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Chapter 41 (Original Archive)

supreme_arbiter 12/30/2006

IAS 19 - Rota

From the ship's gangplank, Irsa, Alexei and Becka watched Shlitzee administer the DNA tests.

Nike watched Slitzee on the bridge's main monitor. "Shlitzee, you have any analysis on those people yet?" she said into the comm.

"Patience, grasshopper. .." Shlitzee replied. "There are a lot of meaties out here. I don't have a detailed analysis yet, but I can tell you all the natives so far have been entirely homo sapiens, although the adjective is debatable."

Bud, Arkady and THX-1492 watched over the heads of the queueing natives as the leviathan drew near. It was nearly two stories tall until it squated on its long legs. Four men leapt from its back. Two of them reined in the great beast. The other two walked reverently toward Bud. Bud suspected by the look on Horatio's face the men were Rota. Horatio's face curled distastefully before it drew a haughty smile.

"Hello," Bud said, nodding with his plaser. "Who are you?"

The two men walking toward him stopped and bowed. "My name," one of them answered, "is Tymbal of Spragni from Sigai and this is my friend Janus of Rota from Adaxa."

supreme_arbiter 1/14/2007

IAS chapter 37 - Up the Downed Staircase

Irsa and THX explore the upper level of the Hercules class dropship and discover what the crew of the Alexandria found on the surface of the moon.

I've heard a few players have had a particularly rough holiday season. I hope everyone's family is well and healthy. I, for one, was glad to have had the last couple of weeks free to catch up on some lost sleep :)

Regarding the current turn, the conversation between Tymbal, Janus and the crew of the Pandora is an important decision point. I've only created the back story (well, at least the parts that weren't inherited :) I have no idea where the plot will take us next. That's up to the player characters now. If anyone needs a re-cap or any other resource, please ask. Next weekend I'll post something as Arkady to further the discussion.

mikejohnson_lordofdance 1/19/2007


The two men walking toward him stopped and bowed.

"My name," one of them answered, "is Tymbal of Spragni from Sigai and this is my friend Janus of Rota from Adaxa."
{Bud pauses, unfurls his most becoming smile}

"It is easy enough to see differences when first we meet..."

Bud slowly turns his gaze over the assembled group, then begins to focus his body posture to his new priestly chum and the newly arrived riders. He speaks in a voice loud enough for all to be heard.

"It is sometimes harder to see that which makes us the same...A custom I will share today is the retelling of wisdom from the ancient Sage Laird."

"At the beginning there was nothing but a big ball of gases. For a long time it just sat there in the nothingness, getting hotter and hotter. Then it exploded. The explosion created the stars, which were burning bubbles of the first big ball of gases. The stars threw out chunks of debris that cooled and became planets. The planets spun round and became round."

"In a remote and insignificant sector of the universe, one planet fell into an orbit around its star that by accident made its surface conducive to the molecular formations known as amino acids. Neither so close to their planets' star that as to incinerated, nor so far from it as to be frozen, the acids survived. And proceeded to combine into new molecules of a complexity advanced enough to permit change and growth, And meiosis, and the development of a certain other transient characteristics of a generic nature classifiable as life."

"Changing and growing and reproducing in response to random stimuli of the planet's chemistry, life thrived and multiplied, And spread from the hospitable environment of liquid oxygenated hydrogen where it began to the more challenging environment of the planet's solid mineral masses. The new environment stimulated further molecular changes that enabled living organisms to increase dramatically in size and complexity. The organisms grew bigger and bigger, And then much much bigger, And even bigger than that, until some of the many life-forms on the planet's surface were so enormous as to be dinosaurs."

"The dinosaurs were gigantic scaly beasts with infinitely small brains and infinitely large appetites, both for plants and for each other. Created by numerous accidents of evolution, the dinosaurs managed to become extinct, not by accident, but by their own stupidity. The dinosaurs ate all of the plants in their environment and soon starved stupidly to death. When the dinosaurs became extinct, other smaller life-forms became dominant on the planet's surface."

"These other smaller life forms were mammals, which had hairy bodies, warm blood, and small brains the were nevertheless larger than the brains of the dinosaurs. Over a long period of time after the dinosaurs became extinct, the hairy bodies of the mammals grew bigger and bigger, until there were many large animals on the planet's surface. And some of these were very big indeed and something like elephants, and some of them were something like cattle, and some of them were something like pigs, And others of them were quite small and something like rats and cats and dogs. And a lot of them were a lot like monkeys."

"And the ones that were like monkeys had brains that were quite large. And some of these grew quite big and lost their tails, so that they were no longer monkeys, but apes. And the apes thrived and multiplied, surviving even unto the present age. And with the coming of the apes, their period of time that was the beginning of the earth ended."

supreme_arbiter 1/23/2007

Arkady chuckled. "The Boomer Bible," he said in a low voice to Bud. "I read that in the eighth grade! I remember the friend who gave it to me."

There was an awkward silence into which Tymbal spoke. "This sage Laird sounds like a knowledgeable man. His words have the ring of Truth to them. I have never heard of him. Have you, Horatio?"

Horatio grunted.

"You will find, sir, that Ithark is a land of Truths," Tymbal continued.

"Speak to us of truths then about John Galt," Arkady said. "Who is John Galt?"

"I can tell you what even the humblest man among us knows. He is God himself, his living incarnation on earth. He is immortal. He existed before the earth was formed. He will still exist when it has ended. He is our loving Father who wants us to follow the path of the righteous and a vengeful God that punishes the wicked. He lives in his citadel at Eden with his wives and companions."

Elizabeth 1/28/2007


Irsa looks at Alexie thoughtfully. "We need to ask about this 'Boomer Bible' later." Irsa says softly to Alexie.

supreme_arbiter 2/5/2007

"Is John Galt a title, or is he really over two hundred years old?" Arkady asked.

"I don't know," Tymbal replied, "but..."

"You are on shifting sands, old man," Horatio interrupted him. "You've been warned."

"...I have seen him myself," Tymbal continued, "and I profess he is not like other men. I have seen John Galt many times at the convocation. Not once have I seen signs of age on his face. He looked the same last year as he did when I was a boy. His skin is radiant as if dirt were afraid to touch him. Even under the hot Ithark sun I've never seen him sweat."

On the bridge, Nike heard a sound behind her and turned around. She saw Horatio's students running away from her down the corridor. "Uh oh," she thought. "That can't be good." She switched on her comm device and said, "Chelydra, Bud, Horatio's students are headed your way. They left in a hurry."

The students ran down the gangplank past Irsa and Alexei. They stopped beside Horatio. Their eyes darted between him and Tymbal.

supreme_arbiter 2/26/2007

"...I have seen him myself," Tymbal continued, "and I profess he is not like other men. I have seen John Galt many times at Convocation. Not once have I seen signs of age on his face. He looked the same last year as he did when I was a boy. His skin is radiant as if dirt were afraid to touch him. Even under the hot Ithark sun I've never seen him sweat."
"How much of this world have you seen?" Arkady asked.

"I have seen very little," Tymbal answered. "I have traveled throughout John Galt's kingdom and portions of the desert that surrounds us. I know men who have seen more, much more."

"John Galt has been to every corner of this world and found nothing but waste," Horatio suddenly added. "This is the only place where the water of life is found."

"Is it," Tymbal replied with a nearly undetectable trace of sarcasm.

"What about the demons?" Arkady asked.

"They have plagued us since our people first came here. They live deep in the desert, but sometimes they're seen walking alone in the mountains. They can assume any shape. They can look like one of us, or a hideous monster. No one knows what their true faces look like. Normal weapons can't hurt them. They become like a cloud and vanish."

OOC: Does anyone else have any questions for Tymbal? Irsa and Alexei have been standing close enough to have heard this conversation.

On the bridge, Nike heard a sound behind her and turned around. She saw Horatio's students running away from her down the corridor. "Uh oh," she thought. "That can't be good." She switched on her comm device and said, "Chelydra, Bud. Horatio's students are headed your way. They left in a hurry."
The students ran down the gangplank past Irsa and Alexei. They stopped beside Horatio. Their eyes darted between him and Tymbal. A tense moment passed while Bud, Chelydra and Arkady wondered if they were going to make trouble.

"Umm, what's going on guys?" Arkady asked. The students ignored him. "No really," Arkady persisted.

"They're just being protective," Horatio answered.

"They're protecting you from an old man?"

Horatio shrugged.

"Well, don't anybody start anything. My friend here is a trained killer," Arkady said, indicating Bud. Bud replied with an abbreviated butterfly move that encompassed Horatio and his students with the end of his plaser.

Shlitzee, now finished taking DNA samples from and adminstering sedatives to the now tranquil villagers, stepped up to Horatio. He "welcomed" the robot as the villagers had and gestured for his students to make the same peace offering.

Elizabeth 2/26/2007


"My friends and I just came from visiting another land mass on this planet. It appears to have more water and plant life. But its on the other side of a huge body of water. I think this John Galt simply doesn't want to cross it, since he can't bring anyone with him yet." Irsa says trying not to insult this John Galt.

supreme_arbiter 2/27/2007

OOC: Nice

Horatio turned around viciously. When he saw it was Irsa who had spoken, his face softened gently. He spoke to her as he would a child. "Yes, I know what you saw. I saw your visions in the room you call the bridge. The demons are indeed clever. They can make us see anything they wish. Only faith in John Galt can enable us to see through their lies." He smiled at her condescendingly.


publius1024 3/4/2007


IAS chapter 38: Awakenings

Alexei awakens on the Warden, the crew discovers John Galt's origins aboard the rescue ship Alexandria and the explorers return to the Pandora.

animefanzeth 3/8/2007


(OOC: Hi I'm a new player. I am not sure where the hell I am supposed to be standing at since Devon is Janus's student. I assume he is by the leviathan.)

Devon was a student of Janus. The man stayed neared the leviethan waiting for his master to return from speeking with the Strangers. He turned to his fellow Rota and asked queitly,"How much longer you think this will take?"

supreme_arbiter 3/8/2007

Malik replied quietly, "Janus and Tymbal are patient men, but these are unusual times. Be ready for anything."

OOC: Welcome Devon! I'll post turn 20 in a day or two.

Elizabeth 3/8/2007


"That was not a vision. That was a real place my friends and I visited and explored. Just because you can't visit the other side of this world doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It's merely something you've never seen before. You've been fighting these demons of yours so long you regard anything beyond this desert as imaginary." Irsa responds with controlled anger.

supreme_arbiter 3/10/2007

IAS turn 20 - Unbroken Line

Horatio was shocked by Irsa's impertinence. Before he could reply, Janus interrupted him. "I do not know what you saw," he said to Irsa, "but John Galt could not have seen it because he's never crossed the great water."

"What?" Horatio said. "You lie."

"I know the truth of John Galt and the truth of Mike Benalidino. I belong to an unbroken line of teachers taught by Benalidino. I know many things Galt doesn't want you to know."

Horatio was beside himself with anger. "You're a liar!"

"No, John Galt is the liar. I have come to finally tell the truth."

"Do you know what will happen to you for this blasphemy?"

"For 16th generations we have waited to reveal the truth. I am not a coward."

"Sieze him," Horatio screamed. His students rushed at Janus to silence him. Bud aimed his plaser, but they were too close to him and Arkady. The plasma blast would have burned them all.

Two loud shots reverberated between the dunes and the Pandora's enormous hull. Arkady held his pistol over his head. Chelydra's shotgun was aimed at the sky. A faint puff of smoke flew from their barrels. The students stopped in their tracks. The villagers fell to the ground in terror.

The leviathan panicked at the unusual sound of gunfire. It reared up on its hind legs. Malik held its lead rope steady.

supreme_arbiter 3/10/2007

Malik and Devon are by the leviathan a short distance from Bud, Arkady, THX-1492, Horatio, his students and the villagers. Chelydra is at the foot of the gangplank. Irsa, Alexei and Becka are at the top of the gangplank. The rest of the characters are on the Pandora's bridge.

Elizabeth 3/10/2007


Irsa drops down at the sound of gunfire and then rises when she realizes her group had just fired two warning shots.

"How many years is a generation?" Irsa asks the nearest human.

gglassdr 3/11/2007


Calculating the possibilties of the situation becoming dangerous, THX-1492 intersperses itself midway between the leviathan and his comrades, ready to shield them if the leviathan goes berzerk.

mikejohnson_lordofdance 3/12/2007


-counting on the residual fear and shock at the sounds of gunfire-


-shoulders the plaser and keeps his right hand near the holstered pistol-


-begins to slowly walk among the natives, making eyecontact with each as they (hopefully) look up/at him-

"Every man lives life one day at a time...And each day we share...Each day the sun rises and each day the sun sets...You (stares at Horatio) might have seen the sun might have seen sun rise as well (stares at Janus)...Did you see it from the same place, were your surroundings and comrades the same? Did you look from the same eyes?"


"TRUTH IS LIKE A DAY, like this day. We don't all see it the SAME way, but it is REAL and it is HERE."

-gestures slightly with his non-draw hand-

"We are to make a pilgrimage.. .Horatio, pick your 2 best students...Janus, your 2 closest companions. We travel in the bird to meet with John Galt, and we leave THIS DAY!!"

-Bud stands and looks over the assembled natives, subvocalizing to his crewmates: 'I hope they go for this, I suggest plan B is getting Janus and his 'non-believers' safely into the ship, hopefully without having to nix any of the others.'

animefanzeth 3/13/2007


Devon tries his best to aid Malik in soothing the Leviathen. "I don't like the sound of that. Something seems wrong," Devon said to Malik. He felt a sour panic in his gut much like the great beast but suppressed it.

supreme_arbiter 3/17/2007

Together, Devon and Malik calmed the beast. THX-1492 calculated the tall beast of burden no longer posed a threat.

"How many years is a generation?" Irsa asked.

"It varies," Janus replied. He did not appear to have been shaken by the sound of gunfire although most of the natives around him were trembling. "Benalidino' s first student was born 307 years ago."
Bud: "We are to make a pilgrimage.. . Horatio, pick your 2 best students... Janus, your 2 closest companions."
Horatio said without hesitation, "Foryn and Mica will join me."

Janus replied, "I will gladly go to Eden with you but I cannot speak for my companions. It will be dangerous and I do not anticipate returning."

"As much as I want to travel with you," Tymbal said, "I have the welfare of many men and women in Sigai to look after."

"I understand," Janus answered. He turned to look at Devon and Malik.

animefanzeth 3/19/2007


To Devon this journey was his purpose. He couldn't turn and run away now. He had much to do still. "I shall go with you," He said to Janus.

stacinator 3/24/2007


"Holy bullshit, Bud." Nike radioed to him and the others via their newfangled technology. "You sure learned how to talk circles to the fanatical masses... you must have the genetics of a politician in there somewhere." She radioed again with a chuckle.

"Alright, this is one that I need to be involved with myself. Percy, you and Chelydra keep the ship secure. Bud and Amanda are with me. THX, if you wouldn't mind, please stay here and keep this base location secure," she said to her entire crew.

To Chelydra, "C, Keep the students and natives separated. Some, our closer allies, may be assigned guest quarters and surreptitiously mildly sedated until we return. Hopefully the others, the villagers, will return home and bother us no more. Route any level G command decisions and above to me via comm or EB (Ear Band Radio), if possible. Keep Percy up to date at all times. Under no circumstances are extraneous passengers to enter the bridge area. I don't care if one of them seems to be bleeding to death. Do you have any concerns you need to discuss before we depart?"

To Shlitzee, privately, "That DNA sample you took from Arkady. Check it. Make sure it is truly the one and the same Arkady that we have been with all this time. Make sure all his levels are normal, too. There is something fishy going on here that is setting off my internal sensors, if you will. But keep it quiet... if it's a false alarm, I don't want to damage the fragile bridge of trust we have in our group. Also, continue processing the other samples and assist Chelydra in keeping the natives calm. Oh, and if you can, find a way to make me a margarita." With her last comment, she winked good naturedly at the bot.

To Percy and Arkady, privately, "I want you to run point with Chelydra on keeping things going while I am gone. Percy, you have a natural tendency to trust too quickly--I want you to role play a paranoid freak while I'm gone. No one is to come on the bridge except Chelydra, Arkady and Shlitzee; otherwise keep it locked up tight until my return. If someone tries to force their way in, kill them. Don't hesitate, don't think--just shoot. No one gets on this bridge, even if it means they die, unless they are Chel or Shlitz."

She took a deep breath, allowed Percy to regain some color in his face, and continued, "If you need to eat, take a leak, have C or S relieve one of you. Have Irsa and the others, if they are willing, help you by running errands, etc.. Something fishy is going on here, and until we return your primary objective is preserving the goods and technology that we have at the moment."

To Arkady, "I need a plan to get to the Alexandria. No idea is too farfetched. Run things by Percy when you have working ideas. Be ready to get this bucket of bolts out of here should the need arise-- you are going to be the only resident pilot when I'm gone." She couldn't help but smile at him; he was so cute with his bedhead hair. "And Arkady, no more disappearances. If you need to sleep and it cannot wait, just let us know."

To Irsa and the others, "Due to the tensions that are inherently present, I believe that is is crucial that we have only a small delegation accompany Bud and myself on this mission. As a result, I would respectfully ask that you remain here at the ship until we return. Our hospitality will be extended to you, and quarters will be assigned if you do not already have them."

To Irsa, Becka, and Alexei, "If you are willing, Percy and Chelydra could use some assistance with the smooth operation of the dropship while we are gone, as well as food gathering and more specific area recon. Can we count you among our core number and ask for your help?"

To Bud, "I'm coming out. Please prepare Janus, Horatio and their chosen representatives for my arrival and our group departure."

To Amanda, "You're with me. Somehow, I think this needs a woman's touch." She tried to ignore the flush on Amanda's face.

Then, Nike took a deep breath. She wasn't sure what was bothering her, but something just felt wrong here. Confident that her instincts were correct, she began typing on the keyboard.

After a few moments, she rose, gathered her things, and hit the supply room and weapons locker before walking down the gangplank and into the great outdoors to join the hodge podge of people at its base.

OOC: To all, sorry for my prolonged absence! Since I had a lot to catch up on, if I have erred in my post somehow with the timeline or my facts, please let me know. I tried to catch up and get in a post for this pivotal moment in the game.

gglassdr 3/24/2007


THX-1492 states: "Acknowleged Captain, this unit will commence security protocols." THX begins its programmed security functions being careful not to disturb the others. Meanwhile it analyzes options and collates data. Its neural net processors attempts to calculate the odds of finishing their mission of rescuing the Warden and saving the human race while producing as many babies as possible.

Calculations done, it states: "Captain Nike, this unit would estimate the odds of completing our mission at.......... .

OOC Here I would ask our all-knowing GM to furnish the appropriate data.

Elizabeth 3/24/2007


"Can't speak for Becky and Alexei, but I'm good at gathering plants and exploring. You need stuff done, I'll do what I can to help." Irsa responds.

supreme_arbiter 3/30/2007

OOC: Nice posts! I'll address everyone's questions soon (THX's probability calculation, Nike's suspicion of Arkady, etc.) Give me a few days to catch up :) Sorry it took me so long to get this bit up first.

OOC: a question for Stacy... Are Nike, Bud and Amanda taking a skycar to parlay with John Galt in Eden while the Pandora stays where it is? The city of Eden is about 300 kilometers north of the Pandora.


"I shall go too," Malik replied.

Janus was glad to have Devon and Malik with him on his journey, but he knew he would be worried about their health and safety.

While Nike spoke secretly with Shlitzee, Bud said, "Ok, Shlitzee, finish getting... I mean greeting our friends here. Don't forget us and the leviathan over there." Shlitzee stepped up to Horatio and his students. They welcomed the robot as the villagers had before them. She sampled and sedated them, took DNA samples from Bud, Arkady and Chelydra and was greeted by Janus and Tymbal as a friend.

Shlitzee approached Devon, Malik and the leviathan with her arms outstretched in greeting.

supreme_arbiter 4/4/2007

IAS turn 1 - Initial Contact

OOC: Still catching up but still dedicated! Bud, Nike and Amanda will soon be on their way to Eden. I'll post their turn soon.

Shlitzee 'greeted' Devon, Malik and the leviathan and returned to Bud's side.

"All right Horatio and Janus, come on aboard with your chosen pilgrims," Chelydra said.

"The rest of you had better clear out. Go back home. When this bird decides to take off, she'll hurt anyone who's too close to her. It's nothing personal, it's just the way she flies."

Chelydra and Arkady led the way up the gangplank past Irsa, Alexei and Becka.

Horatio, Foryn, Mica, Janus, Malik and Devon followed them into the Pandora's bowels.

The natives entered a corridor that reminded them of the rich, metal homes in Eden, except this one had no windows. The bird's metal insides were brightly lit by panels in the ceiling that burned steadily, unlike flickering candles. They followed Arkady and Chelydra past a closed door, then an intersection. Long corridors stretched to the right and left but they walked past them.

As they marvelled at being inside the great bird at last, the sedative Shlitzee had administered began to take effect. They felt exhausted and the corridor gently swayed. They stopped across from another intersection where a short corridor ended in another door. Chelydra removed something from his vest and passed it over a small panel on the metal wall. A door opened beside him revealing another long corridor with doors lining both sides. They followed Chelydra past the doors.

"I'll interrogate Janus and his friends in room D," Chelydra said to the crew subvocally. "Arkady, you take Horatio and his students to room M across the hall." "Roger," Arkady replied subvocally. "Bailey, assist Arkady. Caleb, you're with me." Arkady and Chelydra opened the doors and ushered their passengers into their separate rooms. The chambers within amazed them. They saw comfortable chairs attached to the floor, three beds built on top of one another, shelves, drawers and a desk. Colored lights on devices built into the walls, shelves and even in the beds flashed around them. On top of the desk was the most unusual device. It was unlike anything Horatio had ever seen in Eden, but Janus and his men were familiar with it. It resembled something they'd all seen during their initiation into a secret society of the Rota. Although the computer's monitor was off, they recognized the flat, glassy 'window' on which images might soon display and from which voices might speak.

OOC: Janus, Devon, Malik and Chelydra are in Quarters 'D' -- Horatio, his students and Arkady are in Quarters 'M'. Nike, Bud and Amanda will soon be on their way to Eden. Everyone else is wherever they wanna be :)

Elizabeth 4/5/2007


Irsa looks at Alexie. "You can stay in my room til you get your own. Follow me if you like." Irsa says to Alexie. She heads to her room.

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