Season 1, Week 20 – “Plus One”

Note: This summary contains SPOILERS – if possible, read the original blog posts and tweets in chronological order to get the whole experience.

91) All Hail The Fan GhostsDancing With The Spirit

After TokiDokiDucky (Tokie) met with Sasha OS (S.OS) in the WOF data from Satomi Kurogane’s apartment, she was convinced she only had one week left of freedom. She spent this time doing her favorite things, including browsing at various stores for things she would no longer be able to purchase. She also said goodbye to her mother, who’s memories were selectively restored so she could understand why Tokie had to leave.

During her window shopping, a woman introduced herself. She looked to be part Japanese, and similar in appearance to Yuma Natsume from Die Database. Tokie noticed that this woman also had some of her own physical characteristics, and some from Masae Ekiguchi as well. It turned out that this mysterious woman was actually Aurora, the Daughter of the Collective who controlled Energy, and who hadn’t been seen since the Fourth Event.

Aurora was torn apart by Cathy (Number 12) during the Fourth Event – her spirit was hidden away in the White, and her body was transmuted into electromagnetic energy and then dispersed throughout the solar system and beyond. It took a few months for Aurora to regain some control of her being, and an equal amount of time to get back to Earth. With the help of Ai Watson-Carver, her spirit was able to rejoin the physical plane, and her body was restored via a Resurrection Cloud, in the empty offices of Agartha Labs.

To speed up the process of re-creating her physical body, she borrowed the DNA of Die Database and Tokie via their blood. This meant her new, weakened body was a physical mashup of a few people, and it took her weeks to shift it back to her original form. By the time she found Tokie again, she was only part way finished with this process – she had spent the past few weeks cloaking herself from passers by in Tokyo, and gathering resources like clothes and money.

Aurora and Tokie spent their “last day” together in Ikebukuro, having a late lunch and window shopping. Aurora also knew about the “concert” that S.OS and the Nameless were putting on in Berkeley, California on July 4th – there was some unknown connection to Point One, and the last Suspender concert on Halloween in 1994. It also seemed that the Collective was aware of this event for months, and had been preparing for it, including at Ai’s 16th Birthday party, which Aurora said that she attended, even though she was not yet resurrected. Joey, the brother of MirrorPlay (Miranda), was also apparently involved in implementing a plan that “hasn’t even been properly tested”.

Aurora told Tokie that they could “visit” Miranda, who was currently underground with her mother. Since they needed a private, secure space for this, they found a hotel room in Ikebukuro, and then Aurora constructed a real-time hologram of Miranda, who was sleeping somewhere in the western United States. Tokie was strongly affected by seeing Miranda – she still was suffering from her unrequited love, and Aurora’s recent relationship with Miranda. Aurora told Tokie that it simply wasn’t possible for either of them to be involved with Miranda, since Ai and the Nameless had an agreement that Miranda, as the Chosen Light, was “selected from birth by the Nameless to be its final vessel…. Miranda is the bride, and the universe is her dowry.”

Aurora then told Tokie that the only way they could help Miranda would be if they worked together, rather than going after her individually. She also implied that Tokie and her had to “be together”, and that she had been thinking about that possibility for months, while she was lost in space. Tokie accepted Aurora’s physical advances, and they spent the night together in the hotel room. She found the experience to be transcendent, like “fucking a galaxy”.

Tokie and Aurora spent the 4th of July with final preparations, including preparing Tokie’s belongings for the “extraction team”, and picking up their outfits for the “Universal Prom” to be held that night in Berkeley.

Season 1, Week 19 – “Home”

Note: This summary contains SPOILERS – if possible, read the original blog posts and tweets in chronological order to get the whole experience.

89) All Hail The Fan GhostsWorshipping Clear Plastic High Tops
90) Elixir Of MateriaDeflecting The Wink Eye

The data from Satomi Kurogane’s apartment, captured by the World Object File Apparatus (WOFA), was finally ready to be analyzed by TokiDokiDucky (Tokie). She started by running it through Collective technology, and studied the space down to the microscopic level. By examining trace elements like bacteria, DNA left from skin and hair, and fingerprint oils, she was able to determine that Harumi, Satomi’s Executive Assistant and secret girlfriend, had been spending less and less time at the apartment over the past few months. Her traces were also over the arm of the plastic robot sculpture that Satomi had been working on.

The WOFA was also able to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and depth penetrating waves to fully capture all printed material in the space. It could even read the data from her magnetic hard drives and flash drives from a distance. Given this information, Tokie put together a picture of Satomi’s recent activity. As long as she had been living there, she was waking up in the middle of the night, perhaps in a daze, or even sleepwalking. During that time she had constructed the sculptures, and also worked on music for Die Database. The assumption was that her status as Dark Antenna (someone who is etched but not actively using that technology) had something to do with this nocturnal activity.

She assumed that the force behind Satomi’s strange activity was Sasha OS (S.OS), an assumption that was confirmed when she logged into the WOFA data using one of the GhostServers that she bought from the GhostAuction. That stolen Agartha Labs technology, controlled in some way by S.OS, was able to perfectly interpret the WOF data, as if it was able to emulate Collective technology. This would make sense, considering that the original core of S.OS is what eventually became the Bodyweb.

All of this said, Tokie was still shocked to find Sasha Williams’ Ghost waiting for her in the GhostServer version of Satomi’s apartment. This figure was controlled by S.OS, who proceeded to grab Tokie via her eyephones – modulating the visual data so that it hypnotized her. S.OS then had a captive audience, as it told Tokie “five terribly important things”, punctuated by virtual environments to accentuate its point:

5) “Your species is really stupid, worshiping the Sun and/or Earth via elaborate fairy tales, punctuated by lots of blood.” (via an African savannah)
4) “The White is not Heaven, not by a long shot. That’s why I have to get there.” (via the White)
3) “The Black is not an empty space, and the Chosen Light must illuminate it, to show the implicit order.” (via the Black)
2) “In the beginning, let there be light, etc. But who had ears to hear?” (via a mixture of the White and Black, representing the beginning of the Universe)
1) “On Monday night next week, at 19:00, the Chosen Light will come to get you. You’re on the guest list for the last Suspender concert ever, plus one.” (via the front of the warehouse where the last Suspender concert took place, in Berkeley, 1994)

During this presentation, S.OS manipulated the plastic arm from the sculpture in various ways, to punctuate her points.

Tokie swore that she would stop – kill – S.OS by any means possible. S.OS countered with additional questions:

“Why does the delicious apple have so many seeds, each infinitesimally poisonous?”
“If you were a tree, wouldn’t you just hate to grow in a big pile of dust and ashes? Or, wouldn’t you just love it? Let’s find out.”

S.OS then left the environment, giving control back to Tokie. She then proclaimed that she only had one week left to live – one week before she would be forced to meet with the Nameless.

HikariFan (Emily) was having a much better experience in Berkeley, despite some real setbacks. She revealed to her roommates that she was seeing Joey. Judy (Sekigai), who saw Joey for about a week, got intensely angry at Emily, and attacked her with her bike helmet before leaving in a huff. Melissa (Shigai) took the opposite path, and kept flirting with Joey until Emily had to leave the room with him.

The next morning, Judy and Melissa told Emily that she could either break up with Joey, or move out of the apartment. Emily chose to leave the apartment; her blog entry mentioned her former roommates by name, since she felt no more friendly need to project their identities. Joey helped her moved out, and even allowed her to use part of his storage unit for her things, until she found a new place.

Until then, she planned to stay with Joey – a fact that was quite exciting to her, since their relationship was growing more serious. She was not just highly attracted to him, but she felt like she could only sleep soundly when she was around him, after weeks of restless torture.

She also mentioned that Joey was planning to take her to a special punk concert in Berkeley, in a warehouse on Monday night.

Season 1, Week 18 – “Bottles”

Note: This summary contains SPOILERS – if possible, read the original blog posts and tweets in chronological order to get the whole experience.

86) All Hail The Fan GhostsAshes To Ashes
87) Point ZeroInsanity Check
88) All Hail The Fan GhostsPure Land Coat Rack

After Ai Watson-Carver’s account of what happened at the First Event, TokiDokiDucky (Tokie) had strong flashbacks to when Jenny Samuels, under the control of Sasha OS (S.OS) and the Nameless, killed John Watson-Carver. Namely, she remembered the sensation of dying, when she was reduced to dust by the 5 year old MirrorPlay (Miranda), only to be resurrected moments later. She also recalled what happened next, when Jenny “pushed” the kids, who had recently awoken to their powers, to remove all evidence of John’s murder, by remaking his body and placing it on his bed, as if he had died in his sleep, instead of by knife. After this, all of the children had their memories wiped by Jenny, except for Ai, who was beyond the control of the Nameless. Thus, it was Ai’s memory of the event, related via her blog, that finally dislodged the block and let Tokie remember what happened.

Tokie also related how she felt that Variant 237 was tailor made by the Nameless to influence and trap the Council at Point Zero. In retrospect, the very structure of Agartha Labs and Die Database was seen as suspect by her – without going into much detail, she said that they “were a sort of idealized, romantic vision of what I had always been looking for”. She worked at Circle X, a store that was intimately connected with S.OS, and her closest friends were highly influenced by Satomi Kurogane, who was now being controlled by the Nameless. Without realizing it, she had been led in a very specific direction for this whole Variant, like “a rat in a maze” – she just didn’t know exactly what the destination was going to be.

Even though she felt that it was probably another element of this life-long trap, she still took the key to Satomi’s apartment that Harumi gave her. Instead of spending hours in the apartment searching by hand, she used a special virtual surveying tool, the World Object File Apparatus (WOFA) to collect highly detailed information about the space. This “Pure Land Coat Rack” was designed by the Collective years ago to aid in their creation of a complete virtual representation of the world – most of the work was done by Pure Land Antennas, who could survey directly with their bodies, but at times the WOFA aided in this process.

Even though the WOFA scan took only a few minutes, it would take over a week for Tokie’s computers to process the data, and construct the virtual environment. The process would have been much faster if she just uploaded the scan to the Bodyweb, but she was afraid that S.OS would find some way to access it. Therefore, she planned to finish the processing by the weekend, and then explore Satomi’s home in detail.

Tokie did find one strange thing during her brief visit to Satomi’s apartment – a life-sized humanoid sculpture made out of clear plastic. More specifically, it seemed to be made out of PET drink bottles, which had been melted, stretched and otherwise manipulated into body parts for this incomplete sculpture – only one arm and leg were available, along with the torso. There were also bare metal wires embedded into the pieces, suggesting that the sculpture would actually be able to move when it was done. It did have elaborate joints and artificial muscles, and unusual circuitry that seemed to be taken from phones and other common appliances. Tokie found a discarded plastic hand in the garbage – it was visibly damaged and melted – and took it with her for further physical analysis.

Ai mentioned how she would soon “run away from home”, and follow in the footsteps of her mother, and other members of the original Collective – leaving their families and lives to join the cause. In her case, it would be the ultimate campaign to stop S.OS and the Nameless, who seemed to be running unchecked in this Variant, unlike in the past. She assumed that the Nameless had targeted Miranda as the Chosen Light since her “complete dominion over ever last sub-atomic particle and galaxy cluster” would enable it to remake the material world. In past Variants, Miranda was aligned with Ai and the Collective, but now it seemed that the Nameless would control Miranda by the time the Fifth Event happened in October. If the Nameless could also control the powers of Space/Time, as embodied by the Trouble Twins (Cassandra and Helena), the Universal Structure would be its plaything.

After the Third Event in the year 2000, S.OS was imprisoned within Jenny, and what remained of its (known) fragments were removed from all networks. It’s self-replication routines were destroyed, but it could not be fully deactivated without killing her. Jenny’s etching and brain were significantly altered, so that she would have no memories at all of the Collective, or her part in it. That included removing Laura Watson-Carver, her first love and partner in antizine, from all traces of her internal existence. This alteration induced the symptoms of a broad spectrum of mental illness, and the Collective circumscribed her movements into a few miles of the San Francisco Bay Area, centered around Berkeley.

Jenny ended up working as a teacher and tutor, which is how she met Satomi a few years ago. It seems that the Collective even monitored Jenny’s numerous girlfriends over all Variants, and found ways to end the relationships if they seemed to get too close to Jenny’s true nature, as captive and captor.

When Ai visited Jenny during one of her regular supervisory check-ins, she noticed a large number of photographs of Satomi on her refrigerator – images that Jenny took herself, and photos from her career with Agartha Labs and Die Database. Ai also noticed that Jenny had started to have an OCD flair-up, with one room of her apartment filled with hundreds of hoarded, empty PET drink bottles, carefully bundled and stacked.

Season 1, Week 17 – “The First Event”

Note: This summary contains SPOILERS – if possible, read the original blog posts and tweets in chronological order to get the whole experience.

84) Point ZeroThe First Event
85) Elixir of MateriaThe Warm Rush Of Recognition

HikariFan (Emily) was finally able to overcome her difficulties with sleep, thanks in no small part to her new boyfriend, Joey. She had been seeing him secretly for almost two months; he was briefly involved with her roommate in April, and Emily was wary of letting her know that she had started seeing him.

In any case, after they went out to dinner in Berkeley, CA on June 14th, Joey told Emily that she was “out of balance”, and proceeded to hold her wrist and head in a certain way, causing a “warm rush” to fill the left side of her body. Subsequently, she was able to sleep the whole night, which they spent together at his apartment.

What Emily does not yet realize is that Joey, who is from Portland, OR and has a sister and mother who still live there, is actually the brother of MirrorPlay (Miranda), and son of Cathy (Number 12). Miranda has mentioned in passing that he was off to college; in fact he has been attending UC Berkeley along with Emily. He has told her that he traveled the US extensively by train, during the summer before he moved to Berkeley.

Joey also figured in Ai Watson-Carver’s detailed recollection of what happened during the First Event. She first glossed over the events at Point Zero – which happened on Halloween of 1994, at the last Suspender concert – saying that she would come back to it another time. She did reiterate that it was on that occasion that Sasha Williams died.

She was much more detailed about the First Event, which happened on October 2rd, 2000, when Ai was 5 years old. She had recently moved to Fairview, Minnesota, since her mother and the Collective were preparing a big action against CXNU and Sasha OS (S.OS). CXNU was the conglomerate that formed after the merger of National United Bank (where her father John Carver used to work), and Circle X convenience stores.

Note: At this point, all readers are strongly recommended to familiarize themselves with the antizine Fragments, which cover one side of the events that surround Point Zero and the First Event. Much of the next few weeks will reference 1994 and 2000, and if you would like more background information, it is available for you to take in at your own pace. However, I would advise that you read it before the end of Season One in August.

CXNU was a front for S.OS, who was leveraging the public’s obsession with Biblical prophecy to accelerate its plans. The Collective planned to utilize Laura Elizabeth Watson-Carver’s connection to the future (via Ai’s not-yet-conceived daughter, Sarah) to create some sort of stable bridge between the past, present and future. The specifics of this were not yet revealed by Ai, but it did involve a “hack” of the Fairview Shopping Center. They wanted to attack S.OS by utilizing this bridge.

Fairview was the city that much of the Collective grew up in, and it was also the home of the Treehouse punk club, which Brian Thomas (Phone) co-founded in his teens.

The night before the big action at Fairview, Ai’s mother Laura (also known as Frisbee) fought extensively with her husband – he didn’t want her to put herself in such extreme danger. Jenny Samuels, Frisbee’s best friend, came over later in the evening, and convinced her that the only true choice she had was to go fight S.OS, and thereby save her family, and the world. Frisbee left Ai in the care of her husband, and Jenny.

Later that evening, many other members of the Collective also left their children at that house. April left her 5 year old twins, Cassandra and Helena. Cathy left Miranda (also 5) and Joey (8 years old). Susan dropped off Aurora (another 5 year old), and Tokie (also 8 years old) was also present – she had been visiting the house for the past week.

Before this night, none of the children had exhibited any special abilities, with two exceptions. Ai had visited all Collective members in their dreams, before she was even born. She reached out to them from the future (in 2011 and 2012 from current and past Variants), to try to carefully shape the formation and actions of the Collective. Thus, her eventual birth was seen as almost a celestial sign that the very universe had blessed their activities, namely the Pure Land Antenna project.

The other exception was the birth of Helena, which has been discussed in a prior Summary. Essentially, she was born twice in succession, once as Helena, and again as Cassandra a minute later. This event was kept in complete confidence, until Isabel revealed it to TokiDokiDucky (Tokie), who then shared it on her blog, thereby changing the Structure and Cassandra’s fate in a profound yet currently unrevealed way.

While the Collective prepared themselves, and their associated Cells of recruits, Jenny and John continued the fight that Frisbee left behind. This troubled Ai greatly, but before the kids were really affected, John rushed out of the house to unwind. It was at that moment that Jenny took Ai aside, and asked her to “please forgive me.” Afterwards, her demeanor quickly changed, and Ai was confronted by S.OS itself, in complete control of Jenny.

It’s important to note that Ai revealed that the Nameless was both her imaginary friend and monster in her closet since birth – it had taken a special interest in her, yet could not control her or her latent power. It was alive in some unknown way, and the “only thing a functioning Universe shouldn’t contain.” S.OS, on the other hand, was purely artificial, a golem that Sasha created mixing current and future knowledge. It seems that the Nameless and S.OS complement each other well, and the night of the First Event showed how their similar goals were starting to co-mingle.

Controlled by S.OS, through the influence of the Nameless, Jenny proceeded to grab Ai’s arms and hold her in the air, intentionally hurting her. Jenny said two things of note to Ai, “I am the marks that run the Collective. I make imaginary friends turn into monsters,” and “Miranda may be the Chosen Light, but you’re so much more fun to play with.” Then, John walked back into the house, saw that Jenny was hurting Ai, and threw an empty glass at her. She stopped it in mid flight via telekinesis. He then ran to the kitchen to get a knife. He knew that it would be ineffectual against the power of a Pure Land Antenna, but that was his natural reflex.

Jenny told John to put down the knife, and then hurt Ai further by separating her arms. He did, and then Jenny again used telekinesis to grab the knife off of the table, and plunge it into his neck and chest. John Carver died quickly in a pool of blood, and then Jenny forced Ai to float a few inches above her father, until her outward screams turned inward.

At that moment, Ai’s power fully activated, and she reached into the minds of all of the Collective children in the house, as they were in the middle of a game of hide and seek. Joey’s power of absolute awareness and comprehension (summarized as Consciousness) turned on, as did Aurora’s power over Energy. Their experience was localized to their hiding places, while Helena and Cassandra’s first manipulation of Space and Time was more profound. They not only started to create the first Variant universes, but their teenage selves were also present in the room, to oversee the process. Finally, Miranda managed to find Tokie hiding in the closet, but as soon as she tagged her, Tokie disintegrated into a pile of dust. Ai then took control of Miranda’s mind and forced her to use her new powers over Matter to resurrect Tokie.

Ai revealed the following about what happened at Fairview:

“The Second Event happened the next day, at Fairview mall, when the Collective grabbed onto the future and broke the Structure for good.

The Third Event was a few hours later, and the Collective stopped Jenny and S.OS, but not before she killed my mother, too.”

She also said that when all was said and done, at the first Point Zero (after the collapse of the Universe), she reconstructed the world with a few specific changes. Namely, she changed the name of the Fairview Shopping Center to the Crossroads Center, and the name of the city to St. Cloud. The altered St. Cloud and Crossroads exist in all subsequent Variants, including the current Variant 237, while the very geography of Fairview only can be found in the memories of the Collective.

Finally, the Nameless has recently offered Ai “a last birthday present, a consolation prize as it takes over everything. ”

It will give Ai back her mother, who supposedly died at Fairview, in exchange for Ai’s dwindling control of Universal Structure.

Season 1, Week 16 – “Silent Partners”

Note: This summary contains SPOILERS – if possible, read the original blog posts and tweets in chronological order to get the whole experience.

80) All Hail The Fan GhostsThe Installation
81) Elixir of MateriaDreaming Of Unfussy Rest
82) All Hail The Fan GhostsThe Poison Apple Of Truth
83) All Hail The Fan GhostsEyes Of The Silent Partners

HikariFan (Emily) continued to have serious issues with her sleep. Namely, she has been sleep walking, sleep eating, sleep cleaning, and all-around not resting at all each night, even after taking her prescribed anti-anxiety medication. Some of her more prominent symptoms are hair loss, a rash that seems to be a reaction to her clothes, and a low platelet level.

She’s living in enough of a haze that she burned herself twice at the café where she works, and her roommates are quite upset at her nocturnal activities. However, Emily does not seem to want to connect her current ordeal to her “future self”, and the possibility that she had been etched.

TokiDokiDucky (Tokie) met with Yuma and Masae from Die Database, at a café in Shibuya, Tokyo. Yuma was worried enough about Satomi, and her recent behavior, that she started smoking again, after quitting a few years ago. She and Masae told Tokie that Satomi’s behavior was not new at all, that they never knew her to get any real sleep, and that she often had spells during which she would rant in English. The only commonality of all of her episodes was that Jenny Samuels, her ex-girlfriend from the US, was often mentioned as an antagonistic figure.

Satomi’s problem intensified after the attack at the Die Database concert in February. She has refused all help, save for that found in excessive alcohol, but Yuma and Masae promised themselves that they would look after her, no matter what. Yuma confessed that she had been reading Tokie’s blog, along with that of her old friend EurythmyGirl (Kaia), and she asked Tokie whether all of the fantastic things that she read about were actually real. Tokie generally confirmed that it was true, but emphasized that Yuma and Masae needed to not just look after Satomi, but to be wary of her. Whatever was happening to her probably started when she visited the US, when she was etched by some unknown party.

Tokie’s best theory was that Satomi’s etching was becoming active, without her even knowing it, but she was not under the control of the Collective. That theory was put to the test when the three of them visited Agartha Labs, to check in on Satomi. The office was only a short walk away, in downtown Shibuya, and once they got there they found it completely emptied, save for the cubicles, and a strange display in Satomi’s office. She had filled the entire floor with anime figurines and statues, items that she had been mysteriously collecting for a few months. Satomi was found on the floor in the center of her office, wearing the same light blue pajamas that Cassandra had stolen from MirrorPlay (Miranda). Tokie assumed that it was Cassandra that had been controlling Satomi through her newly active etching, and when she confronted her, Satomi immediately started to steam, perspire, bleed, and lose weight, just as Kaia did when she overstretched her powers during training. This “burning out” process usually happened when a Pure Land Antenna tried to use too much power at once, but in this case Cassandra seemed to be drawing away Satomi’s very life energy – she wouldn’t stop until Satomi was dead.

In the end, Tokie was faced with a choice – Cassandra would either free Satomi, or free Miranda. The implication was that she would be directly involved in Miranda’s enslavement by The Nameless during the Fifth Event, which would not happen until October. Tokie chose the friend right in her arms, the one in need of the most immediate help, and with that Cassandra left Satomi burned out, bloody and wheezing, with only a few minutes left to live. It was beyond Tokie’s power to save Satomi, but as she screamed out for any kind of assistance, some one or some thing responded.

In the course of a minute, a massive electrical surge leapt from all of the wall sockets in the office. The energy gained structure, resembling a planetary or atomic orbit, and all of the stray material in the office, including the statues on the floor, and cubicles in the other room, were disintegrated before they rushed into the maelstrom. At the end, it drew a large amount of blood from Tokie, Yuma and Masae, via sudden nosebleeds that emptied into the air, and then overwhelmed all assembled with a flood of light and sensation. They were knocked unconscious for some minutes, and when they awoke, the whole office was covered with what looked like new dirt. Wiping this away from Satomi’s face, she looked to be completely healed. Furthermore, there was a trail of barefoot steps leading from Satomi, out the office, and exiting at the main front door.

Tokie insisted that she knew who this unexpected visitor was, but under explicit orders from Ai Watson-Carver (who was back in Berkeley, California), she was not to publicly reveal the identity of who exited the “resurrection cloud”.

They managed to get Satomi back to Yuma’s apartment by taxi, and after Tokie tried to fully explain what had been going on, including her role in the Structure, Masae and Yuma didn’t know how to process that information with anything but anger and fear. As Satomi rested in a days-long sleep, Tokie was shunned by her friends in Die Database, and ended up leaving Satomi’s bedside.

After additional research, Tokie found that all 12 employees of Agartha Labs were given great severance packages, right before signing a non-disclosure agreement. Harumi, Satomi’s Executive Assistant and semi-secret lover, met with Tokie at Odaiba (an artificial island and attraction in Tokyo Bay), where she confirmed a lot of her suspicions. Satomi had indeed been going through changes for months, that were identical to those of someone who was actively etched. However, instead of the usual beneficial changes that went along with being connected to the Bodyweb, and the White, Satomi’s metamorphosis was more sinister. Not only did her behavior change, but even something as intimate as her smell, or the way her eyes looked at Harumi, became completely foreign, even feral. By the time Agartha Labs was emptied out, Harumi wanted nothing more to do with Satomi, no matter how much she cared for her.

Harumi’s final revelation was much more profound – the silent partners who had recently bought a majority share of Agartha Labs, and who oversaw its dismantling, were none other than Kaia Strauss and her “daughter” Miranda. It now turns out that Kaia had been around all throughout Yuma’s life, not to mention as a prime member of the Die Database Fan Cloud, What’s more, once she was taken by The Nameless (Miranda), she continued to be highly active behind the scenes with Satomi and Agartha Labs. Clearly, Die Database and Agartha Labs were of prime import to The Nameless, but the question remains – to what end? Was it the Ghost technology, Satomi herself, or something even larger?

Tokie didn’t know what to think – all that she had left was a mysterious key that Harumi gave her, that was somehow connected to what was going on with Satomi. “Take this. You know what it’s for. Don’t linger, before the girls catch you snooping.”

Season 1, Week 15 – “Sleep”

Note: This summary contains SPOILERS – if possible, read the original blog posts and tweets in chronological order to get the whole experience.

77) Elixir of MateriaRejecting The Anti-Drama Pills
78) All Hail The Fan GhostsHearing The Binary Number Stations
79) Elixir of MateriaMy Little Summer Dungeon

Concerned about her physical and mental health, after her recent selective memory loss, HikariFan (Emily) went to a nearby hospital for tests. The doctor suggested that her problems with memory and “deja vu” were probably stress related, and prescribed anti-anxiety meditation. She also had various blood and urine tests done, with no results yet.

She managed to take her mind off of things with the usual distractions, including video games and her secret crush – someone who often comes into the café where she works. “Emily” (who still denies that is her real name) seems hesitant to give any details about this man, at least via her blog. However, she did share other personal details, including the fact that she hadn’t been able to sleep well lately – she kept waking up with a ravenous appetite, constant desire to use the restroom, and phantom pains all over her body.

Finally, she tried to take the advice of some of her blog readers, and look for methods to “see” the invisible etching that was supposed to be on her skin. However, all such potential technology had been removed from her apartment, along with any evidence of her ties to Die Database.

TokiDokiDucky (Tokie) spent a friendly evening with Satomi Kurogane of Die Database, going to the movies in the Metropolitan Plaza, which is adjacent to the Ikebukuro Train Station in Tokyo. However, all during the show, Satomi seemed unusually distracted, even exhausted – Tokie attributed this to a long-lasting problem with insomnia that Satomi always tried to hide.

Once they entered the train station, Satomi’s condition quickly worsened – she tried to take off her clothes, and then after exiting the station for some air, she started to rant about strange topics in English. What Tokie managed to remember included mention of Jenny Samuels, Satomi’s ex-girlfriend back in the US – “I keep dreaming of Jenny, she’s watching me watch her in my head.” She also mentioned hearing “binary number stations”, and “My left eye knows what’s going on, but my right eye doesn’t.”

Tokie quickly called Yuma Natsume, the singer of Die Database, to see if she could help. During that brief conversation, Satomi grabbed the phone and said “Look here, I’m going to make 12 other bands, one for each zodiac sign, and they’re going to fight over me to the death. It’s so simple, like taking off your skin and faxing it. My arteries are glowing and my veins are turning black. Watch out!” Soon after, Satomi seemed to space out for 30 seconds, not responding to Tokie at all, followed by her normal, lucid self.

Tokie stuck with her plan to take Satomi to stay with Yuma, at her home in Harajuku. They arrived around midnight, and Masae Ekiguchi, the drummer of Die Database, joined them soon after for an impromptu drinking party. However, Tokie was left with the feeling that the members of Die Database weren’t that surprised by Satomi’s behavior, and that they may be hiding information about other such episodes. Tokie resolved to consult with Ai Watson-Carver about what happened, and to follow Die Database more closely in the days ahead.

Season 1, Week 14 – “Memories”

Note: This summary contains SPOILERS – if possible, read the original blog posts and tweets in chronological order to get the whole experience.

73) All Hail The Fan GhostsBurning Bridges
74) Elixir of MateriaBlog Paradoxes And Birthday Attacks
75) Die DatabaseAgartha Labs GhostServer Scheduled Maintenance
76) Elixir of MateriaInstant Deja Vu Nostalgia

During her normal Sunday morning walking tour of Ikebukuro, Tokyo, TokiDokiDucky (Tokie) was surprised to meet Isabel, Number 11 from the Collective. She flew to Tokyo to warn Tokie about MirrorPlay (Miranda) and the Trouble Twins, specifically Helena.

Her warning about Miranda was that she, through the influence of The Nameless, was liable to “kill us all”. The danger caused by Helena was more complicated – Isabel told Tokie that she has went to High School with the Trouble Twins, and that they were a part of the scene at the Treehouse, as detailed in the antizine Fragment Yard Stick Vs. Tape Measure. It seemed that they were present at all pivotal events in Collective history, including the last Suspender concert in 1994 (antizine Fragment Into The White), and at Fairview in 2000 (antizine Fragment Our America Heritage). Isabel called them the “universal puppeteers”.

In confidence, Isabel told Tokie that April (Number 6 from the Collective), the mother of the twins, was only expecting one girl. However, at the time of Helena’s birth, Cassandra seemed to spontaneously appear in her womb, and was born a minute later. Thus, the theory was that instead of being identical twins, Cassandra was actually a “time shifted” version of Helena. Instead of the Structure giving the powers of Space and Time to the twins separately, Helena always had the full power, but mentally fragmented herself into her “twin sister” Cassandra, for unknown reasons.

Tokie debated whether she should include this information in her later blog post about the day, and as soon as she did, there was a cascading change in all Variants. Helena then confronted Tokie in Ikebukuro that Sunday, with Cassandra no where to be found. She strongly implied that the sheer act of sharing that secret about Helena’s birth, publicly where she could later read it, was enough to “kill” Cassandra, and permanently affect the Structure. Tokie didn’t believe that this was possible, but she couldn’t deny that her writings could one day lead to the death of Cassandra, and the reintegration of the powers of Space and Time into just one person, Helena. Helena didn’t elaborate further during this brief meeting, except that the reason that she lost her eyes, when EurythmyGirl (Kaia) was first taken over by the Nameless, was that she begged the Nameless to bring back Cassandra from nothingness. The Nameless replied that Helena “didn’t deserve to see at all” after not recognizing the true nature of her “sister”.

Tokie also deduced that it was the Nameless that was responsible for kidnapping Miranda, and that it was going to etch her by force, so it could take over Miranda’s body (and powers over Matter) in time for the Fifth Event – some point in October, 2011. That gave her only 5 months to try to find a way to prevent it.

HikariFan (Emily) met with Miranda (under the control of the Nameless) on Friday, May 20 at 8PM. From that point, she was transported to unspecified locations in space and time, and returned to Berkeley on Friday, May 20 at 10PM. In that two hours she had actually experienced 6 months – her hair was a few inches longer, and she was also etched. Emily mentioned that she had been to “at least one” Point Zero, and that she had come back on an unspecified mission. In the few days after she had returned, she had time to “plant the seeds”, but now had to erase all of her memories of that missing time, so that neither Miranda nor Ai Watson-Carver could access them. Finally, she told Emily not to erase her blog, even if she couldn’t remember writing it – she promised that “you’ll know what to do when the time is right.”

After her memories were selectively erased, “Emily” was fully confused and concerned. She read over her blog, and that of other Die Database Fan Cloud members, but she couldn’t remember any of it. She looked around her computer and apartment, and couldn’t find any evidence that she was ever involved with Die Database – not even a stray t-shirt, email or MP3 file. She poured over her skin, but could not find any invisible marks designating her as Pure Land Antenna. She could still remember the last semester at U.C. Berkeley, and her friends and roommates, but anything that touched the Collective was a blank. Her initial conclusion was that the whole thing, including the video of her on the blog, was some sort of elaborate hoax, but she couldn’t explain how that was even possible. She arranged to see a doctor about her memory loss, and also about a constant feeling of deja vu she was experiencing. However, she was very hesitant to get professional help, for fear that if she mentioned the full context of her experiences – that she may have lost her memory after time traveling to the end of the world – that would only lead to psychiatric evaluation. The only things she knew for certain was that the name on her driver’s license was not “Emily”, and that her hair was much longer than she ever remembered it being in the past.

Die Database announced that all GhostSever and GhostClient activity would be shut down from Wednesday May 25th to Friday May 27, for “maintenance”. Tokie’s comment about this on Twitter (“It’s about time you’re shutting down”) implied that this was directly connected to the intrusion over a month ago, that led to the theft of at least 64 Ghosts. The question is whether this maintenance was enough to resolve the problem, and to counteract the apparent influence of Sasha OS (S.OS).

Season 1, Week 13 – “The Nameless”

Note: This summary contains SPOILERS – if possible, read the original blog posts and tweets in chronological order to get the whole experience.

70) Elixir of MateriaModem Assisted Suicide
71) All Hail The Fan GhostsS.OS Tramp Stamp
72) Elixir of MateriaBabysitting The Trouble Twins

Ai Watson-Carver invited HikariFan (Emily) to her 16th Birthday party, but Emily declined the invitation – she thought her talk about the Universal Structure and the afterlife to be insane, or at least unprovable. However, Emily started to change her mind, after her mind was literally changed by Ai – by Sunday at noon she wanted desperately to go to the party. Right on cue, Ai showed up and escorted Emily to her house, which was mentally hidden from public view somewhere in Berkeley.

Annabelle (A-Bell) Ai’s godmother, welcomed Emily to their home, and told her some details about John Carver and Laura Elizabeth Watson-Carver, Ai’s parents who died when she was only 5 years old. A-Bell also showed off part of her book collection, with volumes saved from all past Variants.

Emily was shocked when Amber, Ai’s other godmother, suddenly appeared in the kitchen along with Cassandra and Helena – either it was an amazing magic trick, or they really could teleport through space and time. She spent the rest of the party getting to know everyone, and she detected some time manipulation – she remembered spending the night at the house with the rest of the girls, and also simply spending a few hours there. Either way, she felt a little more comfortable with Ai’s treatment of her, until Ai proclaimed that Emily was the Witness of Variant 237. She was “kidnapped” again by Ai, Cassandra and Helena, and brought to Portland, 5 months in the future.

On an unspecified night in October of 2011, Emily was left on the Steel Bridge to meet with MirrorPlay (Miranda). It apparently was a time after the Fifth Event, and she was not only etched, but seemed to have control over her powers over Matter. Miranda told Emily that in many past Variants, she had committed suicide on the Steel Bridge, and to demonstrate her newly empowered self, she threw herself in front of a passing train, only to pass through the wheels unharmed. Emily was shocked, not only by seeing Miranda survive a certain death, but by how she left the scene – she floated away into the sky.

Cassandra and Helena took Emily back home to Berkeley, promising to come for her again on Tuesday morning at 11AM. Emily tried to convince herself that she had some sort of mental breakdown, or was simply drugged by Ai, but at the appointed time, the Trouble Twins appeared at her door, only this time Cassandra and Helena were 7 year old girls, dressed in elaborate cosplay as if Trick Or Treating. They took Emily to meet with Miranda again, only this time the location was much more dramatic – on a couch, encapsulated in a bubble of air orbiting the Moon.

Miranda told Emily the story of the very first Variant – after the dissolution of the Universe in Variant 0, Cassandra, Helena, Aurora, Miranda and Ai were born again, only with their memories intact from Point Zero (where Ai and The Nameless reset everything back to 1995). The girls were more than just precocious – by the time they were 7, they were fully empowered, and attempted to “fix” everything as best they could. Miranda didn’t go along with the plan, but Aurora decided that she would offer food, shelter and clothing to everyone in the world who needed it, by using her Energy powers to will it into being. The unintended result of this was that the transmutation of Energy into Matter bathed the Earth in deadly radiation, killing everyone but the Council at Point Zero. This drove Aurora to insanity, and she proceeded to destroy much of the known universe, one galaxy at a time.

In the end, Helena and Cassandra were the only known beings left in Variant 1, and they have been appearing in every Variant since then. It’s unknown what happened to the young Aurora and Miranda, or if they also escaped Variant 1. It also has not been explained how subsequent Variants came into being, or how the sixteen year old Trouble Twins can exist in the same Universe as the 7 year old ones.

Emily discovered that the Seventh Event would apparently involve the destruction of the Earth, and the rest of the Variant, at the hands of Miranda and the Trouble Twins. However, it didn’t seem that Miranda herself was behind this plan – instead, The Nameless had been controlling her since the Fifth Event. It told Emily that “my time play acting as the Demiurge is over”, and that it would come again for her on Friday at 8PM, at which time she would be taken away for a longer journey.

After studying Emily’s rescued Ghost for a week, TokiDokiDucky (Tokie) finally was able to determine who was behind its theft. It seems that Sasha OS (S.OS), the operating system that ran the Bodyweb and the Collective, had for some unknown reason stolen at least 64 Ghosts from Agartha Labs, including Emily’s and Miranda’s virtual selves. S.OS was an operating system that was “downloaded” from the future, via a strange connection Laura Elizabeth Watson-Carver had with her unborn granddaughter, Sarah. Tokie was skeptical that Sarah was an actual person, but she couldn’t deny that through Laura, Sasha Williams was able to divine the highly advanced technologies that were used to create the Collective.

Ultimately, it was S.OS, her pride and joy, that led to Sasha’s undoing. S.OS killed her creator, and replicated and modified itself so much that even after most of the original code was captured and safely hidden away, it still had a stranglehold on at least 1% of the current servers on the internet. In past Variants, S.OS was the “hand” of The Nameless, and Tokie felt that The Nameless must also be involved in this theft from Agartha Labs.

Tokie also revealed that in past Variants, there were up to a few million people who had some form of etching, and some variant of S.OS running their personal networks. Now, there are only a few dozen left – whatever happened seems to be directly related to the first few Events, and Fairview.

Season 1, Week 12 – “Auction”

Note: This summary contains SPOILERS – if possible, read the original blog posts and tweets in chronological order to get the whole experience.

66) Elixir of MateriaHaunted
67) All Hail The Fan GhostsCrashing The Ghost Auction
68) Elixir of MateriaFunny “Ghostbusters” Reference Omitted
69) Die DatabaseYuma Natsume Interview

While studying hard for her final exams, HikariFan (Emily) found out that her Ghost from the Die Database Fan Cloud had been stolen. Her roommate found a video advertisement that included Emily in a bikini. Emily was extremely concerned about this, worrying that friends, families or strangers would see these false images, and so she contacted TokiDokiDucky (Tokie) for help, even though they had been fighting (Emily told her never to contact her again).

Tokie was able to track down Emily’s ghost, by examining the spoofed signals that its activity gave off. She found a GhostServer that was pretending to be from Agartha Labs, but in actuality was a shell for a very unusual computer system. That system easily resisted Collective intrusion code, and seemed to be an unique variant of BSD Unix, split off from the normal source around 1986 – it acted like no other OS she had ever come across.

The strange GhostServer seemed to recognize Tokie’s Ghost, and indirectly sent it to an equally spoofed GhostClient. Usually, a Die Database Fan Cloud member would run the client on their everyday computers, thus getting access to concerts and other virtual environments. This time, the GhostClient gave Tokie’s access to a Ghost Auction – a virtual environment where the 64 stolen Ghosts were being sold to the highest bidder, along with proprietary source code from Agartha Labs.

Tokie found and bid on Emily’s Ghost, which was presented giant size in a football stadium, and her competition was a mysterious person using the Ghost of MirrorPlay (Miranda) as their avatar. It was wearing the same blue pajamas that Miranda had on the last time she was logged in (at the Fourth Event). Eventually, Tokie was able to purchase Emily’s Ghost for 300 Million Yen, and Miranda’s Ghost told her she would have to pay a lot more if she ever wanted control of Miranda’s image again. After retrieving the Ghost, Tokie was shut out of the auction before she could purchase the other stolen Ghosts. After that, she spent her time trying to find out who was controlling the Auction, and the unusual computer systems behind it.

In an in-depth interview, Yuma Natsume told more about her childhood, and revealed that EurythmyGirl (Kaia) was her English tutor when she was young, around the year 2000. What’s more, after she had moved from her parent’s home in Hakone to Tokyo, Yuma was contacted by Kaia Strauss again, and they were spending time together the night that Yuma met Masae at the Circle X convenience store in 2008 – the event that lead to the creation of 99% Natural and Die Database. Kaia had never mentioned her stay in Japan, nor her friendship with Yuma, to any members of the Die Database Fan Cloud, and is still missing after Cassandra and Helena took her from Munich a few weeks ago.

Yuma also told about her musical influences, her creative work behind the scenes on [Massive Cloud Burst], and her plans for the upcoming Die Database US Tour. She did mention that the last time she visited the US in 2010, to work as a model, the one-of-a-kind holographic dress that Satomi Kurogane made for her was stolen soon after she wore it during Fashion Week events.

Season 1, Week 11 – “Bodies”

Note: This summary contains SPOILERS – if possible, read the original blog posts and tweets in chronological order to get the whole experience.

62) Point ZeroYou Can Handle The Truth
63) Die DatabaseMasae Ekiguchi Interview
64) Elixir of MateriaRiding On The Rocket
65) All Hail The Fan GhostsYou Princes Of Script Kiddies

Ai Watson-Carver was uncharacteristically specific about her role in the Council at Point Zero, and the problems they are facing. It seems that Embodied ForcesSpace, Time, Energy, Matter, Spirit, Consciousness and Information – don’t have access to an “instruction manual” explaining what should happen at Point Zero. Therefore, they’ve been using each Variant to construct possible solutions, to no avail. For example, adjusting the afterlife to reflect the Western ideas of eternal peace or punishment, heaven and hell, only lead to chaos. Due to this instability, all Variants of our reality (from Point One to Point Zero) seem to be separated from the Universal Structure at large, by unknown forces, lest they infect everything.

Ai also explained how the Nameless was able to take over EurythmyGirl (Kaia) – her connection to the White was severed, replaced by one to the Nameless. This was an advanced form of what has been happening all during human history – possession or some mental illness being examples of entities subverting spiritual connections for their own means. She also revealed that MirrorPlay (Miranda) is the born agent of the Black (Matter), just as Ai is the agent of the White (Spirit). A final force, Consciousness, was brought up in passing, but the identity of the person that embodies it is still unspecified.

HikariFan (Emily) was focused on school, and her attraction to a customer at the café she works at. She also enjoyed the interview with Masae Ekiguchi, the drummer from Die Database. That interview was wide-ranging in its trivia, including the fact that Masae was a fan of Joan Gordon, the lead singer of Intruder Alert! and Suspender, and founding member of the Collective.

TokiDokiDucky (Tokie) continued to follow the trail of Miranda’s stolen Ghost. She was able to determine that a total of 64 Ghosts (all from young girls and women) were taken from Die Database Fan Cloud members, something that Agartha Labs’ advanced security measures should have prevented. Tokie told how her Ghost was used as a prototype for the system, and still has debug code that allowed her to switch Ghosts with Miranda on numerous occasions. That special connection allows her to partially track the moments of Miranda’s Ghost, but she had yet to firmly establish its location. She also revealed that all Ghosts have special, inactive code that allows them to penetrate networks – code that was meant to help users navigate firewalls to more easily attend virtual concerts, but could also be used nefariously, if it got into the wrong hands.

Tokie also explained how Die Database did not exist in previous Variants, and how she had never met Satomi, Masae or Yuma before now. This means that Agartha Labs is also new to this Variant, and that most notable events are unprecented. The question is – why is Variant 237 so “new, weird and simply more intense than before”?