2020-05-29: Ether for Mystics

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Ether for Mystics
Dr. Hanada gives a talk explaining the Society of Ether
IC Date May 29, 2020
IC Time 5 PM
Players Adeline, Arumi, Bobbi, Katie, Rick, River, Thea
Location The Nexus - Courtyard
Prp/Tp N/A
Spheres Traditions
Theme Song Weird Science https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWi9ILehtZE

Arumi has prepared a nice evening chat outside here at the nexus. In the shade, some water, Fresca, and coffee set out (but no punch or pie), she stands in front of a small group of assembled tables and chairs, stretching out.

Rick strolls in from the garage and gives Arumi a wave "Afternoon Arumi, how are you doing?"

Arumi grins and waves to Rick. "Hi, alright things. Pretty happy to get a chance to do this. Once a few people get here I'll get started. I have a feeling most of the interest will be from your organization. Which... is fitting, as we'll get to."

Rick chuckles a bit at this "Well I guess it is fitting. How is the digging going?"

Arumi gestures circularly with two fingers. "Haven't started yet. I'm still..." She walks up to a table in front, and sits on the corner. "I'm still a good two weeks from solving the remaining inconsistencies I have in the hyperdrive equations. Also I'm processing your colleague Dr. Dajani's analysis of my dimensional diagram."

Rick tilts his head at that "Oh? What sort of analysis did he perform?:

Arumi nods. "He uh... well he happened to see it on my tablet after I did a revision. He memorized it, took it home, and did a comparative study with his best understanding of Hermetic theory."

Rick was eyeing the coffee pot, but looks back suddenly at that "Oh really? Can i take a look at that when you are done? I would be very interested in seeing that."

Arumi walks over to the cooler and grabs a bottle of coffee herself, and holds a second out. "Want one? And sure, I'll send you his paper. It includes a sketch of my draft at the time, though you have to remember that's an iterative process, creating that chart. I'm constantly updating it as I research."

Rick takes the coffee happily and nods a thanks "I would expect so, but yes, I would be very interested in seeing that draft. I personally know very little about that area, so expanding my horizons, pardon the pun, is going to be high on my list."

Arumi nods easily. "Totally, Rick. I'll send it to you after this." She then returns to her seat on the front table, looking as it seems like people are arriving.

Rick smiles as he opens his coffee and takes a pull "Thank you."

Oh, there's Thea! Or has she actually been off in some of the ample shade to be found around the courtyard? Probably she's just got here. At least that's how she acts, looking around from her position by the entrance and waving. "Hi. I'm not too late, am I? I always misjudge that walk."

Arumi waves to Thea and shakes her head. "Not late. People are showing up.. fashionably, it seems. So I haven't even started yet. Grab a beverage if you like, and get comfortable please." Then to Rick. "Here let me pull it up. I'll send it to you now." She then grabs her phone.

Rick blinks as he looks over to Thea, now noticing her for the first time and gives her a wave. "Evening Thea, nice to see you again." He looks over to Arumi and shakes his head "Sorry, I don't put that stuff on my phone. I don't trust them. Dead tree can't be hacked."

"Thanks," Thea says to Arumi, and, to Rick: "One of these days you'll see me first, and then I'll really be in trouble, won't I?" She's obviously joking. Crossing over to the refreshment table where she eyes the available selections, Thea shies away from the Fresca at once, considers the coffee briefly before deciding against, and settles on water, pouring herself a glass, drinking most of it, and then refilling it again before she looks for a seat.

There is a fluttering of wings as a Desert owl comes in for a landing. Maybe not gracefull, but hey any landing you can walk away from. The owl wanders behind a bush and a few moments later River steps out adjusting her clothing as she waves.

Arumi squints at Rick. "Dead tree can't be hacked? Remind me to send you three different papers on Paradigma on how to read and modify printed text. Remotely." She then giggles. "Well I'll give it a bit longer for people to show and get this going."

Arumi then sees River, and waves. "Good evening. We'll be starting soon. I know Bobbi wanted to be here for this."

Rick looks like he's going to argue the point, but just grins sheepishly "Well alright, I'll concede that point. I'm more concerned about me dropping my phone and some sleeper picking it up and reading something they should not. If the technocracy is that interested in reading your paper we have larger concerns."

An owl landing in the courtyard is enough to draw Thea's attention, and she turns toward it, only to be a little surprised when River emerges. She waves. "That's a neat trick you have there," she says, rather cheerfully. "I'm going to assume that, like all the good ones, it's hard to learn." She raises her waterglass in a sort of salute anyway, then sips.

River says, “Well its easy to learn if your a hedge witch, a bit harder id imagine if your a Mage." She grins and walks over "had a hawk fallowing me half way here. had me sweating bullets.”

Arumi tilts her head at River. "Well good you're here. A hawk hunted an owl? That's weird. I thought owls were super scary predators, too. Anyway, before I begin for real, does anyone have any questions about what this is about?"

River says, “Well ushualy, might have been just more curious than anything else. Hard to tell with hawks. Very hunter oriented when it comes to conversations though.”

Thea feigns a sigh. She clearly isn't really disappointed. "It was ever thus. Well, I imagine it was ever thus, at least. What sort of hawk? Did you recognize the species?"

Arumi giggles. "Yeah, maybe we can figure this out. Was it making noises? Did it like, try to come down on you with its claws? Or did it just.. follow?"

River says, “Well if you want to fly as a bird I can just as easly turn you into a bird as I can myself. Only last about an hour before you revert to your natural form."”

Bobbi rushes in along with Katie. She's wearing a form-fitting black T-Shirt with the Rolling Stones 'tongue', a pair of dark blue skinny jeans, and high top chuck taylors. "Sorry we're late," she calls out as she heads over to where Rick is. With a grin, she leans in and says, "Guess who I am?"

Due to her slightly longer legs, Katie is rushing a bit to keep up with Bobbi, but still manages it, rushing into the courtyard and looking around with a smile, "Hello!", she says to those gathered, though mostly in Arumi's direction. Then with a happy hop-skip of a step she's moving over to Rick and moving alongside, her hand easily finding his, the fingers linking together as she looks up to him with a warm, affectionate smile. "Hi!", she says sweetly.

Rick looks over at Bobbi, takes in the outfit and hmmms "Someone who would have been fashionable back in the 1990s?" he ventures with a grin and a wink. "But seriously, I don't know." He then looks down to Katie and smiles, lifing her hand to kiss it "Hey Sweetie, how are you?"

Thea gives River a thoughtful look and decides, "I may have to take you up on that some day. Once I find out what I can do for you in exchange, at least!" Then there are people, and she's waving to both, saying, "Hello again. It's Thea, so you don't have to ask." And a wink.

Arumi waves to Bobbi and to Katie. "Welcome, help yourself to beverages, and now I'm ready to get started." She finishes her coffe, and slides over on the table she's sitting on, moving to the middle, facing the group. "Welcome and good evening. I think everyone knows who I am, but just in case. I'm Dr. Arumi Hanada, elected co-chair on the local council for the Society of Ether, formally the Sons of Ether. I'm here to gives an outline of what we are, what we stand for, and how we operate. Since Ithink there are many harmless misconceptions going around. My hope is that others will give similar talks about THEIR respective groups, and we can all gain greater understanding of each other."

"So. The history of the Society goes back to the 12th century. At the time, the Order of Hermes was hundreds of years old, as was its competitor, the Order of Reason. One member of the Order of Hermes, specifically of House Verditius, was a man named Lorenzo Golo. He found a book. A very old book, translated into Arabic, called Kitab al-Alacir. That means The Book of Ether. For the rest of the evening I'll just call it the Book, or the Book of Ether, for simplicity.

"The book tells the story of King Priam of Troy, during the Trojan War, speaking with the philosopher Aretus. Aretus warned him to send out his forerunners, his advance scouts, to explore out beyond his city walls, into the world. That might surprise you. The book isn't early science. The book isn't about ether. The book is about the philosophy of science. It's not about what we do. It's about why we work the way we do.

She then slides off of the table onto her feet. "We explore because humanity needs us to explore. We explore the Earth, space, the ether, knowledge, life, the universe, and everything. Because it's a moral imperative for mankind's future."

Rick turns his attention to Arumi, but not before leaning over to kiss Katie on the cheek and say something softly to her.

River sits quietly and listens as she smiles.

"I'm okay.." Katie says softly back to Rick, watching her hand kissed, deciding instead to break the contact and rest her arm around him instead, leaning gently into him. "So you're about exploration?", she asks of Arumi, "I knew you were like super smart, with the space rockets, but do you go up into space as well?". Her gaze glances up, imagining the darkness and the mass of stars that would be above them. "Is that a thing?", she asks softly of Rick, "They can go into space and travel to stars? Can you do that?"

Bobbi listens to the presentation, though occasionally she leans over to whisper to Rick.

Thea is obviously a skeptic when it comes to this particular story. Her eyebrows are already raised when there's mention of ancient dialogues discussing the fall of Troy, and it doesn't seem likely she's going to get any /less/ skeptical. Still -- for the time being, at least -- she listens politely rather than jumping in to interrupt.

Arumi smiles and nods excitedly to Katie. "That's right. Later I'll explain just how early we went into space. I'm not the first." She then glances at her phone on the table beside her, checking her notes. "So Golo was so inspired by the Book, he left House Verditius" -- brief glance at Bobbi -- " and founded House Golo under the auspices of House ex Miscellanea. At least until he encountered Simon de Laurent, of an ancestor of the modern Celestial Chorus. Simon found an earlier, possibly original GREEK copy, and they were off and running.

"Golo left the Order of Hermes entirely, leaving House Golo to dissolve, many of its members going with him, but a few going to other Houses. Becuase as we say at Caltech, they are all fine houses." She snickers. "They founded the Natural Philosophers Guild. And to give you an idea how quickly they were advancing, Golo died about 20 years later and the group fell apart. You know how he died? Airship accident. Yes, in the dark ages. Airship accident."

She shakes her head and lets out a big giggle.

Rick tilts his head slightly to listen to Bobbi's whisper, and gives her a little nod. He glances over to Katie with a bit of a grin, then turns his attention back to Arumi as he listens.

"Neat.." Katie says softly, becoming a bit caught up in the story, perhaps. ".. I'd like to go to space.", she says to Rick beside her, giving him a cute little grin. She wants to do everything, add it to the to-do list. Her attention drifts back to Arumi, so interested in the mention of a change of Houses that she flashes a meaningful glance at Rick, but then there's talk of an airship. "There were airships that long ago?", she asks curiously. "I thought Franklin made airships?", a momentary thought about that, she's only recently been learning history, realising her own mistake, "No.. Wright.", a glance at Rick, "Wright? Right.", she chuckles.

Arumi nods. "So, sadly there was no formal organization furthering the Book for the next 6 to 700 years. However Benjamin Franklin" -- a nod to Katie --"inspired Alessandro Volta, who inspired the founding of the Voltarian Order in 1806, within the Order of Reason this time. Franklin and Volta established the fundamentals of electricity and electronics, though several layers more fundamental than the Virtual Adepts would prefer. We got to work right where Golo left off. Not just Airships, but ships into other dimensions. We went into the Hollow Earth, we explored the natural world, we were making the most of the Industrial revolution.

"Right up until 1851, when the Order of Reason was reorganized into the Technocratic Union, and the Voltarian Order was reorganized as the Electrodyne Engineers."

Bobbi lets out a bit of a giggle.

Arumi tries to keep a straight face but winks. "Voltarian Order. Not Voltron Order."

That skepticism you were seeing on Thea earlier? (If you were paying enough attention to Thea to notice it to start with, which is highly questionable.) It's only more so now, and accompanied by a bit of puzzlement. She's trying to figure something out, but whatever it is eludes her.

"Yes she does," Bobbi says softly to Katie. "I'll give you a hint ... ether." She lets out another little giggle at this, but then goes back to listening to Arumi, trying not to be too much of a distraction ... or a catty bitch.

Rick glances over at Bobbi and gives her a slightly reproving frown, but looks back to Arumi. He shifts a bit as he stands, then looks down to Katie with a smile.

Arumi takes a deep breath, folding her hands behind her back, pressing her palms to the edge of the table. "So the Technocratic Union. One of its projects, Union-wide, was a timetable for humanity. What inventions, on what years. A complete stifling of human advance. Now, given that according to the Book, to do that means Humanity suffering Troy's fate." She pauses and looks to Thea this time, puzzled just a moment, before continuing. "We must go to places BECAUSE we don't know what's there." A smile to Katie, and a completely genuine thumbs up to Bobbi. "So... we just completely ignored the Union's board and did what we wanted."

No need for notes this time. "So in 1871 Stephen Lawrence Robertson designed a world-wide dimensional rail network. That failed, when trains slipped into an uncharted part of Sidereal space, but we tried again. Captain Horatio Savage landed on the moon in 1893. He worked with aliens to found Victoria Station in orbit in Lunar Sidereal space.

"That was the last straw for Control. In 1887 they already had countenanced the Michelson-Morley Experiment, attempting to nullify all of our work that depended on the Luminiferous Ether, and in 1904 they officially shifted the consensus. In protest, the... largely men... of the Electrodyne Engineers declared themselves the Sons of Ether, and left the Technocratic Union, joining the Council of Mystic Traditions shortly after."

Author's note: The train network failed because they somehow started sending trains to the Shadowlands, and that was bad.

Rick lets out a little chuckle and asks Arumi "When was this plan supposed to be complete, 1984 like the George Orwell book?" He kicks the dirt with a shoe for some reason.

Bobbi returns a thumbs up to Arumi with a smile, and seems genuine about it at well. Bobbi might joke and disagree with Arumi about paradigm, but their Sisters in Arms in the war against the Technocrats, and dammit, she's good people.

The first part, all fine, but then Katie starts to look a little lost at the rest, perhaps disbelief at the changes to history that are being told. "Wait, like, there was a dimensional rail network in space?", obviously not understanding the full meaning, "There was a train station in orbit?", a confused blinkblink of her lovely blue eyes.

Not wanting to think on that one too heavily, she moves around in front of Rick and rests her back against his chest, then pulls his arms lightly around her tummy.

"Better late than never," Thea says, with a smile (she's obviously joking, rather than actually trying to needle the Etherites). She takes a long sip from her glass of water, and -- not being very familiar with the Society's history -- doesn't even make an attempt to answer Katie's questions.

Arumi answers a few comments. "Rick, pretty much. They wanted Oceania level of control over humanity, and the New World Order gets closer to that than we'd all like, I'm sure. Katie, yes. Victoria Station, named for the London Underground station, and of course Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom herself. Pretty awesome. When I build my ship it's probably going to work like a modern version of what they did 150 years ago." And a wink to Thea. "Hey, we tried to keep them from doing the harm they've done. So now we work from without, instead of from within."

Shifting again, standing up straight, gesturing widely with her arms. "Now that brings me to another of our greatest moments. Andreas Vargo. Better known as Czar Vargo I of Earth. He was a great Etherite, and a devout pacifist. As the world tore itself apart in the Great War, in 1914, he wanted to stop it. So uh. He built an entire navy of airships, and sent them to the capitals of the major world powers. He demanded they all cease hostilities and submit to his rule. The Union Freaked Out. NWO and Iteration X sent an army of robots against his airships, that's how desperate they were. And he beat them. So then the Progenitors sent mutants after him, and only then did he have to retreat.

"The combination of all of that experimental technology, on both sides, so shocked the world that wiped most people's memories of the whole thing happening. But we know what he did, and honor him for it. Even if the Czar of Terra was a bit... extra. The VEs say he may still be out there. I kind of hope he is, somehow."

"There are many world he could be in," Bobbi quietly jokes.

Rick looks down at Katie and kisses the top of her head, and loosens the grip his arms have around her. Towards Arumi he nods a bit and asks "That must have been one hell of a paradox backlash. " He glances over towards Bobbi and River, but not Thea, as his eyes just glide over her without pause.

River smiles "Nice thing about being a sorceress, I dont get paradox. IF enough unbeleavers are around it might fail outright, but never backlash." She then looks to Arumi "But you go on a rocket ride remember me, Id love to go too.

Looking back over her shoulder, Katie gives Rick a gentle smile as he loosens his grip, then turns her attention back to Arumi. Her head lays back against Rick's chest as she listens, but she doesn't comment this time.

"Just goes to show," Thea remarks, apropos of an early conversation on the hackability of various types of storage media, "that there really isn't any kind of memories you can /completely/ rely on." She seems mostly unperturbed by the notion of someone ruling the entire known world, even if might be an only-just-stopped-being-a-Technocrat.

Arumi IGNORES BOBBI. Well one look. Rubbing her mouth to stifle a reaction, then continuing. She hops onto the table again to sit, her legs dangling. "In conclusion, when we talk about science, don't confuse it with what the Technocratic Union calls science. We've been doing science since before the Technocratic Union existed, and perverted science in the name of control. We don't "believe in" or "don't believe in" animals, vegetables, minerals, and phenomena. We see the world for what it is, and then try to figure out how it works from basic principles. It turns out there are plenty of things science can't yet explain, which is what makes them so exciting to see. And we do want to see every weird thing out there, and make things happen that nobody ever dreamed possible. And if we can disrupt the Union at every opportunity, then that's what we'll do. Becuase we are the Sons... and Daughters... of Ether. The Ether being not just a physical phenomenon, but it's also the Synecdoche of the Union's great betrayal of Science, Reason, and the future of Humanity."

"Any questions? And yes, when my ship is going, I will be giving people rides, as I have promised. That's fine. I'll be going a LOT. And Thea, correct. Knowledge is fragile."

At the mention of questions, Katie raises a hand quickly, but hearing the final comment of a ship and rides being offered, she sheepishly lowers her hand back down again. "So have you been into space? Not like /you/ but your house?", she asks, a curious tilt of her head.

Bobbi leans in to whisper to Rick.

Arumi nods to Katie. "Yes. My research assistant, Thomas 'MoGui' Hu, has personally been in to the Hollow Earth and Etherspace, on the aethership Nashira under the command of Captain Faris 'al Mirzam' Levinbolt of the Electrodyne Engineers and the Society of Ether. I will myself be joining the Royal Ethernautical Society chartered by Queen Victoria in 1851. It's actually technically still a state secret in the UK overseen by the Privy Council."

She grabs her phone to answer Rick. Scrolling, tapping. "I um.. the Captain was ... secretive, but descriptions of the aliens made them sound like... fairies in appearance and behavior. Very strange and inhuman. It is they who helped send Victoria Station into the Lunar Sidereal, and from there into Etherspace proper."

Turning around, Katie wraps her arms around Rick and looks up at him with an affectionate smile, then stands on tiptoe to give him a gentle kiss before twirling again to face Arumi and the discussion. Though she doesn't say it, the whole description of what Arumi's assistant has been doing simply flies over her head.

Thea gives Rick a curious look when he asks that particular question. "Interesting terminology," she muses, before turning to Arumi: "I don't have questions at the moment myself, but I did want to thank you for taking the time to help us understand your perspective a little better."

Adeline trails in, decidedly belated, and looks wildly rueful at having missed things. She waves apologetically to Arumi.

Arumi waves to Adeline. "Sorry you missed the talk, but help yourself if you want a beverage." She drinks fro her coffee, and nods to Thea. "May I ask what was troubling you earlier about what I said? From the beginning you seemed to be thinking SOMETHING."

Adeline beams at Arumi. "Thanks, Doctor!" And heads to the drinks.

Bobbi stands up and takes a little stretch, just hanging out for now.

This, of course, is precisely the question that Thea didn't want to answer, and rather than answer right away, she takes a little time to think over how to phrase her response. "Some of the ideas you outlined," she says slowly, "are similar to ideas I've previously encountered; others are very dissimilar. To someone who comes at the whole from the outside, it's sometimes difficult to see why similar ideas have led someone else in a completely different direction. If that makes sense."

Bobbi looks like she's about to jump in an explain Arumi's ideas to Thea, but then thnks better of it.

Rick listens to the conversation going on while standing there with Katie. But after a while he looks down at her, leans forward and ask her something. He nods at the response and says to the assembled group "Well Arumi, I greatly enjoyed the talk you gave. I will pester you with more questions later, but for now I need to get going. It was a pleasure to see you all." With that, Rick and Katie head out into the evening, towards his parked car.

Arumi waves to those going. "Thanks for coming. I hope this becomes a series. Good evening!" Then to Thea. "Well, sometime I'd like to hear what kind of historiography you have in mind, differing from mine."

"Certainly," Thea says; "I don't want to tax the patience of all the other guests, but I think the conversation would be interesting. There's often a great deal of history behind the ideas that ultimately emerge -- a bit like an iceberg; most of it is below the surface."

"Thanks again," Bobbi says to Arumi with a smile. "I look forward to the rest of this series." Then, turning to Adeline, she asks, "Would you like a ride back to Prospect?"

Adeline nods enthusiastically. "Ye thanks Bobbi. I am sorry to have missed this, it sounds really enlightening."

Bobbi leads Adeline to her Kawasaki motorcycle, handing her a helmet and a leather jacket. "Just hold on to me, but don't get too handsy," she tells her with a grin. Then Bobbi goes to start the motorcycle. It starts to go, and then stalls out. Starts again, and then stalls out. Starts again, and then ... they take off /really/ fast, quickly hitting 100, and even going beyond.,,,,,,