The Human Augmentation Program Organization in Cathedris | World Anvil

Cathedris Themesong

The Human Augmentation Program

Pushing humanity beyond its limits

Content warning: Body horror and human experimentation
Progress no matter the cost.
  No experiment is too ruthless, and no modification is too costly. There is nothing off limits for this Legion-run research and development organization, who's singular goal is to push humanity as far as it possibly can. This mysterious and dangerous group is responsible for every blasphemous and abhorrent "upgrade" humanity has ever received; including being the ones to eventually create and unleash the magic of Catalurgy into the world of Cathedris.  

Conception of Augmentation

For its entire history, the Legion has pushed its members to the brink; forever training, practicing, and developing new skills, as the enemy they protected the rest of Cathedris from demanded every ounce of strength they were able to give. As humanity matured into their new lives in the shadows of the God-husks, and as technology began to advance, so too did the Legion -- utilizing new devices and technologies to better prepare themselves for conflict with Rendlings.   As the science available to humanity improved and progressed, so too did the complexity of what the Legion was trying to achieve. Ethics and morals began to be shed, replaced instead with advancements in science and research. Armed with a basic understanding of biology and the crudely advanced tools required to take advantage of it, certain Legion scientists turned their blasphemous gaze to both the Rendlings and the God-husks with the hopes of finding out just what makes them so unkillable.  
Under the tutelage of the current lead researcher at the time, Amé Leneret, a new malignant growth known officially as the "Human Augmentation Program" sprouted within the ranks of Legion researchers and scientists, fully unshackled by anything resembling ethics in their quest to push humanity further than ever thought possible.
I don't know what scares me more -- the things that come from that lab, or the people creating them.
— Low level Legion researcher
   

The Program's Power Grows

This group of people very quickly became the bogeymen within Legion. Do something wrong? Screw up an assignment? Piss off a superior? You get sent to the Program.
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— Legion Communications Officer
  The H.A.P. was not an overnight powerhouse; it often faced opposition from certain members of the Legion in the early days of the organization's creation. Plenty of very logical concerns were raised on issues such as the ethical treatment of test subjects and fellow Legion operatives -- and yet, many of these criticisms failed to gain any traction as the H.A.P. showcased success after terrible success. It wasn't long before the Program became known internally as the power behind the Legion's might; with these breakthroughs the Legion was able to create outposts, bases, and safe havens within traditionally dangerous Rendling hotspots. Those who attempted to place restrictions on the Program were slowly and quietly replaced with others who were more open to the loose morals and rapid advancements, eager to further their standing in any way possible.    

Breakthroughs

Many of the discoveries made by the program were exciting and horrific, yet not obviously useful at the time of creation. Things such as realizing the power of Ichor through observing its interactions with wild flora and fauna seemed to have no distinct use at the time, but instead lead to the discovery of Chimeras when introducing it to a human host, allowing for the invention of Chimeric Limbs. Additionally, the invention of Synthichor is thought to be able to be traced back to the Program's attempt to replicate the power of Ichor without the side-effects of creating yet more horrific monsters.

For our own good.

Alternative Names
H.A.P., The Program
Leader
Location


 

Under her orders

When the Human Augmentation Program reopened it's doors under the control of the Altruistic Concilium of Sacred Architecture, it was done so under the direct command of Dr. Anabelle Evingston -- the Program itself was still run by Amé Leneret, but she reported directly to Dr. Evingston.    
Dr. Anabelle Evingston
Character | Jan 3, 2024

She who would reshape the world.

   

Tools of the Trade

While the majority of the Program's research is conducted using technology and tools that are widely available to most of Humanity, they still generally use the most cutting edge and advanced tech they possibly can. Additionally, once Dr. Evingston began to influence the program, a whole new set of terrible instruments came into the field -- the Gifts from the Sky. These otherworldly objects allowed for even more horrors to be unleashed in the name of progress.    
Gifts from the Sky
Item | Mar 3, 2021
 
   

Catalurgy takes the world

The single greatest invention that the Human Augmentation Program is responsible for is the creation of Catalurgy; the technology that grants humans a fraction of the power found running through the bodies of the God-husks themselves. Continuing their prior research into Rendlings, Ichor, and their effects on humanity, the Program developed an artificial organ that when implanted allows for the human host to wield terrific, otherworldly powers.   This new technology was dubbed Catalurgy; power from the blood of the gods. It was intended to remain secret, something available only to the Legion, thus ensuring their place as the most powerful organization on the planet. It would not remain that way, however, as a dissenter among the ranks of the inner Legion had finally had enough, releasing the secrets of the Human Augmentation Program to the world -- inadvertently starting both a magical arms race among the countries of Cathedris, and kicking off the beginning of the resistance to the Legion that would come to be known as the Regiment for Humanity.   It is unknown if the original dissenter was ever caught; their identity was never revealed. However, with the secret out and the damage done, the Legion quickly dismantled and shut down the Human Augmentation Program, condemning the actions as "horrific, abhorrent, and the work of terrible individuals that do not represent the overall values within the Legion".
     

The first secret

  "This is huge. This is world changing. This..."   Two people shared a look. A brief glance at one another, faces covered by shadow under a solitary flickering light above. They wore nondescript clothing, and could have been anyone. They were the only two people in this room, but the gravity of what they were looking at made it feel as if the room was full of countless ears and eyes. Watching them. Listening to what they might say.   "I almost don't believe it, you know. Like. Who would do something like this -- I know there's a lot to dislike about the Legion, but surely... surely they're not this bad. They can't be. They exist for our protection."   The two of them didn't share a look this time. Their gaze was locked downward, staring with intense focus into the box that sat in front of them amongst the strewn papers and stationary on the shabby table. The flickering light made it hard to make out any full details from this distance. The box itself wasn't anything special -- small, light brown, cardboard, maybe a bit soggy on the corner. Inside the box lay a stack of papers, the official kind, with big fancy headers and bold lettering across the top; each one was stamped with a Legion seal rarely seen in public.   "Do you think it's fake?"   The other person shook their head. Slightly. Slowly. As if they wanted to say yes.   "No... no." They said, after a pause. "You heard what I heard. What they said. The one who gave us the box. You saw the marks on their body -- the, gods, the things that they'd gone through. What they could do. No, this is undeniable."   The pair's eyes drifted up from the box, away from the horrible contents within. Away from the document proudly displaying the title "HUMAN AUGMENTATION PROGRAM" at the top, with lines upon lines underneath going into horrific detail on how Catalurgy came to be.   The two shared a glance again. Once more.   "This changes everything."   A knock came at the door. A soft one -- almost inquiring. As if asking if everything is okay inside the room. Asking what in the world is going on.   Two sets of hands rapidly closed up the box, securing the terrible secrets in compete darkness once more.   "We need to tell everyone. But we need to do it smart. We know what they're capable of, and if we screw any of this up..."   Another knock, before light poured into the room as the door was opened just a crack. A head poked its way into the room. A soft face -- a new intern hired at the company. Her eyes showed fear -- but not the same kind of fear the two in the room felt. Her fear was that of a new hire, worried about interrupting her bosses. Worried about remaining with the paper company, and hopefully one day being the one to write the stories they print. Not at all the kind of worry that comes from learning a deep, dark, terrible secret that might wind up getting you and all those you love killed, captured, or worse.   There came a scraping as metal chairs were pushed back against the rough stone floor. The pair inside the room stood up.   Back to business as usual.   "Sorry Beth, that took longer than expected to examine. This story isn't ready for print. You can go tell the guys that we need another opinion piece today instead."   The door to the office closed. Dark secrets that'd forever change the world, kept safely within that dingy cardboard box.  
   
     

the program reawakens

This is a blessing, to be quite honest. You, and your team, you're destined for greater things. You will be responsible for unleashing untold power upon the world. We'll bring about a most beautiful future. And I'll give you all the resources required to do so.
  It didn't take long for Catalurgy to spread across the world; though with it came fear, suspicion, and distrust of both Catalurgists and the Legion in general. Catalurgists became the abhorrent and blasphemous symbols of governments vying for power, as well as a stain on the Legion itself. Now in damage control mode, the Legion turned inward and began to rework its inner structure in order to prevent this from occurring again.   Yet it was this exact situation that allowed for Dr. Anabelle Evingston to ascend the ranks within the Legion, using any scrap of newfound power she gained to begin to carve out space for herself and her plans; eventually forming the secret group within the Legion known as the Altruistic Concilium of Sacred Architecture. A few years later, under directive from Dr. Evingston, the Human Augmentation Program was quietly and secretly reawakened, given a renewed purpose and a new home in the most remote region of Hansun. Scientists were released from Legion prisons on "good behaviour", and promptly relocated to this new base of operations, which came to be known to those that work under Dr. Evingston as The Sacred Lab.    

Patchwork Blasphemy

  In its reincarnated form, the Program has been blessed with an even more comprehensive set of tools, and has become even more free from ethics than ever before. If the Human Augmentation Program was previously responsible for horrors, now it created atrocities; the Altruistic Concilium of Sacred Architecture had grand, blasphemous plans, and the H.A.P. was the instrument with which they'd accomplish them.  

Flesh for a new god

With a newly discovered, terrible artifact under their control known as the Waxweep Rock, the Human Augmentation Program began their most abhorrent experiments yet. The Waxweep Rock exudes a substance that was titled "Weldwax", which has the unique property of welding living flesh together.   At first, the Program started out small. Replacing limbs, creating organ banks -- things that might actually be beneficial to humanity on average. But this was the under directive of ACSA, and soon the boundaries began to be pushed. Human volunteers were combined in attempts to create combined consciousness, testing the compatibility of those who were irrevocably joined with others. Every human sacrificed, every mortal combined -- every terrible act was just one small step made towards their grand goal of stitching together a patchwork flesh fit for a new god.

The Cost of Business

  When the Human Augmentation Program was initially shut down, and the Legion began attempting to cleanse itself of any stains left behind by the abhorrent inner organization, a vast majority of scientists working at the Legion were sent to internal prisons, without any sort of trial. This was intended, so the Legion Command said, to be a quick and ruthless gutting of these "terrible" groups within.   The goal was to sever the rotten branch and leave no mark behind. But instead, a gaping hole was left; with a sudden loss of most of its researchers, having been sent to various secret prisons, the Legion had to quickly work at training and recruiting new talent. This sudden influx of new blood provided the perfect environment for the gaping hole to fester. It's here that Dr. Anabelle Evingston gathered her power, and it's with that that she created the Altruistic Concilium of Sacred Architecture.      

The Cost of Progress

The Human Augmentation Program's work does not come cheap; it requires a near constant influx of fresh volunteers to feed the experiments done within the Sacred Lab. In order to provide enough new recruits, the ACSA regularly skims people from the various secret prisons that the Legion operates across the world -- releasing them from captivity, and welcoming them to hell.    
You can either wither away and die in that hole, or join me and become a part of the future. It's your choice.
— H.A.P. Recruiter




Cover image: by Alexandre Debiève

Comments

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Jul 7, 2023 02:47 by Barron

Progress no matter the cost. - That quote immediately sets the mood. Combined with the wonderful CSS and layout!   Also how you describe the opening left after the original dissipation is just chefs kiss. You really gave it an entire life of its own separate from the people within it!   Glad I don't live in your world!   T


Jul 7, 2023 03:10 by Stormbril

Thank you so much Barron! <3 It's been so fun developing these antagonists in Cathedris, and setting up the story beats. I'm so happy it resonated!

Jul 7, 2023 02:52 by Dimitris Havlidis

Absolutely immaculate work bud - well done. I love the article - I am a bit worried about you reaching your SC goals but I love the work

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Jul 7, 2023 03:12 by Stormbril

Yay, thank you Dimi! After being in a bit of a writing slump since December, I had a lot that I wanted to get out at once. I am so happy with how it turned out, so I'm glad you loved it too :D   I'm going to try to not make them all this big and involved, though! xD

Jul 7, 2023 02:54 by Morgan Biscup

"Volunteers"   That prose, about the discovery of Catalurgy and the newspaper people, is amazing. This whole article is amazing but that is my favorite part.   Also, never trust the Legion. NEVER.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Jul 7, 2023 03:14 by Stormbril

It makes me so incredibly happy that the prose is your favourite part <3 I'm really excited to learn and experiment with more and more of that in my articles!   The Legion is not to be trusted!   Thank you Solar <3

Jul 7, 2023 13:52

Amazing work! I absolutely LOVE the layout. The skulls with the glowing eyes, the secrets, the bonus content for patrons. Well done! Good luck in summer camp!

Lucious
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Jul 7, 2023 17:25 by Stormbril

Thank you so much!! And good luck for you as well :D

Jul 7, 2023 16:08 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Aaaah, the prose, Stormy! <3   Absolutely terrifying. No thank you.   'releasing them from captivity, and welcoming them to hell.' This is my favourite line. It's just the perfect amount of horrifying.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 7, 2023 17:25 by Stormbril

The prose was so much fun to write! I am excited to do more :D   Thank you so much Emy! <3

Jul 9, 2023 10:17 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

Pffff. How ungrateful the legion was to those wonderful scientists to whom it owes all if it's successes -_- They're all lucky Anabelle came along!

To see what I am up to: World Ember 2023 list of articles.
Jul 9, 2023 18:14 by Stormbril

They provided such amazing advancements and inventions, and then get shut down as soon as something goes a little wrong :|   This whole portion of the Legion has been so fun to write :D

Jul 10, 2023 19:32 by Catoblepon

The Legion does not approve of what happened in the human augmentation program. The laboratory and all its research has been destroyed to avoid the possibility of another group of these to be able to appear in within the legion, and the researchers in the program have been taken care of. This will not happen again.
— Catobella Song

Visit Daeliha, Iphars, Khulgran & Shattered
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Jul 18, 2023 17:55 by Stormbril

Sounds like Legion misinformation to me! >:(

Jul 18, 2023 01:54 by Reanna R

Oh my goodness. This gave me chills. Every detail about the experiments? The quotes from superiors about 'progress' and the future'? The little short story? The mention of a magical arms race? The reawakening of the program? It was all chilling and terrifying and so, so, good.

May your worldbuilding hammer always fall true! Also, check out the world of the Skydwellers for lots of aerial adventures.
Jul 18, 2023 17:56 by Stormbril
Aug 13, 2023 01:54 by Chris L

Beginning my read-through of your articles that I have left and you're starting off with a bang! I've been saving yours as a reward for when I finished judging my prompt and this was worth the wait!


See WorldEmber 2023 Hub for my WorldEmber progress.

Check out my challenge winning article: Ghost Boy.

Aug 14, 2023 16:06 by Stormbril

Well shucks that is exceptionally lovely! <3 :D   And thank you! This one sort of set the tone for my entire SC >:D

Aug 27, 2023 09:14 by Annie Stein

This article heralded an absolutely stunning month of worldbuilding. I really loved what you made this summer, and I am just in awe. This article was one of my favourites, though wow is it hard to pick favourites when the entire body of work is this good. I'm really impressed by the flow of information in this article, and how so many different kinds of storytelling weave together to create a whole. It's also just so damn cool and horrifying. What excellent villainry.

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Aug 28, 2023 02:33 by Stormbril

Thank you so so much -- I really put a lot of myself into this summer camp, and I'm really proud of what came of it, and responses like yours are what make it all really worth it in my mind :D This was the summer of Cathedran villainy, and it felt great to start it off like this >:D

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