The "Shrine" Database: Part I
On the outside world, very little is known about this secretive collective of powerful men from all over the world. Believed to be a derivative of the Free Masons, the Syndicate's ranks remain small as to be undetected by the outside world and to keep their agendas in the shadows. The people who run this organization are generally referred to as "Elders" or "the Council"
On the inside, their main objective seems to be maintaining a certain level of balance in the world, plotting and executing catastrophic events for the sole purpose of alterting the balance of power. Earliest evidence of Syndicate encounters date all the way back to the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Since then, they have been tied to revolutions in both France and America as well as the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the more recent Cold War. Very little has been uncovered to connect them with the current War on Terror, but it is believed that they are somehow involved in the current economic crisis that plagues the globe. Their full current agenda remains to be a mystery.
Known as the "dark assassins of the Syndicate" very few have managed to see one of these monsters up close and survived to tell the tale. Many of them pose to be extremely large (spanning nearly seven feet in height), muscular, and sporting dark clothing such as black overcoats and fedora-type hats. Newer evidence suggests that these articles of clothing have been constructed with a type of state-of-the-art ballistic-proof fabric which protects them against most modern variants of gunfire and small blades.
In terms of weaponry, Phantoms have never been witnessed using firearms but rather a small, cylindrical device the size of a small flashlight known as a "gimlet". It appears to be a cross between a switchblade and a hypodermic needle capable of piecing the skin and injecting the toxin in carries. It can be both activated and deactivated using a small switch located on the side. Curiously, some folks who are "infected" by this weapon are merely brought into a state of periodical comatose while others are killed instantly or shortly after the initial puncture. Injection is thought to be automatic upon penetration.
Another product of the Syndicate, the "Red Toxin" is thought to be the liquid stored inside the gimlet weapons wielded by both Council members and Phantoms alike. Traces of adrenaline, PCP, and a light anesthetic have been isolated from the liquid, though how it was engineered remains to be a mystery. On most individuals, the toxin forces the brain into overdrive causing massive brain seizures that ultimately result in fatal aneurisms. However, in a select few, the short time effects cause the victim to pass out with side effects of delusions reported in the few that survived Red Toxin encounters. Larger dosages over an extended period of time generate different side effects. Reports of enhanced strength along with resistance to pain have been reported along with increased muscle mass of the body and decreased awareness of the mind. Survivors of the infection can be identified by the blood seen swimming in their eyes.
It has since been suggested that the primary use of this substance is ultimately for mind-control purposes for those capable of surviving its initial effects.
More reports to come soon...