We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.
- H.P. Lovecraft
- "The Call of Cthulhu"
"Fuck that shit. Let's find out what's on that horizon."
- Agent "Madrigal"
- Strike Team "Noble Phantom"
For most of human history, our species has been at the mercy of powers foreign to, and supposedly greater than, ourselves. Magical or religious, extraterrestrial or extradimensional, these parathreats have been the Damocles Sword hanging over the head of our species since the first apes came down from the trees - or out of the water, based on which evolutionary theory you ascribe to.
No longer. Our species is now taking back control of our destiny. We are now at war with That Which Should Not Be: the Real fighting against the Unreal. And you, as a Coalition recruit, are one of the heroes who will serve a vital role in that war.
This manual is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to parathreats. Reading it will not teach you how to defeat a physical god. That knowledge will come with time, and experience. Instead, it is meant to serve as a distillation of the fundamental principles learned by PHYSICS operatives since our founding in the late 1940s, broadly applicable in all parathreat scenarios. Think of it as the foundation upon which you will build your skills: broad, plain, largely invisible, but vital nonetheless.
1) You are expendable.
There are over six billion human beings living in the world today. You are one of them. Cold-hearted as it may be, given the choice between the two, humanity wins every time. Before anything else, you must come to terms with this fact: not only for yourself, but for your friends, family, and loved ones. If the time should come that you are asked to make the ultimate sacrifice, you must do so swiftly, resolutely, and without hesitation. A moment's delay could be disastrous.
2) You are not disposable.
The Coalition doesn't have limitless reserves. Our numbers are small enough, and the threats we face terrible enough, that we cannot afford to lose a single operative to accident or stupidity. Your life is a vital resource to be nurtured and husbanded, and if it must be spent, it must be used to maximum effectiveness before it is lost.
3) Knowledge is power.
The threats we face are numerous, and each one is unique. In order to combat them effectively, we must know what we are facing. Information, more than any bullet or blade, is our weapon, and we need as much of it as possible. Keep no secrets from your comrades or superiors. If you learn something, pass it on as soon as possible. If you are killed, your last act before dying should be to try to make sure someone knows how you died.
4) Don't question it, just accept it.
There are things you will never know. There are things that the human mind can't comprehend, and other things that you will simply never find out. If you obsess over the things you do not know, you will become distracted and lose focus. As much as you can, focus on the Here and the Now.
5) You are only human.
You will make mistakes. You will grow tired and weak. There will be moments when you act stupidly and other moments when you express unexpected brilliance. You cannot let failure allow you to fall into despair, or success to lead to arrogance. Down either path leads disaster.
The Golden Rule
Never work alone.