Agencies: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),
Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Security Agency (NSA), NRO,
DISA, CIO, SOB, Sentinel, Central Intelligence Corporation (CIC),
Office of Special Intelligence (OSI, deals with spying on other gov't
agencies), chunks of the FBI and DEA.
Headquarters: Langley, Virginia
Military Might: 5
Public Relations: 1
Internal Security: 9
Influence: 6 (10 in USA)
Sinister agents. Paramilitary storm-troopers raiding houses at dawn. Men-in-black
who show with holding your life in their hands. Bureaucrats who know everything
about you. The Apparatus is often depicted as the all-knowing agency of spies
sworn to defend America from nefarious foreign agents and devious domestic saboteurs.
In fact the Apparatus is primarily a data-sifting corporation operating under a
specific set of rules, but whose members have taken it upon themselves to act
as a sort of secret police to root out enemies of the state and dangerous terrorists.
+++The fact that these 'dangerous terrorists' are often simply citizens who protest
against rigged elections or rebel intellectuals who break 'public decency' laws
seems to be beyond discussion+++[Kalorific]+++
The Apparatus does not exist as an official organization. Rather, it is a secretive
coalition of the most powerful intelligence agencies and paramilitary bureaus whose
duty it is protect the political interests of the state and to pursue a covert war
against any kind of subversive, whether Tea Party politicians or Filipino Maoists.
The Apparatus was developed under President Haldeman to descredit Pentagon generals
who opposed the authoritarian tendencies ("crisis powers") of the President during
the war. The Apparatus blends together the information/cryptographic talents of
the NSA with the foreign operations of the CIA and the domestic counter-terrorism
units of the FBI. The Apparatus is not officially acknowledged (much as the existence
of the NSA was denied during the Cold War), but is often cited in the press or
accused of wrong-doing by saboteurs.
The Apparatus maintains the largest information-processing systems on the planet
and 'employs' dozens of Great Minds for a variety of purposes. Through a series of
shell companies the Apparatus also controls the Central Intelligence Corporation,
one of the largest databanks on the planet. The CIC operates by allowing unlimited
uploads to its databanks by anyone who cares to pay the $20 registration fee to
become an official "info-agent" (called Sensoids by the fringers) for the CIC.
If the uploaded data ever becomes valuable so that someone pays to download it,
the uploader receives a small royalty. The lure of riches has turned millions of
people into sensoids, selling their sensory experiences in the hopes that something
valuable will come up.
+++Sensoids are pests. Mostly they carry tonnes of junk sensory gear to pick stuff
up, but you have to watch out for the ones that are implanted. You can spot them
by the way they glance around all the time and examine everything in the minutest
detail. That and the occasional glazed look during a Kal visual downlink+++[Shenkiller]+++
An interesting fact concealed from the general public is the superstitious nature
of the Apparatus. Perhaps it was the fervent teachings of preachers during the
New Mutation, or the incredible powers recently discovered by American scientists
(see necrosis, GMs Eyes Only),
or the quasi-mystical induction rituals. Whatever the case may be, Apparatus
officers and agents are God-fearing and superstitious as hell, and employ a variety
of wards and charms to repel evil. The Apparatus leadership actively promotes mysticism
and cult psychology in its ranks in order to foster a sense of loyalty, sacred secrecy,
taboo, and participation mystique that they consider crucial to preventing
infiltration and sabotage. Officers of the Apparatus undergo a series of initiations
through a hierarchy of ranks based upon Masonic and Rosicrucian symbology. Coupled
with intense propaganda and an elitist work structure that empowers the brighest
recruits, this system fosters a culture of ultrasecurity.
+++also breeds intense paranoia. The Apparatus has been chasing more ghosts than
real threats, a fact which indubitably helps the survival of the various saboteur
groups across North America. not to mention that the Apparatus' preference for
signals intelligence also weakens it human intelligence, especially in racially-active
areas of the PCZ+++[Ipswitcher]+++
The core of the Apparatus is divided into special sections (each with an intentionally
obscure name) as follows:
Adapt Section (3) - concerned with adaptation
to different and/or hostile cultures, locales, and environments. Anything from
training in guerrilla body language to intercon corporate fashion can be
taught via mindscaping and hypnophonics. Experts on almost every human behavioural
subject are available.
Implant Section (6) - disguise, infiltration,
and impersonation is the forte of this amorphous section. Uncooperative people
within corporations, Clans, churches, and other important positions are replaced
or infiltrated as needed. Deep cover and long-term moles are implanted by the
thousands, sometimes without even knowing who they truly are anymore, ala
The Manchurian Candidate. The scary thing is that no-one in the other sections
is ever sure where Implant ends and other sections begin.
Retrieval Section (9) - this section handles
paramilitary extractions, prisoner exchanges, political conversion, turning
of enemy agents and intrusive turbohacking. Retrieval is supposedly further
sub-divided into Knife Group, Shadow Group and Skulk Group.
Design Section (12) - design as in "designing
a better tomorrow". This section deals with long-term planning, strategy, media
manipulation (they *make* the news), and propaganda. Sometimes referred to
as the Baudrillard Section in jest.
Process Section (15) - research, collation,
data processing and analysis are all handled here. Archives, databanks and
vaults can also be accessed through this section. Cryptography, signals
intelligence and mathematical modelling are covered by these case officers.
Safety Section (18) - responsible for internal
security, purges, profiling, evaluation, damage control, clearance, and
compartmentalization. Safety is manned by the most trustworthy and unturnable
personnel from the senior ranks; basically machines who have no emotional
attachments that could be used against them.
Contact Section (21) - the Apparatus' watchers and
friendly contacts are handled by this section. Everything from minor favours
to major blackmail is covered, and oft-times the agents used by Contact are
not even aware that they're providing info, or to whom. Human intelligence is
the focus of this section.
Construct Section (24) - science and engineering
are handled by this section. Every kind of technological and biological gadget
and innovation to improve the Apparatus' function is developed, from sensorskins
to 'orbital snipeguns' which shoot tiny darts from orbit. Construct focuses
mostly on applied science and building stuff.
The Apparatus has extensive networks throughout the Pacific Conflict Zone, the
Federal Territories, Europe, Russia and Latin America. The Apparatus has cool
relationships with Allied countries, especially those represented by Eurosecur.
The Apparatus not only has access to perhaps one of the largest datavaults on the
planet, but is also the recipient of xenorganic technology. Ask the gamemaster
for details, if he wants to give them to you.