Founded soon after The Reformation War, the Helix Initiative was a small group of anonymous programmers united by their ability to crack secure systems. Their core beliefs were simple: in a massively digital society, individuals such as themselves had immense capability matching entire corporate divisions, but very little recognized power. This was wrong.
At first, the Initiative launched a number of ultimately benign cyber-attacks to make government and supercorporate officials around the planet aware of their existence and ability, hoping to eventually bind all in the reorganization of a ‘New Virtual Order’ which would recognize the differences in power between real-world entities and their network counterparts. At first the results were disastrous. The Unity went to great lengths to see the rendition and eventual execution of many of those responsible, seeing it as a direct threat to the security and reputation of their nation. Many corporations followed a similar route, but Serica and the Equilibrium saw value in Helix, even if their aims were a little idealistic. They protected the Initiative in return for using their resources to coax and force intelligence out of the traditionally secretive Protectorate. Soon after, several more key members were never to logon again. But the utility of the Initiative had been made clear. Corporations began using them as a tool to get a leg up on their competitors, while tightening up their own policy to prevent themselves from suffering a similar fate.
For the last two decades the Initiative has restructured itself to serve as a global security check, testing digital weaknesses and allowing for their reinforcement to prevent any ‘actually dangerous people’ from exploiting them. The most renowned example of this was in 465 SEC, where they claimed responsibility for a complete power failure throughout the (then in early construction) Absolon antimatter reactor at Zenith. A large percentage of the Initiative was rounded up with startlingly efficiency soon after, but prolonged negotiations between Absolon and the Republic eventually resulted in their release without penalty, as it had been determined that whatever face had been lost and panic caused was worth identifying a systemic flaw that could have cost millions of lives later on.
Helix has also served as an anonymous leak network, exposing just enough scandal to encourage corporations and governments to constantly improve their behavior without going far enough to justify a crackdown. It is worth note that the Protectorate has been spared these leaks altogether. The Unity, on the other hand, is something of a laughingstock for the Initiative, with numerous and thinly veiled atrocities on their hands. This has caused great tension between the Unity and Commerce Republic, as the Serican government has consistently refused rendition since the group’s shaky birth.
Even with its newfound position, the Initiative is plagued with a number of internal difficulties. Several members have gone ‘rogue’, using their skills for mass acts of theft and terrorism yet still claiming responsibility as the organization, tarnishing an already problematic reputation. ‘Wannabes’ and imitators are another issue, individuals with no connection to Helix whatsoever who seek to impress the organization or shift the blame for their own misdeeds.
While Helix deals with many of these on their own terms, some still manage to seriously impact Arcatian affairs. The worst example of this was Truecore, an offshoot group which attempted to actually create an uncontrolled and uncontained antimatter reaction in the Zenith reactor. Thankfully, the mercenary organization commonly known as Aeon stepped in, preventing untold devastation and eventually tracking Truecore to an isolated compound outside Southwatch. Here it became apparent that Truecore was guilty of hundreds of other crimes, chief among them a successful violation of the Natural Hand Accord. Aeon exterminated the physical and digital remains of Truecore with full Republic approval and little apparent restraint.