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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. Greckle

    Greckle Making the rounds.

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    Hey so I stopped reading this right around the move to QQ happened because I was in a pretty bad place in life and the Z-E-R-O arc was making me pretty depressed. I dont want to get into it too much, but basically taking something that used to be such an enjoyable daily ritual and having it become so uncomfortable in such a personal way made me have to take a clean break from it for a while.

    It's been a long time though and I'm in a bit of a better place and I think I'd like to start reading the story again as I miss it and still think it has some of the best DC SI stuff I've seen, also good fiction of any non green lantern type seems so rare.

    My question is, if I skip to after Z-E-R-O am I good? Or is there any other plot arcs recently that get weirdly into transgender self identity stuff that I should keep an eye out for. Would love a content warning for what arcs to maybe get a synopsis of and skip if need be.

    Anyways, just want to say that nothing in this should be taken as a slight against you Zoat, although I hope your personal stance has changed I still look forward to getting back into the story!
     
  2. Silverias

    Silverias Getting sticky.

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    As far as I remember, the subject doesn't come up again.
     
  3. DAT_NOOB

    DAT_NOOB Accused of writing in a far away land

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    Why not just float him up higher and... drop him?
     
  4. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Several reasons. Firstly, that would take longer. Secondly, he's trying to be a team player. Getting NCR soldiers used to working with psychics is an objective in itself. Thirdly, he doesn't actually know how high he'd have to lift someone to have the desired effect.
     
  5. Threadmarks: Anti-Thesis (part 9)
    Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    11th July 2012
    06:03 GMT


    A rather noticeable difference between this and my previous visit to Qward is that if you walk down the street just behind a Weaponer everyone gets out of the way really fast, pressing themselves against walls and even throwing themselves off an overpass at one point.

    "Are we heading somewhere in particular, or just making our presence felt?"

    We're not in the same surface city I visited last time. I'm not completely certain what the difference-.

    "Weaponer Kalmin, what a-."

    Kalmin twists his right hand, a pale qwa bolt appearing in his grip. He aims it at the floating robotic head and hurls it, striking true and erasing the robot.

    "Um."

    "Those things irritate me."

    "Yes, but it could probably tell people what you want more efficiently than just stomping around and scaring aliens."

    "I didn't become a Weaponer so that I could indulge the idiocy of others." He resumes his stomping through the city. "Besides, destroying one with qwa energy will get Varnathon's attention faster than mere words."

    "Alright." This armour isn't really designed for walking around, but I suppose that doing so lends credence to the pretence that I'm a robot. The integrated sensors mean that I don't have to look around so see what's going on around me. "Are we heading directly to a tunnel, or are you planning on blowing up some more robots?"

    "I'd quite like to talk to the local Thunderer garrison. It has been…" He looks around, clearly not impressed. "Some time since I left my workshop. This is new to me."

    "It can't have been that long. Sinestro's only-."

    "When I said that I didn't care about it, I meant that I didn't care about it. I came up here once or twice in my youth and never bothered to return. The tribute serves a purpose of course, but it's not the aim of our civilisation."

    "And what is?"

    "Destruction. The annihilation of all that is and can be, for the glory of the Anti-Monitor."

    "And then what?"

    "What?"

    "After you've destroyed everything. What goal are you working towards by doing that?"

    "I believe that you have failed to comprehend the definition of 'everything'."

    If I could bow my head, I would. Yes, that's on me.

    "So there's no greater aim than 'everything: destroyed'?"

    "No. Why are you surprised? I've been very clear about my motives."

    "I suppose that it's just such an alien idea to me. And you're shielding your psyche against the techniques I'd use to understand things like that."

    "Why do you not want to destroy things?"

    "Ah, ultimately? My desire to build is the product of evolutionary processes which have given rise to pro-social instincts due to the fact that those generally led to groups surviving and passing on their genes. But your desires can't be derived from the inverse; evolution might give things an instinct to destroy themselves in specific circumstances, but if everyone with a particular trait followed through then there's no way that it would get passed down."

    "And that's it? You're just a product of your ancestors' circumstances?"

    "Not entirely. I'm aware of them, so I can reflect on them and create a moral theory based on my intuitions. But if you want to know where it all comes from, that's where. Q'ardajin are clearly social animals. At some point you must have started wanting to destroy things, so there must have been a point before that where you didn't."

    "Qward's interior is barren and desolate, the product of Erdammeru's wrath. We have no history before the Anti-Monitor brought us here. I couldn't tell you about our evolutionary history even if I wanted to."

    Huh. If… The Anti-Monitor's actions resulted in… Something like the Crisis happening in the eighties or nineties… And Qward survived… Then it's quite possible that their past no longer exists. What would something like that do to a species' instincts? Or did he just change them?

    I'm reminded of Chantinelle's affirmation of the idea that demons don't care where their power comes from. She wanted power, I want to build and Kalmin wants to destroy everything. There's no… Objective way of determining which is 'best' or morally correct. Other than identifying one as self-defeating, I suppose. I know that, and yet I don't see any particular problem with my desires coming from that.

    'Why' finds no answer, but who cares?

    "You realise-?"

    "That one day, if we both live long enough, we will try to kill one another?" He smiles faintly. "How is it that you did not realise that from the first?"

    "I'm afraid that I underestimated your devotion to destruction. I thought that you might be a brutal realist rather than a genuine omni-nihilist."

    "I would advise against underestimating me."

    "But given your ideology, I'm struggling to understand why you made Sinestro his ring in the first place. If you were just taking a commission, I'd understand, but-."

    "Sinestro declared his intention to destroy the Green Lantern Corps. Having led them for years, he understood them better than we do. He seemed well-placed to make good on his vow, and the Green Lantern Corps are our enemies. I love destruction, but that doesn't mean that I must be personally present at every act of destruction. I don't need to carry destruction out with my own hands. I build the weapons which cause destruction."

    "And you're working with us because the war between us and the Reach will devastate vast areas of space."

    "That's nice, yes." He smiles faintly. "But it's not the only reason. I am… Obliged to you. You got me out of my rut. Convinced me that I could make myself useful to the Anti-Monitor again. There are logical reasons unrelated to morals for honouring debts, and we q'ardajin… Generally repay things. Though don't bet your life on it."

    Ahead of us I can just about see the fortification guarding the passageway to the inner part of the planet. Around it is a wide open plaza and atop it are a variety of sentry guns and patrolling Thunderers. Above it… Yes, there's the faint shimmer of an energy shield to protect it against orbital strikes. I didn't get to see much of the outside of the last one I visited due to being a captive, but what I'm seeing matches the intelligence files I've had access to.

    "I'll bear that in mind."

    Those Thunderers don't have Kalmin's protection against my empathic abilities, though given precisely how empathic I appear to be at the moment I make an effort not to look too closely. Their drive for destruction matches with what he says his is, though rather than regarding their role as the making of tools they've got martial pride. They do want to carry out destruction in person, but…

    And they die again and again, as is their place. How satisfying.

    I raise my left hand and point my ring at Kalmin for a moment, then lower it. Yes, some are Dark Kantians like Kalmin, but others are just arseholes. They destroy and kill because they enjoy it, violent hedonists rather than Anti-Monitor loyalists.

    I wonder what I'll see when we confront Varnathon?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  6. Darko

    Darko Well worn.

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    Can Paul see other emotions now, or did he lose that ability after his new enlightenment?

    Really hoping his new powers don't mess him up in a bad way.

    You do have a habit of underestimating how much people are willing to hold onto their beliefs and actions, even if they're stupid and evil, like with Luthor.

    Granted you cut out Lex so you may be learning.

    'reasons'

    Worried you'll be overwhelmed by their desires?

    Seeing as he can now feel those desires as if they're his own then he may be right in worrying about such a thing.

    Ahh, why did Paul point his ring at Kalmin?

    Was he overwhelmed a bit with the Thunderers desire to kill people?
     
  7. BlueMangoAdea

    BlueMangoAdea Alive. For now.

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    Pretty sure Paul could see all emotions ever since his first enlightenment? Orange best, but he was definitely capable of perceiving the entire spectrum.
     
  8. Darko

    Darko Well worn.

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    Yeah I know that but I was wondering if he lost the ability to see the other lights after his second enlightenment.
     
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  9. Handlewithcare

    Handlewithcare I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Is it odd that I can respect Kalmins motivation and even like him because of it?

    I mean, the actually goal is nuts to me, but I enjoy his spiritual purity.

    Other villains act because of base instincts or because they don't care about others, he does because of an overarching ideal.

    Somehow being evil is more palatable than being merely nasty.
     
  10. Vaermina

    Vaermina Versed in the lewd.

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    Paragon's big oops moment.
     
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  11. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker, Rookie Proofreader

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    And I'm suddenly reminded of the Mongo scene from Blazing Saddles, where he casually trots down the street as the people of Rock Ridge flee in terror. "Unholy Shit, It's Mongo Kalmin!" Must be quite the sight...

    I suspect to 'True Q'ardajin', those on the surface are little more than annoyances to be tolerated before their eventual annihilation. Having occasional use but largely ignored.

    Yeah, sending a clear message. And that message is "Your ass is grass, Varnathon."

    ...Or he could just be mildly vexed. Dual purposes for the win.

    Plus it helps you let off some steam on something worthless? Not that your anger is so weak as to be quenched by so small an act of destruction? Probably fun, though.

    So, he's a bit of a shut-in even by Weaponer standards? Why am I not surprised?

    Ah. It's all just so far beneath his notice, eh? He has bigger concerns to worry about.

    What, all that is? Surely there's something you don't want to destroy?

    Indeed. Will you only be happy when the entire universe is a smoking cinder collapsing into a Big Crunch?

    Well, you can't say Kalmin has ever been subtle...

    Which makes them working together quite the odd couple. The man who wants to make a better world, and the Q'ardajin who wants to blow it up...

    Because then where would he keep his stuff? Especially the things he can't keep in subspace (which we've seen is unreliable...)

    Hardly. But they do have a say in the biologically-driven aspects of his personality (no arguments about what parts that may be, now.)

    Huh. And I take it that sentiment is common amongst the worshippers of the Anti-Monitor. After all, what matters where you came from, if your purpose is to destroy it?

    At least you still have a moral compass, unlike some of your alternates. But it's a thing to keep an eye on, to be aware of as you proceed.

    I'm sure Kalmin is looking forwards to it. The ultimate test of OL's creativeness versus his desire to destroy.

    Well, knowing this, I doubt there's any likelihood of that in future.

    Even if you don't agree with him, there's a certain measure of purity to Kalmin. In some ways, he's a good man. In the sense he doesn't want power over you, he won't monologue as you lay dying, he'll just kill you and move on.

    In other words, stay on his good side, or he'll start working out ways to kill you. Like he's going to do to Varnathon...

    Yeah, that plaza just screams killing ground. I bet a large swathe of it is laden with boobytraps too.

    Ah, connoisseurs of killing. They take pride in a particularly clean kill, or an impressive death, I'll bet.

    Probably a very un-Q'ardajin desire for money. Or maybe he thinks that distributing their weapons into the larger world will increase the amount of destruction in the universe. Like the Reach war.

    That's a fascinating insight into Kalmin's mind, there. And now I understand why he has no real desire to make more Blue Lantern stuff. What use is hope to destroy, to kill, when he could spend his time refining weapons for ever-greater efficiency? I'll bet he thinks of Compassion and Love the same way. :sneaky: Or maybe he feels them in his own way: killing swiftly and painlessly to spare pointless suffering.
     
  12. NightmareWarden

    NightmareWarden Not too sore, are you?

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    Clerics, cultists, or whatever name you may use for them are a satisfying bundle of tropes indeed!
     
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  13. Stsword

    Stsword I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Huh, Zoat's seemingly changed the Anti-Monitor's goals here.

    In Crisis, Anti-Monitor didn't want to destroy every universe, he wanted to destroy every non anti-matter universe.

    The Anti-monitor feeds on the energy of the Anti-Matter universe.

    He even tried to go back in time and interfere with the creation of the universe so there would only be an anti-matter universe.

    The Monitor supposedly gained power from the non anti-matter universes, but since there were an infinite number of them versus only on Qward, logically the Monitor couldn't have been getting that much juice out of them.
     
  14. Darko

    Darko Well worn.

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    This will either be a beautiful friendship, or a prelude to a duel to the death.

    I think Qwardians consider these things to be the same.

    One Tangseid is more than enough.
     
  15. Darko

    Darko Well worn.

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    Either that or Kalmin thinks the Anti-Monitor wants to destroy everything but is wrong.
     
  16. FreeGod

    FreeGod If you see a God on the road fuck it!

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    Surprised he hasn't made a black ring yet.
     
  17. BlueMangoAdea

    BlueMangoAdea Alive. For now.

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    A crisis of faith from that would be hilarious. "My god only wants to destroy part of everything? "
     
  18. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
     
  19. Stsword

    Stsword I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Well 52 of the 53 known universes, so that rounds up to everything. :)
     
  20. nick012000

    nick012000 Experienced.

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    Also, he's the son of Perpetua, and his original task was to prevent other multiverses from noticing the DC multiverse, since his mother went rogue and decided to create a universe in a way that the Source didn't want her to, and the reason why he caused the first Crisis was to prevent the multiverse from being destroyed, since that would have caused his mother to die, and the Crises caused cracks in the Source Wall (behind which she was imprisoned), which would eventually allow her to escape.
     
  21. Mastigos2

    Mastigos2 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Qwardians hope to achieve omnidestruction.

    That said, it is interesting that they appear to still develop a self-contradictory hierarchy of desires and selfishness on top of that, like everybody else. Otherwise they'd be quietly fading into obscurity as they researched key parts of physics and metaphysics. And mostly researched the Bleed. What use is destroying a planet when what you really need is to remove key underpinnings that allow existence to exist?
     
  22. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    [Sniffs suspiciously]

    Something reeks of Nu52 in here.
     
  23. transhumansage

    transhumansage I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    i suppose paul has not thought that, this might be a trap kalmin is leading him into?
     
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  24. Pez

    Pez Not too sore, are you?

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    He probably hasn't, but the odds of that would be near zero. Unless the trap comes after Varnathon is destroyed. Remember, Kalmin is very prideful, and the very notion of Varnathon giving qwa-matter to outsides triggers him to a level that probably matches his desire to destroy everything.

    I'm more concerned that Paul's going to have to destroy Kalmin if there's a chance of Paul fulfilling his mission of getting them to stop worshipping the Anti-Monitor. We all like Kalmin, and want to see him stay part of Team Paul, but his ultimate goal wouldn't allow that to happen.
     
  25. transhumansage

    transhumansage I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    i agree. i hope its a civil duel to the death though.
     
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  26. Lone Courier 6

    Lone Courier 6 Wanderer of threads

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    Nose must be off, this is Rebirth.
     
  27. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Giving a shit a coat of paint doesn't stop it being shit.
     
  28. Vaermina

    Vaermina Versed in the lewd.

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    That depends on whether he hacked Paul's ring and found out about the Anti-Monitor encounter or not.
     
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  29. Cuchulin

    Cuchulin I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Kalmin likely think that the Anti-Moniter is goin about it wrong. Also I think Kalmin want to help Paul with his goals because destroying what Paul wants to build is a far better/greater goal than simply destroying what currently is.

    In the USA we call that "polishing a turd", because just because you make a piece of shit nice and shiny doesn't make it less of a piece of shit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  30. Old Knife

    Old Knife Know what you're doing yet?

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    I'm interested about what you'll see when you look at Varthoom.
     
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