This was a shorter scene this week, but I spent time mapping out the rest of the story so I’m feeling accomplished anyway. Let’s unpack.
Sills has good cause to be angry. One of the reason’s she’s Nobody’s handler is to make certain he doesn’t say anything like, “We’re all doomed.” Saying it to the Chancellor of Boarsblemish University, who is jittery at best, is going to lead to a significant drop in morale and a huge refugee crisis. Not to mention the impact it was already having on the stock market in Dryer.
Aside from The Realm-altering effects of his pronouncement, Nobody’s statement is going to get her called to the carpet. She is not happy.
The Satire Shield, redux
I didn’t get to show Sills or The Professor as they passed through the shield the first time around, it was fun to see them during the second pass.
Sills always looks as though she’s part of a nefarious cabal, which always makes her unhappy. She views herself as an honest public servant and doesn’t appreciate the satirical twist on her profession.
Nobody’s trips through the Satire Shield not only morph him into a steampunk fan, they also often produce new devices. Most of these are harmless, but you have to watch out for the ones with the red buttons. Nobody once managed to press one before the device could be taken away and every cow within six miles began to bark like a dog. Sill’s quick snatch was more than simply annoyance with Nobody’s ADHD, it’s actually her job.
Sindy’s steam ears were fun. Sometimes the shield finds something which matches a person so perfectly it becomes a permanent part of who they are 1. She’ll probably retain this trait for the rest of her life, which Bug will certainly appreciate.
Nobody’s Public Relations Error
To say the professor “mis-spoke” might be the understatement of the decade. By the time this conversation was happening the Dryer Exchange Index 2 had lost 3000 points, without any signs of let up. Worse, the company which built the firewall, The Dwarfen Redmine Corporation, was also pondering filing for sudden bankruptcy protection 3. If Redmine fails, any hopes of patching the Firewall’s control systems will fail with it.
The problem was, Nobody really didn’t actually mean “doomed 4.” In his mind he said, “Well the firewall concept was never going to work in the long-run, and if we continue to rely on it we’re going to be doomed.” There was a bit of a short-circuit somewhere between his inner and vocalized voices. Unfortunately, his inner voice doesn’t make headlines, nearly collapse an economy, or throw a government into turmoil.
Nobody might be the most dangerous gnome alive, simply because he tends not to pay attention to himself. He’s not bad at public relations, as much as he’s incapable of pretty much any inter-personal communication with someone who doesn’t actually know him.
Will against his will.
The Narrator mentioned this in a footnote, but I wanted to highlight it here again. I had no intention of creating a pun in which Will’s will is working against him. When I first read it, I have to say I was rather impressed with my unintentional insight.