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Updates Wednesday and Saturday at 8:30 PM EST
[Unichat log --]

(08:07)metampsychotic: the tower of babel? yeah

(08:07)metampsychotic: a massive tower in the old testament that was supposed to reach heaven

(08:07)metampsychotic: what about it?

(08:08)MrE: Mhm. Well, Etamnanki was a ziggurat, theorized to be the inspiration for the story. Or the actual tower itself, depending on your viewpoint.

(08:09)metampsychotic: okaaaaay...

(08:09)metampsychotic: if that's all there is to it, i'm going to be disappointed

(08:09)metampsychotic: and you wouldn't want to disappoint your kid, would you? :)

(08:10)MrE: I wouldn't dream of it. No, the Etamnanki you're thinking of was a secret division of the American navy, dating back to the Gaian war.

(08:11)metampsychotic: the... navy? why?

(08:11)MrE: If you want to hide something - really hide it, I mean - where would you put it?

(08:11)metampsychotic: hmm... well, that depends on what it is, but somewhere no one would think to look, and somewhere where no one's going to stumble on it

(08:11)metampsychotic: i see

(08:11)metampsychotic: they put it on ships so it could disappear conveniently

(08:12)MrE: Got it in one. So, given the project's name, what do you think it might be about?

(08:12)metampsychotic: uhm, probably something totally unrelated to the biblical reference

(08:13)metampsychotic: for the same reason you don't pick passwords that have anything to do with what they're a password for

(08:13)metampsychotic: why give away hints to anyone trying to figure it out?

(08:13)MrE: I'm afraid you're projecting rationalism onto the U.S. government.

(08:14)metampsychotic: ...

(08:14)metampsychotic: right

(08:14)metampsychotic: so it does have something to do with it :/

(08:14)metampsychotic: some kind of communication system? crypto, maybe?

(08:15)MrE: Mhm. A good guess, but not quite. Do you want me to tell you?

(08:15)metampsychotic: no!!!

(08:16)metampsychotic: hmm

(08:16)metampsychotic: so it's something to do with gaia, and "reaching heaven"

(08:17)metampsychotic: did they go undercover to investigate gaian beliefs? maybe looking for sectarian disagreements to exploit?

(08:18)MrE: You were on the right track at first.

(08:18)metampsychotic: ...

(08:21)metampsychotic: the only other thing that's coming to me is that someone bought into the existence of "gaia" and tried to contact it

(08:21)metampsychotic: which, i mean

(08:22)metampsychotic: i mean, the government legitimately researched ESP for a while so it could happen

(08:22)metampsychotic: but that doesn't seem like it would go anywhere interesting!

(08:22)metampsychotic: why would pancake go to war over a bunch of pseudoscience?

(08:24)MrE: Belief is a powerful thing, especially when the believers have nuclear weapons. In fact, the Etamnanki group's findings are what drove your mother to reconnect with her faith - and me to abandon it.

(08:25)metampsychotic: woah

(08:26)metampsychotic: that's kind of a big thing to just casually drop into a conversation!

(08:27)MrE: If you truly want to follow in my footsteps, there can be no secrets between us. Which is why I'm going to ask, again, if you're sure. Some things I'm about to tell you may be... difficult.

(08:28)metampsychotic: well now you've just made me want to know even more...

(08:28)metampsychotic: what did the etamnanki people find?

(08:29)MrE: Exactly what they were looking for. An entity capable of non-local, probabilistic, low-latency interference in our reality, including the human brain.

(08:30)metampsychotic: that's...

(08:30)MrE: And a way to talk to it.

(08:30)metampsychotic: uhm

(08:31)metampsychotic: okay, you've always raised me to consider different viewpoints, but you also taught me that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

(08:31)metampsychotic: right now, i'm having a very hard time reconciling this with about 42 different scientific theories and also occam's razor

(08:33)MrE: As you should. It was certainly an unexpected finding. Nonetheless, it did yield practical results. The battle of Pune, for example, was won largely on the back of intelligence gleaned through Etamnanki research.

(08:33)metampsychotic: i'm not sure i'd call india a win :(

(08:33)MrE: I'm sure that one will be debated ad nauseum by future historians. The battle could have been so much worse, however, if the decoy hadn't worked...

(08:34)metampsychotic: y- yeah

(08:35)metampsychotic: that's fair

(08:35)metampsychotic: didn't someone almost get court martialed over that???

(08:37)MrE: That would be General Labuchere, and she was subjected to a court-martial. It just ruled in her favor, since the ruse actually worked.

(08:37)MrE: If it hadn't - or if a less calculating commander had ordered a proper retreat - the world would be a very different place. But how did she know?

(08:38)metampsychotic: well

(08:38)metampsychotic: luke says they just had spies among the gaians

(08:39)metampsychotic: which didn't come up in the court martial cos they're spies :P

(08:39)metampsychotic: but i don't knowwwww :(

(08:41)MrE: The Allied response at Pune was informed by the findings of Etamnanki operators. Your friend is, technically, correct. The "spy", in a sense, was Gaia itself.

(08:41)metampsychotic: h- how

(08:41)metampsychotic: why

(08:41)metampsychotic: why would it sell out it's own people? even if it exists...

(08:42)metampsychotic: dad, i'm smart, but i'm not this smart :( i'm... confused

(08:42)MrE: The Gaia entity can interact with our world, and it's particularly fond of interacting with brains. Therefore, it must be capable of perceiving those things. Right?

(08:43)metampsychotic: ...

(08:43)metampsychotic: THEY HACKED GAIA???

(08:44)MrE: Yes.

(08:44)metampsychotic: oh my g-d

(08:45)metampsychotic: this is weird

(08:45)metampsychotic: how

(08:46)MrE: If I knew, I'd be running the world already.

(08:46)metampsychotic: yeah, fair

(08:46)metampsychotic: ...

(08:47)metampsychotic: the people who did it would, right?

(08:47)metampsychotic: do you know where they are?

(08:48)MrE: To my knowledge, the Etamnanki operators are all deceased or utterly insane. I'll spare you the details.

(08:48)metampsychotic: :(

(08:49)MrE: They died a soldier's death.

(08:50)metampsychotic: which no one's going to remember because i assume it's all classified six ways to sunday

(08:50)metampsychotic: that's not fair D:

(08:51)MrE: Neither was half a million people dying in the Pune bombing.

(08:52)metampsychotic: yeah...

(08:53)metampsychotic: so pancake wants this technology?

(08:54)MrE: That was my working theory. It has since been... challenged, however.

(08:55)metampsychotic: ???

(08:55)MrE: Ah, I've been asked to not elaborate on this quite yet. Your friend Luke is about to reveal to you the existence of time travel. Come back to you after that.

(08:58)metampsychotic: uhm

(08:58)metampsychotic: dad, i've gotta tell you something

(08:58)MrE: I'm listening.

(08:59)metampsychotic: luke and i... kinda...

(08:59)metampsychotic: got back together... again...

(08:59)metampsychotic: ...again...

(09:00)MrE: I'm glad to see some things have survived my near-death experience unchanged.

*(09:01)metampsychotic sighs*

(09:01)metampsychotic: anyway, now that that's out of the way

(09:01)metampsychotic: TIME TRAVEL?

Leave a comment
[Unichat auxiliary records --]
Xenocartographer (Official Note): I honestly can't decide if things make more or less sense after this page. What do y'all think?
Turquoise: I would think brain magic from an intangible entity being controlled through classified means makes sense.

But then you have time travel. edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: And regular, non-brain magic. I wonder how these all relate... edit delete reply
Arbiter: How do we know all magic isn’t just brain magic? :P edit delete reply
Arbiter: Some hypotheses I’m just gonna leave here:
1. Gaia’s basically an eldritch abomination.
2. The creepy-ass “admins” that Gods was talking to are either offshoots of or entities similar to Gaia. The Greco-Roman naming scheme fits, the use of the default text colour matches, the god complex fits, they’re all deeply connected to Etamnanki, and they both absolutely terrify me.
3. India was a Gaian theocracy at some point. I originally thought Gaian radicals were just a small, fanatical death cult, but the fact that they had actual nukes at their disposal means they were almost certainly in charge of the government of a nuclear nation. All the evidence suggests this was India, although I suppose Pakistan is also plausible. The question of how a religion that could not possibly have existed for more than a few decades at the absolute max managed to take over the government of what is currently the second-most populous nation on Earth is a very good one, with a presumably very unpleasant answer.
4. This isn’t going to be the last time we hear about General Labuchere. Xeno bothered to give her a name, and I’m certain he knows all about the proper handling and maintenance of Chekhov’s Gun.
5. MrE’s not going to get to finish expositing about Etamnanki because Theo’s going to fucking silence him, I just know it. edit delete reply
Arbiter: Now let’s see which of these people will look at in a year and say, “Boy was he wrong!”

Pleasebenumberfivepleasebenumberfive edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: Number five is incorrect. As for the rest... Well, that would be telling. edit delete reply
Arbiter: Well, that’s good to hear. I really didn’t want to be right about that one. edit delete reply
Guest: 6. Gaia is a computer sim and the admins + the chess club have varying amounts of power to control it. edit delete reply
SansTheComic: crap, that was me. edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: Well, what would it mean for Gaia to be a "computer sim"? edit delete reply
CONNECT 1200: #3: anything is possible. It took Mr. Lenin 30 years at most to forge his Marxist sect and seize secular power in the Russian Empire.

Besides, nukes only were the bleeding edge in 1945 and time does pass. We've just seen a private enterprise launch stuff into orbit, something many people thought would stay a monopoly of big states forever. We've seen North Korea, pretty much a family-run business, boasting their very own nuclear missiles. Next thing we know may be a schoolboy assembling one in his mom's basement Just For Fun. edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: RE: #3: Interesting choice of example...~ edit delete reply
CONNECT 1200: A fairly recent and well documented case of a newly formed church overthrowing a government, gaining full control of a country, and getting nukes. Unpleasant as requested, too. edit delete reply
Arbiter: With the exception of Pakistan and Kim and Sons Totalitarian Depot (Proudly Family-Run Since 1948), every nuclear nation’s stockpile is projected to decrease by the early-to-mid 2020’s. This would suggest something of a global loss of interest in the prospect of nuclear war, on the whole. If these trends hold, we should expect the creation of nukes to become more and more difficult, and more strongly discouraged by the international community, as time goes on. In theory, we should expect fewer nuclear powers in the future, not more.
Of course, that’s assuming that nothing fucked-up happens prior to the Gaian War that prompts everyone to start building radioactive phallus symbols again, which may not be the case if a certain Korean man-child has anything to say about it, but still, the odds of anyone other than the Nuclear Nine gaining the ability to turn cities to glass from a hemisphere away seems unlikely to me.
#SociopoliticalDiscussionWithArbiter edit delete reply
CONNECT 1200: Governments are about enslaving and robbing. A weapon that both kills lots of people and destroys the booty is of little use to them. Still, the advances in technology in the last 70+ years are undeniable. We may be much closer to privately manufactured nukes than we think. And anyway, we have Russia heading into another big internal crisis that may flood black markets with lots of funny toys.

As for delivering the payload, guys in the sect business can use suicide bombers instead of rockets. Been done before, nothing to invent here. edit delete reply
Arbiter: [Insert snarky joke here as soon as Arbiter is no longer too worried and depressed to come up with one.] edit delete reply
Seabiscuit: [long distance secret vague council hug] edit delete reply
SansTheComic: welp, i'm back. so... Sonja can do magic now, pnwz0rz can time travel now, and apparently Etamnanki is the Tower of Babel.
(coincidentally, i may have searched up Etamnanki back when we were still trying the authcodes and found multiple references to the Tower of Babel, only to dismiss them because it was spelt Etemenanki instead >.>)
anyway, loved that multiple perspectives one. much needed comic relief. edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: Thanks! I had a lot of fun with that one, too. As for the different spellings - well, if I had pwnz' powers in real life, I'd definitely go back and spell it with an e, but both are valid transliterations.

And welcome back! *waves* edit delete reply