Children of Aurora
Okay, just to start this out right. No, you don't get to know my fragging name. No I'm not some pansy running around in the shadows playing at being some corporate snuggle bunny. And No, I don't like any of you. I prefer more nurturing pursuits than to spend all my time trying to make a drek load of cred only to spend it on removing bullets from my brain pan. Captain Chaos wants my rantings so that's good enough for all of us.
>Happy guy he is, yes?
>Bodega Bay Hermit
I had a friend that got caught up in the Children of Aurora deal about three or four years ago. That was when the group was at its peak. Right after KSAF aired with its little program. Of course the only freaks that watched that one were pathetic souls that enjoyed snake eating so all it did was bolster the cults membership. My friend had a loose tongue and so over a soy-beer or two I learned what I could from him about the group.
>Great that's just what I want in a source. A drunken cultist, a pillar of honesty and objectiveness.
In my experience (and that's quite a bit kiddies) I've seen a good handful of cults, up close and personal. And they all need a strong leader. If there isn't one to fill the void after the original one kicks off then the cult is sure to follow.
With the Aurora kids its almost no different. Jennifer (that's the name she goes by with her close friends) Highstar has been the leader and spokes person for the group going on sixteen years now. That's one hell of a long time for a cult to hang in. If a cult can pull through the first two years then it's a guarantee that it is here to stay. Also, just before the KSAF report (about the time of the murders), the cult got another leader but the news hounds never caught on to him. He's a reclusive fellow. Goes by the name of Icarus, and I hear that he's behind the terrorism that the cult is partaking in. Icarus is also the true magician of the CoA.
>You know you've hit the big time when they give you an acronym.
>I've seen this Highstar on occasion. She visits a shopping mall just outside of Auburn about every month. She picks up mostly water and preserved soy products. With the amount she buys I figure there are at least thirty people out there in Hell's Kitchen. Maybe less if they're stockpiling.
From what I've pieced together, Icarus is always around whenever Highstar is seen casting magic. He's usually in the background with his eyes closed, meditating or something, which points to Icarus being the reason for Highstar's new found talent. Although there are other magicians in the group, no shamans as far as I can tell, none of the others have shown the degree of talent that Icarus or Highstar has shown.
>I had a friend of mine do some astral scouting out in Hell's Kitchen a few weeks ago, nevermind what for, and he said he saw the Children of Aurora doing some kind of ritual. He said that they were all in a circle, as if conjuring or something, but that less than half of the group was magical and there wasn't any real casting going on. He stuck around and watched for a moment but then he realized that one of the members, who I am assuming is this Icarus guy, wasn't meta-human. My friend said that his aura was different, almost as if Icarus was being possessed or was a shapeshifter or something. What ever it was, my friend said it wasn't human.
>Node-man your sources are just about as dreked as this Anonymous fragger.
>You're one to talk POALI. "No, my contacts assured me there is no zero-zone at this sight." Sure. You still pulling 30 cal. out of your hoop?
>Hurts to talk, eh POALI?
The CoA is a small time cult of fanatics that have been around almost as long as the Universal Brotherhood. I know what a lot of you stupid fraggers are thinking but these kids ain't insects. But they ain't a warm bunch of tree huggers either.
>I bet that's where this guy got his start. Knight Errant was using a lot of outside talent in the early stages of the UB investigations. I remember seeing this one guy always coming out of conferences with KE. Disheveled and erratic. Looked like a field mouse junked up on kamikaze. Foul mouthed. Always asking me if my breasts were real, or if he could sit in my lap to warm up before his meetings. Everybody was real sorry that he was the one the higher-ups picked to help out.
>Well, are they real?
One thing's for certain. Any group that thinks they were "Born from the fiery firmament to work celestial miracles on earth," have to be a bit out of their gourds. And since this whole Haley's comet deal is coming round again the cult has been raising their collective voice.
>This whole comet thing is a cack. Like the moon landings and the Zurich-Orbital. Its all a conspiracy. You can't leave the atmosphere, let alone walk on the moon. The governments and corporations have been feeding us this bull-drek [2.4 Mp deleted by sysop]
>Take it to the "Space: the fake frontier" node, or I'll have to make your day.
Transmitted: 7 February 2061 12:32:58 MT
From what I've been hearing from my contacts is that with this being the lull in the northern lights but the comet coming Icarus has been declaring that the "time has come" and other such biblical rhetoric. It seems that at least some of the members are listing to him, i.e. one assassination minus the assassination and one car bomb minus the explosion.
>What I don't get is if these guys are so hung up about the borealis then why don't they up and move to where you can really see it. Head to Athabaskan territory or the T-PA. You can't even really see the lights down this far, even in the forsaken barrens, the lights of Seattle practically block the view.
>Although I agree with why don't they move the hell out I think there is the real reason that the CoA stays: The Renraku arcology. Highstar hates it.
>The Aurora, both in the south pole and the north, have grown stronger in the past thirty or so years. Has to do with the increase in sun spot activity. Seems that there was a 400 year lull in the sun spots between the 1400's and the 1800's. That was about the time for the "mini" ice age that plagued the Europeans. Since the late 1800's the sun spot activity, and hence the aurora activity, has increased slowly. So even in the last century, if the activity was high enough, the aurora borealis could be seen as far south as Portland. The last sun spot high was in 2056 and the next high is predicted in 2067.
And if you watched the KSAF report you can see the lights faintly. KSAF did a good job of getting them in the picture.
>Ion the sphere
So what are their terms or goals? The only official decree is that they wish to return to the heavens on the wisps of Aurora. What ever the hell that means. Unofficially its Jill Higham/ Jennifer Highstar's call and she still carries a grudge against Renraku and the city for ousting her from her squat so many decades ago. You can sure as drek bet the slitch was rolling on the floor laughing when she heard that Renraku lost control of their precious arcology. And I have even heard that Renraku had the CoA on their list of possible causes to the shut down.
>I smuggled some gear in from the S-S to the CoA just after the Arcology went down. I won't say what I smuggled but it wasn't soybeer and salsa-chips. Unfortunately I arrived just before some kind of sermon so I had to wait around to collect my pay. Let me tell all of you. These guys hate Renraku. This download is an audio recording that I took during the sermon. The first voice is that Highstar slitch and the second is Icarus. The other discernible voice is mine.
VOICE 1 [Resonant and soothing]: The Aurora has sent its holy light dealing our enemy a mighty blow. We stand on the brink of a new sky. The Aurora, so beautiful, has given us the wings to fly.
VOICE 2 [Deep and grating]: We are the rebels against that corporate despot, that monolith of pain. Pain that has for so long taken from us our right to live. Our time is at hand. We will take back that precious land and rebuild it anew!
VOICE 1 [Growing excited]: We the Children of Aurora will preserver. For those of you that were with me during our fall, you will see the rebuilding of our glorious age! To the hellfire's with this Ren-ra-ku! For those of you that came unto our fold after; your hearts will soar with new purpose. We will take back our Eden, our sacred garden!
VOICE 3 [Whispering]: What the frag?
VOICE 2 [Loudly]: Soon my children, soon! That angry giant will tumble into the sea. We are gathering our stones to throw at that glass house!
VOICE 3 [Whispering]: Frag this.
[End Audio Download]
I started feeling tired and sick. Not just from the damn rhetoric, but I actually felt like I just woke up to a night of tequila. So I left. The meeting went on for about half an hour. After that I met with both Highstar and Icarus. Highstar seemed scattered. I'm no psychologist, but I figured her schizo. It was Icarus that scared me. Just deep down frightened me. Maybe it was his cold gray eyes and the fact that he was built like a troll. But I've been around big fraggers before and this was different.
>From the sound of things I would say that the recent car bomb attempt was the CoA trying to clear the ground, so to speak, of their arch-nemesis.
>That and the attempt on Gov. Lindstrom. He did have a large part in the original Renraku-Seattle negotiations.
>Ol' Law-yer Man
>So if everyone has it out for the CoA then why aren't they just wiped out?
>It's not as easy as that MQ. There still is this thing called freedom of religion in UCAS and the government has made enough mistakes in the past to play it carefully with each and every small time cult that rears its head. But with all the problems that the UB caused you can bet it won't be long until someone bears down on the CoA.
>Two words: Black-Ops.
"Nuke'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
>I've already been approached by one Johnson to break into the compound. He smelled corporate so I figured him Renraku, but I couldn't trace his tail. Needless to say, it wasn't my cup of tea so I figure he's still looking for the right boys for the job.
As far as Icarus goes. He seems more interested in control of the group from the shadows. Right at the groupís peak another member got angry at the way Highstar was doing things and attempted a small coup. In jumps Icarus and squashes the usurper, literally. A two ton concrete block fell on him. Quite the accident I must say.
>So who, or what, is this Icarus guy?
>From what I've gathered is that Icarus is either a powerful initiate that is masking his aura, or he is some kind of free spirit that has possessed a body. As far as I can tell he's not HMHVV infected, as that would seem obvious from the cannibalistic nature of the Simmon's murder, but none of the members that I've assenced seem to be infected either.
>I'm sorry, but this Icarus has to be a ghoul. He smells, he's ugly, and I've seen him chow down on an elf.
The group has been careful not to store anything illegal in their Hell's Kitchen Compound. Or at least they've been able to hide it well enough to escape two Lone Star raids. They're gearing up for something big, but it sure ain't gonna be a mass suicide. They've been around for 16 years and they haven't had the suicidal urge before; only homicidal. And that makes me feel so much better.
I know for a fact that Lone Star wants the Aurora cult out of town. And I know they know Jennifer Highstar is Jill Higham. But it seems that all records of Jill Higham have been "misplaced," both from the Lone Star offices and Hollywood correctional facility. More than the murders or the sacrificing of small animals, deleting their precious files is what erks Lone Star the most.
>And let me tell you, Lone Star databases are not an easy nut to crack. Sure it can be done but not without a very good decker. Who ever these Aurora guys are they sure must be more than a few wacked out neo-hippies.
I live at 24 Grovetree Ave. Everette.
>Speaking from experience, Herm?
>Experience and psycotropic conditioning. Who loves the Star?
>Look I hate the Star and everything that it has done to me and my family. I'll bring it down one way or another.
I live at 24 Grovetree Ave. Everette.
>What ever psycho boy.
>Erik "Herman" Rhodes was taken in by Lone Star officials yesterday for illegally decking into their databases on four occasions. Lets all wish Herman a nice return stay at Hollywood correctional facilities.
Understandably Mr. Lindstrom is also angry with the cult. I guess he doesn't take well to being shot at and has been breathing down the FBI's neck to do something about it. But the FBI hates being shouted at so they are taking their time on this one.
>Rumor has it that a special agent overheard Lingstrom bad mouthing the bureau and now there is a rift growing between the acting governor and the FBI.
The military is looking into the car bomb incident as well. They've narrowed their list down to about twenty groups. 14 local and 6 based outside of Seattle. The CoA are damn near the top of that list, but the military hasn't been able to trace the magic or the bomb back to the kids and they have a lot of other troubles slowing down the search.
All in all this next year is sure to see the CoA in the headlines. Either because two leaders in a cult is usually one to many or because they'll manage to blow the whole fragging sprawl to the heavens. My prediction is the first. Either Highstar or Icarus will want total control and that will take up most of their energy. After that, if the cult doesn't destroy itself first, then the attention will go back to Seattle and Renraku.