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+Wed, 13 Oct 2010 05:10:08 GMT
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+SOLUTION, pg. 13 (detail)
+1/tags/livejournal
+1/tags/rss
+1/tags/massivefictions
+2/tags/stanleylieber
+2/tags/fake
+2/tags/ensign_smurf
+2/tags/actron
+2/tags/art
+2/tags/2009
+2/tags/comics
+3/tags/stanleylieber
+3/tags/pitched
+3/tags/shackles
+3/tags/2009
+3/tags/comics
+3/tags/eric_san_juan
+4/tags/actron
+4/tags/smurfs
+4/tags/comics
+5/tags/print
+5/tags/stanleylieber
+5/tags/massive_fictions
+5/tags/comics
+5/tags/massivefictions
+6/tags/stanleylieber
+6/tags/2010
+6/tags/massive_fictions
+6/tags/bluecalico
+6/tags/pete_toms
+6/tags/comics
+6/tags/silenceinspades
+6/tags/eric_san_juan
+6/tags/massivefictions
+7/tags/stanleylieber
+7/tags/ensign_smurf
+7/tags/actron
+7/tags/art
+7/tags/massivefictions
+8/tags/stanleylieber
+8/tags/ensign_smurf
+8/tags/arthur
+8/tags/actron
+8/tags/art
+8/tags/pete_toms
+8/tags/2009
+8/tags/comics
+8/tags/silenceinspades
+9/tags/stanleylieber
+9/tags/fake
+9/tags/actron
+9/tags/art
+9/tags/solution
+9/tags/comics
+9/tags/massivefictions
+10/tags/stanleylieber
+10/tags/actron
+10/tags/art
+10/tags/solution
+10/tags/2009
+10/tags/comics
+10/tags/massivefictions
+11/tags/sileinceinspades
+11/tags/stanleylieber
+11/tags/advertising
+11/tags/taoc
+11/tags/pete_toms
+11/tags/2009
+11/tags/comics
+12/tags/rss
+12/tags/livejournal
+12/tags/2009
+12/tags/stanleylieber
+12/tags/art
+12/tags/silenceinspades
+12/tags/actron
+12/tags/solution
+12/tags/comics
+13/tags/rss
+13/tags/livejournal
+13/tags/2009
+13/tags/art
+13/tags/silenceinspades
+13/tags/actron
+13/tags/stanleylieber
+13/tags/arthur
+13/tags/comics
+13/tags/solution
+14/tags/rss
+14/tags/livejournal
+14/tags/2009
+14/tags/stanleylieber
+14/tags/massivefictions
+14/tags/fashion
+14/tags/silenceinspades
+14/tags/actron
+15/tags/rss
+15/tags/livejournal
+15/tags/2010
+15/tags/stanleylieber
+15/tags/massivefictions
+15/tags/silenceinspades
+15/tags/actron
+15/tags/solution
+16/tags/rss
+16/tags/livejournal
+16/tags/2010
+16/tags/stanleylieber
+16/tags/massivefictions
+16/tags/actron
+16/tags/solution
+16/tags/comics
+17/tags/rss
+17/tags/livejournal
+17/tags/auriea_harvey
+17/tags/michaël_samyn
+17/tags/2010
+17/tags/massivefictions
+17/tags/womanonfire
+17/tags/fake
+17/tags/comics
+17/tags/taleoftales
+18/tags/rss
+18/tags/livejournal
+18/tags/2010
+18/tags/stanleylieber
+18/tags/art
+18/tags/massivefictions
+18/tags/actron
+18/tags/solution
+18/tags/comics
+19/tags/rss
+19/tags/livejournal
+19/tags/2010
+19/tags/stanleylieber
+19/tags/art
+19/tags/massivefictions
+19/tags/actron
+19/tags/solution
+19/tags/comics
+20/tags/rss
+20/tags/livejournal
+20/tags/2010
+20/tags/stanleylieber
+20/tags/art
+20/tags/massivefictions
+20/tags/actron
+20/tags/solution
+20/tags/comics
+21/tags/rss
+21/tags/livejournal
+21/tags/video
+21/tags/2010
+21/tags/fwc
+21/tags/stanleylieber
+21/tags/deforgeo
+21/tags/kickstarter
+21/tags/silenceinspades
+21/tags/comics
+22/tags/rss
+22/tags/livejournal
+22/tags/2010
+22/tags/stanleylieber
+22/tags/massivefictions
+22/tags/actron
+22/tags/solution
+23/tags/rss
+23/tags/livejournal
+23/tags/2010
+23/tags/stanleylieber
+23/tags/massivefictions
+23/tags/actron
+23/tags/solution
+24/tags/rss
+24/tags/livejournal
+24/tags/2010
+24/tags/stanleylieber
+24/tags/massivefictions
+24/tags/piro
+24/tags/actron_242
+24/tags/actron
+25/tags/rss
+25/tags/livejournal
+25/tags/2010
+25/tags/ensign_smurf
+25/tags/advertising
+26/tags/rss
+26/tags/livejournal
+26/tags/2010
+26/tags/stanleylieber
+26/tags/arthur
+26/tags/silenceinspades
+26/tags/actron
+26/tags/solution
+26/tags/comics
+27/tags/rss
+27/tags/livejournal
+27/tags/dzima
+27/tags/bluecalico
+27/tags/me_vs_gutenberg
+27/tags/silenceinspades
+27/tags/stanleylieber
+27/tags/2010
+27/tags/massivefictions
+27/tags/deforgeo
+27/tags/womanonfire
+27/tags/sarmoung
+27/tags/ultrakurtzwelle
+27/tags/fake
+27/tags/comics
+28/tags/rss
+28/tags/livejournal
+28/tags/2010
+28/tags/stanleylieber
+28/tags/massivefictions
+28/tags/actron_242
+28/tags/actron
+28/tags/comics
+29/tags/rss
+29/tags/livejournal
+29/tags/2010
+29/tags/stanleylieber
+29/tags/massivefictions
+29/tags/actron_242
+29/tags/actron
+29/tags/comics
+30/tags/rss
+30/tags/livejournal
+30/tags/2010
+30/tags/stanleylieber
+30/tags/massivefictions
+30/tags/actron_242
+30/tags/actron
+30/tags/comics
+31/tags/rss
+31/tags/livejournal
+31/tags/2010
+31/tags/stanleylieber
+31/tags/massivefictions
+31/tags/actron_242
+31/tags/actron
+31/tags/comics
+33/tags/rss
+33/tags/livejournal
+33/tags/2010
+33/tags/stanleylieber
+33/tags/massivefictions
+33/tags/actron
+33/tags/solution
+33/tags/comics
+34/tags/rss
+34/tags/livejournal
+34/tags/2010
+34/tags/stanleylieber
+34/tags/massivefictions
+34/tags/arthur
+34/tags/actron_242
+34/tags/silenceinspades
+34/tags/actron
+35/tags/rss
+35/tags/livejournal
+35/tags/2010
+35/tags/stanleylieber
+35/tags/massivefictions
+35/tags/actron_242
+35/tags/silenceinspades
+35/tags/actron
+35/tags/comics
+36/tags/rss
+36/tags/livejournal
+36/tags/stanleylieber
+36/tags/2011
+36/tags/floating_world
+36/tags/comics
+37/tags/rss
+37/tags/livejournal

txt/TEXT_ADVENTURE_26.txt

+TEXT ADVENTURE #26
+
+THE SCARLET WOMAN
+
+by Stanley Lieber
+
+1
+
+October, 4064.
+
+Mars.
+
+	Βαβυλὼν ἡ μεγάλη, ἡ μήτηρ τῶν πορνῶν καὶ τῶν βδελυγμάτων τῆς
+	γῆς
+
+Piro stared at the pink planet and then stared at the neon green words
+inscribed upon its surface.
+
+"The fuck?" he asked, to no one.
+
+The RAGNAROK set down near the southwestern corner of the Β.  Visible
+from space, each character turned out to have been a computer
+projection -- that is to say, metadata -- and not, he now concluded, a
+typographical feature of the planet's surface.  Piro wiped the
+annoyance from his short-term memory and proceeded to investigate his
+immediate surroundings.
+
+"Sand," he remarked into his commlink.
+
+A dust storm loomed.
+
+Piro erected a small shelter and inserted his probes into the cool,
+indifferent sand.
+
+The RAGNAROK returned to orbit.
+
+2
+
+October, 4048.
+
+Mars.
+
+Not much had changed.  The red sand continued to look and feel very
+much like red sand.
+
+Piro was nonplussed.  She just sort of laid there.
+
+Nevermind, execute the mission.
+
+After several hours walking he happened upon a couch, aligned against
+the remains of a partially collapsed wall.  The structure, what was
+left of it, appeared to have been furnished in a cheap, spruce wood
+paneling.  The whole mess stood isolated in the middle of a dry salt
+lake.  Pages from an old magazine were stuffed into crevices in the
+wall.
+
+Piro looked behind the couch.
+
+The panther stared back at him, eyes piercing his face.  The cat stood
+poised upon a pile of rubbish.  Silent communication seemed telepathic
+in nature.  In any case, he could understand what the cat was trying
+to say.
+
+These questions were...  above his pay grade.
+
+Piro logged into his weapon.
+
+3
+
+October, 4064.
+
+Mars.
+
+His chronometer seemed to have repaired itself.
+
+Fine, proceed.
+
+Making his way across the desert, Piro retrieved various artifacts.
+Shards of quartz, loose wreckage from old aircraft, some miscellaneous
+paperwork.
+
+The airfield was in poor repair.
+
+Piro filed his report and then turned in for the evening, setting up
+camp on the far side of the dry salt lake.  From his backpack he
+produced several small containers: tinned meats and cheese, a beer,
+500 mg acetaminophen.
+
+Disposing of the consumables, he thought of his father.
+
+That night, as always, he suffered no dreams.
+
+4
+
+The RAGNAROK settled into a silent landing on the dry lake bed.  Cargo
+doors unfurled, her invisible crew dispersed one-by-one into the
+desert sunlight.  Peering through the morning air, each crew member
+spied the Martian vista, paused briefly to reflect, and then got back
+to work.  The concern for efficiency was evidenced by the smooth
+transit from observation to action.  Loading proceeded more quickly
+than was necessary for government work.
+
+Piro was careful moving up the boarding ramp.  Uncharacteristically
+groggy, he felt uncertain of his precise location.  This would prove
+troublesome if he drifted off course.  But, as he ventured further
+into the craft his confidence seemed to return.  This was, after all,
+his home.
+
+Safely in orbit, Piro input a request for his usual hot tea.  This,
+finally, brought him fully awake.  He perused crew reports and then
+drummed his fingers on the arm-rest of his captain's chair.  Slowly,
+his thoughts returned to his mission.
+
+A Martian base might prove suitable, given the proper funding.
+
+Piro submitted random queries to the RAGNAROK, hoping for some
+interesting juxtaposition amongst the syntax errors.  When this
+approach failed he decided to resume the surface of the planet.
+Further study would confirm his intuition.  Or, failing that, he could
+simply ask the cat.
+
+The RAGNAROK complied.
+
+5
+
+October, 4048.
+
+Mars.
+
+"Isn't she smothering you?" asked the panther.
+
+"She's always like this.  You wouldn't understand." Piro considered
+what he wanted to say next.  Then he added: "It's her way.  My mother
+is from a different time."
+
+He punched in a quick status report, fired it off to the RAGNAROK.
+Approval received, he felt free to resume the conversation.
+
+"I admit, sometimes I don't know what she wants from me."
+
+"Breaks you down, but neglects to build you back up," continued the
+cat.  "How does that prepare you for the future?"
+
+He conceded it was a fair question.
+
+Piro observed as the panther settled back on its haunches and then
+flattened out on the rubbish pile, resting its face on its paws.
+Suddenly, he realized that its markings had changed.  He looked again
+and now there seemed to be two cats crouching behind the couch, both
+occupying the same space on top of the stack of debris.  With the
+interference pattern it was difficult to tell where one panther began
+and the other ended.  Their tails seemed to be intertwined.  On second
+thought, perhaps both panthers shared the same tail.  He shook his
+head and squinted his eyes just as the fluctuations finally settled
+down.
+
+Then, silence.
+
+This seemed to conclude the discussion.
+
+6
+
+October, 4064.
+
+Mars.
+
+Once again aboard the RAGNAROK, Piro reviewed recent events.  One cat
+that had become two.  One set of markings that had translated
+themselves into another.  The persistent question of the obscure
+architecture and furnishings that were situated amongst unusual
+geography.  Finally, the collapse of the waveform.
+
+Wary of misunderstandings, Piro decided to undocument the mission.
+Unanswered questions might sour the acquisition program.  Budgets were
+tight, while imaginations still yearned for controversy.  The process
+would be difficult enough without accusations of poor planning or
+incompetence.
+
+The RAGNAROK informed that orbit had been obtained.  The invisible
+crew, as always, awaited instructions.  Piro continued to pace the
+bridge, thoughts detached from his present surroundings.  At length,
+he issued a command.
+
+Forward, Mother.
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