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The Dark Aether Zombies Story so far


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Greetings, CoDZ! I wanted to create a thread with a clear transcription of the story that we know so far. Upon reading through the the transcription sections of @RadZakpak and @clueless so far, though, I realized I knew nothing. Therefore, I thought it would be a better idea to make this a community thread akin to that of @MysteryMachineX back in the days. Part by part, bit by bit, we will work through all intel and story that we know thus far. I hope this thread will spark some critical discussion and that we together create this new story, based on the fragments of intel that we obtained in the game. Let's start with the WWII era:

 

Part 1: The First Breach (1938-1945)

Part 2: A lost tape in the archives (Jan-Nov, 1983)

 

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Part 1: The First Breach (1938-1945)

 

Nazi-Germany's official foundation of the secretive Uranverein (literally: the Uranium Club) was in April 1938, shortly after the discovery of nuclear fission. It's objective was to research and develop atomic weapons during the course of World War II. The Reichsdirector of the Nuclear Program was Kurt Diebner, a German nuclear physicist from that time.

 

Several years later, in the midst of the second Great War, two German professors working in the field of nuclear and quantum physics, Dr. UlrichVogel and Dr. Kurtz, designed a particle accelerator under the name 'Projekt Endstation'. The project was all about a device called the Cyclotron, a particle accelerator which was believed to be supreme in uranium enrichment, a process essential in developing nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Dr. Diebner approved their project, and announced that the Nazi government would fund their research. Dr. Vogel and Dr. Kurtz had to leave their university, and depart for an area near the village of Morasko, West Prussia. Here, the facility in which the Cyclotron could be built in absolute secrecy was being constructed by the labour of prisoners of the nearby concentration camp, Fort VII.

Spoiler

 

Dear Dr. Vogel,

 

It is my great pleasure to inform you that after a thorough review by our resident experts, we have decided to proceed with the cyclotron proposal submitted by yourself and Dr. Kurtz. Projekt Endstation is officially funded.

 

A site has been chosen in Reich District Danzig West Prussia for construction and operation of the particle accelerator. However, this is all contingent upon a commitment from yourself and Dr. Kurtz to personally oversee daily operations at Endstation. This will mean taking a leave of absence from the University, but I believe this endeavor should provide a bit more excitement than the halls of academia.

 

Remember, the Reich will expect dramatic advances in uranium enrichment from you. I know you long to make some contribution to the study of quantum physics, but the atomic weapons program comes first.

 

The Reich District Danzig West Prussia site is in a wooded area called Morasko. Labor for construction will be provided by nearby internment camps.

 

As with all Uranverein programs, Projekt Endstation will be kept a state secret. Do not speak of this to any colleagues, other than Kurtz. Both of you must report here at the Institute no later than Monday morning. I will arrange for transport to the Morasko site so you can oversee construction of the cyclotron.

 

For the Fatherland,

Kurt Diebner, Ph.D.

Director, Uranverein

 

 

Several years passed on as World War II continued and Dr. Vogel and Dr. Kurtz kept performing experiments with the Cyclotron. On the 7th of March 1944, while running Test Run 12, an incident occured. After colliding two particles, the machine started to alter the environment, and objects were materializing in the chamber.

Spoiler

 

Kurtz: I have completed my adjustments, Dr. Vogel. You may begin recording.

Vogel: Thank you, I already have. This is Ulrich Vogel, director of Projekt Endstation. 7th of March, 1944, 10:03 p.m. Commencing cyclotron test run number twelve. Dr. Kurtz, please proceed.

Kurtz: All readings are within acceptable parameters. Looks like we are getting the collisions we expected and... um... some interesting patterns are starting to--

Vogel: What was that?

Kurtz: I do not know. Gauges are red-lining. We have to shut down!

Vogel: Mein Gott! What is happening to the air around the collider?!

Kurtz: You men! Back away from that--

Vogel: Kurtz! Cut the power!

Kurtz: I'm trying! Controls are not responding!

Vogel: Guards! Retreat! Seal those things in the chamber!

 

 

It appeared that they had caused a spacetime breach, generating a Rift to another dimension. Slowly, the scientists at Endstation began to realize that the incident was no setback, but rather a breakthrough. The Cyclotron was unable to be deactivated, as it was powered by the energy of the other realm they just breached, the Dark Aether.

Spoiler

 

Vogel: Ulrich Vogel, director of Projekt Endstation. 12th of March, 1944. Five days have passed since the accident, and I am starting to see it not as a setback, but a breakthrough. Literally.

Vogel: The cyclotron continues to operate, apparently without an external power source. We cannot deactivate it, and it is still manifesting the strange phenomenon I call a "rift" and Kurtz calls a "wormhole."

Vogel: We attached instruments to the end of a long metal pole and passed it through the rift. The readings confirm that somehow the cyclotron ripped through the fabric of spacetime.

Vogel: Something lies on the other side. A parallel world or perhaps a whole universe. But we dare not approach too closely, lest we suffer the same fate as the men currently held in our medical clinic.

Vogel: Those men remain in a state best described as "living death." Kurtz thinks they caught a high dose of some exotic radiation from the other side of the rift. We are checking their blood and tissue samples for traces of rare elements or otherworldly pathogens.

Vogel: I pray, whatever it is, it is not contagious.

 

 

While the scientists at Endstation were cautious in investigating the Rift, word was send to the Reich's High Command about the latest events. Meanwhile, dr. Vogel and dr. Kurtz were intrigued by the effect the cyclotron accident had on the exposed subjects. They discovered that their bodies were contaminated by a mysterious substance deemed as 'Exo-Element 1', essentially 'zombifying' living persons.

 

Spoiler

Ulrich Vogel, director of Projekt Endstation. 19th of March, 1944. Doctor Kurtz and I continue our study of the men so grotesquely transformed by the cyclotron accident. We have confirmed an exotic element contaminated their bodies, necrotizing the flesh and shutting down essential metabolic functions while somehow maintaining a semblance of life in them. Our hope is to modify a radiation scrubber and heal the poor wretches, but they will not be willing patients. So we will need a chamber of sorts. This may take some time….

 

Almost one month has passed since the incident, and the scientists were still studying the effects of Exo-Element 1 on the exposed men. As they seemed to behave very violently, they were sealed in a chamber. Removing the Exo-Element 1 from their brains reduced this behaviour, but they were still not fully healed. It began to look like the patients couldn't be saved anymore, and their fate was doomed.

 

Spoiler

Vogel, Third of April, 1944. After a great deal of trial and error, the decontamination chamber is complete. Kurtz unfortunately referred to it as “Der Wechsler”, and I am afraid the nickname stuck.  To be clear: we are not trying to change these men so much as restore them, And initial results are.... encouraging. Slightly. Removing exo-elemental contamination from their brains improved some higher functions and reduced their violent outbursts. But these men are far from restored. Medical trials will continue.

 

More research regarding Exo-Element 1, the Rift and the dimension that was beyond showed unlimited potential. On the sixth of June, the Western Allies landed on the shores of Northern France and the created of the second front was a fact. Germany started to lose more and more soil, and the Reich's High Command started to get more desperate as they were putting their bets on the Wünderwaffe programs: high-tech rifles, rockets, giant armored vehicles and the atomic bomb received more funding. The German chancellor also started to see the potential of Projekt Endstation, and approved more funding for the facility. The bunkers beneath Morasko were originally built to enrich uranium for Nazi-Germany's nuclear program, became now devoted to research and possibly weaponize the extraordinary anomalies that they had stumbled upon here. The released isotopes from the machine had unnerving effects on the habits of exposed subjects, and the newly discovered Exo-Element 1 also proved to be able to be weaponized in the form of the Decompressive Isotopic Estrangement device, or D.I.E. in short.

 

Spoiler

Ulrich Vogel, PhD. 22nd of August, 1944. It took losing Normandy to finally get the Fuhrer’s attention, but now, at last, he wants us to weaponize our finding here at Endstation. It was an idea that occured to me from the moment I first conceived of Der Wechsler. If we can restore the minds of our necrotized soldiers…. Even just to follow simple commands,  we could unleash an undead army on both fronts! Just imagine! Each brave German who falls in battle rising back up to protect the Fatherland! It gives me joy to picture the enemy running in terror from men who cannot die!

 

After studying the effect of Exo-Element 1 contamination of subjects by the Wechsler, Dr. Vogel began to realize that the transformative effect could be used as a weapon itself as well. The idea of creating an undead army made him study the effects of the element on the brain, and how to restore basic orders and loyalty to Nazi-Germany. As the end of the war approached, Endstation's research provided a potential key to flip the course of the war in the Nazi's favour. Vogel had a plan:

 

Spoiler

Inform the chancellor that preparations have been made to open the third front. Endstation is ready to receive the package as soon as it can be assembled and transported. We are honored to help facilitate Reichstag's plan. - V

 

Dr. Vogel states that preparation have been made ready to open what he calls 'the Third Front'. In 1945, Germany was stuck between two fronts: the Eastern and Western Front. I believe that this 'Third Front' is not a geographical, but rather a global one. This is where the gamemode Zombie Onslaught comes into play for the first time: As we see many years later, in the Cold War, activating the Cyclotron can lead to interdimensional breaches randomly across the globe. Perhaps this is the Third Front, spawning in undead contaminants all over the world, weakening the Allies. I am curious what the package is that they talk about…

 

Spoiler

Departure without further incident. All values stable. Arrival in Germania. As discussed, whatever happens now, victory is certain for us. - V

 

Germania was the name of Germany's capital during the Nazi's regime. It seems here that something or someone was send from Endstation to Germania, apparently 'ensuring victory'. Something must have gone wrong, as clearly the war ended with the Allies as victors. I wonder though, if it has something to do with the package send earlier to Morasko. What do you think?

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Part 2: A lost tape in the archives (January-November, 1983)

 

1983 was considered one of the most dangerous years of history, with two nuclear superpowers being entangled in a Cold War with each other. Among the many spies involved in this international ‘Chess Game’ was a woman named Samantha Maxis. Deployed in the Bundesrepublik Deutschland, she was a connecting link between the CIA and the spies on the other side of the Iron Curtain. One of her ‘operatives’, Tatyana, was active in the Lubyanka, the KGB’s headquarters in Moscow. In 1983, several fanatic KGB’ers found something extraordinary here, abandoned and hidden in the archives of their old WW2 files. It was a tape with old war footage of Soviet soldiers liberating the Polish village of Morasko, stumbling upon Projekt Endstation. There were shots of monstrous humanoids, undead. Seeing this, the ‘extremists’ realized that they had uncovered a gamechanger for the rest of the course of the Cold War. As soon as possible, a large number of scientists, materials and resources were allocated to Morasko, attempting to investigate the site of Projekt Endstation. This operation was called ‘Operatsiya Inversiya’, literally meaning Operation Inverse, starting upon the Red Army’s first encounter of the Cyclotron on February the 3th, 1983. Due to it’s secrecy, all men and women involved were obligated to break contact with all their contacts, including their families. Among them was one Kazimir Zykova, a mechanic whose family lived in the Baltic region of the Soviet Union. He had decided to work for Operatsiya Inversiya due to his belief in communism and the Marxist revolution worldwide, but against the will of the KGB, he attempted to write a letter to his wife, explaining his sudden demise.

 

Spoiler

 

From Sgt. Kazimir Zykov, 1st Guards Tank Army

To Mrs Raisa Zykova - Baruta Towship, Pskov Oblast

 

Raisa, I do not know if this letter will ever find you, but you deserve an explanation. I want you to know that I did not abandon you and little Anya to fend for yourselves. I was ordered to do something impossible, and like so many before me, I answered the call of Mother Russia. The details are not important. You would not believe me, anyway. But if my death can prevent many others, maybe even yours and Anya's, how could I refuse? Some things are worth dying for.

 

Do you remember growing up in our little village? Do you remember the famine of '22? Children like walking skeletons? Rumors of cannibalism? Then came the plague in '29. I remember being chased by packs of starving dogs roaming our streets. But no matter how bad things got, what pulled us through as a people was our endless capacity to endure hardship. This is what sets us above other nations. This is what will sustain me in this final mission. And sustain you and Anya in the years ahead to carry on without me.

 

Not even Stalin's purges shook our belief in the Soviet Union. Revolution is seldom clean or peaceful, but the workers of the world will unite. The day will come when all men and women are equals and each has their share of the wealth. Surely, we could not suffer so much for nothing. The world will change for the better. Our people will see to it. Knowing Anya will grow up in that bright future is worth any price.

 

Love,

Kazimir

 

 After several days of residence on the side, Zykov was approached by Colonel Lazarev, the head of the operations at Morasko. The Cyclotron had to be deactivated, and as Zykov understood WW2-aged German equipment, he was demanded to go down into the former Nazi stronghold to cut the machine’s power. Little did Zykov realize what was awaiting him…

 

Spoiler

 

Lazarev: Zdravstvuyte. My name is Pavel Lazarev. I was sent to contain this mess, and you are going to help me. Comrade, state your name...

Zykov: Kazimir Zykov. Starshina. 1st Guards Tank Army. I, ah... I am mechanic.

Lazarev: I was told, despite your limited education, you understand German equipment.

Zykov: Well, I... scavenge parts from Panzer tanks to keep our T-34s running. How can I be of service, comrade Lazarev?

Lazarev: There is a machine I need you to deactivate. It is called a "cyclotron." It leaks... strange radiation. You have seen what it does to men.

Zykov: Da, Colonel. What if same thing happens to me?

Lazarev: You will not fail, Zykov. You may not survive, but you will not fail. Understood?

Zykov: Da.

Lazarev: Congratulations, tovarisch. You are going to be a Hero of the Soviet Union.

 

 Packed in a hazmat suit, wearing led plates around his most vulnerable parts, Zykov entered the underground bunker in an efford to contain the radiation leaking from the Cyclotron by deactivating the power. However, just like the case in 1945, the Cyclotron was unable to be deactivated by cutting the power. It seemed that energy from the Dark Aether was feeding the mechanism. Zykov couldn’t turn it off.

 

Spoiler

 

Zykov: My dearest Raisa. It is me -- your Kazimir. I am sorry to break my promise, but I will not be coming home to you.

Zykov: I have orders to turn off a German machine. Diesel engines I understand. Radios I can fix. But this... ?

Zykov: The things down here tried to kill me. Perhaps they already have. But not before I finish my mission. I cut all power, but still the machine runs. And I swear... sometimes... I hear it call my name...

Zykov: I am going to try one more thing... if the dead will let me. I have tools, but not many bullets...

Zykov: That svoloch Colonel who ordered me down here... I do not do this for him. I do this for the world. For Mother Russia. I do this for you, Raisa.

Zykov: My love for you will never die.

 

 With the undead roaming the undercrofts, Zykov was barely being able to keep himself alive. Once he knew he couldn’t turn the power off, he was willing to sacrifice his life for the greater good. He realized something important was at stake, something beyond one human life. He sacrificed himself for the world. At the same time, realizing something important was going on at the KGB, Tatyana, one of Maxis' spies in Moscow, send a worrying message to Maxis. 

 

Spoiler

 

 M -

 There is a developing situation at the Lubyanka.

They found something in the archives. Something

from the War. I'm not sure about the Collegium,

but several of the Deputy Chairmen are recommending

that the Committee authorize a ground operation.

I will try to find out what I can, but this

is worrying. These are very serious men,

but I have never seen looks on their faces

like I have in recent days.

                                                     Tatyana

 

 

 

Upon seeing the tape herself, Tatyana was determined to sacrifice her life in order to prevent what was going to unfold. She was able to steal the tape and bring it to her house, but she was caught and arrested moments later, and brought to the KGB’s prison. The Soviet fanatics were determined to keep the files about Projekt Endstation and Operatsiya Inversiya classified to the West.

 

Spoiler

 

"I know you're scared, but I need you to be brave... again.

Tatyana has the package, but I'm worried about her.

She hasn't been back to Lubyanka since she took it.. bad mistake.

Her superiors are not stupid men, they will notice her absence. It is most unlike her.

They will bring her in for interrogation.

As soon as she hears the words "the KGB has irrefutable evidence that you have been actively engaged in anti-Soviet activities", she'll talk.

But that won't stop them.

Go to her house, get the package, whether she wants you to or not.

I'm working with people in the West who can help us, help you...

I want you to know, that whatever happens, your actions will save many lives."

 

Another one of Maxis’ spies in Moscow was able to retrieve Tatyana’s package and could send it across the wall to West-Berlin. Here, Maxis made contact with Grigori Weaver, her supervisor in the CIA, operating in the Pentagon. Upon receiving and seeing the tape, he realized the danger of Operatsiya Inversiya, and founded the Requiem department.

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