The Toybox is one of Firewall’s better-known storage depots. Unlike our various gear caches and scratch spaces, the Toybox is not the place to get run-of-the-mill weapons or gear. The Toybox is where Firewall stores artifacts that are deemed useful and not immediately or immensely dangerous, as well as other hard-to-get limited-resource items that sentinels might occasionally need. These “toys” are securely stored until their use is requested or required for a sufficiently important mission.
The Toybox is impressive as one of the best examples of cross-faction cooperation. The pragmatists founded it, but agreed to some important reforms after serious objections were raised by many conservatives. As a result, more extensive testing is conducted to make certain that nothing here is too dangerous or currently possible to duplicate with transhuman technology. Also, as a compromise, the facility is now staffed by members of the backup clique.
The Toybox is located in the Main Belt. Its specific position is only available to operatives with COVENANT ARK clearance.
The facility itself is a disguised beehive habitat, hidden to outside sensors. Concealed weapons platforms guard the approach vectors. Should an enemy ﬁnd the entrance tunnels, they still might be thwarted by explosives charges that could effectively destroy all ingress routes, effectively burying the facility under tons of rock. Though it could be accessed eventually, the delay would hopefully provide Firewall with enough time to organize a response. Inside the asteroid, the Toybox’s collection of relics and equipment is safely sealed away and stored inside multiple chambers. As a last ditch resort, these too are wired with antimatter bombs to prevent the contents from falling into enemy hands. In order to protect its location, ships are discouraged from docking at the Toybox unless absolutely necessary. Instead, items assigned for pickup are launched into space, on a matching speed and trajectory that enables a passing ship to scoop it up. Drop-offs are handled similarly, using low-signature missiles to transport and deposit gear from passing vessels.
The Toybox is not apocalypse-mart. It does not contain any weapons of mass destruction, self-replicating nanotechnology, basilisk hacks, or anything similarly dangerous. Except for a few weapons capable of long range or almost traceless killing, the Toybox doesn’t store weapons, because those are exactly the sorts of advanced technologies Firewall doesn’t want getting into other people’s hands. Instead, it specializes in unusual artifacts that produce effects impossible by other means. If you need a device that can do something inexplicable but mostly harmless, like prohibiting certain frequencies of the EM spectrum from entering or leaving a particular area, providing low-power reactionless ﬂight, or reducing the inertia of a single person-sized object, they may well have something that you can borrow. Almost everything here is well beyond our current understanding, and we aren’t likely to understand it anytime soon. A few of the devices stored here are unique, but we have as many as several dozen of some items, mostly pieces of alien technology like the ﬁxor.
Firewall operatives can request to borrow items from the Toybox. If you have an important problem you don’t know how to solve, and you can afford to wait a few weeks or more to solve it (or by some lucky chance you happen to be near the Toybox), you can contact the Toybox via the Eye. Your request must include a detailed description of your problem and what you need to solve it, as well as why this problem is important to Firewall. If the Toybox server thinks your situation is important enough to warrant their aid and if they have any technologies that might help, they will let you know. Alternatively, if you know about a particular item that is stored there and believe it would help your situation, then you can request it. An updated list of equipment and their known effects is distributed via the Eye to routers, registers, and crows with PLAYTIME clearance.
Note that requisition requests must be vetted by your server. This is sometimes problematic if your server is populated by conservatives or if the other proxies do not share your conviction that help from the Toybox is needed.
If the request is granted, the Toybox will work with your server to arrange a pick-up and a later drop-off. Toybox equipment is only released to Firewall agents, who then assume responsibility for the item. We don’t trust these artifacts to courier services. In some cases, gear has been loaned to servers or operatives on a long-term basis (several eraser squads operate with scour rings, for example), or items currently deployed in the ﬁeld are transferred directly to the next server that needs them.
Toybox equipment is expected to be returned in working condition. If it isn’t, they require a full report. If you claim the device was destroyed and don’t provide the remains, they may even go so far as to request an examination of your memories, depending on your i-rep and how well your story is corroborated by other evidence. These items are rare, special, and usually cannot be ﬁxed or replaced if lost or damaged.
The Toybox server is always looking for new devices to add to their catalog. They originally started as a pragmatist project collecting artifacts related to the TITANs and exsurgents, but most of those devices were either utterly bafﬂing or far too dangerous to allow anyone to use outside of carefully controlled conditions. Though the facility still has a few of these artifacts, most of the unknown and dangerous relics have been transferred elsewhere or destroyed. Now, the Toybox focuses on items that are relatively reliable, safe, and potentially useful. Many appear to violate physical laws, others have capabilities no transhuman understands, but for the most part these items function in ways that ﬁt into our understanding of how the universe works. Everything stored in the Toybox has clear instructions for use, a description of what it can do, and warnings about what not to do with it.
If you uncover an interesting artifact while gatecrashing or exploring ruins from the Fall, the Toybox server would love to see what you have found. In exchange for a chance to examine your ﬁnd, they’ll provide you with a detailed analysis of the artifact—or will help to contact other crows who can. Once they’ve analyzed it, however, they will follow standard Firewall protocols. They’ll keep items that are appropriate for their collection, transfer others for further research or vault storage, or quarantine and destroy items deemed too dangerous.