07

Apr 2016

Essence of Nightshade – Introduction and Forward

Posted by / in Lore / 6 comments

I’ve had a devil of a time trying to learn more about Agent Nightshade/Thalia Gordon, whatever her name is.  With a bit of effort, I managed to trace the email I uncovered from Kubek to “Nightshade” to a private, unlisted server.  The security was intricate, but ultimately inconsequential, and on it, I discovered YEARS of data.  Log entries, half-started stories, journals, and more. It will take some time to sift thru it all and pull out the salient pieces of information.  I’ll copy the important bits to my personal folder as I find them.

Below is the first in a series of journals that appear to have been written by Gordon herself.

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05

May 2015

Mirage – Part 8

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[Read Part 7]

I spent days in a sedated torpor. From the moment I was strapped into a gurney in back of the APC, I was fed intravenously on a numbing chemical diet. The pain that had become my natural state of being was washed away in a cool obliterating wave. I’d stepped outside the language of time, into that unbroken wilderness of being, and nothing mattered anymore. At one point, I thought I might be dead, and decided that I didn’t mind. After the seemingly endless physical and emotional hellstorm I had endured, it was such an indescribable relief to let go of it all. It was the first time I’d ever experienced such absolute peace.

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21

Apr 2015

Mirage – Part 6

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[Read Part 5]

Are you familiar with the term “cognitive dissonance?” I wouldn’t blame you if you aren’t. They don’t teach it at the Aegis Officers’ Academy. There, I had been taught orders, the giving and receiving thereof, and the mechanical purity of thought that all soldiers throughout history have required to function in their duty. Cognitive dissonance is a psychological problem for those who can’t sublimate their own morality on the battlefield. It is the mental stress of trying to hold two contradicting ideas at once. This concept existed in the classroom, but only as an unspoken consequence for those who failed to rewrite their moral code to include justice, victory, murder, and destruction in the same line. I thought I could perform this psychological sleight-of-hand, but back then, war only existed on screens and papers. Murder was just a theory. That was before I hefted the weight of real human lives, turned them over in my palms, and tried to make them vanish up my sleeves.

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14

Apr 2015

Mirage – Part 5

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[Read Part 4]

I’ve never used a servosuit before, though my third father and his team wore prototype models on their expedition in 2086. That was my first impression of Aegis – impossibly powerful men wearing metal plates on their bodies and translucent domes over their heads. The reality, for those of you who don’t get out of headquarters very often, is much less mythical. Standard Aegis soldiers are still wearing kevlar and camouflage, and the servosuits reserved for spec ops were barely worth the heartache they caused. Prone to locking up and highly dependent on battery life, the Hercules servosuits I knew were little more than mechanical braces attached to a soldier’s arms, legs, and back. They were small enough to fit under a uniform, but they allowed users to wear heavier body armor and they supposedly helped stave off fatigue. They were hardly bulletproof, which was why Professor Garza’s concern seemed unusual to me.

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07

Apr 2015

Mirage – Part 4

Posted by / in Lore / 4 comments

[Read Part 3]

The chase is still a blur to me. I remember diving into the dark and humming insides of the dome, submerging in machinery as my thoughts had submerged into the binary survival code. There were quite a few stairs, and tiered catwalks rising up between the bronze gills of the air filtration system. The voices of our pursuers, and even the rap of their stolen firearms, were muted by the strange acoustics of the maintenance block and the buzz of ultraviolet particle separators around us. The encroaching desert hung in the air like an orange mist, sticking in our lungs and weighing down our every pounding step.

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