“When falsehood can look so like the truth, who can assure themselves of certain happiness?”
The entire Administration was off-world and many of the brightest and most influential scientists were cut off or killed. The iron grip Administration held over the Convention vanished unleashing sheer chaos in their wake. Experiments meant to be confined to the lab are now free to threaten the Consensus. The Convention used their bed side manner to put off the rest of the Union while it concealed the extent of the damage. The old guard hunkered down in their clinics and laboratories to try to make the most of a terminal diagnosis, but the younger members of the Convention saw it as an opportunity to right the wrongs of the past. So-called action scientists now rise within the ranks of the Progenitors challenging the Convention to take their oath seriously, but temptations abound. In the process of putting the Convention’s genie’s back in the bottle they come face to face with what a treasure such burdens are. Unprepared for both the greatness and amorality of the past Administration’s Science, Progenitors of today must choose to continue along this path to greatness at any cost or sacrifice it for a more humble yet humane road.
There are stories that will never get told. As the Anomaly cast its shadow across the Awakened they fell deepest when it came to the Progenitors. The untold horrors and wonders hidden away in obscure corners of the world. The things that slipped through the Portals to Earth before the Anomaly. The archives filled with transgressive research and forbidden knowledge. Such was the burden and birthright thrust upon the unwitting heirs of the Convention. And they did the best they could to put the evils of the past back in the box. The Anomaly and the civil war were a smoke screen that allowed the Convention to do the much needed housecleaning that was long over due. The most blatant experiments that were unleashed up on the world were put down, and the experimental labs were shuttered or concealed. By the time the Anomaly passed, the other Conventions saw the contrite scientists and humble doctors, ready to serve with compassion, hands held behind their backs. The Convention assumed things would get better once the Anomaly passed, but they were wrong. Life, if anything, is resilient, and off-world Colonies and Horizon Constructs were wrought from the raw forces of life. They held strong against the Anomaly, but at a great price. The Portals to these Realms opened once more, and now the Convention must contend with what they find. Madness, Corruption, and experiments warped by the winds of the Anomaly. The Convention has had its hands full over the last 20 years, and the internal struggles are on-going.
It’s been more than just Damage Control sealing Portals and putting down rogue experiments. After a few years of chaos with labs operating with little oversight, the Convention was reorganized on the highest levels. They elected to create a Shared Governance Council (SGC) in 2008 which now governs the Convention. This is a radical change from Administration in two ways. First, the Convention’s leaders are no longer faceless masters issuing orders through clones from distant Realms. The Counselors are elected from the ranks Research Directors which means they have names and construct assignments, and their reputations and Science are a matter of public record. Secondly, Councilors term out, and must run again to maintain their seat which ensures they stay hungry rather than comfortable. No longer resting on their laurels, the Counselors must also be engaged in research or field work which means they labor under the conditions and policies they create.
Over the last 20 years there has been a tidal shift stemming from SGC policy. Grants and Requisitions refusing to fund certain research either because of ethical concerns, or vocal opposition from incoming action scientist leader researchers and field operatives. This shift wreaked havoc on the Convention at first as long-term projects had their funding cut, new projects that found funding were stabotaged as the civil war escalated. Despite protests, complaints, and several nearly successful internal wars, SGC and Grants and Requisitions won out. The Convention’s current direction turned away from the inhumane off-world research to face the Earthly problems they are uniquely equipped to help.
The Council reaffirmed and redefined the three principals, but also informally began including a fourth: compassion. This remains controversial with the old guard scoffing and laughing at the “bleeding heart” younger members, but those actually working in the field have to face those they may hurt. As Applied Sciences has risen within the Convention’s ranks compassion has become increasingly important, but how to move forward remains unclear. For example, the continued production of street drugs quietly divides the Convention, but the money and fear of the Pharmacopoeists makes it a thorny issue to address head on. The ethics of cloning and the creation of life remains hotly debated, and inspections from Ethical Compliance remains all too common. To make matters more complicated, Convention members continue to return from the Colonies which require assessments, quarantines, and debriefs. Progenitors have had to do this discreetly or contend with NWO White Suits evaluating FACADE. There are rumors the Convention is harboring more than a few disgraced members of Administration in off-world prisons, but the official word is that the former leadership died with the Anomaly. Whether or not the Convention’s renewed commitment to its oath is genuine or lip service that conceals unethical science or even corruption is a question to be answered. Perhaps, like life itself, the answer is more complicated.
- FACADE Engineers – FACADE is both well known, and yet, almost completely unknown. The Methodology is a dark fantasy told by Tradition mages full of scientist-thugs that take you in the night and replace you with a clone. Their reputation is little better among the Technocrats, and the Methodology has traditionally done little to dispel such myths. All of that has changed after the Anomaly, and FACADE has had their shadowy reputation rehabilitated with the help of the NWO. Prior to the Anomaly, FACADE performed their work in secret Colonies and Horizon Constructs wherein they were almost literal gods with absolute power over life. When the Anomaly came, FACADE was crippled, and thrown into a tailspin. Cut off from their leadership with a civil war brewing, they floundered when faced with the arduous task of reconstructing their facilities on Earth. Lucky for them the New World Order was able to help. Long over due audits were performed, accounting done, and numerous vanity projects and excesses were excised under the watchful eye of a bevy of T-1 NWO administrative personnel. White Suits and Ivory Tower Managers refocused the Methodology on what is important: preparing the masses for advances in cloning technology, and the covert production of clones for use by the NWO. Many now wonder if FACADE is a Progenitor Methodology in name only as NWO Administrators seem to be calling the shots. Some even claim that the cleaning up of FACADE is the NWO’s crowning achievement during the civil war. All reports indicate things are going great, and after a brief period of friction, the Methodology is now operating at top efficiency. The cloning tanks are warm and humming, and the clones just get better and better. After the Anomaly, a small cadre of Research Directors and Primary Investigators returned to the fold from the off-world Colonies. The expectation was a return to past organizational structure, but after being debriefed, the returning Scientists seemed content to let the NWO continue shoulder the bureaucratic burden. Questions, of course, came up concerning the off-world facilities. Official word is that these facilities, the cradles of technological rebirth, were damaged beyond salvaging, and should remain closed for safety reasons. The returning Scientists barely survived through advanced use of cloning procedures, and have no knowledge of how the other research stations fared. Of course once the Void Engineers ships are ready we will seek them out, and of course FACADE will once again share the secrets of immorality with the rest of the Conventions. Until that time, why focus on the past when the Consensus continues to welcome the Methodology’s Earth-based Science with open arms? If success is one’s proof, then FACADE has more than enough to justify their outsized budget. Who wants to live forever, anyway? For the first time in its history FACADE has begun to operate cross-Methodology labs, and has even invited a few other Conventions in to review their work. This new transparency has replaced suspicion and secrecy with trust and integrity. Truly, they are an example of what the Union post civil war should be.
- Genenineers – With a reputation as the more approachable cousin of FACDE, the Methodology rose to prominence during the Pogroms of 1990s on a flight of elegant biohacks and souped up warrior beasts. Their star was eclipsed when cheap, easy to use Pharmacopoeist drugs flooded the Technocratic markets in the early 2000s. The clinic waiting rooms where there were once throngs of would-be patients seeking enhancements and mods now stood empty. The Anomaly coupled with the civil war saw the Methodology turn inward. Freed from the constraints of oversight the Methodology finally had the freedom it needed to soar again on the flights of Enlightened Science. They fed the Pogroms with sleek genetically altered beasts for hunting Reality Deviants, and members of the Methodology would very much like to see the Union restart the Pogroms (for the benefit of humanity of course). As luck would have it, Pharmacopoeist drugs were fair weather friends when downsides of was dependency revealed. As supply chains dried up and the civil war heated up surreptitious requests for Enhancement procedures and requisitions for gene-engineered personal protection animals began to pour in. In the 21st century, the Methodology is something of an enfant terrible de milieu. Stuck in a rivalry between the slick, off the shelf products of the Pharmacopoeist and the legendary prestige of FACADE, they are in the unenviable position simply not being able to please all of the Techcnocrats all of the times. The Methodology now divides its time in two areas. The first proving that whatever the other Methodologies can do, the Genenineers can do better. They have retreated into the labs and clinics where they continue to push the limits of Enlightened Science. How they are able to do this and evade Rejection is unknown. The second is actually concerned for the Sleepers, and are using their brilliance to improve the lives of humanity. The assumption is that the two camps maintain mutually exclusive attitudes, but this is far from the case. Cutting edge Science with applications in the mundane world all the time. They agree that the means justify the ends if it brings humanity one step closer to perfection. More strident Genenineers can be found in biotech startups where they push the limits of the Consensus by feeding recent trends in biohacking. Sleeper biohackers and the wealthy flock to unlicensed black box clinics where all manner of bleeding edge procedures are performed. If they have their way then it won’t be long before such clinics will be common and accepted like in cyberpunk novels.
- Pharmacopoeists – The Pharmacopoeists grew in the shadow of FACADE for most of the 20th century. Their original mission was a noble one, but the money turned out to be too good for such noble intentions. They cultivated relationships with organized crime, and the litany of transgressions was rivaled only by the number of zeros on the checks. The Anomaly briefly disrupted supply chains and briefly made development on Earth more difficult, but the Methodology had the money and resources to return to fighting form. From an operations standpoint, things have changed very little. Unlike the Geneineers and FACADE who were destabilized by the civil war, the Pharmacopoeists just saw it as an opportunity to meet the needs of a growing market. The Pharmacopoeists are the golden children of the the Technocracy, and they dominate the Convention’s politics. The ease of use, portability, and covert nature of their work makes them the go-to Methodology. Their money offers them prestige making them beloved by the Syndicate and the Convention as a whole. They also strike quite a bit of fear. During the civil war, the Methodology ensured the Convention’s most important holdings remained safe and its truly secret labs remained secret. The blend of icy self-control, psychotic violence, and cunning brilliance evinced by their organized crime allies makes them terrifying foes. No one brings up the ethics of these relationships mostly out of fear and greed. Such questions are unmutual. Despite the opioid crisis, the Pharmacopoeists seem the least interested in changing.
- Applied Sciences- The Applied Sciences teams have always kept their focus on Earth so any damage they suffered due to the Anomaly was collateral. The crushing loss of the Colonies coupled with the civil war thrust the AS divisions into the center of the political fight. Various opposing factions warred over the divisions in attempts to either make them their own Methodology or to absorb them into the other Methodologies. These thinly veiled attempts at power grabs and funding theft were rebuffed through deft political maneuvers, or in the case of the Biosphere Explorers and Scene Investigators, just saying out in the field till it all blew over. The winds blew in the divisions’ favor, however. While still not an official Methodology, Applies Sciences is governed by a the Applied Sciences Joint Council (ASJC) which represents the division’s interests within the Convention at large. Having few Scientists in the Otherworlds, the divisions now boast some of the most powerful Research Directors and Councilors putting them on equal footing with the other Methodologies. Where they once were marginal, Applied Sciences has now achieved the recognition they deserve. Labs still represent prestige, but younger members don’t seem as interested in pure science as they were in the past. New recruits flock to the interdisciplinary amalgams where they can actually put science into practice making the divisions suddenly competitive.
- The Agronomists – Still boring, still steady, and still absolutely indispensable. The division has found common cause with the Explorers and Preservationists to develop sustainable food sources in the face of changing climate, and Médecins Sans Superstition to create food programs in under served communities.
- Deviancy Scene Investigators & Damage Control – The work of Deviancy Scene Investigators and Damage Control has become so blurred it is hard to tell one from the other. The 21st century world of darkness is full of unknown horrors. Where they were once made of ad hoc teams, fully funded and staffed amalgams simply known as DSI-DCs (Deecy-Dees) amalgams now operate all over the globe. Having been on the front lines, old school DSI opposed the ending of the Pogroms, but their attitudes remain pragmatic. They actually deal with the monsters, and any arguments about not putting that salivating maw of teeth are purely academic.
- Psychopharmacopoeists – The turn of the millennium has made for strange bedfellows. Psychopharmacopoeists have found new life and a new patron in the NWO with whom they found common cause in the rehabilitation of FACADE. The relationship was so successful that the NWO has included them in their healing of divisions and team building efforts post-civil war. They can also be found within the ranks of MSS teams, but most importantly DSI-DS teams counseling those who suffered trauma as a result of close encounters with deviancy. The Convention now jokes that the Psychopharmacopoeists have learned a few “Jedi mind tricks” from the Order.
- Biosphere Explorers – During the Anomaly, the terrestrial Explorers tripled in numbers. Most Constructs now house an Explorer team that can be deployed. Where they once operated in tiny, isolated research outposts with scrappy, crackerjack teams, they now boast fully funded expedition rosters complete with security personnel. That security is needed as the work they do has become increasingly dangerous and important. Sure, they still scout the far regions of the Earth for fresh research materials for the other Methodologies, but they are also facing increased threats of Fortean kind. The Anomaly tore away the barriers or woke up long sleeping horrors that the Explorers must now contend with in their work. So far, the benefits to humanity (and the profits) make the risk worth the reward. It is common to see small, specially trained teams of Deviancy Scene Investigators and NWO Operatives working in tandem with the Explorers in order to ensure the threats are contained, and Sleepers reassured that they did not see that Yeti.
- Médecins Sans Superstition – Money has poured into this division as a nominal act of atonement by the other Methodologies perhaps for trangessions of the past. One wing of this division has been engaged in a media blitz concerning equity within healthcare, and it isn’t just lip service. They are honestly trying to engender more trust among margainlized communities who have traditionally been undeserved by healthcare. These efforts are lead by the second wing of the division that works on the ground to better the lives of Sleepers. Such marginal places tend to attract deviancy so as a result, the MSS, who’s mission were always peaceful in the past, are more and more frequently accompanied by DSI-DCs teams to neutralize threats to these communities. Their intentions are good, but more often than not they do more harm than good. They have not yet lost hope.
- Ethical Compliance – EC used the civil war as an opportunity to clean house. Without warning. Quietly. Very quietly. Labs were radied, clinics were shut down, and shots fired. If the Convention harbors doubts about what motivated these strikes no one has voiced them. The dozen EC chiefs are the public face of the division, and they make statements when they have to. Rumors of a host of deputies, constables, and agents that have insinuated themselves into the Convention, hiding in plain sight remain unconfirmed. Talk of a culling of the Fallen or the Mad abound. Such talk is unmutual.
- Preservationists – Preservationists are second only to the Explorers in size and competition for recruits. The two often work in tandem to find solutions to the climate crisis. Their main outpost can be found in the arctic, but Preservationist constructs can be found all over the globe. Amalgams include or even workhand-in-hand with the Macrotechnicians of Iteration X. They provide expert insight on the levels of pollution and the environmental impact for modern-day recycling.
- The Shalihotran Society – While animal medicine was once derided as inferior, the Society has found a new life working with DSI-DC teams where their cryptozoology experts help the teams combat the Frotean foes they encounter.
Progenitors In Los Angeles
Los Angeles in a state of constant emergency. Shootings. Riots. Car crashes. Good thing the Progenitors are here to help. Progenitors can be found within university medicine, or out in the field taking down deviants and investigating scenes with ease compared to that of other Conventions. The Progenitors’s public face is the Great Stone Mother Society, and to a lesser extent Cold Canyon Investigations. The rest of the Convention and its activities remain discreetly tucked away from the eyes of the Masses and the attentions of the Enlightened.
- Counselor Pan Liu – Counselor Liu’s was the child of Korean and Chinese immigrant shopkeepers who lost everything in the LA Roits. Her mother died during the violence, and many attribute these scars for her passion she has for medicine. She won a scholarship to UCLA medical school, and began her career from there. Her brilliant mind and ability to connect with patients brought her to the attention of the Progenitors where she was recruited as a T-10. Counselor Liu rose through the ranks of the Convention during the 1990s, and took over the Primary Investigator role of the Great Stone Mother Society after her mentor Bea Newbear vanished after the Anomaly.
- Great Stone Mother Society – The oldest Progenitor amalgam in L.A. has been operating since the 1930s. They pioneered emergency medicine, and use the facility to not only advance medical science within the Consensus, but heal the wounds caused by reality terrorism. Virtually every Progenitor that spends any length of time in Los Angeles works for the Society in some capacity before being placed elsewhere. The Society is lead by Counselor Pan Liu who still oversees a veritable army of T-0 to T-4 personnel from all Methodologies and divisions. Liu is known for her chaotic yet effective management style refined from years of emergency medicine, and her love of children. The amalgam is broken up into three divisions. The research arm operates out of an LAC+USC Medical School cover where they advance the Time Table, and recruit the best and brightest into the Convention. The emergency division maintains a small, secret hypertech wing within the hospital for Technocracy agents needing emergency medical attention. Enlightened and Extraordinary physicians rotate through the third division in the medical clinic within One Wilshire where all non-emergency treatments are performed.
- Biotechnica – A recent addition to Los Angeles, Biotechnica was founded by a protege of Counselor Liu, Primary Investigator Dr. Robert Sinclair in the early 200os. Rumors surrounding Biotechnica are scant, but they suggest some sort of falling out between Sinclair and Liu over the direction of the Convention in LA. Some say he traded his independence by declining to run for the seat on the Council of Shared Governance that Liu holds. Others think Liu gave him his own shop to give him enough rope to hang himself. Either way, there is no love lost between the two. Sinclair makes no bones that he thinks the Convention must be more proactive concerning the Time Table whereas Liu favors a more compassionate approach. Biotechnica operates a dozen or so biotech start-ups around California where it trials its hypertech biomods for the Consensus. Sinclair has made it known that he intends to commercialize the biotech sector, and his followers have launched an aggressive lobbying campaign at the capital. Biotechnica agents have spread through LA tasked with endless collection charm offensives and research within the health and sanitation departments. A small cell of his T-1 operatives were recently reprimanded for trying to enter the Great Stone Mother without the proper credentials. Sinclair says he doesn’t know anything about it.
- Los Angeles General – Located at 1200 State Street, Los Angeles General AKA the Great Stone Mother was once the beating heart of the Convention in Los Angles. As the “birthplace of emergency medicine,” the Art Deco–style Los Angeles County General Hospital was considered a state-of-the-art institution at the time of its opening in 1933. The 800-bed teaching hospital played a vital role in the community and earned the affectionate nickname “Great Stone Mother,” an allusion to the building’s cascading concrete hospital wings. The New Deal–era structure was built amid the Great Depression and was designed by Allied Architects’ Association of Los Angeles, a consortium of local architects that took on various municipal projects across the region. Sleeper legends about the building being haunted were only made worse by Awakened rumors that the building was somehow alive. For a time, the entire Convention operated out of a single construct hidden in several secret wings cleverly hidden within the buildings many architectual folds. When Rejections spiked in the 1990s for unknown reasons (officially at least), the Convention was forced to temporarily abandon the building under the excuse that it was not up to California’s seismic code. Plans to move to a new facility were in the works, but the Anomaly and civil war delayed those plans until 2008. The Great Stone Mother now stands abandoned in the eyes of the Sleepers, but FACADE transferred their operations to the building in 2010. Whether the facility is a major hub for cloning or simply a warehouse for cold storage is unknown. Regardless, the clones keep coming. The amalgam that runs the facility doesn’t even have a name. It goes by code names such as Leafdale, Rose Hill, or Sultana, but these change too often for anyone to stick. Security is tight and only FACADE operatives are allowed to pass into its complex layers of security. Only the elite actually enter the Stone Mother. Newer members are tasked with less exciting tasks such as printing organs, replicating limbs, or growing skin grafts to help field agents recover while vying for the brass ring. All of this is done over at the new LAC+USC Medical Center facility. You gotta make your bones before they let you into the Great Mother.
- Cold Canyon Investigations (CCI) – A mixed Methodology operating out of One Wilshire, CCI runs the Union’s forensic lab. Lead by Deputy Chief Medical Officer Tyron Washington, a tough-as-nails veteran of the Ascension War, CCI also houses Damage Control and Ethical Compliance. Washington grew up on the streets of Compton, but worked as an EMT during the LA riots where he first became Empowered. Recruited and mentored by Liu herself when he arrived at LAC Medical Center with an ambulance full of stablized patients who should have been DOA, Washington rose quickly through the ranks. Nearly every front line operative fondly recalls a kindly African-American man chewing teaberry gum asking the important questions no one else thinks to ask. He formed CCI in the wake of the Anomaly, and oversees the Covention’s investigatory arm.
- Stonehouse – Stonehouse is a code name for a former Progenitor street-ops Amalgam. Damage Control disbanded them. Officially, they were reassigned. Rumors that they refused to go quietly persist. The name still comes up now an then in reports, and its never good.