(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.
(08:10)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)MrE: If you want to hide something - really hide it, I mean - where would you put it?
(08:12)MrE: Got it in one. So, given the project's name, what do you think it might be about?
(08:13)MrE: I'm afraid you're projecting rationalism onto the U.S. government.
(08:15)MrE: Mhm. A good guess, but not quite. Do you want me to tell you?
(08:18)MrE: You were on the right track at first.
(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.
(08:27)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.
(08:29)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)MrE: And a way to talk to it.
(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)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...
(08:37)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?
(08:41)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.
(08:42)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?
(08:46)MrE: If I knew, I'd be running the world already.
(08:48)MrE: To my knowledge, the Etamnanki operators are all deceased or utterly insane. I'll spare you the details.
(08:49)MrE: They died a soldier's death.
(08:51)MrE: Neither was half a million people dying in the Pune bombing.
(08:54)MrE: That was my working theory. It has since been... challenged, however.
(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)MrE: I'm listening.
(09:00)MrE: I'm glad to see some things have survived my near-death experience unchanged.