According to my cliodynamic studies, it is the case that a policy of routine intervention to prevent any perversion from blooming is suboptimal, inasmuch as it opens up the possibility for bad actors to work around the Coricál Consensus by performing a broad spectrum of experiments in computational theogeny and observing which ones call down intervention teams.
In addition, the perception that DEMIURGE ERRANT will always be there to prevent disasters and clean up the mess weakens the general perception of the field as extremely hazardous to a point which causes a statistically significant increase in the frequency of attempts leading to perversions.
In short: permitting a small number of idiots to have their brains eaten by their errant creations is indeed the best way to prevent a large number of people, mostly lesser idiots, from having their brains eaten by the greater idiots’ errant creations.Black Box, advisory archai to the Imperial Security Executive
Among the most loathed and dreaded phrases in the Imperial Military Service lexicon is this: “intervention outwith mission parameters is not required”.
That phrase is your lords and masters at CORECOM, usually prompted by advice from Admiralty Intelligence, ISS, the bright chaps at External Clarification & Rectification, or even the Conclave of Clionomy, telling you that your flag privilege to identify the right thing, the thing that the honor of Their Divine Majesties requires, and then do that thing has been – if not revoked – at least severely curtailed.
There’s a reason, of course. The supplementary data that comes with the mission orders tells you what future you’re buying with your restraint, with as many details as they can give you. You can override their call – but you need to be absolutely sure that you’ll win the trade-off, lest you spend the rest of your Navy career counting spacetight valves at the Depot logistics base.
If they need it revoked completely, they’ll escalate the euphemism to “we must stress: intervention outwith mission parameters is not required”. That’s politely mandatory, usually Fifth Directorate, and you don’t want to know the reasons they’re not telling you. In these operations, you don’t sleep well afterwards, but you’ll sleep less well for knowing the reason why.
Exceptionary Circumstances, those are called. Most officers will go through their careers without encountering any. Hope to be one of them, but be prepared for the worst.
– Fleet Admiral Ossil Teresu, classified memoir
The Data Acquisition Echelon aren’t the enemy. They’re the opposition. Ignorance is the enemy.Agent-Expediter Fors Raikav, Second Directorate
Grand Game Accords: A rumored covert agreement between many of the Worlds’ more gentlesophly intelligence agencies and data brokers reflecting the spirits of rivalry and partnership whose balance changes from moment to moment as the board develops. It provides for limited field cooperation and permits their agents, if compromised in the act of espionage, to surrender to each other with an assurance of good treatment, including during limited interrogations and memory redaction, and regular exchanges of captured operatives.
After all, we all spy on each other in the interest of galactic peace, or at least galactic stability. No-one gains anything from making it personal.
– Rilial’s Informal Dictionary of Intelligence and Security Terminology
The official history of Imperial State Security records that Istar Sargas [Alphas I Amanyr’s left-hand man, and founder of the ISS] was assassinated in 742, and control of the Directorates moved to the Imperial Security Executive, at the time a hand-picked body of his division heads.
Unofficial history and frank rumor further records that the assassination occurred in an otherwise unoccupied ISS field office, and that upon meeting the assembled assassins face-to-face, he grinned, told them they were a full eight minutes behind schedule, and flicked his lit cigar into the first of several barrels of blasting powder.
Further information – reliable further information – has not been made available to this author.
– A Shadow History, Sidony Adae-ith-Alleia
mercenary (n.): A source who is working for us in exchange for money (typically discreetly delivered cryp) and detailed explanations of where all their body parts are likely to be found in the event of a contract default. A pleasure to work with, relatively speaking, because all the cards are on the table.
idealist (n.): A source who is working for us and betraying his putative employers for ideological, religious, patriotic, etc., beliefs. Widely considered unreliable, especially compared to mercenaries, since anyone who’s turned their coat once may do so again if they change their mind. Consequently, the first step in handling an idealist is to secure a firm yet invisible grip on their gonads, or failing that, a half-gram of KL-8 implanted in one of their heart valves.
– excerpted from Rilial’s Informal Dictionary of Intelligence and Security Terminology
(Note: for the avoidance of confusion, this is not the same starfighter class as Raymond McVay has been posting over on the G+ fan community; so don’t be confused by the differences…)
“It looks like a blueberry croissant.”
“Blueberry croissant… of DEATH!”
– overheard at Golden Groves (Principalities) starport
HORNÉD MOON-CLASS STARFIGHTER
Operated by: Empire of the Star (Imperial Navy, Imperial State Security, & Imperial Exploratory Service; reliable UARC-sponsored mercenaries)
Type: Starfighter, Orbital and Near-Space Operations
Construction: Ashen Planitia Fleet Yards
Length: 24.8 m
Beam: 60.4 m
Gravity-well capable: Yes
Atmosphere capable: Yes (depending on loadout)
Personnel: 2 nominal, as follows:
Flight Commander / Sailing Master
AI expert system support.
(Can operate with a single pilot.)
Additional life support capacity exists to support four passengers in addition, although this requires hot-bunking in three shifts.
Drive: Nucleodyne Thrust Applications 2×1 “Little Sparky” antimatter-catalyzed fusion torch drive
Propellant: Deuterium slush / metallic antideuterium
Cruising (sustainable) thrust: 10.2 standard gravities (9.6 Earth G)
Peak (unsustainable) thrust: 14.0 standard gravities (13.2 Earth G)
Maximum velocity: 0.3 c (based on particle shielding)
4 x hardpoint mountings for AKVs, typically Slasher-class
(Hardpoint mountings can also hold single-legionary drop pods, Piton-class, or covert ops equivalents.)
1 x standard navigational sensor suite, Cilmínar Spaceworks
1 x enhanced passive tactical sensor suite, miniature, Sy Astronautic Engineering Collective
1 x enhanced-resolution planetary surface-scan sensor suite, Imperial Exploratory Service (spec.)
“Flyswatter” point-defense laser grid, Artifice Armaments
Artifice Armaments cyclic kinetic barrier system
Cilmínar Spaceworks Mark III long-duration canned/semi-regenerative life support
3 x Bright Shadow EC-780 information furnace data systems
Ashen Planitia 1-SF vector-control core and associated technologies
Cilmínar Spaceworks high-capacity thermal sinks and integrated radiator system
Aleph Null Systems tactical communications suite
The Hornéd Moon-class is a small starfighter intended for fast attack and fast insertion missions in planetary orbit and deploying to the surface. As such, it has atmospheric capability, and even the ability to land.
In overall form, it resembles – as the quotation indicates – a croissant or crescent moon of flying-wing conformation, with the thin “inside” edge of the crescent facing forward. The two forward-facing points of the crescent are rounded, and rise to a near-cylinder at the for’ard end, and a rectangular section of the central section is “humped” at the rear; this contains the drives, whose nozzles protrude from this rectangular shroud aft.
Atop the starfighter, paired hardpoints on the dorsal hull to port and starboard hold the AKVs, when mounted. Additional mountings near them permit jettisonable fairings to be used to permit atmospheric entry or departure when non-streamlined AKVs are carried.
In between them, atop and for’ard of the drive shroud, radiative striping mounted directly atop the hull, beneath protective shutters, provides heat dissipation. To provide additional control (to the reaction wheel system) when in atmosphere, a number of multiple-purpose aerodynamic control surfaces are mounted along the leading edge of the hull, and to two small vertical stabilizers at the port and starboard edges of the drive shroud. Deployable rollagon landing gear are fitted ventrally in a multiple tailwheel configuration.
The main body of the ship is entirely devoted to fuel storage, with multiple deuterium tanks wrapping around the small antimatter cryocels for maximum protection. Meanwhile, the starboard near-cylinder provides housing for the ship’s avionics, including (beneath the forward-mounted radome and associated shuttered ports) for the triple sensor suites and tactical communications systems.
The starship’s small habitable area is located in that to port; the forward-facing airlock (whose outermost section is covered by a retractable streamlining fairing and extendable airstair) at far port gives onto a short corridor providing access to, in order, the ship’s bridge (behind an open viewport for close-maneuvering use), a two-pod sleeping area, a small room tripling as galley, fab shop, and rest area, and a single-person ‘fresher at corridor end. Limited avionics and life support access is possible through panels in this area; however, there is no pressurized access to the main avionics bay in the starboard near-cylinder or to engineering systems; such access requires EVA. Likewise, if drop pods are carried, access to those (for pre-deployment boarding, say) is only possible through EVA.
Why are the analyst/supervisory grades in the agency referred to as the “proxy adhoc“?
‘Adhoc’ should be clear enough: due to their adhocratic structure, as is common in all areas of the Imperial Service.
As for the former, individual title applied to its members: it is by ancient custom, dating back to Istar Sargas, Alphas I’s left-hand man and the spiritual ancestor of the agency, that those responsible for initiating and carrying through operations bear this title. It was his little joke that those he served – the “Clean Hands” in ISS jargon – should never be personally troubled with the details of the ugly, yet necessary actions which were his and are our remit, nor have to engage in giving orders for them directly.
Rather, such matters should always be handled by proxy.
– “ISS Structure and Terminology” introductory memeplex
State Sec: Despite the name, Imperial State Security averts this completely; they’re just an intelligence/security organization, and a much more constrained (even the Fifth Directorate), non-autonomous one. The only military is, well, the Imperial Military Service under a different ministry entirely, the regime protection forces are three entirely separate and relatively small organizations (the Imperial Guard, the Hand of Justice, and the Guardians of the Senate), and that’s about it.
The Spymaster: In the Imperial governance, the people who sit on the Imperial Security Executive, the council that runs Imperial State Security, which is composed of the heads of the five directorates, the admirals in charge of the Shadow Fleet, its military intelligence counterpart, and certain others, whose identity is not available anywhere. It’s also unique on the organization chart in that the Executive reports directly to the Imperial Couple as well as to its nominal superiors in the Ministry of Harmonious Serenity.
Plenty of other organizations, of course, have their own – even before we get into competing governments.
Something Only They Would Say: A number of intelligence agencies and other organizations use this kind of call-and-response code as a non-technology-dependent shibboleth, but for the sake of extra security, they’ve more or less perfected the technique of embedding them into subconscious levels of the mind-state, so that the person using them doesn’t actually know what they are to give them away, even under duress.
ISE SECURITY ADVISORY 4420-116
Note: This document replaces ISE Security Advisory 4112-11. It is applicable to personnel of all levels of the Imperial Service and Imperial Military Service, and to all external contractors of the Imperial Service and Imperial Military Service, and all other individuals whatsoever endorsed with a security clearance issued by the Central Vetting Office.
All personnel are reminded that, per clause XVIII of the revised Official Secrets Act, all codeword clearance information classified above SECRET (YELLOW) is considered highly sensitive, remains classified even when stored within the mind-state of cleared individuals, and may not be exported to regions outside Imperial volumes. All personnel containing such data are required to report for noetic redaction of such information before departing the Imperial core volume or other equivalently secure-graded volume, except when it falls under need-to-know for a particular field operation.
It should be noted that clause XVIII applies to transit as well as destination. Personnel travelling outside the Imperial core volume to reach distant volumes also graded as equivalently secure must report for noetic redaction of such information; arrangements will be made to transmit it separately to the destination volume or for it to accompany them in an approved secure data transport system.
Strict adherence to these protocols is more important than ever in the light of the increased SOPHINT efforts seen around the Worlds. A prepared Empire is a secure Empire!
Here’s another one from the question box: I received a link to this article from a skeptical reader who questions how – or indeed if – the sort of open society I describe could possibly cope with this sort of lone-wolf, home-grown terrorism by individual extremists, needing few contacts and little equipment.
First, just because you have an open society that, by and large, is not interested in investing a lot of time into controlling what people do doesn’t necessarily mean that your security services suck. (Indeed, one could convincingly argue that they ought to be better, inasmuch as they can spend all their time concentrating on things that are actually mala in se rather than wasting a lot of time on authoritarian-moistening bullshit.)
Suffice it to say, canonically, while greatly restricted in what they can do to people who haven’t committed any sort of crime, the Watch Constabulary and the Fourth Directorate are nonetheless very good at what they do.
Second, of course, is that the Empire is rather picky about who can get citizen-shareholdership in the first place, and extends this particular pickiness even to people who were born there. You don’t get it for free just by accident of birth; it comes with responsibilities as well as rights, and if you cannot sit under an alethiometer and honestly declare that, yes, you do intend to honor the Contract and the Charter and all their implications (something that your homegrown radical could not any more than a would-be immigrant one), no citizen-shareholdership for you. And if you fail that test badly enough, well, here’s a ticket, now get the hell out.
(This is naturally decried as extremely culturalist, which it is; the standard response to such criticism is that no, it’s not prejudice, they have a perfectly valid postjudice against cultures that don’t respect the sophont rights of others, and in any case, the opinions of a of bunch of self-asserted advocates for thugs, thieves, slavers, defaulters, and other such degenerates will be filed in the appropriate receptacle.)
And thirdly, the Eupraxic Collegium does have a compelling interest of ensuring that the ungoverned, self-organizing public are, well, sane and rational, that being what permits a free society like this to exist in the first place, and are well equipped so to do.
But lastly, of course and for the major part, is the difference in attitude.
As has been mentioned before, I believe, the Imperial legal view of self-defense (or, rather, self-and-others defense) is somewhat different than ours, in that one is not, for example, obliged to wait until someone actualizes a threat in order to respond to it. You are entitled to take people at their word: if someone threatens you or someone else nearby, you can preempt their attack with your defense all you like. There is absolutely no duty to retreat: someone who attacks, or threatens to attack, is by definition, eo ipso, etc., in the wrong and invited the painful consequences that are about to ensue. And, for that matter, they think “proportional response” is the damn silliest idea they’ve ever heard of (with the possible exceptions of fighting fair and telling the enemy that you’re coming), so if you have to put someone down, you’re entitled to make sure that they don’t get back up.
The Imperial Rules of Civilized Warfare mirror this pretty much exactly on the group level, as you might expect.
In the above article, one quotation given is:
“Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict,” an Islamic State spokesman said in a September audio speech. “Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling.”
…you can say that kind of thing relatively safely on Earth.
Hell, you could say that thing kind of safely to a lot of people in the Worlds who share similar attitudes to people on Earth.
But if you say that thing to or about the Empire, or Imperial citizen-shareholders, that’s a preemptive self-and-others-defense casus belli right there, and it’s probably even the kind that invokes the “we don’t need no steenkin’ central ruling, this is covered under ‘imminent threat that will not admit of delay'” clause that lets any local commander act on their own military authority.
There, you say that sort of thing from any sort of position of authority, and shit is going down. Hell, you just sent said shit a gild-edged, engraved, heavy-bond-paper invitation to come party at your place and bring all its implements of destruction.
And so, when it comes to another illustrative quote:
“They’ve realized, hey, if our intent is to scare the s–t out of people—to trigger heavy-handed responses by government, to force isolation of the Muslim community, pushing them to more radicalization—what do you have to do? Take two guys into a mall, shoot it up, and you’re done. You’ll be out of there in 15 minutes, and we’ll be talking about it for days and weeks and months.”
Well, it’s true that that would be an excellent way to trigger heavy-handed responses from the Imperial governance, yes. The problem, however, is that so far as opinion there is concerned, our idea of a heavy-handed response is so much self-harming (because tightening security inflicts pain upon many-n of your own people for every n bad guys it catches, even before you start counting false positives) theatrical bullshit.
The way you do a proper heavy-handed response to polity-encouraged terrorism is to send out Admiral Cluster Bomb to turn Mister-Likes-To-Make-Threats-And-Encourage-People into Mister-Ash-At-The-Bottom-Of-A-Glass-Lined-Crater, preferably before anyone actually has a chance to make good on any of said threats.
In short: what keeps terrorism out of the Empire’s open society is that, by and large, would-be terrorists’ sponsors and encouragers have much easier targets to pick on than the one that will murderize, tenderize, and vaporize you from orbit the moment after you open your mouth and then pat itself on the back, standin’ up for civilized values and all, for doing it, not a twinge of conscience needed.
And it’s not like this is a hidden or an inconsistent policy. They’re very open about this policy and they do it every time, and have been doing so for ever, which has the decided advantage of ensuring that it’s a very rare occasion when they have to do it at all.
SECRET (YELLOW) / EYES ONLY REFULGENT LIAR
Among the most dangerous agents fielded by the Theomachy of Galia are the a’hugal (“soulless”), designated REFULGENT LIAR.
The a’hugal are operatives of the Theomachy’s highest-order intelligence agency, the Jeret-i-dín-Tanjgal (“Preservers of the Pure-Souled”), loosely analogous to the Fifth Directorate or to the Exception Management Group, and operate solely under its directives so far as is known. (While we have never observed a’hugal seconded to any other agency of the Theomachy, the possibility cannot be ruled out especially under exceptional circumstances.)
The a’hugal are created by the Jeret-i-dín-Tanjgal using off-the-shelf cerebral bridge technology to create a fork of a highly trained template agent; a technology, note, which is otherwise entirely proscribed within the Theomachy. The reason for the use of such technology in this case is identical with the reason for its general proscription: according to Galian doctrine, forks are mere soulless automata, and thus can commit any act without sin or spiritual penalty. Those who command the a’hugal refrain from instructing them in methodology; rather, they simply designate the problem to be solved, and in avoiding the knowledge of their methods, avoid the spiritual burden of ordering forbidden acts. The a’hugal acts on its own initiative thereafter.
Adhocs and overwatch of the Directorates SHOULD NOT underestimate the danger posed by REFULGENT LIAR units. While usually no better equipped than baseline Galians and possessing only baseline-equivalent mentality (although it should be noted that the “soulless” a’hugal are also exempt from the doctrine of spiritual corruption by augmentation found in Galian theology), the a’hugal are manufactured from templates that believe profoundly in their post-forking soulless state and the moral exemption that results therefrom. While this memetic indoctrination does not give them the long-term psychological stability enjoyed by the [REDACTED: ICE BLUESHIFT], in the short term they are capable of acting with the ruthlessness of ICE BLUESHIFT units in the field, and also retain the emotive capacity for the malice-sadism spectrum suppressed by ICE BLUESHIFT treatment.
Standing doctrine calls for the preemptive quieting of REFULGENT LIAR units in active operational areas.
“Alert flag just came up: storage node 4-23-3317, outside penetration, profiled as hostile. Dispatching response team.”
“Belay that. Class 23, confirm?”
“Then monitor the situation for an hour, and if the flag’s cleared down, send maintenance in to secure it.”
“Don’t we need to contain it? It’s an Aeon Pit site.”
“Yeah, but it’s death storage.”
“So it’s dead storage, but that doesn’t mean the contents aren’t dangerous to let out!”
“Not dead storage, death storage. One of those places where we keep the cleaners when they aren’t working so they don’t mingle with the nice people. They may be deadly, murderous bastards, but they’re our deadly, murderous bastards, so we can let them handle their own cleanup, read me? They’ll probably enjoy it.”
MIB: The five… ah, four, directorates of Imperial State Security would be horrified to ever be this unsubtle – as would, for that matter, the Librarians of Silence – and, frankly, even when secrets need to be kept, they know perfectly well that eldrae don’t intimidate worth a damn. Using any standard MIB tactics short of actual memory redaction is probably the surest way to get whatever knowledge you were concerned to keep secret spread absolutely everywhere on general principles.
Got to be persuasive, and disappear stuff quietly.
Judge, Jury, and Executioner: The job of the Fifth Directorate, where existential threats and other excessionary events are concerned. Rather strictly forbidden for everyone else (including the Shadow Fleet, Imperial State Security, etc. – although their legal procedure can, and often does, vary to fit the necessities of the cases they handle). Even the Imperial Hands are obliged to strictly follow the law and respect the rights of sophonts and citizens, even if they are generally also empowered to carry their own miniature court around with them wherever they go.
(Of course, under most circumstances, for a non-governance chap, executing someone in the course of committing their special crime is just fine, but that’s not a law-enforcement function. That’s the inherent right of all sophonts to defend their lives, liberties, and properties – and those of people nearby – against rights-violatin’ Defaulter scum, belike.
The Watch Constabulary and above-mentioned bodies, however, are supposed to try to take ’em alive if doing so is possible without inviting worse consequences. But then, they’re also trained to; it is assumed that amateurs shouldn’t be required to try and do the fancy stuff, although they can if they like.)
adjustment: just about any op that doesn’t fit into any more specific category. Anything from spiking planetary water supplies to curing a pet’s sniffles.
black house: a safe house or other facility so far out-system you can’t find your primary without a gravigraph.
cauterize: to clean up evidence or problems with extreme thoroughness when you’re out of time and options. Usually involves ambiplasma, hence the term.
collateral budget: how non-surgical your op is allowed to get; alternatively, how much splash you’re permitted to make before Questions are Asked in the Senate, and your career becomes distinctly impaired.
defaulted: an agent, source, or other asset that’s now proven not merely unuseful but opposed; heading for the most severe censure or about to be cauterized.
deniability, minor: they can know we’re looking, as long as they can’t prove it.
deniability, major: they can know someone’s looking, but they can’t know that it’s us.
deniability, complete: they can’t know anyone’s looking, so hope they’re not paying attention.
deniability, perfect: if you know you’re looking, you’re doing it wrong.
the Executive: the shadowy council of the heads of the Directorates and INI that coordinates the Empire’s intelligence and security operations. So far as you’re concerned, see fuliginous.
friendly silence: the well-concealed self-destruct mechanism given to you to use in the event of rigorous interrogation.
from Heaven: information that’s come down from far above – where, you don’t need to and aren’t cleared to know – and which should be believed absolutely, even where it concerns future events.
fuliginous: blacker than black, i.e., so far above your clearance level you aren’t even cleared to know what its actual clearance level is. Anything the Fifth Directorate does.
the Game: what the people in it call the intelligence/security business. It is, but it’s one where lives, wealth, the balance of power, and occasionally major civilizations are the stakes. Try to play well. No pressure.
the Ghetto: Nepscia (Galith Waste), the hellhole favored for rough intelligence games because it’s so easy for people to disappear there. Unfortunately, people also tend to disappear there for reasons that have nothing to do with whatever op they were on.
heliums: those people with that implant, the one that suppresses anything resembling sympathy or conscience, letting them do anything that needs to and shouldn’t be done. Occasionally useful; always a sign that your op just went prompt critical.
Mother’s garden: any of the major cities on Eilan (Eilish Expanse), whose centrality and neutrality makes it the place everyone prefers to play their friendly intelligence away games.
overwatch: the member of the proxy adhoc in charge for the current op; who you take orders from, who you report to, and who will be dissecting your performance in detail at the back-briefing.
proxy adhoc: the adhocracy beneath the Executive that ops and other directives originate from; your immediate supervisors. See also overwatch.
[redacted for reasons of state security]: standard you-are-not-cleared-for-this message. Also, the motto of the Fifth Directorate. Possibly.
reduce for extraction: to make it easier to extract an agent (who should be prepared for this possibility) or a source (who somehow rarely are) from hostile territory by reducing them to a vector stack/cogence core, and disposing of the body. Or, if vector stack technology is not in use, locally, by simply decapitating them.
quieting: removal, sometimes by assassination, or by framing, discrediting, or any other reliable means.
serious censure: killing someone reinstantiably by way of sending them a strongly worded message.
(most) serious censure: killing someone non-reinstantiably by way of sending someone else a strongly worded message.
shadow source: a non-dominant personality or agent imprinted into a hostile mind, acting as a source without the conscious awareness of its host.
sniffers: sigint ships hanging around in other people’s systems, listening to passing traffic and trying not to draw attention. Worst job in the Shadow Fleet.
source-on-a-disk: a ripped copy of an unwilling source’s mind-state. A clean source-on-a-disk is one where the source doesn’t know that you have it.
static: an op with no purpose but to draw attention to itself, and away from anything else.
the Antique Store: the Conclave Drift, where collateral budgets are always zero, where every fifth person who passes you on the street is in the Game, and where any mistakes will be maximally embarrassing. But you have to play there, because everyone else does.
– excerpted from Rilial’s Informal Dictionary of Intelligence and Security Terminology
“A few special adhocs aside, the Fifth Directorate is divided into three primary working groups: Existential Threats, Inadvisably Applied Technologies, and Exceptionary Circumstances. Or, as they’re less formally known, the PWGs of Doom, Idiocy, and Weirdness.”
“Existential Threats handles exactly that; the end of everything, or at least everything local. Some of their adhocs are as public as the Fifth ever gets, working on problems like why, exactly, we relative latecomers qualify as one of the eldest of the younger races and why no-one from the Precursor era or earlier seems to be around these days; or preparation for natural disasters like gamma-ray bursts or the upcoming galactic collision. Most of them, though, concentrate on action against more direct threats, like Leviathan Consciousness intrusions, the ambitious that bypassed the Corícal Consensus and incautiously cooked up unstable gods, and any number of insufficiently careful archive-resurrectionists.”
“Inadvisably Applied Technologies is our benevolence PWG. Their adhocs are responsible for intervening in places where we have no particular authority to do so because someone’s playing with fire in the explosives warehouse, and it’s not in anyone’s interest to see a repeat of the Ulijen Disaster. More importantly, it’s especially not in our interest to have people become paranoid about advanced technologies just because someone didn’t read the documentation and flash-fried his entire planet, or worse.”
“Yes, it’s not normally considered appropriate to save people from themselves; but really, that’s just a side-effect of saving large chunks of the rest of the known galaxy from them. Usually, useful ones.”
“Exceptionary Circumstances? We can’t tell you about Exceptionary Circumstances. If we knew what they were or had any idea what to do about them, they wouldn’t be Exceptionary Circumstances. But when we don’t, or we haven’t – that’s what the adhocs of Exceptionary Circumstances do.”
– org briefing to new members of the Select Committee on Imperial State Security
“Order, Progress, Liberty”
– official, Charter-enshrined motto of the Empire
“Secure against Eternity.”
– corporate motto, Crystal Flame, ICC
“All debts must be paid.”
– official motto of the Curia
“Because enough… is never enough.”
– corporate motto, Decadence, ICC
“Through reason alone, we ascend.”
– motto of the Eupraxic Collegium
“Every coin Our given word.”
– carved above the main doors of the Exchequer
“Knowledge is its own justification.”
– official motto of the Fellowship of Natural Philosophy
“We do what we can, because we must.”
– very unofficial motto of the Fellowship of Natural Philosophy
“Between the Flame and the Fire.”
– official motto of the Imperial Military Service
“Civilization has enemies; we kill the bastards.”
– barrack-room paraphrase of the motto of the Imperial Military Service
“Until no man dares command another.”
– motto of the Sanguinary Enforcers of the Liberty Ethic
“The truth that sears away the Darkness.”
– corporate motto, Telememe, ICC news division
“When all else fails, we stand ready.”
– corporate motto, Ultimate Argument Risk Control, ICC
“[redacted for reasons of state security]”
– motto of Imperial State Security, Fifth Directorate
Area 51: Imperial Security Executive Secure Storage & Containment Facility 23. If it existed. Which of course, it doesn’t.
(And in any case, wouldn’t contain anything nearly as exciting as the things people think are contained there, even if it did.)