Falcon, back for more!
The background to my new mission briefly confirms that the entire last book was a waste of time, since my Holy Grail time-altering stunt from the end has ensured that my arch-nemesis, Agidy Yelov is again at large, having escaped from prison.
Aside : Fictional prisons leak like sieves. On regular planet Earth, hardly anyone escapes, and when they do, they usually last for about a week. In genre fiction, supervillains basically check-out of prison like its some kind of anti-Hotel California.
Anyway, my equivalent of Basil Exposition (being Jobanque) summons me to his office.
Apparently there is now a mission even more urgent (!) than catching the guy that nearly erased my planet from existence last week.
I’m going to use my faithful bullet points to summarise the next page and a half of exposition :
- Jobanque shows me footage of an asteroid, supposedly put there by an ancient civilization, creatively dubbed ‘the Ancients’.
- The Ancients were a highly advanced culture from ”thousands upon thousands” of years ago.
- I can only assume that Falcon bites his tongue rather than enquiring about, given the Danikoi from the last book, actually HOW MANY of these ancient-yet-advanced cultures have existed before Earth discovered how to travel through space and time. There might even be a lesson there.
- Anyway, the asteroid was orbiting some mysterious globe of energy. Because none of these people had read a science fiction / horror story before, a group of psychics were brought in to probe the globe (heh).
- In a development which Stevie Wonder saw coming, a powerful psychic mind immediately took control of the psychics, and ordered one to fly a starship into the globe, causing an explosion.
- So, the footage……
Aside – WHERE does this footage come from? The asteroid? That is a POWERFUL telescopic lens if its filming the globe around which the asteroid is orbiting…
- The hologram shows some human-esque superbeing escaping from the globe of energy. He looks like your standard supervillain, white triangular shapes encircling his wrists and ankles.
- A handy codex found on the satellite has been translated by a team of scientists (not linguists, curiously) who have worked ‘night and day’.
- This lovely creature is a nigh-omnipotent superbeing called Baal. There is a vague description of how he (it?) feeds off the life force of ‘sentient beings’ and is sustained by some kind of ‘natural energy’.
- In a shocking twist, someone with a name like ‘Baal’ is a baddie. More precisely, he will apparently now seek to rule the universe, etc, etc.
- Now we get to the heart of it – the ancient beings used a device called the ‘Rack’ to contain Baal. Said Rack comprises the four white objects which were previously attached around his wrists and ankles. Each piece of the Rack depletes Baal’s powers, and collectively they can imprison him.
- Baal has scattered the plot tokens *ahem* Rack pieces throughout space and time.
- Although Baal can travel through time without needing to use timeholes, apparently both Baal and the Rack will cause timeholes to appear near them if given sufficient time.
- In once piece of good news, the Ancients left behind some sciencey doo-hickey which can detect if a piece of the Rack is in the vicinity.
And finally, just as I was getting used to it, Jobanque casually asserts that I’ll be unable to use the Strike Fighter because it would ‘break the First Law of TIME’.
Ummm – QUESTION.
If using the Strike Fighter would automatically break the First Law of TIME, WHY WOULD YOU INSTALL A TIME MACHINE IN THE FREAKING STRIKE FIGHTER??
Note : The entire specs for the Strike Fighter are included in the front of the book, because of course they are.
Paragraph 1 puts me in CAIN’s cockpit, with CAIN spouting some A-1 Alfred-esque snark about me.
Now, here is something interesting. I am given four options as to where to go, which I would guess corresponds with the four Rack pieces I am trying to retrieve. The four locations are Aztec South America (1409AD), Civil War North America (1863AD), Rigel Prime (1642AD) and an Earth colony on the planet Dustbowl (2764AD).
The book mentions, and I think the exact wording is important here, that “a disturbance in the timelines has been noted in the timehole currently active [my emphasis] in North America 1863AD.”
Now the book took care to note that Baal was putting the Rack pieces in places where there WEREN’T timeholes, and that timeholes would only be created later through his or the Rack’s presences. So I’m thinking that the Civil War option is a red herring, and I’m going to pick one of the other choices.
Only time (!) will show whether I’m right.
Endurance : 20, Evasion – +2, Thinkstrike – +1, All other modifiers – 0
Equipment (extra) – Keladi pills
Current paragraph – 1
Since the world is going through so much right now, I thought I’d include one of my favourite stand-up bits of all time. If I’ve linked to it before, so be it.
I may well be feeling like a right nitwit one day….