Paying Rent (NML)

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Re: Paying Rent (NML)

Postby arbon » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:33 am

Well, I didn't really go and re-read every chapter in this entire series so far, but I think it was implied that they stole more than just food.


Oh! Good catch. I can’t find the exact passage but I remember the scene you’re talking about. Of all the actual times when something was successfully stolen or an attempt actually got past the planning phase, it was food. In Ray’s case they managed to snag a single piece of lettuce … which they didn’t think was enough to come back with. And with Elsa’s case, they went straight towards the expensive candies, which I consider a dick move. Not being aware of micro food shortages seems realistic concerning how thoughtless some people can be, but from what the setting implies the micros pretty much have to be starving. First there’s the logistics of exactly where and how they might grow their own food.

Any farmland? Any domesticated animals they can slaughter? Any wild animals roaming around the city they can hunt? I highly doubt they have access to fertile soil, and even if they did it would be impossible to keep an above-ground garden safe from the scrutiny and tampering of giants. Maybe they could hunt down wild insects, provided macro bugs actually exist AND that they are fit for eating. I can imagine hunting wild cockroaches could make for a very sick populace.

And note, while the rally was allowed to exist and micros do get to appear in the newspaper, something to be very proud of concerning relations between the two, it isn’t necessarily good. The rally could happen, yes, but it was completely ignored. Not just by passersby, but also by people who saw Elsa snatching one off the table with voiced intent to eat him. No one did anything. No one said anything. No one batted an eyelash at the simple musing of whether or not she wanted to murder someone.

All that is required for evil to triumph, is that good people do nothing. Not one of the normal sized people did anything. So either they aren’t good, or evil has clearly triumphed. Better than most settings certainly, but the lesser of two evils is still evil.

Wait, what? Yes the tinies need food, but they weren't really in any danger of starving


If the micros aren’t in danger of starving and have some other food source NOT dependent on stealing from the normals, then why would they? If they were just stealing for the sake of stealing and had food reserves aplenty, why would they bother stealing food? Any micro who goes out into the field to steal is putting their life on the line, they are risking a horrible, brutal, imaginative death just for the sake of … whatever they can carry home. Isn’t that indication enough that they are starving? Perhaps not the people doing the actual stealing, of course those characters aren’t going to be bending over in pain from the unending hunger. But stealing food is institutionalized for these micros, isn’t it. Even if one team fails to return with anything, the hordes of other teams will probably score. When I say that the micros are starving and need food, I don’t mean each individual micro. I mean the community as a whole.

As for the situation you described, I … don’t really see the similarities. For one, a homeless man initiating a fight could actually cause me some serious harm, provided he was an adult, and my scale. And I didn’t mean for those micros Elsa chased to ask for a handout, I was judgmental of Elsa for not offering one. To explain, I can’t really see this as a situation in which a dirty homeless man broke into my house, tried to attack me, and then demanded I give him my stuff. These micros were tiny. Perhaps not helpless, but they certainly could do Elsa any lasting, serious harm. ESPECIALLY not when compared to just the kind of power she had over them. It more closely resembles … hmm …

Okay, let’s say two homeless children less than ten years old but especially scrappy and mouthy, happened to sneak into my house to steal some of my cookies. I quietly listen in, pretending not to notice them, while they make their way to the kitchen and try to pry open the cookie jar. Once I realize that watching them isn’t fun enough if they actually steal away a handful of my cookies, I get up, grab a shotgun, and boldly step into the room cocking it menacingly. I point it at the children and laugh at how they respond, teasing them with thoughts of what I could do to them and how they were doing me wrong.

I don’t plan to hurt them. Or maybe I do. No, of course I won’t hurt these children, I’m just playing around and having a bit of fun. One of the bolder kids says something insulting, and I respond with anger, shoving the barrel of the gun into her face. The child slaps the gun aside, kicks me in the shins, and then the two run off while I fumble from the pain they caused me. Angrily, I storm after them. They try to run, throwing insults the whole time, but I’m an adult. I’m much faster than them. I kick the girl from behind, then bend down to lift her up with one arm. I kick the boy to the ground, then I step on his chest, applying just enough pressure to keep him still without breaking his tiny little ribs.

I picture just how much fun it would be to stomp down a little harder, to feel his bones snapping beneath my weight, to feel his heart stop beating while I crush through his organs. I smile, contemplating if I could actually do it. That so long as I don’t have to think about who or what this child is, I would do it. I would enjoy it. I wouldn’t give ending his life a second thought … but then I see his eyes. The boy’s pleading eyes look up at me from the ground, and I decide that I can’t. I decide that I’m too weak. That I should be stronger, strong enough to finish him off, and bemoan that I take pity in his gaze.

But then the girl rages and curses, making me angry again, and calling me a murderer for having crushed the boy she was with. I slam her to the couch, smack her across the face with the butt of my gun, then press the barrel harshly against her chin. I call her a thief. I claim that this is HER fault, and that all she’s doing by stealing is making people hate her even more, that she shouldn’t have tried to fight back and shouldn’t have insulted me. I pretend to fire the gun. I soak in the fear and panic in her eyes, gleefully enjoying how the look on her face makes me feel empowered. I’m angry at the girl, and all I want to do is pull the trigger and watch her head explode in a shower of gore and bone.

But I can’t do it. I’m too weak … I’m not as strong as all of my other friends. So defeated and saddened, I let them go. The boy walking away gratefully, the girl running out the house with tears down her cheeks and panic in her eyes.



THAT is how I picture the events with Elsa. At no point was she in any actual danger, and at no point did she make herself appear to be anything more than a sadistic monster out to kill them. She /wasn’t/ a sadistic monster, she was just overly playful and got wanted to have a fun time, but the micros who were stealing from her had no way of knowing that. Yes I am aware she was put into the fetal position and clearly distressed … but that wasn’t because the micros were overly harsh to her. It’s not like she was just this passive little girl who rolled back and got attacked by the mean, nasty thieves. She was upset because she felt humiliated. That after having micros stand up to her twisted musing out in public, now there were fearless micros standing up to her sick desires in the privacy of her own home. She was upset that she couldn’t go through with killing them, and that even when she was the big one with all of the power people were still willing to fight back, that her control wasn’t complete, that using fear and intimidation wasn’t garnering her the respect she felt she deserved.

I know the dark ages were pretty damn messed up, but I know a lot of the stories from where were also exaggerated.


What I described is stuff that happens TODAY with modern serial killers, only now it’s much harder to get away with and fewer people will stand up for your rights to torture select groups of people. One example of a well documented torture method is the Blood eagle, in which a person’s chest was sliced open, the ribs painstakingly removed, and then the lungs pulled to either side of the body so that your mutilated corpse slightly resembled an eagle’s wings. The scary part was that they’d make sure to keep you alive throughout the entire process, only letting you die from blood loss or pain while you got to feel clumps of dirt falling into your open chest cavity. Heck, crucifixion is an incredibly well documented torture/execution method that was done to untold thousands of people. It’s pretty hard to exaggerate past that.

And when you look at a lot of crimes done to children even in the past thirty years, it’s a bit of a stretch to believe they somehow had more protection and an easier time when no one would care if they starved to death. Hansel and Gretel, the famous bedtime story, references a period of time in which leaving your children in the woods to die was common practice among struggling families … though, admittedly, only because the church opposed all methods of birth control and there was no other method of ensuring families had enough food to actually get by.

Part of the whole being allowed to attack someone who breaks into your home thing is because of self defense, they broke into your home, you have no idea if they will be hostile and try to hurt or kill you or not, this really doesn't apply when your foot is larger than the person breaking in.


In theory it doesn’t apply if children break into your house, because an adult VS a small child is hardly a fair fight, but even then it’s possible for the child to have a knife or a gun and kill you with a well placed blow. The only reason it would feel different is because children are more helpless, and thus the expected response is to try and help them. Micros would be even more so … though, technically, Micros could pose the same danger if things were actually as bad I keep thinking they are. If death-rates were really high enough and they needed the food, micros could decide to kill a macro in their sleep and then loot the entire house before any authorities found the body. The fact this doesn’t happen (we assume, based on interpretation) means relations are going somewhat well for the two races.

don't fully remember, but I think Elsa, Sam, and Rey were the only ones left in the area by that time


I’m pretty sure that there were other micros still at the rally, but I could be wrong. Not much a rally if there is only one person at the stand. But I know for a fact there were plenty of normal sized people milling around the area in plain sight of the rally. They just ignored it entirely.

Elsa cocked her head ponderingly, then continued analyzing Rey with childlike wonder. However, a glance behind her allowed Rey to note that the jaguar—Sam, yes, that was her name—was keeping some sort of watch. Where Elsa scanned him, Sam scanned the crowds of various people. Was there someone she was waiting for?


Sam couldn’t scan any crowds of various people if the area was empty.

Actually, I think that scene has been edited now that I am re-reading it. I certainly don't recall Elsa trying to eat Rey after being threatened by Fiela and being punched in the face and threatened further for the attempt.


Wait, that’s been edited? I remember Elsa THOUGHT about eating Ray quickly enough to get away with it, but I certainly don’t remember her attempting to. Nor do I remember Fiela physically jumping in to stop it with an actual strike. Now I’m going to have to re-read that scene, because that bit certainly makes it look like Fiela actually cares. Thanks for pointing it out!

Don't foget that Max is the mayor's advisor, and it's not a secret either. Plus he both has been interviewed and in the beginning of Crypsis was conducting an interview for Fiela.


I keep forgetting that, and it certainly paints my view as little less likely … but, we also have to keep in mind that Max is a special case, because he’s one of the few micros who IS physically strong enough to fight back against a giant, and along with knowing about his job the whole town knows just how strong he is. Can we really use him as an example? One job, from one exceptionally powerful micro, in an advisory position for someone who clearly has a soft spot for the little people? Even if we can use that as an example, how many positions requiring mental capabilities are actually open? And how well could a micro perform them if there is no adequate schooling for them in the area?

IS there any form of schooling system in place for the micros, or are they just a collection of people squatting in whatever hole they can etch out for themselves? If there is a schooling system or a collage system, then would it be the equivalent of the macro’s schooling? If it isn’t equivalent and legally in place, then what happens if a micro tries to enroll in a college course alongside normal sized people? What if they try to send their child into a normal sized school? It seems a bit unrealistic to think that enough micros could get such high end jobs to support themselves, laws of economics state that most of them will be stuck with menial labor. Low end jobs, where little education is required and most of the actual work is physical. What sort of jobs could exist that leave a micro away from strings of customers, don’t require them to lift heavy payloads or operate giant machinery, and will be of actual benefit to an employer so they can rationalize giving the micro enough money for food and rent?

For the sake of simplicity, we have to rule out jobs that require specialized expertise, such as the mechanical or medical industry, as those will only be available for people who actually know the material. It has to be something that ANY micro can do, otherwise you’ll still have starving micros who need to steal to survive. We’ll ignore the possibility of co-workers snatching the micro away and then claiming that the little guy ran off, and we’ll assume the boss won’t be mistreating the micro, but won’t be offering any special allowances beyond physical requirements.

I … think my post is getting a bit too long, so as much I want to write down a few possibilities myself, I’ll have to move on and say what I’ve come up with in another post. It’s making my itchy … my own theory has this massive gaping weak point, and I just want to stab it until my argument pops. Jobs that a micro could actually pull off in this economy would put a massive dent in my argument.

The problem is more how would a tiny even GET a job? Not like they have an internet, or a phone system (or at the very least, not one which is connected to the giant's) and they can't exactly just walk into an employment office. They are incapable of any job that requires physical labor and considering their forced living conditions it seems unlikely their education system can prepare them for any of the more intellectual roles. (Hmm, I guess technically that leaves telemarketing... but that would make the giants want to kill them even more )


Oh … probably should have read this part before typing out on a tangent. When writing the above I was sort of hoping you’d have some ideas. As for getting a job, if you’re desperate enough then just walking into a building with a “help wanted sign” and asking if there are available jobs seems like the only option, and I sort of thought that someone, somewhere along the line would be brave enough or crazy enough to do that, which opens the floodgates for other micros to try. I don’t see why an employment office would really be so out of the question, though I can think of plenty of reasons why either side would need to be in the right frame of mind to even consider it.

Kinda off topic: It's easy to just ignore this kind of thing when it doesn't really effect you in any way.


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Re: Paying Rent (NML)

Postby TendoTwo » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:06 pm

arbon wrote:Ray’s case they managed to snag a single piece of lettuce … which they didn’t think was enough to come back with.


IIRC, the fox in charge (forgot his name) purposely lied about the easy to obtain lettuce and made them go after something else so he could get Rey caught on purpose, not because he though it wouldn't be enough. I don't remember, but I think at the end Dexter had managed to grab several leafs of it while Fiela was distracted with the others.

arbon wrote:Maybe they could hunt down wild insects, provided macro bugs actually exist AND that they are fit for eating. I can imagine hunting wild cockroaches could make for a very sick populace.


So far, it seems to imply that the "giants" really are human sized and the tinies are a few inches tall, so it seems likely "giant" insects exist. Actually, it's funny, I have read about this before. Barring obvious disease carriers like mosquitos, etc. insect meat is apparently very healthy and fairly good for you.

arbon wrote:Not just by passersby, but also by people who saw Elsa snatching one off the table with voiced intent to eat him. No one did anything. No one said anything. No one batted an eyelash at the simple musing of whether or not she wanted to murder someone.


There was nobody at the rally itself by that point except the three mentioned. While yes there were people walking around, they didn't seem close enough to the rally, it's likely they couldn't see what was going on. At that size a tiny wouldn't be easy to spot from a distance, she might have just looked crazy or going after a bug.

arbon wrote:If the micros aren’t in danger of starving and have some other food source NOT dependent on stealing from the normals, then why would they?If they were just stealing for the sake of stealing and had food reserves aplenty, why would they bother stealing food? Any micro who goes out into the field to steal is putting their life on the line, they are risking a horrible, brutal, imaginative death just for the sake of … whatever they can carry home.


I meant more that they seem to have enough food reserves to last at most a few days (probably barely half a week) if the raids go bad. Yeah, they still need to steal to keep it going, but one raid going bad (as in the case with Jess and Elsa and... forgot his name) isn't going to be a breaking point and start sending them into becoming weak with hunger territory. I was talking about the community as a whole too by the way, I just didn't mean it in a completely literal sense. They had already pushed their luck several times and still got out alive, it was wise to let that one go.

arbon wrote:As for the situation you described, I … don’t really see the similarities. For one, a homeless man initiating a fight could actually cause me some serious harm, provided he was an adult, and my scale.


Kinda ironic how for the same reasons I mentioned the dark ages scenario didn't work too well mine didn't work that well too. It was more the idea of having someone attack and insult you for something, whether they can harm you or not, and then them asking for that thing anyway after basically a fight. People can still be hurt by actions and words, it doesn't have to be physical violence.

arbon wrote:And I didn’t mean for those micros Elsa chased to ask for a handout, I was judgmental of Elsa for not offering one.


Honestly, I wonder if she still would of had not Jess acted the way she did. Even after they went for her treats she still was amused by the whole thing and called them cute, it was after Jess actually physically hurt her, then started hurling insults, that it started to escalate. Jess's insults weren't just entirely childish name calling, they struck a chord with Elsa.

arbon wrote:Okay, let’s say two homeless children less than ten years old but especially scrappy and mouthy, happened to sneak into my house to steal some of my cookies. I...


That was...... disturbingly graphic. I know that you were trying to re-create the chase using a real-world possible scenario, but yet again, this isn't really the same thing, First of all, like you pointed out a child can still kill or severely injure an adult, especially one old enough to break into a house. Also, a child could very well not know any better either, if they are that young, their mind is still developing. Comparing a micro to a child really doesn't work. There is also the fact that they are an entirely different race and said races don't really know much about each other.

arbon wrote:THAT is how I picture the events with Elsa. At no point was she in any actual danger, and at no point did she make herself appear to be anything more than a sadistic monster out to kill them.


Just want to point out that she flat out said barely two minutes in that she wouldn't even hurt them, much less kill them, she even told this to Jess repeatedly. At which point I might add Jess continued to insult and taunt her, if anything, the problem was that Jess was acting like ALL Elsa could be was a sadistic monster out to kill them. In fact, that is exactly what she called Jess out on.

arbon wrote:Yes I am aware she was put into the fetal position and clearly distressed … but that wasn’t because the micros were overly harsh to her. It’s not like she was just this passive little girl who rolled back and got attacked by the mean, nasty thieves. She was upset because she felt humiliated. That after having micros stand up to her twisted musing out in public, now there were fearless micros standing up to her sick desires in the privacy of her own home. She was upset that she couldn’t go through with killing them, and that even when she was the big one with all of the power people were still willing to fight back, that her control wasn’t complete, that using fear and intimidation wasn’t garnering her the respect she felt she deserved.


Seemed more like she was distressed both at the insults (not so much just because they were insulting, but because they hit home in reminding her of Rey, who pushed exactly the wrong buttons in her encounter with him) as well as realizing Jess managed to make her push herself farther than she ever wanted to go. Again, harmless or not, they broke into her home, tried to steal something important, than in her own home insulted and attacked her. Harmless or not, I didn't really expect her to just ignore that, and especially not reward the tinies over it.

arbon wrote:What I described is stuff that happens TODAY with modern serial killers


Ummm..... those are SERIAL KILLERS! :shock:

And said public executions, yes, there were a lot of messed up ways to kill someone back then and make them suffer, usually though these were a form of punishment (usually) for something pretty bad. It takes a lot of effort to do that after all. Can't imagine skinning children for stealing would have been common. Again, this is why I asked if it actually happened that commonly, since I never really got into history. A lot of messed up things happened in those periods, but how much was a notable event and how much was commonplace.

arbon wrote:Wait, that’s been edited? I remember Elsa THOUGHT about eating Ray quickly enough to get away with it, but I certainly don’t remember her attempting to. Nor do I remember Fiela physically jumping in to stop it with an actual strike. Now I’m going to have to re-read that scene, because that bit makes it look like Fiela actually cares. Thanks for pointing out!


Yeah, I remember her thinking about it too, and then deciding not to, I forgot if it was out of fear or because Fiela IS a friend of hers after all and she didn't want to betray her, despite how much she wanted to hurt Rey.

Which is why it was even more jarring when I re-read that scene and saw the addition, at least I assume it's an addition.

Here, this is that scene, the part in bold is what I *think* was added later.

Berserker wrote:Elsa was reluctant; the last thing she would consider doing was tempting Fiela, who would remain the alpha as long as she had a reason to be cross. However, she could do what she wanted with the rabbit quickly, with no time for the wolf to react. The idea passed through her head and taunted her—and oh, how it did—but then, where would that get her with Fiela? Hell, she’d tear her apart if it so pleased her. Maybe not literally, but she wasn't entirely willing to test that theory.

Although…

Her hand was fast, lurching with dark purpose toward her open, toothy maw, but Fiela’s reflexes were faster still. The rabbit halfway carried to her lips, a hand plowed smartly and viciously across Elsa’s face—this time as a closed fist—forcing a pained whine, then an instinctive growl that devolved into a pitiful whimper the second the guttural sound was returned by the wolfess. Fiela’s was more powerful, more demanding, more angry—and Elsa could do nothing about it. Poised to strike again if necessary, Fiela glowered harshly.

“One more move like that,” Fiela snapped, provoking. “I fucking dare you.” More quick looks from surrounding giants, but the circumstances of the pack rivalry became evident, which most then decided was none of their business.


Even without that scene though, it was implied that Fiela was pretty pissed off when she found out it was Rey she was holding (and relived when she got him back). It was just described as her "trying to keep her cool". For one thing, Elsa was drunk, would you really want to argue with a drunk on a hair trigger? On another, her goal was to get Rey back safely, getting into a fight, both verbal or physical, could have ended up in him getting dropped or crushed accidentally. And while I doubt Elsa would have gone this far considering Fiela is her friend, there is no telling how she would have acted if she found out Rey was important to Fiela before giving him up, she could have used it as leverage. Fiela was angry about it, she just didn't lash out like crazy over it.

Kinda feels like Fiela is the kind of person that while gets angry, happy, excited, ect mentally, almost always seems to keep a nonchalant and somewhat sarcastic attitude on the outside. Seeing Elsa drunk and then seeing Rey in her hands are one of the few times I recall her actually physically displaying anger outwardly.

arbon wrote:I keep forgetting that, and it certainly paints my view as little less likely … but, we also have to keep in mind that Max is a special case, because he’s one of the few micros who IS physically strong enough to fight back against a giant, and along with knowing about his job the whole town knows just how strong he is. Can we really use him as an example?


You're confusing Max and Dexter there. Max is Rey's terminally ill cousin, hes far weaker than even a normal tiny due to his illness. Dexter is the abnormally strong bull that lives in the undersector. As for the whole town, I think the original article about the fight just mentioned "some abnormally strong tiny" or something along those lines, not even his species. Dexter doesn't seem to want it to be known either by the giants or tinies either. The whole "invincible" thing for Max seems likely either because he is the mayor's advisor, people feel bad for him because he is terminally ill and about to die soon, the giants actually have a respected opinion of him, or a combination of all of the above. Not because he physically is so. (This actually went to his head a little and he started taunting Fiela in her interview until she made it clear she could kill him if she wanted to... well ok, could and would are separate things, but she didn't let Max realize that).

arbon wrote:Oh … probably should have read this part before typing out on a tangent. When writing the above I was sort of hoping you’d have some ideas. As for getting a job, if you’re desperate enough then just walking into a building with a “help wanted sign” and asking if there are available jobs seems like the only option, and I sort of thought that someone, somewhere along the line would be brave enough or crazy enough to do that, which opens the floodgates for other micros to try. I don’t see why an employment office would really be so out of the question, though I can think of plenty of reasons why either side would need to be in the right frame of mind to even consider it.


I can't imagine the majority of giant jobs would be suited, or even possible, for most tinies. I honestly can't really imagine them just walking up to a help wanted sign or employment office and not at best be laughed out and worst attacked. (Well, possibly attacked is less likely in a professional place of business as they would still want to look professional to everyone else, and considering the tiny would not be breaking in at that point, but its still a possibility). I was thinking more someone realizing a tiny manages to fill some specialized niche or perform a special task better than a giant would and employing them with that, rather than just them being the same set of job pools.

This does bring to mind another thought however, just how organized are the littles? Wherever Rey was from (forgot) seemed like the idea of giants was though to be a myth, and nobody seems to know the truth about Wardston, so it seems unlikely they have some sort of city-to-city communication system. What does that mean for currency then? The undersector appears to not really have any money and just operate almost like a self-contained village, as for the cities Rey and Alice were from, did they operate the same way or did they have some sort of currency? And if so, with no long-range communication was there somehow some sort of global tiny currency or was each city basically it's own city state with it's own money?

The reason I am asking all this is.... how on earth would the giants PAY the tinies? If there is by some miracle some global tiny currency, do the giants even acknowledge it? Is there any method of conversion in place? And if not, again, how would they pay them? Paper and coin money would be impossible for them to carry, and I can't see them opening a bank account (not to mention they wouldn't really be able to use any credit systems). I suppose they could just simply be paid in food or supplies though, but then the problem with that is they can't really do that officially (I think? Economics is not my strong suit) so they probably can't give them any legal protection while in the premises either since it's not legally binding, which would be massively dangerous for the tinies.
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Re: Paying Rent (NML)

Postby macrokat » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:00 am

You know, its funny, reading comments on these stories and such, I know the common theme most (everything) in these stories and the site in general, has in common is the big macro lording over or picking on the little guys.

But I've actually started thinking that's not how it would actually go. Granted most of these stories have their own unique settings with some explanation or reasoning for why everything is how it is, but the economic talk here got me thinking...

I actually think the micros would have MORE protective rights than the big guys especially in a setting similar to the real world.

Neovid hinted at things like this in his one big angry family story, though I don't know if he's imagining the same reasons I am or not.

Let's ignore the fact micros are fragile and would be in constant danger of being stepped on, eaten, kidnapped, any number of perils which could befall them, why would they deserve status worth protecting?

Very common real world problems, overpopulation and lack of natural resources. Cut right to the bottom line, if everyone in the world were suddenly a tenth their former size and using proportionally less resources and space then those serious problems are a LOT less serious now.

I could actually easily imagine a setting where situations are reversed. Micros handle technological development, finance, politics, etc and the macros work on things like farming, building, paving roads, the kind of things tiny size doesn't exactly help with.

This next part doesn't apply in this setting, but if it were possible to voluntarily shrink yourself to decrease the burden of your presence, so to speak, I could easily imagine receiving tax breaks and other perks for being such a consciencous citizen, and a government that would promote such acts as well as being fiercely protective of those patriots willing to take such a step for the betterment of their nation and welfare of their fellow people, the environment, all that crap.

I know most of that doesn't apply in this particular setting. But I thought it was interesting.

How the micros actually COULD help out in this setting though... Indentured servitude.

It sounds harsh at first, and it is, but hear me out. ;)

Micros are small, that's established, so, if a micro would prefer to have a safe place to live with consistent food and amenities and a level of protection, indentured servitude to a macro. They would live with the macro, in their home, they could even live in a miniature room carved into a wall for that matter. (Another idea I've really come to like lately, micro apartments built into a normal sized or macro wall, fun idea. :D)

Anyway, the micro would live in the macro's house in exchange for some form of labor or assistance. Perhaps the micros could clean the house while the macro is at work, or help with little things like balancing bank books, nothing major because they are limited by size, but enough to at least make them worth a few scraps (which is what their rations would be to the macro anyway) and letting them stay there.

While this isn't glamorous, its a step up from living on the run and stealing, then of course once people get used to this situation and set up, people would be used to having them around and working with them, from their its not much of a stretch for someone to say, 'you know what, some people say you're a pest, but you've done a great job for me, and I don't know what I'd do without you, its a shame you guys aren't treated better...'

And we know how stuff can progress from there, its happened often enough in our own history.

So, there's my ideas, hopefully someone else finds them interesting as well, and of course keep up the good writing. :)
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Re: Paying Rent (NML)

Postby kool kitty89 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:26 am

Wow . . . this discussion tangent has gone really in-depth. I intentionally left my remarks vague and open ended in attempt to keep it short, but now I kind of wish I'd addressed more of this to focus the discussion more. ;)

I mean, some of Arbon's points are what I was implying with "could end badly" but I think he made some unreasonably extreme statements as far as that goes. (and particularly ignored how taking the risk to attempt honest commerce with the macros could IMPROVE relations compared to the established negative precedent they've managed so far -as pests and thieves)

I also didn't get into specific examples on what sorts of "jobs" might apply here, but I was primarily thinking about specialization where their small size would be useful. (various types of delicate work, and/or work in tight spaces -running/repairing wiring was an immediate thought too)

And then there's things similar to what's done in this story itself, except for pay rather than just staying alive. ;) (and I wasn't implying prostitution here . . . more just the massage thing) This could also include a live-in sort of arrangement with specific micros tied to a macro household with mutual benefits of such.
Albeit how the micros were actually treated in any of these situations would still be in question and the potential for abuse would be there. (especially without any legal precedent)

Taking that "detail work" thing a bit further, it could include high tech development and/or assembly work as well as delicate medical work too. (in the latter case you'd obviously need a stronger precedent established for social status and relations between macro/micro, for obvious reasons ;))

Hmm, good point. I wasn't thinking about what would happened if Elsa was given him in place of the events of Realism and Reward, especially if she was still angry. I was thinking after that, although I guess that doesn't make sense since she probably would not want to bother with them after Realism and Reward and it was mentioned she called Fiela to want to hang out after that.

Given both Elsa and Adrian's personalities established so far, I still don't see that ending bad for Adrian. Again, Elsa seems to response rather sympathetically to pitiful pleading and begging, so the two would seem rather well suited to eachother. (and given what happened in Realism and Reward, I'd imagine things would have gone much better in general given the lack of animosity created by Jess :p )

Well, I didn't really go and re-read every chapter in this entire series so far, but I think it was implied that they stole more than just food. Although granted, the only times I recall when it did specifically mention what they was stealing was food, but there was scenes when they were sorting through all sorts of junk in the undersector. I admit, killing them just for stealing food (especially what little they could carry at their size) seems a bit extreme though. It seems though that most of the giants aren't even aware the tinies are suffering and just see them as thieves by nature.

Right, so more than just food. And also remember in the context of food alone: it's not just the modest amounts they steal, but the potential ruining of a much larger batch/store of foodstuffs by their rivaling through it. (either with macros assuming -possibly rightly- that they'd contaminated it, and/or the act of breaking/cutting/tearing into something causing it to go bad quickly -this could be even more serious for business than individual households)

In fact, that's one other thing I was thinking of aside from working:
in the cases of micros ruining much more than they actually steal, it could be beneficial for the macros to just give (ie set aside) the small amounts normally stolen and avoid ruining the lot. (sort of a small bribe to keep pests away . . . something you can only do with "pests" you can talk to :p )
In such cases, there'd then be additional repercussions for any micros still stealing from such households and thus incentive from other micros to stop them from doing so as well as macros.

In any case, both food and the various junk/scrap materials would be also be an example of useful currency in payment for actual work done for the macros in that context.

Wait, what? Yes the tinies need food, but they weren't really in any danger of starving.

Also remember they weren't just taking necessities, but stealing those quite expensive special cookies Elsa had. (another precedent for what I mentioned above -setting things aside to give and deter theft . . . not only avoiding rifling through and spoiling things, but giving control over what's taken)

Actually, I think that scene has been edited now that I am re-reading it. I certainly don't recall Elsa trying to eat Rey after being threatened by Fiela and being punched in the face and threatened further for the attempt.

Yeah, I think a couple paragraphs were added there, I don't remember it either. TBH, it doesn't much change Fiela's characterization there, just makes Elsa seem a bit more opportunistic and feisty. (without that she seemed a bit more submissive, which was fitting in either case)

Honestly, all that scene really changed was a bit of added tension IMO.

Well, I can't imagine they would be doing anything that requires physically interacting with customers, both for safety and because usually those jobs in some degree of physical labor, even if it something (by the giant's point of view) small like handing the customer their change and receipt. Don't foget that Max is the mayor's advisor, and it's not a secret either. Plus he both has been interviewed and in the beginning of Crypsis was conducting an interview for Fiela. There was a lot of back and fourth talk about Max being "invincible" because of his position. True though that there doesn't appear to be anything in terms of protection towards the tinies, not really clear if employment would grant them any temporary protections from the employer or make the giants see them as less of a target like they do with Max. Again, the macros in this setting don't have AS negative a view against the micros in most settings, and a lot of the issues are political between the two, so giants being open to employing a tiny isn't that out there. After all, the mayor of all people did. The problem is more that both of them have a very negative view towards each other, the tinies see the giants as oppressive evil overlords (Jess and Randall are good examples of this, even Dexter said he at first felt betrayed when he found out about Rey and Fiela), the giants see the tinies as a race of thieves that treat them like jerks and monsters (Elsa had several reasons to feel this way, and Fiela said she used to have no opinion about them until they started stealing from her. Nearly every giant so far introduced in the story has at some point past or present had tinies break into their homes to steal).

All in line with my thoughts . . . though I'd forgotten about Max's role as such, and yeah, that'd be a sensible possible role for micros too, but more so in the context of after actually establishing a stronger social precedent.

I was initially thinking of just broaching the topic of working as in making deals with the same sorts of macros they'd otherwise be stealing from. (rather than going further and actually establishing themselves formally in the workforce . . . though I suppose the adviser/assistant -or perhaps office clerk of sorts- might apply too sometimes even in this context)

For that matter, you could have micro writers ghostwriting for macros in this context. ;) (short of them being directly socially accepted, you'd have that middleman option to mask things) Heh, kind of funny I didn't think of that sooner given this is a writing subforum. ;)


The problem is more how would a tiny even GET a job? Not like they have an internet, or a phone system (or at the very least, not one which is connected to the giant's) and they can't exactly just walk into an employment office. They are incapable of any job that requires physical labor and considering their forced living conditions it seems unlikely their education system can prepare them for any of the more intellectual roles. (Hmm, I guess technically that leaves telemarketing... but that would make the giants want to kill them even more :wink: )

Again, I was thinking of micro-specialization-oriented odd-jobs initially (and direct negotiation with those who'd otherwise be targets for theft -still risky dealings, but so is the raiding itself).
However, I'm not sure there's any reason to assume education is a problem here: remember most of these micros are refugees either from before the macros built over the micro town or from neighboring areas (ie Warden) that were destroyed more recently. It seems that the average education level would be similar for both macro and micro, except perhaps for some of the younger micros (growing up mostly after the giants arrived).

Albeit, that could also include some young adults who lost the opportunity to receive any university level education, so that would limit some things too. (it's also unclear what other resources are available for learning in this setting, so even being self-taught could also be problematic probable limited access to books, no internet mentioned so far, etc)

Not really sure how commonplace them being killed off is, out of all the giants shown so far Fiela ironically was the most violent (Well, Elsa if you count her only when she's drunk). There admittedly was one other unnamed giant at the rally who just left later without doing anything. (Now that I think about it, wonder what Fiela meant about the rally not being over, seemed to imply she was going to do something herself). Even if the majority ARE violent towards them, so far there are four of them who are not... well ok, Elsa is kinda a grey area depending how her next run-in with a tiny might go, but still, that's Fiela, Elsa, Sam, and the major. Surely those can't be the only ones (Again, there was a newspaper reporter who respected Max enough to interview him) so maybe a few will start supporting them. That would probably cause a much bigger impact than just them rallying by themselves.

To be fair, there's no precedent for how violent Sam might be as well, since the circumstances haven't really been given. (she did vaguely contemplate some nasty things before settling on what to do with Adrian, and that was partially up to his actions too) Then again, both Elsa and Sam seem more sympathetic to begging than Fiela did. (at least before meeting Ray and later softening up a bit compared to how ruthless she was prior)

It's also not totally clear what happened to the micros Fiela previously gave to Sam.

A lot of macros just wouldn't want to bother with it since it wouldn't really cause any impact on their lives if they do or don't, and face it, people like to be comfortable and lazy.

Which is a good premise for explaining the apathetic attitude of most macros without considerable interaction with micros (good or bad). As both Sam and Elsa have been characterized as. (though it's implied that continued interaction seems to be changing that)
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Re: Paying Rent (NML)

Postby arbon » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:45 am

IIRC, the fox in charge (forgot his name) purposely lied about the easy to obtain lettuce and made them go after something else so he could get Rey caught on purpose, not because he though it wouldn't be enough.


I know using Ray as a distraction was part of the plan, and I clearly remember they did manage to snag some lettuce before they were caught, but I didn’t catch on that they lied to Ray about it. Nice catch.

Barring obvious disease carriers like mosquitos, etc. insect meat is apparently very healthy and fairly good for you.


If they do exist, are safe to eat, and have a plentiful supply, then I think all of the food problems are solved. Haha! I can just picture the normal sized furs slowly changing their opinions and wanting more micros around to keep the bug population down. Come to think of it, that could be an official job. A micro sized exterminator, or rather a well armed and well coordinated team of them, could probably deal with an insect infestation much faster, safer, and cheaper than any of the normal sized equivalents.

At that size a tiny wouldn't be easy to spot from a distance, she might have just looked crazy or going after a bug.


Depending on exactly how many people were within clear view, and you’d expect a lot, otherwise there isn’t much point in putting a rally there at all when it could be better served at some sort of town square, then SOMEONE should have been able to notice. From how Ray was describing it I thought lots of people were able to see but no one had enough interest to come check it out. The way your describing the situation makes it seem like few people were even aware of the rally, and ray just /thought/ they were ignoring him when in reality they didn’t even notice. It would be hilarious if this was actually the case, and that the rally could have gone so much better if they just made themselves more noticeable.

Yeah, they still need to steal to keep it going, but one raid going bad (as in the case with Jess and Elsa and... forgot his name) isn't going to be a breaking point and start sending them into becoming weak with hunger territory.


Okay, so we are both thinking the same thing here, just describe it in different terms. I’d call that a starving community, you don’t really want your food reserves to get that low. One raid going bad might not mean much, but if something changes (or some buisinessman gets a new idea for an effective trap) they’ll need all the buffer time they can get while they deal with the new situation. Hmm … come to think of it, are any of the giants using glue traps? I haven’t heard mention of it but in theory those could be very effective, especially if they can make it translucent or manage to place the traps in a dark, unassuming place where the micros can’t see it.

It was more the idea of having someone attack and insult you for something, whether they can harm you or not, and then them asking for that thing anyway after basically a fight. People can still be hurt by actions and words, it doesn't have to be physical violence.


I think I’m the wrong type of person to understand where your coming from, I’ve always been notoriously difficult to insult. I don’t think there is anything anyone could say to me that would make me contemplate killing them. And though she couldn’t go through with it, Elsa very clearly wanted to kill Ray, and thought over killing the micros multiple times. Can any insult, no matter how close to home, really be enough to warrant murder?

Honestly, I wonder if she still would of had not Jess acted the way she did.


If Jess wasn’t around and it was just the other guy (can’t remember his name either) I can picture her having fun terrifying him, thinking over if she wanted to kill him for the sake of it, deciding not to, and then let him run off with some food. That could happen, sure. If the micro looked especially helpless and pleaded very nicely. Huh … come to think of it, I have to wonder why ‘job offer in exchange for food’ isn’t happening on the smaller scale. As seen in this one, paying for rent, there ARE things a micro can do that a normal person would enjoy. And they might be useful in a massage parlor or helping a hair stylist. I wonder how long it will be before some micro sneaks into a house, comes up directly to a macro like some form of super stealthy, super invasive door-to-door salesmen, and then offers to rub the macro’s feet in exchange for a bit to eat. I can just picture the surprised look on a giant’s face whenever the first micro decides to try this.

That was...... disturbingly graphic.


I am really glad Elsa didn’t harbor any sexual thoughts towards the micros and was just playful, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to post my alternate version at all. However to the rest of that, I will argue the point. Your (probably) picturing an ordinary kid sneaking into my house for the fun of it, when they already have a nice home, a loving family to get back to, and their lives aren’t dependent on how many cookies they can steal. I’m picturing homeless children. Runaways and abuse victims who’ve learned not to trust, and don’t think they have anywhere to turn. In my scenario this would be a common-place occurrence, and absolutely no one would complain if I killed and ate them. Most of my friends have already mentioned the thieving children they caught, and the ways they murdered them.

Mentally a child and an adult micro work and think on different levels … usually. A traumatized seven year old who’s had to live their entire life being the responsible one while the parents slack off and/or abuse them WILL think on a more adult level. I know this from experience, both personal and academic, and just because someone is young does not mean their insults will be childish. Jess in the story acted pretty much exactly like someone who’s been beaten or raped somewhere in the past, and now harbors a grudge against all giants. Just saying “I’m not going to hurt you” and then acting like the micros are a plaything for your amusement sounds more like being teased than being reassured. In some ways it can come across as worse, depending on where your mind goes. I do concede that Elsa made an attempt to appear non-threatening, you’ve got a good point here, so I’ll try to rephrase. Nothing she said or did (up until the end, where she chided Jess and said that she didn’t kill the other guy when stepping on him) would be a BELIEVABLE attempt at making herself seem non-threatening.

if anything, the problem was that Jess was acting like ALL Elsa could be was a sadistic monster out to kill them. In fact, that is exactly what she called Jess out on.


On this I completely agree. It could easily be interpreted as Jess simply being a spoiled brat with no concern for the people she steals from, but what I find disturbing is that some rape victims will act the same way. A defense mechanism. Predators prefer to strike when they see weakness, and usually define ‘politeness’ and ‘compliance’ as a form of exploitable weakness, so the victim quickly learns to act as tough and strong as possible to deter and aggravate a would-be attacker. The rules are different when the victim is /trapped/ with the abuser, as is what happens when the abuser is a parent, teacher, or some other form of authority, but for a runaway thief they try to be as fearless and untrusting as possible.

What I adored about that scene however, and I’m really mad at myself for not mentioning this earlier when I first read it, was how well that conversation actually worked. Elsa did have a point, and successfully argued against Jess … but it was marred somewhat by having stepped on the other guy (even if harmlessly) and then putting Jess into her mouth just to terrify her even more. It’s like saying “how dare you call me a monster, you should be treating me like a person then I’d show you the same courtesy” … and not a minute later she then acts like a monster. Relying on fear and intimidation to make your point isn’t going to help matters when one of the main problems is that micros are afraid and intimidated. By that same token, by refusing to take that first step the micros are causing their own problems. It’s an interesting situation.

Ummm..... those are SERIAL KILLERS!


Just because it isn’t normal and isn’t widely accepted doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen, or that we have the right to dismiss it off-hand. Bringing up your comment about the normals and micros being different races and not knowing much about each other, does that apply to other situations? Was it alright for white southerners to repeatedly murder colored people because they were of a different race and the racists chose to remain ignorant of both African culture and the culture of the populace living in America? I don’t think being of different sizes or races really excuses any harm done by one or the other, and unless the micros are stabbing needles into the eyes of sleeping people then I’m pretty sure the ones getting made into toys and /eaten/ have more of a right to complain.

Again, this is why I asked if it actually happened that commonly, since I never really got into history. A lot of messed up things happened in those periods, but how much was a notable event and how much was commonplace.


Children being killed was common place … heck, murder in general was exceptionally common. But public executions and the more complicated torture methods were reserved towards criminals. Criminals as defined as “whoever the guy in power doesn’t like” … skinning a child for stealing wasn’t a common punishment so far as I’m aware, the usual punishment in most cultures was to chop off one hand. IF they survived and didn’t bleed out or get infected (harder than you’d think when medical care was almost non-existent and reserved for the rich) and the child didn’t find work and had to resort to stealing again, then the other hand would be cut off.

The reason I bring up serial killers and some of the more imaginative things they do with bodies in modern times … what do you THINK serial killers in the previous era were able to get away with when they could grab whatever victim they liked literally off the street? Just because the world in general was a shitty place back then doesn’t mean the sociopathic murders who like wearing other people’s skin had magically disappeared.

Which is why it was even more jarring when I re-read that scene and saw the addition, at least I assume it's an addition.


If it isn’t an addition then at least you’re not alone in thinking it was. As for how Fiela acted though? Well … my thoughts are a tad scewed in the matter. What you said makes a lot of sense, that’s most definitely a possible (even likely) interpretation of the events, and looking at it from the perspective of maintaining her friendship and getting Ray back in one piece how she handled things was probably the smartest way to go about it. But … once the danger was past and she had Ray in her grip, she didn’t’ relax. She didn’t look like she was relieving pent up tension, more just happy and teasing that she can snag Ray to go off and play with him and he can’t say no.

Fiela when rescuing Ray from her friend was cold, calculating, dominant, and constantly in control. She made it clear that what she wanted to happen is what was going to happen, and didn’t seem to place much thought or respect towards any other possibility. But that was exactly how she acted when she first met Ray and was chasing him down during that game of high stakes tag. That was exactly how she acted after she got home and wanted to have some kinky fun with him. That was exactly how she acted when she was on a date with the little guy, and every time she’s met with him. And worse still, that was exactly how she acted during that non-cannon spin-off story in which we get to see what could happen if Fiela ever gets bored and decides Ray would be a useful snack.

You could see it as being true to the character, I mean it’s her personality after all. Not like she’s going to change drastically from one scene to the next. But if her words, her thoughts, her expressions and mannerisms are all exactly the same both when she’s saving Ray’s life and when she’s eating him alive, it’s very hard to tell that she would actually miss him if he died on her. Or at least I’m having a bit of trouble trying to tell. I will concede the point though, as you are absolutely correct. Reacting too strongly or too negatively would have simply put Ray in even more danger, so Fiela made the right call.

You're confusing Max and Dexter there.


Argh! Nuuuuuu! I knew I should have gone back to doublecheck that! Many thanks for pointing that out, otherwise I wouldn’t have caught on.

The reason I am asking all this is.... how on earth would the giants PAY the tinies? If there is by some miracle some global tiny currency, do the giants even acknowledge it? Is there any method of conversion in place? And if not, again, how would they pay them? Paper and coin money would be impossible for them to carry, and I can't see them opening a bank account (not to mention they wouldn't really be able to use any credit systems). I suppose they could just simply be paid in food or supplies though, but then the problem with that is they can't really do that officially (I think? Economics is not my strong suit) so they probably can't give them any legal protection while in the premises either since it's not legally binding, which would be massively dangerous for the tinies.


Oooooh! I didn’t think too much on that. Great questions that I wish I could answer. Given enough time and a well planned social upheaval, they could … I don’t know, invent a new type of currency specifically for micros to use. It’s not the actual paper or the actual coins are worth anything, their value is completely arbitrary. Just make new coins or set up a credit system specifically for micros in which they have access to the some monetary value but from something that’s easier for them to carry. A tiny little card they swipe through a machine, or just a social security number and an associated bank account. It’s doable, but not something you could achieve overnight. The easiest way to go about it from the giant’s perspective would be to set up a reservation … but considering the Micros already HAVE other cities, that just sounds stupid.

Operating on a “will work for food” basis like you said seems dangerous for the micros as it’s just one step removed from pet status and affords no legal rights or protections … but then, as Macrokat said, being a pet or slave sounds like one of the smartest moves right now. ESPECIALLY if Elsa, Fiela and Sam are indicative of the norm.

((Most of the above was written before reading Macrokat’s post, respond to that now))

I actually think the micros would have MORE protective rights than the big guys especially in a setting similar to the real world.


Part of where the ‘real world’ comparison breaks down is that the real world is inhabited largely by humans, and human norm dictates the whole of culture. But in these worlds humans are either a rarity or non-existent, and predatory senses and instincts alter how a lot of the people think. If micros existed in a human world, they would be treated well. Humans are instinctually driven to protect anything that is small and helpless because the survival of our offspring depended on developing those protective instincts. We’d protect micros even more fiercely than we’d protect a child strictly BECAUSE they are so much smaller. Heck, in America at least, animals are legally afforded more rights and protections than our own children.

To the point where the first ever case of a child being forcibly removed from an abusive household … could only happen if the courts legally declared the young girl was an animal, so that she could have the same protections we’d give a pet. Here’s a link if you want to learn more, I specifically avoided the more graphic descriptions of how this child was treated so it should be safe to read.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/15/healt ... html?_r=1&

A quote:
Tellingly, the case was brought by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In 1874, there were no laws protecting children from physical abuse from their parents. It was an era of “spare the rod and spoil the child,” and parents routinely meted out painful and damaging punishment without comment or penalty.


I really like the way Neovid imagined a world in which micros and normal sized people evolved together. Problems existed, even the usual problems we always seem to see, but they didn’t last. Civilization and kindness won out, and we got to see the story from a point where those problems were inconceivable and in the long-forgotten past. “One angry family” is a perfect example of how humans would develop in world where micros exist. Even the ones who aren’t human still ACT predominantly human, seeing as a rat can sit at a table with giants and not have to worry that a passing cat will lose control and snatch her away for a free meal. It’s not just that she has people protecting her and who care about her, it’s that such a thing simply isn’t going to happen.

What predatory species call “natural behavior” in most stories, humans call “sociopathy”. Any human in the real world who exhibits predatory behavior is labeled a serial killer and then locked in a dank little cage so that the pink monkey won’t hurt anything. But what do you do think happens if EVERY human is a habitual serial killer, as is the case in such worlds where predatory furs are dominant and their instincts happen to show?

How the micros actually COULD help out in this setting though... Indentured servitude.

It sounds harsh at first, and it is, but hear me out.


I actually agree with you here, a big difference between jumping into it willingly and having the macros forcibly keep them in that social position.. It probably wouldn’t even take long before relationships improved.

… buuuuut it would make reproducing a little difficult. How exactly do you find a mate and raise children if you aren’t allowed to leave the house? It’s success would have to depend on how much mercy the giants afford, and how many survive the first week of chores. I mean, think about it … no matter how much Fiela seems to like Ray, do you think she’d really be willing to give up her absolute dominance over him? For any reason? Then again, that isn’t a pet/owner relationship, it’s a boyfriend and girlfriend dynamic. Perhaps it doesn’t apply very well.

One of things that’s always bugged me (to the point I’ll write about it myself eventually) is how I’ve never seen a macro space industry react to the idea of sentient tiny life forms existing. The biggest problem facing Nasa, heck, ANY space exploration or colonization attempt is just how impossibly expensive it is to get stuff up into the air. You measure by the gram, and have very exact weight limitations. If you could train micros to pilot tiny little ships, then you can reduce the cost of operations almost exponentially, and get manned explorers up into the distant stars much faster and much cheaper than if you had to rely on normal sized ships. Smaller ships also land a lot easier. And are easier to maneuver. If there was a method of shrinking yourself to utilize less resources, even if it was permanent and completely irreversible, I’m willing to bet everyone with dreams of getting into space will do so in a heartbeat. Meanwhile Nasa will be leaping for joy, scrambling to take advantage of all the neat little opportunities this development offers them.

((Now responding to Kool Kitty, as the above was written before reading this post))

I mean, some of Arbon's points are what I was implying with "could end badly" but I think he made some unreasonably extreme statements as far as that goes. (and particularly ignored how taking the risk to attempt honest commerce with the macros could IMPROVE relations compared to the established negative precedent they've managed so far -as pests and thieves)


Not trying to ignore it, but I do realize I failed to take it into account when forming my argument. What’s frustrating however is trying to guess if any micros HAVE done that before, and what happened to them.

Right, so more than just food. And also remember in the context of food alone: it's not just the modest amounts they steal, but the potential ruining of a much larger batch/store of foodstuffs by their rivaling through it. (either with macros assuming -possibly rightly- that they'd contaminated it, and/or the act of breaking/cutting/tearing into something causing it to go bad quickly -this could be even more serious for business than individual households)


Huh, that’s an interesting point to bring up. If the micros do go after large warehouses and steal directly from unguarded stores, then how much money are they costing large supply chains via opening a sealed container and then leaving whatever they couldn’t carry to go to waste? By that same token, how many micros does it take to steal an entire bag of chips without opening it, and how long would that last them? What if they could steal a whole can, and then open it up once back at the base?

Your advice sounds a lot like real-world charity events though, but from the perspective of a cost/benefit analysis rather than an altruist viewpoint. It could work, depending on how receptive the micros are and how much food they actually need VS how much and what sort of food they actually want. Not all of the micros seen thus far were nice people (and the most evil micro I’ve seen got eaten by Fiela) so there is the potential for abuse from the micro side. Overall, I really like that plan. Sort of makes me wonder if disability benefits or some sort of welfare exist for the giants in this world, and what would happen if a micro walked in and tried to apply for food stamps.

For that matter, you could have micro writers ghostwriting for macros in this context. (short of them being directly socially accepted, you'd have that middleman option to mask things) Heh, kind of funny I didn't think of that sooner given this is a writing subforum.


I could so easily picture this happening if some micro got internet access and started browsing the forums. Even without mass media though, some micro sneaking through a house with intent to steal might eventually happen across a writer and think to say “Nice story” … and suffer whatever consequences depending on the writer’s temperament.
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Re: Paying Rent (NML)

Postby Berserker » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:29 am

Should probably clear this up: the scene with Fiela lashing out at Elsa was indeed one of some edits (others were hardly worthy of note) among general cleanup added after the fact, for when I put the whole series up on FA, then I felt the need to be consistent and edited it here too. Apologies for the confusion (though I sort of hinted at it on the description of the FA version, but I wouldn't expect the way it's worded to mean anything).
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Re: Paying Rent (NML)

Postby TendoTwo » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:41 am

kool kitty89 wrote:To be fair, there's no precedent for how violent Sam might be as well, since the circumstances haven't really been given. (she did vaguely contemplate some nasty things before settling on what to do with Adrian, and that was partially up to his actions too) Then again, both Elsa and Sam seem more sympathetic to begging than Fiela did. (at least before meeting Ray and later softening up a bit compared to how ruthless she was prior)


Sam seems like she really doesn't put much effort into really caring one way or the other. In Crypsis it was mentioned that she failed to catch the ones that broke into her house twice, but that she also didn't really put much effort into it either. Maybe lazy is another way of putting it?

kool kitty89 wrote:It's also not totally clear what happened to the micros Fiela previously gave to Sam.


Seemed to imply that this was the first one she had been given, or even really ever gotten her hands on. Berserker mentioned this is supposed to take place after Crypsis, and she just made that deal with Fiela, so there really hasn't been any time for Sam to have been given others in the past. (Also, it's not clear if Fiela is going to give her others or not. Fiela's exact words were "Do whatever you want with him, I’m just getting sick of them showing up" which Sam herself interpreted as "As long as I find them, they’re yours", no sign on if this is an accurate interpretation or not.).

arbon wrote:I think I’m the wrong type of person to understand where your coming from, I’ve always been notoriously difficult to insult. I don’t think there is anything anyone could say to me that would make me contemplate killing them. And though she couldn’t go through with it, Elsa very clearly wanted to kill Ray, and thought over killing the micros multiple times. Can any insult, no matter how close to home, really be enough to warrant murder?


Murder no, but I meant in response to chastising Elsa for not giving the tinies food after the whole ordeal. Also, while it is still not warranted, I'd like to call back Elsa's words when Jess would not relent:
"Spoiler alert: the ‘gift’ is me not wanting to hurt you. You’re really making me regret that decision. It’s not your birthday, it’s not Christmas; I have literally no reason to play nice with you."
Harsh, I'll admit, but they have no legal protection and broke into her house, tried to steal something precious to her, then attacked and insulted her, and she's right. While it would be pretty evil of her to kill them still, legal protection or no, Jess was being beyond stupid to continue to insult her even after all this, because there are other giants out there who would have killed her. Hell, even pre-Rey Fiela would have. (Fiela seems to be at somewhat of a crossroads now due to all the tinies breaking into her house (wonder why it happens to Fiela so much, the others so far it seems to almost never happen to them) but also not only in a relationship with one but also rallying for them, would go against what she stands for now (and could make Rey hate her) if she were to hurt them but she also can't just keep letting them break in and rob her). Considering how much she was angered by both Rey and Jess, it was practically a miracle that she let the two go, much less to chastise her for making them leave empty-handed. If someone is holding you at gunpoint, you do NOT insult them, regardless of how unwarranted them shooting you over an insult would be.

arbon wrote:As seen in this one, paying for rent, there ARE things a micro can do that a normal person would enjoy. And they might be useful in a massage parlor or helping a hair stylist.


Heh, the whole micro massaging a macro thing sure comes up a lot in macro/micro stories. And while this is obviously done due to author/audience interest, I always wondered if realistically that would even work, if the macro would even feel someone 2-3 inches tall, or 6 inches tall, giving them a message, especially anywhere that isn't a sensitive area like shoulders. And by feel, I mean with enough pressure for it to actually be a message, not just feel someone basically tickling them there.

arbon wrote:In my scenario this would be a common-place occurrence, and absolutely no one would complain if I killed and ate them. Most of my friends have already mentioned the thieving children they caught, and the ways they murdered them.


Actually, I was picturing homeless or neglected children. And, well again, very different scenario when it's to your scale, especially if they are the same species as yourself.

Also, yeah, I know a child forced to survive on their own would think on a more adult level, but they still aren't adults, their minds are physically not that developed yet and/or they haven't lived long/expirenced enough yet.

arbon wrote:Elsa did have a point, and successfully argued against Jess … but it was marred somewhat by having stepped on the other guy (even if harmlessly) and then putting Jess into her mouth just to terrify her even more. It’s like saying “how dare you call me a monster, you should be treating me like a person then I’d show you the same courtesy” … and not a minute later she then acts like a monster. Relying on fear and intimidation to make your point isn’t going to help matters when one of the main problems is that micros are afraid and intimidated.


On one hand I agree, Elsa went too far with putting Jess in her mouth, and interestingly enough, Elsa seemed to share that sentiment. She mentioned having had her fill after that and considering how she was curled up she didn't seem to feel too good about having done that, but on the other hand, Elsa made repeated attempts to calm Jess down and was rewarded every time with even more attacks and insults shot back at her. The mention of Jess treating her like a monster while arguing about their rights did seem to catch Jess off guard for a moment, but sadly since Elsa put her into her mouth right after it's not really clear if that finally got through to her or if Jess would have just gotten right back to insulting Elsa.

Even in her mouth though, Elsa didn't hurt Jess. Somehow I get the feeling that if the roles were reversed, Jess would have killed Elsa in a heartbeat, or even in this same scenario if Jess somehow was able to.

arbon wrote:Just because it isn’t normal and isn’t widely accepted doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen, or that we have the right to dismiss it off-hand.


Well yes of course serial killers exist, there are always some people like that. And I am sure even if this was an accepting society like in NeoVid's Angry Family setting there are giants who hate and would kill the tinies. Difference there being if anyone finds out your ass is thrown in jail and everyone rightfully sees you as a monster. I just meant using it as an example of torturing or killing people today as if it was in the medieval times or in this kind of scenario doesn't really apply.

arbon wrote:Bringing up your comment about the normals and micros being different races and not knowing much about each other, does that apply to other situations? Was it alright for white southerners to repeatedly murder colored people because they were of a different race and the racists chose to remain ignorant of both African culture and the culture of the populace living in America? I don’t think being of different sizes or races really excuses any harm done by one or the other, and unless the micros are stabbing needles into the eyes of sleeping people then I’m pretty sure the ones getting made into toys and /eaten/ have more of a right to complain.


Of course it wasn't right. Keep in mind though that the entire nation was divided in half, pretty much literally, over it with hostilities and escape programs and there was a war over it. It's not like everyone dismissed it like they would a giant killing a tiny here. (Honestly, I am surprised why there haven't been some stories on this sort of subject. In the ones where the micros (or macros in some cases) are mistreated for no real good reason other than just because they can, there are usally one or two, and at most several people who care about them, the others are either indifferent or hostile. There is never a scenario where large groups or even states or countries or whatever are for their rights, realistically in those settings where a micro and macro become friends, they seem to be the only ones, ever, to have that happen. You'd think it would be more common, and even if it wasn't, the whole sentience and being able to actually have a conversation thing I mentioned would cause a lot of people to feel for them.) Size and race doesn't excuse one causing harm to another, just saying that it's hard to equate it to real-world scenarios because a micro and macro are not the same thing as say, a child and adult of the same species. And especially not the same thing as counting serial killers in that mix vs something that is commonplace in an era/world.

arbon wrote:Fiela when rescuing Ray from her friend was cold, calculating, dominant, and constantly in control. She made it clear that what she wanted to happen is what was going to happen, and didn’t seem to place much thought or respect towards any other possibility. But that was exactly how she acted when she first met Ray and was chasing him down during that game of high stakes tag. That was exactly how she acted after she got home and wanted to have some kinky fun with him. That was exactly how she acted when she was on a date with the little guy, and every time she’s met with him. And worse still, that was exactly how she acted during that non-cannon spin-off story in which we get to see what could happen if Fiela ever gets bored and decides Ray would be a useful snack.


It's a bit hard to get Fiela's personally, and I am sure I am missing a lot as well, but it feels more that Rey is constantly trying to act brave or practically hard to get, and Fiela can tell and breaks through his act. She isn't forcing herself on him so much as getting past Rey's games and seeing his bravado facade fall. I think this actually came up shortly after she rescued him, where she made a comment about "wasted effort" if something were to happen to Rey, and when he acted hurt she reassured him she was just teasing and really does care. Nearly every time she got her way with Rey like this, his inner thoughts showed he was for it, and either just unsure or nervous when he was (barely) acting against it. Take their first date for example, he wasn't afraid... ok ok, AS afraid, of her anymore when she caught him again after their game, he barely argued against her when she insisted he stay the night and wasn't just afraid to reject her, he didn't want to. She was seducing him, yeah, but she wasn't forcing him, if Rey had insisted she let him go, I honestly believe she would have. In the end of Crypsis it both mentioned that Rey was nervous but willing, and after all that she still gave one last signal to see if it was too much for him (granted, she didn't wait too long to see if he would reject it). Fiela certainly loves to play and be in control, but she doesn't come off as just using Rey despite his objections, namely because he either has none or she can see when they are false and makes them fall before going on. Both Rey and Fiela engage in a lot of wordplay against each other, usually with Fiela winning.

As for that non-cannon story by the way, Fiela from the beginning suspected it was a trap and suddenly accused Rey of it, and refused to listen to any reason otherwise, really in contrast to how she acted in other stories. She didn't really force her way so much (and certainly not realize what Rey really means and plays on it like I mentioned above) as just do whatever she wanted for a reason she was just suspecting. In that prequel story when Rey first meets her (which I admit was written after that non-cannon one) Fiela originally wanted to kill Rey but was convinced to let him go when she tried to level with him, hardly the person convinced she is right and refused to listen to anything else as shown in the non-cannon one.

arbon wrote:If micros existed in a human world, they would be treated well. Humans are instinctually driven to protect anything that is small and helpless because the survival of our offspring depended on developing those protective instincts. We’d protect micros even more fiercely than we’d protect a child strictly BECAUSE they are so much smaller. Heck, in America at least, animals are legally afforded more rights and protections than our own children.


I want to believe that would happen, I really do, but I am not sure. Lots of cultures and people have mistreated children before, and it still happens in places of the world. Granted, of course we just spent all this time about the discussion of how it's different when it's a giant and tiny race, but many animals are mistreated like this too. And there are and have been those in history who are power-hungry and would love for such an opportunity to abuse them, or just see them as inferior. And then again of course, many people come down far far more harshly on someone who mistreats a child, or even a dog or cat, than another adult. Some might say I am naive, but I prefer to think it's more being optimistic (that and I refuse to believe people are inherently evil) so I do think that they would be treated well.... in modern times at least. I guess it really depends both how strong that instinct is (many humans also see smaller than them little fur-covered creatures as "cute", although this might also work against them as being somewhat demeaning or decreasing people seeing them as a person) and how well the points NeoVid mentioned in his series about the smaller ones being able to assist humans in ways they can't do (or do as easily) by themselves. Come to think of it, I have heard stories now and then of a female animal (usually dogs) "adopting" a baby of another species due to maternal instinct, so it's not entirely limited to humans, although without the intelligence to realize the baby animal's needs are different than it's own baby's needs it doesn't work out half the time.

arbon wrote:as is the case in such worlds where predatory furs are dominant and their instincts happen to show?


IMO, that depends on how "cultured" the world setting is as well as how strong sentience vs instinct is... plus the fact that your "prey" can talk to you and be on the same intelligence level. A bit different than a real world cat chasing a mouse. Sentient thoughts and reasoning can make you act against instinct, we do it all the time.
TendoTwo
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