zero, Restart.  Each cycle is a variant of the unknown, ideal solution.

There have been 237 variants so far.  Miranda lived to see her 16th birthday in 41 of them.

She’s died 158 times during or before the Fourth Event – anything from car crashes, a broad spectrum of diseases, to being lost in the fracture.

She’s been institutionalized 46 times – usually after the Fourth Event has driven her insane.

For the past 17 variants she’s made it through the Fourth Event intact, thanks to our new DMT-like concoction.  Usually she’s stable until the Fifth Event, which makes the final sprint to Point Zero that much easier.

In the first few variants, she and I always ended up together.  I never lived in Japan, and we both grew up in Portland.  We met a few years before Point Zero, and it was the only time in all of my live(s) that I’ve experienced pure bliss in love.

Of course, the first few variants were the most unstable, and the first Fourth Events always ended with Miranda dead on the floor, and me by her side crying.

Ai eventually figured out that any physical contact been Miranda and I before the Fourth Event would always lead to her death.  This was, to say the least, extremely depressing.  This is when the first real adjustment happened, with my slow and steady geographical relocation across variants until I ended up mostly in Japan.

What I’m sure you haven’t figured out about the variants is that they’re additive. When one line reaches Point Zero (which was in 2012 last time), it’s processed (the specifics of which I most certainly can’t discuss right now), variables tweaked, and a new reality builds out from Point One (2000).  Ai’s role is to arbitrate the conflicts, and aim for a slightly less broken variant after the next round of the essential Seven Events.

Due to the nature of the mess we’re in, Ai and the Nameless have complementary and unlimited powers over their domains, so no adjustment is too big, small, or stupid.  The first few dozen variants were essentially vanity projects – we all thought up what we insisted were perfect worlds, with all of our wishes realized, only to see them absolutely and utterly fail.  Eventually we learned the rules – the essential things that needed to be adjusted to resolve the problem – and one of them was Miranda must never, ever, ever know what’s going on.  She can’t remember anything, or everything will fall apart almost immediately.

I don’t know why Aurora insisted that she found a loophole this time. One thing to keep in mind is that out of all 237 variants, Aurora and Miranda have never been romantically involved, until now.  In the first variants they were mortal enemies, but lately they had become quite close.  I shouldn’t be surprised, I guess – if I had the opportunity to be with her like Aurora did, I would have taken it, even though it would mean another broken variant.

Like I was saying, the rules.  We’ve made them all up over the past few thousand years (lived in small bits each cycle), based upon intuition, experimentation, and examination of the sum-totals of human knowledge.  They’re the kind of thing that could fit nicely on a motivational poster, although one that only the Collective could understand:

  • The Chosen Light must not see itself
  • Travel to any time before Point One is forbidden
  • Travel past Point Zero is impossible, without fixing the errors
  • The White and Black must never be directly manipulated
  • The Nameless must never be allowed to escape
  • Always remember to forget

The original Numbers made the most mistakes, including Fairview, which in retrospect is entirely unforgivable.  The only rule that has been kept during all 237 variants is that the Nameless has been contained, thankfully.  Unfortunately, it’s been getting stronger with each variant, and our biggest fear is that it will make it to Point Zero first, and take over all of reality.

Over the variants, the essential guardians of Point Zero have dwindled down to just a few, including Aurora, Ai and myself.  Miranda is a complicated case, one that I can’t discuss until after the Fifth Event.  She’s essential to the process, but not in the way you’d think.

As for why it’s just us in this role, and not Someone Else (or some amazingly cool pantheon of Gods) – that will have to wait until later.

As for sanity, the last rule is tremendously important.  During the first variant we actually lived our entire lives over again, remembering the vast majority of our mission from birth, and just about everyone went crazy, quick.  Now, we’ve managed to allow for staggered memories that only really kick in right before the Fourth Event, just long enough for us to compare notes, examine the variant, and then act.  This means we can avoid most of the insane tedium of the Groundhog Day scenario, a movie that none of us can watch any more.

Miranda, of course, starts the cycle anew remembering nothing of the Structure, and never should until Point Zero.  We always end up in her life one way or another, but once our selective memories kick in, we have to act fast to protect her, without her knowing why.

I wonder if this is enough information for you. I’m sure you’re not believing a word I’m saying, and why would you?  What evidence do I have that anything I’m discussing is possible, let alone actual?  Well, I would say that living in this variant speaks for itself – the signs are everywhere – but in the end it doesn’t matter.

We hope we can get everything resolved this time around, and finally let the clock start ticking again.  If we don’t, we’ll keep on trying until it works, or until the Nameless takes over despite our best efforts.

The only article of faith we still can hold onto is Sarah – Ai’s daughter.  She’s from the other side of Point Zero, and she’s been in contact with this side ever since Aunt Laura was a little girl.

Our aim is clear – we have to shape the world so Sarah and her future can exist, or we’ll have complete causal collapse and have to start over again.

Which brings us back to all of the Miranda’s I’ve ever loved. I’ve buried her so many times that I just count my blessings when she ever survives this far. It’s hard not be freaked out this time around, since so many things aren’t going to plan, but I can rest (ha!) assured that we’ll be together again in the White, if only for a few, fleeting moments where our embrace won’t destroy everything.

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All In “The Family”

You might be wondering why, if I’m not part of the Collective (that is, “The Family”), I’m still in the loop with all of their business.

Well, it’s really pretty simple – Ai and I are cousins. We’ve known each other our whole lives, through this and all other variants.

We’re not close cousins, so I’ll try to explain the connection:

1) Ai’s mother (“Frisbee”) was born Laura Elizabeth Watson

2) David Watson is Laura’s father.

3) David’s younger sister, Jessica Watson, is my Grandmother.

Laura and Ai have some Japanese blood in them, via marriage.  My Mother and I are in the same boat – I guess you could say I’m 3/4 Nihonjin, thanks to my Dad and biological Grandfather, which is still enough in some circles to call me a foreigner.

Anyway, Aunt Laura was born in Japan, where her father worked as a translator, but was forcibly moved to the US by her mother Atsuko early on.  That mess really didn’t work out so well.  Grandma Jess looked after Aunt Laura a lot when she was growing up in the US, and she was also around when Ai was born (as was my Mother).

I’ve bounced back between the US and Japan my whole life, and Ai has always been like a distant sister to me.  I’m a few years older than her, but she’s always been precocious to say the least.

So, that’s a super-brief family summary, but there’s one point that may make the Collective ties clearer.

Aunt Laura was Number 1 in the Collective – the source.  When she died, the Numbers took care of Ai, and my Mother and Grandmother also played a part.  So, I grew up around everyone, and even though I wasn’t the daughter of one of the 12, I’ve always had a role to play.

I have lots of stories to tell, about my family and The Family, and I’ll start sharing them when the time is right (and Ai approves).

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