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The Exo Stranger, Founder of the Future War Cult? (Destiny)

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 00:47 (1718 days ago)
edited by Ragashingo, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 01:11

The Taken King had dropped a lot of things into place. The Book of Sorrows is pretty much a complete history of the Hive, for instance. But we also got a new helping of stuff about Maya Sundaresh, who some, myself included, believe is the Exo Stranger. Let's get to it:

- Recall that we previously learned that four Ishtar Collective scientists, Maya, her wife Chioma Esi, Duane-McNiadh, and Dr. Shim, found a Vex of some kind and were studying it and eventually found that it was studying them as well. The Vex was running a perfect simulation of them and their (local?) world to the point it was predicting all of their real world actions. And it wasn't just simulating them, it was simulating a total of two hundred and twenty-seven copies of them!

It appears that they managed to contact a Warmind and it intervened and somehow pulled all 227 copies of the scientists out of Vex control. Safe, the four real scientists and the 227 virtual ones all agreed that the virtual ones should venture back into the Vex Citadel's informational pathways to see what they could learn and achieve.

Very notable here is that it was far too dangerous for humans to approach Vex structures. The cellular components could cause hallucinations while the informational elements could literally be Vex minds without substance ready to attack or infect anyone who came near. To combat this the scientists approached using "biomechanical proxy." That is, they used neural linked Exos with a Warmind as a firewall.

That's all old news. New in The Taken King we learn some very new and interesting things:

- Maya Sundaresh originally came to Venus not to study the Vex, but to study the Ahamkara. In the Collector's Edition Cayde-6 recalls:

The coast is different, beautiful, and unbroken and timeless. It teems with new life. Every big brain in the system has their sights set on the Academy.

We were there for the Ahamkara, parasitic reptilian critters that appeared out of thin air. Inexplicable genome. New proteins. So much potential.

And me? I'm there for her. Dr. Maya Sundaresh. She's poured into the research, on the brink of another breakthrough, focused on devouring every new data point. [image]

No. She doesn't know me at all, doesn't even recognize my face even though I've been here standing over her shoulders for months. I'm nothing more than a fixture, a required imposition. An unwanted necessity.

I'm no egghead. Never was. Just like now, back then I was on a need-to-know basis, and the only thing I needed to know is that nothing and nobody gets through the door and past me without at least three layers of security clearance and a whole lot of muscle.

Still. I think about saying something. Saying anything. In a second my mind rifles through a trillion possibilities.

But she's already turned back to her work. I shuffle my feet, straighten my back, and return to mine.

There is a pretty strong bit of speculation that says maybe the Ahamkara are the worm gods that gave Oryx and his sisters and the entire Hive their power and immortality...

- 40+ years later, after the incident with the Vex, we find that Maya is now working in Lhasa Tibet. She is writing a letter to Chioma on Hyperion (the moon of Saturn?) apologizing for being so distant. The device she is working on is very interesting. It is a human built machine that mimics the Vex gateway system. Maya says she thinks of it as a "...mind-ship. Capable of displacing its payload across space and time."

She tries it herself to apparently no ill effect. Or at least she doesn't mention any. The other scientists who enter it suffer from a variety of effects including thinking themselves as dead, horrible senses of deja vu, etc. Eventually, Maya retires from her position saying she is tired of being away from Chioma but she leaves her logs behind asking the others to continue them. She says that: "Maybe it’ll become a tradition. The gospel of our little cult."

- The Future War Cult in the present day City that has a device when when entered causes a variety of strange sensations and causes a variety of strange and terrible visions. And they found records of the device "at a Golden Age laboratory in Tibet..." Also note that the Future War Cult's record keeping is the same "RECORD CHASM" format that Maya first used!

- The last of the Future War Cult's records note that of 47 subjects sent into the device "eleven report timelines in which the Darkness has already prevailed, thirteen report timelines in which the City has fallen. Twenty-three babbled madness. Hopeless. Trapped." (That's all of them!) They also note that: "The human mind is too weak for it. Too weak to look into the Future, or to understand what it sees."

- Interestingly, back in the Golden Age Maya Sundaresh agreed having said: "I think it’s clear that part of the problem is substrate. We need more than flesh and drug to survive this." (Drug referring to a drug that their unnamed supervising Warmind devised to try and protect them from the Device's effects.) Substrate seems to refer to one's body as Vex minds without physical forms existed "without a substrate." What would be better than a human mind? A better substrate? How about a nueral biomechanical proxy... Maya did seem to think they would get much more advanced in the future... and she's writing her log forty years from when she first thought about it.

- Something else interesting: When Rasputin first detected the Darkness entering our system one of the ways he detected it was with a SxISR deepspace asset. Dr Sundaresh said of her "mind-ship"

The purpose of the system is intelligence, you see. It’s stenciled right on the hull: SxISR. Special asset.

Here's my best guess as to what's going on:

- Maya Sundaresh and her team built a device that allowed a payload to be displaced "across space and time."
- The hallucinogenic and temporal effects put far too much strain on many, or most, or all of the subjects that tried to use it, and in the present day the Future War Cult found the same thing, but an Exo would be unaffected. Maya did say: "We need more than flesh and drug to survive this."
- We know that Exos can be self contained individuals, but we also have record of biomechanical proxies being neural linked to their owner. And we now have a device that can displace a mind across space and time!

- Could the Exo Stranger be Maya Sundaresh operating from a "mind-ship" somewhere in our past or future? Her device had a hull implying it wasn't machinery in a lab but was actually a ship of some kind. And, What role might the Future War Cult, who has access to at least one such Device, be playing in the greater scheme of things?

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The Exo Stranger, Founder of the Future War Cult?

by narcogen ⌂ @, Andover, Massachusetts, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 01:36 (1718 days ago) @ Ragashingo

Very interesting stuff!

I guess my question is... in what way is the value or insight of the interpretation lost if Maya Sundaresh is the founder of FWC, but is not the Exo Stranger?

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The Exo Stranger, Founder of the Future War Cult?

by Funkmon @, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 08:05 (1718 days ago) @ narcogen

Because they DO appear connected, they are likely the same person.

The universe in Destiny is young adult novel small. For example. Bella has a problem with the ruling class of vampires, and Carlisle happens to be old friends with them. Or, Tris has a problem with Janeane, and it just so happens her brother is working with her. Or, there needs to be a new president of Panem, so Commander Paylor, an otherwise unremarkable character only known through the virtue of having once been in a scene with Katniss, gets elected.

In Destiny, Toland has Bad Juju, and is also the guy we use for reference about hive stuff, AND was part of Eris's fireteam. Cayde is not just the hunter guy, but the guy who gave them cloaking, and the guy who allowed us to get to the dreadnought. Even Praedyth, who succumbed to the gorgons, wiping him from existence (which I think we can infer from all the stories about Kabr fighting alone and nobody knowing about him), shows up in the new story. They have like 20 people they use over and over.

Considering this, I highly doubt this character would be so well developed and NOT used as the stranger, particularly with how the two relate. In the real world, I'd say "there's no real indication of the two being one in the same, and you're a conspiracy theorist." In Destiny, they're definitely the same person.

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The Exo Stranger, Founder of the Future War Cult?

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 10:52 (1718 days ago) @ Funkmon
edited by Ragashingo, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 10:55

On the other hand, the person who lead a ragtag army against the forces of a world superpower and won, also presided over the body who helped write the founding documents of a new nation, and who also led that new nation as its first elected leader were all the same person.

In modern histroy, the guy who helped write Toy Story, one of the most beloved children's movies of all time, also was behind Firefly, one of the most beloved scifi shows of all time, wrote one of my favorite X-Men stories of all time, and now is one of the guys in charge of Marvel's award wining, record breaking string of superhero movies.

Even in the real world capable people do sometimes show up in multiple roles in history.

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But not the same 20 guys.

by Funkmon @, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 10:57 (1718 days ago) @ Ragashingo

- No text -

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The Exo Stranger, Founder of the Future War Cult?

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 15:02 (1718 days ago) @ narcogen

The FWC rep is said to harbor secrets. Maybe the Future War Cult is doing a lot more than babbling about war being the only future? Could they potentially be fighting across timelines in secret?

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The Exo Stranger, Founder of the Future War Cult?

by Durandal, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 09:48 (1718 days ago) @ Ragashingo

I think that is a very interesting possibility, that the Stranger and the FWC are related.

What if they did see a vision of the future where some horrible event happened? What if no one would believe you if you told them the future had this monstrous thing, that you can't even fully comprehend, come and destroy all?

In the heyday of the Golden Age it is unlikely any but the supervising Warmind would take it seriously. The FWC is going to send a ghost through the device. I could see the Golden Age team sending an Exo or "platform" AI as well.

But it doesn't explain why Rasputin doesn't know about it, he would have to have known about the project since it was providing data to him during the Collapse. More over he would have to know about the Exos and the simulated minds going into the Vex system.

Given that, and that Exos are somewhat uniquely styled, he should be able to recognize the Stranger's make and model and link it to the project, if the two were directly related.

The Stranger also seems to have been subject to strange and fantastic forces, as the flavor text on her rifle indicates. The machine does not seem to cause any of those effects on it's users.

They might still be related, but I don't think they are the same person.

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The Exo Stranger, Founder of the Future War Cult?

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 10:07 (1718 days ago) @ Durandal

Rasputin wasn't the only Warmind back then. The events on Venus and in Tibet could have fallen under another Warmind who was disabled or destroyed during the collapse.

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The Exo Stranger, Founder of the Future War Cult?

by Durandal, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 10:41 (1718 days ago) @ Ragashingo

But it was reporting to him directly in his messages?

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The Exo Stranger, Founder of the Future War Cult?

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 11:48 (1718 days ago) @ Durandal

Not sure. It's certainly a good question. Why wouldn't the Warmind in charge of our defense not know the identity of an Exo. There's multiple decent reasons, of course, but none that has any real evidence so far.

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and you’re certainly not MINE

by Durandal, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 14:05 (1718 days ago) @ Ragashingo

"and you’re certainly not MINE although once you must have been"

This implies that all Exos worked for Rasputin, but he currently does not control her currently, nor does he recognize her because then he would have said that she was his, not that she must have been. Rasputin is inferring that because she is an exo she must have been in his role of battle.

and you’re certainly not MINE

by yakaman, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 14:34 (1718 days ago) @ Durandal

"and you’re certainly not MINE although once you must have been"

This implies that all Exos worked for Rasputin, but he currently does not control her currently, nor does he recognize her because then he would have said that she was his, not that she must have been. Rasputin is inferring that because she is an exo she must have been in his role of battle.

Or this is simply a time-line in which she was not his, or was never his, because she died or never existed in this time-line. He is stated that she is not his because he has no record of her, but that she must have been his because all Exo's were his.

Or something. Kills causality within a given time-line, but not within the multiverse.

Or something.

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The Exo Stranger, Founder of the Future War Cult?

by dogcow @, Hiding from Bob, in the vent core., Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 12:56 (1718 days ago) @ Durandal

Given that, and that Exos are somewhat uniquely styled, [Rasputin] should be able to recognize the Stranger's make and model and link it to the project, if the two were directly related.

I must have missed something. Why do you think that Rasputin doesn't know who the Exo Stranger is?

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The Exo Stranger, Founder of the Future War Cult?

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 13:03 (1718 days ago) @ dogcow

Good point. Rasputin does say he knows who she is. He then ask who she belongs to as she's not a Guardian, not with the Darkness and not answering to him ( though being an Exo she must have once.) At least that's how I read it.

Holy hell

by yakaman, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 14:46 (1718 days ago) @ Ragashingo

Good point. Rasputin does say he knows who she is. He then ask who she belongs to as she's not a Guardian, not with the Darkness and not answering to him ( though being an Exo she must have once.) At least that's how I read it.

How did I miss that post (the one you linked to)? Best post ever.

It's weird, but some of Durandal's comments make more sense within the context of Destiny than they do within the context of Marathon (my perception - I am only marginally informed in that regard).

All of this plays in the meta of game-playing. In-universe, a guardian appearing out of nowhere (i.e. logging on and off), dying, being resurrected, always winning would be nonsensical to the observer.

It's literally god-power, in which succeeding is only a matter of deciding to. But it's limited god-power, in that only the trial presented can be overcome (i.e. I can't go climb that mountain unless the game was designed to allow me to).

We're given god-power, but little control over fate. We may be supreme, but only along a specific path...or Destiny.

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These posts of yours ...

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 13:26 (1718 days ago) @ Ragashingo

are my favorite posts.

You're awesome, Raga.

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+ 1

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 13:47 (1718 days ago) @ Kermit

- No text -

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These posts of yours ...

by Mid7night ⌂ @, Rocket BSCHSHCSHSHCCHGGH!!!!!!, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 14:14 (1718 days ago) @ Kermit

are my favorite posts.

You're awesome, Raga.

...are the reason *BO are my favorite places on the internet. :)

No doubt.

by yakaman, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 14:46 (1718 days ago) @ Kermit

- No text -

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No chance

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 15:26 (1718 days ago) @ Ragashingo

The FWC is not known for their fashion, and the Exo stranger is very color coordinated. No purple anywhere!

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Heh.

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 15:42 (1718 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Probably best to assume the fashion "evolved" over the next few centuries. :p

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Heh.

by Kahzgul, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 15:55 (1717 days ago) @ Ragashingo

Probably best to assume the fashion "evolved" over the next few centuries. :p

If modern fashion is any indicator, there are really only 20 years' worth of actual fashions in existence and they keep recycling.

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