The Gypsies of Chuzzy Puck Bay, An Account by Collective-363, Dispatch #14
In this, the 151st Year ABO(1), as Our Beloved Leader 363 (OBL-363) commands, we make this account of all we have seen and done. By his wishes, we do this in the manner of expression of those who are singleminded, which comes hard to us, so there may be misunderstood words and phrases, for which we apologize on behalf of OBL-363.
Dispatch #14: A Foraging at ALL*MART
It has been two days since the static-gas storm forced us off the Bay into the Severed River — by some strange quirk of Flux or Terra luck, only a few boats were lost, and as we darted past Tentacle Town, its silent guardians did not see us or chose to ignore us. In times past, we have braved the passage into the River past the Town on our yearly migration around the Bay, but usually under cover of darkness or during a dense fog, slowly feeling our way along the far bank opposite the dark nest of unknown horrors. The singlemindeds with whom we travel have established good trading contacts along the River, lucrative enough for our gypsy flotilla to risk passing by Tentacle Town — albeit at a distance.
On one of the boats lost, OBL-363 and we were unmelded, all sleeping as separate fur-tizens, as the westerly winds pulled electrostatic gas from the upper atmosphere down upon the surface of the Bay, creating the explosive storm that would nearly sink us all(2). A tally and list is still in the making of all who are likely gone, which shall be recorded in a future entry — Collective-363* would have numbered among Those Who Have Moved On had it not been for the efforts of our companion Brick**, who assembled itself into a bridge from its boat to ours, allowing our manifold fur-tizens quick exit from the sinking ship. Before this, we had always considered Brick a friend, our kin in the manymind way, who we could more easily understand than those of the singlemind way — now, we owe it and any progeny it may build of itself our eternal gratitude for saving us.
Once past the Town, we dropped anchor off the shore of Herald Harbor, as we awaited the passing of the storm; afterward, we lashed our flotilla together as a single platform as is our practice. A quick check of our supplies inventory by Zip McGee*** revealed that Davids****, the last foraging captain, had not obtained enough ammunition, batteries, and a multitude of other items his foraging team had been tasked with. Davids insisted that one of the other Davids had been responsible for failing to complete the foraging, but Zip refused to accept his excuse, and she insisted on making immediate report of his failure to the Elders. We were not sure what to think of this, as we do feel some affinity for Davids and his rudimentary manymind way, but Zip has the uncanny common sense of the hypercognitive, and we have never known her to lie … although she does have a strange penchant for removing her clothing in the heat of battle, which puzzles us greatly.
Neither Davids nor Zip related the details of their to anyone of their meeting with the Elders, but both were assigned to work together assemble another foraging team and strike out for an ALL*MART that was rumored to be nearby, at Igglemaul east of Bacon Ridge. Brick and Professor Proton**** volunteered to accompany them, OBL-363 summoned us into fur-meld, and we donned our Mitch-suit(3), tagging along as a scout. We were also joined by our empath negotiator Andre******, and Artie*******, our all-purpose fireshooter, who promptly fell asleep in the back of our foraging cart, mumbling something about being exhausted due to “carbonic molting season.”
Our foraging team moved inland, along an old road towards Igglemaul to find the fabled ALL*MART. A couple of hours in, we came upon a human figure, severely beaten and left for dead in the middle of the road. Sensing an ambush, the team approached cautiously, with Andre leading the vanguard, and Brick and We covering the flanks. Our assumptions were quickly proven correct as we were quickly beset by a marauding Porker band, with two trained killer plants: a horl choo (a rolling razor bush), and a kai lin (radioactive vine). The combat was fierce, chaotic, quick and deadly(4) — we were eventually victorious, with a minimal amount of Alpha Fluxes, but Andre bore the brunt of the marauding band assault, and Artie arose too late out of his molting nap to help us … and Andre Moved On.
As is common for the artifact-laden shores of the Chuzzy Puck, we did find a cache of Omega Tech that the Porkers had acquired, and after a quick memorial service for Andre (and subsequent corpse immolation services provided by Artie), we continued on towards Igglemaul and the ALL*MART.
Upon our arrival on the outskirts of Igglemaul, we found the ALL*MART to be only partially intact, having come into contact with a warped fold of the Consensus Reality with a high-security research facility in the opposite reality. Brick and We scouted the ALL*MART, discovering a pair of nesting Yexils in symbiosis with some kind of giant insects in the eaves. Davids and Artie determined that it might be worthwhile for the team to negotiate with the yexils, with the offering of “tasty, tasty textiles” in exchange for whatever we might find of value within the remnants of the ALL*MART — with Brick and I secretly positioned in a tactically advantageous situation, this seemed like a good idea.
The negotiations went surprisingly well at first, until we realized that the yexils were themselves ambivalent as to whether to negotiate with us or kill us for our clothing — it quickly became apparent that they had less patience with the former, and opted for the latter. Unlike the Porker ambush, our team was more cohesive and organized in this fight — seeing the singlemindeds group with us as a unified whole gives us hope for the future of their kind (as Collective-363 will continue exist no matter what, so long as one of us remains to carry our memories forward). As usual, Zip unclothed herself and attempted to placate the yexils with her silk panties — and Professor Proton expanded his form into a giant robotic form he called the “Ripley.” We dispatched the yexil and their strange deadly insect pets, and again found more useful items, the necessary supplies, and several pieces of Omega Tech in the ALL*MART/research facility.
We then returned to the flotilla, and related the account of our foraging mission and the Moving On of Andre to the Elders. We await the Elders’ decision as to whether to set sail again, or to try and trade with those who live in Sever. So long as we remain at this end of the Severed River, we should be safe (as safe as any can be in Gamma Terra) from whatever lurks in Tentacle Town.
OBL-363 is tired, and has commanded us to unmeld and shed the Mitch-suit for sleep. We will post further dispatches as we are able, in more specific detail, and will amend this one as needed, should our singleminded companions require.
* Collective-363: Radioactive Sentient Rat-Swarm (Tom C.)
** Brick: Sentient Lego Minifig Swarm Gravity Controller (David M.)
*** Zip McGee: Electrokinetic Hypercognitive (E. Foley)
**** Davids: Doppleganger Mind Coercer (Rob D.)
***** Professor Proton: Gravity-Controlling Electrokinetic from “Where I Come From,” another Terra time/space dimension (Dave C.)
****** Andre, Giant Empath (Chad U.)
******* Artie, Pyrokinetic Plant (Chad U., replacement for Andre)
(1) ABO=After the Big Opportunity (BO), which most singlemindeds instead call The Big Mistake (aka “BM”); many, if not most, of the sentient rat swarms of Gamma Terra see their lives as significantly improved over their lot in the pre-BM world, a major evolutionary jump forward in the post-BM world, hence their perception of it as “BO.”
(2) Professor Proton and OBL-363 argue constantly as to the nature of the storms. Professor Proton insists that the storms are caused by “butterfly wing Flux ripples,” dismissing our Beloved Leader 363’s theory that changes in the wind patterns pull the toxic electrified gases from on high, claiming that the scientific training he received in “Where I Comes From” is far superior to any of the practical knowledge OBL-363 has acquired over the manifold generations of His existence since the BO.
(3) When in fur-meld, Collective-363 assembles itself into the form of a single bi-pedal rat humanoid, glowing slightly from the radioactive nature of its origin, wearing an old mechanic’s suit, reinforced with ballistic cloth, with the nametag “Mitch” on it — despite its apparent appearance as a single creature, as all of its swarm units are merged together, its “skin” is constantly rippling and moving.
(4) OBL-363 points out that we have not been as faithful in our recollection of the specific tactical details of the combat, the individual actions of each of the team’s members and the Alpha mutations experienced, which are important to recall, but we are still new to this kind of accounting to those who do not think as the manyminded, possessed as we are of constantly refreshing genetically embedded memory immediately passed on to our ever-replenishing offspring. We shall endeavor, in future entries, to adapt our ways of thinking into the single stream of entwined details that the singleminded require.