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The Union Aerospace Corporation is the fictional multi-planetary conglomerate (possibly a megacorporation) that operates facilities on Mars and its two moons, Phobos and Deimos, where Doom takes place. It was founded in 2015 by Thomas Kelliher.
The UAC in Doom and Doom II
The facilities on the two moons were used to conduct various classified projects, including experimental inter-dimensional travel through teleporters (called "gateways"). This project grew unstable, and project "volunteers" began to suffer from a violent form of progressive homicidal insanity culminating in a sudden, explosive death. The story of the games begins after distress messages sent from the moons reach Mars, where the protagonist is stationed.
Not much detail is given about the UAC's activities given the sketchy nature of the plot of the games, but it is made clear that before the invasion took place the UAC had been researching technology used for teleportation as a major contractor to the United Nations military, which may explain why their facilities were guarded by UN Military personnel (such as the player character, a marine).
As is evident during progress in the games, the populations of the UAC facilities are either killed or possessed by the hellish invaders unleashed by the teleportation experiments. In Doom II, which takes place on Earth, there are occasional UAC logos throughout the levels, indicating that the protagonist enters various areas owned by, operated by, or associated to the UAC on Earth.
Both games include crates of various sizes containing unknown materials which are marked with the UAC logo. A clear sign that the UAC develops military technology is the "UAC rockets" label on the boxes of rockets the player may pick up as ammunition for the rocket launcher.
The UAC logo is composed of two flattened spherical shapes with a smaller triangular space between them. The initials are often written beneath the shapes using the customary rounded font of the games.
The UAC in Doom 3
With Doom 3, a retelling of the original Doom, the story is given greater depth of detail through the player's interaction with human characters, PDAs, cut scenes, and scripted events. The facilities where the experiments take place and the marine battles the invaders are on Mars instead of its moons. Increased focus is placed on the importance of the UAC research being conducted (specifically research under the guidance of Malcolm Betruger) by a division called "Delta Labs". Like in the original games, a great deal of the UAC's research seems to be focused on teleportation, although experimentation with species retrieved from beyond the teleporters is also seen.
The UAC on Mars was secretly aware of the existence of Hell even before the invasion. On the orders of Betruger, Delta Labs sent teams through the portals to capture demons for study.
The UAC logo has a roughly triangular shape, with the initials written near the bottom or base, although a logo fashioned after the original appears frequently on some machinery, and is seen exclusively in the older Mars caverns areas.
The UAC in DOOM (2016 Release)
Like the previous installment, the UAC is wholly aware of Hell but was conducted to continue in researching and producing the Argent Tower and exploiting Hell's resources as it was in 'Humanity's best interest to do so' as quoted by Hayden himself.
When Olivia unleashed a wave of Lazarus energy that consumed and killed many of Hayden's staff and releasing apprehended monsters into the labs, Hayden was forced to release the player from restrained slumber as he was the only one that would stand between Hell and Earth. Despite the Doom Marine's distrust of the UAC and the destruction of his Argent Tower, Samuel Hayden accepted the Marine's beliefs and continued regardless to assist him, including giving up the BFG-9000 prototype that was being developed.
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 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 earlier 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 safety in these areas cannot be guaranteed.
Argent Energy is produced by neutron activation of Argent plasma, a new and powerful substance that was discovered on Mars. This produces an exothermic reaction where recorded temperatures within the plasma have exceeded previously accepted theoretical limits. Through a process not yet fully understood, Argent plasma remains stable and self-contained throughout. Conventional nuclear power is obsolete. What used to take a nuclear reactor 12 months to produce can be generated in a few seconds by the Argent Tower and packaged into an Argent Accumulator no larger than Samuel Hayden's hand.
Argent plasma was originally discovered by the SS Amundsen when it landed in the Promethei Terra region of Mars in 2095 as part of the UAC geological survey mission Frontier. While searching for liquid water springs, the Survey-Bot discovered a narrow trench which has now become known as the "Argent Fracture". This fracture emitted a substance that at first appeared to be an electrical gas cloud.
However, deeper analysis of the substance showed it to be an entirely new form of matter with a quantum signature never before recorded. Initial tests on this new matter immediately showed its potential. When a 2 megakelvin cutting laser was fired at the substance, it absorbed the heat with ease and remained self-contained. A second expedition was planned to further analyze this remarkable new "Argent plasma".
There has been speculation that the development of Argent Energy goes beyond traditional science and bleeds into the realm of SEFT (Spiritual Energy Field Theory). Experiments in this fringe science have been heavily criticized in the past as their development often involves "occult" like practices and the channeling of resources from poorly understood extradimensional resources. Coupled with the reports of cultish practices within the UAC, there are deep concerns over how Argent Energy is being produced, and if it is indeed safe.
The UAC has refused to reveal the details, despite repeated requests by the Global Science Council. Despite concern over the safety of producing energy with a process that is not fully understood, the need for a reliable energy source since the depletion of plutonium and uranium reserves is a powerful argument. When the UAC unveiled an Argent Energy powered, hand sized 24-volt battery with over 12,000 megawatt-hours, the future of energy supply within the Solar System was set. One battery array could power an entire city block for several months. Researchers at the Global Science Council have speculated that the UAC's most advanced battery technology, the Argent Accumulator, can hold over 30,000 megawatt-hours but that the UAC is deliberately bottlenecking the production to maintain control over the market value. The UAC has no comment on the matter.
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 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.
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, teleportation research, and cybernetic augmentation. This bastion of advanced thought attracts the brightest minds in the scientific community, and is considered humanity's "brain-trust".
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The UAC in the Doom movie
The UAC has a role in the Doom movie as well, but their ambitions and scientific work deviate somewhat from those in the games, as they focus on genomic research, even though teleportation is also used as a form of transportation between Earth and Mars. It should be noted, however, that genomic research was mentioned in Doom 3. The genomic research in the movie focuses on a 24th chromosome which makes humans exceptionally strong and enduring and enhances or exacerbates their moral inclinations. In the movie the UAC operates on Mars and the brunt of the action takes place in the "Olduvai Research Station".
For the promotion of Doom 3, id Software created a bogus UAC website. The "trajectory" mentioned on the site had two meanings. Within the context of the game, it represented the estimated arrival time to Mars of the shuttle that carried Swann, Campbell, and the player's Marine. In respect to the game as a product, it was actually a countdown to its release date. The site currently redirects to the id Software website (since early December 2005) but an archived copy can be accessed at the Internet Archive.
On the official website for Doom RPG, there are links to a Union Aerospace Corporation website, convincingly designed in the style of a large business company's home site. Many of the links lead to Access Denied pages to give an impression of confidentiality, but it shows some information on the fictional history of the UAC.
- The preliminary Doom Bible includes a fictitious military entity called the "UAAF" (which stands for "United Aerospace Armed Forces") that employs the player characters, although the UAC is also mentioned. The initials "UAC" are not clarified, and is used primarily to mark a clean "Star Wars Imperial or 2001" style in the facilities built by an interstellar construction company named "StarStruct, Inc." Details of what specific role the UAC itself plays in the events are sketchy, however. The UAC and the UAAF operate on a fictional planet or moon called Tei Tenga, not on Mars and its moons.
- Official or custom levels depicting UAC facilities are often called "techbase" or "UAC base" levels by fans. The word "base" is commonly used for military facilities, and appears in the core Doom games in E1M9: Military Base from Doom (which incidentally does not display any UAC logos) and MAP10: Refueling Base from Doom II.
- A UAC "Dark Eye Armor Corps" is mentioned in some audio logs (Peter Raleigh; Han Lee) in Doom 3: it may be a reference by the Doom 3 writers to the 1995 game The Dark Eye, itself based on various macabre Edgar Allan Poe stories such as Berenice. The shared themes are necromancy, dementia and acts of self-mutilation similar to the observations of Dr. Peter Raleigh (Delta Sector 2a)
- There is a real-life United Aircraft Corporation, a joint stock company formed in 2006 by a merger of several Russian aerospace firms, including Sukhoi, Mikoyan, and Ilyushin.