Equinox

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Equinox is a terrorist group.

This shadow collective began as an ambitious, transgressive Praxis Lab. They were fringe scientists, interested in using technology to achieve radical social revolutions. Their ability to design, code, and execute the projects was impressive. However they were less interested in ethics and humanitarianism as they were in "moving fast and breaking things" in order to satisfy their desires for change.

What started out as popularity as "the hot new thing" transformed into revulsion. It was revealed that they had gone far past the point of any ethical discourse, diving fully into "ends justify the means" mentalities. Sheut alteration, quantronic meme-viruses, neuromanipulation and more - all on nonconsenting humans - were being used to subvert Bakunin's Social Energy system. They were expelled from Praxis during the early Holistic Confrontations.

They secured funding from MagnaObra and attempted to suborn Haqqislamite society by targeting the nascent society. 'The Palmyra Star' was transporting several hundred families from Earth to Bourak for resettlement. Equinox agents infected the ship’s datasphere with a self-replicating virus that corrupted the augmented reality programs and transformed them into a memetic vector by which the crew and passengers were to be mentally enslaved. The intention was that everyone onboard—along with countless additional colony ships over a period of years—would become sleeper agents enthralled to Equinox, serving as a beachhead by which the organisation could eventually take control of Haqqislamite society.

The plan went awry, however. First, the memetic virus proved imperfect, inflicting massive sensory trauma on a number of passengers and crew members while causing others to suffer vivid hallucinations leading them to believe that the ship was haunted and many of their fellow travellers possessed.

Second, a hassassin onboard the ship detected the plot, killed the Equinox agents, and disabled the virus. When subsequent investigations by Hassassin Govads identified the source of the assault on the Palmyra Star, they unleashed a vicious campaign of murder and destruction that devastated Equinox, gutting the organisation and eliminating most of their outstanding and brilliant researchers - at great cost. Although Equinox was seriously wounded, so were the Hassassins. The vast majority of those original volunteers were killed. Backup databanks were targeted. Resurrections were sabotaged. Equinox and the Hassassins mutually reteated back to the shadows.

MagnaObra's covert funding helped them rebuild. The corporation benefits from the often-brilliant breakthroughs made by Equinox, but it is unclear how much of Equinox is being led by MagnaObra and how much of MagnaObra is secretly being controlled by Equinox.

In the wake of the Hassassin campaign, Equinox reorganised itself into a cell structure and adopted a stance of institutionalised paranoia. The individ- ual cells—each referred to as a locus—scattered across the Human Sphere, establishing research bases in almost every inhabited system, and additional facilities hidden in the dead systems along various Circular routes.

Each locus is semi-specialised around a single research project, most of which congregate around radical social engineering and transformation—meme worms that overwrite experience and memory; stable micro-wormholes that allow for biological inter- vention on a cellular level (teledoping); fear-based weaponry capable of remotely affecting the human cortex; memetic disruption technology; and the like.

Loci can communicate with each other through encrypted AR environments and Maya clusters, but direct contact is rare. Instead, research is shared between cells using a fractal blockchain which is hosted through a shadow datasphere covertly hosted on the Circulars. (Bureau Noir has learned that the Equinox frac-chain exists, but has not been able to learn how to access it or how it’s infested the Circulars. One popular theory is that it’s actually carried on ships docked to the Circulars—which serves much the same purpose of dissemination, but would explain why security sweeps of the Circulars’ quantronic systems have come up empty.)

Contacting Equinox is very difficult; their covert nature and xenophobia makes them tough to reach. Most Equinox cells use agents for outside communication. These contact agents procure raw materials and find opportunities for the locus’ scientists and engineers to act as mercenary agents (or other sources of funding).

If they are reached, they are almost entirely without ethics. The brilliant desire to improve society by disrupting the status quo has been subsumed with a desire to disrupt for disruption's sake.

Activities

  • Attempting to improve the ALIs that governed NeoTerra's orbital traffic. The goal was to make all of Neoterra's traffic infrastructure self-aware... and under the control of Equinox. Occurred sometime between 64 and 75NC.
  • Subverting the projects in Darpan Xeno-station in order to use the anti-Morat bioweapons against any demographic they chose
  • The ultimate foe of Haqqislam and especially the Hassassins, possibly predating both.
  • Creating some unusual chemical substance that made the Khawarij / Runihura significantly more effective
  • Attempted subversion of the Palmyra Star
  • Remotely retroengineered pirate crews using long-range EVO hacking interfaces