2. A MORE ACCURATE LOOK AT INCIDENT 2
The Galactic Confederacy was fairly small as far as star empires go. It grew up in the aftermath of Arslycus which had enslaved the populations of this and the next inward spiral arms (millions of planets) and put the galaxy into a dark age with its collapse.
After a major collapse, the people will rally around strong leaders and look to them for salvation. And so the stage is set for feudal warlords and ambitious demagogues to form their own little empires in the darkness.
These empires are typically founded by low order OTs who then gradually decay due to overts, mistakes, corruption, and debaucheries. With advanced technologies and controlled reincarnation, such an individual might last many thousands or even hundreds of thousands of years, but eventually falls to a more cunning manipulator or a revolutionary leader or whatever. And then the cycle repeats.
Feudal Japan has the right flavor for describing the Galactic Confederacy, except, of course, the technology was much more advanced and the people did have more rights and freedoms (you can't maintain a high technology with serfs).
These empires often try to attract "gods" both to handle cataclysmic disasters and as a way to back up the emperor's power as his own abilities are failing. Usually a real god (by which I mean a high order OT) is not that interested in managing governments but will back up an emperor who keeps him entertained. The last emperor of the Confederacy had been particularly adept at attracting gods to the civilization and keeping them under control.
One of the more common parthenons of gods (but far from the only one) used the terminals of the penalty universes. In theory, there is a set of 64 including The Tiger and The Clown (the wise fool) and The Pilot etc. If you're going to be a god, you need some kind of manifestation, and its useful to pick one that is hard for ordinary people to confront because it often gets you instant agreement.
So there were statues to all these guys in the temples, and the people would come and pray for stuff (very carefully and humbly least they get zapped) and the gods usually would keep a line on their various statues and occasionally even grant something. A real god would not actually be in the statue, they were normally disembodied and materialized bodies at will, but they used these statues as anchor points. Often they would simply appear as a face hanging in the sky (at least if they wanted to overawe the masses) rather than showing up in a body.
Of course a small empire like the Confederacy wouldn't manage to fill the entire parthenon, and the OT they managed to attract to be, lets say, The Pilot would not be a very powerful or sophisticated one in comparison with the kind of Pilot a big empire might get. But on the other hand, weaker gods are easier to control and safer to have around. At worst, they might smash a city rather than tossing an entire planet into the sun.
As to how somebody gets to be a god, there are two ways. Either they entered this universe that way (high wizards from the magic universe bypassing incident 1 and showing up here with maximum horsepower). Or they are ordinary people who dedicate many lifetimes to researching their way out of the trap and dig out far enough to rekindle OT abilities.
As a little aside, falling to the temptations of becoming a god (or stopping at an even lower point and becoming an emperor or whatever) is one of the reasons nobody makes it all the way out. Because, of course, you then remain in the trap and eventually decay back down to human. This was the fate of the Pilot of that old Confederacy. He had researched far far more than I know right now and became a god sometime around 121 million years ago. And with that, he let the search for truth die and in the long run, he was smashed and ended up back down here with the rest of us. I don't claim to be more than a fragment of that shattered individual. I think you'll find many of us. And shattered pieces of other gods as well. I think everyone has done the god trip at sometime or other, and we're all still here, and more human than ever.
As a last bit of background on The Pilot, by the time of incident 2, he had decayed significantly and was suffering from various upsets and anti-social tendencies. He didn't get on well with the others gods nor did he like crowded planets. So they had sort of shunted him off to a jungle world known as Teegeak (many English spellings are possible, the name comes from the cry of one of the more common types of dinosaur). There he played with the animals and manipulated the genetic line and acted as a sort of a nature god over the dinosaurs. It was not a highly populated world. Mostly ranger stations and hunting parties, all very careful to put offerings at The Pilot's shrines and working hard not to mess up the environment and get him mad at them. The planet had never been properly colonized because it was a copy of the original Earth (from the fall of home universe) and therefore was considered too restimulative for a sane civilization.
The emperor, either because he felt his abilities had weakened too far, or because he had pissed one of the gods off and wanted to be out of the area for awhile, decided to go off on some kind of a quest and left, never to return. He placed the empire in the hands of the loyal officers until his return. The loyal officers were so called because they had been loyal to the emperor in some revolution or other.
The loyal officers were to periodically elect one amongst themselves as the chairman of the council and protector of the realm. He ruled on behalf of the absent emperor but his powers were severely constrained. The ruling council also included elected representative of the noble families, various guilds, and even some sort of union representatives (which were the common people's only elected spokesmen).
Quite a few of the loyal officers wanted to become the next emperor, but none dared to do so. Instead, they maneuvered for position and played the usual games of palace intrigue. Xemu was one of the more ambitious and ruthless ones and he engineered incident 2 after becoming chairman.
Another group involved in this were the implant dealers. These are about the equivalent of gun runners. Periodically, they get chased out of an area by lynching parties and set up somewhere else a few thousand lightyears away. The group that set up business here just before incident 2 was rumored to have actually fled here from the Andromedia Galaxy (millions of light years away) at some time in the distant past.
Implants are recorded and kept on file and sold for a price. The various ones used in incident 2 had been around for a long time and are not unique to incident 2. They can be found at many different dates individually. The whole file cabinet full of them can also be found being used together in incident 2. It will almost never be the basic (or first time) that any one of them was used on a particular person. Big mass implants like incident 2 are the implant dealer's top of the line item and are both vary rare and extremely expensive. Xemu almost bankrupt the empire buying this one.
The implants are recorded on crystals. These crystals are simply the high tech equivalent of computer chips and are used for everything from running navigation programs to recording music or whatever.
But an implant needs to be projected telepathically. So you need very decayed beings who have been made into machines (programmed machine entities) who will read the pre-recorded implant (commands and pictures) off of the crystals and project them into people.
Simple implant devices consist of a projector and a crystal (with the implant recorded on it) and possibly some sort of energy beam and most important, a bunch of entities built into the machine to do the telepathic projection. They will aim one of these things at a "criminal" or prisoner of war and condition him to be a good boy or whatever. These are common in advanced civilizations and are simple affairs to buy, setup, and run.
A mass implant, on the other hand, requires tons of exotic hardware and super implant devices capable of blanketing a planet. These are placed in satellites (so they wouldn't be destroyed, the implant dealers save them and carry them from place to place) which are set in geosynchronous orbit (meaning the satellite remains over one spot). Devices are also placed in volcanoes (where they can run lines deep into the earth) and energy ribbons are run between the satellites and the volcanoes (you need two terminals). Once the force ribbons are grounded (which includes ionizing a path from orbit down to the surface), the volcanoes can be blown with nuclear weapons. Then the devices in the satellites can project telepathic pictures across the planet (no movie screens).
To sell an operation of this kind, the implant dealers will send in agents to stir up revolutionaries and renegades and then present themselves at court to offer helpful solutions to the riots and troubles. In Xemu's case, he wanted to seize power so they had his co-operation in these covert activities. The great social cleanup would not only round up all the revolutionaries, minorities, troublemakers, etc. but would also provide a covert means of eliminating anyone who would object to Xemu's grab for power.
Note that you can't just shoot criminals in a society like the Confederacy. Reincarnation was known and there was some slight retention of past life memories even among the common people. A criminal would be back in business within twenty years and might be looking to get even as well. With high tech, the normal lifespan gets up around 200 years easily so that you might feel very threatened by the same bad guys showing up again and again.
To get all the victims to Earth for the implant, they had to be shot with a drug that put them into suspended animation. Since the body is still alive, the thetan stays in it (unless he's very smart and able) and it can be frozen and shipped. This was well within the Confederacy's normal capabilities, whereas devices that could handle a bodiless thetan were exotic super technology that would have to be purchased at fantastic prices (they had a few of these things to guard the ruler from casual attacks by demi-gods, but they were not practical for broad use). Once the mass implant started, it wouldn't matter if the victim's body died because he'd be here on Earth getting hit with energy fields that were capable of controlling a bodiless thetan as long as he was still using some sort of energy form (i.e. an astral body or whatever) when he was between lives (the implant dealers hardware was far more advanced and expensive than that used by the Confederacy).
They needed a lightly populated planet to setup on, and preferably it should be a restimulative place. Namely, a copy of the original Earth. And so they chose Teegeek, which is our Earth at the time of "The Great Dying" which killed off the dinosaurs. Incident 2 IS the great dying, and it is a few million years earlier than is indicated by radio carbon dating because the nuclear explosions raised the background radiation level temporarily. The scientists calculate their dates with the assumption that the radiation level is constant, so that if they see a higher count, they think the object being dated was buried more recently because it hasn't decayed as far (rather than starting from a higher radiation level). So they date the iridium layer (which is indicative of a planet wide catastrophe) and the billions of bone fragments (see books like "Digging Dinosaurs") at around 67 million years ago instead of 75 million. Of course the current scientific explanation of the layer is that a comet hit the Earth (a really large body planetary impact will probably generate enough heat to go nuclear).
They had to get the Pilot away from Earth, but these guys know how to deal with the occasional god that gets in their way. If they desecrate the shrines and incite riots and protest marches against one of these gods, he'll generally only zap a few people before he says "the hell with it" and goes off to find some civilization which will appreciate him. Gods like to be worshipped rather than criticized.
When Incident 2 started, The Pilot was thousands of light years away, looking around for an interesting place to settle down. He was mad at the Confederacy and really didn't care what happened to them, but he had invested a lot of time in the wildlife of Earth and still had some connections to the lifeforms. When the first explosions went off, he felt a great cry for help and immediately snapped back to the skies above Earth. And there he beheld billions of people lining the beaches and creatures dying in all directions.
The senior OT ability within an existing universe is the ability to take control over the mockup of that universe or a portion thereof. The basic underlying static does not care which fragment of itself is the source point for a mockup. It does not matter which fragment originally created something in actual fact, anyone can become the one who created it by accepting that responsibility and by assuming the task of continuing to create it in present time. And with that responsibility comes cause and control and the ability to alter the creation.
Early on the track, thetans would fight over who was actually responsible and in control, but in the more recent universes, the general tendency is to fight to avoid responsibility and so it becomes easy for prospective gods to raise their hands and say "Here, give me the responsibility" and all the fools will happily turn all their responsibility and therefore control of the universe over to these gods.
If you're a god and you see some calamity or something you want to control, your first action is to become the one who's mocking it up. Let's say, for example, a dam bursts because some foolish engineer built it wrong. You (as a god) come by and say "I'm mocking it up". You project this telepathically with lots of intention, and everybody will agree with you right away because they don't want to be blamed for the dam bursting. Most especially, all the guys who built the dam will be more than happy to hand off all responsibility to you. And as a god, you don't care about being blamed for anything. Part of the road to becoming a god is to be willing to do anything and accept causation for anything. So you don't mind being the one who made the dam burst. And with that, you gain control over the mockup. Then all you have to do is change your mind about what you want to have happen in the area and it all shifts around because now it is your dream rather than theirs which is controlling the projection of reality. And after the dam snaps back together and the devastation is erased by your postulates, the people are even more willing to agree with your being cause over everything because they like the results.
So when The Pilot appears in the skies during the mass implant, his immediate and instinctive reaction is to broadcast telepathically "I'M MOCKING IT UP" and the reactions of all the living things and captured people on Earth is to agree with that intention. And the implant stops dead in its tracks.
But the programmed entities in the satellites, and the implant dealer's crew, (and possibly another of the gods who was supporting Xemu in the effort to do the implant) did not go compulsively into agreement, but instead insisted that they were mocking it up.
The result of this is that everything hangs suspended in the balance and the individuals fighting for control go into a sort of "glare" fight and battle for who can take the most responsibility. And if he'd just hung on, the pilot would have won because he had the massed agreement of the population behind him. But the fight took time, and the pilot was a weak god who counted on only having to be responsible for anything really horrible for only a moment until he could change it around. And that wasn't happening. And so he was sitting there with full responsibility for having designed and launched the implant and for everything that had already impacted on the people and also for having abandoned the planet earlier. It was just a bit too much and he flinched. And that was the end of him.
You remain a god as long as you can take responsibility without suffering any consequences, and when you fail, you begin to flinch at responsibility and down you go. And in attempting to stop the implant and failing, he caved in and went through the implant along with everyone else.
I don't know too much about the subsequent events in the Confederacy. Ron's story is that the loyal officers rebelled and overthrew Xemu. I suppose that at that point they were claiming to be loyal to the people although that was not the origin of the name. A few of the other gods might have remained around (there weren't many to begin with) but most were probably driven off as was the Pilot (but they didn't have the intimate connection to Earth and so would not have come back).
At a guess, The Tiger (from the old penalty universe with the goal "To Eat") might have remained and supported Xemu and his mass implanting. Possibly the Faire Queen (from the penalty universe with the goal "To Beautify") might have remained to oppose the implanting. Ron talks of her palace blowing up. But that would not have been on Earth. Perhaps the implant had pictures of the explosion. The Pilot, by the way, originates in the penalty universe with the goal "To Guide". To be one of these gods, you had to be capable of using penalty universe mockups without keying in and sliding into the low toned decay and collapse that is pictured in the penalty universes.
Although mass implants are rare, the track is long and there have been many of them, both before and after Incident 2. They can't normally be run without first running out the penalty universes because they intentionally key in the penalty universe mockups so very heavily. But Incident 2 has one special characteristic, which is that it was stopped momentarily by the pilot's failed attempt, and that gives you a way to run it without having to handle the tons of restimulation that occurs in the later parts of the incident. Because it did stop for a few seconds, you can run off the beginning part and bail out when the Pilot shows up without being carried forward willy nilly into the later heavier parts of the incident. Trying to run those later sections (which are not basic) without first running the penalty universes is what pretty much did Ron in.
Basically we had a Catch 22. You had to run charge off of the mass implants to be able to get at the penalty universes. But you had to run the penalty universes first before you could safely handle the mass implants. Ron found the way for others to run Incident 2 safely and sacrificed himself in the process, because he had to run the end of the incident to find the beginning.
Note: The list of volcanoes given on OT3 is not very accurate. The Earth has shifted around a bit. You get away with it because the names of the volcanoes are not in the bank and the being spots what he needs to. Someone like a geologist who actually knows very precisely where the modern volcanoes are might actually have a lot of trouble on OT 3 because he may force things to match the locations he knows and that could act as a wrong location. Most people only have a vague idea where Krakatoa is located, for example. So if they need to spot a volcano somewhere in that part of the world, they call it Krakatoa and that's good enough. I never bothered assessing a volcano list when running an entity through incident 2. It works just fine to have them point without bothering to put a name on it. The best way to do any volcano handling on OT3 is to simply have the being point to the volcano where he was implanted and don't do any assessments.