APAGear II Archives Volume 1, Number 4 March, 1999


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 exists now.

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,

Christian Schaller
APAGear II Distribution Manager

Keener Awards

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:

  1. Two contributors to this issue have used the name "Cassandra" for a character in their stories. Who are the authors and who are the characters?
  2. In classic Greek mythology, who was Cassandra? What crime did she commit? What was her punishment?
  3. Where might you find a third "Cassandra" in this issue of APAGear II?
  4. 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:

  1. "The Reunion" by John Guilfoyle - the character was Cassandra Mongrave; "To Go Boldly" by Christian J. Schaller - the character was Cassandra Carlomagnes. [Correct! -Ed.]
  2. "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.]
  3. "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.]
  4. "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:

  1. "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.]
  2. "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.]
  3. "A third Cassandra could be found in "Flying, Killing Purple People" as a Cassandra class GREL." [There we go! -Ed.]
  4. "It's a cool name?" [*^_^* -Ed.]

The "Correct" Answers

And here are more or less the answers I had in mind:

  1. Well, both Andrea and Daniel got it right.
  2. According to Encylocpedia Britannica Online's article "Cassandra", 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."
  3. 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.)
  4. 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...

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 SPEAT.

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APAGear II Archives Volume 1, Number 4 March, 1999