The Phoenix Protocol
“For the most part, no traces remain of the elusive ‘Phoenix Protocol’ both in the Fringe where they were rumored to be the most active and in more civilized parts of the known galaxy. Some whispers here and there sometimes surface and I have been able to find several bases that, according to local rumor, were at some point used by people believed to be associated with the Protocol, but for at least twenty years no new information has surfaced. It is safe to believe that the Protocol has been eliminated, canceled, or reincarnated as something different now that it started to function as a symbol of the Sigma War as much as the Hulks did in the height of the massacre.”
Investigative News Report, “The Shadows of Sigma” ,published on the 30th anniversary of the end of the Sigma War.
In its initial form, the Phoenix Protocol was a cross-faction group dedicated to tracking, hunting and eliminating rogue Hulks after the Sigma War ended. While officially all Hulks were accounted for by the end of the Sigma war, the truth was that over 1000 units were still unaccounted for by the official peace treaty. By order of both the Guardian and Alexander Wendt, Chairman of the UEN, the Phoenix Protocol utilized assets in both factions for a unrestricted search for Hulk remains. This case was given high priority not only due to the potential danger the leftover Hulks posed to anyone that might find them, but also due to the desire of the Chairman to provide the base for a potential reconciliation with the GHA.
As anti GHA sentiment mounted in the UEN after the Sigma Wars, the Chairman faced increased opposition to founding for the joint operation, especially since it served as a underground way of technological exchange between the two factions. Facing accusations of undermining public interest, Wendt erased any official trace of the Protocol and moved the entire operation outside of UEN authority. As all Hulks were collected and accounted for, the GHA likewise terminated direct control of the Protocol and let it go independent, but maintained an undercover link with the growing organization.
The Protocol kept several deactivated Husks for their own experimentation and continued to investigate them to determine the reason for the malfunction, but in general, as their original purpose died out, Wendt suggested a different one – the Protocol would remain as an undercover, secret organization collecting and coordinating information from both major factions and making sure that balance of power and peace is maintained. Wendt ultimately was not reelected as Chairman and disappeared shortly thereafter in the year 1097.
The Protocol went completely underground shortly after that. While some people have reported being contacted by a mysterious “Founder” which is the name used by the leader of the Protocol since its inception, no official in the GHA or the UEN has any information and generally it is assumed that the Phoenix Protocol is now defunct.
The organization still exists in the public sphere and tends to be connected to several major and minor conspiracy theories. While they resurface every 10 to 15 years or so, there has been no confirmed incident that would have any officially accepted link to the Protocol. One of the most prevailing rumors spread along both major factions is that the Founder is actually not a human, but a machine which monitors communications from both factions and reactivates the Protocol whenever it detects something that threatens the peace between the two.