14W, no. 1; newsletter by b.n.)
To: The Supreme Council of PhRELToch
From: Clrenon of Whenon
cc: Subcommander Loshton
re: Subject #67 (aka: TPOC)
As most of you are aware, I, Clrenon of Whenon, son of Klenon also of Whenon, was recently dispatched on a reconnaissance mission to gain more information on Subject #67 who has recently picked up the alias of TPOC. I will assume for the manner of brevity that all are aware of the background of the subject, I will therefore just lay the barest background, for those that do not have the time to read the background materials.
As everyone is aware, under a previous Supreme Council of PhRELToch, there was an effort underway to expand our knowledge to the outer edges of the Great Galaxy. To that end, many small expeditionary forces were sent to the outer edges of the Galaxy. Here in one of the dark corners of outer wisps, Expeditionary Team 67 encountered a small blue world that revolved around a dim 3rd level star. Originally the expeditionary team deemed the star to dim and weak to support any planets that could support life. After a cursory inspection of the outer planets, the team reviewed the fourth planet from the weak sun and determined that the barren dusty planet could not support life. The team decided that the inner planets would most likely be equally as barren and therefore decided to abandon the search and head to a more promising double star system less then 100 standard reference lengths away. However, as they were leaving the gravity well of the fourth planet, they encountered a crude spacecraft that they mistook for an attacking vessel. Fearing for their miserable lives so far from their birthplaces in the center of the galaxy, these lowly scum destroyed the spacecraft and set into motion the events that have lead us to where we are today. (For more information about the destruction of the crude vehicle, please refer to the subject Mars Global Explorer in the attached briefing materials.)
Instead of leaving the system, as would have been prudent considering the mayhem that has since followed, these expeditionary team members decided to follow the course of this crude spacecraft back to its origin on the third planet. Clearly, these team members made an incorrect decision, betraying their heritage of being born on the planet of the future supreme ruler of the universe, Shosonanon. But what's done is done, and unfortunately though we can perform many great wonders in this universe, our supreme engineers have been unable to perfect a reliable device to change the course in which time proceeds throughout the four realms of the universe. Therefore, it is my unfortunate duty to continue with the discussion of the events that continue to haunt us day, night and fogash.
As was their charter under the previous Supreme Council, the expeditionary team studied the cold blue world for signs of life. At first they expected to find perhaps a small outpost living on the equatorial belt, perhaps a stranded mining team clinging to survival on this bitterly cold planet. Instead, the team was amazed to find a life form, that not only survived on the planet, but seemed to thrive on a planet where it is so cold that the combination of two hydrogen and one oxygen atoms actually turns into a solid form! As noted earlier, the expeditionary team would have been serving the best interests of the Universe if they just continued on, but for some reason they were fascinated by the dominant life form on the planet, and to a certain extent, who can blame them. In their defense, they lacked the training and the skill and the ability to forecast what their encounter might mean to our great society, and in their minds were only carrying out the orders that were given to them in the Great Hall by the disgraced former Supreme Leader Regor. As was their charter, the Expeditionary Team chose 100 test subjects over the three major continents and installed small quantum transmitters in their cold fleshy bodies to transmit data for our great scientists to study. After they verified the devices were working properly, the Survey Team headed off to survey other star systems.
At first, the data that was received by our scientists was unintelligible, but then they were finally able to translate the data and suddenly the catastrophe began. The weakest of the scientific minds were the first to succumb. The raw feed of images and emotions overwhelmed their minds and turned their brains to jelly. The weak lost all self-control and locked themselves away, absorbing the incoming signals. The scientist could no longer fend for themselves, and even nourishing themselves became secondary to experiencing the signals from the strange life forms of the pale blue world. Fortunately there were a few scientists that were strong enough to prevail over the intoxicating experiences that washed over and consumed the weaker among them. The stronger scientists were able to send signals through the quantum transmitters to shut down the transmission of the signals from the source. Or so they thought. As it worked out, they were able to shut down the transmitters on 99 of the subjects. Only one transmitter remained broadcasting. This in itself would not have been a big issue, once the weak-minded scientists were removed and transported to a sanitarium to treat their dementia, the surviving scientists were able to destroy the remaining receivers, and all was well.
That is of course until the demented scientists took over the sanitarium and built a new receiver to capture the signals from the only remaining test subject. Slowly word spread throughout society and other receivers were built by the thousands. Almost overnight, the greatest society ever to grace the universe, suddenly collapsed. Everyone stopped working and producing, all they did was succumb to the power of the receivers. Obviously, this led to the overthrow of the previous Supreme Council, even the Supreme Ruler himself succumbed to the mind-numbing power of the last remaining subject. By the time all this occurred, the original survey team was nowhere near the section of the galaxy, so they could not return to the star system to remedy the situation. Instead, I was chosen to lead a reconnaissance mission to see what could be done to save the universe.
What follows is my report:
Subject #67 (aka: TPOC)
As discussed earlier, the last-remaining transmitter was broadcasting from Test Subject #67. Of all the 100 subjects studied, the Great Gods of Fate could not have chosen a worse transmitter to leave broadcasting. Of all the other 99 subjects, the information that was broadcast was relatively tame and taken individually, would be no great threat to society. Not so with #67 the raw power of the signals broadcast from his mind was enough to, well, as you know, it was enough to bring down society. My first course of business on the mission was to capture Test Subject #67 in the wild and determine what could be done to stop the source of the disturbing signals.
As it turned out, I has able to ensnare the subject on a dark road on an evening after the subject had attached a set of wheels to his lower appendages and motivated himself along with a number of others on a surface surrounded by a set of walls. I later discovered that this was a game referred to as Roller Hockey. At first, I considered eliminating Test Subject #67, but after consulting with the remaining scientists, it was feared that doing so would have crippling effects on those on our world who were within the realm of the receivers. My second option was to remove the transmitter, but I quickly discovered that the alien anatomy had quickly absorbed the transmitter and there was no way the transmitter could be removed without destroying the host. Once again, this option was avoided for fear of what a shock such an event might be to those who became enthralled by the receivers. So with no other options at the time, it was decided to release Test Subject #67 back into the wild, until another option could be decided upon. Perhaps the only positive outcome of the original encounter with Test Subject #67 was the knowledge of what caused the transmitter to malfunction and not shutoff as the other 99 transmitters did. As it turned out, I was able to search the squishy memory device used by the strange live form and I discovered that it was during a Roller Hockey event when a combatant wearing the number 99 crashed into Test Subject #67 and disabled the shutoff device. (This was shortly after Test Subject #67 propelled a small disc into a netted tent, that I later learned is referred to as a goal). As everyone is aware, it was decided that a new team would be sent from the Home world, in the hopes that the transmitter could be disabled without destroying Test Subject #67.
While I waited for their arrival, I took the opportunity to study the ceremony known as Roller Hockey. In many ways the ceremony of Roller Hockey is similar to the mating ritual on Anigav 6 other than the fighting and bloodshed at the end, of course. I must admit, that even though I was able to study a number of these Roller Hockey games (as I later learned was the proper term for them), there were still a number of things that I still find confusing, which I will get to later.
By the time the New Team arrived, a course of action was decided upon and all that remained was to carry out the plan. It was decided that in order to spare those back on the Home World and the other systems, the transmitter would be disabled in such a way that it would not be a shock to all those who had grown accustomed to it. Instead of just shutting it off, power would slowly be drained from it so that its signal would slowly disperse and hopefully spare those tuned to it from the sudden jolt. The next step was once again to capture Test Subject #67 while the procedure could be performed. Unfortunately, it was discovered that there is a certain healing period that the alien life forms must go through after their fleshy bodies are disassembled. It was during this healing period that a number of missteps were made by the New Team that lead to the potential for their discovery by the alien life forms. It all centered around a number of hockey games that Test Subject #67 was supposed to attend.
Unfortunately, due to the unforeseen Healing Period it turned out that Test Subject #67 would be unable to attend. The New Team, using the medium known as email thought it would be a simple matter to just send a notice using Test Subject #67's coding, notifying the other combatants that it would not be attending. Clearly in hindsight, this was not the proper decision to make. The New Team did not study the situation with enough foresight to anticipate what would happen next. As it turned out, there were a number of emails that were sent out directed at Test Subject #67 in what the New Team thought were an antagonistic manner. Ironically enough, one of the emails came from the same source (the life form wearing the number 99) that damaged the transmitter and prevented it from being shut off. Unsure of the local customs and uncertain of what the proper response to such taunting (and I believe perhaps a little overcome by anger directed to number 99 in his role in disabling the transmitter) it was decided that it would just be straightforward enough and inform the other combatants that Test Subject #67 would be unable to attend due to the recovery period associated with stitches. STUPID! Whoops, I'm sorry. I slipped there for a second.
As already mentioned the New Team did not anticipate that their simple message would unleash an onslaught of emails requesting more information on the condition of Test Subject #67. Faced with this barrage of messages, the New Team did what can best be described as panicked. Instead of leaving well enough alone and ignoring the messages until Test Subject #67 recovered, they began to send out even more emails trying to explain Test Subject #67's condition. But every email that was sent out returned yet another inquiring message. Finally realizing that they had lost control of the situation, and fearing for the loss of the mission, the New Team finally decided to disable Test Subject #67's email system. This decision prevented any further emails from arriving (but yet again raised questions when the emails were returned to their original senders). With all the blunders that the New Team made, their punishment of having their seventh finger on their fourth hand smashed with a thonker stick until the finger sprouts wings and flies off to battle the Conch, seems to be fairly light, but I will not question the wisdom of Supreme Council. I will continue to question the decisions made by the New Team.
With all their mistakes, and yet another Hockey Game approaching, the New Team made what can only be hoped was their final mistake. With the game approaching, it was determined that Test Subject #67 was still unfit to perform; instead of having Test Subject #67 miss the game, the New Team came up with the brilliant plan of building a cyborg to take his place in the ceremony. It is quite ironic that our great society can build a replacement for these gooey life forms in less time then it takes one of them to heal from a simple procedure. As part of my reconnaissance, I observed what I later discovered was the first game of the Wednesday Night Season. With our Cyborg playing in place of Test Subject #67, the game began against a team of combatants known as the Phantoms (I later learned that Test Subject #67 was on a team known as the Coastal Pirates, which you can read more about in the briefing materials).
As I mentioned earlier, there are number of the ceremonies and rituals that I still do not have a good understanding of. For instance, earlier it was reported by the original survey team that the life forms have two primary sexual groups. There is the male group and the female group. As reported earlier, the female group is often seen carrying a pack that is suspended by a strap over the shoulder of the life form. The male life form is never seen carrying the pack. In fact, in the rare occasion when the male is called upon to carry the pack, they do so with such anguish that there must be some pain transferring device inside it. I say all this because it was noted in the original report that the Hockey Teams consisted of all male participants, but before the game started, there was one of these purses as they are called that was carried on to the playing surface by one of the combatants. A large number of small disc shaped objects were removed and dispersed to the combatants.
As noted in an earlier report, the game of hockey seems to be broken down into two distinct phases. At the beginning of the contest, a large number of pucks are propelled with large sticks at the netted tent known as the goal. In this phase, the combatants propel the pucks at the goal that is guarded by a combatant that is a member of their same tribe (tribes are often differentiated by different color fabrics covering their hairy bodies). In the second phase of the ceremony, the combatants try to propel the puck at the netted tent that is guarded by the member of the opposing tribe.
With all that covered, I can only say that as the game began, I was quite concerned that the Cyborg would perform in such a manner that it would be obvious that he was not Test Subject #67 (I read reports that in early tests the Cyborg was propelling pucks with such force that small limbs were removed from opponents). As the second phase of the game against the Phantoms began, the Cyborg was included with a group from his tribe known as Wildman and Miller (these monikers were included on the colored fabric along with their associated number). Early in this second phase (in a subset called the 1st period), the life form known as Wildman sent the puck from the corner near the opposing tent and the Cyborg attempted to redirect the puck into the tent. Earlier versions of the Cyborg's programming would have resulted in the puck being sent through the opposing tribes goaltender as well as the net and perhaps the wall surrounding the battlefield, but fortunately the Cyborg's skill level was reduced to such a level as that of Test Subject #67. As it was, the puck deflected off the stick of the Cyborg and Miller was able to leverage the disc into the tent.
Later in the subset known as the 1st period, the tribe known as the Phantoms were able to move the disc among themselves until it could be motivated into the net of the Coastal Pirates. Following this goal is where my understanding of Roller Hockey becomes confused: It had been my understanding that during the second phase of the game, the two tribes tried to pass the disc amongst themselves while preventing the opposing tribe from gaining possession of it. However, I noticed that the goaltender of the Coastal Pirates (wearing the number 88) took the opportunity to make a highly accurate pass to the opposing Phantom tribe; the tribe member then propelled the disc into the tent guarded by that very same goaltender. As the subset known as the 1st period came to an end, the score was assigned as Phantoms 2, Pirates 1.
The Second Subset of the Second Phase of Roller Hockey is referred to as the 2nd period. In this 2nd period, the Coastal Pirate clansman known as LeMatty was able to propel the disc past the Phantom Goaltender. However, as I indicated during the First Subset of the Second Phase, the rules that govern Roller Hockey are just beyond my grasp: In this second subset, one of the tribesman of the Coastal Pirates took the disc and inserted it in the tent guarded by the goaltender of his own tribe; I did not think he was supposed to do that. Perhaps even more bizarre was the fact that even though he was known as Farrell (based on the lettering on his fabric) a chant arose through out the coliseum that sounded like: ROGER ! ROGER ! ROGER! As the second subset ended, the assigned score was Phantoms 3, Pirates 2.
The Third Subset of the Second Phase of Roller Hockey is known as the 3rd period. In this period, the Phantoms put the puck in the tent of the Coastal Pirate once again when the Phantom who came to be known as The Player Formerly Known as Arroyo was able to motivate himself around a number of players and direct the disc into the upper portion of the net.
As I noted earlier, In many ways the ceremony of Roller Hockey is similar to the mating ritual on Anigav 6 other than the fighting and bloodshed at the end, of course. However, in this particular game of Roller Hockey, there was a disturbance at the end of the game that rivals some of the initial contact of the Mating Ritual. In this particular instance, The Player Formerly Known as Arroyo was penalized for a 4:00 minute section of time; during this penalty, he could only sit and watch from a little pen as the Coastal Pirates took it to his tribe. At first, it was a group of the Coastal Pirates that moved the disc around from behind the net and somehow it ended up in the tent. No one seemed to want to take credit for the success as the goal was attributed to LeMatty and then Wildman and neither of the combatants would confirm who had indeed put the disk in the tent. Shortly thereafter, with The Player Still Formerly Known as Arroyo sitting in his little pen, the same combination of tribesman (who also included the previously mentioned #99, the sheepish Farrell, as well as the unnamed #7 who went by either Kevin or Tim), the Coastal Pirates were again able to get the disc in the tent. This time there was pretty much agreement that it was LeMatty that had indeed scored.
As the Third subset of the second phase of the hockey game came to an end. The assigned score was Phantoms 4, Pirates 4. Oddly enough, this is how the ceremony ended, with no winner. Overall it looked like a good night for the Cyborg, as he was able to make it through the ceremony with no one noticing that he was in fact a Cyborg. Unfortunately though, his true identity may have been discovered when in the meeting after the game, the life form known as Miller noticed that something was different about the Cyborg; for the first time all night there was panic in the observation station when the life form known as Miller pointed out that the Cyborg was not wearing the appropriate tiger-striped pants. Whew, chaos was averted when the Cyborg quickly stated that the pants would be back next week. Hopefully, Test Subject #67 will be recovered by then.
1) SCOTT LEMATTY
For his second hattrick including a 2-goal barrage in the final 4:00 minutes.
2) SCOTT MILLER
For tough play at both ends and a goal. And, for his astute Cyborg-detecting powers.
3) JOHN CASSENS
For his gritty offensive efforts.