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(08:07)metampsychotic: the real-life inspiration for the tower of babel? why?
(08:08)MrE: Correct. 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? huh.
(08:12)metampsychotic: i don't really think of the navy doing much else besides running floating airports! i guess that makes them the perfect place to hide mysterious [censored]...
(08:13)MrE: Got it in one. So, given the project's name, what do you think it might be about?
(08:14)metampsychotic: crypto, maybe?
(08:15)MrE: Mhm. A good guess, but not quite. Do you want me to tell you?
(08:16)metampsychotic: something to do with gaia. did they go undercover to investigate gaian beliefs?
(08:16)metampsychotic: or was it more pseudoscience? it wouldn't be the dumbest thing the military's believed in.
(08:18)MrE: More the latter than the former.
(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: after how weird my life's become?? i could honestly believe it
(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: i think you mentioned that. i didn't want to dig deeper, but
(08:27)metampsychotic: is it important?
(08:28)MrE: If you truly want to follow in my footsteps, there can be no secrets between us. Your mother was schizophrenic. And the research group turned up evidence that some small percentage of mental illness may be induced by the Etamnanki process.
(08:28)MrE: I've read the reports. She didn't match the symptomology. But to someone desperately looking for something to believe in - some way to ease to agony of her own mind...
(08:29)metampsychotic: oh, g-d
(08:30)MrE: She went off in search for others like what she perceived herself to be. In time, she found them.
(08:33)metampsychotic: MOM WAS A CULTIST?????
(08:34)MrE: In brief, no. She interpreted Gaian ideology through the lens of the Judeo-Christian tradition and concluded that the Gaia cult was demonic in origin.
(08:34)metampsychotic: she's not wrong.
(08:36)MrE: That's a matter for the vanishingly small number of historians with any real understanding of the issue. Most of whom are utterly insane. Regardless, your mother never aligned herself with the cult.
(08:36)MrE: If anything, she became a thorn in their side. She was wrong about many things, but she found meaning in it. And she did good work.
(08:37)metampsychotic: that's pretty vague.
(08:38)MrE: She turned the fortune I'd amassed in the previous war towards besmirching the cult's name and ratting out leaders. There's a reason I married her, and it wasn't for her cooking.
(08:39)metampsychotic: i'd hope not!
(08:40)metampsychotic: but, dad...
(08:41)metampsychotic: how come i never knew any of this? not the gaia stuff, i get why you couldn't tell me
(08:41)metampsychotic: but schizophrenia??
(08:42)metampsychotic: i'm more perceptive than that!
(08:43)MrE: Were it anyone but your mother, I'd expect that you would have figured it out. But you were very young, and she considered giving you a normal childhood a top priority.
(08:45)metampsychotic: eight years and i never knew any of this
(08:49)metampsychotic: mom didn't actually drown, did she?
(08:49)metampsychotic: or, well
(08:50)metampsychotic: you know what, don't answer that
(08:50)metampsychotic: i choose to remember her as a bad[censored] lady that spat in gaia's eye
(08:51)MrE: And you'd be correct. But you deserve to know the truth.
(08:52)metampsychotic: dad, please
(08:53)metampsychotic: you don't need to put it into words, i already figured it out
(08:53)metampsychotic: don't make this harder than it has to be! D:
(08:54)MrE: Your mother drowned during a fishing accident, just as I told you. The only thing you weren't told is that it was sabotage.
(08:56)metampsychotic: if it was the other thing and you're trying to protect me, i'm going to be upset
(08:56)MrE: That's the truth.
(08:57)metampsychotic: gaians, right?
(08:57)MrE: Probably. The perpetrator was never apprehended.
(08:57)metampsychotic: but you must have theories, right? was it...
(08:57)metampsychotic: i dunno, some faux-Korean guy with a gas mask?
(08:58)metampsychotic: yeah, you know, white but dressed in hanbok?
(08:58)metampsychotic: like a korean weaboo
(09:00)MrE: Now how did you know about that?
(09:02)metampsychotic: i was there :(
(09:02)metampsychotic: i saw it happen...
(09:03)MrE: It's a plausible guess. There are only two problems with it.
(09:04)MrE: One, I have no idea who the person in question is. Even assuming them to be male is conjecture. They may be a Gaian, a mercenary, one of my other enemies in disguise, or even someone simply after what remains of my fortune.
(09:04)MrE: Two, this conversation is chronologically impossible, unless something very, very bad happened.
(09:05)MrE: Your friend Luke is about to reveal to you the existence of time travel. Things will make more sense after that. I promise.
(09:06)MrE: Should you desire further information - as I'm sure you will - I'm afraid we've reached the limits of my understanding. But I can send you to someone who knows more than I do.
(09:07)metampsychotic: i'm listening
(09:08)MrE: Viktoria Ivanova. A truly fascinating woman, and utterly ruthless when I knew her. But I've heard she's mellowed somewhat since then.
(09:09)metampsychotic: dad, there's probably thousands of people with that name
(09:10)MrE: That won't be as large an obstacle as you think. I would explain more, but if you're willing to indulge your old man any further, I feel a first-hand experience with the Etamnanki process would be more informative.
(09:11)metampsychotic: if spooky gaia brain magic will tell me where to find them, i'm game
(09:11)metampsychotic: it's like you always said, empiricism is the closest thing to certainty :)
(09:12)MrE: And I still hold to that. Is there anything else?
(09:13)metampsychotic: dad, i've gotta tell you something
(09:13)MrE: I'm listening.
(09:14)metampsychotic: luke and i... kinda...
(09:14)metampsychotic: got back together... again...
(09:15)MrE: I'm glad to see some things have survived my near-death experience unchanged.
(09:16)metampsychotic: anyway, now that that's out of the way
(09:16)metampsychotic: TIME TRAVEL?