A Killer Idea

BrikWars fiction in long-prose form. Trigger warning: Walls of text

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A Killer Idea

Postby Colette » Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:33 pm

From the desk of the Chief Scientist, ██/██/G.R. 2015 wrote:I apologize to everyone that it has come to this.

I hereby authorize, with the unanimous advice and consent of the Council of Scientists, and the consultation of [DATA REDACTED], the commencement of preparation for [DATA REDACTED].

Although no organization, including the Black Box Bureau, has a full understanding of the current situation, the research brought up by Dr. ████ and Dr. █████████ is compelling in its evidence and argumentation. The conclusions that they and the few other staff on the [DATA REDACTED] of the Black Box Bureau have reached are profoundly disturbing, but ultimately not novel. The implications of [DATA REDACTED] were apparent since Dr. Liang discovered the Theory of Everything. In a sense, [DATA REDACTED]. It has taken us this long only to fully accept and appreciate the ramifications of these findings.

As I stated before, I understand if many of you feel deeply unsettled by the report from Dr. ████ and Dr. █████████. Nothing is a greater existential blow than realizing [DATA REDACTED].

Nonetheless, the BrikVerse is worth saving. Perhaps not on a philosophical level, but as a practical matter. [DATA REDACTED] The IUAO has exhaustively researched the matter. Experimentation with the Orbital Fermion Super Collider has proven [DATA REDACTED] also inhospitable to minifig life.

To this end, in contravention to our mission and regulations, I am authorizing the use of [DATA REDACTED] the results of Project LAMBENT VERTEX, and [DATA EXPUNGED]. In any other situation this would be deemed [DATA REDACTED], but I am afraid we have no other choice.

The disturbing findings of the ████-█████████ report that I mentioned above are only the preface, an explanation of a mechanism for something that is beyond disturbing into insidiousness and malignancy. The BrikVerse is under attack. It and Trattoria and a host of other star nations are slowly, unnoticeably dying. And we can only grasp at the frayed extremities of why this is occurring. We cannot fight this enemy with starships, neutrina bombs, or mass amnesticization. It is utterly beyond the comprehension of modern science. We do not know if it even bears hostile intent or if it is a force of nature. But it is bigger than all of us, which is why we have opened lines of communications with [DATA REDACTED].

We have cracked open dusty and highly classified files on [DATA EXPUNGED]. We are unsure if the latter even exists, much less know any of its properties. But we might be able to guess enough to do something.

Assuming you read the ████-█████████ report, then the contours of the plan for [DATA REDACTED] may approach making sense. I admit that I must trust the [DATA REDACTED] expertise on this matter. Put simply, [DATA REDACTED]

[DATA REDACTED]

[DATA REDACTED] We have discovered [DATA EXPUNGED]. In any other scenario it might have been [DATA REDACTED]. Now it is our poison pill, our silver bullet, our nuclear option. We have one chance, and one chance only, to destroy ██-█-██-█████ outright, or at the very least mitigate its effect on Trattoria’s corner of the BrikVerse to buy us more time to research a more lasting solution. Not even the [DATA REDACTED] is sure if it will work, whether it even could work. But it is the only proposed solution, and we must try something.

We are not even sure if [DATA REDACTED] is that dangerous. We can not be sure. Nobody beyond the highest echelons of the anomalous community are, or will be, aware of its effects. We could be forgiven for doing nothing. We could go about our daily lives, as it slowly corrodes the BrikVerse until one day it has seeped in so deeply we do not even notice when the BrikVerse dies. Or perhaps it will unmercifully survive, limping on as a husk of its former self. As Trattoria freezes and fades away while everyone in the nation is too apathetic with glazed-over eyes to notice. But it can be, and it is a gift that we have been able to realize so. We will not waste it.

The BrikVerse may die as a result of [DATA REDACTED]. It may be warped beyond recognition, Trattoria may disappear. We are unsure of the consequences of using [DATA REDACTED], much less for the purposes outlined in [DATA REDACTED]. We are tampering with the core of the BrikVerse itself to rid ourselves of ██-█-██-█████. But enough of us have deemed the risks to be worth it. Staying the course seems the more reckless path now.

Again, I apologize that it has come to this. I wish the best fortune to all those involved in this project.

The Chief Scientist of Trattoria
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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Colette » Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:17 pm

Planet Valeria, Valorian Annex of Trattoria

Sergeant Patterson could feel bones crunching underfoot as he carefully stepped over the growing piles of dead bodies on the paved asphalt. The fresh bleeding corpses contrasted with the rows of suburban houses that lined either side of the street - contrary to popular belief, Valoros wasn't entirely a third-world pile of rubble, although at this rate Trattorian occupation might turn it into one. There was some talk among the more liberal-minded Legislators about trying to develop the Valorian Annex under a Co-Prosperity Sphere, but he knew it was just lip service to keep the AN Minifig Rights Council off of their backs. Not that he cared.

It didn't matter where the Trattorian politicians needed him. They needed him once on planet Bavaria, where his division and all his buds from training holed up in a valley for weeks. When a magical rainstorm cut off their drone support and the Bavarian panzers rolled in, raining death on everyone in the dead of night with only shell explosions and their laser bayonets for light. Well, almost everyone. He was still here.

A saner country might have given him some medals or distinctions for that, he thought to himself. Or maybe even just a box of cookies and a conciliatory note. Not one that decided that if he couldn't do calculus then he was only good for pumping other minifigs full of lead and dying like slaughtered livestock. He did get some recognition out of watching all his friends die, though: the politicians decided to reassign him to the Black Box Bureau's Trattorian Recovery Force, a unit with equipment and weapons ten times cooler and a casualty rate ten times higher.

He hefted the gleaming, pulsating rifle in his thickly gloved hands, and sighed a small cloud onto the window-like visor of his bulky white biohazard suit. As much as he hated his time in Bavaria, truth be told, it was more fun when they were shooting back at him.

He strolled towards a trembling Valorian mother on the ground hugging her son. They were dressed in clean and colorful middle-class fabrics like all the dead bodies around them, unlike the many third-world urchins he had executed in prior missions. Not that it made a difference.

"Please, just let him go! If not me, then at least him! I don't understand why you're doing this to us!" she pleaded, sobbing onto the cracked pavement. The child seemed dazed and glanced around wildly.

But that would be against the mission. Not that Sergeant Patterson had any inclination towards mercy - his only hesitation was deciding whom to shoot first.

"Please, we've never even wa-"

He leveled his rifle and settled on the child's forehead first, and then the wailing mother's. He felt nothing as their bodies hit the ground, blood seeping into the cracks of the sidewalk and joining the others' into the storm drain. He had long passed that point, left it behind somewhere on planet Bavaria all those years ago.

He advanced onto the nearest house and lunged at the door, easily crashing through in a burst of wood splinters with the biohazard armor's mechanical enhancements. Scrawled designs of some sort littered themselves across the patterned wallpapers, floors, and even ceilings, drawn in a degenerating sequence of marker, blood, and feces. Not that Patterson could make out any - they were blurred beyond recognition by his visor's automatic cognitohazard-censoring SCRAMBLE gear.

"This one's just like the other five I've busted into," Patterson spoke into the team radio.

"TRF operative 011, continue search for the source anomaly. Pre-mission analysis has indicated its presence in this neighborhood," the commander replied.

"Understood," Patterson confirmed, sweeping his rifle's scopelight over the interior of the house. Soft sunlight buttplugged through curtains onto an empty living room, the sofa torn up with stuffing falling out and the TV playing something. He didn't even let the screen's contents register on his mind before unloading a short semiautomatic burst onto the set, shattering the device. He spotted a laptop nearby and shredded it with gunfire as well. One could never play it too safe.

Seeing nothing interesting, Sergeant Patterson turned to the carpet-padded stairs and began to ascend with caution. It seemed every step creaked as he tried to mentally push away the moment of reaching the top. He was not in the mood to deal with a sentient anomaly today - it was already bad enough when it didn't mean trying to kill him, especially in his line of work. Creeping up on a bedroom door, he took a deep breath and tightened the grip on his rifle. He kept his finger on the trigger as he kicked down the door and instantly doubled down onto the ground in pain, dropping his rifle and gripping his head. He had only caught a heavily blurred glimpse of it, but even through the automatic cognitohazard buttplug it was enough to give him the mother of all migraines.

"Anomaly...located" he squeaked out onto the radio.

"Good work 011," the commander congratulated. "The rest of the TRF squad is on its way. 005 and 006 will confirm the success of the mop-up operation - as far as we can tell so far, there were no survivors."

After a few minutes, he could hear the other TRF operatives making their way up the stairs. The pain had settled down after a few minutes of not looking at the object and Patterson rose to greet them as they entered the room. Their eyes were downcast and one of them immediately set up a photometer, LIDAR, and other remote sensing instruments on a tripod to indirectly gather data on the anomaly. Another snapped a few photographs from all angles on a disposable camera before locking the latter in a heavy steel briefcase, to be analyzed later by automated computer vision algorithms.

"The anomaly is a non-sentient object with dimensions 3.87 by 2.76 meters with negligible thickness," one of the more technical TRFs reported. He was a scrawny stubbled fellow with round glasses - Patterson had no guesses how that nerd survived long enough in the military to make it into the TRF. "It is not inherently inimical to minifig life on a physical or chemical level, but has highly dangerous memetic hazards printed on both sides. Its composition does not match anything known in the BrikVerse."

He remembered when he began in the TRF and that phrase shocked him. Now it was old hat news and he shrugged.

"This means that conventional weaponry will be unable to terminate it. We'll have to take it back and find some other way to dispose of it," another TRF concluded. Wordlessly, another squad member draped the anomaly with a tarp as the others, Patterson included, lifted it to carry down the stairs, outside, and into a shuttle for delivery offworld to some forsaken BBB-controlled containment world. It was surprisingly light for its size, likely owing to its incredible thinness and extra-universal composition.

A little tired from the day's work, Patterson shoved a bullet-riddled body off a bloody bench and took its spot. An anomalous memetic hazard from outside the BrikVerse driving a whole town insane was a typical day's work, after all. When he considered the carnage around him and what chaos the anomaly had wrought, it all seemed too easy and practiced and mundane. Which was the sad part, really. His unit, TRF-00427, the "Mop-Up Crew", only focused on a specific kind of memetic anomaly and yet still had work every single day. He would wake up tomorrow morning in his spartan metal cot, and there would be another crisis somewhere in the BrikVerse that would have to be taken care of.

It was a question the Trattorian Recovery Force operatives were never supposed to ask. Even a lot of the scientists up above didn't seem to know. But he had to wonder, if there was a pattern behind it all.
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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Colette » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:03 pm

"Beginning Interview 35324-245. For the record," Dr. Nasiriany enunciated to no one. No one, except Sergeant Patterson, the lone TRF operative in the dark room. A few glass tables floated nearby with various coffee cups, iPads, and a single steel briefcase right by Patterson. The two were bathed in the soft light of a bank of computer consoles and a massive screen peering into the adjacent containment chamber. The latter would have had enough resolution to be mistaken for an ordinary window, were it not for the subtle tiling and static lines from the real-time Rhee-Luxenberg cognitohazard buttplug.

Across the screen, a single captured Valorian was seated in a metal chair, his hands cuffed behind his back. Sergeant Patterson remembered TRF-00427-005 had shot a tranquilizer into one of the Valorians during the mission. The man squirmed around, his fingers twitching. The chair scraped behind him and he appeared to be shouting something - or would have, if the audio weren't muted in the observation room. Monotonous white tiles covered every surface of the containment room.

Sergeant Patterson glanced at Dr. Nasiriany, dressed in the typical Trattorian labcoat and a pair of professional dark pants. He had a stern countenance with facial hair somewhere between a stubble and a full beard, pockmarked skin, puffy unwashed hair, and a ridiculous set of oversized glasses that negated any gravitas the scientist might have had. Patterson imagined being a researcher attached to TRF-00427 would be difficult work, but then again, he imagined most BBB work was stressful. Besides, Dr. Nasiriany, for all his neglect of basic manners and hygiene, coped a lot better than his counterpart Dr. Sans.

"My first question - when did you first notice the presence of the anomaly?" Dr. Nasiriany spoke into a microphone.

The Valorian continued to silently shout on the screen, indifferent to his interrogation. One of the computers lit up and Dr. Nasiriany leaned over to it. It was an indirect computer-generated summary of the subject's response, composed only from a fixed vocabulary corpus and cleaned of all memetic hazards.

COMPUTER-GENERATED SUMMARY OF SUBJECT'S RESPONSE wrote:Subject [REPEATEDLY] mentioned [YOUNGER SISTER]. [VALORIAN] records indicate subject does not have [YOUNGER SISTER].


If Dr. Nasiriany was frustrated, Patterson couldn't tell from his level voice. "Again, when did you first notice the presence of the anomaly we retrieved from your vicinity?"

The subject continued to thrash around unabated. Sergeant Patterson almost wanted to hear what he was saying.

COMPUTER-GENERATED SUMMARY OF SUBJECT'S RESPONSE wrote:Subject [REPEATEDLY] described [AESTHETIC] characteristics of [YOUNGER SISTER]. [VALORIAN] records indicate subject does not have [YOUNGER SISTER].


At this point the subject fell out of the metal chair, writhing on the floor and foaming at the mouth. Sergeant Patterson instinctively raised his shoulders and braced himself, expecting a crashing noise that never came. Dr. Nasiriany shook his head for his part.

"We will never discover any useful information out of this nutcase," he muttered to himself, looking down and inspecting some notes on his iPad for a moment. "I have had enough of this. Patterson, bring me the briefcase."

Patterson glanced at the steel case - it was taped over with yellow warning bars and an ominous Memetic Hazard warning sticker, a yellow triangle with a light bulb. Although initially hesitant to touch it, he eventually mustered the courage to grab the steel case, its lightness surprising him, and hand it off to Dr. Nasiriany. The wimpy scientist nearly dropped the thing before shoving it through a one-way slot into the containment room.

"Hey, if you would drop the crazy act for a moment and listen to some instructions as a rational minifig," Dr. Nasiriany announced, pressing a button to unlock the subject's handcuffs. The subject immediately stretched out his arms, eyes wide with curiosity at the new state of affairs. "Fat chance" Patterson thought to himself - the subject's memetic infection seemed so far gone that there was no hope of recovering a safe mental state short of injecting him full of powerful amnesiacs.

"If you would open the briefcase, there is an iPad inside. If you would unlock the device, you will find recovered photographs of the recovered anomaly. If you could tell us anything useful-"

Dr. Nasiriany didn't get an opportunity to finish before the subject bolted for the briefcase, greedily fingering it around before bashing it open and extracting the iPad. He quickly swiped on it and sat still for a moment, inspecting the contents of the screen. The latter faced away from Sergeant Patterson and Dr. Nasiriany - not that it would have mattered, with the cognitohazard buttplug in place. Still, curiosity nibbled away at a corner of Patterson's mind as he wondered what could possibly be so dangerous as to necessitate wiping out an entire town of people and instituting so much pomposity and protocol.

It also struck Patterson that for the first time, the subject seemed quiet - he technically was, as far as he and Dr. Nasiriany were concerned, since the audio was muted, but in a real sense.

"Now, I'm going to ask you again," Dr. Nasiriany probed with calmness, "When did you first notice the anomaly?"

The subject remained quiet for another minute or so before his lips started moving again. It was protocol not to look at a subject's mouth during an interview, and certainly not to attempt to read their lip motions, and it took Sergeant Patterson all his mental effort not to at least toy with the latter. Perhaps he was too curious for his own good.

COMPUTER-GENERATED SUMMARY OF SUBJECT'S RESPONSE wrote:Subject mentioned [YOUNGER SISTER]. [VALORIAN] records indicate subject does not have [YOUNGER SISTER].

Subject mentioned [OCTOBER 7, G.R. 2015].

[ADDITIONAL DATA LOGGED FOR AUTOMATED ANALYSIS [INTERNAL REFERENCE ONLY]]


"Finally," Dr. Nasiriany exhaled for a moment before growing worried again. "Although...it was active for over a month without detection. If it had manifested in a major populated area, or a star nation with significant galactic trade interaction…"

Dr. Nasiriany trailed the last thought. Sergeant Patterson didn't want to finish it either. Thankfully, most of their operations had occurred in rural, third-world, or enemy nations where a clean-up operation was discreet and deniable. Although the scientists tried to insulate the TRFs from the knowledge with regular amnesiacs, Patterson knew. He knew that the BBB had failed before, that it has had to mainstream dangerous memetic hazards when they grew beyond feasible elimination or containment.

"Well, I have everything I need. We need to improve our watchdog algorithms and galactic monitoring capabilities. I'll have to bring it up with the Council," Dr. Nasiriany mumbled to himself, shutting off the screen and heading towards the door.

Before leaving, he turned to Sergeant Patterson. "One more thing - after I leave, flood the containment chamber with neurotoxin and when it dissipates, go in there and blow the iPad and his brains out for good measure."
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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Vami IV » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:07 pm

This post exists here in this thread to notify me of updates to this story
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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Colette » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:10 pm

From the desk of Dr. Valentina Sans, Lab Director of the Memetics, Cognitohazards, and Infohazards Division of the Black Box Bureau, 11/██/G.R. 2015 wrote:To the Council of the Scientists,

Today I embarked on an expedition to planet NEU-34563-5, an uninhabited world in neutral space currently being mined by the Zupponn Mining Corporation. After reports of erratic behavior by miners there characteristic of a memetic hazard containment breach, TRF-00427 (the “Mop-Up Crew”) was deployed to secure the area by force. No casualties were sustained by the TRF team, and miner casualties were explained as an unfortunate mining accident.

The anomaly was located in a hole in the planet opened up by ZMC operations - a corner of it was immediately visible from the perimeter. I would contend that this is one of the most significant anomalies discovered in the history of the Black Box Bureau. It provides empirical confirmation of my theory and ties together the incidences of numerous, seemingly unrelated Black Boxes.  

I couldn't get a clear view of the anomaly itself - on the outside, it seemed to be a hinged monolith with some memetic designs that appeared as a dark pink blur through my SCRAMBLE gear. Both it and its contents were not composed of any known material in the BrikVerse, signifying extra-universal origin. I had the TRFs use crowbars to force it open, and therein I found the real prize.

I found Universe Rho-Mem-Mu.

Physically it is a thin disk 5.27 meters in diameter with a hole in the middle. One side had more memetic designs which I had the TRFs cover, while the other side was intensely reflective. I then used my authority as Director of the Memetics, Cognitohazards, and Infohazards Division to defer its termination and shipped it to a BBB-controlled world in neutral space for further analysis.

I know that a finite disk does not at all resemble a universe on first blush, but bear me out.  

Upon further investigation using lab-grade analytical tools, I found that the reflective layer of the disk obeys the Bekenstein bound. I hope you understand where I am going with this.

I have long posited an interpretation of the Theory of Everything as applied to the BrikVerse based on the holographic principle. Shannon entropy and Boltzmann entropy essentially correspond. This is a pervasive theme in Dr. Miyako's seminal paper on correspondence between anti-de Sitter spaces and conformal field theory, a direct predecessor of Dr. Liang's Theory of Everything. If you would like a more explicit focus on this topic in a more technical background, please see my own paper (Sans, V., Torbert, S., et al.) regarding 2-dimensional conformal field theory, which corresponds to Virasoro algebra, arising from asymptotic symmetry of 2+1 dimensional gravity.

Although I referenced some of the past literature to bolster my arguments, since you have often rejected my theory outright as unfounded before, I understand that not all of you have a background in advanced theoretical physics. To summarize, the holographic principle states that the entire universe can be thought of as higher-dimensional information encoded on a lower-dimensional cosmological boundary - in this cases, three spatial dimensions projected from two.

This is precisely what the anomalous disk is. It is a two-dimensional boundary encoding a three-dimensional space - in this case, Universe Rho-Mem-Mu. This would also explain why all of the IUAO's efforts to enter that universe have failed - the information that constitutes Universe Rho-Mem-Mu is "read-only", in a sense, and only describes a certain domain of time and space.

The implications of these findings are clear, but to break it down for the non-physicists on the Council: the BrikVerse doesn't "exist".

Now, "exist" is a subjective term. The BrikVerse, in a sense, probably "exists" as information encoded on a braneworld floating in a higher-dimensional bulk. But in the traditional sense of the word, we do not exist - we're just information.

But of course I know you didn't reject my theories for being unfounded. Dr. Liang came to these same conclusions a long time ago before me, and the implications drove her insane. I find them deeply unsettling, and I'm sure you all find them uncomfortable as well.

You just didn't want to accept the full consequences of these results.

But you damn well know what I'm about to bring up. If you had no clue, you wouldn't have appointed a physicist to head the Memetics, Cognitohazards, and Infohazards Division, you would have picked a neuroscientist or some other sensibly qualified staff member. You just wanted somebody to rediscover this and force you to reckon with it, deep down, whether you wanted to or not.

Dr. Liang realized it all those years ago.

After Sahaquiel, after Asuka, after Rei, after the Lancelot project, after Homura, after Dr. Mikoto, after [DATA EXPUNGED], after all those Bavarian magical girls and [DATA EXPUNGED]? With your classification access and a basic understanding of the Theory of Everything, you would be idiots not to have realized it by now. All these unrelated events, linked by one common thread.

And sure, the manifested anomalies are nuisances of their own - that alone was enough to drive Dr. Liang mad - but this part of a far broader trend. Remember the disturbing studies conducted by ∂V Capital and Pernault Investment Group, the one that we classified and covered up? The chance of stock prices stagnating like that naturally is less than one in a billion, and there is absolutely no correlation with real economic performance metrics. Or how about the fact that the last new Trattorian military project was commissioned in G.R. 2014? What about the total lack of news from Bavaria, the Space Mafia, or the Republic of Independent Nations?

The BrikVerse is being infected. It is being attacked. It is being killed. Trattoria is suffering too. There are real consequences to the holographic principle, and the fact that we are not ignoring them is reckless and irresponsible.

At its heart, the threat is memetic in nature. But it is different from any other memetic hazard we have encountered before, because it can manifest itself and has physical effects on the BrikVerse. We can't just mass-amnesticize everyone in the BrikVerse and make it go away.

It's natural if you think about it, really. The BrikVerse doesn't really exist, it's just information. A memetic hazard is also just information.

The BrikVerse is colliding with a metaphysical memetic hazard and getting corrupted by it on literally the most fundamental level possible, which manifests itself physically. The information that constitutes the BrikVerse is getting poisoned by the bad information that makes the memetic hazard a hazard.

I have no idea why or how this is happening. There's not much we can do. But we need to do something, and quickly. This is an urgent matter, and I am recommending an emergency meeting with the Council of Scientists to discuss potential solutions.

With regards,

Dr. Valentina Sans, Ph.D.
Lab Director of the Memetics, Cognitohazards, and Infohazards Division of the Black Box Bureau
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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Colette » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:18 pm

Planet Soledad, Meritocratic Republic of Trattoria

Drs. Sans and Nasiriany stood before the darkened forms of the Council of Scientists, the latter five gathered around their trademark glass table. Dr. Sans fidgeted and instinctively began to bite her nails before stopping herself. Naturally a nervous person, she tried to straighten herself and appear confident in front of the Council.

"Dr. Nasiriany and I have released a formal report on the threat posed by the newly reclassified BB-P-Co-01337, with relevant background, available for all personnel with at least Level 3 clearance to view," Dr. Sans began. The Council remained silent, although she could hear one of them tapping his fingers.

"While preparing the report, we made a few conjectures based on the enhanced classification access levels granted to us. We believe we may have a possible termination solution."

Dr. Sans gulped. Termination solutions - they were always so easy. Like reading instructions off of an instant food can. Shoot it, nuke it, amnesticize some people, there were only so many ways to deal with an anomalous affront to the laws of physics. She never had to work so hard to come up with one before.

Finally, the Council of Scientists broke their silence.

"I see that you have requisitioned BB-P-F-00001," the Chief Scientist spoke up.

An awkward pause ensued.

"That's correct," Dr. Sans replied after a while. It was true, after all - no point in denying it. "I hope that the Council understands the gravity of the situation."

The Department Chair of Physics sighed and massaged his forehead. "Yes, you have called us out on our game. We have known for a long time about the problem posed by BB-B-Co-01337 for quite a long time."

"It led to Dr. Liang's descent into madness," the Chief Scientist added.

The Department Chair of Physics shot her a look.

"That being said," the Chief Scientist continued, "the Council has reviewed both your memo and the formal report you wrote with Dr. Nasiriany, and find your arguments quite convincing. We have ignored this problem for far too long, and although your suggested proposal carries heavy risks, we have deemed the risks of the status quo to be greater. We are approving all of your requests related to Operation BRILLIANT ANVIL."

Dr. Sans was taken aback. "I-I'm glad you appreciate the situation," she stuttered in response.

"This is a collective decision agreed upon by the entire Council, as well as the consultation of the Science Department's internal Ethics Committee, the Apex Professor of RARCom and the Commander-In-Chief of the Scythian Office of Naval Intelligence - with special dispensations for the latter two's inclusion in this process" the Chief Scientist further commented. "This is not one researcher's crazy pet project - this is a reasoned, rational deliberation across many different viewpoints that have come into alignment."

Dr. Sans bowed. "I am honored by your trust in my work."

"Now, if you could formally brief us on Operation BRILLIANT ANVIL," the Department Chair of Chemistry asked. "For the record."

"Of course," Dr. Sans replied. "The information that constitutes the BrikVerse is being corrupted on a fundamental level by a memetic hazard, BB-B-Co-01337. But what does a memetic hazard imply? It implies minds, mental capacity. I have reviewed our limited documentation on Quantumsurfers, and I have reason to conjecture that, as powerful as they seem, they are just manifestations of greater mental consciousness that is far beyond the understanding of modern science - even ours."

"You are beginning to sound dangerously religious," the Department Chair of Physics commented.

"I am not finished," Dr. Sans replied. "For any intelligence, no matter how eldritch or godlike or incomprehensible, might have to obey certain principles. Which means they might be susceptible to memetic infection - and we know they are, because they have been infected with BB-B-Co-01337."

"We're going to fight an idea with our own idea," she posited.

"Now I know, BB-B-Co-01337 itself is an eldritch super-memetic hazard whose origin and functioning are a mystery, so where would we find another such idea, or even a more powerful one? I have consulted with the Magicians Alliance-"

Groans among the Council - they had already approved all manners of ridiculous proposals and and cooperation and requisitions and exemptions in the name of Operation BRILLIANT ANVIL, but the age-old rivalry with the Magicians Alliance still elicited some ill will.

"-which possesses far more expertise in this area than we do, and testing has concluded that Universe Sigma-Aleph-Omicron may suite our needs. The information of Universe Sigma-Aleph-Omicron, which itself is an incredibly potent instance of BB-B-Co-01337 and an Aleph-class document, has been classified as BB-B-Co-01337-σ and is one of the most powerful memetic hazards we know of. We then use Project LAMBENT VERTEX and other assed Black Boxes to communicate this information into Universe Alpha-Aleph-Alpha, the Origin, and induce a memetic infection of one of these hypothesized consciousnesses. Due to its initial similarity to BB-B-Co-01337, we hope BB-B-Co-01337-σ will act as a figurative poison pill to destroy or at least mitigate the infection of BB-B-Co-01337 into the BrikVerse by overwhelming it."

"There's one more detail," Dr. Sans continued. "We need to sacrifice someone to extract BB-B-Co-01337-σ from BB-P-F-00001. We could utilize a trusted TRF or -"

"We refuse," the Chief Scientist cut her off. "We will not let anyone without at least a Level 3 clearance anywhere near BB-P-F-00001. It is the most powerful Black Box ever encountered, and its capabilities are practically unlimited. It is unthinkable to trust a mere soldier with that responsibility."

"I hope you understand, Council, that whoever goes to retrieve BB-B-Co-01337-σ isn't coming back. It is one of the most powerful and corrosive memetic hazards known to the BBB, it's a sure thing that anyone who can even think of a related concept-"

"I'll do it."

All eyes turned to Dr. Nasiriany sheepishly raising his hand.

"Are you crazy, Dr. Nasiriany?" Dr. Sans asked, bewildered.

"I have a Level 3 clearance," he stated.

"That doesn't mean we're going to throw you away! Your death would be guaranteed - you might even be totally wiped off of reality."

Dr. Nasiriany smiled. "You're not throwing me away. This needs to be done, and I will gladly perform this duty in the service of Trattoria. I know how bad the situation is, and I have faith that our termination solution will work. Because if it doesn't, we're out of options."

"But-"

"Not buts," Dr. Nasiriany interrupted. "I've been in this line of work for a while. With TRF-00427, with you and the Memetics Division. I know what I'm doing, and what needs to be done."
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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Colette » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:20 pm

Planet Soledad, Meritocratic Republic of Trattoria

Sergeant Patterson ran as he wheeled the dolly through the metallic underground tunnel, escorted by the rest of TRF-00427. A chrome suitcase lay on the dolly, its normally invincible surface tarnished and corroded from its contents. Fraying warning stickers and yellow bar tape marked the case - Patterson noticed what was colloquially known as the "triforce" of memetic hazard, cognitohazard, and infohazard triangular warnings. The cart was beginning to flex and wobble as well.

Finally reaching their destination, two operatives held open the steel doors as Patterson raced the dolly into the wide-open subterranean space. Beneath the high semicylindrical concrete ceiling, Dr. Sans stood alone amongst a ring of miscellaneous equipment and a curtained booth. A drone offloaded the suitcase as soon as it arrived, dragging it into the booth and unloading its mysterious contents inside. It emerged with both of its arms distorted and melted off.

Dr. Sans spoke into her Appel Watch with tears in her eyes. "BB-B-Co-01337-σ is in place. I repeat, BB-B-Co-01337-σ is ready."

Sergeant Patterson and the other TRF squadmates stood by silently as Dr. Sans glanced at a computer screen with green and red lights. The red ones were slowly disappearing and turning green, minute by minute.

"It's quite anticlimactic," Dr. Sans commented. "It doesn't really feel like we're saving the BrikVerse, does it?"

She choked on that last part. Patterson could tell. Tell that she didn't really believe it, that she didn't really think it would work. Not that it was irresponsible of her - she didn't have any other ideas. Better to try something that probably wouldn't succeed than nothing at all.

Eventually the screen turned all green.

"Activate the LAMBENT VERTEX array," Dr. Sans ordered through her watch.

She sighed. It had come to this - their one chance to stop BB-B-Co-01337.

She hoped it would work. For the BrikVerse. For Trattoria. She thought there was another reason, but felt like she had forgotten it.

Killing an idea with an even worse, more poisonous idea. Manipulating the gods themselves. She almost had to laugh at the scale she was now working at. The scale she had to work at, to solve a problem at that same scale.

"We're ready. All components are go," somebody announced from her watch.

Dr. Sans took a deep breath. The impersonal scale of it all really did make it less climactic that she thought it would be.

"Execute Operation BRILLIANT ANVIL."
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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Colette » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:21 pm

From the desk of the Chief Scientist, 12/01/G.R. 2015 wrote:I apologize to everyone that it has come to this.

I hereby authorize, with the unanimous advice and consent of the Council of Scientists, and the consultation of the Apex Professor of RARCOM and the Commander-in-Chief of the Scythian Office of Naval Intelligence, the commencement of preparation for Operation BRILLIANT ANVIL.

Although no organization, including the Black Box Bureau, has a full understanding of the current situation, the research brought up by Dr. Sans is compelling in its evidence and argumentation. The conclusions that they and the few other staff on the Memetics, Cognitohazards, and Infohazards Division of the Black Box Bureau have reached are profoundly disturbing, but ultimately not novel. The implications of a cognitive narrative and the nature of the BrikVerse were apparent since Dr. Liang discovered the Theory of Everything. In a sense, nothing within the BrikVerse is anomalous so much as the BrikVerse itself is. It has taken us this long only to fully accept and appreciate the ramifications of these findings.

As I stated before, I understand if many of you feel deeply unsettled by the report from Dr. Sans. Nothing is a greater existential blow than realizing that we do not exist, in a real sense of the word.

Nonetheless, the BrikVerse is worth saving. Perhaps not on a philosophical level, but as a practical matter. It is the only universe we have, even if it isn’t really real. All of our lifeboat protocols are useless - the fates of all other BrikVerses and derivative universes, including Universe Lambda-Dalet-Delta, are tied to ours. The IUAO has exhaustively researched the matter. Experimentation with the Orbital Fermion Super Collider has proven that other universes are inhospitable to minifig life on a subatomic level or are inaccessible altogether. The Origin, the only universe free of the Sans constraints, is also inhospitable to minifig life.

To this end, in contravention to our mission and regulations, I am authorizing the use of BB-P-F-00001, BB-C-Cu-43521, BB-P-W-45232, the results of Project LAMBENT VERTEX, and the newly reclassified BB-B-Co-01337-σ. In any other situation this would be deemed an unlawful, deliberately-induced containment breach, but I am afraid we have no other choice.

The disturbing findings of the Sans report that I mentioned above are only the preface, an explanation of a mechanism for something that is beyond disturbing into insidiousness and malignancy. The BrikVerse is under attack. It and Trattoria and a host of other star nations are slowly, unnoticeably dying. And we can only grasp at the frayed extremities of why this is occurring. We cannot fight this enemy with starships, neutrina bombs, or mass amnesticization. It is utterly beyond the comprehension of modern science. We do not know if it even bears hostile intent or if it is a force of nature. But it is bigger than all of us, which is why we have opened lines of communications with our enemies to coordinate a response.

We have cracked open dusty and highly classified files on Quantumsurfers and the hypothetical BB-B-F-00000. We are unsure if the latter even exists, much less know any of its properties. But we might be able to guess enough to do something.

Assuming you read the Sans Report, then the contours of the plan for Operation BRILLIANT ANVIL may approach making sense. I admit that I must trust the Memetics, Cognitohazards, and Infohazards Division’s expertise on this matter. Put simply, what are we, if we do not exist? What is the opposite of reality?

It is the imagined, the abstract. The entire BrikVerse is just an abstract concept. And it is colliding with another potent abstract concept, being poisoned by it. And how do you fight an abstract idea?

With another idea. We have discovered BB-B-Co-01337-σ. In any other scenario it might have been one of our most dangerous Black Boxes. Now it is our poison pill, our silver bullet, our nuclear option. We have one chance, and one chance only, to destroy BB-B-Co-01337 outright, or at the very least mitigate its effect on Trattoria’s corner of the BrikVerse to buy us more time to research a more lasting solution. Not even the Memetics, Cognitohazards, and Infohazards Division is sure if it will work, whether it even could work. But it is the only proposed solution, and we must try something.

We are not even sure if BB-B-Co-01337 is that dangerous. We can not be sure. Nobody beyond the highest echelons of the anomalous community are, or will be, aware of its effects. We could be forgiven for doing nothing. We could go about our daily lives, as it slowly corrodes the BrikVerse until one day it has seeped in so deeply we do not even notice when the BrikVerse dies. Or perhaps it will unmercifully survive, limping on as a husk of its former self. As Trattoria freezes and fades away while everyone in the nation is too apathetic with glazed-over eyes to notice. But it can be, and it is a gift that we have been able to realize so. We will not waste it.

The BrikVerse may die as a result of Operation BRILLIANT ANVIL. It may be warped beyond recognition, Trattoria may disappear. We are unsure of the consequences of using BB-P-F-00001, much less for the purposes outlined in Operation BRILLIANT ANVIL. We are tampering with the core of the BrikVerse itself to rid ourselves of BB-B-Co-01337. But enough of us have deemed the risks to be worth it. Staying the course seems the more reckless path now.

Again, I apologize that it has come to this. I wish the best fortune to all those involved in this project.

The Chief Scientist of Trattoria
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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Colette » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:24 pm

G.R. 2016
Planet Soledad, Meritocratic Republic of Trattoria


Sergeant Patterson walked towards Dr. Sans's office. He had forgotten why, but he found himself heading in that direction.

Evidently the BrikVerse did not die. Trattoria was still around. Apparently nothing too drastic had happened after Operation BRILLIANT ANVIL. Life seemed pretty much unchanged.

Sergeant Patterson walked into Dr. Sans's office - the door was unlocked and ajar. It was a clean, white affair that suited a physicist, with a window out to nothing and three walls of floor-to-ceiling whiteboards scrawled with some weird math he didn't understand. He glanced over to her desk when it hit him.

She was slumped over, as if taking a nap, bleeding out of her head with a gun clutched in her hand. The blood dripped onto her iPads and papers, oozing like a red river that he remembered seeing somewhere in a past that never happened, at least technically speaking.

Patterson was shocked, but he also felt the curiosity rising in him. For once in his life as a good Trattorian soldier, he didn't suppress it and had to know more.

Coming over to her desk, Patterson peeked at her Macbook screen - it was still on, displaying the home page of the Lambda Corporation promoting a second season of its anime Sort Art Online.

Below the screen, there was a hand-written post-it note written in sharpie. He peeled it off and read it.

I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry.

We failed. We did worse than failing. Failing would be if nothing happened.

Lambda never existed. It's existed for several decades.

BB-B-Co-01337-σ wasn't enough. It didn't kill BB-B-Co-01337, it was assimilated into it. And now it's accelerating its spread into the BrikVerse. We didn't solve the problem, we just added to it, and made 01337 unimaginably more toxic than it originally was through our actions.

We should have never presumed we could solve the problem, that we could fight 01337.

The BrikVerse. Trattoria. We're going to die now and we won't even know it.

I'm so sorry.


Patterson finally realized that there was a pattern behind the chaos, even if it was hidden from him by several layers of classification and redaction. There was a reason that the squad members of TRF-00427 would wake up and have work every day. And he realized that it would never end. That the Black Boxes would win. That 01337 would win.

He pressed the barrel of his rifle against the side of his head.
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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Colette » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:24 pm

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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Colette » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:27 pm

Epilogue

"Have you watched any anime recently?"

"The latest one I've watched was Steins;gate during the summer - I don't really watch stuff that often, to be honest. Before that was Welcome to the NHK and Sword Art Online."

"Sword Art Online? What in the hell motivated you to watch that?"

"I really don't know. It was awful and I hated it and the second half of the first season never happened. You know I almost quit anime after watching that shit," he replied, glancing at his SAO phone case and poster.

"As for why," he continued, "It was right before finals at the end of 2015. I think I just wanted to blow off some steam and de-stress."

"Do you have any other interests?"

"Aside from classes and research and job-hunting? I used to be active on this lego website called BrikWars. Had this made-up country called Trattoria."

"That's cool."

"Yeah, it's kind of hard to contribute when I'm on the opposite side of the country from my lego. Haven't done anything significant on there in years. But you only need an internet connection to cultivate an anime hobby. I guess you could say it kind of replaced BrikWars."

He thought to himself for a moment. "Heh. That's a cute thought. I could write a brikfic about it."
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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Durandal » Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:18 am

Thats some existential shit. Twas a very interesting read, I enjoyed it.
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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Vami IV » Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:50 am

Dr. Braunsville stumbled down the hall, procured revolver in hand, struggling not to trip on the bodies spread like vines all over the floor, or the veritable river of blood coating nearly every surface in the complex. He had never held a gun before, as was befitting a proper Trattorian, but somehow this felt natural, the killing and the death. He knew what his query was, even if he didn't exactly know what it was - his entire body had been overtaken by an unquenchable thirst for bloodshed when he first heard that voice.

And there it was again. He couldn't make out what it was saying, but the voice alone forced a primordial rage upon the Poison Ivy League grad. It was the perfect blend of something devilish, and something adorably angelic. He rounded the corner, to giggling coming from within his own head. He screamed, to no avail, and continued his hunt. After a short while, exasperated by the stepping over of yet more bodies, he reached his goal: a once clean wall, splattered with blood, probably from the bisected female intern leaning against the base of the wall, a brushed steel door, and a nameplate that simply read, "Dr. Akagi," among other lab pleasantries. He stepped inside, to shuffling in the room. He placed the gun, almost automatically, perfectly level to the ground in both hands and fired a single .357 round. The whole room filled with noise and a split second flash as the hammer struck the bullet, propelling the hefty piece of lead through the air at the speed of sound. Dr. Akagi's innards decorated the wall behind the desk and the floor beneath her trembling, crying body before she even heard the melodious sound of steel on brass. The voice returned, filling his very being with loli laughter - wait, how did he know that word? He spun the revolver in his hand, and placed the barrel to his throat.

"No. I have a better idea," said yet another voice, behind him this time. Dr. Braunsville turned, revolver first, and was confronted by a tall, skinny man dressed in a hoodie over a striped suit vest and slacks, face covered by a grey, blue, and white mask depicting a wide smile on one half, and an exaggerated manic frown on the other. "It can't talk to you while I'm standing here. Time and space technically don't exist while I stand here," he started, "point is, I understand you have a bit of a problem-" He was cut off by Dr. Braunsville firing a single shot into the tall man's abdomen, to no initial reaction. "You can choose to bite my bait," he began, his voice hinting at disappointment rather than indignancy, "or get shot by the cleanup crew coming to wipe away any traces of the worst catastrophe to ever occur on a Trattorian world in this day and age. Your choice." The bullet fell into the man's hand from where it had been harmlessly lodged in his clothes. He caressed it within his hand, feeling the curvature of the bullet and entirely oblivious to the uselessness of the crushed slug. "Let's get going then," the masked man said after a moment of tense silence. "Make sure not to listen to it," he said again with a derisive tone before departing the room from the viscera coated halls of the facility.
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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Colette » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:11 am

Although interesting, perhaps your addition could get its own thread (assuming you're planning to continue it)?
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Re: A Killer Idea

Postby Natalya » Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:49 am

I can't believe you wrote an entire brikfic to admit defeat to Overwatch_Elite who probably never even read it.
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