Skip to content

Webcomic Header

The Perennials 7/16

The Perennials 7/16 published on 18 Comments on The Perennials 7/16

Violet: So, what . . . you just replaced my sister?

Cymbeline: No, no! That was still me! It’s like . . . I was sleepwalking. I couldn’t really tell what was going on, so you thought I was a regular baby. Now I’m awake!

Violet (narrating): She was first born 450 years ago. Already done this twice, so she knew whatall to say and expect.

Cymbeline: You’re still my family, and I still want you to call me Cymbeline! I’m just a bit older than you realized. And I have a past. You can think of me like a new aunt or cousin if it helps!

Dad: This means she’s legally an adult, right? Should we start charging her rent?

Mom: But think of all the money we’ll save on diapers . . .

Cymbeline: I will do all the dishes and laundry and cleaning. Just get me a stepstool.

Mom & Dad: Deal.
[spends all day on his feet as a security guard]
[spends all day on her feet as a retail worker]

Dad: Now, we got to get you registered right away. Ain’t nothin’ more insidious than a person who can do adult crimes under child regulations.

Mom: Is there any chance you can act? There’s nothing more marketable than an actor who can play child roles under adult regulations.

Comment Header


The deal feels a bit strange – Cymbeline has just learned to stand. I’d assume she’d need at least a year of learning to coordinate ler limbs and getting stronger muscles before being able to clean, do laundry and such.

That aside, I love your concept of people reincarnating and being legally considered adults!

Once the brain has developed enough for the adult memories to kick in, she doesn’t have to keep re-learning things she already knows. She can talk, walk, whistle, swim, make a budget — anything that relies on experience.

She does only have toddler strength/height/stamina to work with, so it wouldn’t be realistic to expect her to be as fast and productive as a physical adult. But it doesn’t mean she can’t work at all.

Memories don’t help you with training peripheral neurons. Also, she needs to relearn stuff depending on how big those arms/legs are. It would be faster than learning it first time, but not immediate … on the other hand, she already did some training while sleepwalking, and if she’s careful and don’t try to move to fast …

The parents’ response seems kinda… exploitative?

I have so many reincarnation/ long-runner questions! Is it common to be reincarnated as a different race/ethnicity/sex/gender/culture etc and does this cause dysmorphia and/or angst? Is someone who’s a long-runner always going to be one or is it ever possible that in their next incarnation they won’t remember? Does anyone ever try to contact their previous family and if so is this frowned upon?

It is meant to be taken as a relatively grounded response, I think. They are not freaking out but trying to think about how to make this work for their own lives.

The problem is that they need to be thinking of “not quite an adult yet” headspeace. Which is not unreasonable to take time getting there as this is a pretty big revelation.

– Long-runners are most likely to be reborn in bodies that share bloodlines with their previous body. You always stay within the same species (no human-to-Tamaputian swaps), and frequently within the same culture/nationality. Cases like Blush Noisette, where you have to go back several waves of continental migration to find a common ancestor, are relatively rare.

– You’re also most likely to be reborn with the same sex and gender, but either or both can swap.

– Long-runners have plenty of angst potential.

– It’s possible to be a long-runner for one incarnation, or a series of them, and then stop. Cymbeline here is on her fourth life, which puts her on the high end.

– Most people don’t reincarnate fast enough to reunite with anyone who knew their previous incarnation. Some people get in touch with their descendants; different cultures have a variety of perspectives on whether that’s desirable. Second Life Resource Center has pamphlets and support groups to help you decide if you want to do it, and how.

Thought of another one: do long-runners remember their previous deaths and is that scary for them? For instance, if one drowned in their previous life would they be afraid to go swimming?

Is it possible to have “pause” in being long-runner, like remembering one of your previous lives but not the immediately preceding one? Wait … there’s no wait to recognize it … except … what about heartswords? You can identify the same soul by heartsword and if the previous holder of that heartsword was long-runner …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Primary Sidebar