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The Phoenix Gate

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The Mission is pretty simple and based on this premise: Aliens are unwelcome trespassers on our planet, and 95% of them are up to no good.

The Alliance's Mission Statement reads as follows:

Contain any and all Extraterrestrial Expansion on our world.

An "Extraterrestrial" is defined as any individual born of a non-terrestrial species. Individuals born on the planet Earth of one or more alien parents are still classified as Extraterrestrials.

"Expansion" can be defined as (a) new alien arrivals that expand the Extraterrestrial population on Earth; (b) covert alien activity that expands Extraterrestrial power or influence on Earth, or (c) overt alien activity that might reveal the true nature of the Extraterrestrial presence on Earth, thus inevitably increasing Extraterrestrial influence.

"Containment" is defined as (a) discouraging or preventing all alien arrivals; (b) encouraging alien departures; (c) monitoring all alien communication; (d) thwarting covert alien activity; (e) preventing the spread of Extraterrestrial power and influence; (f) crushing overt alien activity; (g) maintaining the secrecy of any true Extraterrestrial presence; (h) enforcing treaties with compliant Extraterrestrials; (i) forcing non-treaty aliens to leave our world, or (j) imprisoning any aliens who do not cooperate. Containment is to be carried out with extreme prejudice.

Surprisingly, there is very little conflict within the Alliance or TGA with regard to releasing the truth about aliens to the general public. There isn't really anyone who thinks that would be fun. Instead, the most controversial part of the Alliance's Mission Statement lies within the (a) definition of "Expansion". It is the single word "arrivals". Are there any circumstances under which a new alien -- or race of aliens -- could or should be welcomed to our world? And, more important, does the word "arrival" include only new-comers from other worlds... or does it also include new-born extraterrestrials born on this world? This one word represents the grey area of our series, and is particularly embodied by our alien leads, Siobhan, Tuk and (to a lesser extent) Aidan.

The Alliance has treaties with three alien races that have small populations on Earth: The Sidhe, the Qua-Yeti and the Chasta-Yeti. But these treaties are extremely one-sided -- in the Alliance's favor. The slightest breach on the part of any of our Extraterrestrial allies is an excuse for the Alliance to come down, and come down hard.

When you get to Roswell, head south past the river toward Mount Harvey. About ten miles before the mountain, you'll see a turn off for the Old Vasquez Ranch, currently owned by Sheriff Emeritus Jack McKay. Six miles further down the road is ThreeHawks Ranch, the property of retired Air Force Captain Will Hawking. McKay's is a cattle ranch. Hawking raises dairy goats, and does a good business in cheese. His place stretches from it's common border with the Vasquez Ranch, all the way to the northern slope of Mount Harvey. McKay's property is L-shaped and corners around 3Hawks to stop against the mountain's western slope.

Now go underground. Way underground. And welcome to the Bunker.

Fifty years ago, the entire Alliance fit under Vasquez. But times have changed. The Alliance and the Bunker have grown.

Acres. Vasquez and 3Hawks are both large spreads, and every inch of dirt now acts as cover to some portion of the Bunker. And Mount Harvey... well, it's hollow. Reinforced with steel. But hollow. Once again, welcome to the Bunker.

"Inquiry" is based under Vasquez. Take the TurboLift down from McKay's ranch house (or any of six other locations on Vasquez) and you'll find one hundred private quarters, forty offices and the "Assignment Desk". The Desk keeps track of every mysterious report, every flare up of alien activity and every Inquiry Agent. The desk is generally manned by Aidan Maguire, who considers it part of his job description. After all, how can he keep Hawking informed, if he doesn't know everything that's going on. Inquiry has its own "Motor Pool", plus SpeedRail Links to the other Sections and Centers.

"Management" and "Research" are both housed under 3Hawks. Again you have 100 living quarters, plus 100 small laboratories and five huge Research Chambers for the really dangerous experiments. There's one additional Research Chamber carved into the peak of Mount Harvey. This chamber includes a powerful radio telescope and super-computer, hooked to a network of orbiting satellites, designed to provide an early warning system for any new alien arrivals.

Beneath this Chamber, Harvey houses "Delivery". There are ten large apartments. An armory. An immense hangar. Training rooms. A Command Center and a War Room.

And finally, there's "Surplus". If any section of the Alliance has grown exponentially, it's the Alliance prison. Most of Mount Harvey is Surplus, and that includes Harvey's fifteen below ground stories. In addition, Surplus still maintains the Alliance's original Lock-Up on the lowest four levels of Vasquez. And it's still not enough. Surplus spills out into the sections of both Vasquez and 3Hawks that border Mt. Harvey. These newest sections are particularly problematic, because they were not originally designed to house prisoners. Lower security risks have been placed in these sections, but everyone knows it's a flaw in the system.

Locations within the Bunker are designated by first listing the Center, then the Level (in positive or negative numbers), followed by a slash mark, the pod letter and room number. For example, Markus' living quarters are Vasquez-6/C2. The office he shares with Tri is Vasquez-3/A7. Hawking lives in the ThreeHawks Ranch house, officially known as 3HawksØ. Siobhan's living quarters are at Harvey+8/A4. (Frankly, I don't know if this is going to matter, but I thought I'd stick it in anyway. Might help us to maintain consistency down the line.)

The Alliance has recruited some of the most brilliant minds on the planet to join "Research". And guys like Tib are always coming up with new stuff. In addition, the Alliance isn't shy about confiscating and exploiting alien technology. All in all, the operatives have a lot at their disposal.

Only one problem. The Alliance is a secret. And so is its on-going effort to control the invading aliens. Most everything has to be able to pass for something else. Which gives us the opportunity for transforming vehicles, hidden weapons and more. Motorcycles that transform and fly. Trucks that become Tanks. Etc. "Delivery" does have a couple of heavily armored all-terrain monstrosities that cannot pass, but they are only used in cases of extreme emergency.

The most common weapon (standard issue for every Inquiry or Research Cell Agent) is "The Torch". The multi-purpose Torch appears to be an ordinary black metal flashlight. But with the flick of a hidden switch, it can telescope out into a (light but sturdy) metal short staff for hand-to-hand combat. One end of the staff holds an electrical charge that can be used as a taser. The other end, fires off a plasma burst that can blow a sizable hole through a brick wall. The Torch is also a communications device and has a built-in homing beacon for tracking wayward agents (or at least for tracking wayward Torches). It's also a working flashlight, and makes a passable doorstop.

Of course, Harris can't be bothered with anything quite so polite. He's into big guns. Magno-Axes. Pulse grenades that can take out a battalion of baddies. Demolition stuff. Scary looking ordinance. Since he's part of Delivery's crisis response team, he doesn't have to be as careful about laying low. If it weren't a last resort emergency, he wouldn't be there in the first place. Plus he doesn't have to clean up after himself, so he isn't shy about doing some real damage with some really impressive toys.