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Intermittens Nine

Intermittens Nine

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Published by jablair51
The ninth issue of the Discordian magazine Intermittens. Brought to you by PrincipiaDiscordia.com
The ninth issue of the Discordian magazine Intermittens. Brought to you by PrincipiaDiscordia.com

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Published by: jablair51 on Apr 11, 2010
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10/24/2012

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i ssue number ni ne

i ssue number ni ne
I suffer from Arachibutyrophobia
(Fear of
peanut butter sticking to the roof of the
mouth)
23 skidoo
Wikipedia states:
Discordianism recognizes
chaos, discord, and dissent
as valid and desirable
qualities, in contrast with
most religions, which
idealize harmony and order.
Wikipedia also states that the
exact number and organization
of these deviants are unknow.
Are these the kind of people we
want running around loose?
Their idea of “worship” is,
according to their own website
(http:/ / pr i nci pi adi scor di a.com),
playing stupid pranks and
vandalizing things, and their
stated goal is the destruction of
our nation and all “normals”
and “merehumes” (“mere
humans”) they can catch. If you
are unconvinced, check out the
forums at the site. These are
not just another group of neo-
hippies or “pagans”, they are a
genuine threat to America as a
Christian nation...or a nation at
all.
Write your congressman, your
senator, and/or the editor of
your local paper and demand
that something be done about
this menace. It’s bad enough
that we have to deal with
foreign terrorists out to end our
way of life, but now we have a
menace lurking like a snake in
the grass, composed of our own
“citizens”...as if anyone intent
on the demolition of a nation
can be called a citizen of that
nation. They must be rooted out
and exposed, before they destroy
us all.
- The Good Reverend
ROGER
There is a
DANGER
to our nation, and our very way of
life, that lurks just beneath the radar of ordinary
society...An organization of chaos-worshippers
which has as its goal nothing less than the utter
destruction of the American way of life.
These degenerates call themselves “Discordians”, and they openly admit
that they worship a pagan Goddess by the name of Eris. Eris was, as those
with a classical education will know, an evil crone who was associated with
Ares, the Greek god of war. In mythology, Eris was prone to destroying
civilizations for her own amusement (The Trojan War was - in legend -
started by her, simply because she wasn’t invited to a party).
To

The
Prettiest
One
Κ α λ λ ί σ τ η
Eri s mi l i t ari s
pattern designed by
Jocelyn Tunney
http://www.kelbournewoolens.com/giveahoot.html
Pēleus
Knight of the banana-shaped table
Last Great Pope of Seattle
An irrational fear of
discordian quasi-periodicals?
OWLY MITTENS TO:
Α υ τ ό



i nter mi ttens dot or g
this issued
brought to
you by a
mortal
I have a lot of irrational fears:
1) answering the door
2) meeting people I know while out in public, like
shopping
3) being raped and murdered while my kids are raped
and murdered, in our home
4) dying on the highway in a car crash
L o g O f f . G o O u t s i d e .
L i v e L i f e D e e p l y , P a s s i o n a t e l y ,
a n d w i t h o u t R e s e r v a t i o n .
S o m e w h e r e o u t t h e r e i s t h e f u n ,
f u n n y , i r r a t i o n a l a n d e n l i g h t e n i n g
e x p e r i e n c e y o u s p e a k o f .
Nyarlathotep... the crawling chaos... I am the last... I will tell the audient void....
I do not recall distinctly when it began, but it was months ago. The general tension was
horrible. To a season of political and social upheaval was added a strange and brooding
apprehension of hideous physical danger; a danger widespread and all-embracing, such a
danger as may be imagined only in the most terrible phantasms of the night. I recall that
the people went about with pale and worried faces, and whispered warnings and
prophecies which no one dared consciously repeat or acknowledge to himself that he had
heard. A sense of monstrous guilt was upon the land, and out of the abysses between the
stars swept chill currents that made men shiver in dark and lonely places. There was a
daemoniac alteration in the sequence of the seasons — the autumn heat lingered
fearsomely, and everyone felt that the world and perhaps the universe had passed from the
control of known gods or forces to that of gods or forces which were unknown.
And it was then that Nyarlathotep came out of Egypt. Who he was, none could tell, but
he was of the old native blood and looked like a Pharaoh. The fellahin knelt when they
saw him, yet could not say why. He said he had risen up out of the blackness of twenty-
seven centuries, and that he had heard messages from places not on this planet. Into
the lands of civilisation came Nyarlathotep, swarthy, slender, and sinister, always buying
strange instruments of glass and metal and combining them into instruments yet
stranger. He spoke much of the sciences – of electricity and psychology — and gave
exhibitions of power which sent his spectators away speechless, yet which swelled his
fame to exceeding magnitude. Men advised one another to see Nyarlathotep, and
shuddered. And where Nyarlathotep went, rest vanished; for the small hours were rent
with the screams of nightmare. Never before had the screams of nightmare been such a
public problem; now the wise men almost wished they could forbid sleep in the small
hours, that the shrieks of cities might less horribly disturb the pale, pitying moon as it
glimmered on green waters gliding under bridges, and old steeples crumbling against a
sickly sky.
It was in the hot autumn that I went through the night with the restless crowds to see
Nyarlathotep; through the stifling night and up the endless stairs into the choking
room. And shadowed on a screen, I saw hooded forms amidst ruins, and yellow evil
faces peering from behind fallen monuments. And I saw the world battling against
blackness; against the waves of destruction from ultimate space; whirling, churning,
struggling around the dimming, cooling sun. Then the sparks played amazingly around
the heads of the spectators, and hair stood up on end whilst shadows more grotesque
than I can tell came out and squatted on the heads. And when I, who was colder and
more scientific than the rest, mumbled a trembling protest about "imposture" and
"static electricity," Nyarlathotep drove us all out, down the dizzy stairs into the damp,
hot, deserted midnight streets. I screamed aloud that I was not afraid; that I never
could be afraid; and others screamed with me for
I remember when Nyarlathotep came to my city — the great, the old, the
terrible city of unnumbered crimes. My friend had told me of him, and of
the impelling fascination and allurement of his revelations, and I burned
with eagerness to explore his uttermost mysteries. My friend said they were
horrible and impressive beyond my most fevered imaginings; and what was
thrown on a screen in the darkened room prophesied things none but
Nyarlathotep dared prophesy, and in the sputter of his sparks there was
taken from men that which had never been taken before yet which shewed
only in the eyes. And I heard it hinted abroad that those who knew
Nyarlathotep looked on sights which others saw not.
He Waits Behind The Wall, in a palace of tortured glass, served by legions forged from the tears of the sleepless dead and clad in armor carved from the suffering of mothers. In his right hand he holds a dead star, and in his right hand he holds the Candle
Whose Light Is Shadow. His left hands are stained with the blood of Am Dhaegar.
His six mouths speak in different tongues, and the seventh shall sing the song that ends the earth.
These excerpts run the gamut from alchemical documents from the 1600s, occult texts relating to vampires, cult dogma (transcripts from the video of that cult that killed themselves when the Hale Bop comet passed by earth), segments of horror stories (Brahm
Stoker's Lair of the White Worm), and even the trial of a man supposed to have been a werewolf.
A frequent feature, save for the bizarre symbols and formatting, is the obscuration of anything with religious connotations; the words 'heaven', 'religion', 'god', etc. are often in strikethrough, and sometimes certain words are even removed from the original
texts, notably "human" and "garden".
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HE COMes! ! !
HE COMES! ! !
͌ ̒ ͆̃ ̍ ́ ̤̅ ̍ ͂ ̃ ͮ ͪ ̔ ̈ ͫ͆ ̅ ͮ
ͮ ̑ͭ͢ ͭ ̿
͗ ͒ ͫ ͓̈́ ̞̅ ͣ ͩ ͂ ̽ ̎̅ ͧ ̈
̄̕ ̍ ̇ ̄ ͌ ̵͂ͤ
̎ͮ ͛ ͥ ̔ ͮ͋ ̎ ͒ ̇ ̌ ̊ ͊
̿ ͫ ̓ ͆̉ͨ ͗ ̒ ̾ ̉ ̋ ͪ ͮ͞ ̓ ͪ ̈́ ͩ̐̕
͑ ̿͛́ ̂ ͌ ̊ ̛ͯ ̎ ͫ ̉ ̽ ͓͌ ̇ ͗ ̾ͬ
ͮ ͤ ̍ ͛ ͌ ͥ ͒ ͬ ̍ ̆ ̈́ ̎̚ ͂ ͧ ̔ ̋̒ ̐ ̇
ͬ ͬͮ ͬ ͬ ͂ ̄ ̂ ̌ ͮ ͨ ̮̏ ̂ ̈́ͧ
ͯ ͒ ͂̃ ̋ ͆̄ ̈
͑ ̅ ͯ͜ ̀ ̑ ̃ ̓ ̿ ͪ ̅͌ ̍ ̄
ͪ ͯ ͓̊ ̌́ ̌ ͥ ͬ ̋ ͐ ̃ ̀ ̉ ͨ̑͊̈́
̽ ̎ ̽ ͐ ͩ ͭ̚
HE COMES! ! !
HE COMES! ! !
HE COMES! ! !
HE COMES! ! !
HE COMES! ! !
HE COMES! ! !
HE COMES! ! !
HE COMES! ! !
HE COMES! ! !
HE COMES! ! !
HE COMES! ! !
HE COMES! ! !
HE COMES! ! !
Shoot, or
move?
The stench of the wumpus is
overpowering. I had been attacked by
bats three times already on this hunt.
I had wasted my arrows on ghosts.
Coming to this cave initially in the
hope of feeding my family, my goal
is now to stay alive.
Shoot or
move?
I shoot, and I have one shot. If it
misses, I'm as good as dead.
I could go back from whence I came.
I think that was tunnel two. But, they
all look alike, and I certainly can't
get home now that the bats have
made me lose my sense of direction.
If I'm right, either tunnel four or
tunnel twelve contains the bottomless
pit -- and the other contains the
wumpus. If I'm wrong, or if the bats
are migrating again, turning back
could be just as immediately fatal.
Shoot or move?
Regardless of my choice, my chances are slim. "Wait until you see those
bats," they sneered in the village. A fool, I ignored them. In the dark dry
warmth of the wumpus caves, I could not survive long indecisively -- the
only creature who lives here is the wumpus, outside of the bats which are
hardly edible and impossible to catch. I might succumb to dehydration first,
the geothermal heat dessicating my body and serving as a warning for the
likes of me, foolish boys who know not the wily ways of the wumpus caves.
Shoot or move?
I draw my last arrow, choosing tunnel four.
I hear a clunk -- I shot into the pit.
Fleeing to the second tunnel, I feel a sudden sense
of dread -- but
TOO LATE. I come face to face with a ...


The sweat drips down my brow, the draft from
the nearby pits not calming me. I'm down to
my last crooked arrow.
The news anchor is
a comedian
who delivers grim stand-up with a
straight face.
Some reel back in terror.
Some are numb.
Some laugh through the horror.
This makes them poor victims.
To tell a bad joke
with a straight face,
one must master seriousness.
To live in a bad joke
with a straight face
one must master humor.
The Discordian
wears many masks.
Chao Te Chi ng; 28
I
HAVE BEEN
TO THE MO UN TAIN TO P.
I' ve been abo ve the tree line, w here no thing gro w s but lichen, and no bo dy' s really sure if that co unts as life
o r no t anyw ay. The air is thin up there, but yo u can see a lo ng, lo ng w ay. Yo u can see yo ur ho use, yo u can
see yo ur car, yo u can see the ro ads w e draw in the sand, and ho w pitiful they are, stretching o n fo r miles
but barely scratching the surface o f an inho spitable landscape. Yo u can see the hills and the mo untains,
craw ling silently to w ard the cities; the rivers, slo w ly carving o ut the graves o f civilizatio n.
To be sure, a lo t o f things are happening, mo st o f it just slightly beyo nd the edges o f o ur perceptio n. And
w hile it all happens w e are do w n here, scampering back and fo rth co nfused little ants, never really sure
w hat w e' re do ing (o r w hy), but carrying o n like there' s no o ther w ay. Yes, yo u can see a lo t fro m the to p o f
a mo untain. I guess that' s all I' m trying to say.
I also have so mething to say abo ut PD. Much like a ho meto w n, PD is the place w here many o f us first
realized so mething very impo rtant, w hatever it might be. It is a place that so meho w (and ho nestly I have no
idea ho w , exactly) is able to leave an impressio n. It' s just SMF w ith so me fancy emo tico ns and higher quality
spags, but fo r so me reaso n many o f us find it to be a place that, in o ur increasingly cardbo ard w o rld, really
feels like so mew here. There is a first time fo r everything, and PD has seen a lo t o f things have their first
time. It saw the first time I ever sho uted my guts up abo ut so mething and, instead o f a virtual ro o m filled
w ith vacant applause o r uneasy agreement fo r a few mo ments, there w as a ro o m filled w ith discussio n
abo ut to pics I tho ught no bo dy w o uld ever be able to discuss.
PD is also like a ho meto w n in that eventually yo u w ant to leave. It co uld be fo r any reaso n; maybe Ro ger' s
pants are o n to o tight o ne day and he lo o ks at yo u funny. Maybe so me no o b has infiltrated Apple Talk and
is spamming the place up. Maybe there is a gigantic So cio lo gical Experiment go ing o n and yo u' re secretly
the butt o f so me ass- tard' s half- co cked scheme to get a few cheap yuks at yo ur expense. O r maybe, like
me, yo u just start feeling like the magic is go ne and yo u haul o ff blaming everybo dy aro und yo u fo r that, like
it' s their jo b to make yo u feel like a fucking princess.
Anyw ay, the po int is that eventually, yo u might w ant to leave PD, in spite o f the fact that is magical,
w o ndro us, and basically the best thing o n the Internet (aside fro m Russian po rno ). In fact, the mo re
impressed yo u are w ith PD at first, the higher the chance is that later, yo u w ill w ant o ut fo r so me reaso n.
But I w ill also tell yo u that there is no escape. O ut there in the w o rld, w here yo u are but gear being gro und
to a pulp in the Machine, w here there is no light except w hatever co mes dripping o ut o f late- night TV,
w hile yo u sit there w ith a death grip o n every space betw een inco nsequential decisio ns, w o ndering to
yo urself w hy yo ur life has no directio n and w hy no thing makes any sense and w hy there is no bo dy to talk
to abo ut it; o ut there w here Disco rd is bad, and no bo dy likes yo u making fun o f their dead Aunt' s funeral
dress... O ut there, yo u' ll find yo ur w ay back here faster than yo u think. Because PD isn' t just a w ebsite, it' s
the gaping maw at the end o f every
Disco rdian' s quest fo r meaning.
I
HAVE BEEN
TO THE MO UN TAIN TO P.
I' ve been above the tree line, where nothing grows but lichen, and nobody' s really sure if that counts as
life or not anyway. The air is thin up there, but you can see a long, long way. You can see your house,
you can see your car, you can see the roads we draw in the sand, and how pitiful they are, stretching on
for miles but barely scratching the surface of an inhospitable landscape. You can see the hills and the
mountains, crawling silently toward the cities; the rivers, slowly carving out the graves of civilization.
To be sure, a lot of things are happening, most of it just slightly beyond the edges of our perception. And
while it all happens we are down here, scampering back and forth confused little ants, never really sure
what we' re doing (or why), but carrying on like there' s no other way. Yes, you can see a lot from the top
of a mountain. I guess that' s all I' m trying to say.
I also have something to say about PD. Much like a hometown, PD is the place where many of us first
realized something very important, whatever it might be. It is a place that somehow (and honestly I have
no idea how, exactly) is able to leave an impression. It' s just SMF with some fancy emoticons and higher
quality spags, but for some reason many of us find it to be a place that, in our increasingly cardboard
world, really feels like somewhere. There is a first time for everything, and PD has seen a lot of things
have their first time. It saw the first time I ever shouted my guts up about something and, instead of a
virtual room filled with vacant applause or uneasy agreement for a few moments, there was a room filled
with discussion about topics I thought nobody would ever be able to discuss.
PD is also like a hometown in that eventually you want to leave. It could be for any reason; maybe
Roger' s pants are on too tight one day and he looks at you funny. Maybe some noob has infiltrated
Apple Talk and is spamming the place up. Maybe there is a gigantic Sociological Experiment going on
and you' re secretly the butt of some ass- tard' s half- cocked scheme to get a few cheap yuks at your
expense. Or maybe, like me, you just start feeling like the magic is gone and you haul off blaming
everybody around you for that, like it' s their job to make you feel like a fucking princess.
Anyway, the point is that eventually, you might want to leave PD, in spite of the fact that is magical,
wondrous, and basically the best thing on the Internet (aside from Russian porno). In fact, the more
impressed you are with PD at first, the higher the chance is that later, you will want out for some reason.
But I will also tell you that there is no escape. Out there in the world, where you are but gear being
ground to a pulp in the Machine, where there is no light except whatever comes dripping out of late-
night TV, while you sit there with a death grip on every space between inconsequential decisions,
wondering to yourself why your life has no direction and why nothing makes any sense and why there is
nobody to talk to about it; out there where Discord is bad, and nobody likes you making fun of their dead
Aunt' s funeral dress... Out there, you' ll find your way back here faster than you think. Because PD isn' t just
a website, it' s the gaping maw at the end of every
Disco rdian' s quest fo r meaning.
I have a fear of making telephone calls. No
problem receiving them, no problem making
them on behalf of someone else, I just hate
calling people on my own. To the point that if
I have to make a bunch of calls in a row I'll
get some heart palpitations and irregular
breathing. That is annoying, since I generally
have excellent concious control over my heart
and breathing rates.
sad but tr ue, chr i sti ans after they
destr oyed the anci ent wor l d, they
tur ned
upon
each
other , I
guess you
ar e
al r eady
awar e of
thi s. Sti l l
her e i n
Gr eece,
they ar e
agai nst al l the other r el i gi ons and
speci al agai nst 12 gods
(adver ti sement)
i nfocal ypse.i gnor el i st.com
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Valparaiso, IN
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Jur y of Peer s
(c) 2008 Cr amul us
Tr avi s Moni cker si ghed t o hi msel f.
It was subt l e; t he audi ence di dn’t
even not i ce. Hi s eyes wer e
t wi nkl i ng wi t h dr ama, hi s t eet h
bar ed i n a r i ct us of exci t ement .
“Paul , your case has been made,
and you’ve been j udged by a j ur y of
your peer s.” Tr avi s spoke sl owl y,
dr awi ng out t he ant i ci pat i on of t he
ver di ct . Al l t he st udi o l i ght s wer e
on Paul , a bal di ng mi ddl e- aged
man fr om Pasadena. Hi s eyes
anxi ousl y dar t ed l eft and r i ght .
“The publ i c has spoken- - ” Tr avi s
hel d up hi s r eader t o t he camer a,
showi ng t he r esul t s of t he i nt er net
pol l . “- - and t hey t hi nk you shoul d
t ake a di p.”
“No! Pl ease!” begged Paul , eyes wi de
wi t h fear . The t ear s fr om hi s
emot i onal moment had bar el y
dr i ed. Paul ’s fi st s banged agai nst
t he pl ast i c t ank as Tr avi s hi t t he
DUMP HIM but t on. Paul l ooked
anxi ousl y as t he di vi ng boar d he
was st andi ng on sl owl y r et r act ed
i nt o wal l . When he had onl y a few
i nches l eft , Paul t ook a bi g br eat h
and st epped i nt o t he pi t of ver mi n.
Tr avi s Moni cker , t he voi ce of t he
peopl e. Tr avi s host ed a weekl y
game show cal l ed Jur y of Peer s. It
was a popul ar show, and had j ust
been r enewed for i t s fi ft h season.
Si mi l ar t o cour t r oom r eal i t y TV
shows, each of t he cont est ant s was
“on t r i al ” for one r eason or anot her .
Some had been cheat i ng on t hei r
l over s. Some had bor r owed money
and squander ed i t . Ot her s wer e
si mpl y di sgust i ng peopl e. The
cont est ant s wer en’t bei ng t r i ed for
cr i mes, per se – t hat was for t he l aw
t o handl e. They had br oken soci al
r ul es, cust oms, or t aboos. The
sent ences wer e oft en mi l dl y
pai nful , humi l i at i ng, or di sgust i ng.
The ver di ct of t he t r i al was
det er mi ned by an i nt er net pol l .
Li t er al l y mi l l i ons of peopl e showed
up on t he Jur y of Peer s websi t e
and cast t hei r vot e for what
shoul d happen t o t hi s week’s
l i neup of hapl ess defendant s.
Paul , a ger maphobe, t hr ashed
ar ound, choki ng wi t h di sgust . The
t ank was fi l l ed t hr ee feet deep wi t h
wor ms, cockr oaches, cent i pedes,
spi der s, al l sor t s of cr awl y
ni ght mar i sh t hi ngs. Paul coughed
unt i l he vomi t ed, hi s eyes r ed wi t h
t ear s. Bugs had got t en i nt o hi s
hai r . The spot l i ght on t he t ank
fl ashed as t he i nt ense musi c
r amped up. In or der t o escape,
Paul had t o fi nd a key at t he
bot t om of t he t ank. Some
cont est ant s spent upwar ds of t en
mi nut es suffer i ng i n t hei r own
per sonal hel l befor e must er i ng up
t he ner ve t o escape.
Tr avi s, numb t o t he hor r i fi c
di spl ay, wat ched l i st l essl y. He
woul d be off camer a for t he next
few mi nut es, enj oyi ng t he br eak at
t he cl i max of t he t r i al . He t ook a
l ong, sl ow dr ag off hi s ci gar et t e.
Paul yel ped a shr i l l shr i ek as a bi g
mamma cockr oach cr awl ed up hi s
l eg and i nt o t he dar kness under
hi s shor t s.
Jur y of Peer s was r el at i vel y
for mul ai c. Tr avi s woul d i nt r oduce
t he pl ai nt i ff and t he defendant .
Bot h si des woul d make openi ng
r emar ks. Then, Tr avi s woul d
unvei l t hi s week’s hor r i bl e t or t ur e
devi ce, some si ck cont r apt i on
desi gned by t he show’s wr i t er s – a
pack of depr aved and sadi st i c
i ndi vi dual s. The defendant and
t he pl ai nt i ff woul d ar gue wi t h
each ot her . The pr oducer s t r i ed t o
compl i cat e mat t er s by maki ng
each cont est ant as st r ung- out and
emot i onal as possi bl e. They’d be
depr i ved of sl eep and food dur i ng
t he “r ehear sal ”, t hen gi ven l ot s of
al cohol and caffei ne befor e t he
show. Somet i mes t her e’d be
physi cal chal l enges desi gned t o
wi n t he ador at i on of t he publ i c.
Even emot i onal l y abusi ve par ent s
had been found not - gui l t y i f t hey
wer e abl e t o eat a l i ve cent i pede, or
st and bar efoot on t he hot pl at e for
t he l engt h of t he show’s t heme
song.
If t he defendant succeeded, t he
pl ai nt i ff woul d be subj ect ed t o t hi s
week’s t or t ur e. Tr avi s t hought t hi s
under scor ed a basi c l aw of human
ci vi l i zat i on: when al l ’s sai d and
done, somebody’s gonna get i t .
One t i me,
a pr et t y
18- year -
ol d col l ege
fr eshman
had
accused
her
Engl i sh
pr ofessor
of
t eachi ng
t he Bi bl e.
It was a
t opi cal i ssue- - t her e had j ust been
some chur ch vs st at e supr eme
cour t r ul i ng whi ch was a hot t opi c
i n t he medi a. The gi r l was r i ght ,
but she came acr oss l i ke a spoi l ed
Jewi sh Pr i ncess. The pr ofessor
car r i ed hi msel f wel l and r emai ned
cal m. The publ i c found t he
pr ofessor not - gui l t y, and t he
Jewi sh Pr i ncess was bl ast ed wi t h
a fi r e- hose and made t o si t i n a
col d meat l ocker wi t h fans bl owi ng
on her whi l e she fr ant i cal l y t r i ed
key aft er key on t he l ock. When
she fi nal l y emer ged, pal e and
shi ver i ng, t ear s r unni ng down her
face, her ni ppl es coul d have cut
gl ass. The publ i c hoot ed and
hol l er ed. They l oved t o see a pr et t y
gi r l get i t .
The cr owd doesn’t r eal l y want
j ust i ce, t hought Tr avi s, t he cr owd
want s puni shment .
“Next up,” Tr avi s sai d t o t he
camer a, “we’l l t al k t o someone
accused of hat i ng hi s mot her .” The
“boo” l i ght went on and t he
audi ence hi ssed obedi ent l y. They
cut t o commer ci al and Tr avi s
wal ked off- st age.
Hal , t he pr oducer of Jur y of Peer s,
wal ked al ongsi de Tr avi s.
“We’r e doi ng good t oni ght ,” sai d
Hal , hunched over hi s cl i pboar d.
“I’m wor r i ed about t he next
segment t hough.”
“What do you mean?” asked
Tr avi s, “The ant i - mot her t hi ng
al ways goes wel l . Ever ybody l oves
t hei r mot her .”
“You r emember what happened
l ast t i me we dunked a mot her i n
t he di p?”
They shar ed a chuckl e. Tr avi s
hadn’t seen an audi ence so
out r aged si nce t he fi r st season.
Dunki ng t hat senescent ol d
woman i n pi gs bl ood wasn’t ni ce,
but i t was good t el evi si on. Due t o
al l t he pr ess at t ent i on i t got , i t
mi ght have t he best t hi ng t o
happen t o
t he show.
Fr ont page
news,
r at i ngs
went
t hr ough
t he r oof.
Tr avi s
went
out si de t o t he par ki ng l ot behi nd
t he sound st age. Commer ci al
br eaks r an l ong t hese days. Ever
si nce t hey i nt r oduced t he
“commer ci al pl ot ar c”, audi ences
wer e much mor e wi l l i ng t o put up
wi t h nest ed l ayer s of ext ended
adver t i sement s. Tr avi s had a few
mi nut es t o smoke and sl ug down
some bour bon. He opened t he fi r e
exi t and st epped i nt o t he dar kness.
“Chr i st ,” mut t er ed Tr avi s under
hi s br eat h. They wer e wai t i ng for
hi m.
A handful of pr ot est or s had
wander ed away fr om t he t hr ong i n
fr ont of t he bui l di ng. Young,
gr anol a l ooki ng ki ds, pr obabl y
col l ege st udent s. Not one of t hem
was ol der t han 25. When t hey saw
Tr avi s st ep out si de t he gr oup
power - wal ked, det er mi ned,
t owar ds t he l oadi ng dock.
“Pander er !” one yel l ed.
“Pr i ck!” yel l ed anot her .
Tr avi s st ood on t he l oadi ng dock,
smoki ng hi s ci gar et t e and l ooki ng
down wi t h cont empt at t he
pr ot est or s bel ow. “Judgment al
punks,” he sneer ed.
The cr owd began t o move t owar ds
t he l oadi ng dock l i ke a sl ow
movi ng fi st . Ther e wer e about a
dozen of t hem. The fi st hi t t he
l oadi ng dock wi t h a dul l , vaguel y
i nsul t i ng r oar . Tr avi s l i cked hi s
l i ps.
A cut e, br own- hai r ed gi r l cl i mbed
up ont o t he dock t o confr ont hi m.
Thi s was usual l y wher e Tr avi s
woul d hi t t he but t on i n hi s pocket
and a bur l y secur i t y guar d woul d
ar r i ve j ust i n t i me t o r ough up
some col l ege ki d wi t h messy
dr eadl ocks. Somehow, Tr avi s
di dn’t t hi nk t hi s gi r l woul d
t hr eat en hi m physi cal l y. She
st ar ed fi er cel y at hi m, fur y i n her
doe- br own eyes.
“Why?” she asked, her voi ce
det er mi ned, but wi t h a subt l e t one
of pl eadi ng.
“Why not ?” he count er ed, bor ed,
not r eal l y under st andi ng t he
fr agment of a quest i on.
“Mi l l i ons of peopl e wat ch your
show,” she sai d. “Why do you show
t he wor st par t s of humani t y? Why
do you make t hem t hi nk i t ’s
nor mal t o j udge and t or ment and
condemn each ot her ?”
Tr avi s smi l ed, bl owi ng smoke.
“Li ke you’r e doi ng now? You t hi nk
t hat ’s not nor mal ?”
She was fl ust er ed. It was cl ear
t hat she’d spent a l ot of t i me
ment al l y r ehear si ng t hese
quest i ons. St ar t l ed by t he
oppor t uni t y t o meet t he devi l face
t o face, t he wor ds had got t en al l
backed up i n her t hr oat .
“No,” she st ammer ed.
Tr avi s cut her off, “I know, I know.
You t hi nk my show i s bad and evi l
and wr ong. We t ur n man agai nst
man, soci et y agai nst t he fami l y,
t he fami l y agai nst t he i ndi vi dual ,
man agai nst God…” t he gi r l
nodded emphat i cal l y. “What ’s
your name?” Tr avi s asked
suddenl y, r el yi ng on a sudden
per sonal quest i on t o put her off
guar d.
She hesi t at ed, t hen sai d “Di ana.”
“Di ana,” he r epeat ed, t aki ng her
smal l hand i n hi s, “we ser ve a ver y
r eal need, you know. Ar e you
fami l i ar wi t h t he i dea of
cat har si s?” She st ar ed at hi m l i ke
a deer i n head l i ght s.
“Yeah,” she whi sper ed, t he fi r e
t empor ar i l y gone fr om her face.
“You go see hor r or movi es and
t r agedi es because i t ul t i mat el y
makes you feel bet t er t o
exper i ence t hose emot i ons. It fr ees
you fr om t he shi t i n your l i fe.”
“Ri ght ,” he sai d, “And why di d t he
Romans show up i n dr oves t o
wat ch men get t or n apar t by t i ger s
i n t he ar ena? Why di d medi eval
man t ur n out i n scor es t o wat ch
t or t uous publ i c execut i ons? Why
do we pay so cl ose
at t ent i on t o what
we hat e t he most ?”
“Sex sel l s,” she
sneer ed, pul l i ng
her hand out of hi s.
“Necessi t y,” sai d
Tr avi s, “Peopl e need i t . If t her e was
no vi ol ence t o wat ch on TV, peopl e
woul d seek i t out . They’d be
mur der i ng each ot her i n t he
st r eet s. Real i t y TV i s j ust t he
moder n equi val ent of t he Roman
gl adi at or pi t .”
“That ’s bul l shi t ,” spat Di ana.
“Boo hoo, I’m a vi ct i m of t he
t yr anny of t he maj or i t y,” he sai d
sar cast i cal l y, t aki ng a swi g fr om
hi s fl ask. “Hey, i f peopl e di dn’t l i ke
seei ng t hi s st uff, t hey woul dn’t
wat ch. And our r at i ngs i ndi cat e
ot her wi se.”
“That ’s bul l shi t !” she r epeat ed.
Dead i n t he wat er .
“I’m goi ng t o t ake a st ab i n t he
dar k,” sai d Tr avi s. “You wat ch my
show ever y week.”
“Yeah, but not because I l i ke i t ,”
she sai d vi ndi ct i vel y as Tr avi s
smi r ked. “It ’s base, pr i mi t i ve, and
bar bar i c,” she went on, “It appeal s
t o t he l owest common
denomi nat or . It ’s pr i me t i me
t r ash.”
“Ar e t her e any ot her shows t hat
make you feel l i ke t hat ?”
“No,” she sai d wi t h di sgust . “Your s
i s t he wor st .”
“So you don’t feel t hose emot i ons
any ot her t i me t han when you’r e
wat chi ng Jur y of Peer s.
Int er est i ng. And you don’t t hi nk
t hat ’s why you wat ch i t ?”
Di ana bl i nked.
“You’ve got t a know your audi ence,
l ove,” sai d Tr avi s. “Have you seen
t he mi ddl e of Amer i ca? I don’t
mean t he Mi dwest – I mean t he
st at i st i cal l y aver age per son. The
peopl e t hat wat ch TV for four t o
si x hour s a day? They’r e base,
pr i mi t i ve, bar bar i c. They t une i n
because t hey l i ke t o feel hat e, and
t hey l i ke t o feel j ust i fi ed.”
“I have al ways bel i eved i n t he
nobi l i t y of t he human bei ng,” sai d
Di ana.
Tr avi s shook hi s head, “They go
t hr ough bor i ng days, cl ock i n,
cl ock out . The wi nni ng sur vi val
st r at egy i s t o feel no emot i on at al l .
Then t hey get home and want t o
l et i t al l out . They want t o feel
somet hi ng. I exi st because t hey
exi st .” Tr avi s spi ked hi s ci gar et t e
on t he gr ound.
“Woul d you l i ke t o be on t he
show?” he asked suddenl y.
“What ?” st ammer ed Di ana. “Why?”
The pr ot est or s st andi ng by t he
l oadi ng dock er upt ed i nt o chaos.
“Cor por at e st ooge! Sadi st !”
Tr avi s spoke over t he di n, “We’ve
got a segment comi ng up wher e a
man has never ever cal l ed on
Mot her ’s day. Hi s mot her i s t aki ng
hi m t o t r i al for i t . I’ve met t he
woman, she’s pr et t y over bear i ng,
and I t hi nk she’s goi ng t o get
dumped i nt o a t ank of bugs.”
Tr avi s bat t ed away a di et soda can
l obbed at hi m by a bear ded col l ege
ki d. Wi t hout pausi ng, he
cont i nued, “Anyway, my pr oducer
doesn’t l i ke i t . I’d r at her t ag i n a
pr et t y young t hi ng wi t h a cause.”
Di ana scowl ed. Tr avi s l eaned i n,
hi s whi sper l i ke sandpaper , “If
you’r e br ave enough, you can
come cr uci fy me on l i ve TV. It ’l l be
you ver sus me. You wi n, I’l l t ake a
di p.”
“No way,” Di ana sai d defi ant l y.
“Sui t your sel f,” sai d Tr avi s. “You
and your fr i ends,” he gest ur ed
di smi ssi vel y t o t he r abbl e behi nd
her , “Can cont i nue your l i t t l e
campai gn fr om t he par ki ng l ot .”
Di ana l ooked at her shoes, bi t i ng
her l i p. Tr avi s t i ght ened t he cap on
hi s fl ask.
“I’l l do i t .”
Hal was fur i ous, as usual , but he
cal med down when he saw t he
cut e col l ege chi ck Tr avi s had
r ecr ui t ed. Ther e was no t i me t o get
Di ana pr epped. She wasn’t
wear i ng any makeup, j ust a smal l
bl ack ber et . Squi nt i ng i n t he
br i ght st age l i ght s, Di ana fel t ver y
smal l . They di dn’t have t i me t o
gi ve her t he per sonal i t y sur vey,
onl y t o ask her a few br i ef
bi ogr aphi cal quest i ons and have
her si gn t he ponder ous wai ver .
She sat behi nd a podi um, br ow
fur r owed as Tr avi s i nt r oduced her
and set up t he t r i al .
“Di ana,” sai d Tr avi s, “i s
r epr esent i ng a fact i on whi ch
doesn’t l i ke our show. She’s a 19
year ol d pol i t i cal sci ence maj or
who i s a par t of t he ‘pur i t y
movement ’. What ’s t hat about ,
Di ana?”
“The pur i t y movement i s t he l at est
r evol ut i on,” she sai d, “Most of
t oday’s yout h ar e chi l dr en of
i ndul gent par ent s. We don’t
bel i eve we need t o dest r oy
our sel ves t o be uni que. So no
t at t oos, no pi er ci ngs, no dr ugs.”
“Do you dr i nk?” i nqui r ed Tr avi s.
Di ana paused. “Onl y a l i t t l e, at
par t i es,” she confessed, bl ushi ng,
i mmedi at el y wi shi ng she had l i ed.
Tr avi s wi nked at t he camer a.
Di ana was a l amb i n t he wol f’s den.
“Di ana, when you came down t o
t he st at i on t oni ght , you di dn’t
expect t o be on our show, di d you?”
Di ana shook her head. “No, I came
her t o pr ot est your show.”
Fr om wher e she was si t t i ng, Di ana
coul dn’t see t he boo l i ght go on,
but she coul d hear t he audi ence
r oar at her .
Tr avi s qui et ed t hem down, “Now
now,” he chi ded, “Let ’s gi ve her a
fai r chance and l i st en t o what she
has t o say.”
“I’m her e t o make a poi nt ,” sai d
Di ana. “Whi l e i t may be
ent er t ai ni ng t o wat ch peopl e
suffer , i t ’s not r i ght .”
“And I,” sai d Tr avi s, eyes t wi nkl i ng,
“wi l l be t he defendant .” The
audi ence gasped. “That ’s r i ght my
fr i ends and nei ghbor s, I wi l l
defend t hi s show and i t s vi ewer s.
Di ana wi l l make a case agai nst us,
and I wi l l t r y t o r efut e i t . Is Jur y of
Peer s good or bad for t he publ i c?
You,” he sai d, poi nt i ng at t he
camer a, “wi l l go t o our websi t e and
vot e on who you t hi nk i s r i ght .
Whoever l oses wi l l t ake a di p i n
t he t ank.” The camer a panned
over t o t he ver mi n chamber befor e
fadi ng t o commer ci al br eak.
Acr oss t he nat i on, peopl e cr owded
ont o couches. Rowdy bar s qui et ed
down. Fami l i es chewed t hei r TV
di nner s, t hei r eyes r efl ect i ng t he
fl i cker i ng TV l i ght . Some peopl e
cheer ed for Di ana, ot her s cur sed
at t hei r scr eens. The websi t e
bur ned t hr ough bandwi dt h. Jur y
of Peer s was put t i ng i t sel f on t r i al .
Di ana was shar p.
“Tel evi si on shows l i ke Jur y of
Peer s ar e t ur ni ng t he aver age
per son i nt o a member of a l ynch
mob. Peopl e t une i n ever y week t o
hel p j udge someone for br eaki ng
soci al r ul es? Thi s i s Amer i ca,
supposedl y a nat i on founded by
r ebel s and fr ee t hi nker s.
Indi vi dual i t y i s supposed t o be
pr ai sed, not puni shed!” Di ana’s
eyes wer e fi er ce. She hadn’t
pr epar ed t hi s speech; she was
speaki ng fr om t he hear t . The
audi ence l i st ened i n r apt at t ent i on.
“Ever y week, you condemn
someone for not confor mi ng t o t he
wi l l of t he maj or i t y. You r ei nfor ce
t he i dea t hat t he i ndi vi dual i s
supposed t o fal l i n l i ne and act
l i ke ever yone el se. It ’s madness.”
“Madness?” asked Tr avi s, “Do you
know what i nsani t y i s? It ’s t he
l one gunman, t he cr azed
pr ot est or , t he l unat i c fr i nge. It ’s
t he t er r or i st who t hr ows r ocks at
i nst i t ut i ons. Our vi ewer s ar e t he
br ead and but t er of Amer i ca. The
l aw i sn’t empower ed t o per secut e
soci al devi ant s, but we can. We
come t oget her t o t r y and make
Amer i ca bet t er . Mor e pur e.”
Di ana was fl ust er ed. “Make
Amer i ca bet t er ? By puni shi ng a
few peopl e for t hi ngs whi ch ar en’t
even agai nst t he l aw?”
“We l i ve by many mor e r ul es t han
l egal ones. Ther e ar e r ul es t o ever y
or gani zed syst em,” r epl i ed Tr avi s
cool l y. “For exampl e, t her e ar e t ons
of ways you can get fi r ed fr om a
j ob wi t hout br eaki ng t he company
pol i ci es. These soci al r ul es ar e j ust
as r eal as t he l aws we al l l i ve by.
But soci al r ul es ar en’t enfor ced by
pol i ce, t hey’r e uphel d by ever y
per son t hat par t i ci pat es i n t hem.
Jur y of Peer s i s a nat ur al
ext ensi on of an ever yday
occur r ence.”
Di ana r eel ed as i f she’d been
punched. “At my uni ver si t y,
t her e’s a guy who i s i n l ove wi t h a
per sonal i t y- const r uct . It ’s a r obot
wi t h human feel i ngs, basi cal l y.
Wel l aft er seei ng your show l ast
week about t he guy who l eft hi s
wi fe for a per sonal i t y- const r uct ,
some fr at boys at my campus
deci ded t o go smash hi s t er mi nal
and appar at us. They ki l l ed hi s
l over and br oke t he l aw for your
‘soci al r ul es.’”
Tr avi s r esponded wi t h di sgust .
“Ar e you ser i ousl y defendi ng
r obosexual i t y?” He was smi r ki ng
l i ke a j ackal .
“Who car es who he’s i n l ove wi t h i f
i t ’s not hur t i ng anybody?”
“Ever ybody,” Tr avi s scoffed, “If
ever ybody fel l i n l ove wi t h r obot s,
our popul at i on woul d decay and
our economy woul d pl ummet . A
nat i on needs new babi es. You
can’t j ust go ar ound pr et endi ng
t hat r obot s ar e peopl e. I’m sor r y,
but t he per son we had on our
show l ast week was del uded, and
del usi ons l i ke t hat need a r eal i t y
check.” The audi ence r esponded
wi t h l i ght appl ause.
Di ana was get t i ng wor ked up. She
bar ed her t eet h t o Tr avi s, “So now
we’ve got t a put our soci et y fi r st
and our hear t s second?”
The Dreaming is a roleplaying game which is played in 3D Live Action. The characters are members of a
society which exists in the Dreaming, the place where we go when we sleep. Events in the game world
are coordinated via a social networking site similar to facebook.
Players pick areas of the real world which would be good spots to play. They use Dreamscaping rituals
to give these places a special meaning, and then gather other players there for feasts, tournaments, or
adventures. Characters can put curses on each others territories, or steal them from each other.
When a number of characters gather, they can go on adventures called Dream Walks. The game's
website website hosts a number of Dream Walk scripts you can print out and play. People in your party
will become the monsters and characters you encounter during the adventure.
The Dreaming involves a form of collaborative storytelling. Players document game events by posting
blogs, pictures, or videos to the social-networking site. Adventures and folklore can be written by other
players too.
Sometimes you'll fight monsters or other players. You can get into real-time sword fights using safe foam
"boffer" weapons. Some characters can cast spells by throwing little props called "spell packets".
There are four unique races to choose from, each with their own flavor and motivations. The game's
story is up to the players - you can choose your role within the Dream society. The Dreaming is a great
excuse to get out, meet some new people, and experiment with new ways of having fun. Come play - we
are excited for you to be a character in our story!
(ADVERSTIVEMENT)
Travis dismissed her with a
wave, “Diana dear, people are
dominated by their base
animal instincts. What makes
us human is that we can
resist them. That’s one of
society’s benefits: it helps us
overcome our animal
programming. Were it not for
society’s conditioning, people
would be defecating in the
streets. There would be crime
and murder. We wouldn’t be
human.”
“That’s not what I’m saying,”
she hissed. Travis was
twisting her words to piss her
off and it was working. Diana
collected herself – she had
learned how to resist peer
pressure and temptation. She
just had to focus on resisting
the urge to respond
emotionally. She’d sublimate
that fire and temper her
tongue.
“Let me ask you something
Diana,” said Travis. “You
and your friends watch Jury
of Peers every week, don’t
you?”
“Yes, but that’s because we
hate it. We’re collecting data
to make a case against it.
Right now I’m writing a term
paper on how shows like
yours are shaping the
American narrative into an
Us versus Them mentality.”
“I’m guessing Jury of Peers
gives you more of an
emotional reaction than
anything else on TV.”
“I don’t watch a lot of TV,”
said Diana with pride, “so,
you could say that.”
“And Jury of Peers makes
you angry enough to come
down here and protest it?”
“I think a good person has to
fight against what he or she
thinks is wrong,” replied
Diana.
“Well then you’re our target
audience,” said Travis with a
smile. The audience laughed.
“You’re a person who’s
frustrated with the decay of
civilization, and you want to
do something about it. I don’t
see anything wrong with that.
You’re wrong, but I think it’s
wonderful that my show has
motivated you to do what you
think is right.”
Diana blinked. “I’m not
wrong. It’s wrong to condemn
others just because they don’t
follow some imaginary
societal rules. It’s irrational
mob justice designed to
punish nonconformity and
unpopularity.”
“I am offended,” said Travis
gravely, “that you would
characterize our audience as
an unthinking mob. They are
capable of deciding what’s
wrong for themselves. We
give them a choice, after all.
And if they don’t like either
option, they can choose to
change the channel and
watch something else.” Off
stage, Hal the producer
palmed his face.
“You,” continued Travis,
“want people to change the
world, but only if they agree
with you. You think you have
the only correct view point,
that Jury of Peers is evil and
wrong. You think it’s
destroying America, but I’ve
got news for you – it is
America.”
“No,” snapped Diana, finally
losing her temper, “America
is like this because it’s been
spoon fed crap for so many
years they don’t know what
real food tastes like. You’re
feeding them scraps of
hamburger meat when they’re
hungry for steak. It’s because
of shows like this that nearly
all public discourse has
devolved into finger pointing
and name calling. A radical
showcase, or a showcase for
radicals? It’s all tits and
beer, flashing lights, violence
and fear. What happened to
the enlightenment, the
renaissance? What happened
to the information age?”
Diana squinted at the
audience, her lips pursed with
anger, “You could be a
nation of poets and
philosophers!” she shouted at
them, “Stop being serfs!”
There was an uncomfortable
silence.
Travis licked his lips. “If people didn’t want this culture, they’d reject it. But look around – they
embrace it.” Diana was surprised that he didn’t disagree with her. Travis continued, coolly, “And
what would you say to those that don’t want to live in your ivory tower? Too bad? Your opinion
doesn’t matter? You must live in a world where nobody gets hurt? Where nobody gets piercings or
tattoos? We made this materialist bed, and it’s comfy as fuck.” The audience roared, some of them
standing up and cheering from their tattered couches across the country. Others booed. Nobody
changed the channel. They’d have to bleep the “fuck”, this was network TV after all.
From off stage, Hal gestured to Travis, indicating it was time to wrap it up. Diana sighed and
mumbled something,
“What’s that?” Travis asked,
leaning in.
“The tyranny of the majority,” she
said, looking into the bright stage
lights. “Non serviam.”
Travis addressed the camera.
“Remember to log into our website
and cast your vote for who gets to
take a dip.”
During the commercial break
before the verdict was announced,
Diana sipped water. “I’m fucked.”
Travis, perspiring under the stage lights and bourbon, raised an eyebrow. “Nervous about the results?”
“If people agree with me, they won’t participate,” she said. “If I convinced people that it’s wrong to
participate in this mob justice, they won’t vote. So I’ll lose.”
Travis took a long, slow drag off his cigarette.
“People are predictable animals,” he said. “In the end, somebody’s gonna get it.”
They website was bustling with activity. The forums raced as
millions of votes were cast. The tech guys struggled to keep the
website up as record numbers of people jabbered in capslock. Did
Diana blow anyone’s mind? Would Travis, the executioner, be
executed? The audience had never seen that before. Even Travis
didn’t know how it would turn out.
The lights came up. The numbers came in. Hal’s eyes bugged out
– this had to be some kind of record. Travis stood before a rapt
audience.
“Tonight,” he said, “we’ve put ourselves on trial. Not just Jury of
Peers and its charming host,” he said with a wink, “but the
audience itself.” The camera across the sea of faces staring intently
at Travis, then slowly zoomed in on his face as he spoke.
“Tonight we’ve asked you to characterize yourselves. Do you tune in
every week to see suffering? Or justice?” Travis paused. “Are you a
jury? Or a lynch mob?”
The TV cut back and fort h bet ween Travis and Diana, who was st anding on t he plat form at op t he
t ank of bugs, her nose crinkled wit h disgust . If she won, she’ d be hoist ed out of t he t ank and
replaced by Travis in his expensive suit . If she lost , she’ d be t aking t he plunge int o t he horrible
t ank.
“And t onight ,” he said, “ a record number of people have cast t heir vot e. The public
has spoken.” He paused as t he vot ing chart was displayed on t he screen.
“And Diana is t aking a bug bat h.”
Across America, t he audience rose t o t heir feet ,
roaring. Diana screamed like she was in a horror
movie as she plummet ed int o t he filt h. Cat harsis.
The cameras st ayed on her, document ing
every t wit ch, every t hrash, every t wist , every
t ear. The bugs crawled all over her body as
Travis smoked in silence.
Hal, a silhouet t e, appeared
beside Travis.
“ Big t urnout t his week,” he said.
Diana felt like she was in a medieval pillory, her
suffering put on display for all t o part icipat e in. In olden t imes,
t hey’ d come by t o t hrow rocks and piss on her. Today t hey’ d t urn up t he
volume.
“ I t hink,” said Hal, “ t hat a lot of t he viewers t hat don’ t usually vot e probably
bit down and did it .”
“ Yeah?” asked Travis, drunk, wat ching quiet ly, “ Then why did she lose?”
HAL SHRUGGED
TRAVIS ASKED, “ DID YOU FUDGE THE NUMBERS?”
HAL WAS A WORLD AWAY, POKING AT THE DIGITS OF HIS PHONE.
TRAVIS SIGHED, FEELING DIZZY. “ WAS IT CLOSE?”
... “ NEVER MIND. I GUESS I’ D RATHER NOT KNOW.”

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