Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

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Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2019-04-13 02:29am

After the New Atheist edgy neocon US interventionist humanity fuck yeah triumphallusism jerk off wears off we can see that Bart Blade's story was just really freaking bad, like worse than any Twilight fanfic out there, Fifty Shades of Ooraahooah that can't be justified by "but IRL warfare is that quick and easy" or "no it wasn't too easy look at the hard time they had, Sheffield and 1950s GRAPHS."

Anyway, it was a waste of time, in hindsight jeez it's unbelievable (lol) how so many of us got drawn to it... shameful, real shameful.

I was mulling how it was also a squandered opportunity for some awesome shit. If the premise was just slightly tweaked, there could've been a greater exploration of the biblical epic crazy shit happening, the crazy shit could've become crazier shitter, the craziest shittest. But nope, because all Bart Blade and the nerds wanted was a thousand word blurb on Arleigh Burke destroyer AEGIS radars. Eh.

PREMISE
So, okay. Here goes. The premise says that there really are souls, with ridiculous technobabbley explanations, which move to another plane after death - so there really is an afterlife. When people enter this next stage, their soul-energies are harvested by beings such as angels or demons, through worship or torment. And these beings can, through sufficient collective effort, rip holes through the dimensions and enter our plane. Due to dimensional hijinks on laws of physics they can be as huge as kaiju, they can use portals to drop volcanic flows on cities (this was a nice touch), they've got telepathic-pheromone mind manipulation powers...

Which makes one wonder why the hell were the conflicts so goddamn boring. Because the writing was terrible ye gads.

IMPLICATIONS
I can't help but think that if these monstrosos feed off human soul-energy and can use this to travel between planes of existence, can't they affect people in fundamentally whacked out ways? Their metabolisms and abilities go past the electromagnetic spectrum. Surely their mind-bending powers can't just be blocked by freaking tinfoil hats, since they literally feed off on soul essence-energies. The more potent angels and demons should be able to really mess with entire populations. The mass suicides and cultists we saw in some parts were OK. There should've been more. They should really do some Tarkovsky-Jodorowsky subjective reality perception-warping - if these are soul-eating predators then they should hunt by inducing delusions to draw their prey in.

More than that, as these should allow them to manipulate the EM spectrum like nothing. Those portals and these monstrosos should've wreaked havoc on radar and sensor systems too. Like Minkowsky particles in Gundam. Or what's happening in Chernobyl in STALKER.

Or Annihilation. Their eldritch biology should be so incomprehensible that minds and machines alike would have difficulty processing and coherent-ing these other-dimensional beings and their whacked out radiological emissions.

And hell (lol), why should they be utterly ignorant of modern ways? Sure there is divine arrogance, but they're also literally digesting the souls of everyone who died - everything a person was in their existence is consumed. That would've been something neat to explore - how these monstrosos feed on lives.

I'd even go further as to say that beyond their electromagnetic and spiritual transmissions, their very flesh are bio-luminescent and form maddening patterns meant to scramble Earthly cognition patterns. We could be nuts enough to say that exposure to these sights, and attempts at comprehending them, informed the very first human languages.

So what does this mean? This means we've got reality-transcending soul-sucking mind and spirit-corrupting nasties, from the size of succubi and incubi to giant heralds as big as buildings, treading and even dancing with ethereal grace, confounding human efforts. Yes, they can and should be kill-able but it should by no means be easy.

FIGHTING BACK
Yes, people should make countermeasures but it shouldn't be just fucking tinfoil hats. There should be completely enclosing gear, because the manipulation goes past the EM spectrum. Human combatants, from infantry to pilots, should be in sealed protective wear. And even then, a potent enough being like a Michael or a Ba'al should still reduce people to weeping babbling messes when close enough.

We can call the insulation process the HERETICS. HERmetic Exigence Tactical Intrusion Combat Shielding.

There should be unseen whisperers walking among the masses just speaking to people in their dreams. China Mieville-esque Slake Moth-like things.

Later on, more effective countermeasures could involve implanting selected operatives with neural-hardening wetware - mechanisms designed to reduce cognitive susceptibility to mindfucking. But this might also result in emotional stunting and lessening social capabilities over time. The implants - so your protagonists can be marked by slight cybernetic protrusions on their skulls - have to be supplemented with drugs too. These enable operatives to work closer to angels and demons, perhaps even work in the "afterlife" realms, while unencumbered by insulating armor most people have to contend with. AND EVEN THEN when they're too close, their souls can still be fucked and eaten by the monstrosos.

These guys can be called something cool too. APOSTAT. And they can be an interesting exploration of the disconnect - sure it veers into "boohoo atheists are unhappy weirdos" but we're going past that, this isn't just non-belief or non-worship, this is a partial neural severing/blocking from the in-universe real spiritual-dimensional cycles. (Yeah one of the poignant bits can be seen when an APOSTAT is KIA and when s/he emerges into the other side, comes out "incomplete" because somehow the spiritual-dimensional transference process is partially obstructed due to the implants and modifications!)

And these angels and demons aren't entirely the biblical ones anyway, perhaps it's the subjective interpretation of the populations because their divine proclamations might have the general gist "we're going to eat y'all" but it'd be cool if the specifics would read differently to people depending on their beliefs and the symbolism that's significant to them. After all, they're not entirely working on rational processes and are interacting with humans through their Spirits Within.

What else? OK this shouldn't entirely be one-sided, right. The return of these divine monstrosos and the thinning of the walls between worlds means that people might also become spiritually changed. Yes, loyal followers of the gods and demons can be uplifted to be Prophets - tapping into that spiritual-dimensional cycle. But other people can start manifesting weird shit even without being bestowed by deities, or there can be non-aligned beings that are reactivated due to the events and they can actually help humanity by gifting individuals. So these can be PROPHETS and ANTI-PROPHETS who can gaze at the nightmarish forms of gods and monsters without blinking, even withstand their non-physical assaults, as their souls are proof from devouring.

Anyway these are just some random commute-inspired ideas because, for fucks sake, dealing with monstrosos that shit on the laws of reality and half-assed attempts at rationalizing the actual existence of the afterlife and shit should result in actually challenging and horrifying things.
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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by Avrjoe » 2019-04-13 11:42pm

I have never read this but keep hearing about it. Is it worth reading even as bad as it is said to be? If it is worth it is their any sanity saving prework to be done to prepare for reading? If not is there a summery or detailed review that will allow one to make sense of this sort of commentary?
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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by Gandalf » 2019-04-14 05:41am

Fun fact: On Slade's bastion of people who totally aren't white supremacists but seem really cool with them, "Balls" has been edited to say "Piss off" or something like that.

I guess someone told Stewie all about the balls jokes.
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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by Lord Revan » 2019-04-14 08:21am

Avrjoe wrote:
2019-04-13 11:42pm
I have never read this but keep hearing about it. Is it worth reading even as bad as it is said to be? If it is worth it is their any sanity saving prework to be done to prepare for reading? If not is there a summery or detailed review that will allow one to make sense of this sort of commentary?
There's some ok jokes here and there but unless you're really intrested in rather graphic depictions of what modern high end weapons do to essentially bronze/early iron age armies there's not much there.
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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2019-04-14 10:38am

Gandalf wrote:
2019-04-14 05:41am
Fun fact: On Slade's bastion of people who totally aren't white supremacists but seem really cool with them, "Balls" has been edited to say "Piss off" or something like that.

I guess someone told Stewie all about the balls jokes.
Jeez the "Balls" joke is actually kind of endearment and ironic. Of all the things to edit, like infodumps and shitty narrative choices, it had to be the quaint and even silly one?
Avrjoe wrote:
2019-04-13 11:42pm
I have never read this but keep hearing about it. Is it worth reading even as bad as it is said to be? If it is worth it is their any sanity saving prework to be done to prepare for reading? If not is there a summery or detailed review that will allow one to make sense of this sort of commentary?
It's a slog... I guess the most meritorious aim you can have for going into it is to critically parse and analyze the going ons of hardware-obsessed milwanking GIGAJOULES RAWR QED CONCESSION ACCEPTED humanity/murcamanity-fuckyeah New Atheist rational raisin super jerkoff nerds, that crowd that's now redpilled into MRAs and alt-right loonies, and see how the post-9/11 Murca clash of civilizations triumphalism morphed into that.
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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by TimothyC » 2019-04-14 04:53pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
2019-04-14 10:38am
It's a slog... I guess the most meritorious aim you can have for going into it is to critically parse and analyze the going ons of hardware-obsessed milwanking GIGAJOULES RAWR QED CONCESSION ACCEPTED humanity/murcamanity-fuckyeah New Atheist rational raisin super jerkoff nerds, that crowd that's now redpilled into MRAs and alt-right loonies, and see how the post-9/11 Murca clash of civilizations triumphalism morphed into that.
Fundamentally, it was a work tailor made to appeal to the demographic that existed on the board at the time from the focus on ʜᴀʀᴅ ɴᴜᴍʙᴇʀs and total quantification, to a denigration of all religion. In short, it was what the community wanted and would respond to, combined with what the author's style. Furthermore, the apparent nucleus of the idea dates back to April of 2007, and the first bit was posted in January of 2008. The audience was played to, and ate it up.
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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by Gandalf » 2019-04-14 05:20pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
2019-04-14 10:38am
Jeez the "Balls" joke is actually kind of endearment and ironic. Of all the things to edit, like infodumps and shitty narrative choices, it had to be the quaint and even silly one?
Weirdly yes. I'm curious to know if there's any other little edits, but I lack the familiarity with the source material to know.
TimothyC wrote:
2019-04-14 04:53pm
Fundamentally, it was a work tailor made to appeal to the demographic that existed on the board at the time from the focus on ʜᴀʀᴅ ɴᴜᴍʙᴇʀs and total quantification, to a denigration of all religion. In short, it was what the community wanted and would respond to, combined with what the author's style. Furthermore, the apparent nucleus of the idea dates back to April of 2007, and the first bit was posted in January of 2008. The audience was played to, and ate it up.
I don't think anyone's ever denied that it was a pandering piece of crap. It's essentially TBO for a different audience. Instead of an "hilarious" scene where young Barack Obama is run over repeatedly by a military convoy, there's one where some deity gets shot with a cruise missile, and so on.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
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Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-04-14 05:42pm

I remember reading through it again a little while ago, the main change I can recall was about the empty grave in the Ninth Circle of Hell. The version on this board had it reserved for Robert McNamara, the version on Slade's board swapped it for "the producers that cancelled Firefly."
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Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by Starglider » 2019-04-15 03:57am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
2019-04-13 02:29am
they can use portals to drop volcanic flows on cities (this was a nice touch)
That was me. The story desperately needed a credible threat to the humans to have any sort of dramatic tension. I recall I also inserted a character based on one of my wife's old D&D characters mostly to make her laugh when she read my contributions. I was banned from HPCA not long afterwards, for trying to explain to Stuart that arbitrarily rearranging the timeline of computer hardware innovations (for 'The Big One' alt-history) didn't make technical sense, so I imagine that stuff was redacted.

Anyway, it was fun as a participatory writing exercise in the sense that the other group RP exercises were fun (all the STGODs, HAB roleplaying and Let's Plays that happened back then, which in retrospect were good writing practice). I always thought Stuart's notion of publishing it as a novel was bizarre, it was a total mess in terms of pacing, plot, writing style, characters etc. Either he was a lot more desperate for cash than he liked to pretend or he was looking for anything to prop up a 'serious fiction author' self-image.

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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by Alferd Packer » 2019-04-21 08:29pm

I will also offer a mea culpa for contributing--specifically introducing the GLISTENING SPARTAN HOPLITE AND ELEGANT HETERONORMATIVE SAMURAI WHO WERE ALSO ALWAYS NAKED FOR SOME REASON to the narrative. Though, in my defense, what I submitted was significantly edited and revised before it was posted, and my original idea of the plot for the glistening, naked insurgents was ultimately nixed in favor of...whatever happened to them in the Balls-verse canon.

Also, in my defense, I was incredibly stupid and immature eleven years ago, so.
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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2019-04-22 09:30am

Starglider wrote:
2019-04-15 03:57am
Shroom Man 777 wrote:
2019-04-13 02:29am
they can use portals to drop volcanic flows on cities (this was a nice touch)
That was me. The story desperately needed a credible threat to the humans to have any sort of dramatic tension. I recall I also inserted a character based on one of my wife's old D&D characters mostly to make her laugh when she read my contributions. I was banned from HPCA not long afterwards, for trying to explain to Stuart that arbitrarily rearranging the timeline of computer hardware innovations (for 'The Big One' alt-history) didn't make technical sense, so I imagine that stuff was redacted.

Anyway, it was fun as a participatory writing exercise in the sense that the other group RP exercises were fun (all the STGODs, HAB roleplaying and Let's Plays that happened back then, which in retrospect were good writing practice). I always thought Stuart's notion of publishing it as a novel was bizarre, it was a total mess in terms of pacing, plot, writing style, characters etc. Either he was a lot more desperate for cash than he liked to pretend or he was looking for anything to prop up a 'serious fiction author' self-image.
Alferd Packer wrote:
2019-04-21 08:29pm
I will also offer a mea culpa for contributing--specifically introducing the GLISTENING SPARTAN HOPLITE AND ELEGANT HETERONORMATIVE SAMURAI WHO WERE ALSO ALWAYS NAKED FOR SOME REASON to the narrative. Though, in my defense, what I submitted was significantly edited and revised before it was posted, and my original idea of the plot for the glistening, naked insurgents was ultimately nixed in favor of...whatever happened to them in the Balls-verse canon.

Also, in my defense, I was incredibly stupid and immature eleven years ago, so.
These were some of the more interesting contributions actually, because they went beyond rawr modern milwankery pwns all and whatever. I did contribute to stuff too like with DOOM PATROL starring Testingstani and SDN personas as Hell occupation troops doing shenanigans.
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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by Alferd Packer » 2019-04-22 05:40pm

My ultimate endgame, as I recall such things, was to turn the glistening, naked insurgents into, you know, actual insurgents who went from attacking demon soldiers to indiscriminately butchering the civilians of Hell. Because I thought that would be an interesting avenue to explore.

As for why they were perpetually naked? Fucked if I can remember.
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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-04-22 08:05pm

Alferd Packer wrote:
2019-04-22 05:40pm
My ultimate endgame, as I recall such things, was to turn the glistening, naked insurgents into, you know, actual insurgents who went from attacking demon soldiers to indiscriminately butchering the civilians of Hell. Because I thought that would be an interesting avenue to explore.

As for why they were perpetually naked? Fucked if I can remember.
I think that was how everyone in Hell spawned. As for why they never took any demon armor? Iunno.
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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by LaCroix » 2019-04-23 01:17pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-04-22 08:05pm
I think that was how everyone in Hell spawned. As for why they never took any demon armor? Iunno.
Because "one size fits all" wasn't a design criteria for huge, hulking demons? :D

Nope, that part was actually pretty solid. Being small, quick and unencumbered, they could ambush single demons and easily slip away.
Also, any wound not 'instantly lethal' healed within minutes due to the nature of hell human bodies, so it was less of a necessity to armor up.
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Re: Revisiting Balls said Lt. Mike Wong (Salvation War)

Post by Alferd Packer » 2019-04-24 08:50pm

LaCroix wrote:
2019-04-23 01:17pm
Because "one size fits all" wasn't a design criteria for huge, hulking demons? :D

Nope, that part was actually pretty solid. Being small, quick and unencumbered, they could ambush single demons and easily slip away.
Also, any wound not 'instantly lethal' healed within minutes due to the nature of hell human bodies, so it was less of a necessity to armor up.
Yes, let's say it was that and totally not my hamfisted attempt to symbolize the dehumanization of the insurgents underwent vis-a-vis their escalating acts of terrorism against an undefended civilian populace.

Also, I found my original, unedited submissions in my PMs, and given what was edited out(THE DREADED F WORD), I'm honestly surprised that they were allowed to continue naked as long as they were.
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