From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
The history of the Hemlock organization goes back at least as far as 1850, if not earlier. Scattered reports (often carefully secreted away or vague) have placed their operations all around the globe in every major theater of operation and any number of minor theaters. Very seldom are the reports clear enough to be certain, but it has been established that the organization was involved with the North during the American Civil War, was hired by England during the first World War, and even had a single _known_ squad of men on the beaches at Normandy.
In all actuality, Hemlock has existed in one form or another since at least 700ce and possibly earlier. Even Hemlock records are not infallible, and get lost and the organization knows only scattered fragments of its own history before around 1600ce.
Hemlock has posts, storage depots, full blown bases, and even cleverly disguised complexes scattered across the globe, and secretly maintains a small emergency withdrawal base on Luna. The main center of operations, however, remains as it has been since 1972: Lagrange Six.
Lagrange Six is so named as an obfuscation. The suborbital, mobile space station is not fixed in a specific location, and in fact, Lagrangian points only number up to five (being the locations around two large stellar bodies where gravity and inertia cancel out to keep an object in place).
L6 sports 4 massive graviton displacement engines and a functional (and frequently upgraded) fusion reactor. While not particularly fast moving, L6 can maneuver anywhere over the surface of Terra within a matter of two or three days. It contains a small training center, medical wing, barracks for over 6000, hangar decks, situation rooms, cargo decks, four mess halls, the reactor, four emergency backup reactors, and a fully equipped and functional laboratory.
Hemlock is ordered in various Color grades, and real names are not used. It is not uncommon for a Hemlock soldier to work alongside another for years, sometimes decades, without ever learning their partners name.
Grade White personnel are field people. They rarely are aware of the extent of the Organization outside of a few contacts and their immediate superior. Grade White are frequently little more than regional information sources.
The average soldier in Hemlock is a Yellow. Nearly half the personnel roster falls into this ranking, which is further divided into internal ranks. Sergeants command directly on behalf of Grade Greens over 2-4 Corporals; Corporals oversee 20 infantrymen each.
In effect: Grade Yellow are the equivalent of non-commissioned soldiers.
Grade Green are the lowest ranking levels with authority to disseminate information. The Greens are in charge of military operations on the ground and also make up the pilots, drivers, and navigators of Hemlock.
Grade Blue makes up the elite fighting units and the upper echelon officers. The tactical personnel, field commanders, base commanders, and regional leaders are almost all Blue level.
They are on an authority level with Grade Red.
Grade Red are the non-combat equivalent of Grade Blue. Scientists, engineers, and in fact, maintenance personnel are all rated Grade Red.
The Command Structure of the Organization are the Grade Blacks. Only Black level clearance has access to all of Hemlocks data, operations reports, manifests, personnel lists, and technology. Black level always have their choice of gear, no questions asked.
Any lower rank that questions a Grade Black officer is subject to execution at the discretion of the officer concerned.
Hemlock is comprised primarily of standard human beings (although the skill levels are necessarily absurdly high). Hemlock itself has no grudges or policies against metahumans, however, and there are a scattered few within the ranks (usually Grade Green and higher).
The organization also has employed hundreds of Almchani refugees for nearly a decade, and much of their recent technology advances have come through their work at creating hybrids of human and Almchani tech.
While most of the equipment is covered by general description, no one with less than a Yellow level clearance (and not even all of them) are aware that Hemlock currently has 17 Skyfish in operation. Also, every base, including L6, is protected by heavily modified octapedal walking tanks and null-g interceptor craft; all protected by weak plasma barrier fields.
Hemlock knives are worked with a mix of cold iron, steel, and impervium with silver inlays and ridges of white oak lodged near the cutting edges. These knives are made with insulated grips and a sonic emitter in the hilt.