Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Veyron gave me a story late Sunday night, Eudeamon, it's available for free from the author at that link. It's over 75,000 words long, but I read the entire thing in one sitting and stayed up far too late. The story is very well written and I highly recommend it to anyone. It made me laugh and cry, but most of all, it made me think. In other words, an excellent book.

In the story, a reporter investigates a new method of criminal punishment being used, Banishment. Exclusion from society is an old form of punishment, but this had a new twist, the criminal was placed in a special suit that prevented all forms of contact and interaction with others, an AI in the suit monitored the criminal and punished them if they violated the rules, then, the criminal was allowed to roam free wearing the suit. Isolated from society, but forced to be amongst it, the criminals, called a Bane while in the suit, were able to watch others enjoy their lives and yet be unable to participate. When their sentence was over, they were released. Nearly no criminal relapsed.

A very spooky kind of punishment. The reporter was trying to find out if it was inhuman. Were the makers of the suit subjecting the criminals to permanent mental and emotional harm? The program was only a few years old, so little was known of the long-term effects. She wanted to find out. The only problem, no one, not the makers, the city council, the police, not even the ex-Banes themselves would talk about it. She kept trying to interact with the Banes themselves, but they were unable to communicate with her and usually ran away since they were punished if they tried to interact.

Then, she discovered two things that drove the rest of the story of the book and made all the difference. First, some of the Banes who had been in the suits the longest, for more than a year, were beginning to commit petty crimes, lengthening their punishment and requiring them to stay in the suit longer. Second, in a park, in the middle of the night, one of the Banes communicated with her, writing a few words in the mud with a stick, replying to her questions about why it didn't want to be let out of the suit.

She cleared the silt and wrote slowly and carefully. You cannot understand. Only bane understand. Beauty beyond words. My perfect Eden. She stopped writing for a moment to hug herself again. Pleasure you’ll never know. Love you’ll never know. She underlined ‘love’ several times.

The story is good with action, excitement, humor, romance, and drama. A good plot, solid characterization, and numerous twists, turns, and surprises to keep you interested.

Now, if you've stuck with me this long, you're probably wondering what this has to do with Second Life. A few people have made their own Bane suits and one person has set up a Banishment program in Second Life, trying to replicate the book as well as possible. The suits in the story, made of a black latex like substance, along with the isolation appeal to certain types of subs and they have tried to duplicate the experience in Second Life. A few who have tried it, not knowing how it would affect them, have written about their Bane experiences.

As for me, while I'm curious, I'm more curious about how much of the experience of the book they have been able to replicate. I naturally isolate myself enough on my own and I don't want to make it more complete by doing the Banishment program for a week or more. Part of what I like about quiet and solitude is being able to watch the world, and I don't think SL has enough depth and detail to keep me from being bored.


October Hush said...

Wow, I'm very, very curious now. This is the first I've heard of this, but then again I am not a part of the bdsm "scene" in SL or really in RL except for in the bedroom. I'm definitely going to read the story, but trying out the suit...hmm...it may be a bit too much for me. Isolation is not the issue, though because I've spent time in an isolation/flotation tank, and I could spend hours in there if left to my own devices. It's the giving up of all power and control. I think most outsiders don't realize just how much power a sub wields in a dom/sub relationship. To truly give all that up could be a very frightening, ego-destroying and enlightening experience (much like a heavy dose of hallucinogens, actually.)

Ok, I rambled. I don't know where I was going with this...

Tiessa said...

I saw Marine's posts about it about a month ago, but never looked into it. It wasn't until Veyron gave me the story doc that I knew anything about it. I'm not part of the BDSM "scene" either, although, perhaps I should become more involved in it.

But as I said, I tend to isolate when left to my own devices. Yes, for some of us, the isolation isn't the issue, we naturally do that - the natural extroverts who are social and spend a lot of time with others will be the ones hardest hit by it.

You should definitely read the story, you'll probably love it, since you sound similar to me. Tell me when you do, I'd love to hear your reaction to it.

October Hush said...

Yes, I tend to isolate too when left to my own devices, though I do still want and need occasional human contact, at least. My friends help ensure I get much more than that, though.

I'm definitely going to read the story. It sounds like something I will get into. Hopefully I can start reading it today, and of course I will let you know my thoughts on it once I do read it.

Tiessa said...

Yes, my friends are the ones to yank me out of my natural tendencies too.

October Hush said...

Ok, I'm up to page 72 I think (I made it into a pdf, but didn't print it out). I also stayed up a little later last night than usual because the story is a real page-turner. It's actually turned out to be a much deeper story than I originally assumed it would be. It's a little rough around the edges, but overall it's quite solid.

The Bane experience itself also turned out to be something well beyond what I was expecting. God, I want to say so much more, but I don't want to give anything away to anyone who hasn't read it yet. I'm hoping to finish reading it today/tonight. Maybe I should give you my email address so we can talk about it on there?

Tiessa said...


If you want to discuss this offline, IM me your email address in SL or I'll IM you mine this evening when I get a chance to login.

I'm glad you are enjoying it. And yes, the story is much more than you'd first expect.

lexi said...

Tiessa, October,

Yeah, Eudeamon is a fantastic story. Okay, I'll admit that I am somewhat biased, due to my experiences ;)

The first time I read the story after Marine posted about it, I couldn't stop reading. Let alone after I first put on the isolation suit and it was locked on me.

More than likely, sometime soon, I'll have to repeat the whole experience once again.

I am glad you both enjoyed the story, if you want to talk about it,feel free to give me shout in world :))


October Hush said...

I've been reading more about it, and I am interested in trying it. My problem is being able to put aside my relationship with my girlfriend temporarily, as well as a number of people who rely on me heavily in Midian City, since I run one of the factions there.

But...it hasn't stopped me from going to pick up a Banishment application. I haven't filled it out, though.

Tiessa said...

October, I think you should go into the suit and then walk around Midian. It'll give you the real flavor of being in a busy area as a Bane, just like the story.

Lexi, I read your accounts of being in the suit, I'll have to IM you and ask more. Thank you for the offer.

October Hush said...

Well, I read in the notecard what I need to buy in order to make the suit, but it wouldn't really be the same without having the helmet though, right? I'm not that knowledgeable about the BDSM scripty things in SL that would replicate the experience without going through the Banishment program.

lexi said...

@Tiessa, anytime and heck, you got me rereading the story again :)

@October; as for getting a taste of being a bane or at least severely isolated, and short of buying and modding script like both Velicia and me did, there might be slightly "simpler" solution.

Scorpio Products have made their own version of a bane helmet, combined with a black latex skin and someone to control the settings, you could pretty much approach that experience without going through the full bane program.

Plus your other half could perhaps assist in being the controlling end ;) Plus that way it could be arranged what happens in Midian City. :)

October Hush said...

Ah! Thanks so much, Lexi =)

Tiessa said...

I want to reread it as well, now that I know the twists and turns, I want to see what clues were laid down earlier in the story I didn't pick up on.

Thank you for the info Lexi.

October Hush said...

I've been thinking about re-reading it as well.