I wrote this document as a piece of background information to be discovered by the player during the course of playing the game. It is illustrative of the level of detail we were attempting to achieve in Ghost, as well as the atmosphere we were trying to create.
BLV-50 Human Test Subject
Test Alpha One
The first human volunteer to test the BLV-50 for the Legion Project was Private William Balch, SSN# 583-84-4782. Private Balch's depressed psychological condition and low intelligence and aptitude scores made him an ideal candidate for improvement. At the time it was believed that the Legion Device could be used to improve his learning ability and recall. The test proved successful, but Balch's stimulated IQ only lasted the duration of the test (a few hours), after which he complained of headaches. Rest and aspirin were prescribed and his sleep was monitored.
Private Balch suffered painful nightmares, none of which he was able to recall, but blood pressure readings skyrocketed and he nearly hyperventilated in his sleep. He continues to be observed, and although not under any specific treatment, he is obsessively vigilant to any sign of insanity - perhaps a sign in and of itself.
Test Alpha One Results
After Balch, programming designs were focused on specific human traits and neural regions. Langley think tanks were organized to trace the patterns collected from over a thousand subject readings. These readings were each taken while the patients were engaged in the same assortment of activities. This assured that the processing centers, memory sequences and behavioral patterns within the brain could be accurately compared. The results were sent to Fort Ordway, GA, for additional tests on human subjects.
Test Bravo One
Five enlisted soldiers were volunteered for the Bravo test sequence using the Legion Device. The Langley research indicated that implanted programs could not be generically applied with any degree of accuracy, as each person's memory patterns were too unique for any single solution. The BLV-50's Guido routine was modified appropriately. The Device now would take a reading of the person's mind under a standard series of conditions elicited by a series of sequential stimuli involving color patterns, pictures and music. The routine would adjust the recorded patterns by applying the desired program and then return the adjusted pattern back to the brain, now enhanced with the subconscious program.
All tests proved unsuccessful. The implanted suggestions never surfaced, though they are clearly present and detectable through traditional hypnosis. The suggestions remained inactive, even when called upon by the appropriate trigger stimulus. The three most problematic soldiers were promoted and volunteered for ALBV drug testing, which destroyed the portions of their brains containing the suggestions. The remaining soldiers are still under observation.
Test Bravo One Results
Whether the commands programmed in the minds of Private Patrick Conner, SSN# 600-42-8335 or Corporal Stewart Wu, SSN# 428-74-1012 will ever surface is unknown. Though thorough analysis indicates that in their specific cases it is unlikely, they could still be time bombs waiting to go off. For this reason all subsequent programs included a cancel code or stimulus that would remove the suggestion completely from the mind in which it was implanted.
It was believed that one of two errors had occurred: either the commands weren't created strong enough, or the trigger stimulus was too subtle to reach the buried command. Attempts were made on both ends to strengthen the command as well as to make the trigger quite obvious. Additional tests were then run.
Test Bravo Two
Twenty enlisted soldiers of similar aptitudes from the Midwest were given special reassignments to Fort Ordway to participate in this test of the Legion Device. Five soldiers were programmed to respond to more obvious triggers, five were programmed with a strengthened command, and the remaining ten were programmed with various balances between these two extremes.
The tests met with varying degrees of success. Those with the more obvious triggers left the soldiers conscious enough of the programming to resist it. This had the effect of "imploding" one's consciousness. From the moment they recognized themselves as being at the mercy of the subconscious programming, they "forgot" even the simplest knowledge and skills. Psychologists believe this was due to an inability to trust one's own memory, and a subconscious resistance to behave instinctually.
The results of the BLV-50 on soldiers with the strengthened command were a bit more effective, but fine control over their behavior was eliminated. By amplifying the command, the resulting behavior was equally amplified to the point of overkill. This had the side effect of eliminating the program's ability to be erased from memory. After the command had been triggered, the soldiers became so aware of what they were doing against their own will that they created their own memories of the experience, many quite different from the event itself.
Test Bravo Two Results
Eight soldiers were left in an imbecilic state during which the side effects of the obvious trigger were analyzed and worked on for some months, but the results were invariably the same. Ultimately, the cancel code of these programs was successfully used and the soldiers returned to active duty.
Nine soldiers responded negatively to the amplified command. Two subsequently killed themselves while under loose observation. Five are still undergoing intensive psychiatric treatment of indefinite duration. The remaining two have nothing but pleasant memories of their time at Ordway, and have returned to active duty.
The other three soldiers were part of the group that was programmed with a "mixed balance". These individuals responded to the commands exactly as anticipated, executing them while simultaneously responding to questions in an abnormally clear fashion. Afterwards, the soldiers had no memories of having executed a series of potentially harmful commands, while they did remember answering the questions which were posed to them. Once the tests were complete, the soldiers were given an extended furlough with their programming intact to see if the implanted triggers were well enough hidden to survive for a period of several weeks outside of controlled military circles. All three spent an uneventful period with their families, and were deactivated on returning to duty.
With the proper balance discovered, a more strenuous test was devised.
Test Charlie Sequence
A total of nineteen soldiers comprising both enlisted men and NCO's were taken to a subtropical test reserve in Florida and given explicit orders which contradicted the commands they were secretly programmed with. These soldiers were broken into two teams, a "hunter" team and a "hunted" team. The hunters were fully equipped and provisioned, though unarmed. The orders were for the hunted group to evade the hunters for a period of twenty-four hours. If the two sides came into contact, the game was over, and the hunters had won. Halfway through the game the commanders of both groups triggered the soldiers' programming, with encouraging results. Fourteen of the nineteen soldiers (including all members of the hunted team) followed their programming over their orders, plunging through the dense forest with nearly superhuman speed and control to find a member of the opposite team to beat into unconsciousness. Of the fourteen who followed this programming, twelve of them had no memory of disobeying orders, and only one suffered any injury from vaulting through the treacherous undergrowth.
This test was conducted eight more times (forming the Charlie Sequence) with different groups of soldiers. Each test had similar results.
Test Charlie Sequence Results
As the results of each test in the sequence became more positive, it was finally decided to raise the stakes. A real-world test was formulated to test the limits of the Legion Device's ability.
Test Delta One
Thirty soldiers with exceptional abilities were sent to Fort Ordway for Specialized Reconnaissance training. After being programmed with the BLV-50, these soldiers were taken to southeast Asia and placed in dangerous proximity to rebel guerrillas. They were told, once in the bush, that the field was rife with malaria, the enemy were becoming rabid and their forces were building towards fifteen to one odds. They were then triggered to follow their programming: enter the enemy camp and kill everyone.
Of the thirty soldiers dropped into the field twenty-eight accepted the mission without blinking an eye. The remaining two went along grudgingly. The reality of the situation was that there was neither enemy troops nor malaria; only a camp of civilian sympathizers who had reportedly been storing arms for the enemy. 143 casualties (including women and children) were later confirmed from the village, which was burned to the ground. There were two American casualties, though ballistic analysis showed both of these to be at the hands of their own squad.
Test Delta One Results
All returning soldiers were exhaustively debriefed on returning from the exercise. No one knew what became of the two dissenters, and they all reported swarms of foaming, diseased rebels armed to the teeth. This result was in full accordance with the implanted memories that were unlocked by the programmed triggers. After debriefing, all the soldiers insisted on being tested for malaria of their own volition.
A pattern of side effects had been emerging from the Test Charlie Sequence, and was further strengthened by side effects from Test Delta One. These effects include: Most subjects don't recall their behavior, but report recurring phantom laughter as if someone they know is just around the corner. It is brief, distant, but perfectly recognizable. In some 20% of these cases the laughter is replaced by music. This may be due to the restructuring of certain memory patterns to compensate for the implanted alibi. Long term memories reside closest to the auditory processors in the brain, and it has been suggested by several of our doctors that hearing such sounds may be the brain's compensation for other missing memories. Also, a handful of test subjects had a portion of their hair change from their natural color to white. Often this is an extremely localized patch of less than an inch in diameter located just above the hairline. Though all such changes appear to be permanent, no single underlying cause has been discovered.
Another test is currently being formulated, though the exact parameters of Test Echo One are still TBD.
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