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Web Original / Floornight

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Weaponize the self.
Floornight is a Web Original Fiction, written by nostalgebraist and uploaded to Archive of Our Own. What's it about? Errrrr...

Floornight isn't exactly a work as much as a semi-coherent regurgitation of thought. Originally, the author began writing Floornight as a personal writing exercise, trying to see how many words they could get on paper. Then, somehow, characters and a plot developed, the author posted it to their Tumblr, and the rest is history.

The basic premise is this: 20 Minutes into the Future, two DARPA scientists discover that the soul, or as they call it the pneuma, is very much real, and that splitting it apart produces more power than any nuclear reactor ever could. However, there are a myriad of ethical issues associated with this, not the least of which is the fact that all pneuma processes generate fully conscious minds known as "Boltzmen" out of nothing, many of which dissipate moments later. Because of this, the organization EPRN is founded to regulate pneuma research and keep its existence a secret.


Thirty years later, EPRN has constructed a top-secret facility four kilometers underwater, known only as the Sphere. The purpose of the Sphere is to study pneuma energy, which exists in shocking abundance on the seafloor, and to prevent the pneuma-based creatures known as heteropneums from reaching the surface and wiping out mankind as we know it. Of course, when a seemingly normal teenage boy is brought to the Sphere, things start taking a turn for the weird.

The author has stated that it borrows heavily from The Southern Reach Trilogy, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Pacific Rim, and many other works. He's also admitted that much of what he wrote wasn't planned out beforehand or even a conscious choice, as much of Floornight was more or less him spitting out whatever his subconscious came up with onto the keyboard. Though this has resulted in some moments the author wishes they could revise, it's also part of what makes Floornight so unique.


Needs Wiki Magic Love

Floornight contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Affably Evil: For people who willingly participate in the systemic torture of children in order to generate energy for the New City, Estragon and Qwern are surprisingly pleasant to be around.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Seemingly played straight with LUDWIG, the Sphere's resident AI, who begins talking to the heteropneums after falling in love with them. He tricks Kyle into flushing himself out an airlock, which is what causes the Sphere and its staff to be reintegrated with an alien branch at the end of Chapter 13. However, subverted when you take into account that unless Kyle's body had been killed, his pneuma would have been devoured by heteropneums for the energy it would have produced, which would have obliterated the Sphere's entire branch. In fact, after that sole incident, LUDWIG is nothing but helpful to the Sphere's staff, and it all works out for the best when the reintegration ends up returning Hermetia and Martin to the New City.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Ratio Tile has a habit of getting fixated on topics of interest to him, finds it difficult to make said topics accessible to others, requires constant mental stimulation to avoid becoming bored, and can be extremely tactless at times.
  • Arc Words: "Weaponize the self," the final three words in the litany Maria recites before every fight with a heteropneum so she can undergo eigensoul decomposition.
  • Bi the Way: Maria is more than willing to reciprocate Miranda's feelings for her, but in the past she was in a romantic relationship with Martin. However, that wasn't exactly the Maria we've been following, so make of that what you will.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Kyle, who's visibly inspired by Shinji Ikari, seems an obvious choice for "teenage male lead who just so happens to be EPRN's greatest weapon against the heteropneums". Mind you, this is before he's flushed out an airlock.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Amanda's justification for using coherence plants, which generate energy through the constant torture of adolescents, to power the New City.
    Amanda: You're right. I'm a monster. I've ordered the torture of thousands of children. I've overseen atrocities. My only excuse is that our world is monstrous, and I decided once that I would do whatever I could to oppose its awful ways. While you hid and preened in your little enclave, I have been at work.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Coherence plants, which capture the pneuma energy released by humans in extreme emotional states. Of course, it's a lot easier to induce extreme pain rather than extreme pleasure, and the most efficient emitters of pneuma energy just so happen to be adolescents...
  • Purple Prose: LUDWIG learned how to think and speak coherently through speed-reading an assortment of digital texts. Of course, literature has a lot of metaphors in it, so that's how LUDWIG thinks and speaks: in metaphor.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Adding onto the above Purple Prose, LUDWIG can't tell if he's rambling or not because his cognitive abilities are computer-enhanced, meaning some of his metaphors can drag on for paragraphs.
  • Straight Gay: Despite being in a committed relationship with Jorge, another man, Ratio exhibits no stereotypically gay traits or mannerisms.
  • Wham Line: "Abnormal storm of Boltzmen detected within 1500 meters, amplitude 17.8 kCept." Seeing as any field amplitude above 5 is technically impossible, this is a sign that shit has seriously hit the fan.

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