Jun
11
2016

Adventure Group seed: (C.H.I.C.K.E.N.)

Inspired by this.

Committee for Heuristic Investigation of Conspiratological Kernings/Engram Neutralization
(C.H.I.C.K.E.N.)

Please.  Laugh at the name. Many taxpayer dollars were spent in coming up with a stupid name that nobody would take seriously.  That’s what the whole thing is about, really.

Have you ever noticed that the world abruptly stopped being, well, weird, some time in the 1950s?  Everything odd went away. Cryptozoological entities got steadily debunked, all the really good conspiracy theories suddenly sprouted far too many socially unpleasant corollaries, and of course we never got our flying cars and food pills and orbital factories.  This was all deliberate.  The US government – all of the governments of the world, really – started hammering down on all of the things that made the world unusual in that time period, and every oddity in the world that still exists today has been given the memetic and conceptual equivalent of a steam-cleaning, cross-indexed with a thoroughgoing metaphysical pasteurization.  And C.H.I.C.K.E.N. was the hammer that the US government used to hammer down all of those nails.

And thank God for it.  That’s the part that usually sticks in people’s throats when they hear about this, by the way: people like to think that ‘weird’ means ‘harmless.’ Well, it does now. Back then ‘weird’ meant ‘it may eat you and your town.’ It sometimes did. As populations grew worldwide, the odds of somebody stumbling over something that could maybe blow up the surrounding area simply got ‘better’ and ‘better.’  Worse: many ‘weird’ things got their start from collective overactive human imaginations, metaphorically speaking. Which meant that the entire problem wasn’t a fix-one-time solution.

Enter C.H.I.C.K.E.N.  It started off as an anti-supernatural death squad, albeit a reluctant one when it came to sentient entities. But once the Bigfoots (read: ‘wendigo’) and sewer alligators (read: ‘poison dragons’) were hunted out the group largely switched over to carefully making sure that certain thought-patterns and mythologies were never, ever again taken seriously by mainstream society. C.H.I.C.K.E.N. is pervasive through both the traditional military-industrial-intelligence community and mainstream academia; the latter is particularly helpful in making sure that certain works of art remain on the fringe – and that certain cultures remain essentially taboo for wider study. And the former is useful for when C.H.I.C.K.E.N. doesn’t suppress a thought in time – and that thought then goes on to more or less literally explodes in somebody’s face.

Using C.H.I.C.K.E.N. in your game is possibly cruel, and almost certainly highly ironic (given that it takes the position that Too Much Imagination Is A Bad Thing). But it’s certainly something that your party would never expect, huh? – Especially if they’re the Good Guys. In fact: making them the Good Guys is more or less required, in this case. Make them generic Black Hats and half of C.H.I.C.K.E.N.’s rather esoteric entertainment value is lost.

Just saying.

PS: You can cross the road all you like.  Just don’t cross C.H.I.C.K.E.N.

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