During the late 1960's, the American government conducted secret testing upon various breeds of animals, to determine the reaction of living tissue to radiation. This revealed a disturbing fact... When exposed to certain types of radiation, young animals with a particular gene sequence would mutate, and in the course of a week would gain humanlike characteristics and human-equivalent intelligence. This fact was kept secret from the public, and the gene sequence was referred to in the most classified documents as the Aesop Series. The subjects themselves would be known to their handlers as Aesopians.
Furthermore, the animals so mutated would gain considerable tolerance to radiation, becoming able to endure levels that would kill a human four or five times over. Testing continued at a slowed pace through mid-1970, as the ramifications and uses of the test subjects were thorougly explored. The project suffered a little from various escapes and mishaps, but overall remained secret to the public.
At the end of the 1970s, key Pentagon officials concluded that nuclear war with the Soviet Union was unavoidable. They took various measures to set up failsafes in the event of a nuclear holocaust.
One such failsafe was codenamed Project Narnia.
Project Narnia was a series of carefully hidden remote boltholes, concealed throughout the continental United States. The boltholes were well-equipped, stocked with cryogenic chambers, and manned by agents trained in a number of skills deemed useful in the event of an apocalypse.
Half of these agents were human. Bold and resolute patriots all, they would sleep until the radiation lowered itself to safe levels, at which point the computers would wake them from their icy slumber. They would secure the base, and stride forth to re-establish the united states government, and salvage what was left of America.
Half were Aesopians. Raised from a young age by the agents they would be working with, they would be awakened by the human agents when the time was right, and used as support staff, utilizing their unique talents and resistance to radiation to help their beloved masters. Left unsaid, at least to the Aesopians, was that they'd be used as a source of cannon fodder, disposable assets, and would get all the scut-work. They would die, so the humans wouldn't have to.
And then, in 1988, the sirens sounded. The alarms went out, and the agents and Aesopians sealed the boltholes of Project Narnia, and crawled inside their cryotubes to wait for the end of the world to be done with.
You are an Aesopian.
You have been slumbering in darkness for quite some time.
Now you have awakened. And the tubes have unsealed, the ice turned to water and drained away as the chemical cocktail pumps into your system, and brings you back alive. But something is wrong... No one is there to greet you! Where are your human masters?
Player Characters (Beta Team)
- Brigadier - Red Squirrel scout - Dave the Troll
- Descartes - Falcon - Phantom Stranger
- Moloch - Thorny Devil - Kreen Warrior
- Floyd - Kangeroo Medic - Skippster
- Reynard - Fox - Von Gribblefaust
- Melody - Cobra Infiltrator - Ladynero 69
- Canis Major - Mongrel Dog Commando - Xaos
- Doc - Whale Comms specialist - Sam Anderson
- Pippi - Bat - Miss Fermoy
- RIP - Specks is a Tawny Owl. Her role was to act as air reconnaissance and to drop Brig to the site of any incident for initial ground investigation. Brig and Speck’s relationship was, by necessity, one of absolute trust. Specks failed to survive the restoration from cryo-sleep.
- Commodore Lawrence Phelps (Rtd*)
a softly-spoken, dour Scot given to literary allusions and liberal libations of Scotch. Phelps named Descartes "in memory of the Auld Alliance, and because I wouldnae sully yuir spirit wi' the name of a buffoon like Hume..."
(Officially. Most Aerie handlers were high-ranking older RAF officers who'd 'retired' to drop out and do something more interesting than flying a desk.)
- Sergeant Tom Black
Black was cut of the "tough but fair" school; he would work Moloch to his limit, but was kind enough when necessary. He never quite got over the necessity of working with the animal-men, though he tried to work * past it. The Warren wasn't exactly militaristic, the Aesopeans weren't normal soldiers, but it was much * more businesslike than the Aerie, focused on its mission of surviving the apocalypse.
- Corporal John J. Jackson
Brig's first handler
The handler was Corporal John J. Jackson, previously of the Lincolnshire Regiment. He was light-hearted and considered part of the team as much as its handler. He is, however, a stickler for orders. Once things were made official, the jokes ended until the job was done. Once at the base, Jack ended up with Specks in Delta team.
- Sergeant Troy Mutton
Brig's second handler
Sergeant Troy Mutton, was an ex-US Marine and a brute of a man. He became Brig’s handler when they arrived at their final base. Brig saw him as a bully and Mutton lived up to that. Going into the freeze, Brig has a couple of bruises that are as yet not quite healed. Brig disobeyed Mutton’s commands, because he believed he did not understand the subtlety of the scouting task.
- Sergeant John Black
Canis Major's handler
His trainer was Sgt. John Black, a Ranger, veteran of several covert ops, and an exotic martials arts master. He was Canis second handler, as the first was finding Canis almost unhadleable. Canis learned how to use himself to the fullest physically and mentally through Sgt. Black. Sgt. Black and Canis eventually became virtual twins in temperment and outlook.
- Sergeant Chris Jenkins
His human Mentor was Sgt Chris Jenkins a field Medic in the Australian SAS who originally noticed his interest in Medicine and showed him some medical texts and helped him learn a little when he was young and ill. Chris was a great guy and treated Floyd as one of the family introducing him to Jazz music and comics.
- Alexi Vladislov
Melody was trained by KGB agent Alexi Vladislov who defected to the US and was scooped up by the CIA for Project Narnia. He taught her everything he knew, including his philosophy "Without beauty in life, there is nothing worth living for." He named her "Melody" as a pun because both a melody and she had scales. He remained her handler when they moved to the island. Because her teacher was Russian, she will slip into a Russian accent occasionally. Alexi would take her for walks around the island, armed only with their cameras and take pictures of gorgeous landscapes and sunsets.
- Clay Quinn
Clay Quinn, a marine biologist brought in for the experiment that produced Doc, was a genuinely nice guy, as far as Doc ever knew. They got along well, and Doc was always very careful never to accidentally break him.
- Crystal Ryan
Crystal Ryan, an anthrozoologist from Bath, a softly spoken, gentle woman whose nurture brought Pippi out of her shell. She trained Pippi to accept others, but also how to defend herself. She introduced her to other Aesopians, and encouraged her to take night flights over the town, as long as she kept to the shadows
- Marie Delacrois
Reynard was somewhat of a pet project by the chief scientist, Marie Delacrois who would play him opera and taught him to read not just for training but also for pleasure. She opened his eyes to the finer points of human culture and for that he was always grateful, harboring something of a crush on her.
- Bronte, a female kingfisher from Alpha Team. She and Descartes had both been raised in the Aerie and youthful friendly rivalry had given way to a brief, disastrous fling followed up by something not quite resentment between the pair. Phelps always said they were too similar; Descartes was never sure that was fair. Bronte was a spy par excellence once she graduated onto a team.
- Dag is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier standing near eight feet tall. He is the finisher of the operation. Once a situation has been assessed by Specks and Brig, he deals with the flack. The others then act as his support. At the base, Brig would often start trouble with other Aesopians, knowing that Dag has his back and would deal with the aftermath. Brig is somewhat quieter at the new base without the strong arm close at hand.
- Floyd became friends with Octus Jones the 8 handed Octopus Medic in Alpha squad who showed him several new Techniques for dealing with Arterial bleeding and taught him a few lessons at ping pong as well. The two shared a similar outlook on life and just sort of fell in together early on.
- After the initial results of the experiment that produced Doc were assessed, it was decided that military applications could be useful. An orca was brought in and had the same tests performed. The result was the cleverly-named Killer, a humanoid orca trained as an amphibious-assault commando. Killer was an utterly sociopathic monster, and Doc loathed him.
- Reynard enjoyed a brief relationship with a member of the Alpha Team, Tails, a field mouse and medic. It lasted a few months before she broke it off, citing that her duties had to come first. They remained in contact and Reynard hopes that one day, once their 'tour of duty' is over, she would share his interest in giving things another shot.
- Bact, an Australian camel, was Moloch's friend. They often explored the area surrounding the Warren in their free time (within the designated limits, of course), and had the occasional philosophical debate regarding the purpose of their existence. Moloch tended towards a "live in the moment" outlook, while Bact did much more soul-searching.
- Canis became friends with Angel, a full-human looking avian with full wings and hands in Delta. Charismatic and friendly, she had trained to be a contact specialist and diplomat. For some reason they just clicked upon first meeting, and became fast friends.
- Fangs was another cobra infiltration expert in delta, but he managed to develope legs to her tail. He was moved there to be kept close to her with the possibility of the two of them working as a team when needed. Perhaps even something more beyond just teamwork. He confuses her because he's polite and a gentleman, but there's something she doesn't like about him.
- Pippi found a friend in Hodge the hedgehog aesopian who specialised in defensive tech, though equally shy Hodges had overcome his introverted nature through humour and was now a firm member of a team. Pippi’s admiration for him bordered on hero worship at times, and Hodges, apparently flattered by her esteem, seemed to look out for her.