SINless in Seattle
Echo Mirage was a clandestine group of “cyber-commandos” hired and trained by the United States government in the late 2020s, on the budgets of most of the federal intelligence agencies. They used the prototype cyberterminals developed by Sony Cybersystems, Fuchi Industrial Electronics, and RCA-Unisys and were among the first “deckers.”
Echo Mirage became most famous in combating the Crash Virus of 2029. The first assault against the virus was a failure, as the straight-arrow agents could not handle the psychological demands of cybercombat. An executive order recruited and drafted the most brilliant hackers from the industry and several universities, and thirty-two men and women survived the brutal boot camp training program. In August of 2029, the team, armed with the latest technology, launched a coordinated attack against the Crash Virus, and soon afterwards, four members of the team were dead, flatlined by the lethal biofeedback induced by the viral code. Many more casualties followed, either by going insane or victims to the biofeedback of the virus.
Armed with new combat programs, beefed-up state-of-the-art cyberterminals (now the size of a small desktop computer), and a combat AI psych program known as Mirage, Echo Mirage purged the last of the Crash Virus code, cleaning up the last remnants late in 2031. Shortly thereafter, four of the seven surviving members went to the private sector, taking with them the secrets of cyberterminal construction and the first decking utilities.
Repercussions of Echo Mirage
Corporations were horrified at the ease with which Echo Mirage cut through their most sensitive systems, and this prompted the development of Intrusion Countermeasures, or IC. Until the Matrix Crash 2.0, no other virus has ever had such a widespread and destructive effect on the world’s computer systems. The resulting destruction wrecked havoc on the Internet, causing corporations and governments to rebuild their global network into what is now known as the Matrix.
Much of the technology was bought by Richard Villiers and culminated in 2036 when Fuchi marketed the first commercial cyberterminal.
The AI psych program known as Psychotrope or Mirage lay dormant for many years until it was awakened in 2059.
Former Members of Echo Mirage
- Alice Haeffner was the late wife to Kyle Haeffner, president of the UCAS. It is rumored that she is still alive, a “ghost in the machine.”
- Buddy was a research at U-Dub in 2027 who gained a massive bi-polar disorder and other personality quirks due to the Crash Virus. After decking in the shadows for several years, Buddy died in 2050.
- David Gavilan was the head of Echo Mirage, and is rumored to be the previous identity of Damien Knight, which would explain the Nanosecond Buyout.
- Ken Roper and Michael Eld left Echo Mirage and formed their own company called Matrix Systems. They created the first portable cyberdeck called the Portal, then both died in “accidents.” Matrix Systems was bought out by Richard Villiers, and the technology became the first Fuchi cyberdeck.
- Keith “The Suit” Hannigan was a technician working for Echo Mirage. He worked for Fuchi until 2046, then was snatched by Mitsuhama.
- Erica Rutledge was the chief technician of Echo Mirage. She became a shadowrunner known as “Static.”