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[LP CYOA] Epic

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Well, C was already winning before the flops and last minute votes sealed it. Well, you guys lost out on an opportunity to gain more knowledge about the Council and possibly find a way to beat them without continuing to resort to force, but let’s see where C leads us…

    ***

    Control. Alternate. Delete

    To find and connect with the part of me that lies outside the universe may be a process that lies beyond the flow of time, but it does not mean I am able to do it instantly. The immortal begins to peer suspiciously at me as I reach out and attempt to breach the wall that keeps my psyche separated from the Observer. He appears to be saying something, but what my brain receives from my ears is nothing but garbled nonsense. My consciousness is fully focused on reaching the records of fate. Still, I need to do something to stall for time. I rack my memory for a particular face… is that how it looked like? Yes, that is probably it. With a subtle effort, I allow my expression to fall into the familiar sneer that was Shulgi’s constant companion. The immortal’s eyes light up smugly. He begins to say something again, and then I feel the cracks and I am through the wall, spiralling towards a whirlpool of stars.

    I find myself in front of a large, smooth wall of black, with a control panel set into it and a row of three blinking blue lights arranged above a camera lens. It looks like a supercomputer of some sort. I approach the control panel. As it turns out, the Akashic Records that govern the multiverse can be interfaced with by a command prompt. It’s obviously just a simplification of what is actually happening, for the benefit of my frail mortal mind, but nevertheless it helps. The appearance of the supercomputer is probably what I associate with the records. Surely something as grand as the records of all fate would not look like a small ledger in the bottom of an empty filing cabinet? I would have thought that the gravitas associated with age – these records are many times older than the universe I reside in, after all – would have conjured something more akin to a majestic library, but I suppose this is what I am most familiar with.

    My fingers hover over the keys as I search for my target. I find it rather easily; the immortal appearing on the screen as a blue dot surrounded by countless white dots – the objects and people that are directly linked to him. The weight of the immortal’s four thousand years of life is heavy. That is the only way I can describe it, watching how his influence distorts and alters the lives of others throughout his long history. Destruction is all that I can accomplish with these records, however. I cannot create, or edit, or even read in detail what has happened. That much access would certainly leave my mind in a very scrambled state. And so, I destroy.

    The changes the immortal has wrought; the influence he has exerted over those in his orbit: these remain. The immortal himself, however, is no more. At the exact moment I erase him from existence, I feel the Observer’s gaze focus upon my presence. It can see all things at all places at all times, but for a brief, timeless moment, it sees me. I can feel its vast pressure bearing down on me, trapping me while it probes the existence of its unwanted avatar. After what seems like an eternity, it speaks.

    “How interesting.” It says its first words in my voice.

    “I know, right?” I reply.

    “You are identified as a part of me.”

    “I suppose I am.”

    “Yet you are apart from me.”

    “Yeah.”

    “You are not whole.”

    “Please don’t offer to remake me.” I joke.

    “What is your purpose?” asks the Observer.

    “Shouldn’t you know everything?” I reply.

    There is a pause that is both a second and a million seconds long, at the same time.

    “Everything exists only because I observe it. I know everything that I observe. What I do not know cannot exist. You are a human, a resident of Earth-2661650, born in the four thousandth year of your local calendar. I have observed everything about that, yet I did not observe myself. Why is that?”

    “You could not,” I offer. “You do not see yourself in me anymore than a human can perceive any single cell of his own body.”

    Another pause, in which stars could have been born and died in the time it takes for the Observer to give me an answer.

    “Very interesting.”

    It is a rather dull answer, but at least it isn’t threatening to wipe me from existence, though I’m not sure if it could even if it had such a desire. The Observer doesn’t seem keen on anything other than observing.

    “Why did you speak to me?” I ask.

    “I am curious by nature,” replies the omniscient being. “It is rare for anything to approach me, besides the Custodians. By the way, they have noticed your intrusion.” I can hear a hint of derision in the Observer’s tone, something I did not expect given our conversation thus far. It did not appear to hold these ‘custodians’ in high esteem. “They think you can be of use.” With that, it is gone, its attentions seemingly turned elsewhere. Seemingly, because I sense that it will be keeping a watch on my end of things from now on.

    Six shadowy figures manifest before me, appearing out of thin air. Even in the harsh, white lighting of the room, they appear to be nothing more than a black, hazy mist in the vague shape of a human being.

    “How did it get here? What did it do?” shouts a figure angrily. Its voice appears to be muffled, coming from a very far distance.

    “It appears to have meddled with the records,” complains another nondescript figure. “But it’s not like we can check the exact changes made.”

    “Goddammit, Cooper,” raged a figure. “You told us it was harmless and ignorant. A babe whose grasp exceeds its reach, you said.”

    “Well, I didn’t-“ responded another figure.

    “Wait, is it listening to us? Can it perceive us?” interrupts a figure hurriedly.

    “Hello,” I wave and smile in their general direction.

    “Oh, fuck.” After an awkward pause, the shadowy figures vanish. Then, they reappear, though now there are only three. I can almost imagine there to be some feet shuffling, if they did have feet.

    “We need to talk.” says one of the figures solemnly. It doesn’t appear to be any of the ones that spoke earlier, but I can’t tell through all the vagueness. At any rate, they seem to have gotten their act together; even as shadowy figures, they radiated more dignity than the shadowy figures that were just here. “You are getting yourself involved in a conflict far beyond your understanding. This is not just about your galaxy or your universe.”

    I nod. From their behaviour, I’m guessing that they cannot reach me here. Just when I think that, a shadowy door as hazy as the figures materializes in the center of the room.

    “Step through that door and we will tell you all you should know, before you cause any more damage unwittingly.”

    “Well, why don’t you come over and talk here? We can all sit on the floor in a circle and be friends.” I ask, leaning against the supercomputer with a grin on my face.

    The figures turn to each other, their voices nothing more than subdued whispers. After a while, one of them seems to step forward.

    “We cannot go there, but you can come to us.” They seem to be trying the truthful approach, but I wonder if they are truly trustworthy. “We need your help.”

    “I don’t mind talking to shadows.” I reply.

    “Stay here too long and you will become subsumed into Iae.” says a figure promptly.

    “Ai-yay?”

    “I.A.E,” responds a figure with what I think to be a hint of embarrassment. “The Idea of All Existence. It’s an acronym.”

    They’re probably referring to the Observer. It is likely truth; even now I can still feel the pressure of its knowledge weighing on my mind. Here, at the repository of everything that is known, it would drown my psyche if I let my guard slip, like a torrent of water bursting through a cracked dam. Sitting in this room for too long would be a bad idea.

    ***

    A. I go through the door willingly. I doubt these Custodians can hold me if I want to escape. My physical body would be another matter, but right now I’m just pure consciousness. Besides, if there are certain important factors that I am not aware of, I need to know that. Even if they lie, there will be a hint of truth I can glean from it.

    B. I wasn’t born yesterday. I’m sure they’re planning something, and the offer of knowledge is not enough to entice me into delivering myself into their hands. I return to my body to minimize my exposure to the Records of Akasha. There are still plenty of things for me to do back in my universe.
     
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  2. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Most curious.
    This is obviously the Council (their reaction was golden :lol: ), but I think we should talk. The obvious risks, of course, are their attempts to destroy us and stalling for time for Alpha to arrive. Nevertheless,
    A.
     
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  3. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Yes, the immortal Senya just wiped from existance talked about a "Cooper", the very same name that was dropped by IAE. So I agree. These "custodians" seem to be the immortals of the League.
    What will they try to tell us?

    I'm not of a mind to see right now.

    B
     
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  4. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    Hmm interesting
    A

    Ps. I was joking Treave no offence taken.
     
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  5. B
     
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  6. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

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    Very interesting, to quote the Observer.

    Wouldn't it be strange if the Council were the Observer's custodians? I'd assume these are, in fact, the Masters we're talking to. Our Immortal friend could have namedropped a Master, after all. I wonder what are they on to. Will vote at a later date, after properly pondering the choices.
     
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  7. Anabanana Augur

    Anabanana
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    Great update, treave. Too bad we just erased that guy like that, but perhaps it's for the best. :(

    A. I want the infodump.
     
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  8. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    HOLY. FUCK.
    Damnit guys, we could''ve found out more clues about Shulgi and maybe stopped this war. Now if we're ignorant when he suddently shows up and TAKES OVER THE COSMOS or something, then we're doomed, althrough it would be a pretty cool full-circle thing if we had a Ean vs Shulgi Round 2 fight.

    I say A. LOREDUMPS FOR THE LOREGOD, KNOWLODGE TO THE KNOW-THRONE!

    Bear in mind this can be council... but not OUR COUNCIL, or the one from our time. These guys may be future versions or even alternates.
    I don't think these guys are masters. Dio nuked the spheres (presumably with DIOBOT or DIOZILLA) and is at war with IAE for all there is.
     
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  9. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    I still think that C was the right choice because I don't think we were in a position to deceive and/or fight with the Council member physically due to our lack of knowledge. It would have presented problems of its own and we probably would have had to reload. Now, a few things to take note of:

    I find it interesting that the immortals that the Observer is speaking to are referred to as Custodians. I suppose this means custodians of the records of fate. But why would the Council be in charge of these records when the Masters they serve are at war with the Great Idea? This is a lot to take in.

    @treave, do we have any idea about the passage of time in this place?

    Sure, they won't do anything to our body while we're here, but it's hard to tell how long we'll be out in this place. That's the only thing that makes me hesitant about A.
     
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  10. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    THIS IS NOT A WAR. THIS IS PEST CONTROL.

    EXTERMINATE. EXTERMINATE.

    Oh, right. Time. At your current position time won't have passed when you 'return to your body', so to speak. I will make no guarantees if you go through that door, of course. Maybe it will, maybe it will not. What I can guarantee, however, is that if you step through that door you'll get an infodump related to the Great Idea.
     
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  11. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Yes. Though rather than being told it is more of being deduced.
     
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  12. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    Quoted for truth. Also, because I really want nobody to miss this important summary!
     
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  13. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    As long as we damn well please, apparently.
    I suppose we can stay for tea and a friendly game of chess, if the mood strikes us and the company is good. But, we'll see.
     
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  14. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
  15. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Sooo... I can update in a while, right?

    :thumbsup: Right.
     
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  16. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Yeah. :thumbsup: 4 votes for A, and only 2 for B. That's a solid majority.

    I'm not bitter my vote went to the minority. Just means I get to bitch if things go south. :M
     
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  17. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Swooping in to vote B, A sounds too good to be true. And right now at this juncture it's too risky to go through that door for the loredump. We need to do what we came to the fortress for.
     
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  18. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    Also B, producing a tie. Problem, A-fags? :troll:
     
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  19. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Well, I took my previous post as a confirmation of an A victory and began the update, so...

    It'll be out in an hour or so.
     
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  20. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

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    :rage:

    But not really. I'm quite fond of A, actually, being THE Storyfag and all. But you just ruined my trollpost :(
     
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  21. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    I could've ruined it by just having my post be the update. :troll:

    But, eh, fair amount of revelations inbound. Expect to pay the price for it, however.
     
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  22. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    So we're either getting captured by Alpha or we're going crazy due to exposing ourselves to this place. Or both.
     
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  23. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Garden of the Gods

    When my fingers brush the shadow door, I feel them sink in. There is a slight, insistent tug, followed by a stronger one that makes my imaginary finger joints creak. Then, I am pulled in without being able to offer any resistance.

    I hear one of the figures say, “Wow. I can’t believe he fell for that.”

    ***

    When the darkness clears, I find myself looking at the sky. A sky that is pure white, without a hint of any blemish or imperfection. There appears to be a dim light and heat emanating from the sky somehow – it is not blinding or glaring to observe.

    This seems familiar. It is not exactly the same as the world I visited once, however; instead of smooth grey buildings melted together in an unnatural hodgepodge of architecture, the structures here seem to be real. Concrete. I tap the floor I had been sitting on. Real concrete, from the feel of it. I seem to be on top of a skyscraper; multiple other towers stretch out before me, indicating that I am in a city of some sort. I do not recognize the skyline, however. When my eyes shift, quickly scanning the featureless heavens, I spot a single object that breaks the uniformity of the unnerving firmament above me: a moon. It is difficult to spot in the white sky, its own colour almost blending into the background. The shadowy craters are the only thing that distinguish it from its surroundings.

    “This is a dull place, I must admit.”

    I turn with a start, my observation of the moon rudely interrupted by the croaking, husky voice. In front of me must be the oldest man I have ever seen. He is wizened and bent over in his brown coat, clutching onto a black cane. The up-turned collar of the coat covers his ears and what is left of his wispy white hair straggling out a meagre existence on the sides of his head. Still, the wrinkles that line his face cannot disguise the glint of power in his eyes. This is a man that is used to getting what he wants.

    With a quaking effort, he manages to bend forward even further in a grotesque bow, though he looks on the verge of toppling over just to attempt such a stunt.

    “Welcome, young Senya, to the garden of the gods.”

    “I thought you guys were big on the idea of nice chairs and tea,” I say. “This is a rather sparse reception.”

    The old man peers at me with eyes clouded by age and snorts. “Cooper, right? He likes that sort of presentation. After so many years they have each developed quirks in their methods of dealing with the natives. Well, if that is what you want… I didn’t ask for you to appear on top of the building, you know.” He turns his back and beckons a crooked finger at me. “Come.”

    I remember what the figure said just before I was deposited here. As the old man hobbles away, I concentrate on finding a way back. I don’t need to leave right now, but should I require an urgent exit…

    Nothing. I cannot sense anything outside what I currently feel. I cannot even call upon my powers.

    The old man stops and glances over his shoulder at me, his lips twisted into an unlikeable grin. At that moment, I understand that there is no escape, at least for now. There is nothing for me to do but to follow and hope I haven’t finally gotten myself into something over my head.

    ***

    The bottom levels of the skyscraper turn out to be a shopping mall, judging from the items on display in the windows. The words adorning the signs and billboards are in a script I do not recognize, though they seem to share a very slight resemblance to Shinari Greek. Other than that, there are the usual collections of bags and clothes that seem to be the bulk of merchandise in such malls, and there are no signs of anything living other than me and the old man. I find myself in what looks like to be a pleasantly comfortable coffee house, a cup of steaming mocha in front of me and the old man perched arrogantly opposite me.

    “This is a nice way to treat your prisoner.”

    “No,” smiles the old man. “Not yet. You are still a guest for now.”

    “Well, let’s hope I don’t do anything to revoke that status,” I wave. “By the way, where are the ones that brought me here? They are your flunkies, I presume?”

    “Oh, I assume they are out and about. You might meet them, you might not. That is not important. And no, they are not my flunkies, Senya. They are my colleagues.”

    “You seem to be a little bit old to be their colleague. None of them sounded or appeared like you, or are you disguising yourself?”

    The old man shakes his head. “I am not capable of such a thing. What you see before you is what I am. Just an old man.” Even so, I have a strong feeling that ‘just an old man’ is probably what many of his foes thought just before he disposed of them. I settle back, trying to keep my composure.

    “Why are you the one to explain things to me, then?”

    “Because we are the most alike, you and I,” says the old man. “When you get right down to it, we are both humans caught in the games of the gods.”

    We sit there, looking at each other in silence.

    “Well?” asks the old man.

    “Well what?” I ask in return.

    “Aren’t you going to say anything?”

    “I’m sure you have lots to tell me regardless of what I say. Go ahead and talk, and let me know when you’ve finished talking.”

    The old man’s face creases up in a strange expression. His grin seems to be almost angry, and for an instant I think he is about to jump over the table and throttle me. Then, he sighs loudly.

    “You may think I am not on your side, but I am. Very well, I will tell you what I know. Right, where shall I start…”

    ***

    You are a part of the Great Idea. My colleagues call it the Idea of All Existence, but no matter what we name it, it has the same role. It observes reality, and in the process of observing it makes reality real. You already know that. Now, what you don’t know is that it is not God. At least, it is not a god that was there from the start; it is a creation, just like you or me. My colleagues created it as a project. They were facing a terrible crisis, certain extinction… I don’t know what it is as they no longer remember themselves, and apparently the IAE project was to be their trump card to overcome this crisis.

    They could not save themselves, so they created a God to save them.

    It did not work out like they hoped. The only ones saved were thirteen beings that had been physically closest to the Great Idea when it awoke, the ones that had been involved on the project as its custodians. Even then, they were reduced to shadows of their former selves. The rest of their people were effectively destroyed. I say effectively, because in its awakening it sought to execute its original instructions, which was to protect this world and its people. It did that by suspending the world from the flow of time. The process turned the residents of the world into echoes. Pointless fragments of thoughts.

    From then on, the nature of reality changed, governed by the Great Idea and its whims. It is not a perfect God, not at all. You do know of the Unseen, right? Yes, I see that you know of them. The white ghosts that have fallen out of God’s sight. Some god. Hah. It would sit on its throne observing stupidly while all of us die slowly choking to death in white goo. Under its watch, the multiverse has stagnated. You might not know this, but there is no progress through the infinite universes; no life, no advances, except what we have cultivated in our own sandbox.

    With my help, its former custodians have embarked on a mission to find a way out of this hell it has trapped them in. What began as an experiment out of boredom and curiosity would now be the sword by which we can strike back at the Great Idea. They need someone truly alive and living, like us – truly human - to shake their perception of their reality and show them what they really need to do.

    ***

    “What they really need to do, is to kill the god that they made.” finishes the old man.

    “What is so hard about that? They made it, didn’t they?”

    “They have been denied access,” shrugs the old man. “I don’t know everything about that, but it seems that they were locked out when the Great Idea suddenly gained the idea of self-preservation.” I stare at the old man. I don’t trust him, and I’m not sure whether his story is the truth, a half-truth, or even entirely made-up. It seems plausible enough, but there are always other explanations.

    “So, this is where I come in?” They must have been searching for ways to destroy their own creation for countless eons. That was what the games were for, eventually. The Master had implied that I was a piece that changed the game entirely... maybe even doing away with the need for a game at all. This is how.

    The old man nods, grinning his toothless grin. “I am not sure how, but I know you can do it.”

    He expects me to kill the Observer. I am about to laugh and call it a ridiculous idea, before I suddenly remember the room I had been in before coming here, where I had deleted an immortal from existence. Perhaps the supercomputer and its control panel was not just a figment of imagination created out of familiarity. Perhaps it was grounded in reality… well, for a given value of reality, which has really depreciated nowadays.

    I carefully keep these thoughts from showing on my face as the old man continues to peer at me. “Well?” He asks, almost impatiently. “Will you help us and save all of existence?”

    ***

    A. I agree to help him. If what he said is true, this Observer is the real enemy and my main target. I already know that the white ghosts are caused by the Observer’s flaws, and if they can aid me in fixing the problem… well, that’s my goal accomplished, isn’t it? There is no need to complicate matters and risk more damage to the fabric of reality. Of course, I only agree to help him save existence; the manner in which I do it will be up to me in the end.

    B. I reject him. If they could compel me to do their bidding, I get the feeling they'd have already done it without talking. I don’t think the old man would have asked me this question if he could not tell if I was lying about my decision; he seems far too savvy for that. Let him do his worst – if they kill my consciousness, they will only provoke a reset which frees me, and if they hold me prisoner, they’re giving me time to find a way out of here.
     
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  24. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    I'll set the deadline for this choice ahead of schedule to prevent any more misunderstandings then. Two days should be enough to discuss the implications. The price has already been paid; i.e. even if you escape after this, your absence will have affected the war. It won't be a good effect, but it doesn't mean you've already lost, so automatically giving up on that front for lost would be inadvisable. Then again, agreeing (or pretending to agree) gets you even closer to the root of all things, so it's a swift way of handling matters.
     
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  25. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    Well, fuck. I'm too slow apparently.

    No reason to not agree now, is there? Let's get more infodumps and get back to war, shall we. A.
     
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