OUTPOST 27

Far to the north of the World of Progress, on the boundaries of the tundra wastes, lies the outpost known as 27. The real name of the outpost has long since been forgotten, but the legacy of what happened will live on forever.

Outpost 27 was a joint venture between Dark Lament and Karma, it was hailed as the beginning of the next stage of progress, as both corporate fronts put aside their differences and pledged to work together to bring about evolution to the world.

A year after the project started, a single person arrived back in Mort, brought there by the automated shuttle. Bleeding, broken, and drained of most of their bodily fluids, the person died within hours of returning to Mort, and a disinfectant team was sent out to the outpost to take care of the mess. Backed up by third eye and a full team of both Karma and Dark Lament technicians, they found the outpost still sealed up and locked down and made preparation to breach the door.

When the door was breached, the Ebon team leader from the Dark Lament crew immediately pulled his crew to a safe distance and advised that the others should not go in there. He would not comment on what he had sensed, merely that it was an abomination. The Dark Lament crew withdrew and pulled back to a safe distance while the others went in. The first level was fully sterile and all the isolation equipment was still intact, no trace of infection was evident, and the disinfectant team proceeded to secure it.

This done, a full sweep of the top floor and observation deck was made, no reference to what happened could be found, merely a series of logs from the various teams working there. It would seem from the logs that the scientists had been working on a way to fuse together the various technologies and sciences of their respective corporations. It seemed to the investigating teams that a breakthrough had been imminent, something that possessed attributes of both stormers and dark lament equipment, although the Karma crew that was present with the disinfectant team could not make any sense of. A request was made for the Dark Lament team to return and under threat of demotion and retirement, the team returned.

It was decided that the breakthrough had been made, and the actual creature was a small hybrid that possessed several different abilities, none of which had been catalogued by the teams that had been working on it. The reason for this is that the logs of the personal scientists had been kept on their respective levels.

Word was sent out to Head Office, and the order was given to investigate the other levels.

Level two was the living quarters for most of the civilian staff, and nothing of interest was found there, all the personal effects were strewn about as nothing had happened. No traces of a struggle, injury, or anything else untowards was found, however, all personal data on the computer records had been erased. Only the personal, hand written log of the head of the Karma team, a Doctor Thomas Howard Edward Hunt, a known and respected member of the community, was found in his quarters. One of the Karma team was left behind with a small escort, both to decipher the journal and keep the other team informed as to what was discovered.

The main team progressed to the second level, where the main Karma facility was maintained. Main power had failed in this area and emergency power was being used at the time, casting a red glow over everything. The bio tanks used for keeping the masses of vat grown tissue were still loaded except for three, these three were cracked by some sort of organic blade. The weapons specialist of the disinfectant team indicated that the tanks had been broken from the inside, the Karma team said that this wasn't possible, it simply wasn't possible to break free of a stasis tube. In the level above, the personal logs seemed to confirm this. No other details were forthcoming as all the other data was on the computers and this too had been wiped from the machines.

The team progressed to the fourth level, where the Dark Lament equipment had been stored. The level was constructed to make the team working there feel comfortable, and as such was covered with Glyphs and Dark Lament equipment. Again, no bodies were found, and the access codes to the computers down there had been changed by something. The Dark Lament team reported that there was evidence of active Dark Lament equipment on the level, but couldn't pinpoint the source of the signal. The personal log seemed to indicate that research on the Dark Lament level had reached s lower level of progress than the Karma team, although it was agreed by the disinfectant team that this could have been mere sour grapes on the part of the Karma team.

The final levels of the facility were designated as test bed areas, and the decision was made to send down the main disinfectant team to investigate what was going on down there. A twelve man fireteam went down, covering the level in standard closed formation. As they progressed down to level five, they reported that the level was under water, some four feet of it. The transcribing team up on level two reported that this was normal, the liquid was not in fact water, but amniotic fluid of a sort. The Team requested clarification before proceeding. One member of each of the Dark Lament and Karma teams went down to test the liquid.

Upstairs, the transcribing team had found a rather disturbing turn of events, it appears that the fusion of the two technologies was going better than expected, and several new virii had been created as well as one prospective new type of stormer. All the Virii were being kept in the Karma stasis tanks and were well under control, the same could not be said of the new stormer. It showed remarkable ability to learn and adapt to things, and an increasing appetite for nourishment.

Down below, the analysis had revealed that the liquid was harmless, and the scanners could detect no life in there, so a full sweep of the level was authorised and the team proceeded into the liquid.

At this point, what actually happened within the facility is a little hazy, the Third Eye crew reported back that the transcribing crew had called an emergency recall of the team below, punching all their available data through to the team monitoring at Head Office. This call was not responded to by the disinfectant team or the team on level four, and as the third eye team made preparations to depart, one of them picked up the journal where it sat and read the last line.

27th day of 901 SD
The research progresses well, however, I am a little concerned that the tranquilisers don't seem to be working on the creature any longer, we will have to make special efforts to maintain the controllability of this remarkable animal. We will have to find a method that makes sure that the creature can be subjected to chemicals that will not be adapted to, but which will not prove to be lethal.

The second matter is a report I received from the Dark Lament team on level five a few minutes ago, in it, they seem to indicate that the creature is hungry. This report wasn't sent in the usual protocol, rather in large red capital letters with the single word "HUNGRY", I am on my way down to the lower levels to investigate what they are referring to.

No member of the team made it back to the emergency shuttle, and the executive decision to destroy the shuttle as it approached the city was made before contact could be made. Outpost 27 currently stands, a silent monument to what Progress can achieve.

Of the information that was brought back, four new diseases and some information regarding the new stormer was received. It was decided that the continuing transmissions from the base were too dangerous to intercept given the nature of the first disease, which the scientists had given the classification 1174m.

1174m is a disease that can be transmitted by sound alone and only targets Karma enhanced or created beings. It causes a cellular degredation within the neural pathways leading to madness and death and was the dark lament teams first breakthrough. Nothing is known of whether or not the virus is still active at this time and no plans have been made to move forwards on this line of research, as it would prove too dangerous to ever run the risk of it getting loose.

Of the other diseases, one is a disease that has a long gestation period, and is not immediately lethal, however, the implications are again, too dire to consider. This disease was named Sanction by the Karma teams, and was designed to directly affect chemical production within the brains of those infected by it. The disease can be passed on through any body fluids, and has no other side effects during the gestation period. Once the gestation period had been finished, the diseases main effects would come to light. In all races except those using Dark Lament technology, this would have no effect, however, in the brains of those using such equipment, it would cause an immediate and (in most cases) fatal allergy to the aforementioned equipment. From the notes later listed, the aim of this particular project was to be able to render dangerous ebb criminals unable to use their abilities due to their lack of access to equipment. The only sticking point of the disease was the extended gestation period, which could lead to complications if the aforementioned criminals were allowed out on bail.

The third disease was propagated by the Dark Lament team and was the exact opposite of the second disease, causing rejection of Karma implants by those using them. At this point, neither of these diseases has designations, and at this point, there are no further plans for the research of either of these to continue.

The final disease was deemed so dangerous that no records of it were ever released from head office, and the details of it are currently kept in the higher levels of Stigmartyr.

Of the creature itself, little is known, it is small, less than a foot square, possessed of genius level intelligence, with a capability to adapt to any form of chemical or toxin that isn't instantly fatal. The creatures last evolution had it in the appearance of a small scorpion like creature with an amazing rate of movement. It is not known whether or not the creature is still residing in the outpost, but it has been theorised by those studying the data that without a source of food, the creature would not be able to make the trip back to mort central. But even if it could, SLA is confident that they could detect it before it got anywhere near.

The resolution regarding outpost 27 has not yet been made, however, given the speed of SLA decisions in matters of this urgency, it is presumed that a resolution will be made in the next twenty years.