I've been irked as of late with some misapprehensions. There are many agencies and individuals in the world that like to assume the worst of me, Director A.Z. Arketer and Arketer Labs in general.
Yes, we operate somewhat in a grey-area with regards to American and some international laws to be certain. We tend to spend our time in facilities placed in unregulated territories and so on, maintaining our own sort of law and order (well up to if not exceeding First-World standards I might add). We make use of technology that is so cutting edge there are people in the world who don't believe Humanity can use it without cutting itself-
But we are certainly not evil. Neither Arketer Labs, nor I, have any aims of Global Domination. I certainly have no wish to rule the world in any capacity. We do not work on doomsday weapons. We don't have a death laser on the moon. At no point will Arketer Labs be calling up the United Nations and demanding one billion dollars not to drop a titanium shard from space onto Britain.
In fact, we don't even work on lethal weapons technologies at all.
Now, a solid case could be made that many of our projects could be easily misappropriated to ill effect. That is in fact very true- but that would be someone else misusing our work and not OUR fault. Furthermore such concerns are precisely why Arketer Labs is a quasi-clandestine organization. Our research MUST be kept safe until it can be released in a responsible manner to a society ready for it.
In the meantime we pursue our studies and work on our prototypes in our safe environments and quietly, almost entirely without notice, advance the sum of human knowledge about the universe we live in and the rock we've found ourselves on.
That said, I might like to take over a small European nation some day.
That doesn't sound terribly stressful.
In other news and speaking of non-lethal technologies, we have had a peculiar accident at one of the facilities. Henchperson #98004662 was working on a new stealth system and has since gone sort-of missing.
The device in question was being developed to, grossly simplified, generate a field that so subtly confused human senses that the human senses in question would elect to more or less ignore anything within it. It's not true invisibility as it were, but rather a system to provoke exploitable brain weirdness. Arguably like World of Warcraft.
Now, if it had functioned properly, then only the bearer of the device and items within a certain radius would be affected- however the device itself is not missing. Henchperson #62, on the other hand, has not been seen for 24 hours.
More accurately, they have not been seen by their fellow employees for 24 hours. Instead there have been reports of bizzare sensations, unexplained noises, inexplicably moving chairs and alarming notes left behind by a no less alarmed #62. Security footage shows #62 trying with considerable difficulty to get the attention of their coworkers.
They have since been directed by fellow employees using digital camcorders back to their quarters to rest while the rest of #62's team is hard at work trying to figure out precisely what the hell #62 did to themselves.
#62 is expected to make a full recovery, although according to several statements recorded on paper and on digital audio, may need psychological emergency leave due to existential doubts.
This is, of course, horribly embarrassing. I wrote not long ago about our extraordinary safety record, and while this was in no way a hazardous breach it is disappointing to see. Still, safety precautions will be refined from this incident.
Please note that a stealth system is not by any means a weapon. We DO work on defensive technologies and non-lethal weapons, as a matter of self-preservation among other reasons. Say what you will but very few people were ever killed directly by better armor plating and this present fit of stealth-induced existential crisis is surely the first of it's kind.
It's still not half as bizarre as this: