Eyrie Productions, Unlimited
Jan-15-06, 00:30 AM (EDT)|
"HL4: Heavy Meta"|
LAST EDITED ON Jan-15-06 AT 00:34 AM (EST)|
Jotted in a fit of pique one evening in 1999 when everything was going wrong during the attempted development of Hopelessly Lost 4.0 - much as everything's going wrong in my head now during the attempted development of Hopelessly Lost 5.0. I was horribly tempted to use this sequence as the basis for a complete series reboot, à la my old nemesis John Byrne, but cooler heads prevailed. Still, I think it's a pretty funny exploration of the stupid crap I have to deal with to work in this universe these days, and I'm in kind of a random mood, so I figured I'd share it. (Note the double-silly GweepNet Continuing Saga reference!)
The setup: Gryphon has just come out of his hotel room in Chicago, the day after everybody headed back to Japan at the end of HL3. He's spent most of the day in said hotel room ruminating about how screwed-up his life is because of all the dorky stuff I jammed into his character design at the beginning of the series (though, naturally, he's not thinking in terms as meta as that right then), and has just reached the conclusion that he's going to have to find a way to erase his implanted skills and find his own balance if he's going to keep his sanity. Then he climbs into his car and tries to start it up, at which point it unobligingly explodes, blowing him to smithereens.
Infinity, as Gryphon had always suspected it would be, was
He knew, given what had just happened, that he must be quite
dead, but the notion didn't bother him as much as he might have
expected. Indeed, the main emotion he felt right now was a keen
embarrassment. I mean, really! Killed by his OWN CAR! He had
apparently underestimated GPCC like a rank amateur. He hadn't thought
it likely that they even knew who he was, let alone where to find him,
and it certainly hadn't occurred to him that they might have someone
capable of compromising the computer systems of the Interceptor -
after all, they were of essentially alien origin. But somebody had,
and had used the car's self-destruct device to blow him to... well,
wherever he was now.
Well, he thought, now what?
WELL, said a deep, booming, slightly sardonic-sounding voice.
THAT WAS AN IMPRESSIVE DISPLAY.
Being a mostly-undefined point-consciousness, Gryphon couldn't
scowl, but he gave the impression of it as best he could.
JUST WHEN IT LOOKED LIKE YOU MIGHT BE GETTING IT TOGETHER,
TOO, the Voice went on. TCH. WELL, WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO SAY FOR
"And you are... ?" Gryphon inquired, suppressing the urge to
continue, "And this is regarding... ? And I would know you from... ?"
DON'T YOU REMEMBER THE SAGA?
"... That's ridiculous," said Gryphon. "Besides, that wasn't
me, that was - "
SO WAS EVERYBODY ABOARD THE SDF-17. REMEMBER THEM?
"Fine, sure, but look, you CAN'T expect me to believe there's
ANOTHER level - "
I CAN EXPECT ANYTHING I WANT. DAMN IT ALL, YOU'VE GOT
YOURSELF - AND ME - INTO A HELL OF A MUDDLE. I REALIZE YOU WERE
THROWN INTO AN EARLY FIC, AND THE PIECE COULD'VE BEEN BETTER-DEFINED
WHEN IT STARTED, BUT EVEN SO, YOU'VE HANDLED YOURSELF TERRIBLY. NOW
YOU'RE MOANING ABOUT YOUR IMPLANTED SKILLS? YOU'VE GOT IT EASY. LOOK
AT YOUR MARVEL SUPER-HEROES EQUIVALENT! HE'S GOT EIGHT YEARS OF
PISS-POOR EDITORIAL POLICY TO OVERCOME IF -HE'S- EVER GOING TO APPEAR
IN PUBLIC AGAIN.
Gryphon digested all that for a moment. "Well, fine, be all
that as it may, my original question stands: Now what?"
"Sorry. Didn't mean to disturb you."
... ALL RIGHT, LOOK. YOU'RE NOT WITHOUT ALLIES HERE, EVEN IF
I PERSONALLY THINK YOU AND THAT WHOLE UNIVERSE ARE READY FOR THE ISLAND
OF MISFIT FANFICS. AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGMENT I'M PREPARED TO GIVE
YOU ANOTHER CHANCE. I CAN'T JUST WIPE OUT YOUR IMPLANTED SKILLS AND
SEND YOU BACK, THOUGH - YOU'D BE BLOODY HELPLESS. YOU'RE GOING TO
HAVE TO TAKE -SOMETHING- IN THE WAY OF CHARACTER ENHANCEMENT JUST TO
"I don't mind that, necessarily, as long as it's something
that's got a little bit of internal consistency to it! I mean,
Christ's sake - surgeon, crack shot, master wheelman, technologist,
AND SHAOLIN KUNG FU MASTER?! What the hell were you smoking?"
SO I GOT A LITTLE TOO AMBITIOUS.
HMM. ALL RIGHT. INTERNAL CONSISTENCY YOU WANT, INTERNAL
CONSISTENCY YOU GET. I'VE BEEN HOPING FOR AN OPPORTUNITY TO USE THIS
The world started to gray up a bit; things began to take on a
little detail, as if a world were rising in relief out of mist.
"Uh-oh. Hey, no recycled designs, here. I've got enough
problems without - "
SHUT UP. WOULD YOU RATHER I JUST LEFT YOU DEAD AND TURNED THE
UNIVERSE OVER TO ZONER? WHAT WOULD BECOME OF YOUR PRECIOUS -
"All right, all right, fine. I'll take whatever you can give
me. Anything's got to be better than what I was dealing with before."
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