Stolen Intelligence is a Lore book introduced in Joker's Wild. It consists of reports submitted by Hidden agents to Ikora Rey and their fellow operatives. Entries are unlocked by acquiring rank-up packages provided by Commander Zavala.
DECRYPTION KEY: 73XK5V2PG1$AUN-326
REP #: 692-FALLEN-DUS
SUBJ: Countercultural intelligence update
1. Fallen armed forces continue to fall back from active fronts across Terra. Factions of House Dusk remain active in the European Dead Zone. Throughout the rest of the globe, refugee attack incidents have dropped by more than 70% since the conclusion of the Red War—largely attributable to depressed Fallen and human populations rather than any significant change in interspecies relations.
2. In absence of any united leadership, House Dusk continues to splinter and radicalize.
The recent trending emergence of so-called "crime syndicates" (cf. report #004-FALLEN-SIV) is emblematic of the continuing destructuralization of Fallen society. Likely an artifact of multi-generational colonization of human strongholds, this agent believes that because these syndicates have no relation to indigenous Fallen culture, young Fallen are appropriating and imitating human mythology in absence of a strong cultural heritage of their own.
3. That being said, we should continue to monitor reunification efforts. Several personalities have emerged as potential leaders. First, the would-be integrationists:
VIP #1121, well-known to Guardians of the inner system as Variks or Variks the Loyal. Directly responsible for the release of the murderer Uldren Sov from the Prison of Elders, #1121 subsequently fled Awoken holdings in the Reef and now styles himself the Kell of Kells, still representing House Judgement. The Praxic Order has petitioned the Vanguard for permission to detain #1121. The Awoken monarchy, acting through the Queen's Wrath, has claimed jurisdiction over #1121 and further stated that any prosecution in absence of their involvement will be considered an act of war. The Vanguard has not yet made a statement about their position on the issue.
VIP #3987, another former confederate of the Awoken, is a lesser-known personality known as Mithrax. Scattered field reports suggest that like #1121, #3987 styles himself a Kell of the so-called "House Light," an otherwise unknown House apparently founded by #3987 himself. We have secondhand accounts that Mithrax has engaged in allied operations with Guardians in the field, though we have not as yet been able to corroborate these accounts with any degree of veracity. This agent is inclined to treat these reports with a healthy degree of skepticism until otherwise confirmed, as they may be propaganda from Fallen sympathizers in the Old Russian and Red War Guardian cohorts. We have requested intelligence records from the Awoken which may further clarify the matter.
In addition, whatever the findings of said intelligence records may be, it should be stressed that one or two sympathetic outliers cannot be relied upon to erase the wrongs of past centuries, nor should their good-faith efforts to correct the sins of their forebears be taken as sufficient symbolic reparation.
Second, the would-be separatists:
VIP #4503, a recent personality known as Fikrul or the Fanatic. A close confederate of the murderer Uldren Sov, #4503 has the apparent ability to raise himself from the dead in a manner not dissimilar to Ghost-aided resurrection. Though his reign on the Tangled Shore was limited, he possesses sufficient skill, hatred, and motive to warrant on-going surveillance. Given #4503's propensity for resurrection, the inherent risk of #4503 reclaiming the body of the murderer Uldren Sov from his final resting place in the Dreaming City goes without saying. The Vanguard continues to deploy fireteams to suppress #4503; our agents have reached out to the Cryptarchy and the Gensym Scribes to request guidance as to his permanent destruction.
VIP #2029, a once-known personality known as Eramis or Eramis, the Shipstealer. A House Devils Baroness incarcerated during the Wolf Wars, #2029 successfully fled the Prison of Elders during the mass escape orchestrated by #1121. #2029 is a classical Fallen pirate of the old ways: vicious, uncompromising, and possessing cunning of the highest degree. Field reports indicate that she is rallying violent dissidents to reconstruct House Devils from the ground up. This agent believes her to be the most viable candidate for universal Fallen reunification, and would urge the Vanguard and other interested leadership to aggressively prioritize her destruction.
We have come too far to pull our punches now.
DECRYPTION KEY: 73XK5V2PG1$AUN-326
REP #: 1021-CITY-VAN
SUBJ: Instability of leadership
1. Following the events of the Red War and the recent loss of the Hunter Vanguard, current acting Vanguard leadership has struggled to define its function and role within what is an otherwise largely egalitarian and self-governing body of active Guardians. Much like the current popular perception of the Awoken queen, we have failed to adequately respond to questions about our integrity, competence, and unity as we have grieved the loss of the Hunter Vanguard.
The Vanguard was never intended as a governing body of authoritarians, nor does it function as such, but in times of turmoil and uncertainty, people rightly look to figures of strength for guidance and support. Neither the Titan Vanguard nor I ever intended to become politicians. We are warriors, first and foremost, and we no longer feel that we are able to serve as such.
In the spirit of honest self-reflection in the face of justified skepticism, we have begun to discuss the possibility of stepping down to invite new leadership into our place, as well as the general merits of disbanding the Vanguard entirely—largely because we believe that this crisis of identity will plague anyone who steps into this role. We recognize that this is ill-timed, and we will endeavor to involve the Consensus, the Guardians themselves, and all other interested parties in the discussion as appropriate. I specifically invite the Hidden to closely monitor the situation without my involvement. Should you agree that we are doing more harm than good, please do not hesitate to take whatever actions you agree are necessary.
2. Regarding the open Hunter Vanguard position and the terms of Cayde's Dare: The situation is unprecedented. Were we to trace the chain of culpability back to its first link, I believe we would be obligated to elect a Hive god to our council.
Our current inclination is to caucus with the Hunters to debate the benefits of opening the position to any interested and well-qualified Hunter. Such a debate is, of course, contingent upon the continued existence of the Vanguard itself. We will make an effort to convene the Hunters as soon as possible, but this group should be well aware that most credible candidates have fled the Tower in anticipation of such a debate.
DECRYPTION KEY: 73XK5V2PG1$AUN-326
REP #: 002-A899OF-COC
SUBJ: Intercepted transmission
SENSITIVE!! – CONTENTS BELOW SNIFFED FROM ENCRYPTED REEF DATACOMS – SENSITIVE!!
1. We are maintaining our containment posture at Cocytus. I assess no immediate danger to the system, and we have enough firepower to destroy the station and its mechanisms remotely if the on-site warheads fail. The station remains in the stable heliocentric orbit where it was parked after the destruction of Ceres.
2. I do not ask confirmation of these theories, and in fact I beg you not to address them. But I have reviewed the site records, and the fate of the Sophia's crew after they were herded to Cocytus stinks of Hive madness. The Cocytus apertures must—at the time—have opened into a Hive manifold associated with Crota. Whatever their original purpose, when Crota established his presence in the system, they became conduits into hell... and the Sophia crew's ugly end proved it. Whoever drove the Sophia to its doom then installed the Cocytus Instruments around the original Golden Age facility to study Crota's manifold.
3. Crota is dead. His hold on these gates has passed. Now something else is trying to pass through into our world... but it is so alien, and its sendings so bafflingly malformed, that I fear this can only end in madness.
4. The first "visitors" through the third gate, at event time 00:00:00, were simple hydrogen atoms. Over the course of 72 hours, the emissions developed from diatomic hydrogen to nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, water, and simple organic molecules. At the 80-hour mark, we received our first macroscopic visitor, a pellet of thick black hydrocarbon tar. Until 82:34:15 the gate vomited tar containing increasingly complex monomers and polymers.
5. The visitors then began to assume geometric form. A hail of cubes and hexagons, each built from molecular crystal of the same form as the whole. A series of fractal shapes that shattered under internal flaws. Several capsules or membranes of increasingly complex structure, containing water or oil. These may have been cellular precursors.
6. At 524:03:11 a living organism appeared. Death was immediate. Remote dissection describes a spherical body, radius approximately one meter, surfaced in thick hydrocarbon tar. Deep, evenly spaced "throats" converged on a central cavity perhaps intended to serve as lung and stomach. The body exhibited undifferentiated tissue of primitive plantlike cells, capable of spasming to pump air or fluid in and out of the throats. Without enzymes to catalyze metabolism, or internal structure to dispose of waste, the organism could not survive. Cell death occurred almost instantaneously throughout the mass. There were no provisions for self-repair or reproduction.
7. At 690:29:54 the gate emitted a tubular organism. For ninety seconds the organism moved across the gate chamber by contracting and expanding, then expired. Remote dissection describes a two-meter-long body with a spinal cavity full of energy-rich carbohydrate fluid. The organism's contractions forced this fluid through a capillary network, where simple cells catabolized the carbohydrates into energy to power further contractions. The buildup of heat and waste quickly denatured the enzymes required for metabolism, and the organism died. There were no provisions for self-repair or reproduction.
8. The gate has remained inactive since, barring short emissions of molecules which may be experimental proteins. Remote drones have registered similar ambient molecules within the Hellmouth on Luna, though we have been unable to identify their source. We will maintain the quarantine until otherwise instructed.
The overwhelming impression I have is one of learning, of increasing sophistication in the synthesis and arrangement of matter. The atoms in these structures were isotopically pure and impossible to date, but I have the uncomfortable sense that even they were freshly made.
9. Probes and instruments dispatched through the third gate do not return. Annihilation is apparently immediate, and so total that it seems to result from a fundamental failure of the ability to exist rather than any weapon or countermeasure. Yet something does exist on the far side, and it is trying to learn the rules of our world from very first principles. I do not eagerly anticipate its next creation.
SENSITIVE!! – CONTENTS ABOVE SNIFFED FROM REEF DATACOMS – SENSITIVE!!
Cf. reports #3209-3211-LUNA-HEL MESSAGE ENDS
1. Everybody's favorite conspiracy theorist is publishing again. Here's an excerpt from his latest paper—incomplete, I'm afraid, but you try for hi-def OCR at 500m during a rainstorm and tell me how you do.
2. ...remain major unanswered questions about the failure of the City's information, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) network to detect the approaching Red Legion fleet.
It is by now well accepted that the Red Legion's sophistication in military affairs vastly exceeded our own. Although Ghaul's campaign made no real provision for continued resistance after the Traveler was contained and the Almighty moved into firing position, his opening gambit achieved a level of strategic surprise that would be the envy of any ancient general. Psion electronic warfare units compromised the City's sensor perimeters and suppressed our satellite early warning systems (so thoroughly that they even maintained their failsafe signals until the last possible moment). An extraordinary deception program in the Prison of Elders, combined with relativistic projectile strikes against key sensors, blinded the Reef to a simultaneous attack.
But how did the Red Legion escape the notice of the entire scattered Dead Orbit fleet? It would be politically unwise to suggest that the Arachs withheld information so their precious ships would be spared a losing battle... and indeed, the integrity of that same fleet proved invaluable in the counterattack and the city's reconstruction. It would be even more politically incendiary to suggest that the Future War Cult viewed the City's brief occupation as politically useful (or, more charitably, as a necessary step towards some desirable future timeline).
But it is impossible not to ask: how did the same Guardians who foresaw Oryx in prophecy (and in captured enemy material) fail to anticipate and take measures against the Red Legion attack? Is there something intrinsically more secular, and thus unforeseeable, about the Cabal? Do they practice superior information security to the Hive—unlikely, given the interception of a Cabal distress signal in the wake of the Taken War?
Did some agency, henceforth unknown, act to conceal Ghaul's approach from our protectors? One that shared with Ghaul some central motive—whether the destruction of the Guardians, the capture of the Traveler, or the apprehension by force of the abilities we call the Light?
If such an agency exists, capable of such totality and subtlety in its action, how has it concealed itself from us?
3. If I didn't know better, I'd say we had a leak. Hassan's a real ringer. Hope he gets rezzed as one of us when he dies.
4. With all the usual regret, I'm going to forward a recommendation to the Cryptarchs to continue rejecting his submissions from legitimate publications. If anyone disagrees, just give a shout.
DECRYPTION KEY: 73XK5V2PG1$AUN-326
REP #: 198-VESTA-DC
SUBJ: Re: possible forgeries
1. As you all know, an unknown sender delivered six messages to VIP #2014. These missives were sent via Glimmer, using a simple encryption scheme that even a 55-30 unit Frame could have easily cracked. #2014's Ghost took immediate notice of these messages and quietly forwarded them on to IKO-006, who then distributed them back to us. Cf. reports #167-173-VESTA-DC for full transcripts.
2. In these messages, the sender briefly purports to be none other than one ERI-223, providing fanciful details regarding her origins as a human woman who grew up in an apparent settlement of Old Russia known as St. Petersburg. None of this account sat well with anyone who actually knows ERI-223—not simply because none of her close confederates had any firsthand knowledge or belief that she knew of her pre-Guardian origins, but also because she is still active in the field and has personally denied sending these messages. That being said, in accordance with our rigor for skeptical inquiry, this agent was dispatched in pursuit of hard evidence to the contrary.
3. I submit to you now photographic and video evidence recovered from civilian family albums, historical archives, and extant Ghost recordings originally captured in the Last City. Behold, ERI-223: a child of the Last City, born to civilian parents in a mortal-Guardian integrated neighborhood. Behold, too, tiny VIP #1786—though he is almost more unbelievable than ERI-223, if you look at his smile.
Of the photos, original digital files are unavailable, but radiocarbon dating clearly identifies the earliest prints as more than three hundred years old. This is consistent with the timestamps of footage provided by volunteer Ghosts who were present during the same period. As to whether the child we believe to be ERI-223 is indeed ERI-223, please see the second compressed folder attached to this report for full double-blind forensics.
4. In regards to the other personality presented in the six messages: Having consulted with AI-COM/RSPN and AI-COM/XBLK, both have attested that they have no record of any so-called craftmind designated Medusa. This does not discount the possibility that such a craftmind may have existed, but in light of the fact that someone was impersonating our former colleague, it follows that someone may have credibly invented a craftmind as well. We will continue to scour our records for any evidence to the contrary.
5. Like many of those reading, this agent has a strong recommendation about the identity of the sender, but it is beyond the scope of this report. Cf. reports #024-VESTA-DC, 025-VESTA-DC, #026-VESTA-DC, #086-VESTA-DC, #001-034-HIVE-SAV, and #001-005-HIVE-DUL.
6. Given the importance of #2014's contributions to our defense efforts as well as the recent downfall of the Awoken prince, this agent is deeply troubled by the idea that a malicious entity might seek to sway or confuse #2014 through the context of trusted allies. #2014's Ghost made brief mention of some kind of waking hallucination in one of its messages. Have we reached out to corroborate that report or provide additional counsel?
DECRYPTION KEY: 73XK5V2PG1$AUN-326
REP #: 059-CABAL-LEV
1. Live-fire training exercises continue at the active incursion site on the Leviathan. No further RAID class operations have been documented since the unauthorized intervention against VIP #4044 at the explicit invitation of VIP #3801. This agent still believes that the Vanguard should institute stronger measures to prevent rogue teams from carelessly rushing to the aid of enemy VIPs – particularly given #3801's documented history of solicitous behavior and the tendency of our warriors to rush slack-jawed toward free gifts. #4044 could have been a useful catspaw in the destruction of #3801. We should not have intervened.
2. Related to the above, #3801's aggressive propaganda campaign appears to have been successful. Despite #3801's recent inactivity, sentiment polls captured in the Tower at regular intervals over the last several months indicate that he has successfully swayed a significant percentage of the Red War cohort to believe that he may be a potential ally. Given our history with the Cabal as well as the events of the Red War itself, this is shocking and perhaps attributable to a case of mass traumatic bonding.
It is my strong recommendation that the Vanguard pursue a reeducation curriculum before #3801 invites any Guardians of the City to defect to his service, a possibility which we have documented in multiple previous reports.
3. Nessus continues to remain stable, likely due to Vex machinoforming.
4. The Awoken armada continues regular shows of force. The Leviathan remains non-hostile.
5. Our agents continue to closely monitor inbound and outbound traffic to and from the Leviathan. As yet, we have not been able to observe any non-Guardian transport, providing additional evidence for the fact that the ship is either a self-contained ecosystem which has no paracausal exits or that it possesses some kind of internal stargate network by which occupants may invisibly enter and exit. As the Cabal have no documented history of such stargates, we are inclined to believe the former.
6. In summary, there is no real news. However, this agent is inclined to regard this conspicuous passivity with suspicion rather than relief, and would urge Vanguard leadership to consider exploratory excursions in coming months.
DECRYPTION KEY: 73XK5V2PG1$AUN-326
REP #: 12059-INCID-LUN
SUBJ: Affidavit regarding Incident #12059
1. Last week, I was deployed by IKO-006 for routine surveillance of the quarantined zone outside the Hellmouth. Hive populations remain low and grow ever lower thanks to the efforts of a small contingent of veteran Guardians who have made their homes on Luna.
2. Around 1900 hours yesterday afternoon, I began to experience a crushing headache and excused myself from patrol to recuperate. Though I originally intended to lay down for a nap, I fell asleep instead, and experienced multiple vivid dreams over the next 11.5 hours. In all of these dreams, I was trying to catch up with agent ERI-223 in a crowd. She was always out of reach, whether by 200 m or 20 m. I had the sense that I needed to speak to her.
3. When I woke, I found that my headache had not improved. I prepared my armor and exited my bivouac to find a single stationary Thrall crouched nearby. It stood as I approached, but made no motion to attack me. I fired one shot, killing it immediately. Upon stepping forward to examine its corpse, I saw a solid black fragment of an unknown material embedded in its chest cavity. The fragment resembled a flake or a shard of some larger object, not dissimilar to a high-gain photovoltaic panel.
4. I requested that my Ghost perform a standard material analysis of the fragment but neither one of us could confidently identify its qualities or provenance; that analysis is attached to this report as Analysis #1.
5. I requested that my Ghost attempt to contain and transmat the fragment for quarantine on my jumpship. He was unable to establish a Light link with the object, describing the fragment as "slippery" and "tiring" to try to catch hold of.
6. I used the barrel of my sniper rifle to touch and then work the fragment out of the Thrall's corpse. Using my rifle, I turned the fragment over and examined it from multiple angles. I requested that my Ghost run another deep scan of the object; that analysis is attached to this report as Analysis #2.
7. We concluded that the material seemed to be inert and that it did not seem to be part of any complex device or mechanism.
8. At this point, I broke protocol and did not request additional backup. Instead, I picked up the fragment by hand and immediately experienced a vivid hallucination: I stood over VIP #0704's shoulder as she dressed a seven-inch gash on agent ERI-223's thigh. Both #0704 and ERI-223 were dressed for combat. Hundreds of fragments of the unknown material hung in the air around us, apparent shrapnel from the wreckage of a nearby ship of unrecognizable make and model. ERI-223 looked directly toward me and said, "Патетическая."
9. The duration of the hallucination was approximately seven seconds. At its conclusion, my headache disappeared. My Ghost and I held our position for the next thirty minutes, then collected the body of the Thrall and the fragment for transportation. I delivered myself and my cargo to quarantine and experienced no further mental disturbances while detained.
DECRYPTION KEY: 73XK5V2PG1$AUN-326
REP #: 045-VIP-1315
SUBJ: Leased space in the Annex
1. After several months of negotiation, the Vanguard has agreed to allow VIP #1315 to formally lease an unused warehouse space in the Annex of the new Tower. To be clear, this was the Vanguard's proposal, not his. Despite the many skeptics who have good questions about the social risk inherent in providing #1315 with a more legitimate space, we feel that any disruption of morale or Tower culture will be short-term and minimal. Likewise, we feel that he does not present any present danger to Tower or City inhabitants. We continue to work alongside Lord Shaxx to assess the long-term strategic value of #1315's Gambit.
I recognize that this decision will be unpopular with certain agents who have taken it upon themselves to investigate #1315's history and moral character.
Please remember that I sidelined myself from active duty in order to personally surveil his activities in the Tower, and that I kept guard outside his former place of business since his arrival. It is my belief that his presence will do more good than ill, and that the Tower has long stunted its own growth through narrow-minded fear and reactive exile of dissidents. We should endeavor to remain sharp skeptics of philosophies which differ from our own, but we should always be willing to hear and consider these philosophies.
Further: any concerned members of the Praxic Order should recall that the Vanguard holds jurisdiction over their actions, and that the exile of dissident philosophers is very different from the exile of rogue operators.
DECRYPTION KEY: 73XK5V2PG1$AUN-326
REP #: 053-VIP-1315
SUBJ: Psych eval
1. THIS DATA OBTAINED FROM SURVEILLANCE DEVICES AT 1315-HOME2.
2. In previous reports, I stated that it was my belief that #1315 had invoked some kind of paracausal event enabling the resurrection and return of enemy VIP #2015. This belief was predicated upon reports of creatures resembling the infamous "Echoes of Oryx" that Guardian forces engaged and destroyed en masse during the Taken War (cf. Ghost-stream footage here: CATHEDRAL.OF.DUSK.DREADNAUGHT).
This has proven false. Spectral analysis from multiple Ghosts participating undercover in Prime and Reckoning confirms that the impossible world at the heart of "the haul" is located in unknown space. (Cf. REP #001-012-PARAC-NINE.) Further, these Primevals differ in their literal elemental composition: low SNC, high ambient ΛCDM. #1315 has harnessed his "banks" to what appears to be an engine of pure potential. He no longer needs to pilfer the Ascendant Plane of Primevals, the oldest Taken in residence. He can create Primeval-likes from the energy of "the haul" and sheer force of will. As to the apparent presence of #2015, it is a falsehood. My handlers in the Praxic Order surmise simply: the shape of Oryx was the scariest Hive he could think of. He's tenacious, but he has a small mind.
3. Highly recommend we assess #1315 for the influence of paracausal forces or entities. Since the conclusion of the joint Vanguard/Praxic investigation into his operations, the subject has become increasingly erratic. Beyond running his Gambit and Reckoning drills with the Guardian population, he has done nothing but hole up in the Annex. He has always exhibited the signs of stress related to prolonged solitude that are typical of all surviving Risen; this manifests in the subject in prolonged and rambling conversations with either himself or his as-yet-unseen Ghost. However, his musings have become less and less coherent over time. Late into the night, away from the Guardian cohorts, he yells at voices that our surveillance equipment has never picked up. He has spoken to himself about trips across vast, interstellar distances to realms no Guardian has ever described.
Again, he has not left the Annex in ages. One might say that I am overstepping even Praxic boundaries here, but I would say to them: the subject is free to leave any time.
4. Following the results of my investigation, the subject has ceased regular reports to Lord Shaxx. I'm sure both prefer it that way. #1315 has broken none of the Vanguard's decrees in that time, nor have any further Guardians perished on his watch in Gambit or Reckoning. He is still a facilitator to murder and a thief, but he has done nothing to warrant eviction, as I had hoped. The Vanguard obviously still needs him.
5. The following is a transcript of one of his late-night rambling sessions logged for evidence:
TYPE: PRAXIC SURVEILLANCE REPORT
PARTIES: One . One Guardian-type, Class N/A [u.1]
ASSOCIATIONS: Gambit, Drifter, Annex
[u.1:01] What now? What the hell is it you're trying to tell me?
[the hum of a generator]
[u.1:02] You showed me a universe with no Light. Dominated by the Dark. What are you arguing? Steadfastness in the Traveler's dogma? Ha ha. That's not obtuse enough for y'all.
[u.1:03] No, no. I don't think so. Because then you showed me a reality without shadows, of pure Light from every angle. Nowhere to hide. Everyone begging to die, like we did in the Dark Age. Light's no gift, but I already knew that. What else you got?
[a metallic clink echoes]
[u.1:04] Yeah. I know the coin doesn't lie. It's the only thing in this world I trust for real. But you know what? I control the coin. And I make my own fate. No one writes on this but me, you got that? You pencil-necked, phantom-assed geeks. Have some respect for people's stuff.
[a second metallic clink]
[u.1:05] I've refused the Traveler's dogma for generations. And I'll reject yours.
[a rush of static as the feed distorts from Light-based radiation]
[u.1:06] You can't boil my brain, brothers and sisters–I see you tryin'. But I'm already there.
[a fizzling crackle as the feed distorts from Light-based radiation]
[u.1:07] And if you think you have a handle on Orin? Well, you didn't know her like I did. You slip up just once? That girl will eat you alive. Nine steak sounds mighty tasty if you can find it, scrape it all together. Get a fire goin' that'll cook it. What a fire that would be. You wanted to see what made us tick? Maybe Drifter wants to see what makes you stop.
[a dull roar as the feed distorts from Light-based radiation]
[u.1:08] Yeah, boy. That's a threat.
[u.1:10] No, not you. I still need you. This week. Get back to work.
[u.1:11] What? Nothing...
[u.1:12] Still hungry...