Today is February 20, year 3 of this experiment cycle. That is the end of the third week on our calendar here in Luceti.
My name is Albert Silverberg, and I am a also resident in the village. I am speaking through a secure system that is filtered specifically to Luceti residents, so the Malnosso Organization cannot hear what I am reporting. Do not use the journals for exchanging sensitive information, such as the existence of this system, as the Organization's security monitors the journals for potentially-dangerous content.
Refrain from giving New Feathers access to this entry over the journals; if you must let New Feathers listen, speak with them in-person and allow them to hear it off of your journal. These updates are made once a month after the New Feather cycle is over, so they will eventually have access to this information over their journals as well.
This is supplemental information to what is included in Professor Raine Sage's guide. I report it over this system because some of information sources are not known by the Malnosso Organization.
On the subject of Shifting...
The term Shifting is used by the Organization and others you may hear from over the journal network. The Organization is aware that we have spoken to sources who know about Shifting (that is, "John" and the Third Party), so the topic is not taboo to mention over the journals.
Shift (used mostly as a noun)
[Also referred to as Shifting, or used as a verb.]
A "physical, mathematical, mental, or subcultural alteration" from an outside source. A Shift is not normally visible to us. There are apparently different methods of Shifting, but those that we have heard of are natural, synthesized, and progressive.
A type of Shift that occurs naturally in Luceti, hence the name. These Shifts happen at random and without warning.
An invention of the Malnosso Organization scientist known as John. The barrier around us is a product of sythesized Shifting and is supposed to protect us from the natural Shifting going on outside of the barrier. The barrier also serves to protect us from the Third Party.
A Progressive Shift is a "constant change that works as a sort of roundabout way to reach a goal." At this time, Progressive Shifts appear to be passive natural Shifts that the Third Party can create by themselves. Without the synthesized Shift barrier in place, the Third Party would have been able to turn our own attacks against us via Progressive Shifting.
Shifts and their effects are thought to be at the heart of the Organization's experiments.
Important Individuals and Groups to Know
We do not know the proper names of the individuals who speak to us through the journals; they each have aliases they received during their conversations with residents.
The Malnosso Organization are our captors, keeping us within the confines of the barrier for their research. Like us, they have small wings and are not indigenous to Luceti, brought here from other worlds by whatever force draws us to Luceti. Their current public objective for the past 16 years has been to find a way to travel to other worlds, though their true goals remain unknown. Their objective has changed 1,036 times in the past 200 years.
In the first few months of this experiment cycle, residents were mocked by an unknown Malnosso scientist before each experiment. This stopped around the time the barrier stretched outward to uncover the desert over the mountains.
The Third Party is a group outside of the barrier that we know little about; we have encountered them in person only once, back in August of this year, in which they were hostile and intent on killing us. Unlike ourselves and those in the Organization, members of the Third Party have large wings that they can use to maintain flight. They also possess the ability to manipulate Shifts without technology. Their goal is apparently to end the cycle of life and death in Luceti by permanently killing those brought here as a form of mercy. Like the Malnosso Organization's public objective, it is best to remain skeptical of their explanation.
"John" is a scientist whose main interest is conducting research, whether or not it complies with the Malnosso Organization's procedures. He has developed a way to reverse death penalties, though there are certain criteria that have to be met before he can even attempt. He is the creator of the synthesized Shifting technology that powers the barrier, and has considerable clout amongst the other scientists because of this. Outside of the barrier, he is apparently respected because of his scientific feats. He resides in the western underground tunnels and cannot be reached or easily contacted because of the barrier he has erected there. The Malnosso are fully aware that we speak to John.
"Jacob" is a sympathizer who believed that helping us will help him return to his own world -- another version of Earth that may or may not coincide with other versions of Earth mentioned by other residents. Formerly a security worker in the Organization, he was brought into the area by John and carried out experiments for him after the Organization found out he was sneaking intel to us. He was killed by the Third Party in the eastern desert ruins in a ritual sacrifice that was known to permanently kill people and remove them from the life-death cycle of Luceti. He has since then been revived through some unknown method by John, and his current whereabouts are unknown. The Malnosso are not aware of Jacob's revival, so refrain from mentioning him in the present tense over the journal network.
ANI (Automated Neutral Intelligence) is an artificial lifeform that is not affiliated with the Malnosso. It is an observer to our situation and gathers information for its creator, who also has begun speaking to residents. ANI's creator, a female observer, has been dubbed "Rem" by Estelle, and she has provided information more freely than either John or Jacob. However, she is an observer who has seen many experiment cycles go by, so do not expect sympathy or handouts from her. The Malnosso are not aware of our communications with ANI or her creator, so refrain from mentioning either of them over the network.
Tyr is a deceased former resident of Luceti who was highly respected within the Organization and beyond. Regarded as a hero and a born leader, he supposedly performed many good deeds during his time in Luceti; John has compared "hero-types" in Luceti to Tyr following his death. John killed Tyr towards the beginning of this year, using the same method the Third Party would later use on Jacob. The Malnosso do not know that John was the one who killed Tyr, so refrain from mentioning that over the journals.
The transparent old man is the newest unknown to communicate with residents. He appeared shortly after the portal in the middle of town disappeared at the end of November. Though eccentric, he appeared knowledgeable of Shifts and had used the portal as a genuine attempt to send people back to their worlds. We do not know how much the Malnosso know about the old man, so remain cautious and do not mention him over the journals.
The Nature and Politics of Luceti
Most of the information concerning the basics of Luceti can be found in the guide. The following information should not be mentioned over the journals, as it has been gathered from the various mentioned sources.
The very nature of Luceti is cyclical -- if something happens once, it will happen again without fail. If someone dies in Luceti, whether through accident, murder, or natural causes, they will be revived. If someone disappears from Luceti, they will return again in the future, no matter how long it may take.
The Malnosso Organization is operated by people who have been trapped in Luceti for a much longer period of time than any of us; Jacob, a lowly security worker within the Organization, had been trapped in Luceti for 10 years. We can surmise that people who have been in Luceti longer would hold higher positions of power.
We are contained in a barrier to be experimented upon by the Organization. The Third Party disapproves of this experimentation, and broke into the barrier with the intent to kill us all. As we later learned, residents who die are revived outside of the barrier and have to be intercepted by the Organization to be brought back into the barrier. A mass slaughter would have allowed the Third Party to capture many of us upon revival.
Both groups continue to hide their true objectives, making both untrustworthy. Our ignorance makes us useful and valuable to both groups; knowing too much makes us expendable.
On the Subject of Last Year's Major Events...
Since there were so many questions during the recent town meeting, I will summarize a pair of events last year that were notably not experiments.
The Filial Spirit Possession Incident
The first, happening in May of last year, may widely be known to those who were present as the Filial spirit possession incident. The Malnosso were in the process of making adjustments to the barrier when something went wrong, causing the barrier to "crack." Whatever conditions there are outside seeped into the barrier, affecting many of the residents -- and the Malnosso.
Many were "possessed" in some sense by the Filial spirits inhabiting Luceti. These possessions appeared to be based on some individual affinity, and the level of possession varied greatly throughout the populace. Magical powers were enhanced based on the spirit that possessed an individual, and wings enlarged to a size that could support flight. Wings also changed in color according to the spirit possessing an individual -- if one was possessed by Sona, their wings would change to something in the blue spectrum. Personalities were also shown to change according to the spirit involved.
Most of those who were not affected had no form of elemental affinity.
The Malnosso scientists referred to those affected as "hybrids" and considered them abominations. We were offered the ultimatum to kill the hybrids ourselves, or they would take matters into their own hands. When we failed to comply, the Malnosso set about killing hybrids in various gruesome ways -- the final death count was at 10, if my records are correct. We have John to thank that there were not more casualties on our side before the barrier was repaired.
First Encounter with the Third Party
The second major event was our first encounter with the Third Party, which happened near the end of August. ANI reported that the barrier had been breached by intruders and that the Organization was already aware of it. While the breach had been repaired at the time, we were told by ANI to stand by for further information. This breach coincided with Jacob's ritualized sacrifice at the hands of the Third Party.
John was able to buy us time to prepare defenses, and gave us warning before he allowed the Third Party troops to enter the barrier again. Approximately 300 warriors and mages were set upon the village, their powers dampened in much the same way ours usually are; our troops' strengths were returned in full for the duration of the battle.
As we discovered after the battle, the Third Party's objective was to kill everyone in the village to remove us from the barrier enclosure; upon a resident's death, they reappear outside of the barrier and must be retrieved by the Organization to be placed in the village. We cannot say with certainty what the Third Party would have done with those they "freed" from the barrier, but there is likely little they wouldn't do if they were willing to slaughter us.
Their wings were clear weaknesses; removing their wings killed them as surely as the action would kill us. Within the confines of the barrier, they could be injured and slain in much the same way humans can be; we do not know if this holds true outside of the barrier. Miss Buffy Summers may be credited with slaying their general.
Lastly, Our Current Situation
In the past, February has brought with it a particular experiment -- one of sudden infatuation when speaking over the journals. This has happened in the two previous years, though it has yet to happen this year. Some have equated it to what is called in some world "Valentine's Day."
A town meeting was held recently to talk about various concerns around the village. Some of the concerns mentioned at the meeting have since then been spearheaded by various villagers.
ANI's creator also approached the village with the offer of fighting against the Third Party. While we do not know much about what this may entail, those who would "volunteer" their services would be battling troops outside of the barrier. We have yet to hear from the Malnosso Organization anything that may confirm what the Observer "Rem" has already mentioned.
There is now a suggestion box in the village, under the responsibility of Hugo of Karaya. If you have any suggestions you believe should be brought to others' attention, you may use the suggestion box as an alternative to writing over the journals.
If you have any other announcements that you would like added, please let me know.
[ooc: As noted in the beginning of the post, this entire report was voiced and shown visually. Past reports by Albert were strictly typed.]