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Welcome. Colonel. I wish we could greet you under better circumstances. Be assured we are all saddened by the news of your friend Colonel Farahn's unfortunate accident. but of course you know as well as anyone the unpredictable nature of our universe. As you are taking his seat as new director of Developmental Research. I'm sure you'll desire an overview of his work in progress.

Perhaps you heard from your masters in the Directorate about project Kraken. It was initiated more than eight years ago and employed the top minds of the Scientium. The project began as an attempt to utilize cutting edge industrial projection of Shadowhand power throughout the galaxy. The first was the vast distances of interstellar travel, the second, a shortage of qualified personnel Results during the first phases of the project exceeded all expectations. Within three years we had developed an automated system capable of locating, accessing, and suppressing inhabited planets over standard interstellar distances. Project Kraken incorporates a master control program that excels in the areas of industrial and strategic management. But surely, Colonel, this much you know already. And for now what you have not known.

The project originally called for the construction of massive automated base ships that could be deployed to a hostile planet. Once there, the ships would disassemble and create factories, defenses, and offensive military units capable of conducting a ground war without and external support. However, the project's designers recognized that the overall military effectiveness of Project Kraken could be enhanced with a more subtle approach. The plan was to seize and control the industrial, military, and informational systems of the target planet's indigenous population. It soon became clear to the members of the Circle that we would not need to build base ships at all.

With a few years of testing and a major redesign, we were able to produce a potentially sentient informational construct capable of penetrating and controlling any computer system. The project encompassed nearly limitless potential, yet still required some overall motivating component, a personality if you will, to synchronize its trillions of individual components. We found our missing link in the Imperium Military Archives on Mars.

Thirty years ago Imperium researchers on Shiva conducted experiments to improve the combat effectiveness of various anti-infantry devices. Including a crude weapon known as the shredder. The experiments involved the insertion of a variety of motivational artificial intelligence profiles into the Shredders during field tests with live human subjects. One such personality, designated D8321, excelled above the others in terms of efficiency and overall lethality. Testing on Shiva was aborted after an incident in which the entire research staff was killed. The experimental "AIPs" were deposited in the Scientium data vaults on Mars and completely forgotten. These records were rediscovered recently during one of our routine audits. The opportunity was clear, Colonel. It was no trouble for our team to enter the Martian vaults and remove the necessary datacubes without detection.

It was, as you know, shortly after the retrieval of the files that our revered director met with his terrible accident. It is a dreadful irony when an individual is destroyed on the cusp of his greatest triumph. It reminds me of your remarks before the Scientium last year, Colonel: "So many reach for the grail..." But Kraken must continue, and it is the opinion of the Circle that the day of metamorphosis is close at hand. Three weeks from now the D8321 control AIP will be merged with existing architecture of project Kraken to create a sentient being of pure information the likes of which out race has never seen. Nuclear fusion, viral germ-cell engineering, even Foldspace manipulation... all these technologies pale in potential power inherent in such an entity.

The combine project was renamed to Osiris. You are familiar, of course, with the mythology of the ancients: Osiris, master of life and death. Worshipped on Earth since the dawn of civilization. According to the myth, Osiris could not be vanquished, even after his body was cut into pieces and scattered to the four winds.

I will be available through this channel to provide you with more detailed briefings over the next few weeks. Senior project managers are due to contact with us in one month to announce the birth of our special child. At one time we can make arrangements for you to visit us at out secret location and establish a relationship of your own with Osiris.

The Circle Unbroken.

Copyright 1997, 2000