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(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: 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: 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?
(08:16)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.
(08:21)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.
(08:26)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)MrE: And a way to talk to it.
(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: 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 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: THEY HACKED GAIA???
(08:44)metampsychotic: oh my g-d
(08:45)metampsychotic: this is weird
(08:46)MrE: If I knew, I'd be running the world already.
(08:46)metampsychotic: yeah, fair
(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.
(08:49)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.
(08:53)metampsychotic: so pancake wants this technology?
(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)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...
(09:00)MrE: I'm glad to see some things have survived my near-death experience unchanged.
(09:01)metampsychotic: anyway, now that that's out of the way
(09:01)metampsychotic: TIME TRAVEL?