217 - Ghost Fishing

Daphne Palin sits me down at the coffee shop. She takes a seat opposite me. I’m still not used to being on this side of the serving counter, and I keep wanting to make some small comment to the staff, to let them know I’m one of them, I’m with it. It’s weird, but that’s life as a robot barista.

We’ve both got our drinks in hand. She’s fiddling with hers, and I know she wants to say something important and chancy, and before I can encourage her, she launches into it. She doesn’t look at me, not at first, because eye contact means honesty. What she wants to say is tough.

“You seem like a good kid. Alice, when she talks about you - and boy, does she talk about you - she gets weird. I thought at first, maybe she was into you? But it’s not that, not in the slightest.”

“She seems to think of you like, I dunno, like a trick, or a trap, and she’s waiting for it to blow up in her face, and she’s perpetually confused that it hasn’t. From that, I figure you must be the real deal.”

She rolls the coffee cup around in her hands, playing with it. Still no eye contact.

“You got that butterfly motif going on. I want to know where that came from.”

I tell her. I tell her about the dream, about the magical grove, and the butterflies I saw, and the inspiration I drew from the experience. I watch her face, twisting into something I don’t like seeing. I tell her that Alycia and I had already discussed the possibility of Palamedes influencing me, trying to get to her.

And I remember, much too late, that I’d talked about giving up the butterfly look.

“I’m glad you’re smart, not just nice. See, it’s Pal-o-mine I want to talk to you about. Since you and Charlotte are in this thing with me, I owe you an explanation about a few things.”

She takes a drink of the coffee, using the action to buy herself time before diving into deeper, more difficult conversational waters. I do the same, as a mirroring gesture. Showing empathy with someone helps them feel at ease.

“First. I want you to understand why this thing bothers me so much. Okay?”

“Imagine you have a new step-dad. He’s part of the family now. You didn’t want it, didn’t ask for it, but here he is, because mom has feelings or he’s got money or something, but either way. There’s now a man in the house. Your house.”

“This man is in charge now. He has the trust of your mom. He can go into your room. He’s your father in the eyes of the law and society. He’s got expectations. And you’re the child. You’re supposed to meet them.”

Daph leans forward, eyes narrowed as she finally meets my gaze. I clutch my own coffee cup a little tighter than I want.

“When you’re young, your parents just loom over everything. They’re larger than life. They’re personal gods to a young child. So now one of those is here without your consent.”

“You’re old enough to hear stories. About bad things parents do to kids. And even if none of those things happen, it’s on your mind, it’s something you now have to devote some brain cells to thinking about. So you’ve got this anxiety, this uncertainty, and this man is just smiling because he decided he belongs in your life. He won’t go away. And you’ve got nowhere to go.”

Daph leans even forward, lowering her voice.

“He’s got everything he wants. Except one thing. Your obedience. And now, this man in your house, with all his power, is going to ask you for that. And he won’t take no for an answer.”

“Don’t ever make a deal with something with that kind of power, kiddo. It’s not worth it. Not worth your inner peace.”

She lets out a long breath, and sits back, and drinks her coffee.

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Great analogy. Combo step-parent/stalker, not quite going into squicky sexual abuse (or, if so, I probably don’t need to read about it), but with that power imbalance, that smile that says, “I’m here, there’s nothing you can do about it, and maybe, over time, you’ll come to enjoy it, but regardless, I’m here” – all of that.

I don’t know that it’s something that can, or should, be “fixed” (because drama, and not everything can be fixed, nor, narratively, should be), though driving toward an eventual modus vivendi that’s not so asymmetric would be kind of nice.

Daph could be a hero, or find it enjoyable. Ironically, of course, that will never happen as long as someone is forcing her into it.

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The van comes to a jerking stop that pushes its two occupants painfully against their seatbelt straps.

“Hey!” grouses Roksana from the passenger seat.

“Calm down,” Kamley snaps. “If you die, we’re in the right place for it.”

The van is indeed parked in the middle of a cemetery. It has just finished rolling over a series of graves to get to its destination, and Kamley double-checks their position on GPS.

“Alright, let’s suit up,” says Roksana. She climbs out of the passenger side, while Kamley climbs into the back of the van via the interior.

With the back door open, the pair lug a heavy but portable generator out onto the ground and get it running. The van interior lights up with the infusion of electricity.

The two women briefly play rock-paper-scissors, and Kamley loses two matches of three. Grinning, Roksana pulls a harness off its position on the shelves in the back and starts fitting Kamley with it. Next comes the winch, attaching itself to the harness at six points. The whole rig started as a tool for Coast Guard rescue choppers. Now it’s being put to a decidedly different purpose.

“Check your readings,” Roksana advises, looking at her laptop. Kam does so, kicks the generator a couple times, and spends two minutes tightening and double-checking extension cords.

Roksana has started unbolting a hatch built into the bottom of the van. When Kam gives her the thumbs up, she throws a heavy single-pole switch and verifies that every light around the hatch has turned a bright and reassuring green. Only then does she haul it open.

Beneath the hatch isn’t the bottom of the van, and the ground on which the vehicle rests. It’s merely empty blackness, from which a faint sound can be heard.

Roksana does a final check of the winch, and Kam grimaces. “Give me the relic.”

She receives a suitcase and attaches it to the harness via climbing rope and sturdy carabiners.

Kam gives her partner one last look, as she perches at the edge of the abyss.

“Go to hell,” Roksana announces with a gleeful grin, and Kam drops into the inky void.

The winch starts to play itself out. Fifty feet - one hundred - two hundred - four hundred.

Roksana slides an earpiece over one ear and starts calling. “Marco… Marco… Marco…”

An unguessable sound comes back, followed by a faint “Polo… Polo…”

Roksana grins. “Roger. Start aeration.”

“Aeration started,” comes the voice.

Twenty minutes pass. One woman will call for a status check, or make a random remark, and the other will respond, and they’ll play out the conversation a bit. But silence always returns. Until–

“I got something. I think I got something. Double-check.”

Roksana glances at her laptop, then down into the Stygian depths. “I got a reading, but I don’t like it. Want me to reel you up a bit, maybe stir it up?”

“Yeah, do that. Give me 20 feet.”

Roksana operates the winch, listens to it whine, and privately hopes not to hear her partner whine as well.

Instead, there’s only silence.


A minute passes. Finally Roksana can hear Kamley’s voice. “Another fifty feet. There’s a problem–”

The line starts to agitate. Roksana retracts it another fifty feet as ordered, watching the high-strength cable wind itself round and round the spindle. Worriedly, she calls down. “What problem?”

“I think we got a hit! I think – I think – stand by.”

Roksana can only wait. She occupies herself by watching the laptop, but the data output doesn’t tell her anything reassuring.

“Hey Rocky?” comes the voice.

“Yeah, we good?”

“I think so. Kit’s showing green. But something weird happened. First there was–”

Roksana feels a wave of panic when she hears the next words over the comm. “UP UP UP REEL ME IN REEL ME IN!”

She jams on the winch control, and the machine starts hauling.

“You’re coming up, Kam, just hold on, things are gonna be okay–”

The voice comes back, shaky and scared. “There’s two of them, they’re–”

The winch abruptly stops, and Roksana’s eyes dart everywhere to pinpoint a problem. Oh shit - the van’s electrics are flickering too. If they go out, then the doorway will…

Roksana leaps out of the back of the van, forcing every power cable together, unwilling to waste time tracing down a loose connection. With immense relief she hears the winch winding again. With panic, she sees the line jerking about, like something’s tugging it downward.

“Two hundred feet, Kam, hold on, you’re coming up!”

The voice is very faint. “Rocky, I’m scared. They’re coming for me.”

“Nobody’s gonna get ya,” Roksana promises. “Just stay with me, stay with me…”

The remainder of the line retracts for what feels like an eternity. But Kamley finally - and suddenly - appears out of the blackness beneath the hatch. Roksana tugs her all the way out, then slams the hatch down, bolts it shut, and pulls the power plug viciously out of the apparatus.

The van goes dark. The only source of light is a blinking green indicator on the suitcase Kamley is clutching for dear life.

“I got it,” she whispers. Then, voice losing its terror. “I got it. I got it!”

Both girls hug each other in giddy delight.

The gear-down is considerably less dramatic. Kam out of the harness, generator into the back, suitcase into a reinforced storage compartment. They only resume talking once the van is back on a well-lit road.

“‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds’,” Roksana says aloud. “Did he really say that?”

“I guess.” Kamley shrugs.

“What did you see down there?” Roksana asks.

Kamley turns away, hugging herself in the van seat. “Guess some worlds weren’t very happy being destroyed.”

Roksana nods. “Fine. Not our problem any more. We just gotta deliver this. Rook will figure out what they want to do with it.”

The van drives on, the cemetery retreating into the black of night behind them.

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While she waits for Ghostheart to do something more interesting than drink coffee and search for bric-a-brac on eBay, Charlotte Palmer has a hidden family to uncover.

She’s back in Vyortovia, but not on the New University campus as such. Instead, she’s found herself traveling from library to library in the city itself. The staff aren’t hostile as such, but do leave her to her own devices. That, plus the fact that the books here are in a language nobody knew existed until a year ago, makes her task difficult.

The most progress she’s made has come from consulting the Lindorm Library. The booklins can see everything she sees when she’s wearing her spectacles, and the Library itself was well beyond the veil of magic that kept the world from perceiving Iceland. Her helpers have put together enough of a translation that she can at least intelligently search for titles. That’s a start.

She’s browsing the stacks when someone approaches. Charlotte does not like being surprised, and for someone to bypass her perceptions both magical and mundane is both impressive and concerning.

The newcomer is masked, wearing a typical superhero costume. But she’s never seen him before.

“Ms. Palmer,” the figure says. “I request your indulgence. I wish to introduce myself. I am Resister.”

“I’ve not had the pleasure, sir,” she replies with a smile, all the while studying what she can.

“Anonymity is my specialty.” He gestures with a gloved hand at the shelved books, row after row of them. “I wish to offer my services in your search.”

Charlotte tilts her head. “And what assistance can you offer me, good sir?”

“First, the Hidden Family of the Vyortovian Throne is relevant to my research project at University. I think it’ll help my teammates to know more.” Resister cocks his head. “Second. I am fluent in Icelandic.”


“A rather convenient set of skills. Then by all means, let us learn what we can, together.”

Four hours later, the pair have assembled a sizeable collection of books, and retired with them to a private chamber. Resister speaks, and Charlotte takes notes.

The picture is unclear. Separating real history from myth and legend will be difficult. The Hidden Family function something like the American CIA, if the CIA had disguised themselves as the Boogeyman. They appear in times of hardship to dispense wisdom or justice, but more often they intervene in darker ways, such as kidnapping a promising young scholar from her family and leaving behind a magical acorn.

One thing is clear. They don’t appear before the time Laki erupted.

Charlotte reviews her notes on this point, to be sure Resister concurs with what she’s gleaned.

“A volcanic fissure called Laki erupted between 1783 and 1784. The effect lasted for months. People called this time the Móðuharðindin, or Mist Hardships. The sulfur, acid, lava, and so on contaminated the soil. The poison destroyed half of the livestock, and half of the people eventually died, either from the toxins in the atmosphere or the resulting famine. It was hell and frost, all at once. Whole villages were swallowed up.”

“As a result, people emigrated. Some to America.”

Resister nods. “Before this, Iceland and Denmark had a close relationship. A thousand years after people first set foot on this rock, Icelanders were finally granted home rule. The Kalmar Union was a bond of kingdoms, born in response to the Hanseatic League of merchants and guilds. The island has never truly been under the control of those who wrested a life out of its unforgiving bedrock.”

Charlotte smiles. “You are surprisingly knowledgeable. Will you forgive a possibly impertinent question, and tell me whether you are Vyortovian yourself?”

Resister answers her question.

Charlotte blinks and shakes her head. “I beg your pardon. I must have been overcome for a moment. Will you repeat that?”

He does.

She finds that she can remember that he did answer her question, but that she cannot summon the answer herself.

She pauses, to consult the booklins. “What was just said to me?” she inquires.

They tell her.

She turns back to Resister. “My dear sir, I appreciate the value of a secret, but this is taking it a bit too far.”

The vigilante shrugs. His mask shows no expression otherwise. “I’m afraid it’s necessary for the moment. I understand your skepticism about me. I entreat you to put it aside and work with me. Mutual cooperation is and will remain to our advantage.”

A mystery, but perhaps one for another time.

“Very well.” Charlotte finishes her notes. “I think we have enough to act on. Our hypothesis is that the Hidden Family, or members of it, remained active both here and in the United States. Obadiah Everard, Thaddeus Letson, and my father were reputedly members of the group. If a ship came from Iceland in 1784 bearing members of the Hidden Family, making that connection via genealogy, and seeing who else was aboard that ship, may yield more interesting data.”

Resister nods. “Then may I suggest you pursue that line from the American side, and I will continue my reading here. We will exchange data in due course.”

“Agreed.” Charlotte stands, bows politely and gathers her things to depart. “A pleasure.”

“Likewise, Ms. Palmer.”

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Annika de Groot isn’t accustomed to visits from Rosa Rook herself. There’s two official directors (and two unofficial ones) that stand between them.

Rosa is all smiles as she enters the office. The door seals itself behind her, and the anti-eavesdropping systems engage automatically. “Annika. So good to see you again.”

“Thank you, Rosa.”

An important principle of business is that when you’re known only by your first name, you’re in upper management. Corporate culture demands a certain familiarity despite the hierarchy, to humanize the senior executives in the eyes of the rank and file. Annika always finds it unnerving, because she understands Rosa Rook and knows the price she’d pay to get on the woman’s bad side through a simple disrespectful gesture. But today it feels safe.

Rosa sits and folds her hands together. Annika isn’t sure what to read from the body language yet.

“First, I want to apologize. I took some of your most promising High-Tension Thinkers people and reassigned them to Devon’s team.”

Annika smiles bravely. “Quite alright. Jackson and Philo are quite capable, but we’ve been able to make progress in their absence.”

Rosa smiles back. “Of course, of course. I’m very impressed with your cryonics studies.”

She’s not here about that. There’s nothing special to report. There’s a big ‘but…’ coming.

“… But I am sorry to say that I need a few more people.”

Annika’s smile is frozen. “Of course. We’ll make the necessary adjustments.”

Rosa leans in, arms out, hands open. Annika, despite her fears, feels genuine contrition here. “Annika, I came personally because I want you to hear this from me, first. We’re not taking people off this cryonics thing because it isn’t working. I know it is. I approved taking people from HTT because it’s working. Because you are producing results. I just happen to need those people for something else right now. You’ll get them back.”

Annika nods, unsure whether to feel relief just yet. “I’m gratified to hear that, Rosa.”

Rosa grins. “In fact, I came to ask you for recommendations. We’re usually discreet about our personal projects around here, but I want you to know about this. They’re your people I’m borrowing, and you know them best. That’s why I want your recommendations on who should go.”

Annika straightens up. This is unprecedented. “Of course.”

Rosa slides a manila folder across Annika’s desk. “Read, digest, destroy.”

Annika flips open the folder. Her eyes scan page after page. She sits back in shock, and looks at Rosa.

Rosa Rook, for her part, is unruffled. “If this works out, we may be putting you under Devon. But, Devon would be moving upstairs in a big way, so you’d be following him up. You and your team. Aside from promotions, big benefits for everyone, not just the people who’ve been pulled out. As I said - you’re doing good work. Work that will synergize with this project in big ways.”

Annika shakes herself loose of her surprise. “But the Magus. How are you even thinking of trapping her?”

Rosa’s smile radiates a confidence Annika wishes she could feel. “She’s already been lured into pursuit of one of our assets. They’ll simply lead her into the confinement chamber.”

The president of Rook Industries leans forward in her chair, grinning like a wolf. “Our collection of ghosts has already grown. Devon found a way to turn our useless surplus into a benefit. This one just needs bigger bait.”

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“So you have two brains?”

Daph is poking at the chicken strips of her Cobb salad. Summer is wolfing down the remnants of the bread bowl her soup arrived in. The robot girl finishes chewing and grins.

“Two brains, but one mind. There’s one down here…” She pats her belly. “This is the dockable drone, where I started life.” She taps her head. “And the backup brain is up here. My actual mind is running in the drone. But if it gets damaged or destroyed, the backup comes online. Then once everything’s fixed, they zip up, zooooop, and I’m me again.”

Daph chews on a tomato slice. “Weird.”

Summer dabs the last of the bread bowl in some spare soup and finishes it off. “Well. Leo, when he made us, he wanted us to be tough as possible. He’d been through an awful lot, and he wanted his friends to be as safe as we could be. So he built us with two principles. Simplicity, so we wouldn’t break down easily, and ruggedness, so the important parts about us - our brains, and minds - couldn’t be affected by anything we didn’t choose for ourselves.”

“Pretty nice of him.” Daph takes the metal fork she’s using to spear chicken and jams it down hard into the plastic of the table they’re sitting at. The tines stick all the way in. “I think gods give their priestesses powers like that for similar reason. Can’t have an angry mob burning us at the stake before we get the message out.”

“And it makes you a lacrosse ace,” Summer points out with a grin.

“Yeah, yeah, like you haven’t used your stuff to cheat either.”

“I wanna go back to the cave,” Summer says, on the way out of the restaurant.


“An experiment. Ghostheart said, 'to confront Palamedes, follow the soul of the butterfly ‘. Well, what if they meant my soul? Let’s say for a moment that the butterfly motif thing is genuinely Palamedes’ influence. That means there’s uh, a connection there. And people told us that souls naturally gravitate to certain places. Soooo, what if I’d naturally gravitate toward wherever he’s hanging out in the spirit world?”

Daph frowns. “And then what do we do?”

Summer shrugs. “It’s just an idea. If we find out it works - or didn’t work - you can always reel us back to reality, right?”

Daph thinks about that. “Maybe.”

“Great! I’ll see you there.”

“What, now?”

Summer grins. “Of course now! What, is astral projection like swimming? You can’t do it until an hour after you ate?”

“I don’t even know how a robot can eat,” grumbles Daph. “Fine. Maybe it’ll be good practice for if Ghostface shows up again.”

Daph understands better what’s happening this time. The cave isn’t really here. It, too, is part of the spiritual illusion. It’s an example of how people perceive reality. We’re really good at relative comparisons - a noise is louder or softer than another one, a sandpile is bigger or smaller than another one. But how many decibels in the noise? How many grains of sand in the pile?

Daph now thinks that people have to perceive the supernatural using natural senses. The journey down into a dark cave wasn’t about apprehending the world in a new way, but about removing all the normal mundane things that got in the way of seeing the abnormal spiritual things. If she stops listening for noises, or looking for lights, or sniffing for smells, and just lets herself focus on whatever the cave is giving her, she’ll make the transition.

Summer, meanwhile, has set up her phone in a discreet spot, and left the video camera running. “Ready when you are!” she calls.

Daphne Palin cracks her knuckles, cricks her neck, and walks confidently down into darkness.

She walks, and walks, and walks. If she’s right, there won’t be random deformations in the floor, as you’d find in a naturally formed cave, so there’s no risk of tripping. Sure enough, the path is smooth.

She watches a kaleidoscope of butterflies drift past her, glowing with all the colors of the rainbow. She follows.

The path doesn’t take her to the Orphean Market. Instead, the tunnel terminates at a gate, overlooking a grand amphitheater. Though seemingly open to the sky, it’s covered in mist or fog, and Daph can’t make out any details.

She’s watching a performance. Actors on the stage are emoting and enunciating in a larger-than-life presentation, for the benefit of a receptive audience seated in the stands.

“It is a play about vengeance,” says a voice next to her. Daph turns to see a man, with sharp eyes and angular features. His beard is as dark as his close-cropped hair. He is watching the performance, but glances her way from time to time.

“Vengeance isn’t really my thing,” Daph says lamely. Where did Summer go…?

“Ah, but it is, as you’re human.” The man gestures down at the stage. “One of the themes of this performance, you see, is the relationship between justice and vengeance. Who do you know - yourself, or a close friend - who wouldn’t react when wronged?”

Daph shrugs. “Well nobody likes it, sure.”

The man nods. “Of those who acted on that wish, how many saw their own deeds as morally superior to their aggressor’s?”

“Well, yeah…” Daph isn’t sure she likes where this is going. “Karma, and all that.”

“Karma. Yes. In my time, the saying was that a man will always eat of the fruits of his own field. But the world isn’t like that. It’s unfair.”

Daph shrugs. “Sure it’s unfair. You learn to live with it.”

The man turns and regards her with his sharp, piercing eyes. “Live with it. And yet you still seek to break the bonds I placed on you, to undo your ordination.”

Daph realizes with a sinking feeling who she’s talking to. Dammit, Summer, we weren’t supposed to pop right in here–!

Palamedes doesn’t seem bitter. If anything, he’s amused. “You said that nobody likes being wronged. It is true that ill-considered revenge can enact a cycle of violence. But isn’t it also true that some wrongs are not righted, simply because the victims lacked the power to act? The strong have ever preyed on the weak, after all.”

Daph frowns. “Yeah, I guess…”

The god swings his arm wide, encompassing the amphitheater’s audience and actors with the gesture. “Those who come here seek power to enact justice. I give it to them. Before your superheroes came about, changing the world for the better was the province of divinity.”

Daph isn’t liking this. 'That’s great and all. Listen, I gotta leave."

Palamedes gives her a short, polite bow. “We will speak again, Daphne Palin.”

The kaleidoscope of butterflies appears, swarming all around her, and she’s pulled away, back into the tunnel.

Daph opens her eyes. She’s back at the cave entrance.

She finds Summer motionless - not even breathing - nearby. She’s standing. Just… not moving. At all.

Jesus, that’s creepy

“Hey. Hey.” Daph nudges the robot shell lightly.

She watches the eyes focus, blink, and return to life. She sees the girl take a breath, exhale, inhale, and smile. “Hah! Back online. Did it work?”

“Don’t you know? Weren’t you down there with me?”

Summer blinks and thinks. “Hmm. I’m not sure… Maybe it’ll come back to me? But from my perspective, I just shut myself down, and then I instantly came back to consciousness.”

Daph growls. “Well we’re not repeating that experiment again.”

Summer frowns. “Why not?”

“Because it worked. Get your phone, we’re outta here.”


Doctor Infinity opens Summer’s eyes.

It worked. It worked!

She has a few moments to orient herself. Time passes differently in the afterlife than in the mortal realms - she’s learned that much.

She’s learned something else, too. There’s nothing a Pneuma won’t try, to have a new and exciting experience.

When she spoke with Summer, she planted the seeds. The fork would inevitably come here again, just to try it. She’d do what Infinity had hinted at - shut herself down, become a ghost, dive in without really understanding what was at stake. It was a simple matter to divert her soul to safe, but time-consuming, channels of aether.

Now she’s in a robot shell again. A ghostly possession can be fought off by a living mind. But Summer’s living mind is elsewhere, and there’s two brains available here to play host, to avoid detection. She can stay concealed as long as she likes, if she’s careful, even after the original mind returns from its errand.

She freezes up. Daph is coming to.

“Hey. Hey.”

Infinity responds to the poke, as though coming to herself.

“Hah! Back online. Did it work?”

“Don’t you know? Weren’t you down there with me?”

Technically yes, but not how you think.

“Hmm. I’m not sure… Maybe it’ll come back to me? But from my perspective, I just shut myself down, and then I instantly came back to consciousness.”

Palin seems unhappy with this, but she won’t press it. “Well we’re not repeating that experiment again.”

“Why not?”

“Because it worked. Get your phone, we’re outta here.”

Infinity glances around. Ahh, Summer’s cell phone. Perfect. That’ll have Leo’s current address.

She said goodbye to Daph, and got underway. She doesn’t have the muscle memory to activate this body’s particular powers - flight, holograms, and the like - but she doesn’t need it. Summer’s money and credit cards are in her pockets. She can take a bus.

She’s never heard of “the Extension”. But according to the shared calendar on the phone, Leo and Aria will be away from it for hours. She leaves the phone powered off, so its movements can’t be tracked later. No sense in giving away the game.

Leo’s workspace is as cluttered as she’d always imagined, and she spares a fond smile for it all. She can picture him, darting from whiteboard to bookshelf, shouting in joy, stewing in frustration, yelling for her to come hear his latest bit of brilliance.

The work on dimensional science is here. It’s early - painfully early, muses Infinity - but that’s what she’s here to take care of. She scoops up a dry-erase marker, an eraser, and sets to work on the board.

He’ll wonder where this came from. He’ll obsess about its origins. But he’ll use it.

Equations are revised. Missing terms are added. Erroneous conclusions are erased. Dead end paths are pruned.

She doesn’t have long to work. Anyone could come in here, despite the calendar. But her fears don’t materialize, and at the end of the process, the whiteboard is covered with enough detail for Leo to really make progress on what he’s trying to do: free Doctor Infinity from stasis.

Pneuma has learned something very important about Leo and the family. Generally, they’ll figure out the moral and ethical implications of something around the time they get it working. Normally this is a good thing. But it doesn’t work for Infinity. She leaves the Extension, ready to lapse into unconsciousness and await Summer’s return, with one hope in her heart.

Leo, free me before you realize what a terrible idea it would be.


Some ghosts have been fished! We’ll see how some of that action pays out in the future.

I was very curious whether that was actually Summer driving in the previous post. Good to have gotten a quick answer to that question, though knowing what you posted on Twitter has me curious how long this bit of deception is going to go on. :thinking:

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Fun times. I really wanted to nitpick on Daph’s experience in the underworld …

(I like the idea that caves – often associated with being gateways to the supernatural in various ways – do so by sensory deprivation / blocking out distractions.)

… that she was too apprehensive and nervous, rather than the anger she usually has about this stuff. But, to be fair, that was a pretty crazy experience, things were not going as planned, P clearly had the upper hand (rhetorically and power-wise), and Daph is, still, a pretty normal person for whom all this divine stuff is way above her experiential pay grade.

That said, I can imagine her kicking herself afterward for seeming to flee from P (and how smug-calm he took it … “Be seeing you!”) and for not asking some questions that came to mind only after (“If metahumans are taking care of business now, why are you doing this with me?”).

Hmmm. Depending on how this proceeds, I could imagine her thinking about that super-hero framing. Not that I want to be a super-hero, but, I mean, they have lives, right, when they’re not doing all that crazy-ass stuff. Is that a compromise I could live with, if it’s one that He was okay with?

Overall, all good stuff (incl the segments I didn’t comment on). Lots of moving parts here – I look forward to how they’ll click.

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