107 - "Progress Report"
Xanatos Enterprises, Inc.
ALPHA Clearance Required
Progress Report 005-XE675-61502, June 15th, 2002:
Canmore, Jason Employee Access: Alpha, Emergency Access: Omega
I sit here facing a blank page and a cursor that needs a steady hand to guide it. I just can't bring myself to simply feed data into a computer without the emotion to give it substance.
When I agreed to take over this job from Owen See personnel file: Burnett, Owen during his extended sabbatical, I never dreamed of anything remotely like the circumstances I find myself in now. My first day on the job, I faced down a maniacal alternate version of Goliath with designs on gutting Demona like a fish; I ended up trying to protect the demon.
And here I thought everything would be downhill from that point on.
It's three p.m., the middle of the day, and I'm exhausted. My Circadian rhythm is shot, adjusted to that of the Wyvern clan. But my other responsibilities have required a little more time spent in the daylight, seeing as Xanatos Enterprises never closes and the chaos of a multi-million dollar industry leader pales to the chaos brought on by constant attacks and internal strife both on and in our stone clubhouse upstairs.
Matrix Experimental A.I. Nanotech:
Regarding threat assessment, consequential after-effect and possible recommencement of hostilities (please note: Cyber-Biotics Patent #476889033-345, Alpha clearance information access only):
Mankind has been continually humbled by our own creations. If the fact the Matrix didn't just prove how inferior our security system is already against its superior technology, especially one built by a smaller albeit tenacious rival, I'd thank it for opening our eyes to just how easily our defenses can be breached.
The Matrix, intended to be Cyber-Biotics' crowning jewel, apparently wanted more from a pseudo-life. It knew death, had seen it, been witness to it, but had never held a cooling body in its arms. A small girl was shot through the head, and the Matrix tried to 'fix' her but what it brought back was nothing near resembling the unique spark of life.
So, it needed more to substantiate its own meager existence and thus it came searching for its creators, nearly killing all of us in the attempt. Though I believe its intentions were somewhat benevolent, I don't think it yet knows where to draw the line between aspiration and selfishness, no matter what it downloaded from Titania See file: Titania; Alias: Anatasia Renard.
From the sliver Dr. Pierce See personnel file: Pierce, Alan Jefferson M.D. cut from its body, there is an incredible amount of development when compared to Cyber-Biotics' last known files. Cellular structure is radically altered, every nanobot a storehouse of knowledge in itself. It has evolved, substantially, at least physically. But I'm still not convinced it was completely satisfied.
Alexander's See file: Xanatos, Alexander simple if not frustratingly cryptic account of how the Matrix found what it was looking for is our only confirmation it is on Avalon and has been invited to stay under the watchful eye of its creator. But due to our extremely limited knowledge of Avalon and its inhabitants, there is no assurance the Matrix won't return, won't need more than what it was given to sate what could be an unlimited thirst.
As for the repercussions of the Matrix's attack, please refer below, and to this section's supplement and succeeding sections.
I'm sure once the next American Idol begins the Manhattan populace will forget all about the strange silver liquid that had coated the Eyrie's entire surface, just as they did all the gargoyle sightings a few years ago. The explanation was simple enough: a research and development test for a new construction material, and despite the city council's insistence on an official investigation, they've been sated and waylaid for the moment with the recent Guild attacks on their streets. The headlines spoke of nothing else than more terrorist attacks, black helicopters cutting a swathe down Broadway and eventually ending their attack at Central Park.
Section 1B: Addendum:
"Mother" Experimental A.I. Software:
Regarding alterations, management and effective emergency containment:
The Mother program has been 'upgraded', for lack of a better term. Her experience with the Matrix has left her changed, in every respect, and I'm not sure she's capable of coping with everything she's been subjected to.
She has been given substance, a new body to go with a burgeoning consciousness. Sometimes I wonder if the XE R&D boys even knew what they were creating when cobbling together an artificial intelligence to rival anything the world has yet seen. To see her fumbling about the castle, walking with as much balance and grace as a toddler all while grazing her hands over every texture would be almost endearing if not for the incredible and equally frightening level of power she now possesses.
Nanotechnology is as much a dangerous practice as cloning, with results both positive and highly negative, especially when abused (it is my continuing recommendation that Xanatos Enterprises no longer dabbles in either unless appropriate sanctions are introduced).
Her (I keep referring to a machine as female, though Mother seems to have fully embraced the notion of being a woman, and a gargoyle) mastery of her new form is growing exponentially, switching between more and more intricate, detailed mimicries of those in close proximity. As she further explores the possibilities that her nanotech form has opened, her knowledge grows as quickly as her humanity.
I've already been witness to several of her impressive transformations, imitating both members of the Wyvern clan and several celebrities she's seen on television.
Right now her naiveté keeps her from becoming any sort of a threat. And although she's still connected to the castle via her hard drives, the bundle of super-computers that once housed her program and consciousness, I don't know if the Omega clearance could ever stop her from rampaging through Wyvern and the Eyrie like a silver steamroller should she choose to.
At this point, she is still compliant and very willing to follow any orders given to her, despite the continuing distraction of her body and all the sensations that come with (her program has swelled to five times its original size, having merged with that of the Matrix's and new algorithms are being added on a daily basis). And though I believe Mother is peaceful by nature, through my own interaction, I do fear the eventual choice we may have to make: allowing her to live or modifying her programming to erase any and all cognizance we may have bestowed upon her.
We have created life, such as it is and by any definition we can place upon her, and we may be forced to take it away to save ourselves.
Regarding threat assessment: High:
From the ashes of the Quarrymen rose a new faction with an old determination: extinction of the gargoyle race. Their numbers are unknown and technology is sophisticated, enough to consider them a high-priority threat above all else. They seem to have access to military-grade aircraft and weaponry, as proved by numerous attacks See: Progress reports #004-XE524-061102, #003-XE745-042002, #004-XE489-040102 that this facility, the Eyrie and Wyvern castle combined, have barely withstood through sheer opposing firepower, determination and luck.
Todd Hawkins See file: Hawkins, Todd was once our shield, as his father would refuse to kill him on grounds he and his mother would be spared their initial assault. But judging from what he narrowly escaped a few days ago, Joseph Hawkins has finally decided his son's fate. As long as they can make a surgical strike on the castle and the clan with minimal casualties to the innocent populace surrounding the Eyrie, they will take every chance they get.
But with the recent attack, Joseph Hawkins See file: Hawkins, Joseph has been wounded (gunshot to the upper chest, conclusive evidence by video camera and eye-witness account). His subsequent escape makes it impossible to determine how serious his injuries are and whether or not he even survived. But what really worries me is a possible internal power struggle if Black is in fact been dethroned due to my sister's uncanny accuracy with a rifle.
The so-called agent White, ostensibly the second-in-command and a little more eager and cutthroat than his boss, seemed impatient during our limited encounters, almost to the point of insubordination. If he or someone like him has seized this opportunity to take the reins of the entire Guild organization, then I am truly afraid of what they're planning next.
Currently, we have four Guild members incarcerated in the Eyrie cellblock, spared by the Matrix after their failed assault on the castle and awaiting interrogation. Two are simple pilots, but the others are suspected to be a higher rank, codenamed by simple colors: Orange and Blue. Perhaps they'll yield information regarding numbers, armament and most importantly, base of operations, depending on how much information can be gleaned from two obviously military-trained agents. Brooklyn See file: Brooklyn has already scheduled them for cross-examination tomorrow evening, as he and the rest of the clan seem eager for a pre-emptive strike before another attack can occur.
I happen to agree, and hope Xanatos Enterprises can contribute a sizable force of Steel Clan robots and Cyber-Biotics drones to aid them in what could be a seminal battle. Cost should be minimal, concurrent to the success of any counter-strike.
The clan is suffering worst of all. Once divided by a change in leadership several months ago, they're united by circumstance. They've already lost too many members to squabble about the rebellion by several of their number to remove Goliath See file: Goliath from his position and have, though somewhat begrudgingly, put their differences aside for the time being (though I am concerned with their declining morale).
With Goliath and Elisa See file: Maza, Elisa Maria missing and presumed lost, Shadow See file: Minamoto, Shadow having returned to Japan and their sister presumed dead See file: "Clever Sister", tension is thick and relationships are strained and it's hard to tell whether or not one of them could break under the pressure.
They are unable to roost on their castle walls, instead spending the day in a sheltered room deep within the confines of Wyvern. They are barely able to fly their nightly patrols without worrying there's a Guild attack craft waiting for them behind the nearest skyscraper (they have however, been able to slink through the city's underbelly, stirring up dust by breaking up every illegal arms sale, drug deal, smuggling ring etc, in hopes to find any connection to the Guild. The crime rate has dropped an entire five percent in the last two weeks because of them). But just as they measure any small success, whether it be personal or collective, there's always a larger setback waiting in the wings.
Brooklyn is a very competent leader, especially now that half the clan who sided with Goliath are willing to follow him, but even he is capable of succumbing to the pressure. The Guild is helping to focus his attention on a single issue, the most important issue, but I'm wondering just how long he can follow in Goliath's footsteps without stumbling somewhere along the way.
Section 3B: Addendum: Allies:
Canmore, Robyn; Monmouth, Henry (Alias: "Dingo"):
Regarding hospitalization, recuperation and possible alliance:
Henry has been given a clean bill of health by Doctor Pierce, and should be ready to leave the hospital in a day or two. He is still suffering from infirmity, short-term memory loss and a vitamin deficiency, but the diagnosis is temporary.
Where he and my sister go from here is unknown (it's still strange to know they're actually dating).
I would like to approach them with the possibility of staying here, or at the very least, in Manhattan for the time being. Not so much for finally having more than brief, intermittent contact with my sister, but we need allies, now more than ever. Robyn See file: Canmore, Robyn has proved herself an excellent, versatile fighter and tactician and though separated from his partner, Dingo See file: Monmouth, Henry; Alias: Dingo is almost as talented.
But I have the feeling they want nothing more than to simply disappear into the crowd, living a life together anonymously. The clan has made its peace with Dingo, but where Robyn stands is unknown and whether or not they would even support an alliance with a former hunter who didn't quite throw herself in front of a laser beam for them is also, regrettably, unknown.
Hawkins, Todd; Hawkins, Rose; Hawkins, Sarah:
And here I thought my family was screwed up. Todd Hawkins' See file: Hawkins, Todd younger sister has been returned to both him and his mother, evidently delivered right into his own arms by his father.
Her illness is debilitating, some form of infancy pneumonia that mutated and compromised her immune system I'm told, but ultimately manageable with antiviral agents, oxygen and a clean environment (which won't push the clan's annual budget over its limit). Her presence here doesn't prove any more a threat from the Guild than her brother or mother, but unfortunately it would seem she won't act as any kind of protection either.
Her attitude towards the gargoyles is that of cautious curiosity, but ultimately she may believe more in her father's opinion. She's a very bright, highly-educated young woman with an equitable way of thinking, but living under the roof of a xenophobe for twenty years may have inadvertently swayed her outlook to one side more than the other (I can attest to that).
I hope the fact she's now got a gargoyle for an in-law will allow her a different view. And I hope it doesn't take something as traumatic as becoming paralyzed to realize that.
It seems now that almost all the pieces have fallen into place regarding the Hawkins family saga. Todd has recently undergone RMT, or Regressive Memory Treatment, only to rediscover most of the memories he'd lost after the car accident and more disturbingly, discover that it was indeed a clan of gargoyles who attacked his family twenty years ago, giving credence to Joseph Hawkins' meticulously-nurtured hatred. Where this clan came from or where they are now is a mystery considering gargoyles are notorious in their ability to hide in plain sight; there could be another clan living somewhere in the states right now, or they fled the country for a better, safer place to roost.
I'm now certain that none of the three Hawkins family members under our roof have the capability to sway Joseph from his quest through any sort of negotiations. In that capacity, they're ineffective and just as much a target as any gargoyle.
Regarding physical condition:
Matt still lies in a coma, without any marked improvement. According to his GCS test (Glasgow Coma Scale), he rates at a 3, the lowest possible score; there is no eye, verbal or motor response. I'm told coma patients with a GCS ≤ 8 rarely wake up, let alone survive through the first year.
Dr. Pierce is certain that, barring any kind of a miracle, he will further deteriorate and eventually succumb to renal and respiratory failure, if his heart doesn't give out first or he catches a secondary infection. The bullet grazed his temporal lobe and though it was successfully removed through surgery, the extent of the damage cannot be fully assessed due to his comatose state.
I am torn between allowing Matt to simply die and informing his family that he is indeed alive, but will certainly die soon. They've already grieved and are moving on with their lives as best they can. Though it may be therapeutic to say goodbye to their son, to have them suffer through his death once more could do severe emotional damage, which would make Xanatos Enterprises liable and risk exposing his ties to the gargoyles (and expose the gargoyles themselves).
Macbeth (Alias: Lennox MacDuff):
There's nothing more dangerous than a man out for revenge. Macbeth See file: Macbeth has always been in control, of his emotions, of the situation around him, of his entire life before that life was violently thrown on its side. Now, over the last millennium he's gotten used to starting over again, becoming someone else and living from lifetime to lifetime just as easily as we live day to day.
But I'm sure he's burned for vengeance at least more than once in his existence, and he does now, though he may not even be aware of it.
And there's nothing more dangerous than a man whose affection for a woman has been turned away. It's all over the castle, gossip from one corridor to the other, of how he and Rose had gotten close. But finding out your husband is alive after thinking him dead for twenty years has a tendency to throw a wrench into any relationship, even if it's barely gotten past the point of a kiss.
Now that he's without a home, a job, a purpose and a girlfriend, revenge is all he has. Taking up a cause that is just but not his may get him killed. He's still thinking like an immortal.
Regarding status and travel request:
Detective Starr See file: Starr, Iliana Katrine has already been attacked once by the Guild, and it doesn't seem to have hampered her spirit any. I've already received her request for passage to Japan, more precisely the Nagano region (filed through proper channels only after a bit of sound advice from one of the clan). Her intention is to track down Shadow and I assume persuade him to return.
I'm inclined to grant her request and allow her access to one of the Coyote jets, if only to see if she can succeed.
This may be a little unprofessional, but I can very easily forget what happened at that house and I can very easily agree with Shadow's actions in the deaths of Lucius Barnes, Lei Zhu and their henchmen. And if the previous statement sounded callous, this may as well; Shadow is a weapon the clan can use against their enemies, one that's well trained and unafraid to die, and every single one of them felt safer with him around.
Cost for a roundtrip to Japan is negligible when compared to the possibility of bringing home such a valuable ally.
St. Nicks, Savannah:
Regarding status and location:
I'm including this entry here as I'm not exactly sure where else to put it. Savannah was never an ally to the Wyvern clan, actually electing to expose them through one of her reports before she was caught and detained here for the clan's own welfare. Brooklyn though, through what may be considered an extremely precarious decision, allowed her her freedom and her right to choose.
Almost immediately, she was kidnapped by the Guild and we have no idea if she's even still alive considering the Guild's track record for killing anyone for associating with gargoyles. Perhaps the interrogation will yield some information.
Interestingly enough, through a search of her phone records, we discovered her first phone call upon coming home wasn't even to her family, it was to her editor. She had planned to expose them all along.
Section 4A: Demona:
Regarding threat assessment, mental state, continuing collaboration with Nightstone Unlimited and possible remuneration of hospital fees:
This subject is obviously a sore spot for me and my family. Though she's proven herself a somewhat reliable ally in the last few years (though it was usually in her best interest), Demona is unstable and extremely dangerous, as evidenced by her manner on coming out from her psychotic break.
She seems to have effectively "returned to form". She doesn't suffer fools any longer, and will barely have anything to do with any human let alone anyone in the clan.
I believe she has suffered no ill-effects from her extended bout of psychosis; if anything it has strengthened her resolve to survive, especially with her new found mortality See: Progress report #002-XE254-021001. Her daughter See file: Angela refuses to elaborate on what spell she actually used to cure her (most likely to help protect her mother and her company's wealth of secrets), offering only a simple explanation of what it was designed to do: strip her of all curses and enchantments. Unless it directly involves Xanatos Enterprises or the clan, I won't delve any further as the situation seems to have resolved itself, and this also means there is less chance for the alternate Goliath See file: Goliath, Alternate to track her down again.
But what worries me now is the fact she's pregnant with Delilah's child, transferred via Alexander and implanted into her womb See infirmary report: #66745-3. Her reaction to the news I'm about to tell her is as expected, anger, violence, but what can't be accounted for is any action after the fact. She isn't exactly the model of mental health and I fear for the precious cargo she's forced to carry around for the next six to nine months. I've seen her at her worst, was raised on the tales of a lifetime spent hunted by the Canmore line and I do believe I am the most qualified to determine XE's position with regards to Demona as an ally, despite my obvious bias.
Her intentions are unclear, and whether or not Xanatos Enterprises and Nightstone Unlimited will ever participate in a joint venture again or simply return to the standard rivalry and industry back-biting is unknown.
Section 5A: Eyrie Building, Castle Wyvern:
Regarding status, damage, repair schedule and cost:
Repairs have already begun on both the exterior of the Eyrie building and the castle. Labor is all in-house as per usual, and during the daylight hours; no construction employees start before sunrise or continue after the sun is set for security reasons.
Damage is mostly cosmetic.
The castle will require the customary intricate stonework using whatever material is salvageable and the underlying superstructure can be repaired using modern construction techniques (the foreman is actually using this opportunity to update a few of the damaged water and power lines). Estimate is three weeks, while cost will undoubtedly top three million dollars.
The Eyrie building will follow the same schedule and estimates are roughly similar to the castle. But what concerns me is a section near the 110th floor outside of the Guild's range of attack; there is no evidence of any gunfire ever impacting against that particular section, and yet, there was an almost perfectly cylindrical hole burned through from the inside out. But, what's more surprising, is that it's already been repaired. It is my understanding that I oversee all repairs to the Eyrie, especially when it concerns the gargoyles and yet, there is absolutely no record of any construction schedule for that particular section, or any employee records that I can find.
If the repairs were performed in-house, then I was purposely left out of the loop.
Addendum: Xanatos, David:
Regarding mental state, physical state, possible duplicity and treason:
I'm including this particular section in my report even though my employer may make liberal use of his delete button when reading this. It is my official opinion that David Xanatos is suffering from a debilitating drug addiction, which in turn is affecting not only his physical health but his mental capacities and judgment as well.
With his wife's See file: Xanatos, Fox illness taking its toll, I believe he turned to a barbiturate of his own company's design to keep him alert and his emotions in check. But with every addictive drug, the withdrawal symptoms occur with increasing frequency the longer he goes without it.
Dr. Pierce can confirm this, with a test performed on a sample of his blood taken surreptitiously. Though I dislike being deceitful it was my only viable option to get some insight on why my employer's behavior has so abruptly changed.
I am very concerned for the future of this company and the future of the clan if he is unable to trust me, and those around him who he's tried so hard to gain their trust.
End of Report
3:57:06 pm, Eastern Standard Time.
Confidential - For ALPHA Clearance Only