Silicon County: An Interactive Story (Ongoing)

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  • Ok this is just me confirming that i'm reading it incase I don't have time to comment tonight. Ill edit it tomorrow but I have been inactive for a bit and just wanted to confirm I'm here.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Clive Carson, 03-06 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: The dinner party reached an early conclusion when Thomas walked Clive back to the

  • edited May 2017

    03-07: The king stands, regarding with mild annoyance the damage the Crane’s ilk has done to his work. He shakes his head and mane and sighs, uncorking a vial and tipping it over. A substance, dark as ink or oil, gathers in a growing circle before him. Summoning his powers, the liquid traverses the lake’s surface, climbs the small structure in vein-like rivulets, and gathers in the missing top portion until it is once again pyramid-shaped.

    The black filling either cools or dries as it emits hissing sounds and cracks, changing pigments and acquiring a stony texture until the pyramid, from top to bottom, is a perfectly whole structure of worn gray brick. Even the dead vines, which the king likes, are restored.

    The king touches the slanted brick and it hums under the press of his great paw. He senses about a dozen of the Devourer’s previous pawns and passes on them—most of them aren’t recent enough to be of any interest, and of course, they are all left in quite a useless state. He finds what he’s looking for: a very recently altered individual. No physical modifications. Mentally… this human appears to have been driven insane. The humming soon reaches a peak and the king withdraws, now holding a orb dwarfed in his palm.

    He holds the orb close and touches it with the tip of his tongue. As if inflicting a wound and drawing blood, the exertion of his influence causes a single dark drop to spread within the orb from the point of contact. It dissipates but the image it peeps into—that of the lake and woods in fall, then by willing it, a white, sterile-looking room—becomes just a tad murkier. He gave an order and made a change—a small, slow one, as to not draw attention, or cause undue discomfort, which may also draw attention. Additionally, the king has partially reversed the Devourer’s meddling, repairing the man’s mind just enough to carry out his orders.

    He returns the orb, knowing it will be good for little else after this. He departs across the lake, feeling nothing for what he momentarily held.


    Monday Evening, Nov. 28th: From where he sat, Henry watched the movement of the big man’s breaths.

    Two hundred and ten pounds of muscle packed onto a five-foot-eleven-inch frame, Wade Pittman was a sunken mound upon the hospital bed, a sheet pulled up to his waist and with an expressionless mood upon his face. Pittman had bushy black eyebrows and a thick black beard, but his hair faltered at his hairline, which was receding.

    There were two IV needles taped down to Pittman’s wrist, their tubes trailing their way up to a stand beside the bed. The first was to keep him hydrated. The other was to drip-fed him a sedative.

    Henry shifted to a more comfortable position in the uncomfortable chair by the window as he remembered what had happened when Pittman first woke. Surgery had been performed on his three cracked ribs, garnered when Mitch hit him, and several dead digits on his feet and hands were removed due to a case of frostbite, sustained from staying out in the elements for half a week.

    Afterward, Pittman spent the night in the ICU. That morning, it became apparent Pittman had woken when a nurse, who had entered the room to check in on up on Pittman, was attacked. Henry and several others who were nearby had to restrain the man. A startling thought had occurred to Henry as he was wrestling Pittman: He’s lost his mind.

    For everyone’s safety, including his own, Pittman had remained sedated. Something else Henry found troubling, and why it did trouble him, he couldn’t figure out, was the tattoo covering Pittman’s chest. Here and there Henry visited the gym to swim, and on one occasion he had had the misfortune to encounter Pittman in the communal showers.

    That had happened a month ago and there was no tattoo then. He wandered when Pittman had gotten it, why he had picked such a nasty shade of red, just like blood, in such a nonsensical shape: a hollow triangle.

    Henry tried to turn his attention away from his charge. He read more of this day’s issue of the Pyramid, skimming an article Amber Page had written about some supernatural TV show having begun filming right here in Silicon County, filming an episode about Tyler’s monster, before being put on hold in light of Daniel Gavins’s arrest.


    Wade Pittman isn’t conscious until he is touched, then his state is a sort of half-conscious. His eyes are still shut and cannot be opened. His body, immobilized and, for the moment, outside of his control. He is still unaware of the sedatives in his bloodstream.

    He remembers, in his half-sleep, the contact as a course tongue licking his face, a kiss, which conveyed a message and glued the fragmented pieces of his mind into something close to whole.

    He returns to something closer to sleep. Coming away from the brief connection, he feels blessed.

    Unbeknownst to Pittman, a subtle alteration has been performed. New glands begin to grow in his brain, capable, once fully formed, of releasing the agents necessary to neutralize the foreign chemicals in his body.

    To be continued...

    Post-part notes:

    Sorry for the slight delay. So, from this part onward, there will be occasion, small vignettes to tell certain developments in the plot which would be difficult to convey to the reader in most other ways. I like their application, explaining what's going on while still remaining cryptic and vague. The next part—the proper start of the chapter at last!—will also have one. I'm excited to get out there. Thankfully, it's already written and edited (has been for a while now), so I'm posting it tonight!

    Recent reads:

    As usual with Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a well-written story. It’s framed by an old man recalling some strange occurrences from his childhood. It’s very short (under two hundred pages). It moves really fast because of the length, but this also leads to my biggest complaint, which is how indistinct everything felt. Things could have used some fleshing out, but overall, it was pretty great. I liked the story and the characters. I especially liked the lore, even if it’s mostly just alluded to.

    I still plan to read Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber, but in the meantime, I went ahead and picked up a different story by him, a standalone novel called Lord of Light. While reading Damnation Alley, I found the plot and characters to be your standard action movie fare and felt lukewarm about those aspects, but was struck by how wonderful the writing was. Now, Lord of Light, on the other hand, fulfills each of these categories. It follows the Buddha as he sets out to free the land from the technological oppression of the Hindu pantheon. It’s science fiction with a strong amount of fantasy, but I’m afraid saying what the sci-fi element is may constitute a spoiler (even though the blip on the back of the cover of my copy divulges it), so I’ll avoid mentioning it. Just trust me when say it’s a pretty fantastic scenario. The main characters are fun, vibrant, and have great personalities. The same goes for most of the side characters, but there are many who aren’t that fleshed and the sheer number of them made keeping track of them difficult. The writing, of course, remains brilliant. I can't recommend this enough.

  • edited May 2017

    If I'm not mistaken it seems that Pittman has a similar mark to Tyler. Clifford's been busy.

    Did you get my PM regarding Amanda? EDIT: Nevermind just got it. :p

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    03-07: The king stands, regarding with mild annoyance the damage the Crane’s ilk has done to his work. He shakes his head and mane

  • 03-08: The Prince of Wolves spectates Thomas’s evening until it becomes apparent what is going happen next, at which point it respectfully takes its leave. It has no interest in the process going on without its presence.

    It departs in a incorporeal state in search of the lost dreamers, so their side might have a fighting chance in what’s to come. It combs the county, looking for forces or elements which might resonant from hidden doorways and crossroads—a sensation, a scent, that for the prince should be as palpable as the sea lapping at one’s ankles, or the tang of salt on one’s nostrils. But it neither senses nor scents anything and decides to observe Clive Carson in hopes the human is experiencing one of his visions. After Thomas’s talk with the man, which the prince observed, the prince now knows it will achieve little without Clive’s visions.

    But it finds Clive is already asleep, even know, the prince knows, dreaming the Divine Dream, so it leaves the Carsons’ household and resumes its search in the vicinity.

    Once, into the night, it catches a hint of something in the breeze, so faint and quick-to-vanish that the prince is unsure whether it was real or merely a fluke in its senses. Its senses, however, shouldn’t be prone to flukes, so it treats it has the former and tries to recapture the trail.

    The likelihood of finding anything is up in the air—the prince is becoming increasingly sure it’s not looking for a typical crossroad. It keeps looking, losing itself in the search. While the prince is away and momentarily distracted, its Sleepwalker is unprotected, not from harm, but from nightmares the prince before now hasn’t allowed Thomas to experience. He slips into one tonight...


    Thomas - Thursday, Dec. 1st, ??:?? AM: In the chapel, Thomas awoke terrified. He swung his legs off the couch and grabbed the cushion to calm himself, a nightmare playing at his mind in fragments. The clearest was the aftermath: Alone among a field of carnage. Tents, under a brightening morning sky in a barren part of Iran, and men, who were once soldiers, are all so shredded that the blood and gore-drenched slivers of skin are unrecognizable from the slivers of tent canvas. The creature is still present, picking the flesh of men from the debris.

    He shuddered even as the nightmare lost its coherence. Never had there been a dream in the interval between real life and the Divine Dream.

    He rose from the couch. It was odd, when he thought about it, to be more alarmed by a nightmare than waking up in a chapel in some kind of dreamscape, but the truth of the matter was, he was starting to adjust to it. This was now his eighth visit here. During his second visit—it was the night of Thanksgiving after he had gotten back from the Carsons’—he had scrounged around in one of the back rooms of the chapel and found a change of clothes close to his size, thereby solving his most immediate problem (that of nudity). The clothes remained during each of his subsequent nights there, so he guessed they wouldn’t vanish anytime soon.

    Thomas took in the room he was in now, as he always did upon his arrival, to see if anything had changed. The prints and paintings, hung about the walls, still depicted biblical scenes, such as animals boarding Noah’s ark in pairs, Daniel finding himself in the lion’s den, and Moses parting the red sea. The small wooden Christ figure, nailed to a cross, was still mounted on the far wall. The television opposite the couch was still off. It surprisingly worked, but the channel was stuck on PBS and playing programs Thomas remembered watching as a kid in the nineties. He didn’t feel like reminiscing, and he found it unsettling, so he kept it turned off.

    Next was the window. He pulled back one of the curtains, reaffirmed there was still a pressing darkness in which darker shapes lumbered, and covered it again. There was little to do besides think, and he sometimes thought while watching the window, trying and failing to define the forms or make sense of their movements. They, too, were unsettling.

    There was one more thing for him to do, and he didn’t care for it. He hadn’t ventured far outside of this room since his third arrival—his memories of the actual funeral and the nightmare version were still fresh on his mind—and, when he did step out, he went only as far as the top of the stairs, and never down them.

    Now Thomas approached the door, caution in his steps. He unlocked it, cracked it open, and heard something that made his heart skip a beat. He poked his head out and listened to the sound carry upstairs. Like wood beating against wood. Not unlike a locked door being tugged and shaken. Thomas immediately thought of the casket and its latch and retreated back inside the room until he found his bearings. He then left through the doorway.

    The stairs and flooring creaked very little, his socks muffling his footsteps as he pressed downward. The noise grew louder, a snarl-like mutter became apparent, and his mental image of the casket became all-too-vivid. He entered the nave from the back. The lights were turned on throughout the building, as he’d left them. He mounted the side steps leading to the platform and stopped halfway up.

    The casket rose centimeters off its stout table, rocking and bouncing. Something was beating against the lid from the inside, struggling with the bronze latch, which withstood the battering for now. Thomas held his breath and listened to the growls, scratchings, and frustrated, muttered syllables coming from inside the casket. He heard what might have been curse words.

    [Release the latch.]

    [Retreat back upstairs.]

  • [Release the latch] Logic, sanity and self-preservation dictates that Thomas get the fuck out of there but I can't help but feel like he's supposed to release whatever or whoever is in there. Surely Thomas wasn't brought here to run away. I also have a feeling that whatever's in there will escape no matter what. If it's sentient or intelligent in any way maybe it'll feel gratitude. It's risky but I feel like that's what Thomas is meant to do here.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    03-08: The Prince of Wolves spectates Thomas’s evening until it becomes apparent what is going happen next, at which point it resp

  • Ah, I see we got our first real glimpse of the King of Lions. This once again assured me in my assumption that the events going on there are absolutely massive, possibly world-changing. We have learned about this Crane person before, apparently she has been an ally of the Prince of Wolves, but from what the knight said and from the King of Lions' PoV, I think she might be dead already, or at least in no position to further influence the situation there. I don't know if these beings can truly die in the same way as humans do. Speaking of, I was very concerned by how he called the orbs "pawns", given that these orbs likely represent a human being in the Kingdom of Divine Dreams. Morally ambiguous he might be, but the Prince of Wolves at least seems to have shown a tiny bit of care or the hint of respect for the orbs, whereas the King clearly sees them as nothing but tools. He also mentioned this Devourer. Could that be yet another of these beings? Given that he apparently lost control over the orbs that used to be under his control, I guess it can be assumed that the King of Lions took them from him. It's still a bit early and the whole setting about the Kingdom of Divine Dreams is still far from clear to me, so I am a bit careful with theories, but the way the King thought about the Devourer here, I got the impression that he was thinking of a predecessor of sorts. Maybe the Devourer used to be in his position, but the King of Lions usurped him and took his place and his "pawns".

    And Pittman clearly has gotten through the same procedure that happened to Tyler, with these markings, or at least through something similar. I am not the slightest bit concerned for him, but his generally sorry state made me concerned for Tyler. I am not sure if Clifford is behind Pittman's markings though. I now think that maybe Clifford is working for the Prince of Wolves and given that he seems to be on the slightly lighter side of the moral spectrum, Tyler seems to be doing just fine. However, it is possible that he could, in theory, be put into the same half-comatose state as Pittman if the Prince or whomever gave him these markings feels like it. In general, considering how quickly and easily Pittman has been messed up so badly, it seems that the inhabitants of Silicon County are in grave danger. Anyways, these markings, while maybe not coming from the same creature, are clearly connected, though unlike Tyler, Pittman is still capable of sleeping. I guess he will wake up soon enough though, then likely focussed on whatever task the King of Lions just gave him. And I have good reason to believe that this task will pose additional danger for our heroes.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    03-07: The king stands, regarding with mild annoyance the damage the Crane’s ilk has done to his work. He shakes his head and mane

  • edited May 2017

    You know, two parts in a row is exactly what I want to see when waking up :D This is awesome and I am so glad the pace is picking up so rapidly. I feel like we are getting close to some breakthrough and I cannot wait to connect these hints we have been given so far. And it has been great to get another glimpse at the Prince of Wolves' Point-of-View. In contrast to how callous the King of Lions was, the Prince clearly shows at least some sense of good intentions and care for those he is using, which is a lot more decent than what the King of Lions did to Pittman. If the Prince is behind Tyler's condition, I am a bit relieved, because I doubt he is going to put him into harm's way if it can be avoided. And apparently there is a war between these god beings coming and for some reason, every side seems to need these dreamers. I trust the Prince that his intention to find Rachel and Alex is genuine, which is a big relief for me. He clearly has the knowledge to find them and maybe he even got a bit of a lead now. We'll see where this is leading to, but the situation is clearly far from hopeless, with Clive getting an idea and the Prince apparently at least having the means of recovering them once he knows where they are.

    [Release the latch.]

    Agent is right, this might be a bit dangerous. At the same time, what convinced me that whatever is in the casket is not some kind of a monster is the fact that this person in there is cursing. What monster would loudly began to mutter curse words when not getting out of a casket? No, there is someone in there and I am very curious to find out whom it is. Actually, I do even have a theory that this might be connected to the dead orb the Prince has given to the knight earlier. This orb, as I theorized, could have been Michael, but I am not sure if his body has already been given to the church to prepare for a burial. I guess it might still be at the coroner. But somebody has been put into that casket, somebody who is obviously not yet dead, or not anymore.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    03-08: The Prince of Wolves spectates Thomas’s evening until it becomes apparent what is going happen next, at which point it resp

  • [Retreat back upstairs.]

    Obviously, the most logical thing to do in this situation. We don't know what is in that casket. It could be something extremely dangerous.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    03-08: The Prince of Wolves spectates Thomas’s evening until it becomes apparent what is going happen next, at which point it resp

  • Voting is closed!

    (!) Thomas will release the latch

    There's one point I don't think I made clear enough: the chapel this part takes place in is the same one from Thomas's dream sequence in Chapter 2, in which we saw a nightmare version of his father's funeral. With that in mind, we kind of already know what's in the casket. The continuation of this part is going to be interesting. But before that, we'll check in on Clive and his own dreams—that should be ready to be posted fairly soon, a day or two at most.

    Recently, I've become wrapped up writing a new story. I made a rough outline, and it looks like it will be a longish short story. I'll let you know how it shakes out!

  • Sorry for being late. Great Part. Thomas can't catch a break can he? Also I know it really doesn't matter anymore but hey, ill be a team player [Release the latch.]. Now ill spend the next wait contemplating just how many ways this choice can end horribly.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    03-08: The Prince of Wolves spectates Thomas’s evening until it becomes apparent what is going happen next, at which point it resp

  • Clive, 03-09 - Thursday, Dec. 1st, ??:?? AM: Clive became increasingly listless and bored each night he dreamed of the Divine Dream. The odorless, almost sensationless wind became a regular occurrence, and he felt silly for being frightened by it the first time. He found nothing of interest in his wanderings. His time here had been uneventful until this night, his tenth night here when something worth getting excited about finally found him.

    The little girl was running when she came to a standstill between mercury-coated trees. Her bare feet threw reflective metal shavings into the air. The girl was silver from her wild hair to her little toes, which restlessly dug themselves into the gray soil, itching to break off again into a run.

    Clive jumped two feet backward when she appeared and would have pissed himself if it was necessary, or even possible, to relief one’s bladder here. It wasn’t, thankfully. He had time to notice the grin plastered on her face before she took the way she had come.

    Clive didn’t hesitate. He took off after her.

    She was the little girl from the picture, the little girl he’d seen Thanksgiving night. There was no question. This was Rachel. Or at least it was Rachel in appearance. Clive wondered, as he ran, how well he had raised this girl, this alternate possibility in whatever alternate reality she’d come from. Did she feel resentful for not having existed? He hoped not.

    “Rachel!” he called.

    She didn’t respond. He didn’t waste any more breath.

    Clive followed in the girl’s wake. The distance between them grew. Now twenty feet, twenty-five, and so on until she was hardly visible, a mere sliver of movement as she darted through the trees, maybe sixty feet away. Then an odd thing happened. At almost seventy feet of distance, she came to a clumsy stop. Mimicking her unthinkingly, Clive pulled a clumsier stop, nearing tripping over himself. He stared at her. She appeared to be looking back. Clive, his eyesight not the best, could only see her face as a smudge. Still, he doubted the grin had faded. She’s waiting for me, he thought. I’m either being played with or guided. But where?

    He resumed walking at a trot. A stitch was already tearing at his side. He covered maybe thirty feet before she started off again, but slower this time, in pace with him. Clive followed her.

    Suddenly he could no longer see her. He panicked, broke into a run. Eventually, the woods gave way to a clearing and Clive, confronted by what lay there, stumbled to a stand still.

    There were three figures standing on the porches of three separate houses, waiting for him. Clive looked from Rachel to the second figure, Melissa, to the third, a young man he did not recognize. The young man bore a frown, and he had his hands shoved into his pockets. He was turned in profile. Melissa appeared to be much younger than he knew her now. Rachel’s expression had grown solemn. All had silver skin and clothes. All the houses were gray, and the one the young man stood before was a lot like his own in Silicon County. Melissa’s Clive recognized from earlier in the marriage, back when they lived in Los Angeles. Rachel’s, he could not recall.

    At once, the figures turned and disappeared in the doorways, and Clive was left alone in the massive yard. Clive guessed he had to enter one of the houses. He suspected he couldn’t visit each of them.

    [Follow Rachel.]

    [Follow Melissa.]

    [Follow the young man.]

  • Writing a new story, you say? This sounds like a really exciting thing! I do love all of your writing to date, so once you feel comfortable with presenting some of it, if you want to, I would greatly enjoy reading over it :)

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Voting is closed! (!) Thomas will release the latch There's one point I don't think I made clear enough: the chapel this par

  • Aaaah, they are slippery things these answers, as they constantly feel so close, yet so far away. It seems Clive is slowly getting closer to some and I feel like he is finally going to get some in his next part. Which answers is probably going to depend on the choice we make here. At least, Clive knows how to trigger the dreams now, which means he might indeed manage to find a way to restore Rachel and Alex. Speaking of, I guess it goes without saying that he is the young man in this dream. It just occured to me that Clive has no idea that he even exists, which kind of makes me tempted to pick the option to follow him. However, I just cannot pick anything but [Follow Rachel.] here, so I am going to go with that. From the things we see here, I feel like we will get glimpses of their lives as they have been before something intervened and flat out removed the Carson children. That would explain why he does not recall Rachel's house, as she likely moved into her own after Clive moved to Silicon County. I am deeply intrigued by just about all of them. If they are glimpses of their past, I might have an idea what will happen in the Rachel route, whereas I am entirely clueless when it comes to Melissa and Alex. At the same time, as much as I want to see them, there is one thing I have to note here. Rachel has led him to this place. She obviously wishes to tell him something and this means that maybe her piece of the puzzle will lead to a way to put them back where they belong. I have no doubt that the routes for Melissa and Alex will be similarly important and interesting and I surely wouldn't be sad if one of the other options wins, but maybe Rachel holds the key here. Although I guess that all three have important things to say and it pains me that we might inevitably miss out on one or two of these routes. Still, I am absolutely exicted for Clive's next part. Like, really, the hype is through the roofs because we have reached the point I've been waiting for so long =)

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Clive, 03-09 - Thursday, Dec. 1st, ??:?? AM: Clive became increasingly listless and bored each night he dreamed of the Divine Drea

  • [Follow Rachel]

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Clive, 03-09 - Thursday, Dec. 1st, ??:?? AM: Clive became increasingly listless and bored each night he dreamed of the Divine Drea

  • [Follow Rachel.]

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Clive, 03-09 - Thursday, Dec. 1st, ??:?? AM: Clive became increasingly listless and bored each night he dreamed of the Divine Drea

  • That would be wonderful! I've drafted the opening passage. I plan to redraft it, do some polishing, and after that, I would feel perfectly comfortable sharing it. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

    Also, though I may be speaking too soon, I have another two, shorter stories in the works. I stumbled across several writing subreddits that were offering writing prompts for monthly challenges, and they really got the ball rolling. The first is fantasy, and the tone that's showing itself seems to fall somewhere on the spectrum of horror/comedy. The second, I've only just begun, but it's fixing to be some kind of amalgam of sci-fi and body horror. if you're interested, I'll be sure to share them after the challenges conclude! :)

    Writing a new story, you say? This sounds like a really exciting thing! I do love all of your writing to date, so once you feel comfortable with presenting some of it, if you want to, I would greatly enjoy reading over it

  • Voting is closed!

    (!) Clive will follow Rachel

    Well, this interesting. I wasn't expecting this outcome. As Liquid guessed, this choice determined the revelations Clive may or may not receive. Now, whatever nuggets of information he'll get, will be tied to Rachel and what's befallen her—and hopefully, will provide Clive a clue as to how Clive can bring her back if that's what's needed.

  • Ah, I have been a bit torn between Rachel and the one that is most likely Alex, mostly because we haven't seen him at all in the reboot. Though your comment here gave me another idea. So far, I thought that whatever removed Rachel and Alex is the same thing and that this event is also responsible for Melissa's survival. Now, this choice of words, that we're going to find out what happened to Rachel, this could imply that each of them has been removed or added to this timeline by a different event. Though I would be highly surprised if these events aren't connected in some capacity and restoring Rachel might hold the key to restore Alex as well. Anyways, a very interesting snippet. I regret that we will not get the Melissa and Alex information now, at least not immediately, but I look forward for whatever information Clive's next part will offer.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Voting is closed! (!) Clive will follow Rachel Well, this interesting. I wasn't expecting this outcome. As Liquid guessed, t

  • Aye, I will be happy to give you my thoughts on this story! I'm already looking forward to read it. And two shorter stories, as far as they might be from completion, I can assure you that I would very much enjoy to read them as well. Fantasy and Sci-Fi are two of my favourite genres, so that is an extra treat. Once you feel comfortable with sharing it, I'll read it!

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    That would be wonderful! I've drafted the opening passage. I plan to redraft it, do some polishing, and after that, I would feel p

  • Here as well, like I said in Monument. I am back and now I will read everything I have missed. Sounds like good stuff. I am so happy that I have the time to be active again. Since it has been over a month since the last part do you know when the next will be out? So that I know how much time I have left to catch up with everything I missed :)

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Voting is closed! (!) Clive will follow Rachel Well, this interesting. I wasn't expecting this outcome. As Liquid guessed, t

  • NoHopeLeft has been inactive for some time so don't expect an answer anytime soon.

    janitor posted: »

    Here as well, like I said in Monument. I am back and now I will read everything I have missed. Sounds like good stuff. I am so hap

  • edited July 2017

    So I have noticed :( I mean, it is, to my knowledge at least, the time of the summer holidays in the US, so I guess he might be on vacation, but still, the fact that this ridiculously terrible forum "update" now prevents us from seeing when someone truly has last visited the site (because I know for a fact that your last visit has not been on the 11th and mine hasn't been on the 4th) doesn't make things any easier to find out if Hope is somewhere without access to the forums, or still reading and just not having the time to write at the moment. Already tried to contact him via PM a couple weeks ago, but haven't received an answer yet, so I guess it is one of these two. But well, whatever it is, I really hope he'll be back soon. It hasn't been that long of a break, but I already crave for new parts =)

    That being said, I do wonder, does anyone know more about when Hope will return?

    AgentZ46 posted: »

    NoHopeLeft has been inactive for some time so don't expect an answer anytime soon.

  • I'm pretty confident he'll be back but far too often have I been invested in a story on these forums and the creater disappears without explanation. It's really annoying and I believe you were part of most (if not all) of the threads I'm talking about. However I don't believe NoHope to be like those other posters. He's a really cool guy so I'm confident he'll back and if he's not, I expect it's for a good reason.

    So I have noticed I mean, it is, to my knowledge at least, the time of the summer holidays in the US, so I guess he might be on v

  • Aye, I as well seriously doubt he won't return. It's not the first time Hope has taken a small break due to being busy, so I am not even all that concerned, even if the thought of these wonderful stories being added to the long list of abandoned works on the site is admittedly making me uncomfortable. However, really, I think it is way too early to be truly worried about that. But aye, I share your feelings about these abandoned stories, that is really a no-go, especially in some cases, where I know the writers are still active in other parts of the forums (or at least reading) and just can't be arsed to explain things to their readers, especially if it is a new story where we both have enthusiastically submitted characters only to never truly see them in action. But as said, this right here is not one of these cases. Hope being absent for a couple weeks is not too unusual, especially given that it is the holiday season and on top of that, someone as dedicated to his brilliant writing as Hope won't just leave without a word. The people who left have been in almost all cases new writers, who likely realized that writing a story here is something that indeed takes time and requires more than just a brief spark of interest, but true passion. Monument and Silicon have gone on for two years now (if you count the original Silicon, that is). That being said, one thing I am a bit concerned about is that him being inactive suspiciouly fell roughly onto the same time as the forum update (with me receiving a PM from him about a different topic just two days before that). I know some people had severe log-in issues after that and I am a bit worried that this applies to Hope as well and that he is unable to give us an updat due to being unable to log in, like, at all.

    If that stuff about the log-in issues is the case and he's reading this: Hope, try to create another account with a new e-mail adress and send me a message, I am sure we'll find a way to work around this :)

    AgentZ46 posted: »

    I'm pretty confident he'll be back but far too often have I been invested in a story on these forums and the creater disappears wi

  • edited July 2017

    Im confident he'll be back too. Nohope is probably taking a break.

    On a side hope you don't think I'm 'one of those posters' either. I still plan on continuing Prime soon.

    AgentZ46 posted: »

    I'm pretty confident he'll be back but far too often have I been invested in a story on these forums and the creater disappears wi

  • How dare you speak of the downgrade with such distaste? For shame

    As for Hope, I really have no idea. What's concerning for me is the idea that his last comment in general was in mid June. Anyways, I would think he would have told us if he went in vacation, since he told us about a potential one. As strange as it is, we can only hope for the best.

    So I have noticed I mean, it is, to my knowledge at least, the time of the summer holidays in the US, so I guess he might be on v

  • edited July 2017

    I'm okay!

    I never intended to worry anyone, but my silence has gone on far too long, and I'm sorry. Log-in issues have been troubling me recently but, unless the forum eats this comment (it didn't!), it appears to be working for the moment. I'm not sure what I did. I think I clicked on "my account" while I had the log-in screen up, and it just started acting business as usual. I'll try to answer what PMs I can, but my feed won't load past yesterday.

    I have parts in the works for Monument and Silicon County (the latter part far closer to completion) but I've let my attention slip to some projects. I've written a little flash fiction (stories under 1000 words), some of which I'll share real soon. I had a short story in mind for the last few months which hasn't materialized as I hoped, so I'm letting the premise sit and hopefully when I get back to it I'll be able to make something out of it.

    ....And I've been planning a novel. Starting in September I'm taking several classes, one of which is a Writer's Workshop of sorts. I don't know what to expect. We'll apparently be taking the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) system and stretching it over half a year or so. So yeah, that's the real attention-eater at the moment. While I am nervous and feel unprepared, I'm also excited. I've been thinking of up characters, the world, and a plot. As it stands, it will probably be a freaking weird post-apocalyptic/horror/dark fantasy combo.

    And I've been reading. I've completed my challenge of reading 52 books and will tickle in some recommendations as I begin posting again. I've encountered some great stuff and I can't wait to talk about it!

    Again, I would like to say I'm sorry for worrying everyone. While my motivation to write Monument and Silicon County has always waxed and waned, I understand your investment as readers and friends and would never abandon these stories. You've put as much, if not more, time and effort into following them. Abandoning them outright would be a kind of betrayal, one which I don't wish to make.

    Anyway, I want to make progress on both stories before September when my classes will begin, because I suspect they're going to prove a distraction, so I better get back into the groove! I'll see you again soon with a new part for Silicon County, and Monument will continue soon as well :)

    Edit: And the kittens are doing great! I'll try to post pictures, as they've grown quite a bit :)

  • I knew it =) I knew it had to be log-in issues, as your disappearance just happened too much at the same time as the so-called update that caused similar issues for a number of people here to b a coincidence. I am glad it was indeed just that and nothing more worrying. Let's hope they are gone now. In any way, welcome back!

    And aye our feeds are broken, unfortunately. Anything beyond the most recent notifications cannot be accessed at the time, unless you have a direct link to PM's and stuff saved. I believe I sent you two messages in early July to ask if everything is working for you after the update. So, if you have unread notifications now and cannot access them, two of these are mine.

    Also, these sound like amazing news. I am naturally excited for new parts for Silicon and Monument, but also really looking forward for these little short stories and very interested in this novel of yours. And well, 52 books, that is a serious number. I don't think I have read that much in years. As it stands, I wouldn't even have time for that, so I kind of envy you there :D

    By the way, about two days ago I have found your Steam profile through a mutual friend and sent you a friend request in an attempt to contact you, as I have kind of guessed it might be something technical that prevents you from commenting on the threads. If the log-in issues reappear, maybe that way you can give us an update :)

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    I'm okay! I never intended to worry anyone, but my silence has gone on far too long, and I'm sorry. Log-in issues have been tro

  • That's great to hear. Especially about the kittens ;). Anyway I'm glad everything's ok, hopefully when Silicon returns it will be better than ever.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    I'm okay! I never intended to worry anyone, but my silence has gone on far too long, and I'm sorry. Log-in issues have been tro

  • Glad to see you're back! :)

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    I'm okay! I never intended to worry anyone, but my silence has gone on far too long, and I'm sorry. Log-in issues have been tro

  • I knew it =) I knew it had to be log-in issues, as your disappearance just happened too much at the same time as the so-called update that caused similar issues for a number of people here to b a coincidence. I am glad it was indeed just that and nothing more worrying. Let's hope they are gone now. In any way, welcome back!

    Until you mentioned it I wasn't aware of any "update," and I didn't realize anyone else was dealing with these issues. I'm kind of glad it's not just me, or anything on my end. Hopefully, it'll be resolved soon.

    And aye our feeds are broken, unfortunately. Anything beyond the most recent notifications cannot be accessed at the time, unless you have a direct link to PM's and stuff saved. I believe I sent you two messages in early July to ask if everything is working for you after the update. So, if you have unread notifications now and cannot access them, two of these are mine.

    Dang. I suppose it isn't necessary to reply those now that I'm back from the shadows, but if there's anything still in need of an answer, let me know. I'll keep a closer eye on my feed from now on. I only have two PM chains bookmarked, neither active, and I don't believe I've lost any active ones. That said, I really hope access returns, because it would suck to just lose them all.

    Also, these sound like amazing news. I am naturally excited for new parts for Silicon and Monument, but also really looking forward for these little short stories and very interested in this novel of yours. And well, 52 books, that is a serious number. I don't think I have read that much in years. As it stands, I wouldn't even have time for that, so I kind of envy you there :D

    It's great to hear you're excited. The new Silicon part will be posted today. It would have been out yesterday, but my computer crashed as I was formatting the comment and finishing the book recommendations here. I left it for the night and gave it an extra round of editing this morning, and it's all the better for it! I can't wait to share it! :) I'll include a piece of flash fiction at the end that may have some relevance to future chapters! The novel's daunting, but yeah, I'm excited! And it's an absolute privilege to have the read as much as I do, one that I'll miss as I become busier.

    By the way, about two days ago I have found your Steam profile through a mutual friend and sent you a friend request in an attempt to contact you, as I have kind of guessed it might be something technical that prevents you from commenting on the threads. If the log-in issues reappear, maybe that way you can give us an update :)

    Ah, that's wonderful! As I was dealing with the log-in issues, I was worrying over how I might contact you or others if I wasn't able to get into my account. I'm not active on Steam, like, at all, but if I have any persistent trouble with my account again, it'll make for a perfect means to get in touch. Thank you!

    I knew it I knew it had to be log-in issues, as your disappearance just happened too much at the same time as the so-called updat

  • Thank you. Silicon will resume shortly. I'm quite satisfied with the new part! :)

    Lord_EAA posted: »

    That's great to hear. Especially about the kittens . Anyway I'm glad everything's ok, hopefully when Silicon returns it will be better than ever.

  • Thanks for your concern! It's good to be back! :)

    AgentZ46 posted: »

    Glad to see you're back!

  • It's great to see here again! Sorry for not getting back to you till now. Silicon will continue today, with a part starring Thomas! :)

    janitor posted: »

    Here as well, like I said in Monument. I am back and now I will read everything I have missed. Sounds like good stuff. I am so hap

  • edited July 2017

    Thomas, 03-10 - Thursday, Dec. 1st, ??:?? AM: Thomas shut his eyes, and in his mind’s eye saw all his fears laid out in the darkness, and knew he would have to face them. When he looked again at the counterpoint to this sentiment, his courage almost deserted him. The casket continued to bounce and emit animal grunts and mutterings that could have come from a smoker's syntax.

    Screw it, he told himself. Swallow your fears.

    With that thought, he climbed the remaining steps, approached the casket, and threw off the latch. Then, taking a large step backward, he watched.

    The lid opened several inches. Once the occupant realized it was no not trapped, the struggling ceased altogether. The lid closed again to a sliver, preventing Thomas from seeing inside. He knew it was watching him through the crack.

    “Tom.” It growled the syllable. While its voice sounded mangled, Thomas could not ignore the way it spoke his nickname.

    But his own voice had fled, and he didn’t respond.

    “Oh, Tom,” it said, speaking with something akin to despair. “I’m different than before. But, Tom, it’s me. I have something to tell you. It’s important.”

    He said nothing.

    “Tom? It’s me. Tom?” Fingers slipped through the cracked lid and curled over the carved lip of the casket. They were dark and hairy, and their nails were like claws. “It’s your father.”

    Thomas shaped the word Father without speaking. But was it possible for his father to be here, in such a twisted form? His father was dead, buried, and so was his mother. His imagination wasn't stretched by the possibilities the prince and the Divine Dream imposed, but death held a sanctity. If this was a joke, it was cruel; if this was somehow real, whatever sanctity death had held was now violated.

    A dream version of his father—he could settle on that. This thing was neither real nor a joke, something pulled from his mind and placed here. And, if it Thomas was to believe it, its purpose was to tell him something.

    “What—” Thomas stopped. He looked at the claws, blinked as if slapped, and felt his bile rising as he grew nauseated. What was this dream-creature? How much in common did it have with his father? “What do you have to tell me?”

    “Something,” it growled, and turned its hand to hold the lid up with its palm. Then it pushed the lid away. Thomas wished it hadn’t. The fluorescent lights he’d left on since he’d abandoned the ground floor now cast the creature in light.

    This was not Thomas’s first time seeing it. On his first visit, he had seen it dead and had to give its obituary before a gathering of wolves and sheep. Now, alive, it studied him. Would the price come and interrupt this? Thomas was unsure.

    Alive and wolf-headed, so too was the creature wolf-eyed. But whatever it thought it was, its eyes were not those of his father. His father’s were green, like his, and this creature had yellow eyes without any visible whites. Worse than its appearance was watching the creature try to shape its words around its muzzle. It made a mockery of human communication as it drew its lips back and puckered them to show an array of sharp teeth, repeating the expression for each syllable. “You stand at the threshold," it said.

    Unable to look it in the eye, or the mouth, he cast his gaze to the floor. The creature wore shining, black dress shoes: his father’s best shoes, reserved for Sundays and funerals and other special events that may require them; his mother once joked that they would be worn to Thomas’s wedding, if he ever did marry (and this was followed by an expression that seemed to say Well?).

    “The threshold,” Thomas managed, with difficulty, to repeat.

    “This place”—Thomas caught a gesture out of his peripheral vision as the creature indicated the chapel—”is the threshold. Worlds lie beyond it. You have to pass through to them. Go now. Through the lobby. Though the doors. Step into divinity.”

    Divinity. He shuddered, and looked up. “I can’t yet.”

    “What?” Confusion scrunched up its animal features. It would have almost comical—a scowling dog in a suit—if not for the undercurrent of instability.

    “I… I was to wait.”

    “No, son." The thing growled, and this time, it was not a vocal affliction: it growled at him.

    Did the prince have any authority over this creature? “The Prince of Wolves told me—”

    “You’re. To go. Out.” The creature pointed a hairy finger, which ended with a claw, at the double doors. “Though there. Through the lobby. Out.”

    “Who’s told you to tell me?” Thomas tried to be calm, but the creature took this question as defiance.

    “I’m telling you!”

    He tried again, hands spread, head lowered; the shoes once more occupied his gaze. “Who’s told you, to tell me?”

    I’m telling you!

    This was going nowhere, so Thomas said nothing more. He realized then it did not know how it had received these instructions. It was ignorant, and his prodding of its ignorance was fueling its rage.

    In that case, a different approach was necessary.

    Thomas nodded, forcing his hands to lower to his sides. “Okay. Okay.” He swallowed. “I’ll do what you ask, Dad.” That word left a bitter taste, but the creature took the name with obvious satisfaction. “Let me get my stuff from the back and I’ll step through the threshold.”

    Though the growling ceased, the creature did not appear at complete ease. That said, it appeared pleased. It smiled as only a wolf could: with a leer. “Good,” it said. “Hurry. I’ll see you through, son. You’ve got long road ahead of you. All fates will be cruel.”

    Thomas did not pause to question it about this parting comment. The creature’s knowledge seemed abstract, as if it was conjured with it already instilled. If he called its ignorance into question, it would provoke it. Why go through the threshold? Why is the road ahead long? Why are all fates to be cruel? It wouldn’t be able to answer any of these questions.

    Thomas slipped up stairs, into the back room, trying to steady his heart that his deception had set racing.

    He closed and locked the door, then pushed and pulled and shoved until the couch barricaded it. When the creature came upstairs, it knocked and asked what was keeping him. When he didn’t respond, it dropped the pretense and battered the door. It struck the walls, and tore at the paneling with its claws, and screamed and snarled like some rabid animal. It screamed of their relationship, his mother, the murder-suicide. Thomas weathered the abuse, head in hands, while tears brimmed his eyes. His father had never done this to do, never raged like so. If this creature wasn't his father, it still knew him, and knew what cut deep. It turned something horrible and personal back on him.

    “HE ASKED YOU FOR—HELP!” The creature threw itself at the door. “REMEMBER HIM? THAT MAN? THAT SOLDIER?” Again, he hit the door, but it held. “HA! SOME HELP YOU GAVE! YOU MADE IT WORSE, DIDN’T YOU? SO MUCH WORSE. HE MAY HAVE KILLED HIMSELF, BUT YOU FAILED HIM! YOU CAUSED HIS DEATH!” It punctuated each syllable of the next sentence by pounding its fists against the door. “YOU'RE TO BLAME!

    Then the creature stopped. The question hung in the air with its own weighty presence, and the creature laughed. Thomas had retreated to the far wall, where he held himself and wept. The creature spoke again between panting breaths. It was quieter due to its exhaustion, but still full of malice.

    “Let your father in...”

    The doorknob jiggled.

    “Damn you, boy!”

    Thomas listened. Its Sunday shoes tapped the floor outside as it paced the hallway, waiting for him to emerge.

    To be continued...

    (Wolf Song - Amanda Palmer & Jason Webley)


    Post-part Notes:

    I don't usually end a part mid-chapter with a song, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity given how fitting it was! Originally, this song was planned to appear at the chapter finale, but as things stand, it no longer fits tonally there. thought I would include this song where it fit, and in the future, if I have a song that'll go along well with the piece, I'll try to include it weather at the end of the chapter or not. I'm happy with this part, though some of it was unplanned. The tension and conflict cropped up during the writing process, and I think they make it much more substancical. Clive's continuation is next. After that, we'll get caught up on what Tyler's been up to since his father's arrest. But before either of those, I think I'll focus on get Monument up and running again!

    For any interested, here's a piece of flash fiction I wrote: This Eternity and the Next

    Something similar to the world presented in this story may appear in some fashion in Silicon County at some point, though there aren't any connections in the story itself.

    (It annoys me that quotes are so huge now, so, in plain text) Recent Reads:

    Well, I'll admit, some of these aren't that recent. I read about 18 books during my hiatus and most are more or less worth mentioning. I'll start with one author in particular: Clive Barker. I think I've read enough by him to call him one of my favorite writers. My core recommendation by him is Weaveworld, probably best preceded by an appetizer of some of his short fiction to get a feel for his style (Books of Blood: Volume One would probably be the best choice). Now, Weaveworld is among my favorites this year. The story begins in Liverpool when a man named Calhoun Mooney, or Cal, accidentally releases a racing pigeon from his father's coop. During the chase to recapture the bird, he comes into contact with a magic carpet—the titular Weaveworld—and catches a glimpse of the world contained within it. While slightly linger in tone than what I've encountered in his Books of Blood, and less violent, there is definitely a horror element to be found in this dark, urban fantasy epic. The protagonists are great (I enjoyed Cal especially) and the antagonists, possessing their own motives and personalities, and possessing a sort of levity at times, never came off cartoonish. There are many side characters. What some of them lack in arcs, development, and screen time, they make up for in characterization. Barker's prose is wonderful, one of my favorite aspects of his work, though I can't quite lay my finger on what it is I specifically like about it. It... draws me in, in a way I can't articulate; it's pretty and poetic without being flowery or overwritten. Of all the writings and styles I've encountered, his may be my favorite.

    In addition to Weaveworld, I have a few other things by Barker this summer: Books of Blood: Volume Two and In the Flesh (technically the fifth book of blood). From the former, "Skins of the Fathers" stands out as my favorite story. It's set in a desert town and is about a parade of monsters that take a young boy, and the town posse that gathers themselves and a whole lot of firepower to take the kid back. From the latter, the titular "In the Flesh" was the best. It's set in a prison and is about a prisoner finding himself at odds with his new inmate, who's up to something supernatural that involves his grandfather, who died in the very same prison.

    Last two. I found the novella Tortured Souls at my local library and gave it read. It's about these people that a strange entity surgically augmented. It was okay, maybe too short. If it was longer and delved deeper into the world and city it presents, it probably would have been better. As is, it's interesting, but not very substancial. I also read the short novel The Hellbound Heart, which was much better. In search of greater pleasures, Frank solves the puzzle box and summons the Cenobites, who take him to their realm. As it turns out, they have a much different definition of pleasure. Trapped, his sister-in-law, who he had a brief affair with, and his brother move into the house in which he performed the ritual, presenting a chance at escape. This grisly horror story was pretty great. I also watched the film adaptation, Hellraiser, which, while I didn't enjoy as much as the novel, was alright.

  • WOOOAH You do not lie when you say shortly. Great part. I really like how Thomas story developed towards this point ad the confrontation was very well written. Its good to see the break did not damage the quality.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Thomas, 03-10 - Thursday, Dec. 1st, ??:?? AM: Thomas shut his eyes, and in his mind’s eye saw all his fears laid out in the darkne

  • Well this took a dark, sad and unexpected turn. Great part though! Can't wait to see what happens next.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Thomas, 03-10 - Thursday, Dec. 1st, ??:?? AM: Thomas shut his eyes, and in his mind’s eye saw all his fears laid out in the darkne

  • Until you mentioned it I wasn't aware of any "update," and I didn't realize anyone else was dealing with these issues. I'm kind of glad it's not just me, or anything on my end. Hopefully, it'll be resolved soon.

    Aye, there has been a big update exactly one month ago. It fixed one thing and broke half a dozen others. On the positive side however, you will find that the edit button has reappeared, meaning you can now edit your threads again without using the direct link. That is the one good thing I can say about this update. Other than that, if at least your log-in troubles have gone, it won't be all that bad, but eh, I didn't really need this update.

    Dang. I suppose it isn't necessary to reply those now that I'm back from the shadows, but if there's anything still in need of an answer, let me know. I'll keep a closer eye on my feed from now on. I only have two PM chains bookmarked, neither active, and I don't believe I've lost any active ones. That said, I really hope access returns, because it would suck to just lose them all.

    I might be able to find the conversation in my browser history still. It has been the one where you sent me that project you've been working on, I used the same message to ask if everything is still working for you after the update. I believe everything that can be said about this can also be done in a new PM if you want to.

    It's great to hear you're excited. The new Silicon part will be posted today. It would have been out yesterday, but my computer crashed as I was formatting the comment and finishing the book recommendations here. I left it for the night and gave it an extra round of editing this morning, and it's all the better for it! I can't wait to share it! :) I'll include a piece of flash fiction at the end that may have some relevance to future chapters! The novel's daunting, but yeah, I'm excited! And it's an absolute privilege to have the read as much as I do, one that I'll miss as I become busier.

    Oh, yes, this sounds really exciting! I cannot wait to share my thoughts on this part. And well, I surely would love to read this much. I did when I was still going to university by train, as it gave me two hours each day which I could only fill with reading. Now going by car, things have gotten both, faster and more crowded for me, so well, I really lack this time now. Safe to say, enjoy it as long as it lasts, because reading this much sounds wonderful.

    Ah, that's wonderful! As I was dealing with the log-in issues, I was worrying over how I might contact you or others if I wasn't able to get into my account. I'm not active on Steam, like, at all, but if I have any persistent trouble with my account again, it'll make for a perfect means to get in touch. Thank you!

    Yeah, that's what I thought. I'm pretty much always online (aside from the 6th of August to the 30th, where I will be on vacation), so if these troubles remain or there is anything else preventing you from using the forums, that way you can always contact me :)

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    I knew it I knew it had to be log-in issues, as your disappearance just happened too much at the same time as the so-called updat

  • Ooooh man, this was a dark one. I was legitimately creeped out by that wolf thing. At first, it was merely outlandish, but it quickly became legitimately scary, as that thing's behaviour changed up until this fit of rage right at the end. And it makes me wonder... is this thing working for the Prince of Wolves? Part of me doubts it, because this certainly did nothing to make Thomas trust the prince more. No, I believe we might have gotten someone or something that works for the King of Lions, as the prince seems to rely more on subtlety, whereas I got the impression that this brutish approach to a situation was something the King would do, or one of his servants at least. I really got chills when it started to taunt Thomas. Whatever that thing was, certainly nothing existing in the real world, it was terrifying. I also have to wonder, even though it seemed to be a pretty obvious lie about it being Thomas' father, maybe that's what it believes. It knew a number of things, but also things his father never knew, so maybe it is a representation of how Thomas sees him.

    Also, I greatly enjoyed this little flash fiction thingie. While I cannot say much about it for now, it was perfectly eery, interesting and a bit creepy. I wonder what you mean when you mention this world might appearing in Silicon County at some point. I will definitely keep an eye out for that :)

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Thomas, 03-10 - Thursday, Dec. 1st, ??:?? AM: Thomas shut his eyes, and in his mind’s eye saw all his fears laid out in the darkne

  • Nohope, you have now reached 1,000 comments, on this thread. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!! To be honest, when I saw that you had 999 comments, I kind of just wanted to post the 1,000th comment.

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