Sounds Of Silver
rating: +26+x

Black Queen Alliott Chao here.

bq θ prime

Sorry I'm late, I'm Black King Alistair. T's throwing off my ability to use blood magic a little.

Director-General of the World Parahealth Organisation Dr. Allison Bailey-Chao. Let's get started.


Baseline

It's a mindfucker spread in the 2000s-2010s by neural-net produced pop music. Turns you into a gibbering fan of a non-existent artist and compels you to spread it despite being inevitably mediocre. Keep the snark to the Instance sections. It's always shit, though! I'm going to lock you out if you don't stop babbling.

Prerequisites

Invention of a wide-spread musical culture, I guess? don't take it for granted. Sorry. Just seems kind of obvious to mention. there is literally no air here to move to make sound. it is a non-trivial assumption. Sorry, again, but… surely you have an equivalent? slam poetry, but the point stands.

Development of neural network technology, which implies computers and all the laws of physics you need for those to work. also, neural nets able to produce pop music in that time period? definitely some investment into parascience, either by hyperion labs or the heavisiders. Prometheus and the Maxwellists, for future reference. oliver heaviside actually did most of the mathematical heavy lifting in your 'verse, maxwell can go eat a dick.

Utility

Too unpredictable to capitalise on in most universes. Unless you've got a taste for gibbering eldritch chamber pop or the worst "worst fanbase" I'd probably stay away from it. Hence why I'm trying to quarantine it before it gets here. Plenty of resale value, though. Tons of weird music lovers lurking around the Library, one bought a volume of these things from me for a couple thousand dollars the other day. Just a couple thousand, at the risk of scrambling your brain? Point taken.

Vulnerability

Amnestic stockpiles don't work. All it winds up doing is just causing spontaneous relapses when people unconsciously make cover versions. talk about cryptomnesia. Only way to erase it from someone's mind for good is… well, see the A-198 section, and you'll see why I'd rather not implement that cure.


Instance: Timeline A-198

My first run-in with this particular disease, I assume it's still rampant. At the time I was with the Foundation's Multi-U department and we were negotiating for resources from a future Foundation: fifteen minutes into the meeting, everyone's phones go off. Ringtone's the mind-fuck, I'm guessing? Yeah. We all get pulled out after the team back at base notice we're not responding to calls, and- so how'd you get cured -we get lobotomised shortly thereafter. they didn't have amnestics? That's what we were trying to import. what the fuck It was 1973, we were running kind of low from the eigenweapon debacle in the Middle East. It's also why I jumped universes as soon as I got informed about the whole "being a Black Queen" thing.

Instance: Timeline B-293

Extant. This one's spread as a remix instead of an original song. Really? Who of? Included as a bonus track on Carly Rae Jepsen's E•MO•TION. Well, shit, now I have to go light a couple CDs on fire, hold on. i'm guessing the remixer was the non-existent one? Yeah. So the vector doesn't have to be an original composition. Interesting. I traced the file to a civilian neural net experiment designed to produce mashups on-demand. What I could check of the other stuff was kind of "eh" but not really anomalous, but I only got halfway through the robot's discography before I had to escape. Nearly got moshed to death by a bunch of fans on the way to the Library.

Instance: Timeline V-983

Defeated, or at least managed. What? Okay, it's not as easy as it sounds. Doctor named Rory Jones gets assigned to memetic countermeasures, and it all shakes out in such a way that the only way to fight fire- is with fire. Yeah. She released the Rush cover album from containment, and the last time I popped in the Rush cover bands and the "Calvary" cover bands were still at war. Calvary? The non-artist. Ah.

Instance: Timeline C-102

richard d. james sunk a bunch of money into heuristic algorithms for his fifteenth album, and got the guys from this universe's version of futanari titwhore fiasco to handle the gruntwork on the neural net. And what happened next? aphex twin. its just shitty off-brand aphex twin forever. its the fucking worst. Ah. Wait, how do you hear if there's no air? my dude i'm a mathematical construct, i think i can do dsp alright. …Oh.

Instance: Timeline Z-398

The current problem we're facing. This outbreak's started at a universe two Ways from my home, courtesy of a scrapped Prometheus AI, and I'd like for us to have a solution before it does hit my baseline. Well that's a little selfish. If a cure works for one, it'll hopefully work for all the others. From what my associates tell me, it's an infectious number from a "hit musical" never released. It's been leaving people performing impromptu dance routines on the streets, which also serve as another vector for transmission, irritatingly enough. like, always the same musical number? Yes. Maybe they're forming a musical hivemind? Clankies'll be happy about that one. Okay, if you're gonna use Broken God slurs, at least use the one for the right sect, asshole. It's plausible they might be forming a hivemind, yes. And knock off the bickering and the name-calling.

hang on. what was it blue said about how they got it under control in the other universe? They released the Caress of Steel disc. I don't have a copy on me right now, and I'm not eager to see how bad that'll fuck up this universe if the last one was anything to go by. principle's the same, though, right? we just need a better earworm to replace the one they've got right now. And how do you reckon we'll do that? Form a band- We're not going to form a band. No, he's got a point. If the problem is that they're always fangasming about this one artist, either we knock them off the charts or we make them so sick of that artist they stop listening to it.

So how do we do that? We try both. I know where we could get some musicians, and I reckon we could arrange for whoever this band is to take a public fall. so you're saying, make a pr crisis for a fictional band. Bang on the money. I think I can handle a fictional band. How?

Want the lead singer to have an unfortunate fling with Fred?

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