Posted By: Stitch, Router <Info Msg Rep>
Classification: TOP SECRET / ULTRAVIOLET EYES ONLY
Greetings. I’m breaking protocol by assembling this list, but frankly routers with our clearance could use some more reference material. With our compartmentalization, we’re too often recreating the wheel or stepping on each other’s toes. Those of us directing ops need to be clued in a bit more to the bigger picture, to more strategically deploy our assets. Most of us have been involved with many of these ops in some form or another anyway, and this list doesn’t provide much in the way of details that might compromise operational details. It is also by no means complete, but it does provide an overview of many ongoing projects.
If you’re upset I’m sharing this list, well, I refer you to the maverick slogan: bite my shiny metal ass.
Eyewiki Search: Ops and Cases
Firewall deals with an endless variety of one-off threats, but where a given threat is large in scope, an ongoing operation is created to deal with it. Operations are also spawned to handle ongoing threat deterrents that are oriented towards a class of threats more than specific x-risks. Likewise, proxies of a more policy-oriented bent plan continually for Firewall’s response to a variety of doomsday scenarios. These response plans are referred to as cases to differentiate from ongoing operations, and include a variety of research, contingency, and survival initiatives, many of them sponsored by the backup faction. For both cases and operations, one server is tasked with coordination; in most cases, this becomes the server’s primary project. For larger operations, multiple servers may actually cooperate, each handling different aspects.
Firewall uses the old intel agency convention of referring to cases and operations by code words. This may seem archaic, but Firewall produces quite a bit of mission documentation that refers to other operations. Code word references prevents the interception of a single document from compromising multiple missions.
Case Asturias Black Flag
ASTURIAS BLACK FLAG is Firewall’s response plan for a full scale invasion of transhuman space by the TITANs. The plan is a work in progress, its scope greatly constrained by Firewall’s lack of knowledge regarding many key facts about the seed AIs. Despite these deﬁciencies, the Ozymandias server runs ongoing scenarios with their latest data and maintains a number of contingencies in place, whether the TITANs re-emerge on Earth or one of the containment zones, launch an attack via the Pandora gates, or suddenly emerge throughout an inﬁltrated transhuman space. Their contingencies include possibilities such as large-scale strikes on infected targets, evacuation of the solar system, and the destruction or blocking off of Pandora gates to seal off extrasolar colonies from infection. This project is particularly reliant on intel gathered from Operation GHOST RADIO and Operation ERRANT ECCENTRIC. Both are excellent, if incomplete, sources of information on TITAN capabilities and weaknesses.
Operation Axon Vulgar
Though kept under wraps from much of Firewall, this initiative has the support of many conservatives. It seeks to investigate the nature of Watts-MacLeod infection and develop both cures and defenses. Their research ranges from effective psi detection and countermeasures to tracking known asyncs for the purpose of elimination should Firewall change its mind about their x-risk potential. Rumors of async abduction and experimentation are categorically denied, though the server has admitted to monitoring the research performed on asyncs by other organizations without intervening to help the victims. A subproject of this operation works to track down and either monitor, eliminate, or recruit members of the Lost Generation.
Case Berserker Void
The crows behind this project, inherited from various pre-Fall studies, take a detailed look at the (partly answered) Fermi Paradox question: why haven’t we encountered more intelligent life? In this vein, they look at various “Great Filter” hypotheses, which suggest that something in the process of evolutionary growth tends to wipe out new civilizations. More specifically, they look at the evidence recovered from various extinct species that we have discovered via the gates and ask, “What wiped them out—and could the same happen to us?” Though this project takes a more theoretical bent than most, the server does occasionally commission new gatecrashing ops to look into various lines of inquiry.
Operation Caribou Abyss
CARIBOU ABYSS is the umbrella term for a multitude of smaller operations involving Saturn’s moon Iapetus. These sub-projects include mapping the moon’s interior, locating exsurgent and TITAN machine pockets, monitoring the research efforts by Titanians and other parties, understanding the exact nature of Iapetus and the TITAN’s efforts here, and establishing contingency plans on dealing with any x-risks that originate here, up to and including the destruction of Iapetus itself.
CENOTAPH maintains surveillance over the devastation of Earth. In addition to tracking breaches of the interdiction zone, the server closely monitors and analyzes ongoing activity on Earth, particularly any signs that preparations are underway for further attacks. A major chunk of this operation’s intel comes from taps that have been strategically placed within the interdiction network itself, subverting their defenses and intercepting the surveillance satellite feeds. They are also known to watch over reclaimer and scrapper groups, using inﬁltrators to keep an eye on their activities. CENOTAPH operatives are very territorial when it comes to other Firewall operations involving Earth, even going so far as to intervene into attempts to escape Earth because they did not deem the operation “safe.”
Case Close Contact
Should the TITANs, Factors, or an unknown alien species launch an attack on the solar system from deep space, Case CLOSE CONTACT has the plans in place to (hopefully) derail it. Their research focuses on monitoring the Oort Cloud for signs of an alien ﬂeet, keeping tabs on the space-based military assets of various transhuman factions, and scenarios involving combat around various solar system bodies.
Posted by: Yemaja, Register <Info Msg Rep> Firewall is kicking off a lot of ﬂops on its processors, but it’s not omniscient or omnipresent. There are gaps in its coverage, research it should be conducting, and developing situations to which it should be playing closer attention. The organization’s resources are already strained. To make up for this, some operations rely heavily on siphoning data from other entities who are already in-the-know or who are capable of throwing more resources around. These sources are tricky, as they rely heavily on vector oversight, and they are easily cut off if discovered, leaving Firewall blind. Other operations are little more than side projects maintained by one or two proxies while they are not busy with other affairs, meaning that crucial data sometimes slips past or Firewall is not able to muster the resources to respond to a situation until far later. In truth, some situations are just too large to effectively monitor. It is beyond the scope of Firewall, for example, to track the production and use of antimatter throughout the solar system. So we grit our teeth and pick our battles … and hope to Jupiter we picked the right ones.
Operation Cloud Dragon
For the last several years, a particularly noxious and well-organized exhuman group known as the Empusae has been active throughout the solar system. This particular exhuman outﬁt has been assigned a higher risk rating due to their stated intent to conquer certain transhuman habitats and use the residents as chattel. Though they have not yet taken much public action, they are known to be laying the groundwork for a major operation behind the scenes. CLOUD DRAGON has been tracing their movements, interfering when possible, and doing everything it can to erase this threat before they bring any of their plans to fruition.
Among the various catastrophes that Firewall investigates, some proxies remain concerned about Firewall’s ability to respond quickly and decisively in an emergency—and possibly apocalyptic—scenario. Firewall’s decentralized structure means the organization often takes weeks if not months to make decisions with the input of all of the proxies. Case DULLAHAN prepares for an eventuality where time is short. Under certain explicit contingency conditions, this project plans to establish a temporary Firewall Council that can act with authority, directing Firewall’s servers and assets so as to best respond to the scenario at hand. Though the structuralist server behind this project has laid the groundwork, it is important to note that the conditions enabling Case DULLAHAN to spring into action have not yet been voted on or decided by Firewall as a whole. Debate over this operation remains ongoing, as certain autonomist parties remain reluctant to initiate it, given the potential it could be used by inﬁltrating parties to destroy Firewall from within.
Case Eldritch Ward
Since the Fall, understanding and developing defenses against the exsurgent virus has been a top priority for Firewall. Of particular interest is its origins—some of the crows with ELDRITCH WARD are now convinced it is not of TITAN design. The servers contributing to this project have also worked to quietly distribute many of their countermeasures to non-Firewall groups over the years, to better strengthen transhumanity’s defenses as a whole. This server is always interested to receive reports and samples on new exsurgent encounters—live specimens being preferred, assuming they can be handled safely.
Operation Errant Eccentric
The TITANs may very well not be the only seed AIs that transhumanity has spawned—or that it will spawn. ERRANT ECCENTRIC follows up on clues—some of them dating back to before the Fall—that we may have other ASIs in our midst. It also investigates groups that are actively or unwittingly creating new superintelligences. The computer science and neuroscience crows in this server take care to analyze the threat potential of other massive intelligence growth possibilities, including transhuman intelligence augmentation.
Cognite is one of this operation’s main targets, and the servers behind this project have spent signiﬁcant resources in getting agents inside the corp. Recently, some scanners working with ERRANT ECCENTRIC have been tracking a group of AGIs known as “sybils” that are believed to be either working with an ASI or seeking to create one.
Case Feral Moraine
FERAL MORAINE is Firewall’s plan for responding to an attack on Martian cities emanating from the White Zone at the center of the TQZ. The options considered in this planning include asteroid bombardment, antimatter strikes, defending and/or destroying the space elevator, and even evacuating and interdicting Mars in the same way as Earth. Though it focuses on an outbreak from the TQZ, FERAL MORAINE simulations also consider attacks emanating from elsewhere on Mars, including major population centers.
Operation Forced Retirement
This backup-sponsored op focuses on building bunkers, refuges, and vaults in far-ﬂung extrasolar locales, so that transhumanity still has a chance at survival even should some new threat arise and wipe most of us out.
Operation Fulgent Termite
FULGENT TERMITE is an operation recently established to monitor remnants of the former crime syndicate-turned-exsurgent annihilation cult known as the White Khanhs.
Recently assembled, Operation FUMIGANT’s role is to seek out and expose/destroy a network of exsurgent sleepers in positions of authority on Luna. Details are very much need-to-know at the moment, but rumor is that they are on the cusp of exposing some respected Lunar ﬁgureheads.
Operation Gehenna Forty
This operation keeps tabs on extrasolar colonies that have gone missing and actively tries to track them down and determine what happened to them.
Operation Ghost Radio
The purpose of GHOST RADIO is to track down and identify the current location of the TITANs. Though part of the project focuses on Earth (and the rest of the solar system) to ascertain that no TITANs remain there, GHOST RADIO primarily analyzes on extrasolar traces the TITANs have left behind. More recently, this project has steered into investigating a potential relationship between the TITANs and a theorized older alien civilization, possibly responsible for building the Pandora gates.
Operation Glass Lich
The goal of operation GLASS LICH is to penetrate the activities of various inﬂuential oligarchs, with the intent of monitoring their ambitions and activities. Condemned as a thinly-disguised anarchist plot by some proxies, the justiﬁcation for this op posits that the accumulated wealth and experience of oligarchs grants them unprecedented inﬂuence over transhumanity’s future, which could conceivably become an x-risk.
Operation Ice Nine
The physicists at ICE NINE investigate x-risks posed by research into various types of advanced physics. They poke their beaks into everything from strange matter and wormhole studies to femtotech and ironbombing the sun. They maintain an ongoing risk assessment of various types of research, occasionally deploying scanners, vectors, or even sentinels to investigate potential dangers.
Case Iron Wind
Case IRON WIND dedicates itself to studying and preparing for the prospects of various self-replicating ecophagy scenarios (so-called grey goo and green goo). Their emphasis is on developing countermeasures, particularly defensive nanoswarms. Most of their current research involves potential outbreaks on Mars, but some crows also investigate the implications of ecophagy on various exoplanets. One of this operation’s long-standing projects examines the impact of various TITAN nanoswarms on Earth and the prospect of defeating them.
Initiated by the backup faction, Operation KUDZU is focused on ensuring, beyond any doubt, the long term survival of transhumanity. Taking inspiration from the virulent and invasive plant species, this operation seeks to establish “seed drops” on every single exoplanet transhumanity visits. Each seed drop is equipped with a nanohive, starting feedstock, and cache of egos and blueprints, all encased within a protected shell.
Gatecrashing teams are encouraged to bury these deeply in isolated areas. In the event that transhumanity is wiped out, these seeds are instructed to activate after 10,000 years, construct a nanofabber and material-scrounging drones, then build a number of cases for sleeving egos, thus establishing the beachhead for a new colony. The server managing this operation makes sure that Firewall teams going through the gates carry these seeds and also invents ways to convince non-Firewall operatives to plant these under false pretenses.
# Start Æther Jabber #
# Active Members: 2 #
< All told, it looks like we have a couple of thousand egos here. Now, the question is: what do we do with them?
> Any idea where they came from?
< All over. This particular slave trader was pulling them in from a lot of sources. Some are infugees, in cold storage since the Fall. Others were forknapped, mostly by shady egocasters, but a few were murdered and stack-popped or thieved by other means. A few hundred were bought cheap from a corp indenture overseer making a fast buck on the side. There are even a few dozen marked as rejects from an AGI programming lab.
> OK, ﬁrst, run the IDs against the missing-ego registries. Maybe we can reunite someone with family they lost during the Fall. For the rest … well, I’ll ask around, maybe we can ﬁnd an autonomist hab willing to take them. Before you do any of that, though, copy them all and send ‘em to [REDACTED] and [REDACTED].
< Copy all of them? What are these operations? KUDZU and LONG SHOT?
> Yep, all of them. I’m not entirely sure—my clearance isn’t high enough. If I were to speculate, I’d guess they were backup projects. Y’know, packing egos away for the long haul, in case our species ever needs to be resurrected.
< So we’re just storing copies of people without their knowledge? Against their will?
> What are you going to do? Have them sign an NDA? Ask for volunteers? I imagine most folks will be happy to ﬁnd out they’ve been archived and saved. If they aren’t, well, they can stay in storage.
< Can you imagine that? Waking up with a 10,000-year case of lack? Finding out transhumanity was long gone? But your lottery ticket was punched and you were chosen to start over? What a mindfuck.
> Let’s hope we never let it get to that point then, eh?
Operation Lone Wolves
This project is the focal point for Firewall’s investigations into astrobiology (and by extension, xenoarcheology and astrosociology). The server running this case is the one many sentinels turn to when they need help identifying or handling alien species. They were also the ones responsible for establishing Firewall’s ﬁrst contact protocols—and are on call should a Firewall team encounter a new alien civilization.
A sub-project of this operation, Case EXCESSION, operates as a think-tank devoted to what are considered “outside context problems”—when a species such as transhumanity, without warning, encounters another civilization or entity that is so technologically advanced or otherwise superior that it cannot even fully understand the threat posed by this contact, much less defend against it. As many aboriginal populations discovered when strange men arrived on boats with guns, horses, and new diseases, such encounters are typically fatal. While theorizing helpful responses to a situation that is by deﬁnition beyond our understanding may seem like a hopeless cause, the crows behind this project continue to develop plans in the hope that transhumanity would in some way be able to survive.
Operation Long Shot
The purpose of this operation is to encourage extrasolar colonization by methods that don’t involve Pandora gates. Though they put a lot of effort into quietly building or acquiring solar-sail ark ships, to be staffed by hibernoids and synths, their main focus is in manufacturing smaller processor ark ships that are little more than nanofabbers and infomorphs. Dozens of the latter have been sent out already, though the server keeps their destinations secret. A team of astronomer crows helps choose the best targets, though in the long run the server intends to send a seed ship to every star within 20 light years.
Operation MOMBI is Firewall’s ongoing and, so far, mostly unsuccessful attempt to penetrate the inner workings of Project Ozma. For reasons Firewall has not fully ascertained, few of our operatives are able to penetrate deeply into Ozma’s workings. That doesn’t stop us from trying, of course, because we’d certainly like to know what these bastards are up to—and what their real agenda is.
Case Moon Garden
Much like Case FERAL MORAINE, this case runs simulations and prepares for a TITAN outbreak on Luna, particularly originating from the New Mumbai Containment Zone.
Unusual for many Firewall crow projects, Case MYSTERY does not engage in hands-on practical research in the physical sciences per se. Instead, the server behind this project analyzes the ethics behind various Firewall operations and potential catastrophe response contingencies. In a way, they serve as Firewall’s conscience. Though they have no direct authority over Firewall’s decisions, this server’s discussion papers are held in wide regard in the Eye and help many sentinels and proxies alike ﬁnd their way.
Sidebar: The Ethics of Survival
Posted By: Conrik Tombs, Crow, Case MYSTERY
[Begin Excerpt] … There’s a philosophy problem called the “trolley problem” that applies here. An out-of-control trolley train rushes down the tracks where it will kill five people. You can ﬂick a switch, however, sending the trolley onto another track, where it will kill just one person. Do you allow the incidental death of one to save ﬁve others? Anyone who’s been on the sort of mission where you have to make a hard choice knows this problem: kill one to save thousands, sacrifice the few to save the many. It’s at the heart of the justification for triage or forgiving the accidental death. It’s not hard to see that sacrifice as sad but necessary.
But there’s a related philosophy problem. In order to save ﬁve, would you intentionally push a person on the tracks to stop the trolley? Many people draw the line here. Diverting the trolley and killing one person is seen as something accidental, more removed. Pushing someone is seen as more involved, more murderous. Yet it can be argued they are the same. Whether you make a decision to ﬂick a switch or push, you are condemning someone to die. In both cases, death was inevitable, and by acting, you minimized the number of deaths. These are the sort of dilemmas for which we must all be prepared. This is nothing new to transhumanity. We program our car-ﬂying AIs to make such life-and-death decisions when necessary, after all, yet they remain thorny to us. When an exsurgent outbreak is imminent, however, we will not have the time to debate. We must act. We must keep the survival of transhumanity in mind.
We must be prepared to make sacrifices and live with consequences. The only other option will be not to live any more at all … [End Excerpt]
The purpose of this project is to study alien relics. Most of the crows in this server spend their time in the ﬁeld, inspecting xenoarcheological sites on various exoplanets. A few are embedded within hypercorps and gate facilities, where they can keep tabs on private acquisitions and research projects.
Case Negative Geometry
NEGATIVE GEOMETRY is Firewall’s exploration into the mechanics of Pandora gate wormholes and, in speciﬁc, the mechanisms that control them. There is an ongoing concern that the gates could themselves be used as weapons. Aside from the desire to achieve better control over gate operations, these researchers hope to be able to more effectively block off the gates should a hostile presence attempt to use them against us, learn how to permanently disable or destroy the gates, and possibly even gain insights into who manufactured them.
Maintaining the Eye’s infrastructure and security is a monumental task. Several servers handle the workload together, under the aegis of Operation SAURON. Very little information is shared outside of these servers, as they handle very important data, such as the location of the Eye’s physical servers, the implementation of its onion routers, the handling of cryptographic keys, maintenance of archives, and most importantly—ongoing overwatch and security. Some of the solar system’s best hackers and system engineers have been recruited to this project. Much speculation surrounds this operation, ranging from rumors of argonaut involvement to use of xenocomputational tech and even ASI involvement.
Operation Solar Storm
One of Firewall’s longest-running operations, SOLAR STORM has been on the trail of an alleged TITAN since the Fall. The main proxies in this server located the presence of a TITAN on Mars during the Fall, but forces at the time were ineffective at destroying it or keeping it contained to the TQZ. They have since followed a trail of evidence that they believe indicates the TITAN is still active, and also claim to have foiled some of its operations. A growing number of proxies in Firewall believe this operation is chasing nothing, but the server refuses to surrender its investigation. This project is closely aligned with Operation ERRANT ECCENTRIC.
Case Suicide Dreams
One of the more depressing x-risks we must deal with is the fact that transhumanity may wipe itself out—and one way that might happen is via a brutal faction conﬂict within the solar system. The server behind this project keeps an eye on aggressive stances, military build-ups, and ongoing memetic battles, hoping to identify and derail any potential conﬂicts before they occur. They keep a particularly close eye on the Jovians, though the Consortium’s hegemonic ideals and hypercorp assets place them as the second-largest potential threat.
Case Third Eye
THIRD EYE is a dedicated scanner project that attempts to forecast likely future events. Using sophisticated AI support, the servers involved have seen signiﬁcant success in modeling matters such as economic ﬂuctuations, political struggles, patterns of criminal activity, social network trends, and even reputation network developments. These predictions are distributed back to Firewall via the Eye and sometimes are cause for initiating new projects.
TRAFFICKOP is the code name for Firewall’s ongoing surveillance of Nine Lives, the ID Crew, the St. Catherine Tong, and other soul-trafﬁcking operations. The primary purpose of TRAFFICKOP is to watch for egos of interest to Firewall, be they captured sentinels or persons of interest. A secondary purpose is the embezzlement of funds by Firewall hackers to fund other missions. TRAFFICKOP is controversial within the Eye. While almost no one objects to stealing from soul thieves, reprisals, particularly from the more violent gangs like Nine Lives, could risk Firewall operational security. There’s also a moral dimension: it’s been argued that Firewall is in effect proﬁting from slave rings by skimming money from these gangs.
Working TRAFFICKOP is extremely dangerous, and many of the sentinels who do so are deeply committed to anti-slavery memes or have other, personal reasons. The op’s detractors point out that the resulting lack of objectivity is a liability. The fact is, only a zealot would risk centuries of subjective time in one of the torture sims where Nine Lives puts traitors—and so zealots are recruited. The only other option would be agents acting under duress, but blackmailing sentinels into doing sensitive work runs counter to Firewall’s philosophy.
Several types of sentinels work this op. Hackers are the operation’s cornerstone, misdirecting funds, riﬂing servers for kidnapped egos of interest, re-thieving stolen identities for use as fake IDs by sentinels, and maintaining the cover of gang inﬁltrators. Filters, preferably with some skill as resleeving technicians, inﬁltrate the gang’s body banks. Muscle comes into play as a last resort, either in the form of mercenaries or of gangers who can convincingly blend in with the slavers’ rank and ﬁle.
Operation Usual Suspects
Given the nature of Firewall activities, many proxies remain convinced it is just a matter of time before Firewall’s existence is revealed to the public. In fact, it has already happened multiple times. Operation USUAL SUSPECTS is tasked with keeping Firewall’s existence in the realm of myth, mesh superstition, and wingnut conspiracy theory—and so far it has succeeded. The servers behind this project are prepared to pick up where the ﬁlters on other operations have failed. In addition to an arsenal of talking points, misdirection, and fuel for destroying the reputations of witnesses and whistleblowers, they have a number of contingencies in place for framing fall guys, activating legions of sock puppets, and taking out certain broadcasting outlets using various means.
Case Vapor Dread
Though a biological pandemic would not have the impact on transhumanity it might have had in the past, before the Fall, an outbreak of a deadly airborne pathogen in a major city such as Valles-New Shanghai or on multiple major habitats simultaneously could still potentially affect millions of lives. The crows and scanners behind this project plan out various plague containment scenarios, keep an eye on the latest biological threat developments, create cures, and establish countermeasures.
Operation VINEGAR’s broad goal is investigation of the Factors as a potential x-risk. More speciﬁcally, they seek the answer to a number of open questions. Do the Factors have a local base in the Oort Cloud? Do they have FTL capability? Where is their homeworld? Do they really represent other species? What are their technological capabilities? What are their actual motives regarding transhumanity?
Whenever a Factor ship enters the solar system, the server behind this operation seeks to learn all they can—often by tapping into the scanning capabilities of the main transhuman polities. They also try to get an operative on board the ship, monitor all Factor transactions in detail, and hope to acquire whatever alien relics they can. More recently, they have been looking for extrasolar signs of Factor presences.
One of the interesting discoveries made about the TITANs during the Fall was that the seed AIs had conducted an incredible amount of research into human (and uplift) biology, speciﬁcally genetics and neurology. Unknown to almost everyone, some of this research data was actually captured on a TITAN storage unit and successfully decrypted. Though the data is dense, it reﬂects just a fragment of what the TITANs knew about us. Case WATCHMAKER was initiated to study what the TITANs had discovered. After several years, the research project has made some signiﬁcant breakthroughs in understanding how the TITANs targeted transhumanity with basilisk hacks and various viruses, though it is strongly suspected that the TITANs will have perfected their techniques.
Operation White Rabbit
The servers behind operation WHITE RABBIT are tasked with rooting out and handling inﬁltration of Firewall servers and cells by outside parties, as well as other potential methods of subversion. While they can be called in by proxies who suspect nefarious activity, WHITE RABBIT agents are also known to rotate into new servers for short periods purely to scope out any potential internal threats. These agents are all skilled at counterintelligence techniques. Even if they ﬁnd nothing suspicious, they will often help a server upgrade its practices and internal security before they leave.
Case Yellow King
Case YELLOW KING has one of the most dangerous jobs within Firewall—studying TITAN technology. The servers taking on this task are staffed almost entirely by pragmatists. Extensive care is taken not to handle active devices and heavy safeguards are instituted for almost all interactions with TITAN artifacts.