Originally posted by Stone667:
[BC, does the discussion have to finish in order for you to move the story along?]
[No, it doesn’t. Yes, Rosalyn is going to join the Paladins, but she likely won’t advance past rank 1 by the end of the game, at which point she leaves Imperis forever due to reasons I won’t yet share; I have to do this to not violate any canon in Darkspell 1. She can have as much sex and as many children as she wants with Christopher (though they’ll probably only have one, a son and my character in the “new” Darkspell 2 if Ros makes one), and not have to care one bit about the vow of celibacy. I was just expressing my opinion that the vow itself seems rather stupid and illogical, preventing higher-ranked Paladins from advancing their bloodlines for no good reason.]
[I assume that Vinyl and Carson are both in James’s house with Christopher.]
James’s… home is rather impressive, to say the least. And rather heavily fortified. I may be in some trouble if he decides that he wants to detain me here against my wishes…
The Destroyer suddenly sends me mental images of this entire location in ruins. I picture the bulky red form of his psionic armor, resembling some monstrous creature more than a man, hurling massive balls of red lightning and telekinetic force to devastate everything around him.
If it comes to that, I may have to temporarily let the Destroyer take over… I certainly hope it will not have to come to that.
I look at James, then at the fire user, and the steam user. It occurs to me that I haven’t learned their names yet. Whatever, I’ll find out sooner or later; we’re basically stuck together for good now unless the Order is gone. James turns on some recording device. I frown and am about to object, but decide otherwise; he can probably use Psychic magic to record everything I say into his memories, as I can. “Start from the beginning,” he says.
“The beginning?” I let out a humorless laugh. “My life would probably be a lot easier if I knew that. But okay…”
“To begin with, I call myself Christopher Thunderblade. You may remember me being called ‘Number 15’ by the person we just killed, and that person himself ‘Number 14’. There were sixteen of us, numbered from 0 to 15. The astral projection we’ve seen is a fragment of Number 1, a telepath, and the golems were created by Number 2. Until not long ago, I was the last of these Numbers, agents of a secret organization that calls itself the Order of Resurgence.”
“Look at me. You’d think that I’m a human like all of you, right? But no. I was conceived in a test tube, and born in an uterine replicator. I am an artificial human, created from splicing the genes of thousands of powerful mages, collected from all over the world… like the rest of them Numbers. That’s the Order’s main goal, the creation of more and more powerful artificial humans.”
“You might wonder why you’ve never heard of such an organization before. It’s because they’re extremely secretive; they don’t want any outsider to know of their plans or even existence, ever. That’s why I didn’t want to get any of you involved. Once you’re caught up in this mess, the Order of Resurgence will never stop hunting you down until they’re absolutely sure that you’re dead. Frankly, you three are basically stuck with me for good… unless we can somehow bring down the Order, all of its superpowered Numbers, as well as its other agents…”
“I don’t know how old the organization is, or who originally started it. All I know is that current leader, whom I’ve never met, is Number 0, a Dracim user. Numbers 0 to 5 are the Order’s most powerful and important members, consisting of one each of the three Divine and Void elements; Number 1 is Prophracia and Number 2 Reifac. Of all of its artificial humans, the Order of Resurgence primarily aims to create Divine and Void elemental users or, in their own words, ‘revive the powers of the Creators themselves’; hence the name Resurgence. However, as you may expect, genetic engineering is tricky to say the least. I may be standing here talking right now, but if you try to clone me then the clone’s whole genome will break down before it even develops into an embryo. One, not many of the Order’s creations survive. Two, of those that survive, not many are actually as powerful as they’re designed to be. Three, of those that are sufficiently powerful, most of them are ‘failures’ who can only wield normal elements rather than Divine or Void. For example, I was intended to be an artificial Dracim, but in the end I could only use Vulto, or Electric magic. These ‘failures’ are still extremely powerful, and they are numbered from 6 onwards.”
“All surviving, sufficiently powerful artificial humans created by the Order are thoroughly brainwashed, and trained since birth for eight years to become, among other things, the perfect killing machines. Their ages vary, but even the prepubescent children are incredibly powerful and dangerous. Numbers 6 and greater pose as mercenaries and assassins in the criminal underworld throughout the globe, and the money they receive as payment or obtain through other means is the primary source of the Order’s funds. Again, secrecy is the key, and all Numbers ensure that they cannot be traced back to the Order of Resurgence itself. Their numbers are even given using an intentionally bad random number generator, so that their order may seem to be random, or increasing or decreasing age or power level, just to confuse and possibly mislead outsiders that may happen to learn their secrets. The Order also has numerous ordinary human agents, most of which are not as powerful as the Numbers, but all of which are brainwashed and trained to be dangerous; they too value secrecy above all else, and will stop at nothing to prevent themselves from being traced back to the Order of Resurgence.”
“You may want to know just exactly what the Order wants to hide so badly. Well, I’m not exactly sure myself, but the very fact that it is making superpowered artificial humans is something you wouldn’t want other people to find out. The Order is coming ever closer to perfecting its artificial human design, to the point where their successful creations can be endlessly cloned without failure. I wouldn’t be surprised if it tries to take over or destroy the world after that point. An infinite army of obscenely powerful and single-mindedly obedient super soldiers… Yeah, that’s a very good reason why the Order wants to keep things hidden.”
“As for me… I don’t want to share the details. Let’s just say that something happened, and my brainwashing… broke. Hence, I no longer obey them, and no longer call myself Number 15. They want to kill me, because they think I’m a serious threat to them; I’m powerful and know a lot of things that they’d rather keep hidden. You three are sort of like me now, powerful and knowing things they’d not want you to know. And you’ll be hunted, like me. Heh, till death do we part. That’s what you said, James, and it might just be more literal than you would’ve thought.”
“Now, any questions?”