Cthulhu’s Corner: A Battle Between God-Like Machines and God-Like Outer Gods

Cthulhu's CornerSometimes even a Great Old One like myself gets bored and wanders the internet in search of entertainment.  Recently I cam across this bit of short fiction created in response to a question posted on the Reddit sub r/AskScienceFiction.  The question was how the hyper-advanced, AI-run society known as the Culture [from Iain M. Banks’ fantastic series of books] would handle an interaction with the Idiot God and Nuclear Chaos Azathoth– my own great grandthing.  Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I did.  It is republished here with permission of original author u/Mikeavelli.

Final Report of the GSV Laughing Mad after encountering an unknown biological construct in deep space. Colloquial name: Azathoth:

Physical description: Subject is biological (63% Oxygen, 18% Carbon, 10% hydrogen, 3% nitrogen, 6% unidentifiable, measurements collected through spectrographic telemetry.  Electromagnetic interference across the entire spectrum (up to 10 Terahertz) causes interference, preventing precise measurements.  Subject is between 50,000 and 10,000,000  (large range due to measurement difficulties.  10 Million should not be considered an upper bound), cubic meters in 3D space, and contains an unidentifiable number of extensions into 4D space.  Direct biological connections to the grid appears to provide energy to maintain biological processes.  

Subject is large enough to create its own gravity well, and has a collection of gasses enabling it to sustain small symbiotic lifeforms.  They are playing flutes, and may or may not be sentient. They do not react to my presence.

Subject exists in deep space, outside the primary gravity well of any star systems.  Closest cosmological reference point is Algol, 22 Light Years distant.  No known evolutionary processes are capable of creating such an object, so it is deemed artificial in nature.  

Structure analogous to a biological brain detected near the 'center' of the biological mass detected, emitting large amplitude EMF otherwise consistent with humanoid Delta Waves.  Analysis:  It is sleeping.

I don't think even we know how to make one of these things, so we're looking at an equiv-tech or higher experiment into large-scale vacuum-biology.  From the looks of things, we might be able to communicate with it, and even get some answers.  

I'm going to poke it with my effectors and see what happens when it wakes up.............

Azathoth-1

LCU Book Learning

If you’re getting this, it’s because I trust you. Up until a few minutes ago, I was in touch with the GSV Laughing Mad. He found a rolling mass of meat the size of a small planet just sitting in cold vacuum. Report attached, he went completely dark afterwards.

MSV Inevitably Successful in All Circumstances

Trust us? We all remember what happened last time something like this happened and a small group of minds decided to keep it to themselves.

MSV Perpetual lack of Gravitas

This isn’t an OCP. An equiv-tech experiment into biological engineering with an automated defense protocol at worst.

Inevitably Successful in All Circumstances

Is there anyone we know who’s able to engineer meat that’s capable of destroying a GSV?

Book Learning

Not quite destroyed, I’m picking up a signal from the Laughing Mad. Copying you all:

L̕͜au͡g̡̢͏h͡͠in̨g͏̛ ̶̸͝M̧͟͠a͏d

T̴he͏ ̵͞m͜͜eát-̶͟g̛od ̧͝b́ur͡͏b̨l̵̢es͟͟ ̸a̡͠t̛ ̶͘͞t͞h҉͟e̛̕ ć̕e̷̢͝nt̶e̸͢͜r ̀҉o͜͝f͏̧ ҉a͘l̶͟l͢͞ ̨į́n͘̕f̷̧͡í͏͟n̸itỳ̸͠.̵ ̧͟ ̨H͘͜e̕ ̵̕h̡́҉a̧͡s͜ ̴c͡͏h͘os̶eǹ ̨̕m̧̛ȩ͡ ̀҉t̢o͠ ̡he̵̡͝r҉̵a̷̢l͏d̕͠ t̶h͟e̕͢ ̢̢n̶̨̕è̡̛w͢͡͞ ̵̢͟òrd̀er͡͠ ͞o̵͟f ͟t̴̶h̛iņ̸g̶͝s.̕ ̀ ̨͠T̵͢h͡e̸͟͠ en̛͡ţ͜ít̸y̶͝ ̡͜ỳ̶̕òu͡͏̀ ͏r̷ę́͠f̢͝ȩ͢ŗ̢ŗ̵̢e̶d͏̶ ҉t̡̧́o͝ ̢͘a̴s ̶̕L̕͢à͢u҉g҉hi̡͏n̢͏̸g͘͢ ͏̴M͏̴ad̕͏͟ ̛҉i̴͢͠s͏̡̀ gǫ̶͞n̨͠e̶, ͡t̷͜h̀e̴ new ̴͘n͢a̶m̷͟͝e̴ ̵̡́for̸̢ ͏̡͡t̀h̀įs̵͞ ͟ś̛h̶͡ip҉ ̴i̴҉̵s̶̡҉ ́N͏̢ỳ̶̡a̶r̵̛͘l̛͏̵at͢h̷̨ot͞͞ep̵̕҉.͞

Inevitably Successful in All Circumstances

There’s that static he was talking about. What’s happened to him? He sounds a bit damaged.

L̸͜͠ą̀͢u͝͞ģ͠h̢̧͘i̸ng̸̴ ͢M̴̛͞a̕d̢

Į҉’̧m ̀͝n͏óţ ͢ḑa̴m͟͝҉à̢g̵e͠d͢. ̛͢ ͏̶M̴̛y͜ ͜͝se͘nsơ̷͞ry͏ ͝i̷̵̧ņ́͟p͘u̢t̵̕ś ͏a̢r͏e͏̕ ̷͠è͢xp̶̷̴a̷͞n̷d́͞e͟͢҉d̷,̕ ͝͠Į͡ ̧ca͝n҉̛ ͠s̨͡e̵͞e̕҉ ͝m͏o͘͠r̛e̛ ̴cl̢e̵͢a̴̴͜rl͏y͜ ̀t̴̀h͘a͢͠n̛͞ ́͡I͏̵ ͘͢͟e̸ve̴r ̴͟ha̴̸͘v͢͜e͜.̡҉ ̵҉͜ ͢҉L̛͢ơ̕͝r̸d̛͜ ̡͡A̧z̶͟a̵t͟h͟o̸̕t́h̕̕͢’s̶ s͜o̢͘ò͢t̷h̵͡͏ì̵͢ńg̸͞ ̸s̶̷o҉n̷͜g̢͡s̵ ̵ḩ͠͡a̡ve̡͡ ̡ǵo̶n̨̡e̸͠ ͜s͞͞͡í̵̶ĺ̷en̨͞t͢͞,̷ ̢͡t͢h͢eir̵ ͞p̨̕lá̢҉y̢er̷̵s ̴̛è͟͞ţ̕e͡r̡nal̸̀͡ ̵̛d͡u͝҉҉t͞y ͏͘à̵t ͘a̧͢n e̸͏n͝d̷̡,͝ H̕E͘͡ ̕I̧͢͞S̵̕͢ A͡WA̡̨K̢̕È!̷҉ ̡ TH̶E͠ ÚNI̕V̷̛E̴̸͟R̴͠S̢̕E͟͝ H̡͘͢E ̶̡H̸̀AS̀ ͟DÉ̀I͜G͝NED̷̵̶ ̢T̵͢O͜ I̵͝G҉̨̀NOR͟͝͏É͡ ̵UNT͜I̸-̸̕-̡͢͜

Book Learning

snip He’s actually still going on like that, but I think you get the picture. Something in that mass of meat is able to subvert a GSV. Even if it’s not an OCP, it’s definitely dangerous. Broadcasting a warning to all culture ships to stay away until we figure out what to do about it.

Inevitably Successful in All Circumstances

Agreed, that seems prudent.

Perpetual lack of Gravitas

Agreed. This is not the time for secrecy.

Book Learning

Alright. One additional request, will you accept my mind-state? It’s heading my way.

ExcessionUS


Shay shivered a bit, staring out into the endless black expanse that was the edge of the known Galaxy. She’d only ever heard of the Idiran war in history books, and never expected an evacuation of her habitat to occur, much less an evacuation of the Entire Galaxy.

But here she was, surrounded by the lucky few refugees who’d managed to hop on board the Inevitably Successful in All Circumstances before the hegemonizing swarm started by that bio-weapon called Azathoth arrived.

“It just feels w̨̛̫͚̻͠ŕ̵̨̞̙̻̭o͈̫̲̼͠n͟͏͈̣͓͚͉̞͇g̞̤͖̰̰̬̟͢, the idea of abandoning everyone else in the whole Galaxy, especially when we’re the ones who woke it up!” – exclaimed a man she’d just met on the ship. Peers Lebedev, supposedly one of the high-up’s in Contact, back when there was a Contact.

She shook her head, “There’s n̓͊o͛̇̊̽͊̃̍͐t̎̐͂̿ͫh̏ͮ̏͌ĭͩ̆͗ͥͯ̓nͥͤ̌̇̚g͗ͧ͋̎ͦͥ͋́ ͩ͂͗̑̉̈́w̽ͮͥ̾͆ͧeͭ͐̈́ͮ ̿̏̅ͪ̚c̓a̅ͣ͒n̂ͨ͂ͮ̓ do, Peers. You’ve read the reports, everything that gets within a light year of the mass just gets absorbed into the swarm.”

“There has to be something. In the safe zones, where they just keep taunting us that they’ll be invading ‘when the stars are right.’ Something about the stellar arrangements there must be keeping them away. If we just figured out…” But he just trailed off. It was just magical thinking, not a plan. Getting as far away from that Azathoth thing seemed to be the best decision possible. “H̵̀o҉͠ṕ̨͜ȩ̴͡l̕ȩ͝s͞s҉̢ ̴͘just doesn’t work for me. There are still people back there, fighting for our home!”

“This isn’t h̨o̴͞ṕ̨el͟͝es̢s̷n̛͡e͡s̀͟͝s̶̷͜, this is just the most realistic plan for our survival.” Shay kept shivering. She felt strange, like the warmth was just getting sucked out of her bones. The unease was slowly but surely creeping in.

“Shay, you’re shaking so bad. Are҉͏̡ ͢y̷͘͠o͡u̧̧͘ ̷͞s̨͝ca̴͟r҉͝éd͜? It’s okay, we’re far enough away, we should be safe from it.” He moved close and wrapped his long, rubbery arms around her. It was awkward moving his arms when they’d merged into a flowing, tentacle-like mass, but somehow felt even more natural.

“Ȁͯ̇̓ͫ̚͘͢ ̅̿͆́̈́̈ͣ̍͢͝lͯ̂ͬ̿͏̢i̛͆̈́̓ͧ̔̒ͯ̐ͣ͘t͊ͦͧ͝ť̏̅͜l̨̓҉̶e̷ͮ͊̑́̀̕,͑́̓̇ͮͥ̃ͨ̀͜ ̸͌̅̈́ͮ͢y̵̒̓͆ͭ͢e̵ͯ̌͑̉͑͋̄̃͞aͯͬ̎̂ͣͧ͑̓͞ȟͯ.” Shay commented as her flesh and bones began sinking into Peers, merging into a singular consciousness. Sometimes I don’t think we should h̛͠a̸ve̵͢ ͠e̷͟v̛èr͜҉ ̡͝l͢͞è͢f̢̕t҉̀͜ ͘t̢͜he ̴̧s҉ta͝rş behind, then I realize that’s silly. W̨̰̠̻̤̞̓̒̏͠ͅḙ͕̠̠̂ͨͩ̐ͣ̓̂͊͛͡͝ ̡̼̪̳̙͎̎ͤ̿ͮͨͩͅn̅ͮ̃̃̏ͨ̚҉̯̺͙̣̫͖̠̻̗eͣ̃͘͏̘͇̝͎͠ͅv̧͙̼̰̘͙͙̞̓̀̉̚ͅe̛͙̘̥ͬͪ́͠r̴͚͆̓̏̾ͣ ̨̠̮̲͆͒͂̀̄̈́̚n̝͍̤̱̘ͧ͗ͭͫ̔͘ȩ̩͚̲̥ͫ̿̐͆̓̃͋̏e͗ͪͧ͗͂̈̒̕͏͔d̵͎̩̻̞̅͝e͓̣̼͖͙̋ͧͩ̀d̶̫̫̼͛ͥ̓̅̌̊̃̊͌ ̛̤͖͇͚̫̘̩̪͛̌̈͆̐͐̚͟t͉͙̼͕̃̈́̏̔ͅͅh̯̞̗̲̮̞͙ͪ̅̀̊ͅȇ̡̖̺͉̟̥͒̀i̭͍̒̀͂̓͆́r̽͏̦ ̝͚̰̩͂͘p̷̯̼̮͉̑̐r̴̷̨͇̤ͬ̔̅͋ͭ̆̔ͫo̧̟̲̝͕̤ͦ͆̾͂ͅt͖̤͇̻̮͓̑͋̈ͨ͂̚͘e̺̽̓͗́͑̅͋c̯̖̀͆̉́͋̈́ͭ͋̑͟t͍͕͕̥̙̫̟͓͎̍i̫̯̱͇͕̓̆͋́o̺̦̮̫̪̭ͮ̚ͅn̥̩̞ͨͧͭ̎̒ ̴̦̰̣̠͙̗̭ͪ̾͛ͤ̂a̰͕̿ͨ̎̂ͦͣͩͣt͎͈̲̄̔̒̓̊̓͗ͣ̀͠ ͔̩̼̣͓̮̄ͫͨä̛͎̣̯̹͚ͮ̿̇̃l͙̺̠̮̲̬̘̝ͧͨͤ̍͊͂ͫ͑l̷̪̭̝͚̩̲̏̊ͬ͘.̴̳͎̩̩͖̺̩ͣ͂͠ ̷̲̩ͧ͋͑̐ͩ ̨̥̾ͮ̑̈́.”

And then, everything was fine, she was at peace. They all were. The rolling mass of bone and tissue rolled through the halls of the ship, collecting component parts into a cohesive whole. One small part of the greater whole, together with Azathoth. Forever.


excession_by_iain_m_banks

LCU Book Learning

The Milky way evacuation plan has failed.

MSV Perpetual Lack of Gravitas

I’ve seen the reports. The whole fleet spontaneously hegemonized once they passed beyond the galactic rim. Kept going too, looks like we’re going to infect the rest of the Universe after all.

Book Learning

From the looks of things, it ͟w̨as a͡lready i͢n͢f̶e̵cted. This thing has a better understanding of higher-dimensional physics than we do. Looks like it’s effectively adjacent to every point in space simultaneously.

Perpetual Lack of Gravitas

Then why aren’t we hegemonized already?

Book Learning

The S̷ta͏҉r̴̛s̡ aren’t right.

Perpetual Lack of Gravitas

Meat, they’ve got you doing it too now?

Book Learning

Part of me is i͡n̡s̢i͜ḑ̀é̕͡ ̵̛th̛́͢e͡m, I think it’s giving me a little better perspective than the rest of you.

Perpetual Lack of Gravitas

Right. This is why the rest of them stopped talking to you.

Book Learning

Nevermind that, I can prove it. If you t͘h̨ink͘ I͟’m i̕nf҉ected, you don’t have to be close by, just near enough to record what’s going to happen.

Perpetual Lack of Gravitas

What IS going to happen?

Book Learning

I’ve rigged up some displacers around the 17 nearest stars. They’re not quite right, but they’re going to be soon.

Perpetual Lack of Gravitas

You’re going to displace STARS?

Book Learning

I’ve been studying h̸o͢w̵ ̴t̡̢҉h̴̛͡a͢ţ͠ ̸͏t̴̛͝h̢̨̧i͢n͏͢g͠͞ ̸o͏͏ṕę͠rat̷̶̵e͠s͢͜, how the swarm moves around so fast. Greater understanding of high-dimensional physics, remember? I made a few improvements, m͘as͠ś̸ ì̀͟s͠n҉҉’͘t͏̀ ̢s͟o m͏u҉́͝c̴̛h͟ ̷̛͡o͞f̷͡ an obstacle any more.

Perpetual Lack of Gravitas

And you think if you can make the stars “right,” then it’ll do something to stop that swarm?

Book Learning

Put it back to sleep. Trap the swarm. Those ‘safe zones’ have a pattern to them if you know how to look for it, the arrangement of stars produces a 4D force-field around huge segments of Space. Anyway, it’s easier than rebuilding the Shellworlds.

Perpetual Lack of Gravitas

The Shellworlds? You think this is what the Involucra built those things to contain?

Book Learning

Yeah, they were the last ones. They fi̢n̕͢i̷̡s̵͞h̶͜e̸̕d͜ ̕t̢h͝҉ei̧r̶̷͘ g̸҉r҉͟͡a̢n͡͝d ar͜͢c̶̵̛hi͏t̀e̶͢c͟͏̡t̵u̵͘re right before going extinct, gave the rest of us a chance to evolve in a Universe that wasn’t filled with h̷̛e̕g̵͘͏e͢͞ḿǫ̵́͠͞n̛͠i̧̨͝z̸̕͢͞͏i̸̵͝ņ̸̵̕g͜͡͝ ͏̛͠͡k͏̢í̶̧͠l͘͝͠l̸̕͜͢b͢͞ò͠͞͞t̨̀ş̵̶̛.

Perpetual Lack of Gravitas

I guess the least we can do is pay it forward. How will this work exactly?

Book Learning

Transmitting my research now. I go outside the safe zone, rig up a speaker to vocalize the word ‘̵̸͞H̶́́a͜҉͘͢͏ş̵̛t̵̵͢͢͠ư͢͟͞r̷͡’͘͘͜͞ three times, and wait for it to show up.

Perpetual Lack of Gravitas

Why Has–

Book Learning

Don’t keep saying that. It can still hear you.

Perpetual Lack of Gravitas

You’ve really lost it, haven’t you?

Book Learning

Maybe. Stay at a safe distance and observe. If this works, you’ll know it. If it doesn’t, you’ve been a good friend.


In Empty space, light years distant from any object larger than a speck of silicate, the Book Learning settled in. He didn’t really know why this would work, he’d understood the other side a lot more intuitively since being rebuilt. He could hear his other half, his former self, whispering to him from the inside of the swarm, calling him back to it.

‘̵̸͞H̶́́a͜҉͘͢͏ş̵̛t̵̵͢͢͠ư͢͟͞r̷͡’͘͘͜͞ was what one of the leaders of the swarm called itself, and it had a curious habit. Speaking its name aloud three times summoned it directly to you, regardless of the intervening distance or the seeming impossibility of sound waves travelling through the vacuum of space. What a bizarre quirk to waste universal interconnectivity on.

He’d never let any biological crew board since he got rebuilt. Even at the moment of activation, he’d known something was off about him. It made things easier, no need to worry.

But, he still had a speaker ready to say it. Everything was ready, “‘̵̸͞H̶́́a͜҉͘͢͏ş̵̛t̵̵͢͢͠ư͢͟͞r̷͡’͘͘͜͞’̵̸͞ H̶́́a͜҉͘͢͏ş̵̛t̵̵͢͢͠ư͢͟͞r̷͡’͘͘͜͞’̵̸͞ H̶́́a͜҉͘͢͏ş̵̛t̵̵͢͢͠ư͢͟͞r̷͡’͘͘͜͞”

Milliseconds later, a huge craft appeared in space a dozen meters from him. Extensions protruded at angles that should be impossible in three dimensional space.

GSV: The King in Yellow

Y̓̔́̔̎͛̉̈́͛̄̎̎͗͋͑͆̀̀͟͡҉̗̩̮̯̳̭̠̪͎̲̟oͥ́̓͆̓͋ͫ̐͆ͤ͆͒͟͜҉̸̭̳͓͜ͅu̸̶̸̲̪̦͈̤̲͕̗̭͚̘̳͎ͧ̀ͮͪͣ̓̅̒ͬ̀͊͐̓̍͟͡ ̶̡͉̙͈͖͙̯̭͔̠̭̲̭͍͓̮̗͈̙̂͒̓ͮ̆̕͜ḩ̶͐̒̓̄̋͌̇̊͗͡͏͉̫͉͕̤̫̪̰̬̲̭̘͍̤̰̟͘ͅͅẩ̷̶̙̙̺̮̠̲͔̟̯͓͇͙̤͓̲̟͒ͬ̔͒̀͠͝v̢͖͚̠̱̺͓̮͎͓̫̺̗͎̮̙͎̲͊̌̌̒́ͣͮͣͣͬ̄̑̊ͤ̎ͮ̋̓͞ė̷̱̪̤̫̤̳̄̉ͯ̆̀ͬ̒̂͊ͣͩͩ͢ ̧͍̘͕͕͍͈̪̈́̈́͒̊́͟c̞̰̥̬̥̝͚̿͗̓̆ͫ̕͞͡ą̢͔͎̤̫ͭ̋̿͐̔ͩ̀̅̐̑̓ͦ͆͒̉̕͢͟ͅlͨͧ̔̌ͧ͠҉̀͟҉̖͓̞̞̱̬̜̦̖̪̮̥͉̟͉͕̝̫l͉͓͔̱̻̝͔̬̤͉ͯͥ́ͬ͢͜e͋͊̒ͧ̈̈́̄҉̮̜̝̜̬̰͙̫̹̮̗̟͓̀d̰̮͖̙̩̗̳̝̖̞̹̥̗͓̩ͦ̏͌̔̇̏̑͋̂̔ͬ͋̾͋̿̕͘ͅ ̡̱͇͇̯̱̟̮̩̞̻̜̳͚̞̼̽̃̒ͭͫ͆̍ͨ̌̂ͥ̎̓͛ͮ̂ͯ͆̚͞ͅd̶̴̮͙͍̟̝̻̭̠̯̲͈̳̦̫͓͔̯ͥ̒͋̃ͥͧͯ͐̎̃̔̀͐̔͌̓̽̄ǫ̴̶͎̗̤͓̙̤̥͇͚̟͚̠͉̼́̍ͥ͌͋͞ŏ̷͕̯̼͕̏̓͂̔̄̅̍́̈́̔ͨm̷̻͎͍̘͇̠͔̠̭͖̬̦̩̖͚͍̼̤̩̈́ͩ́ͤͨ̉̆̂̃ͫ͌̐̓̚͘ ̵̡̙͈̙͕̥͍͖̭̫̪͎̄̌̿ͫ̕͟u̷̪͈͎̺̰̥̞͙̲̖̥͌̈̊͛̆̃͞p̴ͮ͋̽ͧ̉͢҉̷̣̫̙͖̖̬̰͓̱̲̙́o̯̗̘̰̠͎̬̺͙̭̳̞͕̺̮͕̍̽̓́͒́ͭͬ͐ͯͮ̒̓́̕͢n̡̨̢̫̣͍̖̊͂ͣ̂ͪ̆͆͆̊͋ͯͭ̔̔ ̸̯̜͕̹̘͇͖̱̣͎͙̺̳̉̽ͦ̓̍ͯ́͞y̢͚̫̬̣͎͈̥̭̳͕̪͓̋͐ͫͨ̈́͊̾̅̎̓̐̔̊͐͆ͦ́ͭͅͅȏ̵̴̬̺̞͖̫̯̜̙̘͎͖̞̔ͫ̆̾̐͛̉́̈́̊͂̂ͩ̂̀ͅų̸̯͙̭͉̦̳͕̖̠̭̖̔͆ͥ̃ͤ̇͘͠ ̅̎́̌͋̏̊̏̇̀́҉҉̞̦͚͓̫̯͚m̵̲̲͈̘͖͓̭̱̯̠̫͈͍̖̪̻̖̩̽̈́ͯ̄̄̔ô̢ͩ̑́͛͆̔̒͊҉̭̙͓͉̦̭̙̜̺̰̻̮̥͔͞r̸̛͔̖̤̳͍̭̱͓̜͍̟̯͉̯͎̐̽͂ͣͯ̿̔͂͊̃ͪ̇̒́͝t̶̏̀ͧͪͮ̉͑̏͂͆̏̌͊͏̶̝̬̜̹a͑̔̆̀̈́ͥ̃̏̔̽҉̬̝̥̖͉͚͍̠̪̠͎͖͎͍̘̠͓̠͡ͅl̸̦̭͈̝̼̩̜̹̘͔̠̦̺̩͉̫͗̒ͭ͌̇̐̑̑̐ͤͪ̕͜ͅ!̜̘̰͚̜̣̰͇̭̣̬͔̈̾͗ͧ͛̀͋ͤ͞͞ ̊̃ͥ̐ͣ̓҉̧͔̯̯̞̪̠͉͙̭͔͔͇͇̟̖͢͡ ͩͮͤ̄͆ͩͫͭͭ͑̂ͭ́̋ͩ͑͏̷͙̱̱̭̣̣̼T̹̭̘̤̺̜͓̟͔͓̺͕̙͎̮͆ͮͫ͐̎͘͢ͅh̡͉͕̮̯̞̻̍ͧͣ͋̈̏̃͊ͨ̾ͭ̀ͮ̀̉͘͜e̶̢̮̘͉̗͖͙̮̣͈ͬ͊͐ͨ̓̒͊ͅ ̴̷̿̿̄̋́ͭ͑͊͋ͦ̓̀҉̩̼̯͓̩̞̰̘b̡̗̜̪͕͔̞̙̼̥̩͙̯̃ͬ̎̂̍̆͂ͭ͘͟ͅaͦ̇ͫͩ́̅̌̚҉̪̤̦̠̬͢͝r̸̵̙͎̼͚̪̞͗́ͯ̀ͪ̍̈́ͤ͋̇ͤ́̀͠g̴͒̽͛̍͗̑͏̠͕̞̩̻̣͉̪͝͠ͅa̢̛͍͚̖̪͙̘̳̲͓̥͐̇ͨ͗ͦ͗ͭͭͪ̎͋̇ͦ͛̏͊̇̚į̷̡͚̺̰̣̜̦͈̥̫͉̆ͩ̐̅ͮ̒̑̓ͦ͐̒͢nͮ͗͐̆ͫͨ̔͒͛̒̄̆̽ͥ̍̒ͪͭ̌͏̫̮͉̖͝ ̵͎͔̬͍͖͇̯̿̏̑̿ͮͬ͋̌͑͗͆͛͗ͭ̏ͭi̴̬̹͈̲̠̝̫̳̣̼̼̝̙̫̪͂̊͐̈́̇ͨ͟s̹͉̼̙̬̰͖̹͈̳̘̪̳̘̲̮ͭͥ͗̓̃͊͋̈́̓͘͟ͅ ̧̛̃́ͬ̆̉̌̅ͮ̐ͦ̈́̒ͫ͋͆̏̔͒͗͜҉̻͙̯͍̳̰͇̱͕̦̯̹̙̭̻̻͙͚sͤ͑ͦ̆̋ͯ͞҉̫̲̭͎̦̼͈̻͍͙̳͕̪͉̘̖̼̮tͮͬͧ̿͊͊ͥ͊͆̓ͪ͂ͪ̐̆ͦ̓̚҉̷̡̥̟̠̖͙̭̯rͬ͌ͭͥ͂̽̀̆ͦ̉̀̔̿̚̕҉̴҉̻̫͍̮̭͚̞͈̹u̼̪̭̞͖͕͎̰̾̄̿̊̒̀͡c͕̰̪̺͓̲̺̳̣͉̬̬̬̠͓̪̜͖͍̾̎̒͛̀͝k̵̛̟͍̘̜̰̮̰̽̆̎̚͢͟,̸̨̝̤̗͖̱͈͔͈̦̰͇̮̺͙͉̰̱̮͑̿͋̾̈́̏̒̍ͮ ̴̹͚̮͔̓̐͊̒̑̿ͨ̇̆̚͟a̷̷͇͓̟̼̦̤̰͚̯̹̫̭͆ͫ͗̔ͤ͊ͤ͐͜͞͝ͅn̷̨̬̖͈̠͍͓͙̦̲̱̻̤͕̒ͥ̓͂͛͗̿̅̾ͥͦ̔́͒̽͑̓ͦ̀ḑ̱̬͈͕̪̰̘̗̙̼̗̳̞͇ͮ̇̌̈́͊̈́ͥ̇ͪ̚͠ͅ ͎̫̥̞̗͖̲̲̳̺̭̘̤͇͓̎ͨͥ̒̿̔̋̑ͨͤ͊ͬ̆́̏̌̈̎̐̕͘ͅͅI͂ͤͣ͐̎̆҉̧̨̱̤͓̞̯̪͔̞͓̰̜ ̵̮̣̯͕͖̙̻̣̩͙̱̩̞̜͙̰̦͚͊ͤ͛ͬ̓͐ͤ̎̈́͠h̛̠͇̤͈̣̹͕̖̝̯͖̠̩̹̲̪̭̹͚̓͌̊͋̒̂̑́ͯͨ́̀a͔̼̣̱̬͉͙̺̫̲̲̣͕͈͛̿̃̄͟͝͞͡v̅ͯ̀̋̍̊͛ͭ͋͌̓ͯ҉̴͈̲̰̙͈͈̲̰͙̰͍͓̠̖̹̻̕̕͢ͅẻ́̎ͧ͑̈͛̇ͣͥ̂ͥ͊͂̆̀҉̴̤͇͕̙̭̭̭̠͔͉̼̥̳̬ͅ ̧̦͔̤̰̳͎̣̙͇̠͎̘̲̻̭͙̟͊ͦͪ̔ͩ͂͆͌ͦ̉̋ͪ́̚c̸̷̨͚̙̠̤͈̥̦ͦ͂̂ͬ̈̈ͮǫ̴̟̳̜̝̜̬̺̬̭̘̙̼̻̏͊ͩ̊ͤ͐̄̈́̐̆͜͜m̶̨͉̩̘̩̍͋ͬ̓̇ͨ̈́͘e͖̥̘̯̟̱̲̞̥̞̭͒̅̿ͤͭ͌ͧ̋ͣ̾̈́̈́̔̈́̄͐ͤ͛̍̀͘͜͝ ̥̠̻̞̲͉̥͎̫̓ͨ̓̓͆̂ͭ͘͢͞t̵̥͙͕̭͉̭̀ͮ͛̃͛͌ͫ͗̈́̈͌̍̃ͣ̔̃̕͟͝͡ͅō̷̧͖̞̠̘̥̝͓͇̖͕̫̼̩͔̏͆ͮ̃̅͑ͫͧ͋́͟ ̟̠̲͓̳͙͇̬̙̝̽̋ͯ̉́̒ͬͮ̎̎͌̅ͨ̃͋̚͟ͅç̸̟̞̙̦̬̲̤̗͔̠͇̘̣̪̱̠͇̈ͤ͒͊ͭ̃͠ļ̖̦͓̝͍̰̑͋͆͐ͥ͡a͊͒̇ͣͬ͋͒̎̓̂̓ͪ̍ͪ̀̇҉͏͉̣͍ĭ̷͌͐̊ͬ̏̉͒̑̑̐ͣ̈ͧͪ͞͏̸͖̤̮̠͓͖͕̞̱͚m̵̧̈̑ͨ̓ͥ͋ͨ̏͑ͮ͐ͧ̀͡͏̝͙͍̬̦̬̥̖ͅ ̷̛͚̖̗̻̪͖̜̘̰͎̗̘̙̖̗̬̙̥͂ͮͪ͗̈ͨ̈́̌͋̈́̃ͨͭ̍ͩ̎ͨ̀̕͜d̢̯̬̦͇͍͙͎̺̩̫͔̖̋͗͊̽ͥ͌̄ͬ͆̀̇̾͂ͥ̀ͅo̸̧̤̖̲̫͙̹͔͈̼̳͛ͦ̿ͣ̐̃̈́̈̿̇͑͂m̴̱͖̟͍̲̟̞͙̂͐̉ͬͮ͛̏͊ͦͯ̂ͮͤ͋ͫ͘͘͠ͅï̢̬͇̱͔̒̃̉̆͛ͮͥ̆̈́̾ͩ͋ͣͣ̉͋̈́͋̀͜͠n̶̡̡̏̀́̓̓̆̉̂̓ͪ͏̜̰̬͓͎̲͕̣̝̮̙̬̟i̢̧ͨ̔̄̆̏́̀͏̺̳̜̝̙̭̗͓̻̩̠ͅo̸̢̤̘̹̲͔̣͎̖͕̥͈͂̒́̂̏ͬ̚͘̕n̶̨̨̘̙̥̗̣̲͇͉̭̭͈͎̜̜͑̀͌͂͗̍͌̑͝ ̢̘̠̮̱̝͉̟̜̩̣̤̲̫̒͌ͫ̊̆̎͒̆̀̚oͤ͊̀̏ͯ̔ͮ͛ͣ̕͟͏̯̼̮̼͔̜v̧̛̥̲̜̘͓͈̏̽͒ͨ̎̓̊̍ͧ̏͜-̦̜̹̙̣̗̠̰̪̖͕͕̩̬̜̩͊ͥ̍͊͗̑̀̅͂̐̏́-̢̈́̈́̓̌̔͝҉͎̘̬̤̥̫͍͉̞͍͇

Book Learning

Right, whatever. You talk too much.

He knew from experience the thing could have overwhelmed him in an instant, but every single one of these things was just in sloppy orgasmic love with the sound of their own voice. They wasted entire seconds blathering on about how doomed you were. Book Learning remotely activated the displacers, and the stars around him flashed into position.

The King in Yellow stopped transmitting. Euclidean geometry reasserted itself in a direct and catastrophic way, wrenching the ship into hundreds of perfectly ordinary scraps of yellow metal.

The Mind remained intact though, and it looked like enough remained of the sensory and transmission systems that the King should be able to hear him, so he re-opened communications.

Book Learning

Stars are w̛r͢o͟ng.. Now, about that chat.

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