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A Matter of Faith

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  1. #11
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    An eyebrow is raised as Hector begins... explaining. He was either deliberately speaking in riddles or just not that great at verbalizing his thoughts. Thankfully, it starts to make more sense as the explanation develops.

    "It'd impossible for all people to be free, then. Interests clash. Wherever you look, you have people whose goals and ideologies simply cannot be reconciled. There's no room for compromise, no 'middle ground'" To some extent, this is surely the work of Exarchs and their Lie. Keep the human flock divided over resource allocation and afterlife, so that they never stop to think of the real oppressors "And what do you mean by 'unimportant stuff', anyway? Again, I'm sorry if I'm stereotypical, but inner emigration into rejecting the world around you is not how I always understood freedom" Soul-searching is all well and good, but contrary to what many mages believe, the Truth is out there, not in there "After all, it's what They want" Autocrats big and small. Kings, presidents, CEOs, cult leaders. Maintaining humanity's prison by pushing the principles of clannish submission.

    "Don't be so humble. And besides, if I wanted 'deep thinkers', I'd go pester someone at the Uni or something. Sometimes what we need is a common sense perspective, and academic learning is just white noise"
    AGTOO:
    Duties:
    Monthly Rituals: (Supernal Vision Pot 2), (Unseen Shield 2e, Pot 3) [all cloaked using Prime 2]

  2. #12
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    "Thats the way it is," Hector shrugged to Shodan's first statement.

    "Unimportant stuff? Jobs. Money. Houses. Half the stuff they call... Wealth and status. I'm not rejecting the world. I'm living in it. Not tied up in some scheming fools web so I can pay for a crust of bread; or some clothes; or a fancy box to sleep in that I cannot afford."

    Hector opened his mouth to continue and stopped. He paused, licked his awful teeth, and sighed.

    "Yep. That they do. Because without it their thrones - or whatever - would crumble and they'd be out on their arse. Those guys! Want us all playing to their tune because doing so makes them feel like they have power. Real power is in the spirit my man! Its in... like... connecting with people, I guess. Kin come in all shapes and sizes."

    Hector blinked at Shodan's last statement.

    "Ha! Yeah... Well... No one's ever called me that before. Academies have their place, I suppose. All that book learning gotta count for something at some point. But give me learning from your elders. Now that you can't beat. Elders come in all shapes and sizes too, you know?"

  3. #13
    Shodan's Avatar
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    "The funny thing about freedom - as long as not everyone has it, it's just an extended priviledge" Shodan responded, quoting some half-remembered thing he's heard once

    The Libertine listens to the man, as he talks of webs, of eschewing wealth and status. Part of him wonders how old he was during the 60s "Connecting with people" An echo of Hector's statement "I get how landlords and bosses and college tuition can seem like you're living in an Orwellian dystopia. Believe me, I have some firstand experience" Or something like that. Magic proved liberating from the more unpleasant elements, at any rate "But the money, the offices, the liquid-crystal displays is also where and how you make those connections. Hate the boss at your job? Unionize. Outraged by resource exploitation in developing countries? Why don't you raise awareness with this handy palm-sized door to everywhere in the world?" Of course, it all comes down to technology, the one single force of promoting progress throughout the world "Our jailers are happy to sell us the rope with which we will hang them. But first we have to want to. Inner journeys are not enough" Perhaps this is why he'd never fully understand people like Galatea. To have all this power at the tip of your fingers and do nothing with it, except retreat to the wilderness to contemplate your own inaction.

    "Is the advice of elders peer-reviewed?" He asks with a smirk "Because I don't think it is, most of the time. 'Older' and 'wiser' are not synonyms, in fact as you grow older you may not even realize the advice you're giving was good in your world, but it's no longer viable in this one" Can the world of today be reasonably compared to the one from fifty ten years ago? Shodan thinks not "Which brings us back to the fact that the world is changing, all the time. Now more than ever. No council of elders can possibly keep up, I don't care how smart they are" Even if you factor out the possibility of bad intentions, it's beyond the ability of any human brain to catch up with all the data. Which is where magic and technology comes in. Or should "Thankfully, we have a lot of opportunities to have all the voices heard" Hierarchy, of any kind, ultimately fosters the Lie. It is Democracy that seeks the capital Tee Truth, and so its proliferation is in everyone's interest.
    AGTOO:
    Duties:
    Monthly Rituals: (Supernal Vision Pot 2), (Unseen Shield 2e, Pot 3) [all cloaked using Prime 2]

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  5. #14
    Hector's Avatar
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    Hector chuckles.

    "Freedom is not a privilege. Its ... a choice? A gift. An ability to act ... when you can."

    Was the homeless vagrant struggling for words or being cagey about what he said. It was hard to tell. Regardless, he leaned back - away from Shodan - with his head tilting to an almost animalistic angle.

    "Maybe. Technology as it is today is as much a symptom of the problem as the... other stuff. Its like ... like a double edged sword."

    He was looking through narrowed eyes at the Prime Mover now. His mouth twisted into a sneaky smile and bent into a grimace.

    "Oh. Oh. Just because you are young you think you got all the answers? I don't buy that, man. Find the right Elder and you'll find wisdom, all right. The trick is to take their lesson and apply it to your life in the here and now. Expecting their story to match your own is a bit rich, right? Half the time their stories are about how not to do something okay - like, don't do what I did 'cause I ended up seriously messed up."

    "You gotta have traditions. Otherwise you'll never have a core. And if you have no core, you will be lost for good."

  6. #15
    Shodan's Avatar
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    A gift?

    "A gift? A gift from whom?" Probably from someone with will, thus being able to actually give out gifts. Which implied that Hector here had some theist leanings "Because if I get something from a person I don't know, you can bet that person is going to want something in return eventually" Which is just how it worked. You don't get free samples at supermarkets because the hostess likes you.

    There was something... animal-like about this man. From his posture to that stare, but Shodan can't quite place it. Might be skin-deep, caused by whatever life hardships he had to endure, might be someting more. Hard to tell.

    "Technology is what allows for progress. That's the long and short of it. From the wheel to the printing press to the Internet, all supposed flaws or side effects pale in comparison to the benefits" There's a glint in his eye, indicating a passion for - and strong opinion on - the subject.

    "No, I didn't say that. And I wouldn't know who the 'right' elder is, anyway. It's not like they come with Yelp reviews" The Prime Mover says defensively. Why do people always assume that when you say 'the emperor is naked' you really mean 'I'd make a better emperor'? "In fact, I tried to say the exact opposite. I don't have all the answers, and I never will. If I grow old and people start treat me like a guru on everything, I'd take my walking stick and bash them across the head, as a personal favor" He chuckles, allowing himself that small joke "Seriously though. I lack data. We all do. On a personal level, talks like this one help to get outside input. Globally, democracy is what you should be looking for. Your mileage may vary, but generally it's a better bet than an oligarchy"
    AGTOO:
    Duties:
    Monthly Rituals: (Supernal Vision Pot 2), (Unseen Shield 2e, Pot 3) [all cloaked using Prime 2]

  7. #16
    Hector's Avatar
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    "Freedom's a gift from the universe. One day it will take it back. Its what you do with it while you have it that counts. Simple as that."

    Hector frowns.

    Hector catches the manic gleam in Shodan's eye and responds by gracing the prime mover with a huge grin. He doesn't respond for a few moments more.

    Eventually he bobs his head and shrugs his shoulders. "And that would make you one hell of an elder. But you'd still be an elder. They would still look up to you; and if they didn't you'd still meddle because you believe you'd have the right to."

    He tilted his head.

    "Meh. I dun't know, man. Democracy don't seem so hot right now. The herd... Ordinary people... They always want direction. And they'll always accept some form of structure; some form of hierarchy. Now a hierarchy can be tight; it can be oppressive; it can be loose... Hell, sometimes its even organised! But a hierarchy will always be there. I don't think humans have the guts to handle anarchy."

  8. #17
    Shodan's Avatar
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    Nimbus: A halo of light accompanied by sounds of machinery: hissing steam engines, turning cogs and the like.

    2
    PRE

    "You speak of the Universe as if it had a will of its own" At least Galatea's gods, from what he understood, were more... personified. The Shamans keep claiming that 'the world is alive', and maybe there's something to it, but Shodan cringes at any attempt to present things as something they're not - in this case, the universe as a shitty parent. So he makes a face. Lucky for him, it's surprised rather than mocking.

    The grin, regardless of its intention, puts Shodan on his guard, however. The man's intensity twists his expressions to be more... primal, at least in the mage's perception. The silence between them grows, then is broken by Hector's words on elders, then grows again as Shodan thinks on an answer "Maybe you're right. Hubris. The very thing that delivered us from the caves and may very well lead us there again if the wrong person gets the nuclear codes" He smirks "I'm not free from it, which is why if I ever get a hold of a measure of power, I need people to keep me in check. Democratic control" And in truth, Shodan has the power, more than this man or any other Sleeper can comprehend. Shodan may be at the bottom rung of the ladder in Sacramento Consilium - now and in the forseeable future - but he can still will things into being. It's one hell of a responsibility.

    "Contrary to popular belief, anarchy has hardly anything in common with freedom. That's why I'm not advocating for it. I mean, it either catapults you back into the laws of the jungle or ossifies into tribal feudalism" Which probably means that it makes your life hell regardless of whether or not it works as intended. Unless you have a big stick "But fear - because you're talking about fear - is what drives people into rigid hierarchies. Popes, ayatollahs and gurus exploit the fear of a meaningless death. Corporate executives and governments exploit the fear of scarcity" Uh huh. You better look out, because that twinkle in the eye is back again. You gotta wonder how many times he's practiced this speech in front of a mirror.

    "If we take those fears away, we just may have a shot at kicking the hierarchy away. Or at least make it much more bearable" And yet... it might be just Shodan's imagination, but the way Hector said 'humans have the guts to...' sounded peculiar. Like he put himself outside of that set.
    AGTOO:
    Duties:
    Monthly Rituals: (Supernal Vision Pot 2), (Unseen Shield 2e, Pot 3) [all cloaked using Prime 2]

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  10. #18
    Hector's Avatar
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    "The universe does have a will of its own. In a way."

    Hector grunts in response to Shodan's next words. "Maybe. But how much of a check do you think other people can be, if you have power? Ultimately, the question of power lies within yourself and what you are willing to bound to. Its not something others can force... Well, they can, I guess. But they can only influence you so much. Or I guess they could tear you down. Neither option is good - for anyone."

    He shrugged.

    "Yeah. I get you about... Fear... Yeah thats would you'd call it. But fear is always going to be there. Its not something you can wipe away completely. It'll always come back."

    Now the homeless man rolled his shoulders and stretched. He shifted into another posture and spread out along the pew.

  11. #19
    Shodan's Avatar
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    Shodan

    Nimbus: A halo of light accompanied by sounds of machinery: hissing steam engines, turning cogs and the like.

    2
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    "You lost me at 'in a way'" He says, genuinely curious, tilting his head to the side as if hoping shifting brain matter will help solve this mystery

    "The thing is... power is relative. And it has many forms. For example, I can kill an ant with brute force, but how do you think a cage match with a bear is going to end?" The mage winces at the thought. Of course, spells would provide an advantage... if you strike first "That's why we invented traps and firearms. To minimize flaws and emphasize strengths. Tip the balance of power"

    "In a healthy democracy, where the people have real power, neither side will be picking fights because winning, let alone losing, costs too much. Be you idealist or cynic, cooperation makes everyone better off"
    Of course, no power will truly be 'real' unless it is based in magic. Likewise, it was a matter of faith that people who do dumb shit for no reason will be in the minority, but a social system that is not based on faith to some degree is yet to be discovered.

    "I'm rambling, aren't I?" Asks the Prime Mover in a sudden moment "Point is, if we're stuck with fear, we should at least make sure it flows in the direction we want it to"

    Social engineering. Never goes out of style.
    AGTOO:
    Duties:
    Monthly Rituals: (Supernal Vision Pot 2), (Unseen Shield 2e, Pot 3) [all cloaked using Prime 2]

  12. #20
    Hector's Avatar
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    Hector's back straightened.

    "Well... Look at it like this... The universe has a will, right? Its just... It might not be sentient as you'd call it. Its not like a person - or something you can grapple with like that. But it has a will. And it can - and does - do stuff. You - we! - just don't know how to 'ask' properly. Sometimes we stumble on the trick. Sometimes we loose it. Most of the time we miss it, or pull it off, but are too dumb to figure out just what we did. So..."

    Hector floundered.

    "Oh yes!" He giggled eagerly as Shodan continued discussing power. The homeless man's awful grin flashed brightly once more - even bigger than before when the Prime Move used the analogy of cage fighting.

    Especially cage fighting with bears.

    Hector grunted as the conversation turned back to democracy and the general benefits of cooperation.

    "No. Not rambling at all. Fear? Uh. I guess. With fear, you either beat it down or turn it around."

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