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EncCampGrayling

Camp Grayling

Camp Grayling is a pre-collapse, technologically advanced military base. Once a National Guard training facility, it was later turned into the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or surveillance drones, base and coordination center. It is located in northern Michigan, ten hexes east and sixty-four hexes north of the Cryo Facility.

The base is now abandoned, but rumors about this place abound. Most of them involve the still-functional, automated Active Denial System (ADS), which protects the premises from intruders. It is said that no one who has ventured inside has ever returned.

Interested PartiesEdit

There are some influential people within Michigan who have varying interests in the base and its presumed contents. Some of them might be willing to hire the player to infiltrate the base, in order to retrieve its secrets:

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  • The Stoat — a businessman (of sorts) who can be encountered inside Zom Zom's
  • Hatter — another businessman, located in the sprawl area outside the DMC walls.
  • Martha's Army, a group of Luddites, are obsessed with hatred towards technology. They see the base as a great danger to all people, and wish to destroy it completely. In order for that to happen, they are willing to hire the player. Their envoy, a young woman named Martha (who claims not to be the infamous leader herself), is waiting in a grove near the base. If the player decides to tell her that he wants to destroy the base, she will supply him with the Fail-safe Key to the facility mainframe, and the directions to find the passwords necessary in order to activate the Anarchy Protocol. The command, in the Army's belief, is supposed to disable the base for good, preventing anyone from using the Grayling's surveillance resources against the people of Michigan.

Infiltrating the BaseEdit

Camp Grayling is protected by state-of-the-art defenses known as the Active Denial System. It is an automated, self-controlling system, made up of several layers of defense. It will take considerable preparation for the player to enter the facility successfully and survive. Once inside, Philip is on his own and must deal with whatever is waiting for him there, as there is no turning back.

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At first, the player can either go right, towards the lake (which goes nowhere), or go left, towards the forest.

Within the forest area, you can access your things (something you'll be able to do throughout this encounter), leave the camp, cut through the fence, use either Telescopic or a pair of binoculars to observe the base grounds, or explore outside the fence.

Exploring outside the fence reveals a woman (Martha from the Martha's Army faction). She'll ask you what your business here is.

  • Telling her that you're just passing through will end the encounter with her leaving you alone, as you return to the fence area.
  • Telling her that you're there to scavenge will piss her off, making her go hostile on you, and sending her soldiers after you. Her soldiers will spawn on that hex, as you leave to an adjacent hex. Getting back into the camp will require dealing with her soldiers.
  • Telling her that you're there to burn the base down will initiate a conversation where she explains that she wants your help, and gives you directions as described above in the "Interested Parties" section on this page. After all of that, while leaving, you can use your Trapping, Tracking, Hiding, or Eagle Eye traits. Doing so will tell you that there were people hiding around her nearby (the soldiers who would've jumped on you if you told her that you were there to loot the place).

Any attempts after any of these points to go back to the area outside the fence will reveal that Martha is gone.

The first actual obstacle in infiltrating the base is the electrified fence. The player must possess a tool capable of cutting the wires (for example, a multitool). Beyond the fence is the second layer of the ADS – a section of open ground, permeated by microwave radiation from strategically-placed emitters. A patchwork foil poncho must be worn to avoid being burned alive (a newspaper article titled "Foiled Again" provides the hint regarding this). After going through this area, the poncho is destroyed.

Once past the field of emitters, the player will be in the main base, with retreat blocked by a maintenance robot that fixes the hole in the fence almost immediately. Microwave radiation-emitting, spider-like robots (V-MADS) patrol the areas outside the central buildings.

There are four locations inside the base: a storage shed, control tower, barracks, and hangar. Each move between buildings exposes the player to ADS from the V-MADS, and the player has a limit to how much exposure can be endured. The farther away the player runs in one go, the more exposure endured as well. The player will die if the first move to any building isn't towards the Storage Shed (unless using additional protection, like another patchwork foil poncho).

  • Storage shed — ducking into it and using an old forklift inside, allows player to survive (while suffering some severe burns) one move into another building of his choosing. The player can rig the forklift to drive on its own (and thus hide behind it to lessen the burns), or drive it manually. Driving manually will result in the player's death. The player, with the Mechanic skill, can also optionally rig the forklift to move faster (reducing burns again).
  • Barracks — There are some old diary pages here, hidden within some of the beds. Among them, the staff ID card mentioned by Hatter can be found. A dead dogman can be found in the bathroom, after by-passing a lock on the door. There are also blueprints of the security system in the filing cabinets here.
  • Control tower — This is the building from which the staff could once control the entire base. Player can decide to take a look from the top of the tower, observing the vast amounts of land, on each side of the tower. Here is also the place to use the flash-drive from Stoat and where to look for the override codes necessary to activate the Anarchy Protocol, as per Martha's Army instructions. Those skilled in [Hacking]] can redirect the V-MADS outside, granting the player clear passage into one other building. There is also something breathing inside the "M.E.R." room, on the mid-level of the tower, but the doors are barricaded from inside and cannot be opened.
  • Hangar — Now nearly empty, save one disassembled drone (seemingly left behind during repairs.) There is also a hatch leading down into the underground area of the base.

The truth behind the baseEdit

There is more than what appears on the surface at Camp Grayling. The unusual interest of so many people is readily explained when the player ventures into the depths of the base.

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Deep beneath the hangar lies the room that is the true heart of the base and all of its functions. An artificial intelligence - Blackwhite - still in control of the base defenses and UAV data-gathering for Grayling's biggest secret: the databanks, which are the part of the PRISM surveillance network.

Using the limited time available (enough for four searches, plus one more each for the Failsafe Key, ID Card "Sean", and Hacking skill used) player can browse the data stored by Blackwhite. The list of the searchable topics depends on the information gathered by the player throughout the game. Several search topics open up as the player browses through different subjects.

The topics from which the player can choose are:

  • Query "black ghost apparition". (the Merga Wraith): After a brief pause, Blackwhite comes to display hundreds of files, all listed under variant headings of ghost sightings. "Blackwhite holds a catalog of alleged eyewitness accounts of spectral manifestations matching the user's color description. Several key locations are known to be sites of repeated incidents, such as..." It goes on and on about the apparitions, none of which fits with what you've seen. You scroll through the search results until one stops you. You take a closer look. Startled, you jerk backward in your chair. There, in a tiny thumbnail, is a blur you wish you didn't recognize.
  • Query "Blackwhite".: "Blackwhite is the cumulative artificial intelligence of Camp Grayling," the machine begins. "Its primary directive is to oversee AAV assets. Responsibilities include: the planning of flight patterns and routes, air traffic control, maintenance schedules, coordination with base personnel, and test data recording, processing, and optimization. Its secondary directive broadens the scope to encompass base security." A task schedule comes on-screen, sharing space with a map of flight routes circulating between military bases across the country. "At present," it continues, "Blackwhite is coordinating a task still incomplete. The last AAV in use awaits a transfer order for its next rotation to Grissom AFB. A PCB containing this information, along with security clearance, is en route." The monitor clears. Maybe if you can find that PCB...
  • Query "Bertrand Farris".: An icon resembling an eagle clutching a key rotates at the center of the screen. You harbor few doubts about Blackwhite's reach. If anything can tell you about the faceless man you saw in a retrieved memory, it'll be this machine, now moments away from telling you who wiped your mind and froze your body in a tube. Mere moments. The eagle vanishes. "Found one exact match: records of one Bert Farris crossing the Indiana state border into Michigan in a dark blue sedan with plates DEC-1628. No other digital records of the individual can be found."
  • Query "Camp Grayling".: "Camp Grayling," Blackwhite replies. "44 35 51 North, 84 53 58 West. Crawford County, Michigan. Founded in 1913. It is the largest training facility for the United States National Guard. "In 2016, Camp Grayling became a leading center for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle operations. When advancements in drone technology solved the need for individual pilots, UAVs functioned as a single unit, operated centrally with minimal human oversight.
  • Query CNCI MDR.: "The Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) is a multi-agency security initiative which coordinates network defense and counterintelligence efforts. The Mission Data Repository (MDR) is the central data store in support of the CNCI. Sufficient storage for all regional CNCI facility feeds is maintained at the data center. The MDR is maintained by the National Security Agency, and is located at Camp W. G. Williams in Utah." Huh, Utah. Better find some decent walking shoes.
  • Query "DEC-1628".: Blackwhite loads a map of Michigan state, and on it begins drawing a path through several cities: north to Sturgis, then east through Coldwater, northeast to Jackson, and finally east to Ann Arbor. Until the last stop, the driver never spends more than a day at each location. Three days after arriving, the path continues north through Brighton, then Burton, and comes to rest at Saginaw. An on-screen prompt then indicates that a week later, the vehicle was towed away.
  • Query "New Earth Ostracon".: Blackwhite's glassy face seems to darken. "New Earth Ostracon," it says. "The NEO was an online repository of information concerning the occult which rapidly gained popularity worldwide between the years 2014 and 2017. The colloquially termed 'wiki' comprised of supposed eyewitness accounts of paranormal events, conspiracies, and fringe science discoveries. Entries included times and dates of sightings. All users had editor's rights and were free to contribute content, which grew the website exponentially.
  • Query "perpetrator".: Blackwhite plays a recording on the monitor. It shows only a bird's-eye view of a diner out in the middle of nowhere. But it's picking up audio. You hear forks and knives cutting against plates, and two people locked in hushed conversation. "Because they can't do that," a male voice says. "CPL S. CHISHOLM, MOS 15-E" appears at the bottom while he speaks. "I didn't sign up to spy on my own people." "But you don't have proof," says UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER. "You can put it on NEO, sure. But who's going to believe baseless conspiracy allegations?" "Maybe." Chisholm seems to think a moment. "You know? Maybe I do. I have AAV flight plans. Transfer schedules. Their damned mainframe is under our base." There's a pause. "I could get in." There's a long silence. Clinking and murmurs continue in the background. The unidentified voice replies, "You sure you want to do that?" "Yeah..." He doesn't sound sure. But then his confidence renews. "Yes. I'm sure. Beats doing this shit another day."
  • Query "Philip Kindred".: An official seal rotates at the center of the screen, depicting an eagle clutching a key. "Found one exact match. Philip Kindred, male, unspecified age. Registered at the Gyges Cryogenics Facility, Pod 05 Room 15. Treatment at the Saginaw Mental Institution for unspecified illness." Except you walked out of that pod. How old could these records be? Displayed are thumbnails of maps, blueprints, and aerial photos of the facilities from a time before everything went to hell. You follow the link to your patient file, and it's oddly devoid of details. There's not even a photo. Blackwhite adds, "No additional information. Unable to connect to CNCI MDR."
  • Query "PRISM Surveillance Network".: Blackwhite flickers. The status bar continues its climb. "The PRISM Surveillance Network is the CNCI infrastructure focused on monitoring suspicious activity and logging data to the MDR. The gathering, processing, and managing of the data of PRISM is designated the zero directive." 'Suspicious activity' strikes as the most nebulous phrase in its explanation. And you shudder to think how broad its definitions have been before. What exactly was seen as suspicious?
  • Query "security violation".: "The security incident, designated security violation, occurred at 40 28 24 North, 111 56 40 West," Blackwhite begins. "Evidence of two perpetrators discovered. Investigators confirmed that one of the two had TS//SI-M/TK-L clearance. "The violation involved the following components: a comparison algorithm, a native dataset, and a foreign dataset. "A fourth component, the output of the algorithm itself, has been redacted from Blackwhite and all storage devices."
  • Query "suspicious activity".: Blackwhite splits the screen into three. On the left, you see a patchwork of aerial images and fixed-camera footage of various sites across the state: Detroit's high-rises, suburbs, restaurants, open roads, even wilderness. Most of the signals appear to be noisy, inactive, or dead, but for those that are live, it's shown with unbelievable clarity. The middle panel shows text communications, a mix of clear text and jibberish, logged with identifying info where available. Times, frequencies, latitude and longitude are all listed. A dwindling amount of more traditional info such as email addresses, phone numbers, and IPs accompanies older data. The right panel shows a spectrum visualizer that matches snippets of conversations being played. Like a hybrid of the other panels, whole channels appear dead or garbled, and tagging is incomplete. However, those that are still live are myriad in nature: patrol check-ins, business birthday messages, filthy travelers' banter, voicemails, children phoning their parents. The system is merely a shadow of itself. The infrastructure and protocols upon which it relied now fading. But from what you've seen here, at one point it simply monitored everything in the region.
  • Query "ten curators".: "The Ten Curators of the New Earth Ostracon," Blackwhite says. Two rows of five photographs lay across the screen, men and women between twenty and fifty years old. #10 has only a placeholder image of a human silhouette. Beneath each is a first initial and a last name. You spend some time studying the faces, the names. But you can recognize none of them with any certainty. Strangers. Family. You'd just be guessing. "Reports are available for neutralized members. Read now?" The euphemism rings in your ears.
  • Query "unexplained phenomena".: "Numerous accounts of paranormal sightings by citizens around the Michigan area, characterized primarily by rodentine, insectoid, and/or spectral descriptions. Frequency of sightings correlates closely with population concentrations and growth." 'Around Michigan'? From what you've seen of late, most of Michigan has been ghost towns and wasteland. "The psychology community poses several theories for the rise of anthropomorphism in public consciousness, citing as factors: film and book releases, social media, the ease of photo-manipulation, and, chiefly among them, a general sense of growing unrest, even as quality of life nationwide reaches an all-time high." The results that follow number in the hundreds of thousands, one less reputable than the next. You don't have time to wade through it all. "Ten curators with administrative rights to the NEO have been identified in the US. "After a security violation was traced to these curators, various agencies of the United States government formed a taskforce to apprehend these individuals on charges of espionage. The NEO was subsequently shut down, although users repeatedly created mirror sites to keep it alive.
  • Query "violation components".: "The comparison algorithm was developed by the National Security Agency. Its purpose: to analyze vast amounts of communications data in order to extrapolate common patterns and deduce the presence of national threats and terrorist plots prior to execution. "Input can take the form of multiple formats in any and all known human languages. Coded communications can also be deciphered at runtime. The output of the algorithm includes: lists of persons of interest, potential targets, possible scenarios, and suspected factions coordinating attack. The native dataset included CNCI MDR datasets. "Foreign dataset estimated to be many times smaller than the native dataset." "Additional information unavailable: unable to connect to MDR."

The time window can alternatively be used to follow either Hatter's or Martha's instructions to deal with the facility. Doing so, or escaping before the time runs out, will lead to one of the ending scenes. Failing to follow the employer's instructions (or mixing them up), as well as staying until the time runs out will trigger the base security system which (while designed to simply contain the intruder), with no one to supervise it, will result in the player's death.

The EndingEdit

Players should be warned that it is at Camp Grayling that Philip Kindred's adventure in Michigan ends.

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While dealing with Blackwhite, the player will trigger one of the ending scenes, depending on the choices made.

Failing to follow any of the employer's instructions, but leaving the command console in time to avoid capture, will force Philip to run, before security tightens.

Following Hatter's instructions will cause the bug to infect the mainframe, allowing whomever prepared the operation to regain control over the facility. The new voice of Blackwhite will address Philip as "citizen" (which, along with the new logo of the owner, could indicate that the mysterious power behind Hatter's assignment might have origins in the former government structure), warning him that the facility will be "purged" and that he has to run.

Initiating the Anarchy Protocol, as instructed by the agents of Martha's Army, will have an unexpected result. Instead of frying all the systems, the base defenses will malfunction, attacking everyone and everything in their way. The good news is that it works as well for the Army's plans to deny anyone access to the base surveillance capabilities. The bad news is that poor Philip must run for his life anyway.

Whatever the case, once escaping the databanks, Phillip finds himself surrounded by the deadly V-MADS in the hangar. The only way out is via the last drone there. Using its empty weapon compartment as a makeshift cabin, mister Kindred activates the automaton and flies inside it into the unknown. Sometime later, the drone crashes on the southern edges of the Great Black Swamp, the new power-structure of Michigan behind him and even more mysteries ahead.

Here is the complete ending text (as of 12/14/14):

"You startle awake.

No, it hasn't all just been a dream. You're still sitting in the AAV as its payload when a sudden jerk wakes you from the slumber of trauma-induced exhaustion.

When you look out the top, all you can see of your former surroundings is a lake of mist far to the north. Below: the Great Black Swamp. To see it sprawl from east to west, an antithesis of life, the necrosis of civilization- it's a haunting view beneath.

Another "crack!" accompanies a smell of burning plastic as you duck into your compartment again.

The engines are failing, and there's a ragged whistling noise coming from the tail. The drone is no longer flying but in a controlled fall.

You hazard a peek outside. More and more of the swamp passes below. You glide past the rotting lands, the sinking roads, the crumbling buildings, the toxic fumes- but you're falling too fast to make a full crossing.

You duck inside, and brace for the inevitable.

The drone hits something hard, the weightless rebound ringing in your ears for a moment before smashing and grinding through what sounds like rocks and water. Parts rip away, and sludge sprays into the hold from the openings they leave.

The fuselage twists right suddenly and flips over, throwing you hard into a debris-filled pool. Wrenching metal and cracks of composites echo over the next mound as the drone becomes just another part of the desolate landscape.

In a fit of coughing, you crane your neck away from the sludge, and pull yourself weakly onto an embankment.

For several wheezing moments, you cling to the earth, gathering your senses.

After more coughing, you plant a hand in the cold mud, push the ground away, and stagger to your feet. A brisk, acrid wind bites through your soaked clothes, and you turn to face away from it.

Ahead, miles of lifeless, muddy terrain, punctuated by toxic pools and shells of old buildings.

And beyond that, Indiana."

Notes Edit

  • You cannot go past the fence and enter the camp if you have any vehicles equipped. You'll have to drop them to access the camp. But once you get inside the camp, you can "Access your things" (check your inventory), which includes items on the ground. However, the vehicle will disappear. But you can still access other items dropped on the camp's hex. So if there are any items in that vehicle you want to use while inside the base, then pull them out of the vehicle onto the ground.