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With This Ring (Young Justice SI) (Thread Fourteen)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Mr Zoat, Jan 27, 2019.

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  1. Sockmonkey

    Sockmonkey Not too sore, are you?

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    He's a sociopathic version of Doc Brown.
     
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  2. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    And played by the same actor.

     
  3. Coda

    Coda I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Rick and Morty are quite intentionally derived from Doc and Marty. There is no coincidence there.
     
  4. Threadmarks: Sungate (part 2)
    Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    11th September 2012
    08:36 GMT


    "…you think that's what it takes?"

    Interesting. Hearing what I actually did to the Guild-owned worlds to force them to cease their offensives appears to have knocked Vode-M out of her constantly-focused state. Which lets me get a slightly better look at her. Ah, yes, someone lives a little closer to the border, don't they?

    "There's a saying on my homeworld. 'You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs'." I shrug. "I don't see a way to stop the Spider Guild that doesn't involve vastly reducing their industrial power as well as their military. And forget about occupying their Nests; you'd need an army of billions for each world, plus a fleet… Do you have one?"

    "No."

    "Do you have a plan to get one?"

    "I have working agreements with the militaries of all worlds in my Sector, but I haven't tried to recruit a force for myself."

    I take a bite of something that's very nearly a crumpet, covered in what is actually jam from a local fruit that reminds me of the fig.

    "So what was the plan? I can see how much you hate them, and how much of your life revolves around that hatred. Presumably you have… Some idea of how you were going to realise that ambition. Tell me."

    "I negotiated for access to the network of sensor buoys each world maintains, and I intercept every ship I can. I've convinced Lanterns from neighbouring Sectors to meet up to share information, and to make recordings of everything they see. My aim is to shame the worlds of this region into increasing the strength of their militaries until they can combine their efforts to destroy the Guild."

    I nod as I chew, then swallow.

    "Any progress?"

    "I've intercepted hundreds of vessels."

    I nod. "Probably keeping the price up nicely. What about the military build up?"

    "I wouldn't be talking to you if it was going as I want it to."

    "I am actually slightly impressed by that, by the way. A lot of Green Lanterns will beat their head against a wall until the wall breaks. I mean, that's a problem for a lot of people, but the Green Lantern Corps deliberately trains for it."

    "I don't want to engage in wholesale slaughter. Plenty of civilisations manage perfectly well without cannibalism and piracy."

    "Not theirs. Do you know how many Nests have ever reformed?"

    "I wasn't aware that any had."

    "Oh, yes. Precisely one. Sector Two Eight Two Eight. They lost a war and their entire leadership was killed, but the victors didn't want to launch an invasion. So -and this is the funny bit- one of their biological experiments took control of the Nest and negotiated a surrender, which she could do because she hadn't had a normal Guild upbringing or socialisation and so didn't share their assumptions. And she'd have been killed if I hadn't been around to look after her."

    "How did she take over?"

    "It wasn't just the leadership who'd been killed; it was most of the adults. Their new ruler, the Queen, was free to culturise the children in any way she wanted, so she left out everything that wasn't helpful and had to leave out everything she didn't know."

    "Is that your plan? Kill every adult-."

    "No, of course not. It's completely impractical. Who would bring up the children? Someone from the civilisations on the border, populated by people who hate them? Or… Default to hating them, since they won't have had any personal contact. Would they? Would you?"

    "No. Would this 'Queen'?"

    "She wouldn't take that many. And why ask her to take any at all? Biologically, she's got all of the records on Guilder genetics that she needs. Sociologically, she's in her teens and she's created something better; nothing worth preserving there. Which leaves the idea of valuing individual existence for its own sake, which… Yes, I do. I just don't value them more than the people who will eventually be their victims."

    "You want to kill… All of them."

    "No. I don't actually care all that much about the Spider Guild. I'm just using them as training dummies for the Lanterns I'm trying to upskill because I recognise them as the drain on universal utility that they are. If I wanted them dead, then I assure you: they would be dead."

    "You're willing to see them all dead."

    "Not all. As I said, the Queen is abiding by the terms of her surrender, and has reformed her Nest. But all the ones here? Certainly."

    I finish off my pseudo-crumpet as she considers her response.

    "But I imagine that makes you uncomfortable. So tell me, if the stellar nations of the region had done as you want and mustered their forces, what would you want their rules of engagement to be?"

    "It wouldn't be my decision."

    "It wouldn't be your decision because it's not going to happen. But if it was? Hm? Target only warships, known pirates and military installations?"

    She doesn't rise to the bait.

    "I use the Guild for target practice, because they're both nearly as bad as it gets, and weaker than the people who are actually as bad as it gets. But come on. Would anyone be willing to occupy those worlds?"

    "They would not."

    "Do you believe that there is some substantial internal resistance who you could work with to form a collaborationist government?"

    "No. There is none."

    "The Green Lantern Corps usually limits itself to arresting named individuals. Do you believe-?"

    "There is no one I could arrest who would not be replaced by someone near-identical."

    "See, I get it. You're a good person. You want to help people, improve their circumstances, rescue them from those who would enslave and consume them. But while you're trying to go about it in a reasonably rational way, I can see how you feel about the methods I'd use. So what do you really want? Do you want to be someone who fights the Spider Guild? Or do you want to actually destroy them?"

    "By killing every last member of their civilisation."

    "Or by whatever method you can make work. Because as far as I can see, what you're doing isn't bringing you any closer to that objective. All it's doing is making you fail more efficiently."

    I lean forward slightly.

    "What do you want, Lantern Vode-M? What is your most fundamental desire? What drives you to fight? What does your ideal universe look like?"

    "I thought you already knew."

    "I've got a fairly good idea. But these sessions can cause changes in our reflective equilibrium. Would you like to join my other students, or have I said enough to drive you off yet?"
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2021
  5. ZzzSlothzzZ

    ZzzSlothzzZ Know what you're doing yet?

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    :sneaky:

    yeeah you did
     
  6. Pez

    Pez Spaceman

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    I wouldn't be talking... ?
     
  7. Assblaster5000

    Assblaster5000 Not too sore, are you?

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    'covered in'?
     
  8. Breadnaught

    Breadnaught Versed in the lewd.

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    "It's one of the fundamental problems when writers create a planet of hats as an antagonist. If their entire society is fundamentally 'evil' in a way that allows the protagonist to destroy them without moral grey areas, it begs the question; is there a reason not to finish the job?"

    "Wait, what?"
     
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  9. hance1986

    hance1986 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    should be ' in '

    ' hundreds '

    ' wouldn't ' or 'would not '

    ' Nests '

    ' and '
     
  10. crazygrox

    crazygrox I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    And it just clicked for me that the Controllers are doing the same thing but with the Reach and the entire Orange Lantern Corps.
     
  11. Ashaeron

    Ashaeron Getting sticky.

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    Indeed they are!

    I had a thought, though; the Controllers only care about the number of 'universe-ending calamity' scale threats out there. How many of those actually exist? It's DC, so more than probably should.

    Anti-Monitor
    Starbreaker
    Darkseid
    Mageddon
    Some of the more exotic New God tech like Metron?
     
  12. ZzzSlothzzZ

    ZzzSlothzzZ Know what you're doing yet?

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    Any given human, at any time, for any reason.

    Sometimes for shits n' giggles
     
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  13. Assblaster5000

    Assblaster5000 Not too sore, are you?

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    Assuming comic levels of insanity? Well...

    Any mage could, at least in theory, become powerful enough to just snuff out the entire multiverse.

    The Over Monitor could decide that watching whatever the weird thing inside of it is doing isn't worth it anymore and find a way to delete it.

    Retconn could cancel their DC line of products and remove the multiverse from existence.

    Starro could gain access to The Collective Unconscious and just win.

    Trigon could snap his fingers and kill everyone at once.

    And on the list goes. It's really more a question of what can't kill off everyone and everything in DC.
     
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  14. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker

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    Of course she's gung-ho to do the work, until she actually hears what the work involves. Such a common situation. Certainly, she may have the resolve to do it, but does she have the stomach for what's needed? Okay, might have misread a bit there. Still, I suppose it's one thing to want to do these things you aren't allowed to, but quite another to hear someone who has done them talk about them. Like the difference between, say, shooting in a video-game and shooting a real gun.

    Especially since that sort of thing could be seen as pulling a Sinestro... There would be very pointed questions being asked of her by the Guardians...

    Ah, but agreements will only go so far. And even a Green Lantern doesn't have the kind of budget needed to start a private fleet.

    Ironically, I bet that hatred would go a ways to earning her a Red Ring if they existed. Not that it'd be much use making her a berserker...

    In other words, you've been taking a downright Orange Lantern route to getting what you want.

    Whoopie. They probably have thousands shipping. A drop in the ocean.

    Not as fast as you'd like, then. Gee, you'd think inciting an entire Sector into an interstellar war wouldn't be so hard, huh? ;)

    Indeed. It's like some cosmic writer needed an unequivocally bad guy for a protagonist to fight...

    Because you weren't looking on the right place.

    Ah, our dear Spider Queen. About the closest thing to a 'good' Spider Guild nest in the galaxy...

    Which says a lot about their culture. Still, her neighbours are much happier about it.

    Just imagine the psychological abuse that would produce, even if they didn't realise it.

    Because when you take to eating other sapient life when you don't absolutely need to? You've basically forfeited your right to continued existence...

    And their tech level is high enough for it to not be a total walkover. So his trainees actually have to work for it. Like punching bags that can punch back.

    And you'd rejoice at the victory. Plus the lessons learned by your students are always useful.

    Because there's a big difference between warfare and genocide, and I think some of those races you plan to involve might draw the line at the latter.

    A tiny fraction of the whole problem. You'd be treating a symptom, not the root cause.

    Whether after wiping the spiders out or not. Since they can live on worlds inhospitable to regular humanoids...

    Pfft! As if...

    Their culture doesn't really lend itself to making those who would object to the state of 'normal'...

    Yes, since even one functioning Nest would simply begin rebuilding. Total genocide or nothing at all. There is no middle ground here.

    Admirable, but pointless. And no doubt frustrating for her...

    More than likely, but saying it helps you more than it does him.

    Since I don't think she'd be happy wearing the Orange. Totally not her colour...

    It's a rare sight to see OL not happily handing out a Ring to someone who asks for it. But then, when you can see if it's not what someone really wants, its easy to dissuade them of that notion. And I can't say Vode-M's preparations haven't been beneficial to the rest of the Sector. Getting other races to see each other as ally rather than enemy definitely makes them more likely to help each other... Ah, if only the Greenies had a diplomatic branch...
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2021
  15. iamnuff

    iamnuff Connoisseur.

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    She's sharp and quick to catch on.
    She already knows everything that OL has pointed out in this discussion and has already come to the obvious conclusion, but she's not willing to actually voice it, because she was brought up to think that "Just blow up their planets and kill them all" is something that only bad people suggest.

    Paul is even scarier because he doesn't personally hate them enough to even care about solving this problem, because if he did he'd have already blown up their planets without even hesitating.
    Instead he recognizes that them being so cartoonish evil that there's no moral or ethical reason not to exterminate them makes them wonderful punching bags for his little Orange Lanterns to train on.

    She seems to already know what the work involves, but she's hesitating because she's sure that it can't actually be the right answer.

    OL pointed out step by step that there's absolutely no method of permamently solving the problem without just killing all of them, and she was right there with him along every step of his reasoning.
    This isn't a new thought to her.
    She knows. She's probably known for a long time.

    But "Fuck it, just genocide them." isn't something that a member of the green lantern corps should suggest. That's the sort of thing that gets your ring real

    And even then, the plan with convincing all of the neighbours to up-arm... she had to have known what they'd do if they could fight the spider-guild and win. They'd have exterminated them.
    But it wouldn't have been her fault, because she wouldn't have been the one in command.
     
  16. FourthPear

    FourthPear Frequent Flier.

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    So Paul didn’t just finger-bang a giant spider, he finger-banged a giant teenage girl spider?

    Yes officer, this floating, orange, cake man over here!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2021
  17. Michael Vonica

    Michael Vonica Know what you're doing yet?

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    Don't forget the baby that he put in that giant teenage girl spider('s mind).
     
  18. moralrelativity

    moralrelativity Recovering pendant.

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    instillations -> installations
    OL's really leaning into his sensai role. I like it.

    Could Vode-M get around the Guardian's rules by subspacing her green ring and using an orange ring to kill spider guilders?
     
  19. AmericanNumbers

    AmericanNumbers Getting sticky.

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    Paragon is trying to recruit her but only is she has the focus to Want properly. I do think this chapter is a nice explainer of his attitude to the guild. It's a wasps nest and really the only solution is fire.
     
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  20. Impartial Panic

    Impartial Panic Not too sore, are you?

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    Why am I getting Mr Morden vibes from Paul?

    Why don't you have a seat over there Orange Lantern.
     
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  21. Ngamer11

    Ngamer11 Versed in the lewd.

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    I think there should be commas there, making it: Their new ruler, the Queen, was free to culturise the children in any way she wanted, so she left out everything that wasn't helpful and had to leave out everything she didn't know.
     
  22. Darko

    Darko Connoisseur.

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    Unless she masters some of her rage and can still function instead of just snarling like a wild animal.
     
  23. Cuchulin

    Cuchulin Versed in the lewd.

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    I see OL is asking the Shadows Question again, But then he is a Orange Lantern.
     
  24. Ngamer11

    Ngamer11 Versed in the lewd.

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    Mr Zoat, someone seems to have posted on the story only thread.
     
  25. Doccer

    Doccer Not too sore, are you?

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    Easy easy there Paul. You're already hooking her now let out the line or the tension will cause a break.
     
  26. Zig

    Zig Know what you're doing yet?

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    Netflix Lucifer's ears are burning.
     
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  27. Someguy Somewhere

    Someguy Somewhere The Critical Fumbler

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    One alternative to murder is bribery.

    He mentions that there is not a rebel or counter culture force within their species to make the changes that others want. The solution would be to foment, or at least provide fertile soil for such a group to grow in.

    She can't kill with her ring, but she could harvest supplies and offer a small colony world. Spiders Welcome, BUT only if they follow the 'don't eat people' rules, and other such GL approved actions as required. Spiders are free to immigrate, and if some of the population is more attached to themselves then they are the eating sapients part culture, they move in and get a leg (or several) up on the home clans. You'll likely get the fringe elements and disenfranchised segments of the population first (I don't think even the guild is enough of a mono culture as to lack some degree of social stratification).

    After a while, provided that you can keep providing improved conditions to those that moderate themselves, the colony will grow in both population and influence. Even if any one that 'defects' from the guild to join them is exiled, it's a benefit of breaking them further away from that and can have them, much like the queens group, more interdependent with non spider races in the region. And if the Guild has a civil war, the GL can argue for more lanterns in the area to defend them, and gives you access to folks with similar tech base and a good motivation to fight back.

    It can go wrong, if you're not honest and up front about it. If you were knocking out pirates and taking them into forced labour and re-education, you'd just breed a population that hates you as well as wanting to eat you.
     
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  28. Handlewithcare

    Handlewithcare I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    I still want an OL in Babylon Verse, damn it.

    Imagine talks between him and the Vorlons!

    I had to google Reflexive Equilibrium. Did you mean Reflective Equilibrium,Mr. zoat?
     
  29. Darko

    Darko Connoisseur.

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    Zoat once mentioned something about renegade going to Babylon 5.
     
  30. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
    Don't leave us in suspense, man. Real what?
    It's not illegal in Vega.
     
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