John Coltrane's first attempt to emulate the musical forms of some of his followers, incorporating an expanded group (11 players, with Archie Shepp, Freddie Hubbard, and others added to the quartet) and passages of collective improvisation, à la Albert Ayler's Bells, et al. It was part of a new phase in his career, one which distanced Trane's music from the relatively accessible (and popular) A Love Supreme, and signaled the end of his classic quartet.

The X-files

Ascension (Part 2 of 2)
Episode: 2X06
First aired:10/21/94
Written by: Paul Brown
Directed by: Michael Lange

At the end of Duane Barry, we see Scully being kidnapped by Barry.

Mulder listens to his message from Scully hearing her talk about her discovery but then hearing Duane Barry attacking her. Mulder rushes to Scully's apatment and finds Scully's mom in a frantic state. She claims that she had a dream that Scully was taken away.

Mulder and Krycek talk to Skinner who has a hard time believing Mulder's alien abduction story. He tells Krycek to make sure Mulder got home alright and that Mulder can't work on the case.

Meanwhile, we see Duane Barry driving down an interstate with Scully bound and gagged in the trunk. He is stopped by an officer but when Scully tries to scream and bang on the trunk, Barry shoots the officer. Barry goes to the trunk and opens it to look at Scully.

This incident is caught on tape from the patrol car and Mulder is able to see that Scully is still alive.

Taking clues from recordings from Barry, Mulder finds that he is going to Skyland mountain. He tells Krycek that they're going. Krycek calls Cigarette-Smoking Man about his plans and tells him that he'll hold Mulder off.

Mulder and Krycek reach the mountain they find that Barry has started driving up the mountain. Mulder insists that he use the cable car that is not working properly yet. When he's almost up to the top Krycek knocks that conductor out and stops the car. But Mulder makes it to the top.

He finds Barry's car -- in the trunk is Scully's golden cross. He hears Barry and races toward him but Scully is nowhere to be seen. Barry says "they took her."

Mulder talks to Barry when a team has taken custody of him and Mulder springs on him and chokes him when Barry wont cooperate.

Moments later, when Krycek is talking to Barry, alone, Barry goes into cardiac arrest and dies.

Krycek talks to CSM again who tells him that Scully has been taken care of and that he has to keep Mulder's trust.

Mulder believes that Barry was poisend and the blame was on him, and the military knows of Scully's whereabouts. Mulder notices cigarrettes in the ashtray of Krycek's car and realizes that Krycek has been meeting with CSM. However Krycek is now missing and Skinner reopens the X-files.

Mulder meets with Ms. Scully and offers her the cross, but she tells Mulder to hold onto it when they find Scully.

Important Quotes:
Mulder -- "Where is she? Where'd you leave her?"
Barry -- "They took her."
Mulder -- "Who?"
Barry -- "Them! I told you they would take somebody else. They did!"

CSM -- "Kill Mulder and you risk turning one man's religion into a crusade."
Krycek -- "What about Scully?"
CSM -- "We've taken care of that."

Man -- "Why are you so paranoid, Mulder?"
Mulder -- "Oh, I don't know. Maybe it's because I find it hard to trust anybody."

X -- "There are no answers for you, Mister Mulder. They only have one policy... deny everything."

Back to The X-files: Season 2

By John Donne

Salute the last, and everlasting day,
Joy at the uprising of this Sunne, and Sonne,
Ye whose just tears, or tribulation
Have purely washed, or burnt your drossy clay;
Behold the Highest, parting hence away,
Lightens the dark clouds, which he treads upon,
Nor doth he by ascending, show alone,
But first he, and he first enters the way.
O strong Ram which hast battered heaven for me,
Mild lamb, which with thy blood, hadt marked the path;
Bright Torch, which shin'st, that I the way may see,
Oh, with thy own blood quench thy own just wrath.
And if the holy Spirit, my Muse did raise,
Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and praise.
Back to La Corona.
The Ascension of Jesus is the penultimate event of the Easter season: In the earlier calendar of the Roman church, Ascension was celebrated 40 days after Easter. Since all faithful Catholics were required to observe the Feast by attending Mass, it has been recently decided to hold the Feast on the Sunday following the Thursday, to relieve Catholics of the burden of finding time on Thursday to attend Mass.

An account of the Ascension can be found in Luke 24:50-51:
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.
Also, in Acts 1:9:
And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took took him out of their sight.
Brief descriptions can also be found in Mark 16:19-20 and John 14:2-6 and in other places.

The purpose of Ascension is given in John 14:2-3:
In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
More important to the success of his Church, he explains in John 16:6-8
Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.
Another name for the Counselor is the Holy Spirit or the Paraclete.

The culminating event in the game Nethack, in which your character ascends to demigodhood by sacrificing the Amulet of Yendor on the high altar of your god in the astral plane, after escaping Moloch's Sanctum, Gehennom, and Dungeons of Doom with the Wizard of Yendor popping up trying to steal back the amulet, then passing through the four elemental planes.

Attempting to interfere with your ascension are the three other riders of the apocalpyse (you are soon to become War*), who reincarnate as necessary, various angels, and assorted other nasty monsters.

The equipment you rely upon to help you do this is called an Ascension Kit.

*this correction thanks to JerboaKolinowski

Also, the mechanism in The Kingdom of Loathing by which one starts from the beginning, with new shinies.

Ascension is one of the more popular deck-building games around today -- probably the most popular. It was first published in 2010 and has passed the point of being new and exciting, but the publishers have come out with a number of new editions (eight, by my count, not counting special anniversary editions), and have released an app that allows you to play against an AI for free or your friends if you buy the full version for $1.99, all of which has kept the game in circulation in the face of an healthy market of copycat games.1

Deck-building games have a simple and addicting mechanic. You start with a small deck of crappy cards -- in Ascension it's ten cards, eight 'money' cards and two 'fighting' cards -- and use these to gain better cards. Some of the cards you earn will allow you to remove the less desirable cards from your deck. Each turn you draw five cards from your deck, play them as you see fit, and discard them. Once you have gone through your deck, you reshuffle your discard pile and start again. By the end of the game you have built yourself a deck optimized for your chosen strategy, but so have your opponents. You all count up your points and see how you did.

Ascension is a fantasy themed game, with factions in the base deck approximating nature spirits (Lifebound), warriors (Void), mystics (Enlightened), and steampunk (Mechana). The art is quite nice, but it is not required that you care one whit for fantasy to enjoy this game.

All players have access to a row of cards up for purchase or battle. These cards range in price from 1-8 cost, or 3-7 damage for the monsters. There are also 'cheap' cards, which can always be purchased and never run out. Your start deck contains exclusively cards with either a purchase power of 1 or a damage value of 1. The cheap cards will gain you a purchase power of 2, a damage value of 2, or an easy monster (a cultist) to conquer for just two damage. While these give you easy ways to improve your deck, you are really aiming for the special cards -- a set of five cards that are replaced upon purchase. These all have different abilities -- gain one victory point, draw an extra two cards, remove ('banish') an undesirable card from your discard pile, 3 damage to a monster, acquire a card from the center row for free, etc.

Some of these cards are 'constructs' -- cards that are not discarded after you play them, but stick around to give permanent benefits. At least, permanent until another player manages to destroy them.

And finally, what you are ultimately playing for is not purchasing power or damage, but victory points ('crystals'). These are gained both by beating monsters and for the cards that you add to your deck. As you might guess, the player with the most victory points at the end wins.

Ascension is designed for 2-4 players, and will take about 30 minutes to play, depending on number of players and how familiar they are with the game. It is usually recommended for ages 13 and up, although I suspect that most players are in their early to mid 20s.

As I've said, I quite like this game. It is not my favorite deck-builder, but it is a close second, and it is widely available and well-known. It also has plenty of expansions and alternate decks. I would recommend this game to anyone who likes the new wave of board games (Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, etc.). Not only is it a fun game, it is also easy to learn and fairly cheap (about $15 for the two-player base game), making it a good introduction to deck-builders.

1. It is worth noting that the game that popularized the deck-building mechanic was not Ascension but the 2008 game Dominion. Copycatting is fair game in the gaming industry.

Board Game Geek is an excellent site to read more about this, and other, games.

As*cen"sion, n. [F. ascension, L. ascensio, fr. ascendere. See Ascend.]


The act of ascending; a rising; ascent.


Specifically: The visible ascent of our Savior on the fortieth day after his resurrection. (Acts i. 9.) Also, Ascension Day.


An ascending or arising, as in distillation; also that which arises, as from distillation.

Vaporous ascensions from the stomach. Sir T. Browne.

Ascension Day, the Thursday but one before Whitsuntide, the day on which commemorated our Savior's ascension into heaven after his resurrection; -- called also Holy Thursday. -- Right ascension Astron., that degree of the equinoctial, counted from the beginning of Aries, which rises with a star, or other celestial body, in a right sphere; or the arc of the equator intercepted between the first point of Aries and that point of the equator that comes to the meridian with the star; -- expressed either in degrees or in time. -- Oblique ascension Astron., an arc of the equator, intercepted between the first point of Aries and that point of the equator which rises together with a star, in an oblique sphere; or the arc of the equator intercepted between the first point of Aries and that point of the equator that comes to the horizon with a star. It is little used in modern astronomy.


© Webster 1913.

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