SIM:Imitated Imitating an Imitator
During an away mission Kevin Breeman remembers his writing hobbies during high school.
::As if on cue an orb descended like a large snowflake as Ehlanii planned the away team's next move. This one was smaller than the last one and produced a hum that was not quite as loud.::
Ehlanii: I think it's time to neutralize one of these and study it.
::Solok suggested that perhaps Kobylarz could help in identifying weaknesses in the object's structure while Tyriden advised the commander to use caution.
As the orb landed Kevin half expected it to dim, akin to the way a snowflake melted on landing during the days when winter was approaching but the ground still wasn't quite cold enough to allow snow to accumulate. Ehlanii instructed both Kevin and Tyriden to figure out a safe way to transport it.::
::Kevin nodded and turned as Tyriden said,::
Tyriden: Aye, Ma'am. With our earlier readings of the first orb, it should not be too difficult to create a stable containment field in which to transport it. ::He looked over to Kevin as if hoping he agreed.:: Is that not so, Lt Breeman?
::Kevin thought a moment. To be sure the polarity and spin of the particles surrounding the orb did suggest that encasing it inside a containment field would not be difficult. What bothered him was the odd hallucination he'd had on approaching the last orb they'd encountered.::
Breeman: That should work, Mr. Tyriden, yes.
Tyriden: And once we are done, we will send the Engineering team on the Independence the containment field specifications.
Breeman: Good idea. I'm not sure the science lab field will be enough to contain it. It'll need some modifications first.
Tyriden: Response(if any)?
::After Commander Ehlanii had finished contacting the ship and learning that the transporters had just come online again Kevin watched as Tyriden encased the orb in the force field. He wasn't sure what to expect but as the field came online he sighed inwardly.::
Solok: Ready for transport, Commander.
::Tyriden beamed proudly as he looked at the results of his work and said,::
Tyriden: The containment field is up and stable. I have sent the field specs to Engineering and they have acknowledged they are ready to receive the orb... The orb is ready for transport, Ma'am.
::Something made Kevin think back to his time in high school. He'd had only a small circle of friends then and they'd played around posting stories on the Galaxy-Wide Web. Each of them thought he'd become an author one day. And each had a nickname on the online forums. Kevin's had been Raven.
((Flashback - Fern Pond, British Columbia, Earth, several years ago))
((OOC: Bit of character development. BTW, the Raven really does figure prominently in the mythology of some cultures (including the Haida aboriginal peoples of North America), so Breeman's highschool self is writing derivative knockoffs :) ))
::Seated at the computer alone, Kevin banged away at the keyboard, trying to finish off what he thought would be his masterpiece. He was trying to create something in response to the prodding of a friend of his earlier that day.::
Jared Roodes: Why do you call yourself Raven on the forums?
::Kevin hadn't been able to answer. He knew exactly why he called himself that but he was afraid he'd lose Jared as a friend if he told him. The truth was that he wrote to escape from himself and to let the characters take over his body. He wanted to be assimilated into the collective unconscious flowing through his mind. Jared wouldn't understand. He decided he'd write this story as a way of answering Jared's question without confessing his strange thoughts to him. So far a giant raven had snatched up a group of chimpanzees from the open plains of Africa and deposited them into the North American continent. The raven was, after all, a great trickster.
"I," the raven was saying now, "am known by many names."
Standing in the parking lot of a 20th century pizza store, the chimpanzee - now evolved into a protohuman by means of the raven's wily machinations - was staring at him, dumbfounded and unable to comprehend the notion that he was the product of this mischievous creature's handiwork.
"Why are you even talking to me?" the man said.
"Because it's boring where I come from," the raven answered, "and I need somebody to hang with. I've seen you around."
"Seen me?" the protohuman asked.
Now the scene was changing, the pizza place fading to be replaced by an empty grassy field. The raven had now changed form and become a young Bajoran man.
"Remember me?" the Bajoran man asked.
"Yes." The protohuman said. Kevin packed this moment inside a myriad of crumpled scraps of recycled dramatic hyperbole, trying to create a flashy piece of profound vignette. This was to be the defining moment in his story.
Soon the Bajoran changed back to the raven again and then into a young woman. The man had seen her before as well.
"I can become anyone," The raven said, staring mockingly at the single-state primitive man. "I can tell anyone's story because I can be anyone."::
::Kevin forced himself to suppress a smile at his youthful arrogance. He realized that his proto-human could easily have retorted, "Well I'm real and you can't be me. You can only imitate me." The Federation had encountered enough parallel universes for Kevin to know that any writer who wrote fiction was technically describing (or imitating) an ontological reality which existed in one of the infinite parallel universes.
The confirmed existence of parallel universes, his philosophy professor at the academy had remarked during one lecture, led contemporary philosophers to postulate an "ontological state matrix" of pure platonic forms that were realized or not depending upon the quantum context of one's own reality. Kevin had smiled at that point while others had complained of large headaches.
In the end, he had never shown Jared his story.
As he'd progressed through the academy he'd decided to look up Jared again. Scouring the galaxy-wide web he found an academic paper written by a Jared Roodes, PhD. On closer investigation Kevin found that the now Doctor Roodes was a scholar of Terran mythology. Sure enough, there were references to the trickster Raven in several of his articles.::
::Presently, Sudra was saying,::
Sudra: What about the other orb, the one that captured Jona?
Breeman: That appears to have flown up into the stratosphere...
::He immediately regretted saying that as he feared that Laryn might hear it.::
Sudra: So we hope we can use this one to backtrack to the orbs' point of origin?
::That wasn't Kevin's call though it certainly sounded like a great idea.::
Breeman: That sounds like a good idea. ::Turning to Ehlanii:: Sir, with your permission I'd like to include that as part of our research on the orb.
Sudra: Is there anything I can do to help?
Lt. Kevin Breeman
Chief of Science
I wrote this sim in response to recent issues surrounding the matter of my lacking a consistent narrative voice. I also intended it to address claims that a multi-layered text in which a narrator identifies herself and delineates herself from the reality in which the story takes place takes away from the enjoyment of the fictional reality presented in the given post.
The Raven, a trickster character from native american mythology, offers a playful take on the creative process. Kevin Breeman's conception of him is of a trickster who allows his own ego to be dissolved for the sake of deepening his creative activities. He becomes not only the individual or entity he is creating but also the narrator of that person's story. He can tell that person's story because he is that person for a time.
I have noticed in the past that simmers will often discuss one another's work as a product not of some writer in RL but rather as a product of the character himself. For example, "Good job, Lt. Jim on that last post!" Lt. Jim himself might actually be the work of an accountant named Fred Harrowitz, but the congratulations are addressed to Jim rather than Harrowitz. In a sense, Harrowitz has imitated Breeman's raven by becoming Lt. Jim and other simmers have facilitated this transition by critiquing his work as though it were composed by the fictional Lt. Jim.
Finally, the post offers a case for a multi-layered approach to simming, in which the narrator him/herself becomes a character in the story. The "ontological state matrix," that is a plurality of realities that are true or false depending upon which universe one happens to inhabit, is a device which allows narrators and characters to inhabit the same world without taking away from the reality of the story. Jim might be telling the story of Rachael, for example. Jim might call attention to himself by saying, "And after a while I came back to researching Rachael." However this does not take away from Rachael's reality as Jim may be an individual in universe A who is somehow aware of Rachael's existence in universe B.
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