ASCENDANCE: PROLOGUE

Winter 2039. In the dead of night, a lone figure navigated the twisting alleys and passageways of New York City with the fluidity of a specter. Silas Reyes was a name uttered only in hushed tones in certain underground circles, known for his ability to operate from the shadows. His reputation was enigmatic at best, his motives even more cryptic. Few had met the infamous whistleblower face-to-face, a man compelled to expose corruption at the highest echelons no matter the personal peril.

He moved with the calculated precision of a master of deception, his dark cashmere overcoat melding seamlessly with the enveloping darkness. A nondescript woolen cap was pulled low over sharp, penetrating azure eyes that glinted like steel daggers. His pockets were devoid of any identification or personal effects, save for a cryptic silver insignia engraved onto a small, inconspicuous metal disc.

Silas paused in front of a dilapidated warehouse, a crumbling architectural relic squeezed between towering glass skyscrapers that glinted coldly under the pale moonlight. The creaky wooden door opened to reveal a stark contrast to the decaying exterior – a sleek, state-of-the-art interior brimming with advanced technology and illuminated by the ambient blue glow of dozens of high-definition screens lining the walls.

The screens displayed rapidly updating satellite imagery, endless cryptographic algorithms, and live news feeds streaming in from every corner of the globe. Servers stacked from floor to ceiling whirred with quiet intensity, directing vast flows of data with split-second efficiency.

In the technological core of this covert haven, Silas retrieved a slim, military-grade encrypted phone – his only link to the sprawling invisible network of informants and whistleblowers he had cultivated over decades. 

“Base, this is Raven. I’ve arrived at the nest,” Silas murmured discreetly into his encrypted phone.

The screens displayed rapidly updating satellite imagery, endless cryptographic algorithms, and live news feeds streaming in from every corner of the globe. Servers stacked from floor to ceiling whirred with quiet intensity, directing vast flows of data with split-second efficiency.

With rapid keystrokes he accessed his latest assignment. A set of highly classified dossiers related to the omnipresent mega-corporation GlobeX. Project codenames and technical specifications hinting at advanced neurological implants and genetic engineering caught his attention. “Ascendance. Aurora. Control.” leapt out from the pages.

As Silas investigated further, his eyes widened imperceptibly as he uncovered outlines of shocking human experimentation programs – genetic manipulations, cutting-edge neurological implants for memory suppression and manipulation. All to create the next generation of enhanced operatives – covert “Vectors” – under absolute Agency control. Silas swallowed hard as he scrolled through page after page of chilling details that hinted at the terrifying scope of the GlobeX’s true vision.

An incoming message on a nearby screen jolted Silas from his investigation. This was highly irregular, for Silas was always the sole initiator of any communication. The message contained only four cryptic words that nonetheless sent an involuntary chill down Silas’s spine: “Follow the white rabbit”. His pulse quickened almost imperceptibly as his razor-sharp mind raced to analyze this new development – who or what had managed to penetrate his multi-layered anonymizing encryption system to send this message?

Silas stood at the precipice of the monumental unknown that might have sent waves of panic through a lesser man. But not him. His heart remained steady, its rhythm unchanged. His azure eyes retained their focus, untouched by the cold touch of fear. The sudden intrusion into his system had not shaken him, it simply added a layer of complexity to his task, a factor to be analyzed and addressed with his typical precise efficiency.

It appeared they were pointing rather insistently to one previously unknown man – Ethan Chase. This was clearly an anomaly – someone his vast underground information network had not previously flagged.

“Ethan Chase….a former intelligence operative in the Central Intelligence Agency,” Silas read aloud, his mind racing ahead exponentially now. By all accounts, Chase had been a top undercover field agent for the CIA – known for his brilliant analytical mind and unique talent for cryptography and advanced code-breaking. However, he had left the Agency under mysterious circumstances.

Peering closer at the dossier details, Silas’s penetrating gaze fell onto a live camera surveillance feed from earlier that evening, grainy yet capturing Ethan Chase’s home office desk setup in high detail. He watched with intense focus as Ethan’s eyes darted rapidly across classified data on his computer screen, his fingers flying deftly over the keys in a precise dance, his brows furrowed in deep concentration.

Silas steepled his fingers in front of his face, gazing intently into the screen. “Well now, sudden interest in the highly restricted Ascendance files. How very curious, Mr. Chase,” he murmured cryptically to himself.

The warehouse was quiet save for the low omnipresent hum of the encrypted servers. Silas was pulling up more information from every conceivable database. Simultaneously, he directed his shadow assets to initiate real-time close monitoring of Ethan Chase’s location.

As he delved deeper down the rabbit hole, Silas began to slowly piece together more fragments of the puzzle that was Ethan Chase – his activities over the last 24 hours strongly hinted at an extremely abnormal divergence from his typical patterns of behavior and conformity. This drastic change appeared to have happened suddenly, with no advance warning. Why the sudden interest? Why now?” Silas murmured, frowning at the screen.

In Silas’s line of work, belief in random coincidences was akin to believing in fairy tales – there was always a causation lurking beneath the surface. His curiosity was most definitely piqued to the maximum at this point. Ethan Chase had just become a man of intense interest.

“…a former intelligence operative in the Central Intelligence Agency,” Silas read aloud, his mind racing ahead exponentially now. By all accounts, Chase had been a top undercover field agent for the CIA – known for his brilliant analytical mind and unique talent for cryptography and advanced code-breaking. However, he had left the Agency under mysterious circumstances.

As Silas tirelessly investigated Ethan’s past and present links, one particular name buried deep in the dossier caught his discerning eye – Dr. Lara Monroe.

“Well now, Ethan Chase and Dr. Lara Monroe clearly have a shared history,” Silas murmured, intrigued as the pieces clicked into place. Lara’s controversial work in advanced neurological implant research overlapped with Project Ascendance. This was key.

In the next few minutes, Silas redirected assets for immediate priority surveillance on Ethan Chase. Intermittently illuminated by the data streams, Silas settled back in his chair, steepling his fingers.

He knew the wheels were irrevocably in motion, and things were about to change drastically. While he preferred to initiate the game, this rare occurrence of being thrust unexpectedly onto the playing board was not entirely unwelcome. It simply meant adapting his strategy accordingly, which he was well equipped to do.

“Well then, Mr. Chase, I do believe it’s high time you and I got properly acquainted,” Silas murmured with a wry smile.

As he contemplated his next moves, memories of his many face-to-face meetings with cryptic insiders, courageous whistleblowers and morally conflicted informants over his long career flooded his thoughts. He had consoled countless anguished scientists with a conscience, counseled diplomats disillusioned by an increasingly corrupt system, worked tirelessly to reveal the disturbing illusory mirage the omnipresent GlobeX corporation had erected to manipulate world governments and events from the shadows. For him, knowledge had always been the most potent long-term weapon of choice against tyranny or oppression.

As Silas sank deeper into contemplation, the high-pitched growl of powerful turbofan engines coming to life suddenly shattered the pensive silence. Somewhere outside the warehouse, one of Silas’s fleet of heavily modified, military-grade vehicles was prepping for immediate dispatch. Silas did not look up, but reached calmly for the encrypted burner phone, speaking in clipped, authoritative tones. “Phoenix 1 en route. Keep eyes and ears close on Ethan Chase’s every move. I want to know his plans before he does.”

Unknown to both Silas Reyes and Ethan Chase, this late night investigation was merely the tip of a monumental iceberg that would soon surface. The comfortable world they thought they knew was precariously perched on the brink, about to be upended from its familiar axis in unprecedented ways. An inexorable chain of events was in motion, threatening to shake the corridors of power to their very foundations. The gathering storm that would soon be unleashed was beyond any predictions or control. The only thing that was certain was that things would never be the same again.


Thanks for reading this page, which is the prologue of my Novel Ascendance. I hope you enjoyed it and that you will continue with the chapter 1.

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