"Like Flies To Honey" (Location: ???) - Strauss shares some thoughts about the dangers of Aetherium harvesting.
Strauss: The Aetherium harvesting unit. To the layman, it's not terribly impressive. Just a metal box with a canister in it, quietly sitting there, sucking in airborne Aetherium particles.
Strauss: But there is a reason my science teams risk their lives to place these units across the Zone. With Aetherium concentrations greater in the Ural Mountains than anywhere else on Earth, these harvesting units are absolutely vital in our race against the Soviets to harness the power of the Dark Aether.
Strauss: Once filled, each canister must be collected for rocket-transport to international waters. We considered other modes of travel, but rockets really are the quickest, cleanest way to get the samples out of the Outbreak Zone.
Strauss: Which is not to say retrieving these canisters is easy. They are heavy, cumbersome things, and once disengaged from the harvesting unit there is a limited amount of time to get them to the rocket before the samples degrade.
Strauss: They also draw hostiles like flies to honey, I have lost more than a few people on collection duty. I have therefore requested that Field Ops strike teams support all future canister retrieval efforts.
"A Grisly Affair" (Location: ???) - Grey muses about the risks and rewards of the Dark Aether Specimen Analyzer.
Grey: This is Dr. Elizabeth Grey with a few thoughts on the new Specimen Analyzer stations. We're using them to run field tests on undead anatomy -- specifically, genetic mutations and structural changes in the cerebral cortex.
Grey: It's a rather grisly affair, severing some poor, infected bloke's head and putting it in a jar for a proper soft tissue mapping and DNA sequencing. But if we can identify the root stimuli and catalysts for all these physical transformations, we'll be one step closer to preventing them.
Grey: Unfortunately, those heads aren't quite deceased, and they seem to call out to other infected in the area. I say this because the creatures always come running whenever we perform a scan.
Grey: Not quite sure if they're trying to rescue their fellow dead-head, or if it's more like sharks sensing an injured fish, but I'm working on a way to insulate the unit so the sample's distress won't draw unwanted attention.
Grey: Until then, my Unnatural Sciences teams may require some rather robust protection to operate the Dark Aether Specimen Analyzer.
"I See A Hierarchy" (Location: ???) - Carver discusses hunting High Value Targets from the Dark Aether, and ponders the enemy's command structure.
Carver: Our strike team has taken down a lot of different hostiles -- some bigger and badder than others. Every encounter is a risk of life and limb. But as far as my Containment and Security division is concerned, we learn the most from their engagements with apex-level threats. The Dark Aether's "high-value targets" for lack of a better term.
Carver: So we've come up with a way to guarantee they'll be tangling with an HVT. It's an energy cannon platform parked in geosynchronous orbit over the Ural Mountains. When an uplink station is activated, the satellite fires a dimensional disruptor beam that literally pulls an HVT out of the Dark Aether into the AO.
Carver: Strauss gave me a bit of grief when I suggested we call them HVTs. He still sees this enemy as a disorganized mob. But I see a hierarchy at work, and the top dogs are calling the shots.
Carver: Of course, I may be reading too much into it. But even if these apex threats are as brain-dead as their foot soldiers, the more o them we kill the better.
"Quantum Entanglement" (Location: Inside the ice cream shop on the pier in Sanatorium.) - Strauss prepares a memo to the strike team about the use of Essence Conversion Modules.
Strauss: Energy Research voice memo to Requiem strike team from Dr. Oskar Strauss. Subject: the proper care and feeding of Essence Conversion Modules.
Strauss: First, the modules are currently in orbit. You must call them down with the launch control station we've already placed in the Outbreak Zone. Trust me, it's simple enough that even someone like you can use it.
Strauss: Once they land, the modules will absorb the "essence" of any infected you kill nearby. All you have to do is, well... what you do best.
Strauss: When they have reached full charge, that is when things get interesting. The unit's internal lab exposes the essence to refined Aetherium crystals.
Strauss: This establishes a connection with the objects in the Dark Aether dimension, through a process called quantum entanglement.
Strauss: In layman's terms, the essence you collect is transformed into a Dark Aether object. It's our way of examining the contents of our parallel reality without requiring you to go there. You're welcome. Now get to work.
"Recon Rover Blues" (Location: ???) - Grey records some thoughts on the Dark Aether Recon Rover and the living payload it carries.
Grey: The recon rover. Ugh. This is a tough one for me. I mean, yes, I recognize the absolute need to send monkeys into the Dark Aether. It's the only way to record that dimension's effects on their physiology. And it's certainly a lot less risky than sending my people, but... *sigh* I really do need to stop naming those monkeys.
Grey: Anyhow, here's how it works: we leave a Dark Aether Recon Rover parked in an area where we've recorded instability in the dimensional membrane.
Grey: Our strike team activates the rover, and then do their best to keep the nasties off until it can successfully enter a rift and start sending back telemetry.
Grey: The data we're getting is remarkable. I'm starting to understand how Aetherium transmutes living organisms on a cellular level. We've even recorded the specific moment when the subject starts metabolizing Aetherium to continue functioning post-mortem.
Grey: It's just... difficult reviewing the data. They scream once they cross over. A lot. And then they go quiet. And then they start to laugh...
"Killer Crystals" (Location: ???) - Carver knows what the huge Aetherium crystal "power nodes" are up to, and why they must be destroyed on sight.
Carver: We've identified certain Aetherium crystal structures in the Outbreak Zone that the labcoats are calling "power nodes." They're the biggest crystals out there -- almost beautiful in their own way. But if what the experts are telling me is true, they're scary as hell.
Carver: My people have determined these power nodes are here to fundamentally alter the environment. It's a process they call "terraforming." Basically, they're slowly transforming the air and the ground around them to make it more hospitable to the creatures crossing over from the Dark Aether.
Carver: They do this by continually releasing Aetherium in its gaseous form. And we know that the only thing keeping those monsters inside the outbreak Zones is their proximity to an Aetherium source. They wander too far away and they drop dead.
Carver: We've recorded all of this on our instruments, but you don't need any equipment to know how powerful one of those crystals is. All you have to do is get up close to a power node and it feels like... I don't know... like the 'shrooms are kickin' in. Yeah, I said it. I saw some shit in 'Nam. But nothing that messed with your head as bad as this.
Carver: So I've made it a priority for our strike team to blow them up whenever they find one. No fucking way we're gonna just let these things turn Earth into their favorite vacation spot.
"Operation Threshold Authorization" (Location: Acquired through killing an elite enemy.) - CIA Director Casey greenlights Requiem's operations in the Ural Mountains.
Marked June 20, 1984
FOR: Director of Requiem
FROM: DCI Casey
SUBJECT: Operation Threshold
Having consulted with POTUS and all appropriate NATSEC stakeholders, I have officially authorized implementation of Operation Threshold. You are hereby instructed to immediately mobilize all personnel and resources necessary to support extended covert ops in the Ural Mountains Outbreak Zone.
Mission parameters remain as detailed in the proposal you submitted to me. As expected, the White House's main concern is the obvious one: staging ongoing military operations in the heart of the Soviet Union risks triggering a full-scale war. However, both NATO and the USSR are driven by a mutual need to keep these dimensional incursions secret from the public. Moscow has as much to lose as we do from a global panic. We are therefore confident the Soviets will keep our presence in the Urals under wraps so long as we operate within the perimeter they have established for their own covert ops. But there are limits to what each side will tolerate, so keep engagements with Omega Group to a minimum.
All four of your Division Leads are familiar with the planned array of objectives and the materiel assembled to carry them out. Nevertheless, as you further your Aetherium research and collect vitally needed data on the Dark Aether dimension, there are specific priorities I wish to reiterate.
Major Carver should brief all Requiem operators on best practices when hunting Elite-class hostiles designated as High Value Targets. Likewise, make sure he prepares them for the teleportation effect associated with Aetherium crystal "power nodes."
Dr. Strauss must ensure all Aetherium Harvester units are in working order, with updated splashdown coordinates input to their rocket guidance systems. Likewise, have him re-test the Essence Conversion Modules.
Dr. Grey should resubmit documentation that her Dark Aether Specimen Analyzers function as intended. If your operators are going to risk their lives defending them, they damn well better yield some useful data. Likewise, make sure she has enough live specimens for repeated test of the Dark Aether Recon Rover. There are still funds remaining in the "monkey budget" should more primates be required.
Finally, Special Operations Officer Weaver should undertake a thorough assessment of strike team operators to make sure they're prepared to support all research ops and, if necessary, render assistance to any science personnel in the field.
It goes without saying that Threshold will be Requiem's largest and most important operation to date - perhaps ever. The Ural Outbreak Zone represents our greatest single opportunity to surpass the Soviets in Aetherium weaponry and energy production. In short, this is where the Aetherium arms race will be won or lost. Operation Threshold could be the key to victory over the USSR, not to mention the extradimensional forces arrayed against us.
Apologies for the granular nature of my instructions, but too much is riding on this. I am counting on you, Director. We all are.
William J. Casey
Director of Central Intelligence
"Domino Effect" (Location: Acquired through killing an elite enemy.) - Secret report listing dimensional breaches around the globe following the outbreak at Projekt Endstation.
Marked July 7, 1984
FOR: D.C.I. William J. Casey
FROM: Office of SIGINT Operations
SUBJECT: Outbreak Zones
RE: global threat originating from suspected Soviet operation near Morasko, Poland 18 hours ago.
In brief: it appears a Spetsnaz covert ops team has somehow punched a hole in the fabric of spacetime. This phenomenon is, to our knowledge, unprecedented. Our physics experts describe it as a breach in the quantum membrane separating our dimension from a parallel reality. The Morasko event remains localized, but it appears to have triggered a global ripple effect as we have detected several similar breaches around the world.
The Morasko event was first detected by the satellite component of our Distant Early Warning network created to detect ICBM launches and/or nuclear detonations. MASINT recorded a unique electromagnetic signature at the Morasko site, followed by similar readings in Venezuela, Namibia, Vietnam, Azerbaijan and Russia. SIGNINT intercepts from local authorities describe a fast-acting "plague" that transforms victims into violent "monsters." Infection does not follow traditional disease vectors. Instead, it appears dependent on proximity to the dimensional breach. We are currently designating these sites as "Outbreak Zones." Details as follows:
Russia - detected 9 minutes after Morasko event. The breach in the Ural Mountains is by far the largest recorded Outbreak Zone. Soviet response currently focuses on containment and suppression of information to prevent a national panic.
Azerbaijan - detected 12 minutes after Morasko event. Much smaller than the Urals event. Though located near the capital city Baku, containment and suppression efforts were swift and successful.
Namibia - detected 33 minutes after Morasko event in a remote section of the Namib Desert. We have a team en route to assess the breach first-hand and anticipate useful data will be collected.
Vietnam - detected 39 minutes after Morasko event in Thua Thien-Hue province. The smallest breach so far is in some ways the most troubling. Dimensional membrane instability in this region suggests further breaches may occur. Local authorities are teaming with Soviet assets to contain the situation.
Venezuela - detected 1 hour after Morasko event deep in the rainforest south of the Orinoco. CIA science team is en route.
Further updates and recommended actions will follow as this is a developing situation. For now, we strongly urge the formation of a dedicated task force to suppress and contain hostile forces and potential spread of all Outbreak Zones, regardless of location.
Director, Office of SIGINT Operations
"Recon Rover Blueprint" (Location: Acquired through killing an elite enemy.) - Blueprint for the remote vehicle designed to explore the Dark Aether dimension.
CIA RCV-M7: DARK AETHER RECON ROVER
OFFICE OF REQUIEM - DS&T
Approval: Elizabeth Grey
"Disruptor Satellite Blueprint" (Location: Acquired through killing an elite enemy.) - Design schematic for an orbital weapons platform capable of firing an energy beam into the Dark Aether and drawing forth its apex-level threats.
CIA SAT-9: DIMENSIONAL DISRUPTOR
OFFICE OF REQUIEM - DS&T
Approval: Mackenzie Carver
"Race Against Time" (Location: ???) - Weaver readies the team for the challenge that awaits in the Ural Mountains
Weaver: Strike team, I want to thank you on behalf of everyone here for what you accomplished in Vietnam. The intel you recovered from Omega Group is already paying off in new technology and weapons.
Weaver: This is especially important as we launch operations in the Ural Mountains. The AO you've entered is richer in Aetherium than anywhere else on the planet.
Weaver: But Omega is already hard at work there. Never forget we are in a race against time to harness the Dark Aether before they do.
Weaver: The winner of this Aetherium arms race may well be decided by your actions here. So... we can't fuck this up. Weaver out.
"How We Win" (Location: ???) - Weaver emphasizes the importance of the various objectives in the Ural Outbreak Zone.
Weaver: Just want to be clear on what's expected from you. Every department at Requiem has a stake in this.
Weaver: Energy Research. Unnatural Sciences. Security and Containment. They all have special equipment in the field that we need you to test.
Weaver: Strauss, Grey and Carver will give you the details at the appropriate time, and I expect you to follow their instructions to the letter.
Weaver: Remember: these experiments and operations aren't busy-work. They're important. They're how we eventually win.
"Under Observation" (Location: ???) - Weaver gives the team an update on Maxis.
Weaver: Some of you have asked -- repeatedly -- about Agent Maxis. I get it. You risked your life to save her, then weeks went by with no word on her condition. I get it.
Weaver: Well, I'm finally authorized to let you know she's recovering. At least, physically.
Weaver: She's been under observation in an isolation ward, getting the best care the Agency can provide, but... she went through things in the Dark Aether that would have broken most people. It's a miracle she survived.
Weaver: She's not infected, she's on the mend, and... everything you went through to bring her back? Absolutely worth it.
(No longer in-game) "Zombie Head" (Location: Acquired through a random Outbreak objective) - One of the severed zombie heads scanned in the Dark Aether Specimen Analyzer.
"Aetherium Canister" (Location: In Gorlova, at the train loading station on some pipes.) - When full, this removable container from the Aetherium Harvesting Module must be placed on a rocket for transport out of the USSR.
"Aetherium Crystal Shard" (Location: On Ruka, on some rocks at the burned forest.) - This shard was broken off of an Aetherium Power Node -- one of many large crystalline structures slowly terraforming the Outbreak Zone to support the hideous life forms from the Dark Aether.
"Frost Blast Canister" (Location: On Alpine, on top of the very bottom ski-lift station.) - One of several interchangeable canisters for use in the W.A.N.D. weapon. Manipulates Aetherium to deliver a sub-zero blast that stops enemies cold.