I might wiki-fy this sometime later, if there are no problems.
The weak for the strong, both in men and in theories.
Certainly, 'survival of the fittest' has never been truer but here!"
THE BRIMMERMANN PROJECT
Sometime after the Great War the Panzer ruling body, deciding that another catastrophe of such scale could not be allowed to endanger their future, put into place an arrangement of proposed plans. Their goal was to advance the Panzer race and arm their people against potential future threats such as the Reapers. This campaign, known collectively as the Uplifting Movement, promised change and a better tomorrow for the Panzerfolk in a time of great depression. Many of the plans put into motion would go on to become cornerstones of the modern Panzer way of life, such as the complete militarization of the society, the introduction of the mandatory 15-year "Be-Prepped Period", and the implementation of the MPUD system.
Among these "prosperous" changes, however, were also much darker machinations that were conducted in top secrecy, hidden from the eyes of the public. One of these was the Brimmermann Project, a long-running series of scientific endeavors to engineer the "next-stage" of Panzer evolution. The project was named after its founder and director; Zaed Hauser Brimmermann, a brilliant but eccentric Panzer scientist who pioneered many milestones of Panzer technology.
The project itself was set to run for many generations, to be executed in a series of successive phases called Iterations. If a running Iteration reaches failure, or no longer becomes worth continuing, it would be completely abandoned, with only the most vital and pertinent resources being preserved as the foundation for the next Iteration. According to Brimmermann, the reason for this volatile execution was to prevent the project from stalling on ideas that were not worth while.
As time passed, Brimmermann's obsession in his project grew. The lifespan of consecutive Iterations became shorter and shorter as the his schemes escalated to more ambitious and erratic designs. Many Iterations would be scrapped mid-way for seemingly nonsensical reasons, even if it had been proceeding well. Suspicions arose that Zaed no longer cared for the original directive of project, and simply abused the resources he commanded for his own gains. Due to his deluded nature, Zaed soon earned the moniker of the "Mad Doctor" to those around him.
The project saw frequent changes in staff over the generations, but Zaed himself always remained. What the scientist could not do in one lifetime, he attempted to pursue in multiple. Through an ongoing series of dangerous and often untested procedures, Brimmermann replaced his organic body of flesh and blood with mechanical components. The augmentations served to greatly enhance both his longevity and his genius, but also slowly consigned him to madness. With the loss of his mortal self, Brimmermann also relinquished the final remnants of reason and morality. The project's experiments turned increasingly twisted and aberrative, and their methods were often horrifyingly brutal, with no regard for the being of both subjects and staff.
For decades, Brimmermann lorded over the pursuit of the "next step in Panzer evolution". Although the project was never once declared to the public, elaborate rumors and talks of conspiracy spread among the Panzer masses. Those who were actually privy to its terrible existence dared not question its existence, as if the very mention of its name was enough for one to wind up as the next body on the Mad Doctor's operating table.
Things continued as such until Iteration 15. The concept of this phase was relatively simple compared to many others in the past. Simply put, the aim was to switch the order in which the body and soul were combined during the creation of a Panzer being. Normally, a member of the Panzer race possesses a human body as a foundation, with a secondary bestial soul. Such has been the way of a Panzer's birth since ancient times.
At it turned out this configuration proved to be too stable and unreactive, and was difficult to modify once it has been set. Brimmermann sought to reverse the configuration, using the body of an animal as a base and the soul of a human as the secondary component. This would hypothetically generate, as the scientist puts it, "a less existentially inert product" that would be more viable for future modifications.
The results were disastrous. Almost none of the test subjects lasted through the cruel initial procedure. The majority of those that did were either rendered psychotic, malignantly sick, or were simply so crippled that they did not live past the span of a few days. Only a single case survived without displaying any adverse effects; an infant girl. In fact, even though the child was technically a success in the reversion process, other than the mere switching of body and soul components she displayed no desirable qualities what-so-ever. A dud, so to speak. Still, not wanting to simply disregard the only living test subject out of hundreds, the Panzer officials made arrangements for the child to be integrated into proper society through a foster parent; a young but retired soldier by the name of Grant Geminesca. She would continued to be observed as she grew, in case the girl came to display further developments down the road.
As always, Brimmermann would be allowed to continue his deranged projects.
Or so it was assumed.
From the ashes of Iteration 15 would rise the most devastating force the Panzers have experienced since the Great War itself.
ARRIVAL OF THE FAUST
The entity known only by his given designation, "the Faust", was a Crosser that appeared from seemingly nowhere and declared himself an enemy of all Panzer forces. His exact aims are unclear, only that he indiscriminately attacks all Panzer military troops on sight. Although a mere, single human, the Faust has the power to infiltrate even the most secure of compounds undetected, and obliterate entire squadrons of highly trained soldiers at once. Although his movements are unpredictable, information about the individual soon came into light, and all of it was traced back to Iteration 15 of the Brimmermann Project.
Apparently, one of the expended test subjects of the body-soul reversion experiments was a friend of the Faust's. His acts of war upon the Panzer people were conducted in vengeance of his comrade's accursed fate. It didn't take long for the finger to be pointed in Brimmermann's direction. As if on cue, hordes of voices roared in animosity and accusation. Government superiors claimed his projects as foolish and incompetent wastes of resources, laboratory personnel who were formerly too afraid to speak up attested to the sickening nature of his work, and families of those who perished in his undertakings demanded recompense.
Right in the middle of commencing Iternation 16, Zaed Hauser Brimmermann was captured, incarcerated, and in the following days, trialed and sentenced to death. After several long years and generations, the Brimmermann Project was finally halted as a whole, with its funds and findings being transferred over to the Loaded Gallows Project.
If all had gone according to plans, that would most likely have been the end of Brimmermann's streak of terror. However, there is yet more.
ESCAPE AND MEETING
On the eve of the Mad Doctor's execution, the prison complex in which Brimmermann was being detained was assaulted by none other than the Faust himself. Whether the assassin knew of Brimmermann's presence is unknown, but when the dust settled in the aftermath of the attack, the former scientist was gone from his cell. In an ironic twist of fate, the Faust had spared the life of the man whom had earned his wrath above all others that night.
With nowhere left to go among his own, Zaed escaped into the human world. For the next few years he would slowly rebuild the research that he had been stripped of, raiding the ruins of abandoned Panzer research facilities and salvaging them for resources. Brimmermann's resolve wavered not; for his eternal body this was naught but a minor setback. He would outlast them, the meek and mindless fools who lacked the will to commit themselves to science. Time was his ally, and it was a powerful one.
Brimmermann did not have to wait as long as he thought for his chance to come. Not long after his research was once again in full swing was he confronted by a human male out of the blue. The human introduced himself as Verdon Hindfell, the young head of a clan of Crossers that was on the precipice of rising to great power within the human world. The man revealed he knew much about the doctor's history, and expressed empathy in his dedication to his trade. Verdon explained that, like him, the Hindfell clan were a group who devoted themselves to scientific advancement. They desired Brimmermann's wisdom and skills, and if he complied, he would be supplied with unlimited resources and trained personnel with which to further his own studies. Brimmermann was no fool; not in a million years would he just blindly give his trust to a stranger, never mind a human. However, as with all things, the doctor saw this development as a means to an end. He accepted Hindfell's offer, and planned to cut his ties as soon as it become an inconvenience.
The partnership, however, was more rewarding than Brimmermann had anticipated. Not only did the Hindfells live up to their word, their amassed of knowledge on the etheric sciences was surprisingly complex and developed. The Crosser clan, it seemed, had directed their research in the way of Reaper relics, something that he had never before considered. As Verdon had promised, in exchange for aiding the Hindfells in their own goals, Brimmermann himself was given the means to continue his own ventures, something he took complete advantage of.
5 years after his chanced meeting with Verdon Hindfell, Brimmermann initiated Iteration 00 of the New Brimmermann Project.
The things the Hindfells were able to provide Brimmermann impressed him, to say the least. He allowed to commission the construction of an advanced laboratory at a place of his choosing and specify the equipment. On top of that he was also assigned a functioning team of personnel consisting of both Crossers and Panzers; rogues who had defected from the Head Quarters. He knew not where a mere human clan, no matter how wealthy, could attain such assets, but he did not care. With these resources at his disposable, he could finally return to finishing the task he began with the old Brimmermann Project.
Iteration 00 was named in celebration of a new beginning, for it was with this new installment of projects that he would take his brand of science down a new, unprecedented path. By definition, a Panzer is the marriage of a human and animal soul. Brimmermann theorized the same should be possible with a Reaper existence. The Hindfells had long sought to harness the powers of the Reapers in the form of their weapons and relics, but they've never possessed the knowledge of Panzer science as he did. Using their accumulated records, he would strive towards something much more; the creation of a complete Reaper-Panzer hybrid. It would the culmination of his decades-long desire; the creation of a being that would succeed and surpass the original Panzer race.
And so, stationed at a facility tailored to his every specification, in a remote area of Southeast Asia, the Mad Doctor took up the scalpel once again.
It would be 6 more years before he would finally achieve any semblance of success.
The location of Brimmermann's private laboratory was not without reason. The dense Southeast Asian jungles provided suitable cover for his deeds. Dotting the perimeter of the facility's grounds were scattered villages, all of them small and poor and barely thriving off primitive means. So dire was their condition that they were willing to sell off their own in exchange for pitiful amounts of wealth and sustenance.
An ample cache of test subjects.
The villagers knew not of what became of those they "traded" to the strange, foreign men, only that their sacrifices were enough to feed the village for yet another few precious days.
Among the human expendables he "harvested", Brimmermann preferred young children. Their undeveloped nature was perfect for many of the tests that Iteration 00 necessitated; a fact that the lone survivor of the previous Iteration 15 had proved. A shame that for the same reasons, their bodies often could not withstand the harshness of the experiments.
Then, the doctor happened across her.
The girl was the same as all the others, a nameless commodity sold off by her people for the sake of their own survival. But her will to live was astounding. Procedures that would break all the others within seconds, she endured for hours. Against methods that were lethal even to adults, she alone lived. She was battered, burned, mutilated, and bled out of nearly every orifice. But still, through thick and thin, the child clung to life.
Brimmermann had never seen such a brilliant display of perseverance in a living thing, even during his days at the Head Quarters. It had almost defied conceivable logic! So captivated was he by the girl's grit that he began to spend additional resources to regenerate her body and keep her alive. Sometimes, he would subject her to the more barbaric of tests just to see her writhe and struggle and scream, and yet continue to survive.
From him, she earned an exception of exceptions; the first test subject in the history of his work to be privileged with a name.
And so it was that, through her sheer tenacity, the girl eventually became his first successful prototype; a human whose soul was reborn and merged with the essence of a Lesser Reaper. Although a mere stepping stone toward the ultimate goal, the results were beyond anything Brimmerman could have dreamed.
Or would dream, for that matter.
This short-lived success would be the first and the last the Mad Doctor would ever behold. The dawn sun rose the next day to cast its rays upon the complete and utter ruins of Brimmermann's laboratory facility. Everything had been reduced to smoldering rubble. Only the girl remained; testing garbs reduced to tatters, hair and skin caked and matted with blood not her own, and jade eyes cast frigidly through a sea of embers and dust.
No trace of Zaed Hauser Brimmermann's remains were never found. After the destruction of his secret lab became evident, both his Hindfell associates and the Panzer militia would try to ascertain his whereabouts. Neither side had any luck, nor would they ever hear from the Mad Doctor since.
To the villagers the foreign men seemed to have suddenly disappeared as quick as they came, and with their absence returned the status quo of the surrounding land. The natives went back to their meager lives of getting by off scraps, though there was no longer any temptation to abandon their own for the sake of short-lasting goods. However, another unsettling crisis soon emerged.
Rumors and tales of a supposed "Demon Child" that roamed the dense jungles, stalking travelers with the aim of robbing them of their goods, and attacking farms to make off with their livestock whole.