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Updates Tuesday/Saturday, 8:30 PM EST
[Unichat log --]
(??:??)APHRODITE: What do you two make of this?
/message "ARES" "MINERVA" --file=hephaestus.log
(??:??)MINERVA: This is an incursion?
(??:??)APHRODITE: Yes. It looks unplanned... Hang on, I'll include the header.
/message MINERVA --file=hephaestus.logh
(??:??)ARES: Your filename does rather give it away.
(??:??)APHRODITE: Am I wrong, though?
(??:??)MINERVA: No, it's definitely him. It looks like his timeline shifted.
(??:??)ARES: And quite suddenly, at that. Look at the spike at +30 minutes.
(??:??)APHRODITE: Yes, I noticed that. Activity moves from a basal pattern to full-on contact for nearly two minutes before spiking into nothing.
(??:??)ARES: I think the shock did him in.
(??:??)APHRODITE: It's possible. We don't know much about his timeline after loss of contact. Still, I don't like the idea that one of us would die to something so survivable.
(??:??)MINERVA: He could have been injured.
(??:??)APHRODITE: I'd thought of that, but I'm not sure. Look just before the spike. His pattern definitely stabilizes before we lose him again.
(??:??)APHRODITE: Of course, it could be the timeline itself...
(??:??)MINERVA: Regardless, there is a corallary.
(??:??)MINERVA: If HEPHAESTUS is truly deceased, that rules out... the last sensible candidate for the mole.
(??:??)ARES: Oh, [censored]. He's right.
(??:??)APHRODITE: You mean...
(??:??)MINERVA: Yes. It can't be any of the others, or our scans would have picked it up. It can't be HEPHAESTUS if he's dead, and if it's Gods, we're all [censored]ed anyway.
(??:??)MINERVA: That leaves... us. We're the only ones with the capability to stage an operation like this and go undetected so long.
(??:??)ARES: And now you'll claim it wasn't you, because if it was, you'd have no motive to point it out.
(??:??)MINERVA: Are you high? You just gave the motive right there.
(??:??)APHRODITE: Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We've been ignoring the possibility of a third party, haven't we? Not even Gods has a perfect understanding of the Etamnanki protocol. Panak's had "secure" connections broken into. It's a fringe possibility, but no more so than one of us being a traitor.
(??:??)ARES: Which is exactly what a traitor would say.
(??:??)MINERVA: ...
(??:??)MINERVA: No, I think he's right. Until we have a way to verify one of us is rogue, it's better to assume we're not. At the very least, if we can't find an attacker, we'll be sure we're not barking up the wrong tree.
(??:??)ARES: I can see that. What're we looking for? An unknown Gods instance?
(??:??)MINERVA: Or something that looks like one. I'm pretty sure an actual personality clone of one of us would give the attacker an unbeatable edge. It's probably just something with a close enough Etamnanki signature to get by.
(??:??)APHRODITE: If I were designing such an agent, I'd have it hide in the real Gods' shallows when it's not active.
(??:??)MINERVA: I concur... which is all the more reason to hide it somewhere else. Ares, you want to trawl the peripheral repos? I think we're looking for a polymorphic meme of some kind.
(??:??)ARES: Yeah, sure. Should I run it by ARTEMIS first?
(??:??)MINERVA: Hmm... I don't think so. The more we keep this contained, the less it can affect. Prepare a cover story in case he challenges you.
(??:??)ARES: If I do find something, can I kill it?
(??:??)MINERVA: Yes.
(??:??)APHRODITE: Go for it.
(??:??)ARES: Now you're talking. What are you two going to be up to?
(??:??)MINERVA: I'm going to do a sweep back home, just in case it's a double bluff. APHRODITE, do you think there's any benefit in further analyzing the HEPHAESTUS log?
(??:??)APHRODITE: Sure. Nailing down what caused the shift should shed some more light on this.
(??:??)ARES: Are we telling our esteemed leader?
(??:??)MINERVA: Well, if he's the mole, it doesn't really matter what we do, does it? I say go for it.
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[Unichat auxiliary records --]
Xenocartographer (Official Note): Did I just introduce a character and immediately kill him off? ...no. Also, I'm not particularly a fan of how grey this page turned out, but oh well.
Xenocartographer: For reference, these guys were last seen on page 124. edit delete reply
Arbiter: The last time these freaks appeared, the timestamps in the chat log looked normal. Now they've been replaced with question marks, like we'd expect from an entity from outside the universe or a different location on the timeline... Why? Is that because Gods isn't here this time?
Also, uh, anyone else think they know what these things are now? I'm considering starting a theory thread on the forum about it but not if it's already super obvious to everyone. I'm honestly not sure if I'm looking at a clue, an actual legitimate confirmation, or if I'm just overthinking everything again. edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: Theory threads are always cool to read through! I wouldn't be particularly surprised if someone figured it out, either. As for the timestamps, them being normal last time was because Gods normalized them to keep up appearances in front of Orlov. edit delete reply
Wildcat: My tired mind thinks they're personality clones of Gods. edit delete reply
Pyre Light: Hephaestus is to be Gods/3 is my current theory ... what that does to the overarching Theory I have no idea. edit delete reply
Pyre Light: See #138. BTW, now that I registered with ComicFury, do I get to keep my previous text color? I can't edit my last comment
ETA: cool, still minty fresh! edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: You won't be able to edit comments that weren't posted by your account, I'm afraid. If there's a specific comment you really want edited, shoot me a PM on CF and I'll take a look. edit delete reply
Pyre Light: I only wanted to add the link I ended up posting separately. I tried to edit my first comment, but couldn't without registering, then couldn't because I was a "different" person, LOL. edit delete reply
Arbiter: I think we're on to the same idea. I'll make the forum thread soon. edit delete reply
Little Guy: Oh. Nice way to bypass the censors in the title. edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: Haha, the title was... really long as it was D: edit delete reply
Seabiscuit: Gosh! So these are all Gods from other timelines maybe? And Hep is the GOO that died Recently...D: edit delete reply
Arbiter: Basically my theory as well. I talked about it in detail on the forum, if you're interested. edit delete reply
Pyre Light: I match, and raise you a hrmmm? edit delete reply