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The Psionic Phenomenon.
The first recorded instance of the Psionic Phenomenon manifesting in an individual was in a Soviet forced labor camp in the late 1950s. This individual was identified by the KGB, who made use of his ability covertly for years, before information leaked to the United States through a defector. However, after the initial individual committed suicide a few years later, and the CIA was unable to independently verify the defector's information, research into the subject was shelved for several decades.
It was only when a low-level staff member at the Department of the Interior unexpectedly manifested a Psionic ability in the early 1980s that the American government began to take the idea seriously. However, rather than conduct its own research into the phenomenon, the United States contracted Apex Solutions to assess whether it was worth pursuing. Had Apex been honest, they would have made clear that this was of world-changing importance. Instead, they downplayed the phenomenon, and ensured that the government would not look too deeply into it. At the same time, they began work on what would come to be known as the 'Gifted and Talented' Program, researching and exploiting those with Psionic abilities and eventually even selling their services to the government.
Limited research into the Psionic Phenomenon was conducted by the Soviet Union, but little came of it, due to a lack of funding, and all evidence was burned prior to the collapse of the USSR. The Chinese Communist Party is believed to have its own Psionic research lab, but few details are known about it.
In short, the Psionic Phenomenon is when an individual manifests a supernatural ability. This is not to be confused with a 'superpower,' as these abilities are never truly visible to the naked eye. They are all related in one way or another to the brain. Some enhance an individual's intelligence, while others grant the ability to see others' thoughts, and even more esoteric manifestations exist, but none cam move objects with their mind, or shoot fireballs from their hands. The Psionic manifestation is completely random, favoring no gender or ethnicity, though there are more recorded instances in children than adults.
Apex Solutions is an American management consulting firm established in 1972 by former Deputy Director of the CIA Leon Marshall. While its stated purpose is nebulously defined as 'providing reliable solutions to the problems of a changing world,' its reach is far greater than it seems. Its first major contract came just two years after the firm's inception, as it was hired by the Chilean government under Augusto Pinochet to help 'facilitate the transition of power' to the new government. This was a polite euphemism for the process of identifying and executing political dissidents. Most of Apex's original team was comprised of personal contacts of Marshall himself, who made many connections during his time in government, including with military officials who provided him a steady stream of field agents for the company's operations. While no official documents survive to prove this fact, Apex's involvement with the Pinochet regime was known to the United States government, and unofficially sanctioned by those in the highest levels of power.
Naturally, the full extent of Apex Solutions' activities is not known to the public. The bulk of their public presence is in the financial sector, providing cost-cutting strategies to various corporations and government agencies. Marshall himself was tapped for a role within the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, though he'd retired from his position of CEO at Apex several years prior. In the intervening period between its inception and the present day, Apex has taken contracts with over thirty different national governments, often providing its more 'specialized' services discreetly while publicly acting in an advisory capacity.
Apex's ranks have also swelled in the five decades since its birth. Its primary recruitment base is from the intelligence agencies of the 'Five Eyes' nations, as well as field operatives and security personnel from those countries' armed forces. However, it has also begun recruiting from the corporate world, as well as making use of the services of various private military contractors for operations that require a greater degree of deniability.
It must be stressed that Apex Solutions is not any sort of 'shadow intelligence agency.' Their role is not to supplant that of the CIA, or MI6, or the Mossad. Instead, they supplement those agencies, able to operate with more freedom due to the decreased scrutiny placed upon corporations as opposed to government agencies.
The 'Gifted and Talented' Program.
As Apex's reach has expanded, so too have its interests grown. Among various other covert programs, it has created a division dedicated to the study of the Psionic Phenomenon. This program is tasked with identifying individuals who have manifested Psionic abilities, and studying their specific ability, assessing their usefulness, and turning them into an asset. These assets are then used as 'consultants' for Apex's various clients, all of whom benefit immensely from the addition of such individuals to their teams. For instance, an individual with a talent for data analysis and information processing might be given to the NSA, while an individual with the ability to kill at range would be sent to the CIA.
As the Psionic Phenomenon manifests in individuals at random, one of the main tasks of 'Gifted and Talented' is to find a way to make these individuals useful. Considering indictrinating children is much easier than adults, the primary targets of the program have been individuals between the ages of eight and eighteen.
Doctor Alan Hammond [CODENAME: ULYSSES] is the head of the 'Gifted and Talented' Program. He is deeply fascinated with the Psionic Phenomenon, and personally conducts a great deal of research into one aspect of the phenomenon. Specifically, the seemingly random way that it manifests. While Apex is satisfied with turning children with the gift into tools, Hammond wishes to discover a way to force Psionic abilities to manifest in anyone. Not only would this allow Apex Solutions to create Psionic supersoldiers by granting the talent to Special Forces operators, it would fulfill Hammond's secret dream of himself possessing such an ability.
Though the scope of the program is vast, Hammond pays a particular amount of attention to Site Six.
Colloquially referred to as 'Summer Camp,' Site Six is one of several facilities operated as a part of the 'Gifted and Talented' Program. Young individuals with Psionic abilities are taken to this facility, either by being directly renditioned by an Asset Retrieval team, or sent voluntarily by their parents, and studied. As it can often be difficult to tell whether an individual genuinely has manifested Psionic abilities, they are studied covertly at first, while disciplined strictly in order to break their spirits. Site Six operates like a summer camp/remedial school on the surface, with daily lessons and rigorous mandatory exercise, as well as rules that are essentially impossible to follow at all times, which then leads to brutal punishment, in order to condition the children towards following orders.
Should a subject's Psionic talent be verified, and their suitability for the program confirmed, they are then sent to a building within the Site Six campus, referred to by the students as 'the Dormitory,' where they are studied intensely, often undergoing highly invasive procedures, including forced surgeries. If a student cannot handle the physical and mental stress of this process, or is otherwise revealed to be unsuitable, they are returned to Site Six, and eventually disposed of. If a subject is found to be suitable, they are transferred to a separate site for further treatment.
Jason Levitt [CODENAME: BEOWULF] is a former SWAT unit commander, and currently serves as the Security Chief of Site Six. His task is to maintain the security of the site, preventing any of the children from escaping, and ensuring that the true nature of the facility is not leaked. He rarely comes into personal contact with the children, and has no particular moral qualms about keeping them captive.
Red River is an American private military contractor established in 1997. Its primary clients are NATO member states, specifically the United States, United Kingdom, and Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Israel. It also provides private security to various companies and individuals, including Apex Solutions. While Apex makes use of its own internal security for certain facilities, Red River protects its international interests. Red River is also one of Apex's biggest clients, making use of not only its management consulting services, but its other divisions as well. Specifically, as of 2013, roughly 30% of the 'Gifted and Talented' Program's graduates were contracted out to Red River.
The relationship between the two is symbiotic, but there exists some level of distrust. Red River has never been allowed near the 'Gifted and Talented' Program itself, and Apex rightly fears that Red River would prefer to make its own Psionic agents, rather than effectively rent them out. Red River primarily recruits from the United States Armed Forces and Israeli Defense Forces.
Matthew Jacobs [CODENAME: MARS ULTOR] is the CEO of Red River, and head of its American division. Despite being relatively young at age thirty-five, he is highly competent, and has expanded the PMC's operations across the globe since he succeeded its founder in 2000. Under his leadership, Red River became an integral part of the American war effort in Afghanistan and Iraq, making billions of dollars in the process. However, much of this is currently overseen by the heads of Red River's overseas divisions. Jacobs himself handles the comparatively tame American operations, which primarily consist of standard private security contracts. However, Red River maintains a close relationship with the CIA, and Jacobs himself is quite interested in expanding their relationship with Apex Solutions.
A myth where ultimate evil turns its gaze on humanity and humanity gazes right back and says "Gotcha."
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