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The Multiverse

Setting




Special Projects Division



Special Projects is a division of the Office of Imperial Affairs, formerly under the direction of Kianna McGregor. Since Isambard Prince has taken office, Special Projects was placed under the guidance of Mantrid Hetyri, the Supreme Bio-Vizier of the Empire.

It's a sprawling compound, where various highly experimental procedures are performed in the name of the Empire.
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Special Projects HQ

The headquarters of the Aschen Special Projects Division.

Minimap

Special Projects HQ is a part of Via Lakeside.

7 Characters Here

Mantrid [32] Supreme Bio-Vizier for the Emperor
Henry Flynn [25] "There's a reason why the Blackout zones are walled off you know."
Ayla Kayama [24] "You thought I was a problem before? Just try to keep up now."
Narim Plishkin [16] famous Aschen scientist and Bio Scholar, responsible for playing god and cheating death.
Jacqueline "Blue Switch" [12] "Let me undress your sanity. Make your mind bare, one petal at a time, so I may hold the broken peices and laugh."
Melanthe [8]

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Isambard Prince Character Portrait: Confessor Ayla
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The sudden praise shocked Ayla, and it took no marginal amount of effort to maintain her cold composure as Prince opened the door. This sort of thing was as foreign as possible to her, Lochlyn had been the sort of man to issue a merciless beating for an assassination carried out flawlessly after all. All to maintain his imposed sense of superiority, and mask his fear of those beneath him rising up in revolt. Prince couldn't have been more different, and Ayla couldn't help but genuinely admire him in the moment. Everything other "Emperors," even Shimizu, proclaimed about themselves, Prince truly was. He had real confidence, an honest, unflinching sense of security.

What others wore as masks he embodied, and for a moment Ayla was saddened by his impending abdication.

Still, gathering her thoughts, and swelling with pride, she cast a careful glance around the room. She'd never even heard of this project, which immediately gave it a sense of gravity, and with how uncomfortable the glowing fluid made her, she knew it must've been under the absolute pinnacle of information security. Possibly even arcane by the way her skin crawled, although maybe that was just being near Mantrid. He still gave her the creeps, although a begrudging respect for the man had set in over time. Her Adept capabilities merited it.

Ayla took a hesitant step in, unsure of how to feel about the phrase 'abilities beyond the wildest imaginations." The image of Marlene sprang to her mind immediately, but she did her best to push such worries aside. This opportunity was, if she was being honest, exactly what she wanted. Since the incident she'd pushed herself to the limit, and beyond. When given a task she wouldn't eat, sleep, or relent a step until it was complete, straining even her transhuman physiology to a point of breaking. More than once EVE had to coerice her into basic self-care.

Finally finding her voice, Ayla asked the only thing she could: "Truly your Grace? Me?" As hard as she worked to wash the stain of her failure away, and as much as she had craved a chance like this, the thought of it actually happening was never more than a dream to her. "I cannot imagine I deserve such an honour, but you know what I do not."

"I will undergo whatever you ask of me, especially to better carry out the will of the Empire...And to crush Thrawn." Doing as she was bid, Ayla walked over the table, and went about disrobing for whatever Mantrid had in store.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Isambard Prince Character Portrait: Confessor Ayla
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Prince maintained his stone faced expression while Mantrid made final preparations for the procedure to begin.

Slowly, the scientist reached for the bag of dark blue chemicals, as well as a few assorted vials of other liquids, one of them happened to be blood, cleansed of proteins, and other antigens.

Once Ayla had finished disrobing, Mantrid moved closer, resting a hand on her shoulder to ease her towards the chair.

"We'll start with a small infusion of genetic material, followed by nanomachines designed to copy and paste the new genetic material into your genome." Mantrid explained. "Pure Alteran genes harvested from Marlene Angel post Ascension." Mantrid said with a smile.

"We'll follow up with a mind enhancing drug, to fully unlock your newfound potential."

Prince moved swiftly towards a plate of blast resistant glass, as Mantrid moved to ease Ayla into the chair.

"The procedure is painless; are we ready?"

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Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Isambard Prince Character Portrait: Confessor Ayla
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Mantrid's hands felt cold on her bare skin, forcing an involuntary shudder from Ayla. Most people operated at a much lower temperature than her due to her slew of augments, but the scientist's fingers were like icy death. Or maybe that was just fear? Either way, as Mantrid explained the procedure Ayla laid back on the exam table, and did her best to maintain her outward calm. Learning that her assumption about Marlene being involved didn't exactly help with that, and the thought of sharing the woman's genome wasn't exactly thrilling. A thousand questions flew through her mind.

"Will I no longer be any part of my native species?" She asked, purposely holding back her more pressing questions. Will that make Marlene my sister? Or would I be a progeny? Will I go crazier?

She locked her gaze with Prince through the glass, offering him nothing but an expression set in steely determination. It made perfect sense now, this was obviously insanely dangerous, and bleeding edge, almost science fiction, even for the Aschen. Her Emperor probably expected her to die, or worse, and either way it would advance the medical, and military might of the Empire. Perhaps martyrdom would be the absolution she sought. Ayla shook her head, vague images of her homeworld shattering as she did, "I suppose it won't matter though, right? Maybe I'll truly be Aschen now. Alright Doctor, I'm all yours. Again."

Funny enough as her eyes closed, and she braced for the first injection, all Ayla really wanted was a few seconds on a comm-link. A few seconds to tell EVE goodbye, just in case.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Isambard Prince Character Portrait: Confessor Ayla
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Mantrid made the final preparations in an almost methodical manner, checking and double checking that the ratios in the mixtures were correct.

"Of course, how peculiar that you would ask me that question..." Mantrid said, reassuringly. "We're only editing a tiny portion of your genome, less than a fraction of a percent." The Scientist explained, placing the vial inside a syringe, then he placed it against a prominent vein within Ayla's arm. "I've refined the infusion across several test subjects, but you'll be the... third human trial."

Mantrid withheld the fact that the first test subject after Harkov died a violent death, as their body digested itself, and the second one went insane, and then brain-dead from the sensory overload.

"I'm hoping your Adept physiology will be able to tolerate the enhancements, I've had marginal success on human test subjects acquired from Terra..." Mantrid explained, placing the IV inside Ayla's arm. The IV itself was hooked to a clear bag of sterile saline solution.

"You're very special, Ayla." Mantrid said, smiling. "If this is a success... it will propel the War Adept program to new; unimaginable heights!"

He slid the first syringe into a valve in the IV line, the clear fluid mixed with the saline, and began to travel into the body.

So far the procedure was, other than the needle prick of the IV, nearly painless.

A strange itch followed, that flowed from the arm, and into the entire body, engulfing Ayla in a hypersensitivity that was previously unknown, incomprehensible. The nanites began their work quickly, distributing themselves among the tissues of the body.

The next drug followed, a brilliant, and almost iridescent liquid that seemed to shimmer in the light of the laboratory, this was the most important part of the procedure, a part of the procedure that would find Ayla engulfed in a searing burning sensation that stretched from the arm, and engulfed the entire body. Muscles began to change, bones cracked and reformed themselves almost instantaneously. Cells, worked with nanites and began to transform the body. It was at that moment Mantrid introduced a powerful, and fast acting sedative intramuscularly, likely inducing immediate, and profound unconsciousness.

---

One couldn't be sure how much time would lapse, but when Ayla awakened, the pain was gone, and Mantrid was at her side, now wearing a thin metal device around his head that was easily recognized as a psychic inhibitor. Prince wore a similar device.

Mantrid briefly checked her eyes, shining a penlight and checking one eye, and then another.

There would be no perceptible differences, except many of the enhancements seemed less prominent.

She would likely be weaker, physically, as many of the muscle enhancements had been rejected by the procedure. And while she couldn't crush steel with her fists, she had some new abilities. The subtle details in Mantrid's face were more prominent, as if looking at him through high definition. Everything in the room was sharper, clearer than even an Adept's eyes could see.

Did the fluorescent lights always seem to buzz so loudly?

Intuition, a sharpness, Mantrid was going to hand her a spoon. But he hadn't done so.

Picking a spoon up on the tray, Mantrid took it, and inspected it, before he handed it to Ayla.

"Bend the spoon." Mantrid instructed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Isambard Prince Character Portrait: Confessor Ayla
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Ayla's eyes fluttered open serenely, as if completely unaware of her surroundings, or what had just transpired. In truth the searing agony of the final injections, a distinctive feeling mirroring live flames being pumped through her blood, was easily shut out of her mind. The all-at-once Adept augmentation was a little worse, and she hadn't been given the mercy of painkillers back then, dulling her sensitivity greatly. The sudden, and startling shift in her vision gave her something else to focus on as well, every line, and wrinkle of Mantrid's face was crisp as could be, each pore was distinctly visible if she squinted. Something she had to do to focus at all now, her sight was clouded by a million thin, shimmering bands of light radiating from seemingly everywhere.

The damned ceiling lights had clearly been turned up too, practically blinding her if she glanced upwards.

That was when her mind tugged her towards the doctor, an involuntary, knee-jerk reaction as he started to move. Or, was that before he started to move..? She couldn't tell, for some reason time seemed distorted, warped. A strong sense of déjà vu gripped her as Mantrid seemed to reach for an instrument twice, yet alone picked it up once. What the hell was happening? When the doctor commanded her to bend it she offered a puzzled expression while desperately searching for her voice.

"...Bend it?" Sitting up she finally croaked it out, although she could've sworn she'd asked, and been answered a thousand different times, and ways before the final syllables passed her lips. Oddly enough her voice was different, too. A pitch, or so higher, the tine softer. A sharp sense of intuition told Ayla that her musculature had changed, and dramatically. Her body did feel different, but she had no reason to believe it, and yet..

She wasn't an Adept anymore.

Shaking her head a little she did her best to ignore it, and comply. It was such a simple command, and she pictured herself bending the flimsy metal clearly as she reached out to take the spoon. Even without a ceramicossified skeleton, and steel tensile muscles it wouldn't take much effort. A few quick flexes of her hand, and it would be a V-shaped piece of scra- With a piercingly loud creaking sound the spoon twisted itself into a gnarled pretzel before she could even touch it. Shocked, she blinked at Mantrid, squinting profusely to meet his eyes in the blinding light. There was only one question on her mind now.

"What. The. Fuck?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Isambard Prince Character Portrait: Confessor Ayla
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Mantrid looked at the spoon with both a bemused, and satisfied look upon his face, before reaching towards his checklist. She not only seemed to demonstrate psychokinetics, but she demonstrated them very quickly after infusion. Mantrid seemed to smile, as he began to anticipate the program becoming a success, and a new breed of soldier ready to take on the manifold enemies of the Emperor was about to come to fruition.

Mantrid moved suddenly, and in all possible realities he was reaching for a set of flashcards, Mantrid didn't look at them, rather he looked up at Ayla.

"Try to relax, try to focus, and tell me what the first flash card will be." He said, as visions of Mantrid showing Ayla a flashcard with a car, and then a boat, and then an airplane, in that order seemed to flit across.

"Precognition... this early in the process... how peculiar times two..." Mantrid said, as visions of Mantrid suddenly tossing a ball for Ayla to catch followed, only to culminate into Mantrid suddenly tossing a small rubber ball towards Ayla without warning.

Prince was visibly impressed.

"You have exceeded my wildest expectations... psychokinesis, and precognition, within minutes of infusion!? How peculiar... times three..."

Mantrid set a lead ingot on the table in front of Ayla.

"Rearrange the atomic structure of this metal, into whatever object you choose."

Such an odd request.

Octavia Capori materializes from the void.
Octavia Capori has left the area, heading northeast into Via Lakeside.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Theodore O'Quinn
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Theodore strolled up to the front desk, a duffle-bag in one hand, his personal file in his other. He stopped at the foot of the desk, and placed said file on the counter. "Ad Victoriam. Theodore O'Quinn reporting as ordered." he said. His uniform was sharply pressed and presented no flaws. There was a solemn determination to his brown eyes. His black hair was freshly cut and styled to be within regulations, and his skin was marred only by old scars from what was about to be his past life.

He was on time.

He'd been chosen to take part in Project Daedalus for his outstanding devotion to duty and to the Empire. He couldn't be more proud. At the same time, there was an understandable sadness that his family would likely never know him again, if they weren't already taken care of by the State. But he had to push those thoughts aside. The Aschen Empire was all that mattered, now. Not his family, not the people around him, not even him. Within his duffle-bag he had brought a requested change of clothes to wear, likely after the procedure, or during it.

He had no clue what awaited him. Truthfully he probably didn't even know he'd been chosen for Project Daedalus. Just a special project for Special Forces. He had no idea. He would never have any idea. Theodore O'Quinn was likely going to be a thing of the past.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narim Plishkin Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Henry Flynn Character Portrait: Xanril Gellantara, Thief Extraordinaire Character Portrait: Melanthe Character Portrait: Jacqueline "Blue Switch" Character Portrait: Ayla Kayama Character Portrait: Theodore O'Quinn
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There was a young, sharply dressed receptionist seated at the desk, tapping away at a flickering, soft holographic screen, manipulating icons, and entering in text.

She hardly looked up, the lights of the screen reflecting on a pair of glasses she was wearing, where additional information was displayed on a sort of heads up display.

"Yes, here you are. Dr. Mantrid is ready for you." She said, tapping at the screen, before she handed him a piece of paper, a simple medical disclosure, and a checklist to make sure he was current on all his vaccinations.

"Just sign the forms here... and here." She said, pointing to the paper.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narim Plishkin Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Henry Flynn Character Portrait: Xanril Gellantara, Thief Extraordinaire Character Portrait: Melanthe Character Portrait: Jacqueline "Blue Switch" Character Portrait: Ayla Kayama Character Portrait: Theodore O'Quinn
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O'Quinn nodded and signed the required forms, made sure everything was correct, then handed back the piece of paper. This woman didn't really seem to care all that much, or was too engrossed in her work to really put much care into it. Whatever, he thought. It happened to everyone, eventually. He took his file, and headed through the back door where, hopefully, Dr. Mantrid would be waiting for him.

"Ad Victoriam, Dr. It's a pleasure to meet you." he greeted upon seeing the man, quickly taking in the surroundings of the room around him as well. His eyes in were sharp and took in almost every detail at a glance. Part of why he was chosen, no doubt. He exhaled softly and then raised his chin slightly. Better to look tall and proud than unsure and afraid.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narim Plishkin Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Henry Flynn Character Portrait: Xanril Gellantara, Thief Extraordinaire Character Portrait: Melanthe Character Portrait: Jacqueline "Blue Switch" Character Portrait: Ayla Kayama Character Portrait: Theodore O'Quinn
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On the other side of the door, which opened with a pleasant chime, was some kind of commotion, an older man in a white lab-coat seemed to be berating a technician, his words echoing through the sterile walls of the laboratory.

"Should snake venom swell your limbs to bursting!" The older man shouted. "Should Spider poison cause your brain to explode! Should your bodily fluids drain out through pustulant sores!"

The man craned his neck at the entrance of O'Quinn.

There was a hungry grin that crossed his face as he smoothed down his coat, and he placed a pair of forceps down onto an aluminum surgical tray.

"Ahhh... the specimen..." Mantrid said, walking over to him, grabbing him by the chin, and inspecting his face. "Yes... You will do! But!? Will you do!? Ah that is the question!" Mantrid said cryptically, flipping a switch, and turning on a nearby holoscreen. "Your service record... impressive, but irrelevant! Your enhancements are minimal, untainted! A pure specimen!"

"Up!" He said, pointing to a metal surgical table in the center of the room. "Lie down on the table."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narim Plishkin Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Henry Flynn Character Portrait: Xanril Gellantara, Thief Extraordinaire Character Portrait: Melanthe Character Portrait: Jacqueline "Blue Switch" Character Portrait: Ayla Kayama Character Portrait: Theodore O'Quinn
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There was an almost imperceptible twitch of his muscles as Mantrid grabbed him by the chin. The man nearly reacted instinctively through his training, to dislocate the offending hand and snap the arm in three places, but he didn't. His eye twitched, but remained open. He glanced to his service record, frowned that it was deemed irrelevant, and set his things down where he stood. There was no time for games, it seemed, and the Dr. was so engrossed in things that he likely wouldn't answer too many questions.

Sort of like boot camp.

Sighing, he smoothed his uniform and complied, hopping up onto the table, kicking off his shoes, and then laying down as instructed. 'The doctor works fast... hopefully not too fast - I'd hate to lose an eye or something.' he thought to himself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narim Plishkin Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Henry Flynn Character Portrait: Xanril Gellantara, Thief Extraordinaire Character Portrait: Melanthe Character Portrait: Jacqueline "Blue Switch" Character Portrait: Ayla Kayama Character Portrait: Theodore O'Quinn
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Mantrid waited quietly for O'Quinn to get up on the table. The doctor was certainly abrasive, and his bedside manner was greatly lacking. But Mantrid was a brilliant scientist.

"You have been chosen both for your genetic predispositions, and your loyalty to the state. You have demonstrated your willingness to follow the lead of your superiors without question and you will be rewarded." Mantrid said.

He prepared an IV, and a nearby Technician took a syringe, and drew up a clear liquid into the syringe from a vial.

"You will be uniquely disposed to dispense great misery upon the enemies of the Empire." Mantrid said, taking the syringe.

Mantrid hesitated, before he took the syringe, and then Theodore's arm.

"Are you ready to join the elite ranks of Project Daedalus?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narim Plishkin Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Henry Flynn Character Portrait: Xanril Gellantara, Thief Extraordinaire Character Portrait: Melanthe Character Portrait: Jacqueline "Blue Switch" Character Portrait: Ayla Kayama Character Portrait: Theodore O'Quinn
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O'Quinn looked at the syringe, the doctor, and then at his arm. He flexed his hand into a fist, relaxed it, and then blinked. "Yes. I'm ready." Everything Theodore had done led up to this point. His selfless service to the Empire, his unquestioning loyalty to the Empire, had led him here.

"Yes." he repeated. He was never going to be more ready than right now.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narim Plishkin Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Henry Flynn Character Portrait: Xanril Gellantara, Thief Extraordinaire Character Portrait: Melanthe Character Portrait: Jacqueline "Blue Switch" Character Portrait: Ayla Kayama Character Portrait: Theodore O'Quinn
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"Marvelous." Mantrid said, as he double checked the Syringe.

He slid the liquid into a prominent vein on O'Quinn's arm, and injected the contents, which would produce an odd, tingling sensation. Mantrid moved over to the other side, and drew another syringe, this one was filled with an unsettling blue liquid, that seemed iridescent, and shimmered.

Mantrid slid the second syringe into O'Quinn's other arm, injecting the contents which produced a hot, burning sensation, and the blue liquid could be seen turning his veins a brilliant blue under his skin as it spread throughout his body.

The more the liquid spread, the more painful things seemed to get, bones began to change, muscles began to reassert themselves, everything began to quickly culminate into an excruciating sensation until the sedative that Mantrid had introduced began to kick in. The Sedative introduced a sudden, and profound state of unconsciousness.

---

When O'Quinn came back to consciousness, the first thing he would likely notice was the hyper-awareness that surrounded him. The ballasts inside the fluorescent lights, did they always buzz so loudly? There was another strange sensation, visions would flood O'Quinn's mind, visions of Mantrid handing him a spoon.

Mantrid quietly waited for the drugs to wear off, checking his pupils, his natural eyecolor remained in one eye, while the other was an unsettling blue.

"How do you feel?" Mantrid asked.

The lights seemed strangely bright, and every pore, and every wrinkle in Mantrid's face was all the more prominent.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narim Plishkin Character Portrait: Mantrid Character Portrait: Henry Flynn Character Portrait: Xanril Gellantara, Thief Extraordinaire Character Portrait: Melanthe Character Portrait: Jacqueline "Blue Switch" Character Portrait: Ayla Kayama Character Portrait: Theodore O'Quinn
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He took a moment to answer, adjusting to these hyper sensitive senses and adjustments. Why was he seeing a spoon? He sighed and blinked a few times as he tried to ignore the unbearably sharp look at the man's face.

"I feel... great, actually." He answered.

"Was life always this chaotically noisy? Or did i have to be enhanced to notice it?"

There was a fly approsimately twenty two feet to his right, rubbing its greedy little hands together as it sat on the wall.