I'd been picked up by a new research start-up in Boston not quite 3 years ago. I'd been jumping between Universities for the years before then, taking one degree, then another, paying for my seemingly unending academics by lecturing on the side.
I'd achieved my PhD in Cognitive Sciences and Statistics and was on my Masters, aiming for my third doctorate in Sociology when I was approached by John Steinberg, claiming to be a talent scout for Prophet Technologies, a company I'd never heard of. The courting process lasted barely a week and I fell in love with what they were offering. Who wouldn't fall in love with the chance to be a hero, change the world and all the while get paid for it with a nice office and relaxed working environment? I was emigrating to the US within the month and before long I was living in their on-site accommodation ready and raring to start work.
Prophet Technologies was a pure research company. They had a relaxed attitude to the work place it wasn't a rare thing to see people wandering about in labcoats and sandals or finding the staff holding an impromptu game of volleyball on the staff relaxation area. They could afford all this because they were heavily funded and at first I found it hard to believe that the military of all people would invest in this place, especially when to me, at the time, it seemed like all we were paid to do was run around and have fun. However, after about a month of general tomfoolery and relaxation, things calmed down a bit and work began to start really happening. I summoned into my first meeting, the one that would begin my work on what we termed, in typical conspiracy, anti-espionage paranoia, The Project.