Department of Destandardization
Purpose: the neutralization of dangerous metaphysical concepts, procedures, and paradigms via the process of imposing collective cognitive decoherence.
Scope: possibly worldwide. No permanent offices.
Personnel: unclear, but probably less than 500 total. It is unclear how many members of the Department of Destandardization are fully human, in more than the strictest legal sense.
The great secret of our world is that there is no actual unified, universal system of rules and physical laws that define ‘reality.’ It’s ad hoc consensus all the way down; and pretty much anything can be added to the mix, given enough willpower and force. Unfortunately, just because something can be jammed into reality’s operating system doesn’t mean it’s going to stay there. Most of the really esoteric stuff can’t, in fact. That’s why magic and psionics and super-powers and Mad Science and the rest of it aren’t universally practiced; it just takes too much energy to make all of those things work everywhere, so Those Who Handle These Sorts Of Situations keep the usefully weird stuff bubbled off away from the rest of ‘reality’ so as to still get what benefits can be gotten.
Continue reading Group seed: The Department of Destandardization.
US Space Defense Command
(Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana)
Staffing: 6 US Army personnel. 2 officer (Captain and 1st Lt), 1 NCO, 3 enlisted.
US Space Defense Command did not have enough staffers to justify a contraction of the title on its own; it’s usually now shortened to USD-COM, now that there’s departmental oversight and so forth. Internal records show that USD-COM has occupied the same small, nondescript office building at Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana (just north of Kokomo) since some time in 1948. This is impressive, because at the time the base was Naval Air Station Bunker Hill, and decommissioned to boot.
Continue reading Group Seed: US Space Defense Command.
Headquarters: Edison, NJ
Specializes in: science fiction, fantasy, pastiches
Gunnison Publishing has been in business since 1998. It’s a privately-owned, medium-sized publisher that specializes in alternate history titles and literary pastiches; Gunnison is probably best known for its Sherlock Reborn and Lovecraft Unleashed series of uncannily true-to-tone pastiches (Sherlock Holmes and the Cthulhu Mythos, respectively). Gunnison also has a profitable sideline in Osprey-like picture books (called Simurgh Press) of military forces and conflicts, only the titles are all things like “The Second Mexican-American War” or “Napoleon VI’s Soldiers.” Altogether, Gunnison produces about forty or so new titles a year, and maintains an extensive e-library (including a remarkable number of unique works).
Continue reading Group Seed: Gunnison Publishing.
Lonely Potato Quartet
Description: the band Lonely Potato Quartet (‘LPQ’ is their usual use-name) consists of lead guitarist ‘Hairy’ Harry Martin (dob 05/03/1995), backup guitarist/lead singer Jeannie Mancini (dob 05/03/1995), base guitarist/backup singer Carmelita Mancini (dob 05/03/1995), and drummer Shirley Walker (dob 05/03/1995). All four were born in the town of Westmorton, Pennsylvania, and have been performing together since their early teens. None are married or have children; their credit is excellent for people in their early twenties and none of them have criminal records.
Continue reading Group Seed: Lonely Potato Quartet.
Lakeside Book Club
Meeting Place: the basement of Lakeside Gently Used Books (the owners of the business and the building are both cultists). The bookstore has an amazing lawn, by the way.
Goal: to efficiently murder people for mild personal gain.
Damned Book That Started It All: a twenty page unbound essay that disjointedly argues that it is the duty and responsibility of all self-awakened members of the world community to harvest the ‘vital spark of those who cannot grow it within themselves,’ and so forth. It must be admitted that the general tone of the essay has a simultaneously self-satisfied and self-accusatory feel to it that is common with the more tedious and intolerant parts of early 21st century social media; which is impressive, since the essay appears to have been typed out on a mechanical typewriter at least a century ago.
Continue reading Group Seed: The Lakeside Book Club.
The Anti-Good Alliance for Professional Evildoers (or AGAPE) is a carefully-calibrated bane of the superheroic community’s life. Too much villainy, and they get shut down, hard. Too little, and people won’t take them very seriously. And that’s the problem, right there; it’s hard enough to take AGAPE too seriously, thanks (as usual) to bad branding.
The concept was sound, on paper. Pink! Fluffy! Liberal use of heart and rose motifs! Nobody else was doing it, which made the look unique; and the mix of Hallmark aesthetics with grand larceny would make people shocked and appalled! Villainous groups like it when civilians are shocked and appalled. They’re more likely to run away, which means that you get fewer hostage situations, and professional super-crook groups hate hostage situations. A lot of superheroes think that the gloves get to come off just a little when they’re facing a criminal menacing a nice old lady or something, and society tends to agree with them. It’s different when the heroes are facing crooks by themselves, somehow. Some kind of psychology thing.
Continue reading Group Seed: AGAPE.
Factio Eximiae Ululae
Symbol: an owl, in flight and pouncing, superimposed over a stylized thunderbolt.
Well, it’s sort of a cult. That is, the Factio Eximiae Ululae (“Society of the Superb Owl”) shows many superficial signs of being a High Fantasy cult (hidden rituals, secret lore, a certain obsessive focus common to its members, robes, chanting) while at the same time avoiding the more alarming personality flaws often showed by more unsavory cults (aggressive nihilism, apocalyptic goals, human sacrifice, dress codes that handily obscure cultists’ faces). Members of the Factio only hide their identities because they like to go after the aforementioned unsavory cults, usually while carrying very heavy weapons and a quite remarkable amount of accelerants. The Factio Eximiae Ululae is apparently one of those cults that gives great weight to the supposed cleansing properties of flame.
Continue reading Group Seed: Factio Eximiae Ululae.
Consensus – Google Docs
Every world-spanning conspiracy has to start somewhere.
Meet Michael J. Brown. Mike is twenty-two years old, and about to graduate, top of his class, with a double major in engineering and history from a top-shelf school. Quietly rich, but not very vocal about it. Well-liked, friendly, athletic in an almost-professional level but not in any sport where he’d be expected to pursue a professional career. Engaged to be married, to a very nice girl. Mike is, in fact a marvelous specimen of man — except for that one little personality quirk of his.
Continue reading Group Seed: Consensus.
Shabti Protective Solutions – Google Docs
Shabti Protective Solutions
This company operates out of Washington DC, with offices in Los Angeles, NYC, Chicago, and Houston. It is an extremely small company nonetheless; each office has a maximum of ten Associates, with a somewhat larger number of support staff attached. The CEO of record of Shabti is John W. Wade; his life story is available, but fairly bland. There is no board of directors; the company is privately owned. It also has no international footprint; Shabti Protective Solutions makes a conscious decision to not accept clients from outside the United States of America, for a combination of economic, political, and esoteric reasons.
Continue reading Group Seed: Shabti Protective Solutions.