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Thread: Timelines: What if Spain Failed to Control the World?

  1. #1021
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    Meh, I bet we'll figure out even flesh puppets aren't invulnerable to being human.

    Though Nia COULD be the real one, with Isabella simply badly mangled by her ordeals. Afterall, she did miss the correct house of Roses. And I doubt any puppet could fully run a business like Jesca did.

    (And nice Galactica reference )
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  2. #1022
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avernite
    Meh, I bet we'll figure out even flesh puppets aren't invulnerable to being human.

    Though Nia COULD be the real one, with Isabella simply badly mangled by her ordeals. Afterall, she did miss the correct house of Roses. And I doubt any puppet could fully run a business like Jesca did.

    (And nice Galactica reference )
    That's a good point to bring up . About flesh puppes being vulnerability to humanity . In fact , you've slightly anticipated my climax , but luckily it's not as simple . I'm very thankful for your guesses , Avernite ! Your intuition is probably why you win so many WW games , right ? Hehe ...
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  3. #1023
    Second Lieutenant Petros's Avatar
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    Oh, my goodness! The anticipation is killing me...

    Can't wait to see this contraption working once the Timepiece is charged! But I'm wondering whether it is going to work as intended (by whoever has their hands upon it) or if the lack of any Key would sent everyone to a premature death. Hmm... I'm just guessing here, but if that happens then we'll be having a Shakespearean end! You know; where everybody dies in the end!

    By the way, I still can't fathom which is the Greek city that has a Roman arena. Though I'm wondering whether an ancient Greek amphitheater was ever converted into one, for a while... but I surely can't think of one.

    Anyway, I also particularly enjoyed the references to BSG!
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  4. #1024
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petros
    Oh, my goodness! The anticipation is killing me...

    Can't wait to see this contraption working once the Timepiece is charged! But I'm wondering whether it is going to work as intended (by whoever has their hands upon it) or if the lack of any Key would sent everyone to a premature death. Hmm... I'm just guessing here, but if that happens then we'll be having a Shakespearean end! You know; where everybody dies in the end!

    By the way, I still can't fathom which is the Greek city that has a Roman arena. Though I'm wondering whether an ancient Greek amphitheater was ever converted into one, for a while... but I surely can't think of one.

    Anyway, I also particularly enjoyed the references to BSG!
    I have to admit that I'm using a bit of license by pretending there's a greek city somewhere around there with an old roman arena that was built during the roman occupation or perhaps during byzantine times . Anyway , update COMING NOW !
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  5. #1025
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    Chapter LVIII: The End Part II


    December 3, 1583

    Even from the perched headquarters in the summer villa, the crack of gunshots and the boom of cannons rattled the wooden confines of the Far East headquarters. General Grubby did not wait for his manservant’s uneasy hands to finish his armour as he instinctively strapped his steel cuirass without even looking into the mirror in front of him. “Faster, Geraldo, the battle’s already started and I’m only half dressed!”

    The silent manservant quickened his pace despite the soft descent of dust coming from the ceiling. “Your horse is ready, General,” a lieutenant quickly informed him from the doorway.

    “Good, have Arias’s division meet me on the forward position, we’ll outflank through the river,” the General quickly barked before shooting a glance towards the tall man at the other end of the hall. “Give me some good news, Lex.”

    Lexington White held onto the rolled reports in his right hand with a tightened fist. “I’m afraid you’re on your own this time, General. We’ll do our best with the backup reports Nia has provided us, but Jesca’s paperwork is faulty and incomplete.”

    As the leather bindings on General Schenkhuizen’s armour stretched to the usual tightness, the lanky general took a pause to examine his counterpart. His usual quickness gave way to a more understanding tenor. “It’s unlike her to make mistakes. Even before she was your Princess,” the General said reaching to put his curved helmet onto his head. “Were these the instructions she left behind for you to carry out?”

    “Yes,” Lex said easing the fist’s hold on the paperwork. “She spent the whole night before departure dictating it all to her pers—” Lex’s eyes seized up and presented a steel look towards his colleague.

    “Where is she?” Grubby asked stepping away from his manservant similarly arrested by the realization.

    ---


    Even from the tucked temporary headquarters of the port warehouse, the crack of thunder and the boom of lightning disturbed the wooden enclosure of the unused building. Nonetheless, the entourage had finished their preparations and had spread out accordingly from their base of operation. Renault de Fronsac as the second highest ranking Lion amongst the group headed the main division of Special Forces that now began to surround the old Roman arena at the center of the city.

    There was no need for signs or directions since a pyre of white seemed to continually coalesce above the gloomy ruin at the middle of town. Sparks of white cast long shadows like a gigantic ring of dark each time Heaven touched Earth behind the walls of the arena. Antonio, Jakob, Jesca, and Nia took the direct route to the entrance of the unlikely citadel. Their job was simple; to penetrate the defenses and secure the Timepiece. Renault and the barely sufficient detachment of Lions would make sure there was no escape.

    Through the main gate and palisade of the arena, there was surprisingly no resistance. Nothing but rubble decorated the ground and steel bars and wooden enclosures seemed to suffice to keep out unwanted visitors. “I can see light coming from this corridor,” Jakob said quickly noticing a descending staircase.

    “It probably leads to the gladiator stable. We can make our way into the center through there,” Antonio added before leading the others down the stone steps. His sword was already drawn as were the weapons of the other three. Jakob and Antonio held the torches for their stealthier counterparts.

    The flight downward was brisk but the narrow corridor stifled them with loud blasts from the center of the arena. The thunder reverberated uncontrollably through the narrow and smooth hallways throughout the underground complex. Checking in all directions as the corridor opened into an armory, the four dashed forward prepared for whatever dangers awaited. Still, however, nothing.

    “Over there,” Nia pointed out to a platform with chains below a wooden ceiling that now sprinkled dust and light through its cracks. “It must be a trap door into the arena for animals. We can get up through it.”

    “We’ll stand on it,” Jesca instructed, “and I’ll trip the chain with my dag—”

    “My Lady…” a voice crept into the room from one of the corridors like an echo. Jesca could not finish her words and all eyes found the darkened path where the sound entered from. To all present except for Jakob, the voice had a twist of familiarity in its sighing chord.

    “Lady Jesca…” was the voice again; a girl’s voice that prickled the hair on the back of Jesca’s neck.

    “Impossible… that voice,” Nia let out while retracting a metallic weapon from her belt.

    “Lydia…” Jesca called back out to the shadow. Backing away from the hallway and approaching the platform with the rest of the party, Jesca watched carefully for signs of her little secretary.

    What greeted her instead brought a hand to her mouth. “You shouldn’t be here…” Lydia’s voice once again called out as a figure disintegrated itself from the shadow. But no; the small girl was not present in front of all of them. The intensity of the shock gripped them as if the lightning showering above had penetrated into their bodies below. Black hair draped over bloodshot eyes; pale skin—dirty and marred—frothed with pus and sweat. On the figure’s neck was a scar deep and vicious revealing a finer shade of skin within which condensed with a powerful liquid.

    “W…What … who are you…?” Jesca called out attempting to suppress the smell now wafting towards them with her hand. “…Lydia?” she feebly asked as if a tear was creeping out of her squinting expression.

    “Yes… it’s me,” the apparition said once again in Lydia’s voice. Below the pale face was black armour stretching from shoulder to foot. Draped in a cape of red and that dark colour, it was a man’s body—a dead man’s body.

    “No…” Jesca called out holding her position in between the party and this strange being in front of her. “What… what happened to you?!”

    There were teeth that were Lydia’s suddenly emanating from underneath wretched rotting lips. “Don’t you see?” that girl’s voice said, “Sio-Pan has given me what I’ve always wanted… I can finally live with strength and power… as his avatar of vengeance! MMnn,” she suddenly moaned out with a gurgling viciousness, “don’t you want it too? Don’t you feel it as well? Deep down inside, we all lust for flesh… And here I am… living proof that I can finally be who I really am! I have a new name now… you can call me… Zio!”

    The thunder crashed against the ears of all those present once more, and already these sounds were accompanied by Jakob’s pistol hammer being pulled backward. Nia had crouched down low in anticipation, but Jesca could only stand there with a stunned countenance. “How could you do this… I thought…”

    “I’m sorry, Jesca…” the girl’s voice said with a taunting giggle yet grating a hint of regret as if the very words of vitriol that now spewed forth was interlaced by a single thread of sadness. “I’m not like you; righteous and sacrificing even if you did lose your memories you still kept the work of… Isabella going.” The name widened Jesca’s eyes as the girl spoke. “Even though you were given a new life, a new identity you still help these oppressors!”

    Those reddened eyes seared against the fading blues of the stunned Jesca. “You were given a chance to be who you want to be and you threw it away for the sake of…” it was as if the next word was too repugnant for that avatar of vengeance to speak. “You represent everything that I hate, Jesca,” she continued, “No one, not the world, not even the one who created me can dictate who I am. I will create myself! And Sio-Pan has showed me how. Through his chemicals… through his wondrous alchemy he has made me whole again… and for that I love him and will serve him. This is how the new world he is attempting to create shall be! A new world where we will have freedom! This will be the world of the Lord of Acid; the world of my poisonous love; the world of my chemical romance and I will join where this body’s previous owner wished to be—to be a part of his new revolution—to be a part of the black parade!”

    “Still with the black this and black that!” a voice boomed from the opposite corridor even above the din of thunder. “And people wonder why I killed you the first time!”

    Jakob’s head was the first to turn; the tinge of recognition breaking the paralysis. His vision was not disappointed as the smashing noise of armour against armour created a percussion to rival the heavenly tirade above. “Uncle!” Jakob called out as the rest turned their heads.

    Cardinal-Duke James DeWitt; Lord Chancellor of the Kingdom of Spain, Cardinal Protector of Germany, and Duke of Saxony. He had to inch through the corridor sideways just to fit into the main chamber. Once inside, a smaller grinning figure appeared from the rear. Sweet was handily carrying the Cardinal’s chained spear for him.

    The four were not the only ones who gave their attention to the imposing prince of the Church. Lydia grit her teeth and seethed in poisonous hatred. “Not even your precious Church can stop us now!” she called out before raising a gauntleted hand. Hooded figures immediately responded to the signal and stepped out of the corridor’s shadowy interior on her end of the room and began amassing on the armoury grounds.

    Cardinal Dewitt took hold of his spear from Sweet’s burdened grasp and faced the incoming adversaries. “There may be a day,” he said to all of them in his stentorian voice, “when even Holy Mother Church cannot stop you. But by the grace of God, on this day, at this time, so long as I draw breath, it will not be so!”

    With that, the Cardinal looked towards his smaller companion and instructed him quietly with his age old eyes. “Make sure that Jakob receives what you hold, my friend,” the Cardinal said quietly to Sweet. Sweet patted the bundle of papers attached to his belt, but he was not the only one who noticed. Jakob stepped forward with an inquisitive look.

    Before he could even ask a single word, Jakob felt the rush of air as Sweet pulled Isabella onto the platform and the Cardinal sliced through the iron chain counterweights with his spear. The room filling with acolytes and the apparition of his uncle in red armour disappeared into the floor. There was no time for questions; the trap door which was above them now swung ajar and the intermix of humid and dry air warmed the five who rose into the arena.

    The sandy bottom of the floor led up to the far end of the inner circle where a towering figure preceded before a spire of blackness and white lightning. “Welcome to my arena,” the tall one at the far end announced. “I am Raypard Le Cheik, second counci—”

    “I don’t care who you are,” Antonio angrily called out, “You must hand over the Timepiece immediately! Using it like this is dangerous!”

    As the five stood in a star like formation stepping off the platform in the direction of the strange construction ahead, Le Cheik did not waste any more time. “Open a gate!” he called out. The bustling around the inner rim of the arena, shades of hooded men now became visible. A heavy splitting of metal was heard and on to the left side of the five, a gate opened.

    Jakob was able to shoot the first lion as it lunged towards them, opting to defend his friends with his first shot before attempting to snipe their main adversary. Nia managed to slice another one of the beasts’ throats as it pounced for her. As if on cue, several acolytes had followed the exiting animals and attempted to take advantage of the surprise. Perhaps it was the reflection of lightning against curved blade, but the two front men were initially blinded before their bodies fell to the ground with oblique cuts delved by Sweet’s stoic superluminal blade. The third man fell to a reloaded shot.

    “Another Gate! Another Gate!” Le Cheik yelled out curling his fingers into a fist. Gates sprang open along the rim of the arena. Jesca danced with rapier in hand along the edge of the rim picking off the most vulnerable of the incoming foes while Jakob stood in the center finding beasts and man alike to take out at range. Antonio looked to his companions before rushing forward closer to Le Cheik hoping to end the encounter before the surrounding forces became overwhelming. That’s when the bull almost rammed into his side.

    Though hoping to stop, the grainy floor made Antonio slip and slide into the bull’s path. With a trampling charge, Antonio barely escaped the incoming beast by rolling in the perpendicular direction. The animal seemed to seethe in the error and turned around for a second attack. Antonio could feel the incoming monster in the depths of his spine as it rocked the floor.

    Taking hold of the dirty surface, he threw a small cloud of dust into the animal’s face forcing it to turn to one side. Racing to his feet, Antonio mercilessly stabbed with his blade into its neck. Although in its death throes, the beast twisted in the opposite direction and pulled the rapier right out of Antonio’s grip.

    “Enough of this!” Le Cheik growled angrily watching his minions and beasts blunder one after the other. His whole figure turned and those gloved hands made contact with the contraption. Opening the machine briefly, he fearlessly took hold of the glowing rod placed within. Like water adhering to a parting surface, lightning followed the moving object as Le Cheik brought it around to face the arena. There was a slicing explosion as lightning conducted from the tip of the rod and made contact with the earth below.

    Antonio jumped back. The lightning continued to arc in random directions directly in front of Le Cheik creating a virtual shield of electricity. Antonio’s sword within the bull’s carcass now caught the attention of Le Cheik’s weapon causing the whole object to explode sending scorched pieces of the animal into the rest of the arena.

    Seeing the new tactic their enemy was employing, Jesca threw a fan of knives in Le Cheik’s direction. The metal, immediately attracting the energies of the charged particles made contact with a bolt of lightning. The superheated air crashed a terrible noise in different directions before sending the objects back towards the arena with a menacing speed. “Jakob, shoot him!” Jesca said in desperation before being forced to begin fighting with an oncoming acolyte.

    Jakob pivoted on his right foot and aimed his pistol at the illuminated foe. The first shot was dead on Jakob’s sights, but for some reason not a scratch appeared on Le Cheik who merely laughed at the attempt. “What’s wrong?” Antonio yelled out in the terrible loudness of the thunder.

    “Something’s deflecting my shots!” Jakob yelled, “His rod must be magnetized somehow!” he said before quickly drawing his own sword to defend himself. The massive amount of cultists was beginning to take its toll on the five even though the bodies began to clutter the floor.

    “Hold them off!” Antonio suddenly called out, “I have an idea!” It only took a second for Jakob to be by his side taking the man approaching Antonio. Antonio could not help but smile at the loyalty of his friend before pulling off his leather boot.

    “You’re going to throw your shoe at him?” Jakob asked being as serious as he usually was despite the hilarity of his question.

    “Much better than that,” Antonio said as he turned away from Jakob. Jakob did not have the luxury to question Antonio’s strange actions before having to engage two men simultaneously.

    What had happened next took everyone by surprise; perhaps because it had been so effective yet so simple. Antonio would have later said that it was thanks to Renault’s tips that he had come up with the idea. The boot had made a courageous journey with Antonio’s powerful thrust forward. Flying through the air, it garnered almost everyone’s attention and especially Le Cheik’s. There was a large chuckle as the object reached the tall Councilman; at least, Le Cheik thought, he was impressed by Antonio’s strength to lob such an object in his direction. Using one hand to hold his Thunder Halberd steady, he slapped the boot with his other. That was when the contents of the boot flooded out. Liquid splashed out of the inside of the leather and made contact with Le Cheik’s shoulders and spread all the way to his hand. Sparks flew in all directions as the lightning conducted past the gloves via the liquid and seized the tall Councilman until he died on the spot.

    The acolytes dispersed as soon as the lightning ceased and Antonio ran up towards the edge of the arena with only one boot on his feet. The rest followed suit and easily scaled the small partition with a leap. Le Cheik’s body was a charred mess on the floor and the black contraption before them was now silent.

    “Ingenious idea using water like that,” Nia commented after reaching the stands and grinning at the now deceased opponent.

    “That wasn’t water,” Antonio said still half panting with a silly grin on his face. He leaned down to choose a dry glove from Le Cheik’s deathly grip and approached the metal casing. “After we get the Timepiece we’ll double back to help the Card—”

    As he spoke, Antonio opened the previously illuminated black cone only to find its interior completely hollow. As the confusion set in, a light issued from the east, but it was still three hours before morning. Turning to their right at the direction of the illumination, the five ran to the topmost bastion of the arena. At the far end of the city, a golden emanation dominated their view.

    “We’re too late…” Antonio stuttered before repeating himself, “We’re too late…”
    Already, a rumble could be heard as the ground moaned as if pressed by a gigantic pressure. The wind’s roaring became so violent that it seemed to screech towards a monotone pitch. And, in a flash, all became darkness.



    Epilogue


    “I don’t get it, so you’re saying only the universes where a black hole doesn’t exist would matter?”

    “Well, given enough time, Herschel, weren’t you paying attention?”

    “I don’t know, Chiam, I guess this Stephen fellow’s important, but first he reverses his thirty year stance on information being lost in a black hole and now he adds this?”

    “I know, I know, but like he said, you have to sum over all the alternative histories with and without a black hole and you’ll see that the information paradox can be solved. Information is lost in the black hole histories but information is preserved in the histories without a black hole. They would cancel each other out so that information would be preserved in the long term.”

    “That sounds too sterile even for me, Herschel. Plus, the whole idea of alternate universes is troublesome. You know the Church would never approve of it either.”

    “Well, you never know. We used to think evolution was a purely atheistic thing but at least for the Catholics truth will never contradict truth. I’m no theologian but even if multiple universes were possible, it would be easy to see how it would merely be a way for God to allow man to make different choices. In the end, for those who believe, God’s plan is fulfilled in any world. I mean, look at ours! Do you think God intended for this world of ours to be the way it is? It’s a hard question, but both yes and no. We won’t know until the fullness of time is played out whether or not even the worst things that could happen, the worst apostasy, the worst persecution was not for the greater good, eh? Don’t you think?”

    “I’m just an amateur, Herschel, and even worse at theology than I am at physics. I own a deli, I say my prayers, and now you go and talk to me about this Stephen Hawking fellow and black holes. Just take your salami and go home already.”

    “Eh, come on, Chiam. This is exciting stuff!”

    “Are you kidding? It’s already depressing me! What happens to all those histories’ people who are in the black hole universes, huh? What if we’re in a black hole universe? It’s like we don’t mean anything then!”

    “Well… it’s not really like that. Calm down.”

    “Aren’t you a bit sad about it? You’ll never know how they were like. What kind of people they were. And in the end, their universe went kaput. It’s like watching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead all over again. Entertaining, but depressing.”

    “Well it’s not like I’m saying they all disappear or something. This isn’t some nihilistic approach or anything. I’m sure God takes care of them too. It’s not like their souls are fake or get sucked into black holes too haha.”

    “That’s not funny, Herschel.”

    “Oh quit being a spoilsport, Chiam.”

    “You—you’re calling me a spoilsport? Get outa here!”

    “Fifteen years, Chiam. That’s how long we’ve known each other and still you’re as stubborn as a cow.”

    “Stubborn maybe, but at least I won’t lose sleep over whether a universe out there exists where I win the lottery or not. Good night, Herschel, and glad to have you back.”

    “Good to be back. There’s nothing like the good ole USA.”

    -----------------------------------------------------
    -----------------------------------------------------


    What happened with the Timepiece in the past ? Is everyone gone ? Is everything changed ? Will the Timepiece exist to put it all back to what it should be ? Is this the wrong universe ? Was everything for nothing ? Is this Tom's essay ? Is this a dream ? Is this what happens when the Timepiece is used ? Does this universe matter ? Do black holes exist ? Do black holes exist in this universe ? How can Sio-Pan be stopped ? Will his use of the Timepiece be successful ? What happened to Tom ? What happened to Duke Jimenes, Father Xavier, Nia, and Marcus? Will Rodrigo , Captain DeWitt, Hayato , and Lara make it to Tom before the Lord of Acid does ? Does any of that still exist ? What happens to Spain ? Want to see how the Timepiece works ? Want to see how the future is still preserved ? Want to see who lives and who dies ? Tune in next season !

    SEASON 2 COMING SOON
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  6. #1026
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    Alright folks , Season 1 is Over and I hope you liked it all ! Please leave me some notes ! Just to remind you all that the following week we'll be launching our bonus inter-season week . I'd like to take this opportunity to announce the Timelines Improvement Project or TIP ! What I want to do is gather help from you readers out there ! Submissions of several levels would be great:

    1. I'd like to start adding pictures to previous chapters . If you have a picture idea for a previous chapter let me know ! Such as a nice picture to demonstrate a scene , an object , a person , or a map , etc !

    2. Bonus image material ! Such as original art , music compositions , diagrams or anything that you can give to help augment an aspect of Timelines !

    3. A bonus chapter ! Anything and everything related to Timelines is up for grabs so if you guys want to be featured here let me know !

    4. Basically anything else ! just go ahead and PM me if you have any questions ! Hope to hear from you all soon !
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  7. #1027
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    Will you publish this?
    I would buy it.

  8. #1028
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColossusCrusher
    Will you publish this?
    I would buy it.
    Haha , I wish XD . Thank you again for your support !
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  9. #1029
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    Wow. Vastly confusing, without having been able to follow daily for the past couple, three months.

    But I'll definitely try to get caught up again.

    Wonderful work, Canonized, and I'm looking forward to the answers to these questions.

    Your picture of Dali's timepiece intrigues me -- bending time, so to speak. I don't know enough yet to see how it fits in.

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  10. #1030
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    That was awesome ! The story continues to rope me in and keep me guessing ! That was an excellent season my friend. If future seasons are done nearly as well, then you've got one hell of an epic here. I can't wait to find out what's become of the characters we've all known and loved so far ( if they even exist anymore! )

    Thank you for the great read, and I can't wait to see what's in store. Drop me a line sometime if there's any way I can help ( or maybe do a bonus or somethin'! :P )

    Life is but a waiting room in which we wait for our name to be called. It's a long wait, so sit back.. open up a magazine, and make yourself comfortable.

    Edit: Also, thanks for the mention in your speech. It's an honour to read and be a part of your awesome work ! I'll always be there to support you, even when I'm not present on the boards. That's what friends do. I'm proud to see how far this has come, and it's truly inspiring ! Keep it up as always !
    Last edited by Panzerkardinal; 05-08-2007 at 06:51.

  11. #1031
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    One word....wow...never saw that one coming.
    A good end to season one, if it does leave a few loose ends hanging (a few...that'll be understatement )
    Especially intrigued by the last little bit, the Epilogue, on black holes and information...this has set me speculating about the Timepiece, and wondering if it isn't quite closely related to that; somehow collecting the information lost into black holes and thus allowing you to move yourself between any universes (or, for this purpose, Timelines) which have black holes.
    Or something - I've only just begun thinking about it.

  12. #1032
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    Rensslaer: Thank you , Rens-senpai ! I look forward to you catching up ! If you have any questions I'm here to help ^^ and yes , Dali's work has been a great inspiration for me .

    Panzerkardinal: Thank you again , good sir ! It's been a great Season I and I did indeed want to leave it on a cliffhanger (we don't even know if the good Cardinal made it ! XD XD) so that i can get you guys to want to read season II as well XD XD . As for the bonus chapter , Remember how the Cardinal handed off something to Sweet before letting him go ? That was specifically for you .

    Incognitia: Wow , you know , it's once again time for me to be surprised and intrigued by a fan interpretation and speculation . The Timepiece as an Ark for universes . It's a beautiful idea and it's now written down in my notebook . Well done , Incognitia . This is exactly why I love having fans speculate . You all add to the richness of the work . Thank you again !
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  13. #1033
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    You’ve Been Canonized!: JimboIX


    Good evening and welcome everyone to You’ve Been Canonized! the weekly interview segment here on Timelines where we take patron authors and get to know more about them , their thoughts on our AAR , and their current project ! If you’re new to the programme , I’m your host canonized author of Timelines: What if Spain Failed to Control the World? and today’s guest will be one of our newest friends JimboIX author of Corsican Dawn: The Rise of House Obertenghi . Let’s get to the questions !

    Part I: Jimbo IX , Count of Fort Worth , Duke of …
    Jimbo tell us a little about himself !

    canonized: Thank you for being on the show ! You know it's funny because my best friend is named Jimbo (well , more formally Jim) but could you tell us a little bit about why you're JimboIX on the forums ?

    JimboIX: Thanks for having me. It's something of an inside joke, actually. As it might seem obviously, one of my names is James. This is a family name in my family which has been passed down for some time now; I am something like the ninth generation to have it. I blame my family's complete lack of creativity. So one of my online pseudonyms has always been a play on being the ninth James- Jimbo is a southern variety of James, and my family is southern, thus, JimboIX, or Jimbo the ninth.

    canonized: Haha , well it's certainly a fun way of looking at it . Though now I'm thinking Jimbo IX , Count of Mesquite , Duke of Texas , King of the Confederacy . Well then , how long have you been on the forums and how long have you been writing AARs ?

    JimboIX: Sadly, I am bereft of titles. I actually just signed up for the forums late last year, in September. I'd been playing paradox games for years and came across the forums belatedly during my search for a better patch for CK. I followed a link in someone's sig to some AARs, joined, and have been reading ever since. I just started writing AARs last month. I was studying and I decided I'd reached saturation point and needed something else to do. I'd had a title for an AAR in my head from a game I'd played, so I started one during my lunch break.

    canonized: What kind of experience or background do you have in writing ?

    JimboIX: Very little, and I think my AAR reflects that. I wrote for the school newspaper in High School, and entered a few mandatory competitions as a result of a creative writing class I took as a filler class senior year, but in college I didn't major in English and therefore mostly research papers ad nauseam, though in a weird way I like to write those.

    canonized: Well certainly your current AAR displays a penchant for narrative storytelling ; could you tell us why you chose this particular writing style ?

    JimboIX: Honestly, narrative writing has always been the easiest thing for me to write. I'm not entirely sure why. Also, as you may have noticed I'm not very good at all at graphics, which means that a more narrative-centric AAR fits my strong suites better. In addition, CK is really a character driven game, and so I feel like character driven narrative AARs reflect the style and the pace of the game itself very well. So that's why I went with narrative.

    canonized: Seeing how this is your first AAR , how would you say your experience is so far being a new writer on the scene ?

    JimboIX: So far so good. On the most part, people are very supportive of AARs. I'll admit it's a bit more work than I thought it would be when I decided to do it on a whim, but I've been encouraged by the feedback I've received from my readers and by the community on the whole. People want things to read, and as a rule they'll welcome just about anything. It's changed the way I read AARs, as I think it gives me a better appreciation for the work that goes on behind the scene and the effort that goes into every post that as a reader I go through very quickly.

    canonized: What kind of advice would you give to other new writers or those who might be thinking of starting their own AARs ?

    JimboIX: I think the key is to simply start writing, once you do that, the rest seems to follow pretty naturally. In addition, I don't think it's a good idea to hold yourself up to any particular standard or style, I think it's important to find your own voice. We've each had such intensely individual experiences with the game, and it seems appropriate that our AARs reflect those experiences. A few starter AARs, or having some idea where you're going would probably be a good idea as well. I’ve only begun to have that as I write the rest of my AAR, and to be honest I wish I'd but a bit more thought into it on the front end, though I'm glad that I got into it the way I did, as I'm sure I would've continued to find excuses not to do so otherwise.

    Part II: A Fast Reader !
    Jimbo lets us know some of his feelings on Timelines !

    canonized: We've had many new faces lately in Timelines and you're definitely one of them ; where did you come across Timelines to begin with ?

    JimboIX: I actually saw it when you first started it on the EU III board, but I resisted the temptation to start reading it because I had so many other AARs subscribed to at that point. Later, when you took a turn in the College of Cardinals AAR, I was impressed with your skill and decided I owed it to myself to read your major work. I'm certainly glad that I did now.

    canonized: Well thank you very much ! Having a turn at Llywelyn's AAR was certainly fun and surprisingly became a much more fecund exercise than I anticipated . I don't often get a chance to ask, but what was your analysis of the CAARdinals chapters I participated in ?

    JimboIX: CK sucks you in like that. Independently, I thought the CAARdinals chapters you wrote were interesting, as you delved into the internal lives of the characters and the popes in a way that hadn't been done in previous chapters of the work. I particularly enjoyed how you utilized side characters in addition to the main figures at court like the Cardinal you invented for us. You have a gift for writing cardinals, it seems. Once I'd read Timelines the two actually worked surprisingly well together, and I was impressed by how you integrated- at least partially- the two.

    canonized: Although you only started reading recently you managed to finish catching up at a pretty fast rate . I think only Judas Maccabeus caught up faster , I think haha . Having gone through the entirety of Timelines , what are your impressions ?

    JimboIX: Well if there's one thing law school is good for, it's teaching you to read very, very fast. On the whole, I'm impressed by it as a cohesive body of work. Particularly, I like the way you integrate the past and the present storylines. It's interesting the way that the past storyline interacts with and compliments the present storyline. Several chapters for example, you had the two linked by both plot and in some cases even similar words and phrasing- the "Isabella!" famously leaps to mind. Of course, the entire premise is fascinating in and of itself, I hope that we get an opportunity to eventually read Tom's essay, for example. I also like that you keep the story moving without getting too bogged down in the past and future, which gives each update a life of its own. On the whole it's very, very good.

    canonized: Thank you ! As a character writer yourself , who amongst the cast in either the present or past appeals to you ?

    JimboIX: That's a tough question. One of my favorites in the past scenario is Antonio, I love his journey and the relative moral complexity which he displays. He's come a long way since we were first introduced to him and it's been fascinating to watch him evolve. In the present, I enjoy Rodrigo, particularly his relationship with Tom. One of my favorite chapters so far was their discussion about Marcus, the two are different in so many ways and I like the way they play off each other.

    canonized: As far as the underlying themes of the work , many different interviewees and fans have given me different ideas depending on their backgrounds . What do you think you feel and see as the message in Timelines so far ?

    JimboIX: Well, as you yourself point out I think it depends on your background. The best thing about any story is that it can adapt itself to fit the needs of its reader. To me, I see the Timelines saga on the whole as a piece which encourages hope. The alternative scenario which you've envisioned for the world is less totalitarian that one generally assumed world conquests to be; rather, it is surprisingly harmonious and functional. Mind you, I'm not suggesting that you're saying that World government is a good thing, just that as time progresses there is hope for both harmony and concord amongst the peoples of the world. Throughout the story, those attempting to repair breaches, of faith, politics, or history, are the heroes, sowing the seeds of hope as it were, while those trying to disrupt those same processes are usually the villains. So that's my take, in a nutshell. In short, I think it's a story of optimism.

    canonized: And lastly from this section , any guesses on what the Timepiece might be ?

    JimboIX: Actually I'm less interested in what the timepiece is as I am in why and how the timepiece is. What is clearly seems to be a piece of rock with some pretty amazing abilities, but in order to really resolve the story I think we have to resolve why it has those abilities and how it came to possess them. Maybe that's my way of dodging the question because I don't have a good answer, but I think the timepiece has to be understood from all angles. And that means I'm probably overanalyzing it.

    canonized: And as far as to why it has these properties what might your conjecture be ? Even in a metaphysical or philosophical purpose , what is your guess ?

    JimboIX: Well I don't think you'd write something about something that simply was- that's not your style. So clearly there has to be some kind of underpinnings as to why the timepiece exists and why it functions. (I restated the question, it's a lawyer skill) In my opinion, I think the timepiece exists as an agent of equilibrium. I know it's tempting to say that it actually exists to destroy and disrupt, but, in keeping with my thinking that you're really after a happy ending, I think the timepiece's function is to restore order and continuity to a timeframe that is no longer functioning. Its creator, whoever it may be, has a vested interest in maintaining this continuity and thus created the timepiece to enable certain privileged persons throughout history to use it for that end. Of course, in the wrong hands, it has the potential to be dangerous.

    Part III: Fish , Fish , and more Fish !
    Let’s take a look at Jimbo’s Corsican AAR !

    canonized: When I first starting reading your AAR , the first thing that I noticed was that you decided to integrate different elements into the narrative ; we firstly have the obvious narrative of Alberto and his visage of the island , but you also include an interesting prologue with a scholarly twist and add the contemporary debates of historical study to the work . Why did you decide to present your AAR in this manner ?

    JimboIX: Well I doubt there are any good reasons, sadly. Basically I had two ideas for one AAR on this game, one was a more or less classic history book AAR inspired by Plutarch's lives, which make for fascinating and dramatic reading, and were quite controversial in their day. The other was a more standard narrative AAR to flesh out the characters. I thought about it, and after some thought and in response to feedback I received from the first few posts I decided that the two really ought to be integrated. That way, the characters would be given a bit of life even as the story played out on the broader stage of history. As you've undoubtedly noticed, there's more narrative than there is history, and that's because I wanted the first series of characters to be well-established before we moved on to their descendants, that their subsequent motivations might be better put in context. Essentially, I'm trying to give life to that history, and the contemporary material is to give it a modern context, as one of my majors was history.

    canonized: Speaking of character depth , as far as the current characters we have here especially with Alberto and Margherita . Given their political and monetary situation as within the "Pauper Court" they've developed personalities which are not the haughty affair of certain other courts (such as Genoa to use an in-text example) . Furthermore , they also have their human failings such as Alberto with his bastard son and Margherita with her dalliance . Could you talk to us a little bit about these characters ; how you came about creating them , and your feelings about them ?

    JimboIX: Sure. I think it's important to have human characters, ones who make mistakes, have imperfections and suffer. In order for Alberto and Margherita to be more recognizably human, I've tried to give them some quirks of unexpected things, the kind of things you might find out as you're getting to know someone which fills in the blanks you had on their personality. I hope that it makes them more enjoyable and accessible- as CK portraits are forbiddingly inaccessible without some context behind the events. In addition, as a student of history, I'm trying to inject a bit of realism into the life of a low level, poor Count in Corsica. He's rich relatively, but on the grand scale he's quite poor, and I want to make that clear so that his ambition doesn't seem to be just mine trying to drag Corsica out of being a backwater onto the grand stage as a player. The way I write is I sit down with an idea for a scene, and write it out free form and spontaneously, filling in the gaps. I created Alberto from the game obviously, and Margherita, and in-game wife, I tried to flesh out so that she didn't seem to be just a passive adjunct to Alberto, as that seemed rather boring. Each one speaks a little bit to me now and then, as I'm far from perfect myself, and think we all probably think the same.

    canonized: I also noticed , to my bemusement , that this humanity also has historical significance in the present of your story (which is a great way to add some perspective to the historical approaches of today) in the form of a feminist deconstruction of Margherita . What were your motivations for including this ?

    JimboIX: Well I thought about it and I decided that these imperfections would probably be quite appealing to a certain kind of agenda, and that as an alternative explanation it ought to be included as history is best understood through a variety of contexts, even as my characters are. I wanted to show how this might be interpreted in light of modern mores as well as the way it impacted Margherita herself, as one of the most things to me about history is its evolution over time. How it's informed by different perspectives, as it were.

    canonized: Although you provide excellent historical elements into the story , as it is right now it's a deeply human drama both in the way the main characters interact with each other but also in the interaction of the county and the citizens . Why in particular did you choose the county of Corsica ?

    JimboIX: Well, as you know, CK does not provide the player with many independent and playable counties at the outset of the game. Also, CK is not always the hardest game, so I decided that Corsica would be a nice staging point both to keep things interesting and challenging. I've always been fascinated by the Mediterranean, and Corsica is one of those places which, although it's very close to the centers of power, is on the periphery, remote even, and this disparity appealed to me.

    canonized: It's poverty and historical background as you provided also seem to provide motivations for the growth and military conquest that follows as well . What kind of research did you employ for this AAR and did you find yourself considering other nations aside from Corsica prior to commencing ?

    JimboIX: Well, I researched the Obertenghi's themselves and found out some interesting things about their dynasty- they're the ancestors of both the Welf and the d'Este dynasties, including the Hanoverian Kings of England (George I-Victoria) In addition, Corsica is a beautiful vacation spot, although I've never been and I found many stunning pictures of the island, it seemed like a great setting. I looked at a few other places, I was mulling an AAR about either Roger "The Great Count" de Hauteville or the de Poitou's in the 1187 scenario as Antioch, but there are a lot of Hauteville AARs (though mostly about Robert) and Antioch ultimately just didn't do it for me. So I opted for Corsica.

    canonized: When readers go through your work , what would you like for them to walk away with ? What kind of themes and messages do you see yourself attempting to put into the forefront of your narrative ?

    JimboIX: Well, more than anything I hope they enjoy it. In my flights of fancy I'd like them to take it as a compliment to man's frailty and our inherent weaknesses, strengths, and tragedies, but that's far too ambitious for an AAR and I have no delusions about my writing ability. Thus mostly, I'm hoping to write something people can relate to, and hopefully bring themselves to read.

    canonized: What are your plans for future AARs or even if you plan on pushing the CK AAR into a megacampaign mode after it's finished ?

    JimboIX: I have no present plans for any further AARs past this one. I'll consider a megacampaign if and when I come to the conclusion of the present chapter.

    canonized: Well thank you very much once again for being on the show , Jimbo ! And we’d like to thank our audience as well for tuning in once more to this week’s You’ve Been Canonized! Next week we’ll have the young guest SIG-CESR on the programme so that we can all get a glimpse at the younger side of the forum community ! We hope you all have a wonderful week !
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    Editor in Chief of The AARlander

  14. #1034
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    That sounds bad...

    But a bright light... It sounds more like a supernova than a black hole, to me. And I don't think I could really follow your suggested Black hole physics.

    Basically, you were saying a black hole sucks in things in a universe, and then that universe vanishes? Why? How?


    Also, grats on finishing season 1. I must say you're a pretty fast writer, seeing the pace of updates you keep. I sure hope you can keep it up
    ICQ #331727773
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  15. #1035
    General JimboIX's Avatar

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    Well I think we'll all be tuning in next season. Maybe I was wrong about you and happy endings..but I don't think so yet, anyway. Congratulations on coming this far, you've created a good bit of suspense. I think I might've changed some of my interview answers if I'd read this though, it certainly is depressing.
    Last edited by JimboIX; 05-08-2007 at 15:27.
    Corsican Dawn: The Rise of House Obertenghi
    My CK AAR. Ever wonder what Corsica was like in 1066? No? Well now you can find out! Includes a healthy dose of bastards, saints, romance, and war. It's been called "beautiful" and "moving," though these are definitely overstatements.
    (Dead by lightning strike, but feel free to read)

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    I was Canonized on 8/4/2007 in Timelines
    Fellow in the Tempus Society

  16. #1036
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    Avernite: Oh no , not about black holes sucking universes just a little discourse that was talking about this . Not to say that this is right or if that's what's going on in the story . XD

    JimboIX: I guess we have to ask ourselves what it means to have a happy or sad ending . Either way it'll have a purpose ^^ glad to have you on board ! Great interview too ! Thanks for being on the show !
    DANGEROUS LIAISONS
    The New Short AAR about Seduction , Manipulation , Intrigue , Mystery , and Revolution .
    -~= =~-
    T I M E L I N E S : What if Spain Failed to Control the World?
    Seventeen AARLand Choice Awards: Favourite Overall New WritAAR Q1 2007.
    Favourite Overall EU3 AAR: Q1 2007; Q2 2007; Q3 2007; Q4 2007; Q1 2008; Q2 2008; Q3 2008; Q4 2008
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  17. #1037
    Alien Space Bat Judas Maccabeus's Avatar
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    Hmmm... It's quite possible that whatever struck is a localised event, or has some very different effect... This may look apocalyptic, but I've long ago learned not to trust appearances in this story.
    SHEEP ARE THE FUTURE

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  18. #1038
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judas Maccabeus
    Hmmm... It's quite possible that whatever struck is a localised event, or has some very different effect... This may look apocalyptic, but I've long ago learned not to trust appearances in this story.
    That could be very possible , yes . Going to have lots of fun writing the season premier . Speaking of fun , you naughty kid , you . You forgot to name a successor in the writaar of the week thread . everyone's gone insane ! XD .
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  19. #1039
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    dear god.... that was a simply AMAZING epilogue.... sheer brilliance.....
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  20. #1040
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcduggan
    dear god.... that was a simply AMAZING epilogue.... sheer brilliance.....
    Thank you , sir XD Glad you approve !
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