Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby Lamech » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:54 am

The simple reading of the jester, hammer, and "tool" is that the Jester is the arkenhammer. Charlie is fighting the titans. Which would mean he and Parson are on the same team, maybe. Of course he could be lying.

That raises the question of why he didn't do it to Wanda. Perhaps the pliers where more subtle and did not manifest in Wanda's mind. Perhaps being a caster meant she was more capable of fighting back, and Charlie chose not to attack. Charlie bugs might actually be Charlie. Damaging them might destroy parts of Charlie's mind. Perhaps he didn't want Jillian to balk at the prospect of the deal. Whatever the case, I note that Wanda DOES remember stuff about Charlie. That's how she was able to ask Jack if he could talk about Charlie? She remembered. Whatever Charlie did he didn't do the same level of damage to Wanda.

"Contractor will apply proprietary magicks (Arkendish) to link with Healomancer and fashion such spells and procedures to Client as are necessary to substantially diminish or eliminate Client’s dependency on Flower Power."
Charlie did everything needed to eliminate the flower power. Once that was done Charlie can do whatever. He fulfills that line. After that line was fulfilled he made other changes, as the second part says. The healomancer was never bound by the contract in the first place.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby No one in particular » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:59 am

IronBear wrote:Your own realization refutes what you speculate what the Jester was. If Charlie did a similar procedure on Wanda, he would ripped out her ability to attune also. However since he did not then, he did not now.

My own thought on it is simplier. Charlie fights Fate. The Jester is a mechanism of Fate to help it achieve its ends.

It may weaken my theory, but it doesn't refute it. Like I said, maybe Charlie figured Wanda would croak soon (offer some buds as a present and goodwill gesture, get her back on the stuff). Maybe he felt she was rendered harmless by being stuck in a bubble kingdom where she'd never find a 'Tool (Jillian, on the other hand, would always be sent out into the world for merc missions, and might come across the hammer). Maybe he DID rip that part out of her, and Fate just made it grow back (Fate's a bitch like that). Maybe, since she'd already signed the DoaL contract, Charlie was unable to work his mind-mojo on her because of the "Do No Harm to Faq" proviso. Jillian had a special loophole put into her contract, after all, and that may be what opened her up to getting totally rewritten like this. *shrugs*

Whispri wrote:Well if there was any doubt that Betsy was a complete monster they can be safely cast aside. The Erf will be a better, lessd evil place when Faq is destroyed. I'd have said that before this update, but after this...
That seems a bit quick to judge, and harshly at that. Betsy's NOT a monster. If she was, she'd be doing this for selfish reasons, or would be doing it with no regard for Jillian's well-being. See, that's what makes it so much WORSE.

Betsy ISN'T a monster.
Betsy is misguided and acting with the very best intentions.

Betsy honestly thinks she's making Jillian a better person, in an attempt to aggressively implement Faqian philosophy. Imagine if you worked somewhere, and one of your coworkers would regularly go out and mug or murder people, and bring the loot back to perk up the company's finances. Then, you get a chance to tweak some things in the psycho's head, to make them mellower, less violent. You don't have to destroy their mind, you can even preserve as much of their personality as you like, but you can... adjust them. It won't hurt them, not physically... and if you ask them later, they'll say they're happier than they've ever been.

"Hell is paved with good intentions" and all that.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby gobe » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:00 am

0beron wrote:The purpose of the link overall and resulting spells is clearly stated and limited, which then sets the tone for how subsequent clauses and smaller details are interpreted. As written, I think Charlie did violate contract. Carnymancy would involve making that argument you just did, separating the clause you quoted from the overal scope. See what I'm saying? Out of context, your quote allows what Charlie did but in context it does not, so I think that's the kind of thing you do with Carnymancy, take the clauses out of context.


I fully understand your point but I disagree. I think the sentence I quoted, especially the part that "expressly grants permission" for "changes as needed to the functioning of Client’s mind", is crafted vaguely to add what appears to be a detail but which is actually a major aspect (loophole) of the contract. I think that being a witty Carnymancer, Charlie is able to write contracts with loopholes that he is fully willing to exploit; he does not seem to break the contracts themselves (at least up to what we've been able to observe so far). Betsy has no trouble "breaking" the contract either, by the way, which goes in favor of my interpretation as well. Charlie seems to be always the one writing the contracts, even if they were previously agreed upon, and are probably often signed readily in good faith ala Ansom in book 1.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby Ditto » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:09 am

It's all right there in the contract. All Charlie has to do is say 'eliminating the jester was necessary to result in my definition of Optimal Efficiency for the Client's Brain.' Betsy doesn't know quite what she's looking for, and Charlie has done this before(ish). They left her open to it, and there it goes.

I think folks are reading into the Jester's choice of weapon too much. The Arkenhammer is in no way a warhammer. Have you seen a good warhammer? Also, have we ever seen Stanley actually physically HIT an enemy with it? And has the hammer been discovered at this point in the timeline? I think it's just a nice flavorful weapon for the jester to squash bugs with. You wouldn't use a sword for that.
SteveMB wrote:The question is getting Wanda to honor the offer. They could keep going back and forth: offer, honor, offer, honor....
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby Burnerpower » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:10 am

Well, this just proves it every member of FAQ's court except for Jack and Marie is a hypocrite that preaches peace while casually supporting other evils such as mind rape and ostracization of everyone who disagrees with their blatant hypocrisy. I fully support Wanda's decision to annihilate their evil from the world. In fact I would think less of Wanda if she had really initially not planned on turning.

Anyway now I really really really want to see Jillian decrypted. It fixed Jack's mind, presumably it would restore Jillian as well. Then we would have the awesome Jillian from the prequels back instead of the fake Jillian we have now.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby raphfrk » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:15 am

No one in particular wrote:Betsy ISN'T a monster.
Betsy is misguided and acting with the very best intentions.


Yeah, she is. "Best intentions" don't negate that.

She arrogantly imposed her viewpoint on Jillian, right after telling Jillian it was safe to sign the contract. Jillian trusted her and she betrayed that.

Medical ethics (at least in our world) include things like "do no harm" and "informed consent".

There was a warning sign when she told Jillian that she would "cure" her if given the chance, when they were discussing curing Wanda.

Imagine if you worked somewhere, and one of your coworkers would regularly go out and mug or murder people


It is closer to a pacifist crippling a soldier who is defending the country.

Also, it doesn't seem like it actually worked, since Jillian continued as a warlord, so maybe, it was just Charlie doing the erasing.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby YRM_DM » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:17 am

This post reminds me of why I'm so overwhelmingly negatively bothered by hospitals and anesthesia... wow.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby IronBear » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:18 am

Whispri wrote:It does look like that villain Betsy will make her forget Marika. Probably all the others too.


So wanting to stop a blood thirsty sociopath (Jillian in my mind is increasingly coming across as a sociopath) makes you a villian?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby spriteless » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:23 am

*sniff*

In a world where physical scars are healed every morning, mental scars and death are all that is left for lingering drama. Wanda can fix death. I guess we are in for a lot of the other. I wonder if any thinkamancer who plucks her gstring has a chance of hearing her damage. If Wanda knows, perhaps she will heal this damage, in a few more irl years. Yeah. They can all live happily ever after in a magical side filled with happy decrypted. Yeah right.

I wonder if her craving others' approval is trying to get someone else to fill the hole left by the jester. You know, jesters are the ones who can break the rule and contradict a king with no ill consequences. That signamancy could she has lost the ability to not go with the flow.

And Betsy can't even understand that morals and fighting are intertwined.

Huh, Jill thought Jack might have a crush in book 1. I guess she doesn't remember that either. I hope Jack spills more of everything. I can still hope that things will be made right... or righter.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby No one in particular » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:27 am

Burnerpower wrote:Well, this just proves it every member of FAQ's court except for Jack and Marie is a hypocrite that preaches peace while casually supporting other evils such as mind rape and ostracization of everyone who disagrees with their blatant hypocrisy. I fully support Wanda's decision to annihilate their evil from the world. In fact I would think less of Wanda if she had really initially not planned on turning.

Anyway now I really really really want to see Jillian decrypted. It fixed Jack's mind, presumably it would restore Jillian as well. Then we would have the awesome Jillian from the prequels back instead of the fake Jillian we have now.
It's not hypocritical, though. It's just a strict definition of peace, and a HUGE emphasis on non-violence.

The Court only really cares about avoiding PHYSICAL violence, and may not even have a concept of emotional abuse (remember how pleased Jack was with the concept of "Lateral Thinking" when Parson introduced it to him?). None of them are Thinkamancers after all, and don't have the insight into just how complex & fragile a unit's mind really is.

On a tangent, I think it would be hilarious if Jillian got Decrypted, and it restored her to her pre-DoaL mindset... which includes a bud-addiction. HA!
Wanda: At last, you're free from all of Charlie's mind-tampering! We can be together again!
Jillian: Yeah, yeah, that's great... you carrying? You got any buds on you?
Wanda: Nooooooo~!
Jillian: [croaks a few turns later]
Charlie: Wah wah~ *trollface*
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby Lecan » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:29 am

Come on, Warlord! No, the idea of the warlord. The champion. The fighter. It filled her mind. It took a shape.

A surprising shape.

“Trap!” shouted the bald jester. “You fell for it! Get out, get out!”

The little fat clown was back. In the flower dreams, he was impotent. Here in her headspace, he wielded a warhammer and was smashing bugs on everything.

The insects hissed as a group with each strike. “Ssstay bahhhck!” they warned Betsy. “Thiss iss what I was looking fohhr!”

Jillian's thoughts and wishes given form. The ability of the form is unchained by the heroine buds. Both show that the jester is Jillian, or at least a part of her. Appearing to be a defensive mechanism, he has appeared when Jillian is near to losing herself.
Jillian tried to yell to the jester, but she still had no voice. How? How can I get out?

The blows of the hammer seemed to be making the mindspace ring and crack. Could she fly out? Out of her mind? What would happen? Could the idea of escaping get her out of here? It was all she could think to try.

This does indicate that Jillian sees herself as separate from the jester, both in the language of 'x spoke to y' and the impersonal and passive "the blows of the hammer". This does not necessarily prove that the jester is not some part of Jillian; instead it can be seen that it is a part she doesn't recognize or think on much. Also, I will concede the significance of a hammer.
“What is it?” asked the Betsy concept.

The jester was covered in insects now, and his screams were more tormented than defiant. “Get out!”

“Tool of the enemy,” snapped the insects with a crackle of chitin. “Hhhelp me kill it!”

The word choice is definitely not on accident. The capitalization of "Tool" placed at the beginning of the sentence allows it to be ambiguous. It is not evidence either way.
“I don’t...”

“Jussst hhold it down!”

The Betsy sculpture raised its arms and swam, fishlike, at the jester. She caught its hammer arm by the wrist and pinned it to the concept of an unbreakable wall. The little man was held fast against what might have been the limit of Jillian’s own comprehension.

The insects covered the jester. He stopped screaming, then stopped moving. In seconds, he was completely devoured.

Betsy drifted away, toward something like Jillian’s ideas of happiness, contentedness. Green meadows and safety. Jillian’s viewpoint began to dissolve a bit, as the insects fanned out over her mind and resumed their network of pathways.

This also has the duality of Jillian and things in Jillian's mind (not counting Betsy and Charlie, of course) as distinct forces. The wall is either created by Betsy or used by her against the jester contrary to Jillian's will.
“What was it?” asked Betsy. “A tool of what enemy?”

“The only one worth fighting,” said the insects. “Don’t ever find out. Trussst me.”

Here, "tool" is lower-case, albeit used by someone who does not know what it was. So, who does Charlie consider worth fighting? Parson is the only one Charlie has ever been known to truly campaign against and really only after Parson demonstrated free will by refusing Ruthlessness and declaring independence of manipulation.
Viewpoint-Jillian lacked the will to try anything else,

After all this ambiguity, we have the author say two important things. Jillian had acted and Jillian now did not have will to continue acting. So, what was the tool that was destroyed? It was described as: possibly residing in Aggression and Conscience (both part of the same structure according to Charlie), the shape of a warlord (Jillian's main identity), something fairly foreign to Jillian but still recognizable, something Charlie had expected and even been searching for, something that can be restrained by others and a defense that leaves Jillian unable to continue fighting.

So, is the jester an internal force of Will (or Duty, the two have an interesting relationship integral to the themes of the overall story) or an external force directed by an unknown entity?

For me, it seems certain (obvious may be too strong a word) that the jester was Jillian's will, her independence that allowed her to resist Wanda's interrogations, defy Orders and wrest victory from defeat. These are all things Jillian is unable to do in Books 1 and 2.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby IronBear » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:43 am

No one in particular wrote:
IronBear wrote:Your own realization refutes what you speculate what the Jester was. If Charlie did a similar procedure on Wanda, he would ripped out her ability to attune also. However since he did not then, he did not now.

My own thought on it is simplier. Charlie fights Fate. The Jester is a mechanism of Fate to help it achieve its ends.

It may weaken my theory, but it doesn't refute it. Like I said, maybe Charlie figured Wanda would croak soon (offer some buds as a present and goodwill gesture, get her back on the stuff). Maybe he felt she was rendered harmless by being stuck in a bubble kingdom where she'd never find a 'Tool (Jillian, on the other hand, would always be sent out into the world for merc missions, and might come across the hammer). Maybe he DID rip that part out of her, and Fate just made it grow back (Fate's a bitch like that). Maybe, since she'd already signed the DoaL contract, Charlie was unable to work his mind-mojo on her because of the "Do No Harm to Faq" proviso. Jillian had a special loophole put into her contract, after all, and that may be what opened her up to getting totally rewritten like this. *shrugs*



If you remember back to text update where Parson was debating whether to use the scroll or not, it felt like to him that he was in a conflict between to different gamemasters/storytellers. One of those storytellers was clearly Fate. Charlie, by demanding a proper enforcement of the rules, was acting as the other. To me it is pretty clear to me that Charlie's ultimate enemy is Fate.

Additionally the context of the fight points to the fact that the Jester was an addition to the mind of Jillian, not a part of it. Why? Betsy could not recognize it but she able to identify other parts of Jillian's mind after a little examination. However Charlie knew exactly what it was and in fact hunting for it specifically. Charlie KNEW that Jillian is an agent of Fate (she still has yet to carry Wanda away to the next stage of her life), but would not know she could potentially attune (which is pure speculation).

Finally just because the Jester has a hammer does not mean it had any relationship to the arkenhammer. Jillian is a violent woman who likes overpowering and direct attacks who is imagining an a champion to kill the bugs. The only other weapon that makes more sense than a hammer for her champion is a flyswatter or bug spray. Those are not Jillian's style.

To me this is telling. It gives me the impression that Fate works not by absolute authority. If it did then Charlie's struggle would pointless. Boop, Charlie's struggle would not even exist. Fate likely works via incredible foresight (Lookamancy) coupled with odds twisting (Luckamancy) and subtle mental manipulations (Thinkamancy). If you combined these together then Fate does not need to be all powerful to work.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby Ditto » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:47 am

Being free of Duty gives you *completely* free will. Being free of Free Will makes you a mindless golem, which is not what Jillian is in anyway.

Jester represents her Duty. It's consistent with every past appearance in Jillian's mind, and we can put together a reason that Charlie is anti-Duty. Also, Duty is an unbearably strong compulsion, just like the buds are. Ripping out the strongest compulsion leaves a gap for Charlie to pave over, making the next-strongest compulsion (buds) easier to ferret out therefrom.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby No one in particular » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:02 pm

raphfrk wrote:
No one in particular wrote:Betsy ISN'T a monster.
Betsy is misguided and acting with the very best intentions.
Yeah, she is. "Best intentions" don't negate that.

She arrogantly imposed her viewpoint on Jillian, right after telling Jillian it was safe to sign the contract. Jillian trusted her and she betrayed that.

Medical ethics (at least in our world) include things like "do no harm" and "informed consent".

There was a warning sign when she told Jillian that she would "cure" her if given the chance, when they were discussing curing Wanda.
Look, that's it right there. Betsy doesn't think she's doing any harm (this might be Healomancer-bias, and she simply doesn't consider the mind as something that CAN be harmed) and if she considers Jillian's natural mindset as "sick in the head" Betsy would feel no qualms about trying to cure her.

As for medical ethics, this is Erfworld. The closest thing they have to "ethics" (aside from Banhammer) is the odd debate in the Magic Kingdom. And that's just stoner's chatting, not serious "I'm going to live my life this way" debate.

It is closer to a pacifist crippling a soldier who is defending the country.

Also, it doesn't seem like it actually worked, since Jillian continued as a warlord, so maybe, it was just Charlie doing the erasing.

It is absolutely NOTHING like a soldier who is defending the country. This is LITERALLY a small team of soldiers, being sent out to fight for other people, and to bring the money back to the home country so prop up the treasury. They are not defending the country, they are LITERALLY mercenaries who go out looking for external conflicts and try to get paid for joining. Defense implies attack, and no one's attacking Faq.

Playing along with that though, it's actually closer to a psychiatrist trying to get a soldier with PTSD on medication so they're not paranoid & violent. Which is less useful when they're still in the war and HAVE to be paranoid and violent.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby multilis » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:03 pm

Brain surgery...

The Great Minds that think alike have had brain surgery to keep them loyal. And they want to do same to Parson. I suspect this update is timed to foreshadow that issue. End of book 1, Parson got rid of a sword of ruthlessness because it was doing a sort of brain surgery on him. He wants to be a player rather than a tool.

...

If Jillian is decrypted, will this brain surgery be reversed?

Charlie has no warlords in Charliecom, it is possible he sees the enemy as something that naturally exists in warlords, a part of free will. Possible that removing it has consequences, that the Jillian today is damaged and that also ironically hurts Charlie. Perhaps Jillian's jester would have made Jillian stay at Jetstone fight, and his way of trying to prevent fate is actually helping fate fight him.
Last edited by multilis on Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby ErfCaricature » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:12 pm

Lecan wrote:
So, is the jester an internal force of Will (or Duty, the two have an interesting relationship integral to the themes of the overall story) or an external force directed by an unknown entity? For me, it seems certain (obvious may be too strong a word) that the jester was Jillian's will, her independence that allowed her to resist Wanda's interrogations, defy Orders and wrest victory from defeat. These are all things Jillian is unable to do in Books 1 and 2.


I don't understand why there seems to be so many readers believing that Jillian has had her independence and ability to defy orders taken from her in this update. We have all seen her actions pan out for years now. Jillian has rarely done anything that wasn't defying somebody. She did it to Ansom, she did it to Slately, and she even did it to Charlie. Jillian is independence personified. She doesn't listen to anybody but herself and will always do what is best for her. So, I just don't get where people have reached this conclusion that her free will has been stripped.

So, I'm sorry, but I haven't been sold to any of our speculations so far as to what has actually been removed from Jillian losing the Jester.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby name lips » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:15 pm

But we know that Jillian somehow finds her aggressiveness again. She goes back to being the mercenary warlord of Faq... her personality, from what we know of her after this adventure, is pretty much what we saw at the beginning.

So what happens? Does this procedure fail? Does Banhammer object, and force Betsy to remove the changes? Does Wanda help her rediscover her true self?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby multilis » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:20 pm

ErfCaricature wrote:
Lecan wrote:
So, is the jester an internal force of Will (or Duty, the two have an interesting relationship integral to the themes of the overall story) or an external force directed by an unknown entity? For me, it seems certain (obvious may be too strong a word) that the jester was Jillian's will, her independence that allowed her to resist Wanda's interrogations, defy Orders and wrest victory from defeat. These are all things Jillian is unable to do in Books 1 and 2.


I don't understand why there seems to be so many readers believing that Jillian has had her independence and ability to defy orders taken from her in this update. We have all seen her actions pan out for years now. Jillian has rarely done anything that wasn't defying somebody. She did it to Ansom, she did it to Slately, and she even did it to Charlie. Jillian is independence personified. She doesn't listen to anybody but herself and will always do what is best for her. So, I just don't get where people have reached this conclusion that her free will has been stripped.

So, I'm sorry, but I haven't been sold to any of our speculations so far as to what has actually been removed from Jillian losing the Jester.

I think the jester was not defiance but more of an intuition/conscience, which sometimes helped balance her defiance. The sort of sense that makes hair stand up when hints that a predator is stalking you.

So for example if Jillian's side was doing something seemingly stupid then the jester would make her defy. But if jillian was doing something stupid then the jester would make her obey orders... eg ansom sends Jillian out to only scout... Jillian instead goes on killing spree and gets captured... the jester would have said you are acting stupid here and she might listen and follow orders and not get captured in beginning of book 1.

On the surface intuition/conscience in others is a natural enemy of a con artist/manipulator/puppet master.

Would Charlie be better off if Charliecom had warlords?

Brave New World book might be Charlie's end goal.
Last edited by multilis on Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby Amado » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:42 pm

I, too, am not yet sold on any of the speculations about what the jester was. A tool (or Tool) of the only enemy worth fighting; an enemy that Charlie advises one never learn about.

As curious as I am about that (and as much as I appreciate all the speculations, please keep at it), I'm quite surprised that this topic hasn't yet come up: why does Charlie manifest as a swarm of insects?!? Might this in any way be a reflection of his true nature at present? Is there something in the "terrible price" he paid that now makes him, somehow, like this?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 081

Postby Gregoriownd » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:42 pm

Well, from my reading, my thinking is that The Jester was part of Jillian that was her fate to use the hammer, and part of her free will. This having been damaged hurt her willpower, allowing Wanda far more success in the future with her interrogations and mind manipulation magic.

As for why this was not done to Wanda? Charlie expected her to be dead or ON HIS SIDE. He had sole control of the source of buds, and despite the physical and mental addictions being removed, Charlie being Charlie likely left the psychological effects intact. Likely not fully, but enough to provide the temptation to have her get hooked on botanics all over again. After all, why remove the ability for someone to become a tool when they're likely going to be under your control or in a highly unstable position under a weakened side. Maybe one you can't move DIRECTLY against... but Charlie has his ways.

Jillian's contract demand stuck him in a 'rock and a hard place' position. Let a potential tool go free, or let a source of information about him free? Charlie took the former, as it still leaves the potential tool in the unstable position. Better that than an uncontrolled info leak out from under his thumb for any amount of time. At least, that's how I'm seeing things from his position. Maybe he has some other iron in the fire, which will show up when the next shoe drops (a red-hot horseshoe, knowing the puns of this world :P ).
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