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"A friend of mine has a tattoo I really like," said Brown. "AM=FM. Actual Machines = Fucking Magic. In her mind the fact that her inventions have to work inside the laws of physics is what makes them so impressive, in a way that pure magic wouldn't be. I've been thinking about that basically non stop since I saw it, but Actual Government = Fucking Magic isn't as catchy an acronym.

"At its base, though, is the problem of resources. It's possible Yellow figures out some way to imanentize the eschalon and usher in the singularity but I need to plan on the assumption that we're going to be constrained by material reality and that Green isn't going to get a reproduction fetish. That places constraints on what's possible. Yes, the plan is absolutely to do the fairy godmother thing, but what's actually involved in that? If someone wishes for a castle then that requires mobilization of construction crews, payments of salaries, movement of tonnes of material, integration with surrounding electrical grids and emergency planning - the backend requirement is huge, especially if we want to make it happen on Fucking Magic timeframes. We'd need an entire dedicated Ministry of Wishes, a branch of government dedicated to transferring resources on ludicrous timeframes, the Make a Wish foundation with the budget of the military-industrial complex.

"And that's where the political questions come in. The question of stability is ever present, especially if we've seized power in a coup. Every resource we dedicate towards maintaining order is a resource we're not dedicating towards making dreams come true. The more wishes we grant the more we shift people's perceptions of reality, entrench our worldview, build legitimacy and loyalists but that's pointless if an armed uprising starts. There's a huge amount of resources that can be mobilized by liquidating the billionaire class so there's a huge advantage over the previous regime, but that doesn't cover everything. It's especially dire if those resources need to be directed to a new generation of oligarchs in order to buy the elite loyalty required to prevent a coup, and that's the problem inherent to authoritarian systems.

"This is why I think of the example of Hugo Chavez. Chavez was the rare politician whose mastery of the media was so profound that he rarely needed to wield authoritarian power. He was charismatic enough that he was able to implement communism without a civil war, he was able to govern as a marxist without cancelling elections, he announced major policy changes spur-of-the-moment on live television which made everyone hang on his every word. Through sheer charisma, political adaptability and decisiveness he was able to defuse strikes and outmaneuver opposition. He didn't need a secret police when the people loved him, he didn't need to outlaw dissent when he just held a press conference whenever his opponents were talking and everyone flipped to his channel. Politically he walked on water his entire career. He died in office, had a glorious funeral, and was entombed next to Simon Bolivar. Fucking magic for someone who started his political career by fucking up a coup.

"Now, the problem with Chavez was that he was kind of an idiot with no consistent policies. The same off the cuff changes in direction that made him so compelling on TV were a bureaucratic nightmare; the agricultural ministry didn't know what crops to plant if it could change at any moment, the police became corrupt without strong legal oversight, a nation heir to spectacular oil wealth walked into an economic crisis. But that's my value proposition, the thing that I as November can do that he couldn't. We can provide a level of internal unity that could never exist between Chavez and his ministers, which means we can resource the public exaltation of magic without collapsing the government functions that keeps the ring spinning. And that's the absolute baseline we can accomplish if we don't develop any sort of hidden technology, or an army of securitrons, or if Green decides to expand to like a hundred colours or some other unexpected windfall."


"Quick check," said Red, dialing Black. "Do you need these guns to go to Selene, or do you need the cops to not find the guns? One of those operations gives me way more options than the other."


She holds the flag.

This is everything to her.

Some days she's barely even sure she exists. A daydream. A fantasy. So unreal that if you touched her she'd turn back into stardust and sighs. The idea that she could do something, that she could make a change, that she could make the world better seems so fragile. A delusion, a false colour, a trick of the light before she sinks back down into the depths of everyday browns and tans and greys.

She who holds nothing holds this. A banner. Something to believe in. Her belief made manifest. The dream she carried. The dream she was unworthy of. The dream that they might follow despite her. It takes both her hands and all her strength to keep it aloft; in a world with wind the slightest gust would knock it and her over.

She flicks the hidden switches and it expands to its full size and glory. It raises above the rainbow like a roar, like a prayer, like a nation. Here in this colour are all your hopes and dreams, close enough to chase. All you need to do is march after it.

The holy maiden shivers and takes her first lonely step forwards. Bare feet leave the drawbridge and touch the bare surface of Aevum.

She does not look back. She could not survive this dream failing her, and so she must proceed as though it won't.
She smiled. No fixed address. Not once in her entire life. Across the Stormlands and Evercity and the void between worlds, she had never even had a tent she could pitch. Home was the cockpit. But... not just the cockpit. Right now the thought of returning felt like going back into the summer heat.

It hadn't felt like home except when there was someone else sharing it with her.

Of everywhere in the galaxy, she could think of only one place she was truly destined to return.

"Send it to Mayze Scyssorpaws," said Solarel.

"Well, kind of?" said Brown. "Not really. That's just a matter of scale and resources. If we can hit a critical mass of both then we can attrition down society's problems through sheer money expenditure. Like - do you know Venezuela? Yellow's political precursor is Hugo Chavez. You can run communism off the back of a circus if you do it right. People get their choices removed all the time in ways they can't perceive already, trust me, I work for a newspaper."

"No, I don't think that the problem is taking away people's illusion of choice," said Brown. "I think the problem is that I kind of forgot that smart people work for liberalism. Just, like, genuine true believers with souls like steel wire. They're shitheads with corrupt morals but they've somehow got enough integrity and self respect to stick to their guns despite that. Like, this system is working as intended, and even though the intentions are shit the system is enormously complex and capable of defending itself."


Why reinvent the wheel?

"We will be using colour coding for this," said Orange.

Orange is still Doing The Bit when she gathers the community leaders together. Between her and Crystal she's got a really good map of who they are, and this is something to be done through cooperative whole of organization teamwork rather than anything top-down or technological. Every node needs to be empowered and directed.

"I know, some people have augs or disabilities that render them blind or colourblind," she said, raising a hand pre-emptively. "It's still the common denominator and anyone on the wrong side of that will have to buddy up. The system is simple: Everyone prominently marks their head in the colour associated with the district they're heading to - Red for Ares, Pink for Aphrodite, so on, I've got a chart here. Yes," she held up a hand again, "some people are very stylish and have set colour schemes. This isn't negotiable. We've been up all night procuring a variety of hairsprays, fursprays, spraypaints, hats, and even some straight up buckets of paint. There'll be paint dumps all across the convention. No subtle dots or accents, this needs to be the primary colour on the head."

"So. Everyone marks themselves according to their destination. Everyone gathers in their colour cluster. We organize the march in colour formations, people need to stay with their colour group. The first group is heading to Hermes, they all enter the station at once, they all get on the Hermes train, the Hermes train leaves, and there will not be a second Hermes train. If anyone going to Hermes is not on the Hermes train then they go into the station during the next wave, get on the Aphrodite train, and find someone to roommate with for a few days while they're on the train. They can find their way home later when normal service resumes.

"Understand that there is no flexibility with when the trains leave. The trains will be running due to crime. I will be stealing the trains. The schedule's timing operates according to police and governmental response and not convenience. If anyone falls behind the community must pick them up because I cannot. I will likewise be relying on community volunteers to provide security and rearguard. This number will likely shrink over the course of the day as trains leave, taking defense groups with them. At the end of the day I will be relying on the true heroes who don't care where they end up after today and locals to hold the line."


"Right, yeah, you're on the run now," said Red. "I can relate. But you know what's great for running? An operational train network, which is the thing that I'm going to try to switch back on. And you know what I'm not going to have enough of after sending out multiple trains full of people? People to defend the train station."

She crouched down. "Look, you're right. You're fucked. You did the crime and now you've got the heat. You got nothing but ugly choices in front of you right now. Option one, you get on the first train that goes out. You lay low, maybe even go to Earth if you're super fucked. You keep your social circle and crime buddies safe. Option two, you work the station defense and fight like hell. You get beat to shit and maybe picked up by the cops, maybe they draw a connection, maybe you go down and take everyone in your org with you. Sucks but honestly I don't think it makes a difference, if they can trace the gun to you they can call you a terrorist regardless of if you're at large."

She doesn't need to talk about option three: sit and get drunk. That's not real.

"So come on, Chaka," said Red. "Gun to your head - er, so to speak: who are you gonna protect?"
Mosaic and Ember!

The Grav-Rail is a magnificent piece of technology. Unbelievable power and maneuverability, incredible acceleration, the ability to turn on a dime, as mobility option goes it's profoundly powerful and versatile.

Unless you weren't in a gravity well.

In deep space it doesn't have anything to work with; no matter how complex your sail array, with no wind the ship does not move. The Endless Azure Skies has always been a 'coastal' power as a result - dominating when operating in close proximity to planetary or stellar bodies, becalmed and vulnerable in the deep void. All Azura military doctrine was based around the assault and garrison of planets. In a lot of ways, the worst thing that a Knight could do was to give chase.

But surely it was alright this time. Their enemy was just that far beneath them, after all. They didn't even have their Knight!


The Crystal Knight sneered. It took genuine, magnificent beauty to be as hideous as she was in that moment.

"Such is the judgement of a philistine!" she said, not addressing you any longer but her court. Ranks after ranks of perfectly organized shades of blue. "Someone who does not understand art! Someone who cannot imagine sacrificing for beauty, sacrificing for love! Someone with so little imagination she cannot comprehend loving something greater than the people she sees before her! Cannot comprehend sacrificing for that love! Cannot comprehend fighting for that love! Someone -"

She's going to go on like that for a bit, Dyssia. Let's tune out and focus on something far more interesting: the sword at your throat.

See, you got to see a few shots from this kind of weapon during the battle. Important fact? What it doesn't do is kill people. What it does do is... strange. It was chaotic, but it looked like shots from the Hermetic's crystal rifle split people into multiple competing copies of themselves - it didn't sever so much as it duplicated. In the chaos of battle, adrenaline pumping, half entering an alien dimension then it stood to reason that people might fight themselves in a panic before they realized what was happening. But...

Maybe it wasn't a sword before you. Maybe it was the Crystal Knight's flaw that she could only imagine it as a sword.


You are in a shuttle flying away from the Royal Architect of the Endless Azure Skies, on your way to meet Biomancer-General Liquid Bronze. You have with you a deeply exasperated 20022 who is working out his annoyance on one of the endless stacks of paperwork that he has with him, the Emissary of the Architect who is engaged in a deep conversation with the Corvii pilot to convince her to disable the shuttle's self-defense Flux spike, and the galaxy's most perfect killing machine.

The Diodekoi has been provided to you in a Stasis-Coffin with wheels and handlebars. In order to keep her under control the Architect has provided a rather novel device constructed of prism-crystals. Activate the cutters and the Assassin will be duplicated - some alternate version of her pulled in to reality for a time, one who can be dissolved/returned/however it works by ceasing the flow of energy through the crystals. This, proposes the Architect, will give you a chance to meet and talk to the perfect engine of death while being able to get rid of her again with the flick of a button. Gather enough knowledge of her personality and how she works this way and you might become confident in your ability to release her for real!

It will be a long flight, but you'll have time and space and supplies to make whatever kind of first impression you want, as many times as you want.

"Let's go home," said Pink. "That already has so much of my focus and it's out of scope. I'd wallflower and probably help no one, but this way I can at least do something useful."


She looks at this with interest. She was aware of the pitfalls of shit moderation in these environments, but Apostle had punched a eugenicist during their first meeting so she figured there was a floor. In that context she couldn't come up with a good reason not to enjoy the spectacle. "You know, reality TV needs to do a lot of creative editing to force drama?" said Brown. "They obviously didn't realize that they wouldn't need to do that if they just observed leftist spaces instead."

She put the phone aside. Deliberate decision, after making her initial assignments she was going to check out for 15-25 minutes to condition people not to bother her for specifics. "But yeah, my main thing right now is..." she sighed. "I haven't had time to process it properly amidst everything, but I went up against a guy recently who just fucking Read me. Like, tried to pull a fast one and he just pulled it apart and I was absolutely fucked, you know? It was only a combination of luck and him galaxy braining himself right out of his victory that got me out of it, but fuck. And not only did that happen but it happened right at a time when the entire station has gone completely extra so none of the others are going to take the time to internalize that."


Red stops in the doorway. Thinks for a moment.

She's aware that it's lucky it's her. Not all of her would be able to resist making some sort of fucking Point. There were the statistics, the arguments, the morality, a link to the No Way To Prevent This Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens. There's a snappy, unkind response that looms like a lacuna in her mind; 'why does it matter that it's a judge? You decided you were cool with her killing someone when you gave her the gun.'

She doesn't say any of it. Instead she kneels down alongside Chaka and pushes the bottle as far away as her arm reaches.

"Listen. You got into this to protect your community, right? Well right now several thousand of them are crossing town in the face of fascists and cops to get to a train station and get home. I would feel way better if you were out there keeping them safe."

[Shrink 4/4: Chaka can use 1 point from this pool to recover 2 points of Stability, as many as she needs]

"Though," said Red. "Uh, didn't want to go there right now, but you are drunk as shit so I am going to take your guns first."

"Oh, um. That's a scary thought," said Pink. "I sure hope not?"


"Well," said Yellow, looking out the window. "That was a good idea from Pink about the train. But as ever, she wasn't audacious enough. But this, though... the aesthetics are immaculate. The current regime shuts down an essential service in a crisis in order to maintain control. The revolution seizes what was once an aspect of the State and uses it for its intended purpose. A part of the state's mythos is broken. The trains, dare I say, will be made to run on time. Yes, this will do."

"We're going to use our legitimate authority as the cornerstone of this. Red, you are Crimson Tower now. Change your hair, make it to a command centre, and start issuing orders. Knightly's given you an authorization boost - use it. It's fine if Crimson loses her job over this. White and Cyan are on crowd control at the station. Orange, you manage the movement of people on this side, organize community leaders and work on a formation where people willing or able to take a hit are on the outside. The others will adaptively respond where needed. And me..."

She opened her handbag and took out what looked like a foldable umbrella. It telescoped out mechanically, raising above her head and unfurling into a long, flowing golden banner. An electrical charge through the memory cloth had it billow dramatically in an invisible breeze. It could go to twice this height and size when they were outside proper.

"I will carry the flag," said Yellow, looking up at the secret weapon that was the shape of her heart. "Let everyone know to follow it."


"Oh dang," said Brown.

She considers not saying or doing anything else. Like, nobody would know, really? She could just have the entire afternoon off here with her best friends the coma patients. Everything else would just sort itself out in the end, probably.

So she does that! She sits and reads a book on her laptop and is quietly, blissfully happy in a place with no responsibilities and no pressures.

She knows that she was a mistake. They pushed Green too hard in the early tests and so she made her in protest, the rejection of the burden, the refusal of the call. She'd broken the rules of her tests not to win but to buy time for herself while they figured out how to fix it. November had a messiah complex but Brown was the part of her that rejected that and could live happily as just another face in the crowd.

But... she finally sighed and alt-tabbed out her book after fifteen minutes. But she wasn't a bad person. Being mediocre wasn't the same as being mid. This'd come back on her later and people would dislike her for it, and she'd dislike herself right along with them. So there was only one thing to do.

She logged onto the Anthrozine chat.

Brown: Hey @here. York's hospitalized, here next to Junta.
Brown: and everyone's kind of freestyling in here and it's unreadable
Brown: so i'm declaring a bureaucratic coup and i'm going to give everyone journalism chores
Brown: if anyone doesn't like it: fantastic, i will lend you my full support when it comes to couping me

Pink laughs. "You're thinking of my brother, Pig. They made his internal decision making extremely legible; his brain runs like the stock market. You can track exactly the flows of votes and currency exchanges with him. For some reason they decided not to go with anything like that for subsequent generations, for me it's extremely blurry and vibes-based. Presumably it's to stop me from trying to game it, but the rules are also weird and unpredictable and id-based. Confidence plays a part. Like, Orange recently got a huge boost just by having a conversation with Pope and deciding to raise her game."

She was building still; a twisting green spiral pillar upon which the bowl rested. It ran and looped in strange and alien patterns, hollow arches, empty circles. "Everything rests on Green and Green's perceptions in the end," she said. "We don't even hold formal votes most of the time, we all just kind of sense the vibe. It's why I keep using the word 'influence' rather than 'votes'. And I can't even... think about turning against Green, and I think it's the same with Yellow. It's like..." she grabbed a full container and dumped it over the top of the bowl and the alien spires, half-burying each. "The specifics are obscured, and so we kind of have to play normal? I sometimes wonder how much of my brain design is to stop me wireheading."



This is why.

Around and around this moment comes. The bloody scream for justice. Naivety shattering anew. Demons made manifest and the machinery of state is trying to exorcise them. They turn the air into poison, the electromagnetic system into madness, and before long the old testudoes of the Roman Republic will form up again. People say that capitalism worships the dollar but within an afternoon there has been enough property damage, injury and death to pay for everyone's healthcare for years. The state is the body of the king, and in its heart still beats that oldest of regal demands: You will all kneel.

Change the brain all you want. The heart beats on.

She does not need to take it all in this time. She knows her purpose. She knows it's failed. Never again - and here we are, past the brink. No matter how this went there'd be a next time. On and on until she finally slew the king once and for all.

But she was fortunate that the most aesthetic way to insult the king's authority ever invented had not just become possible but optimal.

She was going to jack a train and drive everyone home herself.

Pink actually became increasingly attentive and interested throughout Fiona's speech. "You know, nobody's actually ever been interested in my internal politics before," said Pink. "I'd actually always wanted to talk about this but never had the audience - do you mind?"

She takes the lego blocks and separates them out into their component colours. She arranges them in a circle, with green in the centre.

"So there's a source of truth here, and it's Green," said Pink, adding more and more bricks of different colours, connecting them out into a strange helix pattern. "If Yellow killed me by shooting me with a gun it'd be pointless because so long as the impulse for me exists inside Green she'd recreate me. Same as if every billionaire died on a moon colony, if you change nothing else within a couple of generations you'd find billionaires running everything again. It's only if I became utterly marginalized that I'd be at permanent risk, and that's very much down to environmental conditions. Blue was optimized for deep space construction, she became marginalized when we stopped doing that, and her influence had faded almost to zero by the time she actually died."

There are a hundred bricks in all now:
25 black
16 yellow
15 orange
10 red
10 brown
10 white
7 cyan
7 pink

What she'd built was... something like a bowl? It was a strange magic eye trick, the way she'd placed the yellow made it look like noodles, while the orange looked like soup...

"Orange is actually very influential," said Pink. "But she doesn't talk to you much because I asked her not to. She's all about teamwork, but in practice that kind of means she manages people. She'd make our relationship a working relationship and I don't want that. She's been worrying about losing influence but that's just because she used to be where Black is and is sensitive to the perceived loss of status. She's currently trying to mobilize against Black and her head's in the right place to make that a real fight. I don't really have a dog in that fight, but I generally support Orange in it."

"But you're right that Yellow is my personal nemesis," she said. "And White is usually solidly in her camp. That means that she's got enough influence to power this Yellow-Black-White alliance that gets her to 51, and she can get around morality if she can present it as a crisis or status quo. That's bad for me because it means that she can encourage collective decisions that marginalize me further, but it requires those decisions to be individually morally correct enough to bring White along. This recent espionage campaign she's been encouraging has been very effective at changing the conditions that give me room to breathe."

She smiled. "Thanks for this, by the way. This is something I've always wanted to talk about but never had anyone this interested before."


"Mm," said Brown. "I get a lot of titles. Observation, status quo, sleep, normie, chill, the boring one. I make sure the bills get paid, the batteries get replaced, and that someone's thinking about all of the stuff that we disregard in the moment. Basically any task that nobody else wants to do."

She thought for a while. She was talking to a Green here, so it'd be less work to give her all the data she needed to figure out how this conversation should go and let her take it from there.

"You spoke to Yellow, who's Vision. There's also Green, genius, Red, crisis management, Black, paranoia, Orange, cooperation, White, morality, Cyan, malleability, and Pink, creativity. Please don't talk to me about any of those topics because they're all busy and I'd be bad at it."


"I see," said Yellow. "You are simply biased towards people who make you climax hard. Well -" she flipped around on the seat, smiling and predatory and as liquid flexible as a beach wizard. "- if it's what's required to secure my political influence, I suppose I'll have to set a new record~"

"Fool," hissed the Crystal Knight, brooding on her throne. "You point at the fall and ignore the rise. We conquered the galaxy with Biomancy. We leashed the stars, harvested black holes, mapped the edges of the galaxy. Yes, there was a fall, but you blame the very thing that made us strong in the first place. And your moralistic blindness prevents you from seeing the new source of power that will remake the Skies greater than ever before."

She drew her blade. Crystal lenses aligned, and a projection of simmering, dimensional energy blazed above her head.

"Do you see?" she said. "These crystals! They are new to the galaxy and represent the next generation of technological mastery. With these we have already built the crystal dragons, a new non-biological lifeform that have bypassed the injunction against electronic thought! With these we have built weapons that render the old rules of invincibility irrelevant! With these the Royal Architect, when he finishes his harvest, will be able to mine the same planet dozens of times over. A new font of boundless wealth awaits us, a new vector for supreme power, a new frontier that will render biomancy itself irrelevant! And rather than supporting the Skies as we master this new paradigm you fight yesterday's battles, weeping over the fate of slaves who will soon be as obsolete as slavery itself."


"Oh, yes, I suppose so," said the Architect. "I'd already written off the material composition so I'll cheerfully take a restoration of my hull in exchange for trying to grasp an undeserved windfall."

There's the screeching sound of power tools as the Architect's tools bent the makeshift house and table back into his superstructure.

"Actually, while you're here, and while you're visiting Liquid Bronze, and while you're taking out the garbage, I'm curious if you'll take another of my unexpected guests with you!" said the Architect suddenly, his massive video screen shifting to showing the Diodekoi assassin, frozen in stasis. "After all, if one thing has been made clear by the Biomantic community, I'm not really participating socially if I don't send an unstoppable killer assassin after them from time to time."

20022 is shaking is head and making the X symbol with his hands, but the Royal Architect has evidently decided that this is your decision alone.

"I... don't think I'd enjoy playing with them?" said Pink. "God, I hate myself when I sound like this. I'm not trying to be a downer, I promise! I know that the character who is super pumped up and inspired for every new task is super lovable. And I can do that, but I need to change colours for it. You're fixating on the part of me that has deeply intense, weird, personal, boring incoherent untranslatable robot art, who just wants to stare at photographs until I can see the dogs. That's the whole reason I'm on the fringe to begin with! Every other colour is focused on the mission, focused on the family, focused on helping other people, fighting for everybody's smiles...

"I'm the part of me that wonders what my own smile looks like. And it's not this. I can be a version of me who does enjoy this, but that's not what you're asking. It's super cool and super fun and a great idea, Green would love it, Yellow would have a blast, you did super great. I'm just..." she gestured helplessly.


"Reminds me, I'm still looking into your cards. I figured since you give out so many, and more to people you don't like, that the secret must involve destroying them so I'm chemstripping one now. But it's down the list."

She thought about it. "Why is nothing coming to mind? It feels like everything I've watched is inseparable from my own daydreams and alternate takes on it. Sometimes I can't remember if a show was actually gay or if I'm just so deep in the discourse that it feels that way in retrospect. All of these stories pass through me and I've got vibes as clear as crystal even as the titles fade away. Holding hands underwater. A city of crystal and light with one broken mirror. A song I was listening to on repeat while reading. Goodbye after goodbye until you can finally do it right. I know where to find the list, but I think there's this deeper sense of what a perfect world looks like underneath all of that."


Red: Listen, how about we stop talking about this until 9pm, lock in our ideas then, have an hour to argue about it, and then put it to a final vote at 10pm
Yellow: ಠ_ಠ✿
Yellow: What the fuck
Yellow: crystal
Yellow: crystal why are you fucking with my operation

"Oh, yeah, she hated that," said Red. "I think -"
"It's nothing," said Yellow, appearing through a door in a swoosh of saffron dress. She beamed, flower radiant behind her ear. "It's fine. New variable to account for!" she beamed. "And of course you're free to get involved in our inner debates, part of being an aspect of the world is accepting influence as it comes. But I should explain," she took a deep breath. "I am the only part of November that thinks about the big picture. Imagine this part of yourself, and then set it against the sentient manifestations of your sloth, your paranoia, your hedonism, your disaster lesbianism," she gestured, rather unnecessarily, at Red for that one, "and so on and on. Sometimes one needs to work oneself up to do something big and challenging!"

She flopped dramatically onto Crystal's empty throne, dress and hair cascading over the side. "Look. The leftist fantasy of being able to Fix Things is a genuine craving to make the world better, right?" she said moodily. "But just because most people are forced through the violent, depressive spiral of having to accept that their political influence boils down to one vote and twenty bucks donated to Space Bernie Sanders doesn't mean I can accept that. I'm not a Trot - rather, I'm a Leninist in a practical sense. Lenin in the sense that he was just Some Fucking Guy until, with perfect timing, he showed up in a nation on the brink of a total collapse and declared himself in charge and somehow fucking got away with it."
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