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    Sending messages in to the ether...

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    Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by elanya on 29/03/10, 09:21 pm

    Hello,

    I'm contacting you to follow up on a message a friend of mine, [Chrys's username/however she signed the email], sent you on [date], about the Coppernican Red Book. It turns out that someone, I don't know who, had sent her a copy, maybe one of the fakes or partial ones.

    Not to get overly personal, but she was murdered a few days ago, and me and some other friends are trying to figure out why, since the cops don't seem to care. I don't know if this book is related or not, but your page is one of the few I've found that has any relevant information, and I know that she'd tried to get in contact with you as well. There are a lot of weird things going on right now, and I can't shake the feeling that this is at least somehow related.

    I know this is probably kind of weird and might come across as a little desperate, but I'm willing to cop to that - this is kind of weird, and I'm desperate. But honestly, anything you can tell me about this book, or any of the stuff she mentioned in the dreams she describe in the email (we also found some paintings showing the tower she talked about) would be really great.

    Thanks, any help appreciated,

    -Simon M

    Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. - Rudyard Kipling
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by Josh on 31/03/10, 03:54 pm

    Let me begin by offering my sincere condolences about your friend. I know nothing I can say would help, but unfortunately I do know what you are going through. Its cliche to ask if there's anything I can do, so I'll just do my best to answer your questions.

    First of all, I'd advise you to keep as quiet as possible about the book. This isn't the first time I've heard of violence connected to them, so the fewer people who know about its whereabouts, the better. To be fair, I suppose you could take the opposite tack and advertise the fact that you have the book to hide in the spotlight. Even if the copy you have is not one of the originals, its possible it will draw unwanted attention.

    As to its authenticity, there's a simple and, admittedly, odd solution: microwave the book, ten seconds or so. The Red Journal should respond to heat, and microwaving will heat the entire thing enough for the text to show throughout. I know, its bizarre, but, if its the real thing, the test should prove it.

    To comment on your friend's dreams, and this tower image, I'm going to have to track down some leads, but I have a hunch about its meaning. In the interest of not putting you in the same danger your friend was exposed to, I'll wait until I have a better handle on the situation to let you know. I'm not trying to be cryptic; this is honestly for your safety. I promise I will get back to you as soon as I know more.

    Towards that same end, let me know if anything else odd happens. The Journals have a tendency to, pardon the paraphrasing, exist in interesting times. Be careful, keep me updated, and I'll do the same.

    - childofdenial

    Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace. -Buddha
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by elanya on 31/03/10, 06:06 pm

    (At what point would I have gotten this response back? Pre-Eitri? Pre-Odin? after the last session? Merci!)
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by Josh on 31/03/10, 06:37 pm

    (This would have been after the last session. We'll run through talking to Eitri next game, but assume some down time afterwards, during which this e-mail conversation is occurring.)
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by elanya on 31/03/10, 07:05 pm

    (Oh, heh, I mean the *first* Eitri conversation, but that still tells me what I need to know :) Simon is going to redirect this conversation through the Webskald account, and remove metadata references to the original address. RE: Fwd: Re: etc ;)

    Thank you, both for your response and your condolences. I haven't even had a chance to think about the book, but I'll look in to it. As an aside, apparently the Green Book is also being held locally.

    Things have gotten a lot more complicated since I first contacted you - both a lot stranger, and a lot more dangerous. To that end, I'm going to try and reclaim some of my fragile net-anonymity, and I'd appreciate it if you could delete the email I sent from my other address, even if you don't plan to respond to this one. On the 'upside' of things, I know who killed my friend. I don't even know where I'd start to explain if I even knew what I should say, but on the off chance, have you ever heard of a group who calls themselves the Nephilim?

    Again, I really appreciate any insight I can get, at this point. I feel like I really only know enough to know that I don't know enough.

    -Webskald

    Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing. - Rollo May
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by Josh on 31/03/10, 11:25 pm

    I'm sorry to hear things haven't improved, but I can assume you're far enough down the rabbit hole to know that 'normal' is going to be a foreign concept in the future. My condolences again. Don't worry about the e-mail; it and any references thereto are gone. That said, I'd be wary of the way in which you disclose information. Mentioning the location of the Green Journal is the kind of information that helps narrow any search for you. I say this not to scare or threaten, but just remind you to watch out for that sort of thing.

    I guess I'll start with the leads I tracked down from last time. I assume I can dispense with any attempt at convincing you of the veracity of this seemingly insane information, as there's no way for you to verify what I've found, at least for the moment. In any event, I believe the tower dreams are a good indication that your friend belonged to a particular lineage related to the Journals. That either sounds completely crazy, or make perfect sense. I'll let you decide which one. If its the latter, I can send you some more information.

    Now, the Nephilim, well, considering the fact that you said the group refers to itself by that name, I can only assume you mean the contemporary organization and not the biblical reference, though they certainly do. I've run into them a few times now, and I suggest you avoid them if possible. They're dangerous and fanatical, at least the one's I've had the displeasure of meeting. They think they have a direct line to a friend upstairs and try to recruit people like your friend. If they've made the pitch to you, you know what I'm talking about.

    I know how confusing all this stuff can be; let me know if you need more information, and I'll put together what I can.

    The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. - Socrates
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by elanya on 01/04/10, 10:09 am

    Thanks.

    Things have been escalating really quickly over here, as I've said, and I'm working up sense of what I can and can't afford to let out. I mostly mentioned the Green Book in case it is significant at all, because you've been helpful so far, and honestly I don't think it gives you in particular any more information that what you already had, if you were really inclined to pry. Also, and this might make more sense to you than it does to me at this point, but I'm starting to develop a sense of when people, or new contacts, are more significant than others.

    I do know my friend's lineage. We actually met her (real?) father at the memorial service, though that was before we had any idea what was really going on. As for the Nephilim, yeah, the modern group, and they made one sort of half-hearted quasi-pitch in between attempts to kill us. Unfortunately I don't think that avoiding them is going to be possible, as they apparently decided to go on the offensive well before we even knew what was happening.

    At this point, we're muddling through the best we can. We've got some local help, but input from a less biased (or, no offense, at least a differently biased) source is great. You seem to know a lot more than I do, but I don't know what your angle is in this. Still, I realize that there is some risk for you in talking to me as well, and again, thanks. I'd like to talk to you more, but I'm not sure at this point how much I should be bringing in to the open (relatively speaking).

    Necessity is the mother of "taking chances." - Mark Twain
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by Josh on 05/04/10, 04:38 am

    Met her real father? Interesting. What did he say, if I can ask?

    On that note, I’ll cop to being differently biased (we all are), but let me state that, as far as it seems, we’re on the same side. Our shiny parents call, we answer, we help. That’s the long and the short of it, at least in my experience. That said, you have a fair point in wondering what my stake is. Other than generally being on the side of the world (life is a happy), I’m trying to make sure as little fallout from this big conflict lands on, well, us.

    In an effort to arm you with the only true weapon I have in this fight, and to help convince you I’m trying to help, here’s what I have on the Nephilim. I apologize that its fragmentary, as the vagaries of my increasingly hectic life has served to keep me away from my dear, dear archives. I digress.

    The Nephilim seem to have begun operating as a group at least four years ago. They ran roughshod through a hotel in Manhattan on January 6, 2006, killing 12 people, including, I believe, one of us. That was probably their ‘loudest’ operation; I shudder to think they’ve refined their technique since then. Not to mention, that was only four of them, and there are, as far as I can figure, eight of them now. They’ve confined themselves to mostly attempting to recruit or kill as many of us as they can find, though those two things aren’t mutually exclusive. Occasionally, they seem to pursue goals outside their stated agenda, attempting to recover specific artifacts or the like. They seem to mostly contain their ventures to North America, though I’ve had reports of individual members working in South America, Europe and the Middle East. I can’t find an over-arching plot here, but keep reading, and I think you’ll agree there’s more here than mindless violence (mindful violence, perhaps, but I’ll let you decide).

    Here’s the cliff’s notes on what I know about the individual members:

    Kevin Patteson, age 28, born in Albany New York, graduated with honors from Harvard in 2004, dropped out of seminary a year later. He disappeared for about a year, showing up again to lead the attack in New York. Seems to be in charge, though claims to answer to Michael. Militant but apparently persuasive, classic cult leader personality. They couldn’t have designed him better. Keeps mostly off the grid for now, letting the other members do the heavy lifting, as it were.

    Margaret Adler, age 28, born in Sicily to U.S. Army personnel. Followed her parents into the service immediately following high school, served a tour each in Iraq and Afghanistan as a combat medic. Was stationed in the States in 2005, went A.W.O.L. after meeting Patteson. She seems to operate as their field leader, such as it is, organizing operations. Not that it matters much, but she also seems to exercise a bit more restraint than most of the rest.

    Patrick Shane, age 24, born in Boston, Massachusetts, long string of juvenile and early adult convictions for violent behavior and crimes against property. Blunt instrument, as far as I can tell, though I’ve seen him in action and let me advise you to keep him in sight at all cost.

    Alan Bidwell, age 25, born in Chico, California, until disappearing in 2005, a model student at CSU-Chico. Studied psychology, records somewhat hard to come by. All that said, took part in the New York massacre, and seems to have escalated from there. Has shown a marked fascination with death and injury, occasionally including self-inflicted wounds.

    Morgan Bhatnagar, age 27, born in New York City. Attended multiple private schools growing up, eventually going on to ‘earn’ a degree in meteorology which he promptly put to use traveling to world to find the sunniest beaches and cheapest alcohol. Heir to the Bhatnagar pharmaceutical fortune, easily the most public of the current Nephilim.

    Anna Podgorny, age 29, born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Relatively normal childhood, according to the records I could find. Joined a convent, however, shortly after graduating high school. A little odd, considering her family, nor she beforehand, were Catholic. In any event, she remained there until 2005, when she disappeared. She wasn’t in New York, but I think it’s a safe bet she met Patteson and the others some time around then.

    Ambrose Cameron, age 26, born in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Got a B.A. in History and Literature at LSU, M.A. in Literature at same. Started showing up alongside Adler and Bhatnagar roughly two years ago, seems to have found the Nephilim, rather than the other way around.

    Unknown Female, age early-mid-twenties. I can’t say much about this one, but I know she’s a member. She seems to have become their major enforcer, but details are sketchy.

    I know is both a lot and a little, so I’ll let you digest it. I’ll see about getting a hold of one of my info caches so I can follow up on it. Stay safe, and I’d suggest keep moving. Its worked ok for me.

    A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle. –Kahlill Gibran
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by elanya on 06/04/10, 12:33 am

    Thanks, wow, that's actually really helpful, and it gives me a great start into looking into them on my own as well. I can tell you what I turn up if you're interested - I don't know what kind of notes you have, but my google-fu is strong.

    I can tell you that the unknown girl's first name is Danica (guessing at spelling). And I'd say she's more shadowy than sketchy. Also, psychotic. Perhaps influencing my opinion there is the fact that she casually admitted to murdering my friend.

    I have a little bit more on Ambrose as well, since he is the one who tried to give us the spiel (which ended pretty much as soon as Danica came on the scene). He said he isn't their usual face man, which was pretty clear. I'd like to know more about his story, if he really did find them and not the other way around. He told us a little bit about himself, including his heritage... Are all of the members people like us? I'm not entirely clear on that one.

    As for my friend's father... I think she only has the one, but they weren't exactly a close family. I didn't talk to him myself, but I think her younger brother recognized the tower from a painting of her that was on display, which is maybe telling? He wasn't super friendly, and he declined to take some of her ashes, and said that 'he could hardly claim her now,' or something like that. That was less than a week ago, but it feels like years.

    I don't know about moving on. Most of us are pretty rooted here, and I don't know if we're ready to give that up. We've got some allies in the area too who are more firmly entrenched - people our parents sent - and I'd hate to move away from their kind of help. Good luck to you though, if it has been working.

    Not to sound too repetitive here, but you have been really helpful, and I appreciate it, but also if there is anything I can do for you in return, let me know and I'll see what I can do.


    “It's impossible to move, to live, to operate at any level without leaving traces, bits, seemingly meaningless fragments of personal information.” - William Gibson
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by elanya on 06/04/10, 10:39 am

    Oh yes - your handle. Bad pun, Y/N?

    Humor is just another defense against the universe" - Mel Brooks
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by Josh on 13/04/10, 04:58 pm

    I'm gonna have to disagree with Mr. Brooks, brilliant though he may be. Humor is the best defense against the universe, I have found. So, in essence, yes, the handle is a bad pun. Though its meaning more and more.

    Anywho, Danica, thanks for the head's up. No last name, I assume. And the casual murder admission is...troubling, to say the least. Keep me updated with what you find, and I'll do the same. I've been tracking them for a while, but they're getting better at covering their tracks.

    You might want to keep an eye on your friend's brother, if he seemed to respond to the tower image. I mean, sure, its iconic, and it could mean nothing, but I would think its worth staying abreast of the situation.

    As for reciprocity of favors, just keeping me in the loop with the Nephilim is helpful as well as anything else you run into. Also, you mentioned in an earlier correspondence that you have "a sense of when people, or new contacts, are more significant than others." If that means what I think it means, we might have even more information we can share. Its something I've been working with for a while now, and I'd be curious what inroads you've made.

    As always, happy to be of service, let me know if you have other questions, etc. Stay safe, let me know how your research goes.

    In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind. - Louis Pasteur
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by elanya on 15/04/10, 11:39 pm

    Humor... best defense. I'll try and keep that in mind. There are some days where I feel like I am on top of things, and others where I just want to slam my head against the wall repeatedly.

    Anyway. I've so far managed to confirm all the info you sent me, including links between people, etc. I've not got a lot that's new, but I'm working on it. I'm focusing on Ambrose right now, both because I've met him, and also because I'm hoping if I do, I can find out more about Danica, and about whoever else was in town with them (we know there were three, but only saw the two). I do have a few more details on some of the crew, and though they weren't too hard to find out, I don't know what you have in your files, so here you go:

    [and I know oocly you told me a few things/that I could find a few more things, but all I can remember now is some stuff about Adler's rank and experience, etc]

    As far as other stuff goes, I don't know if we'll have much of an opportunity to watch the brother. They only came around for the funeral, and I'm not ever sure they live around here. I think they might, but as I said it wasn't a close family. I'll have to check with the others... I still have to try microwaving that book, for that matter. I'll put it on the list, I guess?

    I think we probably are talking about the same thing, or talking around it at least? (Sorry, I'm in a cynical mood tonight). I've got a basic grasp of how things work, but I haven't done a lot to test practical application. It doesn't seem like the sort of stuff to mess about with casually. I'm all for learning more, though, definitely. There's other things I'm sort of figuring out as I go along, too, but I'm sure you've been through all that too. Do you mind if I ask how long its been for you? It's like some kind of extra horrible second puberty: your dad (or mom?) drops by for an awkward chat, and you start noticing all these changes. Only instead of worrying about your voice cracking in embarrassing social situations, people are trying to kill you.

    "Whatever limits us, we call fate." - Ralph Waldo Emmerson
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by Josh on 29/04/10, 03:10 pm

    Been about three years for me, though I'm under the impression that still puts me in sort of a awkward category. Not a lot I've heard of have made it terribly long without help, and, while I've had it, I keep to myself a good deal. On the other hand, I'm more of a lover (ok, librarian) than a fighter, so my deeds are less likely to be sung from on high. Which is a shame, as its been kind of shown that that sort of thing can actually help up out. My folks even have a word for it, though I assume the ability isn't limited to us. (For that matter, I have a hard time believing we're limited by anything, given enough time and effort. Scary thought, that.)

    Glad you could confirm the stuff I sent you. I knew it was correct, but the academian in me is always happy to have sources backed up. Thanks for the details, and I'll be sure to include them in my files. I've got a few things left to handle here, but I should be back to one of my info caches soon, so I'll send you more complete info soon.

    As to the stuff we're talking around (you're not wrong on that, sorry. Its become force of habit), I can send some notes for that as well. Its dead useful, but, as you said, not something to work with casually. I've seen it have some disastrous results even when it goes right, so be careful. Try just tracing for a while, first, before you start drawing your own connections, if you know what I mean.

    As to the awkward second puberty thing, you've got a good point. In a nod to that, and I apologize if this is untoward, but how are you doing with everything? I remember real puberty being relatively easy because I had a nice older sibling, and I thought maybe you could use someone to talk to who's been through things. If not, by all means, I'll bugger off. But I thought I'd offer the shoulder if its needed. Granted, solace isn't usually my thing, but, hey, a person can learn. Anyway, hope things are, well, as good as can be expected. Let me know if there's anything I can do, and I'll do the same.

    Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. - Helen Keller
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by elanya on 17/05/10, 05:26 pm

    Sorry I've been a bit out of communication - I just got distracted with stuff.... some of it even pleasantly mundane (work, school, ranting on the internet, wooh!).

    Not all of it, of course, but apparently, that's life. Anyway, I didn't want you to think you'd scared me away with your offer of emotional support. Thanks, really, but I'm used to being an only child. Well, more or less. Anyway, I'm not much of a crying on shoulders type - I'd rather just know what's going on, and you've been great for that.

    Speaking of, I did check the red book out, finally, and it is full of.... very useful stuff. I can probably find some way of copying bits. The hardcore tech geek in me just wants the scan the thing, but the nerdier part that has watched too much Buffy thinks that maybe it would cause the internet to explode, or become evil and try to eat my brain, or similar. I'm being careful, but I do feel some pressure to be more.... useful? Maybe? Anyway, I won't do anything stupid.

    Speaking of usefulness, we're still sort of dealing with some Unresloved Local Weirdness, involving, well something out of the plot of Wild Wild West, and a mysterious guy who sadly doesn't have a tragically comic name (we thought he did, and were disappointed). Anyway, it has made me wonder just how far this weirdness spreads. There a bunch of us, there's the N, their unfortunate friend in New York, there's you.... And I'm sure there have to be others, too. And that's not counting the other side (or the other other side?).

    Do you have any idea? Have you met others? I'm working on the assumption that mostly they're like other people, where some of them are nice, most are just okay, and some of them are... worse.

    I'm also partly wondering since I'm being dragged off on a 'fun' trip to NOLA, and that city is crazy enough on its own...

    "Chance favors the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by elanya on 28/06/10, 11:54 pm

    You still out there? Everything okay?

    Really, don't feel like you need to indulge my random curiosity if you're busy, but I just want to make sure you haven't been eaten by a giant snake, or what have you.

    "There is no substitute for a direct concern for other people as the basis of morality." - Thomas Nagel
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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

    Post by Josh on 08/10/10, 08:14 pm

    Thanks Webskald, the concern is greatly appreciated. And no, I haven't been eaten by a giant snake, but only just. I really wish I was kidding on that. Luckily for me, and not for the snake, I think the Ouroboros is allegorical.

    In any event, I'm sorry its been so long since I've written. I've been involved in some...field research that's taken me pretty far out there. That said, I'm more on track than I have been in a while, finally getting my bearings again.

    Yes, I have met others, and they strike me as a lot like people in general. Some good, some bad, most just trying to muddle through. It seems fairly universal (with a few exceptions) that our parents leave us to our own devices unless they specifically need something. Not sure if that's laziness or higher laws or whatever, but it can prove disastrous. I'm actually putting into motion some networking ideas to provide a little more contact and information for our side (or our side of our side? You have a point, sometimes its hard to keep track).

    In any event, I actually have a favor to ask. I could use an assistant with the skills we've been discussing in regards to the book. I'll admit its not exactly a safe task, but it is important and I'm prepared to be the one to bear the possible consequences. I'll contact you soon with more details.

    "All good fortune is a gift of the gods, and you don't win the favor of the ancient gods by being good, but by being bold." -Anita Brookner

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    Re: Sending messages in to the ether...

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