ENTRY 226: Die Wende
“For the past three years, we have been tracking a phenomena—sudden mass demonstrations, flash mobs, outbreaks of sudden unusual behavior in a given population. Sometimes violent, but not always: the result is as likely to be a street party or spontaneous orgy as it is to be a riot. The phenomena always has a very rapid onset, with no discernable trigger or spread; individuals who wander in during the course of events are not noticeably affected even if they join in. When the phenomenon wears off, there is a permanent behavioral change in the affected population: all become left handed, for example, or have difficulty pronouncing a certain phoneme, or begin reading and writing right-to-left instead of left-to-right. These are the characteristics that mark the anomalous behavior called die Wende.”
- Juan Xiao John, private investigative contracting agent, debriefing
Some threats come from within. While transhumanity looks for trouble from the stars, from the TITANs, from whatever lives on the other side of the Pandora Gates or built them, they sometimes turn a blind eye to the fact that transhumanity is quite capable of self-destruction without the help of any outside entity. One such threat is a nameless network that seeks change; call it die Wende.
Their goals are simple: to enact change, and control it. Not change for its own sake, but change for their sake, to conform transhumanity to their ideals. They are puppet masters of an old, old school, and they have found a tool that can help them mold transhumanity in the directions they choose…provided they can perfect it. Thus the experiments, carried out on isolated populations, triggering specific behavioral changes as tests to prove that they can do so. Slow and cautious they seek to control the parameters and cover their tracks—what is one more spontaneous mob activity in a society where such organized and unorganized events are common enough? A passing curiosity to be buried in the newscycle and quietly archived away from the most popular search engines. They bide their time, planning to implement their tool on a vast scale.
Unfortunately for die Wende, they are not the only secret hands in the solar system—and the other organizations are much better at these games than they are. The only reason die Wende has progressed so far in their tactics is that nobody thought to look for them; their dry-runs and experiments so small and inconsequential as to fall into the statistical background noise of the Mesh. It wasn’t until recently that their operations have even become a blip on the radar of Firewall and other intelligence/counterexsurgent organizations.
Using die Wende
Die Wende is a secret organization bent on influencing transhumanity; unfortunately, they are relatively ignorant of the other hidden organizations that are already well-ensconced and doing that sort of thing already. This allows the gamemaster to put the PCs on the leading edge of uncovering, infiltrating, breaking, subverting, and/or stopping die Wende, who really are your generic middle-grade evil organization with delusions of shaping the destiny of transhumanity for their own benefit. Die Wende members are not stupid or unskilled, they simply lack the experience and knowledge of the opposition, completely ignorant of Firewall for example.
The main tool for die Wende is a form of basilisk hack; the affected engage in one spontaneous group behavior for a period of 1d6 hours and afterwards exhibit the desired minor behavioral change. Firewall and many other organizations will definitely want to know where they got that technology. Gamemasters may find that Wende events are a good way to introduce PCs to die Wende before the organization itself crops up.