XII. The Time Engineers and the Benevolent Society
HI! We’re excited to tell you everything YOU need to know about us TIME ENGINEERS and our exciting PROJECT NISIR! Along the way, we’ll tell you a little bit about our good friends the Benevolent Society and how YOU can make a difference in the WORLD THAT’S COMING!
Wow, Who Are These Super-Cool Time Engineers?!
Hey, guys! I’m your friend Nikku 88, and I’m so glad you asked about THE TIME ENGINEERS! We’ve come to do good things and to get to know you, teaching you about safety and getting in touch with your feelings while you do what’s best for EVERYBODY!
We’re called TIME ENGINEERS because we know all about time! It’s a way of measuring space and stuff, and it’s really complicated! Also, the smart people of the world today don’t know everything about time yet, so we can’t tell you too much, because SPOILERS! (Ha ha, that’s a little joke about your teleoptical entertainments! That funny lady who says spoilers, ha ha!)
We’re here to help you and to help ourselves! Together, we can make a difference, make history great again, and share the wealth all around! But to do that, we need to explain just a little bit about the BIG MISSION we have—PROJECT NISIR—and why it’s soooo NECESSARY!
Project Nisir: The Big Do-Over!
So, you know how you have to do boring old schoolwork? And sometimes you get something soooo wrong! OH NO! You made a big mistake and all that work was for NOTHING! But you’re a good student and you want a good grade, so you have to start all over again and do it right! That’s a do-over!
Well, history is just like your homework! And history is just the shape that time takes, which is a little complicated, but stay with me! You see, today is today for you, but for us TIME ENGINEERS, today is a LOOOOONNNNG TIME AGO, LOL!! You know how it would feel for you to meet Betsy Franklin when she sewed the Statue of Liberty or Franklin Delano Hitler at the Alamo? That’s what meeting you is like for us! SO COOL!!!
Between today, which is YOUR now and OUR history—and OUR today, which is YOUR waaaayyyy-far-awayyyyyy future—something went wrong! OH NO! The whole WORLD made a big mistake and all that work was for NOTHING! There was a history book that was supposed to happen between YOUR now and OUR waaaayyyy-far-awayyyyyy future, but it never happened!
Gosh, what went wrong?! I’m gonna tell you!!
Overcrisis BioDisaster Seven
The history book that should happen has a big problem. Sometime years from now (it’s a big secret!) there will be a very bad thing called BioDisaster Seven. It will do many bad things to the world and lots of people and doggies and kitties will die. Things called bio-zephyrs and nano-vecs are only some of the horrible destroyers that will be let out of their cages and it will be like every bad thing in the world happening at once. We cry sometimes just thinking about it! It’s very very sad and we wish it didn’t happen. We look at our version of books and we think about it lots.
But HOORAY! Maybe it doesn’t have to happen after all! You see, if you think of the future like a book, you can imagine that there is a chapter where BioDisaster Seven happens and everything goes bad. You can picture all the people and doggies and kitties and flowers and dolphins dying in very bad ways. You can imagine all that sadness happening—and then you can tear out the chapters where that stuff happens, plus the ones that made those chapters happen, and WOW! You have a WHOLE NEW BOOK where BioDisaster Seven NEVER happens AT ALL! All the people and doggies and kitties and flowers and dolphins live and everything is BETTER!
That’s why we’re talking to you, you guys! YOU can help us tear out the bad chapters from TIME ITSELF and make things happen THE RIGHT WAY!!
Legend of the One Evangelist War
We know that sometime in YOUR now there will be a big, big, bad war that will put everything on the wrong track! In OUR future, it doesn’t go completely wrong, because things are fixed over many, many years! But it just might be that the most important thing is to stop the One Evangelist (who could be one of several BAD PEOPLE) from getting this war going! That’s one part of our plan!
Howl of the North
In the right history book, the One Evangelist War happens (but it doesn’t HAVE to happen!) and it’s followed by a lot of crazy things! We can’t tell you EVERYTHING, but it’s like playing a game of Jongle—one piece comes out of the pile, then the whole thing is in danger! Every piece that comes out after that makes it worse!!
There’s a big change in the world’s climate! People argue and fight about money and elections and churches! And then comes the asteroid!
It doesn’t happen all at once, but EVERYTHING STARTS TO GET SCARY AND CRAZY, and there are HORRIBLE MONSTERS THAT COME OUT OF THIS PLACE UNDERWATER AT THE NORTH POLE! Oh, I hope they don’t eat Santa Claus!!!
I know you won’t believe this, but you will be grown-ups when this starts to really get bad, and it’s in your grown-up times that everything reaches a bad place for that Jongle pile! Will the pieces come out of it right so things are okay, or will they come out wrong and it ALL BLOWS UP?!!
In the right history book, things go OKAY and you guys are the HEROES who help create OUR BEAUTIFUL WORLD OF TOMORROW!!!
In the wrong one, that makes us very sad and we CRY LOTS OF TEARS, you guys NEVER GET THE CHANCE TO HELP US SAVE THE WORLD!!!
Project Nisir: Under a Seatbelt Moon
A LOOONNNG time from now, when the babies you see now are grown up and have babies and those babies have babies and they have babies and so on, with everybody growing up and doing stuff, things are really bad. I don’t want to make you too sad or too scared. You have to be brave, and stay cheerful! But it’s soooo bad, because the wrong things happened and the wrong history book became true!
So the first TIME ENGINEERS (THE ANUZAKI!) got our machines and learning and hearts just right, and they built a super-base on the only safe place left: THE MOON!
The last safe place had the last people and animals and stuff that weren’t wrecked by the bad things that happened all over the world in the wrong history. Things were very scary and nobody knew what would happen next. But smart people and our friend Igigi came up with a plan to save EVERYTHING!
The plan was/will be PROJECT NISIR! The best of everything was made ready, all the stuff we could need to go and rip out the bad chapters and make the history book right again, and we all agreed to go on a big trip BACKWARD IN TIME to see you guys and help SAVE THE WORLD!
The good people who stayed behind cried a lot, because they didn’t know if we would win! Or if we did win, would it mean that we just made the world right but they were stuck in the wrong history?! Or maybe they would never be born! But even though they cried, they were very brave, and we went back to you so that maybe we can save them, too!
Record of the Dirty Past: Swept Away
When we arrived here in OUR past/YOUR now, it was pretty weird for us! We had to make sure that nobody could see us too easily, so we used some of our special tech to fix that! We also made sure our special tech will dissolve into NOTHING if anybody but us and our friends (LIKE YOU!) try to use it!
We got used to everything the best we could, even though sometimes we don’t get it just right! Most of all, we looked for you, because you guys are the friends we need! Grown-ups don’t always understand us, but you guys are the future! So it’s a NATURAL team-up between the future and the future! YAYYYY!!
Time is very complex and the world has a lot of details that are hard to keep track of! So we have a very strong record of the bad history and the good history so we can compare them and get things right and SAVE THE WORLD!
Which reminds me of something VERY important! There is a FAKE RECORD OF TIME! FOR REALS!
Bad people in your now call it “the Akashic Record” and they say it’s the real history of everything and it knows everything but that is a VERY BIG and VERY BAD LIE!! DON’T LISTEN TO IT OR ANYONE WHO SAYS THEY LIKE IT!!!! IT’S A DIRTY SKIDMARK OF HISTORY!!! BAD PEOPLE LIKE IT!!!
If you help us and be our BEST FRIENDS, we will show you the TRUE history of the future and you will LOVE IT! Plus, we’re going to have spaceships and flying cars and jet packs. We’ll show you some of them if you visit us!
Grave of the Neighboring History
Project Nisir needs you! It’s hard work, but HARD WORK CAN BE FUN!
Have you ever wanted to be a Secret Agent?! YOU CAN! You can be a POLICEMAN! A SOLDIER! ALL KINDS OF THINGS, RIGHT NOW!
We can be a great big team of friends working together! All you have to do is help us and come laugh and have fun with us. It’s important! You know, some of you even have very bad mommies and daddies who want to make BioDisaster Seven happen. But we know YOU don’t want to hurt the trees and doggies and kitties and horsies! You want to help your friends make things better. You want to help make your mommies and daddies better so they don’t want to do bad things. We’re going to tell you how!
!!LET’S TALK ABOUT COOL GEAR!!
We Live Right Next Door To Your House!
We have BIG Tessarcologies, which are whole big cities like San Cipriano but folded up in space-time inside just a little building! It’s cool to walk in a service door and stand in the middle of a whole big BOULEVARD!
Igigi: One Star Cyberbrain!
You can have fun with our ULTRA-computer, Igigi! She/they is what you still call a “computer,” but she/they is/are much more than just a calculator! Where we Time Engineers come from, Igigi is an “ai,” and “ai” means love—Igigi has a connection to every one of our minds so we’re NEVER alone! Igigi is a One Star cyberbrain existing in eight dimensions, with a beautiful violet interface that warns your thoughts when you’re too sad or too angry. She helps you stay happy because she loves you!
Inside our Tessarcologies you can sometimes find Walktories! They’re big weird animals, like as tall as a skyscraper, and they have machines inside them that make WHATEVER WE NEED! Walktories get a little grumpy sometimes, but they’re totally COOL!!
Other weird animals help us with other stuff! The DetCons are all kinds of funny animals that live inside of cubes until we need them, then we wake them up and they fight bad guys for us!
Speak And Do!
VoiAct technology lets us command machines to do whatever we need, just by talking! AUTOMOBILE ACTIVATE! SPECIAL ELEVATOR DRIVE!
When we just HAVE to get there NOW, we can use the Delivery Wave to make us show up where we need to, just like on Space Wars: 1999!
Wanna do some fighting?! We have many special weapons to help us in our fight for a better world!
Battleneon is the high-energy liquid light that sticks to targets and blocks their vision!
The Honey Bubbleball is a special pseudo-polymer that engulfs targets in millions of bubbles, blocking the air!
And there’s lots more! Defenses, too! Best of all is the main Tessarcology, our headquarters, the GENESIS CASTLE DOMINION! It has our most powerful weapons—the DRAGONSEED CANNON and the FIREFLY WIND—so if we have to fight ALL-OUT WAR, we CAN! It even has a super-jail for the worst HISTORY CROOKS—SPECIAL HELL GMDM!
Better Than Nose Tissues!!
You feel sad a lot? Too angry? Stuff you can’t control? NO WORRIES!! We partner special agents (LIKE YOU GUYS!!) with Crying Ghosts who tap into their psyches and do all their emotional things for them, so they don’t have to! They’re NOT REALLY GHOSTS, but special nanomachines who HELP YOU HELP US!
WE WOULDN’T ASK YOU TO DO THIS ALONE! WE, THE TIME ENGINEERS, ARE WITH YOU!!
We’ve got a whole ARMY of REAL HEROES who know what to do and know when you need a grown-up YOU CAN COUNT ON!
Mighty Heroes: More Than You Expect!
Bleach Cowboys have a very important job: Making sure people only remember the right things!
Death Police make sure nobody dies who matters!
Science Alchemists do Magical Experiments with Ur-Plasm to help shape the world RIGHT!
The Code Ninja Team helps cultivate the data of the future with our Serial Note In The Machine!
!!!!And there are FIGHTERS!!!!
Tech-Suit Warriors GO!
New Mobile Fists: Soldiers ready to fight for right!
Allmetal Tank Angel Wing in Dragon Shells—YES!
Time Sailors too brave to die in the shallows of history!
Hellslain Samurai: One-Shot Assassins of JUSTICE!
Special Machine Plutron’s Giant Moving Gum!
Even good animals and plants, like the Lion Freeman Corps and the Piecemen!
!!!!!BUT EVEN THAT’S NOT ALL!!!!!
!!!!!!!WE HAVE HUGGABLE GOOD GUY MONSTERS!!!!!!
You don’t have to be scared of the crazy antics of our friends THE BENEVOLENT SOCIETY!
We’ve got wacky YOKAI buddies like you’ve never seen before!
There’s funny hopping JIANGSHI!
And there’s dream pals like flying heads and even talking doggies and kitties with lots of FLUFFY TAILS!!!
It’s all planned and foretold in Doctor Miya Kiyopon’s Service Scroll D—the blueprint for Project Nisir, and the menu for your BIG ADVENTURES!
We just don’t have time to tell you all the great things you can DO and EXPLORE when you join us TIME ENGINEERS on our QUEST TO SAVE THE WORLD!
But have you ever wanted to be friends with REAL LIVE HEROES? (Besides your mommies and daddies and the policemen and firemen, of course!) Here are some you will be BEST FRIENDS with!
Primary General Manuke, hero and leader of us all!
Field Commander Tasha Gunsing, smartest strategist!
Professor Genoto, the ULTRA genius!
Kias “Reckless” Chalocaa, KING ACE of the Tech-Suit Warriors! Be careful, you older girls, you might get a CRUSH on him!!
You older boys better watch out for agile tough Lovely Devil Girl Volya, too!
!!!!THERE ARE SO MANY MORE!!!!
Sergeant Manisi, The Barefoot Vampire Hunter!
Zany Ramobe and Gatabop!
Headmistress Harriet Chama of the New Mobile Fist Academy!
And even the MYSTERIOUS Masked Witch Princess Z!
BUT ONE THING MAKES US VERY SAD.
One of us went bad and took some of our stuff. So we have to watch out for him/her and try to stop him/her ON TOP OF ALL THE REST WE HAVE TO DO. Who is this bad guy? It’s the Spacefiend, Lidam Naudoss! He stole a fleet of Roboships from us and went into space (WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO GO INTO SPACE!) and said he would stop us from finishing Project Nisir!
He is a LIAR! He will tell you that we are bad and lying to you, and that the bad history has to happen. He is a crazy person wants to kill people and doggies and kitties! YOU MUST HELP US AGAINST HIM AND ALL THE OTHERS WHO WANT TO STOP US! ONLY YOU CAN BE THE HERO WE NEED!!
This is YOUR big chance and OUR big chance. Join us! TAKE THE PLEDGE and eat the MAGIC JEWEL that will make you part of our SPECIAL TEAM! When you do, we will get you your uniform and COOL GEAR and we can start you on adventures RIGHT AWAY!
Remember, don’t tell anybody our secrets! They’re just for you and us, your friends, the TIME ENGINEERS!
OH OH OH
And just a LITTLE BIT MORE—
!!BAD MONSTERS!! !!STAY AWAY!! !!VERY VERY BAD!!
Vampires: They kill people, make more Vampires and do a lot of bad things!
Loa Masters: Evil wizards who want to turn the whole world into a nightmare!
Unquiet Dead: Ghosts are sad and sometimes mean, and they make trouble!
Necromancers: Evil scientists trying to make everybody into zombies!
Dream Masters: Very, very frightening super-monsters from another world!
Blood Dolls: Dirty decadent people who are involved in lots of crime!
Cultists: They are very bad people who want to destroy the whole world!
Lords of Eternal Darkness: Horrible mummies who live underground!
Djinni and Messengers: Bad devils and fake angels who hurt lots of people!
!!UH OH, BETTER BE SUPER-CAREFUL!! !!NOT ALL NICE!!
Adepts: Real-life Harry Potters but some of them are BAD GUYS!
Slayers: They want to do good stuff, but they’re mostly crazy and all violent!
!!GOOD MONSTERS-WE LOVE THEM!!
Shapeshifters: They are a part of nature and they are our friends!
Revenants: We love you, Frankensteins!!
Asuras: Real-life super hero warriors for justice, hurray!
And best of all, our friends we told you about, THE BENEVOLENT SOCIETY!!
!!!!TIME ENGINEERS FOREVER!!!!
[A respectful interjection from your allies, The Benevolent Society.]
Venerated allies of the Time Engineers—
Our assemblage understands the reasons why you court the favor of children, and of childish mortal adults.
But we must express some… reservations… about being described as “huggable monster buddies.”
Our Peoples Of The Underworld have existed for many thousands of years, in the Land of Death, the Land of Nightmares and the Land of the Elements.
It seems… undignified… to describe us in such a fashion as you have.
We are certain that the Kitsune, in particular, do not wish to be referred to as “kitties,” for their proud bloodline is descended from the Fox Goddess.
The Jiangshi are revered undead. Their mode of locomotion is… more leaping… than “hopping.” A pounce, one might say.
We have stayed in the quiet dark places for many centuries now, and are bewildered by the modern world. We know that you are better suited to speak to it, from your vantage of the dizzying pinnacle of the far future.
But please… consider our pride.
-What was that?
-A multimedia presentation aimed at children in English-language-majority countries. There are similar presentations for other cultural biases, but they have the same message.
-That wasn’t something I could search and find on the common internet, sister. It did things no one can do with mundane technology. I smelled orange blossoms from the color orange! But there was no magic involved.
-Yes. The brothers and sisters of my troupe have gathered all the information we could about the senders of that… message. They seem to use some sort of unknown technology, like something from a television program. They are called the Time Engineers.
-Tell me what you know, please. I will share it with the other Loa Masters.
From what we have gathered in the enclosed “message” and other sources, the Time Engineers are a human or human-like group that claims to have traveled back in time from an unknown future. They say that their “timeline” comes into existence after a series of “BioDisasters” that are apparently upcoming sequels to the original BioDisaster that struck San Cipriano, California, about a decade ago.
Since we know most of what happened in the actual BioDisaster, having caused some of it ourselves, this is particularly interesting.
They also claim that forces operating in the present day threaten the existence of their future timeline and have altered its nature. The Time Engineers state that their world and society, which they tell us exists centuries from now, is—was—a paradise on Earth. Thanks to shifts in history, they say, their timeline has become a ruin and will inevitably completely cease to exist. That is, unless they “engineer time” and ensure that “history goes correctly.”
According to these Time Engineers, the correct point to begin their “correction” with their “Project Nisir” is our immediate present. We believe they first arrived in our period of time just a couple of years ago, but have brought their entire Project Nisir force with them, spread out across the world. They say that the people of their future who stayed behind are doomed… in that version of the future.
-Excuse me. May I please request an archetype analysis? The term “Nisir” is familiar.
-It may be a reference to the Epic of Gilgamesh and ancient Mesopotamian legends. “Annuzaki” is possibly also a corruption of the mythic term “Annunaki.”
-Thank you. Please continue.
The message is shaped by two key cultural forces: Marketing for children, and an implied “futuristic” syntax and style of presentation. Two of our brothers have written a full analysis which I will send to you. We believe that in their native setting, the Time Engineers probably use a language primarily based on modern American English but with borrowings from the other major languages of our time, and a very strong current of pop culture, media and corporate branding communications.
-I’m sorry, but we need to stay on the overview for the moment. If you don’t mind.
-Of course. It’s just that these beings present a number of interesting possibilities for our appropriation. I’ll stay with the most pertinent questions.
The message is aimed at children because, to coin a cliché, “Children are our future.” It is implied that some children will be asked to betray and/or murder their parents to help their new friends, the Time Engineers.
Based on two eyewitnesses’ reports, the technology shown in the message is real. The Time Engineers dwell among us in some sort of “folded space” that lets them build entire towns inside unremarkable single buildings—“bigger on the inside than on the outside.” Similar clever tricks are found with all of their extremely dangerous technology.
This technology is not salvageable. We have seen the Necromancers attempt it on one occasion, and it failed. Time Engineer tech dissolves into nothingness shortly after it leaves their control. Before then, it is useless to anyone else, as far as we know.
We believe that reports of UFOs are describing a few different phenomena (including our own creations!), but at least one set of these objects are actually Time Engineer vehicles of some sort. Some “grey aliens” appear to actually be Time Engineers in some kind of spacesuits.
The number of Time Engineers active today is unknown, and most of their operations are unknown. The exact shape of their plan for our world is also unknown. Obviously, the indoctrination program they’re aiming at modern children is full of lies, exaggerations and withheld information. Our friends with backgrounds in anthropology and psychology suggest that the Time Engineers consider our period of history “expendable” and that they would gladly sacrifice everyone in our world to prop up their own.
We do know that despite their various high-tech disguises, it is often possible to discern a Time Engineer from a normal human. Among other things: They are smaller and slighter than an average human of today. They are nearly all of mixed ancestry and only a few of them belong to any known ethnic group of our time. Their eyes tend to be larger and wider than the average modern human.
Many of them speak English with an unrecognizable accent. They often have very colorful “nightclub-style” hair in bright colors and fanciful shapes. We believe each follicle of hair may actually be shaped and colored by some sort of useful nanotechnology inside of it! Time Engineers also appear to be immune to most modern diseases that should affect a human being.
Time Engineers are not immune to supernatural powers. We know that our sorcery works against them. We haven’t managed to gain true access to their subconscious minds yet, but if you’ll pardon the pun, that’s only a matter of time. Their psychology is odd to us, but it’s no odder than a Vampire that was socialized in the time of Columbus. Centuries only change people a little, when you get right down to it.
So as far as we can tell, these are strange visitors from a potential future history, prepared to carry out acts of murder, sabotage, brainwashing and more, all in the name of ensuring their own timeline’s existence.
What’s fascinating is their alliance with the Benevolent Society. They overshadow the Society entirely with their flamboyant futurism, but the Society is not unknown to us. We Loa Masters have had some dealings with the Society for generations.
As you know, the Benevolent Society is a modern aggregation of pan-Asian supernatural creatures. The Society formed in the ashes of World War Two and the rise of communist China, the long war in Vietnam and the corporatization of Japan. It can be boiled down to two main groups united in a classic Chinese-style “secret society.” One group consists of goblins that have emerged from the collective dreams and folklore of those cultures—an area we are quite familiar with. The other is made up of various bands of Asian undead.
The Benevolent Society is relatively weak. Their undead membership is quite small, having been reduced through centuries of constant attacks from Slayer-like factions in their part of the world. (They claim that this war was begun several centuries ago by the legendary folk hero Fang Shiyu, or Fong Sai-Yuk, but there is no reason to believe this is true.) They were brought to the brink of extermination in the 1960s by Mao’s Cultural Revolution and its secret “Ancestral Propriety” program.
That program backfired by creating a regional instability in the vibrational planes of the universe, which permitted an incursion of goblins from the dream plane. Some of these are shapeshifting animal-things, much like the forms taken by the capital-S Shapeshifters, but clearly different in important ways. The others are nightmare spirits known in Japanese as “Yokai.” They take many forms, often those of inanimate objects with grotesque mobility and features.
The goblins uneasily allied themselves with the undead. If we read the situation correctly, it resembles an army of violent children (the nightmare-spirits) joined with a frightened, embittered, proud but dwindling group of secretive adults (the undead). Their decisions reflect this mixture: The Yokai argue that the undead have failed in their plans and should take bolder actions, while the undead urge caution and careful preparation. Over more than 50 years later, the Yokai are the dominant part of the Society.
It is not clear whether the Time Engineers first approached the Benevolent Society or if it was the other way around. What we know is that the Engineers and Society are cordial but careful with one another, working closely together, and we suspect that the Engineers see the Society as being just as disposable as anyone else in our period of history.
We of the Loa Masters have far more in common with the Society (especially their nightmare contingent) than with the Engineers. But both are worth working with, if our goals coincide. After all, we both want to change the world, and the Yokai would particularly like the world we have in mind.