The Apollo Conspiracy

Discussion in 'Universe' started by ArcturusV, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    This isn't strictly a Fan Fiction or anything like Nicaro whips out. But this morning while out on the road my mind wandered to NOTD. And thus The Apollo Conspiracy was born. It wasn't meant to be a huge narrative, but more the musings and connections of an insane man.

    Before we go into this, I want to put a disclaimer. In no way is this "official" after all. Nor do I even imagine it's ANYWHERE close to XaVi's original vision of the story. This work is more or less just based on the twisted way my feeble mind thinks. It draws upon events in the game, stray bits of lore I picked up on places like Reaper's Basics Topic, the old Storyline topic in Announcements on the old board, and cruising through some of the NOTD Wikia.

    Setting the Stage:

    Earth is dominated by the UGC. But it's hardly a complete and total domination. Many areas of the world seem to still be out of the grasp of UGC control. Perhaps because they are just too poor to bother with. Perhaps because the natives are so unruly that they can't maintain authority over it. I imagine there are places like areas of Africa which are mostly left to go to hell, beyond what strategic resources can be taken from there.

    Apollo Mining Colony is the most important location in the growing UGC's authority. It's Helium-3 mining operations are by far the key to civilization as we know it. And as such is typically kept under the strictest, tightest controls. When the Compliance Nexus System is invented, Apollo is the first place to have it installed and tested on a large scale. It's a stunning success.

    There's a new rumbling in the political culture. The military machine of the UGC, which has been keeping things mostly in line is looking more like an expendable budget item. They remain important, mostly because those few trouble spots which aren't important enough to warrant full scale pacification, also aren't worth the investment of Compliance Nexuses. Not to mention the technology is still new enough, and not quite trusted enough to fully supplant traditional forces of peace keeping, defense, and civil order.

    The upcoming Mars Colony mission is announced. They eschew any military presence in favor of the now proven Compliance Nexus technology. This takes some higher ups in the military completely by surprise, and is done over their protests about needing traditional forces in case of an emergency.

    Meanwhile UGC marine forces are also being withdrawn from the Apollo Mining Colony. They are cut back to a mere squad where once a full regiment was stationed. Many are upset over this. Military big shots who can see their power and political pull being curtailed, and civilian authorities who depend on military funding in the areas they represent suddenly losing out on the industries they count upon.

    When it seems as though the sun is setting on the traditional balance of power that they are counting upon, a miracle happens. Everyone swore it was impossible. But the facts couldn't be questioned. SOMEHOW, malcontents on the Mars Colony were able to circumvent the control of the Compliance Nexus. In one swift day everything that the Compliance Nexus based power block believed in was shattered. The unarmed Mars Colony fell quickly to the rebels. It was a disaster of the grandest magnitude.

    It took a month, during which UGC Marine forces were called in. Brutal fighting against dug in fanatics, but General Jan Koller was able to retake the Mars Colony and became the champion of the military agenda. His backers helped him lead a new expansion of military spending, and got UGC forces back on a permanent station in the Apollo Colony. Not quite the forces he would have wanted.

    Slowly a plan started to hatch. To forever destroy the dependance on the Compliance Nexuses and bring back the full power and dominion of the military, like it always should have been.

    The Execution:

    The Mars Colony was small, distant from Earth Politics. The effect of its revolution, despite being exactly what they could have asked for, paled in comparison to it's effects should it have hit a strategically important outpost. And nothing was more strategically important than the Apollo Mining Colony.

    Congressmen and high ranking military officials are gathered into a conspiracy to make this disaster come to be. First comes the Compliance Nexus update broadcast. However instead of it's usual behavior modification and pacification, it turns off the Nexuses while having them fake an Online status.

    The plan was never as sinister as imagined by later observers. Simply turn them off. Let people who have been suppressed for so long act on their own accord. Everyone knew there were rebels on Apollo. If left to act, they would strike on their own, with complete and total plausible denial to any wrongdoing. It would be exactly the uprising and rebellion the warhawks could want, and would be a major bit of leverage for an expanded military for years to come.

    Then it went wrong. Apollo had more lurking underneath it's surface than mere military rebels like Ivan Plushenko. The truth of HAL, it's self awareness, and the madness derived from the mind it was based upon was a complete unknown. The mutation, invented by Dr. Tanaka and kept sealed up by Compliance Nexus demanded behavior protocols. These were secrets kept only at the highest levels, and would catch the conspirators wholly unprepared.

    Apollo had to fall. And it had to fall hard. No one really knew how many malcontents lurked under the Compliance Nexus. There was a fear that the crack security team stationed there might be too much for the rebels to overcome. The Black Ops were deployed, with orders that Apollo must fall out of UGC hands. Intact, but fall nonetheless.

    Day One:

    HAL, Tanaka, and Bergmann being easily manipulated by the self aware computer was a perfect storm that no one could have predicted. The Black Ops team arrives, with no clue what is going to happen. After all, there was no way for the operational planners to predict how the chaos would unfold. Assassinations and terrorist attacks were the expected.

    A full blown epidemic of insanity, mutation, and carnage swept through Apollo. Within 24 hours an estimated 90% is either Infested or Dead. In the chaos of this first day legends are born, and forgotten. The one man who managed to gain control of his own infestation, fighting along side the Security Team in the early hours. He disappeared during a hectic fire fight, never seen up close again.

    The Black Ops team infiltrates the Colony, avoiding contact, recording and observing the trouble as it unfolds, and subtly guiding events to stack the odds against the Security Team survivors as much as possible without overt action, intercepting comms, releasing infested who are trapped by security locks. But time and against the marines prove more resourceful than they reckoned. HAL's betrayal is revealed, and the Dr. Bergmann seems to regain his sanity as HAL is shut down and the computer's control over him is lost.

    Bergmann finds traces of the Black Ops, and that the Nexuses have been shut down. With the carnage spread before him, and his relative experience in secret projects and missions he is able to piece together some of what is happening. With no other options, the Black Ops show themselves to try and silence Bergmann before he can reveal the plan. It fails, but Bergmann seems unnerved enough to avoid throwing his lot in with the Security Team.

    Horrible Mutations, HAL returns to Apollo, hijacking the powerful IVAX unit and bypassing several security measures that even the Black Ops felt shouldn't be tampered with... such as Athena's Prison. The final battle concludes, and somehow, despite the odds the Security Team prevails. Their primary mission, assuring the fall of Apollo, so General Jan Koller can come in and be the great hero again, is directly in jeopardy. They execute the Security Team, for the greater good, while promising their efforts would not be forgotten.

    The Black Ops after all, are still only human. It doesn't fill them with any particular joy to gun down such heroes. But it had to be done. They disappear into Apollo to continue watching events, subtly guiding them, and waiting for General Jan Koller's first teams to land.

    The Turn:

    Bergmann is free of HAL, temporarily. During this time Bergmann becomes known as a hero during the crisis. He's witnessed helping out several civilians, saving them from undead ambushes and locking down several of the access points that the Black Ops had been opening up. Bergmann's greater familiarity with the area, as well as some advanced prototype equipment he's found, has managed to give him the edge over the Black Ops that hunt him down.

    What happens during the Alpha Company's incursion into Apollo is mostly a mystery. What is certain is the following facts.

    A: During the events of Alpha Company HAL has transfered it's consciousness out of IVAX, and regained control over Bergmann once more.

    B: Tanaka manages to trick the marines into releasing some "Toxin" that is going to kill the infested. Hardly the case, as the Black Ops uncover his continuing betrayal.

    C: Lt. Sheng and the few survivors of the Security Team go missing. It is believed that they die during the attack of the nightmare beast, however there is no reliable evidence. Even the Black Ops can only guess, as they were similarly effected by the toxin released by Tanaka.

    D: With the Fall of Perses, the Black Ops realize that the original mission is scrubbed. Sentient computers, this rampant mutation, betrayal that seems to reach to the highest levels. They decide to brief the marines on their discoveries, and bring Alpha Company into the depths of Apollo to see the horrors for themselves.

    What transpires between Alpha Company and the Black Ops is a matter of speculation, as survivors and records of the incidence are nearly nonexistant. But it seems obvious there is a confrontation, with Bergmann, the Senator, and their allegiance to General Koller.

    Easy Company:

    Unwitting Rubes. They come in, marching on a path to destruction. The mere fact that they don't seem aware of, or briefed on this infestation speaks highly towards the body count that General Jan Koller was looking to achieve. Casualties were his aim. The pricier the victory over Apollo was, the more that the event could be used in his favor. No longer would he play with mere security details or reconnaisance teams, but be in charge of full divisions and regiments. There is little doubt that he could have not known about the Infestation, considering his recorded contacts with the Security Team and Alpha Company his feigned ignorance to the threat or even nature of the enemy is clearly a badly played lie.

    Why though? General Koller is always portrayed as an honorable soldier and true leader. But his behavior here at the tail end of the Apollo Incident suggests something else entirely. The aspersions he casts upon the characters of others are traits he himself clings to.

    His tactics, bombing runs on his own marines who have seen too much of the truth... a truth he never planned, but one he took advantage of, seems to back this up. Use of widely targeted heavy artillery, called down only when the supposed source of the infestation was near dead. An attempt to hog the glory from his cruiser, instead of putting it on the marines on the ground.

    The confrontation between Black Ops and Easy Company:

    Much is made of this, proving that the Black Ops are somehow evil, looking for nothing but to kill every marine in sight. They take their orders from the Senator, and it suggests that what occurred between the Black Ops and Alpha Company resulted in the Senator having to reassess his position, and the Black Ops coming to terms with the Senator and Bergmann.

    Much is made of Bergmann being a pawn of the Senator. However that doesn't fit quite right. Bergmann's personal history suggests someone who is ideologically opposed to the Senator, and most politicians. His past with his wife suggests a hatred that rather see the Senator in ruins rather than successful.

    So we are left with the missing piece of the Apollo Conspiracy Puzzle. Bergmann cuts a deal with the Senator during the events of Alpha Company's incursion. The Senator sees that his simple excuse to draw out and crush the rebels on Apollo, and promote his new puppet Koller, is a lost cause and agrees to work with Bergmann on a new angle. Presumably Alpha Company, being more loyal to the corp, stumble across this deal cutting, and are likely cut down. Bergmann (Under HAL's control) himself is planning to betray the Senator the moment he no longer needs him. The Black Ops are involved in this new deal to try and bring the Apollo Nightmare to a new resolution. Where the infestation is sealed by Easy Company, the Compliance Nexus is updated to take control over Apollo Colony again, an uneasy status quo achieved during which the Senator can try to draw himself out of this mess, or perhaps pin it on the more openly hawkish members of the government. Koller's stink is all over this incident, at least as far as the Black Ops can tell.

    Thus the confrontation. The Black Ops are pitted directly against Koller. Bergmann (HAL)'s betrayal releases the Queen. Not part of anyone's plan at all. And as it draws closer to the military units they are forced into a standoff. Koller sees them, supposedly units under his command for this operation, not following his orders. A complete shock to him, but he quickly realizes that this means his backers in the government have turned traitor on him. The intelligence these Black Ops teams have could implicate him in this whole mess. End of his career, end of his ambitions. He orders their execution, giving what help he can to Easy Company for the fight, immediately scrambling Charlie Company to rendevous with them, rather than holding them in reserve for the final, large scale set piece assault. Which is incidently why the slower moving, heavier assets of Lihn's Company take longer to reach Apollo than the lighter elements, as they were not fully prepared to conduct the assault for an hour or two yet to come.

    In the end, it is the rebels the conspiracy originally sought to destroy that saved them from the Apollo Incident becoming an even greater disaster than it could have been for all involved. The Black Ops were dead. Bergmann is killed by the rebel Ivan Plushinko. Retired marine Kenny dies in a friendly fire incident. Lt. Sheng is missing in action and presumed dead. The only ones who really know what happened left alive are those who have no reason to speak the truth. The conspiracy remains silent as an uneasy status quo settles. The Senator and Koller both know that they had crossed the line and acted against one another. The Compliance Nexuses remain in power. And eventually... one of those men will find a cloaked operative sticking a dagger in their back, making sure that the Apollo Conspiracy will never come to life.
  2. ProbeGst

    ProbeGst Well-Known Member

    nice fan fiction . but they where under quarantine so i think they where infested. but very nice story i would give it a
    1+ for the information
  3. Arturia

    Arturia Well-Known Member

    Mmmmm. I believe BO imprisoned Alpha in the Prison near Alpha Starport.

    Easy was Quarantined in case they were infected, and had to be checked out (don't want that on our Highly Densely Populated Earth).
  4. Nicarco
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    Good job writing this fan fiction!

    And the way you describe your thought process, that's exactly how fan fiction gets written, so there's no reason it shouldn't be called such.

    Hopefully, when you're really bored in the future, you'll find another topic to write about.
    I know I'll be waiting.
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  6. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member


    Though as an added tidbit I never imagined Easy Company would be killed off or anything. They are... clueless. The events that Easy Company witnesses hardly suggests anything that can potentially harm any of the conspirators. They are too far removed from the truth, and the opening gambits of the Apollo Incident, and what they did discover involved a lot of misinformation, lies, and flat out betrayals.
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    This has a lot of potential. I recommend that you take a few weeks to polish this further and continue building on the narrative. More isn't necessarily more - and good editing is key to any story.
  8. Nicarco
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    Nicarco Warden

    This is the main difference between the lore people want me to write and the fan fiction I actually write, I don't take weeks to write a chapter. So this is automatically better than what I write already :p
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    Read this: ... the-Fandom

    Most of the articles in The Escapist are high quality and I like their journalism. They're an equivalent of 'The Economist' for video-games to me. Anyway, I'll post your writings in our fan fiction section this weekend maybe.
  10. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Please give me a week Ability. Got an inkling of an idea on how to improve this and I want to take a crack at making it that much better before it gets posted up.
  11. Nicarco
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    Great. Now I feel bad writing my own fan fictions because I don't edit them like I should.

    Maybe I should try this lore writing business, just so Arc isn't lonely writing by himself.
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    You should nicarco.
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    Arcturus, try to publish a new version of this by next weekend. I'd like to post this up on our website by Sunday. I'm also going to share some storyline inputs. If I'm being vague in some areas, it's intentional because we need to keep certain plot devices/arcs hidden for our Map Arcade release and intellectual properly.

    Storyline Inputs
    - The UGC isn't an evil empire. It's generally a force for good, but you can understand that many people disagree with it. It's a very centralized regime that leaves little room for open dissent (think Singapore model). This happened in a context where the world was close to utter chaos for almost a decade and all other alternatives were tried. Are there rotten apples? Yes - but they are probably a minority. Largely, they also value security and progress over freedom. So that's an angle you can play with.
    - The Black Ops are not evil henchmen. Many are regular guys with families and a code of honor. They're sent to Apollo for reasons the Senator can't disclose once the events started unravelling.
    - HAL is neither good nor evil. It just is, and like any sentient life form, seeks to preserve itself. She does use very cold logic at times, but won't go out of her limb to kill anyone.
    - Like any real life power play, the rebels in NOTD aren't the rebel alliance. Some are just out for no good, others genuinely want autonomy. There are many layers of motivations and I wouldn't paint them as the "good guys" in the traditional sense.
    - The Compliance Nexuses were first invented and used on Earth. Field testing was done in prison and correction facilities first. They eventually rolled out to high risk areas and hot spots before the UGC reluctantly agreed to expand its use even to Apollo. It was a necessary evil to protect one of humanity's most important collective interests.
  14. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    I'm actually about 60% or so done with the "Final Version" of it right now. And it should be up sometime today or tomorrow.

    Most of those points were things I was trying to consider. I wanted to paint the Black Ops as not "Evil", but rather an intelligence asset that sometimes have to do things that seem wrong on the surface, for a greater purpose. The finished form of this will paint the story as being the brainchild of a dissident who isn't satisfied with the UGC standard.

    The one thing I didn't know was that the Compliance Nexus was prison and Earth Installed first. I do recall reading somewhere... can't remember where, maybe Xavi's old NOTD Storyline topic on the old board, that the Mars Colony was set up as being Compliance Nexus controlled only with no military assets. But it's a relatively easy fix to put into the final version.
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    Yup, the Compliance Nexuses were also used on Mars and the UGC civilian leadership may have been overconfident in minimizing the military presence there due to the unbroken track record for the Compliance Nexuses at the time.
  16. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Hopefully no real problems with key points of the concept though. Like the military draw back in the wake of the Compliance Nexus's proven successes. Course my depiction of Jan Koller is probably far, far, far from the original version of General Hanson/Koller but that is intentional for the purpose of the story, and meant to be taken with a grain of salt.
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    No worries - it doesn't need to follow the 'canon' 100%. And I think that's important to explore some themes we may have never considered before too.
  18. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Good. Because the way this is unfolding I'm probably tearing holes all in Xavi's work. Not that I have anything against what he's done. I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't like the work, setting, and storylines after all.
  19. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    [align=center]A Matter of Perspective
    History is written by both the winners and the losers, contrary to the popular expression. Sometimes even those ideologically aligned to one another can have radically different views on the course of events.
    The following was written in 2115 by a known political dissident and accused terrorist. As such it paints a thoroughly different picture of events over one of the pivotal moments in UGC history. And while it may seem obvious that much of the following is thinly veiled political diatribe, a kernel of truth may yet reside within. As always it is up to the student of history to separate fact from fiction.

    [align=center]The Apollo Conspiracy
    An In Depth Study of the Apollo Incident of 2103[/align]

    Many know about the supposed heroes of the Apollo Incident, General Jan Koller, and the now infamous Easy and Charlie Companies. Their names are etched in the annals of history along such figures as Pershing, Guderian, and Zhukov. But is this reputation as upstanding heroes truly warranted?

    For decades there have been questions, and several formal inquiries into the Apollo Incident, all UGC committee lead, and all finding General Koller's actions beyond reproach and praising him as the Hero of Apollo. However many questions have remained unanswered, and those with the acumen to see beyond what they are told have seen the fatal flaws in the official reports.

    To imagine that so much blame can be hoisted upon one scientist, that some civilian without military clearance could possibly engineer the whole incident alone is beyond preposterous. And this question of How has always been the attention of many speculations in the past. However recent information has come to light which has allowed us to finally come close to the truth.

    UGC: A History of Conflicting Interests[/align]

    The UGC has always been a house divided. It's origins as an Economic, Political, and Military organization is responsible for much of the strife that has come from UGC rule. The divisions within the highest levels of the government are responsible for many of the blunders and the worst of atrocities, including the Apollo Incident.

    In particular the excesses of the military warhawk arm of the UGC machine has always been problematic. The constant warfare among lesser states on Earth had always been tolerated, and some evidence suggests encouraged(1) these conflicts in order to keep the military a powerful and relevant faction within the UGC.

    This underlying conflict within the UGC from it's very inception has become a defining characteristics of how things are run. Much of the economy of the world is geared around this constant conflict. Military spending is second only to exploration and expansion into the solar system(2). As everyone knows, he who controls the purse strings controls the world, and the military block within the UGC had carte blanche to do as they would.

    This balance of power is severely threatened by the invention of the Compliance Nexus. Military presence, particularly over key assets such as the Apollo Mining Colony is cut down to skeleton crews as the Nexus proves itself capable of keeping the peace all on its own, and at a fraction of the cost of military equipment and training(3).

    This invention not only threatens the political balance among the UGC's power players, but also the world economy. Bases are closed, millions find themselves out of work, and factories that had been constantly producing the weapons of war are shut down. One could postulate that if not for the Compliance Nexuses themselves the sheer strife and hardship this shift caused would have been the spark for a grand uprising among the lower classes.

    The military is thereafter regulated to being little more than glorified security guards, even the traditional hot spots had come under the dominance of the Compliance Nexus. When the upcoming Mars Colonization project is announced, and it is revealed that all military presence would be eschewed in favor of Compliance Nexuses only. It is seen as the first nail being hammered in the coffin of traditional military power and influence.

    [align=center]The Seeds of Conspiracy[/align]

    What follows is an event that most students of history are quite familiar with, and almost as mysterious as the Apollo Incident itself. Of course I refer to the Mars Uprising. At the time, the Compliance Nexus has been a proven, solid technology. No known way existed to circumvent it's behavior modification. And to this day only the Engineer Corps seem to know exactly how it was bypassed and have claimed to have fixed the vulnerability.

    Regardless however, a small rebellious faction made it's way to the Mars Colony, and in one fell swoop managed to arm themselves and take over the entire, unarmed, unprotected colony within a day. This one event altered the balance of power once more. The Compliance Nexus was known to be a flawed technology (Despite protests from it's backers), and traditional military power was needed.

    It took two months for the UGC to finally reclaim the Mars Colony, and execute the rebels. General Jan Koller, field commander of the campaign cited in his reports a lack of ground assets, and a generally emancipated military which needed far too much time to muster a response. All of which allowed the rebels not only to take over the Mars Colony, but prepare it so the handful of Rebels were able to hold off the superior UGC Marine Expeditionary Company for much longer than any would have guessed possible.

    General Jan Koller became the new poster boy for the Military faction of the UGC. He constantly preached the need for aggressive military expansion, reopening many closed bases and building up new regiments across UGC held territory. Many Senators supported his cause, but a sizable faction, and the UGC Primier Diego Miguel was opposed to any radical change.

    What resulted was a compromise that had most sides upset. General Jan Koller did not get his massive military build up, but instead was given funding and free reign to create a "Rapid Response Force". The Compliance Nexus program continued unabated, and key assets such as the Apollo Colony was given only a token security team presence(4).

    One of the more hawkish members of the Senate at this time was future Primier Jonathan Wilkins. He was one of General Jan Koller's political backers, and a key member of the Senate's Armed Services Committee. His pet project at the time (And later political talking point), was his efforts to quash sedition and rebellion. He was staking a lot of his political fortunes on this shadow conflict.

    [align=center]The Grand Plan[/align]

    Mars was a small flash in the pan. It was far removed from Earth, and of almost no real importance to the UGC. The effects of it's rebellion were far reaching however. Many postulated what would have happened if a more strategic asset had fallen, the nightmare scenario being the Apollo Colony. Contingency plans for a full scale rebellion on the Apollo Colony were drawn up, and exercises conducted to minimize the collateral damage during such an operation after the Mars Rebellion. It becomes apparent that high ranking staff officers, such as Field Marshal Kim and General Jan Koller had been planning for, and hoping for this eventuality.

    The relationship between General Koller, and Senator Wilkins is well documented, with them having several meetings and public appearances. And there is no question that their political aims and ideologies were well aligned with one another. During this time political pressure was mounting. Senator Wilkins "Rebel Hunt" had been short on results. Several well known insurgents remained unprosecuted, and those who had been rounded up were found to be merely sympathetic without any real ties(5).

    It is easy to imagine the confluence of needs that these two figures had. And key to tying the Senator to the Apollo Incident is the standard operating procedures of the Compliance Nexus Protocol. Contrary to the Terrance Commission(6) Compliance Nexus updates were not under the authority of civilian scientists, but a subcommittee within the UGC Senate. Any such update that supposedly "Corrupted" Apollo would have to come from the highest levels of government, not a rogue researcher with bouts of megalomania and psychosis.

    What truly sparked this then? It is a matter of record, data recovered by Easy Company and released under the UGC Freedom of Information Act a decade later(7) that the trouble coincided with an update received from Earth. The Apollo Colony itself had been known as a brain trust for the scientific community. Easy access to the materials of the moon, being removed from Earth allowing them to conduct experiments that would be seen as dangerous upon the face of Earth, and an atmosphere that drew in the brightest within the UGC to work together. Project Juggernaut and similar manipulations, cybernetics, artificial intelligence networks, and even more esoteric experiments all were unstable factors contributing to the Apollo Incident.

    Much is made of the epidemic in Apollo being the fault of the Nexus, and the supposed hacking of it by malign forces. But I ask you to question then why the epidemic spread as it did? Why were so many civilians left unaffected? Why leave out members of the Security Team? What was to be gained by trying to convert the population of Apollo into such a ghastly abomination? Who stood to gain from such a horrible event?

    Looking into the event with the advantage of hind sight, we can see clearly the benefactors of these events. Senator Jonathan Wilkins, who managed to secure the Premiership 5 years later. General Jan Koller who was promoted to Chief of the Armed Services, and oversaw the largest expansion of the military in UGC history.

    Insurgents and sedition had always been a problem on the Apollo Colony(8). The intellectual elite has always been the enemy of large government, going back for centuries. Several of the top scientists of Apollo had records of protest and anti-UGC behavior in their youth, such as the nationalist causes of Dr. Hidetoshi Tanaka(9), a top ranking civilian researcher in Apollo. And despite the best efforts of the Apollo Security Team, seditious elements ranging from idealistic rebels to little more than glorified gangs and thugs remained a threat.

    [align=center]The First Day[/align]

    The Apollo Incident unfolded quicker than anyone could possibly have imagined. Within an hour after the Compliance Nexus update a majority of both the civilian population, and the Security Team personnel had fallen to the mysterious infectious mutation. While this came to catch the Security Team survivors completely by surprise, it was hardly a surprise to everyone. A black operations team was on the ground before the outbreak, as well were members of the infamous Psi Ops organization. While the motivations of the Psi Ops deployment is often given mystical explanations drawing on their psychic senses, the simple truth is that we cannot know.

    Why was a black operations team present on the ground in Apollo? While we cannot say that black operations teams aren't normally deployed upon Apollo, there are no reports of a consistent presence on Apollo by them, and suggests that they were deployed there specifically for the incident.

    Recently discovered documentation(10) mentions the efforts of the black operations team. In particular contributing to the early communications blackout which prevented response teams from converging upon Apollo immediately, attempting to silence Dr. Caleb Bergmann, and the killing of several key members of the Security Team. Their actions paint a picture of a mission profile which aims to make sure that the Apollo Colony fell into complete anarchy. Even the killings only happened near a point where it seemed the Security Team would somehow manage to regain control without outside help.

    [align=center]General Koller's Missteps[/align]

    The Terrance Commission holds General Koller's actions in the highest regards. To maintain Apollo and it's Helium-3 Processing at all costs and bringing a swift resolution to the Apollo Incident. However was his command as true and honorable as we are lead to believe?

    His commands were clearly designed to try and throw away the lives of his Security Teams. Only Lt. Sheng, disobeying in order to protect the unarmed and unaffected civilians, kept him and his squadron alive. Their orders, running around Apollo Colony in the middle of overwhelming firepower, suggests that he cared little for the Security Team assets, and in fact wanted them to be thrown away in the line of duty. Could the mysterious agenda of the black operations team be a part of Koller's plans? It fits with all we know of the man and his goals.

    Each subsequent team he sent in was ill equipped and ill briefed to deal with the horrors of the Apollo Incident. They were however well equipped for counter insurgency work, when this operation was planned the only enemies foreseen were a rabble of ill equipped violent criminals, seditious elements, and civilian demonstrators. However, when this was disproved during the first hours, why did General Koller not better prepare his men?

    Body count, pure and simple. He wanted (And would eventually get), more than the meager Rapid Response Forces that he currently had. In order to achieve this result, he had to prove that the meager tools he had at hand were nowhere near satisfactory for the events that would unfold. While the plan he hatched with then Senator Wilkins was aimed at a civilian uprising akin to the Mars Colony, the mutation seems to have played into his plans even better, as it was a far greater threat than any mere armed uprising. As he sacrificed his men, he seemed to be preparing for a large, set piece, combined arms assault which would hammer home the need for a large, conventional military and be sure to gain political sway over the coming decades.

    [align=center]HAL, Dr. Bergmann, and the Infection[/align]

    These are the wild cards during the Apollo Incident. No one seemed to plan for their actions, or even know about the existence of them and their plans. Mentions of the rogue Artificial Intelligence HAL are missing from almost all documentation. The whereabouts of it are currently unknown. While it is presumed it was destroyed with the IVAX unit(11), there is no evidence that destruction of any one particular vessel would eliminate the being. HAL did after all survive the shutdown of it's main core.

    But what effect did HAL have on the incident? A brief mention in the Terrance Report suggests that HAL might have used the implants in Bergmann and other scientists to engineer the outbreak. The lack of any further mention in the Terrance Commission is highly suspicious, and seems out of place. According to Lt. Sheng's Memoirs on the subject, HAL was self aware, and seemed more afraid of the marine presence than aggressive against them. Simply put it seems far too fantastic and illogical to believe some stray bit of computer code managed to orchestrate such an event.

    What then of Bergmann? His actions are, between the recollections of Lt. Sheng and the events witnessed by Easy Company, highly suspicious, but also erratic. There are many accounts from civilian survivors from the Incident of Bergmann personally being responsible for their safety(12). While the Terrance Commission pins much of the responsibility for the infestation upon Dr. Bergmann's actions it seems clear that, at the beginning at least, he was actively working against it. Unfortunately we will never know the true motives behind his actions. It is the belief of this researcher that the epidemic has some psychological effect, leaving him mentally imbalanced, and the Incident is pinned on him as he was found gunned down as Apollo was secured, giving him no chance to put his reasons on the record in any way.

    And what of the Infestation itself? Details surrounding it's origins and purpose are severely lacking in official reports, and survivor accounts generally provide no additional details. In Lt. Sheng's Memoirs he mentions discovering evidence in the depths of Apollo suggesting this infection existed long before the Compliance Nexus Update. It seemed to be an offshoot of genetic, chemical, and biological experimentation akin to the well known Juggernaut Project.

    [align=center]The Depths of Apollo[/align]

    Lurking far beneath the bio-domes and surface structures of Apollo lurked a secret. Whatever was down here seemed to lead to the initial outbreak, and existed long before the plans of Koller, Wilkins, and other key figures ever coalesced. It's high security clearance and the lack of even a hint of knowledge among military personnel about it speaks loudly about how secretive and damning it really was. Considering biological experimentation, advanced self aware computers, giant combat walkers capable of decimating an entire armored company, were all deemed safe enough to be common knowledge among security personnel, just what lurked in the darkness?

    First to find it was the black operations team(13), followed by Lt. Sheng and his team, and the surviving members of the Alpha Company. According to the Easy Company report, the commander of the black operations team stated "Something lurks beneath Apollo that threatens our very civilization".

    Beyond the threat of the Queen Beast, Bergmann, or HAL. Lt. Sheng makes only one reference that "An agreement was reached with the Black Ops Team and the Senator to pursue the best course of action for everyone in the UGC."

    We owe our lives to their wisdom and courage. It is a shame that the likes of Major Nardelli had to be sacrificed to the altar of Koller's Ambitions.

    [align=center]Salvaging the Original Conspiracy and Unwitting Dupes[/align]

    Easy Company. Lauded heroes of Apollo. I cannot downplay their skill and courage in the course of the Apollo Incident, is is above reproach.

    That said, they were unwitting pawns to the machinations of General Koller. They managed to succeed despite the odds stacked against them, the information blackout created by their commander, a lack of intelligence being given to them on the nature of their enemy, by the betrayal of Dr. Caleb Bergmann, and managing to withstand the assaults of the black operations team.

    It is regrettable that Easy Company's version of events has for so long been considered the definitive truth that the UGC was restructured around in the wake of the event. Since then we have discovered that Easy Company's experiences were terribly limited, and that they were wholly unaware of the extent of the crisis they faced, or it's true causes.

    But now we can see. How events are manipulated by the small minority. Over a quarter of a million slaughtered for the ambitions of a handful of men. The truth buried with the lives of many good men, who payed the ultimate price for us all. And now we live in the wake of such grand treachery. Our leaders carry on the legacy of blood created by the Apollo Incident, and only by knowing the truth and keeping it's cause in our hearts and minds can we hope to change things for the better.

    Never forget the Apollo Conspiracy.

    (1) Garrick Von Paulus's work "The State of Conflict" points to several cases where UGC operatives intentionally antagonized smaller powers to encourage uprisings requiring a military response.
    (2) 32% of overall spending according to the UGC 2072 Budget. Government Accounting Office.
    (3) New York Times, March 6th, 2074.
    (4) It should be noted that at this time there was still a large number of military trained personnel who were now private citizens due to the previous cutbacks in spending. It became a common practice for certain corporate interests to hire former UGC soldiers as private security, and several such "Private Security Teams", outside UGC authority, existed on Apollo.
    (5) Associated Press. April 7th, 2102.
    (6) UGC Committee Report which found that Dr. Bergmann had somehow "Hacked" the Compliance Nexus to corrupt the Apollo Population.
    (7) 8 years after the published Terrance Commission findings.
    (8) UGC Counter-Insurgency Briefing delivered to Congress November 12th, 2081.
    (9) Arrested at a secessionist demonstration in Hamburg, Germany, August 12th, 2059.
    (10) Lt. Sheng's Memoirs, sole survivor of the Security Team, and recently uncovered by his daughter.
    (11) Postulated in Lt. Sheng's Memoirs.
    (12) Apollo: A Survivor's Story, Accounts from Heart of Chaos.
    (13) According to Lt. Sheng's Memoirs, details on it are sketchy even in this very frank account of the Incident. [hr]
    As you can see above, there is the "Final" edition. Final only in quotes as I am open to correcting minor details if it's handed down by The Man or similar authorities. Or if I butchered some name. The Black Ops commander in particular... oddly doesn't have a Wiki Page, even though any other character mentioned even offhandedly seems to. So I can't remember if Major was his rank or Nardelli was the name he was given. Sounds right to me though.

    Takes a more in character approach than the original format as being a fake document from the future of the story's world. Hits most of the key points that were in the original though.
  20. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    This is good :)

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