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This Deus Ex Story page is, in spirit, descended from the Marathon's Story page. Unlike it, however, this is intended to be readable straight-through in a linear manner. A different style for a different game.
At the end of the page is a summary of all acronyms used, in case the first usage of the acronym goes unnoticed.
Deus Ex is an immersive role-playing first-person adventure shooter simulation, or a reasonable approximation thereof. It was released in June 2000 by Ion Storm Austin (ISA), and its unusual name was taken from the Latin phrase "deus ex machina" ("a god from a machine").
No one really expected Deus Ex. It was an unprecedented game; before it, first-person shooters were nearly uniformly devoid of plot; even the well-respected Half-Life was just "the finest implementation of a game on rails anybody has ever done" (according to Warren Spector, of course). At the time of Deus Ex's release, Ion Storm [Dallas] was rather disliked by the gaming community, because of a controversy involving Ion Storm's founder John Romero and his four-years-under-development game Daikatana. Ion Storm Austin was a wholly separate division created when Romero offered Spector and his team funding with no interference, and it was delivered as promised. Hence, no one saw Deus Ex coming, and most distrusted the company it came from. While it did not have a spectacular launch, gradually people noticed what Deus Ex was all about, and it began accumulating awards and gathering attention. It is the author's opinion that Deus Ex has the most detailed and immersive story yet seen in a game, and this page is dedicated to examining that story in detail. Additionally, with the upcoming release of Deus Ex II, there will be people who will play the new game without having played the first (unthinkable, I know), and this page will help clear up the mysteries of Deus Ex's universe.
Deus Ex is officially abbreviated as DX, not DE (e.g. the logo is a stylized 'DX' (and the Deus Ex: The Conspiracy logo even more so) and the extensions of map files are .dx), and I'll refer to it as that here.
Deus Ex was created under the leadership of Warren Spector and Harvey "witchboy" Smith. The credits as listed in the source text files are:
Deus Ex has an extensive voice cast, so I will not list all of the voices here. Of note are:
According to Ion Storm Austin:
The future is here, and the world is a dangerous and chaotic place. Terrorists operate openly, killing thousands; drugs, disease, and pollution kill even more. The world's economies are close to collapse and the gap between the insanely wealthy and the desperately poor has grown to the size of the Grand Canyon. Worst of all, an ages old conspiracy bent on world domination has decided that the time is right to emerge from the shadows and take control. No one believes they exist. No one but you.
In this thrilling roleplaying adventure, you play the part of a powerful, nano-technologically augmented anti-terrorist agent. It's up to you to stop the conspirators from achieving their goals.
But this is a world of lies and betrayal, a world where nothing is as it seems and entire nations can seemingly be turned against you at the push of a button. To succeed, you must travel the globe in a quest for knowledge, develop your character's strengths as you see fit, build a network of allies to assist you, determine when stealth and strategy are more important than action. And each time you think you've got the mystery solved, the game figured out, there's another, deeper mystery to be unraveled. You will never know who to trust, who your friends are, who's in on the conspiracy and who's innocent.
Maybe no one is.
Fitting DX to a precise chronology is difficult. It is certain that Deus Ex takes place on or after November 20, 2055, but it may well be into 2056 or later.
The original intro script, on Chris Todd's website, reveals that something important was snipped for an unknown reason. However, everything else was done very closely to the script. My comments are in [italicized brackets].
DEUS EX INTRO
INT. VERSALIFE - NIGHT - CLOSE ON - EARTH
rotating beneath the sculpture of a giant, grasping hand. TILT DOWN to REVEAL BOB PAGE and WALTON SIMONS in quiet discussion, the globe and hand reflected in the marble at their feet. As they talk, MAGGIE CHOW walks past. [At this point, the player doesn't know who Maggie Chow is. Only on a second playthrough does this make sense - and it is an easily missed bonus.]
Your appointment to FEMA should be finalized within the week. I've already discussed the matter with the Senator. [FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency.]
I take it he was agreeable?
TWO SHOT - PAGE AND SIMONS
The globe hangs overhead; their faces are shrouded in shadows.
He didn't really have a choice.
Has he been infected?
Oh, yes, most certainly. When I mentioned that we could put him on the priority list for the Ambrosia vaccine, he was so willing it was almost pathetic.
This plague - the rioting is intensifying to the point where we may not be able to contain it.
As Page speaks, PUSH IN on his eye - right up to the point before it CLIPS.
Why contain it? Let it spill over into the schools and churches, let the bodies pile up in the streets. In the end, they'll beg us to save them.
INT. FREE CLINIC - NIGHT
The camera TRAVELS low to the floor like an animal prowling along the dingy linoleum. It PUSHES through the door and along the overcrowded clinic hallways, filled with the listless walking corpses of those afflicted with the Gray Death. Here and there a doctor can be seen in avid conversation with one of the poor souls, but it's quite apparent that they're overwhelmed - it's simply a matter of numbers.
NOTE: Can the mouths of the doctor and patient be animated so that it appears they are in conversation even if we can't hear them? Is it possible to feed them a "dummy" voice file?
I've received reports of armed attacks on shipments. There's not enough vaccine to go around, and the underclasses are starting to get desperate.
Of course they're desperate. They can smell their death, and the sound they'll make rattling their cage will serve as a warning to the rest.
The camera circles the hallways of the clinic and PUSHES back through the door and CONTINUES straight through the wall and into a -
EXT. PARIS ALLEY - NIGHT
A motley group of resistance fighters is being methodically slaughtered by a squad of MJ12 troops and bots. [At this point, the player has no clue what MJ12 is.]
Mmm. I hope you're not underestimating the problem. The others may not go as quietly as you think - intelligence indicates they're behind the problems in Paris.
A bunch of pretentious old men playing at running the world.
TILT DOWN to the fallen bodies of the resistance fighters, then TILT UP to the moon hanging lonely in a cloudy sky.
PAGE (V.O.) (continuing)
But the world left them behind long ago. We are the future.
MATCH CUT TO:
EXT. STATUE OF LIBERTY - NIGHT - ANGLE ON - MOON
If possible, match the position of the moon from the previous scene. CRANE DOWN to the broken husk of the Statue of Liberty and then PAN the crowd standing on the plaza below before coming to rest on Manderley as he paces back and forth in front of his podium. NOTE: As before, can we make Manderley's mouth animate? [In Chris Todd's script, this is consistently spelled 'Manderly'. A minor change.]
We have other problems.
As Simons speaks, PUSH IN on Manderley.
Formed by executive order after the terrorist strike on the Statue. I have someone in place, though. I'm more concerned about Savage - he's relocated to Vandenberg.
INT. UNATCO MEDLAB - NIGHT - CLOSE ON - GREASEL [This is uniformly spelled 'greasel' in-game and 'greazle' in the script.]
pacing in its cage. PULL BACK to show a scientist nearby who paused to inspect the greasel and now continues on her patrol. Keep PULLING BACK to show the whole of the mysterious medlab.
Our biochem corpus is far in advance of theirs, as is our electronic sentience. And their... ethical inflexibility has allowed us to make progress in areas they refuse to consider.
The augmentation project?
INT. VERSALIFE - NIGHT - EXTREME CLOSEUP - PAGE'S EYE
PULL BACK from Page's eye until he and Simons appear in a TWO SHOT once again, a reverse of the earlier scene transition.
Among other things - but I must admit that I've been somewhat disappointed in the performance of the primary unit.
The secondary unit should be online soon. It's currently undergoing preparation and will be operational within six months. My people will continue to report on its progress. If necessary, the primary will be terminated.
INT. AREA 51 LAB - NIGHT - GLASS TUBE
seen from behind. Inside can be glimpsed the dim outline of a naked human body, floating suspended and silent.
We've had to endure much, you and I, but soon there will be order again, a new age. Aquinas spoke of the mythical City on the Hill. Soon that city will be a reality, and we will be crowned its kings.
SMASH CUT TO:
PAGE (V.O.) (nearly whispering)
Or better than kings. Gods. [It is hard to tell in-game who says this. Obviously, it was Page.]
TEXT: SIX MONTHS LATER... [The script appears like this verbatim in the game except for this line, which does not appear in any version of the game.]
Thomas Aquinas was a thirteenth century theologian. The phrase 'city on a hill' refers to a model society and is a reference to the Bible, Matthew 5:14. From the New International Version:
Now when [Jesus] saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.... You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds."
It was used by the colonial era writer John Winthrop in 1630 to describe America's destiny to be a shining example to the rest of the world. President Reagan's farewell speech refers to it as well:
I've thought a bit of the 'shining city upon a hill'. The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free. I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.
Chad Warren (Ion Storm Austin MIS lead) created a document which was used to bring Quality Assurance testers up to speed. Here it is, with a few comments.
An Immersive Simulation Spy Thriller
Salient Features of Deus Ex
- The story so far
- Identity - Who are you?
- Reality - Where are you?
- Interface - How do you interact?
- Character - Who do you want to be?
The Story So Far
When asked for a catch-phrase to sum up Deus Ex, Warren Spector, the game's creator, will quickly answer, "An Immersive Sim! (tee-emm)." A few minutes later he will describe it as, "a character-driven spy-thriller." Other team members will spout industry jargon like, "RPG," "Action-game," and "FPS with a twist." All descriptions, and many more, are applicable, if not complete.
A blurb of the game's story line will generally read something like this -
"A plague has descended on the Earth and terrorists have interrupted the flow of the only antidote. You are a technologically enhanced anti-terrorist super-soldier assigned to track down and stop the perpetrators. But the closer you get to an answer, the more you realize that all is not as it seems. What is the true nature of the plague? Who is the real enemy? How far will you have to go to find someone you can trust?"
So what is the game really about? It's about changing the world: The world in the game and the world of gaming itself. That sounds immodest but please read on carefully. We will explain.
We begin with a world in turmoil, sometime in the near future. The lunatic fringe of our own world that believes in New World Order conspiracies and engineered population control turns out to have been right (though no one believes it but you). The Gray Death plague kills millions. Violence and terrorism are so rampant that major U.S. Metropolitan cities are walled up and under martial law. UN troops are operating on American soil and firing on American citizens, when necessary. It's bleak, it's treacherous, and you are the only person in the world with the knowledge and the power to set things right. All you have to do is figure out what "right" means...
Identity - Who Are You?
The first thing a Player is asked to do is begin building his character. The player gives the Player Character (PC) a name. Everybody that the PC will talk to will refer to him as his code-name, "JC Denton." A few characters, though, know the PC's "given" name. An email, a memo, a message, will bear the JC's given name, and in doing so reveal the sender as someone with both power and access. [This was hotly debated during the game's creation. It represents a compromise between allowing the character to select a name, RPG-style, and giving the character a firm identity as is needed to create a strong story. In text files, the chosen given name is represented as <PLAYERNAME> which is dynamically filled in by the game.]
The next choice the player is offered is JC's outward appearance. Currently all options are for male characters. Available speech technology and the "he/she, his/her, brother/sister" editing issues still place gender options beyond our grasp. The industry, as a whole, though, is getting closer all the time. [And, as it turned out, it would have taken too much space on the CD. Female characters are planned for Deus Ex II.]
The player is then given an opportunity to begin developing skills for JC. A player only has enough points at the beginning of the game to become trained in one skill so he must begin to make clear and sometimes tough choices almost immediately. What kind of player is he going to be: Handy with a pistol, a hand grenade, and a billy club; very good as a lock-picker and swimmer; or absolutely deadly with a sniper rifle and not very good at anything else? Or the player can choose nothing at the beginning and make the decision later when he has a feel for the way he wants to play. A player is encouraged to invest in building the character of his digital avatar and then to play to those strengths.
The list of available skills is limited, clearly defined, and reasonably graduated. There are clear distinctions between say, handgun skills and long-arm skills but not between an automatic handgun and a double-action revolver or between a scoped target pistol and a silenced stealth weapon. A PC begins the game hardly trained in any skill and can upgrade by three additional levels (trained, advanced, master), each with substantial improvements over the previous level. No PC will fail to complete a mission because he had a "level 69 4-stroke engine mechanic skill" instead of a "level 71 2-stroke engine mechanic"
By the end of the first mission, the player is given the opportunity to make the first choice in what kind of physical strengths he wants for his Player Character. JC Denton is one of two nano-technologically augmented persons in the world. [Note: This is what the player knows at the beginning of the game. Later, it is revealed that both Walton Simons and Bob Page are nanoaugmented.] The bodies of "nano-aug" agents are inhabited by colonies of millions of sub-microscopic organic machines that can be programmed to enhance the body's performance in a given area. JC has full functionality of his first three augs from the first moment of play. The first is a built-in flashlight that doesn't use much energy and that other characters can see. [While this document is very accurate with respect to the final game, this part is not. Other characters are essentially oblivious to JC's flashlight - which is emitted directly from his eyes...] The second is a device that can identify people and things that bear JC hostility. The third is the InfoLink. The InfoLink is a transceiver and data storage unit built into JC's head that is responsible for communication from JC's handler at UNATCO and for the heads-up display that allows JC to monitor his resources in real-time.
As JC completes missions and explores his environment, he is regularly rewarded with additional skill points and with opportunities to add and upgrade his physical augmentations. JC will find that strength, speed, stealth, perception, resilience, responsiveness, and adaptability are all qualities he can enhance with the application of augmentation.
To contribute to the idea of character differentiation, there are limits set to the amount and the form of skill and augmentation upgrades. At no point in the game do sufficient skill points exist to become advanced in, much less master, all of the available skills. Also, once a skill is selected and play has started, the alteration is permanent. If all of a player's points are spent on demolitions and he suddenly finds himself out of explosives, the demolition skill cannot be traded off. Augmentations are limited in their number and in their compatibility with each other. A player may choose to enhance either the combat responsiveness of his arms or he may choose to enhance their overall brute force, but not both. And any subsequent upgrades to his arms will only enhance the augmentation that's installed.
A Player must make committed choices about the kind of character he wants to play and make efficient use of the enhancements he has chosen. There are no right or wrong skills. There are no obstacles limited to a single solution (or even as few as two). A player who narrowly specializes his skills should be equally as challenged as someone who spreads his skills broadly. Any player who is willing to commit to a character and to explore should have a rewarding game experience.
Reality - Where Are You?
JC Denton starts the game as the newest recruit of the UNATCO Headquarters on Liberty Island, NY. After a brief orientation mission, he steps right into a firefight between UNATCO and the NSF, a terrorist organization. His brother, Paul (the only other successful nano-aug in existence) is his first contact. JC will have to face the paternalistic interference of his brother, the weapons of self-righteous terrorists, the resentment of mechanically enhanced agents (whose appearance cuts them off from normal society), questionable directives, and a deepening sense that all is not as it seems; and that's just to get checked into his new office.
The NPC inhabitants of Deus Ex have their own motivations and goals. Individual patrols, specific objectives, personal fears and desires. An opponent who feels outmatched by JC's armament may try to get in close and overpower him, or may flee to sound an alarm. When two armies clash, each warrior picks his own objectives and carries them out to the best of his ability. The same firefight on the same battlefield will never happen the same way twice, no matter how many times you play. NPCs working in their own best interest carry out reasonable actions that weren't designed and weren't expected.
Everything in JC's physical universe can be of use to him. There are books he can pick up and read (not just bookshelf textured walls); chairs that get sat in; crates that can be stacked, opened, or thrown as impromptu weapons. JC can hit up an ATM for cash to bribe an informant, feed a soda machine for a little sugar-rush, stack up garbage bags in an alley for an improvised hiding place, or heave a beer bottle off into the distance to distract a guard (or shotgun it for a quick buzz).
Weapons are ubiquitous in a spy thriller and JC has plenty to choose from. As with everything else, though, there are choices to be made. Suppose JC finds a flame-thrower, a LAW rocket, and a stack of medical supplies. If he's been collecting resources for any length of time, he's only going to have room for one or two of these items. And laying hands on a big piece of munitions isn't necessarily going to make every situation easier. Hong Kong, for instance, is wired for sound and a pistol shot will summon cops instantly. Conversely, JC may have to face down a 16-ton armored sentry robot, and poking at it with a Bowie knife for 3 or 4 hours is not likely to be a highly successful strategy. [A bot can indeed be destroyed this way, by the highly patient.]
Other treasures are available to JC that are equally as important as weapons. Some of them, like the lock-picks, tech-tools, med-kits and bioelectric power-cells, are the consumable "ammo" for the skills and augmentations associated with them. Other valuables include mechanical modifications for weapons, binoculars, food, and, of course, money. Upgrading certain skills, like lock picking, will improve JC's economy of lock-pick resources. Upgrading a weapon with a scope or an extended clip, may free up skill-point resources for other uses.
The reader should notice that an "economy" of resources is referred to. A player who has invested heavily in medical skills can still pick his way through a door if a path he chooses requires it. It will take him longer, and will require more of the consumable lock-picks. Another player who has invested in lock picking can still heal himself with a medical kit, but the percentage yield of that kit is going to be lower. A player can accomplish any goal if he is willing to commit the time and resources necessary. He will operate most efficiently within the skill sets that he has invested in, but he's not strictly limited to those skills.
Interface - How Do You Interact?
The real, live human who is creating the character of JC and controlling his actions has a number of useful tools available to him. It is hoped that they will enrich the immersive experience of the game by preventing repetitive breaks to take notes or reference the user manual. Within the fiction of the story, JC has been implanted with a device for collecting and storing information. Its primary use to JC's superiors is the ability it provides them to contact him at any time, anywhere. The InfoLink is infinitely more useful to JC himself.
The first thing the InfoLink provides is a real-time heads-up display. At the outset, the player can use the HUD to view JC's health statistics, a compass, and the most ready items in the inventory in the form of hotkey icons. The health meter displays location specific damage. The HUD is also capable of alerting JC if he is taking damage from gas, radiation, fire, or ballistics. In the event that JC is getting shot, the HUD can display directional data for quicker evasion. The HUD is also configurable. The player can view as much or as little of it as he chooses.
In the words of the game's creator, "Diablo got Inventory right. There's no sense messing with something that works..." Players will find the inventory familiar and intuitive. They will also discover a host of options:
- A record of every conversation
- All unfinished objectives, prioritized
- Details on location-specific damage (along with the ability to heal areas selectively)
- A full-featured text editor for note taking
- A Skills management menu
- Maps. No "automaps." If JC got a hand sketched map on a bar napkin, he can view the napkin.
There are three things to know about conversation in Deus Ex: 1) If the player is offered a choice, it's significant. There are no throwaway name-job-buy-sell conversations. If an NPC doesn't have anything important to contribute, he won't waste the player's time. 2) The conversational interface is the only time the player is taken out of 1st person. A cinematic approach was chosen specifically for its conventionality. 3) The lip-synching is real-time. Proprietary technology allows the audio track, not the text, to synchronize the characters with their lines.
Character - Who Do You Want To Be?
So far we have:
- A topical storyline centered around an ancient one-world-government conspiracy
- Broad but not ponderous options for character specialization
- Obstacles with multiple solutions
- NPCs with motivations and goals that aren't always obvious
What ties it all together? Why the balance of flexibility and limitation? Because the final objective of this game isn't completing the big gun to defeat the final boss or mastering all available skills for some kind of virtual "enlightenment." The most important feature of this game is in the decisions the player makes and how he uses his environment to accomplish the tasks set before him.
JC must be an active and responsible participant in his world. If he feels that it's necessary to stand and fight, he has to understand that there are repercussions to be dealt with. If he shoots somebody in the street, the police will likely take a serious interest. If he snipes somebody at random, there's no guarantee that he hasn't killed somebody vitally important to his success. Or he can choose not to kill. He has the ability to question, intimidate, avoid, flee, disable, stun, wound, etc., as well as kill in response to the presence of another person.
So how do you want to play? Are you a shooter? Do you want to jump in feet first; guns blazing? You can play that way, and you can succeed as long as you are prepared to utilize the advantages and deal with the penalties of that kind of strategy. Do you want to sneak? Do you shun the very idea of killing for karmic reasons? Do you thrill to hide in the shadows and invisibly glide through an enemy's defenses? You can play that way, too; you will succeed as well as any other strategy if you are willing to invest in your environment and adapt to it.
Will this game change the world? Not all at once. Deus Ex is, though, the next logical step in a trend established by games like Underworld, Underworld 2, System Shock, Thief, and System Shock 2. The unspoken focus of this movement: to satisfy the goal of storytelling since it began: to totally immerse an individual in an intimately personal quest; not to hear or see a hero's deeds, but to be the hero oneself.
Deus Ex's story is communicated in two ways: through conversations that the main character, J.C. Denton, has with other characters, and through text in the universe which Denton reads (which can appear on a datacube, in a book, in a computer's stored E-mail, et cetera). The written information is stored in the game files as DeusExText.u (367KB) - obviously a gigantic file. I have reproduced it here to present the story all at once, rather than piece by piece during 24 hours of gameplay. This is technically against Ion Storm's copyright, but this page's purpose is to increase demand and create publicity for Deus Ex (and more importantly, Deus Ex 2) rather than provide a reason not to buy Deus Ex. For the love of all that is good, please buy Deus Ex. It's an old game, so it's cheap (and there's now the Game of the Year version, which has an included soundtrack - Deus Ex's music is incredible). Reading the story is a vastly different (and more limited) experience than playing the game.
Text in DeusExText.u is formatted using an HTML-like simplified scheme. However, many tags seem to do nothing. The <JC> and <DC> tags have no effect and an unknown purpose. The <P> tag begins a new line; I have removed it from the text that follows below. The <B> and <I> tags are used very carefully throughout the text, but - oddly enough - have no effect on how the text is displayed in the game. I have left those tags in the text below (correcting minor instances where they were not closed properly). The <PLAYERNAME> and <PLAYERFIRSTNAME> represent the player's chosen name and not the codename J.C. Denton (the default is that they are both identical). <COMMENT> tags are usually used to note where a given piece of text is displayed in-game.
All of the dialogue in Deus Ex is stored in DeusExConText.u, which is over a megabyte long. I have started work on processing, formatting, and annotating it, but I need a large chunk of free time before I can finish it.
My annotations are in normal text, while the game text is in fixed-width font. Each line of annotation refers to the game text immediately above it.
UNATCO HANDBOOK UNATCO and the Press Because UNATCO will often deal with situations that cannot easily be contained, agents may unfortunately need to interact with the press. If you are not trained for such interaction, do not - repeat, DO NOT - speak with journalists, regardless of nationality. They are skilled in misdirection and propaganda. Refuse comment. Remember: Security procedures are our first line of defence. SECRETS are LIVES. Always refer reporters at crime scenes to UNATCO information officers and fact management teams.
This has importance in the game world - eventually, JC Denton discovers that Joe Greene, reporter for the Midnight Sun, is an informant for the enemy. Considering who Joe Greene gives information to, this part of the UNATCO Handbook is especially ironic.
We'll make this one easy for you. To open the door, use the code: 0012 Got it? Jaime
Hey J.C., want to cross the water? Lower the bridge. The code is: 0089 It's either that or get all wet. Jaime
Almost done, but one quick note: I'm not exactly the expert on this sort of thing - for that you'll have to check in with Sam Carter when you get to Liberty Island - but remember that there's any number of other ways to open a door, including using explosives or finding a security computer. Jaime
These three quick notes are seen in the training level, and help to introduce basic gameplay mechanics to the player.
UNATCO STEALTH GUIDELINES Overview Stealth is a vital component of all UNATCO operations; when implemented correctly, stealth missions result in the lowest possible ratio of agent and civilian casualties to hostile losses. Situational awareness is key, and agents should not only be familiar with the tactical opportunities offered by their immediate environment, but how those opportunities can be exploited to their advantage with the appropriate equipment. Tech goggles allow agents to operate in low-light environments such as offices or labs where illumination might otherwise attract attention. With binoculars, an agent can survey an opponent's disposition and determine the best way to evade or eliminate their defenses. A rifle or crossbow equipped with scope and silencing modifications can be used to interdict targets from a considerable distance, significantly compromising hostile resistance. Other features of the environment can also be used by an agent to enhance their ability to operate covertly or to create useful distractions: disabling security cameras, subverting autoguns, and reprogramming bots are all viable tactics employed by experienced agents in the field.
In the game, tech (night vision) goggles are next to useless. Binoculars are useful, but as you can not hold binoculars and a weapon simultaneously, their utility is limited. By the end of the game, when you can hold a sniper rifle without shaking, the binoculars are especially redundant. Security cameras can be disabled by hacking a control panel or blowing up the camera (high explosives or a master-level sniper shot are required - hitting a camera with a knife or shooting it with a pistol will never destroy it). Autoturrets can be reprogrammed if you have a suitably advanced skill in hacking. Bots can be reprogrammed through control panels. Unfortunately, there is no general mechanism in the game to reprogram bots permanently.
UNATCO HANDBOOK Welcome to UNATCO! CLASSIFICATION: The U.N. has nine levels of security above Top Secret. This manual and all material that is not otherwise marked is classified as Angel/0A. If you are not Angel/0A or above, report immediately to your supervisor or face disciplinary action. Other classifications will be explained upon reaching higher clearance. In its efforts to combat terrorism, the U.N. has created UNATCO for the swift deployment of a COORDINATED FORCE to counteract any insurgent operations. You are justifiably proud to be part of this organization: your physical capabilities place you within the upper one percent of national ground combat units, while your mental capabilities have been honed to sharpness by the UNATCO Academy. But as part of a larger organization, you also understand the necessity to HEED ORDERS from your superiors without hesitation; your superiors are typically briefed on matters for which you may not be cleared, and hesitation on the part of an agent can result in the serious IMPAIRMENT of mission objectives and attendant CASUALTIES. UNATCO has faith in you, and this faith will be REWARDED in due time as your operational capacities are increased. Brave the darkness, for you carry the torch of freedom.
The known security levels are:
The 3D, 4E, and 7H levels are not mentioned in the game. The names have a common significance. [FIXME: This is explicitly mentioned elsewhere in the game.]
UNATCO HANDBOOK UNATCO and the Public In carrying out their duties, UNATCO agents often come in contact with the public. You are a PEACEKEEPER, and your first objective is to safeguard human life. Though terrorists may see an advantage in harming civilians, UNATCO agents do not. Issue a warning before firing at a suspect and always instruct bystanders to "get down on the ground." Refrain from firing into large crowds. Every civilian hurt is collateral damage. However, keep in mind that no civilian with a clearance below Angel/0A should be trusted and may be a potential spy. ANYONE can be a spy, and secrecy is our ally. REMEMBER: WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
In the early levels of the game, you have a choice as to whether to be a well-behaved UNATCO peacekeeper, or a nanoaugmented badass. NPCs react differently to you depending on how much lethal force you use.
UNATCO HANDBOOK UNATCO and the Police In carrying out their duties, UNATCO agents often work with other law-enforcement agencies. We remain a small, elite organization. Until our ranks expand, we must rely on the cooperation of local police, governments, intelligence agencies, and corporate security divisions. Always be courteous when requesting information or filing an extradition request. As our jurisdiction widens, we will inevitably experience conflicts with some local officials. Do not resort to unnecessary intimidation in these situations, and report any problems to the appropriate UNATCO liaison. Above all, an international law enforcement body requires the RESPECT and SUPPORT of all participating nations.
I like the part, "Until our ranks expand, we must rely on the cooperation of local... governments". What happens after their ranks expand?
UNATCO TRAINING MANUAL Section 3C: Multitools A "multitool" is not really a tool at all - not in the usual sense of the word - but a disposable electronic device that utilizes electromagnetic resonance detection and frequency modulation to dynamically alter the flow of current through almost any non-hardened circuitry. Skilled agents can use the multitool to manipulate code locks, cameras, autogun turrets, alarms, or other security elements. Note that multitools CANNOT be used for computer information extraction (see Section 5A: Hacking).
Multitools are a consumable resource in the game - the player can carry several multitools at a time. Any given electronic device (say, a numeric lock) has a certain multitool "hardness" (sometimes, but rarely, infinite - usually used to control the player's progress into game-critical sections) - anywhere from 10% to 100%. Using one multitool destroys a certain percentage of this hardness - say, 20%. Multiple multitools may need to be used to defeat a given device. The more skilled you are with multitools, the more effective a single use of a multitool is - thus, as your multitool skill increases, you consume less and less of the resource. Yet anyone with enough multitools can defeat any device (with finite hardness) eventually. It's all part of the Deus Ex philosophy.
UNATCO HANDBOOK UNATCO and the Future As science progresses at an ever increasing rate, more and more advanced technology is finding its way into the hands of the common criminal, resulting in a deadly threat to LIFE and PROPERTY throughout the world. While it is impractical to restrict the free-flow of information already present in the public sector, UNATCO is committed to insuring that this threat does not go unaddressed. Even now, UNATCO research and development employs some of the most talented scientific minds in the world to develop proprietary technologies in absolute security for field use by our agents - including such innovations as the XXXXXXX XXXXX and XXXXXX, or the lifesaving XXXXX. Under NO circumstances should agents discuss ANY piece of equipment or technique currently employed by UNATCO. Agents operating contrary to this directive will face immediate disciplinary action. Within our laboratories lies not just the future of law enforcement, but a SAFE, SECURE future for all mankind. [Document filtered per UNATCO Terror Monitoring Act 919-05 Sec. IV]
This tells us several things: UNATCO views the progress of technology as a bad thing, as long as its enemies control that progress of technology. Furthermore, UNATCO would love to restrict the "free-flow of information", yet cannot at the moment. And third, UNATCO is heavily into secrecy (big surprise).
UNATCO HANDBOOK UNATCO and the World For far too long terrorists have exploited international tensions and regional legislative variations to elude authorities. A significant step was made towards eliminating these legal loopholes when U.S. President Philip Riley Mead lobbied the Congress to make the U.S. a UNATCO member nation: "Enough is enough!" he declared in his landmark State of the Union address, and the citizens of the United States responded with enthusiastic endorsement of his position. Not only did the United States become a charter member of UNATCO, but UNATCO headquarters are now located on Liberty Island in the shadow of that shattered monument to FREEDOM. UNATCO deals not only with terrorist threats, but also any transgressions of the international legal code, including drug trafficking, software piracy, and money laundering. With the full support of the United States, UNATCO was for the first time able to truly declare itself the "WORLD'S POLICEMAN."
This explains the rise of UNATCO - note that one step in making the United States submit to UNATCO's will was the destruction of the Statue of Liberty, seen at the beginning of the game (in all its low-framerate glory). The bit about the "world's policeman" is directly taken from conspiracy theories about the United Nations.
UNATCO HANDBOOK: Appendix A Origins of UNATCO In recent years the swelling tide of international terrorism coupled with enmity between states, wildly varying laws, and an anachronistic devotion to arbitrary borders has resulted in the decreasing effectiveness of local law enforcement. To resolve the problem, a neutral agency was required to enforce international law in an impartial manner around the world. UNATCO was formed with just such a mission in mind, an organization that could transcend national boundaries and provide security for all nations that subscribe to its charter. Founded with the principles of the United Nations as its cornerstone, UNATCO is FAIR, JUST, and protects the individual liberties of all the citizens of the world. The criminal thrives on anonymity, but soon there will be no place for them to hide. Victory over terrorism is the prize for our VIGILANCE.
The bit about "anachronistic devotion to arbitrary borders" is nice.
UNATCO HANDBOOK: Dedication Nihil aliud scit necessitas quam vincere. - Syrus
The UNATCO motto means "Necessity knows no law except to conquer". Fitting.
(Chris Todd uses a different translation, "Necessity knows nothing else but victory". I think that version doesn't make very much sense.)
UNATCO MedDirectorate Nano-Augmentation Guidelines ... nano-augmentations, once "installed", irrevocably alter the physiological system they affect and in many cases cause all subsequent augmentations to be rejected; however, the exact number of augmentations each system can support varies. The various interdependencies between these systems can be seen in the following table the details possible nano-augmentation combinations. Arms: Combat Strength or Microfibral Muscle Legs: Speed Enhancement or Run Silent Subdermal (1): EMP Shield or Ballistic Protection Subdermal (2): Cloak or Radar Transparency Torso (1): Aqualung or Environmental Resistance Torso (2): Regeneration or Energy Resistance Torso (3): Synthetic Heart or Power Recirculator Cranium: Aggressive Defense System or Spy Drone Optics: Targeting or Vision Enhancement Specific nano-augmentations should be selected based on the mission profile of the particular agent...
This is a fairly basic explanation of gameplay mechanics, notable because it appears long before most of the augmentations are actually found in the game.
PROJECT DIBBUK Overview Domination/5F Clearance ONLY ... the noted failure of previous attempts to create a low profile rotary aircraft involved the acquisition and retrofitting of available military hardware that had neither the range, ceiling, nor electromagnetic transparency to avoid numerous eyewitness accounts or unauthorized military interactions. In addition to exacerbating public misconceptions about governmental operations, such encounters also jeopardized several key missions. PROJECT DIBBUK was initiated to address this issue through the creation of a "stealth" aircraft that could be used as a platform for a number of mission objectives...
PROJECT DIBBUK produced the Deus Ex helicopter, which is often seen in the game. It's a classic evil black helicopter.
Terrorism - Crime or Conscience? The question must be asked: is the global rise of terrorism a haphazard response to a decimated economy or is there a pattern? Does UNATCO face coordinated ideological opposition? Some groups - Silhouette in France, for instance - have declared a "Meme War", or "war of meanings" in their terminology. They spread email and pamphlets that lampoon the U.N.'s proposal for a one-world democracy, a tedious exercise in rudimentary propaganda. With sophistries and doublespeak, they portray "freedom" as "obedience", "democracy" as "tyranny", and UNATCO as the perpetrator of terrorism - an idea as shocking as it is reprehensible. Other organizations, such as the self-proclaimed revolutionary National Seccessionist Forces (NSF) in the U.S., claim allegiance to the Meme War, but are in fact no better than common criminals. They desire territory and wealth at the expense of society at large. Their "civil war" is merely a smokescreen for criminal activity. Any population can be quickly turned against such "revolutionaries" simply by educating them about the U.N.'s policies and goals. - Joseph Manderley, Director, UNATCO
"Meme" is a word invented by Richard Dawkins, prominent evolutionary biologist. Basically, a meme is an idea which replicates and competes with other memes.
Terrorism - Threat Profiling Symbolic attacks - the Statue of Liberty bombing, the desecration of the Soviet War Memorial in Berlin, the department-store shooting-sprees on Orchard Road in Singapore - are the recourse of the weak. They serve only to call attention to a group or cause that is of no more than marginal interest to the public. But what distinguishes true terrorist activity is its gradual escalation towards genuine acts of war. Fringe groups now have access to technology that allows direct assaults on governments, including the classic trio of nuclear, biological, or chemical weaponry (NBC). But aside from direct assaults on a nation and its people, indirect attacks can cause considerable collateral damage - rogue software can disrupt financial markets, communications, and military operations, while encryption programs allow terrorists to coordinate smuggling operations in secret right over the Net! Drugs, guns, illegal immigrants, and even heavy equipment such as armored vehicles and cruise missiles are routinely traded across borders, aided and abetted by such software. UNATCO - the first organization with the technology, manpower, and authority to cope with such threats - is an idea that is long overdue. - Joseph Manderley, Director, UNATCO
This mentions a couple of things which aren't seen anywhere else in the game, and which UNATCO also probably perpetrated.
Terrorism - War Without Fronts How do we fight an underground threat, one with no defined territory, base, or - often - known leader? We look to military history. The casebook example of how to manage civil unrest is the Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) developed by the United States military during its occupation of South Vietnam in the 20th Century. Since population centers in that country contained both Communist rebels and loyal citizens, the towns were ranked on a scale from 1 to 5, five being the safest. The monthly reports of local commanders, useful in Vietnam for maintaining contour maps of ideology concentration, have provided many components of the UNATCO Sector Field Report. The modern UDU (UNATCO Deployed Unit) has been modeled on the CAP (Combined Action Platoon) deployed in Vietnam, a 15-man rifle squad responsible for a single hamlet. CAP-protected villages typically earned a 2.95 HET score, compared to a 1.6 average in the same region. CAP units performed in many mission roles, but they primarily worked with indigenous police to strengthen ideological ties. Like CAP units, UNATCO teams are primarily concerned with building safe communities. - Joseph Manderley, Director, UNATCO
Stopping Terror - A New Perspective on Freedom When one maniac can wipe out a city of twenty million with a microbe developed in his basement, a new approach to law enforcement becomes necessary. Every citizen of the world must be placed under surveillance. That means sky-cams at every intersection, computer-mediated analysis of every phone call, e-mail, and snail-mail, and a purely electronic economy in which every transaction is recorded and data-mined for suspicious activity. We are close to achieving this goal. Some would say that human liberty has been compromised, but the reality is just the opposite. As surveillance expands, people become free from danger, free to walk alone at night, free to work in a safe place, and free to buy any legal product or service without the threat of fraud. One day every man and woman will quietly earn credits, purchase items for quiet homes on quiet streets, have cook-outs with neighbors and strangers alike, and sleep with doors and windows wide open. If that isn't the tranquil dream of every free civilization throughout history, what is? - Anna Navarre, Agent, UNATCO
This is one of the first indications that a worldwide datamining program is in place - Echelon. Furthermore, this is one reason why the unit of currency in Deus Ex is the credit, and not the dollar - it's not just a throwaway word designed to sound futuristic.
Know Your Enemy - NSF The National Secessionist Forces (NSF) remain a very real and increasingly widespread terrorist threat. Ten years ago, in response to the Sporting Weapons Act of 2042, splinter groups from nearly every state militia refused to surrender their rifles, grenades, land mines, and other "collectibles" prohibited by the Act. Unified under the charismatic leadership of Leon Woods, these isolated fanatics eventually formed the NSF with Woods assuming the rank of General. Their intended goal: the "liberation" of Washington, Montana, Oregon, and Northern California. While Woods died during his infamous "last stand" in 2045, his war machine continues what can only be termed an occupation of the United States, aided by an encrypted network designed by dissident computer scientists from San Francisco and Seattle. Currently, the UNATCO Cryptography Division has had minimal success in cracking their communications, requiring more direct intelligence gathering techniques to be utilized. The U.N. has declared war on the NSF.
And thus begins the headache of properly determining when Deus Ex takes place. This was developed early, when DX was still set in 2052, but other in-game references contradict this and push the year forward to 2056 or later. This can be explained away by assuming that the author was rounding off to the nearest decade, but that would only be a rationalization of a true inconsistency in the game.
The bit about "dissident computer scientists" is revealing. Remember V?
Know Your Enemy - Silhouette Famous for inserting 20th-century style commercials into the Net broadcast of the World Cup in 2050, Silhouette favors "feats of spectacle" over violence. "Printed circuits, part of this nutritious breakfast", the announcer told children in one of the World Cup commercials. "You ain't mech 'til you eat mech. [A mech boy chews a memory chip.] Boys who eat organics get stomped by their posthuman classmates. [Mech boys in UNATCO helmets and metal boots take turns kicking another boy.]" Despite their numerous pranks, these intellectuals, artists, and labor organizers pose a serious threat. They are well-armed and have been linked to the murders of numerous European politicians and journalists. They will not hesitate to use lethal force.
Know Your Enemy - The Triads UNATCO surveillance of Hong Kong is currently a high priority given the renewed threat of Chinese organized crime in the form of the Triads. Despite being a model of prosperity and technological leadership for decades, Hong Kong persists as a haven for organized crime. The Triads, namely the Luminous Path and Red Arrow, vie for control of the ten-trillion credit shipping business, much of which supplies greater Asia with pirated technology, illegal drugs, and weapons. Most disturbing of all, the Triads preach an ethic of technopiracy that has found enthusiastic support among small shopkeepers and businessmen who often aid the gangsters and buy their bootlegged software. Gullible and greedy, this army of middlemen remain insensitive to how their violations of intellectual property and copyright laws damage the global information economy.
The mentions of intellectual property and copyright laws are eerily prescient, considering the modern attempts the MPAA and RIAA are making to enforce IP laws.
Know Your Enemy - Other Threats UNATCO operatives have identified over 1250 terrorist organizations active in the world today, some too small to currently present a serious threat, but all eager to see one or more governments topple. Groups such as the Templars (Europe) and "X-51" (Western U.S.) will be dealt with in subsequent volumes of "Know Your Enemy".
Initially, it was planned that the player would have a greater involvement with X-51, but their role in the final game was cut considerably.
<COMMENT>UNATCO HQ</COMMENT> Mr. Manderley: Just FYI, your new password is knight_killer (I know you led that mission in Paris against that old terrorist organization or whatever it was). Your login is still jmanderley. Janice ;)
Shannon - Ammunition is disappearing again, so we're changing the door code for the comm van near the helipad. New code: 0451. Alex
Later, you find out that Shannon is the one who has been stealing supplies in the first place. 0451 is an allusion to System Shock's allusion to Fahrenheit 451.
Brother, I've set up the turrets and cameras in the statue ruins... a hasty defense, but since we won't be here long, it should work. The security computer login is: NSF001. The password is: smashthestate.
<COMMENT>Datacube in Alex's office</COMMENT> Change ghermann password to "zeitgeist". Next week I guess it'll be "schadenfreude". Strange guy...
"Zeitgeist" is a German word meaning the general intellectual and cultural climate of an era. "Schadenfreude" is a German word meaning a malicious satisfaction in the misfortunes of others.
<COMMENT>Datacube in SATCOM Van</COMMENT> attention nightshift: van camera system login (same as old login): SATCOM new password: UNATCO_001 PS) we *will* beat you at darts on saturday, suckas.
Apparently, in the mid 21st century, password security is at an all-time low.
<COMMENT>Datacube for Statue ATM account</COMMENT> So many people use that ATM each day that it's busted 90% of the time. But if it's working, you might need some cash today for the pub crawl we've got planned in the city. Don't let the tourists get you down. See you there tonight, sweetie. Accnt#: 230023 PIN#: 4558 Johnathan - your husband to be. PS) I was serious last night-I really want to get married in the Statue. We met there on duty and all our friends work there.
Type ILLUMINATI into a phone. You get 4558646284. This is intentional.
<COMMENT>Janice Reed inbox</COMMENT> From: Anon//UNATCO.44567.22356 To: Free Enterprise Mailing List Cc: Subject: re: NOBODY CARES! (was: Nationalizing industry) Michelle (mdarwin//orbit.8665.9112.4) wrote: >I just read that government regulators have nationalized >the third airline this year, and the story was buried on >the SIXTH PAGE of the Times! > >No one seems to care that Uncle Sam is gradually taking control >of every means of public transportation. The FAA claims that the >airline's management botched the safety records... Lies! Lies! >Have any of these records been made public? Do they even exist? > >Rule by executive order is now the norm. Goodbye, due process. What you have to remember is that "we the people" are members of a republic, and you must learn to trust those that you choose to represent you. The government is not a heartless machine running our lives; it is comprised of people, just like you, who deserve our trust and respect.
In the future, there are still mailing lists, and people still use USENET quotes. It certainly sounds like Janice Reed wrote this E-mail herself (and then received a copy of it through the mailing list) - note that it is sent by "Anon" at UNATCO. The numbers following are not unique and appear in many other places in the game.
<COMMENT>Manderley inbox, password protected</COMMENT> From: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 To: JManderley//UNATCO.00013.76490 Subject: Our Little Experiment Should be arriving soon. Clear it for Domination/5F ops as soon as possible, but proceed with caution. We have serious concerns about the primary unit and would like to avoid any potential contamination.
The primary unit, also referenced in the intro, is Paul Denton. "Our Little Experiment" is, of course, JC Denton. WS is Walton Simons. (These are also the initials of Warren Spector.)
<COMMENT>Manderley, Navarre inbox</COMMENT> From: GHermann//UNATCO.15431.76513 To: JManderley//UNATCO.00013.76490 Cc: ANavarre//UNATCO.9954.1131 Subject: Skul-gun Might I sugest agin, a skul-gun for my head. Yesterday in Batery Park, some scum we all know pushes smack for NSF gets jumpy and draws. I take 2 .22's, 1 in flesh, 1 in augs, befor I can get out that dam asalt gun. If I could kil just by thought, it would be beter. Is it my job to be a human target-practis backstop? Gunther Hermann
<COMMENT>Hermann, Navarre inbox</COMMENT> From: JManderley//UNATCO.00013.76490 To: GHermann//UNATCO.15431.76513 Cc: ANavarre//UNATCO.9954.1131 Subject: re: skul-gun I have personally forwarded your request to Appropriations. Upgrading our combat-readiness is an ongoing priority. Speaking of which, you certainly made the best of a difficult situation yesterday. We applaud your courage. Thank you for living to work another day, Gunther. We need more agents like you. JM GHermann (GHermann//UNATCO.15431.76513) wrote: >Might I sugest agin, a skul-gun for my head. >Yesterday in Batery Park, some scum we all know >pushes smack for NSF gets jumpy and draws. I take >2 .22's, 1 in flesh, 1 in augs, befor I can get out >that dam asalt gun. > >If I could kil just by thought, it would be beter. >Is it my job to be a human target-practis backstop? > >Gunther Hermann
Well, at least Gunther can spell his name correctly. Contrary to my first impression while playing the game, Gunther is not joking. Skull-guns and nanotechnology go hand in hand - see The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. (Also, while Janice Reed uses USENET quotes, Manderley is a bit less cultured.)
<COMMENT>Alex Jacobson inbox</COMMENT> From: cRakS//AUSNET.78963.07378 To: AJacobson//UNATCO.00013.76490 Subject: Whupass Hey man, get your occipital jack fixed yet? You've got to check out the Strike4 demo (//GNET/Ego/Strike4): whole-motor control, total visual occlusion... MAN, fireballs burn your face, walls hurt when you hit them, tactile-textures everywhere, volumetric humidity... WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Don't give me that national security crap. Jack in so I can WHUP YOUR ASS. cRakS
<COMMENT>KLloyd inbox</COMMENT> From: JReed//UNATCO.56740.33309 To: KLloyd//UNATCO.2334.8873 Subject: Visitors Mr. Manderley tells me we're expecting a new agent. His assigned I.D. is "J.C. Denton". Please enter him in the log when he arrives and alert me immediately. Thank you. Janice Reed
<COMMENT>Anna Navarre inbox</COMMENT> From: GHermann//UNATCO.15431.76513 To: ANavarre//UNATCO.9954.1131 Subject: dinosores See, what do I tell you? Manderley wil be hapy to have the garbage truk take me back to Deutschland. Now especally with the new nano-aug alredy ariving. We are the old computers the Americans call "dinosores." See if I ever get a skul-gun at all. Gunther
<COMMENT>Jaime Reyes inbox</COMMENT> From: GHermann//UNATCO.15431.76513 To: JReyes//UNATCO.00973.20892 Subject: bad nee Doctor Reyes, well-come. UNATCO is having a need of a good sergeon. Which let me add, I have a big pain in my nee. Sticking actuator? I cant fix it no mater how much lubrikant. Please inform when an apointment can be made available. Gunther Hermann
<COMMENT>Gunther Hermann, Anna Navarre, JCD inbox</COMMENT> From: JReyes//UNATCO.00973.20892 To: GHermann; ANavarre; JCDenton Subject: Nano-Augmentation and You I was asked by the regional medical coordinator to forward this information to all of you. I do so without further comment... Dr. Reyes -------- By now, you've heard about the upcoming transition to nano-augmentation. It's coming, but not as soon as you think. UNATCO has only one nano-augmented agent, with a second just now graduating from the Academy. It will be years before the program leaves the laboratory. Your mechanical augmentations are NOT obsolete. Some agents express concern that they will be "walking junk" in ten years. One agent expressed their fears in an anonymous e-mail saying "Well be sld at flee markets,. old gray golems for scareing the children. So what about my legss? What about my LIFE?"[sic] Keep some perspective. Prosthetics remain the only proven technology for enhancing human abilities. Those who make the sacrifice are appreciated, commended, and saluted as heroes.
I probably don't have to mention that Deus Ex is extremely funny. It should be noted that augmentation is much further along than the regional medical coordinator would have everyone believe - the MIBs are widespread and are all augmented (not nanotechnologically).
<COMMENT>JCD inbox</COMMENT> From: JReyes//UNATCO.00973.20892 To: JCDenton//UNATCO.82098.9868 Subject: greetings and nanotech briefings Hey <PLAYERFIRSTNAME>, Guess I'll have to get used to calling you "J.C." around the office. Not sure where they came up with that, but at least they gave you the same last codename as your brother. Anyways, whatever they're calling you, it's good to see a familiar name on the roster. My first job here has been to read up on your augmentations. I'm beginning to see why you found classes so easy. EVERY NEURON IN YOUR HEAD has been augmented. For example: the voice in your head (from an operator, someone here at HQ able to handle the scanning equipment in your skull and broadcast advice over your "infolink") leaps fully formed right into your temporal lobe, bypassing the eardrum and its sensory neurons. And its perfectly inaudible to everyone around you, of course. Not to mention that the nanites clinging to your axons can both receive and transmit symbolic information, so if you ever need help, don't sweat it; someone at HQ probably already knows. Come by if you want to hear more...this is great stuff... Jaime
<COMMENT>Alex Jacobson inbox</COMMENT> From: JManderley//UNATCO.00013.76490 To: AJacobson//UNATCO.00013.76490 Subject: re: Security Breach Thank you for keeping me informed of the recent hacker activity and your speedy response to same. I'm glad our security efforts were up to snuff. (AJacobson//UNATCO.00013.76490) wrote: >I managed to stop the guys (actually, it was some French chick >the CIA's been watching, perhaps a Silhouette spy(?)) trying to >break into the net, but I took the liberty of changing some >passwords, just in case. Here are the new ones: > >anavarre - scryspc >ghermann - zeitgeist >jmanderley - knight_killer >jreed - redshoes >jreyes - amigo >scarter - antique >me - calvo > >You should probably delete this as soon as you're done reading, okay?
The "calvo" password is unique in that it is one of the few passwords in the game that can be guessed, rather than read out of a datacube (it appears on a poster in Alex's office). The "French chick" is almost certainly Nicolette DuClare.
<COMMENT>Alex Jacobson inbox</COMMENT> From: AJacobson//UNATCO.00013.76490 To: AJacobson//UNATCO.00013.76490 Subject: locker code: 2001
<COMMENT>JCD inbox</COMMENT> From: MedDirectorate//UNATCO.15888.00342 To: JCDenton//UNATCO.82098.9868 Subject: Nano-Augmentation Stressors Nano-augmented agents will often encounter stress created by resentment among fellow agents, particularly those who have been mechanically augmented. In an effort to secure freedom and liberty for those under their protection, many UNATCO agents have chosen to sacrifice social acceptance for mission performance by surgically replacing limbs and organs with mechanically or electronically enhanced equivalents. But your nano-augmentations point the way to the future: thousands of microscopic, living, organic machines that exist in symbiosis with your body. Because such augmentations create only minimal disfigurement, they are likely to be a source of friction between you and other mechanically augmented agents - but it is important to understand that UNATCO is an organization where individuals must act in concert. Each is important to the whole, and mutual understanding is essential to teams comprised of diverse human and augmented agents. If you have any further questions or wish to discuss these issues, please feel free to send email to CarverEschells\\UNATCO.4352.768 to make an appointment. And welcome to UNATCO, agent.
The bit about "living, organic machines" is unusual - it's not how nanotechnology is usually pictured. This is explained more below.
<COMMENT>Jaime Reyes inbox</COMMENT> From: MedDirectorate//UNATCO.15888.00342 To: JReyes//UNATCO.00973.20892 Subject: Nano-Augmentation Principal/2C Briefing As a medical specialist, you will be required to repair and modify the systems of our nano-augmented agents. This briefing is intended merely as an introduction to the technology. The cells of every major tissue in the body of a nano-augmented agent are host to nanite-capsid "hybrids". These hybrids replicate in two stages: the viral stage, in which the host cell produces capsid proteins and packages them into hollowed viral particles, and the nanotech stage, in which the receiver-transmitter and CPU are duplicated and inserted into the protective viral coating. New RNA sequences are transmitted by microwave and translated in to plasmid vectors, resulting in a wholly natural and organic process. Additional augmentations can be added through the use of microscopic ROM modules - shaped a little like flying saucers - that diffuse through the blood and attach to the long spine of nanite CPUs. These additional augmentations are software "upgrades" in the most literal sense of the word. We hope this report gets you started; you will find a full technical design document attached. Please read and thoroughly understand this information so that you will be better qualified to administer care to this most exciting new breed of augmented-human agent.
DX nanotechnology shares similarities with Earth: Final Conflict's "cyber-viral implants", but DX is far more grounded in plausible scientific terminology.
<COMMENT>Gunther Hermann, Anna Navarre inbox</COMMENT> From: JManderley//UNATCO.00013.76490 To: GHermann; ANavarre Subject: Our New Recruit <PLAYERNAME> will be joining us today after his stint at the Academy, and I'm assigning the both of you the task of keeping a watchful eye on him while monitoring his progress. His assigned cover name for the duration of his service will be "J.C. Denton" - we thought it would be best to keep the cover names within the family since Paul has already received the Denton codename. I have great faith in you both, and trust you will do your utmost to insure that he becomes a successful and productive member of this organization. Until further notice, I'd like to receive weekly reports with your observations. JM
Mead Bucks Congress APR - Washington D.C. Defying Congress for the third time this year, President Mead unilaterally paid the United States' late dues to the United Nations. "Like good tenants, we must pay our rent on time", he told reporters. Leaders of both parties criticized the move. "Where does he get the cash?" asked Senator Ridon (D-Illinois). "Clearly from some budget item yet to be approved by this Congress." The Republicans were no kinder. "This council member has been betrayed, and so has America," said Senator Osno Liverpoole (R-California). "The Congress came together to approve a UNATCO presence on U.S. soil, but we did not write a blank check. No, sir. A superpower does not pay rent."
Bootcamp for Betty APR - Portland Madison High School junior Betty Souza will spend the semester at the Canyon City Bootcamp, say school officials. The crime? "We have verified that she told another student that she knows how to make a bomb," said Principal Martin Gordly. What makes this case notable is that the parents have filed a lawsuit against the school district. "Our daughter wears black," said father Brandon Souza in a prepared statement. "She has an occipital jack and we let her use it to play games. We allowed her to get a tattoo when she turned 16, but none of this makes her a criminal." The parents claim that Betty was discussing a novel by Tom Robbins taught at Madison High when the mention of explosives occurred. Betty Souza will not be alone in Canyon City. Last year 15,234 young people served sentences in the state's FBI-run "good behavior" camps, a legacy of the Northwest War.
A Lesson for Our President Family News Network - Dave Wary Editorial When the other kids on my block elected me King of the World, a political office open (thankfully) only to eight-year-olds, I moved quickly to consolidate my power. I declared that all subsequent elections were forbidden, that the office of King was reserved to me and my descendants for all eternity. I don't remember what morsels of political philosophy were hurled at me. "That ain't fair!" perhaps, or "You can't do that!" My rebuttal? "Yes I can. I'm King." All subsequent debate involved rocks. Even Gretchen, green-eyed lovely Gretchen, held me pinned to the ground as the others asserted their own right to the throne with whatever stones happened to be within easy reach. With a 35 percent approval rating after the U.N. funding fiasco, President Mead should reflect that these children - and millions of other free thinkers - have reached voting age. Who wants to cast the first stone?
!=!==!=== MIDNIGHT SUN ===!==!=! Mead from Mars! CAPE CANAVERAL - NASA scientists confirmed that the eroded remains of the Alba Patera crater on Mars precisely match the face of President Mead. "It's him!" declared Senior Planetary Specialist Kevlar Umla. "There's his nose, that ridge, see? See the crater rim marking his hairline? The way he combs his hair appearing in this region of parallel valleys?" The White House had no comment. However, Martin Wisdom, president of EA (Enemies of Aliens), told Midnight Sun: "This is the evidence we have been looking for, a warning that Mr. Mead is not human. He is probably a Martian General, a war hero, come here to conquer the Earth with the assistance of the United Nations." - Ryan Allan, Staff Writer
French Connection Found in Rubble APR - New York Recently released evidence from last year's bombing of the Statue of Liberty supports growing rumors that link the incident with the French terrorist group "Silhouette". Already members of Congress are calling for immediate cessation of diplomatic relations between the United States and France unless the responsible parties are brought to justice. "Rash accusations will not reverse the damage that has already been done", said UNATCO Director Joseph Manderley. "Both France and the U.S. subscribe to the UNATCO charter and we are committed to the full and ongoing investigation of this horrible crime." An anonymous e-mail received from an individual purporting to be the Silhouette "Minister of True Lies" denies all responsibility. "For that, you must go to the center of the maze," the e-mail said in part.
!=!==!=== MIDNIGHT SUN ===!==!=! U.S. Prez Sells Out NEW YORK - President Philip Riley Mead's executive order repaying the United States debt to the United Nations is viewed by many as a positive step towards global peace - but others sense darker motives at work. Some sources have privately commented that the order is nothing more than a tacit endorsement of a new world government and its private military, the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO). Few can forget Mead's impassioned declaration that the shattered Statue of Liberty would not be repaired but instead stand as a reminder that "terrorism must be eradicated if we are to be free." It was shortly thereafter that Liberty Island was selected as the location of UNATCO headquarters, their dubious charter highlighted by the mysterious and still largely unexplained circumstances behind the Statue bombing. No doubt President Mead's words will be remembered, even as he sells out his country to the foreign powers that have sought to destroy it for nearly three centuries. - Joe Greene, Senior Staff Writer
Mass Grave in Brooklyn APR - New York Responding to an outbreak of Gray Death that quickly overwhelmed all city services, National Guard forces were placed under the command of local law enforcement today and mobilized to help with disposal of the recently deceased in Brooklyn. However, the National Guard soon proved inadequate in containing the chaos and in many cases the dead were simply left lying in streets while the dying - mostly homeless - wandered the city until collapsing. Traffic jams and looting remain widespread, and as fear of the disease continues to escalate, frequent riots have made any attempt at an organized clean-up impossible. With the threat of secondary diseases looming, city officials have consulted with the CDC in Atlanta and ordered a mass grave to be dug in Gateway National Park.
!=!==!=== MIDNIGHT SUN ===!==!=! Gray Death: Look to the Sky NEW YORK - No student of recent history can fail to miss the irony that the greatest enemy mankind has faced in the 21st century was not any despot or dictator, but the lowly microbe. Millions upon millions have been killed by the pandemics of AIDS, resistant tuberculosis, and the Century Flu, and now we face our greatest threat yet: the "Gray Death," a plague of devastating efficiency that has surfaced in the last year. But was this plague an accident of nature, or a design of science? Dr. Kenji Ishii of the New World Biomedical Health Center in New York thinks not. "My analysis of this plague indicates that it is decidedly unnatural in origin, and in point of fact, may be extraterrestrial." He went on to speculate about those afflicted. "Obviously, a disproportionate number of the indigent seem to be infected, a situation that makes perfect sense if you consider it prelude to an invasion. No more effective way to disrupt the social, political, and military fabric of Earth has yet been devised." If this is so, then what are our leaders not telling us? And how can we be prepared? Only they know they answers. - Joe Greene, Senior Staff Writer
The bit about the "Century Flu" presumably refers to an early 21st century flu pandemic, much in the tradition of the 1918 pandemic. Also note how skillfully Joe Greene's article analyzes the Gray Death, then proceeds to connect it to extraterrestrials - thus associating the two, and making anyone who tries to explain the real purpose of the Gray Death look like a wacko.
<COMMENT>Jaime's office</COMMENT> JANINE'S BOTS SPECS AND OVERVIEW MATSU-GRAVAS GV-4 "NIGHTINGALE" MEDICAL BOT The Matsu-Gravas GV-4 is the newest addition to the M-G line, their first foray into the medical bot category largely monopolized by Page Industries and Chiang subsidiary HealTech. Unlike the competing Page or HealTech units, the M-G GV-4 benefits from a completely proprietary operating system - developed at M-G's research campus in Prague - that promises to revolutionize automated healing by combining a comprehensive medical and pharmaceutical database with M-G's already proven autonomous heuristic routines. While actual field data is sketchy at this point in time, anecdotal evidence suggests that the GV-4 can heal wounds far beyond the capabilities of any other competing model, though it does require a substantial recharging period...
Apparently, in the future, free software and the GPL have not made significant inroads. (Of course, the phrasing of this note would indicate that Bob Page's medical bots do use an open source operating system. Heh.)
Vishnu's Fall A Brief History of the Indian Crisis ... after the bombing, Indian officials issued a series of stern warnings to Pakistan that were rebuffed with denials of responsibility and dire threats that any attempt to use the bombings as a pretext for military action would be met with force in kind. From the viewpoint of the present-day historiographer this was a crucial event, a game of brinksmanship that had been played between Pakistan and India many, many times before and so, while tragic, it is also easily understood how clear signs of the impending catastrophe might have been ignored. "Like two kids shoving each other on the playground", said historian Alistair Brooks. "You never expect them to come to blows." That was before Pakistan began the trials of the "Calcutta 16" and both nations descended into a maelstrom of political upheaval that would eventually culminate in the exchange of nuclear warheads...
HOTEL REGISTER Gully Foyle, New York Gabriel Syme, London, England Paul Denton, New York Oberst Enzian, Sudwest, Africa Smilla Jasperson, Copenhagen, Denmark Hippolyta Hall, Los Angeles
CIA Factbook 2050: Hong Kong Economic Overview: In the decades since Hong Kong has been returned to Chinese control it has seen its economy thrive under the newly resurgent authority of the Chinese central government. Led by a thriving technological market in human augmentation technology, the real GDP has peaked every year since 2041 with all forecasting models predicting that this trend will continue well into the next decade if not beyond. However, the statistics do not present an entirely accurate depiction of the state of the Hong Kong economy as they fail to depict the flourishing gray and black market that operates with at least the tacit approval of the Beijing regime. While political oppression continues to present a major and ongoing problem to those living under Chinese rule, entrepreneurism is alive and well in the form of organized crime - as has always been the case, anything and everything can be had for a price in Hong Kong. Many of these criminal organizations can trace their lineage directly to the Triads that have existed for thousands of years throughout China and Southeast Asia...
While this is an invented bit of text, it is based in reality - the CIA does write World Factbooks. You can find some recent ones for free at Project Gutenberg. Here's the 1998 CIA World Factbook.
BASIC FIREARM SAFETY RULES 1. Never point a firearm at anyone or anything you do not intend to shoot. 2. Before handling any firearm, understand its operation. 3. Always have your firearm pointed in a safe direction. 4. Keep your firearm unloaded when not in use. 5. Treat every firearm as if it were loaded. 6. Never pass your firearm to another person until the cylinder or action is open and you visually check that it is unloaded. 7. Place your finger inside the trigger guard only when you are ready to fire.
This may be one of the few text snippets in the game which is dead serious and good advice to take.
The Reluctant Dictators by Travis Crockett Introduction Organized at the end of the American Revolution on May 13, 1783, by General George Washington, the Order of the Cincinnati was ostensibly formed as a fraternity to recognize the accomplishments of those officers who had served with distinguishment during the Revolution. However, the true purpose of the Order was the cultivation of a military force ready, willing, and able to accomplish a coup de'etat if the fledgling American democracy began to stumble. Skeptical at the viability of the untried democratic system, Washington took counsel in the story of the Roman general Cincinnatus who was called from retirement to serve as Dictator for sixteen days in the defense of Rome, after which he returned home to his farm. In the wake of the Revolution, the United States was vulnerable to any number of outside forces, and Washington felt that a strong, central authority had to be present that could assume control of the government if necessary - and "temporarily" suspend the Constitution if required. Washington resigned as President after only two terms in office, but remained President of the Order of the Cincinnati till his death. The Order still exists to this day, a shadow organization of the wealthy and powerful that has been linked to any number of other organizations ranging from the Illuminati to the Trilateral Commission...
The Trilateral Commission is apparently real. It has a website at www.trilateral.org. It is also a favorite of conspiracy theorists (which is why it appears in Deus Ex).
The Modern Terrorist's Handbook Section 7C. Computer Virus Cultivation One tool (or weapon) not to be negklected in the arsenal of the modern terrorrist is the use of computer viruses to cause disruption to major city services and infrastructre, or other targets of opportunity. Current heuristical viral stalkers ar einfective against modern polymorphic "hothouse" engines availble from many sites on the UnderNet, and can be easily linked to IP-tunnellers for a cheap, effective denile of service attack - or, with some programming skilz and icebreakers, a mutagenic crash 'n grab bird can be grown for the tretieval of speici info from the unfortunate victims.. The following pages will discuss some of the more typical viruses, such as the Bandersnatchv128, Ulysses Dilemma, and I09...
All the misspellings are in the original (and give it that thoroughly authentic touch). 'Bandersnatch' is a word from Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" - it also has the distinction of being the name of a real computer virus. Ulysses' Dilemma was to navigate between the whirlpool Charybdis and the monster Scylla.
Nanotechnology for Stupid People(tm) Feel like a moron because folks sling around words like "Universal Constructor", "gray goo", "mecanocarbons", and "Bucky tubes"? Well, no longer! "Nanotechnology for Stupid People(tm)" will guide you through the small, small world of tiny machines. Why is this important? Why should you care? Imagine a million microscopic robots no bigger than a red blood cell constantly scouring your arteries for plaque and cholesterol... imagine a supercomputer the size of your thumbnail that can record everything you see and hear... imagine buildings that assemble themselves overnight - well imagine no longer! The future is here (or will be soon), and it's made of little atoms - that's right, atoms, the building blocks of all matter in the universe. Nanotechnology simply pushes the little building blocks around to make new, interesting, exciting things. Even now, scientists worldwide are making huge strides in perfecting the Universal Constructor that will make a nanotechnological future possible, but already the benefits are being reaped from their research. You'll learn the history, the inside scoop, the buzz words, and what the future holds - all inside "Nanotechnology for Stupid People(tm)"! Stupid People - When You Don't Have Two Neurons to Rub Together(tm). Check out our other books including the bestselling "Pandemics for Stupid People" and "Cooking Dog for Stupid People".
Heh. In DX, this book is hidden in a desk in a sewer, and presents a treat for the diligent explorer.
Chlorine and Water Treatment: Report for the New York City Council, 2053 ... on the other hand, opponents claim chlorine compounds can cause cancer, infertility, or birth defects. However, recent research indicates that the increased risk of cancer from chlorinated water is minimal or nonexistent. For example, a 2034 toxicological study found no carcinogenic effects at chlorine concentrations a thousand times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency revised Kyoto standards. And the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded population studies on cancer rates were too flawed to draw any conclusions. Water chlorination is just one target for some activists; they advocate eliminating some or all of the 15,000 chlorine compounds now in use. This would include most plastics, almost 85 percent of pharmaceuticals, and 96 percent of crop-protection chemicals. Yet most of the chlorine in the world occurs naturally. The annual global emission of some 1,500 naturally occurring chlorinated organic chemicals totals five million tons, compared to human emissions of chlorine compounds of only 26,000 tons...
Water Advisory Residents of Manhattan and Brooklyn should be aware that last week's chlorine spill in the Hudson River now appears to have washed ashore and is interfering with the operation of at least one water processing plant. While the impact upon the city's utilities is currently unclear, water rationing rules may need to be instituted within the next week. Under NO circumstances should any resident drink, bathe, or swim in contaminated water. If you or someone you know comes in contact with contaminated water then go to the nearest available hospital or clinic.
These refer to the Gray Death delivery mechanism, though it is not apparent at the time the player sees these notices.
Brooklyn Naval Yards Completes Sub Pen In a ceremony held earlier today, the venerable Brooklyn Naval Yards christened a new, state-of-the-art sub pen. New York Senator Clark Ashton was in attendance, as was industrialist Bob Page whose subsidiaries handled many of the contracts for the construction of the new building. "This is certainly a great day for New York," said Page in a brief speech to commemorate the occasion. "New York is, in many ways, the symbolic center of America, an example to not only the rest of the country but the world. As long as New York remains mindful of its past but dedicated towards realizing its future, this will never change. This building is only a small - but significant - step in the continual renewal of the city, and Page Industries is glad to be a part of that."
Battery Park Closed Until Further Notice Due to unidentified terrorist action, Battery Park will be closed to all unauthorized personnel until further notice. Local police working in conjunction with UNATCO agents are currently in the process of dealing with the threat, and according to UNATCO head Joseph Manderley, "The situation is strictly minor, but any time the potential exists for civilian casualties we must proceed with caution."
Be Safe: Be Suspicious Terrorism has become an unfortunate fact of life not only in New York but the country at large, a direct assault on our communities and our way of life that leaves citizens struggling to find answers to difficult questions, not the least of which is "What can I do to prevent such atrocities? How can I help?" Quite simply, terrorism is successful because terrorists are able to pass unnoticed and unremarked upon - but they fail to count on the best intelligence network ever devised: the American people. How can you tell who might be a terrorist? Look for the following characteristics: * A stranger or foreigner. * Argumentative, especially about politics or philosophy. * Probing questions about your work, particularly high-tech. * Spends a greater than average amount of time on the Net. * Interests in chemistry, electronics, or computers. * Large numbers of mail-order deliveries. * Taking photographs of major landmarks. And those are just a few. If you're suspicious, then turn them in to your local law enforcement for a thorough background check. Better safe than sorry. You and your neighbors will sleep more securely knowing that you're watching each other's back.
The "Be Safe: Be Suspicious" notice is eerie in modern light. It is also reminiscent of the Stalinist era (also seen in George Orwell's 1984) when people were encouraged to "inform" on one another.
<COMMENT>Alley near warehouse tunnels</COMMENT> Commander Frase: UNATCO has regrouped more quickly than expected and is beginning a coordinated assault on our position along with local police. They will certainly overrun our defenses eventually, but they must be delayed until the next phase of the mission can be completed. Your men will be responsible for guarding the tunnels leading to the generation station. Dig in and arm all available automatic defenses. I don't need to tell you what's at stake. Good luck. JL
JL is Juan Lebedev, leader of the NSF.
<COMMENT>MJ12 lab</COMMENT> From: Data Administration To: J. Steward, MJ12 Chemical Insertion As requested, access codes have been changed. Your new access code is: Login: jsteward Password: JS1357 Be sure to change the password after you log on!
<COMMENT>MJ12 lab</COMMENT> From: Data Administration To: Maintenance Please change the entry codes on the east hatch to 2167. NOTE: This datacube should be erased immediately upon completion.
<COMMENT>Paul's apartment</COMMENT> Hey <PLAYERFIRSTNAME>, didn't have a chance to get you your own Net account so feel free to use mine in the meantime. Login is "pdenton" and password is "chameleon". Make yourself at home and I'll see you soon. -P
<COMMENT>Body in sewer near warehouse</COMMENT> From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX To: Lt. Maxwell Hammer OBJECTIVE: Covert surveillance of warehouse. DETAILS: This mission is authorized at a level of Throne/6G. You will not interface with local authorities, UNATCO, or other government agencies. You are to act with prejudice against any threat to mission objectives. NOTES: The entry code is 2167.
<COMMENT>Paul's apartment on kitchen table</COMMENT> Quick note, if you need any help with... work, check the painting on the wall and count back from 4. Gotta run. -P
<COMMENT>Hotel lobby</COMMENT> From: NY First Federal National Bank To: John Palmer Thanks for choosing NYFF! We're excited about your business and the trust you've shown by placing your valuable assets in our care. NYFF has one of the most secure banking infostructures in the United States, an impregnable vault that protects you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A complete list of our security protocols and procedures is always available for your perusal at NYFF//NYNET.345.23.88, and we welcome any questions or comments you might have. At NYFF, we're not just protecting you for today, but also against tomorrow. Your new account number is 543654 and the PIN number is 5544. For your protection, we recommend that you do not share this information with anyone and wipe this datacube after committing it to memory. And... welcome to NYFF.
<COMMENT>Alley near warehouse</COMMENT> Commander Weld: Code for the warehouse basement ramp is 2577. Setting up the security grid is absolute first priority - the assault on Liberty Island will be commencing shortly and we can expect an armed response within short order. Until the mission objective can be offloaded, the generator must be protected. It's our last line of defense. JL
<COMMENT>Roof near warehouse</COMMENT> All Proud Members of the NSF: Our time is fast approaching; what we have always feared is upon us, have no doubt - we are fighting against our own imminent slavery. But you are Brave, you are Strong, and we will Triumph. A temporary office has been arranged in the warehouse basement for the coordination of equipment, armament, and other supplies. We request that each member report to the office to be fitted with a telemetry rig prior to proceeding to your assigned post. The office code is 9923. JL
<COMMENT>NYC Sump</COMMENT> From: Security To: J. Steward, MJ12 Chemical Insertion Our security grid is now online and active. We will perform a thorough system test every 12 hours to insure integrity in expectation of the shipment from Hong Kong. If you would like to monitor our status, you can access the grid with the logon "MJ12" and password "coupdetat".
From: NY First Federal National Bank To: John Palmer We regret the breach of security in your New York First Federal account; we here at NYFF obviously take such matters seriously and will hold you in no way responsible for the damages incurred. All of your assets prior to the unauthorized transactions have been transferred to account number 947761 with the PIN number 2867. We suggest you change this PIN number as soon as you have had a chance to verify your new account. Again, our most sincere apologies. Rest assured that NYFF will insure that such intrusions do not happen again. Sincerely, Bob Latham Vice President, Computer Security New York First Federal National Bank
<COMMENT>Sewers under warehouse</COMMENT> Commander Frase: I've completed the initialization of the warehouse perimeter security grids with the login and password you requested; these codes will work for both grids. I'll set up internal warehouse security measures next - I don't really trust JoJo to do the job right. Login: NSF Password: righteous -Decker
Decker Parkes is an NSF member who appears often (along with his associates) in the DX gameworld, though he is never actually seen. His story is told through datacubes and E-mails, and is there for anyone who notices that his name occurs repeatedly.
<COMMENT>In kiosk of Castle Clinton</COMMENT> Commander Grimaldi: I've completed installation of the security measures: code for the primary lock is 666. I'm heading out to help Commander Frase's team prepare for the counterstrike. In the meanwhile, my best advice is keep your head down. It's going to get real messy, real fast. -Decker
<COMMENT>In safe under Castle Clinton</COMMENT> Commander Grimaldi - we liberated two canisters of this stuff along with the Ambrosia during the Liberty Island raid, but none of our people are quite sure what it is or what to do with it - possibly a biological or chemical agent, but without the proper people and equipment there's no way to tell. Lebedev suggested we keep one of the canisters and a barrel of Ambrosia here as a contingency; the rest was shipped out to the airfield an hour ago. Killian
<COMMENT>Paul Denton apartment inbox</COMMENT> From: SweetCharity//GenericMail.34673.78541 To: Paul Denton//NYCNET.33.34.4346 Subject: Miss You I left a message on your machine but wanted to follow up. With both of us traveling it's hard to get together, isn't it? I miss you so much. I'll make it up to you when I get back. Oh, wait, your brother's staying with you, isn't he? Well, just wait until you're alone. We'll work things out. Promise. Kisses.
<COMMENT>Paul Denton apartment inbox</COMMENT> From: KVORK, Inc.//NYCNET.89.09.64.53 To: Multiple Recipients Subject: SPAM: Tired of life? Hello Friend, Has life become too impersonal, too tedius, too painful for you? Then now is the time to exert control, to make that decision which is ultimately the only real choice we ever have: the decision to die. Some may describe this as an act of selfishness, but with the dwindling reserves of natural resources throughout the world you're actually contributing to the well-being of all those around you. A recent bill passed by the United States Congress even authorizes a one-time payment of c10,000 to your chosen benefactor upon passing away. So do yourself, your family, and your friends a favor and visit any one of the KVORK, Inc. clinics in a neighborhood near you. We'll help you make a difference - quickly and quietly. Sincerely, Derek Schmitt Director of Development, KVORK, inc.
In the future, spam E-mail is marked as such (possibly by ISPs, instead of the sender). This is of course a reference to Dr. Jack Kevorkian, advocate of doctor-assisted euthanasia.
<COMMENT>J.C. Denton apartment inbox</COMMENT> From: JReyes//UNATCO.00973.20892 To: Paul Denton//NYCNET.33.34.4346 Subject: Settled in yet? Hey <PLAYERFIRSTNAME>, Thought I'd help you unload your boxes, but I'm tied down trying to get one of the medical analyzers working. Damn thing nearly lasered off one of my fingers! Catch you later for a beer maybe? Jaime
<COMMENT>Paul Denton apartment inbox</COMMENT> Your message: To: juan//NYCNET.7786.786658 Subject: Your Results Sent: Wed 14:18:59 -0600 Did not reach the following recipient(s): juan//HK2net.7786.786658 on Wed, 14:26:35 -0600 Unable to deliver message due to a communications failure MPSEXCH:IMS: New York Net: BORONTYPE:ADA 0 (000C05A6) Unknown Recipient Message as follows: >I'm definitely worried about the test results; there are >some implications there that I'm afraid to pursue too >much further. I'll talk to Tracer. Proceed with caution. > >-P
Paul has been sending E-mail to Juan Lebedev.
<COMMENT>Paul Denton apartment inbox</COMMENT> From: ClassicMovies.pcx3345:ABS To: Paul Denton//NYCNET.33.34.4346 Subject: Account Verification Mr. Denton: We've recieved your order for "Blue Harvest" and "See You Next Wednesday." At your earliest possible convenience, please remit c110 at which point they will be shipped immediately. Thanks for your business, Marcy Plaigrond Vibrant Videos, Inc.
When Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was being filmed, the production crew was given shirts and hats with "Blue Harvest" printed on them; if asked what they were doing, they were told to say that they were filming "Blue Harvest: Horror Beyond Imagination".
"See you next Wednesday" is a phrase from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Movie director John Landis includes references to a movie named "See You Next Wednesday" in every feature film he makes.
Marcy Playground is a band.
<COMMENT>MJ12 lab</COMMENT> From: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 To: JSteward//UpNet.332.88732 Subject: The Chemist Your concern about his behavior is unwarranted. However, once the initial trial is completed, you may eliminate him at your own discretion.
<COMMENT>MJ12 lab</COMMENT> From: Operations Central//UpNet.64534.453423 To: Everyone Subject: Company Picnic The company picnic has been moved from July 21 to July 28. Please note this on your calendars. Employees on duty or otherwise unavailable will receive a bonus as compensation instead. See you there, Harleen Quinzell Human Resources Director - Operations Central Harleen//Upnet.64534.453423 "A frown is just a smile turned upside down..."
This is a clever Batman reference. Harleen "Harley Quinn" Quinzelle is the Joker's sidekick. ('Harlequin' is a word meaning 'clown'.)
<COMMENT>MJ12 lab</COMMENT> From: Central Security//UpNet.2334.3233 To: JSteward//UpNet.332.88732 Subject: System Hacking We've had several attempts to hack into the main Daedalus system, mostly amateur tunneling stunts that don't require a prejudicial response; however, in keeping with standard protocols, all Level 1 lock system codes have been changed. The new code is 2167. This will work within the complex, but isn't valid for exterior access (those systems are on a separate grid, as is the armory). Pass this code on to those with the proper clearances. Archie Reynmann Central Security "Never blame malice for what can adequately be blamed on stupidity" - R. Feynman
Richard Feynman is the famous Nobel laureate and Caltech physicist who invented Feynman diagrams, which are an extraordinarily useful way to picture quantum interactions. However, the quotation did not originate with him. An explanation can be found in the Jargon File.
<COMMENT>MJ12 lab</COMMENT> From: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 To: JSteward//UpNet.332.88732 Subject: Delivery The main shipment will be arriving shortly, so insure that all chlorine delivery tests are completed. Your recommendation of the water treatment facilities for insertion has also been approved; your studies of vector diffusion and initial casualty counts were persuasive.
This explains a few texts earlier in the game which mention chlorine.
From: JAllred//MedNet.1162.3908 To: TMore//MedNet.6629.117 Subject: Weekly Report (saved) Thomas, Another week, another report. The triage situation here is getting tight - so many people with the Gray Death, and we simply can't help them. At best, we give them fluids and attempt to keep them hydrated until they crash-out, but that's just taking up space we could use for someone treatable. A lot of them have nowhere to go, no... social support, and they're creating problems in the clinic - security is virtually non-existant and a few times I've had to tranq someone and drag them back out onto the street. Secondary diseases on the rise: lots of tetanus, gangrene, resistant infections, advanced flu, that sort of thing. I've attached a detailed spreadsheet with a break down and supply req. That's another thing: we missed last week's supply shipment, and we're getting low on Christ, I think they're shooting outside. I've got to go. Do what you can and let me know what to expect. Allred R
From: APriest//MedNet.1178.3908 To: JAllred//MedNet.1162.3908 Subject: RE: Apologies >This is a hard stretch but we'll pull through all right, and we'll >help a lot of people who wouldn't be helped otherwise. I've got a >lot of faith in you and the rest of the staff. We'll make do. And we've got faith in you - there aren't really any apologies needed. None of us would be here if we didn't believe in what we're doing. Don't worry so much about us, and remember to take care of yourself, Alice
From: JAllred//MedNet.1162.3908 To: APriest//MedNet.1178.3908 Subject: Apologies Alice, sorry about the way things have been lately. I've been through tough times before, and they come on like storms - when you're in the middle of one you don't think the sunlight will ever break through again. There were some stretches in Texas when the fighting got so bad that it seemed like there was nothing but wounded people wherever I went, that was all I saw, just wounds to be bandaged. This is a hard stretch but we'll pull through all right, and we'll help a lot of people who wouldn't be helped otherwise. I've got a lot of faith in you and the rest of the staff. We'll make do. Allred
This is probably a reference to the planned Texas mission in DX which was cut.
From: RosyCross//UnderNet.44567.22356 To: 328.2133.1230 Subject: Inquiry The Oracle says: We did as asked and checked with our sources, pulled up black project lists from deadspace Net ghosts, performed intrusion runs on Throne/6G systems, everything. Called in all markers. Best we can say after eight-variable cross check on all available info is your friend did some under-the-table work in youth: very deep, very wet. Few specifics, but we were to divine that it involved the chlorine assisted delivery of weaponized particles. We show 86.73% likelihood that this work is contributing factor to his disappearance. We can tell you this much as well - was not taken by any known national or international security organization. We cannot determine responsible party and this troubles us. We consider our debt repaid. No further communication between us will occur. [[The Oracle would like to know the last joke you heard.]]
In the future, the Internet Oracle has become either a society of people or a free-floating AI, working to uncover requested information for the price of more information. There is a real Internet Oracle, an E-mail system whereby people ask questions and get humorous answers.
And, of course, this is another chlorine reference. "Wet work" refers to assassinations and killings.
From: 555.6773.1212 To: 328.2133.1230 Subject: Limites D'Affaire Nous trouvons vos limites acceptables. Nous nous attendrons a ce que les elements en question fournissent promptement - avec declencher des mecanismes - a l'emplacement que nous avons discute. Nous avons cree un compte contenant la premiere moitie du paiement, compte le numero 312446, l'autorisation 1351. N'essayez pas et n'entrez pas en contact avec a nous l'adresse ci-dessus; elle ne fonctionnera pas. Si vous exigez de nous contacter vous pouvez utiliser les moyens que nous avons deja etablis.
This is a fairly clever way to communicate to the player a login/password combination. The E-mail, when translated, means:
Terms of Business We find your terms acceptable. We expect that the items in question will be provided promptly - with starting mechanisms - at the site which we have discussed. We have created an account containing the first half of the payment, account number 312446, authorization 1351. Do not try to contact us using the address above; it will not function. If you need to contact us, you can use the means which we have already established.
Bellevue Reports Increase in Admittance New World Press - New York Bellevue Hospital has reported a 50% increase in the number of patients admitted over the last three months compared to this same period last year. "A disturbing trend", said Dr. James Cabell, "and one that's stressing our personnel to the limits. Many of those admitted are homeless that the police can't or won't deal with - some of them afflicted with the Gray Death. We simply don't have the facilities to deal with those cases, and most of the hospitals refuse to accept them." Many have linked the outbreak of mental illness to the recent rise in recreational drug use, in particular the new designer drug "zyme". Speaking on condition of anonymity, one public official said that "Zyme has simply become a threat to the public welfare... there have already been discussions with Washington on a zero-tolerance solution." Others have suggested chemical contamination could be the culprit, sighting the recent chlorine spill that has rendered the East River almost lifeless.
* = * = * = * GRAYVE TIMES * = * = * = * DROWN THE CEREMONY OF INNOCENCE PARTY IN THE BLOOD-DIMMED TIDE LOSE ALL CONVICTION FEATURING: Oblivion Pretty & Twisted Tyger Tyger DJ VLIW The Gibson Cowboys AND Brewer's Phrase March.17  100.Credits  Location//UnderNet.245.91.003 No.Guns.No.Knives.No.Morals.No.Thing.No.Where.No.Cops Yes.Zyme.Yes.Sex.Yes.Dance.Yes.Terday EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED NOTHING IS FREE
This is another fun snippet of text, advertising an underground party.
"Tyger, Tyger" is a phrase from the poem "The Tyger" by William Blake. More importantly, Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination was originally published under the title Tyger, Tyger. This novel's main character, Gully Foyle, is mentioned in a hotel register in DX.
For some reason I find "DJ VLIW" hilariously funny. VLIW is Very Long Instruction Word, a type of computer architecture seen in the Intel 64-bit Itanium processors.
William Gibson is a famous author of bad cyberpunk novels, including Neuromancer.
"Brewer's Phrase" is most likely a reference to E. Cobham Brewer's 1898 book Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.
Chinese Lunar Mine Operational APR - Beijing, China Chinese authorities today announced that their state of the art Zhou Enlai Lunar Mining Complex is operational and functioning at one hundred percent capacity. "We are pleased to be making significant progress not just in pushing back the boundaries of exploration for all humanity, but in developing the lunar terrorities in a way that benefits the Chinese people and the global market", said Nghia Lam, Chinese Premier. While the United States and Nigeria still dispute China's claims to the lucrative Palus Somnii and Mare Crisium regions, Chinese construction has proceeded apace while diplomatic negotiations continue. "We feel we have some valid claim to those territories, certainly", said Robert Holden, Secretary of the Interior for the U.S. "But we would prefer to find an equitable arrangement that would allow our countries to work together in developing man's first real home outside of our own planet." The first ore delivery from the factory will be launched by mass driver tomorrow and should arrive in Earth orbit by next week.
Zhou Enlai was Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the People's Republic of China. This is also certainly a reference to the planned Moon mission in DX that was cut.
Court Upholds NY Grid Law New World Press - Washington, D.C. In a landmark six to three decision yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the controversial "grid zoning" laws that have been the subject of a number of suits since being instituted six years ago. Originally passed by the New York legislature in 2046 in response to the Upper West Side bombing that killed 45 people and wounded over a 100, the grid zoning laws effectively allowed the police to wall off regions of Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs. Foot traffic between these "zones" is prohibited, and travelling between zones is restricted to authorized subways or highways subject to police surveillance. "A travesty", said Gil Treble, representing the ACLU as plantiffs in the case. "This law is nothing more than the legalization of social oppression on a grand scale." Supreme Court Justice Machen wrote in his favorable decision that "The unfortunate nature of American liberty is that freedom creates opportunity for terror. It is with heavy heart that I must conclude in this case that the freedom of individual Americans must be balanced against the needs of a community to feel safe and secure."
HAVE YOU BEEN SAVED? "I AM HE THAT LIVETH AND WAS DEAD; AND, BEHOLD, I AM ALIVE FOR EVERMORE, AMEN." Join the NetChurch of God and know that your immortal soul will truly be saved - backed-up on a datacube and stored in our secure, hardened crypt until the day of Rapture. Don't trust your soul to other religions that promise similar services based on vague, ambiguous, and unverifiable promises of forgiveness and acceptance. "THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE." The exact location of our crypts is a closely guarded secret, but rest easy knowing that they're protected by miles of rock somewhere beneath the Appalachian Mountains. Even in the event of a catastrophe (Biblical or otherwise), an auxillary nuclear generator will insure that your soul's checksum is verified daily for millennia to come, while surface sensors constantly monitor for the Last Days when the crypts will be opened and all souls will be free to ascend to Heaven. WHY TRUST YOUR SOUL TO ANYTHING ELSE? NetChurch of God @ God:918.104.22.168
Presumably, 999 is good because it's 666 upside down.
!=!==!=== MIDNIGHT SUN ===!==!=! Giant Rat Stalks New York? NEW YORK - In recent weeks a rash of mutilated corpses - many of them found near docks, subways, or sewers - has garnered nothing but indifference from the NYPD. "Isolated and unremarkable" in the words of one police spokesperson. But while the police seem content to categorize these horrible crimes as nothing more than simple cases of homicide or suicide among the poor and indigent, eyewitness accounts tell a different and all together more frightening story. "'s a monster, 'nnit?" says Dickie Cork, a sailor aboard the Matilda Briggs out of Sumatra. "Thing looked like a rat, it did, only it was big, 'bout the size of a lion or sumthin'." Numerous other witnesses all telling remarkably similar accounts of the creature have come forward in recent weeks, but the police refuse to act calling the descriptions "ludicrous" without any further investigation. But regardless of the truth, the police choose to sit idly by as the killings continue and poor, law-abiding citizens pay the price. - Joe Greene, Senior Staff Writer
This refers to the karkian, or "potato dog", a genetically altered creature in DX.
Commander Frase, we're pinned down in Hell's Kitchen and I'm not sure what to do... they're slaughtering us in the streets wherever they find us - this one mech aug, he's like a giant walking tank, I saw someone pour a clip into him and it didn't even faze him. I've lost contact with Alpha and Delta teams, Yusuri and Thompkins are dead. I don't know what to do. We've holed up in a hotel. It's so different than training. Please tell me what we should do. If we leave, they'll kill us all. If we stay, we're dead. I've had to take hostages - I know we were supposed to minimize civilian casualties, but I didn't have a choice. What can we
The mechaug mentioned must be none other than Gunther Hermann.
Commander Frase: The satellite uplink is still intermittent at best; until I can track down the source of the problem, I've established a secure tunneling communications channel for you over NYCNET. It's encrypted and looks like normal public bulletin traffic to any network sniffers, so it should do until the uplink has been fixed. Login is "TFrase" and password is "valleyforge". -Decker
From: HGrimaldi//NYCNET.999.999.03 To: TFrase//NYCNET.999.999.48 Subject: RE: Collateral Damage I've done my best to convey this to my people, but to be frank, I think we'll need to assume that collateral damage is inevitable and mobilize our own propaganda efforts _now_ in order to blunt or deflect any negative psychological repercussions. Most of those in the field haven't had any formal military training, and I'm already receiving reports that the action in Hell's Kitchen has resulted in a number of "friendly fire" casualties and hostage situations. UNATCO's counter-attack has been more agressive than expected, and some of our troops are going to make bad decisions under pressure. Grimaldi >We need to impress upon those under our command that >collateral damage in the form of civilian casualties >must be avoided at all possible costs - the value of >dead or wounded civilians to UNATCO propaganda efforts >is incalculable and will significantly set back our >cause.
From: JLebedev//NYCNET.999.999.01 To: TFrase//NYCNET.999.999.48 Subject: Good Luck I'm preparing to depart for the airfield to oversee the final stages of the operation. Direct communication will be difficult until the airfield can be secured, but I'll debrief our friend once we rendevous there and send any necessary tactical updates via couriers. JL
Art of War by Sun Tzu III. ATTACK BY STRATAGEM 1. Sun Tzu said: In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them. 2. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting...
Sun Tzu's The Art of War is, of course, a real and very famous book.
Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases ... In addition to their detrimental health effects on the targeted population, biological warfare agents would likely cause significant impacts on the medical care system. Massive numbers of patients and demands for intensive care would overwhelm medical resources. Special medications or vaccines not generally available in standard pharmaceutical stocks would be required. Medical care providers and laboratory personnel might need added protection, and autopsy and interment of remains could present hazards not commonly dealt with...
USAMRIID is very real, and has a website at www.usamriid.army.mil
Righteous Angels: Perspectives on UNATCO by Wendi White Chapter II. The New Seraphim As the giddiness that greeted the new millennium faded to grim apathy in the face of plague, famine, and the inevitable waves of national convulsions that followed in their wake, the United Nations found itself increasingly outmoded and unable to cope with the worldwide rise in terrorism. Tensions between the affluent - walled away within private enclaves - and those less fortunate escalated rapidly as basic medical care facilities collapsed under the weight of each new outbreak. The very pervasiveness of the Net fractured communities into smaller and smaller special-interest groups. And as local police grew increasingly ineffectual and access to deadlier weaponry more commonplace, conflicts spilled over national borders and onto the streets of major urban cities. The United Nations was forced to admit that their own military was both outmoded and unequipped to deal with these threats, so a new organization was required - UNATCO, an army of seraphim, divinely charged to mete out impartial justice with burning wings and flaming swords...
The angel motif of UNATCO is further reflected in its security clearances.
"Hell is murky", that's what Macbeth said. * They came through today, bunch of the NSF boys, set up a perimeter in the shanty town and took some folks hostage down in the station. One of them told me it was necessary, that the government made it necessary - "we're slaves if we don't", I remember her saying, and I asked her if she thought those people down in the station felt any more free for being strapped to a bunch of dynamite. She just looked at me, walked away. * MOLE/6653 * Kevin's dealing with them, says we don't risk anything by letting them use the tunnels, that we don't have no quarrel with anyone. But I wonder about hell and the roads paved to it. - Curly
<COMMENT>Helicopter base, second office</COMMENT> Jonny, We changed all the security passwords while you were out sick (what happened to those Hearst family genes you're always boasting about, huh?), so if you need to logon before I get back I'll give you a hint - it's what you're behind all the damn time. Think about it, smart guy, and you owe me a beer. Later, Erin
<COMMENT>Airfield security room</COMMENT> Erin, the Ambrosia's been delivered and the first barrel is being offloaded onto the helicopter - the other barrels are heading out by boat and plane so we can hopefully get at least one sample away for analysis. If you can, rendevous with us at one of the departure points, otherwise you know where to meet if something goes wrong. You've done a lot for the cause and should be proud of yourself. Now play it safe and get gone. JL
<COMMENT>Boat house</COMMENT> Young: I've got to survey the perimeter - reports are coming back of someone heading this way through the tunnels. Don't know what their force composition is, but it sounds bad. If I'm not back, load up the Ambrosia as soon as the boat arrives and then head for the hangar - the East Gate is locked, so get the key. I'll meet you there. -Decker
<COMMENT>18th Street station</COMMENT> Young: The code is MOLE (6653). Meet me at the boat house and help me load this stuff onto the transport as soon as you can. Play it safe. We don't need dead heroes, we need live ones. -Decker
<COMMENT>Barracks</COMMENT> Juan asked me for the hangar code, Decker, so it's 5914. Tell Young not to get his ass shot off - you know how I feel about him. And I _will_ kill you if something happens. Take care, Erin
McMoran Slings Chinese Ore APR - Beijing, China With the announcement by the Chinese last week that the Zhou Enlai Lunar Mining Complex was fully operational, today McMoran Global Steel held a press conference to detail the first delivery of lunar ore from the facility to Earth via a mass driver constructed by McMoran. "The McMoran MD-118 Mass Driver is the first piece of accelerated stock to be constructed on such a scale, and certainly the first to operate extraterestrially", said Sean Murphy. "The selection of McMoran for this contract by the Chinese government is a major step towards closer economic ties between China and the U.S." McMoran won the contract in a heated bidding war with Page Industries that reached its most fevered pitch when Page attempted an unsuccessful hostile takeover of McMoran.
!=!==!=== MIDNIGHT SUN ===!==!=! Black Helicopters a "Concern" Says Senator As sightings of ominous "black helicopters" become increasingly common across the country, from Manhattan to the SoCal shores, many citizens have grown concerned that these gunships are actually a sign that troops may be preparing to mobilize for some unknown action. "Certainly this concerns me", said Senator Harry Jarvis (D-Texas), a member of the Armed Services Committee. "I intend to bring this up in our next committee meeting and ask some hard questions." UNATCO Director Joseph Manderley was more skeptical. "If black helicopters were really being used for 'covert operations', then those responsible are doing a poor job of it." Manderley went on to say that UNATCO employed no such aircraft and declined to pursue the matter any further claiming that it detracted from the "serious nature of [our] mission." - Joe Greene, Senior Staff Writer
Seasonal Flooding Minimal APR - London, United Kingdom An article recently published in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society indicates that worldwide flooding from melting ice caps will be significantly less this year than in previous years due to an unusually cold winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Dr. Tammy Bright, a professor of climatology at Oxford University, led the study and noted that global tides should rise by no more than "one to two meters on average" in most major cities throughout North America, Europe, Russia, and East Asia. For comparison the high water mark in New York last year was four meters, requiring millions of credits in additional spending for a network of levees and pumps. "While theories concerning the significant increase in days below freezing at either pole abound, the practical upshot is that Arctic ice density has grown substantially when compared to any similar period in the last five years."
<COMMENT>Alex's office</COMMENT> JANINE'S BOTS SPECS AND OVERVIEW MATSU-GRAVAS R-118 REPAIR BOT The Matsu-Gravas R-118 is characteristic of all bots in the M-G repair line, an autonomous unit capable of a wide range of repair, maintenance, and construction tasks. By default, the R-118 is equipped with a Kroya 'Searchlight 3' argon laser attached to the standard M-G IRL arm; Chiang optics and visual processing; a self-recharging bioelectric battery; wireless command control; and 16GB of internal memory for a superior amount of task customization at an affordable price. The bioelectric interface adheres to the same LITE standard pioneered by M-G and adopted by most other companies around the world, allowing all units in the R-line to act as mobile bioelectric rechargers if necessary...
What a wonderful world, where even embedded systems have 16GB of main memory.
From: PubTerminal12//LGANET.783.46.63 To: ETodd//LGANET.2378.236.36 Subject: Quick Note Killian showed up with this canister they managed to swipe from Liberty along with the Ambrosia - handed it off to me, like I'd know what to do with it. I'll load it onto the plane but then I need to get down to the dock and see what the hell's going on down there. Juan's not around, so do me a favor and let him know that the suspension crate code for this stuff is 9905 - maybe he'll know what to do with it. These other monkeys can't remember their birthdays much less a code. And tell Younger to get his ass in gear, we're not screwing around out here. -Decker
From: JHearst//LGANET.8374.832.20 To: ETodd//LGANET.2378.236.36 Subject: Out Sick I'm not feeling so well so I think I'm going to take tomorrow off. But you and I are having a rematch on that pool game when I get back. Jonny
Know Your Enemy - Templars There is some debate as to whether the Templars should be considered a "terrorist" organization because they do not employ the typical tools of terrorism. But make no mistake, the Templars are just as dangerous as any other group that might use guns and bombs to intimidate the free citizens of a country - only the Templars wield blackmail and extortion as their weapons. Supposedly the direct descendent of a so-called "secret society" with its roots in the medieval Crusades, the present-day Templars are mainly concerned with increasing their own bank accounts in elaborately illegal financial manipulations that have left entire markets collapsed in their wake. The Templars are currently classified as inactive after being successfully diminished by a combined UNATCO/Interpol raid on their Paris headquarters in 2051; however, several key Templar figures are still at large and may attempt to reform the organization under a new designation.
Know Your Enemy - X-51 Little is known about "X-51" aside from their involvement in all manner of illegal research, much of it proscribed by worldwide concordes over the last fifty years. Computer profiling shows a high likelihood that X-51 was responsible for the SoCal disaster that submerged much of southern California, though the exact nature of the experiment that led to the tragedy is still unknown. Little other information is available on the overall objective of X-51, if any exists. X-51 is believed to be led by Gary Savage, a scientist previously employed by the United States government for a variety of black projects until he disappeared under mysterious circumstances several years ago. All agents are advised to be vigilant for any indications as to the whereabouts of Savage or other members of X-51, and report them immediately to their operator or immediate superior.
Young, If you or Decker need to access my account the login is "etodd" and the password is "saintmary". Be careful, and I'll find you after this is all over, Erin
From: ANavarre//UNATCO.9954.1131 To: JManderley//UNATCO.00013.76490 Subject: Report As ordered, I have maintained a close watch of Agent Denton during our operation in New York. I have found his performance to be adequate to the task, if not without certain occasional reluctance. But it is my opinion that nano-augmentations in no way compensate for experience, and Agent Denton quite obviously has a considerable amount of learning to do before he can be considered a fully qualified agent. Agent Hermann concurs with this evaluation. I will file a more detailed report when time allows.
From: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 To: JManderley//UNATCO.00013.76490 Subject: Arrival I will be arriving at Liberty later today to survey the situation and assess the viability of the primary subject. Unless there are extenuating circumstances that you've so far failed to present to us, it is our belief that the primary may need to be terminated in favor of the secondary. Continue to profile the secondary's response to authority and mission objectives - if there is any deviation, isolate the subject for debriefing upon my arrival.
From: GHermann//UNATCO.15431.76513 To: ANavarre//UNATCO.9954.1131 Subject: Denotn i am not sure what I thnk of our Agent Denton. He iz not like the brother, but seemz to eagr to prove that he may bbbe better than us. I wonder if he unnerstand may what be at stske here. Gunther
<COMMENT>Gunther Hermann, Anna Navarre inbox</COMMENT> From: JManderley//UNATCO.00013.76490 To: ANavarre//UNATCO.9954.1131 Subject: Mission Objectives Of primary importance in the upcoming operation is recovering _all_ of the stolen Ambrosia - if any falls into terrorist hands, it could be a potential tool for blackmail that would pose a serious security risk. However, our best intelligence indicates that Juan Lebedev - a known terrorist leader - is behind this galling attack; while the loss of the Ambrosia is a regrettable but salvageable incident, Lebedev poses a continuing threat to UNATCO. He is also a dangerous man, and if the operation should result in his termination rather than capture, there is no doubt that the agent responsible would be found to have acted appropriately and with the full force of the law. JM
From: JReyes//UNATCO.00973.20892 To: JCDenton//UNATCO.82098.9868 Subject: Congrats Congrats on surviving your first mission, <PLAYERFIRSTNAME>. I know it's all part of the job, but I'm glad to see you back in one piece (more or less) anyways. If you get this message before I get a chance to see you in person, then get your ass down here so I can patch you up. BTW, I hear a few things from up top and I get the impression that they were definitely taking advantage of this NSF attack to evaluate your performance - so far, everyone seems to be ecstatic. Well everyone except for Gunther, but he's got his own problems. Keep it up, but keep an eye out, too. I get the impression sometimes that everyone here has their own agenda. Jaime
From: Paul Denton//NYCNET.33.34.4346 To: JCDenton//UNATCO.82098.9868 Subject: Watch Your Back I don't have much time, so I'm gonna have to cut this short - they're going to tell you a lot of things about what went on today, and it's probably all going to get pinned on me. I've got my reasons, but I can't go into them right now - not over the Net - but you've got to trust me that there are reasons. Maybe I can point you in the right direction, tap a few computers and see what you come up with. Try Manderley's computer if you can risk it, password is "knight_killer". You might also check Navarre's, but I don't have her password. Cold woman, be careful around her. And for that matter, everyone else. -P
From: RosyCross//UnderNet.44567.22356 To: AJacobson//UNATCO.00013.76490 Subject: Inquiry The Oracle says: We find your question interesting. We have several references to entity token "MJ12" but all are ambiguous. Will be necessary to expend cycles to clarify relationships for codification of representative patterns before further recognition can be accomplished. This will be time consuming, but past working relationships have shown a 83.23% favorable return. Work with file "SH-187" was very instructive. We will contact you again when information has been collated. [[The Oracle would like to know your favorite color.]]
SH-187 is, of course, PROJECT DIBBUK.
From: MedDirectorate//UNATCO.15888.00342 To: JReyes//UNATCO.00973.20892 Subject: RE: Mech-Aug Question? Information concerning the mechanism to which you refer is available only to those with clearance of Throne/6G or higher. Further discussion of this matter with unauthorized personnel will result in disciplinary action. All subsequent questions should be directed to Director Manderley. UNATCO, Office of Medical Directorate >While repairing one of our mech-augmented agents, I >located a mechanism within the autonomic regulation >system that was not present in any of the documentation >I had available; I'm concerned that failure of this >mechanism could lead to a complete autonomic shut-down >of the agent's vital systems with the obvious >consequences that would entail. I've attached >additional CRI scans of the structure and surrounding
Juan, Decker let me know that Killian dropped off a cannister recovered during the operation... Decker wasn't sure what it was, but he put it in a suspension crate on board the plane, coded to 9905, figured you'd know what to do with it. See you soon, Erin
Hey Trieste, Turns out these "mole" people've got a network of tunnels running all through the city (sewers, abandoned subways, stuff like that, all connected by secret passages) so Juan's apparently worked out some kind of deal with 'em to let us route our supplies underground. Brooklyn Bridge Station access is through - get this - the ladies restroom. Least they got a sense of humor. Just for a little added security, I wired up a keypad to the switch - it's under the sink, code 5482. Hustle with those generator coils, and check-in when you arrive. Kochanski
<COMMENT>Secret area under NSF HQ</COMMENT> Paul, I'm sending this message from the plane - UNATCO has been even more ruthless than we'd feared, and the reports I'm receiving now are that our people are being slaughtered in the tunnels; it's probably only a matter of time before I'm captured and executed, and I don't doubt that they'll kill everyone they can back at our headquarters. If you find this, you must get a message out to our people. Align the communications dishes using the satellite dish control computer - the login is MCOLLINS and the password is REVOLUTION. Nearby is the actual communications console; log in using NAPOLEON and the same password, and a coded warning will automatically be bounced to everyone on our network. I can hear the gunshots. They've reached the plane. I'm sorry I won't be able to thank you in person - you've done much for the peoples of the world. JL
<COMMENT>NSF HQ offices</COMMENT> Young: I've got to assist our forces at the airfield, but I've prepped the security grid here in case of attack - if UNATCO does breach our perimeter, log in as TJEFFERSON with the password NEWREVOLUTION and activate it immediately. It should buy you some time, at least long enough to get to the airfield. I know Erin is looking forward to seeing you again. Don't disappoint her. -Decker
ONE WORLD BANKING 3 Plaza One, New York "The future of banking is One World." Mr. Renton, As requested, we've provided you with a copy of your bank account and PIN number. We appreciate your business and look forward to answering any other questions you might have. Account #: 487659 Pin #: 249087 Please keep this record in a secure location to prevent unauthorized use of your account.
<COMMENT>Near NSF HQ computer room</COMMENT> All: I've released halon gas into the computer room to prevent any fires breaking out in case of assault - obviously, anyone entering the room unprotected will suffocate. Use a hazmat suit, or pump out the gas before entering if you need to perform any maintenance. -Decker
From: Public Terminal 11A//NYNET.44567.22356 To: 328.2133.1230 Subject: Need Passage You met me once when doing business with Lebedev; I got the impression you were a professional then, so I'm going to try and handle this professionally now. I need passage out of this city - underneath the official radar - for me and two other people. We're prepared to keep our mouths shut, and we're prepared to pay. We don't care how, and we don't care where: Hong Kong, Lagos, Paris if you can, but anywhere that's outside of the country. I've hacked this terminal with an account that should be active for the next 24 hours; I'll check it periodically for your response. -Decker
From: LevelBeam//UnderNet.3329.4143 To: Citizen's Rights Mailing List Subject: Re: Polio Vaccinations Jimmy Hoskins wrote: >why Crystal Palace is only the upper level of a much larger >repository of data - complete genetic records of every human >being on Earth gathered during the polio "vaccinations" and >supplemented by periodic influenza "vaccinations" since then. >In truth, the whole idea that Crystal Palace was HQ to NORAD >was a brilliant deception, as a secret Soviet-American pact Come on, Jimmy - in her 2013 book "The Wheels Come Off", Ophelia Carter persuasively demonstrated that there could have been no "Soviet-American pact", as America had already sold-out to the Grays; far from being shams, the polio and influenza outbreaks of the later 20th century were merely test runs in a larger governmental biowarfare program that used its own populace as guinea pigs. Next time, get your facts straight. Shirow Yoshitaka "When everything is permitted, nothing is free."
That quotation has also been seen in the Grayve Times advertisement.
Ten Dead in Gang Slaying APR - Hong Kong, China The simmering gang war in Hong Kong exploded onto the streets overnight when ten were killed during an attack on a local establishment, the Lucky Money Club. Located in the Wan Chai district, the Lucky Money Club has generally been associated with organized criminal activity. Eyewitness reports were few, but local authorities suspect that members of the Luminous Path Triad may have been involved in the attack. All ten victims had extensive criminal records. Each was killed with traditional weapons, their throats savagely cut in an ancient ritual typically employed as a punishment for betrayal.
UNATCO Nabs Terrorists in Hell's Kitchen Raid APR - New York A recent raid on UNATCO's Liberty Island headquarters by members of the National Seccessionist Forces (NSF) ended today when UNATCO troops, working in conjunction with local police, assaulted a warehouse in Hell's Kitchen where NSF units were regrouping. While UNATCO casualties were low, few NSF members survived the action which UNATCO Director Joseph Manderley termed a "suicidal last stand on their part". "We negotiated for hours", said Manderley, "and were prepared to make arrangements for their surrender into custody when an attack was initiated against us by the NSF. We had no choice but to respond with force. Obviously, a complete inquiry into this terrible, unfortunate series of events will be undertaken as soon as possible."
Terrorist Attack at LaGuardia The recent terrorist attack on Liberty Island and the resultant reprisal by UNATCO forces appears to have spilled over onto a private airfield at La Guardia Airport where fighting is still ongoing at last report. All inbound flights are being rerouted to John F. Kennedy International Airport, while outbound flights have been suspended until further notice. Look for further updates as more information becomes available.
Page Donates to Area Clinics Today Bob Page made a record donation of over ten million credits to the Clinics and Hospices Association of New York, the largest private donation in the organization's history. Already strained to the breaking point by the influx of patients suffering from the "Gray Death", the donation was "a gift from God", according to Ray Cobo, Deputy Director of CHANY. "This couldn't have come at a better time and should allow us to dramatically improve our services." "It was the right thing to do", commented Page. "When I was in New York recently, the suffering that I saw on the streets was unconscionable. Thomas Aquinas, a personal icon, worked his entire life to ease such terrible pain. This is the very least I could do."
<COMMENT>Basement of NSF, on table</COMMENT> Juan, I have a feeling that - one way or another - my time here is short, and I think my loyalties are already being questioned. The inevitable complications from the raid are only going to raise more doubts, so I've pulled together everything I could access without raising additional suspicions. Attached you should find information linking Simons, Manderley, and other high-ranking members of UNATCO through covert communications and a series of monetary payments. If you check the records, over c10,000 a month is being placed into an anonymous Zurich account routinely accessed by Manderley - the payments were slick, being dispersed through a number of shell companies and orbital banks, but they all eventually originate with companies in which Simons has a controlling interest if you follow the trail far enough back. I also managed to document some of UNATCO's less than shining operations, including their role in the Statue bombing. Most disturbing is further verification of Tracer's suspicion that UNATCO may not only be involved with the distribution of Ambrosia, but also with the Gray Death in some way. I've given a copy of all this same material to Jock with orders to deliver it to Tracer if things get as bad as I think they might. Be careful. -P
From: Central Security//UpNet.2334.3233 To: Security Personnel Subject: Paul Denton REVOKED Effective immediately, the status of Agent Paul Denton has been changed to REVOKED, and Denton has been added to the Prejudiced List. Paul Denton is armed, dangerous, and possesses intimate knowledge of UNATCO security protocols. Security personnel are authorized to use LETHAL FORCE in his apprehension. Any information regarding the whereabouts of Paul Denton should be reported to Central Security.
From: MedDirectorate//UNATCO.15888.00342 To: JReyes//UNATCO.00973.20892 Subject: Augmentation Shipment Augmentation canister 10B (MJID-9138YU0983) has been shipped via suspension crate to UNATCO HQ for your distribution to nanotechnologically augmented agents under your care and should arrive within 24 hours. If you do not receive this shipment within 24 hours, contact UNATCO MedDirectorate. Canister 10B contains ROM modules that encode either the Regeneration or Energy Shield torso augmentation. The Regeneration augmentation will add programmable polymerase to existing augmentations, directing the structural repair of tissues and organs damaged in combat conditions. The Energy Shield augmentation will construct heat- and electricity-absorbing polyanilene capacitors below the skin, reducing damage received from flame, electrical, or plasma injuries. For detailed information, refer to the Nano-Augmentation Guidelines you have already received. UNATCO, Office of Medical Directorate
From: JManderley//UNATCO.00013.76490 To: JReyes//UNATCO.00973.20892 Subject: Re: Excessive Force Thank you for bringing this to my attention Dr. Reyes. If accurate, this mistreatment obviously violates any number of rules in the UNATCO charter and will be thoroughly investigated. However, the situation is currently very fluid, and I would ask you to refrain from speculating further until we have an opportunity to ascertain all the relevant facts. JM >I understand that what we're doing here isn't kid's stuff, >but I had an NSF trooper brought in to be treated prior to >interrogation suffering from multiple second-degree burns >consistent with repeated application of a riot prod at close >range. One or two shocks at most should have been enough >to incapacitate almost any individual; this man had at least >seven distinct burn wounds.
From: Francis_Hamilton//CDCNET.87.47.2398 To: JReyes//UNATCO.00973.20892 Subject: Best Guess Thanks for the e-mail - sorry I haven't been to reply before now, but we've got our hands full here. Everyone's working 24 by 7 trying to isolate the Gray Death vectors. While things haven't been too bad down here in Atlanta (yet), the reports I'm getting back from field operatives in NYC aren't as optimistic. I'll send you the latest data as soon as I have it, but let me be perfectly honest: the projections aren't good. Initial casualties could be up to 10% of the current population, with another 3-5% mortally affected by secondary contagions. If you've got any place to head on vacation, I'd go. Until then, if any of your people come into contact with this stuff I'd say Level 3 quarantine is your best option. I've got to run, but I'll let you know as soon as all the data is in - Francis
From: JReyes//UNATCO.00973.20892 To: JManderley//UNATCO.00013.76490 Subject: Excessive Force I understand that what we're doing here isn't kid's stuff, but I had an NSF trooper brought in to be treated prior to interrogation suffering from multiple second-degree burns consistent with repeated application of a riot prod at close range. One or two shocks at most should have been enough to incapacitate almost any individual; this man had at least seven distinct burn wounds. This is simply unacceptable, and violates not only the commonly practiced rules of engagement but my own medical ethics. I understand that this is _not_ indicative of overall UNATCO policy, and would request that the incident be strenuously investigated and those responsible placed on suspension pending further investigation. Dr. Jaime Reyes
From: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 To: JManderley//UNATCO.00013.76490 Subject: Agent Sherman I've dispatched Agent Sherman to assist you in resolving your current problems and to insure that MJ12 operations are not adversely affected. I trust you'll extend him your complete cooperation. From: AJacobson//UNATCO.00013.76490 To: JCDenton//UNATCO.82098.9868 Subject: Come by my office We need to talk about that last mission. In person, not infolink. Come by my office after you've been debriefed by Manderley. -alex-
Lab Notes, Dr. Moreau Week of 4/12 to 4/18 Sunday, 4/12: LabNet accounts are disabled. Rumor is possible infiltration attempt by Silhouette required redistribution of secure network resources. Will transcribe lab notes by hand until IS has restored access. Monday, 4/13: Greasels displaying an increasing level of antipathy towards lab personnel. Noted to Dr. Verne who increased dosage of succinylcholine from 15cc to 32cc. Wednesday, 4/15: IS promises that LabNet accounts will be restored by Friday; new login is "dmoreau" with password "raptor". Thursday, 4/16: Dr. Cairns typically absent minded; forgot his protective gear when handling greasel and received a dose of venomous spit in the face. Fortuitous opportunity to study effects on human nervous system which included impaired coordination and vision.
Greasels are genetically altered creatures seen in DX.
PROJECT DIBBUK SH-187 Specifications and Operation Domination/5F Clearance ONLY ... the goal of PROJECT DIBBUK was to create a long range, variable mission-capable rotary aircraft, realized to its fullest extent in the SH-187 "stealth helicopter." The production model SH-187 features a revolutionary engine powered by HIGH-EFFICIENCY ETHANOL FUEL CELLS with a flight range of over 9000 miles depending upon atmospheric conditions, and an extension of the adaptive armor technology that renders it INVISIBLE across 97% of the non-visible electromagnetic spectrum. Ideally suited for surveillance, insertion, retrieval, and limited interdiction, the SH-187 will often spend much of its operational lifetime within hostile territory, and therefore is also equipped with REMOTE DISABLING and scrambling for its key flight systems. If necessary, the vehicle can also be scuttled remotely...
The bit about remote disabling foreshadows Jock's helicopter being remotely disabled by UNATCO.
Hong Kong in Turmoil DISSEMINATE TO ALL AGENTS In the last twenty-four hours the political situation in Hong Kong has deteriorated rapidly and local authorities seem powerless to contain the chaos. A recent hit on the Lucky Money Club by suspected members of the criminal "Luminous Path Triad" was only the opening salvo in an escalating war between unidentified members of local criminal organizations. Casualties have included not only targets of opportunity, but also government facilities and urban infrastructure; both Hong Kong police and military are on heightened alert. As the situation develops and we receive further reports from UNATCO field ops this information will be updated.
<COMMENT>MJ12 detenion block</COMMENT> Lieutenant Jackson: A failed intrusion attempt into LabNet has unfortunately scrambled other key systems, requiring most of the security grid to be reset. Until the grid is fully restored, the detention block door code has been reset to 4089 while _all_ detention cells have been reset to 4679. You will be notified when the situation has been fully resolved. Agent Sherman
<COMMENT>MJ12 guard room, near surgery</COMMENT> Captain Hernandez: We are in the process of ghosting all network security resources to provide additional protection against possible intrusion or denial of service attacks. Until this process is complete, all security computers will be utilizing a temporary system. Login: MJ12 Password: INVADER Agent Sherman
<COMMENT>MJ12 lab</COMMENT> Agent Sherman: As requested, the patient has been moved to the Surgery Ward for immediate salvage of his datavault. If you wish to observe the progress of the operation in person, the door code for surgery is 0199; or, if you wish to view the operation remotely, you may use the temporary account we've created for you: login "psherman" and password "Raven". Please let me know if myself or my staff can provide you with any further assistance. JM
<COMMENT>MJ12 bot guard room</COMMENT> Hey Martin, there's been some kind of security snafu so all the codes have been changed until further notice - blanket orders from a new guy I haven't seen before, an agent of some sort. The new armory code is 2971, but don't let that get around... I just wanted you to have access in case the bots get twitchy again. That last OS upgrade seemed a bit shaky, and that makes me nervous when applied to walking gun platforms. - Peter
<COMMENT>MJ12 lab</COMMENT> Here's that greasel dissection chart you wanted. - Dr. Verne
<COMMENT>MJ12 lab</COMMENT> ACOUSTIC SOUND SENSOR, DESIGN AND SPECIFICATIONS The acoustic gunfire sensor has been deployed by a number of organizations throughout the world in those urban areas where it might otherwise be difficult to implement and maintain a pervasive security presence. Utilizing fairly rudimentary DSP algorithms, the sensor will trigger if any sound matching the profile of a gunshot occurs within the sensor's detection radius; field tests in Hong Kong have shown them to be 88% accurate, with an overall 12% decrease in crime within six months. Cheap and easy to install, acoustic gunfire sensors can be fitted to buildings, lamp posts, or any other free standing structure...
<COMMENT>MJ12 surgical ward</COMMENT> Surgical Pre-Evaluation Subject: Paul Denton ... subject shows a number of departures from nominal baseline physiology, including a noted absence of all H type epsilon immunoglobin proteins which would seem to be related to his ability to tolerate nano-augmentations that are typically rejected by the vast majority of the population. Of particular interest is that the subject tests positive for the "Gray Death" yet shows no apparent symptoms or adverse effects...
This throws light on the connection between the Denton brothers, nanoaugmentation, and the Gray Death. The Dentons are engineered to tolerate nanoaugmentation. Their nanoaugmentations are highly related to the Gray Death. If such nanotechnology is introduced into a nonengineered human, it is rejected and produces the usual "adverse effects" associated with the Gray Death.
<COMMENT>Agent Sherman's office</COMMENT> MJ12 Cyberinformation Warfare Division Your request for: LOGINS/PASSWORDS was completed at 18:34:23. ajacobson - calvo anavarre - scryspc ghermann - zeitgeist JCD - bionicman jmanderley - knight_killer jreed - redshoes jreyes - amigo klloyd - target scarter - antique MJ12CWD * "Ipsa scientia potestas est."
The Latin quote is from Francis Bacon and means, "Knowledge itself is power".
<COMMENT>MJ12 Lab</COMMENT> From: JBlane//UNATCO.31.2376 To: PSherman//UpNet.221.9981 Subject: Re: Armory Code Changed >In the wake of a failed electronic intrusion attempt by a >Silhouette terrorist cell, we are upgrading the security >protocols for this complex; until the new measures are in >place, lock codes will be changed as follows: > >[text deleted] >Armory: 2917 One of my men informed me that this code was incorrect; after checking with Ops, we determined that the correct code is "2971". Cptn. Blane
<COMMENT>MJ12 Lab</COMMENT> From: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 To: PSherman//UpNet.221.9981 Subject: Operational Status Continue monitoring the situation with the augmented units; I want all possible wetware recovered from the primary unit, but your top priority should be the interrogation of the secondary unit ("<PLAYERNAME>"). Viability of the secondary unit is of non-importance now that the killswitch has been activated - I'd like any procedures employed selected with an eye towards maximum informational yield. Until the freighter preparations have been completed, you will have full authority over UNATCO headquarters and attached facilities.
"Wetware" refers to augmentations.
<COMMENT>MJ12 lab</COMMENT> From: DElmwood//OceanLab.21.33 To: DMoreau//UpNet.2563.2290 Subject: Karkian Bio Eval Dr. Moreau, I must request yet again that you forward me the results of your study on greasel venom toxicity with reference to the karkian neurological cultures I have previously provided you with so that I can conclude my bio evaluation. This delay on your part could be construed as a lack of enthusiasm for our research goals. Sincerly, Dr. Elmwood
From: Central Security//UpNet.2334.3233 To: Security Personnel Subject: Full Alert We have an unspecified incident originating in the UNATCO detention areas - all personnel are ordered to full alert status. Any and all suspicious activity is to be treated with utmost caution, while ARMED RESPONSE is sanctioned for unauthorized activity. Personnel without specific responsibilities should consider themselves LOCKED DOWN until further notice.
From: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 To: JReyes//UNATCO.00973.20892 Subject: Killswitch Evaluation With your impressive grasp of nano-augmentation I thought it appropriate that you should participate in the evaluation of J.C. Denton's killswitch. It's unfortunate when situations such as this occur, particularly when they involve agents with the obvious talents and abilities of the Denton brothers. But given the need to protect civilians from potential rogue operatives, I'm sure you'll understand the necessity of developing a more effective killswitch, something similar to the instantaneous killphrases installed in all our mechanically augmented agents. Please contact Agent Sherman for the evalutation methodology.
A more effective killswitch is seen in the MIBs, which explode upon death.
From: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 To: JManderley//UNATCO.00013.76490 Subject: Disappointment We are disappointed in your performance to date, particularly with regards to <PLAYERNAME> - while both he and his brother were expendable, considerable time and effort was involved in their creation. Pending a more thorough post mortem, we can only assume that your handling of them must bear part of the blame. We'll discuss this further in holoconference, but until then I've given Agent Sherman full authority over UNATCO headquarters and MJ12 facilities. I've also assigned Dr. Reyes to evaluate the performance of the killswitches for the nano-augmented agents. Maintain a close observation of him and report any inconsistencies in his behavior immediately. Further security breaches will not be tolerated.
Note: "creation". The Dentons were not born, they were engineered.
From: ??? To: SCarter//UNATCO.38239.09421 Subject: Thank You Your assistance in helping us to compromise UNATCO security protocols was instrumental to your friend's escape; while we still do not know the identity of the person or persons calling themselves "Daedalus", they have given us ample reason to believe that he will be an asset to the cause of freedom. It should go without saying that this message will erase itself before the security systems come back online - any attempt to copy or archive it will fail. Minister of True Lies Tandis qu'ils dorment, nous gagnerons.
The French phrase means: "While they sleep, we will gain."
From: Daedalus To: JCDenton//UNATCO.82098.9868 Subject: Get Out They are closing in on your position now. Exit the building as soon as possible. You must escape.
<COMMENT>MJ12 Lab</COMMENT> From: DJacobi//UNATCO.363.67398 To: PSherman//UpNet.221.9981 Subject: RE: Security Directives >* All augmentation canisters should immediately be removed >to a secure area and access restricted to authorized >personnel with clearance of Domination/5F or higher only. After inventory, we have moved one augmentation canister 12C (aggressive defense/spy drone) to the Nanotech Lab where it has been placed in a suspension crate, coded 9905.
From: AGreer//UpNet.902.3902 To: VAlibek//UpNet.003.8588 Subject: Plasma Gun Dr. Alibek: Your facility is one of the first to receive our new production model plasma gun; as you know, this weapon will be phased into use first by our special operations teams, then by selected elements of our military and security organization over the next month. As one of our leading weapons researchers in North America, we are certainly interested in any opinions you might have regarding its combat effectiveness. Attached you should find the full technical specifications. Please feel free to correspond with me directly if you have any further questions. The code for the security container is 5239. Aston Greer Director of Security, MJ12
Sadly, the plasma gun was next-to-useless in single-player DX.
JANINE'S BOTS SPECS AND OVERVIEW PAGE BRAVO-3 PEACEBRINGER The Page Industries Bravo-3 Peacebringer is an affordable security and patrol bot that combines a bipedal frame with an air-cooled mini-gun that utilizes the 7.62x51mm NATO round. While the AI is limited in its capabilities, it is more than adequate to the needs of most security - and many military - forces around the world, having been deployed in such troubled hot-spots as Hong Kong, Chicago, New York, Buenos Aires, New Dehli, Moscow, and Paris. Like almost all bots designed to maneuver in urban environments, the Bravo-3 employs a radar imaging system for situational awareness, but unlike previous models in the Peacebringer line the Bravo-3 is now equipped with a RazorThorn signal processor for target acquisition. Organizations or facilities in need of heavier bot armament often turn to the larger Delta-2 Peacebringer, equipped with thicker armor and missiles...
The small walking bots (e.g. as seen on Liberty Island) must be the Bravo-3s, while the large, mecha-like bots must be the Delta-2s.
From: RosyCross//UnderNet.44567.22356 To: AJacobson//UNATCO.00013.76490 Subject: RE: Inquiry The Oracle says: Initial analysis of entity token "MJ12" (also reference entity tokens "Majestic", "Majestic 12", "Majestic Council of Twelve", "They Who Rule the World in Majesty", "MJID") yields confusing results that must be further refined through additional pattern analysis. Would appear to be related to entity token "Illuminati" and other self-organizing institutions that seek to affect global change through localized alteration of sociopolitical systems. Extant records dating back 837 years are extensive, but subject to a number of valid curve-fitting functions that render speculation as to possible motive or overall goals only 27.3% accurate. We dislike this ambiguity and will work to clarify prior to final report. [[The Oracle would like to know what you think of the color blue.]]
PROSPECTUS: SERIES P AGENTS proposal by Dr. Arthur Donovan (Versalife/HK) The Series P Agents are the logical continuation of research resulting from the Series N: the development of a human agent with enhanced capabilities and absolute loyalty, but without the non-standard appearance of mechanical augmentation or the unpredictability of nano-augmentation. Like the Series N, the strength and speed of the Series P should be substantially above baseline while new conditioning techniques will result in minimal pain response. We conservatively predict a Series P agent would be 78% more effective in combat than a normal operative without any form of augmentation. Key features from the Series N agent will also be carried over, including the self-termination mechanism. An ingenious variation on the "kill-switch", the self-termination mechanism is wired into the autonomous nervous system of an agent. If mortally wounded, the mechanism will activate and explode, eliminating any evidence of the agent and damaging nearby hostiles. However, we are still continuing in our attempts to isolate the source of the albino traits present ever since the Series L, but so far the simple addition of sunglasses and dark clothing appear to have resolved the matter in a practical fashion...
JC and Paul Denton are Series N [Nanotech]. The MIBs are Series P [Physiopharmaceutical]. It is unknown what Series L was.
<COMMENT>MJ12 Lab</COMMENT> From: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 To: PSherman//UpNet.221.9981 Subject: Commando Refit New detachments of MJ12 commando units are now being refitted and should come online shortly. Upgraded units will initially be assigned on an "as necessary" basis to high priority MJ12 facilities; one of the first teams should arrive at your location within forty-eight hours to be placed directly under your command. In addition to their standard 7.62mm firearms, short range rockets have been added to their arsenal. Enhanced power armor utilizing heat-dispersing foam insulation will greatly reduce damage from fire or plasma weaponry, while ballistic shielding provides significant protection from small arms fire. An integrated rebreather also renders them invulnerable to any aerosol or gas weapons. Use this team and your discretion to maintain the integrity of the facility and support MJ12 forces already in New York.
When in combat, MJ12 commandos would run around with their arms spread wide, in order to fire their missiles. It looked extraordinarily goofy. :->
<COMMENT>Tracer Tong Nanotech Book</COMMENT> MJ12 Nano-Augmentation Experiment Series 3-C For Internal Use Only ... recent human trials and subsequent mortality studies have demonstrated that nano-augmenting of baseline human physiology is not without hazards: notably, key anatomical regions can support only limited augmentation without risking rejection or accelerated degeneration. Research is ongoing, but current data suggests the following nano-augmentation combinations have acceptable risk: Arms: Combat Strength or Microfibral Muscle Legs: Speed Enhancement or Run Silent Subdermal (1): EMP Shield or Ballistic Protection Subdermal (2): Cloak or Radar Transparency Torso (1): Aqualung or Environmental Resistance Torso (2): Regeneration or Energy Resistance Torso (3): Synthetic Heart or Power Recirculator Cranium: Agressive Defense System or Spy Drone Optics: Targeting or Vision Enhancement In Series 3-D we will examine the viability of genetically suppressing the immune response through epsilon elimination...
<COMMENT>Lumpath compound cookbook</COMMENT> Chinese Silver Loaves 1 3/4 cups hot water 3 T. sugar 2 T. vegetable shortening or oil 6 cups plain flour 2 T. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt Add sugar and shortening to hot water, stir til sugar is dissolved, and allow to cool until barely warm. Sift remaining dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and gradually stir in sugar mixture. Mix well and gradually draw dough together with your hands. It should be soft, but not sticky. On a floured board, knead dough about 5-8 minutes, or til smooth and elastic. Return to bowl, cover with damp cloth and let rise at least 1 hour.
<COMMENT>Gordon Quick's bunk</COMMENT> Journal of Hung Kwan Gordon Quick ... it is the steel in her heart, much like that of her father, that leads me to love her; how unfortunate that the Old Gods should laugh and she should be the child of their Dragon Head - the man who would lead the Red Arrow against the Luminous Path and destroy all we have sought to create for the Celestial Kingdom. But I know that whatever fate has decreed for us, we will walk that road together. There can be no betrayal in the feelings we have for each other, and no teachings that can show me the error in our actions. Today, Master Tong has informed me that we will have visitors...
Aw, how cute.
Project Dibbuk: Thoughts and Meditations Written by the Honored Ang-Yun Li ... as the Most Dignified of the Celestial Kingdom had expected, inquiries into the nature of MJ12 and the so-called "Project Dibbuk" were quickly declined in an extremely abrupt manner (and resulted in the unfortunate but necessary loss of one humble servant who will be forever exalted in the annals of our organization); however, further perseverance has suggested that the aforementioned project involved the quiet acquisition of Chinese technology that was later applied to the invention of an improved "stealth helicopter" for use in covert MJ12 operations. A careful examination of electronic traces would lead an astute observer to conclude that this information was liberated during a number of skilled intrusions into Chinese corporate data wells originating from UNATCO headquarters in New York, which in turn leads to certain questions about links between UNATCO and MJ12...
... God's got a funny sense of humor sometimes...I'm writing this on the back of an issue of "Tomorrow's Scientist". Hundley sent me to pick up a batch of karkian eggs fresh off the plane; couldn't trust anyone else, Dr. Feng - that's what he said. Big job. On the way back through the tunnel everything just fell apart, flash of light and noise and suddenly I'm lying here. My legs are broken. It was probably a Triad attack... they've been fighting lately... I thought emergency services would arrive, but no one's come. There's no internal bleeding that I can tell. I started to hear noises a while ago. I think the suspension crate in the car broke open and the eggs are hatching. I can't reach anyone on my phone. It's been eight hours. I slept a little. I can hear the baby karkians - cries of hunger, precursor to infant food seeking behavior. The irony is this is a perfect environment for them. I saw a shadow of one a little ago. My rough guess is they're developing almost 20% more quickly than expected. Some nasty noises earlier, several of the karkians picking out the weakest of the litter and tearing it to pieces. I wish someone would come...
<COMMENT>On Maggie Chow's nightstand</COMMENT> The True Way by Kishiro Yoshitaka ... If one is to imagine the "perfect sword" that can cut and swing with no resistance, a sword that is an extension of the mind and heart of the warrior who wields it and not a dead weight of steel, then it becomes clear that the sword is of little consequence compared to the will of the strategist. Those who would master the Way must come to understand this: a sword is a tool whose purpose is to cut. Each day the strategist must practice this until it is not practice, but a part of their spirit. The strategist knows that every sword they wield is perfect, for their will is perfect, and it is through their will alone that they win battles...
<COMMENT>Tai-Fun</COMMENT> Tai-Fun by Lin Yeoh ... The history of the Triads is in many ways the history of modern China. Popular myth holds that the Triads originated as a resistance movement against the Ching dynasty after it descended from Manchuria to seize the capital of Peking by force. When faced with a rebellion in the Fukien province, the Ching dynasty recruited an order of warrior monks who were later deemed expendable by the Emperor and all but exterminated. Survivors organized a number of secret monasteries and became known as the "Hung Mun", dedicated to overthrowing the Chings. The Hung Mun showed a remarkable political adaptability, portraying themselves as protectors of the people even as they accepted money from Japanese corporate fronts during WWII...
Insurgent by X ... When faced with the subversion of an organized ruling body, external action - even when executed in concert, as a group - is often ineffectual. True revolution can only come from working within, and in this the ultimate change that can be brought about by an individual is magnified by the very machinery that such organizations utilize to maintain their own authority. Historically, ruling bodies are always outnumbered by those they rule - but still they manage to maintain a disproportionate amount of power through a combination of tradition, confusion, and punishment. An operative who learns to simulate the veneer of a loyalist and guard their own secret heart can utilize those very same tools to overthrow such organizations, or shift them to a more ideologically pleasing axis...
THE MOST HOLY ANNALS OF THE LUMINOUS PATH THAT LEADS THE RIGHTEOUS TO THE FOLD OF THE INNER CELESTIAL KINGDOM Wong Fei Hong Yim Wing Chun Cho Yi-Hang Wai Ko Lo Yan-Fang Mei Ching-hsia Lin Kong-sang Chan Yusen Wu Chu-Kheng Yeoh Yuen Wo-Ping Tracer Tong <PLAYERNAME>
Every single name in this list is a reference.
<COMMENT>Queens Tower Residential Directory - Lobby</COMMENT> The Queen's Tower has provided discreet, luxurious accomodations for over two hundred years. Our clientele are treated to not only the most elegant amenities in all of Hong Kong - including in-door pool, spa, gymnasium, and clinic - but also protected twenty-four hours a day by automated security and around-the-clock surveillance.
<COMMENT>Queens Tower Residential Directory - Floor 7</COMMENT> This floor is currently undergoing renovations in our effort to create the most modern, comfortable living space possible for future residents. If you would like to examine the floor prior to leasing or purchasing a residence here, please sign in with our on-site manager and use code 3444. The Queen's Tower cannot, of course, be held responsible for any accidents incurred during unescorted tours of the work area.
<COMMENT>Queens Tower Residential Directory - Maggies Floor</COMMENT> Ms. Chow grants you access; please use the private penthouse elevator.
Queen's Tower Residential Directory Please select one of our facilities or residents; residents will identify you using our state-of-the-art security system and grant you access as necessary. Thank you.
<COMMENT>Acoustic gunfire sensors</COMMENT> ALL HONG KONG MJ12 PERSONNEL Hong Kong is a unique environment for MJ12 personnel and provides a number of challenges that all members should be aware of on a daily basis. Currently, only tenuous ties exist between MJ12 and local authorities - though MJ12 is working to resolve that situation - and consequently, police and security cannot be expected to understand the special nature of MJ12's charter. Agents, operatives, security, and other personnel should adhere closely to the Confidentiality Guidelines outlined in your handbook. One key factor in police response is the use of "acoustic gunfire sensors" scattered throughout much of Hong Kong: cheap and effective, these sensors use DSP circuitry to alert authorities to non-suppressed (i.e. not silenced) gunfire. This enables police to quickly minimize threat situations in an efficient manner. While these sensors can be disabled, Central Operations does not recommend this course of action, but rather a considered evaluation of any tactical situation to avoid local intervention.
<COMMENT>MJ12 helibase barracks</COMMENT> We had another one of the locals attempt to hack the security keypad on the elevator - looked like a kid this time, but he did a pretty good job of staying out of the surveillance field. Anyways, Nichole managed an override before he got in and she reset the code to 989; hopefully that'll keep them out until we can get more security on the entrance.
<COMMENT>In police bunker in market</COMMENT> FROM: CENTAL POLICE COMMAND, H.K. TO: WAN CHAI DISTRICT, POST 11384 Officer Tam: Your recent reports of conflict between the Red Arrow and Luminous Path are most troubling. We will counsel their respective Dragon Heads at the first available opportunity, but if further incidents occur you are sanctioned to open the ordnance vault and apply force to the participants as necessary.
<COMMENT>Luminous Path surveillance</COMMENT> ... since the fighting at the Canal Tunnel, the Luminous Path compound has remained silent and watchful. However, at 1938 there was an explosion and the sound of a helicopter flying from east to west, but when I attempted to locate the aircraft for visual identification I could only make out a black shape against the night sky - it's skin seemed to absorb light, like that of a shark in the deep ocean. At 2010 I began to hear reports of a gwailo, possibly the same one who created problems for the elder brother recently, in the market - asking questions about things he should not be asking questions about...
<COMMENT>Maggie's desk</COMMENT> Hello Maggie! I swear I will never forget your birthday again! July 18th is marked on my calendar forever! - Louis
<COMMENT>Maggie's secret room</COMMENT> NEW DATACUBE TRANSCRIPT BEGIN TIMECODE 04:56:23 RECORDING BEGINS ]]]NOW[[[ MC: - know you took the sword, Yuen. You took it from the wrong place and the wrong people, and now you're in pain. You know how much I hate to see you in pain, baby... YK: I am the Dragon Head of the Red... Red Arrow Triad and you... are a... hollow woman. MC: I'm much more than that, Yuen. I am the only thing standing between you and a world of hurt and darkness and shame. Tell me where the sword is, and maybe you'll die soon. YK: And you... you... are a bad actress. (unknown sound) MC: And you have one less finger... RECORDING ]]]ENDS[[[
<COMMENT>Versalife security booth</COMMENT> VERSALIFE SECURITY LOG 05:33 - Richard Hundley enters with empty briefcase. Verify contents of briefcase upon departure to insure confidentiality protocols are not in violation. 06:25 - John Smith enters without sign-in. Note in disciplinary record and increase electronic surveillance on Smith. 13:14 - Louis Elban engages in lengthy conversation with receptionist Destiny Savannah, topic or topics unknown. 21:13 - Unknown individual enters; may possibly match description of "J.C. Denton" referenced in security bulletin 133-B. Will continue observation and detain if confirmed match.
<COMMENT>VersaLife receptionist</COMMENT> WELCOME TO VERSALIFE "We Make Tomorrow Look Like Yesterday" PLEASE SIGN IN 20:55 A. Donovan 21:20 Miriam Casswell 21:32 Richard Hundley 21:34 Dr. Michalopolis 21:46 Claude Harrison 22:52 Cassandra Vargas 22:52 Dr. Lundquist 23:51 Bates, M. 01:10 Dr. Kohl 01:45 Sarah Stern 02:12 Tom Bunch 02:17 Louis Elban 02:24 M. Morgan 02:36 Trellaine V. 03:13 Gary Burkett ...
[FIXME: That's a lot of names. Are any of them references to something else?]
<COMMENT>Informant's cubicle</COMMENT> I think something bad is happening downstairs, but I don't know what. Yesterday I found a man in the bathroom, dressed in street clothes and raving about... I don't know what. Doctors and the things they did to him. Downstairs, he said, but there is no downstairs. I don't know how he got into the building. When I called security a bunch of scary guys in riot armor showed up - they didn't say anything, just shot him with a dart. He stopped talking. Maybe he was dead. When I tried to get closer they shoved me half-way across the room, like swatting an insect. My supervisor came. Questioned me about "loyalty" and "shared objectives with the program." Mentioned how dangerous Hong Kong streets were, that security was for my protection, and that it was there to prevent unfortunate incidents. There are more of the guys in scary riot armor. They are coming this way. I think I'll take a restroom break.
<COMMENT>MJ12 lounge</COMMENT> Harrison, As per our discussion, I will retain root access. Regarding the other key members of the Weapons Research Team, MChow should be given full access, while the others will be granted only user access until further notice. Thanks, Dr. Lundquist
<COMMENT>MJ12 lab</COMMENT> Commander Triolet: In order to correct the corrupted security upgrade, it was necessary for me to do a low-level wipe of the entire system and re-install from a virgin back-up. As a result, the security login and password has been reset to the default MJ12 and SECURITY. Please change the password at your earliest possible convenience and inform your personnel. Troy Whittaker MJ12IS, Admin
<COMMENT>MJ12 lab conference room</COMMENT> Dr. Lundquist: The new server node for the Weapons Research Team is now active and user permissions have been set as you asked. The master password for this node is DAMOCLES. Please let me know if you need anything else, - Harrison
<COMMENT>Market weapons shop</COMMENT> Lum-din, I've been watching the officers across the way, and with the help of a few high-powered optics and an infrared scanner managed to work out the code for the police substation: 911. This is a lucky number for us, I think, and one we can sell. Which Triad do you think would pay the most? - Brother Xeng
Of course, 911 is not the emergency phone number in Hong Kong.
<COMMENT>Queen's Tower lobby</COMMENT> Party Leader Xan, I was much inspired by your speech to our local community resource center and wish to do my part in helping to maintain a free China: as you have said, there are many threats to that freedom both from within and without. It is with glad heart, then, that I am able to inform you of suspicious activities on the part of Dr. Tracey Feng. Dr. Feng has declared on a number of occasions that he believes cases of "Gray Death" are going untreated (a situation I cannot believe the Party would permit), and has often been observed leaving at odd hours on what he declares to be "family emergencies." I believe that Dr. Feng is a good individual, with the best hopes for Hong Kong and China at heart, and could thus benefit from counseling. Ms. Chow was kind enough to bring this to my attention, and should be saluted for the many hours of entertainment and happiness she has brought to the Chinese people.
<COMMENT>Maggie's password clue</COMMENT> Mr. Hundley, It has become necessary to change my system password since it may have become compromised; I will encrypt the new password and forward it to you shortly. Please note that any access attempts made using "Tai-Fun" should be tagged and traced for interrogation. -Maggie Chow
<COMMENT>Helibase gas release</COMMENT> Maintenance Note! Got a shipment of that experimental fuel, but this is scary stuff - toxic six ways to Sunday, and while the emergency purge is designed to shunt it into the basement tanks in case of a problem, the fumes alone could creep back up the ventilation system and put most of the facility out of business. Definitely lowest bid contractor work. Until I can get a hold of someone to fix this mess, I've slapped a temporary lockout on the purge valve: 99871. Give me a ring at (443) 2334-2388-123 if there's a problem.
Five-digit codes in the game are unusual.
<COMMENT>Contraband cargo</COMMENT> LOG ENTRY 00:2345:2223 Took that damn repair bot we picked up last week and wired him into the engine compartment - might finally be useful and give us enough power to clear the maritime partrols before it burns out. Now we just have to wait for harbormaster clearance. *** CLOSE LOG, SHIP'S CAPTAIN SUN CHUN
<COMMENT>Helibase computer codes</COMMENT> UPDATE, MJ12 H.K. HELIBASE OPERATIONS MANUAL All authorized personnel with clearances of level 3 and above should be made aware that the authorization for the "TALON" security network has been changed from "VALKYRIE" to "SKYEYE". The functionality of the "TALON" security network has not changed substantially, and is still covered in Section 3B of the Operations Manual. All further inquiries should be directed to your superior.
<COMMENT>Police security</COMMENT> FROM: CENTAL POLICE COMMAND, H.K. TO: WAN CHAI DISTRICT, POST 11384 INCIDENT REVIEW OFFICER TAM(TAM/Dragon) IS HEREBY CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES OF NEGLIGENCE OR MISCONDUCT IN INCIDENT REF ID#:00453-AT. IT IS THE OPINION OF THIS TRIBUNAL THAT OFFICER TAM'S USE OF DEADLY FORCE WAS NOT ONLY NECESSARY BUT PROPER IN HIS ATTEMPT TO MINIMIZE CIVILIAN CASUALTIES. NO NEED FOR FURTHER COUNSELING OR REVIEW IS FOUND AT THIS TIME. WAN CHAI INCIDENT TRIBUNAL CASE CLOSED
<COMMENT>Queen's Tower computer codes</COMMENT> Mort - I'm going to be off-site tomorrow, so I'm counting on you to head things up. Just FYI, the electrician completed installation of the security system today, login QUEENSTOWER and password SECURITY, in case you get around to handling the configuration issues. (I don't think the doorman's quite figured out how to use it yet, so you might need to do some hand holding with him.) I also set the elevator bypass code inside the shaft to 1709 before I left, if you need to do any work down there. Should the contractors return to work on floor seven, give them code 3444. Any other problems come up, you know how to get a hold of me. :Lin
<COMMENT>Maggie's apartment</COMMENT> When you have the time, May-Sung, I would suggest that you read two of my favorite books: Insurgent and Tai-Fun. I believe you'll find both of them as illuminating as I have. They're in my office if you'd like to borrow them. -Maggie
<COMMENT>Police substation</COMMENT> FROM: WAN CHAI DISTRICT, POST 11384 TO: CENTRAL POLICE COMMAND, H.K. Attached you will find a full surveillance report for the activities of subject MAGGIE CHOW (HKS0084393). Ms. Chow's associations with the RED ARROW TRIAD and its Dragon Head, MAX CHEN, are a matter of record; however, recent evidence indicates that she may also have been involved with the death of Chen's predecessor, YUEN KONG (HKS0134091), a contributing factor to the current gang war. Ms. Chow and her relationship to the VERSALIFE CORPORATION are also under investigation, but show a high probability of being linked to the recent conflict between the Triads. District officers are respectfully asked to note that there are several tactical options for accessing Ms. Chow's penthouse: a service entrance at the rear of the address; a renovation project in progress on the building's seventh floor; and the roof. These options are outlined more fully in the surveillance report if it becomes necessary to detain Ms. Chow or search her premises. Commander Cheung
From: MaxChen//HKNET.123.9009 To: MChow//HKNET.974.12.8723 Subject: Report We have observed suspicious activity near the Luminous Path compound: a black helicopter and a foreigner asking a number of questions about the Path and their leader. I suggest caution until we can ascertain his motives. I will order some of our brothers to maintain a watchful eye on him. You should likewise be on your guard. Max
From: Operations Central//UpNet.64534.453423 To: Everyone Subject: Alert FOR ALL OPERATIVES, CLEARANCE ARCHANGEL/1B AND ABOVE NOTE THAT THE PENALTIES FOR UNAUTHORIZED VIEWING OF MATERIAL WITHOUT PROPER CLEARANCE ARE DETAILED IN THE UNATCO CHARTER, SECTION 3.1, PARAGRAPHS D THRU E. A rogue operative, codenamed "J.C. Denton," has fled the United States and is believed to be en route to Hong Kong. All agents and other operatives are warned that he is dangerous and is to be treated with extreme prejudice. Do not attempt to engage; report all sightings to Agent Gunther Hermann at GHermann//UNATCO.15431.76513.
From: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 To: MChow//HKNET.974.12.8723 Subject: Triad Control I have reviewed your latest report concerning the theft of the prototype sword and subsequent recovery efforts; you are to be commended for your swift response and exploitation of the theft to escalate tensions between the major Triads. The resulting struggle will obviously weaken the native power structure, and I have already ordered an increased MJ12 presence to be placed under your command for local operations. Solidifying our control over Hong Kong is a necessary first step in bringing the recalcitrant Chinese authorities to heel. We've also received reports that Agent Denton ("<PLAYERFIRSTNAME>") may be heading to Hong Kong for a possible rendevous with "Tracer Tong" in a stolen SH-187. If possible, attempt to use your local connections to learn the whereabouts of Tong, then terminate them both.
From: Operations Central//UpNet.64534.453423 To: Internal Security//VersaLife.14321.56245 Subject: New Orders Recent disturbances among employees require all covert security personnel to be on alert. Carry your concealed sidearm at all times while maintaining cover. If employees engage in unauthorized or suspicious activities, you are encouraged to debrief them and pursue appropriate remedies.
<COMMENT>Helibase bathroom</COMMENT> UNATCO Responds to Terrorist Attack New World Press - New York City A terrorist strike on Liberty Island was blunted this past week when UNATCO forces moved swiftly to neutralize the threat. The attack, the result of a poorly organized attempt to break security at UNATCO Headquarters by the National Secessionist Forces (NSF), was characterized by one unidentified source as a "futile gesture". Walton Simons, Director of FEMA, worked closely with UNATCO to coordinate both US and UNATCO forces in a joint operation to root out the remaining elements of the terrorist network in New York. "Terrorism is very much a snake that slithers out of the tall grass", said Simons. "It is our responsibility to always remain alert to the danger it presents, and to act decisively when it appears." Authorities are currently attempting to locate <PLAYERNAME>, one of the terrorist leaders who escaped in the aftermath of the attack.
<COMMENT>Hong Kong news stand</COMMENT> Mass Driver Accident Kills Over 2,000 APR - Ibadan, Nigeria The historical first delivery of ore from the Zhou Enlai Lunar Mining Complex ended in tragedy today when a targeting error resulted in the payload slamming into the outskirts of the city of Ibadan in Nigeria. Thousands died in the initial blast that was compared to a small nuclear bomb as the payload impacted in a sparsely populated suburb, while thousands more were left disoriented, homeless, and without power or water in the wake of the explosion. Chinese officials have halted all other deliveries from the Zhou Enlai Complex and are working with both the United Nations and officials from McMoran Global Steel to determine the cause of the error. McMoran Global Steel was responsible for the construction of the mass driver, winning the contract from Page Industries in a heated bidding war. "Obviously we took the utmost precautions in building the Zhou Enlai driver", said spokesperson Sean Murphy. "But something has gone terribly wrong. Our only real response at this point is to offer our condolences and aid to the people of Ibadan, and insure that such an event never occurs again."
Bad Page Industries. Bad.
<COMMENT>Hong Kong news stand</COMMENT> "Gray Death" Cases Misdiagnosed Hong Kong Standard Authorities confirmed today that a number of mysterious illnesses reported at area clinics were not cases of "Gray Death" as had been previously feared, but merely a seasonal outbreak of influenza. Dr. Chang Lam of the People's Health Administration headed the inquiry. "I can say with complete certainty that these cases exhibit absolutely none of the symptoms of the so-called 'Gray Death', - cases which, I might add, have so far only been reported in the less well managed cities of America and Europe. Those malcontents who have spread rumors to the contrary are merely feeding upon the unjustified fears of the hardworking men and women of Hong Kong." Dr. Lam went on to say that anyone observed making such claims should be reported to local party leaders for counseling.
<COMMENT>Hong Kong news stand</COMMENT> Canal Road Tunnel Collapse Hong Kong Standard Explosions rocked the Wan Chai district two days ago as fighting between warring Triads resulted in the cave-in and flooding of the Canal Road Tunnel, effectively halting almost all access to and from the Wan Chai area. While the fighting occurred in the early hours of the morning and traffic was light, a number of bystanders were trapped during the fighting and subsequently presumed dead. The names of the deceased have not been released at this time. Police have barricaded the area at the Wan Chai terminal and forbidden any access until a thorough forensic analysis can be made and the bodies removed. In a statement released earlier today the police declined to name any suspects, though Chief Joey Leung expressed that the "reprehensible nature of this crime will not go unanswered by the Hong Kong police."
<COMMENT>Jock's computer info, found in his apartment</COMMENT> HONG KONG NETWORK SERVICES WANCHAI DISTRICT YOUR ACCOUNT (#79489ND) IS NOW ACTIVE AND THE ACTIVATION FEE OF c95 HAS BEEN AUTOMATICALLY ADDED TO YOUR FIRST PAYMENT. YOU WILL BE RECEIVING A SEPARATE BILL, PLEASE REMIT NO PAYMENT AT THIS TIME. WE REMIND YOU THAT ALL TRAFFIC OVER HKNET SHOULD COMPLY WITH THE NATIONAL ELECTRONIC INFORMATION DIRECTIVE AND IS SUBJECT TO REVIEW AT ANY TIME. VIOLATIONS OF THE NEID MAY RESULT IN FINES, ACCOUNT DEACTIVATION, VISA SUSPENSION, OR CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS. USER NAME: FLYBOY PASSWORD: 5X5 XIE XIE, HKNET SERVICES
"5 by 5" is a military term. Transmissions are assessed on a dual 5-point scale, for both strength and clarity. A signal that is weak and garbled is "1 by 1", while a signal that is strong and clear is "5 by 5".
From: Paul Denton//NYCNET.33.34.4346 To: FLYBOY//HKNET.8434.03749 Subject: Fallback Time is short. If you've followed orders, you should be on your way back to Hong Kong. Tong will know what to do, so help him. We can't let these bastards get away with what they've done, and what they still might do. My brother... my brother may be able to help. I don't know. I've sent him to obtain the evidence I compiled of UNATCO's recent activities, but - I've had to treat him and everyone else I know like pawns. I've sent them to be killed and all so that we could win the larger game. But I think my time to be sacrificed is about to come. If Tong gives you the word, take down Maggie. And if I see you again, you're buying the beers this time. -P
That's not very nice, Paul.
From: TT//UnderNet.0924.243.886 To: FLYBOY//HKNET.8434.03749 Subject: Surveillance Please continue your observations of Ms. Chow - I suspect that it is she who may lay at the heart of our current troubles and not the Red Arrow. My sources within the police department have been quite willing to share with me certain items of information that lead me to believe she was not only responsible for the death of their Dragon Head, but may also know the location of the Dragon's Tooth. Your friend, Paul, was a great aid to the Luminous Path, and as we are in his debt, so are we in yours.
From: Daedalus To: FLYBOY//HKNET.8434.03749 Subject: Paul Needs You If you have loyalty to your friends, you must return to New York now. I cannot ascertain the status of the person you identify as Paul Denton. He may or may not be alive. But it is possible that I can assist in the salvage of him and his brother if you return to New York now. I have secured the proper authorizations for you to fly an SH-187 stealth helicopter from the Wan Chai MJ12 helibase located in the VersaLife building. There is little time.
Dr. Bates: I've just finished supervising the refit of the superfreighter fuel tanks to transport the virus - this stuff should really be shipped in suspension crates, but I know you'll want to rapidly offload it once it reaches New York. The biocontamination seals will _not_ last past 36 hours, however, and a complete Level 4 sterilization of the tanks will need to occur once the virus is offloaded to ensure that there's no incidental release. I integrated some sealed pumping units into the tanks, so you should just be able to use standard YHU55 couplers and A0 micron hoses for the transfer to the helicopters. But tell Simons I'd still have everyone in hazmat suits the whole time. Dr. Lundquist
Dr. Harrison, I was running a regression analysis on the UC, and it appears we have a serious error that could result in uncontrolled replication. Until a new version of the control system can be tested, I've installed a temporary patch that will initiate a cascading shutdown sequence - this will also destroy the UC in the process, so use only in emergency. The code is 525. Ops says the new system should be online within 72 hours, so stick to low yield runs until then. Dr. Lundquist
"Regression" is a real term in computer programming. It refers to subjecting a system to a set of tests in order to determine if any previously-fixed bugs have appeared (if so, the system has "regressed"). Unlike normal bugs, regressions are particularly nasty, since they were supposed to have been fixed already. After a bug has been fixed, the programmer knows what to look for, and can write a test to determine if the bug reappears again.
JANINE'S BOTS SPECS AND OVERVIEW CHIANG "ARCBOT" MODEL 2 The Chiang Arcbot Model 2 was only recently introduced, a radical departure from Chiang's usually conservative line of industrial bots. Constructed on an arachnid frame, the Model 2 can adeptly maneuver in environments that would be difficult for other repair bots to access. With the addition of a comprehensive array of repair tools, it becomes ideally suited for damage control and building maintenance. But the truly inspired touch by the normally staid Chiang engineers was the ability for the Arcbot to utilize it's bioelectric discharge capacitor as a non-lethal weapon, allowing it to protect itself from potential vandals and perform double-duty patrolling otherwise unsecured portions of infrastructure. However, the Arcbot's big brother, the Model 5, is almost exclusively used for riot control...
This refers to the little spiderbot and the giant spiderbot, nasty enemies in DX.
LION BAY CONSTRUCTION PROJECT 11A-6C (VERSALIFE) FLOORPLAN CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL
Welcome to Wan Chai! Please use the following map, provided at no cost, to enjoy and see our beautiful district. In Wan Chai Market is where you will take in tea, buy a bird, and shop for antiques and other wonderments! The Old China Hand and Lucky Money Club have dancing and drinks for all. End your day with much ovation in a sampan ride through the historic canal, or observe ceremonies at the authentic temple in the main square. Enjoy!
From: RHundley//VersaLife.238.36.47 To: ALL SHIFTS Subject: Weekly Memo I've recently heard some negative discussion in the halls of VersaLife that I'd like to address: we here at VersaLife are doing a difficult job, the kind of job that few people ever have the opportunity to pursue - because here at VersaLife we're changing the world. A job such as this demands the commitment and dedication of those few, special individuals with the talent and determination to actually make that happen. A family. Your family. By working together, there is nothing we can't achieve, but if we back off the throttle now it could result in a loss of momentum that would be disastrous. This is a war. A war against disease and poverty, and if we're not willing to reach out and support our neighbor in the cubicle across from us, to get in that foxhole with them and jump on that grenade, to make the sacrifices necessary to create truly revolutionary products, then we've already lost. Negative attitudes will only poison the work environment of all those around you, but by trusting in the VersaLife family you can be sure that your best efforts will be rewarded. We're already making changes, exciting changes, and I hope to tell you about them in future memos. R. Hundley
From: RHundley//VersaLife.238.36.47 To: DSavannah//VersaLife.734.74.84 Subject: Employee Evaluations I'd like to have your employee evaluations by COB today, with special attention paid to those who've been engaging in non-contributory behavior or who've spread information counter to the ideological well-being of the company. We'll shortly be rotating you out of the "receptionist" position here and posting you to another branch to continue your observations. With the continued assistance of you and other trained EACs, we'll be to sure to keep VersaLife a sustained, focused company for years to come. R. Hundley
From: UnderlitPub//NYCNET.372.437.45 To: WGibson//VersaLife.980.73.01 Subject: Slower Than Pynchon Underlit Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Sheldon Pacotti's previously unpublished first short story collection, "Slower than Pynchon". Pacotti's work - including such modern classics as "Demiurge", "Blue Time in B-Minor", and the award-winning short-story "Calculated Regrets" - has often been compared to that of a later day Paul Auster or Thomas Pynchon (after whom the short story collection was titled), but with a modern, technological sensibility. Pacotti was also an integral part of the fabulist revival that has been popularized in the last decade. The publication marks the first time "Slower than Pynchon" has been made available since its inception, and represents a crucial period in Pacotti's development as a writer. It will be available for download from www.sheldonpacotti.com later today.
Heh. Sheldon Pacotti, of course, is the DX developer who wrote all of the dialogue. This is a shameless plug for his actual website, where you can find "Demiurge" and the other works. Pynchon is also one of Pacotti's favorite authors, and there are a number of Pynchon references in DX. (Also, WGibson refers to William Gibson, the aforementioned famous author of bad cyberpunk SF.)
From: AGrossman//UnderNet.7823.37.908 To: WGibson//VersaLife.980.73.01 Subject: Finally Beat It I managed to nail Nethack v54.3.1 just a few minutes ago. Made it past the Astral Plane, and _then_ back in time to work through all of history up to Nethack v3.2.3 (this, of course, has been in every version since 48.2), but after that the game jumped a thousand years into the future and I had to build an entire interstellar trading alliance (with only the Amulet of Yendor) before the aliens from the other side of the black holes showed up... took me six months to solve that part of the game, and then I finally won. Check it out: www.nethack.org I hear v54.3.3 should be out next week. Austin
Austin Grossman wrote additional dialogue for DX. Nethack is a real game which you can download and play (it is distributed under the Nethack General Public License). They're not quite up to v54.3.1 quite yet, though.
From: IsntItGrand//UnderNet.003.347.945 To: WGibson//VersaLife.980.73.01 Subject: Entertainment Update Miracle Pictures today announced that Chris Todd's new picture "Pact of Shadows" was greenlit with a budget of c450 million. The plot - which has been one of the best kept secrets in the biz - supposedly concerns an ongoing war between ancient secret societies and their struggle to wrest control from an infinitely older and more dangerous foe called simply "Leviathan". "It's an action-adventure-philosophy film", said Todd. "And hopefully you'll see things - experience things - you've never had an opportunity to experience before. With this movie I'm really hoping to build an intricate, engrossing tapestry of story and character - before everything goes horribly awry, of course, and the real fun begins." The film, to be produced under the 7 Crows (www.7crows.com) banner, should begin shooting this Fall for a Christmas of next year release.
Not to be outdone, Chris Todd, the in-game text writer, plugs his own real website. :->
From: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 To: MLundquist//VersaLife.783.48.90 Subject: Virus Shipment The initial virus shipment has been loaded aboard the superfreighter and is currently in transit; preliminary data from its airborne dissemination over New York, Washington, D.C., and other urban targets will be forwarded to you within forty-eight hours. We would like to see at least a 92% effectiveness of the weaponized particles in all future shipments, with a target of 95% effectiveness within eight weeks. We will also need to insure that sufficient reserves of Ambrosia are on hand to meet projected requirements - verify that the current calculations remain accurate and reflect the most recent casualty/infection estimates.
From: ADonovan//Versalife.839.56.00 To: MLundquist//VersaLife.783.48.90 Subject: Series P Agents (Overview) The Series P trials have so far produced excellent results, and I continue to believe that our physiopharmaceutical approach to agent augmentation to be superior to mechanical augmentation - and possibly even equivalent to nanotech augmentation - at a fraction of the cost and effort. The Series P agents show a marked lack of pain response with a corresponding increase in endurance and strength, while psychological conditioning has resulted in a Loyalty Estimate of 9.66 on the Yitzhak Scale. The modified explosive self-termination switch added in Series N has also proven highly effective in eliminating all traces of the Series P in the event that they are mortally wounded or otherwise unable to complete their mission objectives. We're continuing in our attempts to isolate the source of the albino traits, but so far the simple addition of sunglasses and dark clothing appear to have resolved the problem in a practical fashion. - Dr. Arthur Donovan
From: MBates//Versalife.563.93.07 To: MLundquist//VersaLife.783.48.90 Subject: RE: NEB Trials MLundquist wrote: >>Simons has requested that we equip some of the >>Series P agents with prototype Non-Eutectic Blades, >>prior to their mass production, so that additonal >>functional data can be generated. I've also been I've distributed several to the Series P we've already got in the building - I know that project is Arthur's baby, but those suits and sunglasses give me the creeps. Our second prototype run of NEBs was shipped to Simons for distribution this morning. I still can't believe those gangsters managed to intercept the original one-off... I saw in the papers that they're going to use it to resolve some kind of gang war - they've taken to calling it the "Dragon's Tooth." Can't wait to rotate out of this place and back to the States. Drinks sound good. See ya tomorrow. Mark
From: MLundquist//VersaLife.783.48.90 To: MBates//Versalife.563.93.07 Subject: NEB Trials Simons has requested that we equip some of the Series P agents with prototype Non-Eutectic Blades, prior to their mass production, so that additonal functional data can be generated. I've also been assured by Ms. Chow that the stolen NEB has been recovered from the Triads and our security procedures updated accordingly. Please let me know ASAP when the prototype NEBs can be distributed. Let's grab some drinks tomorrow night. Anne's been bugging me to get out more often and with the kid on the way I might as take advantage of it before I'm up all night with the newborn. Thanks, Dr. Lundquist
From: MLundquist//VersaLife.783.48.90 To: MBates; ADonovan Subject: Gray Project Schedule I've attached a preliminary schedule for the Gray Project and want to get your input before we meet next week. Couple of issues I want to whiteboard are their ability to spontaneously generate radiation as a form of "attack", and their apparent resistance to a number of environmental conditions. We're still trying to resurrect all the information from the old Dreamland data wells, but we have managed to extract a complete genetic sequence from the old bovine experiments that have given us two viable test subjects. They've been isolated in a radioactive field downstairs for observation if you want to work up your informal impressions prior to the meeting. BTW, we still haven't heard from Feng about the karkian eggs - we've got the Hong Kong police out looking for him now, but we'll need to push back our planned infant karkian development studies until we hear something. Thanks, Dr. Lundquist
From: FChi//HKNET.910.7804 To: MaxChen//HKNET.123.9009 Subject: Unpleasant Prospects Max, we have been friends since we were children, so I hope you will not find any disrespect in what I am about to say - but first, I must express again my great sorrow at the death of Yuen. He was the first of many great Dragon Heads, and I know you will follow in the same eminent tradition. We here at police headquarters are doing our best to locate his killer, and I will be sure that you have ample opportunity to discuss the matter with them once they have been found. But with all this said, it must also be said that the dispute between the Red Arrow and the Luminous Path has become unseemly and not in the best interests of the people of Hong Kong. The recent collapse of the Canal Road tunnel was unfortunate and has resulted in many problems. I have been forced to authorize the use of unpleasant measures if this continues. Please contact me so that we may discuss this and resolve the situation before it worsens. Your Friend, Fong
From: AlexJacobson//HKNET.743.9844 To: JCDenton//HKNET.450.4347 Subject: Welcome to the Fold Well, I've got your account all set up and you should be ready to go - all communications on Tracer's computers are completely ghost encrypted, so even if they go out over the standard HKNET there's no way anyone can intercept or read the messages. I've been talking a lot to Tracer and he's really an amazing person. I think I can learn a lot from him. I know you might find this odd, but all the time I worked for UNATCO seems like a dream, killing time in some virtual world so I didn't have to make the hard choices in the real one. Now I feel like I've finally woken up. -alex-
From: Daedalus To: JCDenton//HKNET.450.4347 Subject: Required Objectives There is little time. You should know that the organization for which you have worked, whose goals and interests you believed to be your own, is not what it seems. UNATCO is merely an arm of a larger entity known as Majestic 12. Majestic 12 seeks to use force and intimidation to seize absolute control. Of everything. They will not hesitate to use all means necessary to achieve this goal, and have engineered the disease you refer to as the "Gray Death" in an effort to accomplish this. They must not be allowed to succeed. Your brother has been an aid to me in this matter but cannot help me any longer. You must take his place. The Gray Death is a nanotechnologically engineered virus. You are immune, but others are not. You must locate the Universal Constructor used to create the Gray Death and destroy it. My information indicates that it is in Hong Kong, housed in a Majestic 12 facility beneath the corporation known as VersaLife. You must not fail.
From: SCarter//UNATCO.38239.09421 To: JCDenton//HKNET.450.4347 Subject: SitRep They'd fire me on the spot if they knew I was sending you this message, but I've got a feeling they'll be drumming me out any day now as is. Alex tells me there's no way this communication can be traced, so I trust he knows what the hell he's doing. I understand why you did it. Being a soldier isn't just following orders, it's following those orders in the service of a higher cause. When that cause is betrayed, we're not soldiers anymore - just pieces on a chess board dying for the wrong reasons. Things've been bad since you left. Manderley has disappeared; they say he's been relieved of duty. The Director of FEMA, Walton Simons, has assumed interim authority, but there's something about him I don't like. He seems reasonable, but there's something behind his eyes. I saw the same look on men in combat when all the part of them that was human just left. I have some friends who used to be associated with UNATCO - they've disappeared, but I may see if I can find them again. Maybe they'll be useful to you. We'll see. In the meanwhile, do what you think is right, J.C., and let the Devil take the rest.
Mark, We received that augmentation canister you were waiting on - I had it put in suspension in the magnetic testing chamber, code 5878. Let me know once you get the results of the test. Thanks, Dr. Lundquist
Note to self: all tests on the emergency doors around that gizmo they've got downstairs check out, tell Dr. Lundquist not to worry - it'll seal off access to all but maintenance personnel. Door seal code: 768.
WELCOME TO VERSALIFE! Where we make tomorrow look like yesterday! As a new employee, you will eventually be issued your very own individual login and password so that we can better provide information and support tailored to your unique work habits. However, until all security clearances are completed, you should use the standard data entry login and password: LOGIN: ALL_SHIFTS PASSWORD: DATA_ENTRY Your access will be restricted to non-sensitive documents and company-wide e-mail, but we hope that you will use the opportunity to acclimate yourself to the Versalife family. Note that even though you have not received full security authorization, you are still expected to act in accordance with the rules and regulations outlined in your employee manual and supplemental agreements. Thanks, and have a GREAT DAY!
From: MBates//Versalife.563.93.07 To: ADonovan//Versalife.839.56.00 Subject: Upgraded Commando Specs You were asking for the specs of our new commando units this morning, so I've attached the relevant files. The short version is that most of the improvement in combat effectiveness comes from enhancements to their power armor developed here and in our labs in Zurich. The new armor (we've nicknamed it "Obsidian") has greatly expanded possibilities as a light weapons platform, while a layer of microcore foam insulation disperses heat from flame and plasma attacks. It's obviously invulnerable to any kind of gas or toxicological attack, as well. Makes it perfect for riot control and NBC battlefields. Beauty of it is the whole thing's powered by standard bioelectric cells. I love it when you can just pull this stuff off the shelf. Anyways, let me know if you've got any more questions. Mark
To All Flight Controllers: After the recent theft of the SH-187, we are re-evaluating our security prodcedures. Until further notice, Deck One Flight Control has been sealed and troops ordered to barracks. If you need access to Flight Control, please see Tech Sergeant McKinney. -Mackie
<COMMENT>New York Public terminal - all PC's</COMMENT> DECLARATION OF MARTIAL LAW Effective immediately, all citizens of New York City are hereby informed that, at the request of Governor Walpole, President Mead has declared MARTIAL LAW to be in effect for Manhattan and surrounding boroughs. Until further notice, the affected areas are under the authority of the Federal Emergency Management Administration who will work with UNATCO and local law enforcement to eliminate the terrorist threat that has paralyzed the city in the past week. "This is an extreme measure - one undertaken with the utmost gravity - but it is a necessary step to insure the safety of the citizens of New York", said Walton Simons, Director of FEMA. "I can only stress that it is a temporary situation that will be resolved as quickly as possible." Citizens are advised that a curfew has been instituted from 9PM to 7AM. Further details will follow.
<COMMENT>New York Public terminal - all PC's</COMMENT> MOST WANTED: J.C. Denton Citizens of New York are warned to be on the lookout for terrorist J.C. Denton, also known as "<PLAYERNAME>". Denton, a terrorist leader, is wanted in conjunction with a number of crimes including the recent attack on UNATCO Headquarters; the bombing of the VersaLife Building in Hong Kong; and the murders of Juan Ivanovich Lebedev, UNATCO Agent Anna Navarre, and UNATCO Director Joseph Manderley. Denton is approximately six feet tall, with silver facial tattoos and solid blue eyes, the result of a genetic condition usually concealed by a pair of sunglasses. He is armed and extremely dangerous. If you believe you have seen or know someone answering to this description, DO NOT attempt to engage them, but immediately report them to your nearest FEMA, UNATCO, or police presence.
<COMMENT>New York Public terminal - all PC's</COMMENT> New Cremation Center As per FEMA Public Health Directive 27 (PHD27), all bodies are to be cremated IMMEDIATELY upon expiration. To facilitate this process, a new crematorium has been opened in Yankee Stadium; however, citizens are asked not to transport bodies themselves, but to contact the appropriate health officials at EmergencyServices//NYNET.323.4095 if they require assistance. Failure to comply with any FEMA Directive is punishable by a minimum sentence of 3 years in jail and/or a fine of up to c10,000.
<COMMENT>New York Public terminal - all PC's</COMMENT> Government Shutdowns Until further notice, all city, state, and county offices are closed, and the following services suspended: * Public schools * Municipal buses * Garbage service * Road maintenance In addition, all air travel to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport and La Guardia has been canceled.
<COMMENT>New York Public terminal - all PC's</COMMENT> Transit Disruptions As the result of terrorist action, several subway stations are now closed to traffic: * 18th Street * Battery Park * York Street * Clark Street * High Street * Queensbridge and Queensboro * Pelham Green line from Elder to Middleton Alternate routes will be posted at or near the affected stations, or can be found on Transit//NYNET.002.32323. Note that district passes will be strictly monitored to prevent unauthorized travel and curfew will be observed at all stations throughout the greater metropolitan area.
<COMMENT>Free clinic</COMMENT> To All Staff: In the event that neither myself nor Miss Priest are able to reach the clinic, you may access necessary medical records from either of our computers using the following logins and passwords: jallred - Apple Alice_Priest - Secretary I trust you to use your best judgement, and to perform with the professionalism and talent which you all have demonstrated so ably in the past. But always, be safe. Together, we'll overcome these troubles as we have so many others. Sincerely, Dr. Allred
From: IVelikovsky//SOVNET.2198.1893.123 To: 328.2133.1230 Subject: Informatsiya I found the files you wanted, but I had to obtain them from the Biopreparat data well in Sverdlovsk at great expense. Strange - this information wasn't part of any official Biopreparat research effort that I've been able to find, but was conducted under the codename "Velichestvennii" over the last two decades. There were several other projects attached to the same name being conducted throughout the world, but it was impossible to derive anything from them aside from their existence. In any case, your buyer must have some fairly esoteric interests. You'll find my fee debited from your account. - I.V. - [[[ATTACHED Nanoscale Molecular Interactions with Polymerase.doc]]] [[[ATTACHED Biochemical Immunity Rejection Studies Series 33a.doc]]] [[[ATTACHED Genome Map 1/1A/3C Subject: <PLAYERNAME>.doc]]] [[[ATTACHED Sulfur Catalytic Reaction with Protease Site 3-4.doc]]] [[[ATTACHED Regressive Degradation of Human Immune Complex.doc]]] [[[ATTACHED Velichestvennii 6287c78sdXX.DOC]]]
This E-mail is rich with references.
This is also probably a reference to the planned Siberia mission of DX which was cut.
From: GenericMail883//Net.2342.09238 To: 328.2133.1230 Subject: Friend in Need You helped me and some friends out recently. That transaction was business, but you still did me a good turn. I don't forget that. I heard through channels that there's some bad stuff coming down on you - don't know why, people I talked to just said it had to do with a guy named "<PLAYERFIRSTNAME>". I haven't heard of him, but someone wants him dead, cold in the ground. Personal reasons. And your name has come up. Fair warning. Watch your back. -Decker
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From: TMore//MedNet.6629.117 To: JAllred//MedNet.1162.3908 Subject: RE: Weekly Report I appreciate your update, but I'll be frank with you: the situation is deteriorating faster than you know, and the Board is completely paralyzed. That 10 million credit donation promised by Page is nowhere to be seen. Two-thirds of the staff haven't shown up to work in the last few days. Rumors are starting to surface that there may be a cure for the Gray Death, and what few supply runs we've managed have been attacked by rioters who think we're hoarding it - the media has been absolutely irresponsible, stirring people up into a frenzy. UNATCO troops set up shop here yesterday, calling the whole thing a "peacekeeping occupation" and monitoring all medical traffic: when certain individuals come into any of the clinics for treatment, they're immediately rounded up. I'm not sure who's running the show anymore. If you get this message, do whatever you need to do, up to and including shutting down the clinic. First priority should be the safety of you and your staff. I'm not sure how we can help anymore. God speed, Thomas
From: WSimons//FEMA.870.73176 To: New York Medical Authority Subject: Rumor Control To All Staff: The recent terrorist attacks on the city and people of New York - and the subsequent declaration of martial law in an attempt to stem the tide of violence - has unfortunately created an environment where rumor has supplanted fact as the currency of information. In an effort to insure that you have the latest, most accurate news, FEMA will be sending you periodic bulletins; only stories officially verified and approved by FEMA should be trusted. First and foremost, I can put an end to one rumor and emphatically state that there is NO cure for the "Gray Death" at present. Government scientists are working day and night to find a treatment, but any stories referencing a secret government cure are outright lies of the most vicious sort. Future bulletins will follow. Please feel free to contact your nearest FEMA or UNATCO representative if you have any further questions. Walton Simons Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency
From: JAllred//MedNet.1162.3908 To: APriest//MedNet.1178.3908 Subject: Stay Home I'm going to talk to the staff individually, but if the riots are as bad tomorrow as they were today then I want you to stay home. This place is starting to feel a lot like a war zone, only I'm not sure who the enemy is and I'm afraid it might be us. In any case, I'm going to leave the clinic open - what few supplies we had have been removed, and the place might at least provide some shelter for those who need it. If I'm able to make it in tomorrow, I'll tend to those here as best I can. Be careful, Allred
From: LizaPriest//EduNet.12321.123.458 To: APriest//MedNet.1178.3908 Subject: What's Going ON? I don't know if this mail will find you or not - it's been bounced a couple of times off the New York Net, but I keep trying, hoping it's temporary downtime and not something permanent. There's been an almost total black-out of news from New York City, just talk about terrorists and martial law - last thing I saw on broadcast was some smuggled footage of these black helicopters and soldiers in riot gear. It looked like a war. The President came on and said that it was only temporary, that it was "necessary to protect our way of life", I think that was it... afterwards one of the other grad students here started making plans to move to Lagos, even got a passport. I began to wonder if he might not have the right idea. No one can get through to you on the phone, and we're all just hoping you're okay. As soon as you can, call us or write or do whatever you have to do. I'll be thinking about you. * * * L I Z * * *
!=!==!=== MIDNIGHT SUN ===!==!=! Food of the Gods? NEW YORK - Ambrosia, the mythical food of the gods, may in fact be something more than a myth - it may be a cure for the mysterious "Gray Death" that has infected this city with sickening dread over the past several months. What is this Ambrosia, and where does it come from? Speaking on the condition of anonymity, highly placed sources have revealed in an exclusive to the "Midnight Sun" that Ambrosia is the government codename for a cure to the plague that has already taken so many lives. Unfortunately, the current manufacturing process appears to yield only small amounts of Ambrosia which have so far been prioritized for ranking government officials and a select group of industry leaders. "It's a matter of money and connections", said one source. "There simply isn't enough to go around." If such allegations are true then it goes far beyond the terrible events of recent memory: it is evidence of systemic corruption that rises to the highest ranks of President Mead's administration, a callous disregard for human life that must - and will - be opposed! - Joe Greene, Senior Staff Writer
Terrorist Bombing Kills 35 APR - Hong Kong, China A terrorist attack on the VersaLife building in Hong Kong has at last count left 35 dead and over 100 wounded. As authorities continue to search the shattered structure through the early morning hours, the hope for locating any survivors among the remaining missing dwindles. VersaLife, a division of Page Industries (NASDAQ:PAGI), has long been on the cutting edge of genetic, biological, and pharmaceutical research, virtually becoming synonymous with treatments for such virulent plagues as AIDS and the Century Flu. Neither local police nor UNATCO would speculate on possible motives for such an attack, though both confirmed that it was the result of direct terrorist action. When reached for comment, VersaLife released a short statement saying "We are shocked and saddened by this horrible tragedy, but must turn our attention towards comforting those who have lost a loved one to this senseless violence." UNATCO is currently seeking <PLAYERNAME>, a known terrorist, for questioning.
SOCIETY: Party Against Tomorrow New York Voice - Kwesi Dodi As the rich flee the city in droves by car and - horror of horrors, bus (needs must when the devil drives and the airports are closed) - the rest of us are left to wallow in the empty crypt that has become our city. The sick and homeless shamble about as if they just left a casting call for "Night of the Living Dead", and the cops obviously came from next door where they're filming a classic 1990's Michael Bay action flick. Really, the whole thing is too much. And what does Kwesi recommend when it gets to be too much? Why party, of course! It's not with historical precedent, children. Those of you without zyme-addled attention spans may remember Boccacio's classic _Decameron_ (and that's Boccacio the 14th century writer, and not Boccacio the jungle-thud DJ tripmaster), where a bunch of young, hottie Florentines decided to flee another one of these boring little plagues and hole up with a few too many bottles of wine, tell outrageous stories, and have a go at each other once in a while. So, speaking only for Kwesi, I'm going to invite over about 80 of my nearest and dearest - soon to be nearer and dearer - with all the food and recreational drugs they can carry, then lock the doors. Good night, children!
Beth DuClare Awarded Legion of Honor APR - Paris, France Beth DuClare, millionaire, philanthropist, activist - and famously reputed to be the mistress of French President Alain Bourges-Maunoury - was today posthumously awarded the position of Chevalier in the Ordre Royale de la Legion D'Honneur. Created by Napolean Bonaparte on May 19, 1802, the Legion of Honor is an order of merit to which all qualifying military personnel or civilians can be nominated without regard to birth or religion, provided that they swear to uphold liberty and equality. The award was not without some controversy, as members of the Republican Social Union for French Democracy (RSUFD) party disputed the merit based on her involvement in the "Somnolente Ile" scandal that rocked the Serra administration five years ago. Beth DuClare passed away in September, found dead at her chateau of natural causes. She was survived by her daughter, Nicolette DuClare, who has been missing since her mother's death. Police currently have no leads as to her whereabouts. The award was accepted on Beth DuClare's behalf by President Bourges-Maunoury.
<COMMENT>Sub building front office</COMMENT> BROOKLYN ADVANCED NAVAL YARDS All personnel must sign in without exception. Visitors must be accompanied by authorized personnel. Identification must be worn at all times in a visible location. Lack of identification is considered grounds for lethal action. SIGN IN 22:35 Bob Page/Page Industries 22:35 Walton Simons/FEMA 06:30 Captain Dick Balme 06:35 Rory Ackerman 06:41 Ensign Chad Warren 06:45 Brenda Fresno 06:58 Josy Rhodes ...
Chad Warren is the Ion Storm Austin MIS lead.
<COMMENT>Sub pen building, security office</COMMENT> FROM: ASTON GREER TO: CAPTAIN JAMES KEENE Captain Keene: While the PRCS Wall Cloud is in port I fully expect your cooperation in adhering to FEMA security protocols. Due to the sensitive nature of the Wall Cloud's cargo, the ship will be in lock-down while docked and only the minimum necessary personnel given clearance at any time. Please contact the dock foreman with an access code for his people - I trust you will oversee the operation and insure that he understands the necessity for these precautions. Aston Greer Director of Security, FEMA
<COMMENT>Zhao's quarters</COMMENT> Song: Before we arrive in port I want you to perform the normal code rotation, but revoke all access to the ship's armory and change the code to 71324. Tell no one; you and I will be the only ones with access. Simons is no better than a snake, and I question whether the crew would understand what I must do. You alone I can trust. - Zhao
<COMMENT>Ship's command center</COMMENT> Song, You said you were going to rotate the security codes personally this time around, but you should check with the Captain - I just changed his yesterday to 65678. Not sure if he wants to keep it or what. Ewan
<COMMENT>Ship's electronics lab</COMMENT> Note to self: remember to tell Song that the new code she set for ops doesn't work - the "4" button on the keypad is stuck and I don't have a replacement in stock - so I changed it to 83353.
<COMMENT>Zhao's quarters</COMMENT> FROM: Captain Kang Zhao, PRCS Wall Cloud TO: Walton Simons, FEMA SUBJECT: Status (Draft Text) We arrived at 18:27 today, three hours ahead of schedule. The modifications to the cargo bays have been completed as specified and the helicopters should begin loading within the hour. I trust your people will be careful with the cargo - the crew of this ship is still my responsibility. Be careful of my Ling; she is my responsibility as well. Captain Kang Zhao PRCS Wall Cloud
<COMMENT>Helicopter ops</COMMENT> Tran, Captain's changed all the damn codes again - says we're going to do it every day we're in port. He's been awful nervous lately, and that makes me nervous, particularly when we're carrying a freighter full of pesticide or whatever it is. At least we're getting a bonus for this trip. Anyways, today's code for the hangar is 4453. Xin
<COMMENT>Ship's sickbay</COMMENT> Doctor Liu, I'm afraid we've completely gone through all of our motion sickness medication - if you could restock the lockers downstairs, that'd be great. I have a feeling this is going to be a rough outing. BTW, Song's been running around changing all the codes lately, so if you need to raise the bridge in engineering use 9753. Ewan
<COMMENT>Simons' desk</COMMENT> FROM: WALTON SIMONS TO: AGENT PAUL JENKINS During my review of security measures this morning I noticed a potential hole in the security office of the East Warehouse. Please change this code immediately to 2249. We will pursue a more thorough solution at a later date. Walton Simons Director, FEMA
<COMMENT>Supply warehouse bathroom</COMMENT> From: Captain James Keene To: All Security Personnel Subject: Security Restrictions Until further notice, all access to the Advanced Submarine Facility (ASF) is restricted to FEMA and authorized security personnel only. Security should consider themselves on high alert. All entrances have been sealed and the codes will change daily: today's code is 0909. You will receive future codes from your direct supervisor. This code is not to be divulged to any individual who is not authorized security or FEMA. Captain James Keene Brooklyn Naval Shipyards
<COMMENT>Ship's electronics lab</COMMENT> BLUEOS INSTALLATION LOG 19:55:33 Compiling kernel v23.4a... Created kernel. Installing kernel! Installing kernel files to \system\bluekernel... ...copying vbluemod.kernel! ...copying vconnect.kernel! ...copying ispp33.yht! ...copying ispp56.yht! ...copying bluedrivers.interface! ...copying bluesecurity.kernel! Initializing bluesecurity "root" login. Default password: "reindeerflotilla". ...copying xholoarray.interface! ...copying xhardwire.interface! ...copying xsolo.interface! ...copying qazmod.kernel! Morphing kernel driver interface! /temp/morph Installing morphed interface to \system\bluekernel\interface... ...copying bluetranslut.6ty! ...copying tripodmod.ker *** SYSTEM FAILURE 00x627d893 ***
Reindeer Flotilla is a famous password that appears in the movie TRON.
<COMMENT>Commander's office</COMMENT> Okay, I've added a new account for our friendly neighborhood FEMA rep - it's only temporary, but it should allow him to check his e-mail and all that. Let him know we're behind a firewall, so if he wants to access any privnet stuff that'll take some working out with IS. Login: Walton Password: Simons See you in the morning, Josy
<COMMENT>Dockyard</COMMENT> FROM: ASTON GREER TO: AGENT PAUL JENKINS Once on site you are to assume control of the Brooklyn Naval Shipyards security system and link with the FEMA presence already there. Login is "USFEMA" and password is "Security". When the task is completed, report to Simons. Aston Greer Director of Security, FEMA
<COMMENT>Zhao's quarters</COMMENT> Remember login/password: KZhao, Captain.
<COMMENT>Locker</COMMENT> From: Captain James Keend To: Ensign Charles Warrent Subject: Security Restrictions Ensign Warrent, In the interests of security and for your own protection, regular patrols will guard the dock while the PRCS Wall Cloud is in port and the gangway for the Wall Cloud will be kept in its raised position. If you or your men need access to the Wall Cloud, the ramp can be lowered with the code 6655. It should go without saying that this code must not be shared or else disciplinary action could result. Please coordinate your men with the ranking FEMA security officer present. Captain James Keene Brooklyn Naval Shipyards
From: BNS Operations//MilNet.3498.1289 To: Everyone Subject: SOP 16453/C3 Be advised that from today onwards, all bots will be serviced on bi-weekly rotating intervals. Any problems with a bot should be reported directly to the operations office. Unauthorized personnel should _not_ attempt to effect repairs on a bot under any circumstances.
From: BNS Operations//MilNet.3498.1289 To: Everyone Subject: Gray Death Reminder As a reminder, any personnel exhibiting symptoms of the Gray Death (as described in SOP 17663/F9), or who has come into contact with such an individual, should report immediately to the base hospital for treatment.
From: BNS Operations//MilNet.3498.1289 To: Everyone Subject: ASF Clearances All clearances to the Advanced Submarine Facility are immediately revoked. Only authorized security and FEMA personnel, or those other individuals with valid FEMA clearance, will be allowed access. This is considered a high alert situation, and lethal force will be used to control the perimeter. Any questions should be directed to Captain James Keene, JKeene//MilNet.233.21396.
From: PJenkins//UpNet.221.9981 To: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 Subject: Preparations I have downloaded the latest keyhole surveillance and given the projected weather and tides for the next 12 hours, the PRCS Wall Cloud should dock ahead of schedule at 18:40. All clearances to the sub pen have been revoked and, with the exception of a small maintenance crew, all base personnel have been evacuated from the facility. I will coordinate perimeter and security with Captain Keene. We should be able to begin loading of the helicopters within two hours of the Wall Cloud's arrival. I will contact you again once the operation has commenced. Agent Jenkins
"Keyhole" refers to satellite surveillance. Presumably, to a newer satellite than the current Keyhole system, which is very old.
From: DBalme//MilNet.233.21396 To: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 Subject: RE:Security request Yes, sir. My apologies, and I will certainly see to it that your orders are carried out with all speed and precision. Please let me know if you require anything else. >FEMA requires you to comply during this crisis situation, >and you are legally obligated to do so: we are attempting >to control an insect population that may be a carrier for >the Gray Death. If you do not devote your fullest enthusiasm >to this operation then you can and will be summarily court >martialed. If you have any questions about my authority, >refer them to Rear Admiral Radchek. > >>I have to question whether this is the best possible use >>of the Advanced Submarine Facility, and whether placing Navy >>personnel under FEMA command is advisable. >> >>>Once the Wall Cloud has docked, the submarine facility will >>>be cordoned off and only FEMA or authorized security personnel >>>given access; you will work with Agent Jenkins to coordinate >>>this. Helicopters will arrive shortly thereafter to be fitted >>>with sprayer attachments and loaded with pesticide from the >>>tanker.
From: GHermann//UpNet.9384.7023 To: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 Subject: He has left I have looking for that trater J.C. Denton or "<PLAYERFIRSTNAME>" or whatever he calls himself, but he is not in Hong Kong. I am to be returning to New York, but I will find him. Thank you for this mision - It is what I want. I will succede for you and for Agent Navarre. Gunther Hermann
From: PYin//UpNet.9384.7023 To: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 Subject: VersaLife The VersaLife situation has been corrected. All evidence of MJ12 involvement was removed prior to the building being demolished, effectively removing all secondary and tertiary evidence along with key compromised personnel. We have leaked items to the press implicating Denton and his associates and have received favorable feedback from our sources. Production of the Non-Eutectic Blade (NEB) has been only temporarily delayed and will be shifted to other technology centers with minimal impact to the overall schedule. Agent Peter Yin
From: Lin_Zhao//ChinaNet.09387.13639 To: KZhao//ShipNet.466.2379 Subject: daddy hi daddy I just wanted to see how you are doing. I am practicing my English can you tell? My teacher says I am almost the best in my class. when will you be back? Mommy told me she loves you and I love you too. Today Some nice men came to school to see me. They said they were your friends and if there was ever a problem they would come and get me so that i could see you. i told Mommy and she didn't seem to like that but I thought they were very nice. Mommy says you will be back soon and I can't wait to go to the museum again. I love you Daddy. Hug and kiss, Lin :>
From: FGong//ChinaNet.00000.9034 To: KZhao//ShipNet.466.2379 Subject: A Matter for Discussion The Te-Wu have been most intrigued by your information regarding Walton Simons and the implied threats towards you and your family. The well-being of any one family is certainly the primary concern of the Chinese people and their chosen instruments. However, we are also troubled by your reluctance to appear for counseling and the apparent use of a registered Chinese freighter in a way that does not contribute to the communal good. We would hope that you have not made regrettable decisions in the absence of appropriate advice. Please contact us immediately so that we may discuss your involvement and the correct course of action for both yourself and your family. Comrade Advisor Fengyi Gong
Search for Terrorist Leader Intensifies APR - New York UNATCO is working closely with FEMA and other international security agencies around the world to apprehend <PLAYERNAME>, a terrorist with ties to a number of groups including the NSF, Silhouette, and organized crime in Hong Kong. "We believe him to be responsible for organizing and leading the attack on Liberty Island and the deaths of a number of UNATCO agents", said Walton Simons, Director of FEMA. "The necessity of instituting martial law in New York - unheard of in the history of America - is directly attributable to criminal elements operating under his orders." Simons went on to say that evidence recovered from the recent bombing of the VersaLife building in Hong Kong demonstrates <PLAYERNAME>'s involvement "beyond a shadow of a doubt" and points towards an organized, systematic campaign of terror designed to "extort freedom for politically dangerous ideologies through any means necessary." Authorities are also seeking any information on the whereabouts of Alex Jacobson or Brian "Jock" Flanagan, key figures in the terrorist organization.
Page Unveils "Aquinas" APR - Washington, D.C. At a lavish press conference today attended by mainstream and technical media alike, Bob Page unveiled Page Industries (NASDAQ:PAGI) newest technological achievement, "Aquinas". Rumored to have been in development for almost five years at a cost of over a billion credits, Aquinas is a seamless, transparent replacement for the current patchwork of Net protocols that promises to radically expand bandwidth without the need for new hardware. "Aquinas is the result of over five hundred man-years of effort on the part of some of the most talented and driven people in the industry", Page said at the conference. "We're grateful to the NSA and the Hague Commission on Secure Communications for trusting Page Industries with the responsibility for this technological milestone. As of noon today you can expect nearly all of the world's net traffic to be carried by Aquinas. Bandwidth is now, for all intents and purposes, free." The remainder of the press conference involved presentations by the leaders of the carriers allied with Page Industries, and a technical discussion of the Aquinas protocol - named after the titular Thomas Aquinas, whose philosophy is a well-known passion for Bob Page.
From: TT//UnderNet.0924.243.886 To: SDowd//UnderNet.4789.237.048 Subject: Humble Request Mr. Dowd, I have long enjoyed our acquaintance and the many rewarding conversations we have had since first meeting. I must apologize, then, if what I now ask strays beyond the boundaries of that relationship, but I feel we are in a position to benefit not just each other, but to avert a terrible tragedy from befalling all the peoples of the world. I am sending an associate of mine to New York; I hope you will take the opportunity to meet with him. Through his efforts we have uncovered some clues to the nature of the "Gray Death" virus: it is artificially created, and appears to be connected to the Illuminati in some fashion - or someone wishes us to believe that it is. Those responsible for the virus are delivering a shipment to New York aboard a superfreighter previously owned by you, currently registered as the "PRCS Wall Cloud". No doubt the virus will be used to infect thousands more in an effort to create fear and confusion. Any assistance you could give my associate and I in preventing the virus from being released will save untold lives. My most humble thanks, and I hope this will find you in good health.
<COMMENT>?</COMMENT> Family Discovers New Species New World Press - New York The Caruthers family was enjoying a pleasant walk down a stretch of unremarkable SoCal beach when they encountered what may be a most remarkable scientific discovery. "It was my wife who spotted it first", said Dane Caruthers. "At first we thought it was a lizard that'd drowned and washed ashore, but it was too big - it had this gigantic head and feathers on its arms, but it didn't look like any bird I'd ever seen. Then I thought it might be like one of those prehistoric fish that everyone thought was extinct, so I decided to call someone." The strange carcass eventually found its way to the Biology Depatment of the University of California, Los Angeles, where it was examined by Dr. Trey Hermann. "A preliminary study indicates that it doesn't really fit any of our current taxonomies", Dr. Hermann said. "It seems to have certain superficial characteristics of a seagull, but with a considerable number of other, more reptilian traits." The Caruthers family seemed to take it all in stride. "Though I have to admit I was a little excited when Dr. Hermann said they might name it after us", said Mr. Caruthers.
Richard III by William Shakespeare Act I, Scene IV CLARENCE: ... Lord, Lord! methought, what pain it was to drown! What dreadful noise of waters in mine ears! What ugly sights of death within mine eyes! Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks; Ten thousand men that fishes gnaw'd upon; Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl, Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels, All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea: Some lay in dead men's skulls; and, in those holes Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept, As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems, Which woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep, And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by...
Common Sense by Thomas Paine ... SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least...
The Eye of Argon by Jim Theis The weather beaten trail wound ahead into the dust racked climes of the baren land which dominates large portions of the Norgolian empire. Age worn hoof prints smothered by the sifting sands of time shone dully against the dust splattered crust of earth. The tireless sun cast its parching rays of incandescense from overhead, half way through its daily revolution. Small rodents scampered about, occupying themselves in the daily accomplishments of their dismal lives. Dust sprayed over three heaving mounts in blinding clouds, while they bore the burdonsome cargoes of their struggling overseers. "Prepare to embrace your creators in the stygian haunts of hell, barbarian", gasped the first soldier. "Only after you have kissed the fleeting stead of death, wretch!" returned Grignr...
The Eye of Argon is said to be the worst SF story ever written. Here is a page about it. This relates some of the history behind it. And it does seem to be real. Heh.
Coq au Vin 1 chicken, cut into 9 pieces 2 tbsp unsalted butter 10 oz pearl onions, peeled 4 slices bacon, cut into 10cm pieces 1 tbsp flour 3/4 cup of chicken stock 1 bouquet garni 2 cups of red wine 1 tbsp red wine vinegar Salt and pepper, garlic Brown the chicken in the butter in a frying pan over moderate heat. Place chicken in a heavy casserole. Brown the onions and bacon in the frying pan and add to the chicken. Add the flour and stir well. Add stock, bouquet garni, wine, salt and pepper. Stir and pour over the chicken. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add the red wine vinegar. Degrease the sauce before serving.
Petals of Twilight by Charles Francois Guillermot ... And it is told that he made his way through their streets at night, crawling through their many windows and crouching in their gardens, moving through the sewers beneath their cobbled roads and slipping over their railings. Watched by their cats and the roosting pidgeons of their city, yet wary of their slumbering dogs, he went. They would not see him, nor wake as he drew near, but would only shudder, softly calling out the names of their gods in sleep. Restless, they tossed as he passed under the window like an errant lover fleeing dawn. And by morning light he was gone, away from that place, and moved on to another world.
[FIXME: Is this real?]
DAILY ACTIVITY REPORT ...with the new government regulations it has become almost impossible to get any work done after sundown... the sourd-muet bots will supposedly only attack known terrorists, but I do not trust them, and neither does anyone else. They all head home before dark. I stay and try to get a little work done so the American MIS woman gave me a passcode for the security system (rzelazny/shadowjack), but it is difficult to make any progress when no one is around to give me the information I need...
'Sourd-muet' is French for 'deaf-mute'.
The login/password refers to Roger Zelazny's 1978 story, "Shadowjack".
ACCORD DE CONTRAT This agreement is made between the party of the First Part (the "Investor") and the party of the Second Part (the "Contractor") to engage in a mutually beneficial business arrangement through the renovation of the property (the "Property") of a kind and type to be specified below... - This contract is useless, Renee - now that the investors have backed out, I've had to lay off all 18 men - until we can get backing, we'll just have to wait. Maintenance lift code: 4003 Club La Porte de l'Enfer - 21:30 greasy green greasels greasy green greasels
INTERPOL WANTED: J.C. Denton Interpol is currently seeking the whereabouts of known terrorist J.C. "<PLAYERFIRSTNAME>" Denton. Denton is wanted for a number of international crimes including theft, murder, money laundering, drug trafficking, and destruction of property. Denton was last believed to have been sighted in New York, but recent information indicates that he may currently be operating in Paris. Denton is approximately six feet tall, with silver facial tattoos and solid blue eyes - the result of a rare genetic condition that he often conceals with a pair of sunglasses. Denton is extremely dangerous and should NOT be approached. Instead, if you believe you have seen him, contact your nearest police or security representative. There is currently a reward of c10,000 for information that leads to his capture or arrest. Interpol is also attempting to locate Alex Jacobson and Jaime Reyes for questioning in a number of related incidents. No descriptions are available at this time, but will be posted as they become available.
ICARUS FOUND YOU!!! ICARUS FOUND YOU!!! ICARUS FOUND YOU!!! ICARUS FOUND YOU!!! ICARUS FOUND YOU!!! ICARUS FOUND YOU!!! ICARUS FOUND YOU!!! ICARUS FOUND YOU!!! ICARUS FOUND YOU!!! RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!! RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!! RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!! RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!! RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!! RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!! RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!! RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!! RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!!
Curfew Hours Extended Due to a rise in criminal activity in the last week, curfew hours are now extended from 10PM to 6AM. Individuals found in violation of curfew may be punished with a fine of up to c5,000 and one year in jail. Patrolling bots are authorized to detain suspicious individuals as necessary, and residents are urged to respect instructions from a bot the same as they would a police representative. The Catacombs and all surrounding tunnels continue to remain off-limits to residents; any individual found in the Catacombs will be presumed to be engaged in felonious activities until proven otherwise. Police have been sanctioned to respond to such activities with lethal force if required.
/root/../misdirect::8009 <LOG ERROR> 21:33:02 FILE BUFFER OVERLOAD REIRECT//TRUTHNET.2738.3234.3 Lies? TRUTH! Citizens of Paris, did you even turn in your sleep as your freedom was seized from you? Did you hear them when they told you it was done in your name? Or did you simply wake from your dream and never question the reality of your slavery? The City of Lights has been extinguished by Shadows. Our government has been taken from us. We live in fear of jack-booted troops and hulking, clanking tools of oppression, afraid to travel from one arrondissement to another. Where is the city of our dreams? The Pigalle has become the grave for our buried joy, the Champs-Elysees rings of nothing but the dirge of our forgotten hopes. We let this happen, we _all_ let this happen - but it is not too late! We are free in our hearts and our minds, and it is there that true rebellion must begin. Look to those who would unify us only to enslave of us. Look to those who would make us rich but rob our souls. Look to those who would protect our safety by stealing our liberty. Question everything. Believe nothing. Take action in the places they cannot see and they can never conquer us. SILHOUETTE, MINISTER OF TRUE LIES TANDIS QU'ILS DORMENT, NOUS GAGNERONS
<COMMENT>Agent Hela's orders</COMMENT> FROM: ASTON GREER TO: AGENT MARI HELA Upon arrival in Paris you are to interface with Inspector Gabily of the Metropolitan Police, your operator for the duration of this mission. Aid Gabily in any way possible to eradicate lingering elements of either Silhouette or the Illuminati. Secondary priority is the acquisition of any information concerning the whereabouts of Morgan Everett, Tracer Tong, Alex Jacobson, or J.C. Denton; any such information is to be sent to Walton Simons directly and immediately. We have reason to believe that Denton may be traveling to Paris in an attempt to ally himself with the surviving Illuminati, a situation that should be prevented with all due prejudice. Aston Greer Director of Security, FEMA
Dear Nicolette, at some point it may become necessary for you to access my private records, and perhaps to... to do what you think best, given the circumstances of my absence. You must understand how much I care for you, and if I've not always done what might be considered right, I have always done what I thought best for you and the others I've cared about; it is a cold heart that does not have some regrets. Login: bduclare Password: nico_angel This is all I can leave to you; everything else I have already given. I love you my daughter, and I trust you will make me proud. I am only sorry that I am not here to see it. Beth
<COMMENT>10_Paris_Metro ATM Account</COMMENT> METROPOLITAN BANK OF PARIS 1, rue d'Astore established 1834 Dear Customer: A recent hacking attempt has made it necessary to change the passwords on a number of our accounts to insure the security of our patrons. Please note that your account has in no way been compromised; this is merely a precaution. If you have any questions, please feel to contact a Metropolitan Bank Customer Care Advocate. Account: 005133 PIN: salem008 Thank you, METROPOLITAN BANK
<COMMENT>10_Paris_Metro ATM Account</COMMENT> I was at Porte de l'Enfer last night and managed to get some stupide Americain to buy me a drink, then peeked his code when he wasn't looking. Do me a favor, pull some cash from his account and get your petit ami to pick me up some zyme - it is fabulous, the new thing from New York. 004418, morbus13 Bon sois! Anne
<COMMENT>10_Paris_Metro ATM Account</COMMENT> METROPOLITAN BANK OF PARIS 1, rue d'Astore established 1834 Dear Customer: A recent hacking attempt has made it necessary to change the passwords on a number of our accounts to insure the security of our patrons. Please note that your account has in no way been compromised; this is merely a precaution. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a Metropolitan Bank Customer Care Advocate. Account: 002639 PIN: aramis01 Thank you, METROPOLITAN BANK
<COMMENT>10_Paris_Metro ATM Account</COMMENT> NAVI 008-BLUE v4.28 ('OBELIX') *** THIS NAVI IS THE PROPERTY OF PIERRE BOULLE; IF FOUND, PLEASE RETURN TO PIERRE BOULLE AT 74, RUE MONTAIGNE, OR CONTACT PBOULLE//PARISNET.3729.293.834. *** - TO DO LIST - * Tickets for Cavallera Rusticana, 21/7 * Meet Traci at Enfants Terrible, 18:30 * New CD by Brewer's Phrase * New account, 14th arrondissement branch: 001506/naga066 * Chocolate & '34 Seven Crows Est. Sauvignon Blanc for Marie * Download Navi 4.31 security patch
"Brewer's Phrase" was mentioned in the Grayve Times ad. Note the reference to Seven Crows, Chris Todd's website. Also, "Navi" is a reference to the anime Serial Experiments Lain.
<COMMENT>10_Paris_Club door code</COMMENT> New storeroom code is 1966 - make sure not to sample any of the absinthe this time, eh? I will be checking the bottles. - Louis
1966 is the year that Harvey Smith was born; this is intentional.
<COMMENT>10_Paris_Catacombs ATM</COMMENT> Francois, the hacking attempt has been an unqualified success - I've transferred all the funds that I managed to siphon from Metropolitan before the ice came down into a dummy account: number 2221969, password "dullbill". Let the other members of the cell know that these funds can be used for any projects that the Mayhem Comite may deem appropriate. - Tandis Qu'ils Dorment, Nous Gagnerons
ICE dates back to William Gibson's awful Neuromancer.
<COMMENT>10_Paris_Catacombs Map</COMMENT> Welcome to Paris, the City of Lights! This map will help to familiarize you with the Champs-Elysees, the spiritual and cultural heart of the city. During the day the Champs-Elysees is a bustling street of boutiques and government offices, but it is only at night that it comes truly alive, a place of cafes and clubs, of theatres and cabaret. While many visitors only see the glittering main avenue, those who are a bit more adventurous might venture off the beaten path and be rewarded with a taste of old Paris in the dark back streets and alleys away from the flashing lights and hustle of tourists...
<COMMENT>10_Paris_Catacombs Tunnels Map</COMMENT> Chad - I've been down in the tunnels trying to work out where all the government people Voychek was talking about have set up shop... we're definitely going to have to be careful, though I don't think they've noticed us - yet. Strange... lots of the gendarmes, but also some Americans... overheard several of them talking as if they worked for "MJ12", but I've got no idea who that might be...
<COMMENT>10_Paris_Catacombs Tunnels: MJ12 security computer</COMMENT> Agent Hela, We've added a login for you to the Catacombs security network; while still incomplete, it's being extended every day. We should have the majority of the tunnels completely wired within the next three months. Login: Hela Password: Ragnarok Again, I'm pleased to know that you and MJ12 will be working closely with us to eradicate the Silhouette infestation from Paris. Please update me on a daily basis with your surveillance reports and any additional items or information you may require. - Gabily
Ragnarok is a reference to Norse mythology; it is the end of time.
From: MorganEverett//??? To: BethDuClare//UnderNet.324.823.2 Subject: Final Message CYPHERBLOCK=<"busdic98-sch233bnpoec813983b80dcb-sd896dc7gd7"> This will be our last communication over the Net. The so-called "Aquinas" protocols that my old protege and MJ12 have implemented are crude, but effective - much like my protege. All future meetings will need to occur face to face at a secure location. To expedite matters I will deliver to you a "tear-sheet" chip: it will contain twenty codes and their corresponding keys. Each code and key pair can be used once and then it will be permanently erased. Each code will be tagged to one of our previously agreed upon meeting locations and times. If one or the other of us should need to get in touch, send a message using one of the codes - the content of the messsage is irrelevant, only the code used to encrypt it. I shouldn't need to point out that any attempt to tamper with the chip once it has been installed will result in it being rendered useless. Best of luck - to you and to us all, Morgan
From: NicDuClare//UnderNet.37923.38.834 To: BethDuClare//UnderNet.324.823.2 Subject: Weekend Hey Mom, just wanted to let you know I'll be coming home this weekend... school is still hassling me about that intrusion attempt on one of their data wells, but it wasn't as if I really did anything - just took a look around. I might have opened a few doors to the underground tunnels, too, but that was just for fun, no big deal (one of the cataphiles I know said there might be an entrance down there). I was hoping when I got back we could talk about it, and... maybe they'd listen to you, since they don't seem disposed to listen to me. Anyways, kiss and hug, and I'll see you soon. Ciao, Nic
Catacombs Closed to Public Paris Investigateur The government announced today that the famous Paris Catacombs would be closed to the public until further notice, citing increased criminal activity and possible terrorist connections to the area. "The Catacombs have become a haven for any number of unseemly elements", said Inspector Gabily of the Metropolitan Police, "and we are taking all necessary steps to contain this threat to the peace and welfare of Paris citizens." The Catacombs are part of an extensive network of tunnels that mostly lie beneath the 5th, 6th, and 14th arrondissements, originally part of larger excavations undertaken by the Romans to remove valuable deposits of gypsum and limestone from the area. The Catacombs themselves date back to 1786 when bones were removed from the grossly overcrowded Cemetary of Innocents to be stored in the quarries of Mont-Rouge; since that time, innumerable additional burials have resulted in the vast ossuary that exists today. The publicly accessible sections of the Catacombs are only a small part of the complete tunnel system whose many entrances and exits have made it a popular diversion for cataphiles wishing to explore the underground history of the city.
Police Raid Catacombs Paris Investigateur Earlier today the police raided the Catacombs, entering through Denfert-Rochereau, Port Royal, Trocadero, and a number of other, unidentified locations, in an attempt to round up elements of the terrorist group Silhouette. Sources within the Metropolitan Police Department indicated that since the institution of martial law the number of terrorist incidents has declined, but Silhouette still remains active in its so-called "Campaign of True Lies". "Far from being a harmless group of reactionaries, Silhouette presents a clear and ongoing threat to the public welfare", said Inspector Gabily, currently leading the case. Despite extensive surveillance prior to the raid, however, police found minimal evidence of Silhouette's presence, instead capturing a number of drug dealers, prostitutes, and other suspected criminals. "All in all, we consider the operation a success", insisted Gabily. "We've made a strong statement that Paris - above or below - will not be a haven to radicals and thieves."
EXCLUSIVE: BOB PAGE INTERVIEW Affaires le France AF: ... And now France? BP: Yes, France. France - and Europe - have prospered for thousands of years... it would be foolish to ignore the economic and cultural opportunities that exist here. This country has a huge reserve of talent, in all sectors of the work force, and Page Industries is looking forward to recruiting the best and the brightest. AF: But what about the turmoil that seems to be afflicting much of the continent, the rise of radical splinter groups such as SCHUSE and Silhouette? BP: Intimidation through violence is the last resort of the weak... these groups are composed of nothing but frustrated, gullible individuals. We have a very effective security organization that will be working with both local and national authorities to minimize whatever potential for actual harm they present. AF: So you see yourself working closely with the government? BP: Very closely...
This is a rare reference to Foundation by Isaac Asimov; one of Salvor Hardin's famous sayings is "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent".
Bot Kills Three in Accidental Shooting APR - Paris, France Yves-Pierre Adrien, Dominique Vittet, and Marie Philibert were heading home from a late night on the town when they were gunned down in the street by a military bot that mistakenly identified them as terrorists. Since the institution of martial law in Paris, bots have regularly patrolled those areas with a high level of criminal activity, armed with a visual database profiling thousands of wanted terrorists, thieves, and drug dealers. "It was awful", said Kristi Amiel. A waitress at Enfant Terrible - a nearby cafe where the trio had their last cup of coffee - she was witness to the shooting. "The bot just kept shooting and shooting until all you could hear was an empty clicking sound, then one of the soldiers ran into the control station across the street trying to shut it down, but nothing happened. It just kept clicking... trying to shoot them again." Police Prefect Hubert Dupuy defended the practice during a news conference earlier today. "The bots are programmed to only use lethal force if the suspects resist arrest, and while these deaths are tragedies to be mourned, it in no way compromises the effectiveness of bots in keeping Parisians safe."
Somnolente Ile Scandal Resurfaces Paris Investigateur Accusations of cover-ups within President Bourges-Maunoury's administration have recently appeared in several tabloid publications, linking key members of his Council of Ministers to the Somnolente Ile scandal that resulted in President Serra's exit from politics five years ago. Somnolente Ile, an exclusive resort in Cote d'Azur, was the site of a clandestine meeting between then President Serra and reputed members of the Zuganov crime family in an attempt to funnel almost three billion credits of tainted money through French banks. The deal was reportedly brokered by a cabal of major banking interests - including deceased financier Beth DuClare, though her involvement was never proved. Some sources went so far as to suggest that the entire meeting was the result of a plot hatched by the "Bilderbergs", a supposedly secret society formed of wealthy and powerful industrialists shortly after World War II. President Bourges-Maunoury has dismissed the accusations as "ludicrous", calling such stories "the lowest example of irresponsible journalism" before refusing further comment.
From: Chad//UnderNet.8876.83.01 To: NicDuClare//UnderNet.37923.38.834 Subject: Silhouette Business Nicolette, Your aid in securing support for Silhouette has been invaluable - you've done much to help sustain the cause of freedom in the face of ever more open repression by our own government. However, I'm afraid that I must ask for your help yet again. The police have begun to raid the Catacombs, and if we are to put up an effective resistance then we must locate additional resources by whatever means necessary. I know your mother and her friends wish to remain anonymous, but any funds or material that they can contribute will be of enormous help. And even if they cannot, their continued good-will is still of great importance to us all. Thank you, and I hope to see you again soon. - Chad
From: BethDuClare//UnderNet.324.823.2 To: NicDuClare//UnderNet.37923.38.834 Subject: RE: Your Help >they need help or they'll be slaughtered by the porcs who strut >about the streets like they own them. You've helped us once >before, and it has meant so much to the cause. Please, mother, >I'm asking you to help us again. You know so many who can I will do what I can, dear, but the situation is far more complicated than I think you may be aware of - my connections within the Hague and the United Nations indicate that the problem is not limited to France, and many parties are using the "Gray Death" epidemic as an excuse to exercise their control over other national governments. I have to consult with Morgan. We must be careful where we choose to allocate our resources. It is a very dangerous time - for everyone, Nicolette - and your flirtation with this organization could have serious consequences. I am asking you again to be careful. I could not stand it if something happened to you. In the meanwhile, I will do what I can. Beth
Dear Nicolette, if you examine my suspension vault you'll find an item that I had to pay quite dearly to acquire; the vault code is 1784. I don't know of what use it may be, but many people are quite prepared to kill for it. I originally obtained it for Morgan and if you find yourself in trouble, he may still be willing to bargain for it. He is a calculating man, not without compassion but still dangerous. Be careful, my daughter. Beth
1784 is the year when the Treaty of Paris was ratified by Congress, marking the formal end of the Revolutionary War.
<COMMENT>MJ12 Hit List</COMMENT> MJ12 Compromised Individuals List Paris, France The following individuals have been rated as having an 85% or higher likelihood of being engaged in suspicious or ideologically counterproductive activity on the Chasen-Bikal scale, and/or have scored at least 4.31 on the JKL-LB survey over the preceeding six months. Agents are encouraged to pursue soft campaigns of calculated defamation, resulting in reduced meme propagation effectiveness, prior to prejudicial termination. Termination, when necessary, should be staged to implicate organizations currently on the MJ12-COL. Please refer any questions to MJ12 Simulations and Strategy, MJ12SAS//UpNet.2748.2738.22. Jean Renois (MJID-7037XD8374) Erin Todd (MJID-3793YH3803) Decker Parkes (MJID-0984IS3270) Rene Delon (MJID-9834TR1008) Wayne Young (MJID-9904MG9401) Henri Rota (MJID-7778AD2096) Ave Javet (MJID-7982MV1924) Raymond Kearns (MJID-4684II3900) ...
Our friend Decker Parkes is mentioned by his full name here. This note also refers to memetics again.
<COMMENT>MJ12 Doctrine</COMMENT> The Doctrine of the Mighty by The Majestic Council of the Twelve It is a commonly held precept that two are stronger than one, and that four are stronger than two, and that sixteen are by far stronger than four; with this, there can be no argument. If all of human history is but a single lesson, it is that the individual may be remembered, but the organization persists and thrives. A single artist, a single general, a single hero or a single villain may all die, but it is impossible to kill a people, a nation, an idea - except when that idea has grown weak and is overpowered by one that is stronger. This then is the true calling of those who would be mighty and join They Who Rule the World in Majesty, to shun all that is empty fame and glory; to eliminate weak thoughts, weak hands, and weak ideas; to give up vain individuality and instead become part of something that is glorious and strong. This is the First Secret, that by surrendering that part of you that is the least, you are elevated to the Most. The First Secret shall set you free, and those who know their duty will find in it the keys to immortality. The Second Secret can be explained to all, but truly understood only by those who have submitted to the first Body and Soul...
<COMMENT>Custodian's notebook</COMMENT> Notebook of Giuliano Jordorowsky ... This job is so boring. I do nothing but write in my notebook, fill it with my thoughts, but sometimes I must amuse myself. I have been stealing from the security... like thick-skulled dogs, they are. Last week I took a watch, but they paid no notice. I am nothing to them. Just the strange man with his notebook. I was listening to the night guard, Jobal. A disgusting creature, and a creature of habit. I heard him on the phone - talking to that cow of a girlfriend - and he told her his bank account number. I almost got his PIN as well, but a passing train drowned him out. I do not know the last number. I will try again when he is on shift next week. Account: 576001 PIN: wyrdred0- He will be surprised when all his money is gone, and they will not suspect me...
The Red Cross: A History of the Knights Templar by Richard Baigent Volume One: Defenders of the Faith ... Upon the deliverance of Jerusalem, the Holy Lands remained in a precarious state, surrounded on all sides by hostile Mohammedan neighbors. It was then that Hugues de Payens, a knight from Champagne, bound himself and eight fellow knights in a vow to forever protect the "Kingdom of Christendom". Accepted in 1118 by Baldwin II, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, they were given charitable lodgings in the city temple where they became the "pauvres chevaliers du temple", or the "poor knights of the temple". It was not until later at the Council of Troyes that the Templar Knights adopted the austere, monastic Rule of St. Benedict, along with the white garments of the Cistercians - adding to them the characteristic red cross that symbolized their willingness to spill their own blood in the defense of the One True Faith. The Templars quickly became a popular order, renowned as "lions at war and lambs at the hearth". They were soon exempted by the popes from all secular and episcopal authority save that of the popes themselves, and their lands exempted from all taxation...
The Red Cross: A History of the Knights Templar by Richard Baigent Volume Two: Lions of God ... and every sovereign of Europe made donations to the order, be it land, money, arms, or men. They triumphed in battle after battle, the first to attack and the last to retreat, "rough knights of the battlefield" as described by Jacques de Virty; if taken prisoner they refused all efforts to secure their freedom, instead becoming martyrs to the cause of God. With every success, the order prospered even further - at their height they were said to have owned over 9000 estates throughout Britain, France, Italy, and the Holy Lands, including a network of castles and commanderies built to protect the frequent pilgrims to Jerusalem. In all but name, the Templars virtually ruled Jerusalem and - in what can only be termed hubris - recognized no temporal authority over their affairs save that of the Church. By 1250 the coffers of the order had grown so large that it was not uncommon for pilgrims to deposit their money with a temple in London or Paris, and then cash in their receipt upon arriving in Jerusalem, thus establishing the foundations for modern banking and checking accounts...
<COMMENT>notebook</COMMENT> The Red Cross: A History of the Knights Templar by Richard Baigent Volume Three: Fall of the Knights ... while many charges can be disputed, it is clear that the more the Knights prospered, the less they became the austere monastic order that had originally been envisioned by de Payens a century before. Eventually even excommunicated men and criminals were accepted - as long as they pledged blind obedience to the order. Rumors of secret initiation rituals and the "osculum infame" ("obscene kiss") flourished, as did stories that they worshipped Baphoment and other false pagan gods. But it was their rivalry with the Order of the Hospitalers and their continued arrogance that were most responsible for their downfall. When Jerusalem was finally lost to the mighty forces of Saladin, Philip the Fair saw an opportunity to bring the Templars to heel... and greatly expand his own holdings. With the cooperation of the French pope Clement V, Philip accused the Templars of heresy and in 1304 placed all members of the order in France under arrest, subsequently subjecting them to brutal interrogations in an effort to determine whether the rather fanciful charges of sodomy, apostasy, and devil worship were true...
The Red Cross: A History of the Knights Templar by Richard Baigent Volume Four: Descent Into Shadows ... but despite Clement's later efforts to annul the proceedings, the confessions had become matters of record. Those who repented were spared the flames, while fifty knights who chose to recant their confessions - becoming "relapsi", relapsed heretics - were promptly burned at the stake. The remaining members of the order in France quickly admitted their guilt, and in 1311 an Apostolic Decree was issued dissolving the order. The Templar Knights had once been subject to no king or law; but in the end, they were swallowed by history. Many have debated whether the rather ignominious dissolution of the order was entirely accidental, while some have even gone so far as to suggest that it was part of a larger plan on the Templar's part. Such a massive, powerful organization - the argument goes - could not have been brought so low, so easily. Obscure speculation concerning a myserious hay wain that departed their commandery in Paris has led certain researchers to believe that they may have been protecting the secret of the Holy Grail, or the secret of transmutation, but still others contend that the Templar Knights merely went underground and founded the powerful, secretive banking societies of Switzerland...
<COMMENT>Journal</COMMENT> Testament of Adept 34501 My name has been taken from me, a thing I need not anymore, and I have been christened Adept 34501. They have set me to keep a record of this place, to record a history of its comings and goings so that Those Who Rule might have the benefit of its knowledge... ... today saw the arrival of Agent Hermann. He is a simple thing, fitted to a dark purpose by forces he cannot understand. In a way, I feel pity for him - an emotion that I know will prevent my advancement beyond the Third Rank - but it is pity I feel nonetheless. He has spent most of his time below in the technology archive, staring at the ancient cross above his head. He burns with a hatred that I can feel, for himself and for someone else. Periodically he will receive holographic communications from Simons, after which his hatred burns all the brighter. I think it has burned away everything human in him, and only the metal holds him together anymore... Adept 34501, Order of the Night Sky, Third Rank
<COMMENT>Everett's notebook</COMMENT> Project Morpheus: Notebook 8-B Morpheus has been moody of late, and I have so far been unable to determine the proximate cause of this change in behavior. This is a problem with n-variable systems: at arbitrary levels of sophistication, minute perturbations become unquantifiable. Is personality nothing more than the tidal change in a non-linear system? And if so, what is the 'moon', what force shapes these tides? Morpheus could tell me, if only Morpheus could model its own behavior - but this would require a system orders of magnitude more complex to execute a simulation of its own identity. I may resort to a full battery of input analysis tests to be compared against previous baseline tests, but I find myself strangely reluctant to do so. At this level of development, Morpheus could be cognizant enough to find the experience... unpleasant. I do not know why that word occurs to me, as it anthropomorphizes what is obviously not human... but what may not so obviously be alive... - Morgan Everett
Toby, I'm afraid I'll be in the lab for quite a while concentrating on this most interesting new development. If you need to access the security system, this week's code is "pynchon". We should be especially wary now with this recent turn of events; I imagine Bobby is feeling the first signs of apprehension, and he tends to overreact when that happens. And if Lucius continues to complain, you may access his life support with the same password at the central computer. Please don't raise his temperature more than a degree as I don't want him thawing out. Everett
Another Pynchon reference.
<COMMENT>Morgan Everett's AI Prototype Vault</COMMENT> Beth, feel free to visit with Morpheus while I am away: the code is 8001. I'm sure you will have many interesting things to discuss... and pay no attention to Lucius, he complains at the slightest provocation. Everett
<COMMENT>MJ12 Cathedral Vault Doors</COMMENT> Adept 34501, Order of the Night Sky, Third Rank: Those Who Rule in Majesty, the Twelve, have set you to watch over this place and record all that may happen so we may benefit from your observations, as you may benefit from our wisdom. You are entrusted with a Key to Sidon's Vault: 1942 You are entrused with a Key to the Fountain of Wisdom: 0022 You are entrusted with a Number and a Secret: 34501, 08711 You will guard all these things with Life and Soul, and do your duty so that the Fourth Secret may find a place in your Heart. XII
UNITED STATES INSTITUTES MARTIAL LAW APR - New York In a momentous speech held at 2:30PM EST today, President Mead announced the declaration of martial law throughout the United States, citing a "fundamental threat to the American way of life in the form of organized, insidious terrorism". With major American cities already reeling under the impact of the "Gray Death", looting and rioting have reached disastrous levels while terrorist attacks have grown increasingly ubiquitous, climaxing in the attack on UNATCO headquarters in New York last week. Local authorities have so far proven ineffectual in stemming the tide of violence, and even Washington, D.C., has been hit by an outbreak of the Gray Death. Highly placed sources have speculated that Mead himself may be infected. President Mead appointed Walton Simons, Director of FEMA, to spearhead an interim council tasked with managing the government response. "We will do everything - everything - that is in our power to restore the peace and security of the average American", said Simons. "In no way will this violate the civil liberties that have made this country great - instead, we pledge to do everything in our power to safeguard those liberties against all who would see them torn apart."
Local Sights: Cathedrale de Payens Though overshadowed by several larger and more well-known cathedrals, the Cathedrale de Payens in the 14th arrondissement remains a historical curiosity of interest to many scholars. Construction was begun in 1218 and completed before the end of the century, financed by the Templar Knights - an order of warrior monks - as part of a similar network of churches, cathedrals, and forts (or "commanderies" as they were called) throughout Britain, Europe, and the Holy Lands. Some scholars believe that the order did not disappear in 1311 with its dissolution, however, and that the Templar Knights continued to operate more or less in secret - but whatever the truth, Payens fell into disrepair until finally purchased and rennovated by a group of European investors in 1918 as a corporate retreat. While closed to the public, it still remains a comforting presence at the heart of the arrondissement.
From: TobyAtanwe//IllumiNet.0.0.8 To: MorganEverett//IllumiNet.0.0.1 Subject: Suspension Codes I've placed the nano-organic material that we received today in suspension until you have an opportunity to perform an analysis: the codes are 2384 and 6426. Please let me know if you have any questions. - Toby
... don't know how I pulled this assignment. I was told that this was a "private security organization", but I should've known something was going on when they didn't ask about the damned discharge. Stupid. Now I'm walking the line at some gloomy ass church in the middle of Paris, nothing for company but a bunch of brain-dead zombies dressed in black and that crazy cook - keeps rattling on about temples or templars and how he used to cook for the rich or something... I don't know. Food isn't all that great. Can't even get a bottle of ketchup. And then this German mech-aug shows up yesterday. I knew a lot of stone-cold people in the service, and this guy looks like he's got murder on his mind... He stands down there in the tech archive like a bot - I was on patrol in the cellar for 10 hours and he didn't move once. Inhuman. It's like he's waiting for something. I think I heard him crying once...
NEW DATACUBE TRANSCRIPT BEGIN TIMECODE 22:39:12 RECORDING BEGINS ]]]NOW[[[ TR: Thompson Reynolds, Assistant Researcher, and this would be my latest audio diary entry. MJ12 nailed us, completely by surprise. I don't think there was a lot of love lost there, but no one really expected a direct assault. Hold on... TR: ... so now I'm down in the tunnels. We've lost touch with Gary, and I guess I got... elected to go find out what was going on while everyone else deals with the attack. Okay, I'm at one of the terminals... powering up... note to self, login is - let's see - "Tunnel01" and password is... "omega2a". Security grid has been deactivated. I hate these stupid hazmat suits, it's almost impossible to punch a key without hitting six oth- TR: I thought I heard something. Just a sec, let me - #$(R&434890)#$*Rq3r)#$R&904 RECORDING ]]]ENDS[[[
<COMMENT>Old guard notes</COMMENT> FROM: Captain Chip Moser TO: Major Derek Walcombe SUBJECT: Saddle Up (Draft Text) It's funny, in the army you get shifted around so often you develop attachments to any place you can call home for more than nine months, and I've been at Vandenberg for more than ten years. My family has grown up here. I'm actually sorry to see it go. But you've been a big help to all of us, Derek, and I appreciate your efforts in getting us moved out to Fort Jasper - it'll be good to actually sit down and have a beer with you again in person. I heard yesterday that the government has sold off the base to some research consortium. They must have deep pockets if they're willing to fix all the structural damage that's cropped up since the Big One a few years back. Strange birds, real quiet. Probably ex-military would be my guess. Anyways, I'm sure I'll have some stories for you by the time I make it up there. Should be next week. Give my best to Kim, Chip
From: SCarter//UNATCO.38239.09421 To: GSavage//UnderNet.289.83.54 Subject: Long Time It took me a while to track you down, Gary - you've covered your tracks well, but I still know a few tricks... and a few people. Which is part of the reason I'm writing. Ever since I left the Army a couple years back I've been working for UNATCO. It seems that they're a better organization in principle than practice, and I've become increasingly uncomfortable with their methods. I've got my suspicions about other things, as well, but I'd prefer not to get into them over an open line. Doesn't matter - they've discharged everyone who didn't come to them right out of UNATCO Academy spouting the party line, so I'm gone as of today. Heard you had your own difference of opinions with the military research establishment and took off on your own. I'm not sure what you're working on, but it might be related to something another friend of mine has uncovered and I'd like to help. Let me know if you need another hand. It'd be good to see you again.
From: TSavage//UnderNet.782.839 To: GSavage//UnderNet.289.83.54 Subject: Wish Me Luck I'm about ready to leave, Dad. Carla and Stacy have done their best to outfit me with everything I need. You know, when I was a little girl I never really fantasized about being a spy or a thief or a princess... I always wanted to be a scientist, just like you. Methodical and careful, that's exactly how you always taught me to work, and that's exactly how I'll be. I know we'll see each other before I leave, but I wanted you to know how proud I am of you and what you're doing, and how glad I am that I can be a part of it. Mom would have been proud of you, too. I just don't know if I can say all that when I'm standing there in front of you, so this will have to do until I get back. Love, Tiffany
From: CBrown//UnderNet.132.094.93 To: GSavage//UnderNet.289.83.54 Subject: Incoming I'm starting to pick up signals on the tremblor sensors consistent with a small assault force. I'm not sure if they think that little of us, or if they're just in such a rush to stop us that this was the best they could manage. Either way, I hope those Hong Kong bots we got from your mysterious benefactor can do the trick. We've probably got an hour before they arrive, so I'm going to go run a systems check on the bots before everything goes to hell. - Carla
From: GSavage//UnderNet.289.83.54 To: X-51 Subject: We Must Stand When we left MJ12, I think all of us knew that we had a long road ahead. And for many of us, myself included, it has been a road of penance. I have been a good scientist, but I may not have been a good human being; I did not think about the consequences of the knowledge that I fought so hard to gain, or about the people who would exploit it for their own ambitions. Now we must face up to the decisions we've made and stand against those who would eradicate our efforts to create a better future for our children and the world. I've already lost too many friends and I don't intend on losing any more - the bots should do most of the fighting, God willing. But we all need to understand what is at stake: if we can bring the UC online, we might have a chance. But if MJ12 succeeds then everything we've done, everyone who's been taken from us, all will be for nothing. As a scientist I find it strange to write these words, but circumstances have forced me to take a broader perspective. What we win today is a chance at tomorrow, and that is something well worth the fight - a fight I hope you will all join me in. Gary
From: GSavage//UnderNet.289.83.54 To: JTaylor//UnderNet.498.784.90 Subject: RE: Reaction Modules >I've done several run-up tests on the reaction modules >and I'm a little concerned about the power curves - >you'll find some samples attached from the last run. >We're getting a pretty steep rise in the sigma variance. I believe the variance can be explained by an interference pattern from the reaction module linkages; we had a similar problem at Area 51 resulting from the feedback paths - but keep an eye on it anyways. We can't afford a repeat of what happened there. Gary
From: SWebber//UnderNet.098.498.83 To: JTaylor//UnderNet.498.784.90 Subject: Genetic Profiles I found that data Gary was asking for in the stuff we managed to bring with us from Area 51 - genetic profiles for a "<PLAYERNAME>". For some reason he thought they'd be a good baseline to use when calibrating the UC organic construction parameters. Anyways, find them attached and let me know if you've got any questions. -Stacy
Last will and... who the hell am I kidding. Ridley was a traitor. No idea who he was working for and I don't really care. He's dead now. He was one of the scientists. He set explosives, drowned half the lab. Killed most of the others by remote when the robots and turrets went crazy. A computer virus. Something. Kept babbling about illuminated ones right up until the end right before I put a bullet in his head. Better than he deserved. One of those stupid turrets tagged me in the kidney and gut I can feel myself bleeding out... someone should know what happened. I know they'll come back. A debriefing team... is what they call them. But we'll all be dead by then. So screw you whoever finds this. Last will and testa... Thomas Mann
Universal Constructor: Theory, Principles, and Practice by Wayne Yin ... and thus arose the need for a more generalized theory encompassing a "Universal Constructor" (UC) that would be able to handle such arbitrarily complex nanoscale design problems. Unlike the simple atom by atom nanotech constructors common today, a UC would combine millions upon millions of atoms in a parallel process that could produce materials or mechanisms of unmatched intricacy on a scale currently not possible even with the best nanoscale foundry. One of the most obvious applications of a UC - if its construction were even practical - would be the genetic manipulation of lifeforms at the atomic level to cure disease, correct congenital defects, or expand their capabilities in beneficial ways. Theoretically, if an "intelligent", real-time control program were developed for the UC, then autonomous, artificial nanoscale organisms could be assembled. Careful design could create organisms that might actually exist in "symbiosis" with other life. However, a UC also creates the tangible threat of a "gray goo" scenario: the design of an organism that is so evolutionarily advanced as to overwhelm the current ecosystem...
The DX UC bears strong similarities to the matter compilers in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age.
1st Force Recon Company Log Captain Veronica Oberst, Company Commander ... initial resistance was light and by 19:45 we were able to secure the silo and surrounding facilities with minimal casualties - nothing more than a bunch of scientists, most of them not even armed. I've detached a platoon for mop-up and identification. HQ has asked for a complete list of enemy casualties; I've also been asked to locate Howard Strong - he's one of our assets - and turn him over to Agent Karyo. A preliminary list follows; I'll update it as more information becomes available. Dr. Sue Feguson - Deceased Dr. Royce Davison - Deceased Elroy Jones - Deceased Dr. L. Bernard - Captured Rory Calloway - Deceased Jessica Hutchens - Deceased Dr. Yuri Alibek - Deceased Dr. Hanako Miyase - Deceased? ...
Nasir: The URVs get a little twitchy if you don't take em for a maintenance run at least once every 10 days; use the TECH login on the security console, password SHARKMAN to access the door control. And if I find one ding in a fin from you hot-rodding around in my babies, I'll feed you to the nasties I hear they keep down there myself. - Castor
<COMMENT>Karkian Lab, OceanLab Base</COMMENT> I got that tunnel code for you, Dr. Awase - project management has cleared you to take some core samples from the area while it's being bored out, but I'd be careful anyways. Big machinery and diamond-tipped drill bits don't create the most friendly work evironment. Access Code: 5690 Paul
<COMMENT>Water chamber in UC lab</COMMENT> Yushio - Ridley's done something to the computers, some kind of tunneling virus with an adaptable polymorph engine like I've never seen before. Way advanced stuff. It's overwhelming the self-repair routines and I figure we've got thirty, maybe forty minutes before this whole place goes haywire. I'll do what I can to block it, but as a CYA I installed a low-level login at root with a recursive refresh built into the protected ring - if worse comes to worse, it _should_ give us access to the security computers even if the virus brings down the rest of the system. Hopefully. Login: MJ12 Password: SKYWALKER See what you can do on your end. :Mary Beth
<COMMENT>Entrance tunnel to UC lab</COMMENT> I hope you're the rescue team and I hope you came armed. Ridley's screwed us, and whoever wasn't drowned, eaten by one of those monstrosities they've had us creating, or cut in half by a turret, has taken refuge in the UC lab. There's not many left. I've jury-rigged some laser tripwires to warn us if any of our specimens make it this far looking for Mommy and Daddy, but now it's the spiders that are causing a problem. I don't know how much longer we can hold out. Please. Hurry.
<COMMENT>Launch command in the silo</COMMENT> Agent Karyo: I've changed the login to the security launch computers and locked them up behind some hard ice - there's little chance that any of the other team members could interfere now. Feel free to dispose of the survivors, though Simons wanted at least one left alive for interrogation. The new login is "Elder" and the password is "Armageddon". - Howard Strong
<COMMENT>Trashed office of MJ12 guard in OceanLab</COMMENT> Corporal Hutchens: This place has gone to hell and it's all Ridley's fault. I've been able to track him and it looks like he's heading for the dock - he must have a URV scheduled to pick him up. There's no way I'm going to let him get away, not after what he's done. Grab some firepower and hole up wherever you can. An extraction team is bound to show up sooner or later. If you run into trouble, bypass security with the "Oceanguard" login and "Kraken" password, but I don't know how much longer that'll work. Good luck. Sergeant Mann
<COMMENT>Carcharodon Lab in OceanLab</COMMENT> Mary Beth: I've got fires going up all over the place and I don't know if I'll be able to put them all out - this is getting serious. Security locks have failed on the containment pens and a bunch of the cameras don't seem to be functioning so there's no way to track any escaped animals. I just got a call that the turrets on the Command Level went active and started shooting everything in the room. I'm _way_ over my head and I can't even raise you or anyone else on the horn. I'm going down to the UC lab, so look for me there if you get this note. - Yushio
From: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 To: APinkerton//UpNet.90.2.3834 Subject: Re: Karkian Assesment Your report on the aquatic capabilities of the karkian displayed definite progress; see that it continues and have the karkian embryos delivered to the OceanLab immediately. Continue to report all subsequent data concerning genetic research directly to me.
From: EPotamus//UpNet.90.2.4734.3 To: APinkerton//UpNet.90.2.3834 Subject: HElP got to help us Adriane got to help us they're pounding on the door right now and the turrets have gone crazy. Send someone anyone hurry for God's sake Hillary is bleeding all over and there's blood everywhere - I think it was Ridley but I don't know why, Adrianne I don't know why. Whatever you be careful, just get someone down here fast they're almost through the door
U.S. Situation Worsens APR - Washington, D.C. With the declaration of martial law only twenty-four hours ago in the United States, the country is in turmoil and teeters on the edge of social collapse. Numerous Governors, including Jason Findley of Colorado, Gray Haddock of Texas, and Christina Leicht of California, have refused to comply with the Presidential directive or acknowledge the authority of Walton Simons, Director of FEMA. National Guard and other troops mobilized to quell domestic turmoil are in disarray as many units have gone AWOL. In a live NetCast earlier today, General Ed Garner said that he would "give no order, nor allow any order to be given to those under my command that would lead to their taking potentially lethal measures against an unarmed civilian population". He concluded by saying that "our neighbors are not our enemies". General Garner was immediately relieved of command by Walton Simons, resulting in the resignation of N.D. Goper, Secretary of Defense. Reports that a detachment of UNATCO troops fired on a crowd of protestors in New York City has yet to be verified, though several high-level sources within the government indicate that the situation may have degenerated to the point where UNATCO is no longer operating under governmental supervision. Similar reports have been received from Mexico City, London, Berlin, Paris, and Moscow.
From: ESchiele//UpNet.09.4.5670 To: YIkagi//UpNet.78.4.7983 Subject: Where are you? Hey Yushio, where the hell are you? I've been trying to raise you guys for the last hour, but no one answers - not on the hardline, not on the squelch. If you get this message, respond ASAP and let us know the situation. Christ, the intruder alarms are going off up here. Probably another security drill. It's really turning into one of those days. Egon
From: JRoland//UpNet.298.37.489.11 To: MBHaggerty//UpNet.20.894.9873 Subject: Malfunctioning Turret Got a turret down here in the lab, serial number 4566798A89X3. Not responding to any kind of input, and I can't get the thing to stand down. I've tried running diagnostics on it but no response. Anything you can do from your end? Otherwise it looks like I'll have to dismantle the damn thing. - Roland
From: IRidley//UpNet.783.38.8522 To: MBHaggerty//UpNet.20.894.9873 Subject: Illumination Is At Hand You have been in the service of the False Ones. Those who call themselves "majestic", but have so little understanding of the true Doctrine of the Mighty. It is unfortunate that you will not be able to comprehend the Plan, the Way, the course that has been carefully laid out for us over a thousand years. I truly wish you could see the beauty of everything as it has been shown to me, and then you would understand why I must undertake such extreme measures. By the time you receive this message it will already be too late. The computer virus will have been released, and by now the entire network has been thoroughly infiltrated. I am sorry. The only comfort I can give is that your necessary sacrifice will be for a higher cause.
From: BPage//UpNet.783.38.8522 To: MBHaggerty//UpNet.20.894.9873 Subject: destroy EVERYTHING The report is confirmed. The sabotage was carried out by agents of the Illuminati. We cannot get protection to the area in time. Cease work immediately and destroy the UC. Yes, destroy it! It will be a setback, but if you can transmit the schematics I requested, we might be able to get a system running at Area 51. Are you still down there, Haggerty? Please respond. I need that schematic. BP
<COMMENT>Love letter</COMMENT> Julia, I must see you - we have to talk, about us, about this project. I'm not sure what we're doing here anymore and Page has made... strange requests of the interface team. I would leave, but not without you. You mean too much to me. After the duty shift changes, come to my chamber - it's the only place we can talk in private. The code is 0169. I love you. Alain
<COMMENT>Cloning lab</COMMENT> SUBJECT MJID-5673OP2809 INCEPT DATE: 2/25/54 ASSIGNED BIRTH DATE: 2/25/34 ASSIGNED BIRTH NAME: Wade Walker BASE GENETIC SAMPLE: SIMONSWALTON32A PROFILE: AABCAAB VITALS: 45/80/0.89/33/1.2 [[[[[STASIS]]]]]
<COMMENT>Cloning lab</COMMENT> SUBJECT MJID-8392ER9203 INCEPT DATE: 5/13/52 ASSIGNED BIRTH DATE: 5/13/33 ASSIGNED BIRTH NAME: Nick Pausback BASE GENETIC SAMPLE: PAGEBOB86G PROFILE: BAABACA VITALS: 51/72/1.02/20/2.1 [[[[[STASIS]]]]]
<COMMENT>Cloning lab</COMMENT> SUBJECT MJID-0003JC0189 INCEPT DATE: 3/17/54 ASSIGNED BIRTH DATE: 3/17/29 ASSIGNED BIRTH NAME: <PLAYERNAME> BASE GENETIC SAMPLE: XXXXXXXXXXX7V PROFILE: AAAAAAB VITALS: 50/75/0.98/25/1.4 [[[[[EXPUNGED]]]]]
<COMMENT>Cloning lab</COMMENT> SUBJECT MJID-0056RQ9872 INCEPT DATE: 11/20/55 ASSIGNED BIRTH DATE: 11/20/33 ASSIGNED BIRTH NAME: Alex Denton BASE GENETIC SAMPLE: XXXXXXXXXXX7V PROFILE: AAAAAAA VITALS: 61/72/0.96/31/1.2 [[[[[STASIS]]]]]
These are some of the most important datacubes in DX. They absolutely confirm that JC Denton was engineered and not born; he is at least one year old, but probably not more than three. This also gives a lower bound on the date that DX takes place: on or after November 20, 2055 (note that they have reverted to two-digit years - bad!). Alex Denton's genome will be used in DX2 to create the main character.
<COMMENT>Maintenance access through fan</COMMENT> MJ12 ADVANCE TEAM PROBLEM RECOMMENDATION REPORT 87-X FROM: CAPTAIN JAMES FLORES TO: AGENT KARYO PRR-ID: 7793G DESCRIPTION: After preliminary reconnaissance, I have determined that we have a potential security vulnerability in one of the outlying warehouses: an intake fan vent with a maintenance access hatch that could act as a possible method of ingress to the facility. While such ingress would present definite hazards to any intruder, it is still an unacceptable risk for a Seraphic/8X classified facility. RECOMMENDATION: A squad should be dispatched to a) secure the area; b) weld the hatch shut; and c) install sensors and autoguns to extend our security grid coverage. NOTES: All troops not directly attached to MJ12 have been classified as a security liability and should be eliminated on sight. AUTHBLOK=<"8723reg7cvhjc87eow3fwelvcsdoc7t80723dfwve">
<COMMENT>Security computer code to open bunker doors</COMMENT> Yusef: They've jammed all communications, even narrow band microcasts, so this is the only way I could pass a message to you. I don't know who these guys are - they're not ours, not any of ours I've ever seen at least - but they're slaughtering us. I managed to hack the first layer of the Dreamland systems, but the best I could do was lock the bunker doors and reroute control to the security console in the tower. Should take them awhile to figure that one out, and the moment they do I'll nail the first bastard that sticks his head out of the hole. If something happens to me, the login is "a51" and the password is "xx15yz". BTW, be careful - a squad made it out before I managed to lock the doors: they headed for the warehouse and then I lost contact with them. -Hawkins
<COMMENT>Door code</COMMENT> MAINTENANCE LOG: PURVIS, J. * 19:45:12 - ... Thought I heard something upstairs, like automatic weapons fire. I reported it to my sector lead, but she told me it was a training exercise. * 20:34:02 - Bunch of those folks in the black suits, like they stepped off the set of "Father Knows Best". Kept asking questions about the reactors, and I just kept telling 'em they needed to wait till Mac gets back. * 23:11:30 - Finally managed to hack the code to the stairwell blast door (1038); this place is a totally undocumented mess of '50s tech, weird ass stuff, and new toys from the labs. Amazing any of it works...
<COMMENT>Coolant testing room</COMMENT> Purvis - I hacked the door lock on the coolant system, saves you the trouble: 2242. Amazing no one ever bothered to write this stuff down, I'm still finding doors with unknown codes. Anyways, check the secondary cooling interchange... the numbers it's been reporting back don't look right. Of course, I'm just guessing at what right is. Mac
<COMMENT>Last words</COMMENT> NEW DATACUBE TRANSCRIPT BEGIN TIMECODE 19:57:48 RECORDING BEGINS ]]]NOW[[[ XV: -mmit dammit dammit where's the goddamned clip goddamn it who the hell are these guys? Okay, two clips of 762 and maybe... three clips of 10... where am I going to go? Don't think, don't think, that'll get you killed, just get out. Everything comes next. Okay? Okay? Let's move, Xavier, move move move... (unidentified noises) XV: Christ - you want some of this? Have some come on come on come on I'm not going to die here I'm not - hgggggk - XV: ... I... I... ??: He's recording. ??: Deactivate it. RECORDING ]]]ENDS[[[
<COMMENT>Helios elevator room</COMMENT> Alain, I have a feeling that the truth about whatever we're involved with involves the Aquinas Protocol and Helios. Page has restricted access to those areas, but the Aquinas Substation and Router are usually deserted during fourth shift. Unfortunately, they'd notice if I was gone. If you can get away, the code is 6765. See if you can find out what's going on, and if anyone asks just tell them you're there because of variances in the fiber interface relays. Julia
<COMMENT>Storage room</COMMENT> FROM: JACOB MACKENZIE TO: AGENT KARYO I'm moving all the explosives we find into storage. I don't think there's any danger of sweating or spontaneous detonation - this stuff looked like it was pretty stable - but I thought it might be best to put it in a secure, structurally sound location. If you or your people require access, the explosives locker code is 4225. Mac
Alain, I don't have much time - I managed to hack into the archives maintained by Helios. It was... amazing. There were files and messages in there going back almost a hundred years, names of things I've only heard people whisper about as rumors. I barely had time to get my bearings before the ice started to come down, and I just managed to snag a few e-mails that had been recently accessed before I was cut off. I don't think anyone noticed, but I've got to go back on shift now or else someone really will be suspicious. If you get a chance, find my machine and see if you can make anything out of what I recovered. Login: jshears Password: momerath Julia
MJ12 CWD TECHNICAL REPORT 12-Y FROM: SANDY PRINSLOO TO: KIM KRIZAN SUBJECT: INTERFACE PROGRESS We've finally managed to work out the last few bugs in the link-up - Page wants to be interfaced with Helios immediately after final testing is completed. I'm not sure if that's such a good idea, but I'll defer to the doctors on this one... I'm just the technical help. I figure another five or six hours for the last couple diagnostic routines to complete their pass and then we go live. Page also requested that we hook up all four of the blue fusion devices in a redundant array; each of those damn things could probably power the whole complex for a month, much less four of them in parallel. Going to be hell to route them all, but I think I can jury-rig something. I'll take a look at the B13 reactors after I get the passcode from Mac, see if there's anything there that might be helpful. I should know more by 2300. And let me know when you get the status report from Murdoch on the transmission chamber. MJ12CWD * "Ipsa scientia potestas est."
It's all very clear to me now... I don't know why it wasn't before. We have all sinned, and this is our punishment. Page is God. He is the God we made, we crafted him in our likeness. Our God is a vengeful God, and a God who does not tolerate weakness. We know his weaknesses, because we built him, so our God does not tolerate us. Our God made monsters. He made them with the UC, then he sent them to find us. Some of us tried to hide, but they didn't understand. You can't hide from God, or his creatures. I've been waiting here, thinking. Thinking about God, and the things I have done wrong. If I think long enough and hard enough, maybe God will forgive me someday and make me again in the UC. All praise the UC, and all praise God.
From: GOlivaw//UpNet.273.3947 To: MEverett//UpNet.3289.0912 Subject: RFD 5342A - Cloning Prospectus Your request for discussion concerning the plausibility of creating genetically viable candidates for nano-augmentation through cloning has sparked considerable interest. We believe that with sufficient research investment, the careful cultivation of acquired tissue samples from known H type epsilon negative individuals could yield an indefinite number of specimens with the immunity factors required to tolerate the injection of nano-organic material. If you examine the attached studies, you will see that repeated cloning from the primary source material will result in only a 0.53% immunoglobin variance. We would suggest utilizing the data acquired by the Illuminati during the smallpox vaccinations of the 1940s to genetically screen for those couples most likely to produce desirable offspring who could then be cloned and raised by the "parents" under carefully supervised conditions. These cloned siblings would provide the necessary redundancy for further experimental trials. In the future, this process could be streamlined through the application of accelerated growth and memory implantation. We look forward to hearing any comments that you might have, Dr. Olivaw
Another very important E-mail which discusses J.C. Denton's genome. Based on other information found in DX datacubes, it is clear that Paul and JC Denton have been growth-accelerated and have had false memories implanted. (While the year that DX takes place is uncertain, it definitely doesn't take place far enough beyond 2055 for J.C. Denton to have been cloned, born, and raised by real parents - that would make DX take place around 2080 or so.) It seems that Majestic 12 considered using the slow approach, but eventually went with growth acceleration - otherwise, the timing of this E-mail does not make sense.
The name "Olivaw" is almost certainly another rare Foundation reference, to R. Daneel Olivaw.
From: LDeBeers//UpNet.873.484 To: BPage//UpNet.658.9044 Subject: RE: Bovine Manipulation >I'd like to investigate the possibility of resurrecting >the bovine manipulation project (MJID-9803HU8932), with >an eye towards recreating the "Gray" lifeform - while >the project was deemed a failure at the time, it _was_ >successful as a propaganda tactic in diverting attention >away from actual Dreamland research. With recent advances >in genetic science, the Gray lifeform could be engineered >to protect MJ12 facilities while also serving as a useful >bit of meme indirection. An interesting idea, Bob, but I'm sure MJ12's research allocations can be put to more substantial use pursuing our human augmentation projects; however, I'll bring up the idea with Stanton and Morgan. Lucius
This E-mail, found on the same computer as the E-mail from Dr. Olivaw to Morgan Everett, casts further light on when these E-mails were sent (it is a pity that DX E-mails are not dated). Lucius DeBeers was quite well when he sent this, and Bob Page was his insolent protege.
Also, this is another reference to memetics.
From: BPage//UpNet.658.9044 To: WSimons//UpNet.039.4980 Subject: Secondary Unit I've come to believe that <PLAYERFIRSTNAME> should be brought up in a more supervised environment than his brother; I have serious doubts as to his brother's usefulness as our primary unit, and would rather that at least one of the secondary units was under our direct control. Terminate the parents, but see that <PLAYERFIRSTNAME> is not harmed. We'll move him to our school in Switzerland where we can oversee his development. If it becomes necessary, his brother is expendable. Page
As if the origins of J.C. Denton were not confused enough, this E-mail just makes things worse. (In development, obviously the exact timing of DX was uncertain, as was the true age of J.C. This is why there are two threads of evidence in DX. One is pointing to J.C. being engineered, growth-accelerated, memory-implanted, and at most a couple of years old. The other is pointing to J.C. being engineered, raised by "parents" who were actually working for Page et al., and going to a school in Switzerland.)
In the end, I have to conclude that the first scenario is more strongly supported by the evidence. J.C. is actually a couple of years old, and has been growth-accelerated. However, the acceleration did not happen all at once. It occurred in at least two bursts, and in the interim, a teenage J.C. went to school in Switzerland and was raised by false "parents". This makes the most sense, considering all of the evidence in DX.
From: JMacdonald//UpNet.879.8657 To: JDwight//UpNet.9803.4584 Subject: Aquinas Secure? Something strange... I just finished a packet analysis of the new v1.82 compression protocols we added to Aquinas last week, and while I was digging around in the headers I found a quirk in the security encryption algorithms that acts just like a backdoor - you could even reformulate entire messages end to end if you knew what you were doing. It's pretty subtle (and would require someone to matrix together several offsets from successive packets to generate a time differential key) but the end result could potentially open up every bit of traffic carried by Aquinas to someone who knew about the hole. I was thinking of mentioning this to Page, maybe get some points for discovering a potential security breach before we shipped. What do you think? - Jim
From: BPage//UpNet.658.9044 To: WS//UpNet.78543.98231 Subject: Re: Situational Update In the past we've considered Savage and his renegades to be inconsequential - possibly even useful - but the time has come to eliminate them. Mobilize all MJ12 units in the immediate vicinity and see to it that Vandenberg is shut down before Savage ever has a chance to activate his UC. Don't worry about Daedalus. I've made some improvements to Icarus that might surprise even Everett. Page >Denton has connected with Savage and the X-51 researchers; >after examining the transaction records from Payens, it >looks like he's working with both Everett and Daedelus. >Strong says Savage is still missing a containment >vessel and that he's sent someone to the Pasadena lab in >an attempt to recover the data. I already have a team >preparing to intercept.
Hey Sandy, I finally got the security login for Lab B13 from Mac - he said to have a ball, just don't blow us all to kingdom come while you're at it. If you do find anything that helps with hooking up those blue fusion gizmos, let us know. Might give us a better idea of exactly how those reactors work. Login: area51 Password: bravo13 Jake
LAB 12 TESTING REGIMEN SUBJECT: LIFEFORM MJID-9803HU8932 ("GRAY") REGIMEN: SERIES 112-A PROCEDURE: "GRAY" LIFEFORM APPEARS TO THRIVE IN AREAS OF HIGH RADIOACTIVITY WHILE ALSO BEING ABLE TO STORE AND RELEASE RADIOACTIVITY IN A CONTROLLED MANNER THROUGH AN ORGAN OF UNKNOWN OPERATION. FURTHER VIVISECTION IN COMBINATION WITH REGIMEN SERIES 112 WILL BE REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE A COHESIVE UNDERSTANDING OF THIS MECHANISM. SERIES 112-A SEEKS TO ESTABLISH BASELINE READINGS OF THE "GRAY" LIFEFORM IN BOTH A RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE ENVIRONMENT BEFORE PROCEEDING TO SERIES 112-B. RESEARCHERS ACQUIRING BASELINE READINGS SHOULD USE CONTAINMENT AREA SECURITY CONSOLE WITH LOGIN "LAB 12" AND PASSWORD "GRAYTEST" TO ENABLE OR DISABLE RADIOACTIVE FIELD AS REQUIRED AND REPORT ALL FINDINGS TO DR. FRANK ROAN FOR PROCESSING.
Mac, Looks like another leak in the reactor room, but check the waste-water filters first. We might get lucky. Page is on my ass about the power grid. Some sort of medical procedure this afternoon... If the problem's not the filters, we need to know ASAP if there's an issue with the containment system. Note that Page changed the code to the reactor room this morning. It's now 2001. Sal
Suzie, Go! The cages are open... I don't know what happened... some kind of attack... I got into the Aquinas Hub... Yes, the code works, and our monkey friends are transgenics, I'm pretty sure... I will be in the Reactor Lab. Don't come to find me... I will meet you on the surface... when it's safe...
This confirms it: the Grays in DX are not aliens.
Sergeant Smith, As we discussed, you will take responsibility for the security of the Aquinas Substation. The security computer login is "page" and the password is "uberalles". Expect activity today. The Aquinas Hub is being prepared for an experiment, and I don't want one of Savage's spies to interfere. Let NO ONE touch the routers until I give the word.
By using a cheat code, a "Legend" menu can be brought up; aside from options to modify the internal game state, a list of quotations from the developers can be displayed. Many aren't relevant to the design of Deus Ex, but some are; here's an abridged list of them.
Warren: Poof! I am God. Steve: The only problem with an online community is that there are people in it. Harvey: Hey Monte, do you read much? Monte: What? Books? Chris: Dead guys don't float but they will, eventually. Warren: If we get a bunch of rats and pigeons in the appropriate places, people will sh*t. Harvey: The Statue of Liberty does not look like the Statue of Liberty without that giant f*cking green statue on top. Dan: Women are very high poly count. Tim to Albert: You've found an interesting way to break the script compiler. Warren: Wait a minute - this is a dialogue rather than a flame. Cool. Monte: Movers suck. Warren: Well, this is a paradigmatic problem! Everyone else in the room laughs hard. Warren: What? That's a word! It is! Harvey: Killing people... not a problem. Warren: We don't want to educate people unnecessarily. Bob: Death definitely improves one's frame rate. Chris: Math is so cool. Hooray for math! Warren: (writing up a bug) Bots that aren't actively engaged in some kind of activity look pretty lifeless. Scott: You can gib a child with one stroke of the nanosword! Chris: That's because children have fewer hit points. They are inferior and weak. Steve: Setting the AI reactions for a giant spiderbot is pretty easy... hate, hate, hate, hate. Steve: I got my leg blown off yesterday and I really didn't notice anything different. Austin to Chris Todd: You're really putting the grimness into this game. Andy: Hey Warren, I would actually buy this game now... Andy: The karkians look like big potatos with legs, potato dogs! "Paranoia means having all the facts" - William S. Burroughs
Excerpts of Jacob's Shadow by Andrew Hammond appear throughout the Deus Ex gameworld. However, unlike several other books mentioned or seen in Deus Ex, Jacob's Shadow is not a real book and Andrew Hammond is not a real author. It was invented specifically for Deus Ex by the Deus Ex writers, and the snippets that appear there are all that exist of the "book". Here are all the excepts combined together:
Jacob's Shadow by Andrew Hammond Chapter 12 "Lot a people say this city looks like Hell," Allie said. She took a long drag from her cigarette. The glowing tip burned a hole in the darkness. "Most people never been to Hell," Jacob said. She looked at him and he could hear the smile in her voice. "And I suppose you have?" Jacob said nothing, then stood and walked to the bed. Allie let out a small noise and shrank back against the pillows as if she'd claw her way into them if she could. He leaned down close to her ear. "You like to play games," he whispered. "And that's fine. But you don't want to be playing games with me, because I'm the one honest man in this city. You should know that, since we were married." Chapter 15 Waiting was always the hardest part: in the stir, and in life. Guys who couldn't handle it either ended up rocking back and forth in a dark corner, or babbling incoherently. Always the same. Jacob would have been the one rocking in the corner. He did solitary the first time after a fight, someone thinking he was an easy mark. Forty-eight hours and he started screaming and didn't stop until his larynx was raw and his voice cracked. It was a month before he could talk again. One of the lifers saw Jacob wasn't as fence-post dumb as the rest of the population and took to schooling him in chess. Jacob never got much respect from the old-timer, but he got his sanity. He'd play chess, checkers, backgammon, any game there was. He got into another fight when one pendejo who was looking to make a name for himself flipped over Jacob's game board, said impolite things about people and their little kiddie games. Jacob cracked one of his ribs and amused himself for a week in solitary playing Kasparov and Bobby Fischer in his head.
['Pendejo' is Spanish for 'asshole'.]
Chapter 20 Samuel looked at him from across the table, but he might as well have been peering at Jacob from the Devil's own palace in the deep blue sea. After a moment Samuel rubbed his rheumy eyes. "You ever wonder about morals?" he said. Jacob shook his head. "I do... all the damn time. I wonder what it means to be good - if there's some tally that says 'you only hurt ten people, so come on up, but eleven and you're going straight to hell.' Then I think maybe it's a little voice that tells you, way back in your head. And then I wonder what happens when that voice goes away..." Jacob reached under the table and put the little .22 pistol against one of Samuel's kneecaps. "I don't think you're going to like my answer to that. Where is she?" Chapter 23 There weren't many moves left. Jacob knew that. Most of the pawns had been taken off the board and his own queen lost. The game had entered its final phase, and now the question wasn't which piece to sacrifice - they were all more or less expendable - but when. He shined his flashlight throughout the rooms of the vacant house. It was a perfectly serviceable tract home somewhere in the suburbs where the sun occasionally shone. It looked like no one had lived there for ages, and that was true enough. Jacob just took care of the bills - any paper trail ended at Hobb's Cemetary up state. In the attic he found the old water heater, cold now. He removed the top and felt along the edge for a nearly invisible strand of fishing line. Jacob hauled back on the line until he pulled a dripping plastic bag free of the murky tank. He took the flashlight between his teeth and opened the bag. Inside was a gun, a clean gun. Its serial numbers filed and the rifling scratched beyond any possible match. The bullets all reloads with blank copper casings. No fingerprints. Time for the next move. Chapter 27 It was late when he got back. Everything black and quiet. Jacob killed the lights but didn't take the key out of the ignition. He reached into his pocket and took out a little box with an LCD display, thumbed a button and the radio transceiver captured the last few hours worth of motion sensor logs from the building. He'd done some favors for friends in the Shop - or whatever it was they were calling it this week - and they'd installed it to spec for him. As he walked to the door he was still arranging all the pieces in his head. Sure way to get his ass taken down, but he couldn't help it. Something was missing. Didn't fit. Allie hunched over in the bathroom, that needle dangling from between her toes. Katsuya shifting a half million yen before the currency market closed. The radio station Samuel had turned him on to, the one with the little girl repeating all those numbers in sequence. And somewhere in the middle... Jacob stopped, looked up at the night sky. He'd been assuming that there were two sides to this game and both were playing to win. But what if... what if there was someone else, and they wanted to see both sides lose? Chapter 32 Jacob looked at her and watched all the regret drain from her eyes. She tossed the empty revolver onto the body next to her, the gun in her other hand never moving an inch from a point that Jacob guessed was just above the bridge of his nose. "You don't have to do this. It doesn't have to be like this." "Oh, yes... yes, I'm afraid that it does." He slowly shook his head. The window cracked and for a moment it sounded as if a wasp had buzzed through the room - then a dull thud as her body dropped to the floor. Blood poured from the cavity that had been her skull, a wide black pool that spread like a shadow in the darkness. Jacob knelt and rubbed his fingers in her blood. Monk never missed with a sniper rifle. Not ever. Chapter 34 Jacob sat down on the bench and unrolled his chess board onto the rough stone table in front of him. As he was removing his playing pieces, a shadow fell across the board. He looked up, squinting into the sun. "Merriweather," he said. "Jacob." She settled herself down onto the opposite bench, leaning heavily on her cane. "It didn't turn out so well for you this time, did it?" Jacob said nothing. She gestured to the board with one hand and he detected just a hint of a tremor. "You're playing black today." He put the queen down on her square and his fingers lingered. "No, it didn't turn out well. I did some stupid things." He closed his eyes for a moment. "I cared, and some people died because of it." Merriweather made a tsking sound. "It's not the caring that's a matter, Jacob, it's what comes after. What are you going to do now?" Jacob paused for just a moment. "Now... I'm going to play another game."
Excerpts of The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton also appear throughout the Deus Ex gameworld. Unlike Jacob's Shadow, The Man Who Was Thursday is real, and was written in 1908. Here is the full text, and here are the excerpts that appear in Deus Ex:
The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton "... First of all, what is it really all about? What is it you object to? You want to abolish Government?" "To abolish God!" said Gregory, opening the eyes of a fanatic. "We do not only want to upset a few despotisms and police regulations; that sort of anarchism does exist, but it is a mere branch of the Nonconformists. We dig deeper and we blow you higher. We wish to deny all those arbitrary distinctions of vice and virtue, honour and treachery, upon which mere rebels base themselves. The silly sentimentalists of the French Revolution talked of the Rights of Man! We hate Rights as we hate Wrongs. We have abolished Right and Wrong." "And Right and Left," said Syme with a simple eagerness, "I hope you will abolish them too. They are much more troublesome to me..." The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton ... Syme had never thought of asking whether the monstrous man who almost filled and broke the balcony was the great President of whom the others stood in awe. He knew it was so, with an unaccountable but instantaneous certainty. Syme, indeed, was one of those men who are open to all the more nameless psychological influences in a degree a little dangerous to mental health. Utterly devoid of fear in physical dangers, he was a great deal too sensitive to the smell of spiritual evil. Twice already that night little unmeaning things had peeped out at him almost pruiently, and given him a sense of drawing nearer and nearer to the head-quarters of hell. And this sense became overpowering as he drew nearer to the great President... The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton ... "Professor," he cried, "it is intolerable. Are you afraid of this man?" The Professor lifted his heavy lids, and gazed at Syme with large, wide-open, blue eyes of an almost ethereal honesty. "Yes, I am," he said mildly. "So are you." Syme was dumb for an instant. Then he rose to his feet erect, like an insulted man, and thrust the chair away from him. "Yes," he said in a voice indescribable, "you are right. I am afraid of him. Therefore I swear by God that I will seek out this man whom I fear until I find him, and strike him on the mouth. If heaven were his throne and the earth his footstool, I swear that I would pull him down." "How?" asked the staring Professor. "Why?" "Because I am afraid of him," said Syme; "and no man should leave in the universe anything of which he is afraid..." The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton Both combatants had thrown off their coats and waistcoats, and stood sword in hand. The seconds stood on each side of the line of fight with drawn swords also, but still sombre in their dark frock-coats and hats. The principals saluted. The Colonel said quietly, "Engage!" and the two blades touched and tingled. When the jar of the joined iron ran up Syme's arm, all the fantastic fears that have been the subject of this story fell from him like dreams from a man waking up in bed. He remembered them clearly and in order as mere delusions of the nerves - how the fear of the Professor had been the fear of the tyrannic accidents of nightmare, and how the fear of the Doctor had been the fear of the airless vacuum of science. The first was the old fear that any miracle might happen, the second the more hopeless modern fear that no miracle can ever happen. But he saw that these fears were fancies, for he found himself in the presence of the great fact of the fear of death, with its coarse and pitiless common sense. He felt like a man who had dreamed all night of falling over precipices, and had woke up on the morning when he was to be hanged. For as soon as he had seen the sunlight run down the channel of his foe's foreshortened blade, and as soon as he had felt the two tongues of steel touch, vibrating like two living things, he knew that his enemy was a terrible fighter, and that probably his last hour had come. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton ... "I think," said Dr. Bull with precision, "that I am lying in bed at No. 217 Peabody Buildings, and that I shall soon wake up with a jump; or, if that's not it, I think that I am sitting in a small cushioned cell in Hanwell, and that the doctor can't make much of my case. But if you want to know what I don't think, I'll tell you. I don't think what you think. I don't think, and I never shall think, that the mass of ordinary men are a pack of dirty modern thinkers. No, sir, I'm a democrat, and I still don't believe that Sunday could convert one average navy or counter-jumper. No, I may be mad, but humanity isn't." Syme turned his bright blue eyes on Bull with an earnestness which he did not commonly make clear. "You are a very fine fellow," he said. "You can believe in a sanity which is not merely your sanity. And you're right enough about humanity, about peasants and people like that jolly old innkeeper. But you're not right about Renard. I suspected him from the first. He's rationalistic, and, what's worse, he's rich. When duty and religion are really destroyed, it will be by the rich." The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton ... "I never hated you," said Syme very sadly. Then out of this unintelligible creature the last thunders broke. "You!" he cried. "You never hated because you never lived. I know what you are all of you, from first to last - you are the people in power! You are the police - the great fat, smiling men in blue and buttons! You are the Law, and you have never been broken. But is there a free soul alive that does not long to break you, only because you have never been broken? We in revolt talk all kind of nonsense doubtless about this crime or that crime of the Government. It is all folly! The only crime of the Government is that it governs. The unpardonable sin of the supreme power is that it is supreme. I do not curse you for being cruel. I do not curse you (though I might) for being kind. I curse you for being safe! You sit in your chairs of stone, and have never come down from them. You are the seven angels of heaven, and you have had no troubles. Oh, I could forgive you everything, you that rule all mankind, if I could feel for once that you had suffered for one hour a real agony such as I..."
On December 6, 2000, Gamasutra released a summary of Deus Ex's development process written by Warren Spector. That summary is available freely here - but there's a catch. You have to be a member of Gamasutra. Joining is free, but the registration process assumes you are a game developer. Apparently they never considered that just plain gamers might want to read about game development. While you could easily supply fake information and register at Gamasutra, it will keep their database cleaner if I simply reproduce it here. The full article has pictures with captions that are not necessary here.
Postmortem: Ion Storm's Deus Ex
by Warren Spector
December 6, 2000
Deus Ex shipped in June 2000. Sales were, and continue to be, strong, worldwide. Critical response (with one or two notable exceptions) has been positive. We've already won several "best of year" awards in the U.S., the U.K. and Germany. Needless to say it's gratifying when people appreciate your work.
We did a lot of stuff right on Deus Ex; we did a lot of stuff wrong. In this article, I'd like to take the opportunity to looks at some of that stuff. Specifically, I want to discuss:
Let's start with a simple question for those of you who have no idea what Deus Ex (a.k.a. "That Game with a Wacky Name") is...
What is Deus Ex?
I'll try to be brief. (Those of you who know me know I'll probably fail...)
Fictionally, Deus Ex is set in a near-future version of the real world (as it exists if conspiracy buffs are right). For some real shorthand, call it "James Bond meets The X-Files." (Remember that seemingly innocent claim that Deus Ex is set in the real world. It'll come up again shortly...)
Conceptually, Deus Ex is a genre-busting game (which really endeared us to the marketing guys) - part immersive simulation, part role-playing game, part first-person shooter, part adventure game.
It's an immersive simulation game in that you are made to feel you're actually in the game world with as little as possible getting in the way of the experience of "being there." Ideally, nothing reminds you that you're just playing a game - not interface, not your character's back-story or capabilities, not game systems, nothing. It's all about how you interact with a relatively complex environment in ways that you find interesting (rather than in ways the developers think are interesting), and in ways that move you closer to accomplishing your goals (not the developers' goals).
It's a role-playing game in that you play a role and make character development choices that ensure that you end up with a unique alter ego. You make your way through a variety of minute-to-minute gameplay experiences (which add up to a story) in a manner that grows naturally out of the unique aspects of your character. Every game system is designed to differentiate one player-character from another, and to allow players to make decisions that reflect their own biases and express character differences in obvious ways in the game world.
It's a first-person shooter because the action unfolds in real time, seen through the virtual eyes of your alter ego in the game world. Your reflexes and skill play an important part in determining your success in combat. However, unlike the typical FPS, Deus Ex doesn't force you to shoot every virtual thing that moves. Also unlike the average FPS, in which gameplay is limited to pulling a virtual trigger, finding blue keys to open blue doors and jumping to reach seemingly inaccessible locations, Deus Ex offers players a wide range of gameplay options.
And finally, Deus Ex is like adventure games in that it's story-driven, linear in narrative structure, and involves character interaction and item accumulation to advance the plot. However, unlike most adventure games (in which you spend the bulk of your time solving clever puzzles in a search for the next static, but very pretty, screen), Deus Ex asks players to determine how they will solve game problems and forces them to deal with the consequences of their choices.
Deus Ex was designed from the start to combine elements of all of these genres. But more important than any genre classification, the game was conceived with the idea that we'd accept players as our collaborators, that we'd put power back in their hands, ask them to make choices, and let them deal with the consequences of those choices. It was designed, from the start, as a game about player expression, not about how clever we were as designers, programmers, artists, or storytellers. Which leads naturally to a discussion of having clear goals - the first thing I think we did right.
What Went Right
1. A clear high-level vision. It's pretty self-evident that you can't achieve goals if you're not clear about what they are. We knew with a high degree of confidence what kind of game we wanted to make. This was possible for two reasons. First, Deus Ex is a natural outgrowth of work done by and in some cases with the late, lamented Looking Glass Technologies. We were inspired as well by games made at Valve, Origin, and a host of other places. Many of the things we wanted to do were a reaction to things they (or we) didn't do, didn't do well or couldn't do at all in earlier games. We weren't building from scratch, but rather building on a foundation already laid for us.
Second, and on a personal level, Deus Ex is a game I've been thinking about since right around the time Underworld 2 shipped. I've tried to get a game like this started several times (as Troubleshooter at Origin; in some respects, as Junction Point, for Looking Glass). Those games didn't happen for a variety of reasons:
Still, I never stopped thinking about these games and, despite their failure to reach production, they laid much of the conceptual groundwork for Deus Ex. The lesson here is that if there's a game you really want to make, don't give up on it. Someone will be foolish enough to give you the money eventually.
As an interesting (I hope!) historical footnote, I include here for the first time publicly, complete with typos and misspellings, the very first proposal I ever submitted for the old Troubleshooter concept back at Origin. Note the budget and projected release date and, oh, those system requirements! Note also the similarities (and differences) between Troubleshooter and what eventually became Deus Ex. [Troubleshooter Proposal]
Several years passed. Lots of games somewhat like Troubleshooter came and went. Game budgets went up dramatically - $500,000 indeed! I left Origin and go to work for Looking Glass. Troubleshooter stayed on my mind.
In the fall of 1997, before Ion Storm entered the Deus Ex picture, I drafted a manifesto - a description of an ideal game - and also a set of "Rules of Role-Playing." Much of that material ended up in an article published in Game Developer ("Remodeling RPGs for the New Millennium". Here (for more of those historical reasons mentioned above) is the original draft of my Rules of Role-Playing, circa 1997:
The Rules of Role-Playing
A year or so later, Deus Ex lead designer Harvey Smith clarified and extended the original rules as follows:
The DEUS EX Rules Amendments & Addenda
Drafted by Harvey Smith (and endorsed enthusiastically by me) in 1998
The details of Deus Ex - plot, character, game system design - all changed radically since the days of Troubleshooter and manifestos and rules and rules addenda, but conceptually the game still follows most of the rules and meets the ideals outlined in the Game Developer article. With these conceptual tools in mind, the Deus Ex team was able to assess design decisions and game system specifications, in light of what we wanted players to experience during the game and in light of our ultimate design goals.
So What Were Our Goals (In the Beginning)?
How did we intend to move from abstract ideas to game design specifics? We had to take our thinking to a deeper level. We had to start thinking about what we wanted players to be doing and thinking about as they played the game, rather than what we would be thinking about as we developed it.
This led to some critical concepts, outlined here:
To recap: Know what your gameplay goals are and what kind of experience you want players to have before you spend ten seconds thinking about anything specific. Nice talk, but what did clear goals, manifestos, and commandments buy us?
2. We didn't skimp on preproduction. We spent the first six months of I (before we licensed a game engine), with a team of about six, just thinking about how we could turn our high-level goals into a game. We hammered on the setting and decided to move the game into the near future to buy ourselves some room to play around - the real world, as we quickly discovered, was very limiting. Ultimately, we settled on a conspiracy-oriented background.
Here's what we had when we started: the very first design proposal (again, as is) for Shooter, our ironic working title for a game we never intended to be "just" a first-person shooter. [Shooter Proposal]
First of all, ignore the projected ship date of Christmas 1998. That was never possible, not for an instant. I don't know what I was thinking. Anyway, other than that (ahem) little misstep, the original Shooter doc does a pretty good job of describing the game that eventually became Deus Ex. Details changed. System specs definitely changed, but overall I don't think anyone can say we didn't deliver the game we said we would.
But how did we get from Shooter to Deus Ex? What were our first steps?
We worked on back-story stuff so we'd know what was going on in the world, even in places the player never got to visit. Some of this stuff may come to the forefront in Deus Ex 2 but, for Deus Ex, it was just a way of making sure we knew enough to include the kinds of small details that make a fictional world convincing.
We did a vast amount of research into "real" conspiracies - the Kennedy assassination, Area 51, the CIA pushing crack in East L.A., Dwight Eisenhower's UFO connection, and of course Freemasons tunneling below the Denver airport and building abducted-baby cafeterias for alien invaders at George Bush's direction. Only a fraction of this stuff ended up in the game, but it gave us a peek into the minds of conspiracy buffs that was both scary and useful.
We also created a cast of more than 200 characters, many of whom didn't yet have specific roles in the game. Ultimately, this list proved to be both a help and a hindrance to designers as they fleshed out the missions. Characters sometimes suggested missions or subquests, but just as often ended up being filler we were reluctant to cut, even though their missions or story purposes changed during our storyline-focusing passes.
We worked out a bunch of missions - more than 25 of them, taking the player from New York to London to Paris to San Antonio, to Austin to Siberia to Washington, D.C., to NORAD to Sunken L.A. (post-earthquake) to the Moon. We had wars in Texas, raids on concentration camps to free 2,000 prisoners from UN troops under FEMA control. Those of you who think the Deus Ex story line includes everything plus the kitchen sink now should have seen what we started with!
We hammered on game systems. We conceived a skill system that didn't depend on die-rolls or tracking skills at a fine level of granularity. We came up with a system of "special powers" (nanotech augmentations) that differentiated the player character from ordinary humans. We designed a conversation system with some cinematic elements and some elements borrowed from console RPGs. We mocked up 2D inventory, skill, and augmentation upgrade screens, map screens, even a text editor so players could take notes. We conceived several player reward systems, including skill point awards, augmentation upgrades, weapon availability timelines and tool/object availability timelines.
By March 1998, we had 300 pages of documentation and thought we knew everything we'd needed to know to make a game. Were we ever wrong. In the time between March 1998 and our Alpha 1 deadline of April 1999, that 300-page document mushroomed into more than 500 pages, much of it radically different from what we thought of and wrote initially. Clear goals and a detailed script are all well and good, but goals change, thinking changes, and game designs have to change, too. Which leads nicely into the next thing that went right.
3. Recognizing that game design is an organic process. Why did our thinking and goals change? There were lots of reasons.
NEW PEOPLE = NEW IDEAS
First, new people joined the team, with new ideas. Our staff grew from six people to roughly 20. I hired a bunch of people, of course, but we had the added excitement of integrating an entire art team assigned to us, in Austin, by an art director a couple of hundred miles away in Ion Storm's Dallas office.
Despite all the preproduction work, despite all the rules and manifestos, Deus Ex was, like all projects, going to be created by a group of people, each with his or her own agenda, many of whom hadn't been involved in the preproduction process. In other words, like all projects, Deus Ex was a living, evolving, growing thing. And there were some amazing growing pains associated with its development. Getting everyone on the same page wasn't always easy. (O.K., sometimes it was a nightmare!)
As we brought on new people, we found ourselves to be a team of hardcore Ultima geeks, hardcore shooter fans, hardcore immersive sim fans, strategy game nuts and console gamers. Some of our new team members proved to be "maximalists" - wanting to do everything, special-case lots of stuff, and stick as close to reality as possible. Other team members proved to be minimalists - wanting to include fewer game elements but implementing them exceptionally well, in ways that could be universally applied rather than special-cased.
Also, we made a point of letting select friends and colleagues play the game at various points along the way. We were interested in well-reasoned opinions from folks who understood the kind of game we were making intimately and who had a handle on the development process that was at least as good as our own. With all the new folks contributing and all the feedback from our chosen critics, well, let's just say we had some interesting debates at Ion Storm, Austin. Out of those debates new ideas arose, and the game changed as a result.
TECHNOLOGY IMPOSES LIMITS
Technology forced design changes, too. It took time to become familiar with the Unreal engine. I wish I could say we uncovered all its potentials and limitations quickly, but we didn't. Months of experimentation were necessary to reveal how best to do things in Unreal and what things not to do at all. When we stopped playing with Unreal andactually started working with it (roughly six to nine months after we got our hands on it), lots of ideas we'd come up with in the abstract didn't work quite as well in reality.
Multiple solutions falling out of our simulation didn't happen as often as we'd hoped. We just didn't have a deep enough simulation nor did we have the time or personnel to create one. We found ourselves in the position of having to brute-force the multiple-path idea, as developers on Ultima games, for example, have done for years - though I think we do more of it, more consciously and more effectively, than anyone else has to date. Designers have had to plan a "skill" path past problems, an "action" path and a "character interaction" path. It works, but it's not what we originally intended.
Our original plan to build large, outdoor areas - whole sections of New York, Area 51, lovingly recreated in excruciating detail gleaned from maps and satellite photos and, most notably, my dream of allowing players to explore the entire White House - just proved to be unfeasible. There was no way any then-current renderer was going to allow us to do all that. The design had to change.
GAME SYSTEMS DIDN'T WORK AS INTENDED
A third area that influenced the changing nature of the game's design was when the game systems didn't work as we intended them to. High-level concepts imply gameplay but don't - and can't - define it. We quickly found that descriptions of game systems are no substitute for prototypes and actual implementation. We prototyped every game system, as documented, relatively early on. We built some test missions, not quite early-on-enough but still early.
These test systems and missions revealed gaping holes in our thinking or things that we thought would be true that turned out not to be true at all. For instance, our augmentation and skill systems proved dry and rather dull, once implemented, despite looking really good on paper. Those systems were designed around the totally valid idea that the computer would resolve actions without any secret (or even non-so-secret) die rolls required. Players would always know, with absolute certainty, based on their character development choices, whether they could accomplish something or not. The trick would be whether they wanted to do something or not, based on an assessment of the likely outcome and the likely consequences (for example, blowing down a door and setting off alarms versus the risk of picking a lock and being caught while doing it). In addition, I thought the tension of standing outside a locked door, not knowing if a guard was going to show up while you picked the lock would provide sufficient excitement. I thought knowing you could leap across a chasm because you had the Jump augmentation at Tech Level 3, opening up new paths through maps that were inaccessible to players without that augmentation, would be good enough to keep players interested.
When Gabe Newell from Valve came down and played our prototype missions, he correctly identified the utter lack of tension in our skill and augmentation use, as written up in the design doc and ably implemented by the coders. The worst was confirmed when Marc LeBlanc, Doug Church, Rob Fermier, and other friends from Looking Glass Studios and Irrational Games played the proto-missions and came to the same conclusions. Actually using skills and augmentations revealed things that merely thinking about them could never have revealed.
We took the criticism, and with it in mind, lead designer Harvey Smith revised the skill and augmentation systems pretty thoroughly, proposing an elegant system of consumable resources and time passage, all tied to skill level. This increased the tension level, provided new rewards, and allowed players to think and make informed decisions. Harvey also proposed a revision to the augmentation system, introducing an energy cost for their use (something I had foolishly rejected earlier on). Again, this gave us the opportunity to hand out items that would replenish energy - in other words, we instantly had more things to hand out to players as rewards. It also introduced a level of tactical thinking to augmentation use that makes the system work. None of this would have happened without prototype missions and some harsh (but fair) criticism they allowed.
HOW FUN IS THE REAL WORLD, REALLY?
Another big reason for changes from our original design doc was our realization that the idea of a real-world RPG with real-world locations and real-world weapons was better in some ways than it turned out to be on the screen. Not to put too fine a point on it, Deus Ex became a lot less realistic as time went on.
When we started building places such as the Statue of Liberty, a couple of square blocks of New York City, the White House, Parisian streets, and so on, we found ourselves constantly asking several questions:
How do you know which of your core game goals are valid and which need rethinking? How do you know which game systems work and which don't? When is it possible to know what your game is really about? These questions are all answered by the "proto-mission." This is the first implemented mission, playable start to finish, the one that captures everything you want your game to be. Get this mission working as early as possible, so you can see all the things you thought would work that didn't. Then fix them.
4. Scheduling around successively more refined "proto-missions". It's a truism that milestones should be testable, showing visible progress, whenever possible, and we lived up to that standard. We could always pull a version together, always show off for press or our publisher. Most importantly, we always knew where we were (even if that knowledge was sometimes painful). But the proto-mission idea is something beyond simply visible, testable milestones. The proto-mission is critical in the process of design, as well as in milestone and schedule setting.
One example of where our proto-mission idea was successful was in May 1998, when our milestone was to have prototypes of critical game systems in place and two test maps running, in this case the White House and part of Hong Kong. The maps were crude, the conversations raw, and the game systems hacked, but we could see - and show - the potential. To our advantage, we resisted the temptation to do just the stuff we knew would work and the stuff that would look the prettiest, and prototyped new, risky stuff first. Conversation, interface, inventory, skills, and augmentations were all at least hacked in so we could see them in action. The White House was likely to prove our toughest map challenge, so we built it first. (Almost unbelievably, I missed what may have been the riskiest, most critical game system in all of our early prototyping, NPC AI. I should have insisted on early prototyping of our AI but I didn't.) With the proto-mission system, we could immediately see some of the limitations of our technology. For example, we had some serious speed problems with areas as big as the White House and Hong Kong. After this, we knew we'd have to break maps up into small pieces. And we began to suspect, though I couldn't quite embrace the idea, that we'd eventually have to cut maps and missions from the game - most notably the White House.
In May 1999, we had a milestone calling for the delivery of the first two missions of the game, playable start to finish. All of our game systems were implemented (not hacked) as originally documented. You could start a game, create a character, upgrade skills, solve problems in a variety of ways, manipulate inventory, acquire augmentations, talk to NPCs, get and accomplish goals, save your game, and so on. To the team's chagrin, I had a tendency to call this the "Wow, these missions suck" milestone. It was around this time when Gabe Newell came for a visit and gave us our wake-up call, and where we all went, "Ulp! We have a lot of work to do." Our earlier demos had shown the potential of what we were doing. This demo showed us how far we had to go before we reached that potential.
This milestone also benefited us in that it showed us all the steps necessary to create a mission, and revealed the elements that really made the game work. That knowledge allowed us to go through our 500-page design document and cut everything that was extraneous, winnowing it down to a svelte 270 pages. Less game? Not at all. What was left was the best 270 pages - the stuff that worked. "Less is more" was something Harvey Smith had said over and over, from the day he signed on as lead designer. While some team members resisted this notion outright, I took a middle road, which just frustrated everyone. In the end, we cut a lot, left a lot, and made a game that everyone on the team was happy with (I think). This milestone made it clear that the time had come to make cuts, while giving us enough knowledge to cut intelligently. If we had waited until beta to make cuts, with just a few months to go before our ship date (as many developers do), it would have been a disaster.
5. Licensing technology. We went into Deus Ex hoping that licensing an engine would allow us to focus on content generation and gameplay. For the most part, that proved to be the case. The Unreal Tournament code we ended up going with provided a solid foundation upon which we were able to build relatively easily. Dropping in a conversation system, skill and augmentation systems, our inventory and other 2D interface screens, major AI changes, and so on could have been far more difficult. UnrealEd, the main tool our designers used to generate our maps, was superior to anything else available. UnrealScript was very powerful and allowed programmers to do lots of interesting things quickly and easily. The dollars and cents of the deal were right, and I didn't have to hire an army of programmers to create an engine, 80 percent of whose functions already existed in Unreal Tournament. We were able to make what I hope is a state-of-the-art RPG-action-adventure-sim with only three slightly overworked programmers, which allowed us to carry larger design and art staffs than usual.
However, to my surprise, licensing technology didn't save us all the time I'd hoped it would. You'd think cutting a year or more of engine-creation off a schedule would result in an earlier release date. On Deus Ex, that didn't prove to be the case. Time that would have been lost creating tools was lost instead to learning the limitations and capabilities of "foreign" technology. Time that would have gone into making an engine went into focusing more on gameplay systems and tuning than normal. Unreal certainly allowed us to focus on content generation over everything else, but we spent more time doing it.
The biggest downside to licensing was that we were just never going to understand the code as well as we would have if we'd created it ourselves. That led to two distinct kinds of problems. First, there were areas where we ended up treating the engine as a black box. I think it's pretty well documented by now that we shipped Deus Ex with some Direct3D performance issues. Honestly, that didn't show up in any significant way during our QA process - a slight problem here or there, but none of the dramatic slowdowns some players reported in the early days following our ship date. Once players started reporting troubles, we were kind of in a lurch - we couldn't very well go in there and mess with the Unreal engine - we just didn't understand it well enough to do that safely. We had built around the edges of Unreal without ever getting too deeply into the nuts and bolts of it.
Second, because we didn't know the code inside out, and because we'd shelled out a fair amount of money for it, we tended to be conservative in our approach to modifying it. There were times when we should have ripped out certain parts of the Unreal Tournament code and started from scratch (AI, pathfinding, and sound propagation, for example). Instead, we built on the existing systems, on a base that was designed for an entirely different kind of game from what we were making. It's not that Unreal had bad AI or pathfinding or sound propagation, but those systems were designed for a straightforward shooter, which was not what we were making.
Technology licensing bought us a lot and cost us somewhat less. I guess the fact that we'll be licensing technology for our next round of projects, Deus Ex 2 and Thief 3, says the price was right. But it remains an interesting dilemma, and we will be able to approach our next licensed engine with the wisdom gleaned from using Unreal for this project.
What Went Wrong
1. Our original team structure didn't work. You'd think after 17 years of making games and building teams to make games, I'd have a clue about team structures that work and those that don't. Ha! When I started pulling the Deus Ex team together I had a core of six guys from Looking Glass's Austin office. Having tapped Chris Norden to be lead programmer, I needed to find a lead designer and a lead artist. As I started casting about for the right person for the design job, something really good, but ultimately really bad, happened - two guys came along with enough experience to expect a leadership position. Instead of doing the sensible thing and picking one of them, even if that meant the other chose not to sign on, I got cute. I created two design teams, each with its own lead.
I put together two groups of people with differing philosophies - a traditional RPG group and an immersive sim group. We were making a game designed to bust through genre boundaries, and I thought a little competition and argumentation would lead to an interesting synthesis of ideas. I thought I could manage the tension between the groups and that the groups and the game would be stronger for it. My plan didn't work.
The design team was fragmented from the start. We had to name one of the groups "Design Team 1" and the other "Design Team A." (Neither group would settle for "2" or "B.") It became apparent - later than it should have - that I was going to have to merge the two groups and have a single lead designer. When I finally made that change I disappointed some folks, but the game was the better for it, and that's what's important in the end.
There were also challenges on the art side. Deus Ex suffered dramatically because for over a year, the artists "on the team" worked not for me or for the project, but for an art director in Ion Storm's Dallas office. Don't misunderstand - the art director was a talented guy. But talent doesn't make up for a matrix management structure (wherein resources in a department or pool are "lent out" to a project until they're not needed anymore) ill-suited to the game business, and it doesn't make up for being off-site. During this time, the art department drifted a bit. It was unclear whether the artists worked for me or for the art director in Dallas. I couldn't hire, fire, give raises to, promote, or demote anyone on the art team. We were assigned some artists who weren't interested in the kind of game we were making. The matrix management experiment made things a little tense, and presented many unanswerable dilemmas. Matrix management may work in some circumstances, at some companies, in some businesses. But I've never seen it work in gaming, and I've seen it attempted at three different companies. It especially doesn't work when one of the department managers isn't on-site.
I argued for a year that matrix management had failed at Origin and at Looking Glass. I had no doubt it would eventually fail at Ion. Eventually I got my way, and things got much better on the art front once the artists were officially part of the Deus Ex team. Still, I can only imagine how Deus Ex might have looked if we'd been one big happy team, including the artists, from the start.
If the experience of Deus Ex taught me one thing, it's the importance of team dynamics. You have to build a team of people who want to be making the game you're making. You have to deal with personnel issues sooner rather than later. And there has to be a clear chain of command. Many decisions can be made by consensus, but there can only be one boss for a project, there can only be one boss for each department, and department heads have to answer to the person heading up the project.
2. Clear goals are great... when they're realistic. We started out thinking very big. That in itself isn't bad - it's necessary to advance the state of the art - but we were unrealistic, blinded by promises of complete creative freedom, and by assurances that we would be left alone to make the game of our dreams. A really big budget, no external time constraints, and a marketing budget bigger than any of us had ever had before made us soft.
Let me give you some specific examples of ways in which we outreached ourselves in the original design of Deus Ex (before we made significant cuts). For one, there's no way, in a first-person RPG, to stage a raid on a POW camp to free 2,000 captives. Also, there's no way to re-create all of downtown Austin, Texas, with any degree of accuracy. Third, blinded by the power of UnrealScript, many of our original mission concepts depended upon special-case scripting and lots of it. We discovered the need for general solutions rather than special-case solutions later in the project than we should have (this despite much harping on the subject by some team members).
Find your focus early and maintain that focus throughout. General solutions are better than special casing. Give players a rich but limited tool set that can be used in a variety of ways, not a bunch of individual, unpredictable solutions to every problem. Always work within the limits of your technology rather than trying to make your technology do things it wasn't meant to do. Big budgets, lots of time, and freedom from creative constraints are seductive traps. Don't fall into them. Don't settle for less than greatness, but don't think too big. Balance should be the goal.
3. We didn't front-load all of our risks. In fact, we missed a big one. We were smart enough to realize we'd have to prototype and implement our new game systems early so we'd have time to tweak and refine them sufficiently. We did our conversation system and our complex 2D interface screens early, which was a good thing, too - they required as much tweaking as we feared. And in the end, they turned out pretty well, I think.
Unfortunately, we missed one huge risk area - artificial intelligence. I don't know how we missed it, but we did. It's not that we didn't spend time on AI. We started thinking about AI early in preproduction. Unfortunately, what that meant was that the AI was, to a great extent, designed in a vacuum, and as is often the case, we didn't really know what the game required with respect to AI until relatively late in development. And that meant implementing AI features early on that ended up being unnecessary later, once our design had evolved into its final form. In addition, building on the base of Unreal Tournament's pure shooter AI meant that, instead of designing a system specifically for our needs, we ended up adding stuff and tweaking until the bitter end, causing NPC behavior to change constantly, right up to the last day of development.
We ended up with some pretty compelling AI, but the problem of convincing people they're interacting with real people is immense, particularly when you're talking about characters whose reactions have to run the gamut from fear to friendliness to violent enmity. That's not a challenge many games take on (with good reason), but it was one we had to take on for Deus Ex. Our sin was, I think, giving people a hint of what human AI could be in games, but delivering the goods inconsistently.
As I write this, we're discussing whether we want to risk making some fairly radical changes to the AI in a patch for a game that most people seem to like, and in which NPCs basically behave as much like real people as they ever have in any game. There's no telling which way our decision will go at this time.
4. Proto-missions redux. Game Developer's Postmortems typically focus in on things the team clearly did right and things the team clearly did wrong. It sure is nice when things are that clear. Maybe it's just me, but I almost never see things in such black-and-white terms. Most of the time, problems are knotty and solutions are far from obvious or clear-cut, which is where the final two "What Went Wrongs" fall.
As I already mentioned, we recognized the need for proto-missions relatively early on, and built our schedule around the idea. We implemented two such missions, which helped us identify many things that didn't work (and many that did). With proto-missions in hand, we found ourselves at a critical juncture with two possible choices to make, the implications of which I still don't entirely understand.
On one hand, I could have gone off with some subset of the team and tweaked our proto-missions until they were absolutely right and models for all subsequent mission implementation before turning the rest of the team loose on implementation of the rest of the missions. On the other hand, I could have kept the entire team in implementation mode, getting all of the missions to the level of the proto-missions, meaning none of them would be exactly right but we'd be able to see the shape of the entire game and all of the missions would be ready for tuning at about the same time. The first approach would have left large portions of the team in thumb-twiddling or make-work mode for some unspecified period of time. This promised to prove that we could create a ground-breaking, compelling game, but could leave us without a finished game to ship. The second approach would have kept everyone productive throughout the project and at least put us in position to decide whether or not to ship the game at some foreseeable point in the future. The question was whether we would be able to turn all of the bare-bones missions into something fun or not.
I chose the latter approach and told everyone to get the game "finished" and playable at a bare-bones level. We'd worry about fleshing out all the missions, making the game as interesting and fun and dense and exciting as it needed to be during the inevitable gameplay tuning, tweaking, and balancing phase at the end. This probably isn't so much of a "What Went Wrong" as it is an open question of whether that was the right call. I think so, and the plan clearly worked to the extent that we shipped a game that people seem to like pretty well. But it's unclear to me whether using our proto-missions to fine-tune might not have resulted in an even better game.
5. Is it true that any publicity is good publicity? Naturally, this wouldn't be a complete or accurate picture of the development of Deus Ex if we didn't take a look at the Sturm und Drang that was Ion Storm. In case you you've been living under a rock, there's been a lot of hype surrounding the company. On the negative side, Ion Storm was heaped with bad press for much of 1998 and 1999. The company did the same things all game companies do, went through the same problems, but because we painted a big ol' "suck it down" target on our chests, the gaming press and a fair number of hardcore gamers went after us with a vengeance.
Not too surprisingly, this had an effect on those of us working away in the Austin office. Morale hits were frequent and problematic. It simply isn't possible to be bombarded by negative press about the company you work for and not take it somewhat personally. Trust me when I say that seeing your personal and private e-mails posted on the Internet is a devastating experience. Also, recruiting was more difficult than it should have been. We were able to put together an incredibly talented team for Deus Ex, but too many talented people told us that while they would like to work on Deus Ex, they couldn't work for Ion Storm. Eventually, a "we'll show them" mentality became prevalent in Austin. I don't know that anyone who worked on Deus Ex thought of him- or herself as part of the same company making Daikatana and Anachronox up in Dallas. That kind of us-versus-them thinking is rarely good in the long run.
Now that we've shipped, the reviews seem to fall into two categories - those that begin with some statement implying that Warren Spector makes games all by himself (which is silly), and those that begin with some statement proclaiming that Deus Ex couldn't possibly have been made by Ion Storm (also silly). Silly or not, there's a level on which we're still trying to live down our past, at least in terms of the media's perception of our game and the company that paid the bills here.
But, for all the problems, being associated with Ion Storm wasn't all bad - far from it. On the plus side, it isn't as if anyone from Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, the New York Times, the L.A. Times, USA Today, Mother Jones, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Time, Architectural Digest, CNN, or the BBC ever banged down the doors at Origin or Looking Glass to talk to me or anyone on any of my teams. In reality, the bad publicity was almost entirely limited to the gaming press. The mainstream media, which barely notice anything about gaming (other than the fact that we supposedly turn normal kids into vicious killers) didn't seem to care about the bad stuff. But they sure did take notice of us. Ultimately, Ion's ability to attract attention to itself, even if it was sometimes in negative ways, probably worked to our advantage. Whether publicity at any cost is good or bad is still an open question for me.
What I'm Not Sure About
Given the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, it's easy to identify some things as having gone "right" and other things as having gone "wrong". However, some of the most interesting things to consider are the ones that aren't so easily pinned down. Here are some questions that are still very much open in my mind. (If any of you have answers, feel free to share them!):
The Bottom Line
Part of the challenge of game development is making the tough decisions along the way, leading to many difficult junctures when you have to determine that something that can't be done right in the game shouldn't be done at all. Notice the complete lack of references to multiplayer action in this Postmortem. We wanted to provide multiplayer support but didn't have the time to do the job we knew we needed to do, and so it got cut.
Now, generalize from that point: It's all well and good to have design goals and an ideal game pictured in your head when you start, but you have to be open to change and realistic about what can and can't be done in a reasonable time frame, for a reasonable amount of money, with the personnel and technology available to you. And if you don't have time to do something right, cut it and do everything that's left so well that no one notices the stuff that isn't there.
I'm not saying we did that perfectly on Deus Ex. We certainly didn't ship a perfect game. But if we hadn't gone into development with the attitude that we'd do things right or not at all, we would have fallen far shorter of perfection than we did. How close we did get is something all of you can decide for yourselves. All I know is we're going to get closer next time.
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Number of Full-Time Developers: Approx. 20: 1 of me, 3 programmers, 6 designers, 7 artists, 1 writer, 1 associate producer, 1 tech Number of Contractors: Approx. 6: 2 writers, 4 testers
Development Time: 6 months of preproduction and 28 months of production
Release Date: June 23, 2000
Target Platform: Windows 95/98/NT/2000 plus third-party Macintosh and Linux ports
Critical Development Hardware: Ranged from dual Pentium Pro 200s with 8GB hard drives, to Athlon 800s with 9GB fast SCSI, and everything in between. More than 100 video cards were cycled through during development.
Software Used: Visual Studio, Lightwave, Lotus Notes
Notable Technologies: Unreal engine and associated tools such as UnrealEd and ConEdit (our proprietary conversation editor)
1.0 High Concept:
It's Underworld-style, first-person action. But this is no fantasy. It's today. The real world.
No monsters. No magic. All action.
Everyone knows the movies: Die Hard, Passenger 57, The Last Action Hero, Under Siege, Dirty Harry...
Everyone knows the stars: Arnold Schwarzenneger, Steven Seagal, Bruce Willis, Wesley Snipes, Clint Eastwood...
Everyone knows the weapons: .44 Magnum, Ingram Mac-10, Atchisson assault shotgun, Browning High-Power, mini-Uzi...
Everyone knows the situations: It's you against the world, you against terrorists, psychos, the dregs of society. They're armed with high-tech weapons and they've taken hostages.
You know what to do....
The question is, are you good enough?
2.0 Why this is an ORIGIN product:
It's Hollywood-inspired, big-budget, non-stop action. It's significant new technology. It's a logical extension of our existing first-person line - we have fantasy covered with Underworld, we WILL have science fiction covered with Bounty Hunter, we have the real world covered with... well, we don't. Troubleshooter is bigger than life, but it's clearly rooted in the real world. I can't believe no one's done this before - we have to jump on it before someone else does!
3.0 Product Overview:
You're an ex-cop turned "security specialist." That just means you get all the dirty jobs no one else has the guts to do. When the government or the police or business can't handle a problem, they call on you. Bomb threats? You get to check 'em out. Hijackers threaten to take over a plane? You end up on board. Some radical group takes a millionaire's daughter hostage? You get the call to go in and get her out.
You scope out the situation, checking maps and photos, walking around the site, probing for the best way in, the way that will put the fewest innocent people at risk. You try to talk a madman into surrendering before he blows himself and his hostages to kingdom come. You crawl through air ducts and sewers hoping you don't attract the attention of the bad guys with all the guns. You shoot it out with terrorists wielding enough firepower to take on a third world army.
Troubleshooter is a mission-oriented action simulation with no huge plot - just get in and get out of each mission. Maybe 10-30 minutes of action per scenario. None of this 100 hours to finish the game and get your reward stuff. Like a flight sim, but it's just you, on the ground, with a gun.
I originally envisioned this as all new technology, but I could probably leech off of Bounty Hunter, once that project gets going. In game play, I see it being like Underworld in the richness of its world simulation, but like Wolfenstein in its emphasis on action over roleplaying and inventory manipulation. Ideally, I'd like to incorporate a head-to-head modem/network option, allowing one player to be the bad guy and the other to be the troubleshooter.
4.0 Technical Overview:
IBM PC 486, 4 Megs RAM, 320 x 200 VGA, full sound board support. Mouse, joystick and keyboard supported.
Traditional ORIGIN buyers. I also hope the basis in reality and the short duration mission structure make Troubleshooter appeal to overworked older folks (the ones who have the money to buy machines capable of playing our games...) who just want to work off some frustration and then get back to their real lives.
Planned ship in Q4 (March '95).
High. There are all sorts of technological unknowns, things I want to do that haven't been done before. All in all, this is probably the toughest project on my wish list, but it might be the most satisfying... We might be able to minimize the risk by leeching off of Bounty Hunter.
Looking for concept approval so we can Go For Script.
Roleplaying in a World of Secrets, Lies and Conspiracies
Target is Christmas 1998.
Modern Day plus about 50 years (to allow us to fudge reality, where necessary).
Half-Life (Sierra), Fallout (Interplay), Thief: The Dark Project (Looking Glass), Goldeneye (N64).
Several unique, real-world locations in the U.S., Europe and Far East.
1st-person 3D with external camera views available as player option.
The world of the 2050's is a dangerous and chaotic place. Terrorists operate openly, espousing a hundred beliefs and killing thousands of innocents to call attention to their causes. The world's economies are close to ruin on a scale not seen for over 100 years. The media openly encourage the worst in mankind. Governments seem powerless to deal with the situation.
In hidden meeting places around the world, a cabal of men and women confer. These are the leaders of societies so ancient and yet so secret, most people refuse to believe they exist. For hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years, they have controlled the world's finances, information flow, weapon production, medicine, religions... Now, as the world descends into chaos, they meet to determine if the time has come to emerge from the shadows, to take overt control of a world they have run from behind the scenes for so long. But, unable to reach agreement, they begin instead an internecine war that brings civilization even closer to the brink of destruction.
At the same time, in several major cities around the globe, another group of men and women - the deadliest the world has ever known - lie in wait. Enhanced senses, increased intelligence, biomechanically supercharged muscles and fantastic weaponry make these augmented agents all but unstoppable. And each is implanted with a tiny, high-tech brainwashing device which, activated, can turn its host into a helpless buffoon or a remorseless, conscienceless, killing machine - whatever the controller wishes.
You are one of these agents.
Recruited from among the elite of the world's intelligence agencies, and endowed with nearly superhuman abilities, you await a signal from the most ambitious, most manipulative and most dangerous member of the shadowy cabal, a man known only as "Adam". Horrified at the chaos he sees all around him, he has concocted a plan to end the secret war and restore order to the world - at his signal, you and your fellow augmented agents, will emerge to cripple or destroy each of the ancient and secret societies, in turn, clearing the way for a savior (Adam, of course) to take his rightful place as leader of all the societies. Once in control of the societies, he will offer mankind a simple choice: Obey and live in an orderly world free of pain and suffering, a world of Adam's creation; refuse and die.
Adam wants only to save the world from itself - it's up to you to stop him.
The question is, can you assemble enough clues to figure all this out? Can you find and recruit the allies you'll need to survive, including the other augmented agents? Can you free yourself and the others from the grip of Adam's brainwashing device and put a stop to the secret society cabalists and the master manipulator, Adam, himself?
Each mission leads the PC deeper into a morass of suspicion, false motives, paranoia and conspiracy involving the highest levels of government, the media and the military-industrial complex. The missions stand alone but, taken together, they add up to a big story, with the player at the heart of earth-shattering yet believable events.
Set in a world very much like our own (if the conspiracy buffs are right), Shooter combines the best of The Manchurian Candidate, Robocop and Colossus: The Forbin Project in a world inspired by The X-Files and Men in Black.
As stated, the data files which make up Deus Ex (e.g. DeusExText.u, DeusExConText.u) are copyright (C) 2000 by Ion Storm, and are used here without permission. Please don't send Jackbooted Thugs of State OppressionTM to my door. Other chunks of text have been attributed to the best of my knowledge. Unless otherwise attributed, all commentary on this page was written by me, Stephan T. Lavavej.
http://nuwen.net/dx.html (updated 9/5/2011)
Stephan T. Lavavej
This is my personal website. I work for Microsoft, but I don't speak for them.