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    Time for a head trip!

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    elanya
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    Time for a head trip!

    Post by elanya on 16/03/10, 01:58 pm

    Simon glanced down at his phone as the group arrived back at the Hilton - it was almost 11:30, but he'd been up less than six hours, and even if he did have work and class (for which he was woefully unprepared) the next day, he couldn't imagine he would be able to sleep.

    He looked down at the sleek black laptop tucked under one arm, the case patterned in a subtle feather texture. It - *she* - hand' come with anything extra: no power cable, no case, no anything, and he was excited to take a closer look. It did seem a little invasive, at the same time, and as curious as he was, the source of the gift made him wary. Tapping his fingers lightly against the case, he looked from Nils to Chad instead.

    "Nils, can I talk to you for a bit?"
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 16/03/10, 02:48 pm

    Nils smiled at Simon, knowing full well what Simon would want to talk to him alone about, and the prospect of a good philosophical chat excited him more than it probably should under the circumstances.
    He glanced over at Chad and gave him a reassuring smile. "Don't worry Chaddimus. He wants my help on a scholarly level. Don't wait up, this may take a while. You should try to get some sleep, darling. We all have class in the morning." He kissed his lover briefly, then turned back to Simon.
    "Simon, I am here to help. Would you mind if I brought Watson with me? He and Nam should get used to each other sooner, rather than later. I'll make sure he doesn't hurt her."
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by elanya on 16/03/10, 03:52 pm

    "Ahh, sure? I have to feed her still anyway, I think... So, I'll be in my room."

    He glanced around at the others sort of dubiously. "I guess if anyone else really wants to get in on this they can come too, but... yeah. Metaphysics. Philosophy. Other useless crap."
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 16/03/10, 04:17 pm

    Nils grinned at Simon and the others. "By all means, the deepest and most important questions in life are even more intriguing now that we have some small grasp of the situation. Every answer gives us more questions."
    With that, he bustled off to his room to pick up Watson, careful to make sure he was in fact masquerading as a macaw when he went back into the hallway. Nils was in his element here, and he was practically floating when he knocked on Simon's door a few minutes later.
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by elanya on 16/03/10, 04:33 pm

    Simon opened the door, giving the other bird a somewhat wary look. Nàm was currently settled on the table near Simon's... other laptop, pecking at some corn from one of the hotel coffee mugs. As the door opened she looked up, fluttered over to perch on Simon's shoulder, and cocked her head curiously at Nils and Watson. as they were waved inside.

    "Come in... I guess if they fight or anything I can just turn her back in to a computer? Anyway, I have something for you to read." He waved in the direction of the laptop, and the file currently open. "I wrote it up last night when I was trying to think about this stuff, but I don't know. It make sense sometimes, but it isn't very satisfying."
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 16/03/10, 05:02 pm

    Nils nodded. "That would work. Although I think Watson will be on his best behavior here." He directed the comment to the bird on his shoulder, noticing with amusement that Watson had turned back into a Coatl as soon as the door had closed. "Watson's a smart bird. I'm sure they'll be fine."
    Nils raised an eyebrow at Simon. "Alright, then. I'm sure I can bring some light to the situation." He moved to the computer, Watson flying to the table to inspect Nam as his master read.
    Nils couldn't help but smile as he read, flattered by Simon's belief that he would be able to make sense of the madness. "Alright, you're actually doing fairly well with this, under the circumstances. I'm sure that's not much comfort, but it is promising. As far as delving in metaphysics for comfort, you shouldn't feel too alone with that. I've been doing that for years. Supernatural weirdness tends to do that to people."
    He glanced over at Watson, who seemed to be trying out some of Nam's corn. "Watson, that's not your food." He said distractedly, reaching out to stroke his pet's head affectionately.
    "You've focused on the impossibility of all these different gods, with different world views, different worlds, different creation myths, existing together. That is definitely the big question here, and I think you've hit the nail on the head in a way for what's going on. The superhero analogy and the palimpsest analogy are both dead on, but there's one thing you're not quite grasping, and it is a bit of a hard concept."
    He paused for a moment, watching Simon to make sure he was keeping up. "Subjective reality, Simon. Just because a thing is real for one person, doesn't mean it's real for someone else. This becomes especially promising when we consider they're not even living in our reality. They're living in another world entirely. Another plane of existence. So why does their reality have to match up, when it's flat out different from ours?"
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by elanya on 16/03/10, 05:23 pm

    Simon sat down on the bed, half watching Nils as he read, and half keeping an eye on the.... birds, though Nàm seemed content to stay with him.

    "No, see, I thought of that, I just don't like it. I don't buy the subjective reality thing. There's too much out there that *isn't* subjective. Like, Physics. I know - I said we have to throw it out earlier but it isn't actually true. We *can't* throw it out, not really. It's like.... some cultures believe that some people can fly, or make crazy kung-fu jumps or whatever, sure, but not *everyone* can do that - the default is still that gravity applies. You have to have some special whatsit power to do anything different. Its not subjective, it just is.

    Or, like, here is an argument I'm stealing from a class debate from ages ago, but take the discovery of America, right? Not subjective. The people who were living there had no idea we were coming. The people who got there thought they were going to find Asia, and they didn't, even if they thought it was Asia for awhile... It wasn't! Not subjective at all. They were just wrong. No one was expecting the New World. No one imagined it. It was what the people who lived there thought it was, and they had no idea of anything any different. It just... was really there. That just threw off *everyone*'s origins stories. And *everyone's* understanding of what the world was. Didn't it? So, no, not everything is subjective. Or not completely subjective. Not subjective *enough*."

    He paused for a moment.

    "There has to be *something* real and shared. Even if its..... Fuck I don't know."

    He sighed, throwing up his hands in frustration.
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 16/03/10, 05:57 pm

    Nils nodded. "And here, in the mortal world, Midgard, or whatever else you want to call it, those truths are absolute. Those are the concrete truths of the mortal world. Not the truths of other worlds. Why should they have all the same rules as us, or even as each other?"
    He turned his attention back to the birds, just in time to notice Nàm pecking curiously at Watson's feathers. He reached out and stopped Watson from striking back. "No, she's just a little thing. That's not exactly a fair fight right there."
    He turned back to Simon. "Here, they're stories, but there, who knows? When they come here, they seem a little out of place, I thought. At least, the three I met."
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by elanya on 16/03/10, 06:46 pm

    Simon's eyes went a little wide when he was what the birds were up to, but he relaxed when Nils broke them up, and reached out his hand to take Nàm back.

    "But not all those stories are set on other... planes, or whatever. They're supposed to be set here, aren't they? I mean, okay, if they're off in Asgard killing giants or whatever, then it doesn't really matter. I don't care about *their* reality - I just want to have *ours* make sense. And either we have had *this* world invented a bunch of different times by a bunch of different people who somehow all found each other and now coexist on the same world and are, loosely at least, bound by the same rules ... or its all wrong? And even Eitre said there are rules *they* all have to follow too. At least in terms of 'claiming' us, whatever that even means...

    And then what about the Titans? What are they even supposed to even be? Where do they come form? They sort of indicate the existence of some kind of objective super reality too, though, don't they? if they are representations of things in this world, but are fighting in...wherever the gods are, or the potential multiple wherevers? And if the gods are destroyed... then what? We keep talking about it like it is the end of the world.... but if that *is* true, then again - there is a real connection of some kind. And if it isn't... well then, shit, why should we even care?"
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 16/03/10, 08:19 pm

    Nils sighed. "Do you want to know the real trick to creation stories, Simon? No one, not even the gods, were around to see it happen. That is a truth that is beyond anyone or anything's true knowledge." He pet Watson absently while he gathered his thoughts. "As for the parts down the road, we have to consider what was said about being the 'writers' for the gods. If those who believe in a set of gods decide that the world was created by a cow licking ice, then that's what is taken to be fact. The truth is, we can't take any of the origin stories for truth, because there's too much time for interpretation."
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by elanya on 16/03/10, 08:40 pm

    "But that's not true either! In some of the stories the gods are explicitly responsible for creating the world. Bunches of Indian ones, anyway. Maybe even both kinds. Uh, of Indians, I mean. I'd have to check..." Simon started to get up and head towards his computer, but just sat down again suddenly, starling Nàm into flight with a 'caw'. "I know there are some, for sure. Especially if you include the Christian god. So some of the gods *were* there, or certainly around before there were people. And Eitri says they really happened. At least, the stories he was in really happened to him. They're not the same as origins, maybe, but they still happened. But they can't have happened in the same timeline as when people were actually worshiping the Norse gods, because they're kind of late, aren't they? Vikings and all that? So, time has to really be all ...a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey-wimey, stuff. So maybe they only happened in the past, after the past was written? Or created? Like... retroactively true? Is that what you mean?"
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 16/03/10, 09:26 pm

    Nils smiled and nodded. "But if the gods created the universe, who created the gods, Simon? Life is cyclical. They shape us, then we shape them."
    He was actually fairly impressed with Simon's thought processes. He had a lot of students in the classes he TAed for that were a lot less sharp on the uptake, and not just soft thinkers in the intro classes either. In his line, it required a certain turn of mind that wasn't easy to achieve for most people.
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by elanya on 16/03/10, 09:43 pm

    "Odin said... something like that. Only he was talking about fate. But he said that everything was cyclical, anyway, but that you can't change things that are meant to happen. But I guess maybe you can change things that have happened? Or, no... I mean, you can change the story, but at what point does that become the truth? What about if there is more than one version? I don't think there's much of that for the Norse stuff, but I know there is for... well, for the Greeks. Maybe it really doesn't matter at this point. Maybe it just seems like it is more important than it is."
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 17/03/10, 02:46 am

    Nils sighed. "Odin and the rest of them up there in Asgard have gotten fatalistic. It's a side effect of being told how you will die in great detail. First you rail against it with all that you have, then you give up and accept it. The As and the Asynjur seem to be caught perpetually between the two."
    Watson flicked Nils irritably with his tail, unhappy with being held so uncomfortably for so long, and Nils paused to settle the coatl on his shoulders.
    "It's pretty common in myth for the older and newer versions of a tale to be... different. Several faiths even have more than one creation story, or at least two conflicting versions of the same one." He grinned. "Probably the most striking example of what may very well be the exact principle we're discussing here is Troy. The Trojan war was well documented in the Illiad, but for a very long time it was considered a mythical tale about a nonexistent city. And yet, one day, they found the remains of Troy. They found an entire city that wasn't supposed to exist. Now, maybe it was just a failure of history and archaeology that it was lost for so long, or perhaps it was something else entirely?"
    He shook his head at Simon. "These questions are as important as life itself. It's the answers that are less so."
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by elanya on 17/03/10, 08:11 am

    "but not everyone believes that it is really the Illiad from the book, right? Or at least, just because the city is there, doesn't make the story real? I think I see what you mean though. Anyway, mabe *you* don't think the answers are important, but its just frustrating. Because... it's not just stories. It's like... this shit is actually relevant to things like what is going to happen to us, specifically. Things are trying to kill us, and I don't really have a good grasp of what they are, and what we can, or even should do about it. And something killed Chrys, and we still don't know anything about that, or what is relevant, or isn't, about any of the things we've found...."

    He looked up suddenly at Nils. "Don't you think it is weird that all of us are supposed to be Norse, except her?"
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 17/03/10, 03:50 pm

    "There is a difference between answers to the abstract metaphysical questions and answers to the relatively concrete answers of what we're fighting and how we should do it. Sure, they fade together a bit on the edges, but the Jotunn are concrete and here and murderous little bastards." He couldn't quite conceal the brief play of fear across his face at the thought of what had happened to Chrys, and busied himself playing with Watson for a minute to try to avoid it being noticed. "If we don't all mind doing research, there is a huge amount of information on the Jotunn and the Titans and every other variant thereof here on earth. Granted, a lot of it is flowery and useless, but a lot of it isn't. Even if the others don't want to, just between you and me and Connie we have a lot of potential for research. It's something we can DO. Now, before something else happens. Although, personally, I still think we should investigate what that card was about."
    He promptly stopped talking and went deathly pale at the new mention of Chrys. He felt guilty about it, but every time he thought about her at all, he just remembered with excruciating detail the vision he'd had in her bedroom, where he'd lived her death. "I... I can't say I've given much thought to the matter. Maybe Aimee's not either and that's why hers is taking so long?" Watson by this point realized something was wrong and twined affectionately around his master's shoulders, nuzzling his cheek. He lifted a shaky hand to stroke Watson's feathers.
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by elanya on 17/03/10, 04:07 pm

    Not a master of social cues, Simon pressed on, obliviously. "No, Eitri at least said that's not true. He knew who we all were, including Aimee, so I think she must be one too. It's just... weird. Like, was she targeted because she was 'alone'? Was it something with her heritage? I mean, her dad seemed a little off... and didn't he say something about 'claiming' her, even?

    "But its creepier than that. It's like.... everything was already here. Eitri was already here. As soon as we found out, practically half of the gods were here too. Like they were just waiting. And if nothing had happened to Chrys..."

    Simon stopped as Watson hissed a warning, and seemed to notice his friend's discomfort. "Ah.... Or, maybe it's nothing."
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 17/03/10, 04:37 pm

    Nils nodded, realizing that his comment about Aimee had been hairbrained, a product of his distraction, and nothing more. "I-he did say that he couldn't claim her, when we offered him th-" He cut off uncomfortably, petting Watson soothingly.
    "Presumably Chr-she was the test run." He said, gritting his teeth. "And how things went with... that, would dictate how they would handle us. And Eitre was here more as a first line, for when it happened, I imagine."
    He placed a warning hand on Watson's head. "No, Watson, it's alright. It needs talking about, it was going to happen eventually." His other hand, one might notice, was clenched in a fist so hard he was in genuine danger of drawing blood with his nails.
    He sighed. "I'm sorry, Simon. I'm not horribly comfortable discussing...her." he said uncomfortably. "If you'll recall, when we visited that first time, and I had that particularly uncomfortable vision..." He was desperate for Simon to understand, now that it was on the table, because he felt horribly guilty about not being able to think or talk about her.
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by elanya on 17/03/10, 04:51 pm

    "Oh. Oh, Shit. I.... am retarded. And... yeah."

    Simon sighed into his hands, frustrated at himself now as much as anything else, and rubbed his temples, before looking back over at Nils.

    "Would it help to talk to someone more about that? Like.. Ronnie maybe? Because.... there's more to be said... about...her." He finished sort of lamely, hoping he hadn't come off sounding too much like a dick.
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 17/03/10, 05:30 pm

    Nils smiled wryly. "Yeah, it's definitely not something that had happened before, even considering all the weird things I had experienced before. I think I'm just going to have to deal with being uncomfortable for a while. I'll try talking to Connie or Esperanza at some point, but I think wine is more likely to do the trick."
    He sighed. "At least that will never happen again. Now, apparently all I have to worry about is being answered when I'm talking to myself."
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by elanya on 17/03/10, 06:15 pm

    "I don't know if..." He sighed again. Who was he to tell Nils what to do? He's found Chrys's apartment traumatic enough, and he hadn't even seen as much as Bea and Ronnie, or even Constance and Aimee. Shaking his head, he stretched out on the bed, prompting Nàm to fly over to Nils and perch on his head, peering down cockeyed at him and Watson.

    "So.... fate. Odin said that's why we're all here, and that's why he sent Eitri and his posse out here. So, sure, I don't doubt he *believes* in fate, but he's not the type to just follow out blindly however he thinks things are 'supposed' to go. So.... is he lying? And just... what about fate?"
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 17/03/10, 06:25 pm

    Nils smiled at Nam, choosing to ignore Simon's attempt at guidance. He was well aware that there were concerns about his drinking, but he was well aware of his limits and worked within them. He didn't have a problem, he just liked drinking. He reached up and eased Nam onto his fingers before moving her down so that he could pet her.
    "Odin's... odd. In half the stories he's hell bent to fight the prophecy at any cost, in the other half he's more or less given up and is expecting it to happen that way. I don't know how much of that is embellishment, but what I do know is that Odin is perfectly willing to keep his blood brother bound forever because the prophecy says that he will turn on him. I mean, granted I may be a little biased, but doesn't that seem a little odd to you?"
    He shook his head. "That's not really the point. The point is, we can't just roll over and accept fate. The only way to change it is to not believe in it. And if we can change the past, why not change fate?"
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by elanya on 17/03/10, 06:34 pm

    "I really do need to read through that stack... ugh. But I think you're right. I think that we do have more choice than he thinks... Maybe that's not true for him, but its got to be true for us. I think maybe that's the advantage - we have a little more leeway to 'write' our own stories?"
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 17/03/10, 07:05 pm

    Nils nods. "That's a good point. We're not in any prophecy, we're not bound to do anything. We also aren't involved in divine politics, which frees us up in a different matter. We're not our parents, and we don't have to act like them." He bit his lip thoughtfully. "Which does free us to consider every angle. Theoretically we don't even have to side with them. No matter which way this goes. We have choices."
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    Re: Time for a head trip!

    Post by elanya on 17/03/10, 11:36 pm

    "Yes. Well... Yes and no? That's something else Odin said. That its us - the gods- or them - the Giants, or whatever. that there's different ways of looking at it, but that's ultimately the choice. We help stop them, whether on our own terms or someone else's, or we don't do anything to stop them.... which really, is like letting them win. There is a lot of room for flexibility, but I don't know if, ultimately, he's wrong.I wish someone could give us a straight answer about what we can even do. Even at the most basic 'go fight monsters level' - how do you even fight a shadow?"

    Simon sat up, bracing himself against his knees.

    "I wish that whole meeting had gone better. I hate being caught off guard, and I hate being so *angry* about everything all the time. I don't even remember half of what he said and I don't even know what to think about any of it."

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