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  • The Algernonverse

    Not sure how many of you are familiar with Blackwyrm Games Algernon files, but with them setting up a Kickstarter page to promote their planned release of a 3.0 version (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ernon-files-30), I figured I start a thread listing some background material that's been posted over the years.

    First up are a couple of free PDF previews of characters that will appear in the upcoming Volumes 1 and 2 of the Algernon 3.0.

    Apparition



    http://www.blackwyrm.com/ks/Apparition.pdf


    Blackbone



    http://www.blackwyrm.com/ks/Blackbone.pdf

    I'll also post info that Aaron has posted on some of the world's history.

  • #2
    Re: The Algernonverse

    Warning: The info posted may have changed since Aaron first posted it, as he's stated the world has seen a "soft reboot" of sorts, and there have been changes to several of the characters backgrounds. But it's still fun to read over.

    Atlantis

    A massive city-state built by the first real generations of metahumans gathered by the Observer. The Observer was a sentient supercomputer of Acathii origin. The Acathii scientists who had been experimenting on Earth knew that they would never be able to return to Earth following the collapse of the Acathii gate network. They sent the Observer to continue some of their experiments.

    Traveling through a series of hyperjumps instead of the gate network, the Observer took eons to reach Earth, whereupon it promptly identified prominent gene-lines that had resulted from earlier experimentation. It isolated those individuals it predicted were most likely to eventually produce metahuman children (though "metahuman," of course, was not what it called them) and “jumpstarted” their genetic development; then it educated the successes (culling the failures and sending them away to survive or not all on their own), having decided that it would emulate its own designers (much as it’s larger “cousin” Archon; see The Starbreed). The Observer then watched as this new and artificially constructed culture it had set in motion grew and evolved.

    Ancient as it was, the Observer would occasionally have to enter diagnostic and repair periods, periods which grew longer as time progressed. During one of these periods, it’s “children” not only reached a point where they could duplicate on a smaller scale the gate system of their ancient patrons, but had also reached a decadent enough cultural state that, when the gates inevitably enabled them to contact Rha’Zhaketh trapped in between dimensions, they actually were willing to bargain with the horrors. At the insistence of the Rha’Zhaketh, those factions of the Atlanteans they were in league with attacked the Observer and attempted to destroy it. They had grossly overestimated their abilities, and failed miserably. Appalled and terrified at the lengths their peers were willing to move against their patron, a coalition of the major houses used the gates to colonize an alternate Earth before the attack could be mustered (see Caernas).

    The attack was powerful, but easily rebuffed by the well-defended remnant of Acathii super-technology. The Observer reluctantly decided that, if the subjects of the experiment were going to try to destroy their "loving" patron, that the entire experiment had been a failure. Further, the continued use of the gates introduced the very real danger of the Rha’Zhaketh finding a means to freedom – something which absolutely couldn’t be risked under any circumstances. It sank the island with a massive energy beam that cored the tectonic structure of the island, the resulting superheated vapor disharging explosively from beneath the entire city--effectively wiping any and all traces of the original city off of the face of the Earth.

    The only survivors of the city proper (still present at the time) being a minor faction of Atlanteans that had been experimenting with amphibious adaptations. The current Atlantis is comprised of the descendants of that minor faction. It took them millennia to rebuild to anything resembling their ancestors, and the disparate examples of advanced technology they had access to and could understand gives their culture a piecemeal demeanor, a primitive veneer over a scientific and technological understanding that outstrips anything on the surface world. Triton’s Rift is a seemingly bottomless pit outside the city that marks the impact point of the weapon the Observer used to sink the island.

    The various colonies that had been connected through the nascent gate network were isolated, or even pushed out of phase with the world around them due to the destruction of the gate systems. A number of pocket dimensions and other dimensional shallows “litter” the Earth as a long-term result (see Wakefield Island, The Hollow Earth, Avalon, and others).

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Algernonverse

      Camelot

      One of the pocket dimensions created by the Atlanteans was able to occasionally interact with the section of Earth it had originally come from. Unfortunately, its unique dimensional location also bridged a couple of other dimensions. One was a much too close to where a minor Rha’Zha’Keth lord was trapped. It made a number of attempts to capitalize on this by sending minor progeny through the bridge in an effort to secure a beachhead, progeny that had to be fought and turned back. The other dimension was one very much like Earth, but with several important differences in terms of its physical laws. Magic was dominant there and its strongest indigenous life forms were curious enough to do a little exploring of their own. The pocket dimension would eventually be known as Avalon, and the humans that its inhabitants interacted with were the ancient Celts. Those Celts also gave names to their other “visitors,” calling the Rha’Zha’Keth progeny Fomori, and their otherdimensional neighbors the Sidhe. Many stories of the Avalonians and their Celtic allies’ struggles against both other parties would be passed down the ages, becoming muddled and confused over time. Later folklorists and poets would appropriate characters and themes to construct the Arthurian mythos in the middle ages.


      Gods and Pantheons

      Yes, there were powerful extradimensional beings worshiped by early human cultures as gods. Whether those beings began as humanoids or simply adopted that form over time due to interaction with their worshippers is unclear. It is also unclear if the beings comprising different pantheons were related or even if their home dimensions were the same (with different points of entry into Earth’s dimension). Presumably, it was the strange phenomena of dimensional shallows in Earth’s location that brought us to their attention and allowed their arrival in the first place. However, a number of stories attributed to various mythic figures over time are undoubtedly the result of the activities of any number of metahumans native to Earth, with the identity of those involved, god or metahuman, forever lost to antiquity. What is known is that these beings derived great empathic benefit from being worshiped, and as they were supplanted by other developing religions, they limited their contact with man more and more.

      One pantheon, that worshiped by the Aztecs, was actually a set of minor Rha’Zha’Keth lords who had slowly used the power they gained from their worshipers to move closer and closer to Earth’s dimension. Many of the tangent dimensions used by the various pantheons as home were in roughly the same dimensional reference -- so this ultimately did not go unnoticed. They were stopped and ultimately destroyed by the combined forces of the other extant pantheons, albeit at great cost in life among those involved. In an effort to make sure that the Rha’Zha’Keth couldn’t reach Earth if the pantheons failed, the leaders of those groups sealed their individual portals to this dimension, seemingly permanently. A very few members of the various pantheons were left on this side of the portals after they were closed – most specifically several of those individuals who were the results of crossbreeding with humans and whose origins in this dimension would have put them at too great a disadvantage in the battle.

      Note that the Horus and the Serpent Queen are only physical avatars of the gods they represent—as such their abilities are pale reflections of their true power in their prime. As her prison was separated from the heliopolitan plane eons ago, neither the queen nor her jailor were involved in the final cataclysmic battle that decimated their kin.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Algernonverse

        Yeah, looking forward to the Algernon Files, numero 3.
        Impeach the peach!

        Completed Games:
        Crinoverse - Avengers
        Crinoverse - Young Avengers
        Crinoverse - Bay City Sentinels
        Crinoverse - Time After Time
        Crinoverse - San Antonio Avengers
        Crinoverse - Honnounji Academy
        Extreme Unction

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Algernonverse

          Originally posted by Enigmatic One View Post
          Yeah, looking forward to the Algernon Files, numero 3.
          Likewise.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Algernonverse

            F.D.S.I.
            The Federal Directorate for Security and Intelligence


            The Directorate is (only) nominally an arm of the National Security Agency, replacing the DIA and subsuming some of the intelligence gathering and counter-terrorist functions of the FBI. It has full authority on any case pertaining to, or exhibiting significant active involvement by, metahumans, those organizations known for using metahumans in their operations (such as FENRIS), incursions by entities of non-terrestrial origin (assumed to be part of its mandate as no such event has, to the public's knowledge, ever occurred), and any case involving elements legitimately identified as being under the blanket classification "paranormal."

            Founded in response to concerns that existing law-enforcement agencies did not possess the necessary training, personnel, equipment, mindset, or organization to effectively deal with the growing numbers of "criminally-inclined" metahumans or paranormal events, the FDSI was officially signed into existence on September 12th, 1971, by President Nixon. This date was chosen because it marked the one-year anniversary of "The Virginia Incident," an orgy of destruction perpetrated by a single monstrously powerful metahuman and involving a 220 mile swath of devastation, the complete obliteration of an armored cavalry unit, the deaths of several hundred people, and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage.

            Though given a broad mandate by Congress, the Directorate remained undermanned and under funded until the Reagan administration -- with one of his first acts in office being the signing of The Federal Security Act of 1981, a piece of legislation which substantially increased the Directorate's budget as well as their legal powers.

            The most visible elements of the directorate are the Sentries, those specially trained and specially equipped operatives who form the bulk of the active operations personnel. A recent addition as a “spearhead” of sorts is the government sanctioned and supported "superteam" called the Arsenal of Democracy -- though small, they can call upon the full combat arms and logistical support of the Sentries, making them a formidable fighting force.

            The Executive Director of the FDSI is a cabinet level position and, as such, is appointed by the president contingent to congressional approval. The current ExDir ,or "Metahuman Czar," is Lawrence Harcourt, former senator (Delaware, 1982-1988) and a highly decorated Colonel in the Army Special Forces during the Vietnam Era. The current Deputy Directors are Emil Kryzinski (Operations), J. Hamilton Crowe (Intelligence), and Colonel Tomas Pelovilla (Administration).

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Algernonverse

              FENRIS

              FENRIS is a large and predominantly terroristic organization. Though it claims to be global in scope, the vast majority of its operations take place in the western hemisphere. Its members are seldom identifiable as such as they wear no distinctive uniforms, and the dispersed cell structure of the organization prevents widespread identification of larger operations. Though they have been known to use various metahumans in their operations, such individuals are believed to be the results of the same experimentation which produced the Third Reich's Einsatzgruppen Uberkommanden, and have so far demonstrated the same fanatical loyalty as other high ranking members of the organization.

              FENRIS was originally founded in the immediate aftermath of World War II. It was funded by, organized by, and primarily consisted of the large number of high ranking Nazi military, Gestapo, and S.S. officers who managed to escape the fall of the Reich (replacing what, in the real world, was the less militant organization called ODESSA). During the first two decades of its operations, FENRIS concentrated on politically motivated crimes that centered on Nazi philosophy, such as targeting War Crimes Tribunal members and early leaders of the state of Israel. As time passed and more of the old guard succumbed to the rigors of age (and the heavy pursuit of UNICORN and the Mossad), a new generation came to power within its ranks. More and more, FENRIS turned to more profitable and less politically-based ventures, such as mercenary-brokering, smuggling, arms-sales, and terrorism for hire. Today, only the trappings of its Nazi founders remain; FENRIS no longer actively pursues the founding of a Fourth Reich, even in lip service. Its goals are profit-motivated and more aggressively short-term; they no longer need to rule the world, instead being quite happy simply to exert their influence from behind the scenes.

              This in no way mitigates their threatening nature, however. FENRIS has firmly entrenched contacts and "friends" in high places in the United States and many European nations. This infrastructural support, combined with their tactics and methodology, makes them very, very dangerous. They have little patience for melodrama or grandstanding, instead concentrating on efficiency and a brutal productivity. Stand in their way and they won't bother to threaten -- they'll simply kill you and move on with their plans.

              FENRIS is very much aware that, even with the training, equipment, and numbers they have, that they cannot hope to stand against the actual armed might of any major national military force and therefore seldom allow themselves to be pressed into situations where they might face any more than a determined police presence. FENRIS learned several costly lessons in its early confrontations with UNICORN and The FDSI, and knows the value of carefully picking its battles. Losing a few cells or operations is preferable in the short-term to the level of damage UNICORN or The FDSI could cause in any open confrontation. Conversely, the authorities have learned that destroying individual cells or operations actually does very little lasting damage to the global presence that is FENRIS. The metaphor Deputy Director Emil Bryzinski of the FDSI is quoted as using is that he feels like the Norse Gods must have felt, working to keep contained a threat they knew that they could never actually destroy, and that they feared would ultimately devour them all.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Algernonverse

                The Voth Hegemony

                Reptilian humanoids (humanoid from the waist up, serpentine from the waist down, forward extended skulls, second set of vestigial arms set beneath the main pair). Absolute monarchy and matriarchy, with the Empress revered as both political and religious leader. Social Caste system with creche birth and state-emphasized social attachments replacing family units below the royal level as the backbone of an expansionist empire with heavy emphasis on biological technology (they grow their ships, for example) and genetic engineering. The Gitachna (zhee-TAWK-na) are their genegineered servitor shock troops and the terror of the Voth's enemies. As a rule, they are as a race mindblind (i.e., absent of psionic potential), which has allowed their age-old enemy the Saeduun enough of a tactical advantage to offset the Voth's numerical superiority. Racial traits - aggressive, territorial, contemptuous of non-Voth, and arrogantly assured of their racial and cultural superiority.

                The Mihral Dominion

                The Mihral are asexual (reproducing seasonally in a manner disturbingly visually reminiscent of mitosis), resembling floating jellyfish with bulbous growths of nervous and muscle tissue bulging on their underside and a number of tentacles that provide ambulation protruding from their underside and those growths. Think the Grell from D&D , but without the beaks. They are cold-blooded, unemotional and have telepathic abilities limited to the formation of hive-intelligences among their own kind and mere communication with other species. Their technology includes zero-point energy sources and is most renowned for their mastery of the sciences behind the creation and manipulation of exotic energy fields. Racial traits - think Vulcans absent moral philosophy who view traditional concepts of compassion, justice, and social interaction as the crippling atavisms of more hormonally-driven and emotionally erratic lifeforms. Logic is king and the ends most definitely justify the means.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Algernonverse

                  Originally posted by sumnerd View Post
                  Warning: The info posted may have changed since Aaron first posted it, as he's stated the world has seen a "soft reboot" of sorts, and there have been changes to several of the characters backgrounds. But it's still fun to read over.
                  Well, in some cases it's not so much of changed the details as in simply decided on a different approach. The focus of the series is on NPCs and NPC organizations that a GM or player can pick up and use in their campaign with as little effort on their part as necessary. That means that things like associating particular villains with particular heroes is avoided (and fewer heroes in general are presented, usually with sidebars detailing how they can be used to complicate PC lives), and macroscale campaign assumptions like the exact nature of a current SHIELD-type organization or a radical restructuring of comparative mythology and what pantheons exist or don't exist or what their composition is has also been avoided. So, Atlantis, the Travellers, the FDSI and the like just won't be mentioned. Doesn't mean you can't use those details and backgrounds or that they're necessarily invalid, just that they get in the way of the goal and won't be seen in the series proper.

                  FENRIS as originally detailed fills the same role as SHADOW or VIPER, so it complicates things for GMs who already play in those sandboxes. Now, there was still a neo-nazi organization by that name run by Eisenhexe in the 1960s and early 1970s, and that will get mentioned in both The Eternal Reich's and Group Zero's respective entries, but it was smaller and it's gone now (probably ... oh, the joys of comic book universes). If we ever get a chance to do TAF - Dreams of Glory, FENRIS will get its own entry there, but we're still waiting to see if the series proper will get produced, little less any future supplements.

                  The Voth got dropped because well, let me put it this way:

                  Friend: You ever watch "Star Trek: Voyager?"
                  Aaron: I did some of the first season, but not much after. I don't like most of the crew and Janeway's sanctimonious lip service to the Prime Directive while finding all sorts of excuses to dance around its restrictions makes Kirk look a lot less the hypocrite in TOS. Why?
                  Friend: I think you should watch episode [X]. I'm not saying anything else.
                  Aaron: Ummm...Okay.

                  --Finds on Netflix. Watches. Sees reptilian aliens called the Voth.--

                  Aaron: Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!! Crapcrapcrap!

                  So, my (former) Voth are now called the Harasheen. The Mihral Dominion is definitely still in use, though, and shows up in Birthright's background in Volume II.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Algernonverse

                    I hope the Sentinels are still part of the Algernonverse, I liked them!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The Algernonverse

                      Originally posted by MightyDavidson View Post
                      I hope the Sentinels are still part of the Algernonverse, I liked them!
                      Yep. 12 members strong. Eventful times since the team's last appearance.

                      *Blackheart
                      *Doc [Percival] Challenger - This generation's exemplar from a famous line of heroic adventurers [...because Aaron realized he didn't have an actual skilled normal in the bunch]
                      *Dusk - Blackbird returning to the emotional sanctuary of her original heroic persona and former teammates following the death of her husband and the destruction of the Aerie.
                      *Hardcore
                      *Hood - Hyper-competent archer with druidic magic in his bow and arrows; also, supposedly the semi-immortal Locksley himself.
                      *Iron Angel
                      *Speed Demon
                      *Starlight - Onyx operating with a new name and more knowledge of her symbiote
                      *Spellbreaker - Sebastian Arcane resentfully operating under a new name for a variety of reasons
                      *Technomancer
                      *Thunder - Says she's Thrud Donarsdottir operating in the body of the archaeology student who discovered the amulet allowing the channeling; given her powers, the team sees no reason to argue the point
                      *Troll

                      Fortress is in the Rockies now, though, as the original structure (and island) in NYC was destroyed.

                      Blackheart is the last entry in Volume II. You can see her running across the foreground of the cover.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Algernonverse

                        Originally posted by Aaron Sullivan View Post
                        Yep. 12 members strong. Eventful times since the team's last appearance.

                        *Blackheart
                        *Doc [Percival] Challenger - This generation's exemplar from a famous line of heroic adventurers [...because Aaron realized he didn't have an actual skilled normal in the bunch]
                        *Dusk - Blackbird returning to the emotional sanctuary of her original heroic persona and former teammates following the death of her husband and the destruction of the Aerie.
                        *Hardcore
                        *Hood - Hyper-competent archer with druidic magic in his bow and arrows; also, supposedly the semi-immortal Locksley himself.
                        *Iron Angel
                        *Speed Demon
                        *Starlight - Onyx operating with a new name and more knowledge of her symbiote
                        *Spellbreaker - Sebastian Arcane resentfully operating under a new name for a variety of reasons
                        *Technomancer
                        *Thunder - Says she's Thrud Donarsdottir operating in the body of the archaeology student who discovered the amulet allowing the channeling; given her powers, the team sees no reason to argue the point
                        *Troll

                        Fortress is in the Rockies now, though, as the original structure (and island) in NYC was destroyed.

                        Blackheart is the last entry in Volume II. You can see her running across the foreground of the cover.
                        Awesome, I plan to have the Sentinels be a part of my own setting that I'm cobbling together from various sources (it's called The Mightyverse) so it's great to see they're still around. Plus, as I said I'm rather fond of them.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The Algernonverse

                          Originally posted by Aaron Sullivan View Post
                          *Hood - Hyper-competent archer with druidic magic in his bow and arrows; also, supposedly the semi-immortal Locksley himself.
                          Wow. I've got a character with similar abilities, going by the exact same name that's a member of my NPC hero team. The main difference is his bows arrows can hit anything he can see.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The Algernonverse

                            The Algernon Files: Bits and Pieces Part 1, by Aaron Sullivan

                            The War of Pre-History


                            In a sidebar included in the Doc Steel entry, and in a little more detail in the background on the villain The Lord of Mirrors, there are mentions to a couple of enigmatic, ancient, and very powerful races that warred against one another back in the misty ages of pre-history. Here's the skivvy on that little item:

                            Eons ago, long before there was any known civilization on Earth to even consider recording history, our planet was the site of experimentation by a star-spanning race of immense power. The Acathii were one of the oldest and most advanced races in existence then, and their influence was felt over the span of entire galaxies. Their technology allowed for terraforming, vast and complex genetic manipulation, and the construction of a gate network linking points hundreds of thousands of light years apart.

                            One of the great houses of the Acathii sponsored exploration into the area containing Sol. Constructing one of their gates near the fourth world in our system, the Acathii began studying the phenomenon that first attracted them here. This phenomenon was an interspatial nexus or spacetime “shallow” which made this area a natural juncture not only for the spacefolds used by the Acathii for their gates, but for transit between this and other dimensions, other realities.

                            Expanding their research out among the other worlds in the system, the lords of this house wanted to determine what effects this unusual but seeming natural spatial anomaly had wrought on the life forms indigenous to this region of space. They discovered that life existed in abundance on only one planet within the system, the third in orbit from the star – though the fourth could theoretically also sustain life, both planets being narrowly within the “green zone.” To their great surprise, several of the non-dominant species on that world (the dominant being several gargantuan strains of reptile) exhibited an inborn genetic flexibility, a trait that marked them for important evolutionary potential. While such flexibility was hardly unknown to the Acathii, they had never before seen it extant in an entire species, or naturally occurring to such an extent. The geneticists among the house’s scientists received permission to begin experimentation and started several long-term examinations of possible manipulations among the genotypes encountered. They likely would have continued their experiments in exploiting this propensity for mutation for millennia, if not for the tragic results of the larger experiments their brethren conducted.

                            After centuries of examining the nexus effect in this isolated little system, the great minds of the Acathii civilization determined that they could use what they had learned to increase the power and range of their existing gate network. Regrettably, they modified a section of the gate network to reflect this “upgrade.” When the modified section of the network went active it did indeed push the range of the network farther then the Acathii had dreamed possible. Unfortunately, it also pushed the folds in directions its designers had never intended or even foreseen. The gate network literally punched a “hole” in the fabric of creation, connecting this universe to another reality.

                            Even at this point, the Acathii had yet to recognize danger in the situation. This changed after their first encounter with the dominant power in that newly found universe, The Rha’Zhaketh.

                            Long millennia had passed since the Acathii had encountered anyone or anything that could truly present a threat to them. In that time they had acted the role of enlightened patrons to those sentient species they had encountered, and, when necessary, had quickly and easily neutralized those races that had proven violent. Those few species with technology and development anywhere near the level of the Acathii had proven amenable to negotiation, to peaceful and mutually beneficial coexistence. The Rha’Zhaketh were different. They had power enough to give even the Acathii pause, both as individuals and as what passed for a society, with caste divisions based on personal strength and influence. Naturally psionic, the most powerful among the Rha’Zhaketh also warped their reality at will, seemingly imposing their whims on natural laws around them. They ranged from small and mindless animals used as fodder by their more developed brethren, to mighty lords of their kind, the size of small moons, with abilities it was difficult for the Acathii to even gauge. Worse, they were voraciously territorial and aggressive. They had raped, consumed, or despoiled every resource their own worlds had to offer, and slaughtered or enslaved every other race they had encountered, expanding further and further out until there was nothing left to them but to fall back on one another in a horrific cycle of self-destruction and Darwinism at its most appalling extreme.

                            And now the Acathii had given them entire new horizons to conquer.

                            There began a war. Never before or since have the forces used during that terrible conflict been seen in this universe. The Acathii faced an enemy every bit their equal, who not only threatened the Acathii civilization, implacably and with no possibility for compromise, but one that promised horrors undreamt of for every other species that called our universe home. Peaceful explorers, scientists, and scholars, the Acathii were now forced to turn their great resources toward destruction, developing weapon after weapon, and desperately searching for a way to counter the encroaching darkness.

                            The Rha’Zhaketh adapted to their new objective. They found ways to compromise the gate network and use it to enter our space from a dozen different points. Outside of the more easily fortified Acathii home systems, worlds fell one after another. Entire civilizations and races disappeared during those long nights, in some cases almost as if they had been erased from existence. The Rha’Zhaketh hollowed out entire planets to use as impregnable bases of operation, and the Acathii detonated stars to destroy those enclaves. Acathii technology stalemated the Rha’Zhaketh’s natural abilities, but Rha’Zhaketh numbers stymied the best Acathii tactics. While themselves telepathic, the Acathii lacked the number and strength of their enemy. To compensate for this, they genetically “bootstrapped” a young and psi-active race known as the Saeduun, greatly enhancing their abilities. Saeduun psions became a buffer force, but it was not enough. To face the Rha’Zhaketh physically, and with time too great a luxury to breed entirely new soldiers, the Acathii developed methods of augmenting members of the various races that now desperately clung to their banner for protection. Once augmented, their physical abilities enhanced, these soldiers became shock troops used against the worst of the Rha’Zhaketh incursions – successfully over all, but often at terrible cost. But this too was not enough. The Acathii realized that, unless they found a way to stop the Rha’Zhaketh from replenishing their numbers, this was a losing battle.

                            Finally, the Acathii accepted the necessity of their only remaining option. They would have to destroy the gate network, and do so utterly, to deprive the Rha’Zhaketh of their only way of entering this universe. At this point, powerful Rha’Zhaketh had taken up residence in the null space between some gates, much too firmly entrenched to ever be rooted out with military force, and they, in turn, were wedging those gates open as conduits between their reality and ours. It would mean the end of the civilization that the Acathii had built and that depended on the ease of transit the gates provided. Without the gates it would take years to move from one end of the Acathii home systems to the other with even the best of their conventional starcraft. Some of their colonies and outposts would find themselves at such great distance from home that it literally would be the travel of centuries, if not millennia, to cover the distance. However, it was this or lose everything to the Rha’Zhaketh advance.

                            Using one of the gate hubs as a crude “bomb,” the Acathii managed to collapse the entire network. The passages were closed, trapping uncounted Rha’Zhaketh either in their own world, or between universes, with no way to access our continuum. What few lesser caste Rha’Zhaketh were left in this universe were dealt with relatively quickly. Viewing the aftermath, and the cost of the war, the Acathii had a moment of peace to collect themselves before beginning to rebuild. Little did they know that they were not yet finished with the cost of their victory.

                            Little noticed by the Acathii in the grand scale of destruction surrounding them that day was the damage resulting in the far-off star system of Sol. In order to quickly reach their experiment site, the Acathii had constructed a gate on the third moon of the fourth planet in that system. The resulting gravity wave from the collapsing network overwhelmed the gate’s aperture and literally crushed the entire moon, though the gate itself proved practically indestructible. The first after-effect of this devastation was that the fourth planet made a minor, but very important change in its orbit around the sun – forever altering its climate and life-sustaining potential; the second was that an enormous chunk of the former moon, thrown from the explosion, crashed into the surface of the third planet, throwing into the atmosphere uncountable tons of debris and inflicting a dire, albeit temporary, change in that planet’s climate. Automatic systems in the gate immediately interpreted this disaster as an attack and used its defensive systems to cloak itself from all forms of sensor technology it could counter. Even today, it still “hides” within the wreckage of that moon, now an asteroid belt floating between the fourth and newly fifth planet.

                            Ironically, in the days leading up to the Acathii’s final gambit, their enemies had placed into motion their own endgame. Masters of their psionic abilities, the Rha’Zhaketh had developed a naturally self-replicating telepathic “virus” specifically targeted at the Acathii. Disseminating throughout the masses of their enemies’ forces, from mind to mind, from world to world, the virus was quick, certain, and without cure. The Rha’Zhaketh had intended to sit back and amuse themselves, watching the Acathii descend into madness and tear down their own civilization. Though they were deprived of their first hand entertainment, their handiwork more than lived up to their intent. As a race, the Acathii’s connection to one another had always been their strength. Now it was turned against them. The simplest mind-to-mind contact was enough to transmit the virus, which then broke down the mental processes of the infected, driving them into manic and psychotic rages. Planets were incinerated by their own defense forces, families murdered each other in their homes, and the great works of the Acathii, that had survived even the terrors of the war, now burned at their own hands. The greatest civilization this universe had ever seen fell into ruin, and her builders into a self-perpetuated extinction. Aside from those races that benefited from their intervention, only ruins today mark that the Acathii ever existed at all.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The Algernonverse

                              I am following this thread with intense interest and am very, very glad to see The Algernon Files revived (best of luck with your fundraising Mr Sullivan!); I shall of course continue to follow this thread and expect to thoroughly enjoy every post.

                              May I please ask which topics will be forthcoming Sumnerd?

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