Armageddon???? - Part Eighty One Up

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Post by declan »

Stuart wrote: Indeed, that's what I have in mind. Another issue for Armageddon II - what does one do with children who are going to be effectively children eternally?

See what I mean about taking an assumption and following though with its consequences? :D
Well that chapter throws out that preconcieved notion that the fetus's and stillborns were proto baldricks. Some movie that I was watching had still born babys were selected to become angels, so I figured satan had the same idea.

The other part of the preconcieved notion , is that there is no elderly people in hell, that the current human population is what ever age that they died or were killed.

If the demons feed on life energy , then someone who had died of natural causes would have the basic pilot light , while someone in the prime of their life would be a raging fire.

The first trimester fetal remains would probably have as much life energy as a cup of coffee.

For the perpetual kids , give em a job at Disney Hell .

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Post by tim31 »

Soon as I read that chamber pot bit, I knew it would be a thread controversy. This issue always is.

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Post by Hawkwings »

I want to see Memnon's reaction to strategic bombing. His facial expression will be priceless.
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Post by Shroom Man 777 »

Homobortions aside, I would rather like to see more surreal and horribly disturbing nightmarish things as well. I mean, come on, this is Hell and we have spirits and dimensions and angels and demons all sorts of sci-fi/fantasy elements and fork-sticks that shoot out ball-lightning and frickin' sky volcanoes. I would really like some more unconventional warfare on the part of the demons.

I mean, that part with the Angel of Death and the journalist in Africa and the decimated village was one of the best parts of Armageddon precisely because of its sheer unreality and the frightfully fantastic aspect of it. The abortion bit disgusted me, but that Angel of Death scared the living fuck out of me.

Besides, that would be make the War on Hell less of a one-sided curbstomp and it would make for even more awesome visuals. We've got unreal elements in the story, might as well go all-out with it (for the demon/angel side, at least) :D

It'd be great to see humanity being the "straight man" when confronted by this unreality. Technology and science and logic and knowledge and ingenuity versus obscenity (and not just some stone age superhumans).

EDIT:

Basically, more freakishly fantastic stuff :)
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Post by Gerald Tarrant »

I have a suspicion that heaven's forces will be slightly better prepared than Satan's. Historically a great deal of opposition to scientific inquiry came from religious groups, which looks like Yahweh was making a play to try and keep humans as backwards as possible, suggesting Heaven may have a better idea of the dangers of technology. Satan's prior interest in Earth had been more along the lines of causing random mayhem, which suggests he was oblivious of the dangers of scientific inquiry. We're seeing the results of his ignorance and unpreparedness right now.

edit: Also I believe it's been mentioned in the story a few times, as well as in the commentary: that Heaven probably orchestrated this now to eliminate a rival (Hell) and eliminate a potential rival (Earth, since if we're left alone we can really only get more powerful) with a minimum of casualties. If all else fails Heavenly observers will get to see Hell's example so they can have something to not emulate.
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Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

Gerald Tarrant wrote:I have a suspicion that heaven's forces will be slightly better prepared than Satan's. Historically a great deal of opposition to scientific inquiry came from religious groups, which looks like Yahweh was making a play to try and keep humans as backwards as possible, suggesting Heaven may have a better idea of the dangers of technology. Satan's prior interest in Earth had been more along the lines of causing random mayhem, which suggests he was oblivious of the dangers of scientific inquiry. We're seeing the results of his ignorance and unpreparedness right now.

I can't help but wonder if Yahweh, before Satan's time, encountered another advanced intelligent race that curbstomped him.
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Post by Stuart Mackey »

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
Gerald Tarrant wrote:I have a suspicion that heaven's forces will be slightly better prepared than Satan's. Historically a great deal of opposition to scientific inquiry came from religious groups, which looks like Yahweh was making a play to try and keep humans as backwards as possible, suggesting Heaven may have a better idea of the dangers of technology. Satan's prior interest in Earth had been more along the lines of causing random mayhem, which suggests he was oblivious of the dangers of scientific inquiry. We're seeing the results of his ignorance and unpreparedness right now.

I can't help but wonder if Yahweh, before Satan's time, encountered another advanced intelligent race that curbstomped him.
I wondered that as well, perhaps one that didn't quite work out how to move between dimensions or came to an arraignment? perhaps one that's more advanced than us so he want us suppressed before we can deal out too much damage? Or maybe he just hoped to use us to smash Satan and clean up us afterwards when we are in a suitably weakened state?
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Post by tim31 »

Shroom Man 777 wrote:I mean, that part with the Angel of Death and the journalist in Africa and the decimated village was one of the best parts of Armageddon precisely because of its sheer unreality and the frightfully fantastic aspect of it. The abortion bit disgusted me, but that Angel of Death scared the living fuck out of me.
Ohhh, I agree with you! That bit was oh-my-god-cold-feeling-at-the-base-of-my-skull-like-someone's-got-a-knife-there creepy. I hope to see... Or should I say feel more of that.
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Post by Starglider »

I agree that it's a fairly weak chapter. Some of them will be unfortunately. Certainly the stuff I contributed has that problem; there are set pieces that I've put a lot of effort into that work relatively well, then there are bland link sections, then there are the bits that just didn't work which Stuart had to veto. I imagine getting a consistently high quality requires either very detailed forward planning, or several ruthless passes of editing/revision, neither of which this story is going to have if you want it to keep coming out at such a breakneck pace.

I agree with Illuminatus Primus in one respect; Stuart certainly isn't immune to making political statements in his stories. I suspect this is a near-inevitable consequence of trying to write material that achieves a goal other than pure entertainment (the stated goal of TBO was to demonstrate the essential futility of the Nazi war effort - the stated goal of some of the later stories is to demonstrate the dangers of biowarfare, and I'm sure there are other intended lessons as well). IMHO Stuart does this in a fairly effective and non-preaching style compared to the other 'books with an explicit lesson' I've read (which is to say nothing of whether I actually agree with him or not), but yes I imagine it can be jarring if you demand your works of fiction have no agenda other than entertainment.

I don't know why you're complaining about Armageddon though, it's less serious than all the TBO stuff and there really isn't any politicising. The bits about the human leadership are verging on the edge of satire, a tone I attempted to emulate. Most of the 'politics' is just circumstances; I'm relatively keen on gun control, but I have to admitt that in the ridiculously unlikely circumstance that demons started invading earth the NRA would've been right (for the wrong reasons).

I personally don't think the 'fetuses survive' aspect changes much. Even newborn babies don't really have any more awareness than an adult dog (arguably rather less). Certainly aborted fetuses having a relatively short lifespan in a jug and then being quickly killed and eaten is a negligable amount of suffering compared to the torturing adults for millenia and ripping the throats out of children. I agree that killing fetuses is probably the best thing for them (if they never mature) and that just adds an extra step to abortions. The slaughter of children is much, much more serious. Regardless, the reactions of the characters mentioned strikes me as fairly realistic (generous on ths side of rationality actually actually in Bush's case), so you're complaining about the subtext of singling out these characters to watch the reactions of. Frankly the choice seems logical; I'm trying to think of a way of 'balancing' that by looking at the viewpoint some other characters but frankly nothing comes to mind.
Shroom Man 777 wrote:It'd be great to see humanity being the "straight man" when confronted by this unreality. Technology and science and logic and knowledge and ingenuity versus obscenity (and not just some stone age superhumans).
Well, I have some ideas for things like that, but going on track record to date I'm not sure I could execute them successfully or get them included. The thing is, the demons are essentially practical; they sometimes do horrible things for fun and silly things out of superstition, but they're not WH40K chaos powers, they don't consider being horrible (or bizarre) an end in itself.

P.S. Stuart, if you could answer those two key timeline questions, I have a block of material ready to go.
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Post by Scottish Ninja »

One day, for a bit of fun, when somebody tries the "What Would Jesus Do" line, reply with "Well I usually ask myself 'What Would Lavrenti Beria Do' since it gives me a more practical series of options." Sometimes it makes them cry.
That's beautiful, Stuart. I'm going to have to do that sometime.

The whole fetus thing is pretty gross, but I'll just have to wait and see how people deal with it.
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Post by Stuart »

Surlethe wrote:That may be precisely the matter. I would surmise that he's a people person and very good at sympathizing on an individual level, and he also holds his beliefs very strongly. But because he focuses on emotions, people, etc., he's not the sort to sit back and thoroughly think through his beliefs, test them, etc. -- so he'd be poor dealing with society-wide problems that require abstraction. Hopefully, that makes some sense.
That makes a hell (if you'll forgive the phrase :) ) of a lot of sense; in fact its probably the best explanation as to the differences between his personal and public personas. It also explains the deficiencies in his Presidency, his personal empathy means he sets too much store by old friendships and supports "his" people far too long. I'd guess he's also very susceptible to the "personal appeal" fropm his staff. I'd guess he's also a prime example of Stalin's "one dead is a tragedy, a million dead is a statistic" argument. Show him one person or a relatively small group and he's on the ball and knows whatr to do, show him a larger number and they're justa statistic that he doesn't empathize with.
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Post by Bayonet »

Starglider wrote: I imagine getting a consistently high quality requires either very detailed forward planning, or several ruthless passes of editing/revision, neither of which this story is going to have if you want it to keep coming out at such a breakneck pace.
My late wife was, among other things, an editor. Every work benefits greatly from ruthless editing; even those of "Literary Giants." The extra, dispassionate set of eyes sees a lot of things that are invisible to the author, simply because he stands too cl;ose to the story. Getting literary giants to submit to editing is another matter entitely. :roll:

Some of the comments I'm seeing, outside of personalistic style differences, are basically the comments of armchair editors. They have a certain validity. Arguably, some of them would have been polished out during formal editing.

This medium, with serialized episodes literally pouring from Stuart's keyboard, is not well suited to much more than basic grammatical and continuity editing on the fly. <shrug> It's the nature of the medium and simply must be accepted. These aren't the galley proofs for the printed book.
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Post by Stuart »

Adrian Laguna wrote: What I'm refering to is that during the Yalta conference Roosevelt asked Stalin about the guy with glasses, to which Joe replied, "that's Beria, he's our Himmler". Might not be true, it's in No Simple Victory by Norman Davies, specifically one of the picture sections, under side by side portraits of Beria and Himmler. As it happens they do sort of look alike and wore same type of glasses.
Beria was a pretty monstrous person; born in the USA he would probably have been a serial killer (which he was in the USSR, just officially sanctioned). Robert Mugabe would be another good candidate for the gestalt personality of Satan
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Post by Shroom Man 777 »

Starglider wrote: Well, I have some ideas for things like that, but going on track record to date I'm not sure I could execute them successfully or get them included. The thing is, the demons are essentially practical; they sometimes do horrible things for fun and silly things out of superstition, but they're not WH40K chaos powers, they don't consider being horrible (or bizarre) an end in itself.

P.S. Stuart, if you could answer those two key timeline questions, I have a block of material ready to go.
Well, I'm not thinking about anything too 40kish like US Rangers getting eaten by demon-possessed T-90s. But still, like the Angel of Death, these demons are the closest thing to alien lifeforms the Armageddon-verse humans have found. So, they should really be weird and totally strange, approaching from a whole 'nother "angle" so to speak. I mean, the very reality of the demon realm is actually different from ours. There should be more than just "big horned guys with wings and mind-powers and sticks and really shitty technology".

The gorgons were a good example of weirdness, as well as the succubi and the naga. But the problem is that the tinfoil hats have negated a lot of potential for the mind-fuckery. So, I guess the demons ought to have something else. They should have a lot of horrors in store for our lovely humies. Unspeakable and incomprehensible horrors.

Even if it remains to be a curbstomp with humanity crushing the demon scum underfoot, with Russian politicians reading Vladimir Putin speeches to felled monstrosities (YES!), it'd be cool to see things like... maybe McElroy's squad infiltrating a demon fortress and encountering more than they bargained for.

[EDIT: Or, yeah, sky volcanoes]

Of course, that doesn't mean you haven't done a banged up job. It's been excellent so far, and we crave more! More! MOAR!!!! *transmogrifies into a pulsating slugman*

Perhaps the Angelic Host can have things that exceed the demon's fucked-upness. Like, "faithful" human slaves who flagellate themselves and self-mutilate themselves screaming and rushing the human armies. Cherubim that are the grotesque and malform progenies between the human slaves and the immaculate angels. Crazy stuff! Go wild! :twisted:
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Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

Bayonet wrote:
My late wife was, among other things, an editor. Every work benefits greatly from ruthless editing; even those of "Literary Giants." The extra, dispassionate set of eyes sees a lot of things that are invisible to the author, simply because he stands too cl;ose to the story. Getting literary giants to submit to editing is another matter entitely. :roll:

Some of the comments I'm seeing, outside of personalistic style differences, are basically the comments of armchair editors. They have a certain validity. Arguably, some of them would have been polished out during formal editing.

This medium, with serialized episodes literally pouring from Stuart's keyboard, is not well suited to much more than basic grammatical and continuity editing on the fly. <shrug> It's the nature of the medium and simply must be accepted. These aren't the galley proofs for the printed book.
Oh, there you are.

So what have you been up to while I've been stuck here in exile confusing all these poor liberals?

And your comments are perfectly correct, of course; I don't edit any of my pieces before posting here, either. It's really more like a 19th-century serialized novel in a magazine, more than anything else.
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Post by Junghalli »

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:I can't help but wonder if Yahweh, before Satan's time, encountered another advanced intelligent race that curbstomped him.
I can't really think of anything in the Bible that fits but then I doubt he'd put such an embarrassing episode in there.
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Post by NecronLord »

Shroom Man 777 wrote:There should be more than just "big horned guys with wings and mind-powers and sticks and really shitty technology".
I like that they're not that impressive. If I want demons that do freaky things like divide into two when killed, or congeal out of blood, I'll read something like 40K. I like this because it has the scientific mindset crushing the religious one quite dramatically. If you add too many freaky abilities to the demons and such, they become less and less plausible, and consequently less believable.
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Post by GrandMasterTerwynn »

Junghalli wrote:
The Duchess of Zeon wrote:I can't help but wonder if Yahweh, before Satan's time, encountered another advanced intelligent race that curbstomped him.
I can't really think of anything in the Bible that fits but then I doubt he'd put such an embarrassing episode in there.
In the Old Testament, he does make references to other gods, exhorting his followers to have "No other gods before me." As though he were just one of many viable deities humans could choose from. Though apparently something happened which left him and Satan in overall control. That, or his propaganda machine just got that much better and that much bolder.
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Post by Shroom Man 777 »

Still, if they're too not-impressive, it ends up being too much of a one-sided curbstomp. Which is why we occasionally need sky volcanos and foreboding Angels of Death and fetus-claudrons, so it won't end up as a self-congratulatory backslap-fest.

I'd love to see what happens to people in places too poor to have aluminum hats :twisted:

And! Biblical plagues! It would be totally unexpected to have demons portal smallpox-infected dudes and cause an epidemic. Though that would really require some more sideways-thinking and probably won't occur to the demons. And where would they get the sick people, anyway...
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Post by NecronLord »

Shroom Man 777 wrote:And where would they get the sick people, anyway...
There may be some demons suffering with that and sundry other human diseases right now.
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Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

GrandMasterTerwynn wrote:
Junghalli wrote:
The Duchess of Zeon wrote:I can't help but wonder if Yahweh, before Satan's time, encountered another advanced intelligent race that curbstomped him.
I can't really think of anything in the Bible that fits but then I doubt he'd put such an embarrassing episode in there.
In the Old Testament, he does make references to other gods, exhorting his followers to have "No other gods before me." As though he were just one of many viable deities humans could choose from. Though apparently something happened which left him and Satan in overall control. That, or his propaganda machine just got that much better and that much bolder.
I have this mental image now of Apollo and Thor sharing beers as they grouse about how they managed to lose their followers on Earth to a bunch of malevolent hucksters when they were just trying to be honest bastards, and how the fuck did Rama avoid it happening to him too, anyway..?
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Post by Bayonet »

The Duchess of Zeon wrote: Oh, there you are.
(Drat! My invisibility underwear must need washing.)

Hiya, yer Grace! just bumping along, following the vultures. What evil have you been up to?
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Post by Bayonet »

The Duchess of Zeon wrote: I have this mental image now of Apollo and Thor sharing beers as they grouse about how they managed to lose their followers on Earth to a bunch of malevolent hucksters when they were just trying to be honest bastards, and how the fuck did Rama avoid it happening to him too, anyway..?
I've read a couple of Sci-Fi works, where gods draw their strength from the worship of their followers. I remember one piece, perhaps by Fritz Leiber (who could be delightfully anti religious) where a couple of gods were doing just what you suggested, and feeling sorry for some old pathetic god who no one worshipped any more. He was kind of a beggar in heaven.
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Post by Darth Nostril »

Something akin to Terry Pratchets Small Gods .... the more believers the more powerful they are

Yahweh won the propaganda war, with the influx of power he was able to sideline his rivals

Then handed it all off to Satan when humanity started to question, to erode his power base

So he's not the one to get kicked in the balls when Odin et al get their shit together
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Darth Nostril wrote:
So he's not the one to get kicked in the balls when Odin et al get their shit together
I can see it already

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James Randi glanced up from the papers on his desk to see a giant seven foot tall Norwegian looking man. That however was not what got his attention, it played second fiddle to the fact person looming over his secretary was dress in a mix of mail and animal skins and was resting a gigantic silver hammer against his shoulder.

"Can I help you Mr...?" he began before the stranger cut him off.
"Your people knew me as Thor"
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