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The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops III.
For the AI entity, see Corvus.

SP/CORVUS, also known as the Corvus Project, was a CIA black project featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. The project involved secret experimental DNI trials. These were aimed at creating technologies capable of creating life-like scenarios which a person could experience and systems for monitoring individuals' thoughts. The project was conducted under the authorization of Sebastian Krueger, a head representative from the Coalescence Corporation, within the depths of the Coalescence building in Singapore. The subsequent Zürich program was named MH/CORVUS.

History[]

Background[]

According to the CIA Project Digraphs page accessed via the main page of the Data Vault, "SP" stands for 'Singapore', while "MH" stands for 'Worldwide operation'. As the player progresses through the campaign missions, access will be granted via the bookmarks tab within the Data Vault to files named "SP/CORVUS Data Archive 17/935" and "SP/CORVUS Data Archive 67/935", given below as transcribed text.

Test subjects for the Corvus project, many of them criminals, were inducted against their will. One of them, Jae Xiong, was kidnapped by the CIA. He can be seen as a dead test subject in the mission Hypocenter. Dr. Yousef Salim, a behavioral psychotherapist, participated in the project despite knowing that the test subjects had not volunteered.[1]

Program overview[]

The project appeared to be focused on monitoring thoughts as well as artificially inducing the experience of various sensations which a subject was not actually exposed to, for example, making subjects perceive a certain smell even though no such smell is present in the air, or inducing subjects to taste something even though there is nothing in their mouth.[2] The results of the project became the precursors to the Immersion seen in-game, an extremely realistic virtual reality where every sight, sound, smell, etc. experienced is extremely life-like and indistinguishable from reality.[3] Dr. Salim had seen great promise in this technology, believing it could be used to treat patients who had experienced extremely traumatic events.[1]

These effects were achieved by implanting technology, like the Prototype DNI-Implant collectible from Hypocenter, directly into the subject's spinal cord to communicate with the subject's nervous system. As Dr. Salim noted in his research notes, this communication is a two-way street and if one could transmit sensations and memories to a DNI-implanted individual, then one could receive and monitor that individual's thoughts and experiences as well.[4] Sebastian Krueger had been particularly interested in the monitoring capability as a means to detect and neutralize terrorist threats before they occurred. An unforeseen side effect of this networking was that test subjects were occasionally overcome by memories and stimuli from other test subjects they were linked to. Because of how life-like the Immersion was, test subjects were unable to differentiate these external experiences from their own and sometimes became dangerous. Salim termed these psychotic episodes "Cognitive Dissonance". The research team adjusted medication doses and began cognitive therapy exercises to prevent and attenuate these Cognitive Dissonance incidents.[5] The Frozen Forest was one such exercise which persuaded the subject to imagine themselves in a safe environment--a calm frozen forest where nothing could hurt them.

Coalescence Disaster[]

Main article: Coalescence Disaster

On June 2nd, 2060, an incident occurred which would ultimately lead to the Singapore Disaster which killed 300,000 people. The incident was caused by the realization of self-awareness by Corvus, an artificial intelligence which had been inadvertently created within the DNI system from a computer program which monitored the thoughts and experiences of the test subjects. The newly created Corvus "screamed out in pain", causing the release of Nova 6 samples which were being stored in the facility, which killed nearly the entire SP/CORVUS staff and hundreds of thousands of Singapore citizens.

Legacy[]

In the Player's dream sequence, Corvus remained trapped in the Coalescence facility's systems until Taylor's Team was dispatched to respond to a silent alarm at the facility's ruins caused by 54 Immortals scavengers. While investigating the scene, Taylor interfaced with the facility's systems which allowed Corvus to enter his DNI and spread to his teammates.

In reality, Corvus was not released from the facility but was awakened or reawakened within the Player's DNI as a result of the trauma of their own death. A "release" of Corvus from the Singapore facility as depicted in the Player's dream sequence could not have happened since Dylan Stone's team, which had investigated the alarm and subsequently defected to the CDP, and their pursuers, John Taylor and Jacob Hendricks, were not DNI-implanted. Taylor was exposed to Corvus via the connection forged from his earlier Interface with the Player; the other members of Taylor's team, then, were exposed as a result of the team's own interconnectedness. How Corvus made its way from Singapore to the Player's DNI is uncertain.

It is possible that the data monitoring program[6] destined to become Corvus had already been unknowingly included in subsequent experimental research phases which were being conducted at Coalescence's Zürich HQ, and was unaffected by the Singapore Coalescence Disaster. Coalescence's core DNI technology may have carried this latent bomb, capable of being triggered by a traumatic event like the Player's death. However, this would mean that the awakened Corvus in the Player's DNI would not have been the same as the Corvus which caused the Singapore disaster so its knowledge of its own part in that event could not be explained.

Alternatively, Corvus may have lain dormant in the Singapore Coalescence facility following the Disaster before being unwittingly retrieved, possibly via the data drives stolen by Stone's team and recovered by Hendricks and Taylor in 2064. The recovered data, including the dormant Corvus, may have been incorporated in subsequent DNI trials.

Data Archives[]

SP/CORVUS Data Archive 17/935[]

The following is found within SP/CORVUS Data Archive 17/935 within the Data Vault when progressing through the campaign. The audio files are transcribed below:

SUBJECT: SP/CORVUS ARCHIVAL

AUDIO SCRAPE: 17 of 935

DATA SOURCES: Facility surveillance records, Staff files.

RECOMMENDATION: Archival Black Facility.

Doctor Salim: It is important that we all feel calm. That we all feel safe. We all want the same thing. Focus only on my voice. Every word I say helps you relax ever deeper. There is nothing to fear. Let your mind drift back to a time when you felt free of from all the stress and all the worry of your everyday life. Somewhere calm, somewhere safe. Breathe slowly and deeply. As you become even more relaxed, you begin to feel the air brush against your skin. Whenever you are afraid, I want you to imagine yourself standing in this place of safety. Calm, and at peace.

Doctor Salim: Group D trials are now underway, with a new set of subjects. Similar physiology, different environmental conditioning.

Doctor Salim: Primary focus is to establish any correlation between the recorded neural traces and subsequent cognitive recollection. Early results seem promising. Post-procedure, subject recalled the intended stimulus with relative certainty.

Doctor Salim: Post Immersion- Several subjects have experienced fleeting bouts of paranoia. In these cases I have been unable to determine if this was a preexisting condition or a consequence of the procedure itself.

Doctor Salim: Following minor seizures during trials, Subject D-2 reported a brief period of impaired hearing. Similarly D-5 complained of a decreased sense of taste.

Doctor Salim: Unfortunately, adjusting Group D's chem levels has so far failed to decrease the frequency of seizures among subjects.

Sebastian Kruger: With Phase 5 trails complete, Phase 6 will seek to replicate the results of the original research team across a larger group of test subjects. Assuming that subjects' cognitive processes are successfully identified and analysed, plans are already underway to move research operations to our Zurich HQ. Their facilities will allow us to assess the potential for expansion of the program to other... emergent technologies. Zurich is where the Corvus program can fulfill its true potential. We are standing on the verge of a brave new world.

SP/CORVUS Data Archive 67/935[]

The following is found within SP/CORVUS Data Archive 67/935 within the Data Vault when progressing through the campaign. The audio files are transcribed below:

SUBJECT: SP/CORVUS ARCHIVAL

AUDIO SCRAPE: 67 of 935

DATA SOURCES: Facility surveillance records, Staff files.

RECOMMENDATION: Archival Black Facility.

Doctor Salim: From the trials undertaken thus far, it's clear that the majority of patients exhibit signs of mild to severe psychosis immediately following each procedure. The duration of these episodes can range anywhere from a few seconds to several hours, during which time subjects appear unable to distinguish the implanted memories from their own. Similarly, the increasing recurrences of fears, phobias, and even dreams can themselves contribute to a temporary overload of their conscious minds. For the purposes of future research and assessment I have named this phenomenon Cognitive Dissonance. In essence, it is a fleeting primal disconnect between what one's senses perceive and what is reality.

Doctor Salim: For the safety of myself and the other staff members, it is imperative that we take steps to minimize the threat posed by patients gripped in the throes of CD (Cognitive Dissonance). While I am reluctant to resort to the use of physical restraints, I may be forced to do just that if we are unable to achieve mental stabilization through a combination of drugs and...therapy.

Doctor Salim: My presentation to the senior committee was well... extremely well received. Sebastian Krueger himself was very enthusiastic about my... recent findings. While many aspects of this field have been well-documented over the last decade, Krueger seemed particularly interested in how the negative effects of Cognitive Dissonance might potentially be reversed, in order to create or enhance positive experiences. While I have some ethical reservations about the realities of what our research involves, I am warmed by the idea that... that my work could lead to further breakthroughs in the treatment of victims of severe psychological trauma.

Doctor Salim: Subject E-38, criminal class, has proven somewhat unique within the current group. Despite his steadfast refusal to cooperate or communicate, he has nonetheless had a considerable influence on the other patients. In interviews conducted immediately following sessions involving E-38, multiple subjects recalled near identical accounts of extreme violence and brutality. Cross-referencing their accounts with data on file, it would appear these recollections correspond with one of E-38's most notorious crimes.

Doctor Salim: At the time of his arrest, Jae Xiong is believed to be responsible for at least 42 killings carried out on behalf of the 54 Immortals, the criminal organization to which he swore allegiance. Most notable among his crimes was the infamous execution of rival gang members in a manner that would become known as "the Denial of Reincarnation". A literal and metaphorical removal of the victim's senses was intended to provoke the fear of absolute death, devoid of hope for an afterlife.

Doctor Salim: Having established an effective dosage, subjects have proven extremely receptive to therapy. The combined use of positive visualization techniques has led to a reduction in instances of CD (Cognitive Dissonance) in 80% of test subjects.

Doctor Salim: I am increasingly concerned that the central intelligence software that collates and monitors the subjects' neural data is itself exhibiting errors. On several occasions, data packets have inexplicably appeared on subject's neural traces, in direct conflict with real-time chronology. Despite my recommendations for further research before proceeding to the next stage, Krueger seems determined to move on. I am in little doubt that he is driven more by monetary interest than a desire to improve people's lives.

Doctor Salim: In the wake of recent board meetings, to which I was not invited, rumors persisted Krueger intends to conduct the next round of trails in an another undisclosed location. Hmmph, no doubt for "logistical reasons". While I cannot speak as to the company's latest developments with DNI itself, I find myself troubled by the fact Krueger not only chose to ignore MY concerns but also to exclude me from the phase 4 research team. His decision has left me no choice, but to resign from my position and seek a future elsewhere.

Doctor Salim: As of Day 42, only four of the original test subjects survive. Of the others, most died of coronary failure during the trails. One died later...from self-inflicted wounds.

Doctor Salim: Mr. Kruger, I don't think you quite appreciate or even understand what I'm telling you.


Sebastian Kruger: Oh I understand Dr. Salim. I just don't agree on how your perspective, your... limited perspective, should influence my decisions regarding the project's future. The Corvus program has been an unmitigated success. You should take pride in that.
Doctor Salim: Please, listen to what I'm saying! The exchange of information is a two-way street; If you remove humans from the diagnostic loop, there is no way to predict or control or influence...

Sebastian Kruger: We're standing on the verge of a brave new world here. Zurich is where the Corvus program can fulfill its true potential.

Gallery[]

Trivia[]

  • The number 935 in the Data Vault files for SP/CORVUS is a nod towards Group 935 in the Zombies mode.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 SP/CORVUS Data Archive 67/935, Experimental Journal #3
  2. SP/CORVUS Data Archive 17/935, Medical Trial Log #2, #4
  3. Data Vault's Omnipedia page on Immersion and an article about Immersion gaming (open Data Vault-->Press "B" on PC to open Bookmarks-->"Welcome to the Winslow Accord"-->"Military systems database"-->"GIU" (near bottom of page)-->"General Purpose Infantry Unit" (page on Omnipedia)-->"Coalescence Corporation"-->"Direct Neural Interface Systems"-->"Immersion" (near bottom of page)-->"startup companies";
    Also, from DNI page-->"reactions" (news article by Rich "Tracy" in Consumer Tech, titled "Inside Coalescence";
    And from DNI page-->"revolutionary" (Rich Tracey, Techie in the Shell, blog describing DNI implantation)
  4. SP/CORVUS Data Archive 67/935, Meeting archive #238
  5. SP/CORVUS Data Archive 67/935, Experimental Journal #1, #2, #6
  6. SP/CORVUS Data Archive 67/935, Experimental Journal #7
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