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"So you're telling me the future you left wasn't divided into two camps? One loyal to the director and the other believing that decisions should be made by people, not a machine?"
Ellis[src]

The Faction is an insurgency movement whose goal is to topple the Director and return decision-making power to humanity by any means necessary.

Origin

Grant MacLaren and his team come from a version of the future where the Faction does not exist, and thus they are initially unfamiliar with the threat they pose. Ellis and Grace reveal in the first season finale that the Faction originated in Shelter 41 – a bunker that collapsed due to design flaws in one version of the future, but survived in the other. The implication is that the future was changed in some way that ensured the survival of the bunker.

Notable members

For further information, see Travelers List.

Missions

The Faction intends to topple the Director and break its despotic control over human society and time travel. They believe humanity, and not a machine, should make the decisions affecting its own survival. After deflecting asteroid Helios-615 failed to affect the future, Faction members decided to take the past into their own hands.

The coup

After Grace Day rebooted the Director, the Faction gained the ability to send messages through time. They sent a texts to Carly and Boyd ordering the execution of Grant MacLaren. Ultimately they seized power over the Director and forced it to shut down - but not before sending as many Travelers back in time as possible. The quantum frame device was used to store their minds until candidates were found.

Deceiving the Travelers

"The Faction has our own plan. Overpopulation is the single greatest threat to the 21st century. The Director wasn't capable of seeing the natural solution."
―Jenny[src]

MacLaren and his team unknowingly continued to receive messages from the Faction, believing them to be from the Director. The Faction ordered the core team not to apprehend Vincent Ingram, while ordering Ingram to stand down as well.

The deception continued when the Faction began to direct missions in the Director's stead. They ordered the Travelers to assassinate Congressman Bishop during a speech against Bill 939, while simultaneously ensuring the successful bombing of a research lab. When the historical record changed and the bomber chose not to go through with the attack, they killed her via messenger. The lab was bombed later in the day.

The Faction later ordered Traveler teams around the world to prevent the spread of a flu strain that historically killed 70,000 people. Unbeknownst to the teams, they were actually spreading an entirely new virus, synthesized in the future and transcribed in the past by Philip Pearson. The Faction engineered the virus with a 40% infection rate and a ten-day incubation period. Their intention was to kill 30% of the human population - over two billion people - in order to prevent overpopulation in the future.

Their plan ultimately failed when the core team planted an emergency backup power supply, hidden by an encrypted beacon, at the site where the Director would eventually be built. This was able to power the Director for three seconds - long enough for it to regain control and send the cure to the 21st century.

Further missions

The Faction continued to used the quantum frame device to replenish their ranks in the past. The Director waived Protocol 3 for host bodies inhabited by members of the Faction; those captured were instantly executed by overwrite.

Four months prior to the second season finale, the Faction released a computer virus that compromised an Australian computer cloud network called Relicus Maxicloud. The system went down for 47 minutes, and 21st century authorities were unable to find the culprits.

During 21C they attempted to assassinate Anna Hamilton, the future 53rd President of the United States, for unspecified reasons - Hall claims they are "working off old information." They had secured access to a space-time attenuator, preventing the Director from seeing them. Trevor Holden destroyed this device and every Faction member present was overwritten or killed by messenger. Whether any Faction members remain in the past is unknown.