The Long Night
Proxies are the inner circle of Firewall, the experienced cadre that keeps the machinery of their organization functioning. Though fewer in number than the sentinels, many proxies work full time on Firewall operations, serving as the group’s essential infrastructure. Most proxies are recruited from the ranks of the sentinels, brought in based on their skill sets and aptitudes to fill key roles. In a few rare cases, new proxies are fast-tracked and recruited directly from
outside of Firewall, usually based on their unique talents or placement within a certain organization with resources the conspiracy would like to exploit. These cold recruits face a battery of tests and trials far harsher than that used to vet sentinels.
By default, proxies have a higher security clearance than most sentinels and are far more in the
know. This sometimes leads to resentment and hostilities from sentinels who feel they are being kept in the dark or manipulated. While standard proxy protocol is to adhere to a need-to-know maxim, it is sometimes necessary to bring sentinels more into the loop in order to defuse tensions. Oftentimes, this precedes the recruitment of sentinels into the proxy framework.
Some tension exists within Firewall, mostly due to the influence of so many anarchists and other libertarian autonomists who take a dim view of centralized power, lack of transparency, and the potential for secretive operations to become entrenched and authoritarian. As a result, there is a strong internal culture that seeks to minimize hierarchies and the accumulation of power, promoting transparency and directly democratic decision-making. These desires sometimes clash with the clandestine nature of the organization, however, and the need for some secrets to be kept on a need-to-know basis.
Unlike the loose organization of the sentinels, the proxies are grouped into servers, collective working groups based upon certain skill sets and tasks. To avoid creating power blocks within a given server, personnel are required to rotate between servers after one year of time. This incurs the added benefit of proxies learning new skill sets and increasing their usefulness to Firewall. The actions of each server are kept as transparent as possible, with major decisions brought to an e-vote before the entire proxy membership. However, speed often requires servers or individual proxies to move quicker than a vote will allow. In all such instances, the proxies involved are held accountable for those actions, reviewed by their peers at a later time to
see if any reprimands, punishments, or commendations are required.
It is important to note that there is no core leadership structure among the proxies. No one person or cabal is in charge and there is no authority held by one proxy over another; all are peers. Though reputation and experience are major factors, getting something done often means convincing other proxies that it’s the right thing to do. The drawback to being a leader or person with initiative within Firewall is that this usually means you must follow through with such tasks yourself. Luckily, most proxies are dedicated to Firewall’s goals and so this DIY attitude prevails. Despite these safeguards, however, rumors of power blocks within Firewall exist (both within servers and across the organization). Many of these are fueled by the alliances different cliques hold with each other. Others, however, whisper that there is a
secret council among the proxies, working behind the scenes and holding on to knowledge they aren’t sharing with the rest.