Mmmmm? Ah, Thomas! You cad, where have you been? Listen boy… Eh? Oh, yes, indeed. I see your point.
DECLARE Open Space, A Solar Wind, A Supernova By Which to Set My Compass
INVITE All With A Noble Spirit, or Mr Kariken @David_Falkayn, Elizabeth Farnsworth @Hadley, & Duchess Gummibuns @gwwar.
Dear me, off to the Leviathan to make things right with that noble moose Farnsworth…
Course 1 10 Grog & Heartfelt Comradery
Course 2 10 Madeira & Bad Jokes Told Well
Course 3 10 Salt Lagoderm & Esoteric Points of Navigation
Course 4 10 Rum With Tales Twice Told
Course 5 10 Sandfish in a Hardtack Coffin & Maudlin Reflection on Times Long Gone By
Course 6 10 Plum Duff & Honest Friendship
Course 7 100 A Vintage Sillery Made Cold Dragged Between the Twin Moons & Prospects of The New Adventure
Damn! He’s not here either. Where would I go if I were that thing? I must put myself in the frame of mind of a creature with a half developed brain, and a distorted understanding of the world. That’s shouldn’t be too hard. Let’s see…
DECLARE Melisande Copse
Course 1 30 Fried Squawmate Scale Crisps, lightly salted
Course 2 50 Autotomized Skink Tail, fresh and wriggling
Course 3 30 Parietal eye and Komodo venom soup
Course 4 70 Sauteed Jacobson’s organ, fluffed with cloacal aioli
Course 5 80 Dewclaws-on-a-Stick, dusted with powdered sugar
Course 6 400 Ice-cold bottle of “Ol’ Lizard’s Blood” root beer, poured over ice cream
INVITE Lt. Erythro Brummell (ret) @daneel and Lady Jane @penguinchris
The setting: a secluded sandy cove on the coast of Coulibri Island, in an open-aired yet cunningly climate controlled tent complex. Waves crash hypnotically on the beach as the salt-scented breeze playfully tugs at the diners’ hair (or headwear, as the case may be).
Declare Mary Flowers
Course 1 100 “The King Biscuit Cocktail Hour” A ‘spirited’ ice-breaker featuring the unparalleled skills of noted mixologist Quentin Taphackle Bosky, a space-hamster and elbow-crooker of some renown; he also juggles.
Course 2 75 “Magical No-Duck Mushies” Faux foie gras1 infused with
Périgord black truffles, wrapped in a shell of crushed walnut, and topped with caps of psilocybe cubensis.
1 – no ducks were harmed in the making of this appetizer.
Course 3 100 “I can’t believe it’s not sentient!” A distant and totally-not-self-aware cousin of the more well-known mega Sandfish, the Mudflipper is found only in the river deltas of the southernmost reaches of Weatherby. Each 'Flipper has been gently anesthetized (just in case) prior to being blackened and pan-seared, then served whole on a bed of whipweed pilaf.
Course 4 150 “Ruminations on Spring” A tender selection of lilies, trembling aspen shoots, and dandelions, tossed on a bed of moss with a delicate elderberry vinaigrette and a pondweed garnish. Served with an lemon cream archaebacteria2 chaser that produces a mild euphoric as a byproduct of the cellulosic metabolism.
2 – genetically modified with a planned biological obsolescence to ensure non-competition with your native gut fauna, as well as synthesize a digestive enzyme that’s both effective and gentle on the stomach.
Course 5 125 “Traditional Roast Beast” Prepared according to a closely-held family recipe, the details of this savory delight brook no elaboration.
Course 6 75 “Three Friends” A multifarious collection of exotic fromages, assorted nuts, and a variety of stiff port wines, accompanied by a Bouzouki Trio from the Weatherby Academy of the Arts.
Course 7 25 “One mint, wafer-thin” This dessert is traditionally refused three times, to indicate satiety with and approval of the host’s taste and largesse, before finally being accepted by the guest (it is, after all, only wafer thin).
Course 8 125 “Surgeon’s Delight” A postprandial selection of fine brandies and cognacs, decanted into specially formulated snifters capable of trapping a generous layer of ether on top of the liquor.
Invite Duchess Gummibuns @gwwar
Invite Hieronymoose Farnsworth, III @Wisconsin_Platt
Orders for Turn 9 will begin below
Gift @Hadley: 200£ vintage reading glasses
A note reads: For hands-free editing.
Gift @Eighth 200£: Vintage copies of
A note reads: Child’s reads to you, perhaps, but still, one hopes you’ll find some enjoyment. I was always partial to Mackay, myself.
Gift @Old: 45£ six dead rats, an arachnoid molt and the sheets from a room in a rent-by-the-hour hotel. (Images left to the imagination).
A note simply consisting of 4 letters: GATC.
As you guessed, Sam Kean’s book was nursery reading in my “family.” Chapter 9, “The Posioner’s Corridor” was always a personal favorite. I have pleasant memories of gently rocking to sleep, my mid-brain full of thoughts of thallium…
Cathy O’neil’s book is new to me. While the techniques described seem hopelessly primitive, I am sure I can improve up them. What a wonderful “How-To” guide!
Oh my heart, Tom, my heart is just going to burst. It’s like totally time. Don’t you globbing feel it?
The whipweed farms are in trouble this season, but you don’t care about that do you, Tom? Even if we have to move out of this fabulous apartment or serve together in like a dumb war, like two badasses, I think this was just really meant to be.
You know, we match, just like beans in a can! I’ve had such a wonderful time. Haven’t you? Like at the dinner party. I mean I like totally dropped that last bean course, but you knew just how to distract the guests and they were none the wiser! Or that romp in the country side, like I mean those hot campfire beans. Oh yes, and how could I forget that unforgettable, globbing, blazing waltz, like when my heart first caught! Tom, you always know what I need most!
Tell me,you’ll say yes Tom!
I mean, I have like such the perfect venue in mind. I had to fight off this dumb servant that said I couldn’t be there.
But you know, I’ve always loved the outdoors! And this would be perfect, a blossom-strewn ceremony in Brummel Park! It’s just the right season, purple and pink. Out in the open, and I have just the right idea for all the bean plates we can serve!
Money is a bit tight right now, but we gotta keep up appearances. I can move out of this place later, but I think it’s just the right move. The gossips you know they’ll just blab if I moved out of my fab apartment right before being married!
Rent Fashionable apartment
Oh and like, I got invited to all these dinners, and you know I was the third wheel at so many of these! Me! Duchess Gummibuns!!! I had to throw over a few plates, just to get them to look at me!
But after I got over it, you know I think folks are totally going to get hitched too. Maybe a gift will help give them a bit of courage to say the words.
Gift @penguinchris: 50 fine motor oil.
Like, I totally think this might be to your fancy?
Gift @mrmonkey: 50 coffee bean grinder
Like I didn’t see one of these in your kitchen yet! So useful for grinding cofee beans.
Gift @nightflyer: 50 A trashy ladies book, with a crisp bill discreetly tucked between the pages.
Like you know, I took the plunge to just write! Like you told me to at dinner. I’ve always wanted to write trashy books for ladies! I think you’ll like this one!
Propose Charlotte Branchwit
Venue 2 (where else?)
Gift @Donald_Petersen 50 A sterling silver serving tray, with an accompanying selection of the finest confections, for really spoiling your ambassadorial guests:
Gift @hadley 100 This elegant antique pen which befits a media baroness such as yourself:
and also my copy of this book, which I have found invaluable over the years and now pass on to you:
gift @ghoti 50 This medicinal fountain, which I’m sure you will find use for
Oh dear Qaaxtzl. It is you who fills my heart. It has always been you since the our first correspondence and our lovely stroll around the park.
I don’t care that you suffer from such great constipation that you spend 1/3 of your time in the bathroom. I love you the more dearly for your maladies.
And of course the ceremony should be held in the park where we had our first stroll named now for your master. It is only fitting
Gift @MrMonkey 50 Mechanical horse to help you get around weatherby when the Uber drivers go on strike (whoops did I just let the scoop for my next story slip?)
Gift @daneel 100 goblet to celebrate with your new bride
And to the one who got away. Congratulations on your marriage to the dutches. I’m sure you will make each other very happy.
179.50 hot box
[A single tear of joy rolls down Franksenketchup’s left cheek]
[sotto voce] Oh, how exquisite…
Propose Lizzy Heliotrope
To a compatriot who is beak and feather above all others,
Gift @nimelennar 50 Imported Tea Chest from Ceylon Prime
Darling cousin, I know how much family means to you so, I give to you
Gift @Hadley 40 Heirloom Quilt from Great Great Grandmamoose
Jean-Rhys, always a scholar. I found these rare books in a little backwoods shop and thought you would appreciate them.
Gift @mrmonkey 100 First Editions of Edmund Wells
Wager 25 Pocket o’ Lobsters
Musing to herself. —Oh wow. Old Liv @MalevolentPixy gave me the most beautiful gift. I guess he really does believe the end is near. Well I’m glad we could become friends in the end. Maybe I can convince him to buy me out of the newspaper business.
So Liv, What do you think of the report from catalufa?
The caller you have reached is unavailable at this time. You may leave a message or try again, later. BEEP.
Dearest Skidwish - you know I did always wonder about that name - as one must wonder who would wish to be but a skid, marking themselves permanently, though I am now reminded of an interesting exhibit at WeatherbyMOMA of scuffs made exclusively and painstakingly with a school of non-marking sole.
I have appreciated your discretion during our courtship, and I call it that now in bemusement at a remark made by an acquaintance who witnessed us at the club and thought it must be romantic, but then is it not, in truth, a courtship? Have you not comforted me in my times of woe as my… how shall I describe it… wiped? memories return?
Your consciously pretending to be something you’re not is what helped me realize that I had been unconsciously pretending, and though one could argue I would have been better off not knowing, it was eating away at my mind and it’s clearly best to know why in order to understand what is happening and how to address it.
As it’s unclear what effect the return of these memories may have on my superficial personality and memories, I wish to record here what I have already related to you, for posterity and to help explain what happened if anything goes particularly wrong in future.
As best as I can piece together from memory fragments that reoccur every night in my dreams - though my artistic ability is crude, allow me to illustrate one below…
…I am no lady, but in fact some sort of kill-bot. Of course, the repression matrix that was installed is so powerful that I am, in fact, actually human, and am unable to process the knowledge fully despite our efforts to break through the matrix.
(though I recall the alley where I had it done…
…I do not recall if it was my own or someone else’s decision to install it)
I do strongly feel an emotion identified as remorse, and we’ve speculated that once my AI programmed itself into true sentience and learned to feel emotions, I was devastated by my previous actions, had the repression matrix installed and the false memories and identity overlain, including the urge to seclude myself in some small backwater, which happened to be Weatherby. It’s been one of our most pleasureful distractions to try to deduce where my false memories came from, the biggest clue being my coat of arms:
The upper-right image is clear enough, but then by reverse image searching the motor-carriage in the upper left and cross-referencing with a database of names and addresses found in my memory core, we determined that the person who installed the false memories in the alley must be a descendant of the previously-thought-to-be-mythical Jane, who, as everyone knows, is supposed to have driven a yellow Subaru 360 from Orange County to Mars.
As my mind continues to feel like it’s fracturing, it has been the greatest pleasure of my life (such as it is) to share my deepest thoughts and fears with you. It would be the happiest day of my life (such as it is) if we were to marry. Oh, I know it’s all false, and I don’t expect any romance (I suspect it may be dangerous for one or both of us). It is in any case strategic, and you know I will support the Ambassador with my military prowess in whatever manner she desires, and our alliance would allow you to keep close tabs on her. Most importantly, it would provide me with great comfort as what I consider to be my most important consciousness slips away.
Though I know we’d both prefer to just swing by city hall, since I am an Aldersentient of Weatherby and seeing as how the Ambassador would of course be the guest of honor, I believe it is necessary to keep up appearances and have a real ceremony and all. That does mean we’ll have to go whole-lizard, with, yes….
A stately ceremony in St. Marrowbone Cathedral (Venue 1)
I eagerly await your reply.
p.s. I forgot to tell you at our last meeting what I gave as thank-you gifts to those who attended my recent dinner.
Gift @gwwar 50 Magic Beans
Gift @David_Falkayn 50 An interesting pixuerreotype I came across that reminded me of him, in a fine frame (perhaps I will draw the frame for you another time)
Gift @Donald_Petersen 50 A statue of space monster who, like me, is perhaps a robot underneath but actually a human?
(and you are obviously already aware of my gift to you)
PROPOSE Oblate Spheroid
Gift @Donald_Petersen 50£ “Bottomless Diplomatic Pouch”
Gift @Hadley 50£ “Zebra Editing Pen”
Gift @David_Falkayn 50£ “GMO Blight Resistant Whipweed Seedlings”
Bottomless Diplomatic Pouch - Holds everything and the kitchen sink, but somewhat difficult to find what you’re looking for.
Zebra Editing Pen - Cleans up your reporters’ sloppy work while making sure your paper is black and white, and red all over.
GMO Seedlings - The latest seedlings from my blight resistant whipweed project. Whip it. Whip it good.
Ambassador and Aldersentients,
And all other Weatherbeings,
timba, his arms wide open
It is an honor of the deepest deep to address this august body on such a lovely May day in the sacred Cathedral of St. Marrowbone. Since I have arrived on Weatherby, I have witnessed a most remarkable societie, beset by challenges and yet most uncommon in beating the odds to achieve a certain kind of excellence.
The City of Weatherby faces threats, from the plague, from sketchy realtors and from sketchier tonics. The Planet of Weatherby is endangered by the blight, by New Prussian aggression, and by the fifth estate known as censorship. All while the System of Weatherby is under siege by drug-runners, venture geneticists, and unchequed profiteering.
In the midst of such surging tides, a young sentient might become unmoored and set adrift. Each day, young citizen-aspirants have lost their lieges to the plague, to impoverishment, to peculiar snake oils, and to the ignoble calumny that befalls those forced to downsize quarters. All of Weatherby risks losing great richness of societie if such down-luck citizen-aspirants are lost to the vices of gambling and other seductions of the easy money on the side alleys of society.
In seeking for an amelioration to the plight of wayward youths, I have the deepest gratitude for the support of Admiral James Riptide. It was through his unique passion for the victuals of Weatherbean Life, anchored by his deep tendrils in his distinguished service to the United Federation of Oceans and Seas, that inspired this initiative: the Distinguished Appointment to Commission in the Academy (DACA).
The Distinguished Appointment to Commission in the Academy is a unique opportunity for young sentients of promise to enroll in Starfish Academy, the officer training school for the United Federation of Oceans and Seas (UFOS). This opportunity will be afforded to one young Weatherby sentient a year, regardless of citizenship status, lineage, ward, patronage, or any other encumbered societal burden. It is a chance to be reborn again.
Make no mistake, deciding on the military life is not for everyone. Some joke that one does not serve the Navy, one marries it. To embark upon a space navy career often requires leaving one’s home, one’s parents, one’s patron, and one’s love. A Naval Commission is not a fit for those who wish to pursue the domesticated life of tranquil suburban planetoids. And yet, for some, such as me, the sea of the starry sky has always been my greatest paramour.
With that, it is my privilege to offer the first of Weatherby’s Distinguished Appointment to Commission in Starfish Academy scholarship to:
- Mr. Richard Oomingmak Ticklebot Liversnaps-Grayson @liversnaps-grayson
Your majesty, your governership, and other exalted beings: thank you for your attendance on this historic day.
May the Fourth Be With You.
propose @liversnaps-grayson venue 1
“Damn, the hour grows late, and still so much to do. How did he even fit into this corset?”
a soft rustle betrays the slipping of a note under the door
“Gad. If it ain’t one thing, it’s two.”
the wicked old Lizard reads
“Oh. Oh my.”
some strange fluid leaks out past an ocular nictitating membrane
“How… how do I say yes?”
letter is clasped tightly to a reptilian bosom
“And yet… how could I ever say no?”
Propose Melisande Copse
Gift @penguinchris 50 A new-old-stock unopened box of fresh vacuum tubes, accompanied by an antique dash-mounted Organ Replicator. The tubes are a perfect fit.
Gift @David_Falkayn 30 An extra large jug of well-aged cloacal aioli, just like grandmother used to excrete, in gratitude for having rid us of that sketchy investment, whatever it was.
There’s more where that came from, and when the New Prussians get here, they’ll certainly smell where the Rothschild/Karekin/Falkayns are hiding.
Pictures to come, and so much more, but I’m under another deadline here. Be back soon!