This scene marks the end of my pre-existing material for In The Land of the Penny Gnomes. From here on out, we’re sailing into barely charted waters. Some big things are revealed in this passage, let’s unpack.
The Down Side
Every government contract has a down side. In Nobody’s case, that down side was the demand to create a Penny Ore detonator. The description of what such a weapon will do is actually understated. Nobody believes it will only destroy The Realm, the prize the Horde seeks to control. In reality, it will level the vast majority of the Actualized Lands. The effects will reverberate into this world, causing great mayhem and utterly destroy any compulsion for imagination and learning. Why do you think so many works from the past exist only in fragment form? When The Realm faces a cataclysm, it destroys the culture which spawned it 1.
This whole idea springs, of course, from the Cold War insanity known as “Mutually Assured Destruction.” Or MAD — which is the label Nobody gives to thoughts which dreamed up the Penny Ore detonator.
By now you should have caught Bug’s tell. When he’s nervous, his hat goes into his hands and he twists it up 2. When speaking about a weapon of mass destruction, however, Bug’s hat is firmly on his head. You’d think he might be somewhat nervous about being caught red-handed assisting in it’s creation, but it’s not so.
Bug is angry. He’s never been nice 3, but now he’s not nice and really angry. He hates the Copyright Horde for the pain they’d inflicted on families like Sindy’s, and has sworn to see them come to a end whatever the cost. He’s see what they are, and understands what they want. And, should the Horde overrun The Realm, he won’t hesitate to detonate the ore.
Bug is not in a good place.
Of course an absent minded professor, who happens to be the top weapons developer for a nation at war, would invest part of his mental energy into creating a line of snack products. Everyone needs a hobby, right?
I have no idea what sparked the wonderful brand name “Snack Like Nobody’s Business,” but the Professor is currently ramping up for a trial distribution in Great Roll 4. While the flavor combinations may seem odd to us, the gnomes of Great Roll will probably gobble them up 5. He’ll have to re-focus for the Elves, though, they only like floral-flavored snacks.
The Ultimate Goal
The Copyright Horde have declared The Realm to be a renegade actualized province under the authority of the Copyright Protectorate. This is their stated reason for their invasion.
Intelligence operatives have determined this is only pretense. Their real desire is to rule The Realm and control the flow of imagination. The revenues to be had from controlling the Trade Routes are worth a fortune. While the wider protectorate publicly condemns the invasion, they’ve been leery of The Realm’s independence for decades, some even believe the invasion is being secretly funded by The CP’s ruling body.
An Unhealthy Realm
I suppose I’m into writing fictional social commentaries. Welcome to The Valleys is s story about the loss his history, both cultural and personal. In the Land of the Penny Gnomes, is all about the devastation which would happen should imagination fail.
In many ways The Realm and the Real World exist in a symbiotic relationship. While The Realm is the spark of imagination for dreamers, the strength of those dreamers invigorates the existence of The Realm.
Nobody points out The Realm “hasn’t been healthy for quite some time,” and Will’s grandfather echoes the common sentiment, “There are no new ideas.” This is because the Real World side of the symbiosis has been growing weaker and weaker. This, in turn, weakens The Realm, which begins to lose the spark which prompts imagination in people. The end result is a vicious decline in available Imaginative Energy, which lowers the imaginative quotient in The Real World.
It should come as no surprise imagination’s power has been weakening. How many really new ideas have you seen in the last few years?
The Thinking Seat
I love the idea of a chair so uncomfortable its only purpose is to encourage you to be so productive and proactive you never have time to sit in it.
What a great invention!
- There was a minor mining accident a couple of decades ago which collapsed one of the smaller mountains. The end result of that mishap was Jaws 3D. ↩
- He does this any time he gets a strong hand in Poker. The poor gnome has literally never won a hand in his life. ↩
- Remember what his name means? ↩
- When he does so his basement/factory will be running at nearly 350 Pennies per Hour. There won’t be a groomed pet within twenty blocks of his residence. ↩
- They love radishes. ↩