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LaPorte Caves

08 Mar 2017 21:02 #53048 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw 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?


This is an interesting scenario, but I think the case might be a little different and even more fantastic. This is all speculation on my part and past comments from Circes already proved me wrong, but stay with me for a bit.
We have really no idea how the Caves actually work, save that apparently they open up on different worlds, but we only have Ruth's word about it. What if they didn't just opne on different worlds, but different time periods as well? Ruth joked about the idea that sirens, at least in their medieval incarnation, were actually Nourished women vacationing in other worlds. This might be a clue or not, but we'll see.
A second interesting element is that the people of Nourishworld speak English or, at least, a language that sound like English, but it's written with ideographs -- like Chinese -- instead of the Latin script. Now this might be coincidence (or a simple plot conveniency), but ti tell us that the Nourishworld had a storical and, perhaps cultural, evolution similar to our own in many respects.
A third element is that most of technologies of this world are the same we have, which clearly clash with the notion of a society reliant on a vastly superior class to solve every problem without any kind of tool for any extended amount of time. Thing like cars and boats are clearly useless to the Nourished and so we can presume they were either created by the men of Nourishworld to fill the gap -- which imply that some of them had the chance to build them and market them in some way -- or relics from a pre-Nourished time, but this would mean that Nourishworld had already achieved a level of technology similar to our society before the Nourishment became widespread.

Given these three points I believe that it would be entirely possible that Nourishworld isn't a different world, but our own in a future where the rise of the Nourished cause posed a massive roadblock to any significant technological advancement simply because the now superpowered women were able to solve any problem on their own and smash their way into becoming the upper echelon of society in any respect. The already existing technology is still a status symbol (a woman can afford to buy her men the best toys) and has been adapted to a point. The language suffered a similar fate, the women developed a code to communicate among themselves that relied on their superior ability to memorize informations and, little by little, this either become the most accepted form of communication or was imposed from above (kind of like Englihs has become the frank toungue of the net today).
If this is true it's possible that Julia is the vector that would bring the first seeds of the diana tree back to the past.

Pepper wrote: 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 can think of at least two elements that might explain the eventual decay of the trees: sunlight and the Nourishment itself.
When Howard and Julia arrived in the Nourishworld one of the first thing they noticed was that the sunlight seemed odd, somehow less intense. This is a very wild conjecture on my part, but it reminded me of Andrzej Sapkowski's "The Witcher" series where a change in the sunlight is the first sign of a incoming climate change of global proportions and the plants are the first to suffer from it. Considering how dependent Nourishworld is on the fruits of the diana tree any climate change is potentially catastrophic.
The second is a bit more involved, but when the doctor explained to Julia what Nourishment was she stated that each can is a superconcentrate that contain the equivalent of dozens (if not more) fruits at once. Considering that most adult women consume Nourishment several times a day, this means hundrends of fruits by the end of a single week per woman. Unless the diana tree is the most invasive plant in the world, this means that it has to be subject of intesive farming and extensive monoculture, potentially leading to a deterioration of the environment like the colony collapse disorder or leaving the entire society vulnerable to a single specialized parrasite (like the Irish Great Famine of 1842-54).

Merging the two theories above there's also another possibility, maybe Julia isn't the vector that brought the seeds to the past, but she's being manipulated into bringing the seeds back before a specific event that set the chain reaction which is leading to the climate change and the Nourished are hoping to be able to preserve their future or, at least, a version of it by introducing the tree into a less damaged environment.

(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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09 Mar 2017 07:48 #53051 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves

Woodclaw wrote: I think this video might be relevant to the discussion.


Great find, Woodclaw! I usually surf the forum on an old clunker ipad, so I didn't get a chance to see this until I finally got to a real computer. I think this touches on lots of the insecurities and tensions that lopsided power in a relationship can bring.
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10 Mar 2017 12:14 #53070 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves
I just submitted Ch 17 and 18 for posting. Ch 17 is so short I decided to finish both chapters at once rather than post them one at a time.

For those of you that are following the posting schedule I shared a few weeks back, the fact that I am posting 18 now means that everything steps up by a week. Ch 19 should be ready by 3/17 and then we hit a hiatus after that.

Thanks to everyone who posted comments in the last week or so. As I mentioned earlier, the best way for me to participate in the dialogue -- to explain the unclear points and to show the direction of the story -- is simply to get another chapter up. So I may not be commenting much in the forum but I'm trilled that some people are reading the story so closely.

I'm curious how many people are still following this story after so many chapters and so much time. If you've been silent to date but want me to keep going, please say so loud and clear. Knowing the level of interest matters to me.

Hope you enjoy!
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10 Mar 2017 16:29 #53075 by jnw550
Replied by jnw550 on topic LaPorte Caves
I know all good things must come to an end; but if Julia's story doesn't continue, I'd love to read other characters tales. I love the story.

Everyone wants to be a beast, until it's time to do what real beasts do.
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10 Mar 2017 16:59 #53078 by mysod
Replied by mysod on topic LaPorte Caves
Hi - silent reader here - still reading - and still very interested. :)
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10 Mar 2017 19:29 #53079 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic LaPorte Caves
Looking forward to them! The site was down for me for 10 days so I could only post on the storyboard for ch16 The future of the story could literally go anywhere and any way for Julia at this juncture!
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10 Mar 2017 19:50 #53080 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic LaPorte Caves

circes_cup wrote: I just submitted Ch 17 and 18 for posting. Ch 17 is so short I decided to finish both chapters at once rather than post them one at a time.

For those of you that are following the posting schedule I shared a few weeks back, the fact that I am posting 18 now means that everything steps up by a week. Ch 19 should be ready by 3/17 and then we hit a hiatus after that.


Chapter 17 is going up as we speak, but I'm going to wait a moment on 18 to give other stories a place it the tracker, I'm expecting at least one by Sunday.

(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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10 Mar 2017 21:08 - 10 Mar 2017 21:20 #53083 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic LaPorte Caves
That was an interesting response from Howard in the caves there with "Don't...uh...don't worry." Even through the pain, he wants to get back to Amanda and Mindy who he both can't help himself around, especially with Amanda showing up later on. Interesting developments there in ch17.
Last edit: 10 Mar 2017 21:20 by Monty.
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11 Mar 2017 17:23 - 11 Mar 2017 17:28 #53092 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic LaPorte Caves
... or maybe I have read that wrong and Howard has consigned himself to Julia's new world order.
Last edit: 11 Mar 2017 17:28 by Monty.

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11 Mar 2017 17:44 #53093 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves
Glad to see the story continuing. I guess I can believe Howard and Julia love each other, I just wish they liked each other enough to tell them the truth.

Julia is trying to warn Howard of the dangers of going un-claimed.

“I know you can, honey, on Earth. But next to the amazons, well, your strength is so puny.” She ignored the hurt look on his face. He needed to hear the truth. “I saw some stuff this morning that was pretty scary.”

If Howard needs to know the truth, don't just say that some stuff was scary; tell him that women can torture and maim men at their whim and the police will help them do it. Let him know what he's really getting himself into. Maybe you can leave out the part about how you're the one who did it, and it turned you on. Maybe.

Then, after making such a big deal about how Howard needs to have someone around to protect him, Julia was just gonna take off and let him wake up alone, with nothing to do, not knowing where they'd all gone, and no idea when they'd be back. If she insists that he always have someone around, then she's got to be around.

Howard, on the other hand, doesn't bother to tell her that his boot is filling up with blood, he's in agony, and about to pass out. That's beyond stubborn and well into mindless stupidity. I don't know how Julia, with her enhanced senses, missed it.

But maybe it doesn't matter that neither of them is telling the other the truth. Neither one of them is listening to each other, too.
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12 Mar 2017 10:38 #53100 by Sam+Norton
Replied by Sam+Norton on topic LaPorte Caves
Hi.
Thanks for continuing this great story!!!
I'm not writing much comments about it, but I assure you that I'm really curious about future developing
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13 Mar 2017 14:03 #53122 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves
Chapter 18 has been posted.

Also, for those of you who like this sort of story (female muscle growth, a society of empowered women rather than just one woman, no flying, but with creative other powers), I really encourage you to read "Bitten by the Queen", by Lowerbase. It's available on a Saradas forum; a simple Google search will get you there. I found the story to be addictive to the point that I've had a hard time not thinking about it. Lowerbase seems to have an endless imagination, and he's got a great plot and believable characters. If you like LPC, I cannot encourage you strongly enough: go check out Bitten.
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13 Mar 2017 21:13 - 13 Mar 2017 21:51 #53133 by lowerbase
Replied by lowerbase on topic LaPorte Caves
Poor Howard... when you think things were finally turning in his favor...

I wonder how the other amazons will try to comfort Julia, in a place where 400 year-old women would watch the many men in their lives to perish before them, the amazons might not be so understanding of Julia's feelings.

On my story, I hope to bring it here to the library in a better format someday. It belongs more here than there. Greatly influenced by LPC, only that it is happening in our world.

Thanks for the bump, Circes
Last edit: 13 Mar 2017 21:51 by lowerbase.

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13 Mar 2017 23:23 #53135 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves

lowerbase wrote: Poor Howard... when you think things were finally turning in his favor...

I'm not sure we've seen the last of Howard; but things have been turning worse for him recently, not better, and it's all of his own making. I suspect circes might still have a few tricks up his sleeve.

The bigger mystery is how Howard managed to survive to adulthood in the first place.

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14 Mar 2017 01:48 #53139 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves
Howard might be having a tough week, but don't count that guy out! :)
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18 Mar 2017 13:52 #53200 by grungykitten
Replied by grungykitten on topic LaPorte Caves
Oh for the love of...

This is the third time in as many days that Howard will "scare the crap out of" Julia. How long will she continue to indulge Howard in his insane inferiority complex?

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18 Mar 2017 14:47 - 18 Mar 2017 14:54 #53203 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic LaPorte Caves

grungykitten wrote: Oh for the love of...

This is the third time in as many days that Howard will "scare the crap out of" Julia. How long will she continue to indulge Howard in his insane inferiority complex?


He feels totally lost in this world and Julia feels sympathy / empathy for him. Great writing Circes! I think I know where this is going to go. (When you have your readership looking into further developments, this is when you have created a great story).
Last edit: 18 Mar 2017 14:54 by Monty.

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18 Mar 2017 20:24 #53205 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves

grungykitten wrote: This is the third time in as many days that Howard will "scare the crap out of" Julia. How long will she continue to indulge Howard in his insane inferiority complex?

Julia is the one that keeps telling Howard how inferior he is. And when he's doing something stupid is about the only time Julia pays any attention to Howard, so there's kind of an incentive for him to keep doing it.

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18 Mar 2017 22:02 #53206 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves

grungykitten wrote: Oh for the love of...

This is the third time in as many days that Howard will "scare the crap out of" Julia. How long will she continue to indulge Howard in his insane inferiority complex?


Yup, I get it. This part of Howard is a little bit maddening. There's a reason, but you'll have to wait a few chapters more to see it all.

I just submitted Ch. 19. I am cleaning up Ch 20 (only 3,000 words as opposed to 5,000 for most chapters) and hope to have that up shortly.

Thanks guys, so much, for the comments!
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19 Mar 2017 10:04 #53212 by Sam+Norton
Replied by Sam+Norton on topic LaPorte Caves
Just read the new chapters. They are really good.
Nice idea to make Howard visit a museum and make us discover what Nourished women can do with their boobs. And It's quite scary knowing that they can even kill you with a little bit of milk.
Really curious about next chapters: Will Howard confront Julia about this?
Will Julia use more milk to shut Howard?? Will he get the daned Claimed tatoo??
We can only wait :D
Thanks again Circes for this great story.
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