Bohemia, part 1: Who's the Troll now?
You know, this was a really bad idea.
"Oh, shut up, Danny. It's the most awesome idea I've ever had in an infinity of awesome ideas. In a way, you get to control me now."
Oh, really, Chaos? Let's try something then.
The human who was Chaos slapped himself in the face. Hard. "Hey, what was that for?"
Like you didn't have it coming.
"That's what she said! Hey! I finally get that joke!" Chaos was grinning from ear to ear; given that he actually had ears now, that made it less disturbing.
Wonderful. So let me get this straight. I'm you, now, and you're me?
"Essentially, yes. See? Even the readers can tell we've switched thanks to the clever use of font styles!"
One of these days, you'll have to tell me who the readers are.
Daniel Carlson constantly repeated one thing, and only one thing, in his head... 71 years. 71 years. 71 years.
"Are you hungry? I'm hungry. Let's get some chow!"
I can't be hungry. I'm a disembodied spirit.
"No, YOU'RE a disembodied spirit!"
But... wha... you know what? Fine. You win. Eat what you want.
Since they were in Bohemia, Chaos loaded up on beer and bratwurst before realizing that the human form has limits on what it can eat or drink. Even when Chaos briefly took over Daniel's body in the past, he'd never experienced those... particular moments. For a life form that essentially has no body, it's quite an adjustment. In the same way that, say, rearranging your internal organs is an adjustment. (Obviously, in this hypothetical example, you would not die as a result of the rearrangement. Otherwise, my analogy makes no sense. ... What do you mean my analogies normally don't make sense? I like my analogies. ... That, sir (or madam) is an uncouth thing to say! And that last comment is pure slander! ... Well, yes, technically libel because it's in print, although I'm hearing you say it in my head. From my perspective it's still slander. You know what? This is too meta even for me. I don't want my own head to explode, much less yours. Let's just move on.)
"I've just realized a very important fact about humans today, Daniel. And I'm sorry, in part, for the way I've mistreated you."
"Every single thing you do, every day, is disgusting and perverted. Even breathing! I mean, big sacks of tubes manipulating the oxygen in air while filtering out carbon dioxide? That's disgusting!"
I thought you'd possessed humans before.
"Not directly. I've never swapped consciousnesses with a human before; I just live in their brain and drive them insane. Actually, this one time, I drove a guy sane. He was so crazy, even relative to me, that hanging out with me made him less wacko."
Who was it?
*Note: The author of this AAR, while he has strong political/religious/sports beliefs, does not wish to share them in this forum for fear of offending somebody or, worse, making a joke that requires entirely too much explanation to make it funny. Rather than do that, I invite you to insert your political/religious/sports/etc. figure. Plus, if it's not funny, it's your fault and not mine!
You know, that made a lot of sense.
"Doesn't it, though? Still not sure why he liked the goats so much."
Maybe he was lonely?
"Oh sure, I can understand that. But who charges $1500 a month to call Dial-A-Goat?"
The world may never know. So, uh, I guess here's the map and economy and stuff.
"Thanks, chief. Lessee here... there's a lot of cash going right into the treasury. Can I siphon that off in a slush fund, like Tropico?"
"Another g-- er, dimension. A dimension I've visited a lot in the past. Pla-- er, visited the first three, but haven't tried the fourth."
The fourth what? Dimension? Isn't that supposed to be time?
"Technically. Except in the dimensions where it isn't. In one dimension, the fourth dimension is gravy!"
What kind of gravy?
"Beef, I think. No, chicken. Beef gravy is the fifth dimension."
What's the fifth element?
"It isn't love, that's for damn sure."
*Note: I spoiled a pretty terrible movie there. Seriously, if you've seen the Fifth Element, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, don't. It's awful. In fact, I'm not sure it counts as a spoiler, since you can only spoil things somebody else wants to experience. I'd call it the worst plot twist ever, except we have virtually the entire movie catalog of M. Night Shyamalan to compare to. Okay, at this point, I'm just rambling. Back to the AAR.
After Daniel explained to Chaos that, no, he couldn't steal the money, he accepted Daniel's suggestion -- converting the treasury to get rid of the instability. After all, there was a war on.
"All right. Let's get me in charge now. Work your voodoo, Daniel!"
Daniel was unused to being completely incorporeal and only exerting his will through the sheer force of his mind. The result wasn't pretty. Imagine a grapefruit. Now, hollow it out, and fill it with C4. Then cover the outside of the grapefruit in C4, insert into another grapefruit. Repeat this process until you have dozen grapefruits nestled inside one another in this way. Then, put it inside somebody's head and detonate them all at the same time. That's essentially what Daniel did to the first twelve people he tried to influence. There was grapefruit everywhere. And no, I'm not misspeaking; first, he placed the grapefruits inside their head and detonated them. I told you he wasn't very good.
"I should just let you keep trying for the next twenty years. That would be hilarious!"
Cut me a little slack. It's different when I'm not physically present in my own body.
"Whiner. This is all stuff I learned within thirteen nanoseconds of the beginning of my existence."
Whatever. Let me try one more time. Let's see... docile Bohemian... done! All of a sudden, the man in front of him changed. He now sported a beret, a soul patch, green-tinted sunglasses, and a black turtleneck.
"Wrong kind of Bohemian, idiot."
Crap. Let me try again! Nothing happened, apart from the addition of a set of bongos.
"You're hopeless! OW!" Daniel, frustrated, did what he DID know how to do: use his body. In this case, Chaos punched himself in the stomach.
This is kind of fun!
Ten minutes later, after Chaos had gone all Fight Club on himself (a way better movie than the Fifth Element, I might add), the Bohemian blinked a few times. "That's like, totally deep. You fight the establishment, brother!"
"Great, he's a hippy too."
You need to be more specific when you ask for things in the future.
"At least it can't get any worse."
Chaos approached the Bohemian army with trepidation, and he was right to. Daniel had overshot a little; the entire Bohemian army was, well, an army of Bohemians. Have you ever heard 150,000 bongos at once? Well, 300,000, since they usually come in pairs? Neither have I. I bet it would sound all weird and... bongo-y.
Miraculously, despite actively wanting to fight the establishment, the power, the man, and so on, Daniel still kept the war going. It turned out that, by a shocking coincidence, the bongos beat at the exact same resonance frequency as the human head, which means more head explosions. Sure, that meant as many Bohemians died as enemy soldiers, but there were lots of Bohemians to take the place of the dead ones. (Daniel was pretty thorough in his transformation of the country.)
Chaos was shocked. "This... might actually work. You've screwed up so badly that you've actually screwed up at screwing up. Remarkable. Truly remarkable."
"Don't mention it. Seriously, don't. Let's take this party on the road!"
Sieges seemed more difficult for the Bohemian Bohemian army, until Kaiser Chaos (possibly Kaos, if you like zany spellings which also promote alliteration) told them that there was fancy art house coffee within the walls at only $75 a cup! As this a great bargain for art house coffee, they literally threw themselves (and their bongos) at the wall. (Note: I've never had art house coffee before. I apologize if I was too low on the price. I always strive for realism. Well, apart from exploding grapefruits. And pretty much this entire AAR.)
As the battle of Altmark demonstrated, the bongos were especially hazardous to horses; the Magdeburgian cavalry never stood a chance.
"So, what do you normally do in this situation?"
Honestly? I'm not used to having this much success. Usually I follow the mission or take cores.
"Can we do either of those things?"
Maybe. The mission's impossible, though. Austria's a Republican Dictatorship and can't get married any more.
"Why not? Is there a problem with the Republican D--"
I see where you're going, and I'm not going to allow it.
"Blast. Even as me, you ruin my fun. Your fun. My fun as you is being ruined by me, which is actually you, posing as me."
I've also never been Holy Roman Emperor before. I think we get free cores on everything.
Maybe. I don't know.
"Then let's rock!"
The second Battle of Altmark, in 1751, did not go as well as the first. A particularly wise Magdeburger (mmm.... burgers....) spy snuck into camp and punctured all the drum heads. The result was catastrophe, as the Bohemian Bohemians had no idea what to do.
A quick thinking Daniel then replaced all the bongos in the Bohemian army with steel drums, which made the Bohemians twice as insufferable. Meanwhile, Chaos -- in the person of Daniel, mind you, but not Daniel, who was actually Chaos -- had to convince his loyal army to agree to a new mission after the war with Magdeburg.
"Look, dweebs, we need to take down Siena and free the Pope!"
The "leader" -- since they all were identically dressed, Chaos had no idea whom he was actually addressing -- objected as strong as Bohemians can. Which is to say, he whined. "But man, war is wrong!"
"What do you call this?!"
"We're just playing our drums, dude! It's not our fault that, like, the other guys are totally lame music critics!"
Chaos sighed. "Look, then let's go play our drums in Rome!"
"You don't have a drum."
"I'll get one!"
"I don't see how. I mean, steel is pretty brittle in the 18th century; these drums are obviously pure anachronisms."
"Wait.. what? That actually made sense."
"I'm such a non-conformist, I'm even non-conformist in how I don't conform! I'm an astrophysicist!"
"Real Bohemians don't confirm to what the 'man' says is possible!"
Chaos gave up trying to argue. Then, inspiration struck. "All right, hippies, I'm sure the Pope will let you each try on his hat if you save him."
"That's awesome! We're in!"
We should probably win this war first.
The situation in August 1751 was pretty stable; only one large enemy army remained. The plan was to seize Neumark, then strike hard at the enemy troops in Brandenburg with both Bohemian armies.
Three battles last, Daniel and Chaos (or, if you like, Chaos and Daniel) accomplished exactly that.
A delegation from Magdeburg surrendered; Bohemia had won! (Unfortunately, the celebratory concert killed several more Magdeburgers before the Bohemians had their mallets taken away.)
Chaos felt pretty good about the whole situation. Not about the constant steel drum music, which was kind of irritating, but about winning. In the next couple of years, Chaos added two points of stability, upgraded the army (including improved drums that could be played from horseback, mallets that exploded when thrown, and earmuffs which reduced the likelihood of the Bohemians' heads exploding when they played), and in general had a good time. Then, one day in 1753, Daniel bothered him. Well, Daniel bothered Chaos pretty much every day, but this day was especially bothersome.
"What now? I'm enjoying the music!"
No, you aren't. You're so drunk that you passed out and you can't hear anything.
Anyway.... so, remember how you always had a random punishment for me?
"Of course I do. I'm not some stupid meat sack that can't remember something as simple as his own birth!"
So, yeah. You need to go on a crusade against the Protestants.
I do. In fact... Chaos picked up a large brick and held it just above his head. I'll make you crack your own skull if you don't.
"How can I do that? I'm unconscious."
Yes, but I'm not.
"Right. Fine, whiner. Let's go after Mazovia."
Bavaria, you mean.
Bavaria's a bigger challenge!
"The rules say 'closest'. Look it up!"
Fine. Mazovia. You wimp.
"What's that, Danny boy?"
You heard me.
"I like it! Showing some guts! Being me is good for you!"
Stay tuned for Part 2! It'll probably be the end of this week -- maybe earlier, but don't hold your breath. (If you do hold your breath, remember, I told you not to, so you can't sue me!)