44 thoughts on “Chapter 5: Lit, page 104.”

        1. He may not have published it, but I seem to remember Mesmer going through his computer and reading them. It’s possible he decided to take it upon himself to publish them for Ben, considering he had no problem going through his private things.

          1. Either Mesmer published them without telling him or Mesmer figured out the “BJK” of copybook fame is their very own Ben.

          2. Well, there’s stuff Ben writes under his own name for the Crusade; romance/porn he writes under a pseudonym to pay the bills; and other stuff he writes and publishes, or is planning to publish, as copybooks, for his own fulfillment. I’d say this is #3, not #2.

      1. Maybe that’s not his pseudonym? As in, it’s Ben, but the stuff he keeps secret from Reagan is published under a different title.

      2. Has Ben been in town long enough to publish a copy book long enough to get a following listing it in their pull lists? I don’t think so.

  1. Leedskalnin, as in Ed of Coral Castle fame? I’d put that on my pull list based on the name alone. (The Coral Castle is about a half hour from my house.)

  2. I guess she works as a sort of superintendent? Except for an abandoned building, to ward off squatters? I love how dense this world is

    1. Or that a tiny rent gets taken out of her pay so that the building is legally inhabited so Reclamation can’t claim it as an abandoned building.

    2. That’s what I was thinking. It took me a bit, but I gather that she’s a Scarecrow in the sense that she makes the building look lived in. Flushing toilets, gathering mail, flicking lights off and on at certain hours.

      Hell, I would imagine that the building owner has a deal with the city dump to get a few bags of trash just for the purpose of having her dump it down the chute so it looks like folks are throwing stuff out.

      I wonder how many showers she has to take to make it look like normal water consumption.

      Does she ever have to order 15 pizzas…or puppies (considering the cuisine in Templar)?

      1. Flushing unused toilets does serve a purpose other than run up the water bill. All that standing water is prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes. A daily flush would prevent a skeeter population explosion.

  3. I get the feeling she’s employed (at not great pay!) to basically exist in the building to scare off Reclamation, who we know to be very …..active and aggressive, but they don’t want to loose money on it so they can’t sleep in the actual units or use the heat or anything, so they’re basically camping out and making the building look more occupied then it is.

    I love that they are called scarecrows.

    Also, she’s a good bridge for the characters of Reclamation, Doves, Ben, etc.

    1. I think it’s more that if someone is living in the building, then Rec can’t legally file for the Squatter’s Permit, or whatever it’s called that gives them legal title to the building.

    1. 100% with you. Middle/high-pitch valley-girl drawl, accentuated when she’s harassing the customer, less so when talking to people she can stand. Makes everything she says funnier.

  4. Ah…Reclamation has been taking advantage of the notion of Adverse Possession. It’s a legal concept where a person may take possession of land so long as they maintain open, constant and notorious use of that property for a certain length of time (depending on the state – usually a period of a few years). Basically, all Reclamation needs to do when they want to take over an abandoned building is to take up residence in it and stay there, constantly and obviously using it, then file the correct paperwork when they have lasted the amount of time required to obtain official adverse possession. At that point, even if the building is owned by someone else, the original owners lose their interest in the property (without compensation, even!)

    It appears that what Hypatia has been hired to do is stay in an abandoned building and “use” it so that the owner of that building can officially assert their “use” of the property (if Rec tries to move in, they will be trespassing on the land and the owner can prosecute them and have them removed.) If Rec moves in, the owner has maintained their OWN use of the property, so Rec won’t be able to assert a claim. It’s actually a really clever way of holding onto property that you’re not using when there’s a band of legally savvy folks out there looking to take over your land…

    I wonder if Spike has any legal background…that’s a pretty awesome reference for the legal geeks out here!

  5. For the curious, this is a thing that actually exist : letting people live in innocupied building to prevent squatters to move in.

    In Amsterdam, there are “anti-squat agencies” who rent places to students for a very low rent : See last paragraph in this article : http://www.dutchamsterdam.nl/555-squatting-in-amsterdam and in this one : http://www.amsterdam.info/students/housing/

    They don’t pay people to live there, though. They just charge very low rent. And you might have to move out on very short notice.

  6. As a side note, I’m guessing Hypatia is Nile (or at least Egyptian in some way) since the ancient Hypatia was a mathematician and philosopher from Alexandria, Egypt…I don’t know if she was Greek and just living there or actually Egyptian, but she was regarded as Egyptian in my old classics class, so I would imagine that would be a name a Nile family would give their daughter (especially since I’m guessing the Thoth copy shop would be a Nile establishment…)

    I love the little nuggets of awesome Spike throws in!

    1. She was a Greek philosopher/mathemetician who was murdered by a Christian mob in the early 5th cent. For more details go to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypatia

      Also her murder (or rather the prevention of it) was the key event in an alternate history series by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint and some other guy whose name eludes me.

    2. Well, the Nile folks probably see the Greeks in Egypt, even way back in Ptolemaic times, as vile interlopers on the Pharaonic order, just like they do Christians and Muslims. It’s not a modern Egyptian name, either. Not impossible it might be a modern Greek name, but most likely just chosen as a nifty name by Americans.

      1. Ah! She WAS Greek! Thanks! Still, she DID live in Alexandria, Egypt…she or her father are regarded as the last librarians of the great library there. She also was regarded as a “pagan” so it’s possible she worshiped the Egyptian deities, so maybe she is Nile…or maybe she’s some new, glorious subculture Spike conceived of…

        1. For what it’s worth, Cleopatra was also Greek, as were the rest of the Ptolemies, though they adopted Egyptian religion and culture and were accepted as Egyptian by their subjects and the rest of the world. So maybe during the Hellenist and Roman periods being “Egyptian” was a matter of culture more than ethnic origin (sort of like how the U.S. is _supposed_ to be). Or a matter of political leanings, i.e. Not Roman, much like the Hun Empire was later (only with libraries and learning).

          And so Hypatia might very well be a name considered Egyptian Enough to give to a bookish Nile girl in Templar.

  7. Spike’s getting creepily meta here. There was a zinester in Arizona back in the day called Daddy Warcrimes (but in Tucson, not Templar), a mostly far left political crustie punk deal.

    1. This being Templar, it could simply be how she dresses. We’ve seen neo-Ʀgyptians, pasttimes, wickerheads, jakeskins, sincerists, whatever-the-heck-reagan-is (she’s a subculture unto herself) and so on and on and on. Why not pseudo-natives?

      Or she could be one of the heretofore unseen ’40s.

  8. I love ‘Things I should have said’. I can really believe somebody’d make a copybook of staircase wit.

  9. I chuckled when I saw “Ucalegon” because I once saw it claimed as one of the most obscure words in the English language–OED defines it as something like: “A next-door neighbor whose house is currently on fire.” It’s actually the name of an Elder of Troy from the Iliad/Aeneid who’s mentioned in the former and the latter makes reference to the destruction of his house (by fire, doy).

    It also apparently literally translates as “Doesn’t worry.” Could just be a really laid back dude…whose house is on fire.

  10. I swear i read somewhere that Nile would never use Greek names.. old/middle kingdom FTW.. but i can’t find the reference now. maybe spike said it sometimes. maybe i dreamt it.

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