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Invisible Empire

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  INVISIBLE EMPIRE - APPENDIX
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  TABLE OF CONTENTS

  I. List of Characters / Cast List (spoilers)
 II. F.A.Q.
III. NON-ENGLISH GLOSSARY
 IV. TIMELINE

===============================================================================
  I. LIST OF CHARACTERS / CAST LIST
===============================================================================

  At the request of an astute editor, I am including a brief summary (or 'cheat
sheet') of the characters who are in the story, "Invisible Empire." This is
intended to help clarify who is who.

  While I have excised most of the plot spoilers, please note that there are
still some reveals in the dossiers for each character. This file would be best
read AFTER you've completed the entire story, or if you are truly lost.

  Characters are listed alphabetically by their first name, and each entry is
separated by a simple divider. Some details in each entry may not appear in
the story (they are pulled from background notes) but I have mitigated this as
best I can.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aaron Pritchet
--------------
Secret Serviceman who was psychically influenced to stalk Stanley Chen at the
November 29th, 2009 incident in Washington DC.

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Aileen Chen (nee Kwong)
-----------------------
Stanley's mother. Her first name is mentioned here and there, but for the most
part, she's referred to as "mom" or "mother".

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Alexia Lambedakis
-----------------
One of Rosalind's roommates at the Berkeley apartment. Her brief affair with
Andrew causes a break-up between him and Sachiko.

Also called: Lexi (diminutive)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ameena / Ami
------------
Faraz's younger sister, often called "Ami" by her friends and family. Class of
2001. UCLA graduate, 2006.

Also called: Ami (diminutive)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Andrew Wei-Pung Chen
--------------------
Stanley Chen's younger brother, born 1982. His official occupation is a
civilian psychologist and behavioral analyst with Veterans' Affairs.

Also called: Ah-Pung (by Stanley, Janet, and Melanie), Andreas (by Viktoriya)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anthony Yu-Wah Chen
-------------------
Melanie Chen's younger brother, born 1985 or 1986 (approximate). For most of
the story, Anthony is a college student.

Also called: Tony (by Stanley), Wah-jai (diminutive), Anton (by Viktoria)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aurora Kwong
------------
Stanley's half-first cousin on his mother's side. Born 1979. Has an incestuous
affair with Stanley during a 1997 family trip. Her full Cantonese name is not
given in the story.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bethany Adams
-------------
A woman with the ability to mimic the facial features of anyone she sees. With
some degree of telepathy, Bethany can fool a person into thinking they are
interacting with the person she is impersonating. Her codename while operating
with NSA-PSI and ICS is "Masquerade."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brian Cox
---------
National Security Agency OIC (officer in charge) or SAIC (supervisory agent in
charge). Officially the PSI handler for NSA-PSI (Para-surveillance and
Sensitive Investigation), part of NRO-10-77, the ICS, or Intelligence
Collection Section, until the November 29th, 2009 incident in Washington DC.

His codename while operating with NSA-PSI and ICS was "Champion." Occasionally,
Agent Cox had used the pseudonym, "Nick Champion" when introducing himself as
a member of another agency.

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Carrie-Ann Wilson
-----------------
One of Stanley's empire associates and an empath. According to Stanley, she is
a cetacean researcher or whale watcher who resides in Monterey Bay,
California.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Craig Simmons
-------------
Rachelle's boyfriend, then her fiance, after she and Stanley broke up. Craig's
father, Douglass, is a Republican Congressman from California.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cristobel
---------
Viktoriya's dancesport partner in New York. A telepath who hails from central
Italy. His lover is a normal man by the name of Marcello.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Danielle Chen
-------------
One of two twin daughters of Stanley and Rachelle Chen. Born 2005. Her twin
sister is Janelle. Stanley notices the sisters display a degree of empathy for
one another.

Also called: Dani (by Rachelle and Stanley)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Darrell Carson
--------------
One of Stanley's empire associates, a telepath of some degree.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
David Reese
-----------
A walking spatial singularity, born circa 1970. In layman's terms, he can
teleport himself any where he can see. David's story is told in Steven Gould's
novel, "Jumper" and further developed in its direct sequel, "Jumper Reflex."
He is married to the normal woman, Millie Harrison (the movie version of
Jumper has her name listed as 'Harris').

In the Invisible Empire, David's powers and relationship with Brian Cox and the
NSA develop differently from the events in "Jumper Reflex" but take into
account almost all the events in "Jumper."

According to Stanley, David is, "... the world's biggest bore," and notices
that he is sexually attracted to Phillipa. Additionally, David and Tseng have
a poor working relationship at the agency. David's codename while operating
with NSA-PSI and the ICS is "Ghost Light."

Also called: Davey (by Millie)

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Douglass Simmons
----------------
Congressman in an L.A. district. A widower and the father of Craig Simmons.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Faraz
-----
Stanley's best friend from high school, a Shia who emigrated from Iraq and into
the United States in 1988 or 1989 along with his father, mother, and little
sister. Born 1974 or 1975, and killed in the World Trade Center attack on
September 11, 2001. His wife was Ghandia, one of Rachelle's school friends.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Feodor Pinzevesky
-----------------
Mysterious psychic 'neutralizer' Stanley meets through Tseng. Feodor is able to
subdue the erratic psychotic mood swings of disturbed empaths by robbing them
of their powers.

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Franky
------
One of stanley's co-workers at Ferguson Design & Graphics, circa 2000 to 2001.
According to Stanley, Franky is "pleasant, but balding, a loner, and ... a man
who was addicted to well-hung she-males." By 2006 or 2007, Franky had left the
building business and owned a bar and nightclub catering to male to female
transfolk and cross-dressers.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Frederick Chen
--------------
The younger of two sons of Stanley and Janet Chen. Born 2004. Stanley notices
that Freddy often "drives his mother nuts" with his constant demands for
attention.

Also called: Freddy

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Freya
-----
A rhythmic gymnast and Viktoriya's lesbian lover during her time in New York.
Dutch by descent. Stanley acknowledges his wife's love for Freya, and does his
best to accomodate her desires.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Galen
-----
One of Stanley's empire associates, introduced to him through Tseng. He is
Kari's husband. Citizen of the United Kingdom.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
George Horten
-------------
Shawn's father. His animosity towards Stanley brings the two men into conflict.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ghandia
-------
One of Rachelle's high school friends, and a member of the cheer squad. She is
romantically involved with Faraz, and marries him shortly after they both
graduate from four-year university.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gracia Kosugi
-------------
Stanley's classmate at the College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley. An
interior designer and a materials and compositions specialist. She and Janet
are good friends. Gracia is the older sister of Sachiko.

Also called: Gracie (by Janet)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grif (possibly Griffin)
-----------------------
Adopted son of David and Millicent Reese, mentioned briefly towards the end of
the story. He shares the same first name of the protagonist of Gould's novel
"Jumper: Griffin's Story."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halah
-----
A Bedouin woman of mixed blood. She is one of the witch-seers of the Order of
Sybaris, a coven descended from the old Bacchanite cults.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Haruna Kosugi
-------------
Older sister of Jyunko Kosugi, mother of Gracia and Sachiko. Her daughters
managed to keep the woman's family name because Haruna married a 'yooshi' -- a
man in Japanese society who took his wife's name in order to pass it down to
the next generation.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heidi
-----
One of Rachelle's friends in high school, a member of the cheer squad. She
marries a childhood sweetheart, Jon-Peter, later in the story.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hortense Kwong
--------------
Stanley's half-aunt on his mother's side. She receives Stanley and Aurora as
house-guests during their stay in Hong Kong.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacob Waters
------------
A robbery and property crimes detective in San Francisco's police department.
Stanley first meets him in 2000 after foiling a robbery, and while a useful
(if roughshod) contact in local law enforcement.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jamie Tse-Kei Young
-------------------
Stanley Chen's sixth wife, whom he affectionately calls, "Jay", "Jay doll", or
"Kei-kei". American-born first generation Cantonese woman (1975). She and
Stanley were classmates in school but did not date.

She bore one daughter, Jillian, out of wedlock with an older man. With Stanley,
Jamie has a second daughter, Jennifer (often just called 'Jenny'). Her
official occupation is an IT technician and data-farm/network specialist.

It should be noted that Jamie's last name (in English) has been changed to
escape notice of interested parties. Instead of Young, it is Yang. Her
daughters Jillian and Jenny use Stanley's last name of Chen.

Also called: Tse-Kei (by Stanley), Kei-jie (by Melanie), Kei-kei (by Stanley)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Janelle Chen
------------
One of two twin daughters of Stanley and Rachelle Chen. Born 2005. Her twin
sister is Danielle. Stanley notices that the twins possess a measure of
empathy with one another.

Also called: Jayne (by Rachelle)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Janet Kam-Ling Wu
-----------------
Stanley Chen's first wife, affectionately referred to as his, "First."
Cantonese-American woman born June 16, 1972. She is the daughter of her
father's second wife. Janet has a full brother, James, and a half-sister
(unnamed).

With Stanley, Janet has two sons: Michael (b. 2001) and Frederick (b. 2004).
Her official occupation is private attorney at law (civil/business).

Also called: Ling-jie (by Melanie), Ling-Ling (by Stanley), Jan (by Stanley),
Janna (by Viktoriya)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jennifer (Jenny) Chen
---------------------
The younger of two daughters of Stanley and Jamie Chen. Born 2004. Her older
half-sister is Jillian. Described by Stanley as, "sanguine and sweet."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jillian Chen
------------
Jamie's oldest daughter, with whom she had conceived with a man out of wedlock.
Born 1995. Stanley remarks that Jillian's precociousness reminds him of a
young Melanie.

Also called: Jill (diminutive)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joseph Pincelli, Jr.
--------------------
A mobster from one of the myriad Italian/Sicilian crime families who owned and
operated a casino where Stanley met Jamie.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joseph Pincelli, Sr.
--------------------
Father of Jospeh Pincelli, Jr., approximate age 70, and head of the Pincelli
crime family.

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Jon-Peter
---------
Heidi's boyfriend, then later, husband. According to Stanley, he served as an
Army Ranger until 2004, then performed civilian contract work in Iraq until he
is KIA in 2006.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jyunko Kosugi
-------------
Birth mother of Melanie Chen. Her mental capacity has been diminished by the
psychic ghoul posing as Pyotr Lychenko.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kady Chen
---------
The only daughter of Stanley and Shawn Chen. Born 2005. Stanley notes Kady is a
trouble-maker and, "often got into as much mischief as the boys."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kari
----
One of Stanley's empire associates, introduced to him through Tseng. She is
Galen's wife.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kimberly Brewer
---------------
One of Rosalind's roommates at the Berkeley apartment. She is described by
Stanley as someone who, "would be inclined to fuck anything with a cock and a
hundred bucks."

Also called: Kimmy or Kim (diminutive)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Laura Benton-Horten
-------------------
Shawn's mother. After the bigamy suit against Stanley is dimissed, she is
invited to stay in the Chen house as a guest. Stanley, at one time, considered
the woman "a cranky old bitch" but eventually treats her like a proper
mother-in-law.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lillian
-------
A mentally gifted woman Tseng briefly mentions to Stanley for having, "acted
foolishly." Tseng never makes light of her fate, but Stanley guesses that she
was permanently silenced for betraying the empire's existence.

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Melanie Yu-Ching Chen
---------------------
Stanley Chen's second wife, sometimes called, "Yu-Ching." Appears to be a
Cantonese woman born January 3, 1982, but in fact, is half-Chinese and
half-Japanese.

With Stanley, Melanie has a son, Norman (b. 2007) and at the end of the story,
is pregnant with an unborn daughter (tentatively named Suzanna). Her official
occupation is a part-time chef at the Cliff House, and full-time housewife.
Stanley affectionately thinks of her as a "busy-body."

Also called: Xieu-Ching (by Janet), Little Chen (by Stanley), Lanny (seldom
used)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Chen
------------
The older of two sons of Stanley and Janet Chen. Born September 1, 2001.
Stanley notices that Michael tends to get his younger brother, Milhail, into
more trouble than usual.

Also called: Mikey (diminutive)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Milhail Chen
------------
The only son of Stanley and Viktoriya Chen. Born 2002. Stanley and Viktoriya
both notice that their son is not gifted with mental powers.

Also called: Mily (by Viktoriya)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Millie Harrison
---------------
David's wife. Hails from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Born 1970 or earlier. She knows
of her husband's ability of instantaneous displacement. The events in
"Invisible Empire" has her nearly killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Oddly enough, where Stanley is tolerant of (even in love with) Shawn's weight,
he regards Millie as a "fat bitch."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noorah
------
Halah's daughter. She is a witch-seer of the Order of Sybaris, a coven
descended from ancient Bacchanite cults.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Norman Chen
-----------
The only son of Stanley and Melanie Chen. Born 2007. Norman is a toddler when
the story ends.

Also called: Normie (diminutive)

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Phillipa Roget
--------------
A young 'woman' born with the gift of invisibility. Phillipa is afflicted with
total AIS (or 'CAIS'), androgyn insensitivity syndrome. Her codename while
operating with NSA-PSI and the ICS is "Mirage."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pyotr Lychenko
--------------
Viktoriya's "older brother" who had mysteriously disappeared when she was a
pre-teen living in Ukraine.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rachelle Elizabeth Hollister
----------------------------
Stanley Chen's fourth wife, whom he often refers to as, "sugar." Born 1975.
Stanley describes her as "mulatto" although her specific ancestry is not
detailed. Stanley mentions "jumping the broom" with Rachelle, signifying they
are aware of her black history, and all that it entails. She has two sisters,
Lucretia and Tanya, and a brother who was killed in a bad part of town.

With Stanley, Rachelle has two twin girls, Danielle and Janelle (b. 2005). Her
official occupation is a video producer at Lucasarts.

Also called: Ra-Ra (by Stanley), Rayche (by some friends)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Richard Herman
--------------
One of Stanley's empire associates. Mentioned by Stanley as a marijuana user,
and hence, not privy to certain operations within the empire.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rosalind Chae
-------------
A student of Stanley's in design studio with whom he has a brief affair.

Also called: Rose (by Stanley)

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Sachiko Kosugi
--------------
Gracia's younger sister. She is a private psychiatrist and Andrew's principal
love interest midway through the story.

Also called: Ji-Ko (by Andrew and close friends)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sasha Goodwin
-------------
One of Rosalind's roommates at the Berkeley apartment. Andrew's diagnosis of
her behavior leads him to confide to Stanley that "she had all the makings of
a sex addict."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shawn Ellen Horten
------------------
Stanley Chen's third wife, whom he often calls "pumpkin" or "muffin." Caucasian
woman with auburn-brown hair and light freckles on her cheeks and nose, born
1977. Her brother died in an accident as a result of sordid family business.
She has a half-brother as a result, but has not connected with that branch of
her family.

With Stanley, Shawn has a daughter, Kady (b. 2005). Her official occupation is
a civil and environmental systems engineer.

Also called: Shawn Ellen (by Melanie)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stanley Wei-Keurng Chen
-----------------------
The narrator of the story. American-born first-generation Cantonese man. Born
September 30, 1975. Resides in San Francisco, California along with his
family. His younger brother is Andrew Wei-Pung Chen. Stanley appears to have
powers of mind-reading, biointroscopy, psychokinesis and telepathy, but all
that were byproducts of his true gift.

Officially, he is a licensed architect, but he has taken on extra
responsibilities by the end of the story. His codename while operating with
NSA-PSI and the ICS is "Snake Charmer."

Also called: Stanislav (by Viktoriya), Chen-guo (by family), Keurng-guo (by
family)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Suzanna Chen
------------
The unborn daughter of Stanley and Melanie Chen. Her name is mentioned briefly
towards the end of the story.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Test Subject
------------
Unknown "test subject" from CIA subprojects MINDFLIGHT and WHITELIGHT who
became deranged, and began invading the minds of top tier directors of the
U.S. security sections (CIA, NSA, and NRO). Neutralized as a threat at the
November 29th, 2009 incident at DC.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tseng / Stephen Tseng
---------------------
Stanley's mysterious mentor. Looks to be a Chinese man in his late fifties or
mid-sixties. He has no permanent residence, but is known to have spent time in
New York City with Phillipa's aunt, Susan Roget, as well as in the outskirts
of Kirishima on the island of Kyushu, Japan with the woman, Jyunko.

Tseng's motives are unclear, even towards the end of the story, when he reveals
many details about Melanie and Pyotr to Stanley and Viktoriya. His
relationship with the mentally withdrawn Jyunko Kosugi sheds some light into
his past, but all else is speculation.

He also has at least two codenames when operating with NSA-PSI or ICS, one of
which (Talisman) is no longer considered active at the end of the story.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Viktoriya Lychenko
------------------
Stanley Chen's fifth wife, whom he affectionately calls, "Vika" and a host of
other Russian pet-names. Ukrainian-born Russian-Romanian who immigrated into
the United States in 1990. Born March 1975. A gifted psychokineticist and a
bisexual hedonist.

With Stanley, Viktoriya has a son, Milhail (b. 2002). Officially, she is a
dancesport instructor and dance teacher.

Also called: Vicky (by Shawn)

===============================================================================
 II. F.A.Q.
===============================================================================
Q. Is this based on anything which occurred IRL (in real life)?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. For legal purposes, no. I know some of you truth-seekers are wondering if
some of the characters in this story are actual people so you can look them up
so you can "fap" to their pictures on social site accounts. Look all you want,
but no real names were used, except for certain locations and cities.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Did you rip this off from "Push", "X-men", etc.?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. Not entirely, no. I was fascinated by individuals having preternatural
powers, but they would be reclusive and secretive about it; after all, if
you're drawing attention to yourself, you're going to get some, both the good
and the bad.

As Stanley mentions, growing up with the X-Files instills a fear of government
dissection, and not the formation of S.H.I.E.L.D. If you are looking for other
inspiration, SuckerPunch's Infamous videogame on the Playstation 3 has
inspired me to start putting this story onto paper.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Were there other inspirations?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. There sure were. The true inspirations are Kam Ping Mui (The Gold Lotus) and
Six Records of a Floating Life. I have not yet completed Tales of the Genji,
but boy, that guy really loves his women.

Kam Ping Mui featured a rich, hedonistic man with six wives, one of whom is
rather selfish and evil (she kills her first husband to wed the rich
merchant). I warped some of the details in the story, while keeping the
characters unique (but familiar). For example, Janet, the first wife, is
virtuous, level-headed, and mature. Her last name Wu, is the same as the first
wife (called Moon Lady) in Kam Ping Mui.

Jamie's sordid past fit with two of the wives as being a former courtesean
(common practice in Imperial China), while Rachelle's checkered past mimed
Gold Lotus' own troublesome past (the only difference is no Black Whirlwind
came back to lop her head off).

What's more, the childhood to adult love story in Six Records (between Shen Fu
and Chen Yun) is emulated in Stanley's long term relationships with both Janet
and Melanie, although one may argue Shawn could be included (both being
teenagers then).

Lastly, many thanks go to Cordwainer Smith, who wrote the short story "Three to
a Given Star." That was my first exposure to polygamy when studying in the
West as a young man.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Why are the last names of Melanie and Stanley "Chen"? Are they related?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. No. As explained by Chapter 2, Stanley's "Chen" and Melanie's "Chen" only
appear similar to Western eyes. They are, in fact, two different last names
(with different etymologies).

I noticed this in the midst of starting chapter 3, and that was the fix; the
last names shared the same spelling by accident, but this is actually quite a
common occurence, as Chinese immigrants try to find an appropriate Romanized
version of their family names. For example, Jue and Jew are both considered
Chinese last names, and often have the same character but obviously different
Romanizations.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Why do the years covered vary between chapters?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. It differs depending on what I am focusing on for that chapter. Some of you
may be familiar with the notions of "time expansion" and "time compression"
where you get the feeling time is taking forever to pass, while at other
times, it's later than you realize when you look at the clock.

The human mind tends to experience "time expansion" when it pays attention to
certain things or events. "Time compression" occurs when one mentally blanks
out. For the chapters in IE, time expansion occurs when Stanley focuses on an
event, an objective, or individual(s). He tends to go into an "autonomous"
mode; just sailing through life like the rest of us 'normals'.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Viktoriya's dancesport genre is described incorrectly.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. There may be some errors. I've done all I can to corroborate her field with
what meager resources I can rely on (without using Wikipedia - the sewage of
information). For artistic license, her schedule and profession will have to
make adjustments, much like Stanley's and Janet's.

You may ask, "How?!" Well, Stanley, as a draftsman, has a lot of free time to
do what he needs to do. Most construction drawings (pre-CAD and during the CAD
transition) required several weeks of detailed attention. Stanley is either
exemplary, or cheating to do the work he does.

As for Janet, she and her firm sets the speed record for finishing class-action
suits. Notice she closes her asbestos case rather quickly before starting on
the health insurance one. Historic fiction ... not everything is fact!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. La Corporacion is suspected to be Bolivian, not Colombian.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. Colombia, Bolivia, they all look alike to me! Joking aside, I realized that
after some more research, but South American is a cesspool of drug cartels.
There are some inconsistencies in this historic fiction. Personally, I didn't
even know about La Corporacion until the Delta Green group pointed them out in
their 1994 sourcebook, Delta Green Countdown.

For example: the movie Terminator 2 came out the summer of 1992, months too
late for Stanley and Rachelle to do their comparison in their 11th grade class
(they are the class of '93; for this to work, they'd have to be the class of
'94). It's one of those things I realized, but with the story already written,
I didn't make any corrections and hoped no one noticed.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. In the case involving Shawn's father, isn't there a statute of limitations?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A: Yes and no. I'm glad I looked into California's statute of limitations
(criminal and civil). While the limit ranges from one to three years, such a
statue (in general) seems to be from the "time of discovery" rather than the
actual incident.

The example given at
(www.thelaw.com/guide/litigation/statute-of-limitations-california/)
hypothesizes a victim who sues the perpetrator of an accident after he
discovers health conditions stemming from injuries he initially sustained from
an old accident.

In the case of George Horten (Shawn's father), it may be argued that the girl
and her family "discover" she was raped and impregnated by Horten when Stanley
does his mental digging -- well within a one year limit. I was afraid of
having to rewrite the whole section, but this cleanly (and reasonably)
explains that near-flub.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Why is there so little mention of David Reese's past?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. Steven Gould did so already in his novel, "Jumper". Please refer to Mr.
Gould's excellent novel on the teleporter Davey, and his relationship with
Millie Harrison and Brian Cox.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. What is this nuisance with the Rogets in Canada?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. The late Robert Cormier's novel "Fade" deals with the Rogets (who are
referred to as the 'Moreauxs' in the book within a book). His novel
sufficiently covers Phillipa Roget's family history up to the mid-80s and
mentions the chemical plant fire.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Why is there so much net-speak or l337-sp33k?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. Net-speak is understandably not widespread, although I come into constant
contact with it on a daily basis, including Internet memes and awful, awful
things on the World Wide Web. While net-speak / e-speak / leet-speak is not
common today, with the rise of Twitter and the fall of public education, we
ain't that far off from NewSpeak as you think.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Where can I find a resource to understand you?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. You may refer to the Urban Dictionary (www.urbandictionary.com) or the
always popular Encyclopedia Dramatica (Bing/Google search this one). You of
course, can always visit 4chan.org (make sure you do this at your private PC
at home, with anti-viral on) or ChatRoulette and revel in what the youth of
today are spending countless hours on.

Just be sure to play the "newfag" role and STFU. Just lurk. Then lurk moar :0)

For the record, my English is Americanized (or 'Amerifag') English, so if
British (or 'Britfag') readers may have mild complications understanding some
local, contemporary idioms.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Why did you use "gang-banger" instead of "gang member?"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. The LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) circa 1990s used the gang-banger
term (and it doesn't involve the sexual act). "Bangers" is the short form. The
current form (post 2005) is more politically neutral and less racially
charged, "gang-member".

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Why did you describe lamb meat as "noisome"?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. For Asians, lamb meat has a sour stench that we find revolting.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. What does (insert foreign phrase or word here) mean?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. I've included the English translation (or closest one) either at the end of
the sentence, or immediately after the phrase where a translation foot-note is
applicable. If I missed any, please notify me by email. A brief glossary is
available in this index, and is annotated by chapter.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Even if Jamie changed her last name, the mob could have tracked her SSN!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. That's a possibility with the technology now (circa 2010) but only remotely
possible back in 2000; I suppose in the confusion, Jamie's SSN may have been
lost or obscured. Sometimes, paperwork can be obscured; W-2s and I-9s can be
screwed with. I leave it to Stanley to take care of the bureaucratic mess, and
trust him to look after his loved ones.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. What powers does Stanley and some of his wives have?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. If Stanley knew exactly, he'd tell you. The problem of being both the
experimenter and the experiment is you tend to err on the side of caution.

Some of you have brought up that Stanley's powers vary, or change, or differ
throughout the story. That's partly intentional and partly accidental.

For one thing, authors hate writing themselves into a corner. Having rigidly
defined powers (i.e., nothing on earth can stop Marko Cain, the Juggernaut!)
means one has to constantly come up with ingenious, or unique, opposition to
the hero. That's too much work, and threatens the excitement of the little
known.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. There seems to be a lot happening at once; is that intentional?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. Life's complicated. I wanted to give the main character, Stanley, ulcers
just from living. If you were in his shoes, and could operate without downing
a bottle of Mylanta everyday, you're one tough hombre. Besides, he wants to
screw around, so naturally, life is complicated!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. (Insert name) is my favorite wife! Do you have any favorites?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. Each dish has its allure. With Janet, it's respectful wisdom. Melanie is
youthful joy. Shawn is thoughtful contemplation. Viktoriya is both fiery and
capricious. Rachelle is cosmopolitan and gregarious. And the lovely Jamie is
sanguine and sensual. Here is a Chinese six-course meal one can fap to.
Huhuhuhu.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. You've used the term "bugger" or "buggery" at times; you realize this is
quite an offensive word in England?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. That was deliberate. Much like how the British refer to elevators as lifts,
fries as chips, and cigarettes as fags. Freshen up your drink guv'nor? Don't
touch me. LOL.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Were you born on XX/YY/ZZ? Does Stanley correspond to you, the author?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. Actually, Stanley is younger than the author, but we're from that glorious
decade. The author believes the Chevrolet Corvair is the ultimate example of
American awesomeness. If there was time in the story, Stanley would've
restored a Corvair instead of building Red Rock Island.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Why doesn't Stanley use Cantonese pet names for Viktoriya, as she uses
Russian ones for him?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. It's complicated. Viktoriya doesn't have a Cantonese name, and Stanley being
more fluent in English than she, he prefers conversing with her in English.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q: Why does Stanley comes off as so arrogant?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A: Since few of us can reliably read people, we tend to be on the polite side.
However, being a mind-reader (not simply a mind-controller) means you can
quickly "see" the intentions of the person or people you're negotiating with,
and can thus tailor your conversation to your advantage. Telepathy gives one
an edge, and who wouldn't use an edge if they got one?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q: Why is Stanely so disinterested in politics?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A: Politics is about diplomacy and persuading others to agree with you. What do
you think Stanley does when he talks? That aside, his reading of other people
around him may have made him quite apathetic; besides, if Stanley can get his
way through other means (up to and including psychically induced suicide), why
bother negotiating?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Where do you draw your characters from? They are very detailed; etc.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. For the record, there is a Call of Cthulhu character sheet for each, and
they may participate in a campaign, if the setting fits. Of course, not all of
their skills/stats/etc. are fleshed out but it does give a general account of
what each character is capable of. The CIA calls this their "cheat sheet"
(dossier). American human resource directors call this the "background check."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Is Invisible Empire finished? The ending doesn't seem right.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. The Six Records of a Floating Life ended in an abrupt fashion (the author
simply stops writing). I have sought to emulate this. Considering the
quasi-historic fiction setting, I felt it best to leave the outcome somewhat
hazy and unresolved. I wish Stanley and his family the best of luck in the
future.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. May I continue writing Invisible Empire? Or use characters from it?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. While you are welcome to write a story in the Invisible Empire "universe", I
am disallowing any use of, or appearance of, all characters and situations in
Invisible Empire. Please email me (grey228 | hotmail) to check with me first
if you are intending to place a story in this particular universe. Thank you.

===============================================================================
III. NON-ENGLISH GLOSSARY
===============================================================================

Because some of the non-English terms are used again without translation (and
in Stanley's case, without apology), I've included them here. Everything is
alphabetized by the non-English term (when it is Romanized). If you do not see
it here, the phrase or term was likely only used once in the story, and inline
translation is in the story itself. All of the Cantonese terms are romanized
in informal Wade-Giles (phonetically); as a rule, they are not true
translations.

Note: I may have made some errors in feminizing some of the Russian (I have a
feeling 'milenky' may be more correct as 'milenka' when applied to Viktoriya)
but I will be treating the Romanized-Cyrillic as neutral terms. Apologies to
any Russian readers for this gross oversight.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ah-guo. Cantonese. Brother (casual); may be considered the equivalent of,
"Brah" or "Bro".

bieu-guo. Cantonese. Male first cousin, not of the same surname (older).

Chen-sang. Cantonese. Mr. Chen (formal, polite)

Chen-tai. Cantonese. Mrs. Chen (formal, polite)

dorogoi. Russian. Dear, or old dear (reserved for married couples)

dos vedanya. Russian. Goodbye.

guo-guo. Cantonese. Big brother (generally familial)

jie-jie. Cantonese. Big sister (generally familial)

Kam-Ling. Cantonese. Janet's given name (her middle name in English).

kisa. Russian. Pet, literally "kitty cat".

ko-nichi-wa. Japanese. Good day, meant for afternoon only (generic)

kung-kung. Cantonese. Matriarchal grandfather.

lastochka. Russian. Little swallow (the bird, not the action)

lyubimy. Russian. Beloved.

milenky. Russian. Dear one, or dearest one.

nai-nai, or lai-lai. Cantonese. Patriarchal mother-in-law (formal)

por-por. Cantonese. Matriarchal grandmother.

rodnoi. Russian. Kinsman, or brother.

sai-o-nara. Japanese. Goodbye (formal)

spasee baa. Russian. Thank you.

Tse-Kei. Cantonese. Jamie's given name (her middle name in English).

Wah-jai. Cantonese. Wah the "Kid" or runt; Anthony Chen's nickname.

Wei-Keurng. Cantonese. Stanley's given name (his middle name in English).

Xieu-Ching. Cantonese. Little Ching, one of Melanie's numerous nicknames.

Yeung-sang. Cantonese. Mr. Yeung (or Mr. Young).

ying-chou. Cantonese. Social or familial obligation.

zaichik. Russian. Bunny rabbit.

===============================================================================
 IV. TIMELINE
===============================================================================

A brief list of events that occur in the fictional universe of Invisible
Empire.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1971

- Janet Wu born

- Jyunko attacked by psychic ghoul around this time

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1975

- Stanley Chen, Rachelle Hollister, Jamie Young, Viktoriya Lychenko are born

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1976

- Subprojects WHITELIGHT and MINDLFIGHT proposed under Project MKULTRA

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1977

- Shawn Horten born

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1979

- Three Mile Island incident; Son of Sam killer neutralized by Tseng

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1982

- Melanie Chen born

- Stanley's brother, Andrew, born

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1983

- Sachiko Kosugi born

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1985

- Stanley first cognizant of his mental gifts

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1986

- Phillipa Roget born

- Chernobyl meltdown; Tseng neutralizes Pyotr

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1987

- Stanley and Janet meet

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1988

- Davey meets Millicent Harrison for the first time

- Hezzbollah terrorist, Matar, kills Davey's mother

- Tseng meets Feodor around this time

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989

- DOW Chemical plant fire in upstate New York; Phillipa's parents killed

- David Reese recruited into NSA; Tseng assigned a new handler

- Rosalind Chae born

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1991

- Stanley first encounters Melanie at Andrew's school.

- Stanley befriends Faraz, and dates Rachelle

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1992

- Stanley and Shawn become intimate

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1993

- Stanley encounters Viktoriya and she reveals her gifts

- World Trade Center bombing

- Jon-Peter enlists in the U.S. Army

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1994

- Stanley and Rachelle break-up

- Tseng makes first contact with Stanley

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1995

- Oklahoma City bombing

- Tseng introduces Stanley to the NSA and Brian Cox

- Jamie gives birth to Jillian

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1996

- New York World Trade Center attacked a second time

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1997

- Stanley takes a family trip to Hong Kong and "meats" his cousin, Aurora

- Craig Simmons introduced as Rachelle's fiance

- Viktoriya moves to New York to pursue motion studies

- Stanley and David first meeting out of agency protocol

- Tseng arranges for Stanley to partake in "odd jobs"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1999

- Shawn graduates San Jose State

- Stanley proposes to Janet, Viktoriya, Melanie and Shawn in marriage

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2000

- Stanley participates in the capture of Phillipa Roget; meets Bethany Adams

- Stanley takes in Jamie and Jillian after neutralizing Pincelli Jr

- Stanley turns Jacob Waters into an empire "friendly"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001

- Michael Chen born

- World Trade Center destroyed; Aurora and Faraz are killed

- Stanley and Rachelle reconcile; Craig Simmons goes back to L.A. alone

- Phillipa recruited into the agency

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2002

- Milhail Chen born

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2003

- Stanley marries his six darlings in Hong Kong

- Andrew and Sachiko begin dating

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2004

- Frederick and Jennifer Chen born

- George Horten attempts to slander Stanley Chen in bigamy suit

- Stanley makes acquaintance with Galen and Kari

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2005

- Kady, Danielle, and Janelle Chen born

- Stanley purchases Red Rock Island

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006

- Viktoriya leaves for New York once again

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2007

- Norman Chen born

- Stanley begins an affair with a student, Rosalind Chae

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2008

- Stanley and Andrew debauch with Rosalind and her band of sluts in wine
country

- Kidnapping attempt by Pincelli Sr foiled; Craig Simmons killed by Stanley

- Stanley halts affair with Rosalind, but starts a new one with Phillipa

- Andrew and Sachiko go on a break

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2009

- Andrew goes missing in Iraq; Stanley locates and rescues his brother

- Stanley's encounter with the Order of Sybaris

- Stanley battles psychic ghoul from subproject WHITELIGHT; rescues Viktoriya

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2010

- Melanie pregnant with second child, Suzanna

- Stanley and Viktoriya meet Tseng and told the truth about the invisible
empire

===============================================================================
  COPYRIGHT: 2010. THIS WORK IS CONSIDERED PRIVATE AND ITS DISTRIBUTION IS
             EXPRESSLY FOR FTP.ASSTR.ORG AND MCSTORIES.COM. THE UN-AUTHORIZED
             DISTRIBUTION OF THIS DOCUMENT MAY BE CONSIDERED A VIOLATION OF
             COPYRIGHT AND DISSEMINATION OF OBSCENE MATERIAL IN YOUR COUNTRY.
             YOU MAY BE SUBJECT YOU TO PENALITIES INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED
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             FINES, INCARCERATION, OR CAPITAL OR OTHER FORMS OF PUNISHMENT.

             PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL LAWS BEFORE CREATING OR DISTRIBUTING
             OBSCENE AND OBJECTIONABLE MATERIALS.

     AUTHOR: MAXIMILLIAN ZHANG

     E-MAIL: GREY228 [ON] HOTMAIL
===============================================================================