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The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War The subject of this article appeared in Zombies mode

Outbreak currently has 246 pieces of intel. They are split into four categories, each of them regarding a different force within the narrative of the mode. These categories are Requiem, Omega Group, Maxis, and Dark Aether.

The map launched with 25 pieces of intel available with 31 more added during Season Two Reloaded. 48 added during Season Three and 37 more intel were added with Season Three Reloaded. 31 new intel were added with Season Four and 20 more were added with Season Four Reloaded. 19 new intel were added with Season Five and 35 more were added with Season Five Reloaded.

Requiem

Audio Logs

"Strauss shares some thoughts about the dangers of Aetherium harvesting."
— Description

Oskar Strauss: The Aetherium harvesting unit. To the layman, it's not terribly impressive. Just a metal box with a canister in it, quietly sitting there, sucking in airborne Aetherium particles. But there is a reason my science teams risk their lives to place these units across the Zone. With Aetherium concentrations greater in the Ural Mountains than anywhere else on Earth, these harvesting units are absolutely vital in our race against the Soviets to harness the power of the Dark Aether. Once filled, each canister must be collected for rocket-transport to international waters. We considered other modes of travel, but rockets really are the quickest, cleanest way to get the samples out of the Outbreak Zone. Which is not to say retrieving these canisters is easy. They are heavy, cumbersome things, and once disengaged from the harvesting unit there is a limited amount of time to get them to the rocket before the samples degrade. They also draw hostiles like flies to honey, I have lost more than a few people on collection duty. I have therefore requested that Field Ops strike teams support all future canister retrieval efforts.

"Grey muses about the risks and rewards of the Dark Aether Specimen Analyzer."
— Description

Elizabeth Grey: This is Dr. Elizabeth Grey with a few thoughts on the new Specimen Analyzer stations. We're using them to run field tests on undead anatomy - specifically, genetic mutations and structural changes in the cerebral cortex. It's a rather grisly affair, severing some poor, infected bloke's head and putting it in a jar for a proper soft tissue mapping and DNA sequencing. But if we can identify the root stimuli and catalysts for all these physical transformations, we'll be one step closer to preventing them. Unfortunately, those heads aren't quite deceased, and they seem to call out to the other infected in the area. I say this because the creatures always come running whenever we perform a scan. Not quite sure if they're trying to rescue their fellow dead-head, or if it's more like sharks sensing an injured fish, but I'm working on a way to insulate the unit so the sample's distress won't draw unwanted attention. Until then, my Unnatural Sciences teams may require some rather robust protection to operate the Dark Aether Specimen Analyzer.

"Carver discusses hunting High Value Targets from the Dark Aether, and ponders the enemy's command structure."
— Description

Mackenzie Carver: Our strike team has taken down a lot of different hostiles - some bigger and badder than others. Every encounter is a risk of life and limb. But as far as my Containment and Security division is concerned, we learn the most from their engagements with apex-level threats. The Dark Aether's "high-value targets" for lack of a better term. So we've come up with a way to guarantee they'll be tangling with an HVT. It's an energy cannon platform parked in geosynchronous orbit over the Ural Mountains. When an uplink station is activated, the satellite fires a dimensional disruptor beam that literally pulls an HVT out of the Dark Aether into the AO. Strauss gave me a bit of grief when I suggested we call them HVTs. He still sees this enemy as a disorganized mob. But I see a hierarchy at work, and the top dogs are calling the shots. Of course, I may be reading too much into it. But even if these apex threats are as brain-dead as their foot soldiers, the more of them we kill the better.

"Strauss prepares a memo to the strike team about the use of Essence Conversion Modules."
— Description

Strauss: Energy Research voice memo to Requiem strike team from Dr. Oskar Strauss. Subject: the proper care and feeding of Essence Conversion Modules. First, the modules are currently in orbit. You must call them down with the launch control station we've already placed in the outbreak zone. Trust me, its simple enough that even someone like you can use it. Once they land, the modules will absorb the "essence" of any infected you kill nearby. All you have to do is, well... what you do best. When they have reached full charge, that is when things get interesting. The unit's internal lab exposes the essence to refined Aetherium crystals. This establishes a connection with the objects in the Dark Aether dimension, through a process called quantum entanglement. In layman's terms, the essence you collect is transformed into a Dark Aether object. It's our way of examining the contents of our parallel reality without requiring you to go there. You're welcome. Now get to work.

"Grey records some thoughts on the Dark Aether Recon Rover and the living payload it carries."
— Description

Grey: The recon rover. Ugh. This is a tough one for me. I mean, yes, I recognize the absolute need to send monkeys into the Dark Aether. It's the only way to record that dimension's effects on their physiology. And it's certainly a lot less risky than sending my people, but... *sigh* I really do need to stop naming those monkeys. Anyhow, here's how it works: we leave a Dark Aether Recon Rover parked in an area where we've recorded instability in the dimensional membrane. Our strike team activates the rover, and then do their best to keep the nasties off until it can successfully enter a rift and start sending back telemetry.The data we're getting is remarkable. I'm starting to understand how Aetherium transmutes living organisms on a cellular level. We've even recorded the specific moment when the subject starts metabolizing Aetherium to continue functioning post-mortem.It's just... difficult reviewing the data. They scream once they cross over. A lot. And then they go quiet. And then they start to laugh...

"Carver knows what the huge Aetherium crystal "power nodes" are up to, and why they must be destroyed on sight."
— Description

Carver: We've identified certain Aetherium crystal structures in the Outbreak Zone that the labcoats are calling "power nodes." They're the biggest crystals out there - almost beautiful in their own way. But if what the experts are telling me is true, they're scary as hell. My people have determined these power nodes are here to fundamentally alter the environment. It's a process they call "terraforming". Basically, they're slowly transforming the air and the ground around them to make it more hospitable to the creatures crossing over from the Dark Aether. They do this by continually releasing Aetherium in its gaseous form. And we know that the only thing keeping those monsters inside the outbreak Zones is their proximity to an Aetherium source. They wander too far away and they drop dead. We've recorded all of this on our instruments, but you don't need any equipment to know how powerful one of those crystals is. All you have to do is get up close to a power node and it feels like... I don't know... like the "shrooms are kickin" in. Yeah, I said it. I saw some shit in 'Nam. But nothing that messed with your head as bad as this. So I've made it a priority for our strike team to blow them up whenever they find one. No fucking way we're gonna just let these things turn Earth into their favorite vacation spot.

"Grey muses on the origin of "the Beacon" and other strange devices found in the Outbreak Zones."
— Description

Grey: So - I've been thinking a bit about the Beacon. You know - the thing we've been casually using to move between different areas of the Outbreak zone? Well, we don't know what it is - or who built it. Same goes for the funny little vending machines. We think they're safe - certainly no one's lost anything while using them - but they are something of a peculiarity... They appear to have been cobbled together from machine parts pulled from different time periods in our world - A bit of this from the '50s, a dash of that from the '60s, a sprinkle of something from the '80s... You get the idea. It just doesn't really make sense them being here. Now - I've got a theory - and it is only a theory - that someone or... something in the Dark Aether has sent them here to help us. Not sure, but definitely something to look into...

"Strauss relishes the increased Aetherium collections from the Ural Mountains and mentions some new opportunities created by this windfall."
— Description

Strauss: I was reviewing Aetherium production reports this morning, and... it seems we are running out of storage space. My, my. The worm has certainly turned for Energy Research, ever since we began operations in the Urals. I have more Aetherium now than I know what to do with, thanks mostly to my harvester units. This embarrassment of riches has allowed us to put several new projects into development, not least of which is Requiem's very own teleporter. Oh, it is not quite ready yet, but I would bet my slide-rule that it will surpass the crude portals Dr. Peck slapped together in Vietnam. Then there is the new prototype from the weapons lab. Carver asks about it every day, like a child impatient for Christmas. (chuckles) Patience, Major. You shall have your new Wonder Weapon soon enough

"Weaver and Carver discuss their decision to cut off Maxis's communications with the strike team and their assessment of the risks she might pose."
— Description

Weaver: I wanted to ask - Do you have any doubts about the decisions we've made regarding Agent Maxis.
Carver: Doubts? As you know - in the military - doubts rarely do you any good after a decision has already been made.
Weaver: But does that mean you don't have them?
Carver: We all have doubts, Weaver. It's what makes us good at what we do. It's what makes us human. If we didn't have doubts we might as well just put a tactical computer program in charge of operations.
Weaver: I'm just worried that our decision to take away the radio she used to talk to the team could render her more... Unstable.
Carver: All the more reason to stick by the decision we made. Regardless of how useful she's been in the past, the last thing we need is instability within our chain of command.
Weaver: She's done so much for us. We wouldn't even be here if she hadn't risked her life to get us the Projekt Endstation footage.
Carver: I know... And I know how close you are to her. The most important thing we can do now is to make sure that she gets better... To make sure that she in no way compromises our mission. Of that, I have zero doubts.
Weaver: Thank you, Major. I appreciate your perspective. That'll be all.

"Carver shares his thoughts on the undead hordes hunting Requiem personnel in the Ural Mountains Outbreak Zones."
— Description

Carver: While a whole lot has been going right for us in the Oh-Zee, Field Ops is reporting an increase in Dark Aether assaults on our strike teams and security patrols. It's almost as if the infected are changing up their tactics. They're starting to ambush our people with heavily armed undead... hordes. Well, maybe "horde" isn't quite the right word. That implies a lack of organization. But the reports I'm seeing refer to specific combinations of enemies -- foot-soldiers supporting elites, working together in a coordinated fashion. This all started happening after we took down a few of their high-value targets. I can’t help but think they’ve realized we’re going after their top brass, and now they're out for payback. I don't know. Maybe I'm overestimating their brainpower. I mean, even ants will pull together to defend their queen. But what if I'm right? What if these hordes really are organized death squads? Our little war with the Dark Aether may have just entered a whole new phase. Fuck.

"Carver saw something he shouldn't have -- and it seems to confirm his worst fears."
— Description

Carver: Okay, Mac, okay. Just gotta take a breath now and shake off these jitters. Think it through... Fact: Dark Aether hostiles come in different classes, different threat levels. It's why we're calling come Specials, some Elites, and some… Apex-level. Fact: we've seen them work together, attacking us with a mix of offensive capabilities. Reminds me of how we outfit platoons with a range of weapons -- riflemen, snipers, heavy gunners. The others roll their eyes when I point this out, but I know a tactical unit when I see one. And then there’s what I saw today, while I was waiting in the Director's office... It was right there on his desk, face up in his in-box. Straight from the DNI -- "Eyes Only." You don't just leave that kind of document lying around. Was he testing me? Anyhow, the memo confirms what I've been trying to warn them about. They know there's a top dog on the other side -- some kind of entity in charge of the rest. So why aren't we talking about that? Why aren't we making plans to take that damned thing out? Gonna have to play this cool, act like I didn't see nothing. But I sure as hell did.

"From Requiem's archives: a recording of Projekt Endstation Director Vogel in which he believes he has saved the Reich from defeat."
— Description

Ulrich Vogel: Ulrich Vogel, director of Projekt Endstation, 29th of January, 1945 (sigh) Well, it is finally done. Two days ago, we bid farewell to those sent here by the Führer to carry out Operation Baldr. Godspeed, heroes of the Reich. Unfortunately, the strain proved too much for the cyclotron. Several seals blew on the cooling unit and radioactive steam contaminated the station. I ordered an evacuation. The entire staff is gone now -- on their way to join our forces in retreat, but with the Red Army advancing, I can only hope they got away in time. As for me, I have chosen to remain and monitor the equipment. I must confirm Task Force Baldr is in position. Everything now rides on their success. I have no illusions about my chances here. This is Soviet territory now and when they find me they will surely kill me. But in a sense they are already too late. I alone have secured the future of our nation.

"Ravenov contacts Weaver with an exciting development: Omega scientists want to defect."
— Description

Ravenov: It's been a long time, Weaver.
Weaver: Ravenov? You've got some balls using this line after what you and Sam did.
Ravenov: We did the right thing. You may not say it out loud, but I know, in your heart, you agree.
Weaver: If you have intelligence, you contact me, Ravenov, Maxis is not C-I-A. She can't help you.
Ravenov: And yet, we achieved what you could not: dissent and division within Omega itself.
Weaver: What are you talking about?
Ravenov: The fallout from Operatsiya Inversiya. In Omega. People are talking. Staff are scared -- concerned about the KGB's direction. Some believe they have gone too far. I have been contacted. By a group of Omega Scientists. They wish to defect.
Weaver: Great. They know where the embassy is in Moscow.
Ravenov: Don't be a mudak, Weaver. These are good people. They defect not out of hatred, but out of passion. They seek to right Omega's wrongs. These scientists report directly to Valentina and Peck. We both know what that would mean for Requiem. The embassy is a death sentence. You know this. We may as well deliver them straight to gulag.
Weaver: Okay... okay. Let me run it upstairs. I'll be touch. Oh, and Ravenov? don't ever call me on Sam's line again.

"Weaver contact Ravenov to confirm that Requiem is willing to take Omega's defectors."
— Description

Weaver: Ravenov, can you hear me?
Ravenov: Loud and clear. What news from "upstairs"?
Weaver: We have a green light.
Ravenov: Khoroshiye novosti! Good news indeed. I knew you would see things my way.
Weaver: Here's the deal. First, I need names, ranks, ages, breakdowns on all the defectors -- and their roles.
Ravenov: You will have it. Next?
Weaver: Next. The scientists are to travel to the Ural Mountains. We'll use my strike team for evac while they're in the Oh-Zee.
Ravenov: It will be done. When the scientists are in position, I will contact you to provide extraction.
Weaver: One more thing. We do this, we do it my way. You work with me. No more of this behind my back bullshit. Understood?
Ravenov: Da. Weaver. You're the boss.
Weaver: Damn straight.
Ravenov: Khoroshiy, comrade. That is the spirit, I will be in touch. When the time is right.

"After the incident at the Omega Missile Silo, Requiem's Senior Staff discuss the fallout from Maxis's rogue operation."
— Description

Weaver: Well, people, we've got a bit of a clusterfuck on our hands, don't we?
Carver: Our own strike team running an off-the-books operation cooked up by a Soviet officer and someone on house arrest? Yeah, the Director's gonna love that.
Strauss: A-hem. Agent Maxis is not under arrest, per se. "Under observation," perhaps. Though no one observed her straying outside the chain of command...
Grey:Look, maybe it wasn't sanctioned, but was it really wrong of her dump those warheads in the sea? She might of saved the East Coast from becoming one big outbreak zone.
Weaver: It wasn't her call, Grey. She should have come to me first. However her good intentions -- nobody hijacks my troops.
Carver: Besides, I have serious doubts that those warheads were really meant for use against us.
Strauss: Carver, this isn't more of your "Dark Aether Overlord" talk, is it?
Carver: Do I walk into your lab and slap the test tube out of your hand, Strauss? No. Show me the same respect. I think Omega recognizes the real danger here, and so should we.
Grey: So, if those missiles were meant to stop something worse than what we've already seen... and we just eliminated them... did we just leave the world more vulnerable?
Weaver: Meeting's over, people. I don't know how this will all shake out, but it wasn't our best day by a long shot. Grey? I'd like a word alone...

"Weaver chastises Grey for her role in Maxis's rogue op, as Grey raises more pressing concerns."
— Description

Grey: Weaver, I don't know what to say...
Weaver: There's nothing to say. Your lack of military experience is no excuse for what you did. You knew better and you did it anyway.
Grey: I just wanted to let her talk to the team. I didn't know what she--
Weaver: One thing you are not is stupid. But I also don't think you're a traitor. Which is why I'm taking the heat on this one. No one upstairs is aware of your role in Sam's little side operation, and that's how it'll stay. As long as you never fucking cross me again. Understood?
Grey: Yes.
Weaver: How is she, anyway?
Grey: Agent Maxis is still showing high levels of Aetherium contamination in her bloodstream. But the way it's affecting her is different than any other subject I've observed.
Weaver: Meaning...?
Grey: It's not just her eyes. There are things happening on a cellular level I can't quantify yet.
Weaver: You keep your notes on our central database, yes? That would explain the new orders. The Director wants you to run more specialized tests on Maxis. If you're asked to cooperate, you do as instructed. Are we clear?
Grey: Yes, sir.
Weaver: And, Grey? Remember, if it's on the mainframe, everyone above my pay grade can access it. If there's something you want to tell me, you tell me in person.
Grey: I promise, Weaver, I won't keep anything else from you.
Weaver: I'm glad we understand each other. Dismissed.

"After losing his strike team, Weaver is paid a late night office visit by Carver."
— Description

Knocks are heard on a door

Weaver: Come in.
Carver: Late night, brother?
Weaver: You could say that... What can I do for you, Major?
Carver: Mac.
Weaver:Yes, yes... Mac. What can I do for you?
Carver: I was hoping I could do something for you. You're clearly under a lot of stress at the moment... I take it you've been getting it both barrels from the Director?

Weaver opens a bottle and fills two glasses.

Carver: None for me, thanks.
Weaver: I insist, cheers

Both cheer and drink.

Carver: Look -- I don't want to speak out of turn. Feel free to put me in my place if needs be, but I know how you must feel... losing the team and all.
Weaver: No. You don't know how I feel. You can't. This bastard -- Kravchenko. We go way back.

Weaver fills another glass.

Carver: I know. I can see it in your eyes.
Weaver: Eye. Singular.
Carver: Sorry. I just mean... I know this is personal, but that doesn't mean you have to take it that way. I spent the best part of then years feeling the way you do right now -- downing the liquor, trying to numb the guilt of my own failures.
Weaver: I know... I can see it in your eyes.
Carver: Yeah. You should. That guilt isn't going anywhere. But you ain't gonna deal with it any better with the Scotch. You're still gonna have to look yourself in the eye every morning.
Weaver: (chuckles) Nicely put.
Carver: Anyway, I was on my way out for the night. I just wanted to tell you... I know how you feel. Honestly.
Weaver: I appreciate it Carver.
Carver: Mac.
Weaver: Mac.
Carver: Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Carver opens the door and leaves.

"Grey and Strauss talk about the fate of the strike team, and the potential of a new device."
— Description

Strauss: Doctor Grey! To what do I owe the pleasure?
Grey: Cute. Very cute.
Strauss: Forgive my levity... and perhaps my... brevity? How can I help you?
Grey: I just wanted to talk to you about a couple of things. Well... three actually.
Strauss: Hit me. Not literally, of course. I just mean... What do you want to know?
Grey: The strike team are missing.
Strauss: Presumed dead?
Grey: I'm not presuming anything. I just wondered if you had more information on their current status.
Strauss: Shouldn't that be a question for Weaver?
Grey: Yes. Yes. I'm just... trying to... not piss him off any more.
Strauss: After how Ms. Maxis led you astray?
Grey: Fuck me, Strauss... Do you have to be such a prick?
Strauss: Well, I try not to be -- but I am very busy!
Grey: I honestly don't know how Weaver hasn't punched you in the face already...
Strauss: So. That's two things I can't help you with. Dare I enquire as to the third topic you wanted to discuss?
Grey: I wanted to... see where you were at with your research regarding the Aetherium Neutralizer...?
Strauss: Well... it's really quite fascinating. The potential for travel in and out of the Dark Aether -- safely -- could yield many benefits...
Grey: No shit, Sherlock. But what about the downsides?
Strauss: I think the downsides "go without saying"...
Grey: But -- now we are saying it...
Strauss: Yes. We are. I can't help but wonder if those within the other dimension have harnessed similar powers. Could they perhaps be... on their way here?
Grey: You really are a barrel of laughs, aren't you? I'm going to bed. It's been a long enough day as it is...
Strauss: Auf Wiedersehen.
Grey: Just... don't! Okay?

"Weaver and Carver discuss a developing situation in Berlin and their noticeable exclusion from involvement."
— Description

Carver: What the actual fuck, Weaver?
Weaver: What's wrong, Mac?
Carver: Major Carver. Unless we've completely abandonned the chain of command.
Weaver: From your tone, I'm guessing you heard about the outbreak situation in Berlin?
Carver: Damn right I heard about it. I still have friends. Some of them in high places. Higher even than you. Why the Hell haven't we sent a team to engage?
Weaver: You answered your own question -- Orders from above. Not only has the Director made it explicitly clear that we are not to engage, but he's also taking a lot of our other options off the table.
Carver: I think I'm going to need a little context on that statement.
Weaver: The Director is handling the situation in Berlin personally.
Carver: What? Like he's gone there himself? As in boots on the ground?
Weaver: Dammit, Carver. You of all people should know there're ways to make things happen without actually holding a gun to someone's head.
Carver: I don't like being out of the loop, Weaver.
Weaver: Neither do I. This is all coming down from the high. You, Strauss, Grey, even me for fuck's sake -- none of us are on the "need to know" list.
Carver: Jesus... I had no idea things were that bad.
Weaver: They are that bad, and all of us need to hope that they don't get any worse. Strauss and Grey's research has already been seized for reasons... unspecified.
Carver: Fuck. Are we falling apart here, Weaver? Have we been mothballed?
Weaver: I wish I knew the answer to that, Major.

"As their enemies close in, the Requiem Senior Staff discuss a risky move."
— Description

Weaver: Apologies for keeping you all waiting...
Grey: Bad news?
Weaver: I'm trying to think of where to start...
Strauss: Beginnings are always good.
Carver: Strauss - just don't, okay?
Grey: What's on your mind, Weaver? We're all friends here... Good colleagues at the very least.
Weaver: The situation in Berlin could have been a whole lot worse than it was, but - thanks to Agent Maxis - we were able to get the strike team home safely.
Strauss: And eliminate that rather nasty threat from the... Nazis.
Grey: Isn't there something else we should be discussing? What's going on... with Maxis?
Weaver: No. Not today. Omega are still several steps ahead of us - and I don't like not knowing what's coming.
Carver: I think we all know what's coming... and it's a threat from the Dark Aether itself.
Strauss: The Forsaken. It could well prove to be a bigger threat than Omega.
Weaver: Well that's what I'm here to talk about. Desperate times. Desperate measures. We need to reach out to those with... more 'inside' knowledge.
Carver: I really hope the next word out of your mouth doesn't begin with Rav...
Weaver: Ravenov. He's no friend to Omega, and I think he could well prove valuable to us.
Strauss: There is... another option... Or should I say 'additional' option.
Weaver: I know...
Carver: Zykov. He may be the only one who truly knows The Forsaken.
Grey: Are we suggesting we somehow... break this 'lost Russian' out of the Dark Aether.
Weaver: Poor bastard's been in there longer than anyone... and we need all the allies we can get.

"Carver attempts to reconcile past grievances with Strauss, and makes a bold proposal."
— Description

Strauss: Ah Carver. Here to gloat? Do a "victory lap"?
Carver: Not sure I follow.
Strauss: Your outlandish theory has proved true -- and I was one of your most vocal doubters. You were right. Your "Commander-in Chief" presiding over a Dark Aether army. The Forsaken.
Carver: We both know me coming here to gloat would be a waste of time.
Strauss: Ah! So what then? Here to celebrate? Regretfully, I am all out of champagne.
Carver: All right. I get it. You and me? - we won't ever see eye to eye. I'm a man of war. You're a man of science. In WW2, my father fought for the allies, while you fought for the...
Strauss: --how dare you. I never fought for anything more than my own research, and, in turn, my whole life has been in the service of men like you, who only want weapons. Violence. Annihilation.
Carver: You got this all wrong. I'm trying to prevent annihilation.
Strauss: Because you have the bigger stick? Nothing is learned through eradication.
Carver: What about exploration? Your research was only possible because my teams protected yours. I'm not the provocateur, I'm the peacemaker. And that's what I'm trying to do right now. Make peace. The Forsaken is coming. The way I see it, it's going to take your brains and my brawn to stop it.
Strauss: You are proposing an accord?
Carver: A temporary cease-fire. We need to work together if we're going to stop this thing.
Strauss: I would be amenable to that. Surely you can pardon an old man for being stuck in his ways.
Carver: Shit. You're not the only stubborn bastard in the office.
Strauss: I do fear, Major, that we are already too late. I have been studying the primordial energy from the vortices. They are appearing more frequently, rapidly accelerating the terraforming process. In one month's time, we will no longer be able to contain their spread. As long as the portals remain open, they will continue to grow.
Carver: Well. Sounds like we need to find a way to close the portals then. For good.

"Carver pays a hospital visit to Requiem's chopper pilot, Raptor One."
— Description

Raptor One: Come on in! Especially if its my most favorite nurse! Shit... Sorry. Sir.
Carver: At ease, Captain. Mind if I take a seat?
Raptor One: With a Ribbon rack like that, you can do what ever the hell you want. Shit... You can even have the bed.
Carver: No need... And - while it's not yet official, I think you can expect some of these ribbons yourself. I brought you some chocolates.
Raptor One: Well, I appreciate it, Major - Especially seeing how as I just dropped my other ones on the bed. Aww, shit - they're just melting into the damn sheets. What the fuck is Nurse Mary Beth gonna think??
Carver: Captain. You're on leave for the rest of the month.
Raptor One: Wait. What?
Carver: You've done more than any commanding officer has a right to expect. You went through a lot.
Raptor One: Permission to speak freely, Sir?
Carver: Well, with all the cussing you've been doing, I assumed speaking freely was already a given.
Raptor One: Um... You want a chocolate?
Carver: Sure. So long as it's from the fresh box and not the bedsheets.
Raptor One: This is - Sir - I don't want leave. You like cherry creams?
Carver: Sure.
Raptor One: Good. I can't stand those creamy ones. My favorite's butterscotch - and then maybe the caramel.
Carver: Chocolates aside - May I ask why you don't want to go on leave?
Raptor One: I appreciate you visiting me - and the promise of some more medals - but I spent most of that last op tied up. Much like I am now. If it's all the same to you, I'd rather get airborne again and do what I do best.
Carver: Hauling our strike team outta trouble whenever they need it?
Raptor One: Absolutely.
Carver: I understand.
Raptor One: Sir - One more thing...
Carver: Yes?
Raptor One: You want a butterscotch?

"Ravenov contacts Weaver with pertinent information about Operatsiya Izbavitel."
— Description

Weaver: ...hello?
Ravenov: Still all out of fucks to give, Weaver?
Weaver: Ravenov? You shouldn't be calling. This line is monitored and recorded. Just talking to you could land my ass in a six-by-four at Dreamland--
Ravenov: --you'll want to hear what I have to say, Weaver. As will your Director, who, if I am not mistaken, is also listening in.
Weaver: Get to the point. What do you want.
Ravenov: Omega. Operatisya Izbavitel. I know what it is. More importantly... I know where. There is a test site. Used in the early days of Operatsiya Inversiya. It has been repurposed. That is all I can say for now.
Weaver: I'm going to need more than that if you want to get back into my good graces.
Ravenov: Even after all this time, you are still not listening. That is not why I have ever done any of this. It has always been about doing the right thing. A courier will be delivering a parcel to Requiem's dead drop in Madrid. It contains everything I know.
Weaver: Why don't you come in? We can talk this out.
Ravenov: And end up in that six-by-four in Dreamland? I don't think so. Review the documents. Then we talk.
Weaver: An in return? What do you get out of all this. Your name cleared? Safe passage to the West?
Ravenov: Nyet. I want you to release Agent Maxis. I have come to understand you are still holding her in captivity.
Weaver: You know I can't make that call.
Ravenov: But, as we both know, there is someone listening in who can. You know who you are.
Weaver: I'll see what I can do.

"Strauss reflects on his work with Requiem, and the potential endgame that awaits."
— Description

Straus: Oskar Strauss. Personal log. May 12th, 1985. It is late. My insomnia has returned for the first time in years. I try counting sheep, but I end up counting sins instead. Weaver says our conflict with Omega is coming to a head. The tipping point approches. One final battle. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more... Two sides in the mix: Requiem, Omega -- each desiring to destroy the other. One wild card in the deck: the Dark Aether, desiring to destroy us all. I cannot say what outcome East and West will bring, but with the Forsaken, there is no doubt: extinction. There is only one way to stop it -- close the gateways. Sever our connection to the Dark Aether. Forever. That would mean the end of my research. The end of Aetherium. But if we do not act, it could mean the end of the world. I recently found myself reviewing old records in Requiem's archive. From the war. I found documentation about a man who faced a similar conundrum. Professor Krafft. A Demonologist. Studier of the occult. A man forced to work for a great evil. Krafft's choice was not unlike my own. His life's work versus potential calamity. His choice speaks for itself, since we are here now to read the story of what he endured and accomplished. I hope I choose as wisely as he did.

Documents

"CIA Director Casey greenlights Requiem's operations in the Ural Mountains."
— Description

June 20, 1984

FOR: Director of Requiem
FROM: DCI Casey
SUBJECT: Operation Threshold

Having consulted with POTUS and all appropriate NATSEC stakeholders, I have officially authorized implementation of Operation Threshold. You are hereby instructed to immediately mobilize all personnel and resources necessary to support extended covert ops in the Ural Mountains Outbreak Zone.

Mission parameters remain as detailed in the proposal you submitted to me. As expected, the White House's main concern is the obvious one: staging ongoing military operations in the heart of the Soviet Union risks triggering a full-scale war. However, both NATO and the USSR are driven by a mutual need to keep lose as we do from a global panic. We are therefore confident the Soviets will keep our presence in the Urals under wraps so long as we operate within the perimeter they have established for their own covert ops. But there are limits to what each side will tolerate, so keep engagements with Omega Group to a minimum.

All four of your Division Leads are familiar with the planned array of objectives and the materiel assembled to carry them out. Nevertheless, as you further your Aetherium research and collect vitally needed data on the Dark Aether dimension, there are specific priorities I wish to reiterate.

Major Carver should brief all Requiem operators on best practices when hunting Elite-class hostiles designated as High Value Targets. Likewise, make sure he prepares them for the teleportation effect associated with Aetherium crystal "power nodes."

Dr. Strauss must ensure all Aetherium Harvester units are in working order, with updated splashdown coordinates input to their rocket guidance systems. Likewise, have him re-test the Essence Conversion Modules.

Dr. Grey should resubmit documentation that her Dark Aether Specimen Analyzers function as intended. If your operators are going to risk their lives defending them, they damn well better yield some useful data. Likewise, make sure she has enough live specimens for repeated test of the Dark Aether Recon Rover. There are still funds remaining in the "monkey budget" should more primates be required.

Finally, Special Operations Officer Weaver should undertake a thorough assessment of strike team operators to make sure they're prepared to support all research ops and, if necessary, render assistance to any science personnel in the field.

It goes without saying that Threshold will be Requiem's largest and most important operation to date - perhaps ever. The Ural Outbreak Zone represents our greatest single opportunity to surpass the Soviets in Aetherium weaponry and energy production. In short, this is where the Aetherium arms race will be won or lost. Operation Threshold could be the key to victory over the USSR, not to mention the extradimensional forces arrayed against us.

Apologies for the granular nature of my instructions, but too much is riding on this. I am counting on you, Director. We all are.
W Casey

William J. Casey
Director of Central Intelligence

"Secret report listing dimensional breaches around the globe following the outbreak at Projekt Endstation."
— Description

Nov. 2, 1983

FOR: D.C.I. William J. Casey
FROM: Office of SIGINT Operations
SUBJECT: Outbreak Zones

RE: global threat originating from suspected Soviet operation near Morasko, Poland 18 hours ago.

In brief: it appears a Spetsnaz covert ops team has somehow punched a hole in the fabric of spacetime. This phenomenon is, to our knowledge, unprecedented. Our physics experts describe it as a breach in the quantum membrane separating our dimension from a parallel reality. The Morasko event remains localized, but it appears to have triggered a global ripple effect as we have detected several similar breaches around the world.

The Morasko event was first detected by the satellite component of our Distant Early Warning network created to detect ICBM launches and/or nuclear detonations. MASINT recorded a unique electromagnetic signature at the Morasko site, followed by similar readings in Venezuela, Namibia, Vietnam, Azerbaijan and Russia. SIGNINT intercepts from local authorities describe a fast-acting "plague" that transforms victims into violent "monsters." Infection does not follow traditional disease vectors. Instead, it appears dependent on proximity to the dimensional breach. We are currently designating these sites as "Outbreak Zones." Details as follows:

Russia - detected 9 minutes after Morasko event. The breach in the Ural Mountains is by far the largest recorded Outbreak Zone. Soviet response currently focuses on containment and suppression of information to prevent a national panic.

Azerbaijan - detected 12 minutes after Morasko event. Much smaller than the Urals event. Though located near the capital city Baku, containment and suppression efforts were swift and successful.

Namibia - detected 33 minutes after Morasko event in a remote section of the Namib Desert. We have a team en route to assess the breach first-hand and anticipate useful data will be collected.

Vietnam - detected 39 minutes after Morasko event in Thua Thien-Hue province. The smallest breach so far is in some ways the most troubling. Dimensional membrane instability in this region suggests further breaches may occur. Local authorities are teaming with Soviet assets to contain the situation.

Venezuela - detected 1 hour after Morasko event deep in the rainforest south of the Orinoco. CIA science team is en route.

Further updates and recommended actions will follow as this is a developing situation. For now, we strongly urge the formation of a dedicated task force to suppress and contain hostile forces and potential spread of all Outbreak Zones, regardless of location.

D Halprin

David Halprin
Director, Office of SIGINT Operations

"Blueprint for the remote vehicle designed to explore the Dark Aether dimension."
— Description

CIA RCV-M7: DARK AETHER RECON ROVER
DESIGNATION: RCM-DAR2
OFFICE OF REQUIEM - DS&T

Approval: Elizabeth Grey
Date: 04/13/84

"Design schematic for an orbital weapons platform capable of firing an energy beam into the Dark Aether and drawing forth its apex-level threats."
— Description

CIA SAT-9: DIMENSIONAL DISRUPTOR
DESIGNATION: CIAR-9-DADD
OFFICE OF REQUIEM - DS&T

Approval: Mackenzie Carver
Date: 03/08/84

"Design specs for the rocket used to transport Aetherium payloads out of the Ural Mountains Outbreak Zone. With additional notes from Strauss."
— Description

CIA MGM-134Z: EXTRACTION ROCKET
DESIGNATION: ECM-EXT1
OFFICE OF REQUIEM - DS&T

Note 1:
Irrespective of the actions of my countrymen, I did sincerely hope my work would lead to a different world - a better world.
SO WHY DOES IT ALWAYS COME DOWN TO ROCKETS AND BOMBS?!

Note 2:
Adapted from XMGM-134A "Midgetman" prototype (dreadful name). Fastest, safest way to extract Aetherium samples. Overland transport from the USSR out of the question.

Approved: Oskar Strauss
Date: 04/17/84

"Official Requiem repot defining and classifying Dark Aether Objects."
— Description
DARK AETHER OBJECT - SUMMARY REPORT
29 September 1984


1. DEFINITION: DARK AETHER OBJECT (D.A.O.) is any object transmuted out of pure essence. These objects may be of any state of matter but are created from Dark Aethereal essence. A D.A.O. can come into existence through three methods: CREATION, MANIPULATION, and IMPERSONATION.

2. CREATION: CREATION refers to a D.A.O. manufactured directly from Essence, the bioenergy that animates all Dark Aether species. Using Energy Research's ESSENCE CONVERSION MODULES, we can syphon the essence from biological creatures and convert it into an object. Example: essence collected from an infected can be converted into the Cymbal Monkey Explosive Device.

3. MANIPULATION: MANIPULATION refers to a D.A.O. created when essence interacts with an existing object and transmutes it. We've encountered this phenomenon with the DARK AETHER RECON ROVER's simian specimens, where they will return altered, for example, in the form of sandbags or an apple crate.

4. IMPERSONATION: IMPERSONATION refers to a D.A.O. created by the Dark Aether species classified as MIMIC. This predator can temporarily transform itself into a D.A.O. to lure unsuspecting prey into its grasp. In this instance, the Mimic is altering its own essence to deceive those around it. It is unknown if this ability is restricted to the Mimic or if other creatures can also manipulate their own biochemistry for camouflage.

5. METHODOLOGY: Currently, Energy Research has no control over which Dark Aether Object will be created or manipulated, however it has been observed that the essence only generates objects it has previously encountered. Thus far, the only objects generated are other objects found within the Outbreak Zones. As the Dark Aether expands into our world, it is able to add new objects to its "genetic memory."

"A memo prepared by Weaver summarizing all the different types of Dark Aether Cates encountered in the Outbreak Zone."
— Description

September 12, 1984

MEMORANDUM FOR: Dr. Grey
Subject: Dark Aether Crates

Per your request, I've compiled a summary of all known Dark Aether Crates my strike team has encountered during their operations in the Ural Outbreak Zone. Currently, there are three classifications.

1) STANDARD: this refers to the crates found placed throughout the various regions of the Outbreak Zone. These crates contain munitions, equipment, and salvage. They come in three sizes, seemingly correlating directly to the quality of its resources. Small: poor, Large: high. They represent the most common of the three classifications.

2) PORTAL: Portal Crates fall from the Dark Aether through sky-breaches. Unlike the Standard classification, these crates are initially sealed. When our team interacts with them, hostiles swarm their location. Once all threats have been eliminated, the crate is unlocked, and provides resources of a higher quality than anything found in a Standard crate. It seems the reward is directly tied to a strike team's survival; once they demonstrate they are superior to their adversaries, they earn their reward.

3) DRAGON: Easily the most unusual, the Dragon crate comes from the Dragon Rocket Module, a Dark Aether construct that collects essence from infected subjects. The strike team must kill undead targets in the proximity of the module for the essence to be collected. After a predetermined period, the module returns to the Dark Aether, leaving behind a crate. Unlike the Portal classifications, the quality of this crate is dependent on the volume of essence provided.

All three classifications seem to support your theory: someone in the Dark Aether is trying to help us. Sometimes the method is unorthodox (collecting essence, trial by combat), but the end result equips our strike team with the tools necessary to survive.

The 'Who', 'How', and 'Why' remain a mystery, but there's some comfort knowing there's someone over there that may be on our side. For now, at least.

"Plans for the orbital units that convert zombie essence into Dark Aether Objects. With additional notes from Strauss."
— Description

CIA SMS-171R ESSENCE CONVERSION MODULE
DESIGNATION: ECM-CONV
OFFICE OF REQUIEM - DS&T

Note 1:
The modules have proven effective at siphoning essence from infected specimens... provided Weaver's strike team does their part.

Note 2:
How Essence Conversion can create so many different objects is one of many unanswered questions. We must discover the key to controlling this process.
--S

Approved: Oskar Strauss
Date: 04/28/84

"An official request from Strauss to the Director for an investigation into the fate of missing Axis scientists captured by the Soviets."
— Description

October 04, 1984

MEMORANDUM FOR: The Director
FROM: Strauss
Subject: Missing Axis Scientists

As you know, I am not a sentimental man. But lately I find myself thinking about the waning days of WWII and how I made it my business to surrender to American forces. The alternative - capture by the Red Army - was too terrible to contemplate. Happily, I ended up among the Axis scholars and scientists brought here by Operation Paperclip.

Not everyone shared my good fortune. I cannot help but wonder about all my former colleagues presumed captured and killed by the Soviets. With no definitive record of their fate, the possibility remains that even now they toil in Soviet laboratories, representing a real and present danger that must be quantified. If our side got moon landings, ICBMs and Aetherium weapons from Paperclip scientists, what might the USSR be extracting from their Axis scholars?

Specifically, what became of those who oversaw Germany's Wunderwaffen programs? I personally knew scientists developing the Sonnengewehr orbital solar weapon, the Haunebu "flying saucer" aircraft, and the antigravity generator known as Die Glocke. All went missing in 1945 - as did their immediate families. I picture them working for Omega Group now, their loved ones held hostage.

I also wonder about German expeditions to find even more exotic weapons and sources of power. The SS Ahnenerbe unit scoured the globe for the likes of Thor's hammer, the holy grail and Atlantis itself. Fantastical, yes, but what if the scholars they forced to help them actually found something usable?

Most of all I wonder about Dr. Ulrich Vogel, my supervisor at Projekt Endstation. In a sense, he started our war against the Dark Aether. What became of him? Not to mention, his wife and daughter?

I therefore formally request the allocation of Requiem and CIA resources to officially investigate and verify the fate of these former Axis scientists and research experts. If they're still alive and represent a threat, we must know and prepare for it.

I look forward to your reply.

Oskar Strauss
Lead - Energy Research

DENIED

[Scheisse, I know I shouldn't have mentioned Atlantis.]

"Weaver, Grey, Strauss, and Carver offer their observations on their newly-revealed ally on the other side."
— Description
SGT. KAZIMIR ZYKOV - SUMMARY & ASSESSMENT
10 October 1984


SUMMARY: SGT. KAZIMIR ZYKOV was a mechanic in the Soviet 1st Guards Tank Army. In February 1945, when the Soviets discovered Projekt Endstation, Sgt. Zykov was ordered to deactivate the particle accelerator. He was sealed inside and presumed dead. That changed last month when he identified himself to Requiem's strike team as the individual communicating through the Dark Aether Computer Device. As requested, Requiem's senior staff have provided statements and recommendations on how to proceed with future Zykov interactions.

SOO WEAVER: We have confirmed Sgt. Zykov is the same individual who spoke to our team at Projekt Endstation and Outpost 25. If Dr Grey's theory is correct (which I suspect it is) then Zykov's role in my team's survival has been critical. As to his motives, I am less certain and have concerns. I have recommended my team continue communications, but to exercise caution and report all contacts.

DR GREY: Wherever our strike team deploys, they encounter numerous machines, crafting stations and utility crates that have facilitated their survival. Beverages with physiologically altering effects, a kiln of sorts that fortifies their weapons' mysterious integrity, and a computer that awards "prizes". All evidence points to Zykov as our mysterious benefactor. It seems he does wish to help us - bit to what end remains the question. We need to identify his intentions.

DR STRAUSS: I would strongly urge we tread carefully. Let us assume he is Zykov. That would mean, due to temporal dilation, he has spent and incalculable amount of time in the Dark Aether. As a result, his exposure to Aetherium would be greater than any other living human. From a research perspective, the opportunity to study such an individual is indeed tantalizing - what could be learned about how the human body interacts with Aetherium would be unprecedented. My only concern is how do we know it is even Zykov at all.

MAJ CARVER: I'm of two minds on Zykov. First: he's telling the truth. If that's the case, he represents an asset we cannot possibly ignore. The breadth of knowledge he would possess on the Dark Aether, and the threat it poses, has no comparison.
Alternatively, he's lying. We've seen what this dimension does to people trapped in there for a few days. Hell, we've seen what happens after a few hours. You think he walks out of there after forty years clean as a whistle? Not a chance in hell. Right now, we need to hunker down and listen to what he has to say. It's out best - and only - option at this juncture.

"Containment & Security division's report on the huge Aetherium crystal "Power Nodes" slowly altering the environment."
— Description
AETHERIUM PROCESSORS - SUMMARY REPORT
06 October 1984


1. DEFINITION: AETHERIUM PROCESSORS (also known as "DARK AETHER CRYSTAL POWER NODES" or "DIMENSIONAL POWER NODES") are crystalline structures that generate concentrated levels of Aetherium, terraforming a landscape to emulate the biomes of the Dark Aether.

2. FORMATION: Aetherium Processors are seeded by the Dark Aether species classified as TEMPEST. The Tempest removes a crystal shard from itself and plants it at a location ripe with dimensional fertility. A Dark Aether Tear is then opened, where primordial aetherium provides the sustenance needed to mature the crystal to its proper size. Once it has reached maturity, an aethereal beam is projected from the Dark Aether to provide a power boost.

3. PROCESS: Using the power from the energy beam, the crystal begins to release Aetherium particles into the air, beginning the terraforming process.

4. PURPOSE: Samples taken from these regions show remarkable similarities to the more volatile areas of the Dark Aether, supporting the hypothesis that its purpose is to transform the biome to match that of the other reality.

5. EFFECT: Requiem teams have reported blurred vision, hallucinations, nausea, headaches, and impaired movement when in the vicinity of Aetherium Processors. This is unsurprising given that the air they're breathing is no longer purely oxygen.

6. IMPACT: In smaller numbers, Aetherium Processors can be dealth with easily by an efficient Requiem strike team. However, if Outbreak Zones continue to manifest around the globe, and more Aetherium Processors appear, we are looking at a potentially global terraforming event that would permanently transform the planet.

"Recovered Requiem cipher. Decryption is required."
— Description

This cipher is a Polyalphabetic cipher using CRYSTALCLEAR as key.

Elizabeth
There is a new directive coming and I wanted you to hear it from me first. Perhaps it will help spare you the initial shock when you are informed in person. There is a new project in development that will require a great deal of our aetherium reserves. Unfortunately this means that some of your research will be put on hold indefinitely. You are not the only one affected by this I have been informed that half of all future aetherium harvests recovered from my extraction rockets will also be diverted to this project. Now I want you to leave you with a question be very careful who you mention this to. What do you know about Project Janus?

"Design specs for the Dark Aether Specimen Analyzer, used to broadcast specimen analysis data back to Requiem HQ via satellite. With additional notes from Grey."
— Description

CIA SAT-9 DARK AETHER SPECIMEN ANALYZER
DESIGNATION: REQ-US-DASA3
OFFICER OF REQUIEM - DS&T

Note 1:
Q: How does a severed head scream?
A: Quite loudly, apparently!
-G

Note 2:
If you want to get ahead, get a brain ☺
-G

Approved: Elizabeth Grey
Date: 03/13/84

"Report for the Director discussing the Omega scientists who wish to defect to Requiem."
— Description

November 28, 1984

MEMORANDUM FOR: The Director
FROM: Weaver
SUBJECT: Omega Eight

Per your request, I've compiled all known intelligence on the Omega defectors who's been in contact with Field Asset POWDERKERG. On November 24th, asset reported eight Omega scientists in total wished to defect (known internally as the "Omega Eight").

The Omega Eight are comprised of high-ranking scientists from four of Omega's departments, including Exoscientific Phenomena, Psychotronics, Necro-Analytics, and Weapons Development.

  1. Dr. Dietrich Schultz. Male. 52. Scientist in Exoscientific Phenomena. Reports directly to Dr. Peck. Assisted in the development of the Reality Inversion Warheads.
  2. Dr. Hanna Kovacs. Female. 46. Scientist in Exoscientific Phenomena. Reports directly to Dr. Peck. Also assisted in the development of the Reality Inversion Warheads.
  3. Dr. Natalya Zarkova. Female. 38. Scientist in Psychotronics. Reports directly to Dr. Valentina. Claims to have been developing a device in secret that will be of high interest to Requiem. Also, she was the first scientist to make contact with POWDERKERG.
  4. Andrea Brzezinska. Female. 35. Research Assistant in Psychotronics. Reports to Dr. Zarkova. Claims to have valuable intelligence on Dr. Valentina.
  5. Jakob Kaminski. Male. 32. Research Assistant in Psychotronics. Reports to Dr. Zarkova. Also claims to have valuable intelligence on Dr. Valentina.
  6. Dr. Hugo Jager. Male. 35. Research Lead of Necro-Analytics. Has extensive documentation on the secretive department. Also responsible for arranging safe passage to the Ural Mountains for their rendezvous with POWDERKERG.
  7. Marek Cherneski. Male. 39. Records Manager in Necro-Analytics. Has extensive documentation on the department.
  8. Dr. Marina Vengerova. Female. 42. Scientist in Weapons Development. Worked with Dr. Peck developing the Red Soldier Mechanized Armor.

We will continue verification process. Once we have received approval, we are estimating at least two weeks until we can proceed with extraction in the Ural Mountains.

"A note found on the Mystery Box Bunny. Appears to be written by a child with connection to the Dark Aether Object."
— Description

THIS IS MY BEST FRIEND
MISTER PEEKS!
MISTER PEEKS IS ALWAYS WATCHING!
MISTER PEEKS LIKES TO PLAY HIDE AND SEEK!
MISTER PEEKS LIVES IN MY HAT!
MISTER PEEKS ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH!
THANK YOU MISTER PEEKS!
YOU KEEP ME SAFE IN THE DARK PLACE!!

"Weaver's Report to the Director on the fallout from Operation Excision."
— Description

December 15, 1984

MEMORANDUM FOR: The Director
FROM: Weaver
SUBJECT: Operation Excision

At 2300 hours last night Requiem's strike team moved to intercept and exfil the Omega defectors. As you know, at 0130 hours the OP ended in catastrophic failure. Seven of the defectors were KIA, and my team were captured by Omega forces.

It appears Kravchenko had planted one of his own loyalists within the group: Doctor Hugo Jager, head of their Necro-Analytics research department. During our initial reviews he eluded suspicion, primarly because he played such a pivotal role in orchestrating the defectors' escape. However, as we have now learned, he arranged for the chopper crash, and subsequently, personally, executed the other scientists. He led us into Omega's trap. The blame for this should lie with me and me alone.

We have learned more about why the defectors chose this moment. One of the scientists, Doctor Zarkova, had been developing an "Aetherium Neutralizer", a device capable of removing Aetherium air particles from an environment -- as well as neutralizing its effects. It is believed Zarkova's defection was motivated by her desire to deliver this prototype device to Requiem, as she did not want it to fall into Omega's hands. While we were unable to prevent Omega from acquiring it, a portion of its blueprint was successfully recovered. Maybe Strauss can make something of it.

Finally, in regard to my team, I have all Requiem departments assisting where they can, and a rescue plan is being coordinated as I write this. I have reached out to our contacts within the KGB to ascertain what can be learned from within. Rest assured, we will find them and bring them home. We will not stand by and allow Requiem's secrets - or people - to fall into enemy hands. You have my word.

"Grey writes a memo to Requiem's senior staff regarding the whereabouts of her latest project."
— Description

January 13, 1985

MEMORANDUM FOR: Carver, Strauss, Weaver
FROM: Grey
SUBJECT: Where the hell's my robot?

First of all, let me make this clear -- I'm not angry, I may be disappointed, possibly irked, but definitely not anything approaching vexed or even... chafed? I just want to know who took Klaus and why.

When the Director tasked me with this project, one thing was clear -- I could take whatever time was needed to make sure we got it right. Yes, the prototype unit was assembled from parts delivered to us, and my work has been mainly focused on improving its central processing unit. Now, that may seem like a simple task to a manager with the clipboard and a checklist, but these things take time! I was promised 6 more weeks of R&D.

This is the reason I was shocked to discover that, during my lunchbreak, someone broke into my lab and took Klaus. If someone I know is taking the piss, haha! But if someone else has taken him believing he's ready for the big show, they've bitten off more than they can chew.

Yes, we've made massive improvements to his combat abilities, but there are still basic concepts of human interaction that Klaus was only just beginning to grasp. Did you know he crushed Jerry's ribcage giving him a hug? A hug! He thought he was helping, that he was doing a good thing! Such misjudgments could have serious ramifications on the battlefield.

As I said, I'm not angry. Not even a little bit, I would just like to know who the hell took my robot and why.

[Grey --
Burn this and delete any record of it from the mainframe. Klaus was taken by the Director for use in Berlin. I don't know anything beyond that. I told you to come to me first -- something is happening.
-- Weaver]

"A memorandum for Requiem's Director discussing the progress of the wonder weapon prototype -- and its delivery to Berlin."
— Description

January 13, 1985

MEMORANDUM FOR: The Director
FROM: Secretary, Executive Office
SUBJECT: CRBR-S Delivery

Sir, I wanted to inform you that, along with KLAUS, the CRBR-S Wonder Weapon has been successfully packaged and shipped to Berlin. Delivery expected by January 28. I hope this is acceptable.

As the CRBR-S was developed as a joint project between Containment & Security and Energy Research, both Major Carver and Doctor Strauss have been made aware that the weapon has been reappropriated for field use. Both raised concerns that the weapon was not yet ready. However, having conducted several tests myself, I can confirm that the base weapon, as well as its three mod kits, all function as intended.

As expected, Carver and Strauss cited the missing vocalization module as one of their primary concerns -- this suggests they remain unaware of your little side project. On that subject, the recordings you secured of Carver, Strauss, and Grey over the past several months provided the necessary baseline for the CRBR-S A.I. to adopt and synthesize each individual's voice and personality. If I may say so, this is some very impressive work, Director. I personally made sure the voice module was successfully installed before transport.

Hopefully, the CRBR-S and KLAUS will prove adequate to accomplish your goals in Berlin. As always, I will keep you apprised of any developments.

"Recovered Requiem cipher. Decryption is required."
— Description

This is a reverse Vigenere cipher using BCJFIEJC as key.

G
I don't know whats happening to her, but we both know something is happening to her. We each care about her so I wanted you to know that I'm doing everything I can to help.
W

"Energy Research report defining the Dark Aether Vortex and analyzing its potential impact."
— Description

DARK AETHER VORTEX - SUMMARY REPORT

02 March 1985

1. DEFINITION: DARK AETHER VORTEX (D.A.V.) refers to any spiral energy current comprised of primordial Aetherium, capable of growing Aetherium Processors.

2. PURPOSE: From what has been observed, the sole function of D.A.V.s is to construct Aetherium Processors at an accelerated rate, increasing the speed at which terraforming can be completed. It can grow Aetherium Processors in one-fourth the time compared to natural maturation.

3. PROCESS: While primordial Aetherium has always been used in crystalline construction, the cyclonic nature of the D.A.V.s causes this energy to behave in unexpected ways. The increased velocity is critical to its ability to grow crystals at a faster rate. It is extremely unstable.

4. EFFECT: As stated above, the effect of D.A.V.s is clear. They are responsible for the increased presence of Aetherium processors, and key contributors to the terraforming acceleration.

5. IMPACT: The Dark Aether is rapidly expanding its presence in the Outbreak Zones. We are looking at a global terraforming event -- the question is no longer "If?" but "When?" While our harvesters can siphon the primordial energy (which causes the vortex to collapse), this is a temporary measure. We need to begin exploring a long-term solution before this becomes a global event.

"A page torn from the research journal of demonologist Gabriel Krafft."
— Description

This rune keeps appearing from our digs, it must have a meaning...
--Krafft, 1944

"Field Operations report for Requiem Senior Staff detailling the expansion of Operation Threshold into two new outbreak zones."
— Description

March 12, 1985

MEMORANDUM FOR: Carver, Grey, Strauss
FROM: Weaver
SUBJECT: Outbreak Expansions

As you all know by now, Operation Threshold has been expanded to incorporate two newly developed outbreak zones. All departments will be expected to extend their operations in accordance with the guidelines for each region.

The first region is in the middle of the North Atlantic, and our operations will run a little differently. Readings show the Dark Aether barrier is unsually impenetrable, and we have seen no attempts at dimensional terraforming. As as result, Unnatural Sciences will be limited to speciment analysis, Containment & Security will focus on HVT termination, and Energy Research will prioritize Aetherium collection and DAO experimentation.

The second region is located near an oil drill site in the Adrar Province, Algeria. Interestingly, this is the second outbreak at this facility, the first having occured last fall. All operations viable in this region.

These are two of the larger outbreaks since the Ural Mountains last year. While there is no definitive proof as to "why now?" for either of these events, we suspect it may be in retaliation to what happened in Berlin last month.

I know we're pilling on additional work onto an already loaded schedule, but let's stay on task and get this done.

"Field Operations report for Requiem Senior Staff announcing the approval for Operation First Domino."
— Description

May 12, 1985

MEMORANDUM FOR: Carver, Grey, Strauss
FROM: Weaver
SUBJECT: Operation First Domino

We have received approval to proceed with OPERATION FIRST DOMINO. This will be a join operation between all departments, led by FIELD OPERATIONS, with CONTAINMENT & SECURITY, ENERGY RESEARCH, and UNNRATURAL SCIENCES acting in a support capacity. While we are still in the preparation phase, we anticipate deploying our strike team no later than one month's time.

We have received intelligence that Omega is proceeding with OPERATSIYA IZBAVITEL, an operation [REDACTED]. We received documentation on this from [REDACTED], who recently contacted our director. We have independently verified this documentation. We have also identified the location of OPERATSIYA IZBAVITEL as [REDACTED] in [REDACTED] with the assistance of Field Asset POWDER KEG. I understand your suspicions, but I am told they are to be trusted in this instance.

Our mission is to intercept and take [REDACTED] into custody before Omega. They are the only one capable of stopping [REDACTED].

We are going to need all hands on deck for this one. If our understanding of OPERATSIYA IZBAVITEL is correct, Omega is putting all their eggs in one interdimensional basket. If we blow up the basket, it's the beginning of the end for Omega and our Aetherium Arms Race -- while also helping us prepare for the greater threat that lies ahead.

"Another page torn from Krafft's research journal."
— Description

Another rune unearthed in Mexico.
Markings are similar to the one found in Egypt.
--Krafft, 1944

Radio Transmissions

"Weaver readies the team for the challenge that awaits in the Ural Mountains."
— Description

Grigori Weaver: Strike team, I want to thank you on behalf of everyone here for what you accomplished in Vietnam. The intel you recovered from Omega Group is already paying off in new technology and weapons. This is especially important as we launch operations in the Ural Mountains. The AO you've entered is richer in Aetherium than anywhere else on the planet. But Omega is already hard at work there. Never forget we are in a race against time to harness the Dark Aether before they do. The winner of this Aetherium arms race may well be decided by your actions here. So... we can't fuck this up. Weaver out.

"Weaver emphasizes the importance of the various objectives in the Ural Outbreak Zone."
— Description

June 25, 1984[1]
Weaver: Just want to be clear on what's expected from you. Every department at Requiem has a stake in this. Energy Research. Unnatural Sciences. Security and Containment. They all have special equipment in the field that we need you to test. Strauss, Grey and Carver will give you the details at the appropriate time, and I expect you to follow their instructions to the letter. Remember: these experiments and operations aren't busy-work. They're important. They're how we eventually win.

"Weaver gives the team an update on Maxis."
— Description

Weaver: Some of you have asked - repeatedly - about Agent Maxis. I get it. You risked your life to save her, then weeks went by with no word on her condition. I get it. Well, I'm finally authorized to let you know she's recovering. At least, physically. She's been under observation in an isolation ward, getting the best care the Agency can provide, but... she went through things in the Dark Aether that would have broken most people. It's a miracle she survived. She's not infected, she's on the mend, and... everything you went through to bring her back? Absolutely worth it.

"Weaver congratulates the strike team for their successes during Operation Threshold."
— Description

Weaver: It may seem like our work in the Ural Mountains has just gotten started, but Langley already considers Operation Threshold a massive success. They said an ongoing operation in the heart of the Soviet Union was impossible. The logistics alone - getting equipment and personnel in and out - was enough of a challenge. But we got creative with the rockets, satellites, cargo drops... we even developed a way to refuel Raptor One mid-flight. A lot of dedicated people made this happen. Then there's the risk of triggering World War Three. Fortunately, both sides have a vested interest in keeping these outbreaks from the public. So anything short of a full-scale battle with Soviet forces can remain our little secret. Just be careful out there. What you've accomplished so far has enabled us to significantly catch up with Omega's Aetherium research. We haven't quite closed the gap yet, but I know you won't quit until we're ahead.

"Strauss gives the strike team a pat on the back while mentioning the challenges of charging up his new Essence Conversion Modules."
— Description

Strauss: I thought you'd like to know that our rocket retrieval crew in the North Atlantic have just recovered their one-hundredth payload of Aetherium collected in the Urals. Quite the milestone. Success was far from assured when Operation Threshold was still on the drawing board. Oh, I knew my Aetherium harvesters would function as designed. The hard part was bringing them back home where we could put it to good use. And we are putting it to very good use. My Essence Conversion Modules, on the other hand, require more direct participation from you. The creatures must be lured close and, ah... liberated of their essence. It is a rather visceral process, and the subsequent conversion of essence into objects can only be done within the Outbreak Zone. A dangerous endeavor, yes, but Major Carver assures me you are "up to the task". I suppose this is my way of saying we could not have gotten this far without you. No matter what technology we may employ, you are Requiem's most valuable asset. Bravo.

"Grey has some theories on the transformative effects of Dark Aether... and the fate of her test-monkeys."
— Description

Grey: Well.. we certainly do live in strange times, don't we? First off, I wanted to thank you personally for your work on the Recon Rover missions. The lessons we're learning are going to prove invaluable as we move forward. As you no doubt witnessed first hand, the specimens on board the Rover were physically 'transformed' after they passed into the Dark Aether. We're trying to ascertain if this process is similar to what we saw with the creature we dubbed 'the Mimic' - but we're just not sure. Or, were the specimens actually 'replaced' by other objects from the Dark Aether? If so - does that mean there are there now little monkeys lost in there? Either way... it's a horrible thought. The rover did manage to transmit some audio and video recordings during its mission, but I really don't even want to get in to that right now. Our working theory is that Aetherium functions in the other dimension like oxygen does in our own. That would explain why the infected can't move beyond the Outbreak Zone - if they did, they just wouldn't be able to survive... Like a fish out of water. Last thing - do let us know if you start to experience any strange symptoms or feel that you yourselves are... er... 'changing' in any way? I honestly wouldn't want you to go through anything like whatever the poor monkeys did... bless their little furry socks.

"Carver asks the strike team to help him determine who is calling the shots on the other side."
— Description

Carver: Carver here. If there's one thing I've learned from Operation Threshold, it's that you know how to take down the biggest and baddest the Dark Aether has to offer. And hunting those HVTs has yielded good information for the lab-coasts and number-crunchers. But my mind's been on the big open question hanging over it all. If these S.O.B.s do have a pecking order, and there's any rhyme or reason to their attacks, then that suggest some sort of command structure. I mean, we see the HVTs call in reinforcements. We see them work together, like undead platoons. So who's calling the shots over there? Who or what is their commander-in-chief? I want you to help me find out, strik team. My fellow experts over here don't want to hear it when I tell them these things operate like an army. What I haven't told them about yet is the document I saw on the Director's desk. The folks above my pay grade know there's gotta be a hierarchy. They're just not ready to call it out yet. So find me something they can't ignore -- some intel, some evidence. Help me figure out who's in charge on the other side. And then we'll pain a big, fat target on them.

"Weaver berates his strike team for their involvement in the incident at the Omega missile silo."
— Description

Weaver: Welcome back to the Ural Mountains. It's been a few weeks, but now that you've been cleared to return to active duty I expect you to be on your best behavior. You got off lightly. After what you did in Ruka last month, you should be facing a court martial. You can thank the Director for intervening and sparing your fate. The incident has been expunged from your record. It never happened. As far as the CIA is concerned, the missile launch was a mechanical failure. You were never there. And in case I haven't already made myself clear: you acted without oversight. You participated in an operation without approval of anyone at Requiem. That cannont happen -- ever again. You do not answer to Maxis. You answer to me. If she contacts you through a back channel, you report that to me. She is not one of us. She is not Requiem. Now. That being said. Your actions had a ripple effect through Omega. Ravenonv contacted me -- he's in touch with scientists who want to defect. We're working on a plan to extract them. You are making an impact in this fight. You just have to do it the right way.

"Grey provides some insight into what she's learned about Aetherium, and one particularly unique case study."
— Description

Grey: Well look at you: Requiem's Strike Team, back in action! I imagine that must feel nice. So. About what happened with Sam... Not sure if you heard about my role in that whole... "business". Earned myself a bit of a slap on the wrist for that one. Not to worry, everything's fine... Or so I've been told. Just imagine if those missiles had detonated. The effects of Aetherium on a populace of that size... the outcome would have been grim. It's tricky to nail down, Aetherium. From our tests at the DASA stations, the only pattern we've established is that there is no pattern: the effects of Aetherium exposure vary greatly between subjects. Yes, many suffer from advanced necrosis infections -- "the undead". But there are others whose side effects appear strictly cerebral. Hallucinations, paranoia, amnesia. Then there's Maxis. Not sure what to make of her. No necrosis. Only side effect appears to be the amnesia, but there's more going on there. Her Aetherium concentration? Off the scale. Highest I've seen. Normally a subject with a fraction of that exposure would be fully transformed... but she seems unaffected. So far. Now I'm not saying she's dangerous. We just don't know what she is. I probably shouldn't tell you this... but something happened. I think. It's not clear. When she asked me for my access codes... I swear I saw her diary move across the desk. By itself. Now. I wasn't looking directly at it. I had just finished an eighteen hour day. I was exhausted. I mean, I probably just imagined it... right?

"Weaver sends Kravchenko a message."
— Description

Weaver: I don't know who else is listening to this -- and I don't care -- but this message is for you, Kravchenko. You made an enemy out of me a long time ago, but I wanted you to know for sure -- there's no way on God's green earth I'm going to let you walk away from this. If any harm comes to anyone on my team, you're going to regret it in ways you can't even imagine. You know the saying -- an eye for an eye? Well, this is gonna be worse. Far worse. Think about it. A good, long think about what I might decide to cut from you... Sweet dreams, fucker.

"Weaver reaches out to Ravenov to discuss the aftermath of their latest joint operation."
— Description

Weaver: Ravenov?
Ravenov: How did you get in contact with me?
Weaver: Ironically, Maxis helped me with that -- even though she doesn't know it yet.
Ravenov: What do you want, Weaver?
Weaver: I want a lot of things, most of which I'll never get. I'm sure you can relate -- especially now that you're a marked man... an enemy of the state... several actually. You helped my team walk in to a trap.
Ravenov: I betrayed no one. Like Maxis, I was trying to do the right thing, I had no idea events would play out like they did.
Weaver: See? That's your problem. You're not as smart as you think you are. Too much fire in your belly, too much ice in your heart -- but not enough smarts. Not where it counts.
Ravenov: Are you any different? Hm? At least I'm here -- in the field -- putting my ass -- and heart -- on the line.
Weaver: Well... maybe you can redeem yourself, Ravenov. Maybe. But just so you know -- I am rapidly running out of fucks to give.

"Weaver radios the strike team about Requiem's future after the events in Berlin."
— Description

Weaver: Strike team - I just wanted to reach out with some... updates. First of all... Berlin. Your time as Kravchenko's prisoner. You've shown courage and commitment - even in the face of severe adversity. I couldn't have asked for more. Even though we face an uncertain enemy - or enemies - I think we're approaching the endgame here. Omega is still out there - and thruthfully - we don't know what their next play is going to be. All we can be certain of, is that Kravchenko's actions are becoming increasingly desperate. As you know - or I hope you know - Agent Maxis may be our most valuable asset. She's turning out to be something... speical... As your rescue in Berlin clearly showed. Her time in the Dark Aether changed her in ways we're only just starting to fully understand. She's been undertaking some... Tests... With the Director. All I ask is that if we - if I - do let her return to the field, that you'll support her in whatever the sitation we may find ourselves in. Weaver out.

"Strauss checks in on the strike team and discusses the progress he's made on his latest project."
— Description

Strauss: Requiem strike team, sTrauss here. My oh my, it certainly has been a minute since we last spoke. You have been a busy bee -- Operatsiya Inversiya, Operation Excision... not to mention your little "detour" with Omega. Quite the global pedestrian. Well, while you were off on "holiday" in Berlin, I've been hard at work on replicating Doctor Zarkova's Aetherium Neutralizer. Admittedly, I haven't had much to go on, as we only recovered half the blueprint. However, as the Dark Aether's terraforming is ongoing and the Phase continues to expand, sich a device will prove invaluable for your continued field work. Hopefully it will be available for field testing before too long. Considering the looming threat we now face, we will need everything available in our arsenal to stop it.

"Grey contacts the strike team with an update on Maxis."
— Description

Grey: Hey Strike Team. How you all doing? Sorry - just realized you can't really tell me - this communications is one way only. Hey Girl... What are you getting your nose into now? You probably knew from the start that I wasn't real military. Never did any PT... Never held a gun. Don't think I'm cut out for it to be honest. Hey! It's just a squirrel! Sorry - I'm walking Notso. That's Sam's dog in case you didn't know! You might have thought 'walking notso' meant I was walking in some weird funny way. Speaking of Sam - Maxis - I've not seen her for a little while, but Weaver said she's doing well. She's in Block 8... but I guess that's where they take you when you're... She's a strong girl. Woman. Not just strong... she's powerful. Ever since she came back from the Dark Aether, she's had these powers. She can mvoe things - I know we can all do that - but I mean she can do it without actually touhcing them... It's like, if she really, really concentrates - she can just make things happen. I think we all wish we could do that. I know I do. Come on Notso. Time to go home.

"Carver speaks candidly with the strike team about his concerns over what comes next."
— Description

Carver: Strike team! Damn, is it good to have you back in the field. You know, after Berlin, a few requiem folks were wondering if you'd be up for redeployment. Not your old friend Mac. Never a doubt in my mind. We need you out there, now more than ever. Satellite surveillance shows the Outbreak Zones are expanding. Slowly, mind you, but they're growing none the less. It's those damn terraforming crystals. THey're shaking up the whole landscape. The Phase is making it uninhabitable. For us, anyway. Shit. Wouldn't surprise me if one day soon the Oh-Zees just started collapsing... Look. I gotta level with out. Soldier to soldier. Omega. The Forsaken. Something's going down here. General sense around the office is that we're headed towards some sort of conclusion. Act three time. If all goes well, the next operation will be the beginning of the end. So let me ask you. What about us? The shit we're right now, this... this interdimensional warfare? We're well beyong "classified" here. You don't just get to walk away from this. So once this is over, once the good guys win... where are we going from here?

Artifacts

"One of the severed zombie heads scanned in the Dark Aether Specimen Analyzer."
— Description

"When full, this removable container from the Aetherium Harvesting Module must be placed on a rocket for transport out of the USSR."
— Description

"This shard was broken off of an Aetherium Power Node - one of many large crystalline structures slowly terraforming the Outbreak Zone to support the hideous life forms from the Dark Aether."
— Description

"One of several interchangeable canisters for use in the W.A.N.D. weapon. Manipulates Aetherium to deliver a sub-zero blast that stops enemies cold."
— Description

"One of several interchangeable canisters for the W.A.N.D. weapon. Manipulates Aetherium to create an energy blast that detonates on enemy proximity."
— Description

"A powerful breaching explosive used by Requiem to clear obstructions and destroy Aetherium Power Nodes."
— Description

"Shoulder patch worn by Requiem's elite strike team."
— Description

"One of several interchangeable canisters for the W.A.N.D. weapon. Manipulates Aetherium to temporarily phase the user in the Dark Aether rendering them invisible to the Infected."
— Description

"Believe or not, this was once one of Grey's test-monkeys."
— Description

"The topmost component of a destroyed Beacon device. Believed to be the critical component that allows the strike team to travel between regions in the Ural Mountains."
— Description

"One of several interchangeable canisters for the W.A.N.D. weapon. When used, summons beams of energy capable of healing wounds suffered by members of Requiem's strike team."
— Description

"A model of Unnatural Science's Dark Aether Recon Rover, prototyped before the rover when into production."
— Description

"One of several interchangeable canisters for the W.A.N.D. weapon. When used, generates a ring of ethereal fire that empowers an operator and their weapon with an additional damage output. Also, any enemy that breaches the perimeter will be set on fire."
— Description

"A model of Energy Research's Essence Conversion Modules, prototyped before the module went into production."
— Description

"One of several interchangeable canisters for the W.A.N.D. weapon. When used, all enemies target the user for ten seconds, with only their armor taking damage."
— Description

"A proof-of-concept model of Energy Research's Aetherium Extraction Rocket."
— Description

"The helmet belonging to Requiem's very own Raptor One."
— Description

"One of the several interchangeable canisters for the W.A.N.D. weapon. When used, summons a growth of aetheral thorns that slow and damage any enemy that contacts them."
— Description

"A model of Unnatural Sciences's Agent Klaus robot. Created after-hours by Grey."
— Description

"A model of Requiem's Field Ops helicopter. Personal effect of Raptor One."
— Description

Omega Group

Audio Logs

"Newly in command of Omega Group, Kravchenko reflects on the bizarre unit he has inherited."
— Description

Lev Kravchenko: Kravchenko. 21st of April, 1983. Three weeks since I accepted command of Spetsgruppa Omega. And I am beginning to wonder if Comrade Andropov was out of his mind when he created this spook show. My first order of business was a thorough review of Omega Group activities since their formation in '75. What a fucking joke. The study of "psychotronic phenomena"? What does that even mean? Biocommunication, bioenergetics, bioinformation... Words invented by paper-pushers to make ghost stories sound real. I read hundreds of their bullshit reports and found nothing useful. So I reassigned the authors to dig biolatrines. But if...IF Andropov was not out of his mind. IF he saw some genuine operational value in any of this nonsense... I will give this one more month. And then I will pull the plug.

"Kravchenko meets with Valentina to discuss his expectations of her proposed mission to Projekt Endstation."
— Description

Kravchenko: 15th of July, 1983. Comrade Valentina, I am recording this meeting for my records.
Aleksandra Valentina: Of course, Colonel. I take it you have viewed the Projekt Endstation footage?
Kravchenko: Da. Where did you find this film?
Valentina: Gathering dust in a restricted portion of Lubyanka sub-basement records storage. Someone went to great lengths to bury the incident back in '45. But times have changed since then.
Kravchenko: Indeed. That cowboy actor and his Strategic Defense Initiative have upset the stalemate between us and the West. I asked for something to tip the scales back in our favor. You think this is it?
Valentina: There is only one way to find out. Allow me to reactivate the Endstation cyclotron. If I can harness their access to another dimension, we can give the Motherland a tactical advantage the Americans can only dream of.
Kravchenko: And if you cannot... "harness" it?
Valentina: Then bury the bunker in concrete and declare the place off-limits. And maybe leave flowers every year to remember my sacrifice.
Kravchenko: I don't care about sacrifice. Only results. I will authorize your mission, but you had better bring back something I can use.
Valentina: Understood, colonel. Understood.

"Kravchenko assigns Peck to the Ural Mountains Outbreak Zone - and warns him never to fail him again."
— Description

Kravchenko: Kravchenko. 8th of July, 1984.

William Peck: And Dr. William Peck, lead research-

Kravchenko: Shut up, you little worm. You are lucky to be alive.

Peck: Sorry sir, I...

Kravchenko: Silence. This is not a dialogue. You are here to receive your orders. There is a plane standing by to take you to the Ural Mountains Outbreak Zone. You will oversee a special operation there involving a particularly rich deposit of Aetherium crystals. My people will brief you once you are airborne.

Peck: You won't regret this, sir! And, um, please let Gorev know I'm off the hook? I'm worried he still wants to kill me.

Kravchenko: Gorev will be there with you. Shadowing your every step. Because you are not "off the hook," Dr. Peck. Do not fail me... ever again.

"Kravchenko puts Gorev in charge of plugging a leak."
— Description

Kravchenko: Gorev. Before you depart for the Urals, I need a word with you.

Gorev: New instructions, colonel?

Kravchenko: No. It is the same matter that has vexed me ever since Requiem's arrival at Endstation. Whoever leaked Omega intelligence to them remains unidentified. If they did not die at Outpost 25, the traitor may still be among us.

Gorev: I am working on it night and day, sir. My apologies that it has taken this long.

Kravchenko: We could have found out the informant's name back in Vietnam, but that idiot American tossed the only person who knew into the Dark Aether. What kind of genius throws away his trump card?

Gorev: Peck may be book-smart, but he has no common sense... and even less self-control. But I swear to you, Colonel, the informant will be exposed. The only question is if I will be able to bring them in alive. If I find myself left with no options...

Kravchenko: Do what you must, Gorev. They deserve to die slowly. As long as the leak is plugged, I will be satisfied.

"Peck records his first impressions of a key discovery in the Ural Mountains."
— Description

Peck: William Peck, personal notes. Arrived in the Ural Mountains Outbreak Zone three days ago. It was a little hard to believe the briefing I was given on the flight here, but now that I see it for myself... to paraphrase Archimedes, "holy shit." This is even better than I hoped for. The breach opening right on top of an installation like this may have given me the key to making an Inversion Warhead actually work. I'm a fuckin genius. I already knew of the catalyzing effect Aetherium has on Plutonium. That was how I got my portal chamber to work at Outpost 25. But the readings I'm getting form the crystals here...! We've never seen Aetherium this pure "in the wild," so to speak. You up there! Be careful! That's not something you want to bang too hard, understand? Yeah. They understand. These boys look scared out of their wits. Just wait till they hear the next item on my "shopping list." We're going to need some special helpers to make this work - and rounding them up will not be easy.

"Valentina laments the Kremlin's choice of targets for Operatsiya Inversiya."
— Description

Valentina: I just returned from the Kremlin where I presented the list of proposed targets for Operatsiya Inversiya to the General Secretary and select members of the Committee for State Security. The results were... mixed. I should be pleased that the overall plan was so well received. Perhaps they realize that without bold action the Soviet Union could collapse within a decade. And Inversiya is nothing if not bold. It would be a deathblow to the West. Which may account for the committee's preference of two particular targets. But I pushed hard for Berlin. It would have afforded me further opportunities to complete my preparations there. The Colonel did question my fixation on Berlin, but I just told him I hate the Germans. That is always enough of an excuse for veterans of the Great Patriotic War like Kravchenko.

"Peck discusses the capture of some key components for his latest experiment."
— Description

Peck: William Peck, supplemental notes. Well, it took a week and cost the lives of some brave young men, but we finally did it: we caught four of those floaty blue bastards alive. Okay, sure, by "we" I mean the highly trained operators in Omega Group. I'm not exactly the field ops type. But they could never have locked down those lightning bugs without the gear I built for them. I mean, have you ever tried to cage something that can teleport? One big help in this whole process is how attracted the blue guys are to the crystals - the big ones. The atmosphere converters. And the purer the crystal, the more irresistible. I think that was the first tip-off that I could co-opt the way they metabolize Aetherium for my own purposes. Yeah, yeah, Sparky, I know it hurts, but you gotta take one for the team. We all serve a greater good now. And I promise if Operatsiya Inversiya stays on schedule, you won't be suffering for long.

"Kravchenko reveals to Valentina why he altered the purpose of Operatsiya Inversiya."
— Description

Kravchenko: -Just a moment. 22nd of July, 1984. Commencing meeting. Valentina. Sit, please.

Valentina: You said you wanted to see me?

Kravchenko: Doctor, how do you find my leadership techniques?

Valentina: Effecient.... effective. You produce results.

Kravchenko: And you agree that should be our goal, da? To produce results. Above all else.

Valentina: Of course, Colonel. What is this all about?

Kravchenko: It occurred to me you have said very little about my... "commandeering" of Operatsiya Inversiya.

Valentina: Sir?

Kravchenko chuckles.

Kravchenko: Come now. It was your project. Until I swooped in and... snatched it from you. You must be upset. Angry.

Valentina: I am, above all else, loyal to Omega. While it is true you have... "adjusted" its parameters, if you believe it is the correct course of action, you have my full support.

Kravchenko: I already had that. Give me your honesty. You must have questions. Speak freely.

Valentina: Where did I fail? When I brought it to the Committee, they seemed impressed. Did my targets present too great a risk? Was my plan too ambitious?

Kravchenko: Too ambitious? You were not ambitious enough! But that is not a failing of yours. There is much you do not know. My intelligence tells me there is something out there. It is watching our world, looking for a way in. If it finds one... we must be ready. Rest assured. The West will be ours. But first... we must face the wolf at the door.

Valentina: As always, I follow your orders. I am committed to our cause. We were the first-

Kravchenko: -and we are the last. Very good. Without you, my Operatsiya Inversiya would not exist.

Valentina: Always happy to build a solid foundation, Colonel.

"Peck, Gorev and Valentina study the remains of a Krasny Soldat, and are shaken by the results."
— Description

Gorev: This better be good, Comeback Kid.

Valentina chuckles.

Valentina: If it is not, Gorev, at the very least it will be amusing.

Peck: Funny. Come over here. Hold this retractor.

Peck fiddles with something as the squishing of flesh can be heard.

Peck: Almost... got it. Here. Look at this.

Valentina: An Omega ID badge?

Peck: Lieutenant Kazakov. Omega Armored Division at Outpost 25. He-

Valentina: -he escorted the Aethernauts in one of your tank suits, yes, I saw the blueprint. What is your point?

Gorev: I am confused as well. We have seen this before. We lose men in Dark Aether, they come back with bad skin rash. This Krasny Soldat is no different than others we have seen transformed by Aetherium.

Peck: Ah! See. That is what I thought as well. You're half-right.

Gorev: I have never been half-anything, Peck.

Peck: Ok, ok... now just a sec. This is one of our men. And the armor is very similar... but it is not the same. Look at the color. The design. This isn't my work.

Valentina: He came back with it.

Peck: And as far as I know, Aetherium crystals rot your brain, they can't give your car a new coat of paint. Someone's upgrading them. Over there.

Gorev: We keep this between us for now. The Colonel... has developed "fiery" new ideas. I do not wish to add more kindling. Understood? Good. Peck, see that this... "thing" is destroyed.

"Peck records some late-night thoughts about his increasingly disturbing discoveries."
— Description

Peck can be heard pouring himself a drink into a glass.

Peck: Peck. Personal log. September 3rd, 1984... 2:35 AM. The Witching Hour approaches. Hm. Cheers.

Peck is heard taking a drink.

Peck: It's been nearly two months since my arrival. Work on the Inversion Warheads proceeds as planned. Operations continue to run smoothly, but... damn it all, you're right, Peck. Heh, you're always right. That's... wait. That's not what this is about. Look... too many sleepless nights. Maybe it's too much time down here in the deep... in the darkness. I could go to the surface, but there... there are things up there science just can't explain. The demonic echoes that keep tormenting my staff... an aethereal orb that... I don't know, it cries out with the laughter.. of children?

Peck chuckles to himself.

Peck: It's enough to drive a man insane. Ugh. Not that I'm insane. No no, I'm holding it together. Nothing to worry about here. Old noggin's good.

Peck takes another drink.

Peck: But we keep trying to bend this reality to work for us. We mine and pilfer for resources to build our weapons and warheads... we really have no clue what we're dealing with, do we? I-I mean, one second this place is trying to kill you, the next it's-it's dropping treasure chests out of the sky. Am I crazy? Or... or are we vastly underestimating the powers in play?

Peck takes yet another drink.

Peck: I found one of those computers. From the... from the Dark Aether. Omega's studied them, but they don't have much to show for it. But I've... I've spoken to someone. Someone on the other side. I haven't told the others. Need to be careful. Keep my cards close to my chest. After all, knowledge is power.

"Valentina discusses a strange visit - and a shared destiny."
— Description

Valentina: 16th of August. 1984. Personal log. He visited me again tonight. As I slept, he appeared before me. He is but a shadow to me. So close yet so far. He told me to have faith. I must stay the course. There were recent developments last month that were... unanticipated. He assured me that all was not lost. His plan, our plan, is still on schedule. He had... new instructions for me. I will see that they are completed. We will be reunited. We will rise again. Our destiny is all but assured.

"Kravchenko laments the destruction of his Reality Inversion Warheads at Requiem's hands, and plots his next move."
— Description

Kravchenko: November 30. 1984. It has been just over two weeks since the... unfortunate disaster involving Omega's Reality Inversion Warheads. It appears chaos follows Doctor Peck wherever he goes. I have been told Peck's removal is not viable. He is our premier expert on Aetherium, and there is no time to find and educate a suitable replacement. Another unfortunate disaster. Peck hoped the missiles could be recovered... But, as I suspected, our salvage efforts have proven futile. What remains of the warheads belongs to the ocean now. We must begin again. We cannot afford another setback at the hands of requiem. I had hoped to deal with them after Operatsiya Inversiya, but I can see now they require my immediate, and undivided, attention. If there is any consolation, it seems Requiem remains in the dark about our agenda. They believe the Inversion Warheads were to destroy the West. Little do they realize a greater threat looms in the Dark Aether. The entity must be contained.

"Valentina discusses another strange visitation from her father -- and the next stage of their plan."
— Description

Valentina: 21st of November. 1984. Personal Log. My father visited me once again. Our day of victory approaches. His triumphant return. His righteous revenge. The world is not prepared for what we shall unleash. He could not tell me when, only that it would be... soon. After so many years, decades, it is hard not to feel excitement. Ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamt of this moment. I will never forget when his ghost first appeared to me. I was five. Maybe six. At first I was terrified, but how else is a child to react? But when he called me by my real name, I knew it was him. He has guided me ever since. If all goes according to plan, not only will I have completed his mission... but he will be free. No longer trapped in that dark, evil, place. I can save him. I have to. The time is soon. Our day of victory approaches. East, West, Requiem, Omega, even Kravchenko -- they have no idea what is coming for them.

"While on the hunt for the Omega defectors, the strike team recovers an audiolog left behind by Doctor Hugo Jager."
— Description

Hugo Jager: Hallo? Scheisse! Ravenov, it is Doctor Hugo Jager. I hope either you or Requiem find this recording. Most of us survived the crash. We are heading to Monument Island, where I hope we will be safe from Omega. Before you ask: ja, that is on the other side of The Phase, but the scientists I am with? They have created something incredible. A device that will allow us travel through the Phase without dying... or worse! They only have one prototype, but they are assembling another from spare parts so you can follow us. Unfortunately, we are missing a component: an Aethereal Orb. Find one and bring it to the bridge. There will be a "slightly" modified Recon Rover waiting for you. Please hurry. Omega shot us down. They will no leave the job unfinished.

"The strike team find another message from Jager, discussing a secretive Omega Device: the Aetherium Neutralizer."
— Description

Jager: Ravenov! Requiem! Jager here. If you are hearing this, you must have found the Rover and completed the device. They call it an Aetherium Neutralizer. It does what it says on the tin -- it neutralizes Aetherium particles in the air, pacifying a radius around the device by boosting power from the orb's primordial energy. Allowing safe passage through the Phase is just one of many potential applications for this device. This improvised device should hold a charge long enough to traverse the Phase. Once you are through, make your way to the Monument. We will be on the roof. We eagerly await your arrival. Too long have wee been silent about Omega's atrocities. There is much for us to discuss. Soon we will change the world.

"Jager reveals his true intentions."
— Description

Jager: Hello Requiem. So glad you could make it. Enjoying my handiwork? Do no worry, they did not go quietly. Dr. Zarkova? She put up quite the struggle. It was almost honorable. But there is no honor in betraying Omega. It is a despicable act of cowardice. When Kravchenko learned of their plot to defect, I could not volunteer fast enough. Once I infiltrated their group, the Colonel gave me two tasks. One: kill the traitors. Easy enough. Nothing a hacksaw and a gas can could not solve. But the second? To lure Requiem's so-called "elite" strik team into a trap. That added a complication, but fortunately, crashing helicopters is easy once you've poisoned the pilot. As for the Aetherium Neutralizer -- rest assured, it will be well taken care of in Omega's hands. Soon we will change the world, Requiem. Auf Wiedersehen.

"After successfully infiltrating the group of Omega defectors. Jager meets with Kravchenko to discuss his next move. Recorded before the events of Operation Excision."
— Description

Kravchenko: Ah... Doctor Jager. Come. Sit. What news of our little "pet project"?
Jager: I have done as you have asked. Doctor Zarkova has welcomed me into her little circle of defectors with open arms. She does not suspect I am acting under your orders. In this process. I learned that my Records Manager, Cherneski, is one of the traitors. Shame, his organizational prowess was unmatched. He will be missed.
Kravchenko: Well done, comrade. You have confirmed their plan?
Jager: Ja, Colonel. Zarkova has made contact with Ravenov. He has made arrangements with Requiem for their extraction. In an effort to secure their trust. I arranged their transport. I'm sure the KGB will not mind if I "borrowed" a Hind.
Kravchenko: Pah. Cost of doing business. I trust you are ready for the rest of the task?
Jager: My paralytic cocktail is powerful enough to incapacitate an elephant. Though, unfortunately for them, they will still be able to feel pain when I begin my... work.
Kravchenko: Spare me the details. Just remember: use them to make a statement. This is what happens when you betray us. Once you have confirmed Requiem's arrival. I will make my move.
Jager: Wunderbar, Colonel. There is one other thing. Something Dr. Zarkova said. She has built a machine. She would not go into specifics. Something she hid from us. She says it will change the war.
Kravchenko: Find out what this machine is. Be sure you bring it back, whatever state it may be in.

"Kravchenko reveals his plans for Requiem's strike team."
— Description

Gorev: --and as you requested, the Requiem strike team -- and their pilot -- have been transferred to Potsdam.
Kravchenko: Oversee their transport personally, Gorev. No mistakes. No escapes. No "accidents". I need them alive.
Gorev: Of course, Colonel.
Kravchenko: Something on your mind?
Gorev: Would their... termination not send a stronger message to the West? We apprehended them operating on our soil. We should make a statement -- a demonstration of strength that inspires our brothers.
Kravchenko: Yes, comrade. We should send a message. And we will, in time. But first, I have work for them. In Berlin. A certain member of our organization has gone to ground recently. I am sure you've noticed their absence. I believe they are scheming against us -- and will take action in Berlin. We must use Requiem's team to stop them -- and keep the Kremlin in the dark.
Gorev: Sir?
Kravchenko: This department will not survive another scandal. Using Requiem's team keeps it off the books, and keeps the noose from our necks. Smile, Gorev. We may yet live through this.

"Kravchenko and Gorev interrogate Requiem's Raptor One pilot."
— Description

Electrical discharges is heard

Kravchenko: That is enough, Gorev. We still need him able to speak. Remove the gag.
Gorev: How are you feeling, pilot man? Eh? Ready to tell us name?
Raptor One: Call sign Raptor One. Captain. United States Air Force. Service Number FR-16-9-8-6-3-4-2. "Peace Is Our Profession".
Gorev: Ah. Still you persist with brainwashed American loyalty nonsense. Colonel?
Kravchenko: Again.

Electrical discharge is heard.

Gorev: Feeling more sociable? Or do we need more icebreaker?
Raptor One:Call sign Raptor One. Captain. United States Air Force. Service Number... FR-16-9-8-6-3-4-2. "Peace Is Our Profession".
Gorev: We have plenty of time, Pilot Cowboy. This is not western spaghetti. You are not man with no name.

Electrical discharge is heard.

Kravchenko: Well? Anything new to share?
Raptor One:Call sign... Raptor One... Captain.... United... United States Air Force... Service Number FR-16...9-8...6-3-4-2. "Peace Is Our Profession". But you can go fuck yourself.
Kravchenko: Finally... progress.

"In the aftermath of the Berlin Incident, Omega Senior Staff discuss a new solution for the Forsaken."
— Description

Kravchenko: My report on the Berlin Incident has been well received by my superiors. We are in the clear... for the moment.
Peck: I'll bet. Thanks to my quick thinking.
Gorev: Watch your tongue, Comeback Kid. Before I remove it.
Kravchenko: While it pains me to admit, were it not for Peck's ingenuity with manufacturing the warhead, I do not know that we could have stopped Valentina and her army.
Jager: On that particular topic, perhaps we can discuss the interdimensional-sized elephant in the room? The Forsaken? A solution is necessary. It must be dealt with.
Gorev: Ah, of course, Doctor Jager you are still coming up to speed. We are going to rebuild Peck's inversion warheads. It is the only way to destroy the creature.
Peck: Actually, Gorev, uhm, looks like you're the one still coming up to speed. We've moved in a... different direction.
Gorev: ... What are you talking about? Colonel?
Kravchenko: There has been a change of plan, Gorev. Peck and I are developing a new solution for the Forsaken.
Jager: ... Is that so?
Gorev: ... Why was I not informed?
Kravchenko: All will become clear soon. Rest assure -- if it is successful -- it will mean salvation for the Soviet Union. Omega Group, all of us, we will be heralded as heroes.

"Kravchenko and Peck discuss Operatsiya Izbavitel."
— Description

Kravchenko: --I assume we are still on schedule, Doctor Peck?
Peck: Uh, yes, Colonel. Construction of the machine should be complete in six to eight weeks.
Kravchenko: Not good enough. We must accelerate development. If Requiem gets word of Operatsiya Izbavitel before we are ready...
Peck: I know, I know, but considering the scale of this operation, we're lucky to be on track at all. The device to free Zykov was challenging enough, but this machine is complex. We're talking a new frontier. Undiscovered science. The sort of thing they write books about, then debate for decades... maybe centuries. We're shifting the paradigm, rewriting the rules... This... This is my... "David".
Kravchenko: Your what?
Peck: Uhm, you know, David? The, uh... Michelangelo? Renaissance?... Maybe that one didn't make it to Russia yet.
Kravchenko: What wan I do to expedite, your... "David"? Reallocate resources? Divert personnel to the project?
Peck: That would certainly help. Provided it's not too much of a hassle.
Kravchenko: This is the only thing that matters. Consider it done.
Peck: Thank you, Colonel.
Kravchenko: And the old War Hero? Still planning to honor his side of the bargain?
Peck: We bring him back in our reality, he'll help us stop the Forsaken. He thinks we want to kill it.
Kravchenko: Good. Let's keep it that way. Keep me informed, Peck. Without this "David" of yours, there is no Operatsiya Izbavitel.

"Gorev and Jager discuss the latest developments with Omega's new mission... and Kravchenko's motivations."
— Description

Gorev: Come. Oh. You. What do you want?
Jager: Can one not simply stop by for an unexpected visit, Gorev?
Gorev: I am in no mood to entertain your antics. That... is my grandfather's vodka.
Jager: And I must say, it looks as delicious as the boot it was probably distilled in. Cheers. So... it seems we are both being kept in the dark.
Gorev: ... So it would seem.
Jager: Like a couple of naughty children. Not allowed to sit at the grown-up table.
Gorev: Is there a point to your goading? Or are you just here to insult me and my vodka?
Jager: I am here because I am concerned. And I suspect you may be as well. Peck and Kravchenko, Kravchenko and Peck. It is not like the Colonel to keep his most trusted man out of the loop. You were his protege. The son he never had.
Gorev: Where are you going with this?
Jager: Kravchenko has made his intentions clear. Operatsiya Izbavitel cannot fail. If it does, the man will do whatever he must to ensure his own survival. His neck may escape the rope. But what about ours? Ahhhh.... you also have concerns.
Gorev: Since Berlin the Colonel has become... reckless. The KGB's patience is growing thin. Should this fail, we will all pay the price. I trust you can keep this between us?
Jager: Ja, mein Freund. We have much more to discuss.

Documents

"Gorev reports to Kravchenko regarding Omega Group operations in the Ural Mountains Outbreak Zone. "
— Description

18 June of the year 1984

Progress Report:
Ural Mountains Dimensional Breach

Colonel, I have completed my latest review of Omega Group operations in the Ural Mountains Breach AO. Overall conclusion is that our efforts are proceeding on schedule and yielding tangible results. If anything, progress has accelerated since the arrival of Dr. Peck. It appears your personal reprimand had the desired result. I have never seen him more motivated to meet the goals we set for his team. We still face a highly dangerous and unpredictable work environment, but if we are to deliver a decisive strategic advantage over the Americans and NATO, the answers will be found here.

Aetherium collection continues around the clock. This is by far the richest source of Aetherium crystals in the world, with new deposits forming every day. In fact, the infestation is so great we do not even have to send collection teams to the other side. I have taken steps to obscure the true levels of our growing stockpile. If there is a leak in Omega, the last thing we want is Requiem discovering the true magnitude of what we have here.

If there is any upside to the danger we face from Dark Aether hostiles, it is the opportunity for weapons testing. We have even recovered weaponry from some of the hostiles unique to this location. In conclusion, the Ural Mountains Breach remains our most important area of operations. Should Requiem continue their efforts to match our Aetherium research, then let this be our battleground for the fate of the Motherland.

Gorev
Spetsgruppa Omega

"Shortly after assuming command of Omega Group, Kravchenko informs his superiors of his choices for Omega leadership roles."
— Description

03 April of the year 1983

RE: Omega Leadership Appointments
AUTHOR: Col. Lev Kravchenko

9 days ago, the Chairman of the Committee for State Security tasked me with revitalizing Spetsgruppa Omega. Today, after consultation with comrades Andropov and Chebrikov, I am prepared to name key personnel to lead Omega Group's military and scientific operations.

My right-hand man Gorev will serve as Tactical Operations lead during active measures, ensuring our unit's performance is not just up to Spetsnaz standards, but up to my standards. Omega's original focus on superstitions and old wives' tales made these operators soft. Gorev will burn all softness out of them. Assisting him will be Kapitan Sergei Ravenov, whose sterling service record should calm the fears of any apparatchik with misgivings about comrade Gorev.

As for Omega's stated mission: to identify, study, and weaponize so-called "exoscientific phenomena," I have chosen trusted experts to assess the validity and practicality of such a focus. If they say we can realistically deliver a counterpunch to Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, so be it. if not, I will request this unit be liquidated and the men reassigned.

Dr. Aleksandra Valentina has already assumed leadership of our Psychotronic Phenomena Research - the study of extrasensory perception, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and so on. For the last 8 years, Omega Group failed to verify the existence of such abilities, much less harness them. In addition to having a background in hard science, comrade Valentina is a straight talker and a Soviet's Soviet. If Omega is a waste of resources, she will give me the unvarnished truth.

Finally, Dr. William Peck from America's weapons research organization DARPA will serve as Exoscientific Phenomena Research Lead. Peck will develop military applications for Aetherium. Comrade Chebrikov tells me there was some pushback to this choice. After all, if Peck betrayed his own country, why wouldn't he sell us out as well? Rest assured I have contingencies in place if Peck ever thinks of betraying me.

I have issued a general order to scout all records since the creation of Omega Group in 1975. Surely something usable, something of worth must have been found in all that time.

Colonel Lev Kravchenko
Commanding Officer - Omega Group

"Valentina writes a report to Kravchenko detailing key operations from the early days of Omega Group."
— Description

19 April of the year 1983

RE: Omega Group Records Review
AUTHOR: Dr. Aleksandra Valentina

SUMMARY:

Omega's central database archives confirm the main operational focus was to gain a scientific understanding of psychotronic abilities like biocommunications and bioenergetics, then instill those abilities in our covert operators. Obviously, being able to read minds or dominate the wills of others would have great utility in espionage and covert operations. Though they never determined a scientific cause for extrasensory abilities, they did conscript a handful of Russian nationals with genuine talents and trained them as intelligence assets. Alas, their gifts were impossible to reproduce and all such assets were either killed in action or suffered psychological breakdowns that rendered them useless for continued service. Still, the work showed promise:

10 April, 1976 - A suicide bomber attempting to enter the Soviet embassy in Ho Chi Minh City was sensed by an Omega Group asset on site. The terrorist was stopped and detonated at the gate, saving countless lives in the compound.

29 June, 1976 - East Germany hosted a multilateral conference for European communist parties. A mind-reading Omega asset learned several representatives from Soviet satellite states were uniting to extract concessions from the Kremlin. Omega units quietly rounded up the diplomats' families in their home countries, ending the insurrection before it started.

7 April, 1978 - Following a remotely placed suggestion by an Omega biocommunications asset at our embassy in Washington, US president Carter suspended production of their neutron bomb.

28 April, 1978 - A clairvoyant Omega asset helped the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan assassinate the Afghan president. The asset experienced a mental breakdown and had to be liquidated as she attempted to defect at the British consulate in Kabul.

There were also indications in the records of Omega involvement in several high-profile assassination ops in March, May and October of 1981. All assets involved were liquidated after comrade Brezhnev's untimely death in 1982.

My review has so far been limited to the central database on the KGB mainframe. Other records deemed too sensitive for the party leadership were sent for storage elsewhere. I am currently piecing together the chain of custody on some of those items.

Dr. Aleksandra Valentina
Psychotronic Phenomena Research Lead - Omega Group

"Official Omega Group report on the placement of Boost Modules in the Ural Mountains Outbreak Zone."
— Description

Progress Report:
Ural Mountains Breach - Boost Module Installation

As our operations continue to grow in the Ural Mountains Breach, it has been brought to my attention that our teams' mobility around the regions is greatly restricted. While convoys and security escorts are possible, delays and uncertainties with time-sensitive deliveries have rendered the more traditional transportation methods inefficient. As a result, we decided to explore more creative solutions - after all, if we are meant to be at the forefront of science, our technology should not be as unreliable or frustrating as waiting for Trolleybus B at the Red Square.

Normally we might consider teleportation, but due to Phasic interference and the regions' dimensional instabilities, Dr. Peck does not recommend teleporter use at this time. This has led us to an unconventional solution: the installation of the Boost Modules. Using the design blueprints recovered from Outpost 25, these have been assembled and deployed at strategic placements around the Outbreak Zone. Unfortunately, the design for the landing pads was lost with Outpost 25. As such, we recommend all personnel equip themselves with a parachute before use, as it dramatically improves the likelihood of survival (28% fatality rate with parachute versus 95% without. Dr. Sokolov is a lucky man.)

In the two weeks since their installation was completed, work efficiency is up 60% due to time saved on travel. While the fatality rate is close to 30%, it is an improvement over the 38.7% we were experiencing with standard transport. Also, most recent fatalities have been the result of user error, not machine failure. If anything, we have improved transportation and natural selection.

Gorev
Spetsgruppa Omega

"Official Omega Group report on the Dark Aetheric energy barrier."
— Description

01 July of the year 1984

Progress Report
Ural Mountains Breach - Phasic Threat Assessment

Colonel, in response to your concerns about "The Phase," I dispatched two survey teams to study the phenomenon. As with Outpost 25's outbreak, this phasic energy barrier has proven quite lethal, with a significant impact on our operations. You have seen the reports of soldiers trapped inside, driven to insanity, violence, and, ultimately, death. Even in the case of my own survey teams, two men were lost. For those who did return, they have posited some... "illuminating" theories.

Firstly, the Phase is not simply a perimeter wall. It represents a deadly "No Man's Land" connecting the many regions of the Outbreak Zone. As one of my officers put it, "imagine the Outbreak Zone were an ocean, with each region representing islands - the Phase is the water surrounding, and linking them all." Take that for what you will.

Second, the Phase is being maintained by crystalline structures. Aetherium Processors. These structures pump large quantities of Aetherium into the environment, chemically altering the oxygen (along with other elements) in the area. This is the reason why our men cannot survive inside the Phase: the environmental conditions have been rendered uninhabitable. Dr. Peck believes the Phase is "terraforming in action," the Dark Aether's attempt to make our world hospitable for its own kind.

One final observation: as the survey team was studying the barrier in Ruka, they observed the Phase wall grow approximately 100 micrometers. It seems - however slowly - the Phase is expanding. We will continue to monitor.

Gorev
Spetsgruppa Omega

"Design document detailing the structure and purpose of Omega Group's power armor."
— Description

RED SOLDIER MECHANIZED ARMOR
WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT

Created in response to multiple incident reports, the Red Soldier Mechanized Armor is designed so its operator can provide protection for Aethernaut mining teams operating in the Dark Aether. Outpost 25 will serve as the proving grounds for the armor. If initial tests prove successful, Omega plans to expand the use of the armor in other outbreak zones and operations.

14 March 1984
Approved: Dr. Dimitri Kuhlklay Dr. William Peck

"Excerpt from Valentina's personal diary."
— Description

22 July 84

Another meeting with Kravchenko today. More insight into his new proposal. It would seem our vision for Operatsiya Inversiya is no more - and that this new plan may threaten that which we have worked so hard to achieve. it is no matter. I must remain resolute. All is not lost. Yet.

So many years. He has waited long for this day. But he can keep waiting. Just a little bit longer. There is no reason to rush. No need to provoke the bear. I must only find the opportunity to prevent the discovery. Perhaps the Captain could be useful after all. To derail their plan.

I must stay focused. Stay committed. I've dedicated everything to aid his struggle. I must wait for him to give me the signal. When the time is right, I will know.

After all these years, after all my loyalty, after all I've sacrificed, he owes me that much.

Valentina

"Valentina's original pitch for Operatsiya Inversiya, detailing her plan to create targeted dimensional breaches."
— Description

[R. This may be of interest to your Requiem friends.]

03 June of the year 1984

RE: Operatsiya Inversiya
AUTHOR: Dr. Aleksandra Valentina

BACKGROUND:
16 August 1983: Operation Undertaker is given formal approval to be carried out by Spcial Operations Group Omega. Begin Phase 1.
1 November: Operation Undertaker is completed under the orders of Dr. Aleksandra Valentina. Outbreak Zones begin to open around the world. At this point, there is no way to control where or when a dimensional breach can occur. Phase 1 is complete.
9 November: Approval is given for Operation Inversion to be carried out by Special Operations Group Omega. Being Phase 2.
11 November: Construction begins on Outpost 25 in Vietnam. The facility is overseen by Dr. William Peck and is used to conduct Omega's first attempt to create their own portal to the Dark Aether.
8 January 1984: Dr. William Peck and Dr. Dimitri Kuhlklay open a dimensional portal to the Dark Aether. It is the first successful controlled breach.
14 March: 5 additional test sites are opened. Four of these sites successfully create their own breaches. Special Operations Group Omega can now control where and when a dimensional breach will occur with nearly 70% accuracy. Phase 2 is complete.
2 April: Work beings on weaponizing the process. A missile battery in the Ural Mountains is identified as a candidate. Begin Phase 3.
11 May: Canvassing for potential targets is complete.

MISSION STATUS - PHASE 3:
Given Special Operations Group Omega's ability to generate its own Dark Aether portals, it stands to reason that if weaponized it would provide the U.S.S.R. with a tactical advantage over the West. When an Inversion Warhead reaches its targets, it can generate a dimensional breach as large as 500 meters, which in turn can create an Outbreak Zone measuring more than 800 kilometers. The committee has selected two targets: Washington, D.C. and Manhattan, New York. I am told the Colonel wishes to make a few modifications. I am eager to see what improvements he will make.

Dr. Aleksandra Valentina
Psychotronics Research Lead - Omega Group

"Design schematic for Peck's "Reality Inversion" missile warhead."
— Description

REALITY INVERSION WARHEAD
PSYCHOTRONICS RESEARCH OMEGA
EXOSCIENTIFIC PHENOMENA OMEGA

The Reality Inversion Warhead is designed to [redacted] its true purpose remains to target [redacted]

Approved: [redacted]
14 July 1984

"Recovered Omega Group cipher. Decryption is required"
— Description

This cipher is Four-square cipher using "Strauss" and "Carver" as keys. The alphabets used require the letter J to be remove from the squares.

Colonel
This threat is real. The entity hides in the darkest depths of the Dark Aether. It is waiting for its moment to enter our world and to consume it as it has its own. That is why it seeks to manipulate us because only we can let it in. Unless we can stop it will be our end. I will reach out later. Requiem will have noticed my absence by now.

"Official KGB order announcing that Ravenov has been disavowed and is now an enemy of the state."
— Description

16 November of the year 1984

On Spetsgruppa Omega Officer Kapitan
Sergei Ravenov: All Directorates and
Affiliates per order of Viktor
Chebrikov, Chariman of State Security

Effective immediately, the Committee for State Security disavows Spetsgruppa Omega Kapitan Sergei Ravenov. He is to be stripped of rank, privileges, and citizenship. Subject has engaged in communications, traded classified intelligence, and facilitated operations with the Central Intelligence Agency and the Bundesnachrichtendienst. The Committee for State Security declares Sergei Ravenov an enemy of the state for high crimes against the Greater Soviet Union.
If encountered, subject is to be taken into custody. Be advised: subject is highly trained and will resist arrest. If apprehension is not possible, he is to be terminated. Any documents or materials found on his person are to not be viewed and are to delivered with the subject. Subject is extremely charismatic and manipulative. While in custody he may divulge information, specifically with regards to the actions of Spetsgruppa Omega. This is to be disregarded. If any leaked intelligence regarding Spetsgruppa Omega can be traced back to the arresting officer, they will be arrested and tried for high crimes against the Greater Soviet Union.

"Design Specs for the Aetherium Neutralizer, a secret Omega project. Unfortunately, most of the blueprint was lost in a fire."
— Description

AETHERIUM NEUTRALIZER
PSYCHOTRONICS OMEGA

When activated, the Aetherium Neutralizer removes 99.8% of all airborne Aetherium particles within a surrounding radius. The device generates an energy shield that protects the user, preventing exposure to Aetherium and its known side effects.

Limitations:

  • Device requires harvesting energy from Aetherial Orbs, a rarer commodity that requires collection from Outbreak Zones. Mass production nonviable until we can create a synthetic alternative to replace the orbs.
  • Device cannot remove Aetherium from specimens/objects already contaminated. E.g.: we cannot stabilize specimens experiencing advanced necrosis.

"In December 1983, Kravchenko announces the formation of Omega's Necro-Analytics department -- and appoints Dr. Hugo Jager as its Lead Researcher."
— Description

02 December of the year 1983

RE: Necro-Analytics Formation and Appointment
AUTHOR: Col. Lev Kravchenko

SUMMARY:

In the aftermath of the events at Morasko and Operatsiya Grobovschik, it has become apparent that a new department is required to study the necrotic effects of the new element. Dr. Vogel and Projekt Endstation made extensive progress towards understanding its effects on living tissue, and Special Operations Group Omega shall continue their work.

Today we announce the formation of the Necro-Analytics department, with Doctor Hugo Jager acting as Lead Researcher. Doctor Valentina and Doctor Peck will continue their study of the new dimension and the element. All necrosis research will be redirected to Jager's deparment.

This department will focus on potential applications of the necrosis ailment, primarly its weaponization. Going forward, all undead specimens are to be delivered to Jager's labs. This will be particularly important when new species are discovered.

As of this morning, the Chairman of the Committee for State Security formally approved this plan. This department will be staffed by existing members of Exoscientific Phenomena and Psychotronics Research. If you are selected, you will receive a notice of your new assignment shortly.

Colonel Lev Kravchenko
Commanding Officer - Omega Group

"Kravchenko's Official statement on Omega's unexpected Berlin operation, and the betrayal of Valentina."
— Description

04 February of the year 1985

Moscow

On Spetsgruppa Omega Doctor Aleksandra
Valentina: Viktor Chebrikov, Chairman
of the Committee for State Security

Chairman, regrettably I must inform you that the rumors you have heard by now are true. Doctor Aleksandra Valentina, Lead Researcher for Spetsgruppa Omega Psychotronics, is deceased. I know she was a favorite of yours - a rising star within the organization I can sympathize, as she was like a daughter to me.

The circumstances which lead to this event can only be described as foreign sabotage. Requiem has developed an Aetherium narcotic compound, capable of inducing aggressive paranoia, hallucinations, and schizophrenic tendencies. Valentina, while in the Ural Mountains, was injected with the serum by Requiem's strike team. We captured the strike team during their extraction, but the damage was already done.

Valentina experienced a total psychotic break, believing she was the daughter of Doctor Ulrich Vogel, and that she had been given a mission to liberate a Nazi Army from the Dark Aether. None of this is true, of course; we suspect she latched onto this fantasy as so much of her work had revolved around Endstation's research.

Fortunately, our men were able to intervene in Berlin before events took a turn for the worse. I attempted to reason with her, but after examination it became clear her psychosis was irreversible. I resolved the matter personally. As to Requiem's strike team: after processing they were transferred to Potsdam. We made little progress with interrogation, so I ordered them executed.

Finally, I want to assure you that this incident has not interfered with Operation [REDACTED]. We continue to remain on schedule and expect to be operational in [REDACTED].

Colonel Lev Kravchenko
Commanding Officer - Omega

"Gorev submits a report raising conserns over increased encounters with Dark Aether hostiles in the Ural Mountains."
— Description

13 March of the year 1985

Moscow

Progress Report:

Ural Mountains Breach - Increased Hostilities

Colonel, I am growing concerned about our operations in the Ural Mountains. Since Berlin, we have seen an increase in Dark Aether activity by more than fifty percent. The horde has doubled in size; our teams have reported more hostile encounters in the last four weeks than the last four months combined.

There is also the growing Phase issue. As new Dark Aether Vortices are reported every day, we are seeing the terraforming process accelerate across the region. There are concerns over how much longer the outbreak zones will remain stable.

We have lost forty men in as many days. I have teams in certain hot zones who are refusing to go on patrols after dark, and I must say, I cannot blame them for their hesitancy. Morale is in a freefall.

I speculate all of this is in response to our actions in Berlin. When we stopped the Forsaken from entering our reality, we may have gotten its attention in ways we did not anticipate. Perhaps this creature expected us to give in and let him take our reality without a fight. Now that we have reacted aggressively, it is reconsidering its tactics.

With the ongoing development of Operation [REDACTED], our forces are stretched thin. I would suggest we reconsider our Ural Mountains operations and assess if they are necessary at this time. The increased hostilities show little sign of dissipation. Without additional reinforcements, we will lose control of this region - not to Requiem, but to the Dark Aether itself.

Gorev
Spetsgruppa Omega

"Official Omega brief distributed to all departments ordering the suspension of ongoing operations, and the redispersal of personnel to support Operatsiya Izbavitel."
— Description

18 April of the year 1985

On Omega Resources: To all
Spetsgruppa Omega Departments per
order of Lev Kravchenko, Commanding
Officer of Omega Group

As of now, all ongoing operations across all departments are suspended until further notice. This includes PSYCHOTRONICS, EXOSCIENTIFIC PHENOMENA, NECRO-ANALYTICS, and TACTICAL Operations at all Outposts -- including the Ural Mountains. All resources and personnel are to be diverted in support of OPERATSIYA IZBAVITEL.

Each department will receive specific instructions shortly as to their new role within the operation. Teams will be asked to redeploy to [REDACTED] by [REDACTED]. Each department is expected to complete their transition without delay. Please note that this measure is temporary. If our schedule is kept, all departments can expect a return to normal operations by [REDACTED]. Skeleton crews will remain at each outpost with armed support to ensure our facilities remain under Omega control.

I know this move may come as a shock to many of you. As your Commanding Officer, I can assure you that this was not an easy decision to make, but it is a necessary one. OPERATSIYA IZBAVITEL will determine the future of Spetsgruppa Omega -- it is an effort we must undertake together, united as one. Its success will secure supremacy for the Soviet Union. It will be an honor to serve by your side as we achieve a better tomorrow.

We will face adversity. We will have monumental hardships that must be overcome. But we will persevere. For the Good of the Motherland.

We were the First. We are the Last.

Colonel Lev Kravchenko
Commanding Officer -- Omega Group

"Kravchenko writes a letter to his most trusted ally."
— Description

14 May 1985

Gorev,

A rift has formed between us. I am not sure how it happened, or what may have caused it, but I do know that since Berlin you have grown distant. Combative. Your unwavering loyalty has been poisoned by doubts and uncertainties. For both of our sakes, I hope it is not too late to fix this problematic behavior.

I am not one to reminisce on the past, but do you remember August '75? Before you joined my team, when you were still working with Internal Affairs. You were investigating my team for "corruption with malicious intent against the State". I was furious. I recall threatening to put your head through the wall. You laughed at that.

You asked me to trust you, that you had proof. Two days later, you arrested Private Sidorov -- a double-agent who had been delivering intelligence to MI-6 for years. He confessed to plotting my own assassination. I trusted you, and you did not fail me.

I am asking you now to trust me -- as you have done all these years. This operation is our chance to get back into Chebrikov's good graces. If we succeed, we will give the KGB a weapon so powerful the West will have no choice but to bow before us and tremble. We will be celebrated as the saviors of the Motherland.

We are so close to finishing this, old friend. Who knows what the future may bring, but for now, be patient -- we will deliver greatness to our people.

Lev

"Considering the scale of the operation, Peck suggests an old test site be used for Omega's latest operation."
— Description

09 February of the year 1985

Progress Report:
Operatsiya Izbavitel -- Test Site Anna

Colonel, after several weeks I believe I have finally triangulated Sergeant Kazimir Zykov's position in the Dark Aether. Having spent as much time as he has there, he is uniquely embedded deep within the other reality -- it's no wonder he needs the help he does to make it back home. This won't be easy; we'll need to harness primordial aether energy to generate enough power to bring him back.

To that point, I believe Test Site "Anna" is our best option to run the operation. If that sounds familiar, it was used as one of our initial test facilities for Operatsiya Inversiya last winter. As such, it's already equipped to handle excess amounts of Aetherium energy and is the only facility with a power grid large enough for an operation of this scale. So I guess when I say best option, what I really mean is "only option".

With your approval, I'll begin preparations to move all necessary equipment to the new facility. We can begin construction of The Machine immediately.

Doctor William Peck
Exoscientific Phenomena
Spetsgruppa Omega

Radio Transmissions

"Gorev warns Peck not to squander his second chance."
— Description

Gorev: Gorev to Peck. Hello, my American friend. I trust you find Mother Russia more hospitable than the jungles of Vietnam?
Peck: Hospitable? I've gone from sweating my ass off to freezing my nuts off, so-
Gorev: It was rhetorical question. I do not really care about your comfort. Only that you do not squander the second chance we have very generously given you.
Peck: I... yes. Of course. Believe me, I've got a lot to work with here.
Gorev: Just keep Kravchenko informed of your progress. You may be top scientist, but it is you under microscope now. Fail him again and you will be mining Aetherium crystals while Dr. Valentina takes your place. I think she would very much enjoy this.
Peck: Will all due respect, Valentina can't even begin to understand the Dark Aether like I do.
Gorev: See, that is point. No more secrets. No more hoarding information so you are only one with answers. Share what you know. Get everyone "up to speed," as you like to say. Is your best move if you want to keep other eye.
Peck: I'll... I will do my best.
Gorev: Oh, I know you will. Because if there is one thing you Americans love, it is a comeback story. This is your chance to make your friend Gorev proud. And I know you do want to make me proud.

"Gorev tells Peck there is still an informant in Omega Group - and they are to be taken alive."
— Description

Gorev: Hello, Peck. Remember how you allowed spy to infiltrate your ranks at Outpost 25? Remember how this informant compromised our valuable research lead over Americans?
Peck: Look, I know I screwed up. But the mole's dead now, right? I mean, I'm the sole survivor from that whole Vietnam fiasco.
Gorev: "Fiasco." Such a colorful word. Almost sounds like fun. You know what is not fun? That we still have massive fucking intelligence leak - thanks to your not-dead mole, whom Kravchenko wants taken alive.
Peck: Alive, huh? He... must have plans for the poor schmuck.
Gorev: You will be schmuck if we do not figure out who it is. So put big brain to work. And contact me immediately if you identify the son of bitch. Am I clear?
Peck: Crystal.

"Gorev informs Peck that Requiem is now operating in the Ural Mountains Outbreak Zone."
— Description

Gorev: Peck? Gorev here. Bad news, little man: my scouts confirm that Requiem is now conducting operations in the Ural Mountains breach zone.
Peck: That's... how is that even possible?
Gorev: They are desperate. But we cannot risk them finding out about your current project.
Peck: Are you saying I should lay low somewhere?
Gorev: Heh. So brave. No, Peck, Operatsiya Inversiya is to remain your priority. The Colonel already mentioned it to Kremlin. Do not make him look bad. Just have your people keep their eyes open. Report any sightings of Requiem, but do not engage. Leave that to Spetsnaz. We live for this... shit.

"Valentina checks on Peck's progress and recounts a story about her childhood."
— Description

Valentina: Hello Peck - it seems like you're finally settling in. Back in "groove," as it were.
Peck: Yeah, well, "the Groove" used to have 20/20 vision.
Valentina: Tsk-tsk. You Americans are so soft and spoiled. Life is full of pain, Peck. After my father died, my uncle took me in. He was cruel, did not believe woman should have education. Made me work in his factory. So what did I do? Every night I snuck into library and I read. Biochemistry, microbiology, physics. At sixteen, I was accepted at university. If I can survive childhood, you can survive little eye problem.
Peck: Valentina, I had no idea. How did you convince your uncle to let you go to school.
Valentina: Convince him? When he found out, he tried to imprison me in basement, so I slit his throat.
Peck: Ah, of course... let me assure you, we're making excellent progress. Harnessing those crystalline creatures has certainly sped up development.
Valentina: Is that so? I trust you are taking appropriate security measures.
Peck: Hey now. I only lost my eye, not my attention to detail.
Valentina: Is that supposed to be a joke?
Peck: I, uh... I thought so.
Valentina: Just send me a report on your latest security protocols, and that facility blueprint I asked for.
Peck: Yeah. Sure.

"Peck demands that Gorev do something about a Demented Echo haunting the Omega facility."
— Description

Gorev: Comeback Kid. One of my birds said you were looking for me.
Peck: Huh! You're goddamn right I was! I need your security teams to prioritize these, these... these fucking things! I've lost three scientists this week!
Gorev: Oh-ho-ho, slow down, William. Take breath. You sound like my son when he breaks toy. Now, tell me what has happened - but in calm, rational voice. Like adult man.
Peck: Look. Infected, I can handle. Undead dogs? Sure. Crystalline men? No problem. But these... these damned demon echoes.
Gorev: I have heard of this creature, it can summon friends to it's position. Loud scream, made of fire.
Peck: Yeah. Well, one got the jump on Doctor Leonov while he was takin' a leak. You ever see that? It can summon a dozen "friends" while you're in the john? Custodial spent two days cleaning up what was left of him.
Gorev: What are you asking for, Doctor? What can I do to make you... "happy man"?
Peck: Just... just have your men do sweeps for these echoes. The Colonel has accelerated our delivery schedule for the warheads. We cannot afford anymore delays.

"Gorev and Valentina are growing concerned over Peck's new obsession."
— Description

Gorev: I am growing concerned, is all. His behavior since coming here has been... erratic.
Valentina: Peck has always had his quirks, you know this.
Gorev: Yes, but... he is more skittish than usual. He is talking to himself. He spends all day and night in that silo.
Valentina: Do you suspect Aetherium exposure?
Gorev: Ah... it is hard to say. He has developed new obsession. You have seen strange computer, yes?
Valentina: Exoscience disassembled one. We are struggling to make sense of it. It's mechanisms are... complex.
Gorev: Our American friend... talks to it.
Valentina: I have heard of others who do this. It is like moth and flame. They are drawn to it, but do not know why.
Gorev: Apparently, it talks back to Peck.
Valentina: Does the Colonel know this?
Gorev: Nyet. I was going to draft report-
Valentina: -hold for now. Give me a few days. Let me investigate.
Gorev: Saves me paperwork. I have little interest in chasing ghosts.

"Valentina confronts Peck about his use of the Dark Aether Computer"
— Description

Valentina: --Honestly, I am surprised you thought this could be kept secret!
Peck: You act like I've done something wrong! All I did was talk to it!
Valentina: And what is it? Who is it? This person on the computer. Speak up, Doctor! Are you loyal to Omega's cause or to yourself? Who are you speaking to?
Peck: Ugh... He won't tell me his name. He just told me I need to prepare. He says something is coming... an army of some sort.
Valentina: This army. What did he tell you of it?
Peck: He called it... the greatest evil the world has ever known. He said he would help me, if I helped bring him home. Ugh... I don't know. Maybe I am losing it. I've been working too much. I can't sleep. Seeing things that aren't there. You should speak to him. Maybe it would make more sense to you.
Valentina: No... I don't think that is necessary.

"Kravchenko and Gorev discuss the current state of Omega."
— Description

Gorev: --there is nothing yet, Colonal. Even if he is still in Russia, which I doubt, he has gone to ground. A ghost.
Kravchenko: And the Burn Notice?
Gorev: Distributed. There is nowhere in the Eastern Bloc he can run to. Any of his remaining allies have been made aware of his transgressions.
Kravchenko: "Transgressions"? You make it sound like he kicked your dog. The fucking traitor. How did this slip by you?
Gorev: I am searching for answers myself. I had known the Kapitan for many years. His record would suggest he was incapable of such betrayal. He was the perfect soldier. A true soviet.
Kravchenko: A fucking coward. This is the last thing we need. The Kremlin is asking questions, Gorev. I am not accustomed to having to explain myself. I am not accustomed to being spied on. Chebrikov's rats are everywhere, waiting to scurry back and report our latest failure. Outpost 25. Ruka. Omega is gaining a reputation. And now there are rumors of dissent within our own ranks. One more "incident" and we are finished.
Gorev: No, if you are worried of mutiny, it will be snuffed out, Colonel. You have my word.
Kravchenko: Like I did with finding the mole? As it is, I already have someone for that job. You must continue your work with Peck. Those warheads were our best chance of containing "the entity".
Gorev: The "Entity"... so far, I have had no luck in finding such a thing. We have interviewed over a hundred Aethernauts, and while there is no shortage of strange encounters with outlandish creatures in the Dark Aether, none can recall anything that matches your description of this entity. Perhaps your source in Requiem is acting on incomplete information--
Kravchenko: --my source is no to be questioned nor challenged. The threat is real. This is not a discussion: Find it. Before it finds us.

"Kravchenko and Gorev discuss Peck's usefulness."
— Description

Kravchenko: There is the question, Gorev, of what is to be done with Peck. This is twice now his projects ended in failure. Omega's reputation will not survive a third.
Gorev: You know my feelings on this matter. I would love nothing more than for our one-eyed cowboy to be strung up in the gulag. However, I cannot say the failure at Ruka lies with him. Whether he knows it or not, Peck has been under 24-hour surveillance. I can safely say he was not the one to leak the documents to Ravenov and Requiem.
Kravchenko: These fucking leaks. Do I look like a fucking plumber to you, Gorev?
Gorev: Peck has not outlive his usefulness. He is still our most knowledgeable scientist on Aetherium. In that regard, he has no equal. More importantly, I believe he could help find this entity of yours.
Kravchenko:... I'm listening.
Gorev: As you know, Peck has been talking to that Computer. Apparently he has built something of a rapport with its creator. Perhaps he is familiar with your creature.
Kravchenko: What? Why am I only hearing of this now? How long has this been going on?
Gorev: ...several months, Colonel. Valentina assured me she wrote a report on the matter and delivered it to you personally.
Kravchenko: Tell Peck to keep talking to his friend. Have him ask about the entity. I will speak to Valentina myself.

Artifacts

"The Colonel's preferred method of getting someone's attention."
— Description

"Worn proudly on the shoulder of every Omega Group operator."
— Description

"The fearsome arm-cannon recovered from a fallen enemy known as the Mangler."
— Description

"Peck's official Omega Group ID. He hates the photo."
— Description

"Make sure the settings are calibrated, or you're in for a rough landing!"
— Description

"The severed head from the Dark Aether species known as Tempest."
— Description

"One of the Reality Inversion Warhead Launch Keys. The fate of the world quite literally in your hand."
— Description

"If you're trying to trap a monkey, you need the right bait."
— Description

"A model for the Reality Inversion Warhead shown to Kravchenko as a proof of concept."
— Description

"A model for the Aether Reactor from Outpost 25. Created by Peck as a proof of concept in the early days of the Omega facility."
— Description

"A symbol of loyalty in the fight for the greater Soviet Union. We were The First. We are The Last."
— Description

"Reconnaissance photos captured by Omega Aethernauts while on mission in the Dark Aether."
— Description

"The lethal flamethrower attachment from a fallen Krasny Soldat."
— Description

"Valentina's official Omega Group ID, from before her betrayal."
— Description

"The tentacle from an undead Mimic, possibly once an Aethernaut at Outpost 25."
— Description

"A model of Peck's Gravity Boost Modules, used at both Outpost 25 and for Omega's Ural Mountains operations."
— Description

"Gorev's official Omega Group ID."
— Description

"A model of Peck's gateway teleporter, first developed for use at Outpost 25."
— Description

Maxis

Audio Logs

"Carver interviews Maxis in the isolation ward."
— Description

Carver: Good evening, Agent Maxis. I'm Major Carver. I hope you're recovering from your ordeal.
Maxis: 'Major'. Would that make you Requiem's highest ranking military representative?
Carver: Please. Call me Mac. My friends do. Now... I'm going to get down to brass tacks. We're fighting a war that we both know we're losing. I was hoping your experiences could shed some light on just how far the enemy has gotten ahead of us.
Maxis: Which enemy? Are you talking about Omega?... Or the others?
Carver: When you say 'others', I'm assuming you mean hostile elements from within the Dark Aether itself? Are they... Mobilizing? Are there forces strategizing an assault on our world? What kind of technology do they possess? Is there some kind of hierarchy we should be aware of?
Maxis: Well. 'Mac'. To answer your questions in order - Yes. Yes. Yes. I'm not sure. Probably... but I'd be lying if I said I understood it. The whole experience of being trapped there was... confusing.
Carver: With all due respect, Agent Maxis.... as a former agent of the BND, there have doubtless been times in your career - your life - where lying and misleading those around you was very much essential?
Maxis: Do you think I'm lying to you, Major Carver?
Carver: No, but I am concerned about the content of some transmissions you sent while you were in the Dark Aether. Some of them seem to imply that you yourself might have caused the outbreak at Outpost 25.
Maxis: I don't know how that would be possible, do you?
Carver: In recent months, we've seen a lot of things we never thought possible. So - if any details do come back to you, I trust you will let us know.
Maxis: Of course. Now, if you don't mind I would like to get some sleep.

"Strauss visits Maxis - and voices his concerns."
— Description

Strauss: Well, isn't this nice? I thought you might appreciate hearing a familiar voice... we have a lot in common, after all.
Maxis: I'm not sure that we do. We're both Germans, but I think the similarity ends there.
Strauss: Oh dear, I'm sorry. Are you... ashamed of your nationality for some reason?
Maxis: Not ashamed. Not at all. But our nationality isn't what defines us.
Strauss: True. Very true.
Maxis: What do you want, Doctor Strauss?
Strauss: My reputation precedes me! I'm flattered. Humbled even.
Maxis: I'm not sure you've ever been humbled, Strauss. In fact, I'm not even sure you're that much different from Peck.
Strauss: My... such anger. You don't like him do you? I can't say that I'm surprised. I mean... He did treat you very... badly.
Maxis: I don't like repeating myself, but again I have to ask - What do you want?
Strauss: Requiem are very interested in the... gaps in your memory regarding the events at outpost 25. Particularly its destruction and the question of your role in it.
Maxis: I was angry and confused, but that doesn't mean I could somehow unleash all the forces of the Dark Aether upon Omega.
Strauss: Well, I was thinking your anger was perhaps directed more at Peck. I would understand the desire for revenge.
Maxis: You really think I had the power to do that, Strauss?
Strauss: I'm more concerned about the possibility of you doing it again.
Maxis: Don't worry. I'm not a danger to you - or anyone else.
Strauss: What about yourself?
Maxis: Don't you have other things to do, Strauss?

"Grey checks in on Maxis. They discuss the nature of time and emotional tolls."
— Description

Grey: Hi Sam. I'm Doctor Elizabeth Grey. I was wondering if you felt well enough for a bit of a chat?
Maxis: Sure, Liz. Why not?
Grey: I don't really like being called Liz - that was my Mum's name. I prefer Elizabeth, if that's okay? Wait. I just realized - do you prefer Samantha?
Maxis: Samantha. Sam. Maxis. Doesn't really matter to me. What do you want, Doctor Grey?
Grey: I just wanted to ask you some questions. Truth is - we're all a little bit surprised how well you're doing after your time in... well, you know.
Maxis: You don't really know how well I'm doing or how long I was there - do you?
Grey: That was one of the things I wanted to talk about. We do know that time moves differently there... slower or faster? Not sure - suppose it's all relative, really!
Maxis: I was there a long time. A very long time. So long I thought I'd never get out.
Grey: I'm sorry. I really am, but that's what's so unusual. Normally when people come back - they're more damaged. Physically and emotionally.
Maxis: What makes you think I'm not damaged?
Grey: The only thing we've actually been able to detect is the change to your eyes. I've never seen anything like it... they're almost 'iridescent'. Do things look different to you?
Maxis: I see things differently, if that's what you mean. Sometimes the light hurts my eyes. Especially if I'm tired.
Grey: Are you tired now?
Maxis: Would you mind... switching the lights off on your way out?

"Weaver talks to Maxis. Bad memories are revisited."
— Description

Maxis: Weaver.
Weaver: Hello, Sam.
Maxis: You look serious?
Weaver: My colleagues tell me you've not exactly been cooperative, or forthcoming. Instead you've been evasive... obtuse, even.
Maxis: Ain't that just like me?
Weaver: This isn't a joke, Sam. I'm worried about you. We all are.
Maxis: After what I've been through - do you honestly think I'm joking?!
Weaver: Sam.
Maxis: I thought I'd died and gone to Hell. I thought everything and everyone I knew was gone forever.
Weaver: You've been to Hell before though, Sam. We both have. I was never going to leave you there to die.
Maxis: Like you did the boy?
Weaver: That's not fair, Sam. That was a different situation. We both did what we could.
Maxis: But not enough. He's still dead, isn't he?
Weaver: I can see you're agitated, so I'm going to let you get some rest. I hope you feel better soon. I don't want to upset you.
Maxis: Why? Are you worried I'll destroy everything like you think I did at Outpost 25?! Weaver!

"Grey asks Maxis about her time in the Dark Aether and the outbreak at Outpost 25."
— Description

A door can be heard opening, as well as footsteps.

Maxis: Hello, Elizabeth.
Grey: How did you know it was me?
Maxis: I don't know what Strauss and Carver get up to in their personal lives, but as far as I know - you're the only one who wears heels.
Grey: How're you doing, Sam? Have any more memories... come back?
Maxis: About my time in the Dark Aether? Only what you already know. It's mostly a blur... scavenging supplies by day, fighting for my life by night... not that it matters. It's always dark over there.
Grey: I am sorry. I really, really am - have I said that before? If I didn't - I - I really meant to.
Maxis: If you're here to ask me if I was the one who made all this happen, the answer is no. I didn't make the outbreak zones.
Grey: Well, it... almost sounded like you had some control over the creatures at Outpost 25.
Maxis: I may have helped "open the door", but that doesn't mean I was in control.
Grey: How can you be sure if you don't really remember?
Maxis: I'm no stranger to memory loss. My childhood is almost a complete blank. But that doesn't mean I don't know who I am and what I've done.
Grey: You really don't remember anything prior to the orphanage? Who looked after you? Before? After?
Maxis: Be careful, Lizzie. You shouldn't expect anyone to look after you. Only you can do that.

Grey can be heard getting up from her seat.

Grey: I'm... gonna go now, if that's okay?
Maxis: Of course.

Grey walks away, closing the door on the way out.

Maxis: This is the only way.

"Weaver visits Maxis after she had an incident with a nurse."
— Quote

The door to Maxis' room is heard opening alongside footsteps.

Weaver: Hello, Sam.
Maxis: Hello, Weaver.
Weaver: I was hoping we could... talk about yesterday.
Maxis: What happened yesterday?
Weaver: You don't remember?
Maxis: It's hard to keep things straight in my mind... especially after the cocktail of drugs you're giving me. Every. Day.
Weaver: It's for your own good, Sam. We just wanna help. Your... outbursts are cause for concern. You must understand that. The nurse was only trying to do his job.
Maxis: Broken noses will heal. Besides, the medications don't help. They don't stop the dreams.
Weaver: What dreams?
Maxis: What do I dream of? I keep dreaming that I'm in the field - fighting for something. Over and over again.
Weaver: Sam, you understand that we... I... can't let that happen. Not yet.
Maxis: Do you think there's something wrong with me? Is there something wrong with me?
Weaver: Get some rest, Sam.

Weaver gets up.

Weaver: It's important that you feel better.

Weaver leaves, closing the door on the way out.

"Weaver introduces Maxis to her new companion."
— Description

Weaver: Sam?

Maxis sighs.

Maxis: Yes?
Weaver: There's someone I'd like you to meet. Someone I think might help you feel better.
Maxis: I'm in a white, sterile room, Weaver. I'm not sure who - or what - you think is going to make me feel better. I've already met Grey, Strauss, and Carver... who's next?

The door opens as a dog vocalizes. Maxis laughs as the dog approaches her.

Weaver: I thought you might appreciate making a new friend. Someone who won't ask you any more questions. Someone who doesn't want anything other than to make you happy.

The dog tips something over as Maxis laughs gleefully.

Maxis: Seriously? He's not exactly... fluffy, is he?!
Weaver: She. She's a she. I get that the short hair and large build doesn't look too cuddly, but I thought her being here might be good for you. Some companionship while you... recover. Dogs can be very empathetic. They're empathetic. They pick up on your emotions. They feel what you feel.
Maxis: So you brought me... a rottweiler?
Weaver: Yes, I brought you a rottweiler. She's not dangerous. She would never hurt anyone.
Maxis: Why are you saying this?
Weaver: Because I trust you, Sam. And I need you to know that.
Maxis: You don't think I'm... dangerous?
Weaver: I want you to work out who you are - for yourself. But... maybe you should - start keeping a diary. Just to get down your thoughts.
Maxis: What makes you think I haven't been doing that already?
Weaver: Take care of yourself, Sam. And the dog. We'll talk soon.

"Maxis laments being kept in isolation, unable to contact the strike team."
— Description

Maxis: I wish I was there with you - in the Ural Mountains. Fighting back. Trying to make sure we don't lose ourselves completely. But no... I'm here. Not where I should be. Not where I WANT to be. You won't even hear me. They took my radio. I am isolated. Alone. No... not alone. I do have a friend. Someone who cares about me. But... I don't even know her name. You are doing the right thing. That's what matters. What you do matters. We will catch up. We have to believe that.

"Maxis shares some thoughts about Ravenov."
— Description

Maxis: Despite what Omega are, I know there are good Russians out there. None of us should be defined by our nationality, our race, our gender. Ravenov is someone we can trust. I think I know a way to get in contact with him. He can help us. He can help me. We can do this... together.

"Before the incident at the Omega missile silo, Maxis seeks Grey's assistance."
— Description

Grey: Sam?
Maxis: Did you...?
Grey: Look... I could get myself in so much trouble. Hey... Doggy?
Maxis: Did you do what I asked, Elizabeth?
Grey: I'm not sure if I can... Honestly.
Maxis: You know we're on the brink of War, Elizabeth. A Great war.
Grey: I know, I know. But being here at Requiem... It's a big opportunity for me. I don't want to throw away my career - my life.
Maxis: This is the only way.
Grey:If... If I give you access to my comms protocols... It could be the biggest mistake I've ever made.
Maxis: Do you know what it's like to be cut off from the outside world? To have no way to see - or even communicate - with the people you care about?
Grey: I'm a long way from home, Sam. This was a big move for me - Coming here... doing... all of this. If I give you my console key - I could find myself back in Bristol before you can say Jack Robinson. Sorry - old saying. Not sure how old. My mum - Liz - used to say it. It means things happened very quickly. It means... I don't want to get in trouble with Weaver.
Maxis: Things don't always happen quickly. Sometimes they take a long time. Sometimes too long. Weaver knows that.
Grey: Well... Getting back home is probably the most optimistic outcome. I could find myself facing charges... and in prison. MILITARY PRISON!
Maxis: But you will... do it - right Lizzy?
Grey: I'm... not sure, Sam. I'm really not.
Maxis: If you do what I ask... Maybe you could... Pet the dog some more?

"Weaver confronts Maxis about going behind his back and using his team for a rogue operation."
— Description

Weaver: What have you done?
Maxis: Everything's okay girl... everything's ok...
Weaver: No, Sam. Everything is not okay. Who. The. Hell. Do you think you are?
Maxis: You know me Weaver.
Weaver: I thought I did. But I NEVER thought you would do something like this. How dare you contact the team to drag them into whatever scheme you and Ravenov thought was important.
Maxis: Weaver...
Weaver: And involving poor Doctor Grey in your misguided bullshit??
Maxis: It was the right thing to do. It was the only way.
Weaver: NO SAM. The right thing to do, would have been to come to me. To let me do MY job!
Maxis: Is it your job to keep me muzzled like a dog?! I'm sorry... I didn't mean to do that.
Weaver: This, is why we ahve a problem Sam.
Maxis: I was trying to do the right thing.
Weaver:I told you what the right thing to do was - Look after the dog. That's it. You're confined to quarters - No more walks. Someone else will take care of that.
Maxis:No... No! Weaver...
Weaver: Now... I have to try to straighten all this out with the Director.

"Maxis is taken away."
— Description

Maxis: What's... what's happening?
Weaver: Garcia, Henderson -- secure her.
Maxis: Hey - Take your hands off me! Weaver, call them off!
Weaver: You're to undergo some 'additional testing'. Don't make this any harder than it already is.
Maxis: Why are you doing this??
Weaver: I'm not. Orders from the Director. It's okay girl. I'll look after you.
Maxis: Weaver! Make this stop!
Weaver: I can't, Sam. My hands are tied.
Maxis: Weaver!

"After being taken from Requiem headquarters, Maxis wakes up to find herself in a new facility."
— Description

The Director: Wake up. Wake up!
Maxis: Where am I? Where is Notso?
The Director: You will answer our questions. Do you understand?
Maxis: Who the hell are you?
The Director: That's not important. What's important is who you are. What's your name?
Maxis: Fuck you!
The Director: Where were you born?
Maxis: Kiss my ass!

Maxis is electrified.

Maxis: AARRRGH!!!
The Director: Your name is Samantha Maxis. You were born in Berlin - November 5th. Is that correct?

Maxis is electrocuted.

The Director: Is that correct?
Maxis: I don't know... Everything is different now
The Director: Oh, I know that better than you...
Maxis: Where. Am. I?
The Director: You're in Block 8! A facility specially designed to take care of... people like you.
Maxis: Take care of? People like me?
The Director: You are here to undergo some... 'Specialized tests'.
Maxis: What kind of tests?
The Director: You'll find out. Soon enough. The Dark Aether changed you in many ways. I just need to know how much...
Maxis: You don't know anything about me.

Maxis is electrocuted yet again.

The Director: Really? I think you're going to be very surprised...

"Maxis is asked to provide a demonstration."
— Description

The Director: Hello, Sam.
Maxis: Leave me alone.
The Director: No. We've got work to do.
Maxis: You going to electrocute me again?
The Director: I really hope that it doesn't come to that again.
Maxis: What do you want?
The Director: I want you to show me some of your powers. Weaver and Grey both saw you do it - why should I miss out?
Maxis: What are you talking about?
The Director: I want you to move something - using only the power of your mind.
Maxis: If you'd come down from behind that glass, I'd move something alright.
The Director: I was worried you'd be like this. Why can't we just get along? I promise you - what I'm doing is for your own good.
Maxis: You're insane.
The Director: Maybe. But I know what you're capable of... I just want to see it for myself.
Maxis: What if I don't want to?
The Director: That would force me into the regrettable position of having to use more 'severe methods'.
Maxis: Is that a threat?
The Director: No. Not a threat... Just an incentive.

"Maxis is provided an incentive."
— Description

Footsteps are heard.

Maxis: Hello... 'Mister Director'.
The Director: Oh, you heard me come in? You're very perceptive, aren't you? Do you know how long you've been here?
Maxis: Not counting bathroom breaks and mandatory exercise? 15 days... As of today.
The Director: And still no breakthrough?
Maxis: What kind of breakthrough do you want? Your only goal seems to be trying to make me angry... but I'm not... Just disappointed.
The Director: You're probably going to be more disappointed when this session is over. You do know that none of them really care for you... Strauss, Carver, Weaver... Even Grey. They've barely inquired as your current 'situation'.
Maxis: That's not true. They wouldn't want me to be here. You're just trying to manipulate me... Test my emotional responses.
The Director: Like you did with them? Do you know how much trouble you caused for your Requiem friends? Going behind their backs on your little 'secret squirrel' mission with Ravenov?
Maxis: I look Weaver in the eye when I was taken... to be brought here. He didn't want this.
The Director: You like him don't you?
Maxis: Not in the way you think. We just have history. Shared history. Shared... Trauma. You wouldn't understand.
The Director: I do understand. In fact I was very forgiving about the whole thing. I mean... Given Weaver's failures and lapses in security, I could easily have had him 'disappeared'.
Maxis: Don't test me.
The Director: Maybe I still should...
Maxis: I'm warning you!
The Director: What on earth could you possibly do to me? You really are just a pathetic, sad, little, lost girl...

Energy surges.

Maxis: RAARRRGH!!! Damn it.

Broken glass can be heard.

The Director: Oh, dear... I suppose we'll have to replace that glass now. But... at least we're making progress.

"Maxis is forced to act."
— Description

The Director: We're going to try something a little different today.
Maxis: What's going on? What are you doing?
The Director: It's your fluffy friend.
Maxis: She's not fluffy. Her name's Not so. Notso Fluffy.
The Director: Cute, I suppose. I just thought you'd be pleased to see each other.
Maxis: We are. But I don't suppose you would know how it feels to be loved.
The Director: Playtime's over. Guard - You have your orders. Please take aim.
Maxis: What??!
The Director: In exactly thirty seconds - by my watch - the guard will pull the trigger.
Maxis: How dare you - what the fuck is wrong with you?
The Director: Twenty five.
Maxis: She's done nothing wrong!
The Director: Eighteen.
Maxis: What kind of a monster are you?
The Director: Ten.
Maxis: WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!
The Director:You know what I want. Five.
Maxis: RAAARRGH!
The Director: Three. Two. One. Stand down, Soldier. Well done, Samantha - you successfully teleported your dog to safety. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am... Of you.

"Maxis is told to make a choice."
— Description

Maxis: 62 days.
The Director: Sorry...? I'm not sure what you mean.
Maxis: That's how long I've been here - 62 days.
The Director: Is that including bathroom breaks?
Maxis: Honestly?... Fuck you. Sorry. Saying that's just me taking my mandatory excercise.
The Director: What a potty mouth you have...
Maxis: Apologies. What I meant to say was... FUCK YOU!
The Director: Can I direct your attention to the monitor? The one on your right.
Maxis: Elizabeth?! She's asleep! Why-Why are you... Watching her?!
The Director: Not just Grey - I watch everyone. Bring in the prisoner.
Maxis: What do you want from me this time? More magic teleporting?
The Director: No. Something much more important. This is a captured Omega agent and I would like to see you kill him - using only the power of your mind.
Maxis: I won't do it.
The Director: Won't or can't? I think the former.
Maxis: You can't make me.
The Director: Take another look at the monitor. Do you see the figure standing very quietly in the corner of her room? The one who's just raised a pistol to Doctor Grey's head?
Maxis: You're sick.
The Director: The way I see it, you have a clear choice - Kill the very, very bad person, or let the very, very good person die. It's simple really. Please don't make me give you a countdown, because this time I would actually start on five.
Maxis: I... I can't.
The Director: Trust me. You can. Four...
Maxis: I'm so sorry... Raaarrgh!
The Director: You may not realize it yet, but trust me, Samantha... Today was a very good day.

Documents

"Weaver updates the senior staff regarding the condition of Maxis following the events at Outpost 25."
— Description

June 17, 1984

MEMORANDUM FOR: Carver, M. Grey, E. Strauss, O.
FROM: Weaver, G.
SUBJECT: Agent Maxis

I know you all have your hands full right now sifting through the intel recovered from Operation Lost Property in Vietnam, but you have each inquired separately about the welfare and whereabouts of former BND agent Samantha Maxis so I want to share our initial assessment of her condition.

Immediately following her extraction form the Dark Aether, agent Maxis was evacuated by our strike team, placed under medical supervision and transported directly to Requiem headquarters. Preliminary physical and psychiatric evaluations were performed en route.

She was found to be in surprisingly good physical condition considering her ordeal in the other dimension. While we estimate she spent roughly 48 hours there, Agent Maxis claims she was missing for many months. Physiological and metabolic data support her claim, but further details are slow in coming due to post-traumatic stress issues and apparent gaps in her memory. We will continue to monitor for indications of brain damage.

I ordered her confined to the quarantine suite where she will remain until further notice. Though she was operating in an unsanctioned capacity, she is not to be considered a prisoner. However, we need to know what Maxis learned about the other side and I will secure her cooperation personally.

For the time being, only myself, the Director, and Requiem medical staff will have access to Maxis as we continue running tests on her. All data and findings will be shared with you as I deem appropriate. I will permit you to interview her when conditions allow. Until then, focus your efforts on the intel from Omega Outpost 25 and its implications for future ops.

WEAVER

"Maxis describes a dream she had while recovering in quarantine."
— Description

Sometimes I find it hard to sleep
Even though I look forward to it
When I dream
I see faces
Faces of people I care about
And faces of people that don't care for me
Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the two
But one face stands out from all others
The face of a child
A boy
He is lost
Damaged
I want to help him
But somehow I feel that he is
Dangerous
Dreams are unreliable witnesses
As too am I
Sometimes I find it hard to sleep

"A note from Grey regarding Maxis's arrival at Requiem Headquarters."
— Description

Raptor One brought the subject to Requiem HQ for processing and debriefing. She was clearly shaken by her ordeal in the Dark Aether, but otherwise in good spirits. I'm looking forward to speaking to her in person - even if I am a bit nervous and... intimidated? ♡ ☺

"Requiem report noting the positive effect of Maxis's new companion."
— Description
AGENT SAMANTHA MAXIS - PROGRESS REPORT
29 September 1984


Subject appears calmer in recent days. Certainly, the violent outbursts displayed towards medical staff have abated since the arrival of the canine companion.

For obvious reasons - related to the dog - walks around the grounds are now permitted twice daily. That said, it is imperative that the subject feels that she has some degree of freedom and autonomy, even if such benefits are occurring only under covert supervision.

Concern still remain regarding the subject's honesty relating her experiences within the Dark Aether. It remains unclear which memories are being repressed Vs. which are being withheld.

I have begun to strike up something of an informal friendship with the subject - one which I hope proves more fruitful than the more direct interviews with Requiem staff.

Dr. Elizabeth Grey
Lead - Unnatural Sciences

"Maxis's first "official" diary entry recalls a traumatic moment for her and Weaver."
— Description

(official) Diary Entry #1

I'm writing it down. Not because I don't know what happened, but so that others will.

My name is Maxis. Samantha Maxis.

I know you're reading this, Weaver, and I know you feel the same guilt I do about the boy.

I promised I would keep him safe, but we both failed him.

The last thing I expected was for you to move as quickly as you did.

The operation should never have happened. If I had known the steps you would take, I would not have told you the location.

The house was supposed to be safe.

We both feel guilty, but I will always blame myself... More than you.

"Maxis lashes out at Weaver for keeping her in isolation."
— Description

Diary Entry #2

I'm not disappointed. I'm just angry after everything I've done - you still don't trust me. I have been damned before and I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.

Do you even remember when we first me? Sometimes I do, but other times... It seems more like a dream.

All I know for sure it that it was a war zone - One that I feared I'd never be able to escape.

In some ways, I'm glad you didn't clear me for field ops (yes, I know it was you) because I don't ever want to go back...

"Maxis tells a story about her shared past with Weaver."
— Description

Diary Entry #9

I remember waiting for your call.
10.
11..
12...
The phone never rang.
Instead, I saw news of the explosion on TV.
I couldn't sleep.
3am.
I heard a knock at my appartment door.
You gave the keyword, and I let you in.
We'd never met face to face before.
It was a shock to finally meet you.
You were in a bad way.
I did my best to dress your wounds, but it was the first and only time I saw you cry.
You mumbled something about not knowing... about how sorry you were.
You torched the place to cover your tracks after the hit.
You said the boy was supposed to be staying with his mother.
But he wasn't.
He was there.
In the house.
While it burned to the ground.

"Requiem report on Maxis's first week at the secretive Block 8 facility."
— Description

[REDACTED] - WEEK 1 SUMMARY
08 December 1984

Monday - Dec 3: Subject [REDACTED] arrived at BLOCK 8 Testing Facility located in [REDACTED]. Subject had to be restrained and sedated almost immediately: upon arrival they managed to pick their handcuffs and incapacitated two guards in an attempt to flee facility grounds. Apparently in transit there were two similar incidents. Subject was given a shower, fresh clothes, and placed in isolation.

Tuesday - Dec 4: Subject refused both morning and evening meals, yelling profanities at the guards throughout the day. Subject was given one hour to walk the grounds and exercise under armed escort. No escapes attempted.

Wednesday - Dec 5: Subject had initial session with [REDACTED]. Session 1 was structured as an orientation for the two to become familiar and "establish boundaries" with each other. Session proved beneficial for both parties.

Thursday - Dec 6: Subject attempted to escape cell block, using an improvised lockpick fashioned from a plastic fork. Subject has demonstrated that they cannot be trusted with utensils of any sort.

Friday - Dec 7: Session 2 with [REDACTED]. Initial test of telekinetic abilities without coercion. Subject refused. Session terminated early. [REDACTED] has decided to pursue more unorthodox methods to provoke response.

"Requiem report detailing Maxis's treatment while at the Block 8 facility."
— Description

MEMORANDUM FOR: Block 8 General Staff
FROM: [REDACTED]
SUBJECT: Subject [REDACTED]

Tomorrow morning at approximately 0800 Subject [REDACTED] will be delivered into our custody, after two-days travel from [REDACTED]. Ahead of their arrival, I wanted to take an opportunity to lay out a few basic "ground rules."

1. Subject is to be kept in isolation ward.

2. Subject is to be given one hour a day outside for exercise and "fresh air." When outdoors, subject must be escorted by no less then three armed guards.

3. Subject is to be provided two meals a day at twelve-hour intervals - 0600 and 1800.

4. Subject is to receive no visitors. This is not an unusual rule for our facility, however Subject is an associate of several Requiem Senior Staff members who may attempt to gain access under false pretenses.

5. No dog.

6. No sharp objects of any sort. Subject is a security risk, flight risk, and risk to self. They are cunning - a trained field officer knowledgable in spycraft in possession of a wide array of skills. If they have an opportunity to escape - one way or the other - they will take it.

7. During their time at [REDACTED] Subject developed a proclivity for keeping a journal. The habit should be maintained for mental health purposes. Paper and a soft marker are to be provided.

8. Finally, Subject must be treated with caution at all times. They are elementally unstable, in possession of undetermined psychic abilities that could be triggered at any moment. They are not in control. Not yet.

"Maxis writes a letter to Weaver."
— Description

14.04.85

Weaver -

I want you to know that I forgive you. I understand now that you had no choice in me being sent here.
[REDACTED].
They told me that if we made enough progress, I would be able to write to you. We have made [REDACTED], so here I am - writing to you.
It's taken me some time to realize just how much I've changed - and how much changed is [Redacted] - but I get it now.
[REDACTED] made understand. Even if his methods were [REDACTED].
I don't know if you were party to it - or if it was [REDACTED] - but he threatened [REDACTED]... He threatened [REDACTED].
He even threatened [REDACTED].
You know I would never intentionally hurt anyone or anything.
I'm not a bad person.
I am a good soul.
I don't just believe that.
I know that.

- Maxis

"Maxis writes a letter to Grey."
— Description

30.04.85

Hi Elizabeth!

Now that I'm [REDACTED], they told me I could start sending correspondence.
Whether or not it will reach you, I can't be sure...
Maybe it'll end up in the trash, or worse yet - form another part of yet another [REDACTED]. Regardless, I wanted to tell you that I'm sorry.
Sorry for all the trouble I caused when I persuaded you to [REDACTED].
It was wrong of me to do that - to put someone like you in that position.
I promise you - I will never let it happen again.
No matter what threats [Redacted] makes.
[REDACTED].
[REDACTED].
I hope you are well. I hope you've been having fun with Notso.
I knew she liked you.
I knew she would be happy with you.
Here's to the future.
I hope I see you there.

Your friend-
Sam.
X

Radio Transmissions

"Maxis reestablishes contact with the strike team. But trust is in short supply."
— Description

Maxis: Well, it's good to be part of a team. Right? If I'm honest, I've felt like a bit of a lab rat lately. I've been poked, prodded, questioned, even... interrogated? It's almost like they don't trust... me. I'm starting to understand how they feel. I'm not sure if I can trust them anymore - even Weaver.

"Maxis discusses her new status at Requiem, and shares thoughts about Ravenov."
— Description

Maxis: So - after an extended debriefing with Requiem Senior staff, they don't want to clear me for field ops. Carver. Strauss. Grey... Weaver. They needed a unanimous vote to authorize my return to active duty. Three out of four isn't bad. But it's not enough. Anyway - Ravenov. He helped you, right? He helped me. He has conviction - and the courage to stand up for his beliefs. He's doing what's right. He's a good man. I hope you've come to trust him like I have. I think he could be key to overturning Omega. Because there has to be a key to making all this stop.

"Maxis warns that as big as the Cold War is, there is a bigger war coming."
— Description

July 8, 1984[1]
Maxis: I don't know how much they really tell you about the Dark Aether, but... I've seen it. I've felt it. No matter how big this Cold War is between East and West - Requiem and Omega - there's an even bigger one threatening to boil over. We're interested in them - eager to know how we can exploit their world for our advantage... But believe me - they're just as interested in us. The door swings both ways.

"Maxis shares her feelings on Dr. Grey, and wonders how this war has changed them all."
— Description

Maxis: What do you think of Liz? Sorry - I mean Elizabeth... Grey. Doctor. I like her. Even though I don't think she's actually... a medical doctor? How are you feeling, by the way? Are you seeing any "signs"? I'm not the only one who's been exposed to the Dark Aether here. I'm the same person now as the one that you dealt with, but I think that I've changed. I try not to show it, but... you can probably see it in my eyes. I can see it in yours too. I hope we're okay.

"Maxis reveals her fears about the Dark Aether... and about herself."
— Description

Maxis: Sometimes, it's hard to remember how all this started. Do you feel the same? We're all soldiers. We're all fighting our wars - For our countries, for our brothers, for our sisters. When you're faced with a seemingly insurmountable threat, it's easy to forget how it all began, or to imagine how it all ends. The Dark Aether threatens to consume us all - that much I'm sure of - and that's why I fight. It holds a power over us, and I think I'm afraid that it could one day consume me. I've seen it, I've felt it, I've questioned my role. Did Weaver tell you that I was the one who caused the outbreak at Outpost 25? Even if he didn't say it out loud... I think he may be right.

"Maxis muses about standing up to Evil."
— Description

Maxis: No matter what happens, I hope all of you will find the strength in your hearts to do what is right. Whenever you are faced with a great darkness, you must do all you can to meet it with... light. This is something Ravenov knew.He knew he could not longer stand by as Omega's evil reigned. That - is true courage. I hope I can do the same.

"Remember me?"
— Description

Maxis: Hello Strike Team. Remember me? It's Maxis. First of all, I want to apologize for my recent actions... For... Leading you astray during your operations in the Ural mountains. I say recent, but in all reality, it was months ago. What can I say... time moves differently at Requiem. Especially for me. We've all been through a lot, but the Director thought it might be 'appropriate' for me to reach out to you... Directly. Again. If I could say anything, it would be to say thank you - for all that you've done. After all... You're the ones who are in the field. Risking your lives. I know how that feels... Believe me. But... I think I'm pretty much done here. Hopefully, they'll let me leave this place soon.

"I know I led you astray, but please don't think I'm a bad person."
— Description

Maxis: It's taken me some time to understand everything... To understand who I am. I hated him for what he did to me, but he was right. I know I led you astray, but please... Don't think I'm a bad person. I'm not. I am a good soul. But, I have to do what I'm going to do.... What I need to do.

"I never felt weak, but it's only recently I realized just how powerful I am."
— Description

Maxis: I've never felt weak... But it's only recently I realized just how powerful I am. I can move things. I can change the way things are. Sometimes, I can hear people's thoughts. I can open gateways that allow us to move from this place to the next. One place to another. Like I did in Berlin. Like I did at Outpost 25. Maybe, just maybe... I could wish myself into a better world. Anywhere other than here. But something is stopping me. Blocking me. I don't know what it is.

Artifacts

"The video cassette tape Maxis smuggled to Weaver that triggered Requiem's investigation of Projekt Endstation."
— Description

"A memento from Maxis' days as an agent of the West German BND."
— Description

"A grim souvenir from Maxis' time spent trapped in the Dark Aether. Very well used."
— Description

"A useful accessory to keep from whiffing plaguehound gas."
— Description

"Worn while Maxis was trapped in the Dark Aether. A useful accessory for keeping aetherium particles out of the eyes."
— Description

"They say time has no meaning in the Dark Aether, but Maxis still kept track of it with this."
— Description

"Maxis's clever workaround to contact the strike team without Requiem listening in."
— Description

"Used by Ravenov to convey reconnaissance photos and blueprints from Operatsiya Inversiya."
— Description

Dark Aether

Audio Logs

"A lost Omega Group soldier discusses feeding the dragon head."
— Description

A dragon can be heard growling throughout the audio log.

Adrik Fedorov: Adrik Fedorov, efreitor, Omega Group.

Federov sighs.

Federov: Why do I still call myself that? Why do I even keep making these reports? I lost track how long I have been here. Surely it has been years. There used to be more people here. Lost, like me. But so many are gone now - food for the dragon. Yes. A dragon. That is also a rocket ship.

Federov laughs nervously.

Federov: I don't even try to make sense of these things any more. What I know for sure is the dragon must be bed. It demands sustenance. And then it delivers this.. this banquet of souls to the One. I... I don't even like to speak of... the One, but... his shadow falls over us all. And we must pay tribute. But first we... we sacrificed the weak. Strangers, friends, it did not matter, but - then, we who still remained began hunting each other. I... I have to go. It is hungry again. I have to go!

The dragon can be heard breathing fire.

"A lost Omega soldier describes an aethereal orb he encountered."
— Description

Giggling can be heard throughout the audio log.

Federov: Federov. Efereitor. Omega. Still here. Still recording. When I first arrived, many things frightened me. I would not admit this of course, hm-hm. I was Spetsnaz. We feared nothing. But, still... anyone who has to fight and kill a comrade... who died a week before... and then tells you they have no fear? Yerunda. But what disturbed me most in those early days was the ball of light that... sounds like children laughing. What was it? What was it made from? The souls of dead children? Did it... did it consume... children?! Did it use their laughter as a lure? None of the possibilities were good. Bozhe moi, it disturbed me. But, you know. I stopped seeing it after a while. I began to think I had just... dreamed it up. And then, just yesterday, there it was. Giggling. And I found... I was not scared anymore. I was just... sad. I will never again hear that sound for real. I will never have children of my own. I will never, ever know such innocence again. And now I have my answer. I know what the orb is made of. It is made of heartbreak. It is made of loss.

"A lost Omega Group soldier is turning into something shocking."
— Description

Federov coughs.

Federov: Federov... efreitor... this... may be my last recording. I have not felt like... myself in a very long time. I know the change is upon me. I have seen it in too many others... to not recognize it in myself. Began with... with mouth, tasting like... battery. Then my skin turned... bluish. And started to crack. At first, I... I shed flakes of skin... Then, I noticed the flakes... were made of crystals -

Federov coughs violently as an odd noise is heard.

Federov: I know what I am becoming. The One... has chosen me. He's making me... into one of his soldiers.

Federov begins panting heavily.

Federov: The crystals, they... they call to me, now. I try to stay away, but... the more I change, the more I... need them-

Federov coughs and lets out an inhuman screech while electricity is heard crackling..

"A voice of encouragement -- from a very dark place."
— Description

Unknown: Come. Closer. Do not be afraid, my child. It is only me. I have missed you. Oh, how I wish I could have been there more. Watching you sleep. Holding your hand. Teaching you all that I know, then unleashing you upon the world to do... great and terrible things.

Ulrich Vogel: But I taught you enough. And I was always there in spirit -- in your heart. I must be content with that. For you are no longer my child. You stand upon your own achievements now. Never forget me. And never forget how proud I am of you. My greatest work. My gift to the world.

Unknown: Now... tell me what you have done for me.

"A lifetime of preparation is about to be rewarded."
— Description

Unknown: You have done well. You have made me so... proud.

Vogel: And now, our time has come. A lifetime of preperation is about to be rewarded. Soon you will reveal yourself -- a threat so close they never saw it coming. How long have we awaited this day? How many times have you proven yourself to them, made them value and respect you -- the better to plunge your blade in their backs? Gather your things. Bid farewell to this false life you lead. Go to Berlin. Everything is in place.

Unknown: We are waiting. We are ready. Initiate the process and your labor of love will at last be complete.

"Some manage to escape this place, but the crossing between worlds is dangerous."
— Description

Pyotr: It has been a long time. I can hardly remember before. There is only now. And "Now" is not a time I would wish upon anyone. This place has changed. It is unsustainable. Many bow before one. Those who do not are consumed. The rest of us... we cower in shadow. Some manage to escape, but the crossing between worlds is dangerous. They arrive home disfigured. Changed into fiery demons. Horrors devoid of humanity. I hear they are killed almost instantly, when all they wanted was to escape. But they were no longer human. So the good soldiers bring their suffering to an end.

"I have found a way through. A way that does not end in death."
— Description

Pyotr: I have found a way through. A way that does not end in death. There are strange mechanical boxes. They move between worlds. I climbed inside one. When I crossed over, I still changed, but not into a fire demon. Something... more. I found people. Soldiers. Like I had been. They do not know I am like them, yet still they help me. You do not see such kindness here, I forgot what it felt like to be helped. I am grateful. I try to repay them, provide aid in their battles. It is.. the least I can do. But then... the Forsaken finds me. He does not let me escape for long. He pulls me back. So I escape again. Doomed to repeat this endless cycle. Still. It is nice to see home.

Documents

"After a period of silence, the Stranger resumes contact."
— Description

Hello again, my friend. I am pleased that you are still alive and still in this fight.

I know it has been too long since I last contacted you, but my years trapped in darkness taught me the value of caution. So, I have been observing you and your compatriots. Please understand, I had to be sure I could trust you.

What I have seen is your courage in the face of unspeakable horrors and your devotion to each other. And it has restored my faith in humanity and my resolve to defend our world.

I still have many questions, but they can wait for later.

"The Stranger discusses the Cold War."
— Description

One reason I was so wary is that I have observed how the world has changed since I was trapped here. You have come so far in so many ways. But still...

I look back on the great war against the Axis powers. I remember East and West uniting against a great evil. I always thought that with evil defeated we would all move forward together.

But as the years roll by, I have watched an icy hatred split the world in two. You could utterly destroy each other now. All it takes is one careless moment.

I fear nothing was learned from the war. I see a third world war in the making. I can stand by no longer. Help me save you from the darkness... and from yourselves.

"The Stranger expresses his willingness to share more secrets of the Dark Aether once trust is established."
— Description

My friend, I see that your people have harnessed the dark powers of this place and turned them against the darkness itself. Your superiors may even believe they all they need to end this conflict between worlds and then force your human enemies to their knees.

But you have only scratched the surface. I have learned things in my time here that you could scarcely believe. There is much more I can share with you.

But just as I would not place a rifle in a child's hands, I must be sure I am not handing a much more destructive force to those without the wisdom to use it.

May our bond grow deeper. May you truly prove worthy of my trust.

"The Stranger is working to establish voice communication."
— Description

Communicating with you like this has meant more to me than I can say. It saved me from despair. It gave me something I thought long lost: hope for the future.

But words on a screen are not enough. I hunger for the sound of your voice. I long to speak to someone who is free of this soul-crushing place.

So, I am working to make this system capable of producing sound. I may not be able to establish a 2-way connection, but at the very least I would have you hear my voice.

There is so much more to tell you. Your lives may depend on it.

"Newly stranded in the Dark Aether, Zykov begins keeping a journal."
— Description

Day 1: Sgt. Kazimir Zykov, 1st Guards Tank Army. I am separated from my unit and do not know if I can ever rejoin them. I will maintain this written record of what happens to me in case I do not survive.

Kazimir Zykov, 1st Guards Tank Army. I am separated from my unit and do not know if I can ever rejoin them. I will maintain this written record of what happens to me in case I do not survive.

After several attempts, I realized I could only close this breach from the other side. So, I completed the mission, cutting myself off from everything and everyone I have ever known.

This is a truly hostile place. Unless I find food and shelter, my prospects look bleak.

"Zykov describes the strange land he's trapped in, and the horrors that prowl it."
— Description

Day 3: This place is like a living nightmare. It almost seems thrown together from many different points in history. There are items here that appear ancient, alongside mechanisms that look like they came from... the future? It is madness.

Many horrors prowl this land. Some are like the creatures I fought at Endstation, but others are far worse. So far, I have managed to hide and conserve ammunition, but for how long?

I glimpsed another human soul today, but they ran when they saw me. I swear it was not just another walking corpse. Sadly, I could not find them again.

Fear is my only companion now.

"Zykov begins to lose hope as anger consumes him."
— Description

Day 7: It is finally beginning to sink in. I will never leave this place. No one is coming for me. I will live out whatever is left of my life in miserable, soul-crushing darkness.

What have I done? Why did I throw my life away like this? Because I was foolish enough to believe in our common cause? Or was I just a convenient pawn for the Soviet Union to sacrifice?

That bastard, Colonel Lazarev! He knew I would accept this suicide mission. What choice did I have? He made it seem like an act of heroism, but I am no hero. Just a lamb to slaughter.

For one brief moment I felt noble. Now I have lost nearly everything. All I have left... is rage.

"Zykov clings to the belief that his comrades will not abandon him."
— Description

Day 9: I have had time to calm down. To think this through. If I succum to my anger then all will truly be lost. For now I am still alive. That must count for something.

And even if Colonel Lazarev never thinks of me again, I did have friends in the 1st Guards Tank Army. My work kept them advancing, kep them fighting.

Surely some of my comrades will come for me. They will not abandon me. I have to believe this.

I must stay strong and have faith in my comrades.

"Zykov accepts his fate. He will never go home."
— Description

Day 11: My anger is gone. My hope? It is like the waning moon - still there, but slowly fading.

Instead, what I feel now is resignation. Acceptance. Defeat.

I am trapped. No one is coming. I will never go home. I will never see my wife and child again. I am... a lost soul.

It is like I died and missed my own funeral. Pain is the only reminder that I am still alive.

"Zykov shakes off his self-pity and resolves to survive."
— Description

Day 12: Enough. No more self-pity. That would only hasten my demise. While I may not have many options, the one thing I will not do is to make it easy for those creatures to claim me.

Regardless of Lazarev's intentions, I did what I did for the Soviet Union. And the more I learn about this place, the more certain I am that my sacrifice saved the Motherland.

What happens now is up to me. Kazimir Zykov is no discarded pawn. Maybe help will come, maybe not... but for now I will do what Russians do best -- survive.

"Zykov's journal of survival reveals details of the Dark Aether power structure and the one entity he fears above all others."
— Description

Day 4,513: Since my arrive here, I have gradually come to understand there is a balance of power among the creatures of this realm. While most of us are consumed with day to day survival, the ones at the top of food chain gather armies of followers and vie for supremacy.

These are huge, obscenely powerful entities. I believe their competition goes back eons. But there is one of these "elder gods" I fear above the rest.

Should it gain enough power, it will reign supreme, and look for fresh conquests. And if it becomes aware of my homeland, they will be too busy competing with the West to notice the real danger.

"Zykov begins plans for a device to stop the Dark Aether's new overlord from threatening our world."
— Description

Day 4,729: I have learned more about the ones who seek to rule this land alone. I do not know why, after centuries of stalemates, this creature is suddenly ascendant.

I am convinced that should it defeat its rivals, its bottomless appetite for power will not go away. So I must somehow find a way to stop it before it decides Mother Russia looks like a banquet.

To that end, I am designing a new mechanism I hope to prevent this menace from ever leaving this place. I may go into further details about how it functions, but first I must gather components, assemble it, and run tests. All without catching the attention of our new overlord.

Can one man succeed where the elder gods failed? Time will tell.

Radio Transmissions

"Finally, the Stranger makes radio contact."
— Description

The Stranger: Hello? Are you receiving? Is anybody out there? Testing, testing. My readings indicate contact is established. I can only hope it is you on the other end. My comrade in arms. My friend. I hope my voice, heh, is not a disappointment. I... do not know what you imagined I might sound like, but, I... I am no one special. Just a man who wants to help. Yes. As you can tell from my accent, I am Russian. I did not tell you this at first because of the suspicion it would have provoked. Such is the age you grew up in. Such is this... Cold War. But, there was a time when my people and yours fought side by side. Against the greatest evil our world ever produced. Now... we face something even worse. Perhaps that can bring us all back together. Pizdetz! Signal is starting to fade. I will work on this problem and contact you later. Do not give up on me. I will not give up on you.

"The Stanger discusses new adversaries in the Outbreak Zones."
— Description

The Stranger: Hello, it is me again. Your friend on the other side. Are you enjoying the beautiful Ural Mountains? No? Believe me, I understand. It is hard to love a place that is always trying to kill you. By now, you have probably met some... new enemies, hm? The electric men that float in mid-air, the armored monsters that leap, and throw fire. I do my best to steer clear of them here, but avoiding conflict is not a luxury you can afford. I have... I have managed to kill a few of the floaters, but it is never easy. Cowards jump away when injured, and they can strike from afar. And the armored ones, on the other hand, they jump AT you, when provoked. They were once Soviet fighters who - who came here looking for crystals. And they payed with their lives. They are vicious, and hard to put down. Hit them with everything you have. Such beasts must not be allowed to walk the Earth.

"The Stranger finally reveals his identity to the strike team."
— Description

Kazimir Zykov: My friend. Though we have never met, you and I... heh. We have been through the fire, together. You won my respect - and my trust. So it is only right I tell you who... I am. My name is Kazimir Zykov. I am... I was... a sergeant in the Soviet 1st Guards Tank Army, long... long ago. We were in Poland, driving the Nazi scum back to Berlin. That is how I ended up where this all began. We found Projekt Endstation almost by accident. And... you know what waited in that place. When Moscow sent a Chekist to bury problem, it fell to me to do the digging. I will tell you the whole story one day, but what matters now is that - just like you, I accepted a mission no one must ever learn of. Knowing it would probably get me killed. And... like me, you shoulder your duty without complaining. So let us help each other complete this mission. We can survive this... together.

"Zykov recounts why he accepted the mission to shut down Projekt Endstation."
— Description

Zykov: Back in the Great Patriotic War, mine was among the Red Army units that crippled the Nazi war machine on the Eastern Front. Then we chased the bastards out of the Motherland and across Europe. I was a mechanic. I kept our tanks running. No easy task when we advanced, and getting new parts from Moscow was... almost impossible. So, I took parts from the Tigers and Panzers we destroyed, adapting them for our T-34s. I got very familiar with German machinery. This would prove to be my downfall. Colonel named "Lazarev", from what you now call KGB, was sent to contain the evil we uncovered at Endstation. He ordered me to go in there alone, because I had the best chance at understanding and shutting down that infernal machine. And then Lazarev ordered me sealed inside. I understood what was asked of me. I would never see my wife and daughter again. Still, I saluted. And I did my best. This was for my family. My country. For a better future. Even now, if asked again, I would still say "yes".

"Zykov discusses entering the Dark Aether, unable to escape."
— Description

Zykov: So. You are wondering how a tank mechanic from the war survived for decades - trapped in, ah... what do you call it? The Dark Aether. I often ask myself the same thing. The answers are many. Some, I have already given you in my journal. The fort I built, the weapons I found, the machines I restored, and of course, my dog, Cinder. But mostly, I was lucky. The rest is because I am Russian. It is in our nature to endure. But I never lost my desire to escape. To come home. To learn what became of my family. As you saw in my journal, I have been able to visit for brief periods - almost like a ghost. But always, I am pulled back here. I do not know why I am tethered to this place. I see your people cross back and forth freely. And I burn with envy. There must be a way for me to one day do the same. For now, I will share more of my journal with you. There are things in it you should know. For both our sakes.

"Trying to stay current, Zykov has watched the world change from afar."
— Description

Zykov: Oh, my friend, I am so happy to speak to you like this. For so long, I feared I would never again find a worthy ally. I also hope someday soon you can tell me about how the world has changed. I have caught glimpses now and then -- glass towers, cars everywhere, passenger planes filling the skies... I tried my best to stay current -- especially when I crafted this machine, this... "computer". We did not have those during the war. But there have also been many changes over here since I arrived -- and none of them good. This is why I had to contact you. To warn you. The threat at your doorstep is even greater than you know. We have much to do, you and I.

"Zykov describes how he made the devices he sends to help the strike team."
— Description

Zykov: Sometimes I watch you salvage scraps and take them to the crafting table. I see you transform useless garbage into weapons and... you remind me of me. I have watched you for some time now. I spent countless days preparing to communicate even before my first message at Endstation. That was a great moment -- the culmination of years of work. Gathering parts. Cobbling together the machines I sent to help inform you... to give you what you needed to survive. I supposed I should be thankful this place is filled with so many items from our world. It is a junk yard of the ages. Scraps from different places and eras litter the landscape. But even after all this time, I do not know how or why they got here. I only know they provided this old mechanic with just enough tools and materials to save my life... and possibly yours. But as you know by now, I was not the only one watching you, I was not the only one making plans.

"Zykov warns of an army gathering in the darkness."
— Description

Zykov: The people you answer to -- the ones giving you orders. Surely they are beginning to realize what you are up against. There is indeed an army gathering here in the darkness. They have waited even longer than I have to cross into our world. The invasion is at hand. It will happen soon, and in the worst place possible. For all your efforts to keep the Dark Aether secret, that may no longer be an option once this army mobilizes. You have seen their like before. The greatest evil the world has ever known, corrupted by this place into even greater darkness. Warn your people. Make ready. They are coming and you must stand fast against them.

"Zykov reveals what he wants."
— Description

Zykov: By now your commanding officers are aware of me, yes? They must also be asking why I am helping you. What is Zykov the Survivor hoping to gain from this? Americans. For them, everything is about gain. That much I know. I do not say this to be unkind. America was built on self-interest. It is the bedrock of human nature. My friend, what I hope for, first and foremost, is to save our world from the Dark Aether. If nothing else comes of this, my sacrifice will have been worth it. But I am not without self-interest. I am human, after all. And so I very much hope you will find a way to release me from this dismal prison. Help me escape. Bring me home.

"The strike team makes a disturbing discovery about Zykov."
— Description

Zykov: Hello, my friend! I have been wanting to speak with you again. We have much to do, and we are running out of time.
Peck: Uh, yeah. About that. My colleagues are starting to ask questions. I think they might know about you. They've definiately seen me on this computer and they're wondering what I'm up to.
Zykov: I see. This may take some finesse, Dr. Peck, but you must somehow reassure them you are not "up to" anything they would not approve of.
Peck: Easier said than done. Gorev and Valentina watch me like hawks, just waiting for me to screw up.
Zykov: They cannot understand your genius, Peck. They also do not know your inner pain. Not like I do.
Peck: Look, if you help me round up more of those "tempest" guys, I could make new inversion warheads -- get back in the Colonel's good graces.
Zykov: Nyet, my friend. That seemed like a good plan when we first conceived it, but now? I would not set you up to fail yet again. Besides, I have a better idea.
Peck: Do tell...
Zykov: I am beginning construction of a new device. I will spare you the details until I know it can work, but it is exactly the sort of weapon your colonel is looking for.
Peck: Okay. When will you know if this gizmo is viable?
Zykov: Soon, my friend. Just keep checking in with me. I am counting on your help.

"The strike team intercepts a radio communication between Zykov and Peck, and hear Zykov making a familiar arrangement with Omega Group."
— Description

Peck: Hello, Zykov? You there? It's me. Peck.
Zykov: Yes, my friend. I am here. Where else would I go?
Peck: So. My coworkers definiately know I'm in contact with you. They even know your name.
Zykov: And they did not... discipline you?
Peck: No, they see you as a potential goldmine of Dark Aether intel, and they don't want to punish the one guy you'll talk to. In fact, Gorev told me to ask about the entity you say is in charge over there. It's real, right?
Zykov: It is an existential threat to all of you, my friend. It is the reason I am building my new device.
Peck: And that's... what? A weapon?
Zykov: It is something we will need when the real invasion comes. But tell your people I will reveal more details only if you help me come home.
Peck: You got it. They might want to debrief you for days, but if you deliver on intelligence and firepower, they'll make you a hero of the Soviet Union.
Zykov: Hmph. They can keep their medals. Just help me come home.
Peck: Okay. Let me know when your device is ready. We'll work on how best to repatriate you. Over and out.

"Zykov and Peck discuss the progress that's been made to bring him home."
— Description

Zykov: -- I hope you understand now what is at stake, my friend. The Forsaken. It wields a dangerous power.
Peck: Yeah, no kidding. Valentina nearly cost us all our jobs. That, and, uh, almost destroying the world.
Zykov: Next time we will not be so lucky. He has seen a demonstration of your capabilities. He will not make the same mistakes again.
Peck: Hey, with any luck, we'll have him making all new ones. Thanks to you.
Zykov: So your commander has signed off on our proposal?
Peck: Not just yet. But I'm making progress. We'll have you home before you know it, as agreed.
Zykov: And in turn I will honor my part of deal and help you kill the Forsaken. You have received my schematics? For the machine.
Peck: That and the pieces you built yourself. Listen, Zykov -- I need to level with you. This is going to take some time to construct. Your design... it's a technical feat. I've never seen anything like it. It's... overwhelming. This will take time to wrap my head around.
Zykov: Your transparency is why I know you are the perfect man for the job. You respect the science and difficulty of the task. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. You are wise not to treat this lightly.

"Zykov acknowledges a certain truth to the strike team."
— Description

Zykov: My... friend. Today I am not sure if I should call you that. Friendships are built on trust. And I wonder if our trust is broken. You see, just as I speak with you, I have also been in contact with Omega Group. Whether or not you are already aware of this, it would be worse for me to pretend it is not so. Oh, I am not fooling myself. I know what they are. But all of us face a threat that dwarfs your "cold war". The Forsaken is bigger than East and West. Unchecked, he will end you both. Now, Omega has a plan to free me from this place. And I am inclined to accept -- not simply to escape, but to stop the Forsaken. And I can only do that if I return home. So, if you no longer wish to be my friend, I understand. Or... if you can bring me home before Omega, so much the better. But whichever side frees me matters less than saving our world from the monster that devoured this one.

"Zykov makes a deal with the strike team."
— Description

Zykov: You are still listening. Good. I hope this means our partnership continues, despite my contact with Omega Group. And I certainly trust you more than anyone on their side. I know who the "good guys" are. But we are running out of time. Moral purity is not a luxury I can afford. Nevertheless, I will make you a deal. If Requiem can bring me home before Omega, I will join your strike team. We will fight shoulder to shoulder against the ultimate evil. We can make this right, my friend. We can stop the Forsaken together. But first, by all that is holy, you have to get me out of here.

Artifacts

"Empty can of Jugger-Nog - carelessly discarded by a previous Requiem Operator. Remember, kids: don't litter, always recycle!"
— Description

"The adorable toy whose clanging cymbals inspired the deadly explosive."
— Description

"The head of the test dummy mounted in the Arsenal device. "Ivan" is there to upgrade weapons and armor - an indispensable ally against ever-increasing odds."
— Description

"A stuffed rabbit toy of unknown origin."
— Description

"An opened can of Speed Cola. Most likely used by an operator whose hands were slow, and movement was sluggish - they lacked speed, which brought them anguish."
— Description

"A mystifying stone replica of the Dragon head. Appears to be hand-carved - and very old."
— Description

"A broken capsule leaking raw essence. Warning: aetherium exposure possible. Report any unusual symptoms to Unnatural Sciences."
— Description

"An opened can of Quick Revive. Used by an operator who was tired of being dragged down and pulled to the ground."
— Description

"A broken canister leaking raw essence. Warning: aetherium exposure likely. Please report to Requiem's Decontamination lab immediately."
— Description

"An unprocessed aetherium crystal chunk. Energy Research asks all chunks be delivered to the nearest Aetherium Harvester for refinement."
— Description

"An opened can of Stamin-Up. Likely used by an operator who needed some extra runnin' and wanted to keep gunnin' (but like a twist of lime)."
— Description

"An temperamental Aetherium Crystal with unusual transformative properities."
— Description

"An opened can of Elemental Pop. Used by an operator who had to many elements to consider, so they fixed themselves up to be sure they delivered."
— Description

"Poster for the band Elemental Pop, known primarly for their popular title track and hit arcade game."
— Description

"An opened can Deadshot Daiquiri. Likely used by an operator who was ready to quit complaining about their bad aiming."
— Description

"The head of a Demented Echo, seen around the Ural Mountains Outbreak Zone."
— Description

"An opened can of Tombstone Soda. Likely used by an operator who saw death waiting and didn't lose their hope."
— Description

"An opened can of Mule Kick. Used by an operator who wanted to be strong like a mule, stubborn like a mule, even kick like a mule, EL BURRO!"
— Description

Intel Location

Below are location markers for intel in each Outbreak map region. Note the following:

  • Dark Aether documents, audio logs and radio transmissions can only be acquired via completions of Trial challenges (with a maximum limit of 3 per match).
  • Documents can be acquired as drops from killing Special/Elite enemies, or from completing the Golden Chest world event, with a limit of 1 per region (maximum limit 3 per match).
  • Requiem, Omega and Maxis Radio Transmissions can only be acquired once per match for each faction (switching region does not count as a new match).
  • Several artifacts and documents are acquired via the main quest, and thus do not have markers included here.

Trivia

  • The Maxis Audio Log "Interrogation" is a near word-for-word copy of the opening to Call of Duty: Black Ops' campaign.
  • The Audio Log "Fifteen Days" contains a quote from the Director stating Samantha is just a "pathetic, sad, little, lost girl". This is a nod to Little Lost Girl, the Main Quest of Origins in which Samantha plays a central role.
  • Valentina's name is erroneously listed as Aleksandra Valentinova (Александра Валентинова) on her ID badge.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lost Signals DECLASSIFIED Logs