Leopold was getting restless so I decided to see what the matter was. Turns out he was sensing a temporal anomaly. He really never ceases to amaze me. Anyway, long story short, I'm going to give up the professor schtick; I'm now some sort of Noble who controls Evolution or something. First order of business was to make the maze a bit more of a death trap. Can't really help evolution if nobody dies!
I have to say, I didn't imagine, when I got on the plane to go see the Alexandria Library archeological dig, that I'd actually end up having my own statue in the fricking library itself, somewhere outside reality as I knew it. Man, I bet Dr. Friedrich and Dr. Wilhelm would change their tune if they saw me now. Morons. God I hate them.
God -- or rather, Set -- says I can pick some minions (well, he called them Anchors, but they sound like minions to me). I think I might just pick Friedrich and Wilhelm. That'll teach them. Hah! Apparently Set will transport me to anywhere I want, and then I get to do a ritual where I make them drink my blood and then they're mine!
When I woke up this morning, I realised that now I'm a God, or Noble, or whatever it is I am, Marria is bound to fall in love with me! So I got Set to transport me back to the archeology dig in Egypt and there I went to see her.
She wasn't impressed. Again. In fact it took her several minutes before she remembered who I was ("oh, you're that philosopher who begged me to let him come on this trip with us!" -- pah, I didn't beg). I tried to explain that I was now a servant of Set and she said "It's Setesh not Set!" and "Don't be such an idiot". Then she poured us some drinks and went on and on about Set being some mythical guy. I tried to explain that he was really real and she laughed at me. She's so cute when she laughs.
Anyway, things got slightly out of hand and I ended up crying a lot. That lasted even until when I got home, but Leopold was really kind to me and licked up all my tears to make me feel better.
Set transported me to Friedrich and Wilhelm and even that Rossini fool and I tricked them all into drinking my blood. Hah! Little do they know that I now control their souls!!! Mwuhahaha! It was a long day, and Set mumbled something about getting fed up of transporting me everywhere. Apparently he's gonna see if one of the people he ripped out of reality when creating the city can be made into some sort of Door God. That would be cool, I guess.
Woah. I can now see through the eyes of those jerks! How freaky! I was just trying to work out how to use this minion power thing, and bang, it was like I was looking out of the eyes of that moron Wilhelm. I gotta experiment more with this.
I've been trying to read about my new magical abilities -- so far I've found out about rites and how to defend myself. Apparently I don't have to do much in my role as Evolution God or Power or whatever it is I am. I mean, Evolution just Happens, it's not like someone has to actually intelligently design it. That's the whole point, isn't it. I spent YEARS arguing that back on Earth. Now that I'm the God of it, it'd be pretty stupid if I went and actually controlled it. Just think about what Rossini would say. It's not like he doesn't have enough things to say already.
I saw this guy in the Chancel the other day talking to Set, he was almost blue... I think his name was Sannen something. He didn't looks very friendly. From what I could tell, though, he's probably another one of Us, the Powers that Set has been going on about. I wonder what he's in charge of.
Bit busy. Met Three-pee-oh and Sannen or Saanen or whatever his name is. Set made us go and create a door and asked for us to make it decorated with famous bones and jewels, so we go the crown jewels and some famous bones. I wasn't much practical help to be honest. I was our getaway driver for the heist. But I was the voice of sanity in the group, it must be said; these guys know nothing of modern life.
Oh and Set wanted me to make Aardvarks fearsome and noble or something. I think he has images issues. Anyway I found some evidence that Aardvarks are thought to be fearsome or something. Let's hope Set doesn't know too much about humans and stuff.
Learnt about my statue today (I'd forgotten about it). Doors (I'm getting a little skeptical that his name is really "3P0") helped me to learn about them. Turns out we can talk to each other through it and stuff. Then we went and opened a door, which was very messy. And then things got complicated.
Some excruciating guy thing whatsit made one of the Giza pyramids disappear, and so we first replaced it with a pyramid of ice, and then we made people forget about that pyramid in the first place and removed the ice pyramid, and then we were going to fake-blow-it-up, and then we ran into the Power of Monuments who didn't seem very happy, so we put an ice pyramid back and removed the explosives we'd set, and then we turned the ice into stone and made sure the Power of Monuments and the Power of Measurements (which I think Doors has a crush on, given how quickly he ran out to get her when an opportunity came up) were happy with it, while simultaneously removing the secret so everyone knew about them again, and then we did a nettle rite. I'm not sure what that last thing did.
I summoned Set and the other Powers to one of the rooms in the maze so I could show them my research. While we were waiting for Set (who took his sweet time, by the way), some new guy turned up. Apparently he's the Power of Light, or Dark, or both, it wasn't entirely clear. I didn't catch his name. He's now the fifth guy to join our party. The fourth was the Secrets guy, I think his name is John, or James, or something. I think I'll just stick to the Power names, they're much more memorable. Ice, Doors, Secrets, and now Light. Or Dark.
Anyway, I was glad to see that Ice has really taken to my whole terrorist plan, we just need to find some way of applying it. Looks like he really wants to use the explosives. Doors (I think it was Doors) even suggested we might start a war, and then Secrets said he wanted to start the apocalypse and we all had a good laugh.
Eventually Set came in and I gave my presentation. Given that he promptly turned me into an Aardvark and made me eat an ant, I'm thinking he was not impressed. I'm not particularly surprised, the whole "but they're already noble!" angle was a long shot at best. High risk/high reward is what the dean used to call that kind of thing. He was always saying we should "invest in high risk/high reward plans to make our departments the cutting edge of education in America". I don't think he ever envisaged the "high risk" part entailing being turned into an aardvark.
I have to admit to being baffled by Set's request. "Make Aardvarks noble and fearsome." What does that even mean? It's like saying "make four be the the square root of nine" or "make Mi be the note after Do in the scale" or "make white darker than black". An Aardvark, by definition, isn't fearsome. It's a freaking ant eater! If Set actually explained what he wanted, maybe we could do it. The guy doesn't exactly talk much, though. Certainly he doesn't listen long enough to answer our questions.
Ants taste pretty good, by the way, I hadn't really appreciated them before.
Leopold hissed at me when I got back to my room. There were some corpses there; I'm not really sure why. Probably some people who got killed by the traps in the labyrinth, which the Chancel folk decided to put in my room because we don't yet have a cemetery. Morons. Why can't they just leave the corpses in the labyrinth? I've told them not to go down there. Maybe Ice will put the corpses out in the ice field around the citadel.
I tried to drag the corpses out, but while I was doing that, some humans attacked me (with spears and everything!), probably thinking that since I'm an aardvark now they can get me. It's better than attacking my statue, at least! Anyway, I attacked them and then Leopold suddenly helped me and was way stronger than I've ever seen him before, and even seemed to do what I wanted him to do and that was weird. Thinking about it, maybe I can just control him, like I can control those jerks that I made drink my blood. I don't recall Leopold ever drinking my blood, but I guess that could have happened some time when we were playing or something.
After Leopold showed his claws and became über (as my old students would say), the Chancel folk ran off. Then Ice picked me up and we went to the labyrinth, where he got more humans to attack me but Woah! I scared them by making myself look big and scary. I think I'm getting the hang of this miracle stuff. Though, I'm still way slower at it than the others. I don't get it, it's like Set gave them a course or something. I have no idea what I'm doing.
I didn't entirely follow what happened next, but the other Powers got it into their heads that if we caused lots of ants in Kinshasa to rise out of the woodwork (or brickwork or wherever African city ants live), and then dumped a few dozen aardvarks in the town, and then had me run around and seem scary, and then have a human sect claim that the aardvarks were the second coming, we would suddenly have made aardvarks noble and fearsome.
There are so many problems with that that I don't even know where to begin.
First of all, we already established that Set doesn't care about whether or not humans think that aardvarks are noble or fearsome, he wants aardvarks to actually be noble and fearsome. (Whatever that means, see above.) We established this when, after I pointed out that some humans already thought of them that way, he turned me into an aardvark and said that surely that would explain to me how aardvarks weren't fearsome. So let's see: next week, when all the aardvarks are back in their burrows, will they be any more fearsome? No. So clearly this plan won't work.
Secondly, even if Set were to be satisfied with an image change, how is a minor localised ant-and-ant-eater infestation going to make the ant-eaters look noble? Oh no! Lots of ants everywhere! In my kitchen! In my bedroom! In my office! And now what! Oh no! Aardvarks as well! All over the town! It's two problems all at once! Even with the most concerted PR effort in the world, this is not going to be any more than a minor curiosity forgotten after a week except for a few amusing Flash videos on the Internet, which will at best make Aardvarks slightly more amusing to teenagers. Net result: Aardvarks become the butt of more jokes. "How many ants does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: It doesn't matter - by the time the ants have come out to change the bulb, a herd of aardvarks will have come out of nowhere and trampled it!" or "What did the African wife say to her husband? Answer: Is that an aardvark in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?".
Thirdly, consider exactly how the media would report this.
CNN: "Ants inexplicably left their nests in the Democratic Republic of Congo today, just as the US Senator from Vermont arrived for his impromtu good will visit. When asked why he had decided to visit the country, which has been rife with violence, including great civil unrest and relatively frequent changes in government since the early 1990s, the Senator responded that he was very impressed by the rapidity with which the local aardvarks had dealt with the ant infestation. His political campaign strategist, upon hearing these news, is said to have banged his head repeatedly against his desk and muttered something about not being paid enough to deal with, quote, the senator's crazy outbursts, unquote. A source close to the Senator reports that he has been acting strangely ever since yesterday afternoon, when he asked his staff to worship ants.".
Tabloid media: "Senator says ants are the second coming! See exclusive photos of this as well as his political campaign strategist sleeping with a hooker, on page 6!"
Then, two days later, on the CNN website's "errors" page: "Two corrections to our report two days ago from Kinshasa. Most importantly, we apologise to all the country's inhabitants for having mis-spoken the country's name. It is in fact the "Democratic Republic of the Congo", not simply "Democratic Republic of Congo" as we stated. Secondly, apparently the Senator's cult is workshipping ant eaters, not ants."
Eighteen months later, Nature magazine, page 43, small item in the right column: "A study into Aardvark Behaviour Patterns was recently published. The study reports, in part, on an unusual behaviour seen in a colony of aardvarks in Africa in June of 2006, where ant eaters suddenly rounded on the capital of Zaïre after an unprecedented ant surge (see "Ant attack!", Nature, July 2006, pp3-28, and "No explanation for mysterious ant flash mob", Nature, September 2006, pp14-32). The study concludes that the aardvarks, attracted by the ants, were merely acting on ancient response patterns. Given the complete lack of any deaths or, indeed, any harm at all during that night, the report continues, aardvarks should be considered even safer as pets than many species of dogs. No further research is planned."
I mean, come on! Who is actually going to care about aardvarks in Africa? It's certainly not going to improve the world-wide fear of those creatures!
I went along with it anyway. I tried arguing with them, but humans tend to ignore aardvarks. Which is rather the point.
Hopefully the Lord Entropy that Ice keeps going on about didn't notice.
We got back from the crazy Congo ant insanity to find even more corpses in my bedroom. As I had guessed, they were put there by the Chancel folk. Oh by the way apparently Set thought the crazy Congo ant insanity with the aardvarks was a good idea. So despite him turning me into an aardvark, which -- by the way -- he still hasn't changed me back from, it seems my presentation where I suggested we do a PR blitz actually went over well. Go figure.
Ice wanted to do something about the Chancel folk continuously killing themselves (I don't know why, I mean, we're getting newborn as fast as we are getting people killed, which seems about right to me). So we put up some signs leading a safe path to the nearest food source in the maze. He also made them a fountain.
Realising that I needed someone in Cairo, I've made Marria drive there. I've made her take up shop there. She'll have to understand that she can't get married.
Apparently Ice made his pyramid also appear at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. He's off with Doors trying to work out what it is. Oh and while trying to discover what was going on apparently Ice, Secrets and Monuments found an Aardvark Cultist called David or Damian or something trying to blow up the Sphynx.
Midnight. Light and Secrets got back (Secrets wouldn't tell me what he'd been up to). Light was talking to Sun or something. Secret wanted to make the pyramid a secret. We convinced him it was a bad idea. I checked the TV with Figaro and Exxon haven't told the media anything yet.
Monuments brought Danny back to our Chancel and while we were trying to interrogate him, Doors turned him into an anchor. Jesus wept.
Apparently Danny was approached by some excrucion the day after we solved the pyramid problem, which is why he tried to turn the Sphynx into dust. We sent him back as a mole for us. Meanwhile Ice did all kinds of experiments with his twin towers and became very infected with excrucon badness.
Ice missed the morning meeting today, so I had to act as a relay between him and the others via Marria. She'll learn to love me in due course. I find it ridiculous that despite being the only member of our familia who can't actually talk, I'm the only one who can communicate between everyone.
Without really consulting any of us, Ice went ahead and destroyed the fake fake pyramid. So now at least there's no trace of the fact that he's being set up by an ex-cruton. Crution. Whatever they're called. Well, no trace except Doors' anchor, which is basically a lightening rod of evidence leading straight from the center of the bad guys' camp to the center of our Chancel. I need to look into ways to distance myself from the upcoming fiasco. At least I have plausible deniability. I'm an aardvark, exactly how much damage could I possibly do. The most I've ever done is looked important. Oh and brought some aardvarks into an obscure African capital, which, frankly, I only did to deal with Light's unnatural ant infestation which would have gotten us all landed in hot water had we not eaten the ants up. I wonder how many people are in therapy because of that night.
Getting back to today, Secrets, Doors and myself followed Light to Rainbows, a completely crazy noble whose job seems even less important than mine. (I mean, Evolution happens on its own already, almost by definition, but at least it's a process that one could, if one wanted to create a new species, interfere with (though it would of course be highly unethical to do so, at least on the part of a God like myself). Rainbows aren't even a real thing! They're just a manifestation of the laws of quantum electrodynamics! Shine light through a spherical object and out comes a rainbow. It's not like Rainbows comes into my bathroom every time I turn the shower on and the light shines through the water. At least I hope she doesn't. She's as crazy as Light.
Some good ant-eating near where she was "making" her rainbow though.
While Light was chatting up this girl, Secrets called Ice, who claimed nothing was going on... only to mention in passing later in the conversation that he'd destroyed the fake fake pyramid. On our way back to the plane to return to Cairo from the rainbow we had an extended conversation in speakerphone.
I thought things couldn't really get any worse, except that once we got back to the Chancel, Doors had a letter waiting for him... from the Chamora! Chimora? Cammora? I've never dealt with them, so I don't know exactly how you spell it. But see, I haven't dealt with them for a good reason: I'm not totally insane. I looked into this thing when I first got here. The basic deal is that you ask them to do something simple, like, say, telling you what the time is, and in return they will ask you for a disproportionally huge favour. Like, for example, taking your Imperator's heart and crafting it into a beatiful timepiece that is accurate to the picosecond, and which can brew coffee and communicate with the Galileo spacecraft.
In this particular instance, their favour was "just" to steal our neighbour noble's most precious artefact. I am totally not getting involved in this. Not at all. Well, Doors went to see our neighbour and I went along to see how that went, but I mean, I'm not getting involved in any actual theft. No sir. This is his problem.
Seriously, who the heck deals with the minions of Entropy himself. It's not like buying something on eBay or something.
So in summary: