Some late-night Elseways thoughts. "Humility" is a strong theme with the Cosmos Corps; they may come across as some kind of cosmic authority who watch everything and protect causality from damage, but that's far from the truth. They're explorers who've mapped out a few islands in an ocean they know is vaster than any of them can imagine. They once tried to repair a planet, but they're barely keeping a single city there in order. They want to stop worlds from ending, but they only sometimes can.
🧬 Heard of it? I was on the mission that found it. We lost a few agents to amnesia after they got too close.
✧ Yes. It changes things into things they might have been. A crystal of pure arbitrariness; a symbol of how little we know. The Corps has contact with a thousand worlds, but…
🧬 …Lil's latest guess is ten billion. We're tiny compared to what's out there. We can't see it all.
✧ Neither can the Machine. All it sees is the past…
🧬 Which means it just can't deal with what it's never known.
✧ Lillian told me what you'd been up to. Why Fresnel targeted you with that first letter of his.
✧ I'm sure you know what this means. Transmogrification without permission is against the law.
🧬 I… know. Does this mean I'm…
✧ I don't think you belong in the Corps, Neena.
✧ But I think your other job at Studio 609 is more important, and I'm going to see to it you get it back. The city needs its strangeness.
🧬 …you really think so?
✧ Neena, have you ever heard of the Heart of Infinity?
The biggest unknown here is going to be how to write a BASIC parser/evaluator in Lua, but that's more just a distaste for writing parsers in the first place (it's something I've never really mastered, despite having plenty of time and experiences to learn).
Next up for the XT-100 project: data fields. For displaying and setting variables. What I'm slowly working towards here is a bizarre hybrid of Teletext and React-flavored HTML5 shenanigans.
⎈ …so this is it. The Oracle Machine can't measure emotion, but that's more important than any of the facts it can observe. If it doesn't know what's going to cause pain or anger, it's going to keep making bad decisions. It needs empathy and compassion, and that's exactly what this does. Thank you, Augustus and Octavia. I promise I'll put this to good use.
⎉ I hope it works! I guess I need a bed up here.
❽ Get comfortable enough to dream!
➓ Rest well, Wandering Mind. Your journey isn't over.
Got double-height letters to work, so now I'm messing around with Teletext-style screens. This is the point around where most of my projects end - it's a proof-of-concept engine that does a lot of what I want it to do, but actually filling it with content just feels tedious. This isn't going to end here; I have other projects in mind that will use this as a starting point, but if anyone wants to write content for fake Teletext (plus a few more colors and columns), I'll happily render it.
❽ Hey there!
⎈ You made it!
⎉ …huh? How'd you get up here before us?
⎈ Augustus said he'd let me in through the window if I flew us both up. He told me about this place, too — some kind of sealed library.
❿ Yes. This crystal is the hole the Corps came to this world through, years ago. We and they built the tower together, to guard it.
⎈ That's not the Heart, though.
❽ Nope! But we hid it up here. It's the second safest place on the island!
⎈ I've told the Corps our plans, too. They're in.
❿ Each of the Circle has a floor where we keep our section of the library.
⎉ With 12 on the bottom and 1 on the top, so this floor—
❿ Is mine. All of my books on medicine and physiology are here in the orange walls, and those of every Octavia Naranja for centuries. We are named for our teachers, and name our pupils.
⎉ …wait. I've counted and there are 13 floors. What's at the top?
❿ Floor 0. Where we keep our knowledge of other worlds. The transparent color of empty space… or glass, Vidrio.
Accented characters now work; you can now overstrike symbols onto letters smoothly. It handles letters of varying height (accents on capitals will still float above them). It even erases the dots on the lowercase i/j first (and if you're writing Turkish and need a dotless ı, overstrike it with a space). If you want to give Spin̈al Tap the correct umlaut, go for it.
Unicode has its modifier characters, of course, but it doesn't force their use and instead falls back on things like normalization forms. My goals are different, though, so I'm free to make them required. They only look right atop 5-pixel-tall lowercase letters at the moment, but I've got ideas how to handle that.
The reason we have characters like ` and ~ in ASCII is because the designers were targeting teletype machines, where you could type accented characters by overstriking punctuation onto lowercase ones. So I figure that's a good enough way to handle them without increasing the size of the character set.
⎉ Why'd you take me back to the Tower of Hours?
❿ I've been paying attention, Wandering Mind. We all have.
⎉ …how did you know—
❿ Your "secret identity"? Not much on the island we don't hear about. You're depressed over losing your powers to shapeshift or enter other worlds on your own.
⎉ I guess that must've been obvious.
❿ They're not gone. Just out of fuel, and that's why I took you here. You need to come home to rest.
⎉ I am home…
❿ You're linked to the Tower. I'll explain more inside.
Octavia Naranja is the last member of the Circle I hadn't drawn yet. Her field is medicine; she's an accomplished surgeon whose deft fingers and deep understanding of anatomy have patients coming to her not just from the island but all of Elseways. Octavia has no hair or feathers, and her skin secretes natural antibiotics that keep her sterile at all times. The pointed straw hat was given to her by a grateful patient some years ago and she's worn it ever since.
❿ I see Augie found a riddle partner.
⎉ Yeah, that's Blit. I'm pretty sure the answer is "the Heart of Understanding", but I don't want to spoil his fun.
❿ You have a history with that thing.
⎉ I didn't mean to pick it up. I didn't realize how powerful it is! Feeling a whole city of emotions at once was more than I could handle.
❿ You were meant to find it, and you were right to hand it over to the Circle.
⎉ I'm surprised I survived that at all.
❿ Don't be. You're more than you're aware of.
This server's admin. Manages the interface between the real world and all the strangeness that goes on inside. Also posts about his own life sometimes.
The official server of the City of Elseways.