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|“||Now, I got to thinking: A, if you're a member of a secret society, you should keep that to yourself. Even under torture, I mean seriously, cry me a river. And B, only my friends call me bitch. Well anyway, to cut a long and aggravated assault short, I realized Illuminati clearly needed to work on their employee handbook. I had just graduated, just killed a few guys, I was looking for work placement. It was totally serendipitous.||„|
|~ Kirsten Geary|
Kirsten Geary is the resident handler and contact for Illuminati players in the Funcom M.M.O. The Secret World. Like many Illuminati operatives, Geary is far more concerned with gaining power than saving the world, though she can be relied upon to do so if it means preserving Illuminati interests. She remains in near-constant contact with the player through her phone and can track them thanks to an implant in their spine, continually monitoring, motivating and advising the player based on their progress in the game - though between each major story arc, players will need to report back to her in person for face time.
Having grown up as an ordinary Valley Girl with a father in real estate, Kirsten only discovered the existence of the Illuminati by accident: while still in college, she was captured by two fratboy necromancers on the prowl for human sacrifices; however, because they failed to check her pockets for mace and duct tape, she quickly turned the tables on them. Over the course of the next few hours, she tortured them, killed them, and used what she got from them to make contact with their sponsors. Disappointed by how easily her victims had given up information, Kirsten saw a golden opportunity to get ahead early on and applied for a job with the Illuminati; while her degree in Human-Resources would be useful to any mundane employer, the Illuminati hired her out of admiration for her kill-or-be-killed attitude and innovative ideas.
Kirsten reworked much of the old hiring policies for the Illuminati, rewriting the employee handbook to weed out under-qualified fratboys from potential hirelings. The Illuminati appreciated her efforts, having been realigning the organization to a more corporate model for many years: with previous eras having resulted in far too many Illuminati members killing each other in pointless struggles for power, the faction heads had been eager to enact a more secure foundation for the group, and with risk management, second-party division for eliminating rivals of indispensable agents and strict peer review boards already place, Kirsten's employee handling innovations made her a perfect fit.
Unlike the Templars, the notion of legacy members had long been considered a thing of the past by the Illuminati: power was to be assigned on a meritocratic basis, not an inherited one. As such, Kirsten ascended to astronomical heights within the organization in a few short years.During the 90s, she also brokered a key deal with the House-In-Exile, a private military contracting group comprised mainly of exiled Oni; having lost much of their wealth and contacts in the economic recession, the Tokyo-based murder-for-hire group was desperate for work, and Kirsten was able to secure their financial stability with a single phone call. Through her efforts, a contract was drawn and signed ensuring an alliance between the two factions until 2040, granting the assassins financial stability in lean times in exchange for free assassination contracts for the Illuminati. Inbeda, the commander-in-chief of the House, has been lusting after Kirsten ever since, and decorates his base of operations at the Jigoku no Yu Bathhouse with paintings and mannequins modeled on the Illuminati handler - much to Kirsten's disgust.
At some point, she married, got tired of her husband, and eventually divorced him - but not before leaving him with enough bullet wounds to ensure his dependence on a respirator for the remainder of his life.
Today, she manages the new talent, recruiting the Bee-imbued agents through emissaries and directing their activities in the field. She takes orders directly from the "Talking Heads", the faceless executives of the Illuminati, conveying their wishes to field agents. She can usually be found in her office overlooking the main concourse of the Labyrinth, the Illuminati's secret base in Brooklyn.
Kirsten Geary is watching players from the moment they arrive in the Labyrinth: though she remains out of sight until the end of the tutorial, her voice can be heard instructing both the guards and Dr Zurn over the course of these introductory sequences. Once they are finished choosing their weapons in the test chamber, players are sent upstairs to meet with her, whereupon Kirsten firmly establishes the ground rules: the Illuminati are in control of much of the United States with various fingers in industrial/corporate pies across the world, and they are one of the three main secret societies, the other two being The Templars and The Dragon. All three want the others destroyed or disgraced but all of them have signed non-aggression treaties with a fourth organization called The Council of Venice, agreeing to fight only in approved locations over approved resources well away from civilians. Outside of the "Gentleman's War," the best way to hurt the Dragon and the Templars is to beat them to the punch in dealing with occult threats, making the Illuminati's enemies look useless in the process; saving the world is seen as a source of healthy brownie points to that end. For good measure, Kirsten warns the players that any failure on their part will reflect badly on her - and result in her mounting their heads on her office wall as a warning to future agents. She's not kidding, either.
Kirsten first assigns players to investigate Solomon Island, a isle just off the coast of Maine with a history of Illuminati occupation. A mysterious Fog has swept across the Island, preventing anyone without access to Agartha or the secret roads from entering; within the Fog cloud, the residents of the island are under constant attack from zombies under the control of the oceangoing Draug. Quite apart from needing to appease the Council of Venice, the the island is littered with secret hideouts, artifacts and records, none of which can be allowed to fall into the hands of the Illuminati's enemies - be they Templars, Dragon or Draug. Also, the Illuminati want to know what caused the outbreak, ideally before the DOD panics and orders the island nuked.
Ultimately, however, the zombie outbreak turns to be the least of Solomon Island's concerns: a renegade member of the Morninglight cult, one Freddy Beaumont, has been attempting to seize control of a mysterious power source buried deep under the island's mountain. Over the decades, many groups have attempted to seize control of the mountain, either in an attempt to tap into the mysterious energy source or just to strip mine the whole thing barren, but all of them - from the Illuminati to the Devore Mining Company - backed off once the danger became apparent. However, Beaumont is armed with the famous sword Excalibur, having been found in the same incident that brought the Fog to Solomon Island: with this powerful artifact, he can access and control the power under the mountain. In the leadup to the final battle, Beaumont reveals that this power source is actually a Gaia Engine, one of a series of ancient mechanisms used to contain the Dreamers, and by tapping into their magical energies, he can attain ultimate power. Fortunately, the players are able to defeat Beaumont before he can conclude his master plan - but before they can retrieve Excalibur, they are whisked away into another reality by the Dreamers. In their absence, the sword is stolen by Cassandra King, Beaumont's ex-sidekick.
Meanwhile, Kirsten Geary oversees the aftermath of these events as briskly as possible: for now, she is content with the Gaia Engine left buried under the mountain and most of the Illuminati secrets either transferred to more modern holding facilities or destroyed. However, she ensures that Beaumont pays dearly for intruding on their property, having the ex-god captured and confined to the secure treatment ward Arkham State Hospital, his powers suppressed and all claims of godhood used as further proof of his insanity. Meanwhile, Kirsten's best recruiting agents are sent to retrieve Cassandra: while she considers the magic sword "a nice-to-have," Cassandra's opportunism would be useful within the ranks of the Illuminati - and if she doesn't cooperate, then Questions and Answers will be happy to ensure that she does.
Unfortunately, players quickly find themselves learning more about Questions and Answers than they intended: abruptly knocked out and dragged downstairs for a secondary debriefing, they are grilled at length by Erin Mahler, who makes it abundantly clear that the players failed their mission by letting Excalibur slip through their fingers, and the only reason why they aren't being punished for it is because the agents of every other faction in the game screwed up too. In other words, however cold-hearted Kirsten Geary might seem, she's the carrot in the Illuminati's game of carrot-and-stick.
Once they return from their penance, Kirsten assigns players with a mission to Egypt: an ancient cult has returned to devastate the isolated village of al-Merayah, bringing a potentially apocalyptic entity with it. Kirsten has no interest in Egypt or the events plaguing it, (in some cases literally), as the Illuminati wiped their hands of Egypt in 1400 BC and have no current residuals in the area. However, she sends players to investigate, if only for the sake of gaining brownie points from the Council of Venice and learning the true nature of the "game changer" happening out in the desert.
Kirsten has two parties of note to keep an eye on: the Orochi Group, and the Kingdom. As a major world conglomerate, the Orochi are one of the few powers the Illuminati can't touch through "legitimate" methods, and faction-lead infiltrations of their work on Solomon Island has put the group on edge. Now, they have people in Egypt as well: Kirsten wants to know what they're up to, but she also cautions the players to avoid leaving any mess that can be traced back to the Illuminati - at least, not until they have enough dirt to bury Orochi for good.
The Kingdom, on the other-hand, are an organized crime syndicate ruling Egypt from behind the scenes, dealing in gambling, prostitution, civic planning, and - most importantly - access to Egypt's untapped wealth of magical artifacts and mystical sites.The Illuminati deal with them frequently, and while the overwhelming majority of the Kingdom's operation is safe from the ongoing crisis, they will be ready to deal with anyone who can help make the region safe for continued business. Kirsten is highly invested in anything to give the Illuminati a diplomatic edge for continued talks with the Kingdom after the attacks there die-down, and thus recommends meetings with Säid, an emissary of the Kingdom currently lodging in the area.
Upon arriving in Egypt, players quickly discover that the main threat in the area is none other than the Cult of the Aten, a religious movement thought to have died along with it's creator, Pharaoh Akhenaten, over three thousand years ago. However, Akhenaten has returned from the dead - a direct result of the Orochi research teams foolishly tampering with the Sentinels that would have kept him safely entombed within the Black Pyramid - and resurrected the cult by converting influential figures such as local merchant Abdel Doud to his cause. Furthermore, Orochi's other major operation in the area has also gone horribly awry: their excavation of the ancient Atenist temple known as the Ankh has led to one of their chief researchers being compromised by the Filth - and taking all but a handful of security teams with him. As such, players are tasked with putting an end to the crisis at the Ankh, then venturing into the City of the Sun God to destroy Akhenaten himself.
Entering the Black Pyramid, they confront the main body of the Atenist horde, battling them alongside the Marya resistance fighters and the Orochi security team. While these reinforcements hold the cultists off, the players do battle with Akhenaten himself, finally killing him for a second time with the help of the Sentinels. With the main threat to Egypt neutralized, players attempt to retrieve Akhenaten's staff, recognizing it as a powerful magical artifact - only to be promptly knocked out by the Orochi security team, who steal the staff for good measure.
Doubly unfortunately, players find themselves meeting an extremely frosty reception on their return to the Labyrinth: Kirsten says the "talking heads" are furious over the loss of the staff, and the Orochi didn't take kindly to the Illuminati delving into their operations. The backlash is bad enough for the Talking Heads to order the players' termination... and there's an assassin in Kirsten's office waiting to carry out that order as soon as the players' backs are turned. A member of the infamous Magicians, Ronelle Washington is one of the few individuals with the knowledge and power to eliminate Bee-imbued agents - and only Kirsten's intervention saves the players from termination. Calling off the hit and agreeing to suffer whatever backlash emerges as a result, she gives them a little wiggle room to prove themselves too useful to do away with.
Making use of what little time they have left, players seek out Senator Cicero, a puppet politician working for the Illuminati: Cicero is upset that he too is being held-up by Orochi interests in the US senate, and the player agrees to help him by breaking into the group's HQ in New York - thereby getting enough prestige to get Kirsten, Cicero and the players out of the doghouse. The break-in gives Cicero a treasure-trove of data on company secrets to blackmail any Orochi sponsored senators, thus giving him more leeway working against rivals while proving him essential to the Illuminati. Nonetheless, Kirsten greets the players coldly: she considers them square for the time being, but she's still not happy about having to take a bullet for her proteges.
Upon reviewing the stolen data, Geary finds that Orochi has a second major project in the backwoods of Transylvania. All of Orochi's projects have been for one massive operation called the Prometheus Initiative, the main team of which has been working their assets in the Carpathian Mountains, making the Romania team's operation at-least as important as the Egypt team's, if not more so. The Council of Venice have also been pressing to get the societies to deal with a vampire uprising that has fallen upon Transylvania. With the area isolated, less modernized than most and the cover of a vampire crusade to put down, Geary sees a golden opportunity to throw a wrench in Orochi's operations without anything being able to get back to Orochi or the public as a whole, all while operating under cover of a peace-keeping mission that would boost the Illuminati's credit among their allies/rivals. The player will be dispatched to make the most of the situation with their primary objective - in-between slaying vampires and protecting locals - being the Prometheus Initiative itself.
The Player ulatimately discovers that the head of the vampire crusade, Her Majesty Mara, the queen of the vampires, has mobilized the invasion as a smokescreen for an attack on Orochi interests in the Carpathian Mountains - combined with the takeover of a number of abandoned bases formerly run by the Soviet government agency known only as the Red Hand . Furthermore, Mara did not act of her own accord, but has been operating on the orders of Lilith, the infamous mother of all monsters; Lilith herself has taken great interest in an Orochi test subject being held in region: a young girl by the name of Emma Smith, this child is possessed of unprecedented magical powers and has been in the care of Orochi agents Winston and Julia Smith for some time - though both Emma and the Smiths have disappeared, much to Lilith's consternation.
It eventually becomes apparent that Emma has been used by the Orochi Group as a key element of the Prometheus Initiative, namely by helping to unearth a Gaia Engine deep in the Carpathians - resulting in a Filth rift that Mara's vampire forces are helping to secure on Lilith's behalf. Following Mara's death, the player is led deep into the Breach by Emma, where they witness a transmission from Orochi CEO Samuel Chandra to Lilith, demanding an explanation for the hostile takeover of company assets. Nearby, Lilith teleports away long before the player can reach her or even see her face. Shortly after, Emma is snatched away by something in the rift below, and players pursue her - leading to an encounter with the Dreamers that Kirsten is not privy to.
Nonetheles, Kirsten is impressed by the detail of the reports when players finally return to the Labyrinth. Not only have the Illuminati secured favor with the Council of Venice for resolving the vampire issue, they also have a payload of sensitive information on the Prometheus Initiative, and a number secret files from the Red Hand. More than anything else, Kirsten is ecstatic at the fact that the Orochi have clearly been compromised from an inside source, meaning that the Illuminati can finally drop all pretenses of cooperation, on the grounds that Orochi were in no position to protect their most sensitive data and were in breach of numerous treaties with the Council of Venice. Based on the timeline, Kirsten indicates that the arrival of the Fog in Maine, the quakes in Egypt, and the Vampire Crusade in Transylvania can all be traced back the situation still going on in Tokyo, suggesting the subway bombing somehow catalyzed major Filth activity all over the world. With this in mind, Kirsten says it is about time their attention returned to Tokyo.
Kirsten reveals the Illuminati has been trying to get the clearance to go to Tokyo for sometime, but the Council of Venice has been imposing numerous high-threat protocols forbidding any of the societies from entering. At first, this was seen as the Council's typical bureaucratic adherence to procedure and little else; however, as the duration of such policies was continuously extended and reinforced, Kirsten has come to suspect deliberate obfuscation on the part of The Council of Venice. With the player having been certified by the Council to operate within Tokyo, Kirsten instructs them pay a visit to Venice and investigate the situation - and remind the Council what happens to hindrances in their plans.
In Venice, it's soon revealed that Council handler Arturo Castiglione had been blackmailed by the Phoenicians some time ago and was being used to stall the players from entering Tokyo, allowing them to clean up their activities there before anyone arrived to investigate. Though Castiglione was intent on committing suicide-by-cop upon being discovered, upon realizing that his own operative in Tokyo - Sarah - is actually still alive, he decides to cooperate with the players and allow them to enter Tokyo. Kirsten states that the Illuminati have him dead to rights, but he is of more use to them against the Phoenicians that as an example. She advises to let politics play out back at the Council, allowing the player to focus on Tokyo and the nightmarescape they are about to traverse.