From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Infinity, Inc. "Advancing Humanity"
|Founder: Simon Arkangel|
|Group Colours:||White and crimson|
|Roleplay:||Heavy RP, Friendly, Mature|
|Recruiting:||Not actively but welcome inquiries|
|Technological company, with many Mutant products.|
Infinity, Inc. is a privately-owned company, belonging to Simon Arkangel, specializing in biogenetic research. Their official focus is on the search for a means to expand the human lifespan, without loss of functionality -- they aren't anti-aging so much as they are anti-decrepitude. Their headquarters is in Angola, just outside of the capital city Luanda, where the employees are strictly law-obeying and pay plenty of taxes: all of the less "publicly acceptable" research takes place in hidden laboratories elsewhere around the world. Unofficially, the research leads into some potentially profitable side-ventures, such as a series of prototype "living tools" and other disposable sentients. Arkangel sees "ethics" as an artificial construct, senselessly hindering his real work to eventually improve all of humanity. The Luanda office has a standing court complaint about the "trademark fraud" allegedly perpetrated by the "not even slightly affiliated" office in the Rogue Isles, where villainous business negotiations can take place openly.
While much of Infinity Inc's work tends toward the relatively uninteresting field of genetic analysis and obscure one-off "Induce/Deactivate Metahuman Ability" applications, the Hybrid Series product lines show off some of I.I.'s best work. Testing specimens, prototypes, mobile advertisements, and living tools, the creatures created at the Hybrid Series facilities that survive to a genetically stable existence are further subjected to brainwashing, psionic surgery, rigorous training, and eventual deployment at a secondary facility such as the Rogue Isles office. They serve the acquisitive needs of the corporation; they also are leased out, at appropriately villainous rates, to nearly anyone who has a use for such minions.
Certain restrictions apply, and are explicitly included in every lease. Infinity Inc doesn't mind a certain amount of damage to their property in the course of a client's work. In fact, it is expected. However, each Hybrid represents a not inconsiderable expenditure in time, materials, and patience: and one small squad of the most effective Hybrids are never leased out. They exist for two purposes: retrieval of corporate property, and resolution of lease abuses.
Hybrid Alpha Series
The genetic sequence of a human base is cracked at certain key weak points, and selected bits of animal (mammallian) DNA are grafted into place. A very limited amount of metahuman ability is added to provide durability, after which the resultant unit is sent to Training.
See the main page for detailed information on Hybrid Alpha Series minions.
Hybrid Delta Series
The genetic sequence of a human base is cracked at certain key weak points, and selected bits of metahuman DNA are grafted into place, after which the resultant unit is sent to Training.
See the main page for detailed information on Hybrid Delta Series minions.
Hybrid Omega Series
Particularly versatile and expensive, the Hybrid Omega Series is currently unavailable due to a massively self-destructive instability in the genetic concatenation of these products in the presence of certain emanations from Rikti drone technology. Unfortunately the problem has not yet found a solution. No Omega Series models are planned for the near future.
(( OOC section: while time is generally linear, especially given Lord Recluse's stern disapproval of Rogue Isles residents mucking about with time travel, not every story gets polished (to a point where our contributors are willing to post them) in a linear order. Some stories have specific dates, or at least a narrow date range, attached to them; others occur "somewhere between Event A and Event F". Reading order hopefully does not affect the enjoyability of any individual piece, but I.I.'s founder has decided to put a timeline list here for convenience's sake. Links will actually lead to the Talk page rather than the start of the story, in case any cautions need to be listed. ))
- The Kill Trigger (not available here due to Mature Audiences Only somewhat explicit content; available at FanFiction dot Net, it takes place during the three years that the Rogue Isles branch of Infinity Inc was almost completely closed down to a skeleton staff.)
- Project Retirement Package takes place at the Central Africa Facility, a branch of I.I. whose precise location is kept secret from even most of the employees. This branch tends to focus more heavily on training and further development of its properties than it does on the money-making end of the business. Events probably take place around August or September of 2011.
- Safety Drill takes place at the Central Africa Facility within two days of the previous story, and is told from the point of view of Arkangel's newest "favorite" among the Delta Series.
- A gap currently remains unfilled in the time period where Arkangel made his selections and shuffled various Hybrids around to different branches. From the European Facility, a living embodiment of poetry named "Brigid's Verse" was transferred to the Rogue Isles, along with an Alpha formed from a Russian prisoner transformed into a Siberian tiger named "Iceberia". From the African Facility, many of the named characters were also transferred to the Rogue Isles, though Grigaere and his wolves went to Europe for a few months first.
- Also, in a frustrated bid to get control of his oldest remaining prototype, Arkangel (during November of 2011) assigned Fehral to form a tentative unit with the company golden boy, the Killing Dance; either the favorite will find a way to iron out some of the errors in her mental programming, and along the way he'll get some practice working as part of an established team in addition to his solo capacity ... or else he'll meet with just as little success on the problematic early rendition of a Hybrid Alpha Series minion, in which case Arkangel was finally ready to throw in the towel, dispose of her, and forever let go that last secret her first designer buried in her head.
- Chimes starts on January 25th of 2012 for its first three chapters. The concluding chapter occurs on January 30th and 31st.
- Killing Dance finds out why "his" Alpha is nowhere to be found on the 2nd of February, 2012, and makes quite a deal with the Devil to save her. A Pound of Flesh covers the immediate aftermath of that bargain.
- Still to be thoroughly edited and polished, an as-yet-poorly-titled joint collaborative story series pick up on the ripple effects of Arkangel's new operating perameters, following up on the new ideas his favorite "embodiment of art" gave him for how to arrange all of his Hybrids. Infinity Inc is undergoing a serious shake-up, as some employees rise to new levels of power -- or retire happily to a well-appointed life of comfort -- and others find themselves more finally terminated for failure to perform. Meanwhile, the Corporation continues to take control of its custom-crafted monsters for granted.
Character Creation Notes
This info is going to go up in a giant blurt at first, and then get a proper organization as I proofread.
Infinity Inc is a highly scientific corporation, organized strictly into "departments" or "divisions", depending on the whim of the relevant Director at the time said category was created. Some divisions have internship programs. All require a certain solidity to background, from "Physical Plant" to "Sales". Backgrounds are checked by the Security Division but also vetted by Behavioral Design.
Every employee short of a Director has a dress code to meet. Details of the dress code depend on the division of employment! However, all dress codes include the appearance of the corporate logo, usually embroidered or screenprinted onto the breast pocket area, occasionally as part of a shoulder patch.
An employee who serves out the full contract well -- usually a period of a decade, but longer and shorter durations are possible -- even if mistakes happen along the way, are rewarded with "retirement package" benefits that include more than merely survival and some cash: preventive medical treatment, often a repair or cleansing of a genetic defect throughout the body, that cannot be acquired from competitor companies for less than tens of millions of dollars; residences in a well-guarded segment of certain nations where power and influence define the law; access to tools or resources not available through above-board means; seamless identity replacements, complete with appropriate reputations in case the retired individual wants to keep his/her hand in a related field.
(Employees who seriously screw up, ignore their responsibilities, try to shift blame and steal credit without actually accomplishing their assigned goals, or otherwise fail in spectacular enough fashion, still die. Sometimes abruptly and quietly, sometimes horribly. This is a villainous business, after all.)
- Known as "white-coats" in Hybrid shorthand. Most people in actual white coats are either Scientists or Technicians.
- Physical Design Division wholly includes the Research and Development divisions, and mostly encompasses Medical; Medical in turn includes the Nutrition department, who actually do not wear lab coats, they wear something between a jumpsuit and a cleansuit.
- The blood-red lemniscate inside a colored ring is worn just above an actual coat pocket. They have an internal system of who wears what color ring: a matching "company shade" of crimson is for Hybrid Minion Series maintainers stationed at active-lease facilities, forest green is worn by pure researchers and by the scientists maintaining the DNA sample vault, indigo was for membership in the late Lead Designer Michael Arkangel's "very special projects" team, black is for Initial Design, and a bright yellow-green indicates employment in Project Bloodwyrm.
Everyone else gives the Project Bloodwyrm subdivision a wide birth.
"Physical Design" is a department without a strong leader. ((Suggestions for the name of the current Director of Physical Design would be welcomed!)) Their Director traditionally is more of an accountant than a passionate scientist, which is probably for the best since there's a dangerous potential for turnover.
Broadly across its subdivisions, Physical Design employees carry either the title "Scientist" or "Technician", depending on whether the individual's expertise is primarily more analytical (Scientist) versus applied design (Technician).
Physical Design creates the design documents -- called "blueprints" -- for the Hybrid Series minions, and conducts the actual implementation. They control the parameters given to Acquisitions for sourcing new material, especially new "human templates". They share files with Behavioral Design after the initial DNA graft and biological surgeries are survived. They give guidelines to the maintainers in Medical and Nutrition teams. They judge their own members, and their creations, by one criterion: functioning brilliance.
Almost no human template ever notices the Acquisitions team that collected them. Physical Design is usually the first experience of Infinity, Incorporated that a newly-crafted minion will know. White-coated scientists are associated with scalpels, chilly scanners, and the searing agony of the genetic surgery process.
Note: One person in all of Infinity Inc wears a white coat of any sort without being a Physical Design employee, but no chance of confusion exists. Everyone knows Simon Arkangel's visage, his profile, his voice, even his footsteps.
- Known as "red-coats" in Hybrid shorthand for the dark red lab coats they wear. Title is generally "Observer" (since everybody and their pet project may have three doctorates).
- The white lemniscate inside a white ring is universally worn over the heart. If that means the logo is embroidered on a coat pocket, so be it.
- Behavioral Design employees are the third most likely employees to surgically implant the vocal cord expansion which allows perfect performance of the command words. Some Sales personnel and all Trainers have the same modification.
The psychiatric and psychological experts of Behavioral Design use every tool for mental manipulation known in the superpowered world, except two: machinery with anything resembling "thinking circuits" are forbidden to all of Infinity Inc save the portion directly controlled by Director Jerimiah Bruin; psionic abilities to read and alter minds are forbidden in people, but a previous company project line developed a partially-biological tool for psychic surgery. Every other method -- neurolinguistic programming, social structure manipulation, no-implant deep brain stimulation, pharmaceutical adjustment, even torture -- is not only permitted, it's a part of the system for crafting leasable minions.
Behavioral Design has the most day-to-day interaction with the Hybrid series inside the walls of a given facility.
In attitude toward the Hybrids, Observers range from dispassionate abstraction (often viewing the individual Hybrids as embodiments of theory put into action) to proprietary fascination. The Director of Behavioral Design, Dr. L'Wanda Onyaemaechi, delights in the evolution of a precisely-bound society with a rapid generational turnover. Observer Lishka is determined to gather enough operational data to pinpoint how the non-metahuman brain adapts to artificially-induced metahuman senses.
L'Wanda Onyaemaechi is the only employee outside of Medical who is addressed as "Doctor". Some of the Hybrids call her "Doctor Redcoat".
- Known as "black-coats" in Hybrid shorthand for the black lab coats they wear on formal occasions. Title is always "Trainer", regardless of internal rank.
- The white lemniscate inside a red ring is universally worn over the heart. If the white section of the corporate logo appears to be dark brown, why, the Trainer must be nearing the end of a long and wearying shift!
- All Trainers have surgically implanted a vocal cord expansion, which allows perfect performance of the command words.
Somewhere on an official organizational chart, this division has carried the name "Development" since its inception. Almost no one calls it that. They are more commonly known (politely) as Training, (less politely but more formally) as Redesign, or (very unhappily) as Torture. They're influenced by Physical Design and by Behavioral Design but once they have the design documents in front of them for a given prototype, they do their own thing without further consultation.
Development does not employ sadists or fools. Every employee in this division is a carefully-vetted, highly intelligent stable personality with slight control fixations and a completely non-erotic aesthetic appreciation for the scientific study of willpower. Redesign chambers exist in every major I.I. facility because the design and development of a living tool is still very much a nascent art. If Behavioral Design could get the programming perfect on initial implementation, the Trainers would have significantly less work to manage; most of them would be completely content to spend their careers drilling the corporate property in goal-oriented puzzle solving.
Development as a whole thinks of itself as a dedicated bug-fixing team. They have a frostily civil relationship with Physical Design and Behavioral Design, who (after all) are the ones creating errors in the progamming and hardware.
- No shorthand nickname exists in the "gesture code" and spoken shorthand languages used by the Hybrids. They're called "Security" universally, complete with a specific gesture tracing the shoulder patch area.
- The color combination on the corporate logo depend on rank and station within the Security Division. Some "patches" are in fact metal emblems, particularly in the Warrant Officer program.
Director Jerimiah Bruin, also known as Sky-Pirate, is the second-highest employee in the company.
The Security Division is the only part of Infinity Inc that has self-directed machinery of any sort, and also the only place where non-biological machinery more complicated than an identification or locator chip is ever implanted into living flesh.
From a financial viewpoint, Infinity Inc's primary money-generating business is the Hybrid Series minion program. Technically two product lines are run in tandem as a single venture: the Alpha Series and the Delta Series. Almost every Hybrid of either series will do some leases as solo minions, so their early training has a strong foundation in individual puzzle-solving and obstacle navigation. Every Hybrid minion will at some point work in tandem with other Hybrid minions, however.
During the creation process, the human template's original identity is wiped away to varying degrees. Any Hybrid who retains a strong connection to their previous self will undergo aversion treatment -- brainwashing and psychic surgery -- to weaken that connection. The Hybrids who are still moderately in control of themselves quickly learn to conceal any sign that they know who they once were.
All Hybrid Series minions have certain programs universally installed during the implementation phase, using mechanical psychic surgery methods followed up with hypnosis, neurolinguistic programming, and many other brainwashing techniques.
- A minion is programmed to serve Simon Arkangel above all other priorities. Simon Arkangel is not to be harmed, through action or inaction. Simon Arkangel's commands are obeyed with alacrity, in spirit as well as to the letter of his command.
- Every minion is programmed to understand and obey the Voice Command System. Many Deltas are programmed with the exact techniques necessary to issue certain of the commands.
- A minion is programmed with a kill trigger: being touched by any unauthorized person results in immediate lethal assault. Peers -- Alphas and Deltas -- do not elicit the kill trigger. Properly dressed employees from the Behavioral Design division absolutely do not elicit the kill trigger. Most employees in the Physical Design and Development divisions also are unlikely to elicit the kill trigger, but extremely stressful situations can result in unplanned bloodbaths.
- Note: insulation against the kill trigger does NOT equate to guaranteed safety!
- All Hybrid Series minions are programmed to not harm a noncombatant. Most minions are programmed to not harm any Infinity Inc employee. (For exceptions, see the "Executioner" subsection.)
- Each minion is programmed with the dormant triggers to form a unit bond. These connections may never become active, but their potential is integral to the basic programming of all Hybrids from the earliest design prototypes.
Simon Arkangel founded Infinity Inc with the goal of advancing the quantity and quality of human life, using biological enhancements such as genome alteration, metahuman augmentation, and cellular rejuvenation. He considers himself a pioneer in the superscience field of pushing human biological limits. To that end, he is enthusiastic about developing and using various new technologies. The more advanced his tools are, the more exceptional his creations can be!
Mr. Arkangel also believes that life and art are intertwined. For that reason, he considers very few mechanical technologies to be tolerable inclusions in the creations of his company. Tools, after all, are part of the process for creating art; they are not one with the art itself. Hence the Hybrid Series minions do not, with two universal exceptions, have implantations that are anything other than biological tissue.
The two exceptions are both custom-designed nanodevices, with dedicated purposes:
- "contraceptive chip": A contraceptive device, essentially a nanotech mechanism that blocks the Cs protein in male Hybrids and prevents endometrium thickening in female Hybrids, is implanted into every newly-acquired human template very early in the implementation phase of minion creation. The purpose of this is NOT to allow sexual activity under whatever circumstance! It is a precautionary measure only, preventing certain potential sources of aggression.
- "locator chip": A parasitic device is implanted in a nerve cluster between the heart and the spine. Upon receiving a certain signal, it triggers seizures in the host body, and uses the excess electrical energy generated by those seizures to transmit an encoded radio pulse so that the host body can be located.
Two kinds of operating units exist among Hybrid Series minions: sets designed from initial proposal through implementation, given a single blueprint number with letter variations for the individual; and assembled units, placed together after initial implementation to improve their effectiveness. Of the assembled units, some are deliberately placed together by a Trainer or Observer, while others gradually draw together as random lease assignments prove more effective when working jointly.
- Hybrid blueprint record #092 is an example of a designed set: five Alphas, all Scandinavian wolves, and a single Delta who was the first combat medic design to survive implementation and training.
- Delta 109b and Alpha 113c were assigned to form a unit by a Trainer who drilled them both in herding and containment techniques. The Delta's use of fire cages and the Alpha's ability to freeze the air around a target's limbs made useful complements, plus the two had a very palatable visual impact ... so long as the tiger was kept away from fried cheese curls.
- The Stage Crew was an example of a unit formed through serendipity. Shortly before Alpha 150a was slated for termination, he served a few leases with Delta 97d. His mood swings and control of his energy flux stabilized; her lucid periods grew in duration, and the sensory disconnect phase significantly faded from her cycle. With the addition of Alphas 172c and 163g, her disconnects almost completely vanished.
Michael Arkangel, Lead Designer for the Hybrid Series project, adjusted all designs of the Alphas and Deltas -- physical designs as well as mental designs -- to integrate them in mutually-supportive "operating units". His first set involved all five functional Hybrids, each having a specific role in any moderate undertaking, though they still function to limited success as individuals. A large portion of the brainwashed reaction relies on instinctive urge of the subjects to comfort and protect one another from their mutual antagonist.
Deltas are, at the most fundamental study, standard human bodies with superpowers artificially imbued. Since the form did not naturally grow into this state, a Hybrid Delta Series minion's body does not have the inherent build-up and relaxation of power around use of power. A Delta's body generates high amounts of energy at almost all times, requiring strict metabolism control and dietary oversight ... and also requiring opportunities for controlled release of excess energy when not actively engaged in power usage!
Michael Arkangel specifically altered the core process of Alpha creation, the process that combines mammalian DNA seamlessly with the host human, so that Alpha Hybrids can safely absorb a Delta Hybrid's built-up energy through firm skin contact. In return for relieving pressure on the Delta's system, the Alpha's pain receptors are temporarily numbed -- making medical treatment a far more straightforward prospect.
The true purpose, however, of the unit structure is to assemble a practiced team of complementary abilities for joint action. Every Hybrid is relentlessly drilled in several forms of "puzzle solving": infiltration of an enemy base, destruction of a well-defended target, collection of intelligence or resources, assembly of a death-trap, any task a proper villain might prefer to leave to minions. A unit can get the job done, overcoming the little obstacles that life always presents, without direct mastermind oversight. An excellent unit can get the task done without having to constantly regroup for micromanagement or planning!
While all Hybrid Series minions are designed to serve the interests of Infinity Inc and the lessee, some minions acquire less common functions.
"Retrieve" is one of the very-rarely-used voice commands programmed into every Hybrid minion. It can be issued by a Delta, but even the most power-hungry one will be reluctant to put self plus other Hybrids through the physical strain induced at its issuance. Far more likely is that an employee issues the command to all Hybrids within immediate hearing, targeting property in the process of being stolen.
A very small percentage of Hybrids, however -- perhaps by design, more often as a sort of promotion from within ranks -- belong to a dedicated, specially-trained Retrieval Team. One such team exists near each Infinity Inc base. The Retrieval Team stays at a separate, secluded facility, never mingling with the Hybrid Series minions available for lease or demonstration. Even employees at that (very small) facility do not cross paths with anyone under the rank of a Department Lead's personal assistant. They all, every living creature at one of these micro-facilities, fall directly and completely within the Security division of Infinity, Inc.
They have very strict rules on what they are, what they get, and how they function: they do not perform client leases, they do not serve "corporate advertising" duty, they do not go out into the world unsupervised unless it is to fulfill their elite task. They do NOT get "retraining" or "punitive upgrades" or whatever. They do not even have representatives of the Training Department in their micro-facilities. They don't sleep in cages. They do have a mix of Deltas and Alphas, all designed to be a single unit per Retrieval Team location, plus two to five (depending on the region) soloists.
Generally, the Hybrids who have earned free time are expected to keep themselves out of dire trouble, and work themselves free of minor trouble. Retrieval team activation is expensive. It also exposes extremely high-level proprietary designs to public observation. But when their use is justified, it is a thing of beauty and precision to watch. The goal is to NOT need to use them ... and when they are needed, to have them act quickly and decisively and drop off the target at the official facility of the region and vanish again.
When a minion from the main population becomes a member of a Retrieval Team, that minion is first removed without notice from the main facility where it has been serving. Tranquilized, it is shipped to a permanent station at a Retrieval micro-facility on another continent, ideally a continent where it has never previously served. Its overall appearance may be altered; occasionally it receives a new designation. It will never return to its previous existence.
If existence as a Hybrid Minion is comparable to that of a subjugated soldier in the Roman Empire, then the existence of a Retrieval Team Hybrid is akin to a highly-valued gladiatorial slave: they are still property, still denied self-determination, but comparatively pampered.
Since the days of the prototype unit, Simon Arkangel has variously held dearly certain exemplars of his art collection, and among those preferred designs he designates one Executioner. The first one was Onyx Veracity, second Delta to survive the Hybrid creation process. In 2011 and 2012, the Killing Dance was the official Executioner; after that latter's ((faked!)) explosive death, Arkangel outlined a new blueprint for his next Executioner, a Delta to be named "Sard Intarsia" whose development and implementation might still be underway.
At any time, the Executioner may be called upon by Arkangel for a command performance. All Deltas might be required to give the kind of "command performance" whereby they perform their arts on a pool of provided victims, most likely business rivals, for the Owner's aesthetic enjoyment; but only an Executioner will be ordered to perform said art on Infinity Inc employees ... for an Executioner lacks the mental programming which would seize up the entire body on any attempt to seriously harm the corporation!
Extra steps are taken in other areas, during implementation, to ensure the devoted loyalty of an Executioner to Simon Arkangel. The Delta may well despise his lot in life, but he believes that he can not willfully harm an employee until he has proper authorization to do so.
The Executioner is a member of the general Hybrid Series minion population in many respects: its brochure is among those shown by Sales to prospective clients, albeit with an especially high lease price. Its performance of Art should at all times be particularly exquisite, lest it risk falling out of Arkangel's favor. Executioners who cease to be Arkangel's current favorite are very likely to die, abruptly, before they can adjust to the loss of relative privilege and status.
Simon Arkangel treasures his very unique "art collection" even when it has faded from its avante garde status. A Delta who serves well for five years, consistently pleasing to its owner, is rewarded for its devotion with a kind of "retirement" somewhat similar to an especially high-performing employee. Arkangel gives the Delta a private place, far away from trouble, where the living art is permitted to live out its days without unpleasant distractions from its nature. Within a tightly-controlled boundary, the Delta has a residence, a private performance venue, precisely-landscaped outdoor recreation area that matches the Delta's theme, and luxurious spa-like facilities. Caretakers provide all the art supplies which the Delta desires, potentially including victims or audience, and the Delta is permitted to set its own schedule. On rare occasions, Arkangel will require a command performance, but no other demands apply.
- HQ in Laos
- Central Africa
- Eastern Europe
- in the water underneath " Gough Island" in the South Atlantic
- Grandville, Etoile Islands (evacuated in November 2012 because of Rikti Invasion)
- Canada (destroyed)
Pages in category "Infinity Inc"
The following 31 pages are in this category, out of 31 total.