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/message MrE what the hell are you doing?
/message reply someone who just realised they could try to find out which side they should be on.
(10:25)MrE: Much better.
(10:26)SansTheComic: you said we can "go deeper".
(10:27)MrE: We can indeed. If you're trying to choose a side, might'n't be prudent to know what sides there are?
(10:27)SansTheComic: well, there's the chess club.
(10:28)MrE: Do you consider them all the same side?
(10:28)SansTheComic: not really. rapsutin and vampire seem to be working together. the rest hate each other.
(10:29)MrE: Mhm. So it's necessary for a "side" to get along?
(10:29)SansTheComic: i guess.
(10:30)SansTheComic: they don't all want the same thing.
(10:31)MrE: Is that how you'd define a side?
(10:31)SansTheComic: i guess.
(10:31)SansTheComic: why are you asking me these cryptic questions?
(10:32)MrE: I prefer to teach by asking. May I assume you've seen the interactions between myself and my daughter?
(10:32)SansTheComic: some of them.
(10:33)MrE: Then you know it's not just you. :)
(10:34)SansTheComic: well. yes. a side is people that want the same thing.
(10:35)MrE: In the French Revolution, there were plenty of groups that all wanted "the same thing" in that they all wanted to replace the existing order. Nonetheless, squabbles between different factions limited the effectiveness of the entire revolution... until a leader emerged who could overcome all of them.
(10:36)MrE: Of course. Have you ever seen Monty Python's Life of Brian? I suppose that may have been before your time...
(10:36)SansTheComic: is there someone who can unite the chess club?
(10:37)MrE: Pancake could unite the others against him. Otherwise, I don't think so.
(10:37)SansTheComic: a straight answer...
(10:38)MrE: Do you see the chess club members as significant players?
(10:38)SansTheComic: probably. maybe not theo so much.
(10:39)SansTheComic: orlov is definitely up to something. and gods. and... xeno.
(10:39)MrE: Would you be so kind as to remind an old man who're you're talking about?
(10:40)SansTheComic: the mysterious lady that put us all in touch with you. somehow.
(10:40)SansTheComic: arbiter, too.
(10:42)SansTheComic: he used to be one of xeno's followers. now he's not. she calls him a "heathen traitor". it's kind of pathetic.
(10:43)SansTheComic: and then there's delta. they're... like xeno, i guess. mysterious. know things they shouldn't. kill people.
(10:44)MrE: They sound like quite the character.
(10:45)SansTheComic: they scammed xeno once.
(10:46)SansTheComic: yeah. they assassinated someone called padlock and used their account to pose as another follower.
(10:48)MrE: So the sides you see are... Pancake, OITHEOI, Respiration, Orlov, and three different unknown entities. Is that correct?
(10:50)MrE: I'm sorry. Rasputin and Vampire... Rasputin/Vampire -> Raspire - > Respire -> Respiration.
(10:50)MrE: OITHEOI was something of a geek before he turned so serious.
(10:50)MrE: Are there any others?
(10:51)MrE: I'm flattered, but no. My legacy now lies with another...
(10:52)SansTheComic: the kids. meta, alex, etc.
(10:53)MrE: Surely you can trust them, can't you? They've been dragged into this kicking and screaming... much as it sounds like you have.
(10:54)MrE: Their motives are unformed and dictated by their circumstances. They have little room for deception.
(10:55)SansTheComic: yeah, we're in the same boat there.
(10:56)SansTheComic: i guess i don't really consider them a side yet. they haven't done enough. they've all been reacting to things and talking about what they might do in the future.
(10:56)SansTheComic: no offense.
(10:56)MrE: None taken. You're correct that ordinary college students aren't likely to effect much wide-scale change, not with the powers arrayed against them... to say nothing of your cartographer.
(10:56)MrE: Can the same be said of you?
(11:03)SansTheComic: well. we've done things. like rescuing sonja.
(11:03)MrE: I was wondering how that came about.
(11:04)SansTheComic: i don't think we have a long-term plan.
(11:04)SansTheComic: she did most of the rescuing herself. we just helped.
(11:05)MrE: Meaning Sonja, not Xeno?
(11:06)SansTheComic: xeno hasn't done too much either, honestly. she's tried to get us to things... but i don't know how!
(11:06)SansTheComic: and she told pancake to nuke australia.
(11:06)SansTheComic: iirc, that's when arbiter really broke away.
(11:07)MrE: Why do you need to pick a side?
(11:08)SansTheComic: everyone's objectives are confusing. who's "right"?
(11:08)MrE: Why not yourself?
(11:08)SansTheComic: all i can do is talk to people. i don't even know if i exist physically in your world. it's confusing.
(11:09)MrE: So you're looking for a power base - someone whose objectives are compatible with yours, who can assist you in effecting change in the world.
(11:10)MrE: And just what are your objectives?
(11:17)SansTheComic: i don't know.
(11:18)MrE: Well, that may be your problem. You've identified your possible allies, but not what you're looking for in an ally.
(11:20)SansTheComic: it feels like we're supposed to do something. xeno set this all up for a reason. i don't know what it could possibly be.
(11:20)SansTheComic: or whether i should work with it or stop it. if she's ok with genocide, i probably don't want to work with her, but...
(11:21)MrE: There is a war on - a secret war between the chess club, threatening to break out into the open. Especially if Xeno has her way.
(11:23)SansTheComic: i guess stopping it would be good.
(11:24)SansTheComic: it feels so anticlimactic, though. all this buildup for a simple peacekeeping effort...
(11:25)SansTheComic: ep, sonja, and luke all talked about feeling important somehow. i think i get what they mean.
(11:25)SansTheComic: but that doesn't get me any closer to figuring out what my objectives are.
(11:26)MrE: Is there, by any chance, another side you've omitted from your analysis?
/message reply My objectives are moving on multiple fronts, but one major thing still eludes me. I can voyeurize Unichat logs as much as I want, but other forms of communication aren't so easy. Face-to-face communication... particularly so.
/message reply I need someone who can get some information on a certain party who prefers to keep their conversations offline. But they do have some online presence to mediate with those outside of their inner circle.
/message reply Reach out to those contact points. Ingratiate yourself to them. And do not talk to Arbiter's people about this. If they contact you, refuse to elaborate. I'm sorry, but too much Etamnanki noise is a good way to blow your cover.
/message reply Because the people in question are all Gaians.
/message reply That's up to you. Unum_Relicuum is one obvious lead. I've heard he's looking for more prophets.
/message reply Alternatively, Orlov may be willing to give you a list of names. Don't mention you're working with me, though.
/message reply Anything. The more I can learn about Gaia from this timeline, the better.
/message reply It really is more important than anything.
(11:28)MrE: Well, this has been very informative for me, at least. Have I been of any help with your question?