Tuesday, April 9, 2019

LegacySPΩRE: Firebird Institute

Firebird Institute & Ember Village

The Firebird Institute was founded in the early 1990s by Dr. Alexandre Bennu in order to continue the legacy of recently retired hero Firebird.  Originally a half-way house for parahuman rehabilitation, it grew over time to include research facilities and its own team of super-beings.  After Dr. Bennu’s death, leadership of the Institute passed to his protege, Dr. Brian Stoker—an open advocate for the Parahuman Homeland Initiative.

The growing campus of the Institute includes the following (keyed to the map above).

Firebird Center (A) — The central operation of the Institute; it includes a gymnasium, a cafeteria, small classrooms, a larger seminar room, psychological and medical facilities, and several offices.  The Center originally included dormitories for teen and adult residents; these have since been converted to expand medical and research facilities.  Below the Center are secure sublevels overseen by the higher echelons of the Institute; the only publicly known sublevel is the “abandoned” Firebird Patrol facility.

Bennu House (B) – Originally the private residence of Alexandre Bennu; converted during the late doctor’s lifetime to serve as a foster home from parahuman children too young to live independently in the Center (foster parents lived with the children); while Dr. Bennu and Dr. Stoker maintained private apartments on the ground and attic levels, respectively).  Dr. Brian Stoker continues the tradition of living at Bennu House, but has converted the foster home into educational facilities for the younger residents of the Institute.  Dr. Bennu’s apartment is maintained for the use of visiting VIPs.

Squadron Station (C) – Before the collapse of the USA, the Firebird Patrol operated directly out of the Center, while a Parahuman Response Unit maintained an office and lock-up nearby.  After the rise of the New England Federation, the new government offered to sell the old PRU site to the Institute—which the latter accepted.  This became the new headquarters of the expanded Firebird Squadron, which has evolved into a local parahuman policing agency.  The Station includes parahuman-rated holding cells and a secure armory.  A security gate attached to the Station once limited access to the Institute; this has long since been removed.  Next to the sublevels of the Center, it is the most secure location on the Institute’s campus.  There are rumors that the Station and the sublevels of the Center are connected via subterranean corridors.

Selene Hall (D1) and Helios Hall (D2) – As the Institute grew, so did its need for segregated housing.  Selene Hall and Helios Hall were the first to be built.  On opposite sides of the Center, these dormitories were built for the use of female and male teen residents, respectively.  Each contains double, triple, and even quadruple rooms for 13- to 17-year-old residents in a communal living atmosphere; there is also an apartment for an adult advisor and several common rooms.  Residents of both halls continue to use the dining facilities at the Center, and most residents attend regular classes at Bennu House.

Pallas Hall (E1) and Phoebus Hall (E2) – A second pair of segregated halls was constructed for young adults, aged 18 to 22.  These are dry dorms, and have accommodations similar to Selene and Helios Halls.  Rooms are designed for single, double, or triple occupancy. Residents here are typically students of the Institute’s vocational school.

Phaethon Hall (F) – The last dormitory to be built was a larger, co-ed dorm for 21- to 24-year-old young adults.  This Hall shares the same accommodations as the others; however, as it is meant for older young adults, neither co-mingling nor alcohol is prohibited.  Residents here are students of the Institute’s vocational or graduate schools.

Xandre’s (Fb) - Phaeton Hall originally included an informal bar in the basement, run by the food service staff.  It became popular not only among the residents of the Institute, but also its staff and faculty.  Recently, the lower level of the building was renovated; now the bar exists independent of the dormitory—the facility leased by a private owner.  Though the bar is named for the Institute's founder, there is no evidence that Dr. Bennu was ever known as Xandre.

Revels Buildings (G1, G2, G3) – As adult residents became a permanent fixture of the Institute, private apartments (studio, single-, and double-bedroom) were constructed between the Center and the Station.  Only members of the Firebird Squadron or employees of the Institute are invited to live here.  It is named for Jerome Revels, one of the first permanent adult residents of the Institute (and former leader of the Firebird Patrol).

Ardwright Home (H1), Campbell Home (H2), and Tully Home (H3) – New foster care facilities, each tailored to the needs of a particular subset of parahuman children (12 years old and younger):  Ardwright House for psionic children, Campbell House for victims of experimentation or exposure, and Tully House for genetic mutants.  Each facility is operated as a family home run by parahuman foster parents who home-school the children under their care.  The buildings are nearby, large family homes purchased by the Institute—these were the only buildings of the Institute with direct access to the local public road (until the construction of the chapel road, when access was rerouted).  Teenage children are moved to Selene or Helios Hall when they have completed their primary education; many of these teen residents continue to visit their foster parents.

Ember Village – A parahuman-only private community built adjacent to the Institute—funded in part by the institute and in part by parahuman-friendly investors.  It is one of the best known, semi-autonomous, parahuman communes in New England. The Ember Village Homeowners Association leases the land from the Firebird Institute Board of Truestees; an arrangement made near the end of Dr. Bennu’s life on the suggestion of Dr. Stoker.  The Village and Institute maintain close ties. The Firebird Squadron was enlisted to assist local law enforcement with security and peacekeeping in the community.

Phoenix Chapel (I) – In order to better serve the residents of the Institute and the Ember Village community, the office of the Chaplain of the Institute was relocated to an independent facility.  It serves as a non-demoninational, non-sectarian religious center.  Pastors, rabbis, and clerics of local religious traditions offer sermons and religious services at the chapel regularly.

Memorial Recreation Center (J) – The Homeowners Association of Ember Village approved the use of annual dues to construct a community center on the chapel road to be shared by the Village and the Institute.  The recreation center includes a public pool, basketball and tennis courts, and a pavilion-like hall and shelter.

Ember Village School – A proposed addition to the Ember Village community is a primary school for students in kindergarten through 6th grade to serve the younger children of both Ember Village and the Institute; the former currently attend the local public school, while the latter are home-schooled by their foster parents.  The Ember Village Homeowners Association has petitioned the Firebird Institute Board of Trustees to share the burden of this project; however, the Board of Trustees has not yet commented on the proposal.  Alternate names for the school include Ember Grove and North Grove depending on the final location of the building.

Firebird Academy – A second stage addition to follow the Ember Village School would be a secondary school for students in grades 7 through 12 to serve the older children of the Village and Institute.  It would supersede the current use of the Bennu House—opening that facility for other uses (such as administrative offices or even a community museum).

Community Roadways:  Firebird Drive (all institute buildings save for the chapel and foster homes), Ember Village Way (all village buildings save for the recreation center), Chapel Road (chapel, foster homes, and recreation center).

Firebird Institute

A Super Agency – Total Available Points: 210
A. Outfits: #4 Specialty Clothing: 10 points
B. Equipment: #3 Ninja Equipment & #4 Electronic Supplies: 15 points
C. Weapons: #3 Armed Agents & #4 Ninja Weapons: 10 points
D. Bionics & Robotics: #2 Basic Systems: 10 points
E. Vehicles: #3 Fleet Vehicles: 10 points
F. Communications: #3 Secured Service: 10 points
G. Offices and Distribution: #2 Urban: 5 points
H. Military Power: #1 None: None.  Once had access to a SPIRe team on-site.
I. Super Powered Operatives: #5 Super Army: 50 points.  The Firebird Squadron has stepped up to fill the gap left when the local SPIRe was disbanded.  The Squadron is known for being sympathetic toward parahumans.
J. Sponsorship: #6 Agent Sponsored: 50 points
K. Special Budget: #2 Nickles and Dimes: 5 points
L. Administrative Control: #1 Rigid Laws: None
M. Internal Security: #3 Tight: 10 points
N. External Infiltration: #1 None: None
O. Research: #3 Good Connections: 10 points
P. Agency Credentials: #4 Known: 10 points
Q. Agency Salary: #3 Freelance: 5 points.  Since the Firebird Force has become more high-profile, operations for the institute outside of normal parameters requires freelance work.
The Firebird Institute: 210 total points.

GaiaSPORE and OtherSPORE

The Firebird Institute does not exist beyond the reality of LegacySPORE.  Without the Wormwood Bolide, there would have not been a hero to inspire the Dr. Bennu to establish the organization.  Characters of Alexandre Bennu (an anthropologist) and Brian Stoker (a psychologists and sociologist) may still appear in those other settings, however--likely as members of the Watchful Order of Hermetic Masters (OtherSPORE) or as social scientists whose work would have been instrumental to the development and legitimization of parapsychology and psionics as academic fields of study (GaiaSPORE).

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