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The remainder of this article contains lore created collaboratively by the Blaseball community.
Niq Nyong'o was a Kenyan marine biologist, oceanographer, author, and Blaseball player who lived in Atlantis. Nyong'o had PhDs in marine biology and oceanography, and wrote numerous books, research papers, and other articles on the subject. Nyong'o additionally practiced paleontology, but mostly considered this a hobby on the side and not a serious academic endeavor.
Niq Nyong'o was the original captain of the Atlantis Georgias, as well as the team's most anticapitalist player. She was a transgender lesbian, and was married to fellow biologist, researcher, and batter Flattery McKinley. At the time of writing, Nyong'o and McKinley had been married for roughly five years, an amount of time that seems to remain constant, as Niq and Flattery we're observed celebrating their anniversary for one day every season. The day of their anniversary however appears to be completely random, with a degree of variance from season to season.
Life in Atlantis
Shortly after graduating grad school, Nyong'o volunteered to be transferred to a research station in the South Sandwich Islands to study marine biology. During an expedition, however, Nyong'o was caught in a shipwreck, losing her arm and ending up stranded at sea. Nyong'o was found by residents of Atlantis, and taken there to heal. While healing, Nyong'o met Atlantean terrestrial biologist Flattery McKinley, and the two bonded over a shared interest in biology, sharing common knowledge about their respective worlds with one another.
To acclimate herself to her new prosthetic arm, Niq Nyong'o began playing Blaseball with other patients at the hospital. As it turned out, Nyong'o had a talent for the splort, and considered playing it full-time. This, combined with her field of study, led to Nyong'o deciding she would move to Atlantis permanently. However, without the support she received at the hospital, Nyong'o realized she would have to take matters into her own hands.
Niq Nyong'o compiled most of her knowledge of marine biology to begin a bioengineering project that would allow herself to breathe underwater, withstand much greater pressures than the average human, and additionally change her blood type to H₂O. Despite this, Nyong'o remains "more-or-less completely human" and expresses solidarity with some versions of teammate Frankie Hambone over this fact.
Upon moving to Atlantis, Nyong'o found herself as a fish out of water in water, often confused by the inner workings of Atlantis and its multiversal structure. Flattery McKinley had become a close friend of Nyong'o, however, slowly helping her acclimate to her new home and assisting her with her research. The two started simply as research partners, but swiftly adopted a close casual relationship as well, leading to the two becoming romantic partners, and eventually getting married years later. The two currently reside in a submarine that they use for research, but they have also heavily decorated to help it feel more homey, save for a single corner they can not decide what to do with.
In the year XXXX, Nyong'o took it upon herself to start playing Blaseball professionally, based on her time spent playing it while acclimating to her prosthetic arm. She signed on to play for the Atlantis Georgias, and encouraged her girlfriend, Flattery McKinley, to join her. McKinley signed on with some hesitation, but ultimately agreed so they could learn more about their girlfriend's interests, as well having an easy opportunity to study life in other locations during away games.
Although Nyong'o was never the most skilled player on the Georgias, her ability to keep the team organized was quickly recognized, and she quickly became the team's captain.
Wishing to gain the best possible understanding of the splort, in the year XXXX, Niq Nyong'o began an effort to research the Blaseball gods. She assembled a research team working alongside her wife, Flattery McKinley, as well as fellow researchers Mint Shupe, Hercules Alighieri, and Nanci Grackle, with additional help from the rest of the Georgias.
Through these studies, the team gained intensive knowledge of Blaseball itself, allowing them to force the author of this article to write so much redacted text just to make it look that much more cool and mysterious. Like, seriously, I want to see people look at the huge redacted section and say "oh my god" and there can be some words uncensored like Ascension just to give small clues into what was going on but for the most part, oh so much was happening that we, as the pitiful Blaseball fans, just should not be allowed to know.
And like, why stop at one paragraph? A second paragraph really drives the point home, I think. It really implies so, so dang much went down. But listen, the Big Leagues are behind a gate. You think we're allowed to see what was happening up there? The answer is probably not! And like, I, the author, am not a member of The Game Band so I don't want to take a stab at writing lore for something that is obviously not my turf. Just throwing it all under this redaction helps to imply a whole lot happened without having to explain what happened. It also makes for a really fun easter egg for anyone who bothers to check what the text actually says! Thanks for reading this! I think that's enough redacted text. We can get back to the article now.
In Season 12, the Atlantis Georgias, including Nyong'o, Descended, bringing them back to the ILB. However, having missed the entirety of the Discipline Era, the Georgias were witnessing a much different landscape than they had seen when they Ascended, leading them to resume their research efforts to discover what happened while they were gone.
Relationship with Flattery B. McKinley
In the Season 13 elections, her wife, Flattery McKinley was swapped for an Alternate. Although the Alternate Flattery had few noticeable differences compared to their prime counterpart, these differences were quickly noticed by Niq, leading to a period of difficulty, confusion, and uncertainty in their relationship. Nyong'o reflects on this in the article Advice for Underwater Lesbian Researchers Whose Wives Have Been Swapped for Alternate Dimension Counterparts.
"When placed into a situation like this, sometimes it can be difficult to parse exactly what to do next. You may tell yourself, 'This is not my beautiful wife!' but in some cases, the alternate may be more or less the same, as was the case with me. When I look at Flattery, I know this is still them. I see the way they talk to me, the way they express their enthusiasm over terrestrial biology, I see the history we have shared, and I see every little quirk and imperfection that tells me that this is Flattery and no one else, and I still love them.
But despite everything, there's still that nagging feeling that this is not the exact same person you originally fell in love with. That person is now off in some other dimension, where another version of you may very well be going through the exact same thing. It's not exactly like they're dead, but you also need to accept you likely won't ever be seeing them again.
But that's not exactly true either. It's not like Flattery is gone, they are right here, and are going through very much the same situation as I am. It's complicated to figure out exactly how much this means, how much that technicality really matters when going forward in your relationship. And at a certain point, the main thing you have to accept is that there may not be a clean answer."
The article has proven to be very popular with its target demographic, which consists of at least five separate people aside from Niq Nyong'o and Flattery McKinley.
One thing was known for certain between Nyong'o and McKinley, and it was that the Will could not be reversed. As a result, the two decided to move forward with their relationship, and try to get to know each other a bit better. Throughout Season 14 and the Off Season following, the two started going on frequent dates. While there was not much the two had to learn about one another, given they were pretty much the exact same people they knew before, they were able to get a chance to remember why they made such a good couple in the first place. In the most literal sense of the term, they got the opportunity to meet each other for the first time all over again.
Nyong'o and McKinley, for the most part, adjusted quite well to one another, settling back into being Atlantis's lead Academic Lesbian Power Couple. There were brief moments where one of them will notice something just barely off about the other, and no matter how minor it is, it always hits them a bit, reminding them of the initial period of confusion and uncertainty. However, the two assured that through everything, their love for one another remains strong, and remained strong until Nyong'o's untimely incineration.
The "Anchor" of the Georgias
An anomaly that was observed with Niq Nyong'o was that, unlike every other player on the Atlantis Georgias, Niq appeared to be fully consistent across all dimensions. It is believed that Niq was some sort of "anchor" to the Atlantis Georgias, effectively serving as a common thread that holds the multiversal structure of Atlantis together.
When Niq Nyong'o was Elsewhere in Season 17, it was noted that while the different realities building up Atlantis did not drift apart, they appeared to become less stable. When Nyong’o returned, reality stabilized again, relatively speaking for Atlantis. However, when Nyong'o was Scattered, other members of the Georgias began noticing slight variations that they had never seen before, revealing the existence of alternate versions of her in different dimensions.
While few of these variations strayed too far from the version of Niq Nyong'o that is most well-known, they did effectively debunk the previous theory that she was fully consistent across all dimensions. It appeared that Niq was usually just unaffected by the reality flickering that affects every other member of the Georgias, though the specific reason as to why this is is still unknown.
Before Nyong’o’s incineration, no living Atlantean had any knowledge of what would happen to Atlantis if the “anchor” was removed from the Georgias. Her unfortunate death proved that the lack of an “anchor” would lead Atlantis to quickly and haphazardly choose someone unfamiliar as a replacement to avoid massive instability causing Atlantis’s many dimensions caving in on themselves; forcing someone to not only bear the burden of being the “anchor,” but of having to play Blaseball as well. Researchers have concluded that it’s somebody on the team, probably. Us poor Fans can’t be expected to choose such a thing. Decide for yourself, everybody and nobody is the “anchor.”
Variations observed by her teammates during her time Scattered are listed below.
A Short Story on Niq Nyong'o
- Niq Nyong'o was the only member of the Georgias that absolutely could not stand drinking Ooze. She tried it exactly once, as part of the team initiation, and never had it again.
Niq Nyong'o by @pitayapandi