Flames curled up around Dawson Filter as the world burned. Fortunately, Felipe, an intern of sorts, arrived in a time and space machine. Another thing of fortune: Felipe was nice, and saved Dawson Filter’s life.
A cloud of black sand, much like that produced by slaying dragons, swirled around Felipe’s time and space machine, thereby slooshing it through time and space. When the sand settled around the cube, it settled in Murderville, Nevada, 2026. Felipe explained that the fire problem had worked itself out and that he would be bringing some other quality people soon, and taking the boring people to 1821.
Sylvester Denny, Babe Listowel, and Twelve-Anne Stradivari appeared shortly thereafter.
“Hello, individuals,” Twelve-Anne said, “how are all of you?”
“I’m fast,” Babe Listowel said, “and Dawson is feeling fine. Sylvester is taller, though.”
Looking out into the wasteland, the quartet decided to continue in their search for the True Meaning of Feelings. They thought back to personal experiences they’d had with feelings in the past few years.
Six months before the quest started, Babe Listowel bought a boat. He polished it daily for six weeks. When he’d finally got the boat to a sufficiently shiny level, he put it in the water. Water caressed the side of the boat, and Babe Listowel noticed that the paint was gleaming brighter than ever. He felt a pang of something rip through his chest. What was this feeling? What did it truly mean?
After telling this story to the others, they determined that Babe Listowel had felt pride. The meaning of this seemed to be that he had done something, and it worked. He tried to recreate the feeling by breaking a nearby twig, but was unable to feel anything at all.
Once, Twelve-Anne Stradivari had a dog. She enjoyed the dog. Then, the dog died. Twelve-Anne was sad. What could it mean?
The Quest Committee agreed that Twelve-Anne must have wanted the dog not to die; and when it did, her disappointment made her sad.
It seemed that sometimes, when things happened, people had feelings. Feelings truly meant that something had happened.
However, it was established in the first chapter of our quest that the True Meaning of Feelings was 241 letters long. ‘Something had happened,’ on the other hand, had 20 letters. Dawson Filter, a rocket scientist, said that these were different numbers.
Mary Taubert, a counting linguist, arrived to confirm this state of affairs.
She set up shop in downtown Murderville, selling numerical and linguistic consultations.
As others arrived, they too set up shops; ranging from quantum mechanic information shops to tribal drum warehouses. Because of a lack of resources and a lack of training in practical fields, most people’s shops remained largely information-based. Seeds were imported from the past, and the community decided to take turns tilling and harvesting. With the average person carrying $16.50 in his pocket, in a diverse range of currency, money was deemed worthless; and information became free. Surrounding communities operated in largely the same way, except for those in areas rich in natural resources, which set to work accumulating enough raw materials to make the largescale manufacturing of goods a vyable industry.
People still made things (case in point, paragraph 15, “tribal drum warehouses”); but mostly just gave them away in order to amass popularity, and pursued other studies on the side. Quite a lot of research projects were underway in the community, some practical, individuals trying to find the best way to filter Murderville’s water supply; but many were simply people’s attempts to solve the greatest standing problems of mathematics, physics, and whatnot. People generally tried to be helpful when they learned of these projects, and no one’s projects were secret. Dawson Filter’s semantic quest fit well in this world.