Saturday, July 4, 2009

Girl Gang Kills Midget Wrestlers

I was very taken with Kate's post and the follow up comments. I then saw a British Newspaper headline that amused me.

The headline was: Girl Gang Kills Midget Wrestlers

How would you start a story that had this as a synopsis?

I have written a first page of a possible book - your turn next.


The Beagles were already on the scent when I arrived at Flat 4439. I waited in the doorway, reluctant to interrupt. The single room was like a hundred thousand others in the low zone, sixty four cubic feet of space filled with domestic appliances that dropped flat, lifted to the ceiling or folded up against the walls. The bodies were tastefully arranged on their backs in the centre of the floor.

“Officer present,” Serjeant Ruff said, noticing me.

He and his fellow Beagles stiffened to attention, standing rather unsteadily on their rear legs.

I waved a hand, “As you were.”

They went back to searching and sniffing, except for Ruff who hung around waiting to give his report. I ignored him; I liked to form my own first impressions. There had been a retro fad a few years ago for midgets dressed up as gnomes and suchlike. It hadn’t lasted, they never do, but we were still stuck with the midgets. From a poster ripped off the wall, these two had made a doubtful living as novelty wrestlers, billing themselves as Mighty Mouse and Little Dynamite.

“Ruff!” I said.

“Conciliator,” he replied, stiffening to attention.

“You were about to report that the victims were killed by a girl-gang using a drug-induced orgasmic heart overload, I imagine.”

“Yes, Conciliator.”

He looked puzzled as if I had done something clever but the erect nature of the bodies told its own story - that and the crimson lipstick logo scrawled in on the door. Now all we had to work out was why PROBLARM , the Provisional Brownies Liberation Army, was killing midgets.

John Lambshead


Martin said...

How small *are* the midget wrestlers? 4x4x4=64. Now, you might go with 4x5x3.2 also = 64, but you really can't go too much lower in ceiling height unless we're talking hobbits or somesuch, no? Sorry, but the number jumped out at me.

Anonymous said...

Thus proving that anything can be turned into a story.

Ever since the bioengineering singularity had handed the keys to evolution to any half decent high school biology graduate we'd been dealing with this madness.

They'd made it illegal to do _anything_ to a human germ cell/embryo or fetus. Unfortunately that left the rest of the Earth's biota wide open for exploitation. These midgets had most likely started out (genetically speaking) as some sort of small rodent. Add enough human genes and voila! A six inch pseudo-human that the courts had decided had a right to life, while all the rest of the rights were being argued over in courts.

So. Here I was. Investigating the murder of some white lab rats by some common brown rats. If I ever dared say that aloud, my career would have been ended before I got my mouth shut.

At least the Beagles still _looked_ like beagles.

John Lambshead said...

Dear Martin

I didn't actually bother to work it out! Now there's a confession from someone who earned his living from mathematical analysis......


John Lambshead said...

Dear Matapam,

That was exactly the type of world I had in mind when I saw the newspaper headline,


Anonymous said...

::Grin:: To analyze your opening, the "fad" gave it away.

So, no more helpers willing to face what's going to happen when any starry-eyed thirteen year old girl can order a "Living Doll" kit from Edmund Scientific and create her own Princess? It'll start there and go on to Porn and then Gladiators. Wrestling Midgets being the legal version of that.

Could be an interesting exploration of what defines a human. Are you going to write it?

Martin said...

Ah, I thought I'd left another post, but apparently not. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I'm not sure, so maybe I'll leave an approximation and ask. I'd started with pointing out 64 also = 4x4x2x2 and 2x2x2x2x2x2...

I pointed to the door in the corner, standing isolated a bit away from the wall of the room. "Have you checked the other room?" I asked the Serjeant.

"Rooms, Sah. This isn't an Extend-a-Room, it's a full Fold-a-Room, and you know how the men get disoriented when they go through these doors. They might want a little encouragement, Conciliator."

"Swell," I thought to myself, "just what I need. A full 6. Extra dimensions, the technological twist in the old "locked room" mystery. "Encouragement!" I thought. "Ha! I'm going to have to push them, one by one, through the last couple doors in a 6. This is going to be a bitch..."

As I continued thinking about the 4, 5, and 6-dimensional extrusions that served as living, storage, and garbage space for the inhabitants of the low zone, Serjeant Ruff broke in. "You were asking about me mam, Sah?"

Apparently I'd been thinking out loud. The serjeant continued. "She's a bit too old to be out on a case any more. She were kinda hopin' for a bit o' money each month, enough to live on, if the Pension Act should pass next week, Sah." He gave me a bland stare. "Are you voting in that one, Conciliator?"

John Lambshead said...

Dear Matapan,

Yes, genetic engineering is going to change everything and have a greater social impact than electronics but few people outside of molecular biology have even considered it yet.

I do have a story background in my head :)


John Lambshead said...

Dear Martin

Brilliant! A wonderful twist that would never have occurred to me. I am a biologist, not a physicist.


Anonymous said...

"Yep. For. Someone does the work, someone ought to get the pay and benefits." _And if they can't pay for them, they shouldn't have started down this road._ I looked at the inner door and sighed. They'd cured ulcers decades ago. Damn good thing.

I scrunched down and squirmed about halfway through the outer door and reached to open the inner door. It was about the size of one I'd gotten stuck in, once. I was going to have to rely on the Beagles reports of what was on the other side. "Well, Serjeant?"

Ruff's ears had been pricked with amusement as he watched me half-enter the premises. Now the ears flattened, and he approached with trepidation, sniffing for an excuse to not go on. "Smells like an ordinary home and garbage dump, Counciliator."

I shoved him through.

The Beagle troopers looked at me in dismay.

"Get in there, or you're both getting baths, back at the station."

They looked like they were actually thinking it over. I can't blame them. I could only hope that the physicists who created these dimensional nooks knew more about the long term ramifications than the genetic engineers had.

Finally they slunk closer, and I shoved them through.

While they were gone, I considered how I was going to find the Brownies. They traded with several borderline legal Designer Animal groups. I reluctantly settled on the best middleman. Or in this case, bitch.

Dogs had always been man's best friend. They'd started as seeing eye dogs, then they branched out to helping people handicapped in other ways. Upping the brains and giving them a grasping hand, warping them into the human shape had seemed like a good idea. Service animals became Service Designs. But 'service' has always had a sleezy slang meaning. The lowest possible level of use should have been predictable.


The City had several packs of feral Whorehounds.

They were _very_ different from the Military derived Canine designs, that had worked with the dog shape, instead of changing it. The Beagles were from the military program, of course. The gals I knew, were not.

Martin said...

The doorway I was looking for was off an alley behind Madame Blackcatsky's Emporium of the Higher Desires. The Madame's sat on the border of Dogtown at the very edge of the low zone, and catered to a most mixed clientele. I wondered when this case would take me through there. The Madame's drew misery to itself like flies were drawn to... what I'd almost stepped in.

I walked carefully down the well-marked alley, listening to a sound system playing Smith. The minor-key strains of "The Ballad of Lost C'mell" drifted through the air. The once-banned ballad was a perennial favorite in the zone. I hoped it wasn't still the rallying cry it had been during the First BioRiots. The doorways held shadows that sometimes showed a flash of large, gleaming teeth. Other doorways showed more.

"Hey, human! Want a real treat?"

"Hey, human! Give in to your animal nature."

"Mee-ooowww, big boy! Want a little puss, with the most soft, silky fur?"

Those were the better-lit doorways. "Man's best friend, baby!" followed me down the alley toward the darker end.

Naturally, the doorway I was looking for held a shadow full of teeth, too. And it was not at all well-lit. This bitch better be worth it!

Um, just where are we going with this? I feel like I'm walking along a dark but well-marked alley, and may just have stepped into something. :-) Am I smelling like a rose? Lol, I thought not. More like an old sock, I suspect. So, where do we go from here?

Anonymous said...

These chain writing exercises are fun, but at some point someone has to step in and take over with a plot.

And a whip and a bullhorn. We did one on the Bar years ago, but people kept dropping out and in the end I wrote 90% of it. Sure got some wild characters to try and weave together, though.

And Stylistically it can be odd. I fight a constant tendency to dissolve into cuteness.

A couple beers and I may post the Cavalier Rat scenes . . .

Martin said...

Then I must buy the first one. What will be your pleasure? ["The Cavalier Rat for a couple beers!?!" he thinks to himself. "Wow!"] If you're anywhere near the Big Apple, let me know, and I'll hand you the beers in person. [Oh, um, decorum... right!]

Clearly, the Cavalier Rat is trying to fight his[?] way out. It would be cruel to totally suppress such a character. Regardless of what happens with the story [which undoubtedly should be be short], the Cavalier Rat should get at least one appearance on stage.

As far as furthering the story, all I can say is that I'm not generally the type to drop out, but I am the kind who over-commits on occasion. So I might be slow sometimes, but I'd do my best for my parts, and I wouldn't disappear. Which brings up the other thing, that I'm not actually a writer. Certainly not in the sense of writing for the sake of writing. Some might consider this a bit awkward. Especially in the sense of stylistically. But as I do and have done a fair bit of writing both as an adjunct of my former job [retired early :-D] and for my current somewhat more than hobby, game design, I'm somewhat practiced, if not styled.

Should you be at all interested in continuing this, I'd be happy to discuss a basic plot and specific points and incidences along the way. I'm good with sharing, and don't always have to have my own way. My writing ability? By now, you should be getting an idea of how I write. If that's not an insurmountable problem, the next thing is getting Mr. Lambshead to go along with this, some way, somehow.

Is he bribable? I did mention I design games. While I don't do miniatures, I have an unpublished board wargame he just might like - I looked at his Toy Soldiers blog. Its name is 4War, and it needs playtesting to nail down the scenarios. It's emailable.

But back to the Cavalier Rat. What kind of beer did you want? Please, sit down right over here. "Bartender! This woman has a story to tell, and she's dry."

Anonymous said...

It's John's story. I say we make him do the work, and take the blame.

Credit. I meant credit.

Monday the boss pulled me off the investigation for a quick raid.

"We've tracked his first purchase of a kit to just nine months ago, so he probably doesn't have any product yet. But you and the Beagles will back Benson up on this raid." The Boss looked at me seriously. "Keep Benson out of trouble. I don't want another scandal because he's decided to punish a Hacker personally."

"Right, Chief." My heart sank. Benson tended to get pumped up for a raid, and use excessive force when he finally got to the hacker. "Hackers" used to be computer criminals. Now the term was used for illegal bioengineers who use unauthorized animals and unapproved genetic additions., generally by breaking up a "kit" and "customizing" it beyond all recognition. Some in some very scary directions.

And Benson always assumed the worse.

He was wrapped up in a combat suit – very puncture and crush proof, with extra heavy neck protection. "This New Boy has bought chems from a Known Source. He may have bought some Guards as well."

Couldn't say he wasn't right. If he was buying chems, the nanomolecules that altered the DNA, the Hacker had to be taken seriously. We'd soon see just what he'd done to the kit, what protocols he'd broken, and what he'd produced. I switched to my ripstops and neck guard. Picked up a club, which was all I'd probably need, but slung a shotgun over my back, just in case.

If this had been a big shop, we'd have surrounded them with a couple dozen men, and pulled in Beagles from all over. For a new loner, Ruff and the boys should be plenty.

We slipped quietly in the front door of the derelict factory, prepared to fight our way through designer guards. There were none. I outpaced the Beagles, as they stopped to check out a strong scent. Benson split left, toward some lights, I checked the dark spaces to the right.

So I was the one who found them.

Hooded rats. Lovely pets, white with either black or beige 'hood' markings on their head and trailing down their backs. Highly intelligent, even before being engineered. Much favored by psychologists studying learning patterns and whatever.

This one had been about half changed to a human pattern. He looked like a cartoon rat. A miniature Dread Pirate Roberts with his eyes and the top of his head black as if covered with a scarf. He wore tight black pants and a faded red kerchief as a cloak. The sword was about the size of something you'd find stuck in a martini olive, but steel. Razor edged and pointed.

Utterly useless against three feet of solid oak club, of course. Except . . .

Half grown rat-boys, carried and herded even smaller rat-kids toward a hole in the outside wall. All that stood between them and death-by-club was this single eight inch tall swordsman.

I couldn't do it.

I had every legal right, in fact duty, to stop an unauthorized Design in the act of escaping. The swordsman looked me in the eye, and dared me to try.

The crash of tumbling boxes brought me out of my paralysis. The Hacker – the stereotypical scrawny teenage boy, of course – had tripped. He had something in his hand, and had probably been prepared to throw it at me.

I switched my attention back to Zorro. "Five blocks. Don't stop until you are at least five large blocks away."

He saluted me with the sword, and ran for the hole in the wall, scooping up the last rat-kid. Give him a hat with a plume and he'd be a proper cavalier.

I raised my voice then. "Freeze, Hacker! You're under arrest." The object in his hand had broken. It was rather obviously a home made stink bomb. I picked up the top half of the jar, which still held some of the stinky crumbles, and tossed it carefully at the rats' escape hole.

By the time the Beagles got there, I had him in handcuffs, and any likelihood that Benson might try some rough tactics had passed. My fellow Councilor unclenched his hands and took a deep breath, calming down.

Anonymous said...

Sergeant Ruff and the boys sniffed around. Rubbed their noses and backed off hastily.

"Rats, sir! A couple dozen! There's incubators on the other side of the building." Sergeant Ruff held his paws as far away from his nose as he could get them. "The stink is cat box litter. Used."

"Right. Let's see the lab." I hoisted the boy off the box I'd seated him on and marched him across the warehouse. How long does it take a rat to go five blocks? Encumbered with children?

Like most hackers, this one had gone bio, using actual rats rather than artificial wombs for gestation. They'd be summarily euthenized, probably within hours. Like the swordsman and the rat-boys would have been. I was relieved to see no baby rats anywhere.

"All right kid. We have records of you buying one kit. From the setup, it looks like you've made at least a dozen Princesses. Where'd you sell them? Pornoramas?"

His eyes narrowed. He said nothing.

Benson and I left him under Ruff's guard while we inventoried the stock. No dummy, he hadn't kept anything more incriminating around.

Benson scowled. "No evidence of unlicenced engineering. All we can charge him with is copyright infringement."

"Yeah. All right boy. You are charged . . . yes Sergeant?"

"Girl. He's a girl, Councilor."

"Thank you, Sergeant. Girl, you are charged with . . . " I went through all the formalities, questioned her, rewarned her once we got her actually name. Finally we called it in. HQ sprang into action and ordered a five block saturation pesticide.

The Girl, Agnes Lucille Poindexter, AKA Al Dexter and no wonder, tried hard to not look worried. I got officious and made sure the boss of the smoke crew concentrated on every possible bit of the big factory, pointing out the holes in the rook, as his crew climbed up and covered them with sheets of plastic. Then I chatted with the crew taking away the female rats. They damn near threw me out.

Back at HQ, Benson had already run the Girl through the mill. She had a lawyer and a court date. The prosecutor had decided that without a single Princess to show the court, they'd go for 'attempted' unapproved genetic engineering rather than the real thing.

By the time I quit for the night, her lawyer'd already bargained a guilty plea for six month's Community Service.

"She'll be back on the street by tomorrow noon." Benson groused. "Next time, let me catch the malefactor, so he at least has some bruises for punishment."

I just sighed. Such is the life of a Genetic Counciliator.


"She's hideous." hissed young Lord Michael.

Duke Edouard swept his arm out to hold the boys where they were. "Hideous or not, she is our only hope. And we need help desperately." He gulped. It had been a long and desperate hike. They'd seen the vapor barriers and the smokers being moved into position as they scrambled to cross the last street. Pity any rodent who'd been trapped with a five block radius of Al's lab. They were all dead now. And his family might well be next. He eyed the woman on the throne.

Anonymous said...

The Brownie Queen was all over brown hair, short on her misshapen body, long and tangled on the top of her head and down her back. Beads had been braided into the tangles, and she was draped with something diaphanous and pink. He was reduced to banality, to make himself do this. "Someone has to make the ultimate sacrifice. Stand back, boys. This is a man's job."

"Somebody's watched too many vids," someone, probably Lord Ivan, muttered at the back of the pack. But the two older lads started getting the kids settled down.

Edouard stepped away from them, sweeping his cloak back from his muscular arms and chest. Was he up to this? He'd watched enough porn to know what was expected of him, but he'd never actually done it himself. What if he couldn't? Would she kill him? Would she spare the children? As he approached the throne, the Brownie Queen's natural perfumes struck his nose, and he suddenly realized that there was going to be no problem at all.

First Designer bless Al, she'd gotten the instincts back in working order.

"Your Majesty, we come to you in our hour of need, seeking . . . "

"Shut up and get up here and make mad passionate love to me, you handsome devil."

John Lambshead said...

Dear Guys

OK - More plot movement on Saturday - when I will put all the threads together...........


Anonymous said...

My plot suggestions would be along the line of the real perps being one of the (highly illegal) Blood Sport Clubs. You know, they start with gladiators fighting to the death and slide down hill to watching (participating in?)live kiddie snuff porn.

When the Brownies learn from their Whorehound contacts that they've been framed, the three oldest Cavalier Rats sorte out to defend their new Ladies' reputations. Girl Hacker Al has started her community service in an abandoned baby Princess shelter, the rats contact her, and use her to send messages to the Counciliator, the only Authority Figure they dare trust.

I'm sure that after following various clues and so forth the whole thing will end with a huge battle with every Bad genetic engineering thing we can collectively think of. No doubt it will involve the Whorehounds luring away any canid Guards, and the Rats and Brownies rescuing anyone who needs rescuing, just as the Authorities break down the front door.

Martin said...

Well, I'm sure that the Beagles are at least sympathizers if not complicit, so Sjt. Ruff should certainly get a girlfriend out of all this.

Since I dragged in dimensionality, let me offer this as a baseline:
Extend-a-Room -> 4D; 1 additional room & 2 rooms total.
Expand-a-Room -> 5D; 2 more additional rooms for 4 total.
Fold-a-Room -> 6D; 4 more additional rooms, 8 total.

The 2 additional rooms in 5D may have an interconnecting door. The 4 additional rooms in 6D have a deluxe model with a door in each of every rooms 4 walls. One door leads "down" to the 5D rooms, the other 3 doors connect with the other 3 "6D" rooms.

The Add a Room Company tells every purchaser such basic things as there are no windows because there is absolutely nothing outside the walls of the new rooms, and that 7th dimensional mouseholes cannot possibly exist.

This post got eaten twice already by power failures; it was originally much longer [you got lucky]. I'll point out power failures can't happen with Add-a-Rooms. They all have back-up generators... Anyway, I'll be away for the weekend, leaving early tomorrow [Fri] and back Sunday night. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, right. Until the solar flares create massive power grid problems. But if a customer or two can't get back to complain, no problem.

Hmm, that's probably where the Blood Sport Clubs exist. Will the Conciliator get out before the self-destruct makes all the evidence go away? How about the other critters? And . . . what about the rumors of Shangri-La being just the other side of the wall, but only accessible if all connections are cut?

Martin said...

I'd like to finish up the higher-D rooms and discuss sizes a bit. The Add a Room GmbH [AaRGH] has several standard sizes of room, although they will do custom rooms. The standard rooms, they tell us, are all square, and come in 5 sizes, of 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 feet on a side. Doors may range in size from 6 inches to 7&1/2 feet in height [in 6 inch increments] and vary in width. And for garbage disposal, a door can be set up so that it opens in the floor of one room and the ceiling of the next, fine for just dropping things into. [There's a caste system hidden in there. How do those rooms get emptied?]

They also tell us that each room is unique. It has its own "vibratory frequency", which is the result of many things including the neighborhood, the power sources, the value of gravity right there... thus, we can never accidentally put a door into or walk through into someone else's room.

Some of what AaRGH doesn't tell us is that when they set up the Expand-a-Room, both 5D "rooms" always exist, and can be accessed. For those who only purchase 1 5D room, AaRGH simply puts in a door to only 1 room. Likewise, the 6D rooms always come in groups of 4.

How big are each of the ... hmm, character classes [?] here? Adult humans range from 5ish to 6&1/2ish feet tall, kids less. How big are the beagles? Could they continue growing throughout their lives, including their brains - neoteny with a vengeance, as the bones tend to break more? The rats are 8 inches to 14ish anyway, for the seriously adult, but how long have they been around? Is this batch of Cavalier Rats the very first, or is the concept and knowledge spreading?

Now, how do all these differently sized and sometimes still growing entities fit through all the doors? One hears urban legends of the pied pipers that entice small children through small doors, then keep them inside long enough for them to grow too big to escape.

The reason I've elaborated this is because I think this environment should play its part in the way the story [and the world] goes. I see at least 3 general sizes, 5-6 feet tall, about 3 feet tall, and 1.5 feet or less. Now, given the size disparities, there should exist a pecking order that's a function of size x toughness. This can be modified by the availability of a safe escape, and the smaller doors give a lot of safe escapes.

Actually, I see another social organization built around how small a door you can get through. The Beagles and larger cats and whatever all fit through a door size adult humans can't, except for the rare Tom Thumb types. And the Cavalier Rats and such fit through a door size the Beagles can't. What does it mean when there are places the police can't go?

Anonymous said...

Several interesting points in there.

How long have animals been engineered with human and/or artificial genes and how widespread is the phenomenon? Now this being John's inspiration, perhaps some British firms started it, and so far only London has a large Designer Animal population. Or perhaps the craze went quickly world-wide, before various civil rights and basic decency issues hit the public awareness. The first expensive kits, aimed at the University lab market was followed within a year by cheap Chinese knockoffs. John's call. Depends on how he wants to end the story. And whether this is a World Changing story. He may want to end with the same situation he came in with.

Are the Designer Animals fertile? Did the genetic engineers try to control the spread through various means? Hey, they do it to plant crops to control their market. John's call.

Sizes and accessibility. If the Beagles are a bit upsized to accommodate a larger brain, and there are not rodent-types working for the police, then one suspects some habitations will be inaccessable to the police. ::Cough, cough:: Now picturing Officer Taco. Or Fifi. What's worse? Chihuahuas or tea cup poodles?

I was picturing the Cavalier Rats as the Girl Hacker's invention, a deliberate end run around the anti-fertility precautions of the Princess rat kits. May, or may not, be something John wishes to pursue.

Oh, John, where are you?

Martin said...

Ow, yet another form of abuse: Enforcers - deliberately isolated behind too-small doors and used as muscle to control all the smalls. Handles [on the enforcers] are absolutely anything that has to come through those doors. On the other hand, we can also do cartoon chase scenes through all the doors, connect them in festoons of strings of higher D rooms, envision 100 foot rooms with an entire ecology, in sets of 2, 4, and 8...

*** and I hit that point where it's obvious one has possibly gone just a bit too far, or, to be kind, might be about to. Interestingly, that trait transfers between writing and game design. Some of my experimental games are, um, "bloated", shall we say - difficult to play because they have too much stuff in them, Dagwood sandwich kinds of games.***

For the next size down in police, I was thinking cats of the house or, more likely, alley persuasion, but they are even more sympathetic and complicit. They are the big Smalls, after all. They'd be the ones to go after jewel thieves. Beagles would handle [human] child kidnappings, with ... how far can we go with Police Academy? I didn't put a name to the particular small dogs, but we've got a Yorkie and a mini-schnauser as well as 100+ lbs [27-28 kg] of mutt, so I like your squad leaders*, aka: Fifo and Tacky or whomever, for the [alley] cats, many, if not most, of whom should be larger than the dogs. *squad leaders = instant promotions for the runts to make them feel better...?!? Lol.

Is it possible that John is so enamored of what we've done so far that he's hoping we'll keep it up and do the entire story for him, so he can grab the blame? Do we get dishonorable mention, or just banned from the web for some length of time?

Mice make the best jewel thieves.

Did you see Tom and Jerry, and Tuffy, as enemies in the era of the 3 Musketeers, more or less?

After looking at the last few lines here, I might entertain the possibility that John is hiding...

I'm gone again for the next 4-day weekend, plus 2 travel days, and yes, I certainly plan to party as heartily as that statement implies and my all-too-ancient carcass can get itself together to manage. With luck, I might be able to get online during that time, but any posts may be less ... structured [being kind again] than usual.

I think the current world climate and events pretty much indicate that the "craze went quickly world-wide, before various civil rights and basic decency issues hit the public awareness. The first expensive kits, aimed at the University lab market were followed within a year by cheap Chinese knockoffs". Now, John could change that, but I don't see how in any reasonable extrapolation from now, you wouldn't have engineered animals all over the place. Except maybe "Jihad!" or an equivalent, against the animals and their designers, but the animals would still exist in smaller [and far less obvious] numbers. But I'd think that would need an explanation. Look at nukes, eg. Hackers exist everywhere. (-: & :-(

The Cavalier Rats I like enough [and suspect others will agree] to want to see them more than just once. They do need to be bigger when full-grown [if they never stop growing, they may slow considerably, based on food supply]; the 8-inch specimen was a [young] juvenile, running the bluff of his life - he was the oldest kid at home, and was the babysitter for his family. Um, in case you were wondering, of course. :-]


Anonymous said...

I dunno about cats as police. Cat's just don't follow orders, they scoff at rules, don't play well with the Beagles.

Of course they don't play well with the Bloodsport people either. Their basic cynical nature just about guarantees that that they escaped first and will jump into any game any time on any side just to jump back on the fence and watch the train wreck.

I don't think I like the idea of the endless growth. It destroys too much of the doorway size problems. We just need to remember that brains, tactics, swords and courage will win the Day and the Ladies' favor. Ahem, channeling the Cavalier Rats, again.

And wherever the story is being held, occasional News Flashes should occasionally intrude.

The big break away of Egypt from the rest of the Middle east as they return to the true Gods of the Pharaohs. A few other spots are said to be worshiping cats.

In China, The Pandas are marching for voting rights.

In California, Designer Animals have been given equal rights. The Federal Government is trying to get that reversed in the courts at the same time outrage over prejudice against normal animals is gaining momentum.

In Australia it's kangaroos and koalas.

Rumors continue of human experimentation in Africa, and the resurgence of the Leopard Men Cult has the already shaky governments getting shakier.

Martin said...

I agree completely about the nature of cats and their unsuitability for police work in many ways. [I also wonder at the various types of dogs that would be cops and crooks.]

It was my cynical nature that offered this idea. I see the world divided by door sizes, and what sorts of creatures can move freely from room to room? We've got weasels, lemurs, rats, cats and some few others whose identities utterly escape me now. Guinea pigs, maybe. Now, I can see rats as spies, giving new meaning to the phrase "rat somebody out", but I don't see rats or weasels or even sumo-wrestling lemurs as police types. [Well, maybe seriously bulked-up lemurs on steroids... snort!]

The elements of lawlessness and distance from humanity's rules and sensibilities are inversely related to door size. Who then but natural double [or triple or...]
agents, the cats, as police agents? Or at least stoolies - humanity has had a long-term relationship with them of some sort, as these things go for humans. But they are very weak reeds upon which to depend. I felt it just made it more interesting.

However, I am certainly not welded to cats as police or the continual growth idea, which I also see fitting in with the "civilization of the doors". As the particular being grows in size, ability, and wisdom, the rooms available to that being may well decrease. Specifically, the rooms used when young are no longer available when adult. [Nurses in nurseries are often "permanent".] There are exceptions. In particular, there is an experimental, difficult to use, hard to build and maintain, very expensive piece of equipment called a "portable door spreader", which can change the size of any door, with enough power. Purdah rears its ugly head here, as well as [almost] escape-proof prisons, and many, many casks of Amontillado.

Was originally gonna put some tacky illustrative dialogue and such here, but there are too many ways the story could go. I do know that Madame Blakatsky [she doesn't always use the 2 "c"s] is involved in blood sports up to her main assistant's eyebrows, with many matches and tournaments taking place somewhere inside the Emporium, but no one has ever gotten anything to stick on the Madame. Our hero can remember 3 raids on the Emporium in which he took part, way back when he was a [very] junior cop. He met a much younger Madame, then, as a "star entertainer".

One thing is becoming obvious. Unless John or you and I decide on the time, space, and tone of this story, we can't write it properly. And now I want to see it done! Even if it means I gotta backfigure the illegal connections in the higherD rooms.


Anonymous said...

As you can see just from our back-and-forth, any two two people, given the same idea will write completely different stories. John hasn't chimed in again, I don't know if he's still interested, or would just as soon write it on his own, according to his own ideas.

You could check with him, or just start writing. Go with your own ideas, and whatever of mine you want to use. I've got too many things started already to start another one, however fun jumping in with ideas has been.

John Lambshead said...

Hi guys,
I have been a little tied up lately with various things, including finishing a story.

You go ahead and keep writing. I make no claim on this story.


Martin said...

Lol! This is exactly how I got sucked into chess variants. Five years ago, I hadn't played chess in decades. And in spite of what official forms require, I always go by my middle name, Joe:
It's only fair that you should get a chance to see the lunatic you were corresponding with.
Thank you both for the writing lessons. :-) As I now have the bulk of a plot stuck in my head, I may have to write more of the story. Sometimes I have no choice in these things. It would be my first story as such, but I have a propensity for doing series... lol, you may have ruined me!