– PHANTOM HERALD –
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While little more than rumor now, stories say the original founders of Phantom Herald had roots in the intelligence community (IC). The monikers they surely used have been lost in decades past, and knowing them today would provide little insight. Still, the accepted reason for such people coming together was the creation of the ARK whose very existence necessitated efforts to protect the anonymity of those burdened by the keeping of secrets – something the founders knew all too well.
During nascent decades of the organization’s existence, no records were kept, yet an anecdotal history of those years persists to this day. The roots of the IC, like tentacles knowingly and subtly insinuating themselves into every aspect of UEE life, soon observed the new Ark-era landscape being divided into two camps: Those supporting the ARK, and those opposed to it – and with division comes opportunity. Secrecy and security became the test in every corner of that landscape by which loyalty to Phantom Herald was measured. Covert and deadly tumult pockmarked the era with many agents of the organization paying the ultimate price as they secretly manipulated and mimed the players in both camps involuntarily split by the schism of the ARK.
The machinations of the organization’s early days were said to be heavy, blunt, and direct; that it had been formed into a syndicate to justify taking actions that fell outside the law. Yet Phantom Herald could be seen maturing as decades passed; embracing the subtleties of having a hand capable of touching any and every corner of the UEE at will. During the most recent decades, many in the IC became convinced Phantom Herald had faded from power and influence; yet others, preferring to see such an organization ultimately fail, didn’t trust appearances, and suspect that agents of Phantom Herald have quietly insinuated themselves into every profession – without deference to the law – in every corner of UEE space. They also suspect that Phantom Herald puppet-masters now silently choreograph the dancing of the mimes in camps encircling the ARK from some unknown vantage, at once near and far. Because secrets must be kept.
PHANTOM HERALD –
THE RIGHT PEOPLE – IN THE RIGHT PLACE – AT THE RIGHT TIME
YOUR PARTNER IN ACHIEVEMENT
The driving force behind PHANTOM HERALD can be summed up in one word: Mutualism.
The precept that two heads are better than one; that combining resources and efforts results in benefits for all involved; and the idea that such a notion applies exceptionally well to individuals and organizations sharing common objectives.
PHANTOM HERALD has a full assortment of equipment and hardware at its disposal, as well as a core Cadre of loyal members versed in a wide array of vocations, disciplines, and doctrine – they are the professionals who make the idea of “jack of all trades” a guiding principle in the way PHANTOM HERALD achieves. Yet our highest purpose is to achieve together.
We welcome anyone who has something to achieve.
Partnership in achievement. It’s what we do.
If your organization has everything it needs to achieve, but you desire to accomplish it bigger, faster, better – we’re your partner.
If you’re an individual with a worthy goal that’s remained just out of reach – we’re your partner.
PHANTOM HERALD –
PARTNERING TO ACHIEVE TOGETHER
I started off as a Novitiate of Phantom Herald much like any other new hire. I’d gotten some experience working with my old man in cargo hauling and a bit less in data-running and it got me in the door – although I was just a teen when they offered me the job. The first couple of months I spent learning the ropes – you know, doing the job the way PHH wanted it done. I thought their internal culture around loyalty was a bit . . . extreme . . . at first – at least until I started finding out how they felt about security and their damned preoccupation with secrecy that touched, well . . . everything.
Another thing that seemed kind of odd to me back then when I learned about it was that Phantom Herald seemed to be into everything – I mean they had people doing every conceivable job in the ‘Verse, and while I never was able to confirm external rumors I’d heard about smuggling and piracy, what made my head spin even more was that they also had people just about everywhere. That’s when it hit me; that’s when I began to suspect that maybe my employer was into some seriously scary stuff. But no one – not one person – ever talked about it. Ever.
After the first few years while I primarily had been doing hauling for my employer – with an occasional basic data-running job on the side – one of my supervisors told me the company was putting on a week-long data-running clinic, “to maintain a median level of competence in our employees.” He told me I was already signed up. I thought, what the hell: They’re paying me to go, I’ve got nothing to lose.
I tell you though, I came out of that clinic both excited – and scared as hell. It was the first time I’d been introduced to concepts of what PHH called “professional” data handling techniques: Dead-drops, live-drops, bona fides, near and far recognition signals, danger/go/no-go identifiers, the use of cargo “spoofers,” electronic signature manipulation, techniques for stealth operations, data-dumping, avoiding detection, pursuit evasion techniques – well, I could go on. And they called it an “introductory basic operations” course – yeah, right. What it boiled down to was telling most of us so called data-runners how to stay out of trouble with the guys doing the real work; the real heavy lifting . . . the guys flying the real, hard-core data vessels. And I’ll tell you this: I walked away from that clinic knowing I wanted to do more. So I went and told my supervisor that very thing next day.
He laughed. But then his face went blank and he seemed to stop breathing. His eyes rolled in their sockets like wet glass marbles as his gaze turned looking me straight in the eye with the longest, most penetrating stare I’ve ever known – like he could see right into the pit of my soul; silently assessing some side of me that I didn’t even know existed. Then he walked away. His wordless stare told me something that day – that all the BS I’d put up with trying to adhere to the PHH culture of loyalty, secrecy and security, was no BS. It was for real. That was when I knew if I were ever going to go anywhere serious with PHH, my loyalty had to be unquestionable and unshakable.
Three short years later, I had been assigned a “handler” to oversee my operations with Phantom Herald. Two years after that – following some of the most grueling and challenging training I could imagine – I’d been inducted into the Phantom Corps itself. I’m an operator. And it’s everything I’ve ever wanted. Well, mostly.