The Technocracy Within: The Thirteenth Hour Crossover ~*~ Void Engineers ~*~ “To Boldly go where no man has gone before…” This Convention has, without a doubt, the best reputation amongst Tradition mages. This is primarily because the Void Engineers have little to do with the pogrom, and therefore rarely come into conflict with the Traditions. Because of their pragmatism, they have even cooperated with Tradition mages in the Deep Umbra on occasional, and they are generally viewed as harmless. Indeed, many of their goals seem to satisfy the goals of the Tradition Magus…but were the true goals of the Convention known, this opinion would likely change. During their explorations of the Umbra, the Void Engineers developed a desire to reincorporate the spirit world with the physical world. There were simply too many wonders to ignore. The Voiders supported the Technomancer paradigm, however. They resolve this conflict by trying to expanding the Technocratic paradigm into the Umbra, converting it into deep space. To date, they have had little to no support from other Technomancers, who find their goals frivolous. The Voiders have, at various times, considered defecting, but consider it unlikely the Traditions will support their goal either. The earliest inception of the Convention is as the Seekers of the Void. They were dedicated to map the world, and seek out information on each of the corners so that understanding and reason could be brought to the common man. They dedicated themselves to the exploration of the earth, the sea, and eventually the heavens and spiritual spaces. The convention claims that
This document is Convention Information for the Void Engineers of the Technocracy in Mage: The Ascension.
Text of Void Engineers (Convention: Mage the Ascension)
The Technocracy Within: The Thirteenth Hour Crossover
~*~ Void Engineers ~*~
“To Boldly go where no man has gone before…”
This Convention has, without a doubt, the best reputation amongst Tradition mages. This is primarily because the Void Engineers have little to do with the pogrom, and therefore rarely come into conflict with the Traditions. Because of their pragmatism, they have even cooperated with Tradition mages in the Deep Umbra on occasional, and they are generally viewed as harmless. Indeed, many of their goals seem to satisfy the goals of the Tradition Magus…but were the true goals of the Convention known, this opinion would likely change.
During their explorations of the Umbra, the Void Engineers developed a desire to reincorporate the spirit world with the physical world. There were simply too many wonders to ignore. The Voiders supported the Technomancer paradigm, however. They resolve this conflict by trying to expanding the Technocratic paradigm into the Umbra, converting it into deep space. To date, they have had little to no support from other Technomancers, who find their goals frivolous. The Voiders have, at various times, considered defecting, but consider it unlikely the Traditions will support their goal either.
The earliest inception of the Convention is as the Seekers of the Void. They were dedicated to map the world, and seek out information on each of the corners so that understanding and reason could be brought to the common man. They dedicated themselves to the exploration of the earth, the sea, and eventually the heavens and spiritual spaces. The convention claims that they’re the oldest of the conventions, older than the Traditions, because before there were Traditions or Conventions, Explorers existed; men and women who left their homes to find new ones. These men and women never stopped moving; they had no intention of living in the places they discovered, only to rest for a while before seeking out adventure in the great unknown. This drive and wanderlust is what formed and shaped the world that we live in, making civilizations and bringing cultures to spread across the face of the earth. Their thought were not on material gains, but on the wonderment of the distant lands that glimmer in the night sky. Curiosity fueled their desire to explore where the great waters of the seas went when they flowed past the rivers; where the essence of their people went when they
died; on what lies in the between and how to bridge the gap between the two places. They became dedicated to the idea of exploration and knowledge.
In the cities were kindred spirits to the wanderers, but they dealt with machines and calculations. They were the Celestial Masters, and they used math to measure the stars, to weigh the human soul, and to put reason to the world of spirit. The Celestial Masters sponsored the Seekers, made sense of their findings, and together they pushed back the creatures o the darkness and gave humanity room to grow. In time, the end result was a man who called himself Tychoides, who took all math and all the discoveries and put it into one over-arching theory and called it Dimensional Science.
The 19th century saw the Order of Reason and it’s evolution into Control. The Seeker and the Masters joined to become, first, the Explorers and finally the Void Engineers.
The Void Engineer arose to fill a specific need in the Technocracy. To close off the gateways to the Umbra, they needed Technomancers familiar with the world of spirits. The Void Engineers fulfilled this need neatly, not only strengthening the Gauntlet, but setting up networks of Techno-spirits to monitor its boundaries. The Voiders may have learned too much in their journey however, for they could not leave the Umbra well enough alone. They worked closely with the Electrodyne Engineers until that Convention left the Order of Reason to become the Sons of Ether, an act which the Void Engineers compare to having your only brother betray your darkest secret to your worst enemy. The Etherites that did not want to abandon the Order of Reason joined the Void Engineers, and proceeded with their sciences in different ways, creating Starships and labs on the sea floor. Most notable were the Starships, which were competing with those of the Etherites in space. They have continued into the present day, with only one small glitch: when the Diffusion Engineers joined the
Traditions at the Virtual Adepts.
The Convention has the reputation for being the most strange out of all of the Conventions. The combination of science with “other” tends to unbalance them, or so the Technocracy claims. Void Engineers have the most contact with the supernatural’s and they’re almost always under suspicion and inspection by the Ivory Tower or Technocracy to ensure that what they are doing it “status quo”. Yet they continue, fighting the Syndicate budget cuts and NOW investigations, because they can still find solace “Out There”… despite some Engineers believing that the Technocracy is no place for them anymore. Such mutterings stay private, because if the Void Engineers left, who else would let them do what they do?
Philosophy: "A study of history shows that a civilization maintains its vigor is through expansion and exploration. Yet on the limited sphere of the earth, this invariably leads to war and death. Only the limitless bounds of space allow the expansion needed to maintain civilization without the accompanying destruction. When we are ready, we must reopen the gates to
the Void, not to allow others to enter, but to sweep out and claim the universe as our own."
Organization: Void Engineers have two distinct divisions: Ground Control and the Explorers. Ground Control maintains the gauntlet and monitoring network, while the Explorers probe the Deep Umbra. Ground Control has a complex hierarchy to regulate is technical developments, while the explorers spend too much time in the field to have any real organization beyond the Cabal level. They have several different divisions among the groups:
Border Corps Division Earth Frontier Division
Aquatic Exploration Teams Cryogenic Specialists Hydrothermal Botanical Mosaic Analysts Inaccessible High Elevation Exploration Teams Subterranean Exploration Corps
Neutralization Specialist Corps Enforcement Training and Conditioning Agency Department of Psychological Evaluation and Maintenance
Pan-Dimensional Corps Research & Execution
Meetings: Due the Conventions loose organization, they have little in the way of meetings beyond the practical level, though Voiders do have a penchant for attending Science Fiction Conventions.
Initiation: The Void Engineers recruit primarily from two fields: space agencies and science fiction writers. Oddly enough, it is the second group who commonly make up Voider Explorers, while recruits from NASA tend to fill out Ground Control.
Chantry: The Voiders greatest Chantry is Cape Kennedy, though they have diversified considerably in recent years, especially in Europe. They are greatly disturbed at the recent developments in Russia and the collapse of its space program, and suspect there is more to what is going on than a simple NWO/Syndicate squabble. If there is an aeronautical division in a government, there is a Void Engineer leading it’s exploration and development; unless it’s going nowhere.
Acolytes: Space Technicians, Air Force Officers, Sci-Fi Fans
Sphere: The Voiders are the only Convention to fully explore the Spirit sphere. They eventually desire to quantify the Umbra as Deep Space, but have yet to come up with any unified theory to do so. As a result, they still
Concepts: Bold Explorer, Stalwart Guardian of the Gauntlet
Quote: "To go boldly where no one has gone before ..."
Iteration-X: "While their technical support is useful, their blind ignorance of the spirit world is astounding. Spirits may not mesh well with the scientific paradigm, but that sort of denial is not healthy."
New World Order: "They are perfectly happy to use our spy satellite, but are unwilling to give us the support we need."
Progenitors: "The Progenitors gives us the least problems, primarily because they are too absorbed in their own research."
Syndicate: "Where the hell is the funding they keep promising? A sky full of communication satellites is not exactly what we had in mind."
~*~ The Paradigm ~*~The Continuum: All reality is encompassed in the space-time continuum, following strict relativistic rules.
~*~ Magick ~*~Technology, Research and Exploration : Unexplored reality is a blank slate upon which exploration writes the rules and expectations of future colonists. Clearly, technology is the most useful tool of these explorers. New research also reveals new areas of exploration or technological development (which is usually passed on to Iteration X, which is better suited to development).
~*~ Spheres ~*~Correspondence: Space -- the relativistic measurement of distance between events in the continuum; Propulsion -- movement through space via increased vectors (although these vectors still cannot exceed the speed of light, unless utilizing experimental FTL drives). Transmission/ reception -- techniques for sending and receiving signals across great distances.
Time: Time -- the other half of the time-space continuum, Time speeds or slows relative to movement through the continuum.
Pattern Magicks: Patterns -- Everything that exists can be scanned as a pattern. While Iteration X creates new technologies, the Void Engineers are most interested in gathering information about new Patterns discovered in the Infosphere, Ectoplasmic Regions and the Metareality. Under this paradigm, Matter, Forces, Life and Mind are all considered patterns.
Scanning -- the most active application of Patterns. Using advanced Transmission technologies, scanners can reach great distances.
Forces: Energy -- includes various applications of Energy, including weapons, shields, audio/video/holographics, etc.
Life: Biology, Medicine, Pharmacology -- The VEs use the Progenitor Life paradigm entirely. However, their greatest emphasis is on identification of new patterns (this is their most common coincidence when exploring deep space in search of life).
Matter: Elements and Composites -- one area of great interest to the Void Engineers is the "discovery" of new elements and composites from the three realms. Thus, new elements may come from the Infosphere, the Metareality/Deep Space or the Ectoplasmic Regions.
Mind: Brainwaves -- the mind acts as a rather powerful transmitter of brainwaves. These waves can be scanned as a pattern (hence their reorganization under Patterns), replicated with technology, and altered with energy or pharmaceuticals.
Entropy: Chaos/Pattern Recognition -- research into chaos theory suggests that patterns exist even within apparently chaotic sets.
Prime: This sphere does not exist in the Void Engineer Paradigm.
Spirit: WARNING -- TOP SECRET CLASSIFICATION. CLEARANCE OMEGA ONLY.
Infosphere: the "High Umbra" of the Void Engineers, this realm encompasses all accumulated knowledge, artificial intelligence and data storage and manipulation. Accessible via virtual reality and other immersive technologies. Void Engineer research into lucid dreaming has also proven effective in this area, allowing the subject to tap into this realm of pure information.
Metareality: the "Middle Umbra" of the Void Engineers, this realm is the most secret area of research for the Void Engineers. The Metareality appears, to the Void Engineers, to be the "back stage" of reality, the source of all Patterns (see below). This dimension is highly unstable. Also, other alternate dimensions are accessible through the Metareality. These other Continua are simply different arrangements of all the same patterns found in the Metareality. The Metareality is partially synonymous to Deep Space, the most common and public paradigm. For now, Deep Space is mostly a vacuum until the Void Engineers can decide what to find in it.
Ectoplasmic Regions: the "Low Umbra" of the Void Engineers, exploration into this post-life netherworld is nearly as secretive as the Metareality. VE research into the Ectoplasmic Regions involves the controlled reduction of the explorer's life patterns, allowing the explorer's mind to enter the region while still being able to return to its body.
~*~ Arete ~*~Discovery -- the more a VE has discovered, the greater her understanding of the Continuum.
~*~ Quintessence ~*~
Research/Exploration -- quite literally, research makes the subject at hand more real. Void Engineers "accumulate" research in terms of time spent performing said research or exploration, then converting those hours into "findings."
~*~ Paradox ~*~Unexpected Findings -- this is the most vexing problem to the Void Engineers, who seek only to "discover" entirely expected findings. An Unexpected Finding means the entire continuum is in danger, until addition research time can be allotted to disproving the finding. And, let’s face it: the Engineers aren’t exactly on the “high list” of the Technocracy, so with budget cuts and routine investigation, the capacity to discern what happens to create an Unexpected Finding, and how to quantify the capacity is running a little low.
~*~ Mage-specific Backgrounds ~*~
Arcane: Security Clearance -- the highest levels of Void Engineer research occur at the strictest security clearance levels. This tends to insulate the engineers from the rest of the population. The higher the Arcane, the higher the security clearance and thus the higher amount of insulation.
Avatar: Brilliance -- this allows the engineer to accumulate greater research time and thus generate more complete findings.
Destiny: Focus -- Scientists with intense focus can work miracles and never stray from their research. Those with this much focus are invariably brilliant and arrogant. Highly focused scientists are not above stealing other scientist's work and some have made their names solely by this method.
Dream: Lucid Dreaming -- the VEs apply this meditative technique as a method of accessing the so-called Infosphere (see Spirit, above). Those not trained in this technique need virtual reality equipment to search the Infosphere for information.
Node: Research Facility -- a place where research can be maximized and distractions can be minimized.