|No longer your own …|
|Faction||Atomic Kingdom of China|
|Brief||Creates “voices” in one’s mind|
It was a standard day for the Blue Chinese, or as standard as one is in an apocalyptic war using war material as a child might use gasoline on an ant hill. A war council was called by Chiang Kai-shek to discuss the newest push into Red China’s territory, believed by everyone except Kai-shek to be as futile as the others. One of Kai-shek’s generals, however, became increasingly more and more agitated. As the briefing went on, he started to rub his head like a man with headache, and then started turning his head as if hearing something, even though only Kai-shek was speaking. Zongren started to tense and started showing anger.
Eventually, Zongren could hold himself no longer. He drew his two pistols in a mad fury and began to shoot blindly around him. He screamed “Stop it! Stop it!” constantly as he turned around, shooting many attendants that were in the bunker. Even when he ran out of ammo, he continued pulling the triggers, though by now guards had run in and shot Zongren until he was completely dead. No one at the briefing could understand what happened; men had snapped, yes, but never like this, during a placid meeting. Even so, it was obvious Zongren wasn’t aiming for anyone in particular. Kai-shek in particular was unharmed due to him hiding beneath the table.
What neither Zongren nor anyone else at the meeting knew was that he had been selected as the first subject of the PCL (P'an-Chin-Lien) Array. Centred in a complicated dish and antenna array in Manchuria, the PCL Array could, for lack of a better word, transmit radio waves into the human brain from a great distance away. The waves turn into sound due to the vibration of the human skull. The whole thing took too much effort and research to complete, that it was put in one of the most fortified buildings in China, with the one operator who knew how to control it, Bai Chan, literally sealed in with a lifetime’s worth of food, the only contact with the outside world through a TV screen.
The power of the PCL Array was so great that it could reach anyone within much of China, as well as other countries. While it could only concentrate on one person at a time and required constant recalculation, its effects were devastating. With little effort, it could fill a person with enough screaming white noise to make him go mad with pain, with no way to stop it. It could also be used more subtly, with masking sounds from whatever Red Chinese infiltrators during covert actions of enough import. However, its most infamous use was to take control of the minds of Blue Chinese leaders. If composed and spoken properly with the right pitch, transmissions would be indistinguishable from the person’s own thoughts. Without ever knowing it, the person’s thoughts would lead them to exactly what the Red Chinese wanted, from botching battle strategy, to killing their own people, to anything in Bai Chan’s twisted imagination. Nor was this limited to Blue China; during this time, there were many more Soviets in Siberia arguing for more support for the Red Chinese, as well as Rising Sun leaders calling for the destruction of the Blue Chinese.
Chinese Whispers Edit
While the PCL was eventually discovered and attacked heavily, it was so well protected by the cream of the People’s Liberation Army that it wasn’t destroyed, until the very end when an atomic bomb was dropped on it. While the array itself was destroyed, the bunker holding Bai Chan survived. With no contact with the outside world, she waited for an amount of time she had no way of measuring. All she knew is that one day, strange green men literally popped out of the air in her bunker. She barely had the presence of mind to grasp her sidearm before they ran her through with their spears.
With such a mighty weapon, the Atomic Kingdom could potentially do more damage than the Atom Bomb. Unfortunately, the Array was complete slag, and could not be reproduced by entire teams of Bai Chan’s clones. The best they could do was to reproduce the fundamentals of the machine, but this alone could prove useful. Further research produced smaller, portable versions of the PCL Array. Though its range was much less (on account of the weapon lacking several dozen radar dishes), they could still control people, if used correctly. The Atomic Kingdom proceeded to insert small teams of infiltrator clones into all the capitals of the major powers.
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), the plan failed. Most notably, clones make poor infiltrators. They’re incapable of acting normally due to their upbringing, and a group of people from a nation just destroyed by atomic bombs were very odd perhaps. Their distinctive ears are also a dead give away, and excuses based on mechanical rice pullers only go so far. When the clones did do the job, it was impossible to convince anyone that they were hearing their own thoughts. The mind of a Soviet or Allied official is far different from that of a Chinese man who’s just seen their nation destroyed.
The Atomic Chinese had more luck on the battlefield, though. Simply by aiming the devices at other people, enough static, constantly changing noise is produced in their heads that the minds cannot keep up. The person stands there, incapable of doing anything else. Armour is no help, as the radio waves simply pass through matter unless it’s specifically aimed at it, meaning vehicle crews can likewise be stunned. Though not the war-winner it was hoped to be, nevertheless the Atomic Chinese have a useful tool.
Clones are a different matter altogether, however.
Despite the success of the Red Chinese cloning programme, one of the most niggling flaws was the training of new clones. As previously stated, the brain of a new clone is a blank slate, a baby's mind, even though it may be in a fully grown body. Before the clone can be sent off to battle, they first need to be trained in everything from how to use a toilet to the proper use of a rifle. Skimping on everything not important helped, but even so it could take months to years before a clone could see action on the battlefield. The Red Chinese answer was to recover the brains of soldiers killed in action and transplant them into the new bodies. This worked well, but the problem was never really solved.
After the bombs fell, the Atomic Chinese faced the same problem in creating their clone army; however, unlike the Red Chinese they lacked a supply of usable minds. For a time, the problem looked insurmountable. Then, it was realised that the solution to the problem already existed, not only that, but the Red Chinese had never realised it was sitting in their laps the entire time. The secrecy surrounding both the cloning and PCL projects meant that no one had ever considered merging two technologies until the Atomic Kingdom's rise.
The brain of a freshly decanted clone is not unlike a baby’s; lacking any prior experiences, it is effectively a "blank template", so to speak. It was soon discovered by the Atomic Kingdom that such a state of mind was ridiculously easy to manipulate, a fact that has allowed the Atomic Chinese to have clones on the battlefield mere days after their creation. Exposing newly decanted clones to a wave of radio instruction would give them all the knowledge needed for them to serve in their designated role. The process took a few days at the most, by the end of which a clone could know how to strip down and reassemble a disruptor carbine, speak in Mandarin, salute properly, and so forth. The Atomic Chinese could implant false memories, or induce absolute hatred for China's enemies and fervent dedication to the Kingdom. Hundreds of programs for radio instruction were written, one for every designated role for a clone in Chinese society.
This had a profound effect on the Atomic Kingdom's military capabilities, and allowed it to do the seemingly impossible. But the oft overlooked part of this is the equally profound effect the radio technology had on how Nobles (or, "real people") and the Kingdom as a whole viewed clones. With the ease of programming clones with prewritten instruction, it was easy to see them as machines; created and programmed for a particular task.
The effect of it all was to reduce clones to something less than human.