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Banned From The Gangplank

Archivist note: This post is from an older recovered archive.

The world is filled with examples of low mimicry, nobody denies this. We know that the king snake imitates the rings of a coral snake, and stick and leaf insects are often almost indistinguishable from their counterparts in nature… but so few of us ever stop to wonder about these lower forms of mimicry. These forms rarely fool our eyes for long, but often bamboozle those they are intended to fool. Why do we put so little thought into higher forms of mimicry?

That urchin that just brushed by you in the market, why were you so dismissive about the large strange eyes? What exactly is that shadow in the alley which slinks into a crack in the wall? And, why is it that city clockwinders never seem to age?

Make no mistake: visitors walk amongst us.

They walk amongst us, and they plot to destroy. They are jealous of our very nature, which is fueled by a pattern making mind which can work in abstraction, leading to beautiful works of art… whereas their minds are sharp and quick, but direct and focused, no pattern making or abstraction abilities to speak of, and therefor stunted evolutionarily. This roadblock is very evident to their kind, and so they spy on us, to try to learn the secrets of our minds, and all the while plot our destruction. They use their technology, for technology it is, as their weapons against us. Highly evolved technology, to those unaware, would be indistinguishable from magic. They travel across vast distances without apparent modes of transportation, they can render themselves invisible, they can float in the air, they can change shape. These abilities put them in a position where they wield intense power which would seemingly be enough to destroy us, but we have weaponry of our own.

Aeons ago our cultures produced men and women who were able to gain access to the higher realms of consciousness where these beings spend much of their time, probably through sheer mistake in the beginning, but whom soon learned which techniques were useful in this quest, and which were reliably reproducible. These shamans were our first scientists. These men and women were able to see these visitors more clearly, and little by little able to find secrets and shortcuts around their powers. They discovered that the visitors were bound by rules that they themselves were not. These rules could be manipulated to put these very beings, fearsome as they were, into our servitude. No longer were they plotting merely against us, now they could be put to work for us. We learned of their aversion to geometric shapes, and certain substances, of their binding to our language and how it could be used to control them.

We must be careful, though, for they are wily; now that they know we use them in this manner they hate us all the more, and plot our destruction with even greater fervor. Muse long and hard on the woes our planet has endured over the last centuries, and ask yourself how much of this misery is our own doing, and how much is the doing of these masters of mimicry?

from: “They Walk Amongst Us” (1875), by YoYo Underby

now and then, O now and then, the wee people, the watchers, the visitors, the teachers, the pranksters, forget that all the Tall People are vicious dangerous liars who destroy their own home and turn all that is beautiful into ground up desolation, sometimes they believe they have found a Tall Person who understands them, and sees that the supposed trickery is a defensive posture, or worse yet, worse yet my brothers and sisters, worse yet that their trickery is beyond their control for they are slaves to those who know aspects of their working… those wee people, my brothers and sisters are the saddest of our lot… they believe they can trust one of the Tall People, and their trust and belief will surely be crushed into dust, as the towers of Mu collapsed into the sea so long ago… weep now for the sad beliefs of our brother Pippin Jollygoodfellow, he forgot as too many do…

Pip stood at the border between the Bakery and the Gangplank, glaring in at Pocket’s smug smile. Stargirl stood behind, a confused and sad expression covering her face.

“Miss Star…” Pip growled. “speak some sense t’yer boy here, he’s had me locked out of the Gangplank, he has.”

“And you’ll stay out.” Pocket said.

Pip ignored him, his arms folded, waiting for Stargirl to respond. She sighed heavily, and admitted: “He is only doing his job, Pip.”

The small man seemed to shrink still smaller. The low brim of his large hat dipped lower. “His… job…?” he asked. The words didn’t seem to make sense. Star was his friend, and she now owned the Gangplank… how could his job entail… ?

“Pip, you must understand… you have admitted to me yourself that you spy for Underby, how can I continue to allow you to come in and do harm against me, knowingly? And now I’m told that you are harboring corpses under my pub?”

Pip tried to let the words sink in, absently saying, “I am not.”

Stargirl smirked, knowing very well how Pip spoke. “I see, but THEY are?” she looked toward the back of the bakery.

“So. It was you that told him to keep me out of here? You Miss Star?”

Stargirl winced. “Yes. Pocket was only doing what I told him to do.”

Pip began to quiver, as the room grew warm. “YOU.” he said.

“Oh, Pip…” moaned Stargirl.

“YOU.” he repeated. “YOU WILL PAY.”

“Please Pip, don’t do this,” she pleaded.

He looked at Stargirl, at Pocket’s smile, at the crowd in the Gangplank. “You will all pay dearly for this, mark me words. Dearly. Each and every one o’ yeh. See that ye don’t.”

“Don’t you threaten Miss Star!” Pocket cried out. “Yer used up, y’are! Where’s yer beard, ye hairless freak? Yer used up!”

“You most of all, boyo.” Pip smiled widely, not an ounce of mirth contained within. “I’ll see that stool of yours burned, so I will. And then… then, I will pick me teeth with your bones.”

Pip took one last look at Stargirl’s face, and crept toward the back of the Bakery.

With that, Pip turned on humanity.


*Comment by Stargirl Macbain on May 25, 2010 at 1:44pm
Ohh Pip, If only you understood. *wipes at eyes*

*Comment by Mr Underby on May 25, 2010 at 2:05pm
That took longer than I expected.

*Comment by Tepic Harlequin on May 25, 2010 at 2:18pm
ummm…. strange eyes… errrr… walk long distances…. i guess beautiful ears an a handsome tail would be in there somewhere…. wonder who he’s talking about……? stunted evolutionary…not capable of abstract thought….but with very advanced technology…. hmmm…
an Pip, yer welcome at my camp anytime, same as everyone….

*Comment by Mr. Tenk on May 25, 2010 at 2:27pm
ah, but the city clockwinders do age. you should see my uncle.

*Comment by Pocket String on May 25, 2010 at 3:46pm
Ye’ll do no such things ye miserable little runt!

*Comment by Pippin Jollygoodfellow on May 25, 2010 at 4:48pm
we shall see, me boyo, we shall see

*Comment by Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle on May 26, 2010 at 5:09am
So smoking’s banned in the Gangplank now? *makes note*

*Comment by Father Ora Moonwall on May 26, 2010 at 10:15am
This Pip fellow is going to be trouble. I shall need to collect Father Pizzaro and have a talk with the diminutive gentleman.

*Comment by Victor on May 26, 2010 at 9:42pm
Turned on humanity eh?

…thank god i aint human then.

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