Slush 2024-04

The meatballs in my gazpacho. Maybe you can find a better place for them.

Several dozen guitar pedals arranged by color across five shelves.Various BOSS compact pedals, Johan Rosén, CC-BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Vampires, as agents of chaos, stand opposite the Hounds of Tindalos. They don’t hate crosses and crossroads, they hate right angles. So what was really in those lost books of Euclid? Amusing paradoxes and common mistakes, or warding spells against the hounds and the dead? (Thanks to nukleonik, from Discord.)

The Accelerator attempts to tear down all structures it sees, sow as much chaos as possible, kill. Because it knows that what grows back will be better, stronger. It must be. (After Numeneras disappointing monster of the same name.)

It’s been commonly observed that a lie moves faster than the truth. Then on a large enough scale, say a galactic empire, the lag between them must create a kind of misinformation frontier,” a perpetual gap between the rumor and the truth. The wait between the lightning and the thunder stretched across geography.

Suppose you are a Starfleet ship stranded in the past. This happens sometimes. You’d think someone would develop a protocol or something.

  1. Stay hidden. We want to avoid paradoxes here.
  2. Deploy a probe. This probe is like a black box: it has all the information about the anomaly, where the ship is, and when the ship is.
  3. It is important that the probe is located before the ship. So it will be broadcasting continuously. But! It will be broadcasting an encrypted signal. Before departure, the ship will have synchronized with something like the algorithm that generates a One-Time Password. When that password is finally generated again in the future, the contents of the probe will be revealed. This prevents rescue before the event, and also makes the signal look random to observers.
  4. Starfleet will send a rescue. They probably won’t like it, but they definitely have the resources to hop around time now, and it’s surely preferable to letting the ship try and jump-start themselves.
  5. The probe gets left behind in the rescue, of course, to be complete the loop.

I don’t have it in me to follow through, and I can’t wrap my head around the details, but I am absolutely convinced that someone can do a spectacular Dark Shadows hack of Yazeba’s Bed & Breakfast. Obviously because it’s a soap opera with a tight cast of characters and a single focal location. But also because it constantly retells the same stories with tweaked premises or changed characters, and continuity cascades down the timeline in unpredictable ways. (It’s also different enough to stand apart from Yazeba’s.)


April 30, 2024