infomodder: today i ate expired cheese and people talked to me. i hate everything. (dear lj)
ᴀᴘʀɪʟ's ʜᴜsʙᴀɴᴅ ([personal profile] infomodder) wrote2015-08-23 02:08 pm
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[ooc. This is a copy of Kate Bishop's FAQ featuring additional bits added by Will, with permission from our former Kate player ([personal profile] selfequipped). If there are grammatical errors or information included you're confused about, it is highly likely a player mess up. So in that vein, if you have any questions or concerns about this, feel free to shoot me a message.]

LAST UPDATED: 08/23/2015

(Will Graham here. Kate Bishop wrote a helpful FAQ for imPorts in her time here. Now that she's no longer with us, it feels a shame to let all her hard work in this matter go to waste, so I've drawn up a direct reproduction of what Ms. Bishop put together. I have gone through and added information she didn't have the chance/time to. All of my personal contributions will be marked in parenthesis and ended with my initials. I also advise thoroughly reading the brochure you were given upon arrival. If anything in it is difficult to understand, ask, but read it all. I would also encourage taking a look at this as well. —WG)

Hello everyone! I'm Kate Bishop. This is your friendly "wow, I'm in another world" FAQ version 4.0.

The first thing I insist upon is this: take most of what you learned in your file and from the government upon your arrival as fact. You are in a new world. You can't go home for the time being. You do have superpowers. You do have a choice over whether you register or choose not to register. They recommend that you live in one of four cities. They did give you a job. You're not required to be a superhero, and you're not required to do anything aside from work your job and be a decent citizen.


Why did the government bring us here? What is our purpose?

Right from the horse's mouth (or several horses' mouths—see me work that plural possessive?), the government did not bring you here. Why should we believe them? Because it's an inherent flaw in their security, and it isn't a sufficient way of keeping things in line. If they could bring us here, and there is a confirmed way of sending people home, why aren't they doing it? We cost the government thousands upon thousands of dollars every month. Since we imPorts started coming in again, we've had one man send monsters all over the nation, another guy send himself toward where the Porter is being held, and someone else possess a number of imPorts and civilians for the hell of it. That's not even including whatever is happening behind the scenes. We are a proven liability, so they wouldn't continue to bring us here.

In addition, we are not the first batch of imPorts. In 2010, the previous imPorts left because of a widespread problem and conflict between them and the government. Those previous imPorts had a choice as to whether to be here or not, and if they didn't want to stay, they didn't have to. "Do you want to stay here, circle y or n?" It was simple. Some chose to stay. Others chose to go back home. The Porter as we know it has drastically changed, which I'll get to in a moment.

As for our purpose, that hasn't been revealed yet. I can get all conspiracy theory on you, but this is meant to be a neutral FAQ.

So who did bring us here?

Long version here, so that nothing is left out. A figure by the name of Lachesis possessed the Porter and brought in a number of imPorts from a previous city. (Bear with me, I'll get there in another question.) Lachesis now controls the machine. Lachesis decides when we come and go. And most importantly, Lachesis is silent. She's keeping her lips zipped as far as we know. It's very frustrating, and there is a lot of red tape around it.

If you're a mythology buff, Lachesis does appear to be identified as that Fate. She does (or did, this is up in the air) have two sisters, Clotho and Atropos.

Why can't the government just kick out Lachesis? If they controlled the Porter before, they can do it again, can't they?

Well, don't you think they'd be doing that? Ideally, that would be nice. They'd stop pouring thousands of dollars into us, and they wouldn't have to deal with whatever Lachesis is planning. However, it's kind of been proven by that above-mentioned previous city that Lachesis has her claws in pretty deep. She's hard to deal with, and imPorts in that previous city were being brought in for five or more years.

How is that previous city relevant now?

This is currently inconclusive. A lot of things from there haven't proven relevant beyond Lachesis. That isn't to say that it isn't. Right now, we're in a different dimension on a different version of Earth with different aims. As far as we know. You're free to find anyone from the previous imPort world to ask them questions.

Even Lachesis' previous goals can't be determined, but we do know that Lachesis did bring a number of imPorts to this world, thus saving them. The previous world ended. So, chew on that, I guess.

Why can't I leave the United States?

The short answer (and really, the only answer): it's a political thing. We are the responsibility of the United States. They will grant some individuals the opportunity to leave. But you have to ask and it's on a case by case scenario. That said, don't plan on visiting St. Petersburg anytime soon. That whole Soviet Union thing is a very real reality.

(As of June, all imPorts will not require prior permission from the United States government to travel abroad. The tattoo takes the place of a passport. Unregistered imPorts are not considered an American citizen if they leave the country, so behaving is encouraged. Any imPort who leaves the US for two weeks or more will have their statuses altered and deemed AWOL. — WG)

People tell me I was here before, but I don't remember it. What gives?

The long and short of it is that it likely has to do with Lachesis impacting people's memories as they come through the Porter. Whether people retain their memories varies, and we don't know if this was a phenomena that existed before.

But in the great multiverse, sometimes you may even arrive here to find someone with your name who's not even from the same dimension. Sure, they may talk and walk a lot like you, and they may even have a fairly similar life, but there are enough differences that they stand out.

This isn't a frequent occurrence, but it happens.

People tell me I was here before, but I don't remember it. What gives?

The timestream is a tricky thing, and not everyone comes from the same point in time. It is not an absence of memories, and instead it appears to be that you come from an earlier point in time. Sometimes imPorts are known to go home and return with new experiences, having returned to live out their lives. No one remembers being in this world while returning home, but you do maintain your previous experiences here when you return a lot of times.

Sometimes, however, someone might return home, only to find themselves back without any recollection of having been here before, like the above-mentioned question. It varies.

Someone told me they went home once, and they returned with their memories. What gives?

There is no certain way of knowing what will happen after you're Ported out. Sometimes, you go home for a "quick" trip, only to return with half a year of new experiences and some new perspectives. Sometimes blip out and return with a new power or three. It varies from person to person. Sometimes, you leave and return a few weeks later, either without your memories or with your memories.

What seems to be consistent is that we can't use our experiences here to help us back home. Whether our experiences are returned to us when we return is still up in the air. There is a lot of hypothesizing about how it works, but nothing solid.


Do I have to register?

No! But you'll be missing out on the benefits. That includes a stipend, health care benefits, a free place to live (if you so choose—you can get your own apartment within a government complex without having to live with a bunch of housemates if you desire), and the chance to move up in your jobs. You also have the right to vote in all elections if you're registered, as well as the opportunity to travel overseas without having to receive proper permissions. There are currently no conditions implicit in registering. Additionally, the government provides information to registered individuals that unsettled individuals will have to get from a buddy.

Additional benefits are as follows: if you were a lawyer back home, you can become a lawyer here without retaking the bar. You can still be a doctor without earning your PhD again. Think about showing up in a new country that doesn't take your previous doctorate seriously. Registering skips that step!

What happens if I don't register?

So far: nothing, with the exception of being marked a vigilante if you perform any "heroic" activities. Vigilante has a looser term than it does for some. It's simply being a hero without being registered here. You lose your benefits, you might be seen as less trustworthy in a number of establishments, and it is harder to get a job. That said, Unsettled imPorts are allowed to vote in imPort elections for ambassadors, and there are some movements to get SSI benefits, but the funding has not passed yet.

It's difficult, but not impossible to survive. Of course, there is always a push to register.

(As of June, imPorts crossing state lines who are not registered will be checked by police, and being searched is a possibility. Unsettled imPorts may receive healthcare from the government at appropriate intervals, if they so desire. Registered imPorts have also been given permission to "handle" vigilantism from Unsettled imPorts. —WG)

Can I decide to register later? Or what if I decide to go unsettled?

Both of these are a possibility. You may lose your job if you choose to go unsettled, but it varies from place of location to location. You also face losing your place of residence, but the government seems complacent in leaving this up to the people you live with. If you live alone, don't be surprised if you get the boot.

Do I have to keep my job?

A lot of newcomers are not pleased with the job they get. You face two options: returning to the government for a new job or facing the job market on your own. Thankfully, the latter of these isn't so difficult, but don't be afraid of trying the former out. I'd recommend contacting Captain Ananke. Don't rush her with requests, as she's very busy, and if you have something in mind, see if you can use your imPort status to get in on your own. Registered imPorts have it easier here, too.

What about imPort businesses? Can I start my own business?

It's far easier if you're registered. That said, you can start your own business no matter what. A number of imPorts have done it already, and you can continue to do so. Keep in mind that things are difficult, as it goes for any new business in any world.

Can I apply at an imPort-run business?

Of course. Like with any job, you'll have to ask around to see who's hiring.

(If you enjoy fishing and dislike your job, get in contact with me and I'll do my best to help. —WG)


Why does it say registered hero right away?

Every imPort is granted a grace period in which they have to decide whether to register or go unsettled. Your default mode is as a registered hero, but you can change that.

Why are we tattooed? Is it tracking us?

To an extent, yes, but not entirely. They cannot narrow down our locations to longitude and latitude coordinates or else they would have a number of imPorts in the bag already that have caused problems. They aren't keeping that a secret just because they want to lull us into a sense of security. Again, that would be nice, but it doesn't make sense with what's happened already.

No, the tattoos have another purpose: to state our status, to keep an eye on us, to make it possible to communicate, both linguistically and through our communication devices, and to help us if we die.

They keep us from dying?

That does seem to be part of their use. There is a limited resource called Continuum that is meant to keep us from dying. Again, I haven't experienced myself, and I don't know anyone who has. In order to access the Continuum, it is much easier if you are registered, but not impossible if you are not.

How do they help us communicate?

The nanites seem to instantaneously provide translation for the person on the other end.

Can I get these things out of me?

Well … you can try, but it's probably a no. As far as I know at the time of writing this, no one has attempted to extricate the nanites from their system entirely.

How do we know the nanites aren't being used for some more nefarious means?

We don't.

Do our powers come from nanites?

They don't! They come from the Porter itself, so nanites and the powers are completely separate. Probably.

I've heard that there are ways to stop powers. What's up with that?

That does appear to be linked to the nanites, but again, that's not a done deal. A number of different forces have nullifying devices: the US government, the Soviet Union, and both the Hornets and the group behind a terrorist kidnapping back in July 2014.


But really, am I really not required to play superhero?

You're really not required! That said, it's tacitly understood that some of us should be playing hero. But if that's not your thing, you can live your life out as normally as you can away from your family and friends.

People do expect imPorts to be heroes, though, don't they?

Yeah, they do. And being a hero is a great thing. But it's not for everyone. If you do decide to help, it's a lot … easier as a registered hero, but you are by no means required to maintain that status. Just be prepared to have vigilante as your status.

Who are we expected to fight? Are there supervillains?

This is a complicated question! Especially under the guise of neutrality. So, I'll do my best with it.

The government wants us to help out with two things: first, they want us to look at the local crime in various cities and they want us to help in a number of different areas when they're attacked. Sometimes, these attacks are terrorist attacks. Sometimes, they're just some jerk who decided to blow up a building. It does vary.

The second thing they want us to do is to help out with the Russians. The political situation is one that will be gone into later, but the United States is at war with the Soviet Union.

Some of those terrorist attacks do seem to be the Soviets. Some of the attacks seemed to come from the now mostly defunct terrorist group, the Hornets. There is a section on them later, as they're bound to come up even if you're new! They did a number on us.

As for supervillains, there are some. Some people might think of the Soviets as supervillains, and with what they've done, that wouldn't necessarily be incorrect. "Supervillains" do tend to perform terrorist acts. There are also a number of individuals among imPorts with a history, but histories are just that: in the past. If they keep their actions clean here, they can live their own lives.

That hasn't kept some imPorts from acting, however. And that won't keep them from acting against civilians and other imPorts.

Wow, that seems complicated, but I want to be a hero! What do I do now?

It is absolutely up to you. Do you want a secret identity? That's up to you. Some people keep them. Others don't. Do you want a costume/uniform? Again, that's up to you. It's also up to you to acquire these things.

What if my powers aren't great for being a hero? I want to help!

Be creative. If you've been relegated to being able to only magically produce pizzas, think: what can do you do with those pizzas? Are they dripping hot grease? That's going to hurt. What if you can only produce cheeseburgers? Well, you can shove them in someone's mouth! Or you can help a local soup kitchen with a different and free food variety for the day.

You can also engage in rigorous physical training. The sky's the limit.


How much of this world's history is available to us?

A great deal of it is available. Visit a library, check out the internet, and see what you can find. If you're from a different version of Earth, you'll find that it is likely very different. But that's not a hard rule. There are also a number of people not from a world like this at all! Don't be surprised if you've never heard of Earth. That's okay. You can catch up, too, but it'll take you some more time.

Without research, what do you think I need to know?

Let's bullet point this! Bullet points are fun, right?

  • The war, also known as the Cold War, began between the US and the Soviet Union in the late 1940s. It's labeled that because while tensions run high, it's largely defined by its apparent inaction. Inaction is not always the case, as you'll learn, but hey, that's what it is.

  • Before 1986, the government was nearly a military police state. That came with your dystopian regulars: surveillance, control, and things just not being very pretty. This was really locking in around 1984, and if you know that piece of literature, I hope your eyes widened the same way mine did. Great, so now you know.

  • ImPorts first arrived in 1986 and changed this! One of them stood up against the surveillance, and then a bunch of people banded together. By 1990, things were less scary. Well, great!

  • Except then in 2008, a group of imPorts died (permanently!) in a mission against the Soviets. They volunteered, but it still led to some uproar.
  • This uproar led to all imPorts being sent back home in 2010.

  • And the world was meant to be imPort-free until January 2014, when a wave of new imPorts (to this world, anyway) arrived suddenly. The Porter that the government previous used was possessed by an individual called Lachesis.

  • And here we are now!

Why is the United States at war with the Soviet Union?

You'll want to look that one up. It doesn't really have a short answer.

Where do we fit into it?

Well, they want us to help out. The Soviets have targeted at least two specific places in recent memory, if not more. They've also made a couple of warning shots in Alaska recently. Yeah, that's not really inactive! But we don't know what this country's government is doing in return. All of that is really hush hush, and we can't expect to be involved.

So, the point of helping out is still limited.

But what does the world think of us?

It varies, even on this nation's soil. Some people think we're a waste of resources. Others think that we're doing our best. In other nations, it varies, too. But we do know that we're seen as a resource of the United States government. We are their imPorts, no matter what we might say ourselves.

That said, impressions of imPorts are currently very good. They're allowing us a lot more rights and opportunities, whether registered or not. Other countries also want us to turn up and help out, though naturally these vary. You'll have to get approval to go help out elsewhere, and if you're unsettled, don't think you have any chance at that. It'll be hard to accomplish. Naturally, any countries associated or bordered with the Soviet Union are off limits. Sorry!

Why can't we be citizens?

Point of fact: it would be much, much harder for all imPorts if we were made citizens. A bill recently failed to pass that had a single condition: all imPorts made into citizens would be stripped of their government benefits. That includes your stipend, housing, and job. You would be expected to fend for yourself.

Given everything, it is probably better that we aren't citizens.

What if I don't want to fight a war?

Hey, you don't have to! So far, they haven't stuck us in camouflage in any way, so we're not doing anything like that yet. There has been one military excursion led by imPorts to date, and it was a volunteer-only expedition.

But why are we being militarized to an extent with registration if they didn't bring us here?

Best guess is that it's the image of control, both to their population and to other nations. But that's a guess. But the US is pretty big on citizenship, as these things go. Sorry if you're not familiar with it!

What power do we have legally to change things?

Right now, registered individuals have the right to vote. Unsettled don't, but that's not surprising. That means it's harder to get your voice heard if you're unsettled. Again, not surprising. It ties into citizenship, control, and the image of control! Think of bureaucracy!

But I am Russian?

Well, buddy, that sucks for you! The government is keeping an eye on you. It's a harsh truth, and a number of individuals have already been brought in and questioned, even if it doesn't make sense. This may change in the future, and it may have already.

Where do the Hornets fit into this?

We'll get there!

Are there any government officials we should be aware of?

Moira Nomos: Rest in peace. While she has passed, she was the head Porter scientist for some time and was a great deal of help to a number of us. She will be missed.

Captain Aisha Ananke: She is the imPort government liaison, and is in charge of our protection.

Captain Parc Holiday: This title might be inaccurate now, given his circumstances. Captain Holiday used to have Captain Ananke's job until he was found out to have his memories tampered. No one knows what happened with some certainty (though there are obviously theories), and he's currently hospitalized.


But why do the Soviets have a problem with us?

What a great question! The short and most accurate answer is that we are seen as a connection to the US government, and we are also seen as a trump card. Superpowers are not a thing in this world unless imPorts have them. It's as simple as that. Taking out imPorts is important to them. (Though I do wonder sometimes if we should have another name, as we seem to be of … import.

See what I did there?)

(In July, over a dozen imPorts were targeted during one of our ceremonies. Their life stories were, presumably, twisted or lied about entirely to stir up contention. Senator Haik responded by saying the US Department of Information and Technologies had been hacked by Soviet spies in an aggressive tactic that would appropriately be responded to. Whether this is true or not is certainly up for debate but still believable, for those curious about how deep the Soviets' problem with us runs. —WG)

What should we do about the Soviets?

Right now, it's best to let the politicians handle this one.

But why do the Hornets have a problem with us? (Did, if only because they are defunct.)

Actually, let's back up for a second.

Okay! So, who were the Hornets?

The Hornets were a terrorist organization located on US soil dedicated to combatting government policies, especially those that involve the imPorts. They are a group that believed that imPorts were receiving unfair treatment, while veterans and native heroes were getting the shaft. Every Hornet had their own reasons for joining the organization. Some joined because they genuinely believed in the cause. Others joined because they were coerced into it. More than anything, the Hornets can and could be defined by their relative disorganization. Even so, they remained under the radar as nothing more than an urban legend for twenty years until a series of attacks. The first of these was the May 2014 attack on the Nonah bullet train.

Months later, they continued and were finally acknowledged by the media in October 2014. The first was in Castle Rock, Maine, where they attempted to assault and abduct a string of imPorts. The Hornets who made it out alive had trials that began in January 2015. The second has been less "officially" connected to the Hornets, and was actually two attacks: on Sofia, Bulgaria, as well as Orlando, Florida. Investigations led by Roy Mustang and Rose Lalonde confirmed their involvement in these attacks.

Most recently, their final assault on the public and imPorts took place in February 2015. They attacked and destroyed a great portion of Heropa, and proceeded to infect imPorts with a mindswap virus that led imPorts to causing a great deal of damage around Heropa. Many people were harmed in the process. Many Hornets-via-imPort bodies claimed that they did this because it was a way of showing the public what the imPorts were capable of if they weren't controlled.

More than anything, their actions are led by fear, even if they caused the greatest amount of damage in the process.

Now that they're defunct, is there anything else we should know about them? Can they still pose a threat?

There are a number of Hornets still loose, so they may pose a threat. However, without their technology and numbers, they are fairly simple to capture. If you're wondering if a Hornet is after you, they'll stand out! They're predictably fond of yellow and black. Then again, they might have discarded those unfortunate clothes by now …

We can only hope!

As it is, there is a great deal of other information on the Hornets that is no longer relevant. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! But they are no longer an immediate and powerful threat to imPorts. Let's all breathe a sigh of relief.

Okay, but the Hornets had that weird Vanir title, right? What's up with that?

As it turns out, the Hornets and Vanir were never directly connected. We don't know who the Vanir are, but you can bet anything that we'll keep you updated!


Why is the mythology section necessary? I don't believe in any of that!

There seems to be a trend among imPorts where they come from worlds where gods and mythological creatures do not exist. There are just as many imPorts who do believe in these circumstances, and they heavily vary from person to person. What we do know is that in this universe, there is a being named Lachesis who has taken over the Porter, and Lachesis, in mythology, is a Fate. Lachesis brought the imPorts over to this world after her sister, Atropos, destroyed their previous universe.

It takes a great deal of power to accomplish this.

Furthermore, the mythological references can be spotted in each of the three imPort cities: Nonah (Nona), De Chima (Decima), and Maurtia Falls (Morta). Additionally, two of the officials we've worked with also have names linked to the Fates: Parc Holiday (Parcae) and Moira Nomos (Moirai). The Secretary of Defense is named L. Chases. Of course, she's also definitely human, so this may also be just suspicious

There are numerous other names that fit this theme: Peter Narga and Aisha Ananke.

All right. Who is Lachesis? What does that have to do with anything?

In short, Lachesis is the Fate who measures the thread of life. For further information, I recommend you visit your local library.

Fitting the theme of Atropos, Lachesis' sister is the one who cuts the thread of life. As such, it is not surprising that she would be the one to end the previous universe where many of the current imPorts once lived.

I am a mythology buff, and I have noticed the naming scheme. What gives?

Thankfully, one of our imPorts has looked into this matter. Here are his posts on the matter:

The first, specifically about naming.

And the second. This is about the three sisters who founded the future imPort cities.

Amara, Claire, and Lana. I'm sure you're picking out the nice matched letters with our Fates.

How much of my previous mythological knowledge applies here?

This is a good question, if I do say so myself! Good job, myself! You deserve a burger for this one.

A lot of people look at books like I've recommended to get a good grasp on what all these names mean, and by all means, do that. But keep in mind that if you message Captain Ananke and accuse her of being that Ananke, she will likely accuse you of having a few screws loose. We don't know how much these names play into anything yet, as it's an ongoing investigation.

Mythology here is a living, breathing thing that is changing over time. Myths written in the time of Homer will not have the same relevance as they do now, over two thousand years later. We can confirm that things do match up to their original definitions, but things change.

After all, our "friend" Lachesis likes to possess machines. You won't find that in any myth. Probably. Let us know if you do!