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Dec 14, 2018 8:54 PM
jean and imrainai in the good place
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...gosh. That's probably not indicative of anything but it's a really cute coffee bear. 

The fact that Jean has ever succeeded at being adorable just makes it more important to figure out what's going on, though, so she redoubles her efforts. The first thing she needs to do is read Doug Fourcett's speech; figuring out what Michael's core claims are seems like an important step.

 

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RANDY: Hey, man, whadya think happens after we die?

DOUG: Dude. Duuuude. [INHALES DEEPLY] What if, like... WE are what happens after we die. No, like. Like. Dude. Dude, where's my Doritos. OK. [EATS DORITO] Like. You die, and there's just, like, this guy in a suit. And, like, he's not YOU, but, like, he's the universe LOOKING at you, right? Just this old white guy with a suit and, like, a dumb tie. And, like, the man -- like, dude, I mean THE MAN, you get that, right -- the MAN does this math shit, like, Big Brother, yeah? Like. [UNINTELLIGIBLE, EATING DORITO.] And if you did bad shit you go to, like. Like. Like, man, a BAD PLACE. And if you did good shit ... if you did good shit ... no, dude, lemme finish, this is gonna be deep, OK ... if you did good shit, you go to, uh, uh, uh. Like, a GOOD PLACE. But, like, if you did even a LITTLE bit of bad shit, you go to the bad place, OK? Like. Fuck, man. [WAVES DORITO FOR EMPHASIS] Like. If you buy pizza, but, like, for your homies and shit, right, and your homies give you the money and shit, you know, but, like. Dude. Like, here's the thing, you keep the tip. Ha. The tip. Like Ted. Fuck Ted. Like, if you do that shit even once, then WHAM. Straight to the bad place. So, like, there's a good place and a bad place and paperwork and shit. Who the fuck knows. But, like, it's not god or some fucker doing shit TO you, it's shit you do to YOURSELF, man. Like. Whoa. It all makes SENSE, OK? Like, you get here and you look at it and it just makes SENSE. This is some good shit, dude. Bro. Bro, you're the BEST. But, like, OK, it makes SENSE, like. Like, if you text in a movie, then, like, they take your phone away. And then they rip your [EXPLETIVE DELETED] hands off. Like, DUDE. Just, OFF. But, like, it comes from INSIDE you. Like. Who you are ... is about WHO YOU ARE, man. And, like, there's angels and shit, and demons and shit, and, like, shit. Like, I mean, SHIT. Like, some crazy robot lady shit. It's wild. Not a robot. But, like, you know, OK? You know what I mean. Don't give me that shit. ... OK, so there's a medium place, but, like. It's fucking boring. Like. SO boring. Dude. Lame. It's so ... They can, like, men in black. Like. Wham. Dude. Badass. ... You got your homies and shit, and, like. You got the dude where it's like, it's like, you got a CONNECTION. Like. Damn, dude. Like, you meet this dude and you're like, whoa, dude, we got a CONNECTION. You know? Just like that. Whoa, dude, CONNECTION. It's like being alive, but, like, not. But you can learn shit. And, uh, teach shit. Yeah. You can't get married, though, none of that shit. There's all this shit, like, paperclips. Just, paperclips. And, like. Burritos. Shit, dude, now I want a burrito. Damn. Dude, I'm so high right now, you don't even know.

RANDY: Dude.

DOUG: DUDE.

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So approximately eight percent of this is supposed to be nonsense, and the other ninety-two percent of it is meant to be meaningful information on the nature of the system. The part about almost everyone going to the bad place is just a little bit more than eight percent of the speech, so that part has to be one of the supposedly solid parts. They're probably gearing up for some kind of aesop about how all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, because obviously if they were working with this paradigm for real then she would totally be in hell, and that would sort of contradict some of the other claims raised.

The part about the medium place could be (supposedly) false, the part about no marriages could be (supposedly) false, the part about learning and teaching could be (supposedly) false. She's pretty sure she's met the not-a-robot lady. She saw the first Men in Black movie once when she was six and is not entirely sure what that part is referring to, but maybe she can rent a DVD or something, and that part is also short enough to be supposedly false. The self as the source of torment is a repeated theme throughout the speech, so that part is probably supposed to be solid - which, OK, fallen nature of mankind, original sin, she's sure there's some way for that to actually make sense.

Probably, if she wants to move on, she's got to become the sort of person who could live in heaven for all eternity and never do anything even as bad as texting during a movie or not tipping a pizza guy. This sounds like a lot of work, but hey, she has forever.

She reads the catechism until she gets bored, reads a Batman comic, reads the catechism again, takes a sip of coffee - yup, she still hates it - checks that Jean isn't sitting up in bed staring at her, and carefully pours it down the drain. She hand washes the cup and returns it to the cabinet. 

She checks on her disaster buddy.

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He is tucked neatly into one of the beds, sleeping. Sleeping the most sleepingly anyone has ever slept. It is extremely sleepful sleeping.

 

 

(He's wide awake, but hey, he's an actor.)

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He seems pretty asleep, that's good!

She still doesn't want to share a room with a man she met twelve hours ago. Possibly this is silly and she should get over herself? It's not like they're sharing a bed or anything? But it still sounds... kind of uncomfortable. Really, really uncomfortable.

"...don't get sent to hell or anything," she whispers, because it is kind of irresponsible to leave your disaster buddy in the middle of the night, but if wishing can affect the outcome then she's going to wish.

She leaves the maybe-technically-a-house and goes for a walk around the neighborhood. Maybe any of the stores are still open at whatever ridiculous hour it probably is.

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All the shops are dark and shuttered. There's no moon out, but the stars are very bright in the dark sky, enough so to faintly illuminate the empty streets.

It's very quiet. Everyone else must be in bed at this hour. Even the crying baby seems to have gone to sleep.

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That's cool, how well you can see the stars. She wonders if they're real stars, if they're really on a planet that they can explore. She wonders if the baby was born on Earth, or if it just appeared here, and whether it counts toward the inhabitant cap. She wonders if they're supposed to have more babies, and how that's going to work with immortality, and whether there will be enough planets around all of those stars to sustain them. She wonders if three hundred and twenty-two people are enough to maintain sufficient genetic diversity, or whether inbreeding is the sort of thing you only have to think about when you're in a fallen world with fallen people and thorns and thistles and smallpox.

Except they are, still. Fallen.

She sits on a bench in the middle of the neighborhood and hugs her legs to her chest.

"I don't get this place, God."

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God doesn't answer.

The chowder fountain splashes quietly.

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"I can't say I entirely understand it either," says a very tall man, who has quietly come up behind her.

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She thinks she's getting better at not startling when people appear behind her, so that's cool.

"I assume you're not the addressed."

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"I'm told they say something about assumptions."

He puts a hand on the end of the bench where she isn't sitting, vaults over the back to sit beside her.

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"Well. I haven't met God yet, but when I do, I expect him to have a much better idea of what's going on than either of us do. And I expect him to either be a being of currently unfathomable majesty who has not revealed himself to us because in our current imperfect state we would be incineratedor else for him to be played by Morgan Freeman."

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"Perhaps God resides within all of us," he suggests, gazing contemplatively off into the distance.

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"Highly plausible, but I'm going to be disappointed if that's the only place."

She offers him her hand. The right one, this time, even though it's still bandaged. "Karen Teller."

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He takes it between both of his. "Hercule Flambeau. I hope I have not disturbed you."

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Sounds French. Maybe Jean would like him. "Nah, it's cool, I didn't have a plan when I came out here anyway. Do you have one of the shops or anything?"

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"I do indeed. It's called 'Bling and a Prayer.'"

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"...what's it sell?"

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"Jewelry. Various sorts. You should come see it sometime."

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"Maybe I will! Or - I suppose I definitely will, given the timelines we're working with."

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"Forever is a very long time," he agrees. "I suppose that in enough time, everything will happen."

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"I don't think that follows. Like - you can have a repeating decimal that just goes on in the same sequence forever, right, so even though it's infinite there are some sequences that will never occur in it. But I guess humans probably expect somewhat more novelty in their lives than repeating decimals do."

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"And yet who is to say that, in the vast infinitudes of time, even the numbers in their perfect order might not grow weary and stray?"

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"That sounds like it would cause...... problems."

This is probably not the response she's supposed to have, it's probably very profound or something.

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"And yet, we are told that all things are possible with God."

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