This file was gathered from Proxy Morgan following his team’s arrival on Mars, specifically following their departure from Olympus. It should be noted that due to a communications blackout following entry into the Titan Quarantine Zone, some of the information has been extrapolated on by excerpts from other sources of information.
The X-Threat was first identified on Progress, when the rampage of Tseng Sueh-yen set off the warning signs. It was a fast catch, and a credit to our Progress Intel team, as was removing our agents from the security footage when they took him down. Confirmation of the incident being an X-Threat was achieved when attempting to inspect Tseng’s cortical stack with an Ego Bridge, procured by Terrence Morden using Autonomist contacts within Progress. The inspection revealed a virulent Exsurgent Strain that infected the Ego Bridge, forcing it to be destroyed. The team’s resident Exobiologist, Dr. Johannes Heidrich, was able to determine some very basic aspects of the threat, but as he was unable to keep the body, his initial research was limited.
Sebastian Giroux also managed to create some useful distraction from the team’s involvement and from the possible tension often following a public outburst of a threat such as this by glorifying the involvement of Captain Nathan Sterling in saving a small child who was wounded in the rampage. This has done some solid work in easing the tensions between the Jovians and the Planetary Consortium, as well as no doubt making Sterling’s handlers feel slightly less nervous about his involvement with FIREWALL and potential political blowback should that ever come out.
The team was able to determine various details about Tseng, including that he was a recent arrival to Progress, and that he apparently had come from Qing Long, a station technically within the Planetary Consortium, but known by anyone with half a brain cell as the home of the Triads. Some investigation led them to Wu Yang, a high ranking member of the 14K Triad. In return for their services, she would give the team what answers she was able. A secret research station had recently stopped reporting in, and Wu Yang suspected it was because either something unspeakable had happened to it, or it had been appropriated by a rival. She suspected that in either case one of her subordinates, Mak Hu, was responsible or would be using it to gain power over her.
Upon arriving at the station, the team found it to have been utterly overrun by the X-Threat. The threat going so far as to utterly change bodies both biological and synthetic. Despite being traumatized by event, Dr. Johannes Heidrich managed to safely obtain several samples for testing. Inside the station, a lone survivor was found, a research assistant named Brian Carr, who was largely responsible for sealing the station when the X-Threat escaped. Upon questioning him, the team discovered key aspects to the nature of this infection, including how it modifies bodies to receive electromagnetic stimuli and how it seems to modify the brain’s responses to that input. Carr was himself infected, but had managed to take steps to slow the infection process. He seemed relatively stable until his final moments, in which he sacrificed himself to annihilate the station’s reactor core, causing a terminal breach in the fusion reactors.
Based on the recordings and sensor data of the agents in question, it appears they were dealing with a femtoswarm at the reactor, and while it’s difficult to say exactly what the purpose was of the swarm based on the limited information available, it does appear as though the X-Threat was attempting to create reaction mass fuel and a propulsion system for the station. Had this system had time to activate, we would have had a roving station filled with a particularly nasty strain of Exsurgent drifting through the solar system. Destination, anywhere.
Also to be noted was that one of the infected was equipped with a emergency farcaster unit. We suspect that this was one of the administrators of the facility, but we cannot be sure. We are currently looking into where he went, because whatever location that was, it’s now likely having to deal with a similar outbreak. We’ve sent a general alert to every Proxy we have to be on the lookout for this thing, but so far we’ve had little luck.
With the power on the station dead, it would ideally be only a matter of time before the station went inert, leaving it for a cleanup team to annihilate. However, as the team was now one of the single largest sources of EM emissions, the remaining infected began to converge on them and the only other source of EM emissions, the kill team Mak Hu sent to keep Wu Yang from interfering in his plans to use this to discredit her (Information confirmed by way of “confession” gathered from Mak Hu and obtained by other agents). After dealing with the Kill Team, which had rendered the Sentinel’s pod inert, along with their own, the remaining population of the station’s infected flooded the docking area. The team laid waste to the attacking infected, then exited the station by way Captain Sterling’s Powered Armor propelling the ruined insertion pod away from the station to be picked up by Isaac Haakonsen, who I had finally been able to get back in the area to provide piloting support for the team again.
Upon returning to Qing Long, Wu Yang rewarded the team with her cooperation as well as some monetary compensation for their troubles. Most importantly, she revealed the source of the X-Threat and the reason the Triads had been working on it. The Consortium had been using a specially engineered version of the infection to cause the Triad’s agents to become subservient and compliant with Consortium desires, effectively nullifying much of the influence the Triad was attempting to exert upon the Consortium. In an attempt to combat the agent, the Triads obtained information regarding the wild variation of the infection, and managed to obtain a wild sample of the exobiological agent from a Barsoomian Terrorist Organization known as the Blue Dawn. In the experiments attempting to create a counteragent to the Consortium’s engineered variation, the combination of the wild agent and the engineered agent resulted in the terrifying hybrid that consumed the research station and threatened Progress. Based on the research done so far by Dr. Johannes Heidrich, it seems that the Exsurgent elements are present in the engineered strain, but to understand how that interacts with the exobiological agent, he will need the pure agent himself.
Having gathered that information, they returned to Progress on hearing a rumor about the child saved by Captain Sterling, only to find that the situation had somehow escalated to heightened security throughout the station, as well as the disappearance of Tseng Sueh-yen’s body and the removal of the case from local security, by way of some order referred to only as P.0234, information given to them by the Beta Fork of a Progress police officer named Cecilia Owens, who was in a badly damaged Swarmanoid body. Owens offered to assist in any way she could, if the players could help get her off Progress and away from the people hunting her. Deciding that Progress was too hot for any sort of operations, the team gathered their things and managed to rush through a flight plan to Mars. Not long after departing the station, their ship was breached by well armed and equipped commandos. The team dealt with the intruders, but were unable to question them, as they all were equipped with Farcaster Modules. Upon a careful investigation, it became clear that these commandos were operating for the Planetary Consortium, but to what degree would not be clear until later.
Based on additional information, it is now clear that the commandos were most likely from an organization known as Project Ozma, which is even more secretive than Firewall, but answers to the Consortium. Based on our analysis, they’re likely either trying to tie up loose ends, or attempting to use this agent for their own purposes.
Once on Mars, the team abandoned their spacecraft and attempted to lose their pursuers in the teeming masses of Mars’ many cities, as well as tracking down the Blue Dawn. Owens departed to hide herself in Noctis and to investigate what happened on Progress with aid of her own allies. After equipping themselves to survive on Mars, they eventually made their way to Ashoka, hoping to get information on the location of the Blue Dawn from others in the Barsoomian movement.
Reports from the team break down somewhat at this point, apparently some sort of internal dispute within the team erupted, the aftereffects of which are still being dealt with. Will recommend mandatory psychotherapy for the team at the end of this operation, assuming they survive. It is possible that Sojourner is an X-Threat, given how quickly the team deteriorated after being exposed to him. Recommend high priority investigation as soon as possible.
Despite the rift, the team managed to get information relevant to the investigation and made their way to Olympus, in search of a smuggler, Catherine Touzain, who was known for supplying the Blue Dawn, and would likely know the location of the Terrorist Organization.
Upon arriving at Olympus, the team was caught slightly off guard by the stricter customs area of the city, and when faced with declaring the large cache of weapons and armors they were carrying, Captain Sterling claimed them, using his influence to get the team past the customs inspection. This, however, earned him an audience with the administrator of the city, who was quite curious as to the interest the Jovian Republic had with Olympus. He managed to give the impression that he was in the area to inspect the quality of the security forces and the Titan Quarantine Zone, and with the pull of his superior at the Jovian Embassy, managed to get the story to pass with the Consortium Officials. However, the team quickly found that the Consortium was watching them closely. Neutralizing what they could, they began their investigation into finding Touzain, only to happen across a crime scene in the same section of the city they were hoping to scour for information where a group of smugglers had been brutally attacked just hours before.
The security officers reluctantly let some of the team onto the site, while the rest of the team began searching the nearby area, looking for other information. As the scene itself was being investigated, it began to become clear that those responsible for this were professionals with access to high end equipment, and that they took live captives and cortical stacks from their victims. Partway through the investigation, it became clear that a sniper was watching the team, with their sight set on Captain Sterling. With the sniper lit up on the team’s tactical network, several team members began to converge on the sniper’s position. Initially, the sniper ran, but when H.A.N.N.A.H. began to fly up to his position, he opened fire on the robotic flying octopus before making good the rest of his escape.
At this point, Kerem Kaplan went dark, and wouldn’t surface for quite some time, apparently to do some investigation without the rest of the team being involved.
The rest of the team, meanwhile, got caught up in a dangerous situation. Down two team members, one from violence, the other having disappeared without a word, they managed to track down what appeared to be the location of the team responsible for the sniper and the attack they were previously investigating. However, the attackers themselves posed as an Olympus security team, which gave them time to clean out their base of operations and leave the scene before suspicion was aroused. Olympus Security, aware that the local dignitary had been put in the line of fire, assigned a protective detail for Sterling and the rest of the team. Not sure if the detail were actually Olympus Security or more Commandos in disguise, Marshal, a barely functional H.A.N.N.A.H., Dr. Johannes Heidrich, Terrence Morden, and Nathan Sterling laid in wait to get the drop on their detail, very nearly killing one in the process. After an interrogation cut short by a heavy response security team, the team attempted to go to ground, with Dr. Johannes Heidrich being captured by Olympus Security. Acting quickly, the team hatched a plan to free the Doctor and clear their names in the public eye. Sebastian Giroux called in a favor with his contacts in the media and brought in Susan C. Carlisle, a high powered attorney who lived for high profile cases. With the help of her and Clay, a public relations Muse, gifted to Captain Sterling by his superiors at the Embassy, they managed to free their comrade and turn public attention towards the commandos masquerading as security personnel.
Shortly after this, Kerem resurfaced, requesting assistance with a lead he had uncovered from his own investigation. As the rest of the team was too publicly notorious at the moment, I was able to call in another agent that was in the area at the time, calling in a favor of my own to have her reassigned to my team. Blackjack comes highly recommended, and given her performance in her first mission with Kerem, I’ll definitely want to keep her on the team for the remainder of the operation, if not full time.
Kerem managed to track down Touzain’s base of operations in Olympus, but unfortunately, he was not alone. The commando team that had assaulted the smugglers days before was there as well, waiting for her to return. The resulting firefight ended with Terrence Morden rather impressively disabling a Reaper, allowing Kerem, Blackjack, and Touzain to escape in the confusion. Touzain, grateful for the rescue, gladly gave up all the information she had on the Blue Dawn, including the best ways to get to their base of operations inside the Titan Quarantine Zone.
Morden’s hack of the Reaper was quite possibly a one in a million sort of thing, given the reports of the commando’s hacker and his skill. More impressively, Morden managed to get access to a limited blacknet log from the Reaper, which while incomplete and limited, managed to answer several questions to how the commando team had been operating in Olympus. It also confirmed the origin of the commandos as elite agents of Project Ozma, looking to clean up loose ends.
Hoping to lose their notoriety in the public eye and follow up on the lead to the Blue Dawn, the team began obtaining new identities, faces, and transportation out of the city, while keeping it all as quiet as possible. After calling in all sorts of contacts and favors, they prepared to head out into the restricted wasteland that houses at its center some of the most terrible technology ever seen.
In a heavily modified Martian Rover, the team entered the TQZ several hours ago, and I haven’t heard from them since. I can only hope they find the Blue Dawn, get them to give up where they found the exobiological agent, and get out without waking the beast all of Mars tiptoes around.
Who the fuck has been editing my reports with this flowery shit? Johnny, is that you? And who’s adding these fucking addendums? Rache? What the fuck is wrong with you? Leave that shit to someone else, you shouldn’t even be reading these reports!