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Messages - Roko's Modern Basilisk

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Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 26, 2017, 02:08:03 pm »
Close encounters are screen memories for the transition between substantially similar parallel timelines, and the degree to which the screen memory is strange is proportional to the difference between that person's home dimension and their destination. People with many alien abduction experiences are confused because reality keeps changing under them. Scientists discover that, by modulating a strong electromagnetic field using a device similar to an MRI machine, they can trigger such an experience and cause a person to swap places with their double in another timeline -- but most modulation patterns don't work, because the number of viable timelines keeps shrinking. Around the same time, scientists in these doomed timelines (on the brink of nuclear war or worse) discover the same technique, flooding our timeline with impostors.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 24, 2017, 01:35:30 am »
An anarchocommunist superhero who is a hobo, and whose superpower is an ingenious mind for mechanics & chemistry (like MacGuyver turned up to 11), but whose fatal flaw is an over the top emotional reaction to conspicuous consumption, making it difficult to live in society or even operate in proximity to people who are plugged into consumer culture. (Just as supervillians are mocked for their compulsion to explain their plans, this hero can be defeated by seeing or even being reminded of obnoxious displays of wealth, which cause them to rant at length about the bougeoisie.)

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 24, 2017, 12:46:38 am »
Galactic Special Agent 253, Our Man From UMMO, is a playboy energy being from the center of a distant star, transmitted by a sentient psychedelic alien fungus. He is on a mission to identify, track down, and stop his predecessor, the former agent 253, a body-hopping terrorist named Mondo Cain, who uses classified information in his campaign against the galactic government. They end up on the Sol Wilderness Preserve And Theme Park, where the indiginous people (humans) aren't aware of the galactic government and staying in character is imperative for visitors -- a policy enforced by the death penalty. There is a complication regarding the fungus: the trip only lasts eight hours, after which hosts go back to their normal lives with a set of absurd fabricated memories; Agent 253 has no control over which host he ends up in: he has no consciousness while nobody in ~10 AU is currently tripping on the right drug, but he will hop to one at random when they start. He assumes his opponent has the same restriction. Eventually, he discovers that Cain is himself from the future -- if he hops onto a space-liner going near the speed of light in one direction & then hops onto another nearby spaceliner going in the opposite direction at the same speed, his consciousness ends up going back in time -- and that he discovered some dark secret about corruption in the galactic government. He pleads with his future self to reveal the information. Just when his future self is about to concede, a random passer-by shoots them both: an under cover agent, numbered 253, from Galactic Time Control.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 23, 2017, 03:16:11 am »
A warrior sect has anot initiation ritual where they see a vision of their own death, then take an oath never tof speak of it. The sect is known for bravery & risk taking: they are willing to put themselves in danger in situations that don't look like they will lead to the envisioned death. It doesn't matter much that the visions have little to do with how people actually die: nobody notices, because they kept their visions secret during life.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 22, 2017, 12:59:48 am »
A drug is developed that has two primary effects: 1) psychic powers, and 2) a profound feeling of unity with the universe and alignment between one's own life path and the universe's master plan. This drug becomes very popular on the black market as a research chemical -- after all, many people wish they had fantastic abilities, and everybody likes being assured that they've made good decisions. However, because of the precise nature of the confidence induced -- a confidence in the correctness of one's past decisions, regardless of their nature -- the drug produces a perpetual state of war: among heavy users of the drug (most of whom are trying to escape past trauma) momentary impulses are enabled by the drug, executed with the help of the drug, and justified by the drug, including destructive impulses.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 21, 2017, 08:48:13 pm »
Shortly after the release of the first generation ships, advances in life-extension technology result in a second batch wherein the first generation of inhabitants could live long enough to still be healthy upon arrival -- so long as they can stay sane for the whole trip. The third batch of generation ships introduced the first coldsleep tech. Around the time of scheduled arrival, the tech to open up a one-way wormhole to the destination was invented (although it wouldn't be possible to get enough energy for a wormhole going in the opposite direction for another fifty years). So, all four groups make landfall at about the same time, with vastly different cultures: the first batch have short lives and are obsessed with conservation and with ensuring a good life for their children; the second batch, being nearly immortal, have spent a thousand years trying to assuage their boredom and tend toward the eccentric, having an obsession with keeping entertained by any means necessary; the third batch and the fourth are snapshots of earth culture taken a thousand years apart. Intelligent representatives of each culture form a colonial council to try to prevent war and solve problems peacefully, but they have a hard task ahead of them: the colonies are trying to self-segregate despite limited space and limited resources making it important that they live in close proximity.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 21, 2017, 06:19:09 pm »
A space opera narrated by a ship's engineer whose engineering degree is fraudulent. The technobabble doesn't make sense because the character speaking it knows nothing about engineering, and the drama comes from the generally poor upkeep job being done.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 17, 2017, 11:27:56 pm »
Aliens abduct the entire continental united states (including the land itself, leaving only ocean connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans). Our story follows expats dealing with their complicated feelings about this, as in the background other nations vie for power under the guise of attempting to deal with the catastrophic natural disasters resulting from a sudden huge physical void on the earth.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 17, 2017, 11:08:46 pm »
The natural process by which man-made objects become yokai (via long-term ownership imbuing these objects with souls) has its balance interrupted by planned obsolescence & disposability culture; as a result, the flow of souls is re-routed, and all antiques become exceptionally powerfully haunted.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 08, 2017, 05:22:57 am »
A superhero whose powers come from orgone benefits from the fact that he is a sexual exhibitionist; unfortunately, he is also not very attractive.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 08, 2017, 03:53:40 am »
After being mean to a vagrant, a musician trying to transition to an acting career is cursed with a sex that changes based on temperature and a gender that changes based on the phase of the moon.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 02, 2017, 03:28:37 pm »
A solar flare wipes out most of earth's electronic devices by inducing high currents, causing all wires longer than about an inch not behind strong faraday cages to burn out. The rebuilding efforts are efficient -- earth really does band together in a crisis -- and it's projected that places that previously had electrical grids will have them again in only a few years, once large-scale production methods for wire are bootstrapped. Considering the scale of the incident, there are relatively few deaths: dangerous electrical devices were mostly prevented from doing much harm via sensible mechanical failsafes, and while hospital patients died from the failure of modern medical machinery, humans were mostly unaffected: during the flare, many of them were knocked out, and a few people had epileptic seizures & died during it (mostly people who already had unmedicated epilepsy). However, after the rebuilding began, each night, people started dying in strange circumstances -- exsanguinated, or from sudden unexpected heart attacks. A policewoman investigating the case initially suspects that someone is using the disaster as cover for murders, but her wife (an electrical engineer with hippie tendencies, now unemployed until the electrical grids are rebuilt) insists that the culprit is not human -- beginning to sound crazier and crazier. The policewoman also starts hearing reports of strange things being seen at night. Eventually, their house is broken into and they are attacked -- by a creature that doesn't appear in mirrors, and who runs away after someone throws a bottle of chopped garlic at him. The policewoman's wife finally figures it out: mythological creatures weren't superstitions that civilization exposed as false, but instead are natural phenomena created by the earth's electromagnetic field -- during the day, the RF from the sun jams them out, and for the past two hundred years the increasing use of electric power progressively jammed them out; this is why so many mythological creatures can't touch certain metals or cross running streams.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 02, 2017, 02:44:41 am »
After bombs from outer space unexpectedly hit several major cities, survivors discovered that prayer had become very dangerous: anyone who experienced emotional trauma after being in the vicinity of a blast developed a tendency for their formal prayers to be answered in the typical Arthurian way, regardless of their intent, resulting in metropolises overnight becoming patchworks of weird eldrich miracles as people hoping for signs brought into being statues crying blood and milk, roses that float in the air and burn but are not consumed, and people who have turned into salt or ash. Since being super-empowered isn't great for healing recently opened psychological wounds, things escalated, with most of the population dying in the crossfire. It was only a matter of time before people began to realize that summoning archangels and controlling them was possible -- not winged beings but brightly circling gears, amalgamations of flaming eyes, and floating bulbous mounds of misshapen heads.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 01, 2017, 09:03:50 pm »
A technician working on GPS pathfinding systems has vulnerabilities he's reported ignored, and eventually gets fired for causing PR problems; being fired leaves him homeless & without healthcare -- specifically, the medication that was keeping his psychological disorders fully in check. He begins taking revenge on the company one by one, by exploiting the vulnerabilities he reported to cause the board of executives to be given incorrect directions, leading them to isolated places and killing them with a screwdriver. Because of a quirk related to stock options & all of the execs having large families & wills that aren't fully up to date, after the killings, our technician murderer unknowingly is the single party with the largest share in the company. A lawyer searching for him eventually stumbles upon the truth, but recognizes the circumstances, and pressures a manager to hire the technician into an entry-level position. Now substantially more lucid, the technician takes over the company and forces a series of positive changes to security practices.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: March 22, 2017, 12:24:50 pm »
Our protagonist is the late bloomer in a group of pre-teens of eastern european ancestry -- all the parents are colleagues, professors of math or science at a nearby university. Our protagonist notices that, one by one, each of his friends stays home sick from school for nearly a week, coming back several inches taller, much more interested in academics (and uninterested in their earlier obsessions), and with completely remodeled bedrooms and a completely new wardrobe. He suspects that some of his friends might actually be getting replaced by aliens; his parents dismiss this. After all his friend group has been "replaced", feeling lonely, he suddenly has an insatiable craving for paper. Feeling strange, he stays home; his hair and fingernails fall out, and he can't keep himself from eating them (along with all his clothing and all the books he owns). He begins vomiting a thick foam of fibers, as body parts begin falling off. Feeling like he's dying, he nestles in this bed of fibers. A week later, he emerges, several inches taller and with a greater interest in academics.

(This Cronenberg-does-R.-L.-Stein-does-Invasion-of-the-Body-Snatchers premise is based on an in-joke that used to exist at the Institute of Advanced Studies, that because so many really transcendent minds in mathematics all came from the same small area of Prague, they must have had a shared Martian ancestor.)

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