Wonko on 10 Apr 2002 02:34:36 -0000

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spoon-business: A Revision or Two

I amend p538 in its entirety to:

__Mass Production__

The lump quivered, like warm jello. Ripples began to spread out along its
surface, interesecting and giving it the dimpled appearance of a translucent
brown golf ball. The last of the can dissolved. Slowly, the golf ball began
to stretch, becoming first a football, then more of a barbell as the ends
began to swell. Soon the lump had become two seperate lumps, connected by a
thin strand of brownish jelly. The strand became thinner, becoming almost


The two blobs suddenly broke apart, and wobbled erratically as they slowly
sunk into the shape of two identical Gnomes, sitting side by side, with
slightly confused expressions on their faces

I watched in amazement as each Gnome grabbed and swallowed the Beer Can
closest to it, already starting to melt back into spherical lumps.

"And you say this is reproduceable?"

"That's right, Doctor." said the scientist. "Given water and a Beer Can, any
type of Gnome will undergo a similar replication."

"ANY type?"

"Well, we haven't had a chance to test it on a Yoyo Gnome yet, but if it
works on a Generic, it ought to work on any other type."

"How exactly does it work?" I asked.

"It's actually surprisingly simple. What happens is

If a player possessess a Gnome and a Beer Can, e may feed the Can to the
Gnome, which destroys the Can. If a Gnome is Wet and it is fed a Beer Can,
it turns into an Amorphous Blob. At the end of each nweek, each Blob that
existed at the beginning of that nweek turns into two Gnomes of the same
type as the Gnome which became the Blob in the first place.
I can show you the calculations, if you'd like."

He opened a file cabinet in the wall and handed me a sheet of calculations.
It looked pretty complicated, but I though I understood most of it.

"What's this note here? 'See *Cute and Furry*'? What's that mean?"

"This process works in a similar fashion to the methods suggested by Dr.
Glotmorf in his dissertation on Gremlin Multiplication, 'They're not just
cute and furry and aerodynamic...' That's what gave us the idea in the first
place. Of course, we had to tinker with it a bit..."

"Tinker? How?"

"Well, sir, he postulated that Gremlins could reproduce given nothing more
than light and water. However, his theories were widely discredited after
they failed on the Nweek 8 Ballot. But someone in the wildlife department
did some experimenting with it on eir own, and soon discovered that Gnomes
did seem to react strongly to the prescence of water, in much the same
manner as predicted by Dr. Glotmorf. Then one of our scientists dropped eir
beer can into the cage by accident, and, well, you already know the rest."

"Hmmm... Well, make sure everyone gets credit for their work. We had enough
trouble after the last incident."

"Yessir. I'll send a note to the Finance Dept. to ]] Transfer one third of
the points gained by this proposal to Glotmorf. [["

I watched as the four new Gnomes each moved towards a new Can and became
consuming them.

"So, given a steady supply of cans, how many Gnomes do you think you could
make in, say, two nweeks?"

"At the rate these are going, sir, I'd estimate that we could make easily
over a dozen in less than two nweeks, but I'd need to make a few
calculations before I could tell for sure."

"Make them."

I turned back to the glass cage. There were six Gnomes there now, and one
Blob that looked about to split. One of the new ones was already absorbing a
new Beer Can.

I had a sudden vision of a world powered by Gnomes, thousands of them, all
identical. Ice Gnomes in refrigerators... Fire Gnomes boiling water in power
plants... What things couldn't be done with an unlimited supply of Gnomes?

"I believe we could make about 20 in two nweeks, sir. But it would get
faster once we'd gotten things running smoothly."

What things indeed...

I amend p539 in its entirety to:

__Enter the Gnome__
Deep underground, something clanked.
It happened again.
There was a grinding noise, as ancient machinery began to turn. Pistons
began to pump, slowly at first, but gaining speed quickly. Gears moved,
faster and faster. A translucent brown liquid began to pool in a large basin
near the top of the Factory. Creaking and clanking filled the air, as the
machine moved faster and faster. There were whistles as various engines
vented clouds of steam, and blue lightning jumped from axle to axle. Two
glass bulbs near to the top of the machine began to glow with a
phosphorescent green. The liquid in the basin began to flicker, and started
forming into a quivering lump...

Up on the Grid, of course, nobody heard anything. In all the confusion and
chaos of Gremball, no one noticed when the Mud began to bubble softly, and
something began to rise out of it...
A pointy hat...

 * * * * * * * *

"But WHERE do they come from?!?" General Harenson demanded. "Making copies
is all well and good, but we need to know how to make new ones!"

"With all due respect, sir, that's a lot to ask for," I said. "We've got
some ideas about how it all begins, but until we can actually observe the
process, there's not much we can do," I said.


"We can't."

"Well, why not?"

"Because we can't get to where it happens!"

"Where's that, then?"

"Here's what we have so far." I handed him the sheet.
__The Gnome Factory__

There exists an entity called the Gnome Factory. At the beginning of each
nweek, the Gnome Factory creates one Gnome of a random type on a random
legal square of Substance Mud.

"Hmmm... But you have no idea where this is?"

"Well, we suspect it must be underground somewhere ­ how else could they
rise out of the Mud like that? But we don't even know for sure that they do
rise out of the Mud. We know that we'll pass an empty Mud square, and it
will have a Gnome on it when we get back. We've never actually seen one

"So go out and watch a patch of mud!"

"There aren't enough. We've only located maybe five viable patches, and the
Gremball players are always in the way when we try to look."

"So ]]Give ten random squares the Substance Mud![["


He slammed the paper down on the desk.

"I don't care! Dig them up! Pour water on them! I don't care how you do it,
just DO IT! We NEED to know how to do this!"


It looked like it was going to be a long nweek.


"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide
    - Joseph Stalin