The Rightful, Informed Choice
So, yeah, another day, another night, another turn as a garrison unit. Walk here, go over there, fetch the reins of a scared megalo, the works. Read the orders, the comments about the orders, and the comments about the comments. Don't bet on any of it, especially if it goes against the Book of Canon or (Titans forbid) the Book of Retcon.
The birds came with their short messages, and the trolls with the large, heavy ones. Shmuckers went around, at different quantities and paces. Such was garrison: birds could enter and leave at any time; trolls were kept in check, especially about their food. Never feed a troll, they say... hard not to do it when the poor, miserable creatures themselves were all but blind of sight, taste and scent, and could only hear so much before raging. The only way to placate them? Food. They would not eat it, mind you... they only wanted something to throw around aimlessly, and then hear the screams of the ones they eventually hit with their grub. That flack never caught with me, though. Just another turn as a garrison unit.
The Bald Prince would, sometimes, grant us a visit. Since the Prince was all about Principles, the trolls would never mess with him. The birds would still come and go, and the rest of us... well, we kept to ourselves, and hoped for the best orders, news and stuff. The recently summoned Megæterium was still causing some fuss among us all, so this was sill about her presence and development here, I thought. And then I looked at the Prince, and Decided different.
Today, Prince Bald looked pale.
Today, his orders came as a full-dozen parchments, which was more than unusual. Today, the orders did not allow for comments, questions, or response. Today, of all days, for me (and maybe for some others) the orders really took the shape of Orders.
It was the end of the turn, and the beginning of another way of doing things. No more tight schedules to follow, no more time and space compromising, not a word about the Megætherium experience... today, the entire side of this Erf was fighting against a different kind of enemy, with a different kind of strategy, and a different condition to victory. So, the Orders granted anyone at the garrison the permission to see their own paths forward, to keep track of their own time and schedule, to provide as they could... or maybe even to leave, to deduce or abandon commitment, no strings attached (except, you know). His Highness would not abandon field, but since this was a completely different commitment to the one previously arranged, no one would be frowned upon for stepping back. Ever so bold, ever so Principled...
Thing is... it was not a call from Prince Bald. His Highness was the one carrying the Orders, of course, but inside of us, well, each one had her own voices and calls, and limitations. These Orders were talking to the internal parts, to the inner voices and, pragmatically, to each one's purse. The no-comment space on the Orders made those spaces form inside of each one of us. Thinkamancers would call that space a “decision tree”, but I'd simply call it an Inner Call. Not from Charlie, not from Sidneyquest, not from MK... it did not sustain on juice, nor on schmuckers. It would be needing another kind of sustaining... the kind, I felt, lingered on the other end (the beginning?) of my string. Strangely enough, I was the one making that Call, and it was aimed to the other end of my string.
At the end, it was not an Order, at all. It was bigger than that, even bigger than a Call. And it had no name, at least not one that I knew about, yet.
Yesterday, I slept as a Knight. Today, I awake as a Titan.
[Note: user was awarded 25 Shmuckers for this post]
On the first read-through, I didn't get it either, but it's an allegory for the news post when Rob told us about Linda's cancer and the smaller update size, and invited people to cancel their Toolbox pledges if they felt they needed to because of the change in what updates are going to be going forward. That news post, and others lately, have had commenting turned off. The user who posted this is one of many who made the titular Choice and increased their pledge instead; Knight and Titan are names of pledge levels.
OMG I GOT PUBLISHED!
Yeah... a few typos... but the trolls are really trolls here...
That art at the bottom is not mine, so I'd like to send half the shmuckers I've received for this publication here (and also half the good words) to the author of it. If site/forum people can do it for me, even better.
My mother had cancer. Lost her in 2016, and I will continue to pay those bills for the next couple of years, still. I can't give more than cash to team Erf, for I live in South America and that prevents me from visiting, lending a hand and so on, so there you have it. Am not much of the praying type, either... but I asshure you I do keep Linda an Rob on my good thoughts and hopes, everyday. Really hope that this arc evolves, but I cannot promise that it will. I am much more of a reader than a writer, as you all can see.
Thanks a lot for all comments, and lets give this team the best that we can!