It should be stated that, until this point, your vicarious experience with the perception range has been almost exclusively through a human lens. Even what you know of Willis is effectively just the facet of Willis-concept adapted to the taproot of Hospital-concept that connects to "your world," and Isaac is as much the flesh of a dead earthly man as he is the flesh of the Original Big Thingamabob. A doug, however, is one of the many "spee sheez" of meats that "evovled" on a flying piece of wet soil largely independent of the flow of concept, and was therefore, funny enough, a being whose perception of reality is less like your own than anything you have yet encountered since layer 001. You, for example, know the difference between a rubber boot and a rubber ball because of the different contexts in which you interact with them, but the doug, whose sense of self is a mouth and a nose piloted around by an unseen mass that gets hungry, might categorize them as the same exact object based on how they feel between its teeth.

   This makes a great analogy for how perceptual spheres work in general, but it isn't entirely the same thing. It's something simpler and cruder in many ways, yes, but simultaneously so much more complex, so nuanced, so impenetrable a boundary that your ability to form any sort of bond with these other speez sheesh...speaseetz? Meats, the different meats that slowly deformed out of each other on your wet dirt, would blow the minds of entities as vast as the doctors or the professor if they took half a layer to even care. It's like if you found out your ancient ancestors had in fact cobbled together something similar to the internet from mud and some worms. Imagine! Relating to another being with no exospine or gels or perceptosphere at all!

  I say all this primarily so you can understand the challenge I have undertaken to filter this little meat's perception into words you recognize, and so you understand that its reasoning will still never make the same sort of sense to you as that of Willis or even Isaac, so don't ask me to explain what exactly was going on in its gurgling skull tissues. Those little mental machinations were in fact quite complex as unfathomable monstrosities tore one another to shreds all around it, wreaking unimaginable havoc on a landscape that both defines and is defined by abstract concepts of literature, media and data, but for all intents and purposes, what ultimately went through Nobad's head in the eye of this storm was...


  ...But then, he stopped. And then he cocked his little head knob to one side, and then to the other, confused for a moment by the swelling chatter of gibberish suddenly flooding his crude doggie concept core. He didn't know what you were or most of what you were communicating, but he knew you were things, and if there was one thing that excited him, it was definitely things. As it dawned on him that he was not alone externally or internally, his extra vertebrae began to wobble more furiously than ever, and he returned to running in small, aimless circles, emitting a sort of retching noise that was the only noise this particular chunk of dougmeat could produce, not so much the noise I believe you expect from his kind but a sort of gurgling "HYALK, HYALK," if I must transcribe it.

  Unfortunately, an assortment of undesirably large and violent things were stumbling ever closer, and as near as this narration could tell, this was not dissuading Nobad's current plan to continue running in celebratory circles, HYALKing his rapturous delight to no one in particular.

$nbsp; With my mastery of the narrative art, I'd be able to update you on the other things shortly, but it was imperative you come up with something for this thing to do before its biomass was splattered across a zone that was not equipped to reconstitute it as anything but a few stray pamphlets of its final thoughts, a newspaper clipping at best.


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