Portrayed by None
|Introduction:||Seven Minutes In Heaven|
|Alpha - deceased|| |
|Shrine - deceased|| STRIKE who made his living by selling his skills in telepathic manipulation to anyone who could afford his rates. He specialized in infiltrative telepathy. While he was a mediocre telepath by measure of sheer power, his skill in precision memory altering was what made him valuable. His usual process was to shred minds from the inside out, splicing actual events with the subject's id and nightmares to create a loop of devastating false memories that broke down the psyche and left the subject's mental landscape a collection of scraps that he could piece together to make the subject into something more useful to his employers. Killed by Jean-Paul Beaubier in Romania.
Other members: Miscellaneous technical and security staff, as well as the children themselves. Taygetos operatives are the product of genetic material carefully selected from mutant parents (and usually manipulated in the laboratory), carried to term by surrogate mothers. They are psionically conditioned from infancy, using a modified verson of the Mistra first-generation conditioning, and raised with the sole goal of turning them into perfectly obedient soldiers. What is done with the children who are not X-Factor positive, or who do not manifest useful powers, is unknown.
Taygetos was founded no later than 1993 (and possibly earlier). Evidence of its existence was first detected in the continuing investigative work of the Mistra taskforce, which discovered references to a research facility in Alaska. An X-Men team was dispatched to accompany the SHIELD investigative team, and discovered that the facility had been the site of genetic experimentation, as well as a fully functional obstetrics ward. They also became aware that both Tara Trask and Sebastian Shaw were interested in the program, as a joint team appeared at the facility, engaging the X-Men and removing useful evidence.
Proof that the program was in fact in operation did not come for a few months, when a group of very young mutant assassins targeted a Brazilian mutant activist, Mariana Machado, at an exhibition in Central Park. Jean Grey was able to establish that the young assassins were psionically conditioned, and Nathan Dayspring, following a hunch, discovered a tattoo identical to one used by Mistra on the body of the assassin killed in the fight.
While SHIELD continued to investigate, Nathan put the resources of Elpis (currently specializing in assisting mutant child soldiers) to work to see if they could turn up anything. He also got in touch with some of Colin MacInnis's old contacts from the Mistra days. The next break would come from Tanya Callery, the Hungarian double-agent with Trask's people. She tipped the X-Men off to the fact that Sebastian Shaw would be receiving a message from Taygetos at a Hellfire Club function; after intercepting the information, the team was able to forestall a 'product demonstration' in the form of an attempted assassination attempt against T'Challa, the king of Wakanda. Taygetos was clearly attempting to forge a business relationship with Trask and Shaw, however, leading to further conclusions about the nature of the program and more worries about the future.
Nathan was later contacted by SHIELD, asked to reuse the Trojan Horse both on their captive operative and on the operatives at a training facility whose location SHIELD had discovered via interrogation. The mission went badly wrong, all of the young operatives gunned down along with Nathan and the facility blown up around them at the order of a man who identified himself only as Alpha. Though they assumed Nathan dead for a time, they soon learned that he had survived, which led Trask to attempt to kidnap him for his own good.
After a disastrous operation in Budapest, Trask struck a deal with Alpha - she would find Nathan so that they could kill him. Their first cooperative attempt went awry, leading to the capture of Jean-Paul Beaubier, whose mind was invaded and rewritten in an attempt to turn him into a weapon to be used against Nathan in the inevitable rescue attempt. The plan failed when Jean-Paul got free, killing everyone in the safehouse. He was retrieved by the X-Men, who also ransacked the facility, taking everything they found (including the contents of a hidden server room) to SHIELD.
In the end, Alpha's choice to consolidate operations following the loss of the servers would lead to the program's undoing. In a complex strategy, Nathan allowed himself to be captured, to exploit Alpha's desire to make use of information provided by Mariana Machado that suggested that the Trojan Horse could be reverse-engineered to bulletproof the conditioning. Nathan was freed by his team, but not before extracting the location of Taygetos's last safehouse from the mind of the telempath working on him. The X-Men, working together with SHIELD, took down the program once and for all. The senior staff were taken into custody by SHIELD, while the children were put into intensive therapy in hopes of giving them something approaching a normal life.
Reunion Monticello (introduction to the plot arc)
X-Men Mission: Fifth Column (did not appear, but the plot is part of the arc)
Socked by: Various