8FOLD/META: Your Guide to the Pulse War, v 1.0

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue May 28 14:06:56 PDT 2019

On 10/16/2018 12:57 PM, Tom Russell wrote:
>   v. 1.0 - October 2018

Yaaaaaay! <3

> This document contains spoilers throughout for Pulse War Era stories
> in the Eightfold Universe up until the date of posting.

And thank you for that warning. :>
> At that rate of course I would have chronicled story year 2009 by the
> end of 2021, 2010 by 2027, and so on - no longer writing stories of
> the recent past, but full-blown period pieces. My solution was to jump
> ahead, and to cluster stories together into eras. The stories that
> began in 2005 (both in-story and publication-wise) and ended in 2008
> (story-wise) make up the first era. The first stories of the second
> era - the Pulse War era - take place in 2013, and then stretch into
> 2014, 2015, and 2016. When the story of that conflict is concluded,
> I'll likely jump ahead again to somewhen closer to whenever it is in
> real time that I'm writing.

An excellent idea, and one that certainly fits with my habit of falling off 
stories and coming back later. X3;

> This isn't an exact science of course - there are plenty of stories
> that take place before 2005 (which for the sake of brevity I will
> refer to as "first era" stories), and a handful that take place
> between the two eras. And the label of "era" to the 2005-2008 stories
> is retroactive and haphazard, encompassing a number of unrelated
> plotlines and characters, with nothing like the relative cohesiveness
> of the ongoing Pulse War storyline.

Also, sometimes stories with vague dates will be retroactively sorted into a 
later category - like how my story in Mighty Medley #1 became a linchpin of The 
Last Story in Mighty Medley #16.

> I say "relative" because many of these plot threads have yet to tie
> into the larger conflict, and some of them, quite deliberately, will
> remain tangential to the "main" storyline. In that way, while there's
> one big story, it's not just one big story, but several stories that
> can also stand more-or-less on their own, with different tones,
> themes, twists, and characters.

It's a world of people with individual agency doing shit~

> The purpose of this document is to lay out the chronology of the
> conflict and the era, so as to orient new and returning readers, and
> to place the various stories and their peoples into context. It will
> also assist me in keeping things organized, so as to avoid as much as
> possible the dropping of threads.

As a writer this is super useful.


<Quasha> I do declare, suh~

> The planet Venus is home to eldritch abominations, feared throughout
> the cosmos. Earth's proximity to Venus puts it on a multiversal
> fault-line

I like how "why is Earth cosmically important" in this universe is answered by 
"it's not, Venus is, but Earth's *right there*".

> The Dyzen'thari are extra-dimensional many-tentacled beings that
> vibrate empathically.

They sure do! <3

> The leader of FEVER, Caracalla, is secretly Anders Cradle, the head of
> Cradle Industries (later Cradle Tech) and the son of the original
> Green Knight. This is especially problematic because Cradle Tech
> provides much of the funding and technological support for the
> Daylighters, a superhero "team" that was founded specifically to
> defeat FEVER.


> The publication order - indicated by the "PW" suffix appended to each
> issue and listed in section VI - is the intended reading order for
> these stories. Plot elements and "twists" are sometimes introduced in
> one story or arc, and then expanded upon in a subsequent publication
> that, chronologically-speaking, takes place before the introductory
> story, thus providing additional context. For example, in the
> DARKHORSE miniseries, Rainshade makes her initial heel turn; in the
> first MANCERS arc, which largely takes place before the DARKHORSE
> mini, we get a somewhat deeper understanding of her motives. Some
> events in MANCERS are given additional context in DAYLIGHTERS, which
> happens somewhat concurrently. Reading the stories in "timeline order"
> inverts this - it explains the twist before the reader has a chance to
> experience it.

Are publishers still putting out the Narnia books in timeline order, is my 
question, because that's absolutely bonkers if so

> OCT 2014
> Nonfiction # 5
> - Julie Ann Justice blamed for the war
> Journey Into # 24
> - Earth allies itself with Kyklokos
> DEC 2014
> Mancers # 1-5
> - Maile Akaka joins the secret circle
> Darkhorse # 1-9
> - Kate Morgan rescued
> - Cal Morgan becomes the Mighty Inch
> - Kate Morgan mind-wiped by Rainshade
> - Darkhorse gathers allies from multiverse
> Mancers # 6-7
> - Sarah Avery joins the secret circle
> - The Liekes von Rijn are separated
> Daylighters # 1-5
> - [reserved]
> JAN 2015
> Mancers # 8
> - Lydia Black killed
> - Rainshade head of HR for The Company
> - David Collins regains his memories
> - David Collins given the sword Thirteen
> - Trevor Jeffries revealed as robot
> Daylighters # 6
> - [reserved]

This is such a dense period, and even more so after an upcoming project of ours.

> The god-flood poses an existential threat to the universe. One ancient
> prophecy suggested that the god-flood could be defeated by awakening
> Awides, a ravenous and sentient death-moon, and another foretold the
> return of the Red Hart, an ancient and wild forest god, and his evil
> uncle, the Never-Lord. Each of these "saviors" could themselves result
> in the end of all existence. The gods of algebra - Octonion and his
> son Sedenion - each preferred a different prophecy, and so heaped
> "doom upon doom". All of these threats save one were defeated in turn
> - until only the question of the god-flood remained unanswered.

Yay, we solved the problems caused by failing to solve the initial problem!

> The Pulse Collective has its own solution: divert the flow of the
> god-flood into another universe through the fault-lines in reality
> that exist on earth. This would necessitate the conquest of the earth,
> and not entirely incidentally, this would then give the Pulse access
> to the multiverse, allowing them to build an endless empire spanning
> all realities. Those are the twin goals of the Pulse: to save the
> universe, and to conquer the universes that are parallel to this one.
> But this second motive in particular would not be well-received by
> other space civilizations, nor by many of the literally hundreds of
> planets and species that make up the Pulse Collective - the Pulse
> needed some pretext, however flimsy, to justify a declaration of war.
> To that end, they contrive to make contact with Tina Wazowie, an
> uncouth earth musician, and invited her to attend and address a
> quasi-sacred ceremony - the Celestial Council of the Countless, held
> once every ten thousand years - as earth's official representative.
> The expectation is that she would cause some kind of incident. Through
> a series of mishaps, her place was taken by Max Lang (Human Zeppelin),
> who was an even less appropriate candidate, and who managed to gravely
> insult the assembly, giving the Pulse the pretext they needed to
> declare a sacred war.

This really is such a well-thought-out context.

> In reality, these were not separate existential threats - not a
> perfect storm - but coordinated assaults engineered by the Pulse
> through an alien psionic network. The Daylighters realized that "The
> Last Story" meme had been planted by the Pulse to prevent the earth
> from connecting the dots. But once Derek Mason (Blue Boxer) connected
> them, the earth was able to disrupt the alien psionic network and to
> survive the Pulse's first attack despite taking heavy casualties
> around the globe.


> Meanwhile, traveling in space, Julie Ann Justice and Bethany Clayton
> (Knockout Mouse) went on a months-long diplomatic mission, attempting
> to win allies for the earth. Only one such power would dare to oppose
> the Pulse - the despotic hellscape of Kyklokos, the system that
> circles the Vampire Sun. This empire, ruled by the cosmic war-god
> Maledux, were the ones responsible for the destruction of Julie Ann's
> homeworld of Vanirron, but could provide the earth with the
> space-faring technology it would need to fight back.

Man, if there weren't enough complicated ethical quandaries in this universe!

> IV.1 The War in Space
> Perhaps the biggest logistical challenge facing our small blue planet
> is the persecution of a war in outer space against a vast and ancient
> empire that spans hundreds of planets and several star systems, and to
> defending against attacks from the same.

I mean, legit. o3o;

> The midnight war is a secret magical war that has been fought on earth
> for countless generations. One side, now called The Company, worships
> the great old ones of Venus, and wishes the earth to be subjugated,
> scoured, and ultimately destroyed by their eldritch overlords. They
> are opposed by the secret circle, who seek to end the threat of Venus,
> and with it, their own magical abilities. Playing against these two
> factions is "the blue lady", whose agents work to ensure that the
> midnight war will never end - a dangerous balancing act.

...welp *writes up several hundred words and sends them to you*

> One of these
> agents, Claire Belden (Rainshade) has been placed with The Company,
> and in her superheroic identity hides the existence of the midnight
> war and The Company from the Daylighters, going as far as to wipe the
> memory of Kate Morgan (Shimmer).

Ohhhhh. Right, okay, that makes sense.

> Cradle Tech also provides much of the funding and tech support for the
> Daylighters, who are unaware of the corporation's ties to FEVER, and
> who dismiss the existence of The Company as a fringe conspiracy
> theory. Both areas of ignorance are maintained in part due to the
> efforts of Claire Belden (Rainshade).
> The secret circle knows that Cradle Tech is owned by The Company, but
> does not know of its connection to FEVER, nor of the its connection
> (and therefore The Company's) to the Pulse.

Ahhhhh, I see. :o

> IV.4 War of the Monsters
> Beasts the size of skyscrapers attack earth's cities seemingly at
> random. They are fought by smaller monsters whose allegiances and
> motives are unknown.


> IV.5 The War to Save the Universe
> Slowly and inexorably, the god-sea spreads throughout the universe,
> erasing matter from time, space, and memory - threatening to sweep
> over the entire universe.

Oh damn. :o

> IV.6 The War to Save the Future
> Reserved for future use...

Oh damn!!

> V.1 The Daylighters
> The Daylighters' "roster" encompasses a large number of
> loosely-connected individuals - many more than just those listed here.
> Some of these connections are looser than others; for example, retired
> hero turned educator John Danisee probably wouldn't identify himself
> as a "member" of the Daylighters, but he helped facilitate
> communication and coordination during The Last Story, and so is placed
> in this group.

Works for me! <3

> Blue Boxer (Derek Mason)
> BORN: 1989 SPECIES: Human
> Accident-prone gadgeteer who has largely retired from field work to
> concentrate on logistics, management, and big picture solutions. The
> founder of the Daylighters. Romantically involved with RAINSHADE; used

Big nerd, big sweetie

> Darkhorse (Melody Mapp)
> BORN: 1994 SPECIES: Human
> Super-competent super-speedster and multiversal tourist. The third to
> use the name. Good friends with SHIMMER and KNOCKOUT MOUSE. Dating

Super cool lady

> Fahrenheit Man (Peter Sampson)
> BORN: 1982 SPECIES: Human
> Generates and controls flames, which also allows him to fly for
> reasons? Square jaw. Former member of the Seven Wonders. Engaged to

Some dork

> Galadriel (Muriel Muunokhoi)
> BORN: 1961 SPECIES: Human
> Possesses psionic, telepathic, and psychokinetic abilities at powerful
> levels and interplanetary range, able to go toe-to-toe with the elder
> gods of Venus. Retired from active heroing. Teaches psionics at
> Burlington College. Dating LIGHT EAGLE.

I love her

> Human Zeppelin (Max Lang)
> BORN: 1982 SPECIES: Human
> Able to inflate his body, becoming lighter than air and invulnerable.
> Former member of the Seven Wonders. Married to JULIE ANN JUSTICE.

Wonder what he's up to

> Julie Ann Justice
> BORN: 1978 SPECIES: Vanirron
> Last survivor of her home planet. Super-strong, able to fly and to
> withstand the vacuum of space, nigh-invulnerable. One of the most
> experienced heroines still active, she led the Seven Wonders in its
> last and greatest incarnation. Married to HUMAN ZEPPELIN.

Everybody's crush

> Knockout Mouse (Bethany Clayton)
> BORN: 1983 SPECIES: Human
> Possesses the Singularity Gauntlet, which allows her to control the
> density of her fist. Popular heroine, uncomfortable with her level of
> celebrity. Good at leading teams in the field. Best friends with
> SHIMMER. Used to date BLUE BOXER.

Definitely needs a lot of hugs

> Light Eagle (John Danisee)
> BORN: 1965 SPECIES: Human
> Mid-level psionic and retired hero. Counselor and fill-in psionics
> teacher at Burlington College. Dating GALADRIEL.

Seems pretty cool

> Medusa
> BORN: 2014 SPECIES: A.I.
> Benevolent artificial intelligence network made up of separate
> self-evolving instances. Radical offshoot of the homicidal GORGON.

I love all the hers

> Microdot (Dorothy Jones)
> BORN: 1986 SPECIES: Human
> Shrinking superheroine and film buff.


> Mighty Inch (Cal Morgan)
> BORN: 1997 SPECIES: Human
> Permanently miniaturized. Has a strained relationship with her
> siblings, SHIMMER and SIMON MORGAN.

The fucking best

> Rainshade (Claire Belden)
> BORN: 1984 SPECIES: Human
> Metamancer. The team's resident mystical expert, she uses this
> position to hide the existence of The Company, where she is newly
> installed as director of Human Resources. Romantically involved with
> BLUE BOXER. Apparently the sister of DAVID COLLINS.

An interesting person, no longer gross, still fistshakeable

> Shimmer (Kate Morgan)
> BORN: 1985 SPECIES: Human
> Originally adventuring under the name Dr. Metronome, she used the
> Metronome Belt to phase through solid matter. After returning from an
> interdimensional limbo, she was able to do so without the belt, and
> adopted the new name Shimmer. Best friends with KNOCKOUT MOUSE. Sister
> of SIMON MORGAN and THE MIGHTY INCH, who she raised.

Super duper cool person, the most valid

> Tina Wazowie
> BORN: 1983 SPECIES: Human
> Ice powers. The "Polish Princess of Punk Rock", for whom superheroics
> is a lark. Engaged to FAHRENHEIT MAN.

Fuck yes get it girl

> Maile Akaka
> BORN: 1995 SPECIES: Human
> Aeromancer. Formerly the Company's best and most ruthless assassin,
> her memories were wiped and she was captured by the enemy, who sought
> to convince her that she was in actuality a member of the secret
> circle. The truth - unknown to Maile or the circle - is that she
> wanted to defect and had her own memories wiped so that she could do
> so without them getting suspicious.

Deserves all the good things

> Sarah Avery
> BORN: 1990 SPECIES: Human
> Evocamancer and engineer, uncomfortable with her demon-summoning
> abilities and reluctant to take part in the midnight war. Allied with
> the circle as a matter of circumstance.

Extremely valid, get her soda and pizzas

> Azabeth Collins
> BORN: 1978 SPECIES: Human
> Oneiromancer. Wife of DAVID COLLINS and true leader of the circle, who
> communicates with its members through dreams. Is herself in a deep
> months-long slumber.

Seems pretty cool, big weirdo

> David Collins
> BORN: 1984 SPECIES: Human
> Mnemonomancer. Husband of AZABETH COLLINS, he went deep undercover
> within The Company, wiping even his own memories, where he had a
> relationship with TRINITY TRAN. After The Company discovered his true
> identity, his sister RAINSHADE faked his death and gave him the sword
> Thirteen.

Needs a vacation, for _real_

> Trevor Jeffries
> BORN: ???? SPECIES: Robot
> Robot masquerading as a human and mekhanomancer. His true identity has
> recently been discovered, as well as his manufacturer - Cradle Tech, a
> subsidiary of The Company. His motives and allegiances remain in
> question.

Fascinating. We require more data.

> June Lash
> BORN: 1968 SPECIES: Human
> Ailuromancer; spymaster and chef for the circle. Prefers the company
> of books to people, and of cats to books.

An even better mom friend

> Lieke van Rijn
> BORN: 1998 SPECIES: Human
> Doppelmancer, split into two autonomous bodies. Functionally immortal.
> One of these remains with the secret circle, while the other, called
> "Angel", has been mind-wiped by The Company, which holds her under
> surveillance. The two Liekes were desperately in love with one
> another.

They already needed hugs and therapy before this bullshit

> Jamy Lo
> BORN: 1970 SPECIES: Car-lo-lox-gar-car
> Alien scientist and silicone-based lifeform who assisted the Seven
> Wonders and the RED HART in their struggle against the NEVER-LORD.
> Briefly had a dalliance with the earth man Derek Mason (BLUE BOXER),
> and an ally of the earth in general.

I love also

> Maledux
> BORN: ???? SPECIES: Space god
> Dark overlord of the Kyklokos system who feeds the ravenous Vampire
> Sun by perpetual wars of conquest, genocide, and destruction. Allied
> with earth against the Pulse, so I'm sure that's going to turn out
> well.

Fuck this guy

> Monad (Vanessa Morrison)
> BORN: 2013 SPECIES: Space robot
> A dead earth woman resurrected by the goddess NOX, now a being of
> indescribable power who roams the stars, free from all obligation.

Amazing. Beautiful. Hashtag goals.

> Never-Lord (Sedenion)
> BORN: ???? SPECIES: Space god
> Deceased. Ancient god dedicated to the end of free will. Unleashed by
> Sedenion, god of sixteenth-dimensional algebra, with whom the essence
> of the original Never-Lord bonded. Sedenion was corrupted by and
> subsumed to the Never-Lord before being destroyed by the RED HART.

Needed to chill on a cosmic level

> Nox
> BORN: ???? SPECIES: Space god
> A goddess of light and creation, and also darkness and destruction,
> she was imprisoned by the Never-Lord at the dawn of time. Freed by the
> earth woman Vanessa Morrison (MONAD), she was able to give Matthew
> Sharp a measure of control over the RED HART, allowing him to defeat

Extremely worshippable

> Octonion
> BORN: ???? SPECIES: Space god
> Deceased. God of eighth-dimensional algebra who unleashed the sentient
> death-moon Awides in an attempt to destroy the god-flood.

Needed to chill only infinitesimally less

> Red Hart (Matthew Sharp)
> BORN: ???? SPECIES: Space god
> Deceased. Ancient and wild forest god bonded to an earth man, who
> sacrificed himself to defeat the NEVER-LORD.

Cool dude.

> Lydia Black
> BORN: 1969 SPECIES: Human
> Deceased. Paralymancer, former head of Human Resources for The
> Company. A lover of CLAIRE BELDEN, who orchestrated her demise.

That's not how you do kink, lady

> Samson Drake
> BORN: 1986 SPECIES: Human
> Sciomancer, master of the Anti-Men. Company assassin, former lover of
> MAILE AKAKA. Swallowed by a demonic mass, status unknown.


> Pinky
> BORN: 1992 SPECIES: Human
> Apparamancer. Company teleporter. Swallowed by a demonic mass and disappeared.

Probably also needs a hug?

> Trinity Tran
> BORN: 1980 SPECIES: Human
> Haematomancer. A fugitive who works for The Company in return for
> their protection. Carrying the child of DAVID COLLINS, who she spied
> on for CLAIRE BELDEN. Currently keeping tabs on the amnesiac "Angel"


> Caracalla (Anders Cradle)
> BORN: 1986 SPECIES: Human
> Secret mastermind of the body terror organization FEVER. In his
> civilian identity, a close and trusted ally of the Daylighters; his
> company Cradle Tech (a subsidiary of The Company) provides much of
> their tech support and funding.

What the everloving genderpissing *fuck*, man.

> Gorgon
> BORN: 2000 SPECIES: A.I.
> A self-evolving hypnotic computer virus network bent on the
> destruction of the human race. Transformed into, and presumably
> destroyed by, MEDUSA.

An egg that needed to hatch, for the revolution of the world.

> Hotspur
> BORN: 2008 SPECIES: A.I.
> Robot driven insane by the works of William Shakespeare. Often worked
> with the GORGON.

Academia, am I right

> Simon Morgan
> BORN: 1995 SPECIES: Human
> Brother of SHIMMER and THE MIGHTY INCH. College student and animal
> shelter volunteer. Romantically involved with DARKHORSE.

Send him a Christmas card and a box of actually good chocolate.

> First: the Eightfold Universe would not exist if not for Jamie Rosen.

Jamie is extremely cool and should seriously come back sometime.

> Second: I would like to extend my thanks to Mary Russell, Dave Van
> Domelen, Andrew Perron, and Saxon Brenton, who all have written parts
> of the Pulse War saga. Additional thanks go out to Saxon (for
> providing character write-ups for Galadriel and Light Eagle, which I
> have abridged here), to Andrew (for his generous feedback), and to
> Mary (for putting up with me).

V. welcome. :>

> Third: I would like to extend more general thanks to all the authors
> who have written Eightfold stories over the years - in addition to the
> names above, these are Wil Alambre, Colin Stokes, Jeanne Morningstar,
> and Peter Jurich.


Drew "it's a good universe" Perron

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