>>In response to a sub-thread on ELN's Mage discussion board, someone posited
how one could possibly re-integrate the Sons of Ether (ex. Electrodyne
Engineers) and the Virtual Adepts (ex. Analytical Reckoners) back into the
Technocracy. This is my response.<<
That could be a problem, as the Etherites rely on science so far out there that the Conventions daren't use it. There's some stuff out there on Dark Energy (somewhat related to Dark Matter, but not the same as matter and energy) that I'll use as an example. An Etherite may well view Dark Energy as being Quintessence, even though it's not scientific fact. The divide between the Etherites and Conventions in my eyes is that the Etherites use scientific theory in an attempt to prove it, whereas all of the other Conventions use things that are scientific fact. The Virtual Adepts have the one problem that is relatively common for computer hackers (and one of the few things that pre-Revised got right about their real world roots): A rebellious strak a light-year wide. They couldn't give a shit that memetics is still just a very basic theory that the Conventions refuse to have anything to do with, some of them would still use it as a focus for Mind magic.
Though since it seems the original poster will be rewriting the history of the game, it shouldn't be too hard to fit these two back in. Etherites would go back to being the Electrodyne Engineers (or a different modern name), as the research and development arm of the Conventions. Instead of throwing a hissy-fit when the theory of luminiferous ether was disproved and defecting, they grumbled and went back to the drawing board. In the overall view of the Conventions, they are the ones developing the theories that the other Conventions then either prove or disprove, and if proved, develop. As Iteration X develops cybernetics and the progenitors genegineering, the Electrodyne Engineers would be the ones throwing out wild theories and then going into the field to see if they have any basis in fact. they then pass them on to the other conventions. They probably work closely with the Void Engineers to find suitable testing grounds for their experiments whether out in the Void or at incidents where force majeure is the only recourse.
As for the Virtual Adepts, keeping them as the Analytical Reckoners is somewhat more simple than that. The faction of the Conventions supporting the Axis in WWII was quashed early on, thanks to people (*gasp*) listening to them. They continue to develop information theory, information-related psychology and computer related technology for the Conventions, but are well known for acting on their impulses and taking action based upon statistics before Control has a chance to decide the appropriate course of action. Though this does make them somewhat loose cannons, it is a situation that actually works favourably. If the Reckoners manage to solve a problem with only their own Amalgams, then the problem is solved and there was obviously little to worry about. If the Amalgam reports on the situation requesting support, then the Reconers have been humbled (and their generally headstrong nature means an Analytical Reckoner willing to report to control first is practically unheard of). If the Amalgam's Reckoner is killed in trying to solve a problem, then Control obviously has to deploy resources to deal with the problem, and the loss of one maverick agent means one less problem agent for the local Symposium. The so-called Reality Hackers are a breakaway group that gave the others the finger for not being cool enough. A large amount of them have been hunted down and shot for gross stupidity (the highest crime in the Convention).
The next Technocracy game I run, this is how I'm having things. I'll have to futz a bit with the Traditions, but I already have an idea for that. The Traditions were shattered years earlier. Though the Reality Hackers did join with the Traditions (taking the Seat of Correspondence) in 1984, the lack of a Tradition on the Seat of Matter crippled the Council as a whole. A heavily supported strike against the greatest link to Horizon (the Bangladesh Incident, I never did like the though that is could have been some kind of leech. Fuck the leeches. The Technocracy deals with important matters, not some pissant bloodsucker) destroyed the Chantry and the eight Heads of the Traditions. Without their headquarters, the Traditions, save for the Hermetic Order, splintered. Each Faction became a separate magical tradition, teaching the newly Awakened their practices and subverting cults of the Masses. These groups, in enough numbers (100 or more in a given area) override the local Consensus, allowing otherwise Vulgar workings (just about all Tradition magic, these days) to become coincidental. Each Faction is seeking to bring down the Technocracy for destroying the Traditions, never mind that the Traditions were dangerous madmen looking to destroy the one group seeking to protect the Masses, and that if they had won their 'Ascension War', then Reality would be a hell for everyone non-Awakened (would you want to live in a place ruled by the Celestial Chorus, when they can't even decide which faith is the purest?). The Traditions now seek revenge, or simply to survive. The latter the Technocracy leave alone, unless they start breaking reality in a major way. The former are dangerous insurrectionists with the pipe dream of turning Reality into a patchwork playground, and need disposing of. Unfortunately, there's a lot of them.
Lock and load, or it's going to be fireballs down main street and dragons in the skies and we don't have enough flame-retardant power armour for all of you.