For new material please visit my main blog, CHEESEBURGER BROWN: SCIENCE-FICTION STORY-WALLAH.


Unto The Hegemon

The world of Metra turned beneath us, an ocean veiled in bands of cloud reflecting winking speckles of orange from the fat, dim orb of Kamari Star. A diffuse band of irregular flotsam girdled the planet, metal fragments glinting as they spun. Before the pocked face of Metra's moon floated a massive derelict spaceship, its scarlet plating rent aside exposing twisted decks and clouds of spinning kipple.

The space around Metra was a graveyard for warships.

Simon of Space - a science-fiction novel by Cheeseburger Brown
Dear all,

Alas, it's finally happened: the free version of this science-fiction novel has been taken offline in order to make room for the hard-cover printed edition from Ephemera Bound Publishing, on sale in stores and online commencing Valentine's Day, 2008.

I regret any disappointment. I kept the free version available as long as I could. Please be sure to check out the new edition! See Cheeseburger Brown.com for more information and updates.

Cheeseburger Brown

P.S. You can read more of my free fiction via my weblog or in the complete story achives.


Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Why does everyone care about first comment so much? Great chapter btw.

Tue Aug 23, 02:54:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous 606 decreed...

You've set yourself up for untold numbers of amazing sequels. I'm imagining armed human forces using the Secret Math to fight platoons of evil superintelligent beings coming from the depths of space. This world you've created is awesome. I want to see more of it.

Nitpick: how could the main window of the ship shatter upon impacting soft ground when, just minutes before, it withstood the impact of countless asteroids?

The way out: obviously the window was protected, in space, by an anti-collision forcefield. This field doesn't work in the atmosphere because all of the air molecules would sap its strength, and it would produce too much ozone, so the strength of the window was reduced, causing it to shatter on impact.

Tue Aug 23, 03:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

Brother of the biological Pish...

Presumably, Jeremiah killed Volmash, and also accidentally killed Pish? or maybe just tried to kill Volmash? Surely he could give a straight answer as to wether he succeeded.

Something wicked this way comes.

Love it. Want more.

Tue Aug 23, 03:21:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Fourth comment!

Man. I didn't want to say anything, but I was afraid Ting would turn out to be the crazy captain-character who saves everyone and dies in the process. Rest in peace...

What a chapter. Thanks for tying up that Pish-end, as well as opening up a case of fresh questions (as always).

I wonder if everyone is okay back at the ship...?

Tue Aug 23, 03:31:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...

Oh no! An army of powerful Jason Robards and Jonathan Pryces!!

Why did Jeremiah feel the need to cloak his real persona outside the ship?

This makes me nervous:
Jeremiah - "Such atrocities could only be committed in the name of love." And we know that the executives "love" human beings.

And if the Secret Math isn't dangerous, how did it destroy Sol?

On second thought, I know why Jeremiah put his mask back on: to keep Simon from seeing his nose grow.

Tue Aug 23, 03:43:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

getting the first comment means you've been paying attention...

love the whole table of contents!!


Tue Aug 23, 03:43:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Has anyone looked at the picture of Jeremiah on the table of contents?? Is he crying??
just wondering??

Tue Aug 23, 03:47:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous kumar decreed...

You guys guessed the chapter title correctly! How did you know?

Tue Aug 23, 03:55:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...


Iwas going to say Secret Math, but...

...in reality it was listed in the TOC before he posted the chapter ;-)

Tue Aug 23, 04:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lilaena decreed...

Pish hugged me, and then hugged Jeremiah. "I like it when I can see your face," Pish told him. "It reminds me of when it was just you, me and Dad."

Nicely done, CBB.

And this: I looked up to examine a merry collection of figures clustered beside something green. "Me and daddy and Terron in the garden by Pish, section two."

Fantastic. Simon can't be Terron now, and that makes me happy. However, it still causes one to wonder how the secret of the Nightmare Cannon got locked into his mind, and makes me wonder who took Duncan. His oldest son, perhaps?

Tue Aug 23, 04:15:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous kumar decreed...

edmund said:
And if the Secret Math isn't dangerous, how did it destroy Sol?

Secret Math doesn't kill people, people kill people.

Tue Aug 23, 04:25:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous argan0n decreed...

Grrrr... posted-while-at-work....

no time to read yet. :(

(anyone notice that the word verification is funny sometimes? I got something close to UofAss the other day. hehhe)

Tue Aug 23, 04:32:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...


People AND EXECUTIVES kill people. And who has the Math at their disposal?

Lilaena: I don't know that Simon is definitely NOT Terron. The most logical reason for Jeremiah taking him to the school would be to jog his memory. Who else's memory would he be trying to jog besides Volmash's?

Tue Aug 23, 04:38:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

"I like it when I can see your face," Pish told him. "It reminds me of when it was just you, me and Dad."

Nice way to patch things up.

I would be in total bewilderment if I woke up in a hospital one day and didn't know anything... and a few months later told that I hold the knowlage that could end the world.

And further more did I not say that people would end up in zoos


Tue Aug 23, 04:42:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

"Something Wicked This Way Comes."


I can't wait utill you are a legend and I get to say that I read this online when it was first written.

Tue Aug 23, 05:31:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Mark decreed...

As always, a great story continues to draw me in. The introductory paragraph was very nice. "clouds of spinning kipple." We'll keep coming back, no matter the format, but I would love to settle into my chair, hot cocoa warming one hand, a thick copy of Simon in Space in the other. Without spending countless hours copying and pasting from here!

Tue Aug 23, 05:51:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Simons's inventory list did not seem to contain his diary...

Tue Aug 23, 05:54:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Chuck decreed...

Love the numerous literary cues: "Something wicked this way comes," the number 42, etc.

Tue Aug 23, 06:11:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

This man is a genius.

Yall need to go here: Matthew Frederick Davis Hemming writes and illustrates "Goodbye Kitty"

If it doesn't bring tears to your eyes with its simplistic truth and beauty, well then...

then go buy this book for your kids or your nieces and nephews or your neighbor's kids for crissake!!

Help CBB feed his *totally AWESOME* writing habit!!

lovingly signed, k.e.m.l.

Tue Aug 23, 06:18:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous delirium of disorder decreed...


CBB, do you consider yourself a writer who uses fiction as a means to put forth non-fiction ala Ayn Rand, or are you just simply putting in complex philosphical and sociological musings in order to flesh out the story.

Tue Aug 23, 06:38:00 PM EDT  
Blogger matt decreed...

CBB, kudos as always. We both know it may be a bit premature to compare you to Frank Herbert, but I do feel traces of the excitement from the end of the Dune series with the impending unknown enemy. It would make my day if you could do the idea justice!

Tue Aug 23, 06:51:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Simon (of not space) decreed...

"Are you wearing your heir differently, led?"

"Follow in my wake."

"Something wicked this way comes."

My palms are suffused with a cold sweat as I type this. I sense a climax of sorts approaching and I'm preparing my jaw to dangle loosely in bewildered amazement and appreciation.

Tue Aug 23, 07:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger X decreed...

This chapter does not rule out Simon as Volmash. We know Pish is an exec, aging slower. We also know he is a replacement. We have no way of knowing how long ago the biological Pish (and with some temporal locality his brother) were born.

Lines of the day:
"Follow in my wake"
"And so it is, for mercy is a human strength. Mercy comes from a position of strength."

Going in the same vein as the diary comment, I've noticed a slight shift in the story telling. Each entry was a day, or at least contained a logical stopping place for Simon to narrate the events of the past few hours. Who is really going to stop in the middle of a dark shaft and talk to his diary? Not that I mind the shift (just saying, thats all). CBB has drawn us in to the point we no longer care - we just want more Simon!

CBB - I salute your talent once again. It must be quite difficult to pound out episodes of such quality on a regular basis. We appreciate the fruits of your labor.

Back to nitpicking, "Their expeditions was to be held at the gate."

Either 'expedition was' or 'expeditions were,' probably the latter with the tense held by the rest of the paragraph.


Tue Aug 23, 07:25:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Hi CBB, sorry if someone has already mentioned these (but I'm doing it as I read):

So the question is, should

Their expeditions was to be held at the gate


Their expedition was to be held at the gate

Their expeditions were to be held at the gate


Now, onto:

shook for a moment as one of the vomited a load of broken

should be:

shook for a moment as one of them vomited a load of

An apostrophe missing in:
Their commanders orders became more

Missing a "to" in:

your patchwork of societies co-evolve a solution the problem


wisest of them should be grateful than the

should be:

wisest of them should be grateful that the

Sorry for all those nitpicks --
I do it because I care :)

Still loving this story. I'm going to miss Ting. He was one of my fav'rits.



PS Verified word: scitsa.

Tue Aug 23, 09:32:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

Gah, Posted a comment 5 hours ago that didn't make it.

Edmund: The Executives are the good guys. Jeremiah can't lie.

My Sol hypothesis: One executive decided that the math should not be secret, and gave it to one or more human beings, out of love.

If Simon were Volmash, Duncan would have recognized him. Unless...

I think that Jeremiah is Pish's father (Or mother? one of his Fathers?)

Tue Aug 23, 10:25:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Z0MG, amazing.

that is all.

Tue Aug 23, 11:11:00 PM EDT  
Blogger razorsmile decreed...

I bow before the mad skillz of CBB. The relationship between Executives and Humans as explained by Jeremiah, the realities of the conqueror ... my god, that's good.

Lines of the year:

"Love?" I scoffed. "Look around. How can you say that?"

Jeremiah's black eyes fixed on me through his masque. "Fifty million hours, Simon," he said simply. "Fifty million hours."

Now I thought that was good until I saw:

"It said: something wicked this way comes."

Jesu Christi.

Wed Aug 24, 12:10:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Drkdstryer decreed...

Oh man. Still SO GOOD. That was one of the most amazing closes to a chapter ever. CBB, I NEED this is deadwood version, so bad. I need to read it, and show it to others.

Wed Aug 24, 12:27:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous argan0n decreed...


Wow, stellar as always man. Excellent description of Thallos. A marked contrast against the sprawl of L.A or N.Y.C.
The concept of imposed travel limitations & supressed tech is insiteful... Reminds me of a similar side-theme in a wonderful novel: "Lord of Light" (ISBN: 0060567236)

Wed Aug 24, 12:55:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Is that last line a reference to Harry Potter?

Wed Aug 24, 01:09:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous converted decreed...

I absolutely love Mr./Capt. Oliver's transition.

Wed Aug 24, 01:14:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Lilaena decreed...

Edmund -

I suppose you're right, I thought of that after I wrote my gleeful comment. Of course from a chalk drawing (or whatever medium was used) Simon would never recognize himself as the Terron in the picture. However - he'd never seen anyone with almond-shaped eyes like his before going to Maja and meeting Jia. Pish does not look like him. He is not Pish's brother nor Duncan's son.

Duncan would have said SOMETHING.

Wed Aug 24, 01:22:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Sith Snoopy decreed...

"Something Wicked This Way Comes" is both a line from a poem, and also a wonderful and scary book by Ray Bradbury.

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.

[If I am quoting correctly.]

I think Simon is the original Pish's brother. So Duncan is Simon's Dad. But for some reason, obviously, Simon got separated from the family after the real Pish was accidentally killed by Jeremiah. [I assume accidentally... although possibly because of Jeremiah's scary "Duty"? ]

CBB, you are totally blowing me away!!!!

Wed Aug 24, 01:28:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Macbeth, people! You know... Shakespeare!


Oh, and CBB rocks with unbelievable storytelling goodness, etc. I feel almost redundant saying that stuff, because every episode it seems like I could use superlatives in my description.

Still can't really see Simon as Volmash with this latest information, but that of course raises the question: who could he possibly be that would make this more interesting?

Unless he's Terron's mother...

If you've never read "All You Zombies" by Robert Heinlein, give it a shot :)

Wed Aug 24, 01:43:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

For Duncan to be Simon's dad, he would have had to been a fair bit older than I remember him being described.

Wed Aug 24, 03:19:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

I like CBB's use of love in different contexts in this entry. It belies a true understanding of history. Fascist and socialist atrocities committed in the 20th century were almost all done under the guise of love, or betterment. This gave the story a bit of a Randian feel. I liked it a lot. Randian science fiction - Fantastic!

Wed Aug 24, 05:41:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Kube decreed...

OMFG. A great space opera this is turning out to be. Once again, I applaude CBB from having written another great chapter. Alas, now I can say I've read the greatest story ever told. Or rather, BEING told.

Wed Aug 24, 06:58:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jim decreed...

Ocassionally while reading SoS, I get the sense that certain portions of the text were written under the effects of time pressure, sleep deprivation, and without chance for much revision. Captain Ting's death scene, for example, seemed somewhat rushed to me; he seemed to be deserving of more reaction on the part of the other characters. Mr. Oliver's transition from insecure and soft spoken first officer to assertive commander seemed slightly too sudden for me, but that's just my first impression.

Nevertheless, these moments are both exceedingly rare and highly forgiveable given the circumstances in which the story is being written; a story which is rapidly growing into a full-scale epic.

As I read through the dialog between Jeremiah and Simon regarding the relationship between the Executives and humans, and in particular, the controls implemented to guide social evolution on a galactic scale, I was awestruck. Simply ... brilliant, both on the level of prose as well as the content.

Can this have been written in his spare time in between jobs and taking care of a two year old???

Writing action scenes and witty dialog on the fly is one thing, but I would like to think that some key scenes such as this one have been in the "oven" for some time, being contemplated and worked over until it's refined. The alternative, that he just made it up as he goes along, is mind-boggling.

Whatever the case, I can't help but imagine the quality of what CBB will be able to turn out when he has the time to go back and revise / rewrite what he has already written!

Wed Aug 24, 07:29:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Mandrill decreed...

ooh. The hair stood up on the back of my neck when I read that last line. This is the beginning of an epic I feel. Great work CBB. Keep em coming.

Wed Aug 24, 07:32:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jim decreed...

One other point:

"Duncan was a friend to Volmash."

Jeremiah shook his head. "No, Simon. He is his father."

This exchange was somewhat infuriating to me, and I've noted by the comments that it may have been kind of ambiguous. Jeremiah has already stated that Pish was created in the likeness of Duncan's son, whom by Jeremiah's actions had been killed.

What I got out of this exchange is that Terron Volmash is Duncan's father, which would make Terron(the original) Pish's grandfather. But it could also be interpreted as Terron being Duncan's son, which would make him Pish's brother. Was Duncan old enough to have an adult son?

Did anyone understand that differently?

Then Simon gets queasy and goes running off like a schoolgirl ... leaving us to wonder once again what else Jeremiah might have revealed if Simon had pressed him. How 'bout asking more about Terron, damn it! I wanted to slap Simon and say, "snap out of it, dude!"

A question: Why did Pish write "with Daddy and Terron" instead of with Daddy and Grandpa" ? (for example). It might make more sense that Duncan was Pish's brother based on that passage.

And if Terron was Jeremiah's enemy, why was Duncan hanging out with his father's enemy, or with his son's enemy?

There seems to be at least some implication that Jeremiah (and the executives) were responsible for the holocaust on Metra. What are the implications of this?

Also, it's not likely that Simon in his present physical form could have been Terron (Duncan's father, or his son), since neither Pish nor Duncan were described as having asian characteristics (at least, I think they weren't ... have to go back and reread the descriptions).

Actually, I can't remember any passage in which Jeremiah claims that Terron is his enemy; but he stated outright that Simon is his enemy.

Hmmm... too many questions! I'm so confused!

Wed Aug 24, 08:06:00 AM EDT  
Blogger cnc decreed...

Every time I think about that line, something wicked this way comes I get serious chills. This is the most amazing story I've read, ever.

Thank you Mr. Hemming.

Wed Aug 24, 09:21:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dave decreed...

WOW! (I have to stop saying that!)

I loved the "mannequen pis" statue insert! *LOL*

And... from Mr. Olivers' hair being out of place... it seems Glory had some fun with the boy! (tramp!)

Still though, wish you hadn't killed off the captain.. loved him!

Great work as always CBB

Wed Aug 24, 09:37:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Oliver's transition is him fulfilling the duty of any first officer, backup quarterback, relief pitcher, etc. He's saying the words out loud to help convince himself he's up to it.

On the familial relationship, you've got it backwards:
"Duncan was a friend to Volmash."

"No, Simon. He is his father."

The antecedents for the pronouns would have to be in the same order as in the first sentence:

"No, Simon. He [Duncan] is his [Volmash's] father."

Incidentally, there's no way that Duncan is Simon's father, because they don't look like each other.

Wed Aug 24, 09:52:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jim decreed...

The antecedents for the pronouns would have to be in the same order as in the first sentence:

I understand that, Anon... but at the moment I read it, it didn't seem to make sense for Duncan to be Terron's father; so I assumed the phrase was in error.

Having reread it, it does make more sense that way: the original Pish may have been much older than the current, and the chapter that introduces Duncan gives no clue as to his age. Duncan is described only as large, burly and hairy.

It's not impossible that Simon is Terron, and as such, Pish's brother; he may have been somehow "recreated" genetically in order to completely hide his identity. Maybe his loss of memory was an accident of this procedure, which would explain the interest that varios opposing forces have in recovering his memories.

Of course, the fact that these "opposing forces" (Olorio, the Citadelites, and Jeremiah) seem to know more about who Simon really is than he does himself, seems to contradict the possibility that Simon is Terron in an elaborate biological disguise...

Ah. I'm tired of thinking. I'll just wait and see whenever CBB decides it's time to reveal the truth.

Wed Aug 24, 10:40:00 AM EDT  
Blogger cnc decreed...

I think I just figured it out.

Duncan is Terron Volmash's father, he was taken by Volmash so they could be together again. The reason Pish was left is because Volmash thinks his brother is dead and so his forces were only there to get Duncan. This would also explain why Jeremiah said "Property of Terron Volmash" when Simon looked at him.

Still a lot of questions but it's starting to come together.

Wed Aug 24, 10:44:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Mark decreed...

I think it's interesting that so many readers are keying in on the last line as the most moving part of this post. That wording actually ruined the moment for me, because, as sith snoopy and sheik yerbouti both pointed out, that line has been used several times (poem, book, movie) before. This post was great, but the re-hashing of an old line kind of left me flat. Amazing story, CBB.

Wed Aug 24, 11:09:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Guys, it helps to actually *read* the story. :)

Wed Aug 24, 11:29:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...

Here's a fun theory that came to me:

What if Terron is Pish's evil twin, and Jeremiah accidently killed Pish thinking he was Volmash?

That might explain Jeremiah's need to make amends.

Wed Aug 24, 11:33:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Jillster decreed...

Has it been discounted completely that Pish could be the re-creation of a young Terron Volmash? We know that Pish is a re-creation of Duncan's son. We know that Volmash is Duncan's son. How many sons does Duncah have? Two, or just one...albeit one living in a re-created body?

Wed Aug 24, 11:37:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Ya know what's funny I was thinking along the same lines I just couldn't put it into the right words....

What if Jeremiah DID kill the wrong son.

And what if Pish WAS created to replace Volmash??

For some reason everytime I think of Volmash I get a picture of "He Who Must Not Be Named" from Harry Potter?? I don't know.. Too many books running through my head at one time I guess.


Wed Aug 24, 12:03:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous justin decreed...

Pish couldn't be the replacement of Volmash, because he is mentioned in the same sentance as Volmash, both being there at the same time "Me and daddy and Terron in the garden by Pish"

Wed Aug 24, 01:50:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

Pish is a human executive. He is disguised with the likeness of Duncan's biological son, Pish.

I'm guessing Duncan was an even harsher parent the first time around, especialy after ihs wife died.
Terron was a disaffected youth you spent his time fiddling with holodata streams and talking in l33tsp34k.

One day he decided that the whole Neighborhood should suffer as he had suffered. I think he killed Pish, and recorded his father's reaction.
Jeremiah was on the scene somehow, but failed to stop it.

This theory will likely be completely nullified in the next chapter.

In any case, I don't think Duncan approves anymore of his son's actions.

I don't see anything wrong with giving a nod to Shakespeare. It would be impolite to ignore a popular author just because their work isn't as good as your own.

While we're on it, is 'ultimate suffering' a reference to The Princess Bride?

Wed Aug 24, 01:54:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Brother Xaos decreed...

Captain Ting! Noooo!
He was my favorite. ;_;

Awesome chapter though.

Wed Aug 24, 03:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lilaena decreed...

I think he killed Pish, and recorded his father's reaction.

This is my initial thought as well, although nearly all of my theories have been disproved.

However, I agree with Jim about the fact that no one else in the story has had asian characteristics except Simon until he got to Maja and met Jia. Based on that he is not related to Pish, Duncan, or Terron.

Wed Aug 24, 03:36:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...

What if Volmash could put his personality/memory into crystals like Faeda, and then drop them into someone else's head? What if dropping those memories into someone else's head meant you had to erase some of the recipient's memories in order to prevent cognitive dissonance? You'd probably have to do the erasing first. And if the cross-transfer didn't work you'd be left with...Simon?

Wed Aug 24, 03:48:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phillip Armonek decreed...

Suppose Blighton was right when he said that Jeremiah killed Jia (with the Secret Math). If Jeremiah is to be believed and he can only kill as a last resort to save the mission, what threat did Jia pose to the mission that required her murder?

Wed Aug 24, 03:54:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Wil decreed...

sheik yerbouti said...
Macbeth, people! You know... Shakespeare!

Does he have a blog or something?

Those of you who are pointing out Duncan and Simon don't look alike are forgeting that Simon somehow looks like a construct of March Peebles and probabaly not like he looked before.

Wed Aug 24, 04:26:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Wil decreed...

It's not obvious to me that in the picture Pish is a person and not some other object/animal. Pish could have been the name of a favorite Pet of the son Jeremiah killed.

Wed Aug 24, 04:32:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...


Pish drew the picture. If he's a family pet, he's pretty darned talented to have his work displayed in school!

Wed Aug 24, 05:12:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous kumar decreed...

I was thinking...
Why destroy the Nightmare Cannon? As long as the recordings are strictly monitored, it could be pretty handy...
Limit the range to a single room, and it could replace the television!
Limit the recording to a voice recording with no visual, and it would become a handy emergency broadcast system!
If the signal could be dampened, it would be a great "instant replay" function at sporting events!

Wed Aug 24, 05:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

How many pets make drawings in school?
The drawing was by Pish.

"No. Duncan was chosen as a suitable surrogate parent for many reasons. One of those reasons is because his son was killed as a result of my actions, and thus Pish was given his son's form."

"No, Simon. He is his father."

"Me and daddy and Terron in the garden by Pish, section two."

The only way I see to read these is that Duncan was father of Pish and Terron.

Also, that Jeremiah used 'is', and not 'was', seems to indicate that he believes Volmash is alive.

I don't think Simon is Volmash. That is what we are supposed to think.

Wed Aug 24, 06:13:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Are we sure that Jeremiah isn't Volmash?

Wed Aug 24, 06:17:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phillip Armonek decreed...


I like the way your mind works.


Wed Aug 24, 06:42:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...


Who do you think Simon is, then? And when did he become N. Simonithrat? Before or after the accident?

Wed Aug 24, 06:53:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous argan0n decreed...


While we're on it, is 'ultimate suffering' a reference to The Princess Bride?


Hahahah -- and here I though I was the only that couldn't get this outta my head!

Wed Aug 24, 07:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

He was or will be the person who experiences infinite suffereing to be recorded for the doom cannon.

He was Nestor S. Fell, whose pharacuticals inhibit any chance of real natural recovery from the horror.

He is a psychologically programmed contruction of (somebody), sent out find the doom cannon.

He (like volmash?) was an agent of the rouge Executive.

He is March Peebles, [Aka blighton], who sent himself on a mission to destroy the doom cannon. [And get a story, The blighton we saw was a robot or an actor.]

He and Faeda were cooperating (or racing) to find volmash, and had tracked down duncan. Faeda found him first, and somehow got here head crushed. Jeremiah removed Nestor's memory as soon as he gated in. (Those soldiers, are they dead? or amnesiacs? Why kill what you love when you can merely 'correct' them) This kind of Executive behavior over history is what led to legend of hyperspace amnesia in the first place.
(Revise that, Simon came in first, Faeda a few days later, he thought she had fallen from a great height, but no explanation on how that happened.)

We know Simon/Nestor existed bfore he gated in, he had eaten a meal. A last meal, knowing he was about to 'die'? How long he existed we do not know.

The reason Nestor went to Samundra was to find Terron Volmash (for himself or Olorio). Volmash would have no reason to go there (or be sent there). When Olorio heard the entry that said Simon had found Duncan Mentieth, he sent his goons.

Wed Aug 24, 08:04:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jim decreed...

Indrax: Dude! You're taking this thing way to seriously!!!

I'm just kidding. My latest "theory" is that CBB is laughing his ass off watching our feeble attempts at deciphering his story!


Speaking of that .. I wonder what the chance is that someone has a "backup" of Simon's memories that will be restored to him under the appropriate circumstances?

Wed Aug 24, 08:24:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jim decreed...

Anonymous / Anonymouss:

Why don't [you /you all] add [a signature / signatures] to your comments like Sanna does... there could be 26 different anonymous' out there, and I'm confused enough as it is!

(it can be false! you don't have to identify [yourself / yourselves] if you don't want to!)

Wed Aug 24, 08:28:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Denim decreed...

Great work as always. I am left once again on the edge of my seat, wondering what could happen next. It's like 24 but with better dialouge and a sense of humor.

Wed Aug 24, 11:40:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jillster decreed...

lilaina wrote:

"However, I agree with Jim about the fact that no one else in the story has had asian characteristics except Simon until he got to Maja and met Jia."

Crushed Head Faeda, in the first chapters, was described as having Asian characteristics. This was even before we knew that Simon had Asian features.

Thu Aug 25, 12:42:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...


Very creative theories!

I really like the Simon and Faeda finding Duncan one! I have a hunch that's the closest one. That would explain them being in the same remote hospital.

Thu Aug 25, 01:21:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

As far as I'm concerned, nothing has yet topped the Faeda sex scene. If this was made into a movie, that scene alone would be worth the $10.

Thu Aug 25, 08:02:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Sith Snoopy decreed...

Ok, Duncan *Mentieth* is Terron *Volmash*'s father?

Huh? Different last name?

Is Terron actually FEMALE, and Volmash is her married name? Or is there some other custom in this universe allowing for the last name to be different?

And I'm confused about the Nightmare Cannon. I thought it was something that could *record* suffering, and broadcast it over the already live feed of the war? So doesn't it require a pre-existing medium, like TV? Is it actual images displayed on their version of TV, or is it perhaps the bulk data of the experiences, but in image form? I.E., could everyone have seen "tv snow", but had the data from it interpreted by their brains so they experienced the suffering in a more personal way?

I remember their being some people who never "SAW" the "images" from the nightmare cannon. If I remember correctly, they were the ones who weren't very concerned about the whole Recovery thing, since they hadn't experienced the ... crap, what was the event called?

Anyway, am confused about the true medium of the Nightmare Cannon now. And about how Duncan could be Terron's Dad. Hmph.

Thu Aug 25, 08:56:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dave decreed...

Indrax, I too, caught the reference to "The Princess Bride" in, "Ultimate suffering".

Hey Sith Snoopy (of all names),
Why was Darth's last name Vader, and not Darth Skywalker? *ROTFL*

Out of all the comments, I think the best is that Terron is Pish's brother.

I can't wait to see how this plays out.

Thu Aug 25, 09:20:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Awww shucks Jim thanks for noticing me :)

But to be perfictly honest I also have signed anonymous. When I felt I have something stupid to say...
But, none of this is mine. ;)

Or I went under SMV but I had to change that cause there is a another person that signs SVM.

Anyway like you needed to know this


Thu Aug 25, 09:25:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...

Sith Snoopy,

Did you notice that the nightmare cannon inventor's initials are t.v.?

Thu Aug 25, 09:30:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Wil decreed...

edmund and indrax,

You are right I was reading "'by' Pish" as "'next to' Pish"

Thu Aug 25, 09:34:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Mark decreed...

Going back to something jim said about some of this story being fleshed out beforehand. I remember CBB saying that he had drawn out the universe and had thought of much of this before writing it here. Perhaps some of it has been copied and pasted. If not, then I must bow down to CBB.


I participated in National Novel Writing Month a few years ago, which required the writer to complete a 50,000 word (or more) novel in November. Actual story writing could be done only in that month. CBB has at least doubled this number of words, and with less than three months. The quality is there, too, which is quite amazing.

Thu Aug 25, 10:59:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...


What CBB has said that he has ONE page (page 36, I believe) in a notebook on which is sketched the various worlds that will be visited, along with one or two lines of main action or dialogue. So he has a very thin outline to guide plot exposition. He's pounding out an amazing amount of material on the fly.

Thu Aug 25, 11:14:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dave decreed...

FYI, the complete story so far:

264 pages long (in MS Word, with margins extended, at 12 point Times New Roman font)
12,827 lines
114,277 words
645,362 characters with spaces!

Go figure!

Thu Aug 25, 12:06:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Mark decreed...

Dave, thanks for the word count update. Edmund, good points about the page in the notebook. I do recall that now.

Anybody else notice how much dialog has made up the past few posts? CBB is very good at dialog as well as narrative, something a lot of writers cannot claim. It helps tremendously in character development. I hope somebody at a publishing house somewhere is paying attention. Great storytelling skills and an established, ever-growing fan base should not be ignored. How could it not fly off the shelves? I can think of at least three people who would love it as a gift.

Thu Aug 25, 12:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

I'm not sure if a strangulation-stabbing-sex scene will make it into many mainstream theatres. Might have to go direct to DVD.

She took a deep breath. "There is a proper name for it, but it is always called by the name Radio Kamari used: the Nightmare Cannon. It is a weapon designed to transmit the worst kind of human suffering over a signal capable of being carried along with everyday holographic media. You...did not experience the Horror, I take it."

"My amnesia is total."

"I..." she paused, and I heard her breath catch in her throat. "There is no way to explain to you what happened to so many of us on that day. I caught only a glimpse. And I know I will take that glimpse to my mausoleum."


I think the ultimate sffering is actually a gap in the posting of addictive blogfiction. Aaaaahhhhhh! The Horror!

For all we know your reading might still be the correct one.

NoNoWriMo came to my mind reading this too. I tried a couple of times, but fell hopelessly behind after only a few days. CBB has inspired me to try again.

Thu Aug 25, 01:23:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

la la la la
dum diddy dum diddy dum


la la la
dum diddy dum

zzz zzz zzz zzz

the person that does not wish to share my name

Thu Aug 25, 02:25:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Captain Ting decreed...

So mek something up! You dont hefta use your rel nem.

Thu Aug 25, 03:04:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Realy cute :)

But hun, I beleive you died last chapter....

What a tragic twist that was.

Will miss you much.


Thu Aug 25, 03:24:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lilaena decreed...

But when she turned her face you forgot the black-lashed intensity of her almond-shaped left eye and found yourself buried in the calamity of the other:

You are right, Faeda has asian characteristics as well. I missed that somehow.

I ran back over to Pish, Jeremiah and Omar, noticing as I moved through the thin crowd in the plaza that many of the people looked similar to me, with epicanthal folds over their almond-shaped, rather than lemon-shaped, eyes. I know there's no real rational basis for it, but this suddenly made me feel at home.

And on Maja - the only planet he'd been to with lots of people 'like him.'

Thu Aug 25, 03:53:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jeff S. decreed...

I'm not sure if a strangulation-stabbing-sex scene will make it into many mainstream theatres. Might have to go direct to DVD.

So... you've never seen "Basic Instinct"? I'm sure hollywood would eat the Faeda stuff up.

I personally didn't like that part... but, that's just me being 'anti porn' in any form. I am adult enough though to realize that it's a cool part of the story and not everybody has the same beliefs as me. Sometimes it's good to be 'shocked'.

I Love this story.

Thu Aug 25, 04:28:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...


Jeff S.

How you doing????

Where do you live????

Whats your age???



Thu Aug 25, 04:31:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jeff S. decreed...

jim said...
Mr. Oliver's transition from insecure and soft spoken first officer to assertive commander seemed slightly too sudden for me...

LOL... It's amazing what a good woman can do to improve your self image and confidence level. Seem's like Mr. Oliver 'became a man' just in time.

Thu Aug 25, 04:33:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jeff S. decreed...


Thanks maria.

- Jeff S. (married)

Thu Aug 25, 04:35:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Ya'll got me now..

I keep checking in the table of contence for the title of the next chapter. hoping to get a glimpse of what's to come.

hardy har har !!!


Thu Aug 25, 04:37:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Oh dam...

What a shame..

The first time I make the first step at anything and your married...


:D :D :D


Thu Aug 25, 04:45:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Phy decreed...

Jeff S. said...
jim said...
Mr. Oliver's transition from insecure and soft spoken first officer to assertive commander seemed slightly too sudden for me...

LOL... It's amazing what a good woman can do to improve your self image and confidence level. Seem's like Mr. Oliver 'became a man' just in time.

Reminded me of the Bugs Bunny cartoon where his and Elmer Fudd's personalities were being affected by a spilled truckload of hats. Y'know, where Elmer in an old woman's shawl is hustled across the street by a Boy Scout-hat wearing Bugs, or Bugs in an army helmet is outbossed by Fudd wearing Douglas Macarthur's cap. "I have wee-tuwned!"

Thu Aug 25, 05:26:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...

I'm trying to figure out how they'll ever get the Neago moving again after smashing it to pieces and dismantling the robots that could effect the repairs. I'm guessing they're going to commandeer some Citadelite vehicle...

...or a stashed Karamari battleship! Then we'd get some action!!

[twiddles thumbs][whistles][checks calendar]

Thu Aug 25, 06:21:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

okay, i have noticed a few people citing "property of Terron Volmash". CBB never wrote this. i did, as a hypothesis, much earlier, back on Annapurna, that Jeremiah fired off the nightmare cannon. the hypothesis (now wrong, i believe) went that since he showed up on the plate as "Property of Hellig Apples", he may have once been "Property of Terron Volmash", which i do not now believe to be true. i think he took on his robot disguise after the Horror. by the way, i believe that what the Nightmare Cannon actually does is transmit base emotions, somehow causing chemical reactions in the brain that reflect and amplify thost that would normally be created. so, if you transmit a sad movie, people weep bitter tears of lamentation, mass suicides, etc. transmit a comedy and the entire society perks up. however, one must be watching the piggybacked signal, namely the holographic television thingy, in order to get the emotional response.
i also think that T.V. (which i think is hilarious) transmitted the birds that Simon sees. likely there was a bit more transmitted, and the birds are only a small part, but T.V., being poetic and all that, chose to hide the weapon in a place where it could be found by following clues left in it's amunition. so basically, the birds fit in to make it kind of like The Ring. except way cooler than some little girl popping out of your VCR and scaring your face into that painting Scream.
who is Terron Volmash? i think the answer is the most obvious: Some Random Fellow we haven't met yet, hiding out somewhere on Metra. however, i think this random fellow is a child, or was when the weapon was discharged. think about it: an adult would have considered what they were doing and any sane person would have witheld such horror from society. a child, far more emotional and much less rational, may have recorded images from the war and, wanting everybody to see how bad it was so they would all just stop fighting, blasted the images out unto the masses, the public missing the point by the greatest margin ever. i think this lines up with the emotional throws that CBB likes to throw in, and it's really the only explanation for Terron being Pish's brother in terms of the age thing.
Next Post CBB! and if i got it right, don't tell me, but don't change your story either! you've got to let some of us be right.

Thu Aug 25, 06:26:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Phy decreed...

TRH: From way back in The Statue Garden at Duncan's Bliss;
While he did his work he said I could thumb through the contents of my plate safely, so I picked it up. It didn't show anything when I pointed it around the room, except when I faced Jeremiah -- for him the plate identified his model and make, his year of construction and his legally registered owner (somebody named Terron Volmash, apparently).

Thu Aug 25, 06:37:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...


Corinthia Tag said: "With his empire on the brink of defeat a terrible MAN engaged the cannon". If that happened 5 years ago, then he can't be Pish's evil twin (aw shucks! but if Pish's picture was still hanging in school it probably was fresh at the time of the holocaust). It's likely that Jeremiah used Pish's form for the nascent executive because he fit the age that he wanted for the experiment, and because he owed Duncan for killing Pish, possibly inadvertently (or Jeremiah was the one that ordered the destruction of Kamari).

[rechecks calendar][doodles]

Thu Aug 25, 06:55:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

How to spot Volmash: he will be the person who flips out the most when he sees Pish.

Did Olorio meet Pish? How did he react?

Edmund: The Horror was 10 years ago, not 5.
I think that Pish1 died near the time of the Horror, and that he was about 10. I think that Pish2 was created looking like Pish1, and does not age. This is why he had to be raised in seclusion.
If all that is true, I don't see Volmash being much over 18 at the time, which would make him 28 now.

Duncan might be older than he looks though, Corinthia tag was 200 wasn't she? If Terron was 30 and Pish was 10, Duncan might be only 60 now.
If Terron was 26, he would be Simon's age.

If Pish2 has been aging somewhat normally, then we aren't sure how old Pish1 was exactly at the time of the horror. The drawing was probably shortly before it, but there may have been a longer gap. Perhaps that city was attacked an evacuated years before Pish died/ the horror occured. Perhaps Pish was 20 before he died, and Terron 26, but this pushes Duncan's age still Higher.

My money is on a young Volmash. But how did he rise to power so quickly?
Maybe he gained symathy by claiming t be a hyperspatial amnesiac with a heart of gold. :-P

Things to do:
on Metra, find either Volmash or the cannon, or learn the location of volmash or the cannon.
in no particular order:
Find Volmash
Find the cannon
Find the rouge Executive?(is he alive? is it one? or one entire strain??)
Showdown with Olorio
Find Simon's Children (and wife?)
Learn more about Fellcorp Neuro computers. Free Humanity from Fellcorp control??

Prepare for Something Wicked

Places to go-

Any other ideas?

Thu Aug 25, 11:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dave decreed...

TRH, but CBB DID say Jeremiah is property of Terron Volmash!

"It didn't show anything when I pointed it around the room, except when I faced Jeremiah -- for him the plate identified his model and make, his year of construction and his legally registered owner (somebody named Terron Volmash, apparently)."

Fri Aug 26, 10:37:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

...and who is the "rouge executive"? All I can see is an all-powerful Mary Kay saleswoman bent on destruction...

(on vacation, and just catching up on comments; it's amazing that this story is so good that even the feedback keeps me interested)

Sat Aug 27, 10:03:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

"Edmund: The Horror was 10 years ago, not 5."

I thought the war started 10 years ago, but the Horrow was released only 5 years ago. Im pretty sure this is the case, but I want to read the next chapter now and not go looking for the details. ;)

Tue Aug 30, 10:01:00 AM EDT  

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