Learning Shit
rating: +162+x

Hey, everyone. I'm Agent Bibs. If you really have a hard-on for being formal, call me Mister Bibs. I don't, so if you call me Mister Bibs, I'll throw a pen cap at you. Now, I've got a few guesses as to why the higher-ups wanted me to run this class, but I'll deal with that later. For right now, you get the oh-so-wonderful privilege of hearing me talk about being an Intelligence Agent for the Foundation.

You know, I think I'm going to like this group. This isn't me slobbing your knobs or anything, I'm serious! See, most of you screwheads didn't pick up any of the food and drinks. It means you don't trust free food given out by someone you don't know. That's a good thing, because in about three seconds..

Okay, so I'm off by two seconds, plus or minus. Hey, using knock-out drops is an inexact science! Which is good, because I'm not all that good on the whole 'science' thing. They only gave me the Researcher role because I kept figuring out what the eggheads were going to do before they did it, for Christ's sake.

While the Ds get the idiots out of here, let's get down to business. By the way, D-44632, take Fred there to a Cell. He's Church.

Now, how did I know all this, you lunkheads? Am I a genius? Well, kinda, but that's not the point. The point is, before you guys came in and sat down, I went over each and every one of your dossiers. The ones you gave us, and the ones my fellow IAs compiled on each and every one of you. It's how I realized the majority of this group wouldn't take food from a stranger, and how Fred was a Church plant.

I don't do all this background-looking-into shit because it's impressive to newbies. Well, partially I do. Mostly, though, its because it's my job to know shit. It's my job because the Foundation needs to know shit. Shit we don't know about, we can't keep people safe from. Yes, James-Who-Wet-The-Bed-Until-He-Was-Six, I said people. Let the eggheads frame things in a way that lets them avoid thinking about seven billion people. You're Agents. You're dealing with people. Good people, bad people, good bad people, bad good people. And Clef, I guess, He's not really 'people', though.. I think.

No, Alexander, put your hand down. I'm not going to talk about Clef. He's one of your bosses, and he's smarter than you, and seeking out more than that'll give you a headache. But no, you're going to think you're smart enough to find the truth about him. If you're lucky, he'll warn you off. If you're not, he'll tell you everything. Don't pout, Alex. Prove me wrong. It happens so rarely, I'm going to sit down and put my feet up on the table to complete the Arrogant Prick Look. Yes, these are gym shoes. Running in dress shoes is a bitch and a half. 48% of IA's job is based on running.

Anyways, being an IA? You'll get up, and you'll find a folder on your table. Or, in my case, stuck to the wall of the Containment Cell I took over when they decided to recruit my surprisingly-firm ass. It'll be all professional-like, brief as hell. We're talking location, rough approximation of what the higher-ups expect, how you'll be getting there, maybe a few suggestions on attire and the like. I'd tell you to ignore the last one, but if I do that, you'll wear a clownsuit to a GoC facility. That only works once. Or twice, if you count that time in March.

On the way to wherever you're going, you'll be studying the location. Not the quote-unquote specific Foundation stuff, no. I'm talking about cultural shit. Do the people where you're going have a strong oral tradition? Are the men or women more open to talking to people? Do they respond well to authority, or is it better to be One Of The Guys? You're here because you either know that kinda shit already, or you know people who know people who know that shit. As long as you don't tell your buddies you're with the Foundation, nobody here really gives a rat's ass who you talk to. Yeah, the higher-ups talk about Super Obnoxious Secrecy In All Things, but that's because most of them were never Agents in the first place.

You'll get to wherever you need to go, and then the fun stuff starts. If there's places the Foundation wants you to examine, you do it. Otherwise, do whatever you need to do. Go into a bar. Drink a bit, talk with the locals. Ask if there's been any crazy stories floating about. Most aren't relevant to what you're doing, but learn them anyway. You'll build trust, and you'll have new cover stories for your next few missions. Take notes. Follow up on those notes, make sure they are legit. In short, learn shit. That's why the Foundation pays you a lot of goddamned money, and why you're here instead of wherever you were.

No, Matt, don't raise your hand. Nobody cares you used to work with the CIA. I ran loops around your former boss's head a few months after I started here. I think I got him fired for it, now that I think about it. Long story. His fault. Yes, I'm aware he was your father. I'm talking, you're not. I speak, you learn shit. From my massive brain to your probably-larger-but-empty brain. Seriously, I don't know if anyone has told you, but your head is huge!

As I was saying… you've done your canvassing and networking, and you've found what the higher-ups are looking for. You've got as much info as you can get on the thing: where exactly it is, best way and time to get at it, things to know to ensure a clean retrieval. If y'have to ask yourself if you've learned enough shit, y'aint learned enough shit. You want your fellow Foundationites thinking you're anal-retentive. Actually, scratch that: be anal-retentive. If you don't put down that the skip turns blue at 11:34pm on Fridays, someone is going to fucking die.

This is when you expect me to chuckle and point out how pointless that sort of detail is. Newsflash: you're in the Foundation, now. Stuff turning blue can and will cause someone to die. I've seen it happen.

And since I have three of you guys flagged for wanting to play hero, I'm going to make this very clear to everyone: don't be James Goddamned Bond. You're Intelligence, dammit, and running in to capture a skip on your own is going to get your ass killed. Leave it to Retrieval and Containment agents. Let them get their asses killed. Nah, if R&C teams get killed, you didn't give them enough shit to go on. See these names on my arm? Three men died because I failed to give them enough information for a clean retrieval. I don't plan on adding any more. I'm not sure if you guys know this, but tattoos? They hurt!

Actually, here's a teaching moment: don't get tattoos. Ink identifies you, and your job as an Intelligence Agent is not to be fucking identified. I know what you're thinking: "Why is Bibs allowed to get one, and I'm not?" First off, I'm better at being an IA than you. Secondly, I've been here longer than you, and I'm granted wider latitude. Thirdly, I was the one who discovered an anomalous brand of ink that vanishes when you mentally will it to.

Okay, it's mostly the third one, but the first two still apply. And no, you don't get the special ink. I found it, and it was the one anomalous item I got to take possession of this year.

Shit, I'm digressing again. Anyway, back to being an IA. When you're done with getting all your shit together, get out of there without making a fuss. On your way home, write up your reports. When you reach your home Site, you'll be formally debriefed. The shit you provide will be filed and processed, into a form that R&Cs won't even bother reading, because it's all about how to get to their goal without shooting everything in sight. I'm kidding. Sort of.

Oh, and one last thing before I dismiss you guys: being an Intelligence Agent isn't just about getting into places. It's also about getting out of places. While we've been talking, this entire room has been moved and deposited into a one of our larger Containment Cells. Quite a few exits head back to the facility, and each one seals off after one person uses it. You're being timed.

Okay, this is bullshit. I told the techs that I wanted the lights to go out when I said "You're being timed". I thought it would be badass. New lesson: never trust Bill. That motherfucker always thinks it's funny to ruin the one moment I get to look all bad-ass to newbies. You know what, you guys are dismissed, I'm going to…

Oh, there they go. Christ, I forgot how dark it gets. So yeah, forget that stuff about Bill. Find your way out, and have fun with it! I'll be here, taking a nap.

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