fixingThe plan here is for this to be the index to the mysteries of ER. Essentially, if it went unexplained, it should end up here. The motivating 'incident' for this is the re-emergence of a pair numbers, but really it's just a good excuse to go through the ER archives again. I'll probably end up writing mission summaries while I'm at it XD
A REMINDER: Keep in mind OOC knowledge here. This page is almost entirely OOC, in that I do not believe any one of our characters has the full scope of the information on this page. This is *especially* true of The Coordinates and The Sheep, a pair of mysteries which are looking increasingly like they will become very relevant distressingly soon. Keep in mind that if your character doesn't know about something on this page, you should not be using it in your actions. This page is not common knowledge IC, it is so we can speculate on the world OOC.
The Television Edit
The source of much foreshadowing and mystery. From future missions and encounters of the sheepy kind to reality shows gone rampant, the Television is a long standing source of the bizarre. Not all of this is likely relevant, due to relativity, but who knows, it might come up again! So, in order of occurence....
Mission 2 Edit
- Use of Titans in an assault on Vermilion 8, a xeno outpost. Major military outpost of the Heabi, a pseudo-intelligent fungi that very quickly dominates any planet they come across in a few decades or centuries. Converts entire planets into massive organic ships.
- Civic defenders raid an anarchist commune. No further info
- Research team on 4473 Styx still missing. Subject of Mission 3
- Magistar considering proposal to reinstate Arbiter of Peace troops. No further info
- Epidemic of violence in hive worlds. No further info
- Flesh hackers bomb railway with powerful mutagen. Infected dozens, causing them to develop into altered beings. Some voluntarily turned themselves in, but others remain missing.
- Execution of famed war criminal, Bob Hardman! No idea who he is. The channel seemed to have been some sort of Reality Show style public execution, where a giant wheel is spun to decide the method of execution. He was killed on a lime green gallows, with matching rope. In case you're interested. Show name is presumably Executed!
Mission 3 Edit
- Reports of unknown Xeno species near outer colonies, inhabiting a small moon near Enddine-4. The moon (Haleden) is almost entirely covered with water and supports quite a bit of life, but all non-sentient. Workers colonizing the moon have been reporting loss of workers, in addition to sightings of an unknown bipedal animal
- A documentary on the "Grand 47", the first 47 planets outside the sol system that Man colonized. China-9 is one of them.
- The blockade of China-9 has entered it's 53rd year with no sign of ending any time soon. Rebels of varying factions have waged a ceaseless campaign of terror and violence across the planet's surface and underground, claiming to fight for everything from a free planet to the right to keep and own harems. Subject of Mission 4
- Lost colonies falling to pre-industrial levels. Possibly propaganda, we know several lost colonies far exceed the UWM's tech
- Advances in biotech may spell end of conventional electronics
- Army reports record highs in 'survival' thanks to new cloning techniques.
- A documentary on a historical sniper, the father of the Shadow Walkers. I believe this is actually the first mention we get if these guys.
Mission 4 Edit
- The 'most popular channel in the UWM' is EXT, a constant stream of violence, sex, and sexy violence interspersed with various degrees of celebrity worship.
- The Samsonite Abyss. An anomaly that appeared on the property of the Samsonite Family. The news story wasn't particularly explicit about the anomaly, but did draw a connection to a similar anomaly called the Hadad Labyrinth, which appeared in Hadad University and resulted in the disappearance of several students. Subject of Mission 6
- "There's a story about how Urban Executors are being utilized to quell rebellion in the outer rim" 
The Sheep Edit
Ahhhh, the Sheep. He's been a good friend to Bishop over the years. And the Doctor. Mostly the Doctor.
The Sheep is a long running figure that was originally thought to simply be a hallucination of Bishop's during his forced detox off of painkillers. Due to more recent events, we can recontextualize the Sheep as being more directly related to the Doctor, as the Sheep's second major outing with someone besides Bishop was with Jason Caldwell, immediately after he got injected with something random by the Doctor.
The Sheep is a perfectly normal lamb... with 7 horns, 7 eyes, and the ability to talk. Thus his physical appearance seems to be that of Jesus' in Revelations 5:9. He is generally incredibly direct, if incomplete, with his statements, though almost all fortell doom in some way.
His first appearance was just after the start of mission 6, when Bishop elected to enter a forced detox procedure designed by The Doctor, rather than stay on pain pills for the forseeable future or go through the longer, normal detox. Fairly soon after the procedure started, he began to see The Sheep. For his first outing, he seems to want to warn Bishop about the Doctor, saying that "He's going to kill you", and "He seeks what you have"
He was later seen by Charles who was able to communicate on less cryptic terms with it, as apparently he was the "Wrong crazy person" and the Sheep only had a contract to "Babble cryptic crap at this Bishop guy". This case is somewhat special in that the Doctor has no obvious connection and Charles was in poor mental health to begin with, thus it is possible that some of the details he was privy to have been distorted by his own psychosis. One of the more suspect statements that may have been distorted was "I've gotta pay the bills man. My wife is a Capra demon, you know what she'll do if I can't bring home the bacon? It involves dogs, man. Dogs.". He also informed Charles of Bishop's existence, of Feyri's reason for incarceration and her relationship with Jim, facts that Charles could not have known. The Sheep also stated in regards to the Armory Master and the Doctor "Neither of them are all together human. Neither should really be alive.". A later attempt by Charles to intentionally summon the Sheep instead conjured a hallucinatory red-skinned man with a human mouth stretching from his throat down to his groin with the warning that "Some day you might attract something else.". Upon meeting Bishop, Charles notes that there is something strange about him and that it is possible that he is a conduit for something, however due to Charles' insanity, it is unknown whether this observation is correct.
He's continued to harass Bishop over the year, but his latest major appearance was also caused by the Doctor, giving the Sheep a strong link to him. Jason Caldwell approached the Doctor to ask about the shackle he'd recieved from Nyras, and casually asked if he was working on anything interesting at the end of the conversation. Jason promptly got injected with 'what the doctor was working on', and began to... hallucinate? The Sheep appeared, and took Jason on a quick tour of the universe, pointing out the Coordinates, 'the first world to feel its touch', and Phobetor. After this, he blacks out and wakes up with the Doctor standing over him, grinning.
Gerald Londeral encountered The Sheep during Second Halloween Event muttering something about paradoxes. As Gerald stated his interest about those, Sheep said this: "Oh then you're gonna love this. Because this is the beginning of something, the beginning of something that wouldn't have happened if not for this happening before it. Echoes eh?"
Later sheep is encountered again after ping pong ball massacre. . "It's beginning again." It says to Zayne Cavanagh.
"..What do you mean?" Zayne asked the sheep, "What's beginning again..?.. Why can a sheep even talk!?" He seemed very, very confused.
"The old sins are returning. All of them."
"..The old sins?.. My sins or someone elses?" Zayne asked the sheep again.
"The sins of the father are the sins of the son. Nothing stays buried forever."
The Coordinates Edit
These seem to be part of the big mystery going on. They have been mentioned twice. Once in an unusual situation, but the coordinates were not noteworthy at the time. The second time occurred almost 2 years later, and set off all the alarm bells due to both the repetition and the involvement of another ongoing mystery, the Sheep.
The coordinates were first mentioned during Mission 5, the serial killer mission. During the pursuit, some villagers mind controlled by a UE got out two lines. "It is a mercy, this death I give them. Better this then the coming darkness." and "17.3 degrees, 18th radian." We suspect that the Coordinates reference a location relevant to 'the coming darkness'.
The second incident was on ship after the Defense of Hephaestus. The Doctor injected Jason Caldwell with some sort of substance which fairly immediately made him start to see the Sheep. The Sheep had a few things to point out to Jason... and the first was the location of the coordinates. The walls melted around Jason, revealing a starscape. The Sheep then pointed to a seemingly random location in space and said 'That's 17.3 degrees, 18th radian. Got that?'
It is worth noting that Steve is aware of the coordinates, in that he has heard them from at least us. There has been no indication from him that they are important in any way.
The coordinates pointed to the Star Eater.
Greek god of Nightmares, and something developed by the Father of Nightmares, the Doctor. We have no idea what it is, though Steve likely does. It is located on a large asteroid somewhere with a man made entrance in it, and has been referred to by the Sheep as 'the Herald' and 'the beginning'. It's creation was part of the reason the original Doctor was executed after the Altered Wars. We have no idea what it is, but knowing the Doctor's current tendancies and the originals previous accomplishments, it's likely far beyond our ken.
Phobetor is where they made the armory master and did research into combining synthflesh and human tissue. It was the place the Altered strain was originally developed and it was reused to create hybrid flesh beings, trying to again get some measure of Origin's power down into human form
Is it booze? Is it a hallucinogen? Is it the good shit? Fuck if we know, but it will get you high as stink with minimal effort. Drink enough of it, and you can see the stars. Literally. Definitely more to it than meets the eye.
Wow, this one got missed. If anyone can think of an IC reason to investigate further? (Maurice definitely can, since he did discover it himself)
So, just after mission 4, one of the new prisoners (Maurice Santor) went to the trouble of checking his body for changes. He found a scar at the base of his skull, probably from the shock implant, and an very small alphanumeric string on the skin between his thumb and forefinger: CAND-F-811823.
This was revealed at be a candidate number for inmates whose brain would be incorporated into Steve after succesfully completing 10 missions.
The Prophetic DreamEdit
During Mission 11, Brother Lars was mind-affected by a UE and was subsequently shocked to unconsciousness by Steve. While he was out, he had a strange dream:
As the dream figure spoke oddly, it has been rewritten here to be more legible:
"Sentient species macro life cycle divinity is self-fulfilling Kardashev could not predict they lift the stars and drink the waves of light" "All is coalescence stars planets gods all are not born but flow together products of immensity gravity mass sentience built within cognition carries instinct of species survivorship evolution on macro scale what is god think condensate"
What exactly this references is unknown, but it appears to have something to do with Wayfarer religious texts. The Doctor is quite possibly involved.
The Coming DarknessEdit
The Conspiracy Theory
<@Piecewise> Once upon a time, there was a man. He was a natural; one of a few. He was really good at things without having to try. Because of a small, random, genetic relationship which aligned with some small aspect of...something important.
<@Piecewise> We killed most of the others, at least we think we did
<@Piecewise> but he survived, and probably that one guy who made the LESHO.
<@Piecewise> And the girl
<@Piecewise> And that other one.
<@Piecewise> but they came for him. They came for him when he was old and he had a choice. He had done research on it; he was part of the cause of the problem and he had worked to fix it.
<@Piecewise> but they were still angry because they needed someone to blame and the others were dead and the worlds of man were burning and everyine wanted a head on a stick.
<@Piecewise> The father of nightmares they said
<@Piecewise> He's the one that did it
<@Piecewise> He's the one that cut flesh from the gods and grafted it to man. He's the one that let it run wild and ate it all
<@Piecewise> Small part maybe
<@Piecewise> but part still
<@Piecewise> He's seen the thing in dark space
<@Piecewise> So he used what he knew and and changed himself.
<@Piecewise> Enough to survive what he knew was coming. Because there was work left to do
<@Piecewise> he saw it
<@Piecewise> they scoured but was it gone?
<@Piecewise> Was it gone?
<@Piecewise> Or did they miss some?
<@Piecewise> What would happen then?
<@Piecewise> It will eat the stars. It will eat the goddamn stars don't you see?
<@Piecewise> It was nascent then, but it will find the origin. It wants to be complete again.
During Second Halloween Event Pancaek Nilys went xenospit trip and meeting with... something. It gave him momentary godhood and he was able to obtain vital information about the event going on the ship. Apparently what he saw left a mark on him, a mark that the Doctor was able to see.
What he saw was white planet sized object. It looked like it's covered in geometric patterns made of smaller shapes and those by even smaller. The entire surface of this planet has been engraved and carved with images. Fractal patterns and statues are heavily represented on the planet's surface. Eventually he finds a sinkhole, elaborately carved hexagonal shaft, that leads deep into the planet and goes in. As he falls down towards the light inside he feels an odd sensation. Fear, but without the fear; that same sort of crushing, heart stilling, stomach clenching feeling, that same feeling of helplessness, but without the desire to run or to fight or to do anything. Something incomprehensible and ineffable is waiting for him down below, he can feel its attention like a cinder block resting on his sternum and yet, he's perfectly ok with it.
Within the planet he finds a white planetoid. The planetoid is white, though there seems to be some sort of luminous reddish quality to it as well, but he can only perceive that when he's not looking directly at it. Everything about this thing painful to perceive; it hurts his eyes and his mind, it's like a paradox he can't stop thinking about, a impossible existence that's eating his brain like Escheresque syphilis. It is sentient, but its true motive force is gone.
Pancaek attempted to make connection with and succeeded, kinda. For a brief moment he knew everything that was, what is, and what ever would be. From this bried moment of godhood he took knowledge of what caused the Second Halloween Event to happen and how to fix it.
Afterwards Pancaek met with the Doctor to talk about synthflesh bodies. This is what happened.
- The Doctor seems to notice you from a good way away. He walks straight up to you and grabs your head, jerking you so that he can stare into your eyes. He's unsettlingly strong, and you're pretty sure he lifts you off the ground for a moment.
- "You've seen it."
- Pan does his best not to struggle as the doc grabs a hold on him.
- "I've...uh... seen quite a lot of things lately, doc. Do you mean the giant pig? Or maybe the weird planet within a planet godly thing?"
- "It's not quite connected I see. Don't worry, it will. Those sort of things have to sink in. The mind can't comprehend it all at once."
- "Help me out here doc, I'm just a dumb shmuck who isn't all that bright. I just remember going down into this wierd white planet. At the center there's this reddish white planetoid...thing...whose shape doesn't make any sense. And it's sentient, somehow. And then one moment, I let myself get swept away in its feelings and suddenly I'm seeing the entire universe at once. Every single bit of it. I was even able to rearrange some of it so I could see what that whole giant pig thing was about.
- So what the hell was that about and why did it make you grab me like that? Come on, doc, I want to understand what the hell happened and is happening."
- He drops you and sighs, not sadly, more in amusement.
- "Revelations are wasted on the weak of mind. I saw that same thing many many years ago. Of course I saw it in person, you seem to have glimpsed it some other way. No matter. Just think on it. The significance of it is all around you, after all." He pauses for a moment and then chuckles, as though he made a joke. Then he wanders away.
(The following is considered to be being broadcast to all members of ARM. From now on, anything mentioned here is considered common knowledge to any current character. If you want to RP the lack of this information for future characters, thats fine, but you don't have to)
>Hello friends, transient and otherwise. It's been a long time since I've addressed you all like this, but things have changed and I feel it is time to touch base. As most of you probably already know, our extended efforts to bring down the UWM were, as it turns out, wildly effective. The UWM as an organized institution has collapsed into hundreds of warring factions and Earth 3 is the kind of irradiated anomaly-ridden wasteland that makes an anomalous planetoid look like a vacation resort. So pat yourselves on the back in that regard; we've won the war and plunged much of humanity into strife, starvation, civil war, pandemic and eventual technological collapse. That's the good news.
The bad news is that our reasons for starting this war and the reasons for most of the missions we've been undertaking for these many, many years have been rendered moot. I'll tell you what they are now, since there's no point in keeping it secret anymore. The time of secrets between us is over, dear friends. I'd like us to at least be on honest terms before we die.
Near the center of our galaxy, at a point which the anomalous planetoids elucidate, is a structure that we call "Origin". We're not really sure what it is; it's contained within a planet sized object which has been meticulously carved and engraved with detailed information on the nature of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and other natural laws. This is across the entire surface area of the planet, of course, so we had some reading to do. Inside this shell is an enormous, we're talking the size of earth's moon or so, white mass. It sort of resembles a whorled sphere of synthflesh. That is origin. The more pious among the men who investigated it believed it to be the literal corpse of god. Others, our good Doctor included, considered it to be something akin to the ultimate creation of a lost and extremely advanced race of beings, who left it behind as a sort of road map to attain greatness. I make no judgement either way. The important thing to know here is that it is that we made almost all our advancements in this age via study of that thing. Synthflesh was our attempt to copy the basic properties of the stuff. Amps and manipulators attempted to recreate the reality defying capacities the thing had. These were both successful, to one degree or another. And The Altered was our attempt to imbue our own flesh with the properties of the 'divine' as some would say.
It was a success, to some degree. Divine power was granted to human flesh, though it was at the loss of human sapience. We all know the consequences of that failed experiment. What only a select few knew, till now, is that the Altered were not merely insane failures which sought to devour the world. They had some grasp of their origin and they wanted to return to it. This was prevented of course, but not permanently. See, despite our best efforts, some of the Altered escaped. It's a big galaxy and they can reform from a single cell; you can't really begrudge our failure there.
As you can imagine, those remnants of the Altered joined together and bided their time, so to speak. They got outside of our jump range and started devouring planets. Then stars. By the time we noticed them it was too late to send an eradication fleet; the main body of the super organism was several stellar masses in size. There wasn't enough firepower in the world to keep it dead. And by then the UWM had become bloated, tumescent and arrogant. The majority would not believe that such a threat could exist, or that if it did exist it would be easily defeated. I'm afraid the power of the UWM during its prime had been exaggerated to a degree which made them believe they were invincible. The hard won battles of the past had become glorious massacres in the minds of this latter generation. And My insistence would do nothing to change that.
This is why we waged a war against the UWM; if they would not face the threat that the Eater of Stars presented, we would have to remove them and reunite humanity under a different banner.
Of course, even united like that it would have taken our combined efforts and several rather risky steps to prevail. My plan, assuming nothing better came to light, was to gather the brains of billions of dead humans and to construct a ghostship like machine which would have had the power to alter the basic laws of the universe. We would construct a man-made god and use it to wish the Altered away. Hmph. Idealistic, at best.
But the coming of the Lurker in the Angles has changed things. The Eater of Stars and the influence of the Lurker are fighting each other on the edge of our galaxy like two cancers trying to occupy the same tissue. By some perverse stroke of luck those mutated and alien human remnants appear to be fighting on our side again, if only by accident, because their struggle against the lurker's influence is, insofar, keeping it distracted to some degree. We don't know how long it will take before it gets into the jump points and effectively metastasizes across the galaxy. We don't know the state of Origin, though the fact that the Lurker has invaded Origin derived materials is a bad sign. We know that the use of Amps and Manips on a large scale has become impossible. And We know that the Lurker will continue to subsume this galaxy and no doubt others.
So with this knowledge in mind, we are changing our plans. This is no longer a fight. This is an evacuation. We have lost. This galaxy is forfeit. This universe is no longer ours. The very laws of reality are quickly shifting to become unfriendly to our existence. And the Lurker shows no signs of wanting a nice cohabitation. So we're leaving. We're gathering as many people as we can and we're leaving. Right now I have a team on Heph who is using an Extrauniversal engine to search through the myriad of parallel universes for one which we can inhabit. And when we find that universe, we're leaving and we're closing the door behind us. Thats the extent of the current plan. Rats off a sinking ship.
So. If there's anything you'd like to do in this universe, or anything you think you may have left behind, under a seat or in the luggage compartment perhaps, I suggest you get to it. Otherwise, our last missions here will consist of gathering the tech we can, kidnapping/recruiting any humans we can get and exploring potential homes.
If you have any questions, now is the time to ask.
- ↑ http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=108083.msg6090946#msg6090946
- ↑ http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=108083.msg5801502#msg5801502
- ↑ http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=108083.msg5814482#msg5814482
- ↑ http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=108083.msg5840684#msg5840684
- ↑ http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=108083.msg5870134#msg5870134
- ↑ http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=108083.msg5879438#msg5879438
- ↑ http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=135884.msg6126272#msg6126272