“Fading Memory” offers so much in terms of world building and character development. Let’s unpack.
The Copyright Hoard is, indeed, dangerous. Boarsblemish barely survived the initial seige, and their defenses were the only obstacle in the way of the Hoard completely overwhelming The Realm. Had it fallen, only the territories inhabited by the Penny Gnomes and Dwarves would have remained unconquered.
As it so happened, Boarsblemish managed to create a shield against the weapons of the Hoard, which was then augmented and deployed as the Large Firewall once The Realm’s forces managed to cut off the Hoard’s supply line and push the invasion force back.
These lawyers mean business.
This is one of the key concepts in the entire story. Fading is actually a weapon of terror. It’s designed to demoralize and keep the inhabitants of The Realm from offering resistance.
The injunction-based weapons of the Copyright Hoard actually attack both the body and inner imaginative spark which helps the body function in the world. Once infected, that spark begins to lose cohesion, leading to the effects described by The Professor. Minor wounds lead to minor personality traits, and nearly all early wounds led to the lost of the sense of taste. More serious wounds so seriously damaged the imaginative spark the process of fading would being and, at first, it would continue without pause. The wounded spark would begin to absorb nearby imaginative energy, which is why colors would drain from clothing and memories would become foggy. The loss of color sight continued this progression, and there were even several instances of objects actually losing their color when viewed by those who were well into the process of fading.
And then… they’d fade away.
The erasure of the faded’s name marked the final stage of fading. The dying spark of imagination reaches out for one last anchor to hold firmly in the land of living imagination — their own name — and ends up dragging it into oblivion with them. This desperate final grasp is so powerful it erases this anchor everywhere it exists — thus completing the arc of terror these weapons are meant to produce.
Professor Nobody may, indeed, be a bit mentally unbalance. But his heart really is in the right place. His love for his wife has survived the loss of her name, and his deep grief for his daughter’s loss has sparked in him a determination to help The Realm win this war.
He did, indeed, come up with a treatment to prevent fading 1. He also created weapons meant to repel any further invasion of The Hoard. Nobody might be the most important Gnome in The Realm.
Nobody’s involvement in the war effort has been kept secret, and for good reason. The Hoard does have the ability to launch missiles into The Realm even with the Large Firewall deployed, and revealing a location with an abundance of Penny Ore as a legitimate military target would have put Great Roll in serious jeopardy. But his most serious weapon is only foreshadowed at the end of this scene. The Council of The Realm wants to insure The Hoard never again dares attack their home.
- Strangely enough, it’s spearmint Lifesavers. This sounds simple, but these lifesavers do not naturally appear in The Realm. It took Nobody 6 months to find the correct AI combination to form the treatment. He won’t reveal the exact recipe, but a thimble is involved somewhere. ↩