From the Desk of Doctor H.M. Phage, T.E.

   As conceptual nodes with both matter and conceptual layers, we're all subject to one risk or another as we weave our way in and out of the perception zones, and few maladies are as persistent and hazardous as those afflicting the perception core itself. Whether you're a rambler, a shambler, a material subroutine, awakened bioform, some ducks or even a conscious reverberator (good luck out there by the way), there are quite a few core-penetrating contagions to be wary of, especially during zone shift with a foreign perceptoid.

Fortunately for you, I am a doctor. This means that I know everything, and you can trust me to explain things at a level suitable for even your grossly impaired core to process. Today's journal can be considered a crash course in some of the more minor but pervasive risks to a shifting core, and should be perceptible across the chromatic, olfactory, sub-tonal and even a few nodes of the seething, but please, remember to detach any connections you may have left in the grey before we proceed. With their vestigial cores, grey zoners are susceptible to core blights only so far as they can grasp the idea, and the last thing we need this evening is another two or three billion greys to purge. We're just lucky most of them would process this in their distorted, stunted fashion. One wonders how my vivid perceptigraphs will even appear to their daft imaginations.


   Now, now. Boggles are no laughing matter. You've all had them; you've just forgotten. I should know, since I'm the one who scraped them off when you came crying to my home layer. Don't fall into the common trap of thinking boggles are only a children's blight; they can relapse even billions of layers later, erupting out of membranes you didn't even know you were still attached to. Then you turn around one cycle and bam, there they are, nodulating your crobs with their flagrant disregard of shift protocol and cruel, juvenile rhymes. The only permanent treatment for crob nodulation is to sever your peripheral membranes completely before they attain awareness. This is something you'll want to do regularly anyway, unless you want to hear what an awakened membrane has to say about cones, and yes, it's as insufferable as you might have guessed.


   You all know the feeling; you just shifted from a chromatic to a matter zone without having to interact with a shub, and you're feeling pretty smarmy about it, I'm sure. Unless you're an angle-zoner, in which case you're feeling 36.5.001° about it, but maybe you caught a fleeting sensation of red with a salty aftertaste, even in the matter zones where neither concept is in an active configuration. That's because you've snagged a Rupturating Fold Dampener in the "stew" between chromatic and matter. Why did you even think you were expected to use a shub? Did you think we all enjoyed touching their pathetic, unwholesome little branches?

Few ever realize they've contracted a WEHHHH because they tend to boil away as soon as you re-enter the chromatic, but spend enough time in a matter zone and yours will be germinating in no time, cracking out of your core and waggling around obscenely in the middle of some sensitive social function. Your embarrassment is like candy to its feasting crevice, spraying the resulting matter over your fellow guests as it tries desperately to hold a sophisticated-sounding conversation.

This is one you'll need professional help to remove, or it's only going to keep multiplying until, before you know it, you're nothing but one big cluster of the things spraying all over each other as they yammer on about their made-up politics. Disgusting. All you needed was a quick dip in the squirming, or one part squirming to one part seething, carefully sterilized in our EXCELLENT HOSPITAL, which is, seriously, the finest around.


   Mean little things, the poxulators. This is what happens when you don't warp your tubes right-side-out after interfacing with a white zone voopsmith, and then you'll have trade all that raw voop for nothing, and who'll be laughing then? Me, probably. Probably everyone. You can too, of course, it's all in good fun. A shot or ten of vitamin chartreuse and they'll blow away like dying leaves as your new flavor starts to remind them of their lousy childhoods.

But seriously, fix your tubes or poxulators are going to shave off membrane after membrane until you're just a free-roaming idea all over again and I'm not going to be the one to re-realize your base layers. I'm a doctor, not a pseudosphere.


   Ugh, nasty. This is one of those things a matter-zoner's particle-built brain can't even process, replacing it with something almost, but not quite representative of its behavioral pattern and arrangement. If you're in a matter zone right now, you'll need to dip a branch or two in a conceptual layer so you can get a better idea of what to watch out for. Can you believe some things are stuck in matter zones permanently? I can't imagine what the Dipslibber looks like to the poor fools, but by the time it's cycled through its gels they'll be lucky if their zone even remembers they were born. The mess they leave in the surrounding layers is not a pretty sight, and the noises it makes until it finally starts to lose consciousness are unbelievably annoying. This is the main issue with Dipslibber infestation; it won't harm you, per se, but if you leave it in the matter zones, we all have to deal with that racket. Show some courtesy and have the flotsam scrubbed out of your core at least every twelve hundred layer shifts.

Note that if your Dipslibber begins to sound orange, you may in fact be dealing with a Slipdibber. Careful out there!


   We need to get a little serious for a moment, because the huggle is by far one of the most crippling of the core blights transmitted through entanglement, capable of dissolving an entire layer if it finishes its little song and dance routine. You might think that's no big deal when a zone can have an infinite number of layers anyway, but you certainly don't have an infinite number of branches, do you? You had to have passed through that layer for the siphonizer to lock into it, and you can say goodbye to every branch you left on the other side. Yeah, ouch. Fortunately, before a siphonizer's done that ridiculous tooting it calls music, you can just drop it off in the grey. It won't technically harm the native zoners, just impair their reasoning skills while dramatically increasing their drive to express opinions electronically.

   I hope you've enjoyed this quick, handy guide to some of the basic blights oozing through the gels. Next time: blemishes of the gel layers and how to see through their lies.