#    #    #   #    ###     ###     #    #      ##     ##### 
#    #    ##  #     #     #   #    #    #     #  #      #   
#    #    # # #     #     #        ######    ######     #   
#    #    #  ##     #     #   #    #    #    #    #     #   
 ####     #   #    ###     ###     #    #    #    #     #   
Updates Wednesday and Saturday at 8:30 PM EST
[Unichat log --]
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: We're making a mistake.
(10:30)bloodshoes: huh?
(10:30)bloodshoes: and what happened to your timestamps?
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: It's a side-effect of a security plugin I've been toying with. Though after how many people have asked me that, I'm starting to think it's not worth it.
(10:31)bloodshoes: heh
(10:31)bloodshoes: so what's up?
/query Admiral Pancake

(??:??)System: Initiating private chat with active user Admiral Pancake.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: Wait.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: Yes?
(??:??)Xenocartographer: Fifteen years ago, you did a favor for me. I'm repaying it. There are forces here you're unaware of - and for once that works to your advantage.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: Go on.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: The timeline you're about to fork - and no, it hasn't forked yet, but we have to keep this quick - turns out to be vastly more different than you'd expect in that GodsOfOlympus doesn't exist.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: Interesting...
(??:??)Xenocartographer: In that timeline, you've already won. That happens no matter what you say to bloodshoes. Instead of trying to protect the alternate Griddle, you should focus on setting up favorable merge conditions.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: I see. How do I know this, and why should I believe you?
(??:??)Xenocartographer: Honestly? You've been extremely useful to me, and I think your alternate self will remember enough of this conversation to look favorably on me if I ask him stuff.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: If you pull off a merge, then you'll have both of their memories of me being helpful, and I'll have a timeline where my ally rules the Earth.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: I'm not sure how I feel about sharing rulership with you.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: Oh, it's not like that. I promise. I'm not going to try to go Starscream on you.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: Is this another mystical construct you're going to infodump about?
(??:??)Xenocartographer: Haha... no. Starscream is a TV character, known for betraying his boss at every opportunity.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: What I'm trying to say is, I'm not interested in usurping power. Well, okay, I'm only interested in usurping computational power.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: I see.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: And there's another reason you should trust me. If what I say is true, then merging the timelines will be so much harder than you initially thought.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: Mhm. That's true. If - for whatever reason - Gods is dead - then the timelines should be quite far apart.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: Yes. I'd suggest blowing up Australia as a merge condition.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: ...
(??:??)Xenocartographer: Well, not all of it, but a big enough detonation would have the intended effect. And in both timelines, you can get the Gaians to do it.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: It's the easiest way to overcome the pressure against the merge, I swear. I've done the math six different ways :/
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: So I need to get alternate past bloodshoes to tell alternate past me to blow up Australia. That's a tall order.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: You're a clever guy. I believe in you :)
(??:??)Xenocartographer: And... while we're talking about things I mysteriously know, here's another one.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: You'll see her again.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: I promise.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: ...
(??:??)Xenocartographer: I know about that, too. I can only imagine what you must be feeling.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: Let's face it, Eugene, you're a villain. You'll do anything to get what you want, right?
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: ...
(??:??)Xenocartographer: Well, ditto. And... here's your answer.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: You want Mattie back? Get fork!Pancake to kill Australia, then do the same thing in this timeline.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: The timelines merge, you run the world... hell, I can imagine the supreme admiral of the world would throw quite the wedding party.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: Alright.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: :)
(??:??)Xenocartographer: Hurry, though! I don't think you've told past!bloodshoes anything that should trigger a fork yet, but time will catch on eventually.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: Understood.
(??:??)Xenocartographer: Oh, and another thing. You still have an outstanding appointment with a white-themed typo guy.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: ...
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: So I do.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: I'll deal with him after... arranging for the death of a continent in another world.
(??:??)Admiral Pancake: How did my life come to this?
Leave a comment
[Unichat auxiliary records --]
Arbiter: Does in-story Arbiter get to see this page? Presumably he’s off the VOC mailing list or whatever, and I guess still in a chatroom with Delta in the Nowhere Dimension. But if he is seeing this, I can assure you he’s currently flipping his shit and setting his mood message to “Right about fucking everything.” edit delete reply
Arbiter: /mood Right about fucking everything. edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: I'm curious what you're thinking of. Maybe shoot me a PM? (This is non-antagonistic real-world Xeno, don't worry.) edit delete reply
Ravencorp: I dunno about y'all, but blowing up an inhabited continent, regardless of intent, seems like something we are morally obligated to stop. edit delete reply
Ravencorp: /query SonjaOfTheMoon

/log encrypt

Pancake was just informed by Xenocartographer that blowing up a large part of Australia would be beneficial to him (Pancake).

This may be a deliberate ruse by Xeno to stymie Pancake, but until proven otherwise, assume the two are in cahoots.

I hope you can find a way to use this information to stop said blowing up of a continent, that would be a very bad thing, both for the people living in Australia and basically everyone, since it will merge our timeline with one in which Pancake is in control. Gaians may be involved in the execution phase of their plan, perhaps that could interest the authorities into helping out.

Final thing, may I recommend holding any important conversations with your friends outside of Unichat? No communications here are truely secure it would seem, even encrypted conversations are visible with the right connections.

I can't say I fully understand the situation on the ground (so to speak), but what I do know is that blowing up continents is bad. Good luck, hopefully you can prevent what we cannot.

/log no-encrypt edit delete reply
Arbiter: I was working on that. Just combed through half the archive to find the command to create a new channel before realizing that we don’t ever seem to get to see one get created, so it’s never shown. So I guess I’ll just write what seems logical? If there is an actual command, I guess it should get substituted in instead.
/new channel #vague-omnipresent-jury
/invite [everyone in the #vague-omnipresent-council channel except Xenocartographer and Seabiscuit]
Some of you probably hate me right now, and I understand that. I kind of hate me too, to be honest.
But, well, if you haven’t seen this already, you really, really need to.
I’m a dick, and a traitor, and a terrible friend, but I’m not a goddamn genocidal maniac and you’re all currently working for someone who verifiably is.
We need to do something about this. Obviously we need to warn people, but I don’t know who even has the power to do anything about it or whether they’d even believe it, so I think there needs to be something else as well.
Can we exploit a shatterpoint to stop it? Ensure that Australia’s destruction would mean the premature death of someone integral to Gaia’s machinations?
Gambling with someone’s life is hard to stomach, but if we do nothing it will result in the deaths of countless more.
I know it’s only a matter of time before Xeno sees this, invited or no, and in fact I know she must have known we were going to react like this or she wouldn’t have let us see the log at all. So maybe we’re doing exactly what she wants, I don’t fucking know, but I still think we need to at least try to act.
I don’t know, guys, this is your call. You were always much better at the whole heroism thing than I am anyway.
Decide what you think is best, and I’ll do whatever you want. Even if you want me to go to Australia and get blown the fuck up.
Invite Seabiscuit to the discussion too, if you think that’s best. Does she deserve to know that her girlfriend is a literal supervillain, or is it better that she doesn’t find out? Or has she already seen this page anyway, making it a moot point? I don’t know, and I guess I didn’t think that was a judgement call I was qualified to make. I always was a terrible judge.
And besides, the world’s got enough judges, enough powerful people trying to call all the shots by themselves. Hell of a lot of good that did us. No one person deserves to have that much power.
If we really want justice, we need a jury. edit delete reply
((Delta)): /join #vague-omnipresent-jury
I'll see what I can do...
/leave #vague-omnipresent-jury
/message _RSPTN_ "You seem like the kinda maniac that can get things..."
/message _RSPTN_ I need a fleet of Russian aircraft in the air over Australia. Stat.
/setalias --alias="Silent Do-Good"
/message BBC_Official I want to whistle-blow on a Russian act of war against Australia.
/message Vladimir_Orlov If things go as I plan, I am going to owe you such an apology.
/message Admiral_Pancake Your Australia plans are about to get more... -Russian-
/message _RSPTN_ I don't know how, but Panak is planning to blow-up Australia, and set you up for it. Better get on that before you... you know... die.
/message Arbiter May have just started a three-way international incident... so how has your day been? Never mind, don't answer that... I don't actually care...
/message Xenocartographer Hope you don't mind if I try my hand at shaking things up a little... you can't have all the fun! That is, assuming I don't get existentially erased before my plans take effect, but I doubt there will be many people missing me if I did.
/message Xenocartographer By the way, I've been messaging you a lot, but we never officially met: I am Delta/Cassandra^-1/Padlock/Juss Wondrin'/Counselor/Good Samaritan/Inquisitor/Templar/Executor/Silent Do-Good. And I have come to Wreck. [Censored]. Up. edit delete reply
Arbiter: (In the jury channel, after Delta shows up and leaves.)
I didn’t invite him. edit delete reply
FallenLeaves: Well, the simplest way to invoke shatterpoint protection would possibly be to station pwnz, meta, Sonja and EP in different parts of Australia, but I think the main thing is that we actually need to coordinate what we're doing, rather than the usual pulling in different directions. Though come to think of it, meta's shatterpoint status appears to be complicated. edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: That would actually work, and I hadn't even thought of it. Sierra hotel. edit delete reply
Arbiter: This sounds like a really good idea, but as far as I can tell you aren't very interested in interacting with the comic, are you, Leaves? If not, could this idea get written into the in-canon discussion through some other means for the jury to discuss? edit delete reply
Seabiscuit: im not evil gosh edit delete reply
Arbiter: Arbiter didn’t leave you out of the conversation because he thought you were evil, but because he couldn’t bring himself to break the news about Xeno to you. edit delete reply
Seabiscuit: Haha fair~
I wonder how much comic sea knows
I get the feeling it's fuck all edit delete reply
Arbiter: That’s probably something you get to decide for yourself with your roleplay. edit delete reply
Seabiscuit: Also gosh I wake up to all this CONSPIRING

I love y'all edit delete reply
Ravencorp: /join #vague-omnipresent-jury

I've alerted Moon Girl and company as to the Australia plot (you may already have seen that conversation, I'm not sure), hopefully they can function as our boots on the ground.

One concern: our sole source of information has been revealed as quite likely a baddie, and as such is quite able to stop sending or modify the logs we see. How can we continue to function effectively with a compromised source? edit delete reply
Arbiter: (In-character response to Ravencorp.)
I wouldn't worry about that too much. I think I might have been overestimating how much control Xeno has over the contents of the logs, and who can and can't see them. If she can modify the logs, why wouldn't she try to make herself look better in this one? My only guesses are that she either doesn't have that ability, or she's basically decided that she doesn't need us as her allies anymore, so she no longer cares about alienating us.
If it's the first case then you're pretty much fine. The second case is more worrying, but even if she can mess with the logs, I doubt that she can actually lock you out entirely.
Otherwise, how am I even seeing this? I can think of no good reason why Xeno would allow an openly antagonistic party like myself to continue to view the logs, so the only explanations for why I'm not blind right now are either that Xeno can't actually block me, or that she tried to, but I managed to find some sort of loophole somehow.
I don't really understand how it works myself, but I'm trying to find out, and once I do I'll let you guys know as well.
In the meantime, maybe try to keep in contact with some helpful people on that side of the "Fourth Wall", like Sonja, meta, and maybe Rasputin as a last resort, who we can use to fact-check the veracity of the information we see in the logs. The people who aren't involved in those conversations won't see them until the log goes out, but if you're involved in the conversation personally you'll see the information in real time, leaving Xeno no time to fuck with it. Then if she modifies anything in the next log, you'll know.
OOC: I just exploited the comic's interactivity to create an in-universe workaround for an unreliable narrator. Unichat is the most complicated piece of metafiction ever. I need an Aspirin. edit delete reply
Ravencorp: OOC: Heh, at least you have some grasp on what's happening, I'm just sort of flailing around in the deep end of the plot. edit delete reply
Arbiter: Well, I should, I'm probably responsible for about 20% of the metafiction insanity. edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: Haha, if you have any questions, you can always ask over at the forum! Especially cos knowing that something's confusing lets me address it in the comic, haha edit delete reply
Ravencorp: Nah, I sort of like the idea of at least one of these cosmic meddlers having absolutely no clue what they've stuck their foot into. It's easier to pull off when I myself have no clue what I've stuck said foot into. edit delete reply
Pyre Light: /mood Should probably not be this entertained by my confusion.
/message services snackbot { item: popcorn, size: large, toppings: [ butter, salt, garlic ] } edit delete reply
Wildcat: If it makes you feel better, I haven't any clue what I've gotten myself into either. edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: Flattery, dear Arbiter, will get you nowhere. :) edit delete reply
((Delta)): /message Admiral_Pancake Glad to hear you are considering my proposal... never was a great fan of Australia, I doubt it will be missed all that much...
/message Xenocartographer Regardless of your intentions, I am appreciative of your - albeit, likely unintentional - aid. Should you ever need anything from me: all you have to do is call.
Oh, how I enjoy the views from my throne at the edges of existence~
Here's hoping that I can experience them for at least a little while longer...
edit delete reply
CONNECT 1200: And now it starts sounding like a Scottish folk song. Pretty Eugene, witty Eugene, would ye take the bait, O? edit delete reply
Steve the Mew hunter: And I thought living in Australia was bad for your health before. edit delete reply
Kid_Scyon: If blowing up Australia means killing all of their giant spiders, then I frankly don't see what the problem is. edit delete reply
Steve the Mew hunter: Thing is, there are cool things in Australia... but also koalas... so... I think it all lands slightly south of neutral, being a semi evil act. edit delete reply
Arbiter: Just to clarify, are we treating koala extinction as a pro or con? I’ve heard those things are actually far more dangerous than people think. edit delete reply
Steve the Mew hunter: They smell of detergent and death, to oblivion with them I say. edit delete reply
Seabiscuit: Man
"You'll see her again" and pancakes silence hit me right in the feels

But I snerked at wedding party

I wonder if pancake is trusting comic Xeno out of pure desperation edit delete reply
GeneralButtercrust: Always take Australia. What a brick. edit delete reply
GeneralButtercrust: Upon re-reading this comment section, I'm surprised no one else caught it. edit delete reply
Steve the Mew hunter: I just found that brick, it's hilarious, and I love it. edit delete reply
Little Guy: At least New Zealand sneaks out of it.

(hides in shirt) Don’t explode New Zealand! edit delete reply