Things are swinging with Dark Horizons now, though still not much action. There’s a lot of groundwork to lay, and each scene builds on the background and the story. Pretty soon stuff will hit the fan, rest assured.
“Meet & Greet” had a lot more organizations that do not appear in the Mundus Novit source book. Task Force 12 doesn’t, and it is more of an ad hoc assembly than an actual unit. The Vault, which appeared back in its eponymous chapter, is a fictional part of a real organization—the Communications Security Establishment. That chapter also hinted at Detachment 7, which Walker refers to again in “Meet & Greet,” and he mentions Det 7’s “grandfather,” the Security Reconnaissance Group.
The Communications Security Establishment (or CSE) is Canada’s answer to the National Security Agency, and while not as large or powerful, holds an equally secretive place within Canada’s intelligence community. To my knowledge, there is no protected, sealed off monitoring environment that can track mental as well as wave transmissions, but one never knows. You know—even if no government admits to this—that there are nerve centres within our intel organizations that monitor everything else, so I figure if they ever learnt to monitor telepathy, you can bet they would.
A lot of the Vault is based on all those movie sets of intelligence nerve centres. The atmosphere is hopefully replicating the guarded camaraderie one sees in the BBC series Spooks (sometimes called MI:5). Working in any intelligence monitoring or analysis section is stressful. During crises, well, it can be a lot worse than working a stock exchange floor during a rush—good or bad. The people who not just work in these areas but work successfully and thrive are special. They either deal with the stress, or they burn themselves out.
From what I understand, there’s a lot more burn-outs than stress-eaters.
There is also a little hint of Marvel comics continued insistence that Canada has a massive, high-tech intelligence community. Anyone from Canada who followed Alpha Flight would likely have a good chuckle at the super-tech available not just to this super team but apparently to some branch(es) of the military as well. Perhaps this is an alternate history in which the Avro Arrow project wasn’t scrapped at the cusp of completion.
And then there is Detachment 7.
It’s true that Canada is a bit of a late-comer to the military special operations community, though JTF-2‘s fore-runners, the Special Emergency Response Team of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were plenty game when it came to counter-terrorism and hostage rescue. The thing is the Canadian military is so small, a robust special operations branch would drain other forces of some of their best and brightest. With the creation of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment, that might be happening, but I haven’t heard too many complaints just yet.
So Detachment 7 is something like the Vault—its a fairy tale inside the real story. It’s also possible there is something like this within the Canadian military, something nobody talks about because almost nobody knows. Likely? No. Possible? Sure, why not?
JTF-2 and the CSOR undertake real missions and encounter real peril, but not of the James Bond variety, at least not to which they are admitting. Detachment 7 acts as a kind of military spy unit. It allows the characters to be James Bond in BDUs. I did something similar with the Combined Security Reconnaissance Section.
If your players want their characters to be part of organizations like the Vault or Detachment 7, or perhaps they want characters from these units, you can expect to have complete write-ups, in the same format and fashion as the units in the Mundus Novit source book, by the end of Dark Horizons. Both organizations would work in military, espionage, and/or conspiracy campaigns.
That’s kind of what Dark Horizons is, a military/espionage/conspiracy story.