The second era of Imagi, also known later by the dwellers as "The first era of the dwellers", was a quiet time when the Nation of Imagi was slowly getting more populated, and laws were created wildly.
The dwellers liked playing around with the laws, and as playing around goes, it didn't leave much order behind.
Anti-dupe continued his work of tirelessly tracking down all the new laws, which resembled pre-existing laws too much, and erasing them.
He wouldn't have said that was work, for him that was his reason for existing. It was his way to live, and he was very conscious of the important role he had.
As he was going about his work, he remembered once again about the time he received his role.
He didn't know at first, but he got his role some time after the dwellers started to live in Imagi.
The first thing he saw was Oi, whom was looking at him with a complacent look. Oi started off the conversation with a kind, "Welcome to the Nation of Imagi. Do you know why you're here?" If you looked around, they were on the top of a tower. No one else was around them.
The question was a bit sudden, but Anti-dupe replied "To deal with the duplicated laws.." "..but what?"
Oi continued, "Good, that's right. Everything in Imagi exists because there is a law about it. But sometimes some laws gets recreated. Now, you need some tools." He drew something in the air but nothing happened. Then he said, "This is the list of the laws. You'll need this to see all the existing laws and, as you so correctly stated before, you have to keep it tidy and clear. Meaning you also have to remove all those duplicate laws. They cause far too much clutter..." Then he stopped, apparently noticing the confused face Anti-dupe was making, he said, "you can't see it?"
Anti-dupe replied, "No, I have no idea what you're talking about."
To which Oi smirked and said, "That's good, I had forgotten about one law I myself created. But, for your work you'll need to see it. So..." Oi cleared his voice, and said with an official tone, "You have the permission to see it." At that moment Anti-dupe saw an open book in the hand of Oi.
"Seems you can see it now." Oi confirmed, Anti-dupe guessed his face gave him away too easily.
Oi closed the book, and it disappeared again. Then he said "Now try to call it. Just think about wanting to see it again."
It all looked so strange, but he did as ordered, and thought about that book he just saw. Lo and behold, there it was, open in his hand, open to the last written page, only blank pages were after that, and on the last line he read, 'Anti-dupe deals with the removal of duplicated laws'.
"Good, now next.." Oi said, but Anti-dupe interrupted him, "Wait, so this is the list. All the laws are listed here?"
"Yes." Answered Oi. Then Anti-dupe asked again, "And that last line with my name?"
"That's your law." Said Oi, who then added, "Actually, you are the manifestation of your law, and that line written there is a textual manifestation of it. It isn't the law itself."
Anti-dupe muttered, "I don't think I get it"
Oi: "Don't worry about it. It's easier to understand when you see it. Oh, right, let's make an example of a duplicated law... Let's see... Do you see that sun?" he said, pointing at the sun over them. It was round and yellow, emanating a warm light.
Anti-dupe: "Yes I see it."
Oi once again drew something in the air, and this time a square table filled with different colors appeared. He took a handful of purple from the table, and with it he drew a ball in the air. He also added some lines coming out from the ball. Once completed, the ball remained there in mid air.
Then Oi concentrated, and in that same moment Anti-dupe had a shiver. The purple ball had started giving out a warm light.
Oi hurriedly said, "Now look again at the list."
Anti-dupe checked the list of laws, a new line had appeared below the law with his name. It read 'The sun makes warm light.'
Anti-dupe hesitantly said, "Did you just..?"
Oi: "Yes, I just created that law, but if you go look at the start of the list, you should find something similar."
Anti-dupe scrolled the pages to the first page of the list. Among various lines there was one saying: 'The sun makes warm light.'
Anti-dupe corrected, "This one looks exactly the same."
Oi specified further: "They're slightly different, but that's for another time."
That said, Oi once again drew in the air and another book appeared into his hand. It looked the same as the book of laws. Then he muttered to himself, "Guess we don't need purple suns... Oh, look at the last page again." He had closed the book and it disappeared.
Anti-dupe went back to the last written page, and there he saw the last line about the second sun becoming transparent; and then vanishing. At the same time the purple sun stopped making light.
Oi: "That was how a law gets erased. Only the first one should remain. First come. First served."
Anti-dupe: "Got it."
Oi: "This should be everything you need to know to start."
"Oh, about the list of laws. Don't talk about it, or its contents, with the dwellers."
Anti-dupe: "Why shouldn’t they know?"
Oi: "Remember when you didn't understand about textual manifestations? They didn't either, and they came to the worst conclusion"
After saying that, Oi drew in the air and an instant later he was no longer there.
Anti-dupe had gone over the whole list, and had found quite a lot of similar laws already in there. Evidently he came to Imagi because the duplicates were getting out of hand. He wondered if there was anyone dealing with them before him.
From the tower, one could see the surrounding area. At the base of the tower, there was a strange building, round and covered with mirrors. Around it fields of grass, and past the fields, a vast empty land of white.
It was a long time since Anti-dupe, while remaining on top of that tower, had started erasing any new law which looked too similar to others in the list.
The view from the tower had changed. Now the grass fields below had some small buildings, and around the fields, farther over the white land, there were now a lake, forest, and a mountain. The dwellers had been pretty active lately.
Thinking again about the first talk with Oi, he realized there was a part he had overlooked. It wasn't that important, but he was done cleaning the list, and there weren't more duplicates for the moment. So he thought he could have gone to ask Oi about it while nothing new happened.
The obvious first choice was to go where Oi was and ask him. Since he didn't know where Oi was the only way he knew to get to him was using teleport. As long as he pictured the person he should reach them, wherever they are.
So he tried that. He pictured Oi and thought about being nearby, keeping in mind the law of teleport he had seen in the book.
After feeling for a moment that he was getting closer, he got pushed back to where he was. That was an odd effect. It didn't seem to have worked.
There were other methods luckily, and he had a whole list to try out at worst. He decided for message, since it looked like he was unable to get closer. With that he should have been able to send a message to Oi.
The message he sent was, "Oi? I want to ask one thing."
If that one got blocked too, he wondered how he would know it had been blocked. While he was thinking that he heard a familiar voice.
Oi: "Anti-dupe? Sure, ask away."
Besides the voice being familiar, he could also tell the one sending it was called "oi", which further confirmed what he already knew.
Anti-dupe: "Before that, I had tried to teleport to you, but it didn't work."
Oi: "Oh, that should be cause I'm in the castle. It's not possible to teleport in here."
Oi: "I like to call it that. If you remember the tower where we met at first, the castle is that globe of mirrors under it."
Anti-dupe: "Ahh, that was a castle. Would have never guessed that."
Oi: "So, what did you want to ask?"
Anti-dupe: "It was about the first talk we had, at the end you mentioned the dwellers didn't understand, and they came to a conclusion. So they should have known."
Oi: "Oh yes, they knew, but that was many generations ago. They no longer know about it."
Anti-dupe: "How did they forget?... You made them forget?"
Oi: "What? No no no, I didn't do anything like that. It all settled down by itself."
Oi: "It wasn't a good show anyway, so it's better to… Don't let them know again."
Anti-dupe: "But, I didn't understand it either, but I'm allowed to see the list."
Oi: ".. You're not a dweller. For one you didn't jump to any conclusion, but why’re you so interested in this?”
Anti-dupe: "I'm done with all the duplicates for now, and I wanted to clear some things I wasn't sure of."
Oi: "That's fine. Listen, I'm not planning to keep the list hidden from them forever, but the first time they saw it they weren't ready."
Oi: "I think it's better if they come to understand it by themselves first, instead of getting it all dropped on them at once."
Anti-dupe: "..That sounds reasonable. Ok, thanks for the answers. i'll go back to be ready to get any new ones."
Oi: "Good work, and if you need to know anything else just ask."
Anti-dupe questioned himself if he was really doing the “good work”, which Oi had asked of him. Aside from the first time with the purple sun, all the following times he deleted a law, he hadn't been able to see the duplicated law directly in action. That was bothering him slightly.
In the list there were already some ways to move fast to distant places, but he didn't know where to go, where the duplicated was being created, there were no laws about it, he just got a shiver every time a duplicate was being created, but that wasn't of much use for finding the location.
Maybe now was a good time for him to try to create a law.
Before creating a new law, it was important to have a clear idea of what one wanted to obtain as result. If the laws in the book of laws were of any indication, what mattered wasn't the formulation of the description of the law, but the intention behind it.
So Anti-dupe focused on what he wanted to obtain. He wanted to be able to know the location where a duplicated law was being created.
Right after thinking that, he heard, 'Anti-dupe knows the location where a duplicated law has been created.'
That line reminded him of how the laws are written in the book. He opened the book of laws at the last written page, and indeed that same line was there now.
A new law got created and added to the list so easily, he wondered for a moment if it was possible to create laws accidentally, by just focusing on an idea. That could have explained some of the duplicates he had dealt with before.
In the list of laws there weren't any duplicates left, to test the new duplicate detecting law. He really wanted to know how it would have worked out.
As if answering his wish, he had a shiver, meaning a duplicate had just been created.
While still shivering, he also felt to be ready to move to one place. He didn't get any image of the place, nor any idea of the exact location, just a feeling of knowing where to go. Talk about a law being based on the general intention, that had been less flashy than he had expected.
But a feeling was still more informations than he had before, he recalled teleport, and hoped that feeling he got could work as destination.
With a small flash of light he vanished from the tower.
The place where he reappeared was a field of grass, in the distance some small buildings and "The Castle" could be seen. The wind was breezy, and the grass was making a rustling sound.
Then he noticed someone else was nearby, he hadn't noticed before because they were partly transparent. But before he could say anything, they had totally vanished.
Anti-dupe was startled for some time, wondering what had just happened.
Did they just teleport away? Since no one else was around, they should have been the ones who created the duplicated law.
Maybe they vanished as an effect of the duplicated law they created. He checked the book to see what was the duplicate about, it read, 'See at long distance.'
Something was off, did he teleport to the wrong place? Maybe that feeling of knowing the place to go couldn't be trusted, or he didn't use it properly.
He got another shiver, with another feeling of where to go. Reluctantly he teleported again.
This time he ended up in a forest, he guessed it should have been the forest he had seen from the tower.
In front of him there was a river, and a dweller was walking on it, evidently with the intent of getting to the other side.
Anti-dupe called him, "Did you create a law a moment ago?"
The dweller stopped and turned to him with a confused look, replying "Where did you pop up from?" Anti-dupe could tell, there was something about the way the dweller did talk which resembled a "g".
The dweller "G" continued as he moved closer, while merrily walking on the river, "Anyway yes, I've just created this law to cross rivers, cool isn't it?"
With a quick glance at the book, Anti-dupe confirmed he was the one who created a duplicate of 'Walk on water.'
Anti-dupe had to give him the bad news, "That law already existed."
"G": "Really? That's a shame, it looked like a cool idea."
Anti-dupe: "Cool ideas are the first ones to get picked. You may not know, but 'Wings allow to fly' gets recreated an awful lot of times."
"G": "That looks like a cool law to ‘accidentally’ recreate."
Anti-dupe couldn’t believe what he had just heard, "Don’t do that, please. If you need a law which already exists, you should recall it, not creating it again."
"G": "I know that, but how can I recall something if I don't know if it already exists?"
Anti-dupe didn't have an answer for that, after all the dwellers couldn't see the list of laws. The laws they could recall were limited to laws they saw, or which they had created.
Anti-dupe: "I don't know that either, but I can show you"
He showed the dweller how the first law about 'Walk on water' worked, so he could recall it, instead of recalling the duplicate he had created. Then the dweller added, "What about wings?"
Anti-dupe guessed the "G" should have stand for "Greedy", but showing him could have avoided another duplicate in the near future, so he drew some wings on himself and flew up a bit to show him.
Drawing the object of the law was all it was needed to have flying wings. Yet, the dwellers more and more times had felt the need to create again a law for it, maybe they didn't think about just drawing them, he wasn't sure as to why that law was recreated so often.
Actually, that law had always been odd. It did activate from shapes, like the sun, the clouds, and other parts of Imagi did too, but the effect of the law was personal, meaning the ability to fly was applied to someone and they had control over it, it wasn’t applied to the wings.
Had the law been something like 'Wings fly', the effect would have been applied to the wings, so drawing a pair not attached to anything would have created a pair of wings wandering on their own. That wouldn't have been a duplicate, but no one had created the law that way yet. Afterall wings were tools to be used.
"G" interrupted his thoughts on the structure of laws by asking him, "Do I have to draw them exactly that way to have them working? They look so plain."
Anti-dupe landed and looked at the wings he had drawn on himself, they looked fine to him.
Anti-dupe: "The precise shape isn't important, so long it's clear they are wings, and not something else, the law for them will activate."
A shiver hit Anti-dupe.
"G": "That's a relief. I'll have some fun with those later, now back to this river."
With a little flash Anti-dupe vanished.
"G": "..He's gone?.. Funny guy."
"G" turned to the river and started crossing it by walk once again.
Anti-dupe was in a dimly lit room, with a small shape in the center making a dim light, there was a bed made of clouds, and many papers pinned on the walls. He was surprised by how quiet that place was.
Near one of the walls, there was a dweller taking a note with his pointy fingers on one of the papers pinned there.
Anti-dupe asked him, "Did you just create the law 'Snow absorbs the noise.'?", his voice did sound more clear than usual.
The dweller gave him a surprised look and said, "Created? It shouldn't be, I just finished recalling that law." This dweller did sound like "c".
Anti-dupes said "You've recreated it instead, I..." he stopped, as he was about to talk about the book, "I can tell it."
"C": "You can tell it? I guess I screwed up then."
In disappointment, "C" crossed over the note he had just taken on the paper.
Then he said, "I was trying to recall a law to take some notes on it. I had heard of it from another dweller, who went to the mountain. But just hearing about it from others doesn't seem to be enough to recall a law."
Anti-dupe: "You’re right, you need to see it."
Still disappointed, "C" said, "Now I'll have to go look for that dweller who saw it to make him show me, or make a trip to the mountain to see that law myself.."
Anti-dupe looked around the room and said, "Didn't you just see the effect? Even if this is a copy. There is no noise in here."
"C": "That's not the point. I'm trying to understand how the laws work, I need to see the original."
Anti-dupe noticed again the papers, and asked, "Were you taking notes about laws?" He got closer and looked at one of the papers on the walls, on it there were little drawings and some notes in strange characters. Every note about a law gave to Anti-dupe the same feeling the lines in the book of laws did give him.
"C" was looking at him, "I was. They help me remember the laws I've seen, once I pin down a law, there is no chance of recreating it by accident while recalling it. But I need the correct law, not a botch."
Anti-dupe had an imperceptible chuckle, he was pleased someone else did understand the difference of duplicates as he did.
Anti-dupe: "About seeing the original law, there is no need to go look for it, I can show you."
Rejoiced, "C" said, "Can you? That would spare me the time of going to find it myself."
Anti-dupe looked around the room and asked him, "Where is the snow you used to recall the law before?" But he couldn't see any in the room. The room was still very quiet, so the duplicate should have been still active. Anti-dupe wondered how that was possible.
"C" said "Snow? I didn't use any, I wasn't recalling the law on snow in the first place."
Anti-dupe was weirded out: "You weren't? How else were you going to make the snow absorb noise if there is no snow?"
"C" said, "Because I was recalling that law over the walls." while pointing at the wall near him.
Anti-dupe: "Over the walls?"
"C": "Yes. The law was about snow and noise, but if you recall it while pointing it to an other object, the same effect gets applied to the new object. In this case the effect was 'absorb noise', so by pointing the law to the walls, the walls now absorb noise."
Anti-dupe wasn't aware laws could get used that way too, “Is that possible?”
“C”: “I've tested it with other laws before, but this time I rushed things and I ended up creating a new law.”
Anti-dupe: "I see. But to see the original law you'll need some snow anyway. I mean, to see the law in its full form, with its original object and effect."
"C": "Yes. I should have done that, before trying to recall it on a different object."
Anti-dupe: "Ok, so I'll draw some snow. No, it would be better to do this outside, it'll also avoid the problem of the walls interfering with the same effect, while I show you."
"C": "I could just stop them from absorbing noise, recalled laws can be stopped at any time. In this case the law got created, by accident, and then recalled, so it should work."
Anti-dupe: "..That's an other thing I didn't know yet, you sure know a lot about laws."
"C" shrugged his shoulders, "That's what I do."
Anti-dupe: "But I also wanted to show you an other thing by going outside."
"C": "Something I may not know? Fine then, let’s go out."
Anti-dupe: "I'm not sure if it’ll be new for you, but it should come from the same region, from where the law you wanted came from."
They went outside the room, it was indeed a room into one of the small buildings in the grass field, which Anti-dupe had seen many times from the top of the tower. As soon as they were outside they could hear again the sound of the grass rustling, moved by the light wind. Anti-dupe took some moments to get used again to the light in the open.
There were other buildings nearby, he wondered if all the dwellers did take notes the way "C" did, and if not, what did they keep in those buildings.
So he asked, “Do all dwellers take notes in their houses?”
"C" told him, “Not by what I’m aware of. They usually only have a bed inside. Originally the houses were made to shelter the beds, and most dwellers only use them as places where to sleep and dream.”
Anti-dupe was a bit disappointed by that, “I see. Now, we need some snow here.”
Anti-dupe didn't intend to draw the snow himself, he had a better idea before. He drew instead a gray cloud, then recalled the law 'When it's cold clouds make snow.' and the cloud started snowing.
"C" had some papers with himself, and took notes about the snowing cloud.
Anti-dupe noticed again how unusual "C"’s way to write was, he didn't use the list of colors to take the color to write, he just did leave signs with his pointy fingers. Noticing his curiosity "C" explained he was using the law about nails scratching, and he technically wasn't writing, but he was scratching the paper. He liked writing that way because it was faster to take notes, and it was also less distracting not having to call the list of colors.
Once the snow had piled up, everything turned white in a small area around them, including the building they came from. Anti-dupe recalled ‘Snow absorbs the noise.’ and around them it became very quiet. Things like the sound of the wind, or the rustling of the grass which wasn’t covered by snow, could no longer be heard.
"C" took notes of everything, and after finishing he said, “So, you’re not a dweller, right?”
Anti-dupe was surprised by that sudden statement. “Well, yes. How did you notice it?”
“C”: “It’s easy to notice. Every dweller has a distinctive sound which can be recognized when they talk, there isn’t one like the other. And you just don’t make any. And beside that, only a dweller living under a rock, or a new one, would be completely oblivious about how we live. And what we have into our houses.”
Anti-dupe: “I don’t make any particular sound? Wait, so it was clear from when I first talked?”
“C”: “Yes. I wanted to ask before, but I was already busy with that law. It’s better to don’t get sidetracked while doing something. And thanks a lot for helping with it. But since now I’m done with that.” He looked at Anti-dupe intently, with his notebook ready..
Anti-dupe was thinking instead he had already showed him too much, and he was also worried "C" eventually may have realized the list of laws. He almost started regretting the idea of going to look every duplicate when they did happen.
Anti-dupe: “Oh, well, there is nothing special about it. Ah, seems I’ve to go… someone… someone has created an other law... somewhere. It was interesting seeing your notes, bye.”
He teleported away with his usual little flash. Some moments later, the gray cloud stopped snowing, and the sounds of the wind and the grass could be heard again. The snow instead turned into white sand.
"C" had hoped to see more, but he was quite content already with all he had gathered. After taking some more notes he went back inside his house. He took a new paper, sketched a little Anti-dupe and added a little description next to it. Then he pinned it to the wall.
Anti-dupe was back to his tower. Seeing all the duplicates had been interesting, but it was also so tiring. Those dwellers had a talent in making every little thing last a lot, or maybe it was his fault for not being more direct.
He spent some time thinking about how to get to the point faster with the next duplicates he would have seen. He then erased the duplicates he had just seen. He didn't had the time to erase them before, but not doing it in front of the dwellers was a good idea to keep in mind.
The following duplicates did involve, among other things, wings again. He was starting to consider if he should have gone to teach every single dweller how to draw wings, to put an end to this senselessness. In fact he hadn't seen "G" again, if he had played around with different shapes of wings, he didn't screw up yet.
Anti-dupe still wasn't sure about how knowing about the list of laws would have been bad for the dwellers, but after seeing so many of them over more duplicates he thought he was starting to get it.
In the same way Anti-dupe had a law about himself, the dwellers had one too, it was some pages before his.
He never had any issue with his law, it was clear and simple, there was no room for doubt. He had to deal with the duplicates, and he was fine with that. Even knowing there was a law about it made him feel as if he was a piece of Imagi, a piece making it what it is.
But for the dwellers it should have been different, their law was so unclear and vague, and all the dwellers he had met had confirmed it, they were all very different. In a sense, they all followed their law, but each in their own way. Knowing there was a single law for them all should have made it very confusing for them.
Time passed as Anti-dupe continued to flash to the dwellers who had just created a duplicate.
Until the second era of Imagi abruptly ended, under the cumulated effect of a single new law.
The fourth era of the Nation of Imagi, also known by the dwellers as "the second era of the dwellers", was a chaotic time when Imagi was scarcely populated, laws were still created wildly and new things lurked where no one looked.
Apparently the recent catastrophic event, known as "The Personification", didn't discourage the dwellers from playing around with the laws, after all it was part of their nature to do so.
After The Personification the landscape of Imagi had changed greatly, where once there was a vast land of empty white now it was all filled with a multi colored grayish mass. The dwellers had named it "Wasteland of Chances".
Also two more regions had appeared in Imagi. From the tower of Anti-dupe one of them was not very visible, since it was past the forest, only its high towers could be seen in the distance over the trees. The other new region instead was clearly visible from the tower, but there wasn't much to see, it was a pitch black bubble.
Anti-dupe was waiting on the top of his tower, he was thinking that after the Personification the rate of creation of duplicated laws did feel to have slowed down, compared to before.
He started shivering, but it was not because a duplicate had been created, these were normal shivers. He got them every time he did think about the Personification, just thinking about it made him uneasy.
While looking for something else to think about, he heard Deny grumbling.
Deny was sitting on the floor, lying against the wall, and was surrounded by various different small games and puzzles. This time he was trying to solve a colored cube with rotating faces, but it wasn't going too well.
Anti-dupe thought he had rarely seen Deny do his job, supposedly he was tasked with blocking the creation of laws with the potential to screw up all Imagi, like "That law" which was the cause of "That Event".
Anti-dupe had a pause as he was expecting to get the shivers again, but they didn't come this time. Relieved, he continued thinking about the task of Deny.
Those dangerous laws were all listed in a special list. And Deny did block only the laws listed in there. But attempts to recreate those laws were rare, so over many long waits Deny had started to keep himself busy with games in the meantime.
Anti-dupe thought aloud, "If only all the already existing laws could be added to the forbidden list."
Deny stopped playing with the colored cube and looked at Anti-dupe. Anti-dupe continued, talking directly to him now, "Wouldn't all the duplicated laws stop to be created if they were to be added to your list of laws to block?"
Deny: "Ah, you were talking about that. They wouldn't need to be cleaned up as you do, but the dwellers would still continue to try to create them. Same as what happens with my forbidden laws. When they happen..."
Disappointed, Anti-dupe said, "Hmm, so it would just become more work for you, but the amount of work wouldn't change."
Deny went back to look at his cube, still pouted at it.
Deny: "I wouldn't mind having half of the existing laws in my forbidden list. At least I would have more to do. But only Oi can change that list, I can't add laws to get blocked in there."
Anti-dupe: "Why only half of them?"
Deny looked at Anti-dupe as if he was thinking he was silly, and said, "Dealing with the duplicates is your job, not mine." Then he looked at his cube and his face lightened up, "Ahh, it's done like this!" And went back to play with it.
Anti-dupe thought Deny didn't look so upset by the scarcity of work to do. But Deny was right, it was his own duty to deal with the duplicates.
Still, sometimes he wondered if there were ways to prevent the duplicates from ever happening. He didn't have an answer yet. At first he did think the biggest obstacle was the prohibition of making the dwellers know about the list of laws, and it still had a big impact, but there were also cases where duplicates were created purposely or accidentally, despite the dweller knowing already about the law's existence.
Anti-dupe got a shiver, one which had a purpose, and he teleported to the destined place.
Reporting the duplicates to the dwellers had become routine. It was almost everytime the same things to do when he appeared near a new duplicated law. Following that routine he had managed to avoid most of the endless banter the dwellers had become used to do every time he appeared, and also reduced the chances to get indirect questions about the book of laws. He thought this new duplicate should not have been much different.
He appeared, checked where the dweller was, called him, and showed him how the original law was made.
That time, the law being duplicated was 'Air-chair.' The place was the grass field.
Unexpectedly, the dweller had a big laugh, "Hahahaaa, you did it again! Perfect mirror!" the dweller and Anti-dupe were both sitting mid air, facing each other.
Anti-dupe: "What?... Wait a sec, I remember you!"
He stand up unamused, "Didn't you already duplicate this same law not long ago?" pointing at the place where he did stand up from.
"T": "Yes sir. I'm guilty." he said, making a military salute while remaining sit midair.
Anti-dupe: "Why did you create this again? Are you having problems recalling it cause you can't see it? Or you're doing this on purpose?"
"T": "There you're, being the creativity police."
Anti-dupe: "I'm not the creativity police. And what even is that?"
"T": "You pop up eeevery time something not creative gets made, so you're the creativity police."
Anti-dupe: "I can’t be the creativity police, I don't even know how creativity looks, I just know what I've already seen."
"T": "Different words, same thing, you're still the creativity police."
Anti-dupe: "Whatever. If there isn't anything else, I'm leaving."
"T": "No wait, shortly we'll have an event. We're going to sleep all at the same time."
Anti-dupe: "...What's so special about that?"
"T": "If we all sleep at the same time, we're going to be all awake at the same time, or something like that. But it's mostly the part of setting the sun which should be interesting."
Anti-dupe: "Ahh, I get what it is then. And, I've to join too?"
"T": "If you want, we're not asking you. I'm just making some advertisement for our event, it wouldn't be an event if someone was unaware of it."
Anti-dupe: "Ok, I'll be going then."
Said so Anti-dupe teleported with a small flash back to the tower.
Arrived on the tower Anti-dupe shaked his head in denial. He couldn't believe them, now they were making duplicates just to summon him. Why weren't they using the law about messages instead? That one was commonly known.
Deny was still playing, and while not looking away he asked, "Another difficult case?"
Anti-dupe: "I feel like this one isn't over yet..." "There are times when I can't understand if they're being naturally strange or purposely annoying."
Deny: "Working sure sounds haard♪"
Anti-dupe spent some time looking down from the edge of the tower at the dwellers below. "T" had said the event would have started shortly, but how short is shortly? He thought maybe it would have taken some time before anything did happen.
Time was something Anti-dupe didn't ever manage to understand. He could get the relative aspect of it, like the dwellers having shorter lives compared to himself. But when words like "shortly" did come up he had no idea how much time would have passed.
If anything, in that case the "shortly" had been said by a dweller, so it was dweller's shortly, so it had to be very shortly for him.
Then something happened, Anti-dupe noticed a dweller drawing a very long ladder pointing upward.
Anti-dupe: "A ladder this time? Really? Are they deliberately making this hard on themselves? They could just fly up there."
Deny: "What is going on?"
Anti-dupe: "The dwellers want to bring down the sun."
Deny: "What? Seriously?"
He rushed to the edge of the tower next to Anti-dupe to watch too, "Why are they doing that?"
Anti-dupe: "It's for a sleeping party, it happened some times before."
Deny: "A sleeping party? Well, good for you, they're all going to stay put at the same time."
Anti-dupe: "..I had forgot about that, that's true, some peace for a short while."
The ladder had reached the sun, and the dweller on top of it started climbing down while pulling something which resembled a rope, the sun followed him.
Deny: "Since when the sun has a pulling rope?"
Anti-dupe recognized it and checked the book of laws to confirm it, "That should be 'Leash doesn't allow to move away', they've leashed it."
As the sun got lower the sky started changing color toward red, the clouds instead did turn orange.
Deny: "What is going on now? Why the change of color?"
Anti-dupe: "That's 'Sunset appears when the sun is low', that law is pretty recent, they should have made it specifically for this event."
Deny: "It doesn't look bad."
Anti-dupe: "It doesn't indeed."
Then they heard a creaking sound from below. They looked over the edge to see directly below them, a window had opened from the Castle, two mirrors had moved aside to open the space of it, and they saw Oi looking at the sky from the window.
Deny: "Look who's there, seems Oi agrees too."
The sun had already reached the ground level, and the sky was bright red, but the dwellers did seem to be discussing about something.
Anti-dupe: "Doubt they forgot how to turn it off."
Deny: "Or they know but just don't want to."
Then the dwellers started drawing a booth.
Anti-dupe: "Nooo, that's so cheap!"
Deny: "Pfff, if the sun was still personalized, I don't think he would have played along with that."
Anti-dupe had a sudden shiver, "Don-don't talk about it!"
Deny: "Ops, my bad."
Once the booth was completed, the dwellers shoved the sun into it and closed the door. As the door closed, the sky lost its brightness and turned dark, so dark nothing could be seen.
Anti-dupe heard next to him an unamused Deny saying, "Well, great. Now how I'm going to be able to play with this blackness?"
Anti-dupe recalled 'The sun makes warm light.' on one of the puzzles of Deny. The little puzzle made a dim light, enough to barely see around them.
Anti-dupe: "We could go to sleep too, no one of them is going to create laws for a while anyway. No need to keep guard."
Deny: "We don't need to sleep. Why going to sleep? I'm not even feeling sleepy."
Anti-dupe: "I'm not sleepy either, but it's a good chance to see a dream."
Below some small lights had turned on too, they were the dwellers moving to their houses.
Anti-dupe: "Dreams are often extravagant, it can be interesting to see."
Deny: "Ok, let's see this thing then, before they wake up again."
They each sit near a wall and fell asleep.
A deafening coughing noise woke them up.
Deny: "What the hell?!"
The sky was bright red again, a dweller should have opened the booth.
Yawning and then stretching, Anti-dupe checked the book of laws, then explained, “ ‘The rooster sings when Oi is back.' they likely made that one as part of the event too. I guess they want to make that event a regular one, if we're going to hear that every time Oi comes back."
Deny didn't sound too happy about the idea, "Are you saying we're going to hear that thing regularly? That's one law I would have liked to block."
Anti-dupe: "Welcome to my world of dealing with the dwellers."
Anti-dupe couldn't remember any dream, that had been a disappointment, "Hey, did you see anything while you were sleeping? I can't remember a single thing."
Deny: "I'm not sure, there was something about a loud and bright square game, but I'm already forgetting about it. That was curious."
Anti-dupe: "Seems you had better luck than me with it."
Some time later, Anti-dupe moved to the first duplicate after the sleeping event.
The place where he appeared was scattered with lots of different shapes, some barely resembling something known, others were totally unrecognizable, that had to be the Wasteland of Chances.
Then he saw something unusual, the dweller who created the duplicate wasn't alone, but the other one didn't look like a dweller. It was an enormous frog, cyan colored, and was holding the dweller up with one of its tongues coming from its back.
The dweller managed to slip away from the hold, thanks to the duplicate he had just made 'Slipping turns one uncatchable.' And after landing he triumphantly declared, "Ah Ah. You can no longer get me n.."
But he didn't manage to finish what he was saying, because the frog had just swallowed him whole. Now the belly of the frog was moving.
Anti-dupe wasn't sure if helping the dweller getting out of there could be part of his work of removing duplicates, he couldn't see any connection. Plus that frog was really strange, he had no idea where that could have come from.
He got another shiver, a new place was calling.
But as he was about to move to the next place he remembered he hadn't showed the dweller the original law yet, he had to quickly settle that before moving to the next.
Anti-dupe recalled 'Flowers bloom.' on the frog, and the frog started to exfoliate. Then it opened as if it had been a bulb, layers over layers resembled petals, it continued to open until the dweller emerged from within. He looked around himself in confusion.
"N": "How did..?"
And once he realized to be still sitting on the inside of the belly of the frog he jumped away shocked.
Anti-dupe: "Hey you! Look here! 'Slipping' is done, like this."
Anti-dupe had a short walk on the spot, making his feet slip as he walked.
Anti-dupe: "That's all, good luck."
He made a gesture of farewell and after a small flash he was no longer there.
The flowered frog started to move again, the tongues were putting the parts of the frog back together, and closing its flower form.
"N": "Ohhh shiit. Not again!"
The dweller started to run away as fast as he could.
When Anti-dupe reached the next place, he found "T" sit mid air, with his legs raised and leaning on the back. It looked as if he was walking while floating. Anti-dupe guessed he was trying to walk with the back legs of the air chair.
"T": "Right in time Adupe, there is a wild duplicate here to get eliminated."
Anti-dupe: "Thanks for bringing my attention to it, but I could see that by myself..."
Anti-dupe was walking on the border of the grass fields region. The new game Deny had made after his first dream was too distracting, he had to move away from the tower to think.
Past the border of the field, on most of it, there was the Mid Region of Scribbles. It was still part of the Wasteland of Chances, but the dwellers had cleaned up the space near the borders, and used that space as a dump. They used to draw random shapes when they were trying to get a clear view of an idea, and once they were done they moved the shape in that area. They did say drawing random things was also calming.
Anti-dupe wanted to think about how far he should have gone with his role of deleting duplicated laws.
Should he have limited himself to just removing them when they did happen? Or should he try to prevent them from happening?
He did already show the original law of the duplicate to the dwellers, to avoid them from recreating it again, but should he have gone further?
He did think that, ideally, his role would have been over if the duplicates did stop from happening, that would have been a conclusion he would have liked. A world with no duplicates. But doing so would have meant interfering with the way the dwellers did create laws, and as much as he did find them annoying at times, it didn't feel right to him to try to strip them of the ability to create laws as they see fit.
To add to it, there was also that case which did happen during That Event. The amount of duplicates then had been insane and mind numbing. He started to shiver. He had tried to erase the law at the origin of all that mess, but with no success, since it wasn't a duplicate.
That had to be one more proof that his role was just cleaning up the duplicates, and not changing or removing other laws, or interfering with the way laws are made.
Maybe he had been reading too much into his own role.
A new duplicate did call.
When Anti-dupe appeared he was in a different part of the grass field, and sitting midair there was a partially transparent "T".
"T" said in a rush, "Hey there, seems I'm about to go. Thanks for being here, it makes this less lonesome. Ah, notice the irony of vanishing on an air chair."
He had a small laugh, and as soon as he finished talking he totally vanished.
Anti-dupe: "..Still the same until your last moment eh?"
Anti-dupe thought it was indeed hard to see an air chair if no one was sitting on it, then he added, "Did he ever create anything aside that damn chair?"
That had to be the most wasteful life of a dweller he had seen so far.
Anti-dupe got another shiver. And after looking again at the empty spot where before there was "T", he teleported away.
The place where he appeared was inside a building, it was decorated for a party, and there were many dwellers inside, both the normal ones and the smaller ones. A slightly smaller dweller was sitting mid air, and all the others were cheering for him.
Anti-dupe checked the book and knew the duplicate was that air chair again, he wondered what was going on there, were they cheering for a duplicate?
One of the dwellers noticed him and came over to welcome him.
"B": "Anti-dupe, welcome. When we saw which law he had chosen to create we knew a visit from you was due."
Anti-dupe: "Hi 'B'. What is going on here?"
"B": "Oh, this has to be the first time you see this. We're having the Feast of the first Law. We have this every time a dweller is ready for creating their first law. During it we also finish explaining all we know about laws to them, so they may have more chances of creating something new."
Anti-dupe was relieved it wasn't about cheering the duplicates, and it was actually the opposite.
Anti-dupe: "I think I like this feast."
"B": "Eheh. Some say it was inspired by you, guess it was true. Now go do your thing."
Anti-dupe: "It is? I never heard anything about it. Wait, what? Aren't you celebrating? Shouldn't I wait?"
Seeing as Anti-dupe wasn't moving "B" started pushing him toward the dweller on the air chair.
"B": "Don't worry about it, you're part of the celebration. Now go."
He got pushed inside the crowd, some dwellers were whispering.
"Y": "He really came."
Others were making signs to go on, others instead were looking with interest.
Anti-dupe looked at the celebrated dweller, he was waiting, sit mid air.
Anti-dupe: "Do you know why I'm here?"
"R": "Because the law I created already existed?"
"R": "Is it a bad thing? Recreating laws?"
Anti-dupe: "It's more work for me... but no, I don't think it's a bad thing, but it isn't a good one either, just a missed chance, there is worse." "Look at this."
Anti-dupe recalled 'Air chair' and sat mid air too, "Next time you recall that law, use this one."
"R": "I will."
Anti-dupe: "Good boy."
Anti-dupe stand up and said to everyone, "I'm done, good continuation."
"B": "Bye Anti-dupe."
Others said goodbye too.
"Y": "See you soon."
He teleported away.
Back on the grass field, Anti-dupe thougth:
"Maybe in the end, it isn't so very important if a law is a duplicate or a totally new one."
"It is a matter of order, to have more clearly visible those laws which are really new."
"But for a short while, even the duplicates are part of Imagi."
Anti-dupe got a shiver. And with a little flash he teleported away.
it did fit all into a single post, nice, was fearing it to break for too many characters