Rage Across Baltimore
Date of Origin: 1998
Held Dominance: Never
Leadership Individual(s): Gabriel Van der Linden, Paul Matzenkopf
Founded in 1996, the original Cyber Dogs pack were one of the most eclectic, but exciting, that Western Europe had to offer, comprised of some of the most brilliant and physically dynamic werewolves the Glass Walkers had. None were more impressive than their alpha, Gabriel Van der Linden.
(He’s mentioned as being a gifted thinker, engineer and athlete, who might have been an Olympic 400m runner if not for his greater interest in academia. He also reportedly went through a spectacularly violent First Change.)
They would disappear for weeks at a time, and return with impossible trophies. Even more impressive to many were their strong minds and philosophical attitudes to life. Gabriel was known to write long philosophical treatises on how a society chooses what is right and wrong, and was fascinated by the topic.
In January 1998, they returned with trophies that made the tribe stand still. The pack made a journey to Van der Linden’s homeland of Belgium to, as he described it, “consider what came next.” When they returned, they had been changed again, all sporting the most complex and ingenious cybernetics the tribe has known. They combined this with a new philosophy that declared the world was poised to become one of machines and computers, and that they would be there to help Gaia make this transition. By the end of that year, numerous packs had rushed to create the most eclectic camp that had been seen for decades, and dominance seemed a fait accompli. The camp continued to gain power in 1999, and as the new millenium approached, they were preparing to declare themselves the new face of the tribe.
(Consider our chronicle, set in the present day in Baltimore. Years have passed since this time. Although the Apocalypse has not yet come, the plight of the Garou and of Gaia continues to worsen. Given the age of Joel’s character Zero – whatever age that may be, exactly – where does he fit in to the history of this Camp?)
But like the world had he Y2K bug to see in 2000, the Cyber Dogs had Elizabeth Genereader, and she was much more effective than the bug. The rumblings began in September, when she had been responsible for publicly dismantling their idea of a “new Gaia” on GWnet forums. When the European Glass Walkers gathered in December for the seasonal “Promethean Daze” rites, she used them as a platform to expose the Dogs’ scandalous secret. In the two years of their operation, the Cyber Dogs had forced cybernetic implants onto 15 lupus Garou, 10 of whom had either died or gone mad from the changes. Worse, she proved the heart of this scandal wasn’t merely a fringe group but supervised by Gabriel Van der Linden himself.
The tribe was even more horrified than it had been excited the year before. Elizabth Genereader called for a “correction” of the camp, but the correction quickly became a purge. Maybe as many as twenty Cyber Dogs across the globe were murdered at the hands of their tribemates, and the camp was forced into hiding.
The Cyber Dogs are scattered and what organization there once was is now well and truly broken. The remainder can still be considered a camp, though, since they share elements of belief and modes of operation.
When the camp was still united, their rite of initiation was simple: You designed (with help from Van der Linden’s pack) your cybernetics, and then had them implanted into you. From then on, the camp acted like a fraternity, with Van der Linden sending out newsletters that described his most recent thoughts on his main obsession of finding how to turn Gaia into a perfect, repairable machine that would withstand the Wyrm. These newsletters can only be described as propaganda. Apart from this, however, packs were given complete autonomy. Van der Linden’s cybernetic contributions and the respect he had as the camp’s founder were enough to give him power. The camp kept in close contact otherwise, most commonly involved in philosophical debates online, and there was one online meeting, which supposedly all Cyber Dogs attended, to debate the future of the camp. Apparently this was going to be an annual event, but that never came to be.
(Consider how this typical initiation did not take place in the special case of Zero. Typically, Fetishes require attunement, a conscious, spiritual process of being accepted by the spirit within the Fetish. This is why adult Garou would join the camp, design cybernetics, then have them implanted. Zero’s history indicates that he was gifted with cybernetics — perhaps things he was unaware of before his First Change — years ago, long before the change, without any attunement process. If that’s the case, did they learn something from their experiments on lupus Garou? Or do Zero’s implants hold some nasty future surprises as well? Should he be afraid of what’s been done to him?)