You’re not sure how long you were out. Your first memory after escaping from, or dying on, the Istari is waking up in a wooden beach house, the sound of waves gently lapping on a nearby shore. You suppose this was meant to be somewhere on Earth. Idyllic but pure fantasy – obviously a simulspace. Your Muse was absent through all this.
You underwent endless scans, and were questioned extensively. Sometimes about your mental health (which was frayed), sometimes – by unremarkable men in clichéd dark sunglasses – about what happened on the Kepler and Istari. Your questions generally went unanswered.
In simulspace, it’s impossible to know how long had passed, but you got the feeling it was weeks of real-time. You did manage to piece a few things together from your conversations:
- The Kepler and Istari had almost entirely been destroyed.
- The escape pod you (or your head) were in travelled to an emergency beacon and broadcast an emergency signal. This was picked-up by the nearest Argonaut station who sent a vessel to investigate, it took sometime – maybe a couple of weeks – to arrive.
- The Argonaut staff were horrified – the sun-glasses-men found this amusing – at what had been scratched on the escape pod, what was found in the escape pod, and the destruction left behind.
- There are ongoing political behind-the-scenes hush-ups and high-level discussions about what to do. Not everyone is in agreement.
Your mind slowly healed as the simulspace continued until, one day, the sunglasses man came to you, walking along the beach in some very glaring shorts. He told you he was going to make you a once in a lifetime offer, and then he began to tell you about Firewall.
“Firewall has been on the forefront of the secret fight to save transhumanity since the Fall. Firewall is an independent network of cells and individuals recruited from all sorts of factions, cultures, backgrounds, and habitats. You’re a potential new recruits. You possess skills and knowledge that could be of great use to securing transhumanity’s continued survival.
Our – Firewall’s – agenda is simple: to protect transhumanity from threats of existential scope, regardless of whether such risks emerge from within transhumanity or are of external, alien origin. Firewall operatives—known as sentinels—are encouraged to act independently and utilize their own resources. Sentinels are connected by a social network known as the Eye, which they can use to acquire help and additional needed skills or resources.
A sentinel’s i-rep on this network indicates how much they are trusted and will be a factor in determining what aid they can call in. Firewall takes care of large expenses and logistics when necessary, such as ego-casting and resleeving needs. Sentinels are guaranteed resurrection, either via cortical stack or by backup, if they lose their lives on a Firewall op. Sentinels are generally expected to be on-call when something comes up in their vicinity or that their particular specialty might call for, they’ll be brought in on a job. Sentinels are usually grouped into ad hoc special ops teams appropriate to each mission. Though many sentinels pursue their own agendas after completing a mission for Firewall, it is not uncommon for sentinel teams to remain in contact, share information or continue to work together on Firewall- related assignments over a longer period of time.
Firewall operations are usually organized and managed by proxies, agents who maintain Firewall’s decentralized infrastructure. Proxies typically possess more information than individual sentinels and will dispense such information as they deem necessary to the mission, according to each sentinel’s i-rep and need to know. Each proxy’s means of contact, mission briefing, and overall methodologies differ greatly."
You asked what would happen if you said ‘no’ and found out that this ego of you would most likely be destroyed, or at the least memory wiped, and you’d be restored from the version you backed-up before setting out to the Kepler. After some consideration, you said yes.
The incident in the Outer Rim is mostly kept quiet, with only some brief news about the destruction of the Kepler due to unforeseen mechanical defects. The Istari is quietly scrubbed from records.
Firewall provides a new ID (and call-sign) in addition to brief but intensive training. In some cases it’s armed combat courses with Direct Action – though with some ‘special’ treatment. In other cases it’s simulspace environments. Meanwhile, your life and work continues as normal…