Born Laodice (lay-oe-dih-see, or lay-oe-di-kee for the Ancient Greek pronounciation).
According to Greek mythology, Pandora (Ancient Greek: Πανδώρα, “the all-gifted”) was the first woman, created by Hephaestus at Zeus’ behest as a punishment for humanity after Prometheus stole fire. Endowed with grace and sensuality, versed in art and music, she also mastered the arts of seduction and deceit, for she personified the concept of “beautiful evil” and was thus offered by Zeus to humankind as a poisoned gift. Legend has it that she was responsible for opening the jar (which later versions turned into a box) that contained all evils and for releasing them into the world of mortals.
Notes by Thamyris the Aoidos for the SSS Information Service:
“Pandora, the Bringer of Woes—I don’t understand why she’s still on active duty. Every time she shows up, something is bound to happen, and it’s usually not a good thing. I cannot deny that her powerful charisma captivates me as strongly as I feel repelled by the dangerous situations typically unleashed around her. I know it’s a flaw in my character, but I’m afraid there’s no way around it. I’ve always had a soft spot for beautiful and somewhat deranged women who put my life at risk.”
[Clarification prior to the report] No, the name used to identify this Aspect at the commencement of her psychogenesis was not Pandora. ALEPH wasn’t interested in starting a project to see if it would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. On the contrary, the myth of Pandora has always been one of the most challenging to recreate, and she was never on the list of recreatable personages. However, it seems that our Pandora has earned this name, which ended up replacing her original moniker.
[History] Just like the mythological Pandora, Laodice was one of the first female Aspects created by ALEPH for the Assault Subsection, back in the days when it was nothing more than an experimental program. Most of those Aspects, prototypes of the first real generation of Aspects for the Phalanx, had to be rejected due to adjustment problems in the stratification of their emotional patterns. However, this was not the case with Laodice, who managed to complete her stratification within acceptable parameters, or so it seemed at the time. Thus, Laodice was cleared for active duty and deployed in a consulting capacity along with the first generation of Phalanx warriors to the Paradiso front. The records of the Paradiso Coordinated Command don’t indicate any anomalies until there is a sudden end-of-service notice from the Assault Subsection, without any clarification whatsoever. After an in-depth data-archeology investigation, it’s been possible to connect this to a covert operation known as Massive Filter, which was carried out jointly with the forces of the Shock Army of Acontecimento. But that’s about it.
There is no data on this operation. There are no survivors, only the dead who can spill no secrets. There’s no one who can shed any light on it. There is only talk that something went sideways, or more precisely, that everything went wrong. As rumor goes, it was a covert operation in an area under the control of the Combined Army, and many, many civilians were killed, though not at the hands of the EI’s forces. And allegedly, at the center of the storm was Laodice.
[Verified fact] The date on which that catastrophic operation ended coincides with the termination of a classified program for the development of a lethal bioweapon specifically coded for Morat DNA. In principle, that bioweapon should have been harmless to anyone not belonging to that race. That was the theory.
[History: continued] The truth is that Laodice did not return from that mission, no one did. And, according to what some Phalanx veterans whispered in the canteens of the Paradiso Coordinated Command bases, her Aspect’s backup copy was quarantined, analyzed, and classified as “in need of a personality purge.” It should be understood that “personality purge” is a term that instills fear in ALEPH’s Aspects. It involves an almost complete erasure of all the personality traits that make them individuals, a reset to their default programming and a fresh reboot, which makes them into something other than who they were before. They call it a “purge” because it sounds awful to say “delete and rewrite,” especially for an AI.
Laodice’s backup was subjected to this process and, once it was completed successfully, she was reinstated to active duty since her store of knowledge and experience was too valuable to just be thrown away. So, she was brought back as an Iatromantis, the name given to the scientists and engineers of the Steel Phalanx, those who study the technology of ALEPH’s enemies and seek ways to counter it or take advantage of it. They are those who analyze the AI’s opponents, to learn from them as well as to identify weaknesses that can be exploited. The Iatromantis are the brains of the Subsection, so valuable that they aren’t discharged even after causing a mess as bad as the one Laodice was said to have caused. But this problem of hers was a thing of the past, because Laodice was supposed to have been purged thus pose no risk. All this was theoretical, as she continued to be involved in operations that had debatable, though acceptable, results.
The first of these missions with controversial results was Operation Lush Valley [No data: higher security clearance required], which was carried out in the same location as Operation Massive Filter. She was the only survivor of the mission, and after this, everyone began to call her Pandora, so much so that she even requested that her code name be changed. Since then, her tendency to resort to drastic solutions and a certain disregard for casualties and collateral damage has been corroborated. Nevertheless, the personality checks that the Assault Subsection regularly conducts on its members do not indicate any noticeable deviation from the general standards of the Steel Phalanx.
[Hypothesis 1] Somehow Pandora has managed to avoid the effects of the personality purge and she has retained a large part of her original identity, or all of it, and she has also figured out a way around the Subsection’s regular personality checks. Although it’s considered highly unlikely that someone can stave off the effects of a purge, misleading the personality checks might be conceivable for an Iatromantis like herself.
[Hypothesis 2] The Pandora that made it back from Operation Lush Valley is not the same Aspect that ALEPH purged, but rather the original Aspect, who could have survived Operation Massive Filter and remained hidden behind enemy lines, waiting for the right moment to return. The original Pandora could have eliminated her purged copy and taken her place, and she may even be behind the deaths of the rest of the team members who were involved in that operation. This hypothesis is consistent with her personality analysis and with the timeline of the rest of the reports about her “controversial decisions.” Granted, it assumes that Pandora has found a way to fool the Subsection’s regular personality checks, but it has been pointed out that this is possible for such a skilled Iatromantis.
[Subject analysis] Like all members of the Steel Phalanx, Pandora is committed to defending humanity and defeating its enemies. However, unlike the rest of her comrades, Pandora thinks long term and in large numbers. Hers is a battle against death amidst the darkness and the cold, a fight for survival in the hope of being reborn from the fire. But she knows there will be tragedy and destruction in that struggle, and she accepts it, without any concern for the dead, for alliances, or for loyalty, because she understands that these are the sacrifices that must be made to achieve an elusive victory. And this is why Pandora will do whatever it takes, she will betray anyone if necessary, and she will collaborate with whomever may serve her purposes, because her ultimate goal is the survival of humanity, no matter the cost or what terrible things she must do. And this makes her dangerous for anyone around her, because in her mind we are all expendable, we all can be sacrificed.
[Assessment] Pandora should be considered a valuable tool but one that can backfire on anyone she works with as soon as their goals diverge. It’s worthwhile to use her whenever necessary, but it would be wise to always keep a close eye on her and never to trust her completely. Doing so could prove catastrophic.
Excerpt from the report by Alper Cibili, almuhalil (analyst) of the Hassassin Bahram.
|ISC: Pandora, Steel Phalanx's Iatromantis
|Back-Up: Cube 2.0
|Skills and Equipment: Hacking Device (Upgrade: Zero Pain), Courage, Dodge (-6), No Wound Incapacitation
|Weapons and Equipment
|Pitcher, Flash Pulse (+1B)
|Viral Pistol (+1B), CC Weapon
|Pitcher, Pulzar, Flash Pulse (+1B), MediKit (+1B)
|Viral Pistol (+1B), CC Weapon
|Submachine Gun, Pitcher, Flash Pulse (+1B)
|Pistol, CC Weapon
Introduced in N4
None at this time.
Out of Print Miniatures
None at this time.
Promotional copies of Operation: Blackwind, purchased at, or preordered during, Gen Con 2022, included this miniature.
- https://infinitytheuniverse.com/blog/operation-blackwind-pre-order Published July 22, 2022
- https://infinitytheuniverse.com/blog/pandora-iatromantis Published August 3, 2022