2022 Story Archive





January
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Oliver SpoutOliver Spout doesn't experience time at the same rate as normal people. It has been eleven years since he last saw the sun. He wakes when it sets, and he freezes when it rises. The others call him The Gargoyle, but he's no monster, at least he tries hard not to be. #OliverSpout
Human Arrival"I was not prepared for this," Frenton says. "We are here a month early on our monthlong journey." He points to me. "You. You're gonna help me talk to the Estormel; make sure they understand that we're here to drop them off peacefully. This is not a hostile act." #HumanArrival
NanostoryI am single, but I have a few restrictions. You must be between 18 and 19 years old, make at least twice as much money as me, nearly always pay for dinner (I'll pay once a month, maybe). You need to have attractive friends, in case I get bored, and don't ever go into that room.
Story Quote"There has never been much crime here. Only three cells are occupied. True Extremist, Dvronen Vatal is in one. Regular extremist, Ovan Teleres is in another. Disgraced former admiral, Halan Yenant is in the third. Kaiora looks back at the hock watcher." #salmonverse #fishquotes
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Oliver SpoutHe belongs to a class of time travelers called salmon, which have no control over their temporal patterns. Oliver hoped to fix his problem when it first arose, but he has since accepted it, and tries to make the best of his restricted life. He might as well have fun. #OliverSpout
Human Arrival"I'll do what I can, but I'm no diplomat." I tell him. // "Is anyone here a diplomat?" Frenton questions. // I point to Baladt and the Ambassador. "Yeah, they are." // "Oh," he says. "Well, then I'll use them for this, but you need to make yourself useful anyway." #HumanArrival
“Joke”We're still in the middle of a pandemic! Stay sick if you're at home!
Story Quote"They were relatively silent for the rest of the hour, but Angela and Olimpia had some stories, so that kept them occupied a little. A year later, the indicator light on the box turned green, prompting Ramses to open it, and check on his special battery." #salmonverse #fishquotes
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Oliver SpoutMost salmon are assigned responsibilities, but nothing has been asked of Oliver. He stays in the same time period, and leads an approximation of a normal life; not unlike people who work overnight, and sleep during the day. That's what he does as a nightclub bouncer. #OliverSpout
Human Arrival"Understood," I say before the three of them leave to help our prisoners get safely down to their home planet. // "Is he asking you to use your powers to do something?" Cricket asks. // "I think he wants me to make up for the fact that I'm different and dangerous." #HumanArrival
NanostoryI've already written the last tweet I'll ever tweet. My AI assistant will post it for me posthumously, but I'll let you read it ahead of time, in case I live forever, or Twitter shuts down before I do. "I was today years old when I found out I was dead."
Story Quote"We’re not dead yet, but I just know that these are the people who are on their way out with me. If there is something on the other side of the death barrier, then the hundred of us will cross that threshold together. It is overwhelming and inspiring." #reflections #fishquotes
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Oliver SpoutHe once tried to move up towards the arctic circle to maximize his nighttime, but that did not work. He was born in the Kansas City area, and his pattern is tied to that ZIP code. Even if he rode an airplane into the night for the rest of his life, it would happen. #OliverSpout
Human Arrival"We'll think of something," Claire says, taking me by the hand, and ushering me out of the mess hall. "We're on a ship. There's always something in need of being cleaned on a ship." // I hate cleaning more than most things, but if it puts me in a better light, fine. #HumanArrival
Fake ConversationMe: "Since the world is ending, I've selected 23 people to survive in a bunker, but they're all women, so they can repopulate the planet." // My parole officer: "You still need men to have children." // Me: "Oh, yeah, I forgot about that. Well, I'll be there, I guess, so…"
Story Quote"He got shot in the gut once, trying to mediate a street fight. He survived the attack, only to die in his hospital room a few days later after a nurse screwed up his medication. It was an ongoing issue too; something that had to build up in his system." #reflections #fishquotes
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Oliver SpoutHe doesn't get any rest out of the freezing either. He's stuck in a time bubble, which causes him to experience a few seconds of time while the daylight passes. So he still has to dedicate part of his time to sleeping. He's sometimes only awake for a few hours a day. #OliverSpout
Human ArrivalIf there's one kind of room in a ship that needs to be cleaned the most, it's the lavatories. Claire and Cricket both kneel down with me to scrub the disgusting floors, but I tell them to stop. I'm the one everyone has begun to fear and hate. Only I need to be here. #HumanArrival
Dumb DittyI just took a finance test; turns out, I'm a hundred percent not rich.
Story Quote"What about my life? Well, after we drifted apart, I started getting more interested in music. I didn’t create it myself, though. I couldn’t play worth a darn, and I could clear the room in ten seconds flat if I tried to sing. I just loved the culture." #reflections #fishquotes
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Oliver SpoutHis boss isn't fully aware of his situation, but day length is predictable throughout the year, and she's flexible with the schedule. She has never noticed the pattern, but other people have, and one of them is about to learn what makes Oliver Spout so mysterious. #OliverSpout
Human ArrivalClaire and Cricket agree to leave me to my work. I'm in my second lavatory when an Estormel woman walks in. "Oh, sorry, I can come back." // "No, you can use it," I assure her. "I'll step out for a moment." // She nods graciously, and squeezes past me to the stall. #HumanArrival
“Joke”Do you think that republicans get a lot of headlines in their news feeds that say things like 'TikTok Body Shamer Shares Perfect Response to Pro-vax Cucks Who Don't Make Blood Sacrifices to Putin Every Month and the Internet is Going Crazy'?
Story Quote"I should've thought, 'this is it. This is the day that I die. This is the way that I die. I'm never gonna see my family again. I'm never gonna have another nice steak dinner.' But all my brain could focus on was that spelling mistake. I had to fix it." #reflections #fishquotes
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Oliver SpoutBeing a bouncer is dangerous, and he's always had to be extra careful. He's not worried about getting hurt so much as getting hurt, and having to go to the hospital, where they intend to treat or monitor his progress past curfew. He's always avoided that…until now. #OliverSpout
Human ArrivalI wait quite patiently in the hallway, glad to finally be on a break. It's then that Frenton comes up. "What have you been doing all this time?" he questions. // "Cleaning the bathrooms," I explain. // "Oh. Really? Who asked you to do that?" // "I just…wanna help." #HumanArrival
NanostoryIn the original script, it was going to turn out that the kid was dead the whole time, and Bruce Willis was, in fact, the person who could see dead people. I made @MNightShyamalan change it, because that was stupid.
Story Quote"Over time, this technique became harder to sustain. As my résumé grew, I found the interviewers to be less enchanted with me. What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I hold down a job? I couldn't rightly tell them the truth, or it would make things worse." #reflections #fishquotes
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Oliver SpoutThe reason that Oliver applied to this club is that they have a strict no recreational drug policy. It's part of his job to be on the lookout for it, and when he sees it, it's part of his job to remove the problem from the premises. Some people don't appreciate this. #OliverSpout
Human Arrival"Ya know," Frenton begins, "it's really hard to be mad at you when you actually seem to be an okay guy, and you haven't given me any real reason to doubt you. I'm sorry for my behavior. Please stop cleaning; I have robots for that. I need you for something else." #HumanArrival
NanostoryThere is an 83% chance that I'm living in The Truman Show, except instead of protecting me, and letting me live happily, with everything I could ever need, they torture me. They bring me down, and hold me back, and make my life a living hell, and they only gave me three allies.
Story Quote"The True Extremists want to stop the vonearthans from spreading beyond the stellar neighborhood, so every one of the modules is a threat to them. They have the numbers that Yitro’s team does not. Nonlinear time may be the only weapon in their arsenal." #salmonverse #fishquotes
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Oliver SpoutLike this guy tonight. Oliver will find out later that he's new in town, and wants to take over the drug industry. He doesn't know why the club is completely devoid of customers, but he thinks he can fix it. When Oliver tries to stop him, the guy reacts with a knife. #OliverSpout
Human ArrivalI follow Frenton down the hallways, and onto the bridge. We are in orbit around Estorbund. It is a magnificent view. I've been through time and space quite a bit by now, but I've never seen anything like this yet. Frenton waits to explain while I stand here in awe. #HumanArrival
“Joke”Poor people go to prison for murder more often than rich people because they can't afford the plastic sheeting, or the small boat to go dump the body off the coast of Florida.
Story Quote"The authorities did come to scoop up the team. They didn’t lock them up in a cell, though. They just quarantined them in their ship until they could figure out whether they were a threat. They wrongfully figured they would have at least one day to wait." #salmonverse #fishquotes
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Oliver SpoutThe blade goes deep into his thigh. Oliver's coworkers jump in to disarm the assailant, but that's not the problem now. They're going to want him to go to hospital, and maybe even into surgery. He can't have surgery—he just can't. He has no clue what that looks like. #OliverSpout
Human Arrival"What do you need me to do?" I ask, breaking from the viewscreens. I can't imagine that there's anything that someone as unskilled as I am can do. // "I was hoping one of your superpowers can help solve a little problem." // Oh yeah, I keep forgetting about that. #HumanArrival
“Joke”When you pay for porn, it's called fapitalism, and I'm not sure whether this joke goes over the imaginary line I drew that separates what I'm willing to say in a public forum, and what's just too crude for me to sign my name to. Too late now.
Story Quote"I was old and it was my time. There are some tears, even from those I wouldn't have thought would produce them on this occasion, or didn't think they would themselves. They keep going with the stories, though, trying to keep it light for the younglings." #reflections #fishquotes
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Oliver SpoutThe Locker Desk Attendant says she'll call 911, while two other bouncers help him onto a chair. "Really, I'm fine," he claims, but no one believes it. "Please, I can't afford the ambulance. I'll get myself to the hospital, I promise." They don't believe that either. #OliverSpout
Human Arrival"What's the problem?" I ask. // "The Estormel need a show of good faith," Frenton begins to explain. // "Bringing their people back home doesn't serve that purpose?" // "They think it's some kind of trick. They've not had very good experiences with humans so far." #HumanArrival
NanostoryDavid Bowie was one of the first neo-nazis. Then you say, "Nick, he was on drugs." That doesn't matter to me. I give no latitude to people who do recreational drugs. You made the decision to take them, now accept the consequences. "Nick, he's dead." I don't care. CANCEL HIM!
Story Quote"He let me have some pots and other tools that were just taking up space in his attic after he upgraded. I had my own tent, but it wasn’t rated for winter. He donated a brand new one that his daughter asked to buy for me instead of her Christmas gifts." #reflections #fishquotes
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Oliver SpoutOne of the VIP Attendants agrees to drive Oliver to hospital since her shift is nearly over. He wants to continue to argue, but managing to ditch one person, and her little sedan, is surely going to be a lot easier than escaping from a bunch of medical professionals. #OliverSpout
Human Arrival"What is it you think I can do?" I question. // "I dunno, you tell me. What else CAN you do?" Frenton asks. // Not all of my characters' abilities are offensive, or even defensive. They have all come from mutants and witches so far, though. I probably need a spirit. #HumanArrival
Random NothingThis economy is in the e-crapper, but I can fix it. I'll turn the millionaires into multi-millionaires, the billionaires into bulti-billionaires, and national agencies into nulti-national cooperatives. I just need to get onto this cruise ship first, so can I use your pulti-pass?
Story Quote"My friends all suggested that I translate my ability to see and point out flaws into something productive, like maybe being a film critic. I chose to be a house inspector, because the pay was better, and the work was steadier. I never really enjoyed it." #reflections #fishquotes
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Oliver Spout"Thanks, but I'm feeling better. You can just drop me off right here," Oliver urges once they've driven a few miles. // She laughs. Her name is Lucy, and she's been waiting for an opportunity like this. "I'm pre-med, I can take care of you. No hospitals, I get it." #OliverSpout
Human Arrival"Are you asking me to control their minds?" I ask him. // "Do you know of someone who can do that?" // I made a conscious decision to make mind control not a thing in my stories. Many people are telepathic in some way, even invasively, but they can't push thoughts. #HumanArrival
Fake ConversationThe President: "Okay, I'll allow it, just so you know who's in charge around here." // Me: "Is it me? It's me, isn't it? It's okay, you can tell me, I won't get upset. If I'm the one in charge, I just need to know." // The President: "What? No, it's me." // Me: "If you say so…"
Story Quote"A life vest. That was the one thing I forgot to pack. I felt like such an idiot, loading up all this unnecessary gear, but leaving out the one thing that could save my life. I wouldn't have needed it to keep from drowning, though. That's now [sic] how I died." #reflections #fishquotes
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Oliver Spout"You get what?" Oliver questions. // "I think it's quite clear that you don't want to be registered in any kind of system. You don't have to tell me if you're in WITSEC, or hiding from people on your own. I just want you to know that you can trust me. I'm discreet." #OliverSpout
Human ArrivalI take a deep breath. "You want the Estormel to trust us, correct? That's your goal?"// "Yes," Frenton answers. // "Then don't do something to undermine that trust right out of the gate." // "I know that makes sense," he agrees. "Diplomacy just hasn't been working." #HumanArrival
NanostoryThe other day, I thought I met the shaggy dog from The Shaggy Dog, but it turned out to just be @ofctimallen, crawling around on all fours, and barking at the Mexicans. He is not doing well.
Story Quote"Rich people have problems too, and I don't mean to sound like we don't, but I always tried to be careful with my perspective. The fact is that I had an easy life, and people like me have a responsibility to use our privilege to help others as possible." #reflections #fishquotes
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Oliver SpoutShe's way off base about the reason, but she's obviously noticed how guarded he is. "That's okay. My neighbor is already a doctor. She can take care of it for me. I'm not hiding from anyone; it's an insurance thing." // "I can tell when you're lying," Lucy claims. #OliverSpout
Human Arrival"They're threatening war," Frenton goes on. "I don't know who with, but it could be bad." // "I understand. Find me something to do. Look for a polluted river, or a serial killer the authorities are trying to catch. Tell me what they need, and I'll give it to them." #HumanArrival
NanostoryThese boots weren't made for walking, so that's not what they'll do. They sort of just hang there on my feet, while I walk. I am the one who walks in this relationship. The boots don't do anything. Stop trying to give my boots all the credit that I deserve.
Story Quote"They had to decide against such harsh rules, because it was more unethical to restrict who a resident of the ship could be friends with. They made it so hard to become Hock Watcher in the first place in order to lower this risk. Caldr bleeds integrity." #salmonverse #fishquotes
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Oliver Spout"We don't know each other that well," Oliver contends. // "Still," Lucy says, "you have a tell. Again, you don't have to be truthful with me, but I can still seal up that knife wound for you. I want to." // He consults his watch. "M—maybe tomorrow." // "L-O-L, what?" #OliverSpout
Human Arrival"I'll look into it," Frenton says. "Thanks, I…didn't want to go down a bad road." // "Neither do I," I tell him. // Baladt steps onto the bridge. "They are asking for the Captain," he explains. "Negotiations are at a standstill…again." // "I'll be right there." #HumanArrival
NanostoryMy accountant once worked for @Nestle. Crunching numbers was his favorite. You could say that he liked to crunch a bunch. Wow, nothing? Stand-up is hard. Well, anyway, he discovered that his company was making a lot of money on the backs of child slaves, so how's that for comedy?
Story Quote"It kind of sounded like he was doing something illegal. Mateo didn’t really care, though. This wasn’t his reality, and he didn’t know anything about the culture. He couldn’t even say that Salufi, or the others on the matrioshka brain, were bad people." #salmonverse #fishquotes
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Oliver Spout"I just—I can't. Please." He looks at his watch again, but less subtly this time. // She notices. "Holy crap, are you a vampire?" // "What? No." // "You're staring at the Eastern sky like you used to be lovers. I have never seen you in the sun. You…are a vampire!" #OliverSpout
Human ArrivalBefore returning to Cricket and Claire, I return to admiring the view, and not just through the viewports. This is my first time on a spaceship bridge. It's an exhilarating experience that I don't want to end. I've wanted it since I watched Stargate SG-1 in college. #HumanArrival
Fake ConversationDonald Trump: "Ya know, the media (the media). They hate me—yeah, it's true, it's true. You wouldn't believe it, but it's true. They hate me, be…cause I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth." // Me: "They stuck silverware up your mother's vagina? At least it wasn't a fork!"
Story Quote"My soul's ability to rejuvinate [sic] my body was never destined to last forever, and I always knew this about myself. What I needed to do was find some way to make my legacy last. I, of all people, understood what it looked like when someone just faded away." #reflections #fishquotes
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Oliver Spout"I'm not a vampire, Lucille." // "I'm not a Lucille, vampire. My real name's Lucy." // "My bad. I live right around here, could you just—" // "I'm taking you to my apartment where I have my medical supplies unless you can give me a legitimate reason why I shouldn't." #OliverSpout
Human ArrivalAs I'm standing there, a voice I barely recognize comes from the entrance, "are you allowed to be up here?" It's the Estormel woman from the bathroom. "Aren't you just the janitor?" // "It was but a temporary punishment," I explain. "Are YOU allowed to be up here?" #HumanArrival
“Joke”Mitch McConnell, seen here getting pwned, and not knowing it. You, seen here knowing that kids these days don't say pwn anymore. Me, seen here not worried about it. @ColinJost, seen here contacting his lawyer about a plagiarism suit. Me, seen here not worried about that either.
Story Quote"This won't be the first time that I died. I tried to kill myself a few years ago. My son got into an awful mess, and ended up being murdered by a cop. I was foolish to have made my attempt on the day the charity organization would come to deliver meals." #reflections #fishquotes
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Oliver Spout"I don't have to take this," he argues. "Let me out right now." // "Nice try. Let me help you." // "No." // "Are you afraid you'll accidentally bite me?" // "Vampires aren't real. I'm NOT a vampire!" // "Then what are you?" // "I'm a gargoyle!" // She pauses. "Qué?" #OliverSpout
Human ArrivalShe shrugs, and looks up and down the walls of the bridge, barely interested. "Not really." // "I'm new here, but I feel a responsibility to protect the interests of this vessel. I would ask you to return to your people." // "What you mean by MY people?" she jokes. #HumanArrival
Fake ConversationCustomer Service Representative: "Yes, sir, I can help with that. What is your account number?" // Me: "I can't seem to find my account number, but I can tell you what it's not. It's not 1, or 12, or 123, or 1234, or 12345, or 123456, or 1234567, or 12345678—is this helping?"
Story Quote"I had so much fun, engineering household objects to not be simply smaller, but more efficient. My job has proved that humans need less space to live comfortably than some may believe, as long as they have the right tools. I designed some of those tools." #reflections #fishquotes
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Oliver SpoutOliver sighs. "So, I don't literally turn to stone, but I do freeze in place when the sun rises, and I can't move again until it sets. It doesn't matter where I am, or how long the day is there. It's based on day length here. I basically only exist when its night." #OliverSpout
Human ArrivalI don't respond well to accusations of racism, or bigotry of any kind, playful, or not. I don't say anything. "I'm sorry," she says. "I will return to my cabin. I just needed to stretch my legs." // I nod cordially, and follow her out, shutting the hatch behind us. #HumanArrival
“Joke”Daisy: "It's freezing out here! I know I have all this fur, dad, but I'm not invincible. Can't I potty inside, just this one time? I'll do it on the treadmill. You never use it anyway."
Story Quote"It was so rough, being around people with such wrong opinions. I know people say that there's no such thing as a wrong opinion, but those people's opinions are wrong. There is a right way to think about how the world should be run, and a very bad way." #reflections #fishquotes
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February
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March
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April
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May
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June
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July
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August
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September
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October
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November
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December
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