Baldwin Breadwinner/IF-8.1747

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This article contains lore created collaboratively by the Blaseball community. It is just one of many Rumors that we've found in the Interdimensional Rumor Mill. You can find more Rumors about Baldwin Breadwinner at their Rumor Registry.

Like Pumice, Like Sourdough

Baldwin Breadwinner has never once made a mistake. Or, perhaps, if she were to hypothetically make one, she could simply make a deal to erase it from the past. There was the big contract, of course; Baldwin Breadwinner doesn't exist prior to then, but she kept her diabolical companion on retainer ever since.

It's hard to learn from a mistake when she forgets she ever made it. And it's hard to learn that forgetting might be a mistake all on its own.

There are moments where Baldwin Breadwinner pictures the Baldwin Breadwinner that others say she must be like, and has trouble suspending her disbelief. The gaps where things once were could be overwhelming, if she could remember that there are gaps. To her teammates, she's supposedly a competent mom and a level-headed leaderly type. Who is she a mom to, some children somewhere, but are there actually any? Did she concoct some illusory magic to glamour away the pits in her personhood?

It doesn't bother her much, she may even feel a tinge of pride in it, to sell the fantasy. If she can hold it together in front of others and keep that normal, composed image, there's nothing to be concerned with.

When she looks into the mirror, someone else is often wearing her reflection. Consequence of networking with that particular crowd. It happens so often that she has stopped recognizing her face as her own anymore. Nothing around her feels hers anymore, she can't remember where her furniture was from, her walls are bare of posters or art, and photographs of her tend to bleach out at alarming rates. There's not much to account for, so holding it together should be easy. She just has to hold it together.

She forgot how much she leaned on them, the way they let her be, however that turned out. She was the only one who was holding any doubt. She stopped holding it together soon after the trade.

Trade to the Crabs

In the period between the Season 10 Election and the Ascension, Breadwinner's companion was nowhere to be found. It cannot be confirmed whether it is barred from going Up and sought new entertainment when it realized its time with Baldwin was ending, or perhaps it could reach her up there, and was off making preparations for far greater plans afoot. However, what is known, is that in that time, the illusions were beginning to come undone, just a little.

Baldwin certainly wasn't remembering things she lost, the deals they made were binding. It seemed however that her companion had been taking a far more active role in smoothing over the incongruencies that came with so many inconsequential deals, and distorting how bad things were getting for her. In this strange place, she found herself a stranger too, more than ever before.

When her companion returns, they are going to have a long conversation.

There was freedom in the unfamiliar company of the now three-time champions, though. It wasn't that she was averse to her two peers who traveled with her from the Fridays, but her teammates have for years formed preconceptions around who she was supposed to be. She took the opportunity to rediscover herself through the clear eyes of the Crabs, and found them to be a refreshing grounding element who were happy to bounce ideas with her. She learned that she really was a pretty level-headed leaderly type after all, and maybe a little bit of a mom. Her friends were never that far off, after all.

And she learned a lot from the Crabs, too. The team as a whole gave Baldwin an insight into perseverance through radical change in a way that she hadn't gotten to experience before. It wasn't that they were great role models all around; they painted for her a picture of both the most successful and toxic responses and coping mechanisms they held onto. But they faced the uncertain and the unstable with every shred of their will, and they did it the "regular" way. No contracts, looparounds, and but a dash of accelerated physiological adaptation.

Past comforts let Baldwin tend to herself like a hedge, pruning herself into shape at the pace of growing grass, and there is no doubt that she grew a beautiful person from there. But Baldwin knew only the shear, she erased erased erased everything she hated from herself all this time, but only at the Ascension had she found a place to learn how to build a Baldwin that she could love.