Wonko on 29 Sep 2002 06:25:03 -0000

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[Spoon-business] Wonko learns to Vote

Hey, you know what?

We never fixed that old problem with the Witch Gremlin, where a rule that
said all players may vote superceded the rule that said cursed players
couldn't. Or pehaps we did, and we just made it again with the voting less
is more.

Regardless, that means I can vote!

But first, let's fix the bug:

__To Curse once more__

The noxious fumes bubbling out of the cauldron wafted up through the ragged
hole in the top of the stump. The clouds twisted, forming arcane symbols, or
possibly just meaningless squiggles, as they drifted out over the grid.

The chanting grew louder. The smoke faded from blue into a deep magenta.

There was a plop, and then a squeak as another Yoyo Gnome met its end in the
cauldron. The smoke turned yellow.

The syllables rose to a fevered frenzy. The rising cloud stopped its upward
course and began to swirl in a wide loop.

The air inside the loop shimmered, and resolved itself into an image of

E was counting eir BNS.

Agatha snapped eir fingers.

Thousands of points of light appeared out of the air and flew in towards the
little figurine of Wonko sitting next to the smoky window.

In the vapor-wreathed window, identical points of light, unseen by Wonko,
appeared around em and collapsed inwards onto em.

There was a flash of light, and a noise like lightning striking a mountain
of cowbells.

Wonko blinked, shook eir head slightly, and went back to eir counting.

The Witch stared at the window.

"Is something supposed to be happening?" demanded the Baron.

Agatha looked perplexed. She snapped her fingers a few more times.

Nothing happened.

The Baron turned towards her. "Where's the part where e gets Cursed?"

Agatha coughed nervously. "E, um, is Cursed... it doesn't, uh, it doesn't
seem to be working quite, um, quite the way it's supposed to..."

"Why not?"

"Um... I, uh, I don't know... it should work fine..."

"Well, it isn't working fine!"

"I, I don't know what's wrong! I'm sure I did it right!"

There was a pause.

"Fine. Forgot the Cursing. Give me my points back, and I'll find some other
way to stop this."

Agatha coughed again. "Um... Well, you see... the, uh, the points needed,
um, they needed to be, um, processed, sort of, to make the, uh, the
incantation, to make the incantation work. They were the, uh, the things I
put in the Cauldron when, uh, I-"

"So what you're saying," inturrupted the Baron, "is that you just wasted
twenty-three of my points?"

"The spell doesn't work without the points!"

"The spell didn't work WITH the points, either!"

"Yes, but-"

"But nothing, Gremlin! If you can't do what you're paid to do, then I'm not
hiring you again."

The Baron stormed out of the stump.

Agatha watched em go for a minute, then turned to her address book and
started flipping through it rapidly.

"Rocky... Luigi... Curt... Bandwidth... Ah! Here he is!"

With a snap of her fingers, she grabbed a number pad out of the air and
began dialing.

She turned to her cauldron.

A few syllables and a cloud of pungent smoke later, Enrique looked up and
saw Agatha through the shimmering hole in the air.

"What's up, Aggie?"

"Don't call me that. I need a lookup. I just put a Curse on Wonko, and
nothing happened!"

"Nothing happened, eh?" Enrique reached into his big bag of points, and
pulled out a tattered copy of the ruleset. He began to flip through it.

"Hmmm... Versions of rules... Vision, Force... Vodka Gnomes... WBE, no, too
far... Ah! Voting!"

He read it over a few times.

"Right, well, here's your problem! You're over here, see, and Voting's back
up here. That's why you got no results!"

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"Precedence, Aggie, precedence! Says here player's c'n vote, and unless you
can get yourself a higher chutzpah, or at least another sentence earlier up
somewhere, there's not a thing your curses c'n do about it!"

"But I'm supposed to be able to STOP people from voting!"

"And the rules were supposed to STOP Wonko from walking off with all the
BNS. Cry me a river, Aggie."

"Don't call me that!" snapped Agatha. "So what can I do?"

"You c'n propose to fix it. Or, more accurately, you can't. But I know
someone who can. What's it worth to you?"

"I'll give you twenty points."

"Where'd you get twenty points?"

"The Baron paid me to Curse Wonko."

"E didn't want them back when it didn't work?"

Agatha smirked. "I told em I used them up in the spell."

"Twenty it is, then," laughed Enrique. "Payment in advance, though."

Agatha narrowed her eyes. "Five up front, fifteen when it's fixed. I'm not
falling for that twice."

"Ten now, ten then."

"Done." Agatha pulled a little purse out of her hat and tossed it through
the hole to Enrique. She clapped her hands. The smoke dissipated and the
hole faded away.


At the other end of the Grid, Wonko finished tallying eir wealth, and

"G'day, mate!" said a pile of BNS.

Wonko started and stared at the pile.

With the jingle of loosely packed points, Enrique stepped out from behind
the BNS. "Do a favor for an old friend?"

"What are you doing here, Enrique?" growled Wonko, pulling out eir pinball

"I just wanted to offer you a chance to improve life in this wonderful Nomic
of ours."

Wonko clicked off the safety on eir gun.

Enrique jumped back out of range. "Now now, no need to get radical, I just
want a proposal made, that's all."

Wonko stared at him for a minute, and lowered eir gun. "I'm listening."

Enrique pulled out miniature electronic book. The words, "Rules of B Nomic"
were dwarfed on the front by the words, "Don't Panic" written in large,
friendly letters. He typed in some words, and showed Wonko the rules that
popped up.

"Just a precedence issue. Aggie's Curses aren't working, and she wants 'em

"What makes you think I'd be willing to do it for you?"

"You think I didn't see how you lost all your points?"

Wonko sighed. "Fine, fine, I'll propose to fix it."

E pulled out eir Palm Pilot, and started typing.

Looking over eir shoulder, the Gremlin snorted. "Well now, you make a fine
student of Zen, don't you?"


"Do something that merits your title. Something like this:
In rule 15/3
Add "cursed players may not vote"
after section A.

"You're starting to irritate me, Gremlin."

"Merely trying to protect your reputation, O Zen Master."

Wonko's eyes narrowed. "Say, where'd you get that electronic ruleset?"

Enrique grinned. "I 'borrowed' it from Squire on my way over. E hasn't
realized yet that I-"

There was a scream of outrage from across the Grid.

"I stand corrected," smirked Enrique. "I'd best be going, then. Do try not
to wipe your score down to zero again this nweek, would you, O Enlightened
One? Rocky laughed so hard he almost missed the Grid."

BNS scattered everywhere as Wonko's Pinball Gun hammered the piles of wealth
where Enrique had stood a moment before.

"Ta ta, O pointless one!"

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