Apr 2016

Essence of Nightshade – Part 1

Posted by / in Lore / 12 comments

[Read the Introduction]

Ok, so I’ve found YEARS of journal entries, and as I go thru it, some context was clearly necessary.  Searching for “Thalia Gordon” brings up very little, but “Okane” is all over the Archives.  I’ll talk more about him as I go, but the first bit here is an old AENet alert dated April 3rd, 2100.

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Apr 2016

Essence of Nightshade – Introduction and Forward

Posted by / in Lore / 13 comments

I’ve had a devil of a time trying to learn more about Agent Nightshade/Thalia Gordon, whatever her name is.  With a bit of effort, I managed to trace the email I uncovered from Kubek to “Nightshade” to a private, unlisted server.  The security was intricate, but ultimately inconsequential, and on it, I discovered YEARS of data.  Log entries, half-started stories, journals, and more. It will take some time to sift thru it all and pull out the salient pieces of information.  I’ll copy the important bits to my personal folder as I find them.

Below is the first in a series of journals that appear to have been written by Gordon herself.

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May 2015

Mirage – Part 8

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[Read Part 7]

I spent days in a sedated torpor. From the moment I was strapped into a gurney in back of the APC, I was fed intravenously on a numbing chemical diet. The pain that had become my natural state of being was washed away in a cool obliterating wave. I’d stepped outside the language of time, into that unbroken wilderness of being, and nothing mattered anymore. At one point, I thought I might be dead, and decided that I didn’t mind. After the seemingly endless physical and emotional hellstorm I had endured, it was such an indescribable relief to let go of it all. It was the first time I’d ever experienced such absolute peace.

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Apr 2015

Mirage – Part 7

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[Read Part 6]

The three Owl Hunters behind us backed away, leaving us in a line before Ra’Doman Bakiyev as if he were a drill sergeant and we were awaiting discipline. “I have to know something,” I said to him, and he turned his head slowly toward me with well-oiled poise. “Who are you, really? Who are the Owl Hunters?”

“So you have not found the truth after all,” Bakiyev said. “I thought Yastreb would tell you himself.”

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Apr 2015

Mirage – Part 6

Posted by / in Lore / 5 comments

[Read Part 5]

Are you familiar with the term “cognitive dissonance?” I wouldn’t blame you if you aren’t. They don’t teach it at the Aegis Officers’ Academy. There, I had been taught orders, the giving and receiving thereof, and the mechanical purity of thought that all soldiers throughout history have required to function in their duty. Cognitive dissonance is a psychological problem for those who can’t sublimate their own morality on the battlefield. It is the mental stress of trying to hold two contradicting ideas at once. This concept existed in the classroom, but only as an unspoken consequence for those who failed to rewrite their moral code to include justice, victory, murder, and destruction in the same line. I thought I could perform this psychological sleight-of-hand, but back then, war only existed on screens and papers. Murder was just a theory. That was before I hefted the weight of real human lives, turned them over in my palms, and tried to make them vanish up my sleeves.

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