Notes on a certain cult

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Notes on a certain cult

Postby Skewey » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:10 am

Your friendly neighborhood mercenary thorn-in-your-side-you-can't-stay-mad-at is being reimagined from the ground up and so is the villain group that defined him, so enjoy(?) this narrative, multi-part look at what they've become:
The Branche Cirque is an intermediary circus school and talent agency incorporated in 1971, devoted to preparing and connecting aspiring performing artists with the entertainment industry. Cooperative ownership and a focus on passion over profit allows the company to devote considerable resources toward the attraction and cultivation of talent, its primary goal; while scholarships are generous and tuition is cheap, its harsh conditioning and educational programs quickly separate the dedicated from the pretenders.

Roughly eighty percent of enrolments will drop out -- most by the end of the first month -- but those who remain find the boot camp-like environment begin to branch out into more focused areas of training and study in line with their interests and skills, which then further specialize as time goes by. After nine months the Branche begins to seek job placements for its students for when they complete their two years of study, though it will commonly seize good opportunities on their behalf and send them away sooner.

While the company carries no formal accreditation, those whose talents it recognizes are all but guaranteed success in the entertainment world, something that has led some of its graduates over the years to notice a strange trend: while the good students go to Hollywood and the better ones join world-renowned circuses, the best of the best are kept in the program for longer than anyone else -- and then simply disappear. It happens rarely, but enough that the rumour persists that those with the most talent and potential are groomed by the Branche for opportunties beyond what anyone could imagine.

It is whispered that those who climb the right branches wil find themselves in the Nest.
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Re: Notes on a certain cult

Postby Skewey » Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:15 am

History:
The organization that would become The Nest was informally founded in early-20th century Europe by a small group of disillusioned Great War veterans, as an insurgent response to the horrors of industrialized warfare.

They’d seen firsthand the unprecedented loss of life from new technologies like rifles, machineguns, chemical weapons and long-range artillery - but also that how no matter how deadly a war machine was, a small act of sabotage to the right railway or telegraph line could paralyze them. Around the same time, touring circuses were gaining popularity in Europe, and the men saw opportunity in their abilities to cross well-guarded borders with relatively little challenge; once they were discharged and went their separate ways, many went on to join such troupes as a cover for the ventures that came next.

The aspiring saboteurs travelled and performed across Europe, all while sabotaging and assassinating targets of opportunity to slow the wheels of war wherever they turned. They used species of birds as aliases when keeping in touch with each other, taking them to symbolize borderlessness and freedom. Membership grew through careful induction of like-minded circus performers, commandos and financial backers, but without much structure and cohesion the group stagnated, and very likely would have died out if not for the eye-opening onset of World War II. In the wake of the bloodiest conflict in human history, the original members realized it would take much greater organization for such a small group to stand against the tide of modern warfare - and with many of them now in their twilight years and without anything to lose, they were prepared to make any investment necessary to see it happen.

They soon established their first permanent headquarters and laid out new rules. They decided that the only way to match the caliber of elite circus troupes and armies was to live and train together as they did; a big commitment, so it was agreed that those unwilling or unable to take it on were just as valuable seeking connections and financial opportunities for the group elsewhere. The efficient division of labour and heavy emphasis on equality was the making of them, and by the 1960s they were reborn as the cohesive, capable and respected unit they are today. Their official name changed frequently over the years, as they often rebranded to promote their acrobatics or cover their tracks - but its core members couldn’t care less, having always associated themselves much more strongly with their headquarters and home.

It had always been colloquially referred to as the Nest.
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