Ryan “Tools” O’Malley; Biography

   Ryan, as one of the few characters to survive throughout the hundred and thirty-odd sessions of the Federation – Chronicles of the Opening campaign, is now playing a major role in the Federation – Apocalypse campaign. His current game attributes – or at least as close an approximation thereof as has been as yet revealed – can be found HERE.

   Ryan O’Malley is early – and the fourth documented non-Core – Opener, a native of Crusader (a world called into being by a popular virtual-reality role-playing-game). From the account records of the game, he is suspected to have previously been Jason Tiell Amaranth, a lunar native who was killed in an asteroid-mining accident in 2529. As the creator of the Ryan O’Malley character, Jason may have simply reincarnated into the Manifold Identity that he had already established within the game. Regardless of the true original identity of his soul, in Crusader Ryan O’Malley operated Advanced Technology Exchange, a technology company catering to the special requirements of superheroes – and often serving as an origin for super-villains.

   Ryan was contacted and recruited by the crew of the Soravin in late 2533, shortly after John Calzin – believed to be the twenty-third opener to Manifest – unconsciously took the Soravin into the Manifold to evade Ourathan pursuit. After a series of adventures in several realms, including visits to an assortment of “science fiction” (notably including several visits to the original “Star Wars” empire) mythic, anime, fantasy, and historical worlds, the Soravin, bringing Ryan along, returned to Core Earth. In Core, the group reported their observations and activities to General McAndrew, Chief of the Department of Mysteries (who had already been investigating the sudden upswing in mysterious disappearances and other oddities), and to Skywatch, since space defense would be responsible for handling the robotic alien invasion.

   After a few more trips into the Manifold, and some investigation of the Ouratha, the crew of the Soravin discovered, and successfully dealt with, a group of the Primal Umal which had been attempting to move into the human manifold. They even managed to capture several – albeit only ones that their own race apparently considered slaves due to their lack of Gatekeeper or Opener abilities. Sadly, despite that initial success, the renegade Openers of the Primal Umal remain an ongoing menace.

   Ryan then accompanied Calzin, and the rest of the crew of the Soravin, in a probe expedition to attempt to determine the origin of the Ouratha. While the group – in more than a year and a half of travel – did penetrate some 60,000 light years into the central regions of the galaxy, and made first contact with several other sapient species which were currently restricted by the Ourathan Robotic Hegemony, it failed to locate the presumed Robot Masters.

   It was however, also discovered that none of the other species encountered had ever encountered a true Ourathan. According to the Taractocoli (a semi-immortal, trade-obsessed, oceanic colony species which had encountered the robots some 14,000 years before), the robots had definitely not been updated in at least 14,000 years. In addition, the information that they had gathered from other species suggested that the robots had not been notably updated in at least four million years and possibly far longer – leading to the hypothesis that the (presumed) Robot Masters either no longer existed in Core or were, at the least, no longer in control of their creations. John Calzin rejected that hypothesis violently however.

   Unfortunately, the Soravin was forced to retreat into the Manifold again shortly after concluding that the Ourathan Robotic Hegemony dominated at least two-thirds of the galaxy, and that they were unlikely to find either a vital central point or active programmers. After an additional series of adventures in navigating the Manifold, the Soravin managed to reach Core Earth once again, where the crew reported their observations to Skywatch and to the Department of Mysteries. A Taractocoli Embassy arrived soon afterwards.

   Determining that conventional resistance to the Hegemony would eventually – and inevitably – be overwhelmed, the Department of Mysteries began looking into the possibilities of either tapping the apparently near-infinite resources of the Manifold or of evacuating the general population there. Unfortunately, attempts to tap the resources of the Manifold were responsible for rather more trouble than the Ouratha were actually turning out to be*. The disasters included massive orc attacks in Core North America, accidently triggering a supernova – close enough to severely imperil several human-inhabited worlds – and numerous disasters in, and smaller attacks from, the Manifold.

   During this period Ryan O’Malley apparently acquired some infernal power and – presumably unintentionally – created links to approximately thirty of the children who were then studying magic at Hogwarts. He, they, and the Soravin (which had then merged with Vena, a shapeshifting anime starship) then acquired a great deal more infernal power; enough to qualify them as demon lords. Approximately two-thirds of the children were apparently dominated by that power, and those with Gatekeeper or Opener abilities were generally lost into the Manifold.

   While Ryan eventually managed to rid himself of those infernal powers (donating them to a benign version of the Antichrist), his return to Crusader with the status of an Archdemon had already triggered the Ascension War – which resulted in a good deal of information about the Manifold “going public” rather dramatically as consequences of the battle of realities within the virtual-reality Crusader game broke through into Core. Further consequences included the creation of the Hellstorm (a sapient super star destroyer with archdemon-level demonic powers), the Archangel Vena, accidentally releasing at least one version of the Horseman of the Apocalypse, and his leading a crusade – albeit with the best of motives – against the forces of light.

   During the aftermath, Ryan apparently became involved in the founding of at least one version of Mythic China, got himself entangled in the Silmaril Wars, blew himself up, reincarnated and visited Core in the form of a giant sapient panda (and adopted a child), and then created an android body for himself while pursuing a second group of Primal Umal. He has yet to reveal most of the details of those episodes. During this period he also ceased to associate with Captain Calzin – who spent some time providing ships from Manifold sources to reinforce the jump point blockades against the Ouratha, but who then, like so many other Openers, vanished into the Manifold.

   By the middle of 2536, Ryan had turned his attention to expanding Advanced Technology Exchange and to a list of major projects – most notably:

  • Importing exotic matter from the Manifold to re-invigorate technological research in Core and to provide an advantage against the Ouratha. His primary sources were the “Star Wars” New Imperium (which he had helped create) and the Dwarves of Asgard.
  • Researching the Core-compatible technological applications for his imported exotic matter. This effort was not helped by the fact that Manifold investigation and exploration was absorbing most of the energies of the human race at the moment.
  • Search-and-Rescue operations – starting with a search for the children that he’d accidently infused with infernal energies (he eventually recovered almost half of them). While Ryan’s operations were limited due to his shortage of Manifold-capable agents, he ran one of the few such operations that was not restricted to particular realms of the Manifold.
  • Carefully tapping the production capabilities of the Manifold – most notably, the New Imperium – to reinforce Skywatch’s jump point fleets and the Core’s defenses.
  • Backing the Peacekeepers and Skywatch with his agents and with his own, formidable, personal powers when they were attempting to contain Manifold incursions. While Ryan was hardly the only individual – and not even the only Opener – to do so, he was one of the most reliable. Fortunately, the efforts of such individuals were usually only required to contain high-level magical and psionic intrusions, and such things were generally self-limiting in Core in any case.
  • Aiding the ongoing effort to stabilize several of the more accommodating realms near Core as adjutants to Core and as transportation hubs, locating, and – if necessary – opening additional gates as required. Of course, that has been putting a considerable strain on the structure of those realms. Still, over the ensuing decades, Ryan would open three hundred and twenty-eight gates, and his agents would assist in mapping thousands more.
  • Creating a series of occult simulacra of himself, designed to increase his ability to multi-task. Sadly, this has recently proven to be a poor decision, as the various simulacra have gone rogue, run off into the Manifold, and are currently causing major problems there.

   Over the years, Ryan has given a good deal of special attention to Crusader, both due to it’s being his native realm and due to its remarkably accommodating nature. Like most “superhero” worlds, virtually anything – technological, magical, or psionic, including gates – works quite nicely in Crusader. Unfortunately, such expansive operations have had their fair share – and more, considering Ryan’s experimental and obsessive tendencies – of disasters. These, of course, have tended to make more of an impression on the popular consciousness than a steady stream of less-spectacular successes.

   Personally, Ryan O’Malley is an engineer. While he does use magic, he regards it as just another branch of energy-manipulation techniques, and usually prefers to use it to accelerate his creation of nice, reliable, technological devices, to tinker with existing machines, and to get things that should – at least in his opinion – work to work rather than doing things that he feels should not work at all. While he is not as inclined as a Core-educated human to analyze things logically, and tends to become over-obsessed with his project of the moment, he is definitely amongst the more reasonable Manifold-origin Openers.

   *Long-term analysis of the Ourathan Robotic Hegemony by Skywatch and the Department of Mysteries, based on the information provided by the Taractocoli and direct observation, evetually suggested that the Hegemony’s general directives were to prevent contact with pre-technological species, to restrict species contact and expansion to “safe” levels to avoid conflict, to contain the Primal Umal, and to maintain advanced cultures. The Hegemony apparently expanded only when contacted by another civilization, did so with the minimum possible violence, and obligingly provided disaster relief, peacekeeping, and support services when a subject species or civilization was in trouble. While multi-million-year trojan-horse programming or motivations remained remotely possible, the threat of overly-aggressive social workers taking over in a century or two eventually took second place to the ongoing disruptions, bizarre consequences, and outright invasions that were becoming regular events as the forces of the Manifold erupted into the Core Worlds.

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