#    #    #   #    ###     ###     #    #      ##     ##### 
#    #    ##  #     #     #   #    #    #     #  #      #   
#    #    # # #     #     #        ######    ######     #   
#    #    #  ##     #     #   #    #    #    #    #     #   
 ####     #   #    ###     ###     #    #    #    #     #   
[Unichat log --]
System: Incoming private message from user KittenLicks:
(11:22)KittenLicks: Just be purrself! You've got this :3
/message reply Nnnnnnnnnn... ;^;
/message reply I'll of try...
(11:24)Seabiscuit: ;~~~~; M-my condolences... that's the worst most tragic thing I've heard in a long time
(11:24)Seabiscuit: B-buuut I'm your biggest fan and I'll totally help you in any way I can against Pancake I wanna sea him go down! B-but, I also want a guarantee I'll get that password...
(11:25)__RSPTN__: Oh, splendid! A rogue agent, beholden to no one but entrusting their services to me for their own mysterious reasons, is exactly the kind of intrigue I dreamed of as a child.
(11:25)__RSPTN__: Unfortunately, I don't know it.
(11:25)Seabiscuit: D: ?
(11:25)__RSPTN__: You want the authcode for the future wiki page on Gaians. I don't know it.
(11:25)__RSPTN__: "To know the future is to be enslaved by it." One of the few things Gods and I agree on is that that wiki is dangerous.
(11:26)Seabiscuit: O- oh...
(11:26)__RSPTN__: However, if you want to take the risk yourself... well, if anything truly disastrous comes up, I can always force a timeline fork. Or make Pancake do it. Hm, leverage...
(11:26)__RSPTN__: I could very easily be an "in" for you to get in contact with people who don't think as I do. There is, of course, the matter of reciprocity.
(11:27)Seabiscuit: ;^;
(11:27)Seabiscuit: What do you want me to do?
(11:28)__RSPTN__: Haven't we already been over this?
(11:28)Seabiscuit: D:
(11:28)Seabiscuit: This better not become some sort of cringey running joke, mister!
(11:28)__RSPTN__: :P
(11:29)__RSPTN__: The mere fact that you contacted me means you have some way of gathering information. Find out what Pancake's doing on the moon - perhaps pose as interested in supporting him; I've always had a thing for double agents - and report back to me.
(11:29)Seabiscuit: O- okay
System: Incoming private message from user Arbiter:
(11:30)Arbiter: I think OITHEOI wants me to [censored] with Rasputin, too. Let me forward you the log.
[Unichat log --]
System: Incoming private message from user Arbiter:
(11:23)Arbiter: If you attack the Сатирический, there's no way it goes well for you. You were right to think it was a trap. Gods doesn't want you to succeed, he just wants to play you and the other members of your little world domination society against each other. If you attack, you WILL encounter far more resistance than you were told to expect. And I wouldn't count on your shatterpoint protection, either. Did you really think the person you just ratted out to Gods would be a good choice to protect you?
/message Arbiter And who, exactly, are you?
System: Incoming private message from user Arbiter:
(11:24)Arbiter: There's another very good reason not to attack as well. You know your star programmer, the one who lives on the moon? If you attack that ship, you'll be hurting somebody who means a lot to one of her close friends. How eager do you think Sonja will be to help you with your little AI project once she finds out you were behind the attack? You know, the one that's supposedly for a video game? And she will find out, I guarantee it, because I'll be the one telling her.
/message reply Yet another pompous figure that likes to rant, apparently.
System: Incoming private message from user Arbiter:
(11:24)Arbiter: And right now, you need that AI more than ever, because you're not the only one of your friends who's got one anymore. You've got a spy working for you, and I can tell you exactly who it is and how much they've managed to do if you do the intelligent thing and leave that ship alone.
/message reply You could have lead with that and not run the risk of losing my interest.
System: Incoming private message from user Arbiter:
(11:24)Arbiter: Will you shut up for a moment?
System: Incoming private message from user Arbiter:
(11:25)Arbiter: Here's the deal I'm proposing. You agree not to attack the Сатирический and tell me absolutely everything you know about Gaia (never mind why that information is important to me, I have my reasons just as you have yours.) In return, I tell you exactly how Gods has been [censored]ing you over and who the spy is, and I DON'T tell Sonja or her friends what you were planning to do. Oh, and you get the added bonus of not making the biggest mistake of your life. How does that sound?
/message reply I would gladly not attack that ship, for I suspect that Gods is preparing to double-cross me. Unfortunately, as you have indicated awareness of, I have arranged for protections to ensure the attack succeeds.
System: Incoming private message from user Arbiter:
(11:26)Arbiter: Do you really trust Rasputin to do what he says?
/message reply Ah, you know less than you pretend.
System: Incoming private message from user Arbiter:
(11:26)Arbiter: You really think he's any less likely to backstab you than Gods is?
/message reply Yes.
System: Incoming private message from user Arbiter:
(11:26)Arbiter: Oh.
/message reply And, unfortunately, now that I've arranged that protection, I must follow through with the attack. Unless your understanding of time is as poor as yours of Rasputin, you'll understand.
System: Incoming private message from user Arbiter:
(11:28)Arbiter: That's for me to know and you to figure out.
/message reply Fair enough.
/message reply Frankly, I don't know if Rasputin can reverse what he's done, but if he can, he's unlikely to. He'll want to preserve the ambiguity.
System: Incoming private message from user Arbiter:
(11:29)Arbiter: So there's nothing we can do?
/message reply That depends on what, exactly, he's done. I can't easily find out, but an autonomous agent with no apparent entanglement to anyone might stand better odds.
/message reply Depending on the specifics, there may be a loophole, such that we can both satisfy the requirements he's imposed on the timeline while leaving Gods' objectives unmet.
[Unichat log --]
/message Arbiter -snerk-
[Unichat log --]
/message bloodshoes Good day, professor. I must ask your forgiveness for my inexcusable silence in the weeks since our first chat, but the work for my research absorbs most of my free time, and I had to elaborate on the valuable information you gave me before asking for more.
/message bloodshoes I'm afraid what I've managed to conclude on Gaian history still isn't enough for my purposes, though your insight was certainly helpful. If it is at all possible, I'd like to have more information on Gaia, as seen by the lower strata of the organization (though if there's more that you feel you need to add on the upper echelon's views, you're quote welcome to do so).
/message bloodshoes I thank you in advance.
System: Incoming private message from user bloodshoes:
(12:03)bloodshoes: hey, i'm in something of a hurry right now - do you know when my offices hours are?
System: Incoming private message from user bloodshoes:
(12:03)bloodshoes: but this one's simple
System: Incoming private message from user bloodshoes:
(12:04)bloodshoes: the gaian rank-and-file, no matter what attitudes their leaders may have in private, believe that gaia is a welcoming psychopomp, sheparding humanity towards the next age
System: Incoming private message from user bloodshoes:
(12:04)bloodshoes: and you can either join it and die, or be left behind...
System: Incoming private message from user bloodshoes:
(12:05)bloodshoes: they're convinced that human extinction is the best outcome, and killing unbelievers an act of mercy
System: Incoming private message from user bloodshoes:
(12:05)bloodshoes: their indoctrination camps are far more effective than they should be - i can give you an article about that if you want, fascinating stuff - but, fortunately, mostly bombed
System: Incoming private message from user bloodshoes:
(12:05)bloodshoes: of course, there are the peaceful gaians who don't really buy into that ideology and are mostly regarded as posers, but they're not so interesting :P
/message reply Maybe, maybe not. It can't hurt to talk about them.
System: Incoming private message from user bloodshoes:
(12:06)bloodshoes: hmmmmmm
System: Incoming private message from user bloodshoes:
(12:06)bloodshoes: one sec, there's someone at my door
[Unichat log --]
(12:47)System: User DeepDark is joining #vague-omnipresent-council).
(12:47)DeepDark: This is, again, not a gift, nor is the help I give uninterested. My purposes require that you unlock the secret page and act based upon the knowledge within. My objectives, though, are time-sensitive, and I have other matters to attend to.
(12:47)DeepDark: I expect from you all a concerted effort, of which I know you are capable.
(12:47)DeepDark: Do not ask why. Some of you want to save the world. Others want to see an happy ending for the actors on stage. Others still have no reason at all.
(12:47)DeepDark: My purposes are mine, and mine alone.
(12:47)System: User DeepDark has disconnected.
(12:49)KittenLicks: So... any idea who the fur that was?
(12:49)Xenocartographer: Not the slightest.
Leave a comment
[Unichat auxiliary records --]
Xenocartographer (Official Note): Troll comments removed; apologies to those who saw that.
Seabiscuit: Curses!! He was pulling my leg all along. Alas! I'm still his biggest fan tho.
Omg, Theo's reaction tho

...bLOODSHoes ... ;^;

Arbiter!! You and me, dude!! We HAVE to save MrE....
I must think about this.... edit delete reply
Arbiter: After getting roasted by Theo, I'm a bit afraid to try to meddle in the affairs of people who clearly know so much more about how this narrative world functions again. Nonetheless, it seems that I have to.
"Now that I've arranged that protection, I must follow through with the attack." Okay, this seems to suggest to me that Raspy's shatterpoint protection basically sets certain timeline events in stone. If Theo doesn't attack, he'll create a paradox? That's my guess, anyway. Okay, cool. So now we know a bit more about shatterpoints, which is good.
Now, how do we gain any information at all from Rasputin? I have a few ideas, but I'm not very confident in any of them...
1. Seabiscuit can agree to spy on Pancake only if Rasputin gives us information about the situation regarding the Сатирический. But is information about what's going on with Pancake really valuable enough to Raspy for that deal to work?
2. I claim I have a loved one aboard the Сатирический and just outright ask for help. But would an appeal to emotion even work on a guy like Rasputin? And if we keep addressing characters and referring to information we shouldn't have any way of knowing, is it going to come back and bite us?
3. I claim to be from several decades in the past (not technically even a lie,) and I've somehow managed to access a program that shouldn't exist until 2083 on my computer due to some sort of weird time shenanigans. I'm freaked out and I want to figure out why this happened, thus gathering time travel information from Rasputin. Of course, as before, what's to say Raspy would even give a crap about my plight? And there's a good chance he knows too much about how time works to fall for it anyway. edit delete reply
Seabiscuit: Haha~~~
Maybe I'll ask Rapsy how much he's okay with me sharing...
I mean, there must be a loophole to whatever shatterpoint thing he's done!
I wonder how the loved one bit would go down... I mean, he has vampire~ ;^;
(Pretending to be from the past would be hilarious, but I kinda doubt Theo would buy it bwahah~) edit delete reply
Arbiter: I think we might be able to gain some information about what to do just by analyzing what the parties here seem to want. As far as we can tell, Theo needs to carry out the attack, but doesn't want Gods to get what he wants. We want to save MrE. Rasputin presumably wants to meet the requirements Gods gave him so that he'll get pardoned for his involvement in the Nauticus affair, and Gods said that in order to do that, Theo has to be prevented from attacking the ship before it docks. So the question is, what does Gods want? He told Theo to destroy it and told Rasputin not to let it get destroyed, so who does he really want to succeed? Does he actually want either of them to succeed, or does he just want them to attack each other?

Gods said that there was cargo aboard the ship that he was interested in. Was that a lie, or the truth? Does Gods want whatever the ship's carrying to be preserved, or does he want it destroyed? Could the "cargo" be MrE himself? Of I had to guess, it seems more likely that Gods wants Rasputin to succeed, because surely he must know that Raspy's weird time powers should give him an edge in this situation.

The shatterpoint protection Theo got from Rasputin means that Theo has to attack, but it doesn't look like it's in Raspy's best interests for that attack to succeed. So it seems that Raspy wants Theo to attempt to destroy the ship, but fail. If Gods really does want the cargo on the ship to be preserved, then there's a way for us, Theo, and Rasputin to all get what we want. Theo attempts a halfhearted attack on the ship which is easily prevented by Rasputin. We can execute this in such a way that Theo, who knows what's coming, can minimize losses. The ship is protected so Rasputin has fulfilled his end of the deal, and MrE is safe so our goals are met. But if Gods wants that cargo, then in order to appease Theo that cargo has to be destroyed. Perhaps we can ensure that it gets destroyed after the ship docks, in such a way that we can avoid casualties?

But we need to find out if any such cargo exists first. In order to do so, I think I should contact MrE. The information will probably be confidential, but I know that he understands that his life is in danger, so I should be able to convince him to tell me.

As for Rasputin, I think the best option is for you to offer to trade information about Pancake for information about the shatterpoint protection, Seabiscuit. It might not work, but if it doesn't we'll be in no worse situation than we are now.

So what do you guys think? Any concerns, or should I go ahead and contact MrE? edit delete reply
Seabiscuit: Yes, keep messing with Theo and/or Raspy! MrE is counting on us! ;~~~;

"So the question is, what does Gods want?"

Right? Dude is a total mystery. I figure he just wants the two of them to fight, but... Letting Rasputin know he was gonna start trouble with him and Theo is a bit weird. IDK. I guess he wants to get rid of MrE, maybe?... We don't know enough about MrE except that he's retired. But, presumably, he could stop 'certain things' and come out of retirement if need be, and is thus a threat? We must save him and find out...

"But we need to find out if any such cargo exists first. In order to do so, I think I should contact MrE."

True, we don't know what else is on the ship~...I really think it's just mrE though ;^; You can try though~ But Pester Theo too maybe?~

From where he is, I think it's hopeless. I mean, he seems to know he's in danger already, but doesn't seem able to save himself? It's too late from his end, I think. It's totally up to us!

"As for Rasputin, I think the best option is for you to offer to trade information about Pancake for information about the shatterpoint protection, Seabiscuit. It might not work, but if it doesn't we'll be in no worse situation than we are now."

Yes, just what I was thinking~~

Let's sea...

/Message __RSPTN__ Ahh- You want to be my 'in'? You really want me to give away what I know about you to Pancake? Pancake??
/Message __RSPTN__ Also, more than the password... There's something else. The Satirical. Are there any loopholes to what you've done? The Shatterpoint Protection. I'm not asking *how* it works or anything, mind; Um, in exchange, there's... I know what Pancakes next moves are.

-If- Raspz 'Okays' it in the first message, I'll go pester Pancake~

/message "Admiral Pancake" Hello there. You don't know me, but I'm a potentially valuable asset. I have a lot of information to offer on Rasputin as proof.
/message "Admiral Pancake" For example, he's extended his shatterpoint protection to Theo for blowing up a ship that, unknownst to both of them, contains MrE. GOO has set them both up to start trouble with each other, telling Theo to blow it up and Rasputin to stop him. edit delete reply
SansTheComic: do you think he might find BoQF and this other random stranger both suddenly popping up and wanting to tell him stuff suspicious? edit delete reply
Seabiscuit: @Sans...

;^;.... edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: I guess we'll find out soon enough! edit delete reply
Dellis: I may be able to shed some light on Gods' purposes. I'll try to add something.

I've been rereading the archive, and trying to figure out Gods' actions. Maybe I've got something.

Go back to the D-minus 3 update. Meta asks her father if he's taking any risks telling her he's going to board a warship to come home. MrE answers he's not going to be in any danger, since the channel is encrypted and only MrE and Meta themselves can read it.

Apart from Unichat administrators. GodsOfOlympus.

If the cargo he's referring to is just MrE, then he might need him ALIVE.

GOO's actions make sense if his goal is not to sink the Satirical and kill MrE, but just to create a situation in which he can whisk him away without much notice.

He needs confusion, so he orders OITHEOI to attack. He needs that attack not to succeed (for obvious reasons of MrE being kinda dead if it does), so he asks Rasputin to thwart it.
In the confusion that ensues, he gets MrE, so he can control Meta, who we know is one of the "four shatterpoints" that composes the Conspiracy of Light. Or just throw her off balance enough to start a chain reaction of events.

If this is true... MrE's life might not even be in danger. Well, saving him from abduction is still worthy of an attempt, especially if something goes horribly wrong and MrE dies accidentally (I'm looking at you, you evil mapmaker).

On the other hand, what if these events, albeit sad, are required for Meta to achieve shatterpoint status, or just to get into her motivation enough to ask his friends to stop the Chess Club? Are we... actually doing the right thing by helping her?

GOO is, by his own definition, a person of justice. What if he's trying to do the right thing? What if...

Darn, I wish I hadn't read the first future wiki, now I'm full of doubts. Rasputin was right. Knowing too much binds you.

Apart from my philosophical woes, does this check out? I'm posting at 4 AM, and I'm not known for my attention to detail. Psychology is more my field (I'm looking at you Theo, and at your attempts to throw us off balance u.u). edit delete reply
Dellis: @Arbiter: don't worry about meddling and getting roasted. It cannot be helped, we're blundering in the dark here, with too little information to really contend on even terms with any of the Chess Club members. Still, we must: we have very few comics before the assault to the Satirical starts by my guesstimate, so we cannot act with caution as our ignorance of the situation would demand, a life is at stake (and Meta's tears).

I for one think your interaction with OITHEOI gave us some interesting information, mainly insight into shatterpoints.

Do not be fooled by his derision. He's just trying to throw you off-balance: you're someone who, out of the blue, seems to know a lot of every Chess Club member's plans. We've got something he wants, and he's got nothing on us, worse, he's being coerced into doing something very dangerous for him. It's in his best interest that this attack does not go as Gods plans, and for that he needs us.

He's the one in the trap: by belittling your knowledge of how the world works, he attempts to establish an air of superiority that enables him to obtain more out of you.

Don't fall for his psychological tricks, you did fine. edit delete reply
Arbiter: @Dellis Thanks for the vote of confidence, buddy! I feel a lot better about this now. And your analysis of Gods' actions makes SO MUCH SENSE. It seems more likely now than ever that MrE is the cargo, but I'd better check to be sure. The only thing is, if I send a message to MrE to try to warn him or find out if there really is anything else aboard we should know about, will Gods see that too? He's probably watching MrE like a hawk right now, and I don't want him to figure out if we're on to him.
/message OITHEOI I'm still working to find out more, but there are a few things I think we can deduce about what Rasputin has done given what I know about the situation. I can tell you what I know, but first: given who we're dealing with here, are you sure we can talk without him finding out? I have reason to suspect he may have more access to our conversations than he'd like us to believe.
If Theo assures me it's safe to talk, I'll tell him that Gods has told Rasputin to protect the Сатирический and that it seems likely that Rasputin has set things up so that the attack will take place but fail. I'll advise Theo to make a halfhearted attack attempt and prepare to pull away as soon as he encounters resistance so he can minimize his losses, because it seems unlikely that what Rasputin's done will allow him to win. I will NOT tell him about MrE, because if Theo wants to thwart Gods' plans and he suspects Gods wants him alive he might try to kill or kidnap him himself. I will however contact MrE to ask him if the ship is carrying anything else and warn him that he might be kidnapped if I have good reason to believe Gods won't be able to spy on us after speaking with Theo. edit delete reply
SansTheComic: deliberately held back on sending another message to GOO so this one wouldn't be too long :P

edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: I don't necessarily respond to messages immediately, so while the thought's appreciated, you needn't worry in the future. :) edit delete reply
SansTheComic: ... we're sending messages through time here, right? so... there's literally no reason to mention that these ones were sent a few weeks later from our perspective, right? couldn't DeepDark just send messages to right after bloodshoes' reply? edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: Correct. From bloodshoes' perspective, those messages came in close succession... and DD's implying otherwise will start to have ramifications before page 100. edit delete reply
SansTheComic: speaking of bloodshoes... he's not gonna come back. there's probably a trope somewhere about it, but i just know that if I try looking for it, i'll click on this other interesting link and be seen four months later five months older and dressed in a loincloth and reading snow tropes. edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: Poor bloodshoes. edit delete reply
Arbiter: So, I just noticed that Xeno's post in the vague omnipresent council channel had a legit time stamp this time. Does this mean he isn't in the other dimension anymore? edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: I wonder if there's anyone else who might be able to answer that for you. Say, a different version of someone you've already talked to about it... edit delete reply
Arbiter: Good idea. I think I'll wait a bit before doing that though, I've already got this whole situation with Theo to deal with and I don't want to fill this comic with even more indigo. edit delete reply
Dellis: Aaand now you're making me feel bad for filling it with DellisColor.

... And this very post of mine just makes things worse! XD edit delete reply
Dellis: On the other hand, at least I've filled only the comment section with it, the actual comic is still safe. edit delete reply
SansTheComic: maybe we should ease off on sending messages pseudo-randomly and actually figure out what to do. the problem is, whatever information we get from the chess-players, we need to give some of ~equal value for to the giver, giving them an edge over the others in the club.
so we have to try and do this for enough people that no one person has too big an edge over the others, but without them all figuring out what's going on. the last thing we need is more of:
/message Seabiscuit You wouldn't happen to know a user operating under the alias KittenLicks, would you?
because if they suspect there's a different conspiracy thats trying to play them off against each other and team up... welp, everything goes to hell and we're screwed. edit delete reply
Arbiter: I agree completely. When we interfere in the story, we should never mention each other when conversing with the other characters. For all they know, we are all free agents, and we don't have any sort of affiliation with each other at all. DNAU has told Pancake that the vague omnipresent council exists but we shouldn't give any of them any clues as to its membership. I also think we should avoid individually messaging too many different chess club members. I know I'm not one to talk, because I've already messaged both Gods and Theo and I'll likely have to message MrE soon too, but if I can at all avoid it I will never directly contact Pancake, Vampire, or Rasputin because if they talk to each other and figure out I've contacted not just one but all of them they're going to be even more suspicious of me than before. edit delete reply
Seabiscuit: "but if I can at all avoid it I will never directly contact Pancake, Vampire, or Rasputin because if they talk to each other and figure out I've contacted not just one but all of them they're going to be even more suspicious of me than before."

You could always use an alt~ ;) edit delete reply
Unichat © Patrick Coffman | Hosted on ComicFury