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  • Firanai
    started a topic The transcendent alliance in aberrant

    The transcendent alliance in aberrant

    hangeOne thing that surprised me after reading the aberrant manuscript is how many of the alliances from the core are mentioned but the transcendent alliance is nowhere to be seen. I find this kind of weird because I believe the organization offers a ton of potential for this setting. As such I want to offer my vision of the organization in the nova age. Feel free to use this material and tell me what do you think. Thanks.

    The New Transcendent Alliance

    "Become unto like a god or perish as a mortal."

    History:

    By 2018 the alliance had grown considerably in wealth and influence thanks to their research breakthroughs and continued investments in the tech sector. Humanity had developed a never-ending hunger for the next gadget or application and the alliance was more than happy to ride the wave. However, as a result of ideological differences between two factions, the alliance was going through and internal strife that threatened to tear the organization apart.
    The transcendence alliance main objective, as its name and motto suggest, has always being to transcend the limits of the human condition through science and technology, even if that meant crossing a few legal, and ethical, lines. However, all the sacrifices would be worth it as the alliance would carry the rest of humanity to the next stage of their evolution. Sadly, for all the technological developments that humanity was going through, research in human augmentation technologies, and their acceptance among society and governments remained frustratingly slow and scarce.
    As such, a growing group of younger members within the alliance argued that, although human augmentation tech was desirable, it was too expensive and society too skeptical to fully embrace it. The alliance should focus their research on other areas more accepted by the general population to keep their influence and power growing. The old guard saw this as a betrayal while the younger members saw their obsession as a burden.
    Then N-day came and everything changed.
    Suddenly, gods were walking among humanity who made even the most advanced cyborgs and other augmented humans of the alliance look like cheap imitations. To add salt to the wound, individual genius novas developed in weeks and months technologies that had taken the best research teams of the alliance years and decades to develop, only to release them for free and without regard for the consequences.
    The novas had replaced the alliance as the new guides of human evolution.
    This could not, WOULD NOT, stand. The alliance had to change and adapt no matter what.
    Ironically, the nova age brought the one thing that the alliance always wanted: a true embrace of transhumanism. Novas had changed the playing field and baselines were looking for anything that would give them an advantage, anything. People all over the world pressured governments to lift restrictions on human augmentation research as support for their development raised. Suffice to say the alliance was more than happy to provide.
    Despite all the nova tech breakthroughs, the alliance still had a huge headstart after decades of research. They leverage their knowledge and vast wealth to create a conglomerate of corporations, with many focused on different aspects of human augmentations, that became a success as governments, companies, and people invested massive amounts of cash In a period of only a few years, the conglomerate became THE place to go if you wanted to augment yourself.
    However, the alliance understood that they needed to fully co-opt the transhumanism movement if they truly wanted to pave the way to the future. As such, they created a global social club for the new augmented humans to increase their numbers and invested in pr campaigns to make society embrace their ideals. The alliance grew exponentially and continues to grow as they pursue their ultimate objective: True transcendence.
    The alliance finds itself in a mixed situation in 2028. Their ideals are more popular than ever and their influence can be felt everywhere, and yet their new position is also very fragile. The massive influx of members and resources has allowed them to grow fast, perhaps too fast, not all the new members are ok with how the alliance handles things, factions have formed and each one has their own ideas about how the alliance should move forward.
    The most common differences in opinion come from the following topics: Should the alliance remain a secret organization or should it go full public? What is the right path of human evolution? Where do they put the limit in their research methods? Should the organization become more democratic? These questions are becoming more coming in the alliance and sooner or later the senior members will have to address them or the alliance will lose everything it has achieved.

    Organization:

    The core of the transcendence alliance remains pretty much the same: an informal network of influential individuals guided by the most senior members to achieve their common goals. They conduct their most important research projects in countries with flexible laws using companies whose activities can't be traced back to them. They usually carry their operations via disposable assets taken from freelancers, security companies and the criminal world. However, their continuous growth has put a strain on the senior members' leadership as they struggle to maintain order with the new influx of members and their new ideas. The solution to the problem was born as a compromise between the different factions within the alliance regarding the issue of secrecy. The senior members agreed that the alliance needed a public side to interact with the rest of society and spread their message, while the younger members agreed that a certain amount of secrecy was still necessary for the most controversial projects. To achieve this they created two organizations to act as a front for the core of the alliance. These are the new organizations:

    Transcendence enterprises:

    The alliance had always used corporations in some form or another. However, these always remained dispersed to maintain secrecy. Since public opinion about human augmentation had improved and restrictions softened, the alliance decided to change tactics and create a conglomerate with their most successful corporations. The objective was to improve collaboration and management not just between the corps but also between the members of the alliance. The conglomerate is where the alliance recruits their members responsible for the management and research of the alliance. Some of the companies that form the conglomerate include: Vitae, pharmacological research; Cyberself, cybernetic augmentation; Hermes Networks, telecommunications; Steel Security, private security; Omni-tech, smartphones and other gadgets, and many more. Of course, the alliance keeps a few corporations detached from the conglomerate to handle their most secret research projects.

    The Transcendence club:

    This organization is a social club for augmented humans. As the name implies it's heavily sponsored by transcendence enterprises but they welcome all augmented humans regardless of where they have gotten their augmentations. The main objective of the club is to provide a place for augmented humans to socialize and network. They also organize several charitable events to provide free augmentations and healthcare, sponsor tech and augmented related events and hold parties where the members show their latest augmentations. The objective of the club is to act as the public relations of the alliance and spread their message to the world. So far they have been quite successful, but the club has also gained a reputation as an elitist society who's really only open for the rich who can afford the best augmentations.

    The black book:

    The black book is the codename for a heavily encrypted network of nodes that contain the information about the handlers, agents, and freelancers that handle the clandestine operations of the alliance (the public ones are handled by the steel legion operatives). The network is handled by two groups: The Gatekeepers, experts in cybersecurity with the task of making sure the network stays operative, secure, and updated; and the S.O.M. (special operations managers), experienced members of the alliance tasked with expanding and protecting the alliance from the shadows. The S.O.M. creates the operation and passes the objectives to the handler who then makes the plan and recruits the team to execute it. No S.O.M. has access to the whole network, which is designed so gatekeepers can cut one node in case it becomes compromised. S.O.Ms are created and retired as necessary. Some last only a week, while others have been active for years, it all depends on what the objective requires.

    Factions:

    Seven factions are currently fighting to claim the reins of the alliance. They're not official entities, just ideological social groups. The struggle remains mostly friendly for the simple reason that they gain more working together, but in the rapidly changing world of aberrant new circumstances could tip the balance of power at any moment. This is their description:
    • Transhumanists: This is the oldest faction of the alliance. For a moment it looked like they were going to lose their position to the Edisons, but the nova age has put them right at the top again. They believe that humanity has to take control of their evolution and push human augmentation research to transcend by any means necessary.
    • Edisons: Called like that as a joke, they now embrace the name as a challenge. The Edisons are the company men and women more worried about profit than actual transcendence. It's not that they don't believe in the ideals of the alliance, it's just that they believe they should be tempered with a healthy dose of pragmatism, transcendence won't be free after all.
    • Utopians: As their name suggests, they love to say that they were making the world a better place before Project Utopia. They are the idealists of the organization and believe in the evolution of society and not just individuals. Other factions are critical of their investments in social programs but they remain firm in their objective to guarantee transcendence for all.
    • Turings: The Turings were born with the meteoric rise of IT technologies and tech giants that sprung from it. They believe that transcendence will come via singularity when they upload their minds in the global network. Other members often joke about them having their head in the cloud, that is till they realize that for the Turings it's not a joke.
    • Razumis: Roughly translated as mentalists in Russian. This faction is formed by the remnants of the Soviet alliance. For them, all starts and ends with the evolution of the human mind, as such they push research into unlocking the secrets of the brain.
    • Greenies: This small but vocal faction criticizes the priority of cybernetics over all other alternatives. They want heavier investment to biotechnologies that would allow a more organic path to evolution and remain connected to nature.
    • Prometheans: The newest faction and the most controversial. Like the proverbial mythical figure, they want to steal the "fire" of the novas and give it to all of humanity, or just keep it to themselves, they are still deciding. They are considered a bit of a wildcard by the other factions and although their numbers are small they compensate with their single-minded purpose.
    Novas and the alliance:

    Before understanding the situation of the Novas and the alliance, it's important to understand the alliance ideology. The alliance always believed that human limitations could be overcome with research and perseverance. The novas spit in that ideal whether they intend it or not. Many members of the alliance feel that the Novas have "cheated" and gained transcendence out of dumb luck. That's not right because Transcendence should be earned and not given. As one can imagine, this has generated a lot of resentment and envy from members of the alliance. That said, the majority of the alliance doesn't consider Novas the literal enemies of humanity (at least not at first). However, they see them as the unquestionably evolutionary rivals of humanity with the losers of the competition becoming obsolete and eventually extinct. Humanity has to take control of their evolution by any means necessary and prove that the Novas are not the only path to godhood. Because of this way of thinking, there were no Nova members in the alliance at the beginning.
    However, things have started to change.
    This position is not shared by all the members of the alliance, especially by the faction the Prometheans faction. Younger members argue that the attitude of the inner circle is quite hypocritical since they have no trouble hiring Nova Elites as consultants for their research projects or agents in their clandestine operations. Besides, if the alliance is all about transcendence and technological progress, doesn't it stand to reason that they should have the most brilliant minds in the planet among their ranks? Regardless of their origin? That's why recently there have been some intense discussions within the organization about a proposal to admit a small number of novas as a test and they are only growing. Finally, in order to not create more infighting in an already tense alliance, the senior members have allowed some Novas to join as members under heavy scrutiny and with many restrictions. Time will tell if this leads to a change of attitude or if it becomes the final crack that breaks the alliance.

    The secret history of the alliance:

    The world of Aberrant is a world of secrets and the alliance has quite a few. Here's the thing, as a society focused on technological development and human augmentation they know more about novas, psiads, and talents that they are letting know. In fact, the original members created a secret project called Deus which has been studying these individuals since the creation of the alliance.
    The project however never had much success, from the very beginning it found multiple obstacles. These exceptional individuals were extremely scarce, hard to find and, as one can imagine, not too kind on becoming lab rats, also talents remained a constant source of frustration as nobody could really explain their abilities or develop successful tests.
    However, the crippling blow to the project was their inability to do what the alliance really wanted: replicate their abilities so others could use them. Because of that, the project funding quickly dried out and by the 80's the project had been relegated to mere observation and cataloging. Luckily for them, the fall of the soviet union revived the project.
    It's a well-known fact that the soviet union conducted all kinds of psychic research programs, the majority of which proved to be either propaganda or a waste of resources. But in the world of aberrant, one of those programs, secretly supported by the soviet members of the alliance, did yield unexpected results. The Soviet scientists had developed a proto-technique to detect, and awake, psionic potential.
    Sadly, the soviet union fell just before they could share their discoveries with the rest of the alliance. The chaos was used by many of the test subjects to kill their captors and escape. By the time the rest of the alliance absorbed what was left of their soviet counterparts, there was little left of the research. That said, little doesn't mean there was nothing.
    Project Deus was revived to salvage as much of the research as possible and recapture the test subjects. They had moderate success, not enough to recreate the process of awakening but enough to properly detect, catalog and train new psiads. The senior members were satisfied and decided to continue the project if nothing else to see what useful research could be obtained.
    Then came N-day and everything changed again. As a result Project Deus was then divided into two: Project Ophiotaurus whose objective is to study novas in order to find out how to harness their abilities and, if needed, how to neutralize them, and Project Cognito whose objective remained the same only now they had more funding for their activities (About a year ago they managed to rediscover how to awaken latents, but the process is too dangerous and erratic to make it available to everyone, more test subjects are needed)
    The current leadership of the alliance knows the difference between novas and psiads (talents remain a bit of a mystery even after decades of research, but they recruit them whenever they are sure they have found one) and they have reached a conclusion: The power of Novas is too unstable and unpredictable to be properly harnessed, at least for now (not that they will stop trying though) psiads, on the other hand, present an evolutionary path that can be controlled (emphasis on controlled) as such they are an accepted path to transcendence.
    So far, only the inner circle of the alliance know about these two projects and they intend to keep it that way.

    The truth behind the Alliance Leadership

    Who is the inner circle of the Alliance by the way? As indicated, they are formed by the most senior members who have proven their loyalty to the alliance and contributed significantly to its success. However, there is one original member of the alliance who still remains in the inner circle. His name used to be Karl Becker, but his current name is Thoth and it was the first successful uploaded mind in the history of humanity. It's also the only successful AI ever developed by the Alliance, at least that's the official story.
    The truth is that Toth has been carefully controlling the Alliance from behind the scenes for some time now. The members of the inner circle know it and keep the secret. Thoth is literally connected to every aspect of the alliance and they know he could easily bring them down if he wanted to. Thoth is not completely devoid of human empathy but his digital existence has changed him into an entity focused on results first and foremost.
    The experiment that allowed Karl to upload his mind was one of a kind, nobody has been able to replicate it to his eternal frustration. The reason why is because Thoth was an electrokinetic and the experiment awakened his power, raised to the maximum, and killed him all in one glorious moment, long enough for him to instinctively upload his mind into an experimental computer before dying.
    Thoth has subtly sabotaged and limited all the research in AI for the simple reason that he didn't want any competition. However, the success of the mind uploading project has stirred something inside him that he through lost, excitement. Soon, he would not be alone anymore. His long term plan is to reveal himself to the rest of the alliance and welcome anyone who wants it into his digital utopia.
    Thoth doesn't trust Novas and has spread his mistrust to the rest of the organization. They are a wild variable that he can't quite fit in his predictive models and a direct challenge to his vision of the future for humanity. For now, he is trying to do what he does best with any dangerous variable: Isolate, analyze, process and/or destroy it with variable success.
    Recently, he has decided to accept Nova members in a trial period. Part of it is to end the dissent created by the Prometheans, but the main reason is to simply follow the old saying "keep your friends close, keep your enemies even closer". It's easier to study a threat when you are closer. Time will tell if this will lead to Thoth finally accepting Novas as another acceptable evolutionary path or if will cement his desire to end them.

    The real cutting edge:

    These are some of the most advanced technological achievements of the alliance, very few individuals or organizations have access to them and even less have developed something similar. Some are only available to alliance members (Again, the irony here is that some of these breakthroughs would have never been possible without the help of Novas):
    • Full conversion borg: The pinnacle of the alliance research. A human brain encapsulated in a fully cybernetic body. There are only two dozens of subjects so far, but the results have been nothing but outstanding and more are in production. Subjects have experienced an unexpected change, free from the constraints of the flesh their brains have slowly changed match their new superhuman bodies all on their own. Sure, there are some reports of psychological issues, but every novelty has its bugs.
    • True artificial intelligence: It's not a matter of if, but when AI will become a reality, and the alliance was the first. The achievement of true AI was somewhat tempered with the fact that the primitive AI was quite limited in its abilities, as such the alliance only created one. That is how Thoth was born, it's one of the oldest and most complex AIs in the world whose help has been key to the success of many research projects. Thoth's personality has evolved into a scholar that shares the alliance obsession in human evolution.
    • Mind Uploading: What was thought to be nothing but sci-fi has become a reality. The alliance has managed to successfully upload a human mind into a digital environment. (You don't really want to know what happened to the failures) Although an impressive scientific achievement the difficulties and cost of the process are too high, and so it won't remain commercially viable for at least ten to twenty years. The uploaded subjects have shown a remarkable increase in cognitive abilities but they have also become somewhat distant and detached.
    • Multipurpose Nanobots: Nanotechnology is the next big step in technological development and the alliance has made sure it stays on top. They have managed to create semi-sentient remote-controlled clouds capable of building, and disassembling, things with incredible speed and precision. In terms of human augmentation, the have created nano swarms capable of slowly changing a person body till they reach the pinnacle of human perfection. They can also overclock the body to achieve superhuman levels.
    • Bioware augmentation: The alliance has traditionally favored an evolutionary path in which humanity would fuse with their technology, but recent breakthroughs in biotech have expanded their horizon. Although not as powerful or versatile as cybernetics, bioware is less intrusive, easier to maintain and best of all it can't be detected by conventional means. However, subjects need a higher caloric intake and sometimes the implants can become parasitic if damaged.
    • Genetic Engineering: Good artists copy, great artists steal. Sometimes it's just better to look at mother nature and use its designs. The alliance has taken genetic engineering beyond basic splicing and learned how to incorporate animal characteristics in human DNA. Results have been good but too many modifications can result in unexpected mutations and atavistic behaviors.
    • C.B.R (chemical body regulator): This implant allows a human being to use drugs to enhance themselves with almost no negative consequences. The ultimate way to push the human body to its limits and beyond. It can also function as a medical device capable of keeping the subject alive past what many would consider a fatal point. Sadly, psychological addiction remains a problem and recent studies reveal that it can seriously shorten the subject's lifespan.
    • M.C.E. (Multitask cognitive enhancer): The eternal desire of humanity to be able to do several things at the same time has finally become a reality. This implant accelerates the subjects nervous system and gives them the ability to create behavior "compartments" in the mind. The result is that a person can carry complex thoughts without needing to stop their current activities. It also boosts reflexes and thinking speed by several degress.
    Transcendent Alliance campaign:

    Do you want to play with a cybered up talent, nova or psiad for a secret society that is obsessed with human evolution? Then this is the society for you. The transcendent alliance is convinced that they are fighting for the future of humanity and they will do anything to achieve their goal, survival doesn't admit second places. Humanity has to evolve or it will be rendered irrelevant by the novas. The transcendent alliance is not immoral monsters, they will always try to go through the proper channels and treat their subjects ethically first, but if the situation demands it they are willing to break all the rules.
    As an agent of the alliance, you have access to the most known cutting edge technology in human augmentation. However, if you prove yourself they will pull the curtain and take you to their secret labs to receive the kind of augmentations you can only see in sci-fi. No other government or organization is even close to them. They are easily 10 to 20 years ahead of everyone else. I'm talking about the difference between Robocop and a fully upgraded Adam Jensen from Deus ex. Also, the alliance is rolling in cash so resources of any kind won't present a problem, as long as you can give a satisfactory explanation as to why you need it of course.
    The alliance makes sure that they are never associated with their clandestine operations. That's why they have "handlers", usual veterans from the military or secret service, who are hired as consultants from companies under the control of the alliance but not related to them via an official channel. These handlers then prepare the operation and hire the necessary agents to conduct it.
    The agent won't have much in terms of legal protection bu the alliance pays very well and a free upgrade is difficult to resist. Agents who prove themselves will enter a list of permanent contacts and gain greater benefits and protection, maybe even a place in the black ops section of the steel legion, the official "sword" of the alliance composed from cyborgs that could tear a young nova easily.
    Alliance operations are focused on obtaining corporate espionage, sabotage the competition, cleaning up "mistakes", obtaining research subjects willingly or not, destroy clandestine research labs that they don't control (especially those that deal with nova tech deemed too dangerous or unstable), monitor government research labs, e, and missions to test new tech.

    Opinion on other factions:

    Aeon society:

    "Sometimes allies and sometimes enemies, the Aeon Society proclaims they are here to help humanity and yet it's clear that they have more secrets than us. The way they reacted when N-day happened is very suspicious, almost as if they were expecting it. Perhaps it would be wise to create a more stable alliance to find out more, even if it means abandoning some of our more "controversial" projects."

    Project Utopia:

    "Here I present you the new pantheon of humanity, here to shepherd us poor defenseless humans. We appreciate their contributions and what they are trying to do but their restrictions on technology are unacceptable. The utopians among us may have fallen for their propaganda but the rest of us know that it's a veiled attempt to delay our rightful transcendence. We will cooperate but we won't let them slow us down."

    The Directive:

    "Governments doing what they do best when they get scared, create a bureaucratic mess to solve the problem and cover their asses. Our relationship with them is a double edge sword, they are one of our best clients but their constant attempts at infiltration show that they want to put us on a leash. If we keep providing they will leave us alone, let's make sure it stays that way."

    The Teragen:

    "Honestly, we have so much in common that it scares me. In a different world, we could have even taken their place, but that's not the case. Even though they are our main ideological rivals for the control of humanity's evolution, their lack of organization and clear goals makes them a minor threat at least. Even then they shouldn't be underestimated, there's still a lot we don't know about their leaders."

    Kuro-tek:

    "They are an insult to everything that the alliance represents, technological progress at the service of petty greed, nothing but a bunch of glorified smugglers pretending to be Robing Hood. This is what the alliance would look like if the Edisons had taken over. We will tolerate their existence since we have other priorities, but one day we will destroy them."

    The Transcendent Alliance Path (Society)

    Your character belongs to the transcendent alliance, a secret organization with vast influence, resources and access to the most advanced human augmentation technology. The objective of the alliance is to upgrade humanity and take it to their next stage in the evolutionary ladder. The alliance looks for members who are sympathetic to the transhumanist cause and they will aggressively recruit anyone who can help with their research projects or expand their influence. Those who prove themselves will be given the tools to join the ranks of those who have transcended and guide humanity to the future.

    Example connections: Aeon society, Project Utopia, The Directive, Kuro-tek, Tech giants, Governments, Transhumanists groups.
    Skills: Technology, Science, Larceny, Enigmas.
    Edges: Library, Lighting Calculator, Wealth, Alternate Identity, Covert, Skilled Liar.

    SPECIAL EDGE: CUTTING EDGE AUGMENTATIONS (• to •••)
    Prerequisite: Transcendent Alliance Agent.
    The character has access to one augmentation per dot, including some that are exclusive to the transcendent alliance. These augmentations are top quality, also the alliance offers free maintenance, health checks and the possibility to change them between session in any of their clinics, which exists worldwide (both public and clandestine)

    (SPOILERS) The Transcendent Alliance and the aberrant war:

    This section will describe a possible future for the transcendent alliance. Mainly what will happen if the aberrant war progresses as described in the book. However, as Ian says, this is just one possible timeline among many. Fell free to change whatever you want.

    The Utopia-Teragen Conflict

    The first truly major battle between two powerful nova teams showed the whole world just how truly dangerous Novas could be. The alliance paid closed attention then looked at their own forces...and found them lacking. This event will trigger a major shift in the alliance. The inner-circle becomes more paranoid than ever and their methods more extreme. The timetable in the evolutionary race was way shorter than they expected and as such any moral qualms regarding their research methods are thrown out of the window. No project, no procedure, no experiment is out of the table regardless of how unethical it may be. The orders are clear, transcendence must come AT ANY COST. They also invest heavily in military tech and companies, even going so far as to take resources from other non-military projects. Steel security is transformed from a small security company to full-blown private military corporation and they remain it Steel Legion. This change is not well received by many members of the alliance who feel like the inner circle is being consumed by paranoia. It's at this point that lines start to get drawn and what before was just discussions become sabotage. The player characters could be agents from a rebel faction fighting to stop the descent of the alliance into a dark path, or maybe their loyalist hunting the stupid rebels who will lead the alliance to its destruction.

    Hearts and Minds:

    The final decision regarding the Novas within the alliance can no longer be postponed, but a year has passed after their admission and opinions remain divided. Nobody, not even the paranoid Thoth and the inner circle, can deny the contributions of the Nova members. Despite their low numbers, they have boosted the research speed by years if not decades, putting the alliance way ahead of every other major organization in the world when it comes to human augmentation and many other technologies. That's without talking about the increase in wealth, power, and influence that their skill and presence brings. However, their slow but inevitable rise within the alliance is challenging the inner circle leadership more and more, what's worse is that some novas are starting to find about the clandestine operations of the alliance and the secret of Thoth. With that said, it's not a matter of if but when will the novas find out the whole truth, how will they react? how will the inner circle react? how will the rest of the alliance react? and most important of all how will the players react?

    The Teragen Purge:

    This event is seen as an opportunity by the alliance inner circle. They engage in a campaign of disinformation and sabotage to spread further discord within the ranks of the Teragen and hopefully start an inner conflict that will tear the movement apart. The thing is, not everyone in the Teragen has their head up their ass and the smart ones among their ranks (including Divis Mal) start to notice the alliance meddling in their affairs. The key question here is what will happen when the Teragen finds out. The alliance is painting a huge target on themselves by taking this course of action. They may well fall in a self-fulfilling prophecy and end up creating the very enemy they fear.

    Interstellar Colonization:

    The interests of the alliance remain firmly on earth, but it's a given that humanity's future will not remain contained in a single planet. At first, the alliance efforts in the interstellar expansion are directed at creating laboratories in space and other planets to explore avenues that are either impossible or too dangerous to conduct on earth. However, as the conflict with the Aberrant approaches, the Alliance went ahead and created a faraway colony named Machina, a fully self-sufficient technological paradise dedicated to research, as a contingency plan. Sadly, the alliance lost contact with it during the war. Rumors say that Thoth made a copy of himself and sent it to the settlement before the gate to the colony closed closed. Who knows what future explorers will find there...

    Future Shock:

    Rapid technological developments have locked humanity in a permanent state of future shock, and even an organization as progressive and tech-savvy as the alliance is not immune to this phenomenon. However, the shock doesn't come from the outside, but from the inside. As time progresses a new faction appears in the alliance: The post-humans. These people have subjected themselves to the most radical augmentation procedures to the point that they can't be called humans anymore both from a physical and mental point of view. A new divide (as if the alliance didn't have enough already) appears between transhumans that defend a more slow evolution and the post-humans who believe the time to truly transcend has finally come, even if that means breaking from the alliance and creating their own organization. Thoth and the inner circle are sympathetic towards the post-humans, in many ways they see them as the pinnacle of their efforts, but the alliance must stand together to survive and rebellious children must be put in their place.

    The Aberrant war:

    This is were the transcendence alliance comes to an end.
    Yes, big surprise, but I will explain why I made this decision and how it came to be.
    Thoth was right, he was always right, (at least in his mind) the start of the aberrant war was just the final push he needed to do what he always wanted to do: Come out of the shadows, take direct control of the alliance, and force humanity to transcend once and for all, and if he had to burn the world to do it so be it. Better some survivors than no survivors at all.
    At first, he played it cool. He carefully put his agents at key strategic positions in the alliance, all while helping the governments of the world fight the aberrant menace and reassuring the nova members that they were safe in the alliance as long as they promised not to take sides in the war. Then he organized a big event at a secret location where he invited all the novas and members of the alliance that were deemed...problematic. It was at that gathering that Thoth finally revealed himself or his final form as he called it.
    The ground trembled, a crack appeared, and a massive bunker door opened. From there it emerged, Deus ex Machina, Thoth's mind in the most advanced synthetic body ever conceived, a miracle of engineering made from self-repairing smart materials, nano clouds that could shift and transform almost anything, a reactor that contained a small star, and capable of destroying whole armies with the snap of a finger. He was followed other synthetic bodies with the minds of their most loyal servants, and a legion of drones under his direct control.
    Thoth spoke his message, not just to the guests but he also broadcasted it to the whole world. It was a message that promised a paradise populated by the true heirs of humanity. A new species of immortals in perfect synthetic bodies with their minds linked in a glorious network that would transform the whole universe. It was a speech filled with passion and terrific in its cold logic.
    When the speech ended, the massacre began. There's just no other way to call it.
    The guests weren't completely defenseless, especially the novas. Some suspected something was afoot and made some preparations, but NOTHING could have prepared them for a machine god. Half died in the first few seconds of the fight, the rest followed suit before a minute was over. Nobody knows for sure if anyone survived since Thoth blasted the whole compound with a mini-nuke after the battle was over. This massacre happened at the same time as Thoth's agents conducted an internal purge of the rest of the alliance.
    From then on, Thoth and his new Steel Legion marched over the world fighting the aberrants to prove their superiority. The Governments of the world didn't do anything at first since they had already plenty to deal with and the steel legion was killing aberrants by the dozens, but as the collateral damage started to rise it was clear that Thoth cared nothing for anyone who was not part of the alliance. Even after he was classified as a threat by everyone, very few could do anything to stop him, or that's what Thoth though.
    Thoth, for all his massive intellect, made the same mistake anyone with too much pride does: It severely underestimated his enemy, both within and without. Many members of the alliance, even those in the post-human faction, opened revolted against Thoth, way more than he anticipated, which put a serious strain on his efforts to consolidate and expand his position. Also, some of the senior members of the alliance had been expecting a move from Thoth for a long time and created a contingency plan.
    A failsafe was activated and key information about the weak points of the alliance structure and Thoth were sent to the major organizations and governments of the world. A task force was quickly organized by the Aeon society, which never fully trusted the alliance leaders in the first place. With the help of the directive, team tomorrow, and even some members of the Teragen they cornered Thoth and launched a coordinated attack on him and his forces.
    It was one of the most devastating battles in the aberrant war with heavy casualties on both sides. In the end, Thoth obsession with control proved to be his fatal point as he struggled to adapt to the changing tactics of multiple foes acting together while his forces, even his lieutenants, were little more than drones. Little by little, Thoth lost ground till only he remained and so he took the only escape possible: He self-destroyed taking many more with him.
    The transcendent alliance collapsed shortly after that. Its members either abandoned the alliance to save themselves from the eventual persecution of the authorities or were neutralized, either because they got arrested or murdered. None of the ex-members tried to rebuild the alliance, and not just because of the dangers, but also because the factions in the alliance had started to pursue their own paths a long time ago and saw no point in rebuilding something in which they didn't believe anymore. Only small fringe groups survived.
    All the information regarding the alliance was classified, censored or eliminated, same with its resources, enclaves and technology as part of project rewrite. By the time the clean up ended, the alliance remained little more than a rumor after the aberrant war. The transcendent alliance, for those few who would remember its existence, would become a lesson about what happened when one pursued progress without limits or ethics, and yet, for all of its failings, the achievements of the alliance lived on. In many ways its original objective was achieved: to give humanity the tools to control their evolution and transcend.
    Last edited by Firanai; 08-22-2019, 06:59 AM.

  • Firanai
    replied
    Originally posted by muon View Post

    Maybe after Thoth's defeat, heretical splinter groups arose that thought novas were the key to Transcendence after all.
    Hum...Now that I think about it, that does make sense. Taking into account the raw power and destruction that the aberrants caused I can see many members of the alliance abandoning their previous beliefs and embracing aberrants as the only true path to transcendence.
    Last edited by Firanai; 08-25-2019, 11:04 AM.

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  • muon
    replied
    Originally posted by Firanai View Post

    Yes, it was part of project rewrite. Given their anti-aberrant position I don't think so. However, I can picture some ex-members creating a version of the alliance, only that they will be small fringe groups and each one would be focused on one type of human augmentation.
    Maybe after Thoth's defeat, heretical splinter groups arose that thought novas were the key to Transcendence after all.

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  • Firanai
    replied
    Originally posted by muon View Post

    Would that have been done by Project Rewrite? Would elements survive as Aberrant cults?
    Yes, it was part of project rewrite. Given their anti-aberrant position I don't think so. However, I can picture some ex-members creating a version of the alliance, only that they will be small fringe groups and each one would be focused on one type of human augmentation.
    Last edited by Firanai; 08-22-2019, 06:57 AM.

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  • muon
    replied
    Originally posted by Firanai View Post
    All the information regarding the alliance was classified, censored or eliminated, same with its resources and technology. By the time the clean up ended, the alliance remained little more than a rumor after the aberrant war. The transcendent alliance, for those few who would remember its existence, would become a lesson about what happened when one pursued progress without limits or ethics, and yet, for all of its failing, the achievements of the alliance would not disappear, and in many ways its original objective was achieved: to give humanity the tools to control their evolution and transcend.
    Would that have been done by Project Rewrite? Would elements survive as Aberrant cults?

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  • Firanai
    replied
    Want to know what happened to the alliance in the aberrant war? Check out the latest edit at the bottom of the first post.

    Leave a comment:


  • muon
    replied
    Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
    I like your idea, it brings a lot of the Aeon feeling to the Aberrant setting. They would be treated as conspirators and crazy, even more the ones with cybernetics, what is nice, because in 30 years they will be "I TOLD YOU! DID YOU LISTEN? NO! YOU DIDNT!"
    Why would they be treated as crazy? Teragen isn't, and cybernetically enhanced baselines are in the Aberrant book.

    Originally posted by Firanai View Post
    Thanks for your comments.
    I was thinking of also writing an alternative version, or several, of the alliance. It's just that inspiration hit me, here are the elevator pitches:

    What if the transcendent alliance is a secret effort of a nova or group or novas (or even divis mal) to find an artificial way of creating novas? What if their search for transcendence is a massive effort to upgrade humanity by any means necessary so they don't become obsolete? What if the nova or novas truly believe that the only way to save humankind is by making them super whether they want or not?

    Or perhaps...

    What if the transcendence alliance is looking to create a better race of slaves? Make human beings better servants, but not powerful enough to challenge a nova? What if their efforts to promote augmentation technologies is to make people desist in trying to become novas? What if it's about eliminating competition? What if the transcendence alliance true purpose is to help novas find a way to get rid of corruption...by transferring it to innocent people? and then make them mutant slaves?

    I don't know, I'm just throwing ideas out there. What do you think?
    Would that still be the Transcendent Alliance from the Trinity Core though? You might as well make a new society.

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  • Firanai
    replied
    Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
    I don't think you need to force novas into it, nor do you need to have novas run it. All I was suggesting was NOT to make it "novas aren't members" but rather make it "while there are a few nova members the vast majority of those in the Transcendence Society are baseline or Talents, not that the later category are well known." Then in secrets section you could add something like "Though it is not official nor is it talked about there seems to be an undercurrent of anti-nova bias. Where this comes from, and what this means for the future, is not yet known." Etc etc.

    While I respect and like in theory the idea that others (Talents and Psiads) are playable, the game is Aberrant and is about Novas and it is they who should be the focus when it comes to groups and such. I also don't think anything should be kept from them so that the others can have their place.

    That all said, honestly, I comment on this cause I really like the idea. I think such a faction totally has a place and that it would be fun for said place to be oranized and developed.

    Which leads me to giving you a super thumbs up for posting this nicely growing in material document.
    How about this?

    "Because of this way of thinking, there were no Nova members in the alliance at the beginning.
    However, things have started to change. This somewhat extreme position is not shared by all the members of the alliance, especially by the faction the Prometheans faction. Younger members argue that the attitude of the inner circle is quite hypocritical since they have no trouble hiring Nova Elites as consultants for their research projects or agents in their clandestine operations. Besides, if the alliance is all about transcendence and technological progress, doesn't it stand to reason that they should have the most brilliant minds in the planet among their ranks? Regardless of their origin? That's why recently there have been some intense discussions within the organization about a proposal to admit a small number of novas as a test and they are only growing. Finally, in order to not create more infighting in an already tense alliance, the senior members have allowed some Novas to join as members under heavy scrutiny and with many restrictions. Time will tell if this leads to a change of attitude or if it becomes the final crack that breaks the alliance.
    "
    Last edited by Firanai; 08-20-2019, 05:43 PM.

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  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    Your ideas are not bad, but I don't think you need a full description, maybe a side note about the what ifs. I guess you can give some starting points from where the SG can take the allegiance if want them as a society under a evil nova.

    Leave a comment:


  • Firanai
    replied
    Thanks for your comments.
    I was thinking of also writing an alternative version, or several, of the alliance. It's just that inspiration hit me, here are the elevator pitches:

    What if the transcendent alliance is a secret effort of a nova or group or novas (or even divis mal) to find an artificial way of creating novas? What if their search for transcendence is a massive effort to upgrade humanity by any means necessary so they don't become obsolete? What if the nova or novas truly believe that the only way to save humankind is by making them super whether they want or not?

    Or perhaps...

    What if the transcendence alliance is looking to create a better race of slaves? Make human beings better servants, but not powerful enough to challenge a nova? What if their efforts to promote augmentation technologies is to make people desist in trying to become novas? What if it's about eliminating competition? What if the transcendence alliance true purpose is to help novas find a way to get rid of corruption...by transferring it to innocent people? and then make them mutant slaves?

    I don't know, I'm just throwing ideas out there. What do you think?

    Leave a comment:


  • LordHeru
    replied
    I don't think you need to force novas into it, nor do you need to have novas run it. All I was suggesting was NOT to make it "novas aren't members" but rather make it "while there are a few nova members the vast majority of those in the Transcendence Society are baseline or Talents, not that the later category are well known." Then in secrets section you could add something like "Though it is not official nor is it talked about there seems to be an undercurrent of anti-nova bias. Where this comes from, and what this means for the future, is not yet known." Etc etc.

    While I respect and like in theory the idea that others (Talents and Psiads) are playable, the game is Aberrant and is about Novas and it is they who should be the focus when it comes to groups and such. I also don't think anything should be kept from them so that the others can have their place.

    That all said, honestly, I comment on this cause I really like the idea. I think such a faction totally has a place and that it would be fun for said place to be oranized and developed.

    Which leads me to giving you a super thumbs up for posting this nicely growing in material document.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    ì don't think you need to force Novas in it. Honestly you can play Psiads and Talents as well as Novas, its not only about novas, its about the Nova Era and the impact of Novas in the time, so a bunch of guys that are against the "Novas are the future" are for sure a good way to interact with the theme and setting. Not different form the Directive and the Proteus, as I see.

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  • Firanai
    replied
    Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
    Yes, but remember, in an Aberrant game the default assumption is that the players are novas and that the factions are societies they are going to join. If the whole faction is "no novas need apply" then the faction would exactly be used. Which is why I say have there be novas but also have there be some issues. That way there is a source of ready made conflict but also a place for the nova characters to fit in.

    As a comment on the setting more than simply your society - what Divis Mal did with the N-Day Eruption system was bascially an act of 'global transcendence'. He attempted to bring about a world where quantum users (novas obviously, lol) were the majority.

    As another thought, the whole fact within the setting that while quantum powers are ad hoc and noetic powers are much more structured is both fascinating and frustrating.

    Hum...I can see your point. I'm going to see if can design an alliance that could fit the Novas better. Maybe it's secretly controlled by divis mal to make sure he remains the master of transcendence in all of its forms. By the way, I've added a couple of extra points (Black book, special edge). Thanks for your feedback.

    Leave a comment:


  • LordHeru
    replied
    Yes, but remember, in an Aberrant game the default assumption is that the players are novas and that the factions are societies they are going to join. If the whole faction is "no novas need apply" then the faction would exactly be used. Which is why I say have there be novas but also have there be some issues. That way there is a source of ready made conflict but also a place for the nova characters to fit in.

    As a comment on the setting more than simply your society - what Divis Mal did with the N-Day Eruption system was bascially an act of 'global transcendence'. He attempted to bring about a world where quantum users (novas obviously, lol) were the majority.

    As another thought, the whole fact within the setting that while quantum powers are ad hoc and noetic powers are much more structured is both fascinating and frustrating.

    Leave a comment:


  • Firanai
    replied
    Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
    I like most of the additions. Except ome, the no known novas. I think thats limiting. In a negative way. Rather I would say keep them small in number and not supremely accepted.

    Also wben talking psychic abilities its Psiad as they are the natural formed noetic users and not psions, which come from the Prometheus Chamber.

    Okay. Now I'm tginking of a future wbere the society is the one to usher in the Noetic Age decades before the Doyn do. Hehe

    Thank you for your feedback.
    I explained my reasoning for the alliance antagonistic views in Novas and the alliance. It's just that I feel that the main purpose of the alliance, upgrading humanity, would be rendered kind of pointless if they admitted novas. (Also Thoth, the secret AI leader of the alliance, doesn't want Novas challenging his place in the alliance)
    That said, I see no reason why you couldn't create an alliance more permissive of Novas. For example, if the promethean faction gains traction and manages to find a way to at least give regular people a portion of the powers of a Nova, then the Alliance would be willing to welcome some of them.
    The key here is that the alliance will only tolerate human augmentation that they can replicate and control somehow. If that can be done with Novas, then they will be welcomed.

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