Deterrence USA - Pittsburgh, PA [Location]

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Deterrence
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Deterrence USA - Pittsburgh, PA [Location]

Post by Deterrence » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:34 am


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DETERRENCE USA - EMBASSY ONE

Though headquartered within their own sovereign territory in the Caribbean, the leviathan corporation Deterrence maintains numerous branch embassies within friendly countries. The purpose for doing so is threefold - these locales better represent the company to the public, provide a location for negotiations and business deals, and give Deterrence a physical foothold in parts of the world they might ordinarily take a long time to deploy to.

Emerging beautifully from the Pittsburgh skyline is a glass-windowed office complex recently acquired by the Security Nation. It is no urban barracks, but rather represents the business side of the Great Corp, a nexus for conference with other enterprises, government officials, and general persons of interest, such as superheroes. Standing at an impressive 700 ft. height, the building itself is an impressive monument to human ingenuity and cooperation. Walkways and balconies open parts of the building to the air, the cutting-edge design and architecture well-suited to the company's forward-thinking vision for security.

The square footage of the building is potent. Standing at 52 stories, "Embassy One" is a powerful resource for the company in that it enables it to centralize its key baseline logistics staff in one area. High-profile employees operating on classified information reside armored shells the Caribbean, whereas more standard workers simply commute to Pittsburgh, going about their days normally. A passerby on the street wouldn't know that Deterrence owns the building, as it simply resembles any other skyscraper in the City of Bridges.

The building is highly secure, with a variety of countermeasures and checkpoints preventing entry by malicious actors. Two helipads and a hangar compartment enable easy take-off / landing by aerial vehicles, and an underground parking garage houses most employee vehicles.

Structural Improvements

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As both an essential asset for the Hypercorp and a high value target for its foes, Embassy One's structural composition has been overhauled to better suit it to a world in which would-be Gods can hurl literal thunderbolts at will. The outer windows are composed of reinforced plastisteel, which cannot be shattered from the outside by conventional means. Acoustically resilient and laser-diffusive, it can protect those inside the building from sonic booms, laser-based attack, and concussive forces that would ordinarily cause glass to shatter. Thermal regulators prevent flash-bursts from frying the interior, and the use of fiber-optic technology in doors and elevators has hardened them against EMP attack. The building can access its own power generator in the event of a blackout.

Said doors have been reinforced with nanoceramics, intentionally shielded against those who boast exohuman strength. Walls leading into key areas have been braced against excess force, a mixture of NNF gel and adaptive self-shaping metals protecting the employees from "brick"-type kamikazes. The building's concrete and steel-based support bars have been fully augmented by carbon nanopaste, meaning it can't simply be knocked down by a meta with superhuman strength. The building could fully endure a 9.0 earthquake on the Richter scale; any sort of bombing by aliens would be equally likely to fail.

An aerial communicator array has been added, enabling Deterrence to monitor the airspace activity of the entire United States via collaboration with the National Airspace System. Following the full adoption of UN Resolution A/RES/1/26, the Company has access to the resources which enable them to keep track of high-speed entities over the US. An early-warning system can register metahumans who converge on the site of Embassy One, monitoring their activity throughout Pittsburgh so long as they are in the air. Traffic cams are also tapped in the surrounding area with the permission of the local government, given that Embassy One requires additional protection.

Workplace Culture

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Though the nature of their jobs is mostly indistinct from working for any international business, the aesthetic of Deterrence's offices is still relatively high-tech. Sparing no expense to bring its top employees the most up-to-date user interfaces, the Mega Corp uses a variety of holographic displays, VR-simulation pods, and real-time communications forums to maximize work efficiency. Employees of Deterrence are valued not for their capacity for menial tasks, but for their critical thinking ability, as well as their effectiveness in face-to-face situations.

Management runs the upper-level part of the branch, keeping in constant communication with Deterrence HQ in the Caribbean and delegating tasks to other employees within Pittsburgh. Considered high-value personnel by the company, they work in the upper floors of the tower. Managers are also responsible for executing important deals with outsiders, which take place in the board rooms on the top floor.

Logistics is responsible for everything from finance to territory acquisition to connection with intelligence organizations such as MI6, the NSA, the CIA, etc. This division of employees are derived from the general population, and comprise a bulk of Deterrence's mainland employees. Logistics workers are also responsible for a great number of face-to-face interactions with other companies, business owners, and superheroes who may drop by. The majority of "office work" of Deterrence is conducted by these elite individuals, often aided by weak close-circuit AIs.

Marketing is exactly what it sounds like. Preoccupied with enhancing the image of the company, they work tirelessly to monitor reputation, business opportunities, and online discussion. Collecting data on public opinion as well as area-to-area efficacy of soldiers, their research contributes more to the non-romantic aspects of trying to save the world - mainly, having enough clout to do so. Employing research specialists, graphic design experts, and multi-media crews to make the Hypercorp appealing, they are also stationed in Pittsburgh.

Support, plainly put, help keep the company itself running. Secretaries, janitors, administrative advisers, and electricians are all employed by the Security Nation to ensure stability and efficiency. A dedicated medical center with first-aid specialists is also present in the event of workplace accident. Support staff also help manage the building's myriad doors and elevators from a central hub connected to the security office, tracking who is where and when as well as manually operating doors in the event of a lockdown.

Security Countermeasures

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It is a statistical inevitability that Embassy One will come under attack. Deterrence and its employees are fully aware of this, and as such have prepared for any encounter with exonormal threat. For starters, hazard masks and deployable flash-suits are standard to all workers within the building, with compartments in the desks containing gear that would enable one to survive, say, a chemical agent. Extensive evacuation plans dedicated to saving as many lives as possible are drilled into a worker's daily routine, guaranteeing that in the event of an emergency, they will be able to safely and securely exit the building. Every employee is a valuable asset, and is treated as such.

Beyond the standard reinforcement of the building's structure is offensive countermeasures against those who would wish to do Deterrence harm. An array of compartmentalized automatic turrets can emerge from behind wall, ceiling, and floor panels on command, securing key choke points and shredding any trespassers. Packing ammunition ranging from homing HV rounds to acoustic burst to flashes of directed plasma, these turrets possess advanced Third Eye targeting systems capable of tracking the movements of threats nearing the speed of light, combining predictive aim with motion reader to compensate for the outrageous abilities many meta-threats possess. They can tag speedsters with ease. These turrets can also be manually overridden and controlled from the security hub.

Infiltrator-types have been anticipated and accounted for by the building's intelligent designers. Security cams can detect heat, changes in air pressure, faster-than-light object movement, teleportation signatures, and variation in an employee's body language, accounting for abnormalities that may arise. Pressure plates on the floors alert security when someone invisible is present, and anti-phase nanofiber cords can be activated at a moment's notice to interfere with trespassers with the ghost-like ability to phase through sheer matter. Electric panels can be activated to shock those who touch them. Deterrence has even gone so far as to inscribe anti-magic runes into the foundations of the building, relying on pseudoscience to combat pseudoscience.

Retaliatory defense is not limited to the interior of the building. OSHA-approved miniaturized cannons can be deployed from the building's outer walls, boasting a high degree of firepower as well as target-tracking that can shoot down incoming projectiles. An anti-missile defense grid works equally well on flying exonormals, with enemy aircraft, ballistics, or just plain anthro-weapons being pulverized mid-flight by the tracking railguns. An extremely potent laser-defense net can be activated to cordon the building off from outsiders, or contain threats within.

A potent weak AI system designed solely to maintain building security - codenamed AEGIS - oversees these security systems in tandem with a team of human operators. Speaking its own language and interfacing only "face-to-face" with its human partners, AEGIS appears fully unhackable. To do so would require a level of communications output rivaling pure subjective replacement - to interface with AEGIS, one must essentially be AEGIS. Even trained technopaths would have a difficult time working against the highly obstinate AI, which constantly alters its own code as it is monitored by human managers.

Security Personnel

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Recruited from the ranks of Deterrence's Knight-class soldiers, these highly skilled elites are kept on reserve within Embassy One specifically to defend the high-value personnel stationed there. They have double authority, working in tandem with the Pittsburgh Police Department in order to secure the entire block, which is constantly under surveillance given the volatile nature of the Hypercorp's enemies. Wearing armors that directly link them to the AEGIS Weak AI network, they have a complete view of the fortress they protect, coordinated and directed to work as the ultimate antibody system to the Deterrence keep. Given their training, they are resistant to mental manipulation and incapacitation.

Guards wear a security variant of the ATG Personal Bodysuit with corresponding Type-1 Exoframes. They are armed with a variety of weapons, both lethal and non-lethal. Encouraged to use high-powered incapacitation batons against normal agitators, they will not hesitate to equip extremely lethal AKRT Scatterguns if threatened by exonormal enemies. The use of homing rounds is intended for maximum efficacy in evacuation scenarios, ensuring that there will be no crossfire if employees are caught between a threat and the security team.

Guards are essential to the interior complex, as they are the human element which keeps Deterrence secure. They patrol all known entry points to the complex, including the parking garage, underground sewers, helipads, exterior walkways and balconies, and the main lobby. They have an extremely strict check-in and check-out routine, and are in constant communication with both each other and the AEGIS security system. In short, to impersonate a guard is impossible - an impostor would be found out immediately.

Guards are trained specifically to deal with hard infiltrator types, or foes which possess one or more of the following abilities:
- Teleportation
- Matter shifting / phasing
- Invisibility / acoustic dampening
- Possession or mind control
- Shapeshifting
- Astral projection
- Probability manipulation
- Size alteration

Anticipating attacks from metas of the above type has made the guards of Embassy One ever-alert; as a nexus of business activity for the Security Nation, they are fully aware that the fate of mankind is in their hands. They are not mundane punch-clock watchmen, but rather, elite sentinels fully dedicated to protecting the building. They are never to be underestimated.

Summary

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Though not the tactical hub of the Great Company, Embassy One is without a doubt where its financial foothold is the strongest. Its establishment in Pittsburgh has already impacted the surrounding area's economy and property values; some consider their presence a danger, and others feel safer than ever with Deterrence watching over the neighborhood. The impact on local crime rates and superhuman activity alike has already been significant, with a mass decrease in both.

The future of Embassy One remains to be seen, though many await the day that Deterrence's shadow-enemies emerge to challenge their urban castle outright. When that day comes, though, they will be ready.

Last edited by Deterrence on Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Deterrence USA - Pittsburgh, PA [Location]

Post by Invictus » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:53 am

When most people approached automatic doors, their stride broke. Especially when it came to older models- the doors were slower to open, meaning if you maintained a normal pace they might fail to swing or slide open fast enough, and you'd get a faceful of glass. But as Michael Carter approached the automatic doors outside the blandly-named Embassy One facility, he didn't miss a beat. Partly, because his outward appearance was carefully cultivated, and even a slight hesitation might convey uncertainty to someone who looked up to him,. And partly because he knew this building was still weeks old. The doors would be operating at close to peak efficiency, never mind the fact that the Hyper-Corp's tech-level seemed to be more than a few decades beyond the rest of the world.

A lone receptionist greeted him with a manufactured smile. Wearing not his super-suit, but rather one of the tailored kind, Invictus looked little different from the usual men in suits that entered these facilities. He wore no tie, the jacket unbuttoned, as was his custom. Drawing one hand from his pocket, Michael placed a business card on the desk as he introduced himself.


Michael Carter.

Invictus.

"Michael Carter. I have a four o'clock meeting with the head of this facility."

As the Unconquerable Soul waited for the veracity of his per-scheduled appointment to be confirmed, he considered the Rogue Nation. Not that such a moniker was quite accurate anymore. No, now Deterrence had a United Nations mandate, and they were free to expand off their offshore base into the civilized world. If buildings like this- with heavily-armed guards patrolling every floor- were springing up so soon, it didn't seem too far-fetched to be concerned about a Deterrence agent on every street-corner.

On the other hand, the existence of Deterrence was only natural. Like antibodies responding to an infection. It'd happened before, with the Department of Homeland Security springing up after 9/11. And to talk of 'men in tights' after something like Rome felt almost silly. Hundreds of thousands, dead. A city with hundreds of years of rich history, decimated by a rain of machines straight out of Heinlein or Asimov.

It wasn't the kind of threats that Deterrence made, that truly scared off threats like the Eldest, though. The implicit sentiment in their promises- televised to the whole world, made in front of the United nations- was that they would threaten invaders with a mass bombing of their civilian populations. That philosophy, the eye for an eye thinking, was so far a regression that it practically returned humanity to the time of the Code of Hammurabi. If a man steals, cut off his hands. It's only fair.

The only protection that the Hypercorp offered, truly offered, was one founded on nihilism and death. 'We can only negotiate if we each have a gun to the other's head.' In the name of protecting the world from bodysnatchers and 'pod-people,' they were given a mandate to grab 'suspects' off the streets. It went against nearly everything that Invictus believed in.

All these thoughts passed through Michael's head in the span of a few seconds. The hero blinked once, and smiled at the receptionist.
No rescuer hath the rescuer. No lord hath the champion. No mother, no father. Only nothingness above.

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Re: Deterrence USA - Pittsburgh, PA [Location]

Post by Deterrence » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:08 am


"Afternoon, Professor Carter."

Mister Carter's appointment may have been with the facility head on paper, but he'd find himself face-to-face with someone else entirely. None other than Sergeant Flint passed from behind a pair of sliding doors, muscled arms clasped behind his back. Flint wore blue camouflage fatigues, standard non-operations garb for him, with the Deterrence logo emblazoned on the sleeve. His nametag bearing his codename - Guardian - was easily identifiable over his left breast. He wore a beret with the same insignia on his head.

Michael Carter - Invictus - was a big name. Cut his teeth fighting organized crime around the same time Arno had been a standard SWAT operator. They'd never crossed paths directly, but the parallels between the two seemed notable enough that none other than the Major himself had personally suggested that Flint meet with him. Ever an enigma, the suggestion had come through mere memo. Flint had shrugged and agreed.

As Invictus, Carter was responsible for doing a lot of good in the world. Flint couldn't begrudge him that. And yet, the two were diametrically opposed - one wore a mask and flashy colors, and another was virtually anonymous, donning armor to fight the unknown. What Flint thought of the celebrity before him at the moment was irrelevant. He was just here to be a face, which he could do just fine.

"I'm Sergeant Flint. I've been ordered to meet with you today on the Company's behalf."

Neutral, controlled tone. Piercing gaze, but nothing hostile. He extended a hand to shake the super's.


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Re: Deterrence USA - Pittsburgh, PA [Location]

Post by Invictus » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:42 pm

A quick once-over appraised the Deterrence soldier as he entered. Michael noted the only identification he wore- Callsign: Guardian. The man had an officer’s bearing. Not that Invictus had ever served, but he’d been at enough dinners that military brass also attended that he had a sense of their type.

“A pleasure, Sergeant,” he replied, shaking the unsmiling man’s hand firmly. His father had always maintained that a firm handshake was the best way to introduce yourself to someone.

It was the people who made up the Hypercorporation that fascinated Michael. To dismiss the thousands of people that comprised the organization as worker drones, ants in a colony, would have been a mistake. Invictus had heard rumors of what the people on their rig were like. Rumors of xenophobia, of propaganda.

Jason Carpenter was their golden boy, the man on all the recruitment posters. I want you... to fear and hate the unknown. It was Carpenter who’d shot down the City over Rome. Exactly the kind of thing Michael was concerned the Rogue Nation would do on a much larger scale, especially given their thermonuclear capabilities.

Carpenter had disappeared, though. After Rome. All that seemed to remain of him was the myth that Deterrence created, one that their footsoldiers bought into without thinking. And rumors. Of a secret mission, and a hand-picked team. Michael didn’t buy it.

On one hand, it was an idea Michael understood well. The lone soldier, the maverick. A hyper-competent individual, rather than a massive corporate army. To some degree, Invictus was that man. But Deterrence didn’t believe in that sort of thing, not truly. Their men did- like Sergeant Flint here. But the people in suits who ran the show wouldn’t pin their hopes on a single individual. They’d just spread stories of their super-soldier, traveling the world in his submarine.

Invictus had spent some time in a submarine, once. The Irrepressible. An old friend had been the captain, and invited Michael to sail with him to the sea beneath the sea. It was an adventure he’d not soon forget... though the irrigo-cannons might have said otherwise, if he’d accidentally ingested any of the powder.

Clearing his mind of memories, Michael returned his full focus to Flint. Time would tell if this man shared the anti-cape biases of his fellow soldiers, but his expression betrayed nothing.

“Is this facility’s director unavailable?”
No rescuer hath the rescuer. No lord hath the champion. No mother, no father. Only nothingness above.

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Re: Deterrence USA - Pittsburgh, PA [Location]

Post by Deterrence » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:25 pm


"I'm afraid so," Flint replied, releasing Invictus' hand. He turned to an elevator, expecting the man to follow. Two heavily-armed guards stood on either side of the double doors, which silently slid open to reveal a spacious translucent cell. The elevator would carry them to the top of the building, arriving at the fifty-first floor. A meeting room would have been prepared for the two to speak in.

"What brings you here?" he inquired, looking out at the many offices below. Corporate wasn't his specialty. He was a fighter; everyone knew it. That was probably why he was the one assigned to talk to Invictus, instead of some spineless weasel in a suit. A man who understood force could defend force. That was probably it.

Here we go.


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Re: Deterrence USA - Pittsburgh, PA [Location]

Post by Invictus » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:19 am

As the elevator steadily ascended, Invictus stared at the interior of Embassy One with undisguised fascination. VR sim-pods. Holograms. Armed guards with hi-tech rifles. It was incredible.

One of Michael's first foes had been known as the Black Knight. The man had possessed two powers. The first, an ability that allowed his sword to slice through damn near anything. Even the supposedly invulnerable. The second, something more subtle. A mental ability the Knight himself hardly even knew he had. It allowed him to handily defeat any super-powered opponent he faced. Something to do with intuitively understanding aspects of their power.

The Knight had been Michael's first nemesis. Invictus, being a 'mere' human, could fight the man without being incapable of victory. But the Knight's sword had come close to cleaving him in half more times Michael cared to count. But when they weren't fighting, upon occasion, the pair had been able to talk. Prior to their final confrontation, the Knight had been discussing his power. What it felt like to use.

It had been akin to some sort of machine. Monolithic, arcane, unknowable. Most of the time, the machine was silent. But when the Knight put it into use, he'd said he could feel it, just behind his eyes. It was only now, that Michael understood what he meant. Seeing these people, each a tiny cog in a vast creation, he saw just what the Knight's machine was. For the moment, Deterrence was an object at rest. But when the next threat reared its head, that machine would roar into action, each bullet a soldier like Flint fired the result of the individual motions of a billion tiny cogs.

Of course, if Deterrence were around, the Knight wouldn't have been a problem. His sword might have cut one or two of them down, but against a hundred armed 'normal' men...

Michael turned away, as they passed the fifth floor of cubicles. Flint had asked him a question.

"Curiosity, in part. Your approach to world-saving is certainly different from mine, but in the end I think we have the same goal."
No rescuer hath the rescuer. No lord hath the champion. No mother, no father. Only nothingness above.

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Re: Deterrence USA - Pittsburgh, PA [Location]

Post by Deterrence » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:59 pm


We're more effective, for one, Flint thought, though he said nothing. Quietly acknowledging his own bitterness, he realized he'd just associated Invictus with amateurs like Prism. His object was to be a role-model, clearly, but maybe he hadn't thought through what exactly that meant when one was dealing with superpowered teenagers. There was also something about the legitimacy of their business compared to the "anyone can throw on a mask and throw punches" attitude that came with supers. Carter wasn't anonymous, but so many of them were.

"Curious about the cubicles?" he asked with a small grin. He was lightly calling the hero's bluff. There were things he could find out online if he were so inclined. He wanted to speak with someone about something. What that was had yet to be revealed.


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Re: Deterrence USA - Pittsburgh, PA [Location]

Post by Invictus » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:47 pm

Hm. Paranoia? It wasn't unreasonable of Flint, to be sure. Deterrence had enemies, including those more subtle than the 'demonic invasion' that their saturation bombing of a US city had halted. Michael couldn't expect to be trusted just because of the mask. If anything, it was likely his status as a super-hero made them distrust him more.

"In part. I've not worked an office job before, but the environment here doesn't quite square with my expectations." Invictus turned to Flint, grinning.

I wonder... is Guardian merely a call-sign? It sounds awfully like a code-name like my own, despite Flint seeming rather against the idea of cape-and-costume heroes.

"And I thought it might be interesting to meet the people who joined a group like this. I've got an inside view of the kind of person who puts on a costume and fights crime, but my mental model of a Deterrence... soldier? Agent? It's a little vague."
No rescuer hath the rescuer. No lord hath the champion. No mother, no father. Only nothingness above.

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Re: Deterrence USA - Pittsburgh, PA [Location]

Post by Deterrence » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:13 pm


Egomania, fetishism, schizoid disorder, and in the best cases, compulsive altruism.

Those seemed to be what made most supers tick. What compelled people to put on those suits, Flint would never know for sure. Hell, maybe Deterrence powered armor was just another style of cape and boots. But accountability seemed to be the major distinction. Flint had a boss. He had obligations to people that went beyond ones he'd invented. Luckily, the shields he'd put up between his mind and his face left his expression blank, non-reflective of his internal monologue.

"Our hires come from a variety of backgrounds, so I can't speak for everyone. I'm ex-SWAT, metahuman division. I joined up because the Company empowers me to make a difference in the world. They make the sacrifices I can't - level the playing field between an ordinary man and one who can bench-press a mountain."

The elevator came to a stop at the top floor. The doors slid back open, and Flint walked out. The two guards on the outside of the doors, in mirror image to those on the ground floor, snapped to attention.


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Re: Deterrence USA - Pittsburgh, PA [Location]

Post by Invictus » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:34 am

Invictus nodded thoughtfully.

I imagine we began in similar places. Possessed of a desire to help save the world, or at least make it safer. The main difference being one of ambition. Flint views himself as held back by his own humanity. That sentiment has hamstrung him- led him to become a cop, able to effect change only in the smallest of ways. And later, to join Deterrence, become a cog in their machine.

Whereas I... I am the machine.


"I understand the sentiment. Even on my best days, the fact that I'm just a man is hard to ignore. Especially when I'm all that's standing in the way of the deaths of innocents. It would be so easy, if I was someone like Samson, to save them all."

Michael looked thoughtful for a moment, recalling the near-godlike hero of an age gone by.

"But then again, it wouldn't mean anything if it was easy."

The hero followed Flint out of the elevator, nodding at the guards as he passed by. Saluting would probably have just offended them.
No rescuer hath the rescuer. No lord hath the champion. No mother, no father. Only nothingness above.

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