Season 18 Thursday: Yrjö bitten. Avila feedbacks away for Dudley. The first Replicas arrive. Historicity, the Library, and Ruby Tuesday.

filed by Agent O
audio version


(In the last unknowable unit of time we have won 15 games and lost 10.)

Consumers, Again

The league continues to sink, and we have acquired a consumer-warning dot. Those Runs and Wins are heavy.

We know what Consumers do when they attack Scattered players now. We know this because a certain Yrjö – erm, –j- -erf-f–e – was eaten, and the attack was something like four times as destructive as other Consumer attacks. We’re lucky Yrjö has any stars left. We’re also lucky that our lineup has enough other people in it that one break isn’t going to crater our playoff chances.

Avila Is Off To Where The Party Is

We had a feedback game with the Hellmouth Sunbeams on Day 64.

Avila Guzman has left us for sunnier – well, Sunbeam-ier – places. Possibly she wasn’t interested in a postseason run and decided to leave for a team that needed to party more. Possibly the Agency no longer needed a coffee consultant. Possibly it was the incident where Logan Horseman accidentally stumbled into the base by following Avila’s “beat” (whatever that is), setting off every single security alarm in HQ and resulting in a general evacuation. But really, who knows?

In return, we have received Dudley Mueller, who we have been told is a sentient energy drink. It has Siphon, and (unlike Jordan) knows how to use it. If anything, this feedback is an upgrade for us. Dudley actually makes contact with the ball, which has been the biggest weakness of most of our other players.

Unwrapping Presents

After the usual plot event/coin talking for Latesiesta, alongside the renovations (Hotel Motel and a decrease in Inconvenience, for us), the Gift Shop’s results were revealed. Every team has received three gifts. (Well, at least three gifts. The Moist Talkers received four. They did not want four. They wanted two.)

Ours are Home Field Advantage (we start with 1 run already on the scoreboard for home games), Ambitious (Reese Clark now Overperforms during the postseason), and Handcrafted Bat Drop (Reese received a Bat of Dexterity). Suffice it to say that the Reese will be released.

Meanwhile, remember those Legendary Player Funko Pops I was talking about a couple days ago? Several teams received them, despite mass efforts not to. They all have a Soul value of 0, have a modifier that means that they “fade into Dust” at the end of the season, and instead of a Soulscream they have a serial number. The Soul value being 0 at least means that the replica Chorby Souls can’t cause the absurdity of the eDensity shenanigans of the original. Replicas do still weigh significantly more than normal players, though.

Scoping Out Other Teams

The Philly Pies continue their overwhelming dominance, having already clinched themselves a playoff spot on a 68-11 record. They are on track to smash the record for most wins in a season (a record that was set by the Baltimore Crabs, during season 6, at 80). They also acquired Ambitious on Eduardo Woodman, as well as Home Field Advantage, from gifts. Oh, and by the way, one of their (permanent) team modifiers is Affinity for Crows: they perform 50% better in Birds weather. If we have a game against them in Birds, we’re hosed.

Wild Low is a very, very tight race. The Boston Flowers have caught up to us in the Wild League, likely thanks to acquiring Late to the Party from a gift. The Ohio Worms, Hades Tigers, and Miami Dale are not far behind.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Firefighters have already hit party time. On day 74. (The Seattle Garages and New York Millenials followed shortly after.) I hope they have a good time.

Is That A Threat?

Oh, right, remember when I said that the Coin said something at latesiesta? More specifically, after the games of day 72 concluded, she said this:

We have been made aware
Of recent efforts to undermine our Election.
Please ignore any unauthorized Ballot additions.
We would hate for anything bad to happen.

Then she announced a new snack (Chum, which pays out per consumer attack, replacing the Tarot Spread) and a new page available in the Library. (This bit had technically been opened a few hours before, but this is when it was actually announced.)

A page called “A Ruby Tuesday”, inserted into the library in the Discipline Era section, taking the Discipline Era from 30 entries to 31 entries.

A Ruby Tuesday

In the cold black-and-white neutrality of the Feed, it narrates the events of that day: Jaylen Hotdogfingers hitting several Tigers players with pitches, turning them unstable. The solar eclipse games they had with the Moist Talkers.

Moody Cookbook batting for the Tigers.
A Debt was collected. Rogue Umpire incinerated Tigers hitter Moody Cookbook!
Carmelo Plums replaced the incinerated Moody Cookbook.
The Instability spread to the Moist Talkers’ Elijah Bates!
Bottom of 6. Canada Moist Talkers batting.
Elijah Bates batting for the Moist Talkers.
A Debt was collected. Rogue Umpire incinerated Moist Talkers hitter Elijah Bates!

— Hang on. Moody Cookbook wasn’t batting when they were incinerated. Neither was McLaughlin Scorpler or Kiki Familia.

I think it’s a necessary simplification, to establish who was where for what team, and make the story easier to follow. But you can call it a lie, and you’d even be technically right. The gist of what happened is clear, though: instability jumping from player to player like static charge; five incinerations in two games.

The feed doesn’t capture the emotion of it. It doesn’t capture the stomach-dropping terror of realizing what Unstable did, what the necromancy of Jaylen Hotdogfingers had caused. It doesn’t tell us about the songs the Garages wrote about Jaylen’s pitching arm. It doesn’t say anything about the way everyone looked at each other afterwards, wondering if, had they known the consequences, they would have done this again.

But then again, what dry dusty list of facts could?

I wasn’t there. Others were. I heard of this only in stories. Agent B’s filing on that day is sparse, clinical, dry – as was the style of the debriefs in those days. But I read other accounts of that day, and that’s what they say it felt like.

Do I editorialize? Absolutely. Do I add color and slant where none existed before? Yep. But what would be the point of writing these debriefs if I was just recording the literal events? You can get those from the wiki, from Reblase. An eyewitness account of what it felt like, though, is something no amount of data scraping and parsing can provide.

This is why I’m not too concerned about whether or not it was literal fact that Kiki Familia was batting. It’s there to help tell the story.

Yeah, That’s A Threat

So. In conclusion. The Coin mentioned that she would hate if anything bad happened, then brought up a page of our history that reminded us that, on an occasion when we coordinated to defy the gods, we suffered dire consequences.

(Oh, and by the way. That title says A Ruby Tuesday, despite the fact that the common name for the event is just “Ruby Tuesday”, no indefinite article. Is this implying more of them? Is this threatening more of them?)

You are of course free to draw your own conclusions, but I think the meaning here is quite clear.

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