Chapter 67: The Divided Room

on February 12, 2012 in Volume 2 Book 3: Figments & Fragments, Volume 2: Sophomore Effort

In Which Mackenzie Has No Regrets

Appointments with Teddi were something I’d learned to look forward to once they’d become a routine part of my existence. I was looking forward to restarting our sessions, but this one in particular seemed a little daunting once it was upon me. There was so much that needed talking about, and it wasn’t exactly run-of-the-mill, even for me.

Teddi Lundegard was an empathic telepath, which I imagined made it really easy for most of her patients to let her know what was going on in their lives and how they felt about it… they could just open up. My mind was hostile terrain to living, mortal creatures who were of the material plane. Any direct contact with a plane-touched mind could have adverse effects on a subtle artist, but a demon’s mind contained elements that were directly inimical to mortal life.

I was mortal enough that indirect contact… like picking up thoughts and feelings leaking from my head… was largely safe, though I’d been told it could be uncomfortable to be around me when I had a lot on my mind. Shielding against such background noise was a natural knack for most telepaths, but something that could impede the mental healing process.

Teddi had a magic item that worked like a filter. It didn’t keep everything out… that was the difference between a filter and a shield, I supposed. With guidance from some think tank back on the coast she’d learned to do a sort of indirect scan… “like looking at a gorgon in a mirror” was how she’d explained it, though I was pretty sure that a gorgon’s gaze actually did transmit through reflections and the mirror thing was a myth that dated back to before it was common knowledge that gorgons needed to turn their petrifying glare on in the first place.

The session rooms in the mental healing office were designed to be comfortable and relaxing, and as a result they were homier than the dorms most of the university students lived in, which hadn’t been. Over the summer they’d evidently been remodeled. The room that Teddi had used had been something like a large and open living room, with the feel of a cabin or lodge complete with comfortable furniture and a great big fireplace. She was still using that room, or a part of it. It had been cut in half.

It seemed like she’d opted to give up more of the office part of the office in order to keep the sitting area comfortable.

I’d opted to sit on the floor, and Teddi had done the same. She’d cut her hair short over the summer, and without so much weight holding it down the remainder had gone all curly. I complimented her on it because it seemed like an easy way to start talking.

“Thanks,” she said. “You look like you’re growing yours out?”

“I guess maybe by default, at first,” I said. “Now I kind of feel like I might like to see it a little longer, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t know what to do with it.”

“Well, you know, most salons have a glamour mirror that can show you what it would like, and different ways to wear it,” Teddi said.

“What I really mean is that I wouldn’t know how to do anything with it,” I said. Teddi nodded. The subject of my grandmother and her thoughts on hair, vanity, and utility were an old subject between us. “Though I guess… well, I’m becoming friends with this G&D student who does effects with her hair. I don’t know if she does regular styling or not, because with her own she goes for sculpting and bright colors… but I could ask her advice. And Two could help me. She’d love that.”

“You say that with less… resignation… than you might have before,” Teddi said. “As I recall, you weren’t a fan of Two fussing over you.”

“No,” I said. “But she’s mostly over her phase of wanting to make me into a copy of her. She still treats me like a doll, but… I don’t think she has a dichotomy in her head between people and things. She believes she was just a thing before she was freed, but becoming a person didn’t make her stop being a thing, if that makes sense.”

“I’m sure it makes sense to her,” Teddi said. “It doesn’t need to make sense to me.”

“It makes a kind of sense to me,” I said. “She’s taking me shopping for clothes this weekend. Nicki… that’s my new friend… might be coming, too. I have to ask her. But, anyway, Two’s a bit better about things like compromise now.” I gestured down at my shirt. “Like this top. It’s me… like me, embellished. But still me.”

“She got that? It’s nice.”

“Yeah,” I said. “It’s not something I’d wear day-to-day, especially when I’m in a fighting class five days a week, but it’s something that I can at least see myself wearing on purpose.”

“You’re suitemates now?”

“Yeah,” I said. “And I think it’s going to work out better in the long run than being roommates, though we’ve kind of got to find a balance, I think, between living on top of each other and only seeing each other at meals.”

“Maybe you could join some of the groups she’s involved with,” Teddi said. “I can’t think of a campus bake sale I saw last year that she wasn’t part of.”

“I don’t think she belongs to all those groups,” I said. “She just likes bake sales.”

“Still, that’s something you could do with her,” Teddi said. “But I know what a difference it can make, being adjacent to someone instead of sharing space with them… up through last year, we all shared offices here. Now I have my own little sanctum.”

“Yeah, I noticed you’ve been remodeling,” I said.

“Well, the mental healing department’s budget has about doubled in size,” she said. “But demand has more tripled or quadrupled, so…”

“Isn’t that kind of… alarming?”

“I don’t think anything has happened to make people need our services more in particular,” she said. “It’s more that people are more aware of the opportunity, and less reticent about seeking help. That’s a good thing. We’ve been somewhat… underutilized for most of the time I’ve been here. That’s one reason I didn’t mind taking on the cases that my colleagues felt less comfortable about handling. That, and I thought everyone was entitled to the same care. But it wasn’t a hardship, it was just work… the kind of work I’ve wanted to be doing all along.”

“In retrospect, it does seem a little weird to wait two days to get in,” I said.

“I hope you would have said something if it was urgent,” Teddi said. “I can tell you’ve been talking around something since you sat down… I mean, if I wasn’t empathic, the fact that you said something about my hair would have been a dead giveaway. I don’t mind playing catch-up, Mackenzie, especially when we haven’t seen each other for months. But is there something important?”

“Yes,” I said. “But when I contacted you, iit didn’t seem too… time-sensitive. I mean, it’s an ongoing issue, but by definition that means it’s not going anywhere.”

“You know that things can get worse if you ignore them.”

“Yeah, I do,” I said. “This isn’t exactly something I can ignore… I guess I’m looking for something more like a consultation than our typical healing sessions. I was actually wanting to talk more about mental defense than anything else..”

“Your father?”

“Yeah, he’s been back,” I said.

“Well, like I’ve told you before, the kinds of defenses you’re looking for… they’re really more your domain than mine,” she said. “The subtle arts aren’t magic like you know it. I can form a shield of thoughts around another person or even a space like a room, but that’s my thoughts… when I’m not there and not focusing on them, it’ll fade. There’s no way to weave that into an enchantment that will make it stay.”

“But magic can affect thoughts in similar ways to your thought-shield,” I said, pointing to the circlet she wore.

“It can,” she said. “It’s just not my particular area of expertise. I did look into it a little, in case that the assertive dreaming and forced waking you practiced didn’t do the trick. There are potions that prevent dreaming, but dreaming is a part of the mind’s natural healing and defenses… going too long without doing it will make you more vulnerable to outside influences. There are amulets that encourage good or peaceful dreams, but I haven’t found anything that suggests this would prevent someone from coming into said dreams. There were some more possibilities, like astral seals, but they didn’t seem necessary… did he bother you more over the summer?”

“No,” I said, shaking my head. “I went a long time between visitations… anyway, it’s not him alone that’s brought me here.”

“You’ve been having other visitations?”

“One,” I said. “Or visitor, multiple visitations. It’s… complicated. When I contacted you, I was looking for a way to tell if someone had been in my head. Preferably an early warning system, but even something that let me know for sure, after the fact…”

“So you’re not sure if this new visitor is real, or just a dream?”

This was the part that I’d been reluctant to broach. Dee was also a patient of Teddi’s, and while that could make it easier to explain the owl-turtle thing, we could also get into awkward territory because of confidentiality issues.

Also, Dee had made it sound like Teddi didn’t quite believe in the owl-turtle thing as an entity in its own right. It was possible that hearing confirmation from a second person would assuage her doubts, but it was also possible that her existing skepticism would win out.

“You know Dee… Delia Daella… right?” I said.

“I know Dee,” Teddi said.

“You know about her, um… owl-turtle thing?”

“You’ve been dreaming about it?”

“No,” I said. “Not dreaming about it, really, as such.”

“…I take it that Dee has shared with you some of her theories about its nature,” Teddi said.

“They aren’t just theories, Teddi,” I said. “It’s been in my dreams… and sometimes maybe skulking around them. I’m pretty sure of that fact now, but the confirmation comes from a questionable source, so it wouldn’t hurt to be sure.”

“Okay,” Teddi said. “Let’s maybe start at the beginning.”

“That would actually be last year, when things got weird and the ambassadors from Ceilos were here to protect Dee and the other underworld students in Harlowe Hall,” I said.

“Just before you started seeing me,” she said.

“Yeah,” I said. “The underworlders had this creature from the outer planes who was…”

“The big, sightless fish thing,” Teddi said.

“Yes,” I said. “And one night it turned its attention to Harlowe Hall in a way that sort of… messed up the rules of dreaming in a way that made spontaneous dream-sharing possible.”

“…my instinct is to say that that’s impossible, but I guess I don’t know what sort of effects a cross-planar distortion might have,” Teddi said. “I am skeptical of the existence of the owl-turtle thing as more than a construct of imagination because as a telepath I’m aware that dreams aren’t an actual ‘place’ or ‘thing’, they’re just thoughts… with all the weight of thoughts and usually with less coherence. The idea of a dream object or creature having any persistence outside of a dream… well, it’s the same problem you’d have with a psychic enchantment.”

“Yeah, the owl-turtle thing actually pretty much said that itself,” I said. “That’s there no ‘world of dreams’ it exists in or anything like htat. But it has the coherence that a very literal and coherent mind could give it. Two’s mind is… okay, I think if you could look inside her skull you’d probably see something that’s a lot like a brain. But her mind was made by a human, and it was made to be very… task-oriented. So if you or I dreamed and in the dream there was… a filing cabinet in the corner of the room… it might just be a thought that says ‘there’s a filing cabinet there’ and we just sort of fill in the details, but Two’s mind would actually create a filing cabinet and define its properties.”

“That sounds plausible, from what I know about golem psyches,” Teddi said. “Which I admit is not much. Audra and my family’s other house golems aren’t as mindful as Two. Still, though… I know you’re not really in a position to know, but do you think it’s possible that Dee herself is reaching out subconsciously in her sleep?”

“Do you think she’d be able to do that without a reaction between our minds?” I said. “Extraplanar influences, demonic tendencies… I’m pretty sure you know better than most people what my mind can do to a telepath who wanders in, and Hissy was awake when she tried to read me.”

“Yes, but Dee’s a more powerful and better trained telepath,” Teddi said. “Hissy’s a more efficient communicator, but that would work against her… she could have had as many as four or five separate channels open between her mind and yours.”

“How much of it is Dee acting under some kind of heavy psychic impression from Two and how much of it is an actual thing in itself, I really don’t know,” I said. “But for now it’s more useful for me to take it at its word that it’s real. And that night was the first time I encountered it… and the only time, until recently.”

I gave her a rundown of the way my dreams had been going, including the cat-and-mouse games between the owl-turtle thing and the man, and the effects they’d apparently had on my sleep those nights.

“I have to tell you something and I want you to know I’m only saying it because I’m being completely honest,” she said.

“I, uh, kind of expect that,” I said.

“Well, it’s been a few months,” she said. “Anyway, if you were anyone else and I weren’t more aware of your history, I’d be wondering about your fantasy life right about now.”

“My fantasy life involves things like getting rich for designing the next big TV, or being collared… or knights riding around on motorcycles, though it’s been ages since I had time for that,” I said. “This stuff… night time cloak-and-dagger, tangling with Law agents… it’s not the sort of thing I’d ever wish for. I mean, there have been times I’ve wished for my life to be more exciting, or to involve some sort of, you know, conflict… who doesn’t want to be a hero?”

“I think some people would prefer to be a villain,” Teddi said. “But most people want, at least, to be a pivotal figure in the story of their lives.”

“I don’t want to be the bad guy, but I really don’t feel particularly heroic,” I said. “I feel… well, actually, I just feel really put-upon. I’m sure that sounds… I don’t know what it sounds like. But I feel like I’m being intruded upon and inconvenienced for a bunch of stuff that I really… okay, I actually know how to explain exactly how I feel.”


“Ever since she got back, Steff has been telling people this story about me fighting some sort of dread lord or something,” I said. “It’s really just Steff being Steff… and in a pretty innocuous way for Steff, but I find it more frustrating than I probably should. It’s just the idea of my school year and my social life being interrupted because somebody’s got some kind of evil master plan that I have to foil… in a book or TV show, it would all kind of neatly fit together, but my life doesn’t have room in it for fighting evil. So it’s like, I don’t know what my father wants and I wish I didn’t have to care, because I don’t have time to deal with him. I don’t want to ‘vanquish’ him or come up with a plan to stop him, because I don’t think I should have to.”

“I think that’s valid,” Teddi said.

“But he’s my father.”

“That doesn’t make him your responsibility,” Teddi said. “When he manipulates you, he’s making himself into your problem, but there isn’t an actual tie of obligation between the two of you. And it’s fair to resent him for that.”

“You know, it’s funny, but I actually worry about that,” I said. “I hate him and I’m sure he’s evil, but now that we’re talking about it… I feel kind of petty about resenting him, and it’s hard to feel petty and fair.”

“Well, he is a person,” Teddi said. “Not necessarily a good person and not a person you need to have in your life. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that he’s a person, or turn off your normal emotional responses to people. That doesn’t mean you owe him anything. You can feel bad about cutting someone out of your life but it doesn’t make it the wrong thing to do, just like you can feel sorry for someone without being obligated to help them.”

“He keeps trying to convince me that he has nothing but my best interests at heart,” I said. “But he’s… pushy. When he pretends to care about me, it reminds me of the old comedy cliche where the guy is told to be quiet and he goes on a monologue about of course he’ll be quiet when he’s told to be quiet. You know?”

“I do,” Teddi said. “You’re talking about someone who shows every sign of ignoring your boundaries and no sign of respecting you. You’ve never asked me if I agree with your decision to shut him out, but I support it completely. Whatever you have to do to establish a boundary…”

“I’m not sure you’ll agree when I tell you what I did,” I said.

“What’s that?”

“I asked a guy I sort of know with access to his government file to slip it to my grandmother,” I said.

“Do you regret it?”

“No,” I said, and if I sounded surprised it was because I was. “You know, I was pretty sure that once I started explaining this to someone outside my life I’d be like ‘What have I done?’, but really… no, I don’t regret it. It was something to do, a way of striking back. I did it.”

“Do you think it’ll accomplish anything?”

“At the very least I hope it will give him something to worry about other than digging around in my head and trying to run my life,” I said. “I don’t know if anything will come of it. It’s like trying to hit someone with a double ricochet. But I felt like I had to do something… I was angry at the time I decided to do it, but it was a pretty calm rage, considering. I don’t think it’s a revenge thing.”

“I think we might want to explore that further, but I did have a thought pop up from my head and I wanted to share it before I forget,” Teddi said. The wording was unusual, but professional telepaths tended to be more specific about where thoughts originated. “Depending on the exact channel that’s being used to enter your mind, something like my filter circlet might impede entrance… it’s not exactly a cheap or common magic item, but I don’t have a pressing need for mine outside of my sessions with you. And it is mine, not the office’s. If you would like to borrow it for a few nights to see how it works… I think it’s got a good chance of keeping out Dee’s owl-turtle, because one way or another it’s using her natural telepathy.”

“How about my father?”

“I’d file that under ‘it could work’,” Teddi said. “From what you’ve told me about him, though, I think his way in is deeper and more… well, I suppose I’d say ‘primal’. That’s what’s going to make him hard to keep out.”

“Then I think I’m going to decline,” I said. “If I could keep both of them out, I would, but the owl-turtle thing is more benign, and it makes him nervous. He doesn’t understand it, and that scares him a little. When I contacted you I was hoping to get some help in dealing with it, but now… now I’m starting to think about making a deal with it.”

“Is that really wise?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “Dee’s pretty sure it means well, though. This isn’t a matter of the lesser of two evils or the devil you know… I definitely know my father better, even if I don’t know him well. It’s more of a choice between evil and not evil, or the devil I know and the… anomalous dream-thing I don’t. But the owl-turtle thing just wants to exist, and it doesn’t need to hurt anyone to do that. That, and Dee thinks it might be some sort of representation of self-awareness.”

“Sounds like her theories have evolved,” Teddi said. “She told me it was an avatar of annoyance.”

“It’s… hard to like,” I said. “Dee thinks that’s because Two didn’t like it, so ‘unlikeable’ is part of its make-up.”

“I don’t mean to treat your life like it’s a subject for a paper, but this is pretty interesting,” Teddi said. “I think I might be able to help you more if I knew more… and maybe I could help you and Dee both if I actually observed this owl-turtle thing. Would you mind passing along a message that I’d like a chance to talk to her about it some more?”

I wondered at the fact that Teddi had doubted Dee’s reports of the owl-turtle thing but I’d apparently trusted mine. That probably had little to do with her or me personally, though. It was just a matter of one person telling her a crazy, impossible thing being easier to write off than two.

“I don’t know how she’ll take that, but I can pass it along,” I said.

“That’s all I can ask,” Teddi said.

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46 Responses to “Chapter 67: The Divided Room”

  1. Saru says:

    An excellent delve into the realm of Tales of the coefficient of friction… I mean mu. Must say that what Im really looking forward to is Steff’s activity. Should be entertaining at the least.


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  2. peter says:

    No regrets!!

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  3. mafidufa says:

    First?? ook

    I wonder if the owl-turtle has ever visited Two again since it moved house to Dee’s dreams…

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  4. Erin says:

    Is this missing some pieces? It seems to trail off mid sentence a few times.

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  5. daezed says:

    There were some more possibilities, like

    “Did he bother you over the summer?”

    I think we lost a line or two in here somewhere. And the same for connecting the gorgon example to how it was like her mind thingie… but maybe that was just me not understanding that part.

    Also, there is a point where it says “iit” instead of “it.”

    Good chapter, nice to see teddi again!

    Though if I were Dee, I’d probably be a little grumpy about not being believed until Mack spoke of it, haha. Ah well. I hope Teddi meets the ROTT… that would be deliciously fun to read, I think.

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    • Brenda says:

      These were a few spots that seemed off:

      “With guidance from some think tank back on the coast she’d learned to do a sort of indirect scan… was how she’d explained it, though I was pretty sure that a gorgon’s gaze actually did transmit through reflections and the mirror thing was a myth”
      (What was how she’d explained it?)

      “I did look into it a little, in case that the assertive dreaming and forced waking you practiced didn’t do the trick.”
      (Should that “that” be there?)

      “There are amulets that encourage good or peaceful dreams, but I haven’t found anything that suggests this would prevent someone from coming into said dreams. There were some more possibilities, like”
      (Like *what*?!)

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      • Lunaroki says:

        “With guidance from some think tank back on the coast she’d learned to do a sort of indirect scan… was how she’d explained it, though I was pretty sure that a gorgon’s gaze actually did transmit through reflections and the mirror thing was a myth”
        (What was how she’d explained it?)

        This is an instance of someone changing their mind about what they are saying in the middle of saying it. Mackenzie is initially “saying” that the part of the sentence before the ellipsis is fact, but then the ellipsis occurs indicating that Mack is rethinking that statement, after which she clarifies that what she stated before the ellipsis is how Teddi explained it to her rather than accepted fact. Mack just isn’t sure she totally buys into the explanation Teddi gave her. Upon relating it to us, the readers, she realizes that she doesn’t necessarily believe it herself and adds the qualifier that this is Teddi’s explanation to her rather than what she herself believes is true.

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        • Brenda says:

          The whole thing about the gorgon’s gaze is such a non sequiter that I couldn’t help wondering if something was left out.

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          • Dan says:

            The reference to the gorgon is relating back to the indirect scan of the initial sentence. Supposedly, if you look at a gorgon in a mirror, the magic of the gorgon’s gaze is not reflected. The story is comparing the filter circlet to the mirror, each allowing you to identify and interact with whatever is being reflected while avoiding the damaging effects of the gorgon’s gaze or (in the case of the circlet), the demonic aspect of Mackenzie.

            Mackenzie is remembering how Teddi originally described the function of the circlet, while also casting her doubt as to its efficacy.

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        • zeel says:

          The gorgon thing still seems to come out of nowhere.

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          • Author_Unknown says:

            It’s a reference to an earlier chapter where she explains her ability to mack.

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    • There was a broken HTML tag that was eating part of the line.

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  6. Brenda says:

    I really enjoyed this chapter, but now I just want to skip forward to the shopping trip! Or at least asking Nicki to come!

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  7. Celti says:

    “I wondered at the fact that Teddi had doubted Dee’s reports of the owl-turtle thing but I’d apparently trusted mine.”

    Should “I’d” be “had”?

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    • fman0801 says:

      I’d is a contraction of I had.

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      • Brenda says:

        Which makes no sense in the context of that sentence.

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        • Oni says:

          Ditto. “Had” is the one that actually makes sense of the context; “I’d” would make sense if the start of the sentence involved Dee doubting her [b]own[/b] reports.

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          • Anne says:

            It looks like I’d should be she’d. O’course I could be wrong about that… :-S

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  8. Zergonapal says:

    Wouldn’t Mack be able to prove the existence of the Avatar of Annoyance by just telling it that Teddi would like to meet it?

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  9. Sideways Thinker says:

    “A life lived without regret is either truly enviable, or truly pathetic.” Sten of the Urashok, Dragon Age: Origins.

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    • Kevin Brown says:

      I believe that would be Sten of the Beresaad. Urashok (I’m assuming that you mean Arishok) is the leader of the Beresaad.

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  10. HiEv says:

    Missing a word: “most salons have a glamour mirror that can show you what it would *look* like”

    And thanks. It’s kind of weird to see the main character in a story talk about how she feels “put-upon” by the events that make her life interesting. I’d feel a bit sorry for her if she weren’t a fictional character. 😉

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  11. Ermarian says:

    “This stuff… night time cloak-and-dagger, tangling with Law agents… it’s not the sort of thing I’d ever wish for. I mean, there have been times I’ve wished for my life to be more exciting, or to involve some sort of, you know, conflict… who doesn’t want to be a hero?”
    “I asked a guy I sort of know with access to his government file to slip it to my grandmother,” I said.

    I’d assumed the “tangling with Law agents” was referring to exactly that, but apparently she hadn’t mentioned it yet. Or was she talking about the night the agents took her to meet Embries?

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  12. Readaholic says:

    Awesome. Will the ROTT become a member of the MU counselling services?

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  13. Greenwood Goat says:


    but it was also possible that she’d maintain her existing skepticism would win out.

    Looks like two different drafts trying to occupy the same sentence.

    That’s there no ‘world of dreams’ it exists in or anything like htat.


    Cetea would be able to confirm that mundane mirrors make little difference to a gorgon’s gaze, and I’m now wondering what else would. Perhaps it would be possible to enchant a mirror, or make something analogous to a mirror that would offer protection… hmmm, Dr. Mackenzie Blaise, inventor of the Mack Mirror – guaranteed protection against gaze attacks – any style you like, so long as it’s purely functional! I’m also wondering what other ways a gorgon’s gaze weapon could be transmitted. One hopes that it couldn’t be inadvertently broadcast via television, like the Vice Chancellor’s vore impulse was…

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    • Lunaroki says:

      That’s there no ‘world of dreams’ it exists in or anything like htat.

      Both “that”s on the opposite ends of this sentence are screwed up. The first one has the apostrophe-s that belongs with “there” while the latter is just misspelled.

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  14. pedestrian says:

    I see the point people are making about the construction of speech phrases but I think that there is an overall coherence. This is the way people, with mutual experiences, actually converse.

    We, the readers, seem to be able to fill in the missing bits of information from clues Alexandra sprinkles throughout her story.

    Like assembling a puzzle with missing pieces. At a glance our minds are clever enough to extrapolate the missing data.

    This what I appreciate the most about A.E.’s writings, she forces us to participate, to parse and analyze and just plain think.

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    • Brenda says:

      Well, and sometimes they’re intentional, but sometimes they’re just typos.

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      • fka_luddite says:

        “Sometimes a beard is just a beard.”

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        • pedestrian says:

          Sometimes a hairy cigar is just a bad smoke!

          and a royal razzberry to Freud….

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  15. Don says:

    I wonder if the owl-turtle-thing prodded Teddi’s mind into being interested in it. The circlet might keep it out overtly but leave it capable of a prod. Unfettered between Dee and Teddi it’s probably going to have no issue jumping over.

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    • Lunaroki says:

      I think you are confused. The owl-turtle thing only exists in dreams. It has no existence, let alone influence, in a waking mind. The ROTT isn’t a subtle artist, it’s a dream figment, and while it has independent existence and self-volition within dreams, outside of them it simply doesn’t exist. The only way it could be prodding her mind would be if it entered her dreams, and then she would know about it.

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  16. Zukira Phaera says:

    This made me think back to some conversations on your livejournal this past summer. Love and hugs to both AE and moofable.

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  17. genericIntent says:

    Fourth wall? What fourth wall?

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    • fka_luddite says:

      The one containing the mantle that is supporting the (scene 1) pistol.

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  18. Father Latour says:

    “With guidance from some think tank back on the coast she’d learned to do a sort of indirect scan… was how she’d explained it, though I was pretty sure that a gorgon’s…”

    I think you dropped a sentence there while editing. ^_^;

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  19. Ashanar says:

    To borrow a phrase, a thought popped up from my head while I was at work the other day, and I keep meaning to share it before I forget (again).

    Is anyone else amused that Mack is attempting to use the Man to fight against The Man?

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  20. The one guy says:

    “I’d feel a bit sorry for her if she weren’t a fictional character.” You mean “As far as I know…” :p

    Anyway, the owl-turtle thing must have an existence of some sort outside of dreams, because it must go somewhere while a person isn’t dreaming (while the person is awake). If it literally had no existance outside of a dream, the next time you dreamed it wouldn’t be there unless it was somehow restarting itself anew with each dream.

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    • Zukira Phaera says:

      It takes refuge in the subconcious mind of its current carrier is how I figure it works.

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      • pedestrian says:

        I am theorizing that you may both be correct. My supposition is that the owl-turtle is a meme. That each person that receives it, is getting a basic framework of group mind multilateral description. Then each person fills in with their own knowledge.

        That the basic framework of the owl-turtle is the same for everyone experiencing it but if we could compare each persons owl-turtle we would find growing differences between each version.

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  21. Zathras IX says:

    It seems becoming
    A Person doesn’t make one
    Stop being a Thing

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  22. anon y mouse says:

    “But when I contacted you, iit didn’t seem too… time-sensitive. – it?

    “I wondered at the fact that Teddi had doubted Dee’s reports of the owl-turtle thing but I’d apparently trusted mine.” – she’d apparently trusted mine?

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  23. pedestrian says:

    Alexandra, I wish to complement you on the quality of your work. For a long time now I have found most erotic writing to be trivial tedium. You have developed a style of literature that revives my spirits and even has a therapeutic effect.

    I was exploring online graphic novels with the idea of developing a couple of my own stories for that format. At least twice those sites posted good reviews of the Tales of MU. Finally I wandered by to check it out and from the first page you impressed me.

    I am not a big fan of the fantasy genre, or the repetitious drivel that passes for porn these days. And I never was a D&D or WOW player. But in all these different fields, you have brought a fresh, vibrant quality of writing. I think Tales of MU will, into the foreseeable future, join the pantheon of erotic masterpieces such as the Story of O, Beauty, the Red Chamber.

    I was wondering if you have any intentions of producing a graphic novel of any of your work. You well know we males are visually oriented, that whole hunter-ape thing. Similar to Dark Sisters or Bhaddland. Would you prefer a style such as Chester 5000 or Girl Genius?

    Now I am not an artist myself, the most creative I get is historical/encyclopaedic pedantry with a wander into outright demagoguery.

    I was thinking you might consider offering your readers who are artistic, a challenge, a contest to recreate Steff’s Notebook of Drawings of Mackenzie Bound in Ecstasy. Makes me huff & puff & wheeze whenever it is mentioned in the Tales.

    Thank you for your consideration – Pedestrian

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    • siberian says:

      wow.. i’d have to second that suggestion, but i sure can’t see barnes and noble putting THOSE graphics on the shelf lol (if you ship it in a plain brown wrapper, i’d buy it though 🙂 )

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  24. Heather says:

    Just wanted to let you know that there are some major formatting issues with this post in the livejournal RSS feed.

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    • Thanks! Livejournal has a tendency to fail more spectacularly when HTML is bad, which helped me figure out what a problem here was.

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