"You've got to be a little bit mad to be a Watcher, or at least severely out of touch in some sense, because that's where the dreams are. You've got to be a little bit crazy to touch the knife to your own throat and cut. There will probably never be many Watchers, and that is the hand of God - because there's not a need for many. Look at what just one or two can do, or set in motion." -- Ruin Pia, Personal Journal.
The Watchers are an organisation embodying the beliefs of it's Founder, Jeffrey Alexander Ryan. In the past they served as spies and information gatherers, Ryan also tries to use the personnel within the group to the best advantage of serving the galaxy, for example putting people of initiative and with certain skills on the Peacemaker mission, or sending Doctors to aid in a medical crisis. In general Watchers serve as couriers, messengers, guardians and agents. They can be called upon to learn hidden truths and protect the innocent.
The Watchers were originally formed in mid-September 3003 by Jeff Ryan. At that time there were numerous threats brewing in the galaxy, from Colin Neidermeyer's Solar Republic threatening and then bringing about a war with the Orion Arm Treaty Organization (OATO), asteroids threatening worlds, Luna had just been hit and recovered from an attempt to resequence their people into Thul by the Thul Resequencing Virus. The Founder had learned from sources that behind all these threats was one hand. The Hand of Grim of Tomin Kora. The Watchers were the Founder's reaction. At the time all civilization seemed under threat and the Nall were making noises that seemed a new Nall offensive was being planned. The organisation was formed as a desperate measure by a misunderstood man whose only wish was to help the galaxy. The organization was hastily assembled by the Founder on Luna, originally using The Black Cat Pool Hall as a cover. Agents were recruited solely to gather information on the Grim threat.
Combatting the Nexus CurseEdit
When it was revealed that the virus, known as the Nexus Curse was now threatening the galaxy, The Founder started maneuvering to put as many people in place of use as he could manage. Two Watchers were placed aboard the LDF Peacemaker's mission that led by Jonathon Croxin and The Founder managed to secure for himself the Captaincy of the CSS Menusa, a castori research vessel. The Watchers were performing as he'd expected and indeed seemed to be working better than he'd envisioned.
Year of TrialEdit
Then began what became the year of trial for the newborn organization. The Founder disappeared, feared dead when his shuttle exploded and he then spent almost six months in Guardian Fleet custody. One of the Watchers, Dirk Chyrmeson was hastily raised to the post of Watcher One and with the advice of Raisa Amondella managed to steer the Watchers through their first crisis. The Peacemaker mission was successful, with a watcher being crucial in finding the cure to the Nexus Curse. However a curse seemed to be following the organisation. Even after the Founder's release, trouble seemed to hit the organisation from all sides. They were blamed for acts of terrorism against the Solar Republic and became hunted by the Sol Republic, the Kingdom of Sivad with rumours of Ungstiri involvement, problems were caused for members on La Terre. There were no allies, few friends and the whole galaxy seemed to be arrayed against them. In the space of one month, the Founder was again taken into custody, arrested by the Kingdom of Sivad and Watcher One was shot by the Solar Republic. Rumours of traitors within the Inner Circle seemed to be the death nail in their coffin. Jeff Ryan's private group was effectively useless and gone. Raisa Amondella struggled, yet even with her dedicated leadership, little could be done to resurrect the group. Their efforts were focussed on trying to rescue their seemingly cursed leader.
The Founder managed to escape from Sivad, but he seems to have only decided to disband the group days before he was found murdered on Antimone.
For months the Watchers were adrift without firm leadership, then as if by a miracle, the group pulled together and reformed. Dr Freyssinet-Ritter was established as leader and began to reorganise the Watchers as Ryan perhaps would have wished, an agency to promote his vision of peace, an agency that will bring aid to those who need it. Rumours also abound that Ryan has returned from the dead and is rebuilding the organisation, though Watchers deny this claim.
Theory and PracticeEdit
Founded by Ryan, the Watchers obviously are the embodiment of Ryan's philosophy. A Watcher can seem to be many things, a soldier, a doctor, a spy, a politician, they come from all walks of life, but what unites them and binds them together is a vision of a galaxy at peace. A soldier's true purpose is to engage in conflict, soldiers exist for war. The purpose of the Watchers is to ensure that war never starts. The sad truth in the Orion Arm is that often smaller and larger battles must be fought for Peace to prosper. In this respect the Watchers see themselves as allies of OATO, though this is not reciprocated. Neither are the Watchers truly spies, though the distinction is a fine one. Spies exist to gather others' secrets and ensure that the information is kept hidden and used only in the cause of the government for whom the spy operates. Watchers gather truth and bring it into the open for all to see. The only people who need fear them are those who wish their secrets to remain hidden. In practice the Watchers know that this is an ideal situation and they share much of their ideology with the Centauri, they also realise that certain information must remain guarded for the sake of peace. The Watchers are not interested in Martian troop movements in general, unless of course those movements make it clear they're planning an invasion.
Though trained in self-defense, a Watcher's goal is to avoid getting into a conflict in the first place. Though capable of and willing to work outside the law when need demands, a Watcher's first tactic is to work within legal boundaries. And though trained to and fully capable of working alone, Watchers are encouraged to rely on other Watchers - present and sometimes past - whenever need demands. Combat and glory are a warrior's philosophy, and a Watcher has no need of or desire for either.
Watchers, properly, are neither hired hands nor a chosen elite. Rather they are individuals with a particular mindset and brand of idealism, recognized by others of like mind and drawn into a community designed to help them and enable them to do more. A Watcher, therefore, is not chosen but recognized.
The Watcher's OathEdit
The Oath is taken on being inducted into the organisation and sums up their 'world view':
I am a Watcher. I serve the Light by walking in the Dark. I am a Watcher. By my life and my blood I swear to serve the Founder and his Cause. And that cause is Peace. I am a Watcher. I live for Peace, I would die for Peace. Contendo Quaero Compero Incessum. I am a Watcher.
Watcher One's OathEdit
Originally Watchers had numbers assigned though this has fallen into disuse, the title for the leader of the Watchers remains Watcher One. The first Watcher One was Ryan himself, though upon his rebirth he decided not to retake the title, using the title 'Founder' instead. Other Watcher One's have been Dirk Chyremeson, Raisa Amondella, Elianor Freyssinet and last, Ruin Pia. Ruin Pia was the first to take a different oath.
I am Watcher One. I serve the Light by walking in the Dark. I am Watcher One. By my life and my blood I swear to serve the Founder and his Cause. And that Cause is Peace. Peace for all, from the greatest to the least. I am Watcher One. I live for Peace. I would die and call others to live and die for that Peace. Contendo. Quaero. Compero. Incessum. I am Watcher One.
The ceremony for raising a Watcher One includes a mingling of blood at the proper time in the taking of the Oath and the new Watcher One donning a white robe upon being raised.
Watchers have a heavy training schedule involving combat, espionage, philosophy, history and meditation. A Watcher is someone who generally has completed at least two months, though this may vary from person to person.
The uniforms came in in mid-3005 when Ryan rebuilt the Watchers proper at 'The Temple' on Tomin Kora. The outfits are all layered, for example, the robe can be removed to reveal leather armour, also with 'the Eye' and the flak jacket can be removed showing a blue shirt with 'the Eye' on the shoulder. By the end of 3006, they had fallen into near-complete disuse - but are still seen from time to time.
He/She is wearing at first what seems to be a monks robe, but it's a dark blue rather than brown and opens in the front. The clothing is obviously layered, inside the robe can be seen dark blue leather armour. The robe also has a hood that can be pulled up. Distinguishing the robe is a badge on the left breast, a lighter blue elipse containing an egyptian stylised eye with a silver star for a pupil. When the robe opens, it's clear he's/she's also wearing dark blue pants and boots.
This regalia is most often seen on the Founder himself, but has been seen worn by people in the vicinity of the Temple as well.
He/She is wearing what at first appears to be a standard flak jacket, but it's a dark blue rather than the usual black. Underneath the flak jacket is a dark blue shirt. Distinguishing the jacket is a badge on the left breast, a lighter blue elipse containing an egyptian stylised eye with a silver star for a pupil. He's also wearing dark blue pants, over black well-worn, but polished boots.
This uniform has only ever been seen on New Luna, most often in the company of New Luna Militia members, when going into battle, the Founder prefers this uniform to the standard issue military uniform of the New Luna Militia he commands.
The Temple is the nick-name for the Watchers HQ based on Tomin Kora. The facilities include quarters for the organization when based on TK as well as a large training hall equipped for basic training of the Watchers. The main hall also includes an area containing The Watchers Library. A War Room doubles as Ryan's office and serves for briefing small groups. The Temple has stood deserted at least since the last quarter of 3006, but people have been seen there from time to time.
IND Saviour's HasteEdit
Following Fagin's return to Tomin Kora and after a meeting with Dr Freyssinet, the vessel IND Saviour's Haste is serving as the main base of operations of the organisation - something only possible because Ryan has cancelled their intelligence gathering operations.
The Saviour's Haste has undergone several changes of command, but is generally understood to be flown with the blessing if its owner; if one were to judge the Watchers by the crew of the Saviour's Haste, one could only conclude a shift is taking place within the organization. From the last quarter of 3006 onward, there's been a marked shift toward a noncombative role for the ship and her crew, and there are no uniforms and far fewer headline-making activities.
It would seem that the Watchers are quietly fading into the background - but anyone who would be a Watcher knows appearances are often deceiving.
OOC Contact InformationEdit
For Recruitment Information: Check out the Recruitment Area in the Guidance Office, just off the OOC room.
IC Contact: @mail Ares or Ruin with subject "IC"
OOC Contact: @mail or page Ares or Ruin