Project Infinite Hole
Project Infinite Hole.
Vision. Catastrophe. Career-destroyer.
Everybody and their decanter knows Project Infinite Hole was a monumental failure, one so extreme that virtually everyone involved has worked tirelessly to disavow their involvement until nobody really has any clue what it was about in the first place.
Until now, colleagues.
As most of you know, I began researching this entry back at the beginning of the commission. Like many of you, I was curious to understand this titanic screw-up. Along the way, some of you have uncovered various connections between this project and the Toothpaste_Disaster, far more than its original link (as little more than the origin of Acidophizz). Some of you have gone so far as to obliquely accuse me of a treasonous conspiracy to cover up my own involvement. Shame on you.1
With this entry, I lay all that to rest. My fellow ULTRAVIOLETS, my fellow commission members, I present to you the truth behind Project Infinite Hole. This is not going to be brief, I'm afraid, but it is terribly important, and I'd be remiss in my duties if I did not set the record straight.
The first thing that has to be cleared up is the key misunderstanding surrounding the project. In this case, this has been deliberately fostered by those seeking to disavow the project, so it is quite understandable: "Infinite Hole" has nothing to do with the massive excavations undertaken. Yes, I know. "Why were they removing the floors? Why did the flood entire sectors with Acidophizz? Why were entire Galvanic_Accelerant_Dip tanks emptied?" The answer, friends, is that they were indeed digging up underneath the entirety of the Complex, utilizing new and incredibly dangerous2 methods to remove megatons of dirt and bedrock. Yet this was not the "Infinite Hole", nor was it the goal of this project.
"What was it, then," you ask? Look up. No, not at the ceiling. OUTSIDE the Complex. Oh, settle down, we're not lowly RED-clearance troubleshooters, quaking at the very notion of an external world. We know it's out there. Look up into the sky through those oh-so-difficult to maintain surveillance systems we all employ. Up there.
Space. The "Infinite Hole" in "Project Infinite Hole" is the neverending, inky, black void of outer space.
PIH was a dream. A dream of lifting the entirety of Alpha Complex off this planet, free from its confines, up into the limitless vastness of space. The reasoning was simple: Alpha Complex is a Utopia. As such, it should:
- Become as large as possible.
- Be as secure as possible from threats from the outside.
- Be able to go wherever we damn well want it to go.
Some might say there were some flaws in that reasoning, but once R&D got it in their heads, they applied all of their mad genius to making it happen. It began as a joint effort between R&D and the Tech Services firms from DIG sector. There they began the first of what would soon become a Complex-wide series of excavations. The purpose of these, which everyone readily mistook for the actual focus of the project, was to make room for the construction and attachment of a truly gargantuan set of engines and a lifter system.3
It was during this initial digging that it became obvious that they weren't going to be able to achieve their excavatory goals with traditional tools; at least, not during the desired timeframe. This is the point at which someone at R&D came up with Acidophizz. Unfortunately for the project, the first tests of Acidophizz accidentally ended up dissolving the personal quarters or a High Programmer, who bent all his terrible power to cancelling the Project.
And that would have been the end of it, if not for three things.
Project_Finite_Hole got off the ground shortly thereafter. Named somewhat sarcastically, it involved a dissenting group of R&D researchers who liked the idea of doing some major excavating4 but weren't too keen on the whole "launching Alpha" idea. HPD&MC got wind, and swooped in to take it over, realigning it by claiming the necessity of ensuring the purity Alpha Complex's fluid supply. Power Services and Internal Security were brought in, and soon PFH had a pretty major set of contracts going.
At this point, disappointed R&D techs from the original project revived PIH. Nothing was going to stop them this time. Their zeal for success bordered on treason. Soon, their efforts escalated to dwarf even their original activities. GACK from the Galvanic_Accelerant_Dip tanks was used to convert entire sector floors, and Acidophizz flowed like the sludge during a food vat rupture. Armed Forces got involved, seeing a potential to find entirely new enemies to shoot at in the deeps of space.
Things get hazy from here on in. Service Firms started aligning with one project or the other. There's a great deal of evidence of a heavy amount of Secret Society involvement as well. Eventually, a clear rivalry developed between the two projects. Finally, an all-out conflict broke out.
Equipment was shared constantly through KriegsList, but the evidence strongly suggests this was largely used as a means of sabotage; defective equipment would be sent from one team to another in an effort to cause delays or casualties. Soon, the two groups were FARTing personnel back and forth, trying to infiltrate and undermine the opposing projects. Sectors are thrown into chaos as Secret Societies get into the game, and the death toll and megacredits of destroyed equipment climbs and climbs. By this point, neither side is even making any progress, having devoted 100% of their resources to sabotaging their rival.
It is somewhere around here that Ging-I-VTS-5, under orders from PFH leaders, caused a power fluctuation in the lines supply one of the experimental engines PIH had constructed. The resulting explosion wiped out key personnel and set the project back months. Frustrated, enraged, the lead on Project Infinite Hole acquired and donned the CyberHack_Programming_Helmet, hoping to use its awesome power to finally crush his rivals in PFH. As we all know now, the CHPH was not a resounding success, and it instead seized control of the poor clone5. Acting in accordance with whatever aims the CHPH has, he began reorganizing PIH, causing a sharp dropoff in the rivalry between the competing projects.
Shortly thereafter, traitorous Halle-B-RTN-4, acting on her own or perhaps under orders from whatever slime commands her loyalty, attempted to steal the CHPH. In the confusion, the project lead of PIH disappeared, taking the CHPH with him. Without his surprisingly tempering leadership, the rivalry exploded again, culminating in the sabotage of the ATTIC system.6
That's right. This act, which deliberately resulted in a Transbot smashing into the containment vessel of "Nuclear Facility RON-372/A", which initiated the Four_Reactor_Foam_Flood and almost certainly contributed to if not caused the chaos precipitating the Toothpaste_Disaster, was the final act in the tragic story that is Project Infinite Hole. In its wake, a record number of GASES forms were filed, holes were filled, and everyone agreed that it was a terrible disaster and incidentally they weren't anywhere near at the time.
Incidentally, the holes were filled in, but the engines and drive systems are still down there.
Many thanks to Drake-U-LAH-2; his concurrent research in to Project_Finite_Hole and willingness to share information for greater mutal benefit has been invaluable in the compilation of this report.
Refs: Acidophizz, Alternative_Troubleshooter_Team_Insertion_Conduit_(ATTIC), CyberHack_Programming_Helmet, Four_Reactor_Foam_Flood, Galvanic_Accelerant_Dip, Ging-I-VTS-5, Group_Assignment_Services_Exchange_Scheme_(GASES), Halle-B-RTN-4, KriegsList, Project_Finite_Hole, Toothpaste_Disaster
Of course, we now know that someone on this commission is murdering their colleagues in an attempt to conceal their own ill deeds. Such is the nature of traitors. (1)
Often incredibly stupid as well. (2)
Primarily rocket-based, although there were plans to supplement this by detonating nuclear warheads under heavily reinforced domes. They were looking at some incredible lifting power. (3)
Let's face it: putting holes in things is fun. (4)
Who, it should be noted, is no longer identified by name in the archives; indeed, almost no one involved in these projects is. (5)
Evidence suggests elements of Tech Services who were also members of the First Church of Christ Computer Programmer as the culprits. (6)
An impressive report! You've filled in the details quite neatly, and accurately in most respects (according to my own research). I am, however, disturbed at your facile glossing-over of Secret Society involvement in PIH.
My examination of PIH, stemming primarily from my investigation of KriegsList, clearly indicated that the First Church of Christ Computer-Programmer had infiltrated the project at the highest levels. IntSec research into FCCCP details its doctrines, most of which are irrelevant here. The basics are that they believe in the existence of a powerful entity known as "God", which appears to be a sort of transfinite artificial intelligence, to whom they wish to subordinate themselves and, more importantly, Alpha Complex as a whole.
The FCCCP manifesto indicates that this "God" resides on a mainframe located in a place called "Heaven." A quick search of the Gatzmann_Archives provides the following definition: "the expanse of space that seems to be over the earth like a dome : FIRMAMENT -- usually used in plural".
Clearly, FCCCP involvement in PIH ran deeper than the sort of petty treason which that particular Secret Society usually gets up to. As a point of doctrine, they wanted to subordinate us, and Friend Computer, to their God-machine! This means that their interest in the project surely hasn't ended with the shutdown of PIH. If, as you say, the engines and drive systems are still down there, FCCCP agents may try and re-activate them! Clearly this is unacceptable. I propose an Armed Forces mission to incapacitate the drive systems, followed by a thorough interrogation of known FCCCP agents. I believe there are available facilities for this purpose on line in HEL sector.
As you can imagine, I've been waiting for this report for quite some time. (Not because I, or my predecessor, had anything to do with it, of course.) A great many pieces are starting to fall into place now, and I believe Jan-U's suspicions are correct, if the FCCCP link is indeed there: trying to launch all of Alpha up to meet this "High Programmer of All Reality" of theirs is just the kind of crackpot thing they'd try. Still, they have such a strong fixation on this mythological character... I wonder if this "religion" thing can be adapted to more general function? It seems like it would make a great opiate for the masses. I'll have to look into the theoretical underpinnings during my work on the Secret_Societies_Involved_In_the_Toothpaste_Disaster.
One thing that isn't as clear, perhaps, as I'd like: the sabotage of the ATTIC. How did sabotaging the delivery system aid any of the factions involved in PIH? From where I'm sitting, that Transbot crash still looks an awful lot like overpressure caused by misapplication of one or more Infinitesimal_Mega-Hydraulic_Drive_Apparatus prototypes. I admit, the temptation to find deliberate intent behind the crash is strong-- it would make our FBA (Final Blame Assignment) so much easier for much of the chaos that followed, for one thing. But I'm not yet convinced.
Finally, because I know Pepe is going to bug me until he has an answer: I certainly have no personal knowledge of the project timing for PIH, since I wasn't involved with it at any point, but I believe the early phases of the project were 3 to 4 years ago, the development of Acidophizz was about 2.5 years ago, the revival of the project was about 2 years ago, and the escalation to all-out conflict between PIH and PFH began about 18 months ago, with the implementation of GASES. Hopefully we can get some verification here, or in the entry on PFH when Drake-U has finished looking into it.
All in all, however, a superb bit of research.
I propose an Armed Forces mission to incapacitate the drive systems, followed by a thorough interrogation of known FCCCP agents.
I have to disagree, Jan-U. We have evidence of high-clearance Armed Forces personnel working on PIH, and they might "miss" a few systems to cover up clues to their treason. I recommend sending IntSec squads instead, as their enthusiastic attempts to smear the Armed Forces will ensure they leave no rock unturned.
How did sabotaging the delivery system aid any of the factions involved in PIH?
It didn't. By that time, they were more intent on sabotaging each other than advancing their own agendas. Such frothing madness led to their mutual destruction. For more insight into the price of vengeance, read "The Tragic Tale of Tweed-U-DEE and Tweed-U-DUM". (I'm surprised this timeless tale hasn't become mandatory reading for Ultraviolets yet.)
Hopefully we can get some verification here, or in the entry on PFH when Drake-U has finished looking into it.
Don't worry. While Servs-U-RIT detailed the general calamities surrounding the incident, I researched the specific treasons carried out on both sides. You'll be shocked by the atrocities.
While we all look forward to Drake-U's report, I can clear up one or two things: first, my lack of specificity in detailing the activities of Secret Societies during this matter arises primarily, I must admit, through my lack of intelligence channels in this area. FCCCP, in particular, I have been unable to infiltrate with much success, as the agents involved have tended to shortly thereafter show signs of being "turned", and must subsequently be terminated. I'm afraid my specialities in information gathering lie in other areas, and that therefore broad outlines had to suffice in this instance. Also, the sheer volume of Secret Society activity was mind-boggling, to the point where I believe there was a certain amount of confusion even in the clandestine channels of information; Society orders ended up going to the wrong Society, or even to Service Firms themselves. The number of treasonous undertakings was staggering, yet I suspect that at least half the time nobody was entirely clear on why they were doing anything, towards the end. Thus, a grim reminder of the darkness and chaos that descends when steadfast service to the Computer and Complex is put aside, and citizens sink into the quagmires of treason. Second, as much as it may seem reckless, I'd be inclined to leave the engines down there. Not as is, of course, but I suspect they could probably be converted into low-cost power generators with a minimum of reconfiguration, thereby reducing operating overhead and cutting rolling blackouts by as much as 83%. However, as noted by Jan-U, we must be vigilant against the possibility of FCCCP aiming to restart the project in some fashion. A heavy security detail (and here I'd go with Knock-U, and use mainly IntSec troopers) would probably be necessary at a bare minimum.
I've picked up some of the threads left here as I continue to march towards my own entry on Secret Societies in general, even though this has finally necessitated leaving my secure compound to gather information more directly. Some of these people I'm getting information from are even more paranoid than I am, and for quite good reasons. Hopefully I will be able to get my information and return without incident.
At least that damn Magic_Hate_Ball seems to have quieted down. Last I heard it was keeping pretty busy in TSR Sector.
I don't know how much you clones have had to deal with the Armed Forces, but in my experience, there's no one better to send in to clean up an Armed Forces mess than, well, Armed Forces. They have all sorts of bizarre notions about "unit pride" and "esprit de corpse" and similar jargon, all of which basically means that A) they get embarrassed by treason committed by other AF clones (as well they should!), and they like nothing more than to blow the hell out of other AF clones whenever they get the legitimate opportunity.
Plus, given the sheer quantity of experimental R&D gear that must be floating around in the Infinite Hole work areas, this is basically a suicide mission. I'd hate to lose a security detail of good IntSec clones, but if a Vulture Squadron blows itself up in the line of duty, who'll miss them?
You may be right, Jan-U. If we decommission the system, then by all means, Army's the way to go (only R&D rivals their enthusiasm for blowing things up, after all), but I still maintain that they should be used as a power source (or at the very least have the petatons of fissionable material removed and transported to a more accessible location for later use), and that, in that eventuality, an IntSec security detail is a superior choice. Unfortunately, it's all out of both of our hands. Although I suppose it might be in your remote manipulators...have you got the mandate on this one?
I would recommend dismantling the engines. As the Leaning_Tower_of_Treason showed us, having a strong armed presence in an area is not sufficient protection against certain insidious schemes. We could save a few of them for research purposes, I suppose, but leaving the capacity - however latent - to thrust the whole of Alpha Complex violently upwards seems like a ludicriously bad idea.
Gathering surveillance on Secret Societies is not my prime area of expertise. However, examining the statistical data IntSec has recorded on past Society activity discovers two salient points:
The majority of interrogated FCCCP agents believe that Friend Computer is this "God" they wish to serve;
- The FCCCP seems to be rather prone to schismatic sects.
Between these facts, it seems not unlikely that some splinter faction of the FCCCP made PIH their great crusade, as it were.