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LaPorte Caves

21 Feb 2017 07:03 #52681 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic LaPorte Caves
Well, in fairness, the man's been raped by a teenager, been told that by the standard of this world he's congenitally dammed to be a moron (and had it repeatedly rubbed in his face by Julia, just for added giggles), and then confined in a way we haven't allowed since we got rid of stocks in the town square. He may not articulate it, but I think he's terrified of the women of this world. And coming from a world were 99% of the dangerous wildlife has been exterminated as a threat to all humans, I can see why he might prefer swamp to roadway in even the most coldly calculating threat analysis :).

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21 Feb 2017 08:31 #52683 by Dru1076
Replied by Dru1076 on topic LaPorte Caves
The most important thing is that this story is very well written, and is undeniably interesting on many levels. B)

"Stupid Reality!" - Homer J. Simpson
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21 Feb 2017 08:33 #52684 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic LaPorte Caves

circes_cup wrote: Monty, I got a laugh out of the fact that you suggested this. In the earlier stages of the story, I wrote exactly such a scene. But it didn't fit with the rest of the story, so I wound up scrapping it. I may use it yet -- just not sure. In any case, in case you are curious, here is what I had on file....


Beyond the peek behind the curtain at the possible direction of the story, I just want to highlight my glee at seeing your system of editing marks. The ad lib place holders and ((CONFIRM)) reminders. It's kind of a look into the folds and crenulations of the author's mind behind the words.

Thank you for sharing. And for ALL your effort poured into this tale. I hope you'll look back on the result with unvarnished pride.
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21 Feb 2017 10:43 - 21 Feb 2017 13:42 #52685 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic LaPorte Caves
Perhaps the first I-beam is broken on the construction site as Julia misjudges the two ton weight.

"Julia! You've squished it!" laughed Mindy "Here, catch and toss us up another one!"

"Um sorry girls , guess I didn't know my own stre..."

"Whatever. That broken beam is coming out of your pay-packet girl!" Amanda called down.
Last edit: 21 Feb 2017 13:42 by Monty.
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24 Feb 2017 10:01 #52748 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic LaPorte Caves
Chapter 15 is on, I have to apologize to Circes for not uploading it sooner, but it slipped completely out of my radar (thank you job and sleep deprivation).

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)
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24 Feb 2017 14:37 #52753 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves
No worries, Woodclaw. I wound up making some tweaks after the initial upload, so the delay actually was beneficial. I also just now corrected a few spelling errors. Thanks also for the way that you format these stories as they go up. I know it takes some time but it's a nice touch!

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24 Feb 2017 16:10 #52754 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic LaPorte Caves
Well worth the weight! :)

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24 Feb 2017 19:44 - 24 Feb 2017 21:56 #52757 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic LaPorte Caves
I like the idea of both Julia and Ruth sharing the same dream (well, Nightmare!). Is it more a premonition from the intaken Nourishment for all the women to keep control of their world?
Last edit: 24 Feb 2017 21:56 by Monty.
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24 Feb 2017 23:20 #52760 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic LaPorte Caves
Well that certainly took a darker turn! I'm glad Julia is realizing that there is a darker underbelly to this whole Nourished concept, even if she did have to break someone's bones. It highlights how men truly are a sub class here. Imagine if Howard knew, that he found out about how society treats men that "do harm" to a Nourished, or about what Julia did. How subjective is that? That isn't law and order. That's master race and slave race, no matter how Ruth might try to spin it as "the Dance," because in the end of a woman feels she's been wronged, she can do pretty much anything she wants. I am surprised to see that Julia didn't seem to have any thoughts or worry about what Howard will think, but at least she acknowledges that he deserves better.
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25 Feb 2017 00:06 - 25 Feb 2017 04:02 #52761 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves

Torque wrote: I am surprised to see that Julia didn't seem to have any thoughts or worry about what Howard will think, but at least she acknowledges that he deserves better.

Do you think Julia will tell Howard what she did? There's such a fundamental disconnect between the characters in this story. Julia tells Howard not to be afraid because there's no violent crime against claimed men, but just the things women do that are legal would be enough to terrify him. Sallan tells Julia that a man could never successfully escape from a nourished woman, while Julia is regretful of how she treated Howard to make him want to escape. The yoga teacher telling the women how superior they are, and then Julia thinking that Howard needs to let go of his ego. Julia is upset enough over the stolen earrings to torture the man who took them, but melted away the locket from Howard without a second thought (and if Howard is upset about that, tough luck). The story is doing an excellent job in creating a world which is, despite some familiar trappings, fundamentally different from our own, and with Julia caught somewhere in the middle. But it's kind of frustrating in a way; plenty of talking, but just never understanding each other.
Last edit: 25 Feb 2017 04:02 by Pepper.
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25 Feb 2017 14:04 - 25 Feb 2017 14:21 #52769 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic LaPorte Caves
Ahh yes....I've just spotted a scene with some foreboding in it (not the shared dream sequences). Interesting developments to come I think!
Last edit: 25 Feb 2017 14:21 by Monty.

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25 Feb 2017 14:46 #52770 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic LaPorte Caves

Pepper wrote:

Torque wrote: I am surprised to see that Julia didn't seem to have any thoughts or worry about what Howard will think, but at least she acknowledges that he deserves better.

Do you think Julia will tell Howard what she did? There's such a fundamental disconnect between the characters in this story. Julia tells Howard not to be afraid because there's no violent crime against claimed men, but just the things women do that are legal would be enough to terrify him. Sallan tells Julia that a man could never successfully escape from a nourished woman, while Julia is regretful of how she treated Howard to make him want to escape. The yoga teacher telling the women how superior they are, and then Julia thinking that Howard needs to let go of his ego. Julia is upset enough over the stolen earrings to torture the man who took them, but melted away the locket from Howard without a second thought (and if Howard is upset about that, tough luck). The story is doing an excellent job in creating a world which is, despite some familiar trappings, fundamentally different from our own, and with Julia caught somewhere in the middle. But it's kind of frustrating in a way; plenty of talking, but just never understanding each other.


The deeper I read into this story the more I think that the big issue here is not if Howard and Julia love each other, but what kind of love they feel and for who. As far as I can tell, I really believe that they are in love, but not as deeply as either is with himself/herself. Howard inner monologue about the fact that he has geven Julia much more than he ever had in any previous relationship was particulary illuminating: in his mind he consider love as a commitment to protect his partner and that's sits fine with him because it allows him to stroke his ego and be in control. From her part, Julia loathed herself for being basically the passive side of their relationship, because she felt that she was holding Howard back. Now she's in love with her new self because she feel that she can be the one who carries the relationship, lifting that burden from Howard's shoulder.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)
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25 Feb 2017 21:04 - 25 Feb 2017 21:04 #52775 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic LaPorte Caves
I think this video might be relevant to the discussion.


(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)
Last edit: 25 Feb 2017 21:04 by Woodclaw.

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26 Feb 2017 06:25 #52795 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves

Woodclaw wrote: The deeper I read into this story the more I think that the big issue here is not if Howard and Julia love each other, but what kind of love they feel and for who. As far as I can tell, I really believe that they are in love, but not as deeply as either is with himself/herself. Howard inner monologue about the fact that he has geven Julia much more than he ever had in any previous relationship was particulary illuminating: in his mind he consider love as a commitment to protect his partner and that's sits fine with him because it allows him to stroke his ego and be in control. From her part, Julia loathed herself for being basically the passive side of their relationship, because she felt that she was holding Howard back. Now she's in love with her new self because she feel that she can be the one who carries the relationship, lifting that burden from Howard's shoulder.

I agree with some of that, but not in all the details.

As for Howard's ego and his desire to be in control, I think there's a continuum of him wanting to be in control of his own life, wanting to be Julia's protector, wanting to increase Julia's dependence on him, and wanting to control Julia. I can accept that he did the first two, but I never really saw him as trying to keep Julia dependent on him. And I don't think it's a bad thing that he wouldn't want anyone else to control him.

I also don't think Julia was quite as bad off as you say, either. If she thought she was holding Howard back, that might make her loathe herself, which would make her think she was holding him back even more, etc. Seems like that kind of downward spiral could devastate someone, and I just don't see that for Julia at the beginning of the story. She'd failed at being an artist ((been a while since I read, CONFIRM)) and other things, but it seemed like Howard was a bright spot in her life. Didn't she say in a pre-Nourishment chapter that she was glad Howard was there to protect her?

I'm not quite sure how that all fits in with Julia's hope that spending some time there will make Howard a better boyfriend. There's a telling passage in chapter 14 where she says she wants to stay but offers to take them home. Howard says he'll stay but with the condition that he go with her to send the emails explaining their absence. (I don't imagine any other woman there would put up with a thing like that.) There's a give-and-take there that seems to bode well for them.

But if Julia does consider this to be a teachable moment for Howard, then presumably how she acts as the dominant partner is how she'll expect him to act once they're back home. One thing that drives me nuts about that world is how women have divorced themselves from any judgment for their actions. (It's great story telling and world building, I just mean it would be infuriating to live in such a place.) It's not that when they do something wrong there are no consequences; they've got the system so rigged that nothing they do can be wrong by definition. I mean, Julia seems to think that when she has a dozen orgasms that it's some kind of sacrifice that Howard should thank her for. She's getting in touch with her body, finding her center, nobly giving of herself so that she may be at peace when she tells Howard what to do. Julia, if you want to have sex 8 times a day, just admit that you're doing it because it feels good. I never believe someone who gets everything they want and tries to make it sound like they're doing me a favor. I wonder how Julia would like it if they came back home, the Nourishment wore off, and Howard said to her "it's the middle of winter, there's a foot of snow in the driveway, and I'm really stressed at work. I'm going to Cancun. When I return, I'll be much more relaxed so I can treat you better. You can thank me when I get back. The snow shovel is in the garage. See you in a week."

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28 Feb 2017 16:14 #52863 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic LaPorte Caves

Pepper wrote:

Woodclaw wrote: The deeper I read into this story the more I think that the big issue here is not if Howard and Julia love each other, but what kind of love they feel and for who. As far as I can tell, I really believe that they are in love, but not as deeply as either is with himself/herself. Howard inner monologue about the fact that he has geven Julia much more than he ever had in any previous relationship was particulary illuminating: in his mind he consider love as a commitment to protect his partner and that's sits fine with him because it allows him to stroke his ego and be in control. From her part, Julia loathed herself for being basically the passive side of their relationship, because she felt that she was holding Howard back. Now she's in love with her new self because she feel that she can be the one who carries the relationship, lifting that burden from Howard's shoulder.

I agree with some of that, but not in all the details.

As for Howard's ego and his desire to be in control, I think there's a continuum of him wanting to be in control of his own life, wanting to be Julia's protector, wanting to increase Julia's dependence on him, and wanting to control Julia. I can accept that he did the first two, but I never really saw him as trying to keep Julia dependent on him. And I don't think it's a bad thing that he wouldn't want anyone else to control him.

I also don't think Julia was quite as bad off as you say, either. If she thought she was holding Howard back, that might make her loathe herself, which would make her think she was holding him back even more, etc. Seems like that kind of downward spiral could devastate someone, and I just don't see that for Julia at the beginning of the story. She'd failed at being an artist ((been a while since I read, CONFIRM)) and other things, but it seemed like Howard was a bright spot in her life. Didn't she say in a pre-Nourishment chapter that she was glad Howard was there to protect her?

I'm not quite sure how that all fits in with Julia's hope that spending some time there will make Howard a better boyfriend. There's a telling passage in chapter 14 where she says she wants to stay but offers to take them home. Howard says he'll stay but with the condition that he go with her to send the emails explaining their absence. (I don't imagine any other woman there would put up with a thing like that.) There's a give-and-take there that seems to bode well for them.


I don't think that Julia is bad either, but I can't help but notice that she seem to experience a level of dissonance in her behaviour that seem to be in no small part due to the Nourishment. On one hand I'm convinced that she's really in love with Howard, but she honestly believe that he need to be taken down a peg (something I agree with), and seem convinced that staying is a good way to do it. On the other hand, Julia is witnessing all of this new world from a perspective completely different from any other woman we have met so far. She's not just an alien, but she's also a woman that has a long experience in being weak, sick, hurtable and so on. She knows pain first hand and doesn't wish them on another human being -- at least from a rational perspective. At the same time being inexperienced with her current body -- both its abilities and needs -- she's also unable to corrently judge her destructive potential and how powerful her instincts are.
This ties in to one of my old observations about this world: I think that pre-Nourishment is the bane of this society since divorce women from ever experiencing the same level of duress -- both physical and intellectual -- of men since a very young age. This means that they lack a number of interpersonal experiences that Julia has, but at the same time they're far more comfortable with their power.

Pepper wrote: But if Julia does consider this to be a teachable moment for Howard, then presumably how she acts as the dominant partner is how she'll expect him to act once they're back home. One thing that drives me nuts about that world is how women have divorced themselves from any judgment for their actions. (It's great story telling and world building, I just mean it would be infuriating to live in such a place.) It's not that when they do something wrong there are no consequences; they've got the system so rigged that nothing they do can be wrong by definition. I mean, Julia seems to think that when she has a dozen orgasms that it's some kind of sacrifice that Howard should thank her for. She's getting in touch with her body, finding her center, nobly giving of herself so that she may be at peace when she tells Howard what to do. Julia, if you want to have sex 8 times a day, just admit that you're doing it because it feels good. I never believe someone who gets everything they want and tries to make it sound like they're doing me a favor. I wonder how Julia would like it if they came back home, the Nourishment wore off, and Howard said to her "it's the middle of winter, there's a foot of snow in the driveway, and I'm really stressed at work. I'm going to Cancun. When I return, I'll be much more relaxed so I can treat you better. You can thank me when I get back. The snow shovel is in the garage. See you in a week."


What you describe here it's exactly the kind of problem I ascribe to P-N, coupled with the fact that -- and this a big credit to Circes as a writer -- this society seem to have very little or a lot in the way of self-restrain. On one side the entire infrastructure is built to make impossible for the women to break the law in any significant way, both because they're, for all intent and purposes, the law and apparently there's little that can stand in the way of Nourished, except another Nourished. There was a similar predicament in Robert Kirkman's Invincible, his race of fascist supermananalogues, the Vultrumites, had the problem that only an older Viltrumite was able to significantly hurt one of his peers. On the other hand the simple fact that this society doesn't seem to have breeding camps and other similar institutions shows that the women knows where to stop.
In more than one way the Nourished seem to be functional sociopaths, they know there's a moral, but they choose to ignore it when they fancy it or need it.

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06 Mar 2017 14:15 #53004 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves
I just submitted Ch 16, a few days later than planned. Still hoping to get 17 up by the end of the week.
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06 Mar 2017 23:45 #53010 by jnw550
Replied by jnw550 on topic LaPorte Caves

circes_cup wrote: I just submitted Ch 16, a few days later than planned. Still hoping to get 17 up by the end of the week.


On the lighter side of things, it is great that we are seeing Julia not just use her power more practically, but be more comfortable and enjoy having them.

I like that you're being creative about it, as well. It's easy to her just have lift this, crush that, or otherwise Julia smash.

The only nitpick I'd have is how quickly Tony escalated to murderous violence. Granted, she would imposing for a person much less a woman, but he doesn't seem to have the spine to take a life and there's no way he could have known she would just shrug off a blade.

A baseball bat maybe simply because of her size and muscle, but a knife? Seems a bit much?

Another great chapter. I do hope Julia gets to enjoy the trip a bit more.

Everyone wants to be a beast, until it's time to do what real beasts do.

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07 Mar 2017 01:41 - 07 Mar 2017 06:48 #53013 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves

jnw550 wrote: The only nitpick I'd have is how quickly Tony escalated to murderous violence. Granted, she would imposing for a person much less a woman, but he doesn't seem to have the spine to take a life and there's no way he could have known she would just shrug off a blade.

Someone breaks into my house, says I destroyed her father, and starts trashing the place? I don't believe that "I just want to talk" shit for a minute; I'm going to defend my life.

And I'll echo what I said a few posts ago. If this is Julia teaching Howard how to be a better boyfriend, then I hope she's happy when he ignores her when she's obviously in pain and lies to her without a second thought.
Last edit: 07 Mar 2017 06:48 by Pepper.

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07 Mar 2017 12:33 #53018 by grungykitten
Replied by grungykitten on topic LaPorte Caves
OK, after reading chapter 16, I can't help but put some pieces together:

The Nourished women are masters of manipulation. Ruth said so herself when she described The Dance. They can hear everything Julia and Howard say to each other, even whispered in confidence. They know exactly what the pair are thinking.

We know that there is a strong sense of foreboding among the Nourished women that the Diana tree is dying. Suddenly, these beings appear from another world. A world without Nourishment. Maybe the Nourished women never knew Earth existed, maybe they knew but they did not know the way there. In any case, Julia has now marked the way for them.

Viewed with this perspective, lots of things start to make a little more sense. The fact that Ruth took Julia and Howard in without batting an eye, and continues to let the pair stay with her, despite her financial troubles. The fact that Mindy followed them back into the cave after explicitly being asked not to. The convenient timing of the beach trip.

Is there any way this doesn't lead to an invasion of Earth?

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07 Mar 2017 18:36 #53022 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves

grungykitten wrote: OK, after reading chapter 16, I can't help but put some pieces together:

The Nourished women are masters of manipulation. Ruth said so herself when she described The Dance. They can hear everything Julia and Howard say to each other, even whispered in confidence. They know exactly what the pair are thinking.

We know that there is a strong sense of foreboding among the Nourished women that the Diana tree is dying. Suddenly, these beings appear from another world. A world without Nourishment. Maybe the Nourished women never knew Earth existed, maybe they knew but they did not know the way there. In any case, Julia has now marked the way for them.

Viewed with this perspective, lots of things start to make a little more sense. The fact that Ruth took Julia and Howard in without batting an eye, and continues to let the pair stay with her, despite her financial troubles. The fact that Mindy followed them back into the cave after explicitly being asked not to. The convenient timing of the beach trip.

Is there any way this doesn't lead to an invasion of Earth?

Hmm, well none of that is where I figured things were going. It's only Julia and Ruth that have had the ominous dreams (that we know of). Dreams aren't necessarily literal warnings; they could just as easily be about Ruth's financial trouble or Howard's unhappiness at being trapped in that world. The women there are so arrogant it doesn't seem they'd be willing to accept that something was wrong in their perfect little paradise. And if the Diana trees are dying, what good would it do for them to come to Earth? No Diana trees here, either.

I just figured that NourishWorld has a tradition of hospitality among the women. Perhaps it's even a measure of status among them; being able to provide for a harem of lovers or take in a couple houseguests could be a sign of success and prestige for them. And Ruth's financial trouble may just mean that she has to sling steel girders at a construction site once a month or else sell her beach house. Hard to get too worked up about that in a world where 80% of the people live in real poverty.

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