We're ramping up towards the end of our series with the seventh Letter of Ovelia. This letter comes from a corporate archaeologist who sums up his thoughts on the Wakes and a coming excavation.
Vermin can never be fully exterminated. It has too many natures for that to happen - it simply moves around, changes shape. The idea that we can one day be completely rid of it is one of the few utopian fallacies I think the Corporation has yet to fully reject. We have been too focused on the parasites, although not without results - valiant efforts within our own city and employee policies have all but starved out the last of the useless and slothful. But remove the parasites, and the scavengers move in. The sum of the vermin may not be constant, but this new form it has taken - plaguing us from the outside rather than inside - is endangering this upcoming operation.
I am referring, of course, to the Wakes.
I have no idea if this was a name they gave to themselves, or if it was intended as an insult to begin with - it's hardly imaginable that anyone would identify with a wake of feeding vultures. Either way, I think it's a fitting name. These groups are typically nomadic and survive by scavenging the old structures and technology abandoned after the Breakdown. We know from experience that this can be lucrative business, given the right knowledge of these ancient items, and the Wakes have proven disturbingly skilled in picking up the necessary know-how. Fortunately, most nomads can be persuaded to leave an area if they perceive it as too hostile, which we make sure the areas of the Feng Corporation always are to the greatest extent possible. Unfortunately, there are exceptions.
The Wakes which constitute a genuine threat to the Corporation refuse to completely leave the Beihai area. Efforts to eradicate them from Weizhou and Xieyang Island have been partially successful in the past. However, some appear to persist. Normally, these groups are mostly an annoyance, and their occasional espionage and black-market deals do not cause enough harm to justify any large-scale attacks. Some of them have families in Beihai and can be persuaded to change their ways if one or two of their kin are executed. Scavengers are cowards by nature. Our upcoming operation, however, cannot afford the risk of any of these groups interfering. The excavation of the fallen Skycity Guanbao must be ours and ours alone.
Although we have made great progress in evacuating the crash site, previous experience has shown that there may be Wakes who have access to our communications. We have done what we can to protect the area, but cannot discount the possibility that they may strike at one of our blind spots. The exact nature of this operation and what we're searching for is still unknown even to me, but it is beyond clear that it's crucial to the future of the company. Skycities are gold mines of lost knowledge, accidental time capsules preserved from before the Breakdown, and we caught this one just as it fell. With the debris barely cooled off and the nuclear reactor fallout still under assessment, the fact that the Board has chosen to hurry and focus efforts on the search after a single item suggests that the operation may be much more fragile than we originally thought.
As soon as the area is cleared, we need to dispatch all available drones to it. Guanbao was a large city, and if we are to find a needle in the haystack, we better start before the Wakes do. I'll be damned if I see that needle in the beak of a vulture.
Oliver Zhang, Feng Corporation Archeologist, 1st July 110 A.Br [2295 A.D]