You might be able to tell, from Rudi’s background, that there is a lot more going on in Mundus Novit than just Tangible Stream or the Vault. Some of the groups included in the actual sourcebook have been name-dropped in Dark Horizons, but the key players in Dark Horizons were not included in the sourcebook.
As we get closer to the conclusion (and just so you know, it’s plotted out to 28 chapters), I’ll be giving you more mechanical or setting flavour. I figure now is a good time to start, pretty much two-thirds of the way through.
I thought I would first deliver onto you Madison Sinclair and Heather Jeffries’ team–known as the Vault–in the same format you will find in the Mundus Novit sourcebook. The entry begins with a kind of quote from someone on the inside. In this case, it is someone deflecting questions about the Vault. After this, we get into the meat of the entry, with the big questions, the real story (as opposed to the cover story, in a situation in which the group had a public face) and the place in which PCs would fit in this group. There are a collection of groups, such as the CIA’s ESPer unit Narcissus, and Lt. Rebecca Park’s unit, the Advanced Tactics Action Company.
So, here you are, the Vault:
This area is restricted to authorized personnel, so I’m afraid we’re not going in there. No, it’s not anything particularly secret or memorable, it’s just a communications monitoring facility, one of the many here at CSE. Why is it called the Vault? Where did you hear that? Really? Never mind. It’s called the Vault as a kind of a joke. See this title card? Special Monitoring Actions Module. SPAM. And where do you find spam? In a can, of course. So it went from can to vault. Nothing particularly nefarious. Let’s continue on, shall we?
Who? Communications Security Establishment, Special Monitoring Actions Module
What? The Vault is involved in the tracking and analyzing of parapsychic activity globally. It provides parapsychic encounter training (PET) which prepares individuals to withstand parapsychic assualt, and parapsychic active training (PAT) which teaches parapsychs to better use their powers.
Where? The Vault is housed in the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) complex in Ottawa, Canada.
Why? With the identification of parapsychic phenomena following the Trigger Event, the CSE required the capability to scrutinize parapsychic traffic. With the mandate to monitor foreign signals intelligence, and protect Canadian electronics and communications, the CSE felt it had the purview, given that current theories of parapsychic phenomena posit an organically created signal.
How? As with most intelligence agencies around the world, the emergence of post-humans surprised the CSE. Due to its close relationship with the National Security Agency of the United States and the Government Communications Headquarters of the United Kingdom, the CSE gained access to parapsychic monitoring equipment. Cultivating a core of parapsychic assets, the CSE cobbled together a global monitoring system interlinking existing electronics technology with the new parapsychic equipment and parapsychs on staff.
The success of this initial unit led to the creation of the Special Monitoring Actions Module in February of 2005. The CSE completed construction of the Vault, designed to defeat electronic and parapsychic eavesdropping, in August of that year.
Led by the Chief of Operations, Special Cases, the staff of the Vault are mostly intelligence officers and analysts. The requirement for operatives prepared to encounter parapsychic opposition led to the creation of a Special Encounters Team, which reports directly to the CO/SC. The team is staffed with Vault personnel who have military or intelligence filed agent training or experience. The SET is also responsible for delivering both the PET and PAT programs.
The Real Story: The general public is not aware of the Vault’s existence. While staff of the CSE at the Ottawa complex may have seen or heard something about the Special Monitoring Actions Module, very few know any details. Within the government, only the Prime Minister’s Office, the Armed Forces Council, the Minster of National Defence and the Chief of the Communications Security Establishment know the truth about the Vault. The Vault’s budget is totally black, hidden amid other projects and allocations for the CSE.
The Role of PCs: The Special Encounters Team (SET) is the perfect placed within the Vault for player characters. The SET often works alongside the 7th Tactical Security Detachment–also known as the Detachment or Det 7–a black operations unit reporting to the Chief of Defence Intelligence. The SET might work on military missions, but are also involved in deniable and clandestine operations. The team may support civilian government elements but is also deeply involved in military deployments.
Basically, the SET allows player characters to get involved in any kind of adventure desired. The unit has no mandate other than to deal with strange situations and do what the Vault’s Chief of Operations tells it to do.