August 14th, 2017

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Syconium page #192:

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40 . by: November 13, 2017, 10:33 am

Yeah, this IS a critical page. I forgot how beautiful the lighting is here, too.
39 . by: Furrama November 13, 2017, 1:02 am

I think this page is very important to reread from time to time, for reorientation.
38 . by: Mana August 15, 2017, 11:49 pm

Sometimes, I go back and reread scenes like that while thinking about new developments. It struck me that XX's assailant looked a lot like Fig, but wearing Battery's clothing, specifically choking out the 'pure' XX. The scene was also written in a way that lead me to believe it was a very warped dream. When the page was first released, it was impossible to know that, as we'd had no way to expect or process XX's dreams until it became more apparent they were happening.

I started to wonder if the dream was actually representing Fig starting to overrun all else now that she was in an environment where she had a lot more power/was encouraged as a 'primary' aspect to the point of imbalance... 'Battery' may represent Fig gaining a foothold through XX's first brothel client, regardless of the actual consensuality of XX's experience with Battery in reality.

The labyrinth doesn't care who you are. The clients don't care who you are. Everything about the place is 'performance' at all costs, so to survive, XX needed Fig. But at what cost to herself? Fig is not inherently bad, either, but she is still a creature of hunger, and a leashed concept too large for a single body, let alone to share one with someone else... "but you were too strong, too strong."

In dreams, we often take the events of a day or the past and turn them into something else. They can mean nothing, or many things. Friends can become enemies, and hidden aspects rise to the surface.
37 . by: Furrama August 15, 2017, 5:38 pm

Well, I am a christian so I might be reading some themes in here that might not have been intended, but even if you simply replace the word sin with mistake in my last comment I think it still passes the sniff check. Mistakes are like baggage that can follow you forever. They're why people the world over tell our children morality stories, for even if we are well intentioned we might fall into well worn traps.

This story definitely has value in that regard.

(Also, aside from the Battery encounter which was questionable at the very least, how are you guys thinking that XX was raped? The guy at the start with "glasses"? I'm not sure that was implied?)
36 . by: 27 August 15, 2017, 4:59 pm

its cool to see other peoples interpretations. in my mind, XX was a child who was exposed to sex in an unhealthy way and grew conflicting ideas about how to assess it, and due to the society she grew up in, where mustelids are aggressively pursuing sex and where she was traumatized through rape, and due to her own naivety she got lost in it.

i personally cannot consider this a sin, i dont know how much choice she had in the matter because i interpreted it as harmless interest at the beginning, and societal pressure a toxic relationship when she took up prostitution. now shes seeking understanding so that she can come to terms with it in a healthy way.

my partner had an interesting take on it, that the story may be utilizing jungian psychology:
the persona (the "flowerless girl" or "fig," the act she has to put up to keep her job in other words)
the shadow (fig in the mirror, which she is just now beginning to conceptualize and face)
the self (XX, which has become an abstraction)
the inner child (the fetus growing inside of her maybe? unless this really is an analogy for pregnancy)

i interpreted it as DID initially too, its definitely a good analogy for it at least, but i think the story has more societal context outside of it as well. i dont *feel* like this story has any religious value, save for maybe the fable of the white coat which is directly linked to catholicism. and maybe XX's mother brought her up in a way that is analogous with strict christian upbringing (forbidding interest in sex, etc.).
35 . by: August 15, 2017, 3:42 pm

i thought the soulbonding was people outside a system. but then when i was part of a "community" it seems more a variant of it. s then i hardly ever found a soulbonder without DID or "healthy natural born multiplicity where head mates and soulbonds are all buddy like for most of the time" and most soulbonds were fictional characters, mixed with "spirit friend" or writers communicating with their creations

this script won't seem to let me even post in the link, a web page. to go to astrea's web.
34 . by: August 15, 2017, 1:20 pm

In DID alters exist to keep a person functioning. If a person no longer experiences the situation that required the alter in the first place-- say, an alter that specifically dealt with grocery shopping with their parents-- then that alter is no longer needed. That said, the alter may still be triggered to take over even if it's no longer needed, because that is how the system survived (for example, seeing a person in a orange vest pushing a shopping cart). I'm sure everyone has personal stories about how a coping mechanism became a hinderance. If this causes anxiety and impedes the life of the person, it becomes a disorder.

There are people who are content with being a multiple, so their system wouldn't be called a disorder. This is without touching on the "soul bonded" thing, which I admittedly don't really get and I believe causes friction among people with DID.

I do not think you want to have DID, and I don't think fig/xx has it either, though I think she does dissociate. She's an abstract artist, and like many artists sees different representations of different facets of herself, and she's also dealing with major repression. She's been shown to literally bring art to life-- like with the hatch brush! I think that's essentially what happened with her Fig persona. We've seen other nofna characters do this before (10%) to a helpful degree. Multple imaginary siblings that can fight and interact with the person who created them, then reabsorbed back into her because she could not survive the situation without every part of herself coming together. I think we're seeing the negative flip side to the same basic idea with Fig.
33 . by: kuu August 15, 2017, 12:15 pm

is it common for people's alter ego/ personas to go haywire? from things I have seen typed in some communities, I knew a few "Multiples" who create "system members/head mates" to deal with situations, such as going to work, or driving because "driving gives them anxiety, so they let someone else deal with it" which I don't really understand and I'm torn on wanting that for myself and or thinking the idea is asinine and not understand how disassociation works, and the idea that "system members" are real people. given that some people are "born with MPD" and say their system mebers also have systems or sometimes get married and have children with each-other, creating another alter.
(not all MPD and DID are from trauma, I follow/ed the postings of people for the sake of "fascinating" and "what is this?"
32 . by: August 15, 2017, 11:33 am

Corvidophile, that's an amazing interpretation of what's going on here. As someone familiar with the 'persona' concept it makes perfect sense.
31 . by: August 15, 2017, 10:08 am

Damn I hope my old fursona doesn't take over my brain and start chomping dudes.
30 . by: Corvidophile August 15, 2017, 8:58 am

I'm not sure the one in the womb and the abstract ghost are not one and the same, I think the ghost is the consciousness of the one encased in the womb. I'm gonna call this The Entity for clarity, and I'm gonna call the outside whole person XX, and the purposed demon of sex Fig.

To me, XX is experiencing a typical artist problem. Anyone who's heavily into role playing online will recognize this pattern in themselves or someone they know: you create a persona/fursona that's meant to represent yourself, but because no one has a full idea of themselves, it's naturally incomplete. You delve into this character perhaps for years, but eventually you find that the persona no longer fits- it's become a characature of certain traits and evolved into its own character that is no longer you.

Bothered by this slight identity shift, you do one of three things: drop the representation as a whole concept, push your inner self closer toward the old persona because even though you're no longer them you LIKE them and want to return to them, or develop a new persona to represent your current self and cast aside the current one.

XX is at the point where Fig is no longer a fit of her true self, she's grown since Fig was first created. As a result she now feels lost and without representation, but she seeks some: she "doesn't know who she is anymore". But Fig has become a characature of her impish side to the point of maliciousness, because XX has conveniently cast aside her negative personality traits to Fig in order to separate herself from them, turning Fig into a monster when she was originally a very useful persona for sex work to protect herself.

The entity is a ghost of her persona she had to please her mother, barely there anymore, but now cast in a more angelic light because of the entity's "purity" as a result of being with XX as a younger self and not experiencing her developing sexuality.

XX is sick of the current state of Fig and seeking to dump what that persona has now turned into as a way of cleansing herself. She is also accidentally dragging down all traits associated with the original Fig she created to allow her to be so sexual in the first place because they're both in the crosshairs. Collateral damage.
29 . by: August 15, 2017, 5:31 am

@27 yeah. the whole "because he did not like it"

what's not to love of someone having parts of themself careen out of control making them lost and miserable. if this story were some kind of style of fantasy would she almost be some dark version of her self? only with more sex? but is this fig also part of her biting fetish that mauled a client and mutilated Greenie?(or did he want to be chomped up) or that Fig was going to replace other parts of her self? is this Fig is what caused her to turn blank white?
28 . by: Furrama August 14, 2017, 6:19 pm

Fig's not sin, she's what happens when one loses control of oneself to base instincts. The inner demon/self that craves base pleasure to the detriment of all else.

Sin seeks to dominate. That's what being under sin is, being under control of destructive masters. Fig is the destructive master, not sin itself. Sin is the road to confinement. Choices that lead one to being trapped and chained to them. Fig offered power, so XX gave herself over. Willingly at first, but now she's having great difficulty breaking free of that decision. She's a slave.
27 . by: August 14, 2017, 5:20 pm

i can understand peoples disagreement with XY/smoothie, and i really do want XX and fig to harmonize, but lets please not pretend fig is 'just a part of her brain.' fig is an entity that has grown completely out of control and figuratively (literally as it applies in-world) holding XX hostage. if fig continues as she has been XX could end up like sherry.

as for the sin thing, i dont think fig is a representation of sin as much as severe trauma and psychological repression, so it shouldnt apply.. but i actually agree with the statement 'love the sinner, hate the sin?' i cant tell if im lacking context.. how would this be a bad thing?
26 . by: Furrama August 14, 2017, 2:58 pm

I don't know about you, but if some part of me was doing harm to me or others and I couldn't control it and I had the option to excise it from my person? I'd do it. Even if for others it was a perfectly healthy thing and it would be ideal if I could find a balance, if all else failed I'd "gouge out my eye", as it were.
25 . by: Budgie August 14, 2017, 1:47 pm

I don't think it's that simple. Fig essentially going AWOL is why XX has been so lethargic and uninspired lately. She needs parity between Fig and brown XX, not the complete removal of one or the other.
24 . by: August 14, 2017, 10:03 am

Remember, XX has professed to hating this part of herself and wanted Smoothie to go in her brain to meet Fig. Also Fig has been tormenting her for, by this point in the story, YEARS, causing a lot of damage to her mental health. Also she bit a dude in the face. So its well established by this point that Fig leaving is of great benefit to XX.
23 . by: August 14, 2017, 9:19 am

loving that red and purple fig in panel 3
22 . by: kuu August 14, 2017, 8:19 am

or if that part of her has to go, she should do it herself?

part of her brain or mind or both?

if this part of her is not endangering or hindering her or anyone else's life there is no reason to get rid of it. a difference between getting rid of a part of the mind of a racist. verses getting rid of part of a mind of a person who thinks they are a Final Fantasy character.
or who would rather spend their life having fun than staying in school from grade 6 to getting a PhD
21 . by: August 14, 2017, 2:58 am

So he wants a part of someone's brain gone, because he doesn't like it? "Love the sinner, hate the sin" much?
20 . by: August 13, 2017, 12:59 am

rape as a theme has already been brought up multiple times, and XX herself was implicitly raped at the beginning of this story. if youre looking to avoid it, its a little late for that..
19 . by: Papeipou August 12, 2017, 6:23 pm

I wonder if the story of the stoat that wouldn't dirty her coat will come into play regarding Smoothie getting out of this place when the time comes...
18 . by: August 12, 2017, 1:08 pm

Honestly, I hope her endgame isn't rape. Violent rape scenes are something I'm getting a bit sick of seeing in media.
17 . by: Mana August 11, 2017, 9:13 pm

I'm kind of wondering if this will have an effect on the gestating concept...

Human babies can hear voices from inside the womb after a certain amount of time has passed. What they hear, and how often they hear it, has measurable physical effects; they also learn the sound of their mother's voice at this time.
They also react to common words and sounds differently even after birth, suggesting that they remember them.
Very loud, prolonged sounds can cause in-utero damage to their hearing or even their development, however...

This scene may also have some analogy to the struggle between genes as a fetus develops. I wonder what the idea inside the womb -- the person inside -- will learn from this, if she's listening? How will it affect her development? Which of her 'parents' [ghostly XX or Fig] will win out, if they cannot find parity?
16 . by: Furrama August 11, 2017, 7:52 pm

Oh, one of them is right alright.

But the question isn't who is right, but which idea is dominant. This is like the two genes fighting it out to see which will be expressed analogy.
15 . by: August 11, 2017, 6:16 pm

They're both extremists vying to gain XX's attention, neither one is right.

X's eyes are open here, before they were diagonal slits.
14 . by: Papeipou August 11, 2017, 6:15 pm

@#10: I think polygon XX just grew those eyes; Smoothie's defense of her brought her persona a little more into focus IMO.
13 . by: Seven August 11, 2017, 5:57 pm

That second to last panel makes me think Smoothie should go get a female colleague, then we can have an Eowyn "I am no MAN" moment. :D
12 . by: kuu August 11, 2017, 4:53 pm

she can chew on him and have sex right? have sex with him, eat his paws and ears off. win twice
11 . by: Furrama August 11, 2017, 4:24 pm

I think the idea is that if she can corrupt the little white knight, she wins.

And if she can't do that, she'll force herself on him, and drive them both apart. She wins.
10 . by: August 11, 2017, 3:42 pm

Did polygon XX grow eyes or did she always have those?
9 . by: Dani August 11, 2017, 3:12 pm

I think she wants to overpower him via sex, her weapon of choice, not eat him. Unless we are talking about different kinds of eating? :P
8 . by: August 11, 2017, 2:52 pm

i wondered why she didnt just eat him too. part of me thinks she is toying with him, but its possible shes losing power since XYs introduction. also i have to say im in love with the third panel here, im a sucker for red/purple/black schemes and any panel where her huge tail is emphasized (i-im not a pervert youre a pervert..!)
7 . by: Furrama August 11, 2017, 2:11 pm

*Threw not through, apolologies.
6 . by: Furrama August 11, 2017, 2:09 pm

He through her off her game for a second!

Will he defeat the power of sex with the might of collective learning? FIND OUT NEXT TIME ON DRAGON BALL XX!
5 . by: August 11, 2017, 1:06 pm

It's interesting that Mirror Fig says she's above society but is echoing its sentiments about sex (Smoothie too).
4 . by: kuu August 11, 2017, 11:25 am

Fig can't do the thing with the eating here can she? how ever that works?

@ 3 ,and if Sherry is another female that had been taken over

from genes to memes, society and ideas
3 . by: Seven August 11, 2017, 11:13 am

I wonder if Greenie is an example of a male that's become beholden to a sex parasite.
2 . by: August 11, 2017, 4:58 am

Is the scribe is also writing down xx's responses as Well? Or it seems smoothie is talking with nothing in the outside world?
1 . by: Mana August 11, 2017, 4:06 am

The white formation in panel... 8, ish? is reminiscent of the vines from XY's 'possession' tangent, I feel.

The XX phantom in the background may also be getting less abstract; Fig appears to be looking at her, maybe in disbelief of her insolence [how dare she become more concrete], before giving XY that terrifying pin-colored glare...

also, lol @ XY's face in the last panel. current mood