Pitch-a-Week Part 25: Clear Skies

High Concept: Covert meme-fighters  in the hot zone of a mind-controlled U.S.

Genre: Wainscotting covert-ops mind control procedural tech-porn

Overview:  An Iowa farm town severs all ties with the outside world, spontaneously setting up a multi-tiered caste system in preparation for an invasion that never comes.

A Seattle suburb is plagued by a string of pre-teen suicides: all female, all left-handed, all green-eyed and all within six hours of each other.

Serial killers in seven states strike similar targets on the same days using the same MO, leaving messages to each other at the scenes of their crimes using decades-old OSS stay-behind code.

To the men and women of Operation: CLEAR SKIES, these incidents are the latest shots in a covert war that began more than forty years ago.

Following the Korean War, elements within the U.S. government established Project STORMCROW, a top secret multidisciplinary working group formed as a clearing house for research into psychological operations and countermeasures. STORMCROW moved quietly behind the surface of academia, the intelligence community and the military. The group picled the best and the brightest to establish a unique, fully functional protocol to address any threat to the hearts and minds of American citizens and organizations.

STORMCROW’s studies culminated in a series of real-time exercises in the late 1960s. The psy-ops wargames involved an opposing force, code-named RAINMAKER, staging a series of simulated attacks on American soil. The first attacks were harmless pranks ranging from incidents of spontaneous streaking on college campuses to cases of mass insomnia on military bases. These were rapidly identified and stopped by the STORMCROW defenders.

And then came the Manson murders.

And then came the riot at Altamont Speedway.

And then came the massacre at Kent State.

And them Patty Hearst christened herself “Tania,” using the name of an intentionally-created alter from a STORMCROW experiment.

The wargame was halted, and STORMCROW returned to its role as a research operation. Operatives and investigators within the group noticed a shift in STORMCROW’s operations, as they were dispatched to interview spree killers and the survivors of massacres or to discredit, sabotage and steal bleeding-edge psychotronic  research.  

STORMCROW halted active operations in 1999, and its operatives returned to their home organizations.  Over time, many of them noticed increases in school and workplace shootings, serial murder and large-scale aberrant acts and came to the same conclusion: RAINMAKER had gone rogue and fully subverted STORMCROW.

The remaining STORMCROW operatives went underground, using the techniques learned through decades of mind-control research to establish Operation: CLEAR SKIES and stop RAINMAKER before that group begins its endgame. Investigators track down RAINMAKER serial murderers and deprogram mind-control victims. Memeticists identify key RAINMAKER-created memes slipped into popular culture and dissect organizational mores to find hidden viral practices. Tactical operatives dismantle HAARP stations and take unsuspecting bellwethers off the board.

And, as CLEAR SKIES begins to use the tools of its increasingly erratic enemy, agents throughout the group ask themselves the same questions:

When did RAINMAKER become a psychopath?

Could its agents tell?

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