The ExoGenesis Conference
In Ouroboros 2, we are introduced to ExoGen, the company that Betty built up in her young life. The story begins with Betty’s death, and Brian’s subsequent takeover of ExoGen. This is the first foreshadowing of the ExoGen Conference that will be revealed in parts throughout the first 3 stories (as the unknown centre where the walkers take their charges) and identified by name in Ouroboros 4, When Jack and Joshua’s mission succeeds and ‘The Broadcast’ is made. Act 1 will be told through a serie of legal documents:
- Excerpts from Betty’s will, bequeathing wealth and property to Brian and other seemingly unconnected individuals
- Document of title for a farm house in Holbrook.
The Conference is built inside the ExoGen tower - which after the climax of Ouroboros 2, is now a bio-mechanical fortress controlled by the energy of the time vortex itself. At its core is the White Child - 5-year old Johnny, a virgin mind suspended in time, absorbing all the knowledge of humanity for all of eternity. Equally bound to this fate is Gad, whose ability to control Earth’s energy allows their symbiotic bond, the geological growth of the tower, and their movement through the planet over the eons. The time vortex has inherent precognotive patterns that influence the growth and shape of the fortress over time. Johnny and Gad’s unique bond allows them to communicate directly with the vortex, and influence events accordingly. ''There are 12 distinct periods of the conference, again dictated by the Power Tree. The Fortress shifts its style based on the period. The network of lifts and corridors simply take everybody ‘where they need to go’ automatically, and there are numerous temporal quirks within its walls.'
'Some such quirks include:
The fortress produces ‘interviewers’ who direct the flow of traffic, and operate a complex series of virtual ‘paperwork’ to direct the conference’s administration. The lower floors of the building are dedicated to this processing, and consist of cubicled office, each with an interviewer. Every person who enters goes through an exhaustive interview, where their interviewer, who is an extension of the fortress itself, gives them a gruelling psychological exam, plays tricks, delivers information as necessary and other bizarre acts.
- The origin of the Interviewer will be a mystery until the very end of the story.*
SPOILER It is later revealed that these offices are actually the very same office, existing on a curved loop in space-time. Everyone who goes inside, is effectively existing inside it at the same time, however their matter is displaced in tiny increments, so they are always alone with the clone. This seemingly convoluted process is in place to allow the council of the Last Room to access the information instantly.
Jebediah’s incarnations are largely responsible for bringing people to the Conference, however the other Walkers are often involved.
In Ouroboros 2, Brian’s father’s company is named ExoGen - Brian uses his fortune to study and cultivate new energy sources, and after meeting Steven, new chemical and biological constructs. After the planetary scans he makes with the echolocation technology synthesized from Steven’s mutant glands, Exogen makes several new discoveries. Amongst them are colonies of undiscovered life beneath the oceans, new deposits of rare or undiscovered minerals, and perhaps most importantly, what can be called a temporal anomoly beneath the earth. The SPOILER is that this is the white child in his symbiotic capsule with Gad, protected by Jebediah’s Temporal force-field. The earliest scouting parties uncover the perfectly preserved remains of Rah and the Dinosaur from Ouroboros 1. They later find the remains of Gad’s mother, and eventually, the anomaly.
Discovering the anomaly will come in stage 2 of the story, simultaneously with Steven’s leaving Cassandra.
Exogen builds a tower on top of a new energy source. Using the Core, they drill downward with electromagnetic lasers but are stumped for many years at an unusual kinetic barrier. Brian becomes obsessive throughout his life about breaking through this barrier. All offensive powers he discovers in mutants are added to the Tower’s arsenal, Biologically fed into a digital matrix and evolving in sterile, controlled conditions. He dedicates most of his fortune to the gigantic tower, that extends into the earth as a plasma drill and is staffed by thousands. Brian’s final living act is breaking in, and causing an explosion of temporal energy. It encompasses the entire planet, and affects every living thing.
SPOILER The explosion was caused by the magnetic core - when the barrier is broken, the 2 cores are sucked into each other, becoming the biggest paradoxical cluster in the universe. The energy surges through the entire planet, killing or mutating every living thing. The Magnetic core underground is the prison of the white child - a temporal energy bubble preserving little Johnny in his withered, tiny form. For a million years he waited - absorbing knowledge, memories and wisdom from his other selves, his neutral position gave way to great foresight, and he guided the Walkers’ actions for the greater good. Jebediah attends the final meeting in the Last Room of ExoGen twice, so that he may speak for himself, and also be used to speak for the White Child. Although the death of his body would probably not mean his death, the White child chooses to remain in his original body until it dies a natural death.
The Second Cataclysm destroys much of humanity’s infrastructure, but ExoGen tower remains unharmed. the barrier it broke is re-initiated around it, so despite efforts, nobody is able to penetrate it for a millenia. The Wave fused the tower’s machinery into an organic, growing compound, that saw the tower continue growing upward. It now appears to be a combined spire of rock and machinery - a living monolith that grows and changes over time. Its connection with The White Child gave its movements a Precognotive architecture, constantly shifting its corridors to suit the traveller. The tower grows and endures until the end of time, and becomes the venue for the ExoGenesis Conference.
The conference exists around the core, which exists both at the beginning and end of time.
The first paradox happens in the middle, when Johnny spawns the 12 copies. They each represent a universal force, each a unique ‘potential path’ of Johnny’s personality, and guide the subsequent avatars through their destinies. They are largely independent in their actions, however there are frequent visits from future incarnations who leak information or directives for various reasons.The 13th or ‘original’ Johnny is the White Child, who is taken to the Epilogue of Ouroboros 1. Jebediah has a long conversation with him, and Ged, where he telepathically enlightens them both to the gravity of their roles in the universe. This meeting will be alluded to, but revealed with caution. The withered, 5-year-old body we know to be Joshua, is healed to perfect health, but reverted to his newborn state. Johnny however, must take Joshua’s place, albeit this time with a twist...
Johnny and Gad form a symbiotic state - Where Johnny’s body grows roots into the earth, and Gad’s power multiplies his influence outward. From here, using the combined wisdom of nature, the time vortex, and information gathered from the Walkers, The White Child is able to influence the world subtly with Prophecy and Telepathic Suggestion.
Jebediah’s staff contains a specially constructed orb from the end of time - the source of it’s mystical energies. He uses it to forge the temporal shield around Johnny that will later be broken by Brian in Ouroboros 2. Jebediah then takes Joshua to the 1990’s, and in unusual fashion, simply leaves the baby Joshua on somebody’s doorstep. It is a rare act with mixed motives for Jebediah, who envies Joshua as much as he dislikes him - Joshua’s life is one of thickest with temporal fixtures, his involvement with Magruder and Holly being particularly relevant, but Jebediah alludes to having tried to unmake and replace him but failing. Jebediah envies the way Joshua squanders his relatively carefree existence, while he is forced into a life of duty, a dozen times longer and more arduous.
The Johnny who arrived during Ouroborus 1 was in fact the one that would become Joshua. His age was regressed so he could go to school with Holly, as both her birth, and many of Joshua’s actions fuelled by his emotions for her, are fixtures, or results of Jebediah’s commandments.
Jebediah’s commandments are known of by most people at the conference, however very few know what any of them are. These commandments are the strictest of ‘must happen’ events, usually called ‘fixtures’. Jebediah’s role is both feared and respected. Although being a benevolent and kind soul, who spends most of his life trying to help the less fortunate, he also embodies the role of the Reaper, the Shadow of Death - Good by nature but neutral and dutiful in his actions. People know that his edicts are given to him from somewhere in the last room - which he is the only person to ever enter or leave. Each time Jebediah leaves the last room, he is wearing a different coloured robe. This happens 12 times, with 12 different colours, that dictate the stage of Jebediah’s life. The Black is his final and most disturbing incarnation, in which his edicts are seemingly insipid, kidnapping and killing people, setting off explosions and fires, snuffing out possibilities all throughout time and space. Although it is never explicitly stated, The colour of his robe when leaving the Last Room indicates the basic nature of his task. The 12 commandments will be assigned to the Zodiac in basic nature, and the associated Gems will dictate the colour of the robes that go with it. With each of his shades, comes a new ‘Orb’ that is attached to his staff. They will appear to be ‘crystal flowers’ and mimic the robe’s shade. These orbs are provide Jebediah extended powers of gravity and mild reality manipulation, as
COMIC RELEIF Jebediah is ‘temporally invincible’ inside the Conference Ship. Rather than any scientifically tangible force-field or barrier, nobody is able to penetrate what they assume to be a precogntive telepathic field. For no known reason, any attack made on Jedediah of any form will be circumstantially foiled. The odds of impossibility are simply reversed, and he is never harmed. In an arrogant demonstration by Joshua, He turns his back the the unaware Jebediah, then closes his eyes and throws a ball at him. Jebediah bends down to pick something up, and it misses. Sonya, an attractive girl from Joshua’s High School who gets tied up in his affairs at age 25, tries to push Jebediah into the fountian, but at the last second, Spring-Heeled Jack arrives by Vortex Portal, Sending Sonya into the Super-Future. Because Jack’s Equipment had malfunctioned slightly (temporal override to compensate for Jebediah) he is unable to track Sonya, and she is lost in time, somewhere between the 51st and 81st centuries. Joshua’s search for her is a tale of great progress for him, where he begins to feel true compassion. His relationship with Jack in the Super future is tumultuous, but eventually Jack’s humour and liberal attitude get past Joshua’s tough-guy facade, and they become true brother Guardians. It is their coming together that helps them face their biggest threat - Jebediah arrives, and gives Joshua the Great Revelation. When Joshua realises that his other self had sacrificed his own life for him, he acheives true humility, and his key to the last room.