The Cloistered Research Council

Some more world-building today. Get to know the most mysterious super-geniuses of the world of Tears of a Machine.


A shadowy organization of cutting-edge researchers and scientists, the Cloistered Research Council are responsible for the robotic SAInts, the floating Citadels of Earth’s Preservation Forces and the MetaTron telepathic communications system that ties them all together. Their knowledge demands respect because it is the best chance humanity has to survive the alien attacks and strike back.

When the CRC first appeared it was a representative of Switzerland that delivered their messages to the United Nations. They had samples of working alien technology that had been recovered from the battlefield wreckage and promises that they could use what they had learned to build new weapons. There were several conditions however. The CRC insisted that their weapons would only be available to a new international force that they would oversee and that all representatives of the CRC would be given autonomy, anonymity, and amnesty.

The Preservation Force is this new military entity. Though they oversee it, the CRC are not generals or leaders. Instead they act as advisors and watchdogs who ensure that the high-tech secrets of the Preservation Force’s weapons don’t fall into the hands of others. They advise, analyze, and predict the enemy’s actions and continue to refine their weapons. (There will be more discussion of the Preservation Force in later entries.)

Members of the CRC conceal their identities when appearing in public. Sometimes they are hidden in plain sight with subtle disguises but when a CRC representative must display “rank” then he or she covers all visible skin in the CRC’s traditional colors of red and gold. Wearing masks, goggles, gloves, and even laboratory smocks, they are mysterious and threatening figures. The CRC justify this practice by insisting that it keeps members of the Council safe from bribes and manipulation.

The unsettling appearance of CRC representatives and their demands for amnesty have created rumors and even superstitions about them. The optimists suggest that the CRC are compassionate aliens who broke away from the invaders and are helping Earth to resist their own. Pessimists insist that they are men gathering power for themselves, eager to take control of the world once the invaders are gone. They need amnesty because of the terrible things they did to earn their alien knowledge. Stories range from testing psychotropic drugs on unwitting children to occult practices of sorcery. The accusations are usually kept private. No one wants to know what happens if you upset the CRC. 

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