W2. Leo Ascends

Nemo furrowed his brow at Leo’s tattoo. “What brings you to my mountain?”

“Glad you asked.” Leo shrugged off his backpack and pulled out a jar of centipedes. “Harvested these all by myself.”

“Hm.” Nemo seemed unimpressed. “Freedom can’t come from centipedes.”

“Ha! I figured you had something special up here,” said Leo. “Even monks use centipedes. What’ve you got? What’s your secret to freedom?”

Nemo shook his head. “You wouldn’t understand.”

S Commentary: Inari, the Fox, and the Jewel

I try to mix and match so many mythologies that my writing isn’t so much cultural appropriation as cultural appreciation. Still, with the surreal imagery I’m pumping in, I occasionally reference stuff I didn’t even know about.

I didn’t make Akayama reflect Inari on purpose, but Akayama also reflects Quetzalcoatl (she’s a feathered serpent who sets herself on fire) and she creates Sheridan, Akayama DanJay’s Garden of Eden, so I think I’ve spread my religious influences thin enough to get away with it.

R Commentary: Principal Component Analysis

Professor Akayama sifts through the ashes of Earth to reconstruct its population. She’s not totally clear about how the process will work (which makes it easier for me to bullshit about it with plausible deniability) but she mentions principal components. Instead of recreating Earth’s population all at once, she plans to generate a few “orthogonal unit vectors” which can be combined into any specimen from Earth.

O2 commentary: Adam, Eve, and Quetzalcoatl

Nemo’s a pretty good dad considering he’s only a day old: he immediately teaches his children his own name, their own names, and how to eat apples and peel oranges. He even investigates a dangerous invader to keep his children safe—it’s a disembodied arm with two elbows, a mouth, and an eye, and it crawls along the ground like a snake.

In my commentary to M1. The Fall I promised comparisons to Milton’s Paradise Lost, the epic poem about how Satan made a cannon to kill God. The islands Akayama builds become Sheridan, a twist on the Garden of Eden.

M1 Commentary: Paradise Lost

Surprise! In M1. The Fall Jay’s centipede-induced hallucinations open with a new episode of LuLu’s Space-Time Acceleration, the show-within-a-story about anime robots fighting a cosmic horror. Professor Akayama apparently survived the destruction of her spaceship and landed on the Hurricane Planet.

I mentioned way back in the day that I saw some possible links to Milton’s Paradise Lost in Akayama DanJay. Akayama DanJay already draws from Dante’s Inferno, so I’m happy to brace more elements of my fiction against time-tested epic poetry. If I can use Paradise Lost to emphasize my imagery, so much the better.

K1 Commentary: How Many Gods Are There?

In K1: Instinct Faith wakes in the afterlife and she hopes she’s hallucinating. She meets the Heart of the Mountain, the twenty-foot-tall bird with tentacles and human hands hidden in its robes. Faith asks the Heart of the Mountain about the Zephyrs, who seem to control reality from inside the Mountain. The Heart’s talk of Zephyrs confuses Faith more than it enlightens her.