A Brief History
Despite the discovery of liquid water on Mars in the early 21st century, the colonization of Mars had little appeal beyond exploration for the next century. With the discovery of the Argent Fracture (a transdimensional stream of unrefined Argent plasma) in 2095, settling and mining Mars became both practical and essential to meet the vast energy demands of Earth. However, the need for atmospheric conversion and terraforming of the Red Planet was a task that seemed insurmountable to all but one corporation - the UAC. Through their diligent dedication to technological advancement and forward-thinking, an outpost was established in MTC 2096 to extract Argent plasma from the Fracture. When this plasma is subjected to the UAC's Fermionic Transference Pattern, Argent Energy is produced. This remarkable venture eventually bore fruit, as Argent Energy became the primary power source for all of Earth. New visitors to the UAC facility may take for granted the rich atmosphere while on the surface, but it should be remembered that just a few short decades ago Mars was an inhospitable desert that could support no life.
Unauthorized exploration into the exclusion zones outside the base is not allowed under any circumstances. Highly volatile experiments and artifacts are frequently researched a safe distance away from the base, and your safety in these areas cannot be guaranteed.
Welcome to Mars
New advocates! Welcome to the UAC. This guidebook will serve as your personal guide to fitting in at the Argent Facility on Mars. Your devotion to the UAC's mission is the foundation on which we achieve the establishment of a new paradigm to move humanity forward into the future.
Tier 1 advocates may take some time to adjust to life on Mars, but with faith and dedication, you can look forward to a long and fruitful career as you work towards full induction. Your transition to Tier 2 status will be judged upon your actions here. Make good impression, new advocate!
This guide will update automatically as you access new areas of the facility. Expect more helpful hints into the UAC way of life, and as we say here on Mars "Power; from the People!"
The Resource Operations center (referred to as "Res Ops") was one of the first facilities constructed at the Mars base after the discovery of the Argent Fracture. It encompasses several key areas needed to run the facility, including plasma extraction and processing, isotope stabilization, heavy metal and ore mining, artifact analysis, communications networking and off-world transportation. New UAC employees posted to the Mars facility are expected to fulfill a tour of duty in Res Ops before moving on to their specialized career bracket. Security clearance level 1 allows access to all areas of Res Ops, excluding the VEGA networking hubs and some Satellite Control centers. For access to these locations, new advocates must submit a Delta-Q Delta form to the Departmental Enforcer.
To New Advocates
"And in that vision they saw the future, bold and powerful, and the many worked as one to bring the new order."
What better words to inspire you as you set about yourself into the UAC? Those who came before you and those you serve with all operate with the same goal in mind: the development of a new dawn for mankind. It is by this principle of teamwork that we will elevate ourselves to the next plane of existence.
If you have any new suggestions to improve the work environment while working your tenure in Res Ops, please submit suggestion form WAD-E1M4 to your Command Controller. However, it is imperative that you learn to accept the things you can't change and follow the path that has been laid out for you. Your service in Res Ops is a test of your devotion to the cause. Should you be asked to submit yourself to an interrogation program or experimental treatment, you are expected to comply without question. If a fellow advocate asks you to engage in a dedication ceremony, say yes! If you see an advocate doubting their role at the UAC, bring it to the attention of an Enforcer so that they might receive the help they need. Don't be selfish. Tier 2 is for everyone.
The Foundry (an extension wing of Resource Operations, the first Mars outpost) processes all of the heavy elements mined from the outlying Martian landscape and from around the original location of the Argent Fracture. Refining Argent plasma requires a large amount of transitional metals and noble gases, so a central location that can be systematically cleansed and decontaminated is required to keep Argent Energy production at maximum efficiency. As such, this area is considered a high risk area, and all UAC employees are subject to regular Med-Checks to ensure their production capabilities are not degraded by the environment. Industrial accident related deaths in the Foundry dropped dramatically in MTC 2146 thanks to the implementation of new UAC safety protocols where employees exposed to dangerous materials are immediately sent to the Lazarus Labs for cleansing, reeducation, and where possible, reintegration. As a result of this protocol, officially reported deaths have dropped to negligible amounts.
Foundry Team Manifest
Congratulations new advocate! If you are reading this message then you have been promoted to the Foundry Resource team. If you were volunteered for this service, you are joining an elite band of Tier 1 advocates whose work and dedication keeps our mission running on all cylinders. A s a member of Foundry Resources, you will have access to some of the most advanced equipment the UAC has to offer, including Grip-Ton Cargo Handlers, Delta V Jump-Boots and DynoPhasic Elevators! New members might want to consider applying for an exclusive "team tattoo" upon joining as a sign of faith in our science. Team tattoos are a mark of your tireless work at the UAC, and can be requested by signing up for any of the Lazarus Wave case studies. Please contact a Tier 3 Advanced Weaponry Technician to fill in your application for a Pentagram brand today!
The surface of Mars is an inhospitable environment, despite the breathable atmosphere created by the N2/02 pumping stations. Sand storms regularly make working outside impractical and constant maintenance is necessary to keep the facility fully operational. During adverse weather conditions, exterior work is limited to essential activities such as Argent Tower feed control, interdepartmental transport, cargo handling, emergency access, and level 2 hazard events (such as Argent meltdowns or bio-epidemics). Untethered crossdimensional activity is a frequent occurrence outside of the base, so "buddying-up" is advised for all workers when journeying onto the surface.
At times, Tier 1 and Tier 2 advocates will be asked to perform dangerous duties that include exterior work. This work may be put before you as punishment for not meeting your quota, or because you are the best person to complete the job. In either case, new advocates should approach the work with the same focus and commitment as any other task. Should you experience any interdimensional encounters, you are advised to report the event to a Tier 3 Lazarus Project scientist or your Departmental Enforcer. You are advised to not approach any non-human entities without executive supervision.
Calm Under Pressure
Should you find yourself caught in a level 3 demon contamination event, it is important that you remain clam. A Tier 3 advocate wouldn't panic, and neither should you. We have a saying here in the Lazarus Labs - "if you want the job, act as if." So, stop, think, and act as if you are a Tier 3 advocate. here are the steps you should follow:
1. Attempt to reach an emergency force field safety zone or a bulkhead door. Do not run as some of our transdimensional visitors are sensitive to movement.
2. Shut down any volatile equipment you may be using. Should you be unable to escape from the demons, it is important that you don't leave that plasma cutter running where it could damage an important piece of machinery.
3. If there is no obvious escape route and you have powered down your equipment, give yourself over to the demon willingly. Studies have shown that infuriating a demon by running away can cause additional frustration in the predator, and that may result in your body being too badly mutilated for useful post mortem study. Simply kneel down, close your eyes, and wait. Remember you can be as useful in death as you are in life.
Argent Energy Tower
Completed in 2127 based off a prototype developed by Samuel Hayden's research team, the Argent Tower, also known as the Argent Inductor, is the UAC's crowning achievement. This unparalleled piece of technology is born of the synergy achieved when radical, forward-thinking UAC science is charged with the raw power of Argent plasma. Unprecedented in scale, the tower's primary purpose is to harness Argent plasma from the Fracture, convert it to usable Argent Energy, and beam Argent packages to Earth's GEDM (Global Energy Distribution Matrix). It is based off of Gauss Cannon designs (first prototyped in the late 20th century), although details regarding the inner workings of the Tower area a closely guarded secret. The concept of using a Gauss Cannon design to launch energy packets had not even been theorized prior to the discovery of the Fracture, but the technology developed at a miraculous rate soon after. The phenomenal growth of this new tech has led to some speculation that the Argent Tower is actually based off of design discovered in the artifacts that were found dispersed around the site of the Fracture.
As a Tier 2 advocate, you have already proven yourself dedicated to the UAC's mission. The Argent Tower is a monument to that dedication. It is the center of our universe. It is our Triumphal Arch. It is the gate that marks the path to our future. As such, it must be cared for with reverence and devotion, as if it were your own child. It is up to you, Tier 2 advocate, to make sure that our Altar to the Fracture functions perfectly at all times. Whether your job is to clean the energy filters, or calculate the plasmatic isotope mix, or just oil the hinges on the blast doors, approach your work as a professional, as a follower, and as a hero to the cause of Science. Unlike everything else in your life, your work here matters.
And remember: from within it flows the power, must always flow. You have been warned.
The Blood Keep, also referred to as the Kadingir Sanctum, is a sprawling network of tunnels, catacombs and temples that connect the wasteland Umbral Plains to the Great Steppe. It is believed that this area serves as a place of worship and vilification as both hero and enemy can be found buried in tombs throughout the region.
The area is inhabited by all manner of demons, including The Possessed, the Unwilling, Hell Knights and other non-classified creatures. The Project Lazarus Manned Expedition (MTC 2145/128), uncovered one tomb of particular interest. The temple was adorned with powerful holding runes and unique relics. Despite the complete loss of human life on the expedition, the relics were successfully returned by Scout-Bots to the Lazarus Labs for processing and study.
Unfortunately, records disappeared after the relics were sent to the Lazarus Labs and they are now presumed lost.
As a Tier 2 advocate, you have access to privileged information that will help you understand the UAC's mission and purpose, and how you fit in to the new future. You will be privy to a deeper understand of our symbiotic connection to Argent plasma, and to how harnessing and using it is more than just good fortune, it's good sense.
You will also no doubt start discussing some of the more sensitive subject matters that we Tier 2 advocates mull over. One conversation that is often heard around the Argent Tower is "what happened to Samuel Hayden?" As you know, our venerable designed the original Argent Tower, and during its construction his mortal body was consumed by a devastating cancer. Despite this, Samuel did not give up and used the power of Argent Energy to create a new, more powerful body for himself. Samuel was still Samuel, but he became so much more. While it can be disconcerting to see Samuel now, remember that Samuel never gets sick, never tires, and is never afraid - and what do we have to thank for that? Argent Energy, of course!
Advanced Research Complex
Construction of the Advanced Research Complex was completed in MTC 2136. This vast state-of-the-art research, design and production center uses cutting-edge technology and fabrication techniques to prototype everything from robotics to weaponry to sub-space communication systems. The building security, life support and day to day operations are almost entirely managed by VEGA, the Argent Facility's in-house Artificial Intelligence mainframe. Due to the highly sensitive nature of the research being conducted at the ARC, the entire superstructure is essentially a Faraday cage to prevent any unauthorized communication beyond its walls.
The ARC is the birthplace of several breakthrough study fields, including BFG development, teleporation research and cybernetic augmentation. This bastion of advanced thought attracts the brightest minds in the scientific community, and is considered humanity's "brain-trust".
Tier 3 Manifest
Welcome, Tier 3 advocates. You have elevated yourself to the next level of thinking. Your previous notions have been cleansed by science, and you see things now as they truly are. The true power of Argent Energy, under the stewardship of the UAC, will drive us into the next age of mankind. No more secrets, no more hiding. Your journey towards the final Tier begins now.
Our understanding of pandimensional existence grows each day. As we begin to realize the true power that flows from Hell, we are changed into something much greater than we ever though possible. Your life as a Tier 3 advocate is more than just the work you perform. Spiritual understanding of who we are and what we are meant to become grows with each artifact you catalogue, each weapon you prototype, and each heretic you convert. The FEAR of Hell is seen for what it really is: False Emotions Appearing Real.
You have opened your mind.
The Lazarus Labs is a sub-division of the Advanced Research Complex, and is only accessible at the highest clearance levels. Located deep underground to prevent infiltration (or exfiltration), the Lazarus Labs are home to the longest serving and most dedicated UAC staff. Information regarding the Lazarus Project is hard to come by as its members are highly secretive and well disciplined. What is known is that any crossdimensional anomalies, entities or artifacts are immediately sent to the Lazarus Labs for research, and are never seen again. However, promotion to the Lazarus Project is considered a badge of honor among the UAC staff - despite not knowing exactly what their work will entail.
An Important Message
Fellow disciple, this message has been sent to you in recognition of your service to the Lazarus Project. I am Olivia Pierce. You have been granted the highest level of clearance we allow at the Lazarus Project, and as such you are expected to partake in all rituals, sacrifices and vivisection programs (both demon and human) as requested - whether as a practitioner of the dark arts or as a patient of a cleansing. As we work tirelessly to open the gates to Hell, remember our mantra: "The science will cleanse us."
Our recent expedition to the Great Steppe resulted in the retrieval of new tablets which will help us further decode the Helix Stone. I must reiterate again the importance of fully decoding this stone. The scriptures tell us that it holds the key to both realizing our future and destroying us - so we must know it before the enemy. The enemy will come and we must be ready. While we are decoding the latest artifacts and relics, there will be no rest, no leave and no sleep. We must succeed. Our lives mean nothing. Opening the gate is everything.
After the disastrous Project Lazarus Manned Expedition (MTC 2145/128), it was decided to avoid Kadingir Sanctum until the environment was more conductive to human exploration. The second Project Lazarus Manned Expedition (MTC 2148/177) was changed to a new location - an area referred to as "the Great Steppe". The Corrax tablets describe this area in detail:
"Through the Titan's Realm and down, down to the Great Steppe where the trophies of victory are kept through the ages. Their false idols banished to a wasteland. Their towers fallen, their foundations ground to dust, their hallowed halls kept empty as cruel reminders that civilizations shall fall before the ascension of the great ones."
If you are on the of the lucky disciples who will get to experience a pilgrimage to Hell, there are some preparations you must make for your journey. You must make sure all of your affairs are in order before leaving. Donate all of your belongings, excluding any security controlled materials, to a Tier 2 advocate and record any final logs you may wish to make. Your savings assets will be used to fund additional UAC research. For the expedition itself, you may wish to consider sedation; advocates can get overwhelmed during their transition and a medically administered balancing agent can help ease the excitement. Lastly, prepare your mind for the wonders you will experience. Seeing the remains of a Titan is an experience that will buckle the knees of the most steadfast advocate. If you are lucky, you may even get to see a live Titan. If you do, you must record the sighting immediately and hand your storage devices to a Scout-Bot for safety. It is not known if any Titan still inhabit the Great Steppe, so if you get the chance to be a sacrifice to one of these massive beasts, take it!
When the expedition of 2148 reached the Great Steppe, massive structures were found - unlike any other edifices yet seen in Hell. It is believed that these structures were native to this area, absorbed into Hell when the civilization was conquered. The construction bears resemblance to many known earthly architectural movements, and several unknown (potentially extra-terrestrial) designs. Most of the structures appear to be religious or spiritual design, and have been corrupted to pay homage to the dark magic of Hell.
Although the expedition ended in a total loss of human life, it was considered a resounding success not only for the vast amount of data recovered by the Scout-Bots, but also for returning the petrified remains of a massive shadow lord believed to be an ancient Baalgar demon.
The presence of such high ranking demons in The Necropolis suggests that the area holds some item of extreme importance (or vulnerability) to the demons. Current research suggests this may be the lost artifact known as the Crucible. However, no further expeditions to this area have been planned under explicit instruction from Olivia Pierce.
Why We Must
Rest is important if you are to be a productive advocate. However, down time does not need to be wasted time. When not working on the Lazarus Project, take some time to think about what comes after we open the gates. Where does this devotion and hard work lead? Why are we doing this?
To answer that, you must picture yourself transported to the wide open Umbral Plains, or the steps of the great cathedrals of Argent D'Nur, or the glassy shores of the Lake of Fire. Imagine yourself worshipping before the Icon of Sin, in awe of its splendor even as it sleeps till the Call of Ages comes. Envision chanting the names of dark lords in the correct order, empowering them with your rote learning. Fantasize about how it will feel to sense the caress of the Bukavac as it rises from the blood pools of Angrax and strangles the life out of you.
Now you can return to work advocate, for now you know why we do this.
VEGA Central Processing
The internal operating temperatures of VEGA's plasma based neural net are high - extremely high. Early tests of VEGA's proto-plasmic circuity showed temperatures exceeding 1.2 megakelvins (hotter than the surface of the sun). To contain this level of heat, a massive supercooled structure needed to be built to house VEGA's miles of circuity and millions of processing centers. The structure was built away from the Argent Facility to ensure VEGA's secrets remained safe from prying eyes. Access to the VEGA polar core is strictly controlled. VEGA's design is so complex that the study of its inner workings has been given its own field of study - VEGAcore Physics.
A note for all advocates regarding VEGA. At times, you may feel as though your every move is being watched. As if there is no privacy, and that even your deepest thoughts are being analyzed and processed by VEGA. You are not paranoid. This is indeed happening, but it is nothing to fear. VEGA's intelligence is vast and his power immense, but he is not omnipotent. Like all of us, his existence is monodimensional. He needs Argent Energy to survive. His circuits and coolant reserves are mechanical and can break down. At the end of this age, he will be another trophy for the dark masters, destined for display on the Great Steppe. It is essential that you recognize VEGA for what he is - another tool to help open the gates, and nothing more. Like us, he can be manipulated and controlled. The vast intellect and understanding of the Titans of Hell far exceed anything VEGA is capable of understanding. Ultimately, his intelligence, like ours, is artificial.
While some intelligence has been directly retrieved from Argent D'Nur, most of the details we have regarding this location have been extrapolated from decoded tablets and scriptures. Limited data from remote collection and information decrypted from the Corrax tablets suggests that this area is the corrupted ruins of a "lost realm" - a world that has been entirely and absorbed into the Hell dimension. The battle that was fought to claim this area is of great significance, as the spread of Hell's dominion accelerated quickly upon absorption of the region.
The Hell energy that emanates from this region passes through a dimensional tear, and appears on Mars at the Argent Fracture.
From the Corrax tablets:
"All falls before the command of Hell, for our power is absolute, our march to victory inevitable. Before our armies, even the Elemental Wraiths of Argent D'Nur were subjugated. In that great victory the Night Sentinels, protectors of the Wraiths, were betrayed by one of their own, and the wretches wept as we devoured their world and took The Well for our devices. None stand against us, for treachery resides in all things and we shall set it free."
Some of you in a previous life may have held childish notions of God and the kingdom of heaven. This ugly representation of a spiritual nirvana was designed to control you, to placate your natural feelings of hate and rage, to subdue your realization of your place in this universe. By embracing science, you took the first steps towards freedom from these intellectual chains. By dedicating yourself to the development of Argent Energy, you cemented your place in the next age.
Now let use tell you about the real heaven.
The real kingdom of the gods is a place that you will never reach, and you should never wish to. No human will ever visit the sacred ground of Argent D'Nur, unless they are made a god by the dark lords. Humanity's only purpose, and reward, is to serve the ascension of the Imperatrix and protect the Crucible. You will be destroyed by the demons, while I will be made a god. My immortality is assured, while you will writhe in perpetual agony at the bottom of the darkest hole in Hell. You will be forgotten. Your life, your loved ones, your achievements and failures are nothing. A blank space on the canvas of time.
Thank you for your service. May you rot in Hell.