The House Organ
Words of Questionable Wisdom from the Distribution Manager
We meet again, at last. This month's issue, Number 4, is even later than last
month's. Why? Because the first two weekends of this month seem to have vanished
without a trace -- apart from some nasty blisters from hiking. But I digress.
This month we have the long-awaited "Flora and Fauna of Terra Nova" issue,
which we've been calling the "Creature Feature." Herein you'll find a bunch
of critters that make their homes on Terra Nova, plus a few non-critter pieces,
including the continuing saga of the outrageous exploits of Bernard David's
Jolly Rogers and a piece by Rick Horton.
You'll also note that Jason English's piece is a multi-parter, with a "to be
continued" at the end of it. Fear not: I have part two in my electronic hands
as I write this House Organ, so next month, you really will be able to read more
of the story.
What's new this month? Apart from the actual contents of this issue, I've also
finally started a page of related links, called, cleverly enough,
Links. It's a bit sparse, but at least the file
One thing you should notice right away on the links page: The Italian translation
of APAGear II that I raved about last month is online. Check out
APAGear II Italiano
if you can read Italian. And if you can't... Well, you could try using
Babel Fish to translate it back into
English. Thanks to the nature of automated translation, in which idioms and context
are pretty much ignored, hilarity is sure to ensue. (And note that the bizarre
results you'll get are, in fact, due to the aforementioned lack of context and
understanding of idioms on the part of the translation software, and not due to
Mr. Vigiak's team of translators, so no flaming, please.)
(Archivist's Note: The APAGear II Italian site is no longer running. - Banzai)
Right, that's all for now. Enjoy!
Your Vaguely Humble Servant,
APAGear II Distribution Manager
Scott Blow (aka "Trapper") nails the award this month -- along with
Bernard "Nova" David, who sent his submission quite a while ago as part of a huge
collection of Jolly Rogers' exploits. Congratulations, guys, you win the
undying admiration and jealousy of your peers and colleagues, as well as a
lifetime supply of SPEAT. Sadly, since SPEAT won't exist for another four thousand
years at least, you'll have to wait quite a while to collect.
Spot the Cassandras: Whining Pays!
Last month, I threatened to keep whining about the fact that no one bothered
to play the "Spot the Cassandras" contest (the award for which is pretty much the
same as the Keener Award, but with less SPEAT), and lo and behold: I got two
entries, both of which were more or less correct, even insightful. Wow!
The Original Questions
Here are the original questions:
- Two contributors to this issue have used the name "Cassandra" for a
character in their stories. Who are the authors and who are the
- In classic Greek mythology, who was Cassandra? What crime did she
commit? What was her punishment?
- Where might you find a third "Cassandra" in this issue of
- Purely speculative and entirely subjective; there is no real right
answer: Why did the authors choose to name their characters Cassandra?
First Entry: Andrea Vigiak of Italy
Andrea had this to say in response:
- "The Reunion" by John Guilfoyle - the character was Cassandra Mongrave;
"To Go Boldly" by Christian J. Schaller - the character was Cassandra Carlomagnes.
- "She was the Troian fortuneteller, doughter of the king Priamo. She
didn't do any crime, Ecuba, her mother was informed since her birth that
she was punished by ERA wich was against POSEIDON. She was damned to
know the truth but never to be trusted." [Yep, though the details Andrea
puts forth differ from my sources. But hey, we're talking about oral tradition
from a pretty long time ago, so naturally the details will differ. -Ed.]
- "Flying, Killing Purple People" by Damen DeLeenheer, the character of Sous-Sergant
Jiles. "As Cassandra he saw future changing and no chance to stop it." [Interestingly,
the correct answer is, in fact, Damen's "Flying, Killing Purple People," but I had in
mind an entirely different reason! -Ed.]
- "To make it brief, just the same as Jiles: the two famales spotted a dark future and had no
chance to make it different or to be listen to." [Another interesting interpretation -Ed.]
Second Entry: Daniel Audy of the United States of America
Daniel replied as follows:
- "John Guilfoyle named the mother of the main character Cassandra
in 'The Reunion'" and "Christian J. Schaller named the wife of the main character
Cassandra in 'To Go Boldly'" [Correct! -Ed.]
- "In classic greek mythology Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam
of Troy. She promised Apollo sexual favors in exchange for making
her a prophet but then never slept with him. Because of that he
cursed her to always speak the truth but never to be beleived."
[That's more in line with what I recall from my mythology courses
in college and high school. -Ed.]
- "A third Cassandra could be found in "Flying, Killing Purple People"
as a Cassandra class GREL." [There we go! -Ed.]
- "It's a cool name?" [*^_^* -Ed.]
The "Correct" Answers
And here are more or less the answers I had in mind:
- Well, both Andrea and Daniel got it right.
- According to Encylocpedia Britannica Online's article
Cassandra was, "in Greek mythology, the daughter of Priam, the last king
of Troy, and his wife Hecuba. Cassandra was loved by the god Apollo, who
promised her the power of prophecy if she would comply with his desires.
Cassandra accepted the proposal, received the gift, and then refused the
god her favours. Apollo revenged himself by ordaining that her
prophecies should never be believed. She accurately predicted such
events as the fall of Troy and the death of Agamemnon, but her warnings
went unheeded. In the distribution of the spoils after the capture of
Troy, Cassandra fell to Agamemnon and was later murdered with him. She
was worshiped, as Alexandra, with Apollo."
- Yes, Damen's "Flying, Killing Purple People" is where you might
spot the third Cassandra. Of the eight GREL types, the one that's engineered
to specialize in electronics is the Kassandra class. You might find one or
two maintaining ECM interference from one of CEF hovertanks. (I really
like Andrea's interpretation, too, that Jiles isn't going to be believed,
and thus takes the form of a Cassandra-like figure.)
- I can answer only for myself: I just like the name Cassandra. I don't know
why John Guilfoyle picked the name, too.
The Winner is...
Well, obviously, both Andrea and Daniel win the admiration of their peers and
a one year supply of SPEAT. (The SPEAT prize has the same stipulations as
in the Keener Award: It won't exist for another four thousand years, so
don't try to collect. Curiously, one has to ask: Is a one year supply of SPEAT
the same, more, or less than a lifetime supply?)
And now I have to think up another lame contest. Here's one...
Count the Springers!
Right, while doing some research for this issue of APAGear, I noticed something
sort of amazing: Terra Nova is ruled by springers! There are more variants
and subspecies of spingers in the Heavy Gear books than just about
anything else, including Hunter variants! So...
- Find them all. Cite the books they're in and the page numbers. I'm looking
for places where springers are detailed with game stats, not merely references
to springers in the fiction.
- Are there more kinds of springers than official, published Hunter variants?
While the South's Jägers and Paxton Arms' Warriors are derived from the
North's Hunter Chassis, they don't count for our purposes here. Nor do any
Hunter variants that may have shown up in the various computer games or in the
ill-fated Gear Up fanclub. Again, cite them with book and page numbers.
- What the hell is SPEAT? Where was the term first used in a widely accessible
form? Who coined it? Is a year's supply more, less, or equal to a lifetime's supply?
There you go. Winners will receive adulation from their peers; losers will receive
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