The Academy

The Academy

Very little is known about a supposed government sponsored academy that the Alliance founded during the war to produce expertly trained assassins in order to knock out key military and political leaders in order to sway the outcome of the war.

Though there is no proof that the academy exists or that any assassinations by academy graduates have taken place, it is a popular subject of conspiracy theories and urban legend much like Area 51 and the Philadelphia experiment. For many, the lack of proof is all the proof they need. All of the theories regarding the Academy, its location, and graduates have the following themes in common:

Three planets are the focus of all proposed Academy theories: Londinium, Osiris, and Ariel. All are early core worlds orbiting the star White Sun. For whatever reason, Sihnon is always omitted as a potential location.

There are claims of parents who have had children kidnapped at around the age of 12 and taken for training at the Academy. The parents claim that the children are falsely recorded as missing or dead and that occasionally all record of their existence has been wiped out entirely as part of the cover up. Similar claims as the above are from parents who say they sent their child to what they thought was a legitimate school only to have it turn out to be a secret government experimental lab that was warping their children's personalities. In all cases these claims were shown to be baseless by the High Court on Osiris. In most cases it was demonstrated that the parents were experiencing emotional distress either due to the death of their child or simply unable to accept the challenges of seeing their children grow up. These families all received free psychological evaluations and therapy provided by the government.

Recorded sightings of these government trained assassins state they are all adolescents possessing extreme physical grace and prowess as well as unnaturally accurate target shooting ability. A less popular addendum to this is that the children are psychically enhanced to read people thoughts as well.

There is one record of a man claiming to be an alliance operative during the Unification War where he acted as “handler” to a single 17 year old female assassin who entered a heavily guarded dwelling on Hera, killed 3 of the Army of the Independents’ top officers, and then exited the building all without spilling a single drop of blood. He was unable to give the girl’s name, a date, or any other details so his story was discredited. It was later determined that these particular officers were meeting in secret because they planned to defect to the opposite side during the battle of Serenity Valley.

What’s real
The Academy is a joint venture between Blue Sun and the Alliance Government. It is on Londinium. The spin doctors of Parliament continue to allow the omission of Sihnon from any conspiracies regarding the location as it increases the confusion.

Training starts at 10 when students who display the correct blend of mental and physical ability are matriculated into a “gifted and talented” program via the state school systems of the Core worlds. These schools receive a generous sponsorship stipend in return for a promise of silence regarding the actual whereabouts of these students. To date, no school has broken this promise.

Students graduate after 4-5 years of rigorous training and education. Depending on a subject’s natural psychic ability, they may “test up” and enter a more advanced program to increase it. There is a high failure rate at this level so often these students never see operational status. The Academy only advances 1-2 students a year into an operational mode both by necessity to maintain secrecy and because of this failure rate.

All operational subjects are assigned a handler that they train with for 1-2 years. These handlers are also carefully chosen for their ability to both bond with their subject as well as withstand psychic attack. Subjects and their handlers may work as a team alone or in groups and the relationships are complex. Handlers are known to refer to their subjects as “dogs”; it is unknown whether this is a deliberate insult or an affectionate term comparing them to pets.

Over the years the Academy has needed to make changes to it's training program and operational mission.
This evolution can be tracked here:The Evolution of the Academy

Academy Methodology:

What the Academy has achieved with their tethered operation program is considered to be at the cutting edge of medical and military science. The work that they do has several components.


Training: This is the core of both the agent and operator training programs. Early on it became clear to the academy’s architects that they needed their subjects to be skilled in covert operations and hand to hand techniques. For this reason they hired members of the MalfiBlood Sworn, who worked in secret and against the codes of their own organization to teach their time honored methods to an elite team of trainers. The Malfi fighting style is at the core of every agent’s skill set. As the Malfi do not use guns, it was also necessary to obtain the services of skilled trainer in marksmanship.

Brain Washing: Because of the work they do, the loyalty of the agents must be unwavering and because of what they do, the agents must be controllable. For this reason, all agents are subjected to a combination of behavioral conditioning and mind altering drugs. This serves 2 main purposes: To act as the “safety switch” (simple verbal commands spoken by anyone can shut an agent down and put them “to sleep”) and as an enhancement to their training and programming.

  1. While not working, agents live in a “suppressed” state. This is achieved by drugs designed to suppress psychic ability and stabilize mood (because a bunker full of psychic weaponized adolescent assassins would be pretty dicey without it). Off duty agents have a flat affect, dulled senses, and very little psychic ability. Though it seems extreme, Phase 1 subjects like Locke remember what it was like living in the facility prior to suppression and appreciate that the body count is much lower now. The favored drug for this purpose is G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate which is added to the agents’ food and water.
  2. While working and training, the opposite is true for the agents. Prior to going on duty, agents are kept in a holding area so different drugs designed to enhance psychic ability, alertness, speed, and strength can take effect. They are collected by their operators from these holding cells for work or training.
  3. The downside of these drugs is that most of them create some type of physical dependency when used, resulting in quite severe effects when discontinued. While at first this was considered a problem, after Agent Y attitudes changed and it became a feature rather than a bug; within a day or two, agents attempting escape would be too ill to run.
  4. Note: this complicates jobs where the teams are required to travel long distances as the controlled environment of the agent barracks (or the “kennel” as the operators call it) must be recreated on a transport ship. Most of the time, this is avoided by putting the agent to sleep for the journey.

Weaponization: The core of the Academy’s program revolves around the aspect that ALL the agents have been programmed with a series of behavioral triggers implanted very deep into the subconscious at almost an instinctual level. It means that the subjects, once programmed, can’t NOT be assassins as it is literally encoded into their subconscious and even incorporated into their personalities.

  1. Initial work on weaponization started on Londinium as far back as 2500 when their was a pilot program using rodents implanted with agressive behavioral triggers could be controlled by psychic suggestion. Lennon, while still in his residency, briefly interned with this program while being considered for a more permanent placement. For the rest of his life, he has a deep fear of rats after what he saw there.


Training: Operators share training in common with the agents as they too have gone through the Malfi training techniques as well as gun training. There is less of an emphasis on these skills, but as the operators must work in the field with their agent, they need to have similar abilities.

Brain washing: Since the operators must remain clear headed in order to do the work they do, there is very little use of suppressive drugs. However, because they are psychic and secrets need to be protected, they are also subjected to similar behavioral conditioning as the agents. All operators have safety switches and other master control functions conditioned in.

Enhanced psychic ability: This is where the operator program is most different. Though these subjects already showed strong psychic ability, the academy scientists found ways to enhance this ability. This is done primarily through altering the subconscious. This is similar to the weaponization program used by the agent program, but to a different end: instead of implanted behavioral switches, the agents have the ability to access the switches at a subconscious level. They can literally “program” their agent without their agent realizing it.

Neuroprogramming: From the operator perspective, an agent is a living weapon that they control. For this reason, each operator is matched to a particular agent which allows them to control their behavioral triggers very specifically and receive feedback from their agent as those behaviors are performed. The relationship between the operator and their agent is very complex; a combination of parent/child (as the agent is always much younger) and handler, dog (because the agent is entirely under their direction). Good operator/agent pairs will develop trust and familiarity so that they appear to work in tandem as equal partners; using the neuroprogramming linkage collaboratively to solve problems in the field; even sometimes developing “signature moves” special to that pair (and that are later programmed in by the academy scientists to use again more efficiently).

Hands of Blue: The operators are given much more freedom than their agents and for this reason, they require their own set of controllers. Little is understood about these “operator handlers”, even by the operators themselves. What they do know is that encountering these mysterious men in blue gloves is never a good thing.
(Thanks to Emily for writing the Academy's background)

More on Academy Mission Structuring