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  1. I'd say because they are still Aetheric beings. They are of Agartha and their race is built on the manipulation of the Aether. Notice it's a black sun with a cross through it. We associate the Cross with Christianity, but this is irrelevant here. It could represent a literal barrier. They are the Keepers of the Aether.
  2. - - X - - "X Computer" is the name by which Maxis is referred to in Moon According to Schuster, no one at 935 went by M, indicating X was likely Maxis' mononym - - X - - M A X I S This becomes especially interesting when you remember the ties of a certain AWOL Maxis to Broken Arrow.
  3. "Overlord" is, seemingly, the word Apothicons use for the colossal members of their race who are able to consume pure 115 from the Apothicon Sun and spit it into new realities. The Keepers, seemingly, refer to them as "Elder Gods".
  4. This is a megathread concerning the Apothicons and different view on them, a product of the cooperation between Caljitsu and Anonymous. The first subject we will discuss are the parallels between the Apothicons and Lovecraft's Mi-Go and Nyarlathotep. After that we will talk about how the Apothicon Overlords could very well be more ancient Elder Gods already existing in the Aether before the Apothicons, the corrupted alien race, came. After that we will discuss the parallels between the Apothicons and Bibical demons and finally, there will be an advocate for why the Apothicons might not be as evil as you think. It's quite a read so I recommend getting something to drink and eat before starting Enjoy! The parallels between the Apothicons and Lovecraft ~Anonymous In Lovecraftian tales, the Mi-Go are fungus-based multi-dimensional creatures, extremely varied due to their prodigious surgical, biological, chemical, and mechanical skills. Several Earthly paranormal entities, such as the Tibetan Yeti, are Mi-Go’s, though the most common variant in Lovecraft’s books are those resembling some kind of humanoid crabs. They possess a pair of membranous bat-like wings which are used to fly through the "Aether” of outer space. Sounding familiar? What I find interesting in particular is that they are said to be fungus-based. Remember this radio? It seems like the meteor shower somehow brought the fungi seen growning in the dark, humid alleys of Morg City. Someone on the reddit made a connection between the New England meteor shower of 1882, the at-the-time ‘Vampire Panic’ and the Buried Town, Purgatory Point. The Vampire Panic was a reaction to an outbreak of tuberculosis in New England, as the disease was thought to be caused by the deceased consuming the life of their surviving relatives. Bodies were exhumed and internal organs ritually burned to stop the "vampire" from attacking the local population and to prevent the spread of the disease. Not only does this remind us of possible Satanic, Apothicon rites being involved in the 115-infected Purgatory Point, but also to a potential connection with the much-later appearing faction that would go under the name The Flesh. Dead eating the living, living eating the dead. Just thoughs Anyhow, back to Shadows of Evil, fungi are known to be able to diffuse a lot of spores and therefore spread rapidly, so could these things be the origins of Apothican influence in the City? Could the meteor shower literally ‘sewed’ Mi-Go? Now before you think we are fighting evolved mushrooms all the time, consider this: Fungi is one of the five major organism kingdoms. The to us known species of fungi are even more diverse than comparing a tardigrade with a human. That being said, fungi originate from the very same eukaryote group as animals and plants do, and they have most likely evolved from the very first multicellular animals, just like we evolved from ancient plant-like. I would like to share one final particular aspect of the Mi-Go: Their ability to transport human consiousness by by removing the subject's living brain and placing it into a "brain cylinder", which can be attached to external devices to allow it to see, hear, and speak. This sounds very much alike to the technology used to transport Maxis from the Crazy Place to Agartha to the House. “Maxis’ brain arrives in Agartha and Doctor Monty decides to step in. Monty brings Maxis’ brain to the house and wipes the Maxis corrupted by Dark Aether from existence.” - Timeline “With Doctor Monty’s help, the Maxis Drone arrives at the house in Agartha. Despite the absence of his soul, Monty recreates a physical manifestation of his Dimension 63 form.” - Timeline The Mi-Go, however, are not the most powerfull race in existence, something far more terrible than you can imagine lays beyond them. They serve a master: Nyarlathotep, the Black Man (note how Black is a synonym for Shadow). Although he is able to shift his physical shape, he is mostly described as a tall, swarthy man. He is frequently associated with the Devil and any other evil spirits named in various cultures and religions around the globe. He wanders the Earth, seemingly gathering legions of followers, his demonstrations of strange and seemingly magical instruments. These followers lose awareness of the world around them and get an impression of the world's collapse. This sounds very much alike to how the Shadowman manipulated the Shadows cast into doing what he wanted, to “prevent the destruction of your world”. Different than the other Apothicans, the Shadowman seems to, just like Nyarlathotep, able to appear and disappear in any dimension where he wants (with the exception of Agartha). He alone, however, is not able to consume a universe, though he has a very manipulative tongue. He is the harbinger of the Doom that lays beyond him, beyond the Mi-Go: the Outer Gods, the Universe Consumers. In Shadows of Evil, the Shadowman talks the cast into performing Satanic rites, involving the sacrifice of a soul bound to an object. Using this soul’s Life Force, the Apothicans are able to open a small gateway, sending in a Gateworm (possibly the type Apothican that eats the Pack-a-Punch in Revelations, merely in a larval state). Four of these Gateworms are needed to break the Apothican Rift Stone in the City’s undercroft. When this happened, the Apothicans gained full entrance in Dimension 63, starting consuming it. Will Murray, an American novelist, has speculated that Lovecraft’s image of Nyarlathotep may have been inspired by the inventor Nikola Tesla, whose well-attended lectures did involve extraordinary experiments with electrical apparatus and whom some saw as a sinister figure… Could the Shadowman’s origins lay in scientific experiments done by humans? An artificial demon. The distinction between the Apothicons and Overlords ~Anonymous There always was one thing at the Apothicons that I couldn’t understand: How could a humanoid race like the Vril-Ya/proto-Keepers ever evolve into the monstrous abominations that we call the Apothicons. We interprend the Timeline that the explanation for this issue can be summarized in one word: Evolution. “Trapped in the Dark Aether, the corrupted keepers contort and evolve over Eons, ultimately becoming the Apothicons. The desire, above all else, to return to Agartha.” But this just didn’t really work out for me. I mean, this is simply not how evolution works. For evolution, one needs natural selection, survival of the fittest, and how can we have that in a realm of energy where all beings serve the same hivemind? Apart from that, we do encounter more humanoid Apothicons that resemble the ‘handhead’ species of Doctor Monty (the Shadowman) and the Keepers (the corrupted Keepers) as Apothicons; How can it be that they changed relatively so little over time whereas some proto-Keepers have changed into giant universe eating worms? So here’s the thing: I think the creatures that we name Apothicons are not the Apothicons. I mean maybe they are classified under that name, and that essentially doesn’t matter, but what I mean is that they have a different origin than the defeated proto-Keepers, the Fallen Angels under the Shadowman. In Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos, the most powerful entities in the Multiverse are the Great Old Ones, the Outer Gods of other Hells and the Elder Gods, existing outside our observable universe and thus in the “space between spaces”. However, their great weakness is the fact that they cannot form a stable and consistent form of matter in our Space-Time. This is they have not yet dominated our universe and why they even have any dealings with humanity. We need to provide them with something within our Space-Time, whether its “opening a door” on this side of reality or providing a part of us (e.g. our souls). While the story of the proto-Keepers sounds really similar to the mythos of the Vril-Ya, Ancient Aliens and even passages of the Bible, the existence and abilities of the ‘Great Apothicons’ seems to resemble more the story of the Lovecraftian Elder Gods, and their inability of entering our universe by theirselves. Additional evidence for this is the fact that in Shadows of Evil, the Shadowman refers to something more powerful, the ‘Overlords’. In a radio in Tag der Toten, the Apothicon corpse on the bottom of the ocean is literally referred to as an ‘Elder God’. Another similarity already found by ElectricJesus was Shadowman’s similarity to Nyarlathotep. And whose harbinger and messenger was Nyarlathotep in the Cthulhu mythos? Exactly, the Outer Gods. What we do in Shadows of Evil, I interpreted as the following: we sacrifice four souls that allow the Elder Gods to enter. Or, as the Shadowman states it, “your services to the overlords is appreciated, our complete assimilation of this dimension will now proceed”. How does this work in the grander view of our story? Cal’s deciphering of the Apothicon language clearly shows they function under a Hivemind, and I think that is our missing link. Prior to Civil War between the proto-Keepers, before the schism between Dr. Monty and Mr. Rapt, before he was called the Shadowman and he and his allies were condemned to the Aether, the Elder Gods already existed. They were already out there, in the space between spaces, the realm of energy, the Aether. Their Hivemind was passed over on the corrupted Keepers, corrupting them, making them one of them. They act with the same mind now, the same interests. But their origin is different. This is why Doctor Monty refers to the Apothicons as the most powerful entities in all the existences that ever existed, this is why Samantha in the pyramid screams that something far more terrible than we can imagine lays there. Before a part the civilization of the proto-Keepers got corrupted and turned into what Monty calls the Apothicons, before the existence of the Shadowman, the Elder Gods were already there. Azathoth, one of the Outer Gods in the Lovecraft mythos^ EDIT: So thanks for Rich for noting this but in SoE we got the message that 'the Elders continue to seed space time'. This is what we see in the Revelations intro, as space time is 115! Additional evidence that the Overlords are the Elder Gods and something older and more powerful than the Keepers The parallels between the Apothicons and Satanic Demons ~Anonymous Though we earlier devoted another thread to connections of our story with Revelations (from the New Testament), this part will include a more extensive post about the interesting parallel between the Biblical bad guys and the Apothicans. In the Book of Revelations, two distinct Beasts are being mentioned: The Beast from the Sea and the Beast from the Earth. The Beast from the Sea is a contractionary name, as in Revelations it is said to actually originate from the Abyss, an unfathomably deep or boundless space. The word 'Sea' is likely symbolically used, referring to the fact that in the original sense of the Hebrew tehom, the abyss was the primordial waters or chaos out of which the ordered world was created. Some also think the term might refer to the interior of Earth. In later Hebrew literature, the Abyss is often used to refer to the Underworld, either the realm where the dead reside (Sheol) or the realm of the rebellious spirits (Hell). In the latter sense, specifically, the abyss was often seen as a prison for demons. Now all these meanings of the Abyss, whether it is the thing from which the universe was created, the interior of Earth and the abode of the dead or the realm where the demons are imprisoned, it all seems to relate to what is told us about the Aether. "In the beginning there was only the Aether and the Keepers." - Timeline "The surviving Apothicons were cast out, banished to the dark Aether beneath creation." - Kronorium Excerpt "The world within the world was turned upside down" - Doctor Monty, Gorod Krovi This Beast from the Abyss, as I rather call it, also bears a real name but this is never given in Revelations. However, his name corresponds to the numerical value 666, also called the 'Mark of the Beast'. "You have the Mark. You are cursed." - Shadowman This Mark can be identified by either the beast's written name, or the numerical value of his name. Without this identification, one could not buy or sell. For this, he was worshipped by mankind and it was the reason why this Beast was reigning the Earth. This too sounds very alike to our encounters in Shadows of Evil, as without the Beast, we are nowhere. We invoke it to power up machines, smash crates and open up doors. Imagine how powerless we are without it, how dependent we are on it. Now let's take a look at the 'Beast from the Earth'. This entity is primarily described in Revelation chapter thirteen and is said to speak "like a dragon". He is also called the false prophet, due to him functioning as the messaging and speaking agent of both the Beast from the Sea and Satan. His purpose is to promote the authority of the first beast with the ability to perform great signs, even making fire come down out of Heaven. It is also him who declares that anyone who does not worship the Beast from the Sea, including those who do not wear his Mark, will be killed. "Only the cursed will survive" Now among the many broadcasts of GKNova6 relating to the Cold War and Space Race, it also included the following transmission. Remember that this was transmitted back in 2011, during the marketing campaign of Black Ops I: Beware of the beast man. For he is the devils pawn. Alone among gods primates. He kills for sport,or lust,or greed. Yay he will murder his brother to posses his brothers land. Let him not breed in great numbers, For he will make a desert of his home,and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle layer. For he is the harbinger of death." This 'Beast Man' is said to be the Devil's pawn. What's more, he is said to be the Harbringer of Death. That reminds me of the following quote of Doctor Monty: "The Shadow Man, the original Harbinger of Doom" That the Shadowman promotes the players to invoke the Beast goes extremely parallel with the Beast of the Earth's role in promoting the authority of the Beast of the Abyss. I believe it was Mattzs who even noted that the Mark of the Beast correlates with three 6's on top of each other: 666. It also parallels the Lovecraftian story of Nyarlathotep, the Black Man (note how Black is a synonym for Shadow). Although he is able to shift his physical shape, he is mostly described as a tall, swarthy man. He is frequently associated with Satan and any other evil spirits named in various cultures and religions around the globe. He wanders the Earth, seemingly gathering legions of followers, his demonstrations of strange and seemingly magical instruments. These followers lose awareness of the world around them and get an terrible impression of the world's collapse. This sounds very much alike to how the Shadowman manipulated the Shadows cast into doing what he wanted, to “prevent the destruction of your world”. Still it remains a curious topic how these early Apothican forces could enter this realm of Morg City and have direct contact with humans. The first note that should be made is the Beast from the Earth's magic sign of making fire coming down from Heaven. "Just last week there was a meteor shower, a freakin' meteor shower!" - Reporter In this case, Heaven could be seen as literally (the cosmos) as well as figuratively (115 as 'divine' element). Next thing that is mentioned is a strange fungus showing up all over the damp alleys of Morg City, making the inhabitants sick, delirious and confused. Now, as mentioned in the comments of this thread, we can find books named 'Occultism in the court of Elizabeth I' and 'The Evil Archon' in Der Eisendrache. Both seem to refer to the practices of John Dee, the advisor of the English Queen and also a hobbyist in alchemy, occultism, divination, mathematics and astrology. Also liked to collect ancient Aztec artifacts and other magical-looking idles, crystal spheres and amulets. Now one day he felt like creating a magical diagram, kinda like Ouijaboards, in an effort to make contact with beings from beyond. He succeeded in this, not only contacting them but also summoning them. Initially, these interdimensional creatures were believed to be Angels, sounding just like Jeb Brown, Cornelius Pernell and all the others. However after a while he started to question the motives of these beings, who were presenting themselves more and more as demons than angels. This magical diagram that summoned these beings was called the Seal of God. It looks like this, and it really seems to resemble either Satanic pentagrams or the Apothican octogram we see at various places in Morg City. As we also see this diagram in Blood of the Dead, where we know the Warden created this twisted version of reality, it could very well be possibly that Shadows of Evil was created by someone else performing similar practices. "Yes! The threshold. One last flash of light and the Sun shall vanish into the sea. The darkness shall spread for every fibre of creation, it shall spread! I shall be its instrument… I shall bleed the chosen few… The gateway will open and paradise will fall." - Warden But the rituals aren't finished yet. We continue them! We complete them! We allow the rest of the demon spawn that represents the fell Apothicans to enter and consume Dimension 63. The Apothicons as victims of the Past ~Caljitsu Now while these connections could be made between the Apothicans and Judeo-Christian demons, it would be wrong to instantly call them the evil forces in opposition to the 'good forces' of Doctor Monty and the Keepers. Here follows an extensive argument to show you that the multiverse is not that simple as 'good' versus 'evil', but it became somewhat more propaganda-esque as I wrote it, and I lent into this towards the end as it was quite funny. However it definitely has some salient points that highlight very explicit lies we are told in the storyline, and might just change your opinion on the Apothicons. The Parallels are clear, but as the Apothicon Apologist that I've become known as (lol), I can't help but feel the need to step in and give a bit of context to their admittedly often awful actions, and give a possible alternative interpretation on who the real demons are. We are often lead to believe that the Keepers "ascended to become the wards of all existence" after they "defeated" the Apothicons. Note the clear religious imagery; with it, your mind is instantly predisposed into the binary ideal of good-and-evil. I want you to remove that notion from your mind. History is written by the Victors - in this case, the beings we know as Keepers, however the real story (or the closest thing to it), obtained through cross referencing the multiple conflicting accounts of the beginning-time, just as with real history, is far more morally grey. Firstly, however, we have to clear something up, for the sake of ease. The Kronorium in its current form often refers to a race called the "Keepers" - right from the beginning, starting with the first of them, The First One, and progressing right the way through till the end and then back again - endlessly. This is confusing, likely intentionally so, in order to give the modern Keepers a historical precedent for their position, and frame the Apothicons as their eternal adversary - a race so different from the Keepers themselves, they ought to be fought and exterminated. In fact, the Keepers and Apothicons were once a singular species, and this is where the confusion lies. The Kronorium refers to this first race as "Keepers" as well, even though their biology was almost certainly different - most likely, it was that of the beings who would come to be known as Monty and the Shadowman (note how it is the middle point between the biology of a modern keeper and of an Apothicon). To avoid further mix-ups, they will be referred to from here-on-out as "The First Race". Looking at a race so advanced, we would undoubtedly think of them as having some sort of "magic" - indeed like the Judeo-Christian Angels and Demons. However ask yourself this. If you were to journey to an uncontacted tribe with Electricity, Guns, Gas, Smartphones, Cars, Aeroplanes and all of the other products of science, would you be seen as a Scientist? No, you would be seen as a Magician, as a God, as someone with knowledge and power that is so outside of the field-of-view of this culture, that the only solution is for it to be "magic. In excerpts from the Kronorium, we begin to understand the same thing is true with The First Race. In the beginning, The First One did not simply create life from his own imagination, he created a device in order to allow him to manipulate the force he was forged from - the Aether - in order to shape it to his will. Astoth Arbzorark - The All Key (or incorrectly, the "Summoning Key") - a Device of Absolute Power. Before this, The First One existed only within the Aether - likely formless - and so Agartha was created using the device so him and his kin were able to exist physically. The First Race did not use magic to travel vast distances, they "Created the first Transference Device" (in those exact terms). They were a race of scientists, specifically, scientists who's experimentation was with The Aether. It should also be noted that they devised the First Language, the very language inscribed upon both the Summoning Key and the cover of the Kronorium (the only part of the book that does not change) We cannot say for certain how long this went on for, but the experimentation continued relentlessly until, one day, one of the most prominent members of the race, along with his colleges, crafted a device known as the Aether Pyramid - a machine that would be capable of power to a similar degree to that of the Summoning Key. It's interesting then, that only after the ability to manipulate reality is no longer dependent on a singular object (likely held by a single or small group), but instead a known invention, that these fellow scientists who's only crime was experimenting with the same force they had always experimented with, were deemed "corrupted", leading to an all out civil war. Remember, the terms "Dark Aether" and "Corrupted Keeper" come from a particular version of history, approved by a particular Keeper: For this transgression against the balance-of-power, those scientists who were lead by the being who would, among many things, be referred to as the Shadowman and Mr. Rapt, were thrown back into the formless Aether, where they were twisted and morphed by the aeons of isolation, however they did keep their language, perhaps a reminder of what they once were. Meanwhile, those who were lucky enough to have chosen the correct side became egotistical, believing themselves to be the sworn protectors of all of existence and branded those under them "Apothicons". They were not Keepers, how could they be? They were demons, devils, and all the lesser races would come to fear them as seen by their appearance in every culture, where they are always slain by the most holy of Angels. And yet, we are all very aware that it was experimentation with the Aether that was the start of the troubles that would befall existence. Monty himself says that it was Teleportation that was the root of all the evil. How appropriate that the very same Keeper who doctored history in order to frame his brethren as evil conveniently forgets that it was he and his kind, long before any conflict among their ranks, developed the first matter transference device - the original sin that doomed everything. By the time we see the "Apothicons". They are seemingly beings of hate, hellbent on ending existence. They no longer have will, but instead share a singular intelligence, allowing them to coordinate dimensional assimilation to an unprecedented level. But the question is, why? The Kronorium would have you believe it is to "return to Agartha", but then why seek to destroy everything, including Agartha? No, I believe during their time in the formless, timeless infinite, they became aware of certain truths. Just as in Buried, Richtofen's time within the Aether Pyramid has granted him knowledge of the cycle that ensnared existence and now his will to break it, I believe the Apothicons have shared this revelation. How can their be an endless cycle if reality itself is no more? The Apothicons have learned the final truth of the Aether, having spent so much time within it: it must end, and so must everything that sprang forth from it. Indeed, it seems they were even willing to attempt to seek alternatives to this, as the Shadowman tried to acquire both the Summoning Key and vital components for the Agarthan Device - the only mechanism in existence capable of ending it and removing the corruption of the Aether that he and his exiles understand all too well.
  5. I don't think they were allied, per se. It's not within the theme of the Illuminati to follow any force outside of their order. That's not to say that they don't know or understand the Apothicons though, I just don't think they would hold any reverence for them.
  6. He leaves the Illuminati a day after he gets back from the first Teleporter test, so yeah
  7. This theory is a little different from what I usually like to do. It reaches for some things and presumes others - a dangerous combination when trying to write a good zombies theory - but it's so damn interesting, I've been working on it on and off for months on gathering information about it, and even if there's a kernel of truth, it might just change everything. WHO ARE THE ILLUMINATI? Contrary to popular belief, the Illuminati are/were a real organisation, not just the stuff of conspiracy. Founded in Bavaria, in what is today Germany (throughout the middle-ages to renaissance, as with many European countries, Germany was constantly splitting, reforming and waging war upon itself) by Adam Weishaupt, the Order of the Illuminati, literally "Illuminated" (or "Enlightened") ones, was a secret society of intellectuals, and later politicians and men of great social (and quite literal) power, who wished to oppose the status quo of superstition, public untruths, religious influence and abuses of the power by the State. The idea of the Illuminati wishing to control all things comes from the general statues of the order, where they wrote: "The order of the day is to put an end to the machinations of the purveyors of injustice, to control them without dominating them." It is in this quote that we understand the essence of the Illuminati, and the salient point that has worked its way into many fictitious depictions of them - including that of their portrayal in the Aether Storyline (and potentially inspired The Order in the Chaos Storyline). That is that their ideology is true justice and the best path for humanity, and to implement it, they will silently manipulate all those who they believe are enemies of this enlightened way. HOW DO THEY RELATE TO ZOMBIES? The Illuminati are first introduced in Der Riese, via coded messages on scraps of paper that litter the facility, or drawn onto walls. The canonicity of some of these messages is up for debate, such as "Edward, it's time to kill Maxis" Where we know exactly why Richtofen "killed" Maxis at the facility - and by that point, he had already left the Illuminati almost five years prior. One explanation is that though he had already receded from the organisation, he used their coded system of writing to remind himself of what to do, given 115's adverse affect on the memory, as well as his own rapidly degrading mental state. A rather interesting detail, however, is that he renounced his ties to the organisation immediately after returning to Der Riese after his absence following the initial human-teleporter trial. Perhaps what he had discovered on the moon and at Shangri-La made him believe he no longer had any use for them. It may also be of note that Shangri-La features heavy use of Illuminati Code. It is important to remember, however, that by 1940, when he renounces his ties, Richtofen had been part of the Illuminati for 15 years - and in fact, that was his initial motivation for joining Group 935 - almost certainly to give them access to otherwise highly classified research. Keep this point, specifically, in mind. The Illuminati are not referenced in any meaningful way again until Mob of the Dead, where their code lines many of the Prison's walls. This seemed like an interesting detail at first, but nothing more than that. Until we were re-introduced to them again through both the Timeline and Blood of the Dead. In these installments, we learn firstly that the Illuminati operate in Alcatraz, and that Stanley Ferguson - along with the Warden, are associates (though neither one is an Illuminatus). Furthermore, we learn that after Richtofen gets the idea to use Victis to help him acquire the Kronorium (but vitally, before he has acquired the Kronorium) Primis Richtofen returns to his home dimension - Dimension 63 - where he "enlists (...) the help of members [of the Illuminati]" to help him construct a lab, this lab ends up being in Alcatraz. Now if you're anything like me, you will read that and alarm bells should be instantly ringing in your mind, because there are two serious points that you have to take from that chronology of events. ENLISTING THE ILLUMINATI Or more appropriately. What? We know that Primis Richtofen never had any contact with the Illuminati prior to this point - or at least to no group who were outwardly the Illuminati. Regardless of your knowledge on the topic, I think we would all agree that you don't "enlist" the Illuminati for help when you're just a random dude to them. Therefore Primis Richtofen almost certainly had to have some tie to the Illuminati - but where? Here is the first reach of the theory. In the original dimension, Group 935 is founded by Dr. Ludvig Maxis, however in Dimension 63, things happen rather differently. Not only do the d63 counterparts of Maxis and Richtofen join the group together, as equals, but there is no mention of Maxis being anywhere close to the higher echelons, and in fact, when Maxis begins showing signs of insanity at the dig site, Richtofen reports it to their superiors - eliminating any question of Maxis being in a position of leadership. Who then founded Group 935 in this dimension? I believe it was members of the Illuminati. Not only is this incarnation of 935 seemingly German based (potentially hinting at a connection to the Bavarian Illuminati), but far more explicitly, Bavaria in the real world is home to Masonic Lodge #935. For the sake of transparency, this real world Masonic lodge was founded in 1975, however, it was made up of an amalgamation of smaller lodges stretching back to around the time of the Second World War. To me, this says Treyarch possibly drew inspiration from this particular lodge in the formative days of the storyline, and when they found a point where it made sense, decided to tie Group 935 back to it's roots as a Bavarian Lodge - and of course I there is a fairly clear connection between Bavarian Masonic Practices and the Bavarian Illuminati. If this is true, it completely alleviates the first problem, that is, how Richtofen was so easily able to enlist the help of a Group that he appeared to have no connection to. However, we now face the second issue. ALCATRAZ ISLAND At a glance, Alcatraz Island as a location for the lab makes sense, Richtofen needs to acquire the blood of Sal DeLuca and Michael "Finn" O'Leary from there, however this does not make sense. Looking at the timeline, we know that the construction of the lab was initiated before Richtofen had acquired the Kronorium, meaning there was no conceivable way he knew he would need to return here in order to collect these prisoners' blood, furthermore, he would have no way of knowing about the pocket dimension that exists that he would later visit during each cycle in order to prolong it. More crucially, if the lab was almost anywhere else, the cycle that Sal, Finn, Billy, and Al are trapped in breaking may not have resulted in the death of Primis Richtofen, as he would have been in a wholly different location during the event. One counter argument here is that, for Victis' blood to function correctly, they would have had to be installed within the pocket dimension. This is correct, however it once again raises the same issue - Richtofen had no knowledge of the Warden's activities to try and forge this pocket dimension, nor the intent of his master to harvest Richtofen's blood - however we can say near categorically that one group did - the Illuminati. LACK OF UNDERSTANDING? Within Blood of the Dead, we hear numerous audio logs from The Warden of Alcatraz. The Warden, as we know, was an avid occultist, specifically, a Devil worshipper (that is to say, the Judeo-Christian Devil), and as formerly mentioned, he was a known associate of the Illuminati, but he was not a member. Here, I would like to draw your attention to Audio Log #2 from Blood of the Dead The Warden: Ugh, what am I doing wrong? Nothing! Every interpretation by every scholar I have made real, in flesh and blood, and still the dark ones remain silent. They are deaf, blind and dumb where ever it is they reside in the fabric of reality. Have I not bled the wicked? Have I not placed the markers on the proper lines? What more? What more?! — I am tired, and I have grown so very disturbed, waiting for the release that was promised but I fear will never be delivered. Because they do not exist! No, wretched are the Thrawls who despair in darkness! Wretched! Wretched! WRETCHED! The work will continue with or without the dam(static) Illuminati. All they do is talk and scheme and pass judgement on methods that they deem unorthodox. Well, to hell with their protection! I will awaken this island. Even if it takes every last soul in her walls. If I fail, I will be locked in here and soon join them all in hell. (sigh) The result is the same. The first thing of note here is that the Warden is under the Illuminati's protection. This is incredibly curious, as what interest would they have in the Warden - but furthermore, they are sneering at his methods. It is worth noting the real-world Illuminati here, who as mentioned, scorned religious institutions and superstition, and so on the one hand, it's entirely possible that they just believe the Warden is an insane, glorified prison guard who is a waste of their time. But then why protect him? He is not a member, and getting another prison warden would be incredibly easy for an organisation as powerful as they. However perhaps they knew more than they were letting on, and the reason for their disdain of the Warden's archaic, incredibly religious methods were not because of a lack of belief that the forces he wished to commune with were real, but instead they understood these forces far more than him. Remember, the Warden's adherence to these bizarre scholarly works gets him nowhere, and it is in fact the Shadowman himself who speaks to the warden - seemingly of his own free will. If indeed the Illuminati were the ones who "suggested" the location of Alcatraz to a Richtofen who was, at that time, ignorant of the importance of the location, as well as being aware of the Warden's bizarre attempts to contact forces he had little understanding of - all the while still offering him protection - leads me to the conclusion that they are, potentially, the masterminds behind the plot to break the cycle. THE ILLUMINATED ONES The Illuminati were already aware of Teleportation Technology and element 115 - at least at a base level - thanks to Ultimis Richtofen's activities within 935 whilst still within their ranks. In Blood of the Dead, Primis Richtofen even suggests that the lab was built specifically with the intention of it being housed within the pocket dimension "Ja let's build your lab under Alcatraz! It's just a twisted little pocket dimension, what could go wrong?" Fucking Illuminati... If the Illuminati are aware of the idea of a pocket dimension in one reality, and were fed teleporter technology (by arguably the smartest character in the storyline) in another, I believe this forms a solid foundation for the idea that the Illuminati are a trans-dimensional organisation, working towards an ultimate goal. Much as the ultimate goal of the Buddhist philosophy is to attain peace by breaking the infinite Samsara-cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, the Illuminati's final revelation - their enlightenment - is to achieve the same feat for the world - to achieve peace by breaking the infinite loop of suffering ADDENDUM An interesting piece of evidence, though one that cannot be tied perfectly anywhere, comes as courtesy of Albert Arlington. During his time in Alcatraz - both still in Dimension 63 and in the hellscape it would become - Al made quick sketches of disturbing events he bore witness to, and one of them in particular is incredibly disturbing . As seen in this sketch, we see Richtofen, seemingly portalling into Alcatraz. We know the Weasel has spotted Primis Richtofen there before, thanks to another drawing of his that depicts him conversing with Stanley Ferguson, but this is not Primis Richtofen. There are two further pieces when added to this drawing, form a potentially interesting conclusion. The first is this chalkboard within the Lab. Primis Richtofen is commenting on the board that the cannot understand how the Dark Mechanism works. He demands to know how he did it, and finishes by saying it's madness! The second, but related, piece is when pack-a-punching on the map. Richtofen will sometimes say How could the warden have had the knowledge required to build such a machine... Unless... This quote is in reference to the Pack-A-Punch machine, however if the Warden is unable to make that, there is no way the Warden was able to make a device as complex as the Dark Mechanism. I therefore believe it is possible that, due to his presence on the island at some point, it was Ultimis Richtofen who constructed the device - the thing that is pivotal for breaking the cycle. The reason this doesn't fit neatly into the theory is because of Ultimis Richtofen severing ties with the Illuminati. It could be argued that, in this instance, their goals align. Feel free to discount this from the theory, however, as it does not detract from the core.
  8. My jaw dropped when I read this post. I think this is worth us putting our noggins together to figure out.
  9. One thing of note, it's the apothicons who don't have an individual will, however as you rightly allude to with the Mi-Go's system of pure logic, I wouldn't exactly call the Keepers "free".
  10. Don't worry about that, it's nice to see some new blood around here. On training, I think it's the most effective strategy in Zombies, issue is - rightly as you say - it takes the fun out of it. Once you get your head round the Zombie A.I of the particular game you're playing, you can just train indefinitely.
  11. This is remarkably similar to the sign in Der Riese (nearby Juggernog) that when translated from German reads: "All unaccompanied children will be sent to the circus"
  12. I can't hear the idea of Humans being a keeper design without recalling the still unexplained Keepers of Origins - Humans with little facial structure and huge fangs
  13. This is really great, I considered doing this at one point but I think you've proven I would have never at least double the space! Great work man.
  14. So the finger thing was something that came to me as I was doing the very first preliminary research - I already had an interest in the Akkadians and the Sumerians. I think you're on the same trail of thought as I am now, which is what if writing as a concept was given to the earliest of the mesopotamians by the Keepers? It would explain the similarities. The only issue with this is that original Cuneiform was pictographic, however you could easily say the Keepers visited these societies in between the notable jump between Pictographs and the more complex wedge-shaped symbols (We don't really know why this shift happened, only that it did).

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