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FROM: ID# ERROR <435eA1osTP.Kked1ukm4J|jjOtZ1q9nu#435eA1osTP.Kked1ukm4J|jjOtZ1q9nu>
TO: Robert Malthus <noitadnuof.pcs|suhtlamr#noitadnuof.pcs|suhtlamr>
SUBJECT: RE: Mendel Mercer


Here's what I've got so far:

Mercer quit his job as one of Prometheus Lab's leading engineers in 1962 to start his own business — Myrmidon International. They're a private military company that dabbles in anomalous research. We've even hired them a couple of times (under the table, of course). As for Mercer himself… well.

He had an associate once — a lawyer by the name of Harold Rosenthal. In 1995, Rosenthal embezzled money from Myrmidon. Mercer went after him, but Rosenthal found a way to tie him up in litigation that would last for decades. Two weeks later, Rosenthal was reported missing.

They found the exsanguinated corpse in his New York City office. 85th floor. No witnesses, no puncture wounds, no explanation.

Mercer had an ironclad alibi — meeting in Paris to push some sort of anti-piracy law. Convenient, right? His life is plagued by happy coincidences like that. Unsolved disappearances, weird deaths, disasters that benefited him financially.

Investors love him — he eats shit and shits gold. He loses a little money here and there, but never a lot. Just enough to avoid kicking up red flags. GOC has a file on him. They figure him for a Type Blue. I'm not so sure (besides, we both know their taxonomy is full of shit). But whatever he's got going on, I'll bet my left nut it's more than just "the luck of the Irish".

TRANSMISSION INTERCEPT LOG


DATE: 07-09-2016
SATELLITE ID: JE6-LA5J671-3GMNAZ
CALL LENGTH: 00:02:26


[BEGIN LOG]

>> — not sure about this. We really ought to call — we really ought to call the National Guard, or something like that. You know?

>> I understand your concern. Nevertheless, you should consider all your options.

>> My options?

>> Your options. You and your deputies are not equipped to face down something like —

>> My deputies are good men.

>> — of course.

>> My deputies are good men.

>> Of course. Of course they are, sheriff. I have no doubt your deputies are some of the finest men you could ask for. But you don't want them getting hurt, do you?

>> No. No, no.

>> No. Of course not. And they haven't been trained to handle things like this. You weren't trained to hunt monsters, sheriff.

>> No.

>> We can handle this for you.

>> You can?

>> Yes. We just need you to sign some papers — temporarily deputize my men, let us do our job, and we'll put this whole sordid affair behind us.

>> It's — the damn thing has tentacles. It's like something out of a goddamn horror movie.

>> Do we have an agreement, sheriff?

>> I just don't know. I just don't know. Bill, he says he's seen something like this before, a few years back. The government sent — there were people they sent down to handle it, then. And you ain't with the government. Right?

>> Sheriff, do you really want the government sticking its nose in your business?

>> I don't know. I don't — is this even legal?

>> If you deputize us, yes. It will be perfectly legal.

>> I — Christ. Christ, all right. The goddamn thing tried to eat Perkins. Christ. Whatever you have to do. Just take care of it.

>> Excellent. We'll have our men down there to contain the situation within the hour.

>> Just — I wanna know. Who the hell are you people?

>> We're just a small business working to provide a helpful service, sheriff. Think of us as a privatized containment agency. My men will be in touch.

[END LOG]


FROM: ID# ERROR <ibMLtgYrIh.wTkWoOqx7G|91TGytTAx4#ibMLtgYrIh.wTkWoOqx7G|91TGytTAx4>
TO: Robert Malthus <noitadnuof.pcs|suhtlamr#noitadnuof.pcs|suhtlamr>
SUBJECT: Myrmidon International


Strap on your tinfoil hat, boss — I'm taking you for a ride.

On the surface, Myrmidon International looks like your average scuzzy private security firm hiding a little anomalous tech under the table. But once you peel back the skin, you start seeing their rotting core. They've got their fingers in just about every pie out there. And their favorite flavor? Paratech.

They're involved in everything from anomalous pharmaceuticals to paraphysics. They stay hidden beneath a labyrinth of shell companies, but the connections are there if you know where to look. Remember Dr. West's research on improved amnestics? Guess who provided consultations during the R&D stage? Myrmidon. Remember that bullshit with Daniel DeVorn? Guess who helped design the Sommerfeld's SRA array? You guessed it — Myrmidon. They've even got some history with Anderson.

And here's where things start to get really squirrely: In just about every case where Myrmidon was involved in Foundation activities? Calamity struck. And in all of those cases? Myrmidon walked away clean as a whistle with a fat wad of cash in both hands. It's like they keep seeing the writing on the wall.

Or maybe they're doing a little writing themselves.

Something else to chew on: A lot of our people end up working for them. They love to headhunt Foundation personnel — they offer more money, cushier jobs, and I even hear they stock a pinball machine in every office.

I'll keep at it.

PS: Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. Especially not if I find a pinball machine waiting for me in my office (hint, hint).

INTERNAL OSWORTH TRANSCRIPT (#206DJX)


NOTES: Subject exhibits highly divergent morphology from baseline humans (multiple appendages, hemocyanin blood plasma, atypical brain structure, strength disproportional to its mass, etc). Extremely hostile. Restraints required.

Initial interview was performed to determine sapience, intelligence, and ability to communicate.


█████████ Shall we try this again, then?
SUBJECT [Chittering]
█████████ If you cooperate, we can see to it that you receive more water. You like being in the water, right? I could have a tank installed in your room.
SUBJECT [Chittering]
█████████ All I'm asking for is a little conversation. That's all. I know you can communicate. You've been evading us for far too long to just be some senseless animal.
SUBJECT [Chittering]
█████████ Your neurology extends through your body. Your ability to regenerate these cells could provide critical insights in fields studying chronic neural degeneration —
SUBJECT [Chittering]
█████████ Sargeant, increase the voltage.
SUBJECT [Screeching]
█████████ All right. That's enough.
SUBJECT [Growling]
█████████ All I want is a dialogue. I want to understand how your body works. If you won't talk to us, we'll just have to figure it out the hard way.
SUBJECT [Chittering]
█████████ Turn it up. All the way, this time.
SUBJECT [Several minutes of screeching]
█████ Doctor █████████ — he's close to flat-lining. If we keep going, he might —
█████████ Understood. Turn it off, Sargeant.
SUBJECT [Gurgling]
█████████ This entire procedure has been a waste of everyone's time. Can you even understand what I'm saying? Maybe I was wrong. Maybe you can't communicate.
SUBJECT [Gurgling]
█████████ I suspected as much. All we've learned is that you're just another senseless, monstrous brute.
SUBJECT [Subject makes several gestures]
█████████ ...what did you — what was that?

SUMMARY: Movement later determined to be ASL (American Sign Language); roughly translated to 'AND I LEARNED YOUR NAME'.

Sargeant █████'s contract has been terminated for violation of protocol (stating a staff member's name during an interview). Dr. █████████ has been transferred to another facility as a safety measure.

Subject to be transferred to PROJECT ECLIPSE pending approval.

FROM: ID# ERROR <Mp1ymmXH5T.YShW1sBdGf|MkiKWDiM9N#Mp1ymmXH5T.YShW1sBdGf|MkiKWDiM9N>
TO: Robert Malthus <noitadnuof.pcs|suhtlamr#noitadnuof.pcs|suhtlamr>
SUBJECT: Mendel Mercer


The deeper I dig, the more concerned I get.

Prior to his work in Prometheus Labs, Mercer didn't exist. Now, when I say 'he didn't exist', I don't mean his paper-trail goes cold, or that he never got a social security card. I mean that as far as I can tell, he didn't fucking exist. He either literally materialized in 1952 — fully grown and ready to go to work — or this is some antimemetic bullshit.

I really hope this isn't some antimemetic bullshit.

Another place Myrmidon is doing a lot of investing is in America's privatized prison system. That sent up a red flag, so I dug a little deeper: One of their subsidiaries is involved in some minor litigation regarding a handful of missing prisoners (including a number of juveniles). I pulled their records. Everyone missing is either estranged from their family or didn't have one.

In other words, they're all the sort of people you can make disappear without much fuss.

INTERNAL OSWORTH TRANSCRIPT (#361CAQ)


NOTES: Subject possesses an extreme form of hemokinesis. This ability is limited to oxygenated blood (including its own). Subject is capable of subsisting on a diet of blood from anomalous and/or anomalous-adjacent organisms; reports experiencing euphoria during its consumption.

Interview performed to determine results of extended denial of blood from anomalous and/or anomalous-adjacent organisms.


██████████ You look sick. Have you been eating?
SUBJECT Please. I need it.
██████████ What is it that you need?
SUBJECT You know what. Give me some. Just a little. Please.
█████████ Are you talking about -
SUBJECT I'm fucking dying, here.
█████████ - right. We've been over this. We need to learn your limits — if you can survive without it.
SUBJECT [Lunges toward Dr. █████████]
SUBJECT I CAN'T FUCKING SURVIVE WITHOUT —

SUMMARY: Security team intervened to protect Dr. █████████. Interview terminated.

FROM: ID# ERROR <WIps8UZeOi.RXENCFYv3Q|rEKvjimN0t#WIps8UZeOi.RXENCFYv3Q|rEKvjimN0t>
TO: Robert Malthus <noitadnuof.pcs|suhtlamr#noitadnuof.pcs|suhtlamr>
SUBJECT: None


Figured out why Mercer didn't even exist prior to 1952. It's because prior to 1952, he was one of ours. It took some doing, but I managed to pull a little bit of his history with us out of the IntSCPFN.

Apparently, he worked in your department, boss.

Something you're not telling me?

INTERNAL OSWORTH TRANSCRIPT (#791BBP)


NOTES: Interview occurred approximately an hour after the subject attempted to exsanguinate Dr. █████████. Sedation and full-body restraints applied.


█████████ Are you feeling calmer, now?
SUBJECT Yes, doctor.
█████████ Good. Now, I want to talk to you about your addiction.
SUBJECT Okay.
█████████ What does it feel like? When you're consuming it?
SUBJECT Good. Like, really good.
█████████ Can you be a little more specific?
SUBJECT It's like an orgasm. But it doesn't stop. It just keeps getting bigger, and better. It's almost scary, how good it feels. But then you get used to it. You need more. To keep it going. Make it bigger. Never enough. Never fucking enough.
█████████ What's the most you've ever had?
SUBJECT [Shudders with pleasure.]
SUBJECT Once managed to get ahold of two freaks at once. It was... incredible. Fucking heaven. I would kill for that, again.
█████████ Interesting. If I agree to discontinue this experiment, would you be willing to work with us on a —
SUBJECT Yes.
SUBJECT [Growing increasingly excited]
SUBJECT The one who glows. Give me that one.
█████████ Please calm down.
SUBJECT [Taking several deep breaths]
SUBJECT Okay.
█████████ Thank you. We have a project that we'd like to make you part of. You'd have to undergo some dangerous procedures first, but —
SUBJECT Okay. I'll do it.
█████████ I haven't told you what the —
SUBJECT I'll do it.
█████████ All right, then.

SUMMARY: Subject approved for PROJECT ECLIPSE.

FROM: Mendel Mercer <mmercer@myrmidon.███>
TO: Robert Malthus <noitadnuof.pcs|suhtlamr#noitadnuof.pcs|suhtlamr>
SUBJECT: An Offer.


I'm flattered you've shown such an avid interest in my extracurricular activities. Have you been tracking me since I left to work for Prometheus? Of course you have. The Foundation is a bit like the mafia, isn't it? No one gets to leave our little family. Not forever.

But you've got this all wrong, Robert. Myrmidon isn't your enemy.

I'm actually glad you've been spying on us. I've been meaning to catch up with you for some time, now. Have you enjoyed what you've seen so far? No doubt it stirs familiar feelings in that withered, blackened heart of yours. Nostalgia for the good old days — back before our precious Foundation lost its way.

Do you remember what they offered me? After I made the decision none of them had the courage to make? After I saved them — after I saved us all?

Forced retirement. A pittance of a pension. A garish little wristwatch. My name on a wall.

Look at what our Foundation has become: A sanctuary for effete, over-sensitive dullards who extol the virtues of appeasement and immobility over swift, decisive action — over advancement, over strife, over progress. Men paralyzed by endless moral bickering, Christian timidity, and maudlin sentiments. Their glassy eyes are forever fixed backwards, gazing upon the imagined sins of the past.

But you and I know better: There is no past. There is no present. There is only the unbound future, stretched before us in all its infinite potential and glorious promise. It is only through momentum that this potential can be realized. It is only through power that this promise can be secured. The meek shall have their earth — once the bold have abandoned it for the stars.

You linger in the dark. We accelerate toward the light. You are driven by complacency and security. We are driven by a feverish insomnia, exulting the beauty of speed and the sublime poetry of violence. You are a mausoleum, your graves maintained by ghosts; fixated on a history that is long dead and gone. We are your legacy — bright and burning, racing forward to eclipse you.

But make no mistake, Robert: I did not forge this company to quarrel with crumbling museums and their decrepit curators. Myrmidon is not here to destroy the Foundation.

It is here to replace it.

I think it's time you came over to the winning side, old friend. The one that can calculate precisely what a man of your resolve is worth — and pay you triple that amount.

Shoot me an email. We'll talk stock options.

Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.

- Mendel Mercer


myrmidon.png

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SOURCES:

  • Image from here.
  • Mercer's particular brand of techno-fascism is partially lifted from the (extremely fascist) pamphlet, Futurist Aristocracy.

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