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Topics - Thought

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Welcome / Birthday / Seeya! Forum / The Whole of Time and Space...
« on: October 08, 2011, 05:01:50 am »
Since there are some wonderful discussions going on presently, I wanted to give a public notice that I will not be around for the next several days. The moving-wagons are heading out this Sunday for parts unknown (also called "Southern California" by unsavory sorts). My internet should be cut off any hour now here, and we just found out today that it might not be connected at our new place until the 28th, despite the prearranged start date of the 12th. Perhaps Fortuna shall favor us -- I found an old Hersey's bar in cleaning and left it out for her -- and you'll see me sooner. If not, then not. Anywho, if I owe you a reply (or if you've posted a damn interesting topic that I am fascinated to participate in and see how it unfolds), it will be given in due time, but that "due" part may be long indeed.

There is the whole of time and space out there, beyond the internet, and you can be sure I'll be taking advantage of it as best I can in my absence. I do hope that among other things, you'll take the time to have an adventure or two as well. Ta for now.

Just an absent,


Welcome / Birthday / Seeya! Forum / Happy Birthday Mr. President
« on: August 04, 2011, 11:47:07 pm »
Chances are he isn't a Chrono-fan and thus will probably not see this, but it is President Obama's 50th birthday, which seems like it deserves a good round of well-wishing and, at the very least, two thumbs up...

General Discussion / Changing of the Bands
« on: March 01, 2011, 04:44:23 am »
I'm not particularly knowledgeable about music, but one of the things that can get me to like a band or song is if it seems like the artists tried to improve upon themselves and to expand their horizons. Regardless of if I actually like the music produced, there is just something admirable about artists who are never satisfied with staying the same, who strive to improve their work, who love the craft more than the cash.

As such, I thought it might be interesting if we post songs from our favorite bands displaying how they have changed over the years and how they have pushed themselves. The intent here isn't so much to recruit new fans to your favorite group, or even to like all the songs posted here. Rather, the intent is to simple be more aware of the artists out there who are, to put it in familiar terms, in the springtime of youth.

To note, this was inspired by a link Zeality posted in the frustration thread.

As it only proper, I will go first. As noted, I am not particularly knowledgeable, so unfortunately what follows is really the only group that I am familiar with that meets these criteria.

I present for your consideration: Blind Guardian, a German metal band. What sort of metal? Well as this topic hopefully implies, that is a question the answer to which largely depends on what album you are talking about.

First, I would like to present back to back links of one of their earliest and one of their latest songs: Majesty and Valkyries

In 1988 they released "Battalions of Fear," which was largely speed metal, as illustrated by: Majesty

That was followed the next year by "Follow the Blind," which likewise is very speedish. There wasn't much change, especially if one isn't familiar with the speed metal genre, but the album did include something that in this context seems noteworthy: A cover of Barbara Ann
Different style, and yet they tried to make it their own.

1990 saw "Tales from the Twilight World," and then in 1992 came "Somewhere Far Beyond." Here the beginnings of their later style is quite evident, as displayed by the two Bard's Songs: The Bard's Song - The Hobbit and The Bard's Song - Into the Forest. Things are slowing down a little, they are using technology to give the impression of a chorus of singers, and the latter in particular is showing a desire for a different musical tradition all together.

One can hear the shift of the the vocal work that the above album signaled in "Imaginations from the Other Side," released in 1995. And the Story Ends is particularly indicative of this, although Mordred's Song displays both that and the slower trend.

These trends came to full fruition in "Nightfall in Middle Earth" in 1998. This album is held by some fans as their best, though personally I see it as more of a turning point. They really nailed the development of their older style with songs like Time Stands Still. The theme of the album also is wonderful: one can get almost the entire plot of the Silmarillion in it.

The 2002 "Night at the Opera" marks the start of a new development. On one hand they continue to rely a great deal on technology to give the impression of a choir of bards singing, but one will note that their guitar use is changing: Precious Jerusalem. And, of course, I can't help but note that with this album they released a wonderful waltz: Mies del Dolor, in Spanish (they are a German band who usually records in English but has no qualms about singing in yet a third language: that is fully awesome).

"A Twist in the Myth" was released in 2006. If you want an album from a band in the springtime of youth, this is it. I think by this point their use of guitars is significantly different than previous albums, vocals don't rely quite as much on playback (though it is still there), they are willing to experiment more with new sounds within the songs, and the lyrics are all about creativity, new life, and kicking ass. Fly is perhaps the most different from their previous songs. They still have a particular love for less metally, more bardy songs, as evident by Skalds and Shadows, but we also hear a better synthesis of this with their normal style in songs such as Turn the Page.

Which brings us to their latest release, "At the Edge of Time." The less-metal songs perhaps have a little more play this go around, with songs like Curse My Name, but the melding that Turn the Page represented seems to be developing nicely with songs like Wheel of Time.

Do you remember back up near the top where I mentioned they did a cover of Barbara Ann? Yeah, they have a grand ol time doing covers of all sorts. There is a somewhat disturbing music video of Mr. Sandman, a cover of Deep Purple's hallelujah, and even Dream a Little Dream

Anywho, I hope you enjoyed this little stroll down my favorite bands history and development. I also hope you'll share a tale of a band or singer yourself.

Welcome / Birthday / Seeya! Forum / Think a Little Thought of Me
« on: February 25, 2011, 01:41:26 am »
It so happens that today is a very auspicious day. Well, February is itself an awesome month (being unique in its number of days). But also it is in this month and on this day, if truth be told, that many years ago I was born. Thus far the Thought-Day celebrations have been impressive: apparently nature decided to give me snow, which was ever so nice of it.

Regardless, upon this day I have a simple request: find an interesting book, find a delectable beverage, and sit and read and drink and think deep thoughts for me.

History, Locations, and Artifacts / Masamune V Mastermune
« on: February 16, 2011, 06:03:32 pm »
In CT we are told that Masa and Mune embody Melchior's dreams sealed within the Ruby Knife. Given this, it seems as if the Masamune sword is a combination of the object itself and the dream creatures that reside within it. However, in CC we see the dream-siblings enter into Serge's swallow to create the Mastermune, a weapon that is seemingly similar to the Masamune in terms of general power. Given this, I am curious as to if the object of the Masamune (either the ruby knife or the sword it becomes) is actually important.

In the Pre-CT timeline it is supposed that Melchior had time to turn the Ruby Knife into the Masamune because in Magus' flashback we do not see it. In the CT timeline, then, the energy from the Mammon Machine serves the role of this extra labor: it completes the weapon. However, in CC, we see that neither Melchior nor Lavoid energy is needed to transform the swallow into the Mastermune. This seems to indicate that we can talk about the Masamune as having two separate properties: its dreamstone properties, and its dream-creature properties. From CC, however, we see that the entering of the dream-creatures into the swallow is sufficient to transform it. Thus I wonder if the transformation we see in CT from the Ruby Knife to the Masamune happens not because of lavos' energy but rather because in that moment the manifestations of Masa and Mune, though embodying dreams already sealed within the knife, enter the knife and thus transform it as they transform the Swallow.

If this is the case, then it becomes improper to talk about Melchior finishing the blade in the original timeline, as it was Masa and Mune who completed it.

Additionally, it may not do to take the claim that Masa and Mune embody dreams sealed within the knife too literally. We see in 600 AD that they both inhabit the hilt of the sword while the blade itself seems to have no presence. We might say that they just happened to be in the hilt rather than the entire sword, but it seems likely that they are in fact given a degree of liberty in this regard. After all, just as they can leave the blade and reside entirely within the hilt, they also seem to be able to leave the sword and reside within the swallow.

What it means to have the masamune, then, may merely mean to have an object inhabited by the two, rather than the sword itself which may or may not be noteworthy based on its own powers in connection to dreamstone.

If the above it accurate, then perhaps we should look to these creatures as the reason why Magus is weak to the sword, not the sword itself. What are Magus's dreams? Or does he even have any left? He has knowledge and wisdom, no doubts there, but he is employing them towards the destruction of the world, which Melchior warns against as a possibility of the Masamune. Might it simply be, then, that whatever dreams Magus has (if indeed he has dreams) are negative and the positive dreams of Masa and Mune, combined with Frog's desire to not just defeat Magus but to generally bring about good, are thus Super Effective against him?

In turn, the evil Masamune that we see in CC may be said to be evil not because it is the Masamune. Indeed, its masamune aspects are asleep, so it is the nature of the object itself (the dreamstone aspect) that is responsible.

Other Topics and the Prerelease / Extrapolations for Chrono Break
« on: February 07, 2011, 03:59:55 pm »
We knew almost nothing about the canceled third canonical game of the series except its name (actually, I think that was the only thing we knew); however, not much has been said about that so I thought I’d go ahead and throw the obvious out there. The title of the game reveals to us an item and its guiding concept.

In Chrono Trigger there was the titular item, which could be used to save Crono. Same with in Chrono Cross, except this time to save Schala. Given this pattern, it seems likely that in the third game there would have been a Chrono Break item that could have been employed to save someone.

The guiding concept of each game, however, is also revealed in the title. In Chrono Trigger the party focuses on an end goal of triggering a change to the timeline (and thus the use of the Chrono Trigger to save Crono is an analogy in minor of this). In Chrono Cross, there is a focus on crossing between dimensions and eventually crossing them into a single unified whole (and the formation of the Chrono Cross itself hints at the eventual ideal outcome of the game, the merging of the two dimensions). In short, “Trigger” and “Cross” can be understood as both noun and verb, both object within the game and an action within the game. Thus is seems likely that Chrono Break would have been the same: a “break” as an item and a “break” as an action.

At this point this modest speculation, however, would have to degrade into wild speculation to really go any further. But to offer a singular possibility, since a trigger is the start of something, and a crossing indicates continuation, it seems that a break would be the cessation of that. What would get “stopped” in the is utterly unknown, but given Lavos’ appearance in the first two games, it seems likely that he would be the threat that finally ends (though I have no idea how it would have made a comeback yet again to be broken).

Welcome / Birthday / Seeya! Forum / A passing thought
« on: July 30, 2010, 12:27:34 pm »
Not that I have really been active the last few months, but I thought it would be prudent to note that I will be actually absent for most of August, with unknown access or availability there after.

I am moving across the country (bad singing in the car is on the menu), which will take a several days in itself, but my internet is getting shut off here in a few days and might not actually get hooked up at the new place anytime soon. Then, I must delve into polishing off my latin, for in September I start a Ph.D. program in History. As my goal is to create a name for myself in the field during this time and to get done in no more than 5 years (4 if I can manage), I expect I will be rather busy.

I should be back, of course. There is still much I want to complete here (that encyclopedia article on the new time travel theory stuff, for example, and other projects). But for now I'm just a passing Thought.

"Probitas laudatur... et alget"

That phrase means "Uprightness is praised... and neglected," in Latin at least. It is "alget" that seems to be interesting here. Unfortunately I have yet to come across the infinitive of that verb, but it looks like the plural imperative of it might be "algete."

Algetty is a village of neglected humans, so it seems likely its name might have been taken from this somewhat famous Latin saying.

Submissions / Chrono Pause: An Intermission
« on: November 18, 2009, 02:33:09 pm »
Chrono Pause
An Intermission

By Thought

“Excuse me sir? You have a visitor.”

The old man nodded to the messenger, being careful not to take his eyes off his work. Sparks flew from his finger and onto a cube-shaped construct. A dented side popped out and it looked good as new. Carefully he slid the device into its socket in a larger mass of metal and wires, which sprawled across his workbench and most of the floor. The tangle made sense to him and no one else.

“Who is it, Mr. Smith?” he asked.

“It is not so much a ‘who’, sir. It’s a robot.”

“Yes, yes. But who sent it?” the old man asked, holding a lens to his eye as he inspected the details of his work. He leaned so far forward that his bushy white eyebrows got grease on them.

“No one, sir. The robot is here on its own behalf. It claims that it has some information that would interest you.”

Not taking his face away from the machine, the old man reached out with one hand towards a component on the far side of the room. It wobbled for a moment then floated into the air and it drew itself towards him. As his fingers closed over it he spoke again, “I’m sure it does, my boy, but I don’t have time to listen to everyone that stops by, as much as I want to, even if the person in question is technically not a person at all. Unless there is something more important…”

“Yes sir. Shall I dismiss it then?”


“Very well.” The messenger turned and made to leave the room. He pressed his hand to the wall and a door slid open. However, he stopped for a moment on the threshold and turned back to the old man. “He did say it was about something called ‘the Ocean Palace,’ if that is significant.”

The old man stopped dead, a circuit spinning lazily in the air between his thumb and forefinger. He put it down and pulled a cloth over the entire project. He checked it twice to make sure that it was well concealed. “Did he now? Well, that means he has either traveled a very long way or knows someone who has. It would only be polite that I meet with him, then.” He stood, smoothed out his blue and white robes, and adjusted his rather odd hat. With a snap of his fingers the dirt and grime that had covered them fell off. “Lead the way, if you please, Mr. Smith.”

“Very good, sir. He is in conference room 23A.”

The two left the workshop behind and walked down the gleaming corridors of the complex. Holographic projections were situated at regular intervals, displaying various scenes of natural beauty whereas windows would have shown only rock and soil. After a few minutes the messenger stood to the side of a seemingly random door, opened it, and motioned for the old man to enter. The door slid shut after he did so, leaving him alone in the room with a robot.

The machine was mostly humanoid in its form with a nice copper finish and two brilliant blue eyes. “You’re one of the R series, aren’t you?” the old man asked.

“That is correct, sir. My name is Prometheus.”

The old man raised a white bushy eyebrow at the name. “Well, Prometheus, they just call me the Old Man around here.” He paused for a moment in thought. “I didn’t think most of the R series were given names.”

“We were not, sir. I chose the name of my own accord.”

“Well now, you are a bit of an enigma. Most the R series were retired about two hundred years ago, after some nasty business with that renegade computer. It is most unusual for any robot, particularly ones from that era, to have a name given to them, and the list of those who have chosen one for themselves is rather infamous.”

“It is,” the machine said.

The old man knuckled his equally white and bushy mustache in thought. “And you know something about the Ocean Palace. That is a name I haven’t heard in many years and in another life. But perhaps you are not referring to the same place I am. Please, tell me what you know of it.”

Prometheus bowed an affirmative. “Allow me to be direct, sir. I have been to Zeal and I have walked the halls of the Ocean Palace. I have seen the Mammon Machine, I have seen the earth from the floating continents, and I have ridden the Blackbird. I have looked into the eye of the Queen and seen madness. And I have talked with Schala.”

The old man grabbed the back of a chair to steady himself. He barely whispered the name, “Schala?” With a great weariness, he slumped into a chair and gazed intently at the table, his eyebrows falling so low as to nearly cover his face. He sat silently as the minutes ticked by. Prometheus waited with clockwork patience.

At last the old man found words again. “How did you get here? Does it work both ways? Can I go home?”

If the old man didn’t know that robots were immune from emotion, he would have thought that this Prometheus fellow was pausing to choose his words delicately. “I arrived in the present era by living through the past. Yet, I believe I also arrived in the present era through a temporal distortion that is now nullified. I do not fully comprehend the implications of this duality, but I am confident in stating that my methods of time travel are currently inaccessible.”

“Hmm,” the old man mused. “I was once known as the Guru of Reason. Except perhaps for two men, friends and associates of mine, I know more about the ebbs and flow of time than any living or dead creature in this world. Like you, I have been in Zeal, but through an unfortunately incident I was sent to this time period. Ever since I came here my mind has seen two timelines unreel. One is this world, a civilization to contend with Zeal at its height. The other is a world of ruin that exists only in my mind. I suspect that you are familiar with this feeling.”

The robot nodded an agreement. “It first started in 1999; memories of an apocalypse began to enter my databanks. But then, nothing. While no new memories surfaced, I had the distinct impression that memories should have been there. I underwent several diagnostics but found no fault with my systems or programming. I placed that incident in my memory archives and did not access it again until recently. About two months ago I again began to experience odd memories; I can remember a world in which friends that I have never seen saved me from ruin and stopped the apocalypse from ever occurring. It is my belief that these are not just fantastical data corruptions but rather real memories. I cannot explain them.”

“I had a friend, long ago, who studied this sort of problem,” the Guru stated. “What would happen when a time traveler causes the timeline to change? Would he be affected by his own change and thus be unable to travel through time in the first place to cause that change? That is sometimes known as the Grandfather paradox.”

“I am familiar with it,” the robot said.

“Good. Well, my friend hypothesized that, to an extent, time can’t actually be changed, not in that sense of the word. The information that represents how things ‘used to be’ would still exist, somewhere out in the universe. He thought that perhaps there might be a central metaphysical depository where these discarded timelines are relegated to; thus time isn’t changed, only replaced. From that depository, with the proper applications of force, a timeline or part of a timeline might be retrieved and restored.”

“And he constructed a device to do just that, a sort of ‘Time Egg’ to restore these lost timelines,” Prometheus said.

“You’ve met him, I see.” The Guru continued, “So when a time traveler changes the past, the original timeline would be discarded to this location, this… darkness beyond time, thereby preserving the information, and a new timeline would essentially be created in the exact same moment. The problem, then, is with the time traveler himself. No longer a part of the timeline that was discarded, he would remain as he was. But, with the new timeline there might be an individual who takes the place of the time traveler, an alternate version of himself. Alas, this violates basic principles of the universe; matter cannot be created.”

Prometheus nodded as the Guru stopped to take a breath. “My friend therefore concluded that a new incarnation of the individual wouldn’t be created but the information of that incarnation would still exist inside the time traveler’s mind. He would have memories of both the old time line and the new and for all intents and purposes there would be no distinction between the two versions; both would be as real as is relevant.”

“So,” the robot prompted, “it is your belief that these memories we have are the results of timelines no longer in existence?

“That is correct. Which, alas, does mean that your means of time travel is beyond my reach.” The old man looked towards the ceiling, “Just one more dream that the morning winds have scattered.”

Prometheus watched the Guru for a moment before proceeding, “I have… friends. They gave me information and told me to come seek you, in order to repay a debt owed. They asked that I help you get home. My databanks contain information that should advance your temporal research significantly.”

“These friends wouldn’t happen to have been with you on your memories of time travel, would they?”


“Ah,” the Guru said.

“But,” Prometheus offered, “their ancestor was. This ancestor left her family a legacy; they have watched over me and now watch over you. I believe you already know of them. Indeed, the family helped establish you in these workshops.”

The Guru smiled, “Ah, the Ashtears. A splendid family.”


“Excuse me, sir, you have a visitor.”

Prometheus nodded but did not move from his position, the chaise of an oddly shaped craft held firm and well off the ground. The Guru worked beneath it, the sounds of sparks and irklings of unscientific forces reverberating from there as he made adjustments to the engines. “Thank you very much, Mr. Smith, but I am unable to attend to them currently. Could you please ask them to return later?”

“Very good sir.” The messenger turned and left the workshop.

“My,” the Guru said, “you seem to be quite the popular one as of late.”

“Yes. It touching, though strange,” Prometheus said. He shifted his feet and leaned back a little more, to maintain his balance.

“The Ashtear boy again?”


“Well, I think I’ve just about finished here,” the Guru said, crawling out from underneath the craft. “You can set it down now.”

Prometheus obeyed. Together they stepped back to admire the vehicle. Compared to the craftsmanship that the world was capable of, it seemed archaic. Rivets held sheets of crude metal together, a head-lamp bulged out of one side, and the rear dorsal fin looked rather retro. The inner workings of the device, however, were beyond compare.

The Guru rubbed his hands eagerly. “Well, I must say, you are certainly speeding things along. Thank you. And, of course, please pass my thanks along to the Ashtears. That ancestor of your friends, Lucca was it?” The robot nodded. “Lucca has an impressive understanding of the temporal sciences. Or had… talking relativistic time is always a linguistic nightmare. I’m afraid I never was one for the humanities. Another friend of mine that you met, however, was much better at those sorts of things.”

Prometheus moved to the rear of the craft and began making forcible adjustments to the rigid frame. “Yes, this Lucca was an amazing young lady,” the Guru commented as he came along side the robot and used magical forces to aid him. “Though I suppose it helps that she actually traveled through time and studied my own little bird here.”

Finished, Prometheus moved away from the craft and visually scanned it. “This craft, though not this craft. The alterations we have made deviate significantly from the Epoch’s original design and function.”

“Yes. That is strange.”

“… Shall I activate the diagnostics, sir?”

“Hmm?” the Guru turned to look at the metal man. His eyes had a slightly distant look, as if he were lost in thought. “Oh, yes, please.”

Prometheus’s looked to the computer terminals set up around the craft and his eyes flashed a specific series of lights. The computers registered the message and began to hum with life as they tested the various capabilities of the device. The two figures watched in silence for a moment. The Guru glanced at one of the monitors and nodded. “It looks like that might have taken care of the anomaly.”

“That may be so but the fact that the anomaly arose in the first place does not sit well with my systems. My memory banks were not corrupted; the previous incarnation of the craft’s temporal drive should have functioned within expected parameters.”

“Yes, it is odd,” the Guru said. “It is almost as if the very fabric of creation changed in the ‘time’ -- if we can use such a word -- between when other-me finished the other-epoch and when we tested this one. But come, the diagnostics will take quite several and we have a meeting with the Central Regime. No rest for the weary, and all that.”

“I must once again recommend against this course of action, sir,” Prometheus said. He followed the old man out of the room. “My goal was to help you return to your home. You are not meant to be in this time period.”

“I would return home if there was a home to return too. You’ve told me that the floating continents have fallen, Schala is missing, the Queen is dead, Janus is on a ‘journey,’ and my two friends remain where they are. The only good of the situation is that Lavos is dead and gone,” the Guru reasoned.

“Even at that, sir, there is a difference between living your life at this Time Research Laboratory that the Ashtears constructed for you and building an entire city focused on research. Time is not so hardy as to withstand the possible results from such an undertaking.”

The Guru looked straight into the robot’s eyes and smiled. “You are correct, my friend. This ‘City of Time’ idea is quite dangerous. But do you know how we three Gurus of Zeal came to understand time so well? We have a sixth sense about the matter, as did the royal family. We can feel time; we can feel where it is heading and where it came from. I don’t understand why I need to build this city, but I can feel that time is flowing in a direction that will make us glad we have it. I can hear it, smell it, taste it.”

“As you say, sir.”

“You worry too much,” the Guru said.

“Perhaps,” Prometheus responded. “What would be the correct level of worry for this given situation?”


“Excuse me sir, you have a visitor.”

The Protectorate nodded and waved for the man to bring the visitor in. An old man robed in blue and white shuffled in with a robot in tow. Not exactly “a” visitor, then, but robots barely merited the use of a plural.

“The ‘Guru of Reason,’ I presume? And this is… an R series! Perhaps you are unaware, but those are inauspicious machines. There was a rather unpleasant uprising a few centuries ago and all of them were decommissioned.”

“I am aware,” the Guru responded, “but Prometheus here is-”

“Who?” the Protectorate asked.

“Prometheus, the metal man standing before you.”

The Protectorate frowned. The R series were unpleasant enough, but a named R series?! Good form dictated that he greet his visitor standing, but the Protectorate just sank further down into his chair. He had known he would regret talking to this fellow, why hadn’t he listened to his gut? Speaking of gut, it was almost noon…

“ Now,” the Guru continued, recapturing the Protectorate’s attention, “he is something of an anomaly. I believe if you check your history books you will find that a small band of the R series, led by my good friend here, were instrumental in retiring the master control program… Mother Brain, was it? They were certainly not decommissioned. But I did not come here to discuss history with you.”

“Yes, so your message said. You want my support in the oversight committee.”

“That is correct. Prometheus and I are advancing the temporal sciences but there is a limit to what one man and one machine working in a small laboratory can do.”

The Protectorate laughed. “Small? The Time Research Lab is the largest research center of its kind in existence or in history.”

“Known history, you mean,” the Guru mumbled. Louder, he continued, “Be that as it may, my resources are limited. With additi-”

“Limited?” the Protectorate interrupted again. “Limited? As far as I can tell, you have no resources. Your Time Research Lab just popped up one day, and you along with it. Indeed, I can’t even find where you get your power from!”

The Guru sighed and went into an explanation, as he could see that this bureaucrat wasn’t going to be reasonable. “The power is generated from a simple air-core coil that utilizes the phantom loop effect in order to induct energy from the Earth’s magnetic field and other radiant energy sources. It is all very last-millennium. There is a limit to the viability of this method, however. With additional resources we could develop practical applications of time manipulations.”

“For example,” the Guru offered. He paused, slightly surprised he hadn’t been interrupted again. “Ahem, for example it could be possible to expand the agricultural produce of the planet exponentially. Consider…” he motioned towards Prometheus, who opened up his body-covering to reveal a projector that thrust an image of a simplified urban community and a farm onto the far wall. The image followed the narration: “A farm that was temporally displaced, where time could run at an accelerated rate. Given proper modifications, such a farm could produce a year’s worth of crops every month, every day, indeed every minute.” The display showed tiny animated workers carting fresh crops to the waiting city as an impossible rate.

“But that is only one probable and somewhat early result of temporal research.” The Guru continued, “Consider a single apple…” Prometheus switched the display to the mentioned fruit. “With exact control over time, it might be possible for one apple to feed tens of thousands of individuals.” The image split into several identical apples. “All that is require would be to remove the apple from a second ago and bring it to the present, then remove the apple from two seconds ago, and bring that to the present, and so on and so forth. Mastery over time could provide endless resources.”

“Hmm…” the Protectorate said as he leaned back in his chair. “The timing of this presentation is most curious. Why, I have just come from a council meeting where the projected energy crisis was discussed. But… you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”

“Oh course not,” the Guru said. He almost sounded sincere. “But since you bright it up, do allow me to note that this basic premise is not limited to food alone.”

“Yes,” the Protectorate said, greed gleaming in his eyes. Maybe this meeting wasn’t such a waste after all. “I am sure it isn’t… very well, this project seems highly profitable. Send me your formal proposal. I’ll help you build your ‘city.’”

The human and the robot bowed their way out of the politician’s office and headed to a public tram that would take them near-enough to the workshop. Along the way Prometheus thought over the meeting and was ultimately disappointed in the outcome.

“Sir,” he said to the guru, “to my understanding of temporal mechanics, it would not be possible to remove an unlimited or near unlimited number of specific instances of an object from the time stream and place them in a central location.”

“That is quite correct,” the human said. “At best you’d end up with just one apple, a lot of wasted effort, and potentially reprehensible damage to the very fabric of time. But the Protectorate doesn’t know that.”

“It was dishonest of us to make such a claim.”

“Possibly, my boy, but the ends justify the means.”

“But you are unaware of what this end is and thus cannot conclude that it justifies the dishonesty utilized in achieving it.”

“You are quite right again. Now that the NeoEpoch is complete, or should be after those diagnostics are done, it may be time I started studying Gaspar’s old field of temporal informatics. Perhaps then I can deduce the purpose of building a city of time.”

“The Ashtear’s have Lucca’s old research files on hand. I believe she studied and attempted to replicate his Time Egg. Her research may be of help in this particular matter, then.”

“Good idea. Perhaps it is time for you to visit them and see what you can obtain.”


“Excuse me sir? You have a visitor.”

The boy shoved his glasses up his face with the back of his hand and, with a finger marking his passage, looked up from his book. “Who is it?”

“Prometheus, sir.”

There was a clatter as the boy stood upright, knocking over the end-table that had been covered with books and papers. Even the text in his hand slipped and fell among the debris. The boy only spared a moment’s sorrowful glance for his lost place. “Show him right in!”

The servant stood aside and Prometheus entered. He walked lightly in an attempt to not unduly damage the wood floor. The boy, on the other hand, had no such reservations. He scrambled over to the robot and threw his arms around him.

“It’s good to see you again, Robo!”

“It is good to see you as well, Isaac.”

Releasing his friend, Isaac went to clean up the mess he made. “But what brings you here, Ro? Ever since you read great granny Lu’s message to you, you’ve been spending all your time at the research lab.”

Prometheus nodded, “It is an unfortunate necessity. Lucca had a great debt to repay the man, and I have a great debt to her.”

Isaac paused, “This isn’t a social call, is it?”

“I am afraid not.”

The boy’s expression feel for a moment, before once again bursting into a grin. “Well, no matter. I’m always glad to help a friend. What’s up?”

“We are in need of Lucca’s notes on temporal mechanics.”

“This ‘bout the anomaly that prevented the Epoch from working?”

“How did you become aware of that?”

Isaac’s grin grew even larger. “Come on, you don’t really think I wouldn’t know what’s going on there? I built it, after all. Well… okay, I designed it, but you know what I mean.”

“Indeed. Affirmative, this is about the distortion that required the Epoch’s redesign.”

“What does the old man think this is about?” Isaac asked.

“I am afraid I am not privy to his thoughts in these matters. He seems unsure himself,” Prometheus replied.

“So guess!”


“Geesh, I’m not asking you to make me an invisible pink unicorn; just extrapolate based on current data, filling in the gaps with the most likely assumptions.”

“Very well… processing… something about the defeat of Lavos and the alteration of the timeline must have skewed the nature of time travel. Given that this alteration is consistent and appears to influence all time periods equally, it can be supposed that this is not merely an artifact of Lavos’ defeat. Rather, a conscious entity is altering the fabric of time. Building a major research center will give the Guru enough resources to hopefully pinpoint the anomaly and correct it.”

“Woah, that’s heavy,” Isaac said.

“Negative, weight and mass would not have an influence on this distortion,” Prometheus responded.

“It’s slang, Ro. It means that sounds very serious, important, and pressing. Anywho, let’s go get great granny Lu’s files. They’re in the corporation’s archives.”

Isaac headed towards the door and motioned for Prometheus to follow. “I think you two will be particularly interested in her notes from 1030.”

“Why do you believe this?” Prometheus asked.

“That was when she and great grampy Jake had a kid. They founded an orphanage soon after. Taking care of children turned her research to temporal ethics and sociology. She became worried as to what would happen if someone tried to change the timeline again. When granny Lu and the others saved the future, they destroyed the ruined one that we replaced. You know, I may have even been around in such a world, leading a horrible life. But… any life is better than no-life. What if someone from that ‘discarded timeline’ wanted revenge?”

“Impossible,” Prometheus replied. “For all intents and purposes, beings discarded from the timeline would be unable to influence the timeline itself.”

“Unless they had a connection with something from inside the timeline.”

“Interesting. What sort of connection might that be?”

“Dunno… maybe if someone that wasn’t supposed to be in a discarded timeline somehow got there?”

“Interesting indeed. While I cannot presently hypothesize how such an event might occur, it does imply potential I had not previously considered. I will pass this conjecture along to the guru. Thank you.”

Isaac shook his head, “Don’t thank me. Granny Lu was the one who came up with it. You’ll see more in her research itself.”


“Excuse me sir? You have a visitor.”

“Here? How in the world did I get a visitor here, Mr. Jones?” the guru asked as his companion backed away to allow him to receive the guest.

“It is a representative from the Central Regime, sir,” the messenger said.

“Ah, that would exp-” the guru started to say, but he was interrupted by a bulbous woman with green skin who pushed her way into the cabin.

 “The ‘Guru of Reason’ I presume?” she asked in an uncomfortably deep voice. The guru paused, then nodded.

“Good. Just what do you think you are doing?”

“I am afraid I do not understand the question, my dear… oh my, I don’t seem to have caught your name,” the guru said.

“Representative of Medina, Blon Fel-Fotch Pasameer-Day Slitheen,” she said curtly. “And what I mean is that you’re supposed to be building your little city in Medina. We had Blue Sun contracts lined up, but I was informed this morning that you canceled them! So what in the name of Magus’ short n’ curlies do you think you are doing in this El Nido no-place?!”

“Ah, well it turns out that Medina would not suit our purposes while this little patch of sea is perfect, from a scientific perspective.”

“I don’t care, you just put countless mystics – my supporters – out of work!”

“To be fair, they weren’t in work. Yet, at least.”

The impish woman glared. The guru smiled. She continued to glare.

“I am sorry, there is little I can do. I must go where the science leads me.”

Without another word the Medina Representative turned on her heels and marched out of the cabin.

“I suspect she will be a continual problem,” the guru said.

Prometheus moved away from the wall, where the woman had ignored him, and approached the Guru’s work station. “I agree. Query: why did you not tell her why you desire to build Chronopolis on this site?”

“You might remember a timeline in which Lavos erupted in 1999, but in this timeline that never happened. If I told her that this is where it rose up and destroyed Zeal, that this is where the Ocean Palace crashed, and that this is where your friends defeated that thing, she would think I was crazy.”

“Medical scans indicate that your mental functions are within acceptable ranges.”

“Perhaps, but I doubt she would be so easily convinced.”

“Might I suggest, then, a plausible fragment of the truth? The fabric of time in this particular region is unusually weak; the woman need not know that the cause of this is that it is here that time has been changed.”

“That is a fine idea. While perhaps it might not due to tell her, as I suspect Ms. Slitheen will make too large of a deal out of it, if other representatives of the Regime come around…” the guru mused.

“Shall we continue working, then?”

“Of course. Now, where were we?”

“We had just finished planning for the excavation of Lavos’ remains and had moved onto the postdiction/prediction computer algorithms,” Prometheus offered.

“Ah yes. Lavos’ power might be at the heart of this city, but we’ll need a brain capable of utilizing it.”

“Ever since the uprising, computers of that caliber have specifically been avoided. The simplest course of action would be to recruit one of those and use it as a basis for this system.”

“Good idea, though we’ll need the Regime’s permission. I’ll prepare a proposal. Maybe something along the lines of using those old super computers for weather control of resource management.”

“I am concerned, however; those computers contained a flaw that allowed the uprising to occur. If the computer integrated into Chronopolis were to come under similar sway…”

“True. That would be… bad. Perhaps we should integrate a watchdog circuit into its structure?”


“Excuse me sir? You have a visitor.”

Isaac Ashtear nodded and waved for his servant to grant the guest entrance. Two young scientists entered. “Ah, Mr. Smith, Mr. Jones, how did things go?”

“Acceptable,” Mr. Smith answered. “The course of research at Chronopolis appears to be set and the replacement director is operating within predicted parameters. The Guru’s disappearance was unexpected, of course, and so the Regime has taken a keen interest in the running of the city. This turn of events has been lead by the Representative from Medina…”

“But,” Mr. Jones offered, “the Atropos Virus is distracting them enough to prevent undesirable meddling. Everything should be set for the next hundred years.”

“And the D-Lock?” Isaac asked.

“Nothing to it,” Mr. Jones answered. “Not even the postdiction/prediction program has been able to offer us a yummy, full on test.”

“Ahem,” Mr. Smith said, “that is correct, but it isn’t finished yet. A hardware failsafe may be necessary. Such a contingency was planned for and built in, though not implemented.”

“True, but I really hope it doesn’t come down to that. Ro’s a good friend,” Isaac said.

“Yup,” Mr. Jones commented. “But he’s a true hero. He’ll do what he needs to.”

“As will we all,” Mr. Smith added. “To each our own duty.”

“Aye… some of us get to skip across time like stones across a pond. And some of us get to take the long road,” Isaac said, the forlorn notable in his voice. He turned away from his guests and looked out the window. The two scientists nodded to his back and left the room.

Once outside, Mr. Jones paused for a moment to feel the wind on his face. “Helping grandpa’s friend is fun, but I still want to be the wind someday.”

“Oh you will be…” Mr. Smith said. “Our dreaming’s not done yet, not by a long shot. This is just an intermission until the real fun begins.”

Chrono / Gameplay Casual Discussion / Jack'o'Lavos
« on: October 28, 2009, 02:10:13 am »
This might properly go under the fanart section, but it isn't particularly art.

Anywho, with Halloween about people are decorating their pumpkins. Why not add a little Lavos to your holiday celebrations, with this Halloween Pumpkin Design. Just print it out, pit it on a pumpkin, and cut out the black sections. In no time you'll have something that, after three beers, will look like Lavos erupting from the earth!

General Discussion / Social Justice for the Undead!
« on: October 28, 2009, 12:06:15 am »
Given that it is nearly Halloween, I thought it might be an enjoyable diversion to discuss a bit of a what-if. In this case, what if zombies, vampires, werewolves, and other former-normal-humans truly existed in modern society. What rights should be extended to those people groups, if any? Should they be under particular regulations?

Consider the classic zombie, for example. Though formerly human, the common variety lack the intelligence necessary for communication and thus by their very nature cannot participate in the common human experience. Voting, it would seem, must be denied them. Given that I am not sure what reproductive and sexual drives they have, I cannot speak for certain, but I suspect the marriage privileges might have to be restricted as well. We might relegate them to the status of unthinking animals. Given their high risk to normal human life, they would probably have to be closely regulated, possibly existing only in special government reserves. Though undead, I can find no particular reason to eradicate an entire branch of humanity. Of course, the problem of diet might solve that. If they are traditional horror-movie zombies that require a steady diet of human brains, I am afraid we must, through not providing that, allow them to die out.

Vampires, on the other hand, seem like they might be able to be a productive and useful addition to society. The problem there, however, would be with their immortality. Would vampires be required to pay into social security? If so, when would they collect? Would population controls need to be put in place?

Chrono / Gameplay Casual Discussion / How the Enix Stole Christmas
« on: October 26, 2009, 11:47:16 am »
It is getting to be that time of the year,
when firewood is crackling and happy seasons will be here.
In the spirit of the festivities I present to you now,
a little tale of Square Enix and regarding their stealing of Christmas, the how.
You might think it is short, or belongs in another sub-forum,
But that was intentional, and it's not really a proper submission.
So I hope this little tale might bring a smile to your face,
Even though I'm fairly sure my rhymes and meter are a disgrace.


Every Fan Down in Fanville Liked Chrono a lot…
But the Enix, Who lived just north of Fanville, Did NOT!
The Enix hated Crimson Echoes, the whole hacking treason!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be their head wasn’t screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps, that their shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all,
May have been that their business model was epic fail.
Whatever the reason, their model or their shoes,
They stood there on Crimson Eve, hating the Fans,
Staring down from their cave with a sour, Enixy frown,
At the warm lighted windows below in their town.
For they knew every Fan down in Fanville beneath,
Was busy now, download the latest emulator release.
“And they’re emailing their friends!” they snarled with a sneer,
“Tomorrow is Release Day! It’s practically here!”
Then they growled, with their Enix fingers nervously drumming,
“I MUST find some way to stop Crimson Echoes from coming!”
For Tomorrow, they knew, all the Fan girls and boys,
Would wake bright and early and rush for the downloadable toy!
And then! Oh, the joys! Oh, the joys!
Joys! Joys! Joys!
That’s one thing they hated! The JOYS!
Then the Fans, young and old, would sit down to gaming.
And they’d Game! And they’d Game! And they’d GAME!
They would game with King-Zeal, and rave about an alien-beast.
Which was something the Enix couldn’t stand in the least!
And THEN They’d do something they liked least of all!
Every Fan down in Fanville, the tall and the small,
Would stand close together, with Crimsons a’ Echoing.
They’d stand hand-in-hand. And the Fans would start praising!
They’d praise! And they’d praise! And they’d PRAISE!
And the more the Enix thought of this Fan made King,
The more the Enix thought, “I must stop this whole thing!”
“Why, for fourteen years we’ve put up with it now!”
“We MUST stop this Crimsonness from coming! But HOW?”
Then they got an idea! An awful idea!
“I know just what to do!” The ENIX laughed in their businessy halls.
And they made a quick screen name and hired some trolls.
And they chuckled, and clucked, “What a great Enixy trick!”
“With this name and this troll, we look just like a fan-like beatnik!”
“All we need is a legal standing …” The Enix looked around.
But, since evil laws are scarce, there was none to be found.
Did that stop the old Enix? No! The Enix simply said,
“If we can’t find a premise, we’ll make one instead!”
So they called the lackie, Bob. Then had him take some red ink,
And they told him to write a letter to make fan-hearts sink.
THEN they loaded the letter and some old crappy tricks
On a ramshackle email and they sent it “with love from Enix”
Then the Enix said, “send it out!” And the email started to roam,
Toward the places where the Fans Lay asnooze in their homes.
All their computers were dark. Quiet rain filled the air.
All the Fans were all dreaming sweet dreams without care.
When Enix came to the first little project on the square.
“This is stop number one,” the old Enixy laws hissed,
And they downloaded the patch and shook their fist
Then they played the game for quite a while
But found that if a prophet could do this with guile
Perhaps others might hack a rom or two.
Then they stuck their head out into the compendium’s forumy zoo.
Where the little hacking threads all listed in a row.
“These threads,” they grinned, “are the first things to go!”
Then they slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant,
Around the whole forum, and they took every project apparent!
Lucca’s guns! And jet-bikes! Magus mods! Aylas!
Seven-letter mods! Eighth Character Hacks! And hentai Aylas!
And they stuffed them in bags. Then the Enix, very nimbly,
Threatened all the hacker on little more than mere whimsy!
Then they slunk to the beta-box. They took the Fans’ feast!
They took the Zeal-King! He took the alien beast!
They cleaned out the Prophet’s Guile as quick as a flash.
Why, that Enix even took the last episode of a Chrono-flash!
Then they shut down all the forums with Enixy glee.
“And NOW!” grinned the Enix, “I will shut down the final release!”
And the Enix threatened the modders, and they started to shove,
When they heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.
They turned around fast, and he saw a small Fan!
Little Agent 12 Fan, who was not more than a man.
The Enix had been caught by this tiny Fan pater,
Who’d called them on the phone to discuss the matter.
He stared at the Enix and said, “Square Enix, why,”
“Why are you taking our Echoes Release? WHY?”
But, you know, that old Enix was so evil and so slick,
They thought up no excuse, certainly not quick!
“Why, my sweet little tot,” the tricky Square Enix said,
“Though this is not harming us at all, you have to get in in your head,
We hate you.”

General Discussion / The Art Appreciation Thread
« on: October 23, 2009, 01:31:36 pm »
The compendium has threads for video games, classical music, other music, movies, random bits of information, books, and even artwork that compendiumians have made, but no thread just for sharing beautiful works of art (painted, sculpted, or in short verse).

As such, this thread is intended for that very purpose. Post your favorite paintings, artistic photographs, poems, etc here. I would ask that anime, video games, etc all be excluded, as there are already threads for those. Basically, if you might be tought to appreciate it in a college course, please post it here (the image itself as well as a link to it, if you can manage, or a section of text if it is written with the reference information so we can find it).

Index of Art

Paintings (as well as Frescoes, Mosaics, etc)
Monuments, Buildings, and feats of Engineering
Poetry and other Written Things

General Discussion / How I’m like Hitler...
« on: July 17, 2009, 01:36:58 pm »
Chance are that over the last few years you’ve heard someone say that President Obama is like Adolt Hitler. While I’m not a fanatical supporter of Obama, these sorts of claims annoy me greatly, particularly when they come from family members who really should know better.

A key trait of such comparisons is that they focus on such broad associations that they could fit for large portions of the population. My wife, actually, came up with the original list of how she was like Hitler, and I copied her, and now I pass it on to you in the hopes that you’ll be amused.

‘Cause didn’t you know? I’m like Hitler.

My Wife’s List:

  • Hitler was born into western culture, she was born into western culture.
  • Hitler may have had Jewish ancestry, she may have Jewish ancestry
  • Hitler’s lineage is unknown on his father’s side, her lineage is unknown on her father’s side.

My List

  • Hitler was born in the Spring, I was born in the spring.
  • Hitler had Germanic heritage, I have Germanic heritage.
  • Hitler was a poor student in his youth, I was a poor student in my youth.
  • Hitler was a member of an uppity political party, I’m a member of an uppity political party.
  • Hitler was influenced by Karl Luegar, I’m influenced by Carl Sagan.
  • Hitler was an idealist, I’m an idealist.
  • Hitler was a charismatic speaker, I can sometimes fake being a charismatic speaker.

Since I’m so similar to Hitler, and Hitler is similar to Obama (or so people keep telling me), I guess that means I must be similar to Obama too!


… chances are, you are like ol' Adolf too. So come on, join Obama, my wife, and I and tell us: how are you like Hitler?

This almost isn't significant enough to merit its own topic, but there didn't seem to be a FF topic in which this wouldn't be a non sequitur.

It seems to be a popular theory that the Mammon Machine contained the Frozen Flame. However, in examining the matter, it appears to be fairly clear that this cannot be the case, as proven by the simple fact that Chronopolis has the Frozen Flame.

There are two facts to consider that would seemingly prevent the FF from being part of the Mammon Machine.

First and foremost is Chronopolis. It finds the Frozen Flame, but if the FF was in the Mammon Machine, then it would have also been in the ruins of the Ocean Palace. We have already seen, via the Sun Palace, that Zealean artifacts are quite durable. Thus, in discovering the Frozen Flame, it would seem that Chronopolis would have had to dig through Zealean artifacts. However, individuals in Chronopolis still claim that there is no evidence that such a civilization ever existed. An archeological find along the lines of the Ocean Palace would have certainly removed beyond a doubt that such a place existed.


Quote from: Dialogue in Chronopolis
   I've heard that the Time Egg
   already existed during the
   legendary, ancient dynasty.
   We shouldn't have to rely
   on theories from an ancient
   civilization that may not
   have even existed.
   We can do this.

Second, the FF can't be in the Mammon Machine because Chronopolis has it. If the FF had been in the MM, we then have a problem; the Machine was sent, along with Schala, into the DBT. It wouldn't have existed in the world for Chronopolis to have found.

Quote from: Lucca
   The true beginning was during
   the destruction of the ancient
   Kingdom of Zeal!
   As the palace collapsed around
   her, Princess Schala was sucked
   into a dimensional vortex along
   with the Lavos Mammon Machine.

Is there any way to circumvent this evidence in order to maintain that the FF is, in fact, in the MM?

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