The Endeavoring

Synopsis: An Illuminati-esque transhumanist extremist cult intends to deploy a PAX variant.

"The Endeavor" refers to the cult
"The Endevoring" refers to one or more members of the cult.

Ever since Earth-that-was, there has been a contingent of people focused on the physiological advancement of the human race. Problems arising from the legal and ethical issues from bionetic and cybernetic enhancements (and associated psychoses and other complications) has ultimately resulted in these groups dividing into two groups. The "Futurists" have been what they have always been, the legitimate researchers and inventors, developing medical and technological advancements at the molasses speed of the legislative process and societal adoption. "The Endeavoring" are a group unsatisfied with humanity's complacency with its unmet potential. They are willing, and in many cases able, to work outside the confines of accepted practice to make leaps and bounds in what they view as evolutionary progress. At best, The Endeavoring view the rest of humanity as lesser species to be benignly ruled; at worst, most humans are merely cattle to be experimented upon like lab rats for the advancement of the enlightened.

The number of members are small, numbering somewhere in the thousands, dispersed across the verse. Most are quite wealthy or well connected, as the organization earns a great deal of income from patents and grants through its various front operations. They are almost exclusively invested in R&D, and at least two people on the Blue-Sun board of directors are members. The Endeavoring helped orchestrate the Miranda event, politically, financially, scientifically. While the overall goal of the Miranda event was political pacification, the method of that pacification was manipulated by The Endeavor.

The more insidious intent of the development of the G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate was to pacify the population while leaving people with a particular genetic marker unaffected. That genetic marker was indicative of a natural resilience against cyber-psychosis. The long term goal was that people with this genetic marker would be more socially assertive than others under the influence of the PAX, and over generations come to be a more dominant proportion of the population, reducing the prevalence of cyber-psychosis and socially accelerate the endeavor to ultimately unify man and machine.

However, there was a miscalculation. While the PAX over-pacified those without the genetic marker, rather than leave alone those that had it, the PAX actually exacerbated the related proteins, inducing the very psychoses The Endeavoring were attempting to eliminate. When the initial reports came aback about what had happened, The Endeavoring distanced themselves from Miranda (in part because they were particularly susceptible) and began exploring other avenues to achieve their ends.

The Academy where River and Ruan were created was another operation where The Endeavor gave their blessing and support, and they had numerous members involved in the project. However, they were unable to halt the order to purge the academy from a political angle, and the sudden end to the program left them considerably displeased. They may try to start a similar program under their direct control somewhere else, focusing less on turning students into government assassins and more on unlocking raw human psychic potential.

The Endeavor's most prevalent success came in the form of the Blastomere project. The goal was largely the same, i.e. to give people who were more genetically receptive to cybernetic implants a competitive edge by allowing them to live longer, healthier lives through designer organs. While these organs could be given to anybody (for a price) the potential complications of bio-engineering ran into legislative hurdles that drove the industry underground. However, the organ smuggling, while a "legitimate" black market business, is still mainly a front for The Endeavor, but serves a secondary purpose: recruiting.

The Blastomere organ industry is really a qualification program for The Endeavor. Individuals are vetted and approached; their body's acceptance or rejection of the blastomere implants indicates the presence of the desired genetic markers. In case of rejection, The implants were removed and the subject disposed of. If the implants were accepted, the subject was approached and offered membership. Rejection of that offer would result in significant covert observation of the individual at the very least and, were the individual attempt to go to legitimate authorities, they would be killed.

Tracy's "higher bid" came from government officials trying to expose The Endeavor, even though he himself wasn't necessarily aware of the cult or their aims. His body rejected the implants, and shutting down his metabolism by faking his death in a coma was not only a measure to try and escape his pursuers, but to extend his life long enough to get the organs removed. Womack is one of many Alliance personnel secretly a member of The Endeavor, and evidences his devotion to the cause in his willingness to operate outside the law, even though publicly it is his job to uphold it. When Womack commented about Tracy being "damaged goods," he was actually referring to Tracy's body rejecting the implants, rather then him suffering bullet wounds. Womack was willing to walk away at that point, because although the organs were forfeit, the loose ends potentially exposing The Endeavor were tied up with Tracy's death.

Character involvement:
Unbeknownst to her, Naomi's first encounter with the Endeavoring occurred when she was attending boarding school as a ward of the state. Her savant grasp of math and physics did not go unnoticed, though she was given time to mature out of her rebellious nature before being approached. Unfortunately, that personality quirk never really went away. After graduating from the boarding school, Naomi fell off the grid, not really having ties to a location or culture, and having no family network to rely on. She couch-surfed her way through the rave scene for a while until fund got tight enough that she needed to look for gainful employment. A chance encounter put her back on the radar of The Endeavor.

She was vetted and offered a "job" as an organ mule. She underwent the surgery and began making her way to her destination. Along the way, she found out about the prevalence of organ mules that were never heard from again. She decided to disappear, instead, thinking her "employer" was a criminal organization looking to take advantage of her naivety, rather than an extremist techno-theocratic cult looking to recruit her. The Endeavoring are not pleased at her flight, but still may be willing to give her a chance to join, but she'll learn soon enough that dangerous fanatical ideologies aren't just found in backwater colonies.