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Updates Wednesday and Saturday at 8:30 PM EST
[Unichat log --]

(18:44)FallenLeaves: Ambidex... Why does that sound familiar?

(18:45)MrE: Maybe you don't know her. I'm not omniscient.

(18:46)FallenLeaves: No, I know I've seen it somewhere...

(18:48)FallenLeaves: Right! An alternate universe Theo mentioned an Ambidex leading a rebel cell.

(18:48)FallenLeaves: There was also a Trickster.

(18:50)MrE: The hero of India leading a rebel cell? I can see it. The other name's not ringing a bell.

(18:51)FallenLeaves: So... what went down in India?

(18:52)FallenLeaves: Actually, scratch that.

(18:52)MrE: I assume you're aware of the general outline?

(18:53)MrE: ?

(18:54)FallenLeaves: First of all, could you give a quick precis of the current geopolitical situation?

(18:54)FallenLeaves: Second, what assets are available to each chess club member? (Both physical and otherwise)

(18:55)MrE: Well. Let me ask you a question in return. You're not from now, are you?

(18:55)FallenLeaves: ...That's a good question. Something something Etamnanki.

(18:56)FallenLeaves: I think I'm from 2018.

(18:56)MrE: Well, we already expected you were from another timeline. Did you know Theo's tracked some very interesting transmissions involving one of your friends?

(18:57)FallenLeaves: Steve's a Xenaomi loyalist.

(18:58)MrE: Isn't that a shame?

(18:59)MrE: Anyway.

(18:59)MrE: I'll focus my answer on how things currently are, rather than how they got there, though some of the latter is unavoidable.

(19:00)FallenLeaves: Go ahead.

(19:05)MrE: As you know, the Gaian attacks focused almost exclusively on high-tech computer hubs, and supporting infrastructure. South Korea, Japan, India, and parts of China were among the hardest hit. The United States had fallen significantly behind on the global tech scene after the catastrophes of the late 10s and early 20s. Germany and France have been all but removed as sovereign entities. Gaia also struck lower on the food chain, destroying many of the technologically relevant raw materials in Africa, leading to a neo-diaspora...

(19:08)MrE: ...The Gaian attacks also aimed to destroy nuclear weapons across the globe. For a variety of reasons, the threat of large-scale nuclear war is... less than in your time, although there are roughly a dozen broken arrows than I'm aware of. To give credit where credit is due, they did carefully preserve the existing balance of nuclear power. America maintains its oversized army, though, obviously, they're as hamstrung as anyone...

(19:10)MrE: ...Russia had the raw industrial power to fill the vacuum, no pun intended, left by the ruined tech industry. Things are nowhere near where they used to be, of course. Russia is a somewhat more modern place than you're used to, and not actually particularly tyrannical. An honest-to-Gods popular uprising helped on that front...

(19:11)MrE: Does that answer your question?

(19:11)FallenLeaves: Broken arrow?

(19:12)MrE: A captured nuclear weapon.

(19:13)FallenLeaves: Wonderful.

(19:13)FallenLeaves: In some ways, your technology seems even further behind than I'd imagine. I mean, Doom was released in 1993.

(19:14)MrE: Huh?

(19:15)FallenLeaves: One of our people is thinking of sending it to the kids to see if they can get it to run.

(19:15)MrE: Huh.

*(19:15)MrE shrugs.*

(19:16)MrE: I think you'll run into CPU architectural differences, but I suppose it's worth a try.

(19:16)FallenLeaves: And the chess club?

(19:17)MrE: Pancake was the best equipped until Sonja crashed his space station. He still has billions of dollars to his name, and the moon, not to mention the ability to make minions at will. You're aware of that, right?

(19:18)FallenLeaves: Sort of. We know he can, not the details of how.

(19:19)MrE: Cloning vats and Etamnanki personality duplication. They usually use Mattie as a base with whatever modifications are appropriate for the new unit.

(19:20)FallenLeaves: Is that going to work now that she's dead?

(19:22)MrE: I would imagine so. Personality data is just data. Before you ask, no, they can't just bring her back. There's always degeneration each time you transfer a personality.

(19:23)FallenLeaves: Like JPEGs.

(19:24)MrE: Sure.

(19:27)MrE: Theo has private military connections, including actual fighter squadrons. My understanding is they consist mostly of retrofitted stunt jets - not military equipment, but he can hold his own under favorable conditions. He runs an extensive criminal network to keep his equipment relatively up to date, but his intentions are generally acceptable.

(19:28)MrE: Rasputin and Vampire are both embedded in Russia, with the Gaians and Orlov respectively. Precisely how much force they can bring to bear is unknown. Probably less than the other two, or they'd have exploited his shatterpoint status and her mind control powers for an easy win.

(19:29)MrE: GodsOfOlympus, obviously, runs Unichat. This gives him a near-monopoly on long-range comms, again courtesy of our Gaian friends. Unichat uses naval assets for its servers and it's known he's got the equivalent of a carrier group tucked away in various "unarmed" ships.

(19:34)FallenLeaves: Wow.

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[Unichat auxiliary records --]
Xenocartographer (Official Note): Wednesday's update didn't happen because I wanted to hear my professor talk to an auditorium about AI and forgot what day it was, then I was busy and depressed so I couldn't make up for it, but anyway have the continuation of Leaves and MrE unichatting
Arbiter: Xeno, you don’t have to apologize for missing an update, we get that you’re busy and if there are mental health considerations you shouldn’t feel ashamed for putting those first. Your personal well-being is more important than a comic, even a really good one like Unichat.
~
Anyway, Council confirmed for time interlopers! And apparently we’re from a time period which will be remembered in 60 years as subject to “catastrophes”, at least in the United States. It’s a good thing that Unichat is a work of fiction with absolutely no real-life parallels whatsoever, right? Heh.
Based on the information here, I’m going to guess that my theory about India being a Gaian theocracy was wrong. They clearly weren’t the only ones who got hit. It does make me wonder how they were able to launch such a deadly offensive though. They went from nonexistent to global threat in 60 years, what kind of religion grows that fast? Where the fuck did they get their resources from? I imagine Gaia itself must have gotten involved, but it’s troubling that this eldritch abomination which presumably always existed only started messing with reality about half a century before the events of the story. Or maybe it just became more blatant about it? That’s even scarier honestly.
I have a little headcanon about this. It stands to reason that Arbiter would probably try to do something to stop all this stuff from happening in his timeline. Maybe he inexpertly cobbles together a website warning people that Gaia is coming, and that they should watch out. But because nobody knows what that means, everybody just thinks he’s a crazy conspiracy theorist and the whole thing just gets memed to hell like Time Cube. But then, because of everybody making fun of it, it becomes more well-known, until a few people start to believe it and try to contact Gaia, which actually works. In other words, Arbiter is so reckless and incompetent that his attempt to stop the Cult of Gaia from existing actually ends up creating it, and if that doesn’t sum up his character completely I don’t know what does. edit delete reply
SansTheComic: i guess it's good we haven't missed a faction completely. anyway, just another reminder that i made a timeline thingy here edit delete reply
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