The Strange Fate of Lady A---------

Once, a dragon brought a young woman to the Neath, to save her from Death. Which sounds unlikely, all agreed, and no one respectable would believe such a tale, but hey—is it the unlikeliest thing you’ve heard today? Oh, it is? Then you haven’t seen page 13 of the Unexpurgated Gazette

Anyway, that young woman has certainly made a name for herself in the years since. Though many lack the knowledge to combine that name with certain occurrences, her power has been felt by many of the chess-pi—… um, excuse me, people of the Fifth City.

But this lady has never seen power as a means to itself. It was all just a Great Game to her—and if you play long enough every game grows boring, especially when you’re always winning.

If you open the newest edition of Slowcake’s Exceptionals you will find no mention of her. If you call at her Spire Emporium, clerks will tell you that, regretfully, business is closed &quotuntil further notice&quot. If you actually know the way to her remote Zee-Znail Zhell, you’ll find it boarded shut and guarded by Knot-Oracles. Apparently unnoticed by anyone, the Apple of Discord has disappeared from her usual berth on Roser’s Wharf.

There are rumours, of course. A spurned lover suggests with a sneer that she’s finally gone to Hell, but your infernal contacts deny this. So does the Manager of the Royal Beth when you inquire whether she’s been taken in by his—um, institution. If the Knotted Sock, her old allies, know where she went, they’re not telling.

Some Bohemians circulate a story of how she’s built a summer home on Tiggelaar Bay, across from the Mangrove College, where she entertains the lucky people living in and passing through that place with never-ending revels of the most exotic decadence (here they sigh and describe that decadence in great detail; but you doubt any of them have ever left London, except maybe for the Tomb-Colonies).

A very drunken zailor tells you, in absolute confidence, that she now rules over a monkey kingdom far across the Unterzee, and that she will one day invade London with her monkey army. It is probably safe to discount that one.

Whatever the case, you certainly have no idea what to do with this abandoned Shrine of St Joshua you’ve found under Soakwood Bridge on an evening stroll. Best just leave it there.

Leave what where? No matter; what are you doing outside in this dreadful weather anyway? It can’t have been important, or you would remember. Homewards quickly now, for something hot and fortifying!


edited by phryne on 4/21/2018

08 February, 1895 (Iron Republic Streets)

Changed by the Iron Republic 34
Wounds 28
Scandal 22

excerpts from:
&quotTabula Rasa: the collected Iron Republic Journals of Lady A---------&quot, Benthic Press 1896
(banned, possession illegal, MoPD Evaluation: FIB - for immediate burning)

’ - one cannot truly die in the Iron Republic. Instead, there are many fates worse than death—and I want to experience them all!’

’ - that time when my legs had run away was certainly inopportune. Though at least I’d had the presence of mind to grow wings, so I could still get around. Still took me weeks to find them, and when I did they felt so tiredapparently, they’d been running without pause…’

’ - decided to have a different skin-colour for each day of the week—easier to keep track…’

’ - I have found out that no one is ever arrested during the five minutes before noon and midnight (of course, not every day here has[/i] [i]noon and/or midnight)… tradition, sloth, some deeper meaning?’

’ - the day when all motion was outlawed. Even the rivers ceased flowing, the fires ceased burning. Everyone in their right mind just stayed in bed until the spook was over, though; breathing very flatly, as even the particles of the air seemed hardly willing to move…’

’ - seriously infatuated with a Goat-Demon, wrote 666 steaming stanzas of shaggy erotica (…) hoping I managed to destroy them all—there’s something I never want to see published…’

’ - finally managed to read a few books from the Forest of Traitors! Apparently, no one had survived doing so in many years. Not surprising, as they were all mind-numbingly boring, hardly worth the week in prison…’

[/i][i][i]’ - whole of the Republic under a reign of terror due to unlikely alliance of rats and cats. It didn’t last, of course…’

[/i]’ - the music of the Iron Republic cannot be described, and indeed often cannot be heard at all, but seen, or smelled, or caught and eaten. But the tunes settle in one’s mind (or stomach) and mingle there, constantly changing to form something new. It is not unusual to find upon waking that one has spent the whole night dancing to these devilish rhythms. That’s one[/i] [i]of the reasons why some people insist on being tied or cuffed to their beds…’

[/i][i][i]’ - the popular habit of drinking a gallon of Darkdrop Coffee a day (…) visiting physician explained that—like many people here—I was technically dead, and had been for weeks; but at the same time so overcharged with energy that Death just couldn’t be bothered coming after me…’

[/i]’…niaga sdrawkcab gninnur emit - ’

(to be continued…)
edited by phryne on 3/7/2017

19 February, 1895 (Iron Republic Streets)

Changed by the Iron Republic 50
Wounds 30
Scandal 24

excerpts from:
&quotTabula Rasa: the collected Iron Republic Journals of Lady A---------&quot, Benthic Press 1896
(banned, possession illegal, MoPD Evaluation: FIB - for immediate burning)

’ - contrary to popular belief, it is possible for children to be born in the Iron Republic. However, I would not recommend to any parents…’

’ - making a killing selling fabricated love stories to London tourists. Of course, they are not completely fabricated (…) Sadly, the Decency Evaluators would never allow a comprehensive report of the more unusual ways of love-making that are practiced here to be published
though I’m sure it would be of great interest to Londoners. But under the mantle of fiction, much can be hid…’

’ - carelessly agreed to take part in a sporting event. Now cricket is a devilish game under any circumstances, but when gravity is having a bad hangover…’

’ - it was then that I noticed my fingers turning into swift-growing vines of poison ivy…’

’ - finally an intellectual stimulus! (…) discussing political philosophy with the walls of the Republic’s prison (…) most elucidating conversation in a long time. I immediately begged to be imprisoned
[i]but on that very day, I hadn’t actually broken any laws: so I quickly stole a devil’s hat (…) bad idea (…) not imprisoned, but flogged in public (…) but upon shedding my mutilated skin I was immediately arrested for ‘public display of serpentine affections’…’

’ - joined three completely different groups of revolutionaries, all working at cross-purposes (…) never had so much fun in my life (…) they weren’t even mad at me, but applauded my ‘contrarian spirit’…’

’ - today I cut off my head. Not sure where the notion came from (…) certainly a novel experience, seeing one’s own body from different perspectives, from across a room or a street even! But it got tiresome very quickly always having to take it with me everywhere (…) friendly priest from the Chapel of Lights kindly sewed it back on. He used some unusual candle-wax for covering the scar…’
’ - the red night flavours the smokes of mind. Eat rain!’[i]

(to be continued…)
edited by phryne on 3/7/2017

28 February, 1895 (Iron Republic Streets)

Changed by the Iron Republic 66
Wounds 44
Scandal 35

excerpts from:
&quotTabula Rasa: the collected Iron Republic Journals of Lady A---------&quot, Benthic Press 1896
(banned, possession illegal, MoPD Evaluation: FIB - for immediate burning)

’ - unpleasant incident at Archimboldo’s when I was refused service after allegedly drinking their whole stock of Darkdrop Coffee. The heart-attack I suffered shortly afterwards did not serve to support my protestations of innocence, of course, but several onlookers applauded my performance, especially the vomiting of blood and burned intestines in the encore. The pain was exquisite. A visiting theatre manager even gave me his card, said to call on him if ever I should return to London. As if…’

’ - witnessed a nasty public feud in Van Horn Harbour (…) pair of senior devilesses kept hitting each other with their pleasure yachts[/i][i]—apparently they disagreed over the current fashion in footwear, a matter serious enough to perfectly justify the use of violence in my opinion…’

’ - a colour I heard today made me cry, so beautiful was she. If only that infernal brass band had played less smellfully…’

’ - a proud tiger from the Elder Continent! They were hardly impressed by the Iron Republic, disdainfully holding forth how they, founded on centuries of tradition, could easily withstand even the lawless onslaught of this place. I decided not to point out that they did not resemble a tiger at all, but rather a wild hog. How was I to know whether the hog was insane, or the tiger hadn’t yet noticed the mutation? It’s wise to stay out of these socio-political issues here…’

’ - yet another doppelgänger day. Try as I might, I could not avoid meeting myself everywhere I went. As usual, we did not get along very well…’

’ - never thought the Merciless Modiste would come after me even here! (…) ripped her clothes to shreds in the ensuing fight, which just served to make her even madder (…) casualties in the dozens (…) that knife! Oh, forever will I remember the kiss of that knife! She could not kill me, of course, but off she went with her prize, whistling a happy tune…’

’ - devils were very cross with me (…) officially named a ‘significant nuisance to the Iron Republic’. I left some of them alive to report back[/i][i]maybe they’ll send worthier opponents next time…’

’ - tried to find diversion in my favourite game of stealing people’s shadows (…) yet still I became more and more depressed and eventually jumped into one of the burning rivers, to live at its bottom forthwith…’

’ - my heart is lost; the beasts have eaten it…’

(to be continued…)
edited by phryne on 3/7/2017

7 March, 1895 (Iron Republic Streets)

Changed by the Iron Republic 77
Wounds 51
Scandal 42

excerpts from:
&quotTabula Rasa: the collected Iron Republic Journals of Lady A---------&quot, Benthic Press 1896
(banned, possession illegal, MoPD Evaluation: FIB - for immediate burning)

[i][i]’ - apparently, a series of gruesome murders has been going on for a while. Several tourists, and even some old-time residents of the Republic had to be shipped to the Tomb-colonies, in pieces (…) what kind of being could cause such…’

[/i]’ - the Hanged Man, the Fool, the Sorceress—a winning hand, on the Day of Eternal Loss! What exceptional bad luck. Everyone was outraged and I barely managed to escape largely intact…’

’ - woke up to find all my extremities had mutated into tentacles. After initial confusion, I quickly began to appreciate the advantages…’

’ - Feast of Chains ending in absolute slaughter once again (…) wonder what happened to those unfortunates swallowed by the walking clocktowers…’

’ - something is wrong here. I’m missing several days, weeks maybe, too much even for a place where time is non-linear…’

’ - if I would be able to eat myself? One cannot truly die in the Iron Republic after all! Death is just a bad pun, a cliché, an affectation, a spleen…’

[/i][i][i]’ - people in the streets do not seem to notice me, and I can hardly discern myself in mirrors (…) What am I becoming? Is there anything I could not become? (…) Is this why I came here? Wait, why did I come here again? Oh right, I was bored…’

[/i]’ - and still more murders. Even the most senior devils seem worried…’

’ - something is [/i][i]very wrong here. Surely I did not…? Look at those claw marks! Do I have—oh, it seems I do…’

’ - still hear the screams in my head. By all the forgotten gods, they won’t stop screaming! I had never meant to…’

’ - certain I could stand the abyss gazing back into me… maybe I was wrong…’

’ - return to London? (…) anything could happen. How do you kill something that cannot die?’

’ - but in the armour of Fate there is ever a rift, and in the walls of Doom a breach. Open are the double-doors of the horizon…’

(to be continued…)
edited by phryne on 3/8/2017

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
—Nelson Mandela

At Roser’s Wharf the Apple of Discord, a majestic pleasure yacht which has not been seen for a while, is putting in. A vessel like this inspires awe even from Her Majesty’s Revenue Men, who wait respectfully on the docks.

Her Captain emerges from somewhere inside the vessel, salutes the crew and undulates down the gangway. The crew keep their distance. Her Majesty’s Revenue Men scatter, screaming.

On the docks—mostly empty now—the Captain takes a long look at the lights of London before beginning a complicated process of rearranging her appearance. In the end, she manages to resemble the woman who left London several months ago, on this very ship; but it’s not a close resemblance: more like a portrait, by a painter with very bad memory, of someone they knew a long time ago. The state of her dress seems to imply its previous occupant had a very unfortunate run-in with a pack of marsh-wolves.

The Stoic Navigator joins the Captain on the docks, peering at her curiously. &quotI’ll be buggered, looks like yer did it. Kinda. Should do, I guess,&quot they mumble around a chunk of tobacco. The Captain nods, her eyes still changing colour constantly. When she tries to speak, her voice sounds like the rumbling of a far-away earthquake. She clears her throat, spits out a toad, coughs, and tries again: &quotYou know, I already regret coming back to this boring, three-dimensional place. Just look at these creatures!&quot She points at the few people picking through the scattered stalls of Roser’s Wharf. &quotAll with the same number of limbs, and heads, and eyes! How can they stand it? Bzzz!&quot Her voice jumps up and down like a teenager’s and ends on a highly unusual insect-like buzzing sound.

The Stoic Navigator nods. &quotI know jus’ what yer mean. Places change, or you do, or both. Wha’ever.&quot They spit a wad of tobacco on the docks. Gazing at it in the manner of a sculptor admiring what must surely be their masterpiece, they sigh. &quotStill, there’s some people here I’d like ta see again. My pleasure, Cap’n! Yer’ve a great ship—best I ever zailed on—an’ I surely spent an in’eres’ing time on ‘er.&quot They shake hands, the Captain nodding absent-mindedly. &quotYes, thank you. I owe you a lot for looking after the crew when I was… hungry.&quot She tries to smile reassuringly, but fails. Mostly because of the filed teeth, probably. The Stoic Navigator chuckles. &quotMigh’ wanna work on tha’ before facin’ the hoy polloy,&quot they advise, turning away.
They don’t bother pointing out that the Captain’s left arm is still very much a tentacle. Londoners are used to far stranger things, after all. And Storm knows, a tentacle can be d____d useful in a pinch!

The Captain remains for a moment longer, thinking: &quotWell, it can’t be so hard to find the right mindset for this place again! Let’s see… yes, it was mostly about money, secrets, and love… and the third often equals the second, and that in turn equals the first… I think that’s it, mostly. Also, don’t eat your friends… in fact, don’t even eat strangers, unless they’re very impolite… oh, this will take some getting used to!&quot
She shrugs, tosses her long fuzzy mane (which promptly starts complaining again), puts her Judgemental Hat on top of it (thus silencing the unruly mane), collects her few personal belongings (largely consisting of an impressive stash of laudanum) and goes looking for a hansom, an Unfinished Hat prancing happily after her like a puppy dog.

Phryne Amarantyne—or something looking a lot like her—has returned to the Fifth City!

(to be continued in the Shade-Hunt!)
edited by phryne on 9/30/2017

excerpts from:
Musings on the Nature of the Iron Republic&quot, Benthic Press 1898
A short, unfinished work found among Lady A---------'s private papers, after her ultimate disappearence.
(MoPD Evaluation: MBD - mad, bad and dangerous)

I. Time

Time is one of the strictest laws—maybe the strictest law in the universe. Even the Iron Republic cannot overcome it without difficulty. But if one stays there long enough¹, one’s existence will begin to contract and expand in all possible and impossible directions².

I have spent more than 100 years in the Republic, even though I was gone from London for only a few months. I am probably there right now, and I will be there for a long time to come, even though I have left for good.

This is due to the doppelgänger phenomenon: they’re all real, they’re all me, really me, from different points in time.

For example: one day I met a version of myself wearing a dress that I knew had been ruined weeks before. Looking through my journals, I realized I had met the then-present version of myself—easily recognizable by the tentacles—shortly before the event that ruined the dress. I could not say now whether the ruined-dress version of me had been transported to the future, or whether the tentacle-version of me had been transported to the past—it doesn’t matter in the end, as I was definitely not aware of either event happening at the time. It is just as likely that both of us had been transported to a completely different point in time without ever noticing.

Another example: once I met a lady who seemed not to remember anything that had happened since shortly after London fell. I soon realized that at least one of us had to be in the wrong time. This lady has written about her travels, and you will find her mentioning our meeting, even though, in linear time, she died (permanently) before I myself ever came to the Neath.

Yet another example: a particularly insolent pickpocket will have his throat slit by me on the docks of Van Horn Harbour, on October 10th, 1931. This is a fact. It has already happened and cannot be changed. A reporter was at the scene and photographed me in the very act³. I stated my name, asked them for the date, went around a corner and bought a newspaper: it was the 5th of July, 1875.


This, then, is the main danger of prolonged stays in the Iron Republic: to become completely ‘unstuck in time’. The longer I would have remained there, the farther I would have travelled into both past and future. Which would sound intriguing, if it was a process that could be controlled in any way. It cannot⁴. I would have become as a leaf before the wind, and I have no doubt that this would take the greatest toll on even the most flexible of minds. It might be viewed as a kind of near-immortality—but not a kind I would ever want.


The experienced traveller will find certain similarities here to the peculiar characteristics of another place, Irem. Indeed I am convinced that, just as Irem, the Iron Republic must be very close to Parabola. This would pose a host of questions not only on the exact relationship of Hell and Parabola, but also on the existence of any kind of relationship—or principle of symmetry, maybe?—between the Iron Republic and Irem. These questions will not be answered by me though. I will now turn to the psychological and physiological effects of prolonged stays in the Republic.

¹ How long exactly ‘long enough’ is will vary from person to person. More on this in Chapter II.
² In time, not space
—though the latter should not be ruled out, it is of no concern for this chapter. Incidentally, the limits of our language when describing these phenomena are thoroughly unsatisfying, but that cannot be helped—unless one were to write the relevant parts as Correspondence sigils, and I’m not foolhardy enough to try that.
³ Their camera was very interesting; a far less bulky type than the ones we’re using now.
⁴ At least not by any device now extant, though I am aware of certain factions in London engaged in extensively researching these matters. I would not put it beyond them to come up with a solution for this problem in the future.

edited by phryne on 10/8/2017

(This is the post that was promised back in November)
(disclaimer: all Parabolan lore in this post is pure conjecture, or ‘head-canon’)

Reflections, or: The End of the Beginning

That moment between moments, not really a moment at all. Spent in a space between spaces, not really a space at all.

Francis Lightbody, or &quotUncle Frank&quot to many orphans across the city, disappeared in the wee hours of 20 April, 1896. Few people missed him. No one ever missed him enough to investigate. But the children living on the streets of London had one thing less to worry about.

He disappeared after seeing something in his mirror he had never seen there before. Someone wiser in the ways of the Neath would have run away, or smashed the mirror then and there. But Francis Lightbody, who had never heard of &quotFingerkings&quot or &quotParabola&quot, looked closer. And was doomed.

Even among its fellow Fingerkings, the Boil of Calamities stands out as an entity of particular unpleasantness. But everything under the sun (no matter [i]which [/i]sun) has its use.

Long since unable to move its bulk around, confined to its lair in the Marches and unable to hunt for itself, the Boil of Calamities relies solely on the Huntsman for prey. And this Huntsman delivers—the predators of London. There, caught in the endless coils of the giant snake, they are slowly devoured, memory for memory, emotion for emotion: every instance of greed, lust and envy, every violent deed, the Boil of Calamities takes into itself, feeding and feeding, growing and growing, like a monstrous tumour. 

Luckily, the Boil of Calamities' hunger has no equal. Not even the Orts is as greedy, though in some aspects just as unpleasant. But most Fingerkings work much more slowly, almost considerately: taking on the identity of someone in the Is, living their life for weeks, months, sometimes years. The most fastidious ones choose their hosts for themselves, never relying on the Huntsman at all. She has heard of one, called the Moulting Eidolon, who reputedly dreams Existence through a veritable network of hosts. She wonders if it might not feel drunk on all that Existing by now and if so, how its hangover might turn out. She does care about her employers. A contract is a contract, after all.

But then there is also the sedate, almost constantly asleep, sort. If at all, they only require the Huntsman's services as a storyteller, contented to listen, to fantasize, to experience the Is second-hand, without any desire to actually Exist in it, with all the tedious consequences of such an Existence.

To them, she can relate.

Her work done, she roams the streets of the Fifth City. As always, the cold assails her and she wonders how it can be that Londoners get used to it at all. She still never stays too long on this side of the mirrors, a few hours at best. And all this time she feels the longing for an orange sun and the verdant green of Parabola’s jungles tugging at her.

They never talk to her, the people she meets. They hardly seem to notice her. So she is quite surprised when a voice from a dark alley purrs, &quotHello there, fleeting figment.&quot A voice she remembers well.

Cats are now wary of her. But the Midnight Matriarch of the Menagerie of Roses has spent many years away from Court. This has undoubtedly broadened her horizons, made her more accepting of the complications of political issues. Even so, she looks at the slight, frail figure before her for a long time before continuing to speak.

&quotThe Minister of Culture sends his regards. He commends your exploits, and delights in observing the fruits growing from the seeds of inspiration you sewed. Well, in some of them.&quot

Phoenyx nods slowly, a small lopsided smile on her face. &quotOf course he would. And what of the other Ministers? Do they speak of me?&quot

&quotThey are, officially, quite unaware of your existence. Which is not surprising, since your Existence is the subject of some debate.&quot

&quotI see.&quot

After a pause: &quotHeard you’ve got yourself a tattoo.&quot

Phoenyx smiles again. &quotYes. Do you want to see it?&quot Not waiting for an answer, as she already knows the answer, she turns around and lifts her shirt over her head.

[i]She remembers the lamps glowing in the crooked caravanserai. Millicent had squinted as if she had trouble seeing her clearly. &quotI can't put my finger on it but there's something... queer about you. I feel like you're hardly there. Are you sure you're not going to evaporate under my needle?&quot[/i]

[i]&quotQuite the opposite. By marking my skin, you'll help me become more real.&quot Millicent had not gainsaid this.[/i]

[i]When Phoenyx layed out the specifications of the work she wished, the Lady in Lilac blew her cheeks. &quotThis is going to take several days. And I hope you know there's no such thing as a magical tattoo.&quot[/i]

[i]&quotIt doesn't matter how long it takes. I have all the time in the world.&quot[/i]

[i]Millicent had raised her eyebrows at this, but again made no comment. Of course, her work turned out beautiful. And say what you want about magical tattoos—she can feel that sun on her back warming her, if she just believes it hard enough.[/i]

&quot… Quite impressive.&quot

Letting her shirt drop again, Phoenyx turns back around. &quotSo. Is this an official visit? Are you a diplomatic envoy? Or just… and old friend come to visit me? That’d be nice, you know. I don’t really have any… old friends.&quot

&quotUnsurprising.&quot The Matriarch’s eyes sparkle. &quotSince you’re almost brand-new.&quot

&quotI’ll take that as a compliment.&quot

Another pause, then: &quotMost of my brothers and sisters prefer to see things black-and-white. And can I blame them? After all, that’s how it’s always been so far. There’s never been a double agent before. Which makes me, at least, very curious. And the pattern of your work is certainly… interesting.&quot

&quotWho’s the glovemaker and who’s the glove?&quot Phoenyx muses, distracted for a moment. &quotThat’s what you would like to know, isn’t it?&quot

The Matriarch shakes her head. &quotNot me. I’ve seen your friend board a ship home, to the Khanate. I know of your motivations, both the selfless and not so selfless ones. And my voice still counts for something. The Minister of State Affairs and the Minister of War are not convinced. But the Minister of Enigmas thinks you’re… very interesting.&quot

&quotA stalemate then. Perfect. I like stalemates. Parabola, in some way, is one big stalemate. Of course,&quot she quickly placates the bristling cat, &quotyou wouldn’t see it that way. But at least you should know perfectly well that the Cats’ claim on all of Parabola is just as contentious as the Snakes’. It was made for neither of you.&quot

The Matriarch hisses—or is it a soft laugh? &quotI should probably tell you to go to Hell, but I know you’ve been there already. So I’ll say… Until next time, old friend. Don’t fade away.&quot

This time, the smile on the Huntsman’s face is wicked. &quotTell the Duchess her sister sends her regards.&quot With this, she quickly turns away. It’s not often you get to have the last word in a conversation with a cat.

Afterwards, she feels elated. She had dreaded a meeting like this, then been surprised by it, and navigated it on gut feeling alone. She hadn't really had an idea what she was doing throughout the conversation, but it had worked out well enough in the end. [i]And wasn't that how Phryne had done most things in life?[/i]

She climbs up to the highest point of the Flit, shivering in the cold wind. It is time to leave, but right now she feels like lingering, marveling at the view of this unlikely city sprawled beneath her.

Once again, she thinks about the notes she had found in the abandoned townhouse. (Already the neighbours refer to it as 'haunted'.) She had burned them all in the fireplace after reading. There was no need to keep them, she would never forget one word.

[i]'The soul is not the complete memory of a life. It is like a piece of modelling clay, and on it are many imprints, some almost impossible to make out, others unmistakable... the most important events in a life leave indelible traces on a soul, giving it its shape. Thus a soul is always both more and less than the person it once was... the distillation, the essence of a person... A soul without a body is as useless as a body without a soul. A curiosity, a collector's item. Of course, the devils would disagree with this, and the Judgements would annihilate me for these thoughts...'[/i]

The notes had been unfinished, of course, abandoned mid-sentence, almost mid-thought. This had been a trademark of everything Phryne Amarantyne had written—maybe everything she had [i]done[/i]—in her life. She had been quite aware of this, had even acknowledged it:

[i]'I think it is one of the most audacious things to do for mortals to finish something. I confess, the thought of finishing, of ending anything, even the most mundane tasks, often scares me. It certainly feels safer to me to avoid ever truly finishing anything.'[/i]

&quotBut isn't every ending also a beginning? Then, by avoiding endings, we would also avoid new beginnings, which would be a pity, wouldn't it? Look at me: at this moment, I am nobody. But: I am, too, the soul who has stolen a reflection, to fashion a body for itself. I am unheard-of. And no one knows what I might still become.&quot

These might be your reflections while you Are Here, the mist of London slowly drenching your clothes high on the rooftops, the mist all around you, a million tiny reflections around you, and you only need to focus to find one, any one, in a perfect little water molecule, and you're gone, in that moment between moments that isn't quite a moment at all, to that space between spaces that isn't quite a space at all.

But you'll call that non-space 'home' for now. It'll do. For now.

[b][i]An Achievement! You have fulfilled your Destiny. [/i][/b]
[b][i]You are now The Memory:[/i][/b]
[b][i]You have changed beyond all understanding, but something of you has remained.[/i][/b]
[i]edited by phryne on 4/21/2018[/i]