Alright, everyone let's - everyone? Alright, let's sit down. Today, I want to welcome you all to the first meeting of Mobile Task Force Sigma-3. Well, the new Sigma-3. We don't have a nickname yet, but that's not particularly important. We can discuss it later.
So, as you know from the pre-meeting reading- the, uh, five hundred pages of light reading- this task force came about after the incident with the uncontained anomaly known as the Library. Mobile Task Force Sigma-3, with support from Rho-2 and Beta-18, attempted to contain it. Well, invade might be a better word. Howe-
Yes, Dr. Yi?
No, the documents are correct. We don't know precisely when this happened. Foundation documentation, readouts of non-anomalous indicators that correlate with the event, even memories of those directly involved, they're all contradictory and give different times and places for the event.
That being said, about 70% of the documentation puts the event in a three-week window in July of last year, with the teams entering from several Ways found in the greater metro Atlanta area. So we're reasonably sure that that is the time and place. We believe that it has something to do with the nature of the Library and the entrance of Sigma-3, Beta-18, and Rho-2 into an area called "the Archives." But that's mostly conjecture.
Anyway, as you no doubt have read, what happened next was, uh, well, it was a clusterfuck. The anomaly - it has extensive self-defense mechanisms, which it made use of. We were expecting some pushback, but mostly from the patrons.
What we got instead was, well, Rho-2 suffered a 100% casualty rate.
Beta-18 managed to make it out of the Way with two members. Sigma-3 was luckier, making it out of there with five.
If those of you who were in the first version of Sigma-3- if you could just raise your hands, then we- no one? Alright, well I suppose that that's fair. I don't think I'd want to either.
At any rate we don't think that those listed as MIA have been killed, but rather, um, transformed into servants of the Library. So that's nice, I suppose.
What? No, there's not much we can do to get them back, at least for the time being. They are fine, after a sort.
Since then, attempts by Foundation and D-Class personnel to enter known Ways has lead to either being immediately captured by the Library, probably for use as servants, or else walking into a plane of fire or caustic gas or some other nasty thing. So we're discontinuing exploration into the Ways, at least for the time being.
The thing is that the white paper, the, uh, the Kamelov memo - about the Library being "a loaded weapon" - it wasn't wrong. The Library represents a threat to normalcy. It serves as a base for terrorist groups. It has served as the point of origin for several hugely disruptive anomalous events. We need to deal with it.
But our previous attempts- trying to watch from behind bushes and never involving ourselves or getting our hands dirty? That didn't work. You just read five hundred pages about how badly it failed. Hell, some of you can say firsthand how badly it failed.
Which brings me to why we're here. Majority decision by the O5 council has ruled that Sigma-3 is changing its focus. We are now going to be doing hands-on investigations of anomalous phenomenon. This means interacting with Type Blues - wizards, uh, shamans, sorcerers. No more of this "Witchfinders General" crap. More deep cover cooperation wit-
Agent Smithson? Yes, yes it does. But the Foundation's mission isn't necessarily black and white. In the best of all worlds, yes, we would maintain an absolute distance between ourselves and the anomalous world. But that's no longer feasible. In the best of all worlds, we wouldn't have do the horrible shit that we do in the name of protecting people. So this is a fairly minor compromise.
Think of it this way: letting smaller stuff slide in order to focus on and coordinate against more significant threats. Like a CI. Er, that's confidential informant, I mean.
Anyway, some schmuck in Hoboken who moves dish soap with his mind isn't the same level of threat as a death cult trying to summon an elder god. In the past, we've gotten lucky and mostly caught these things before they blew up. But there have been a lot of close calls. Too many.
But the thinking is, if we maybe manage to, y'know, infiltrate the community, the, uh, "anomalous underground," like they say, we can learn about some of this stuff earlier. Give us time to prep, note threats as they emerge. We can't contain the Library, but we can mute its influence, or at least the disruptive stuff. Violent terrorists, dangerous or noticeable anomalies, dark gods, that sort of thing. And if the price for that is letting the dish soap guy go free, then that's fine by me.
Yes, Perez? Oh, uh, no. Not as of yet. For obvious reasons, members of the Hand that are in Foundation custody- they're not super excited about the possibility of informing on their comrades in arms. Right now, we're looking at offering a sort of commuted sentence to some of the less dangerous anomalous entities that can offer us connections to lower-level people.
What? Right, no, I know. "Commuted sentence" was probably not a good choice of words. Maybe something more like "we'll leave the door open, and if you happen to leave, well then maybe we won't look too hard for y-"
People, calm down! Quiet! Jesus, alright? I get that this is a shift, but seriously. We're not releasing anything dangerous, here, alright. We're talking dish soap guy again.
Low level Blues, sometimes wanderers from other worlds. People that we don't do any research on, we just lock them up because that's what we feel we should do. People that don't pose any real threat to the Masquerade, but maybe were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I know that the pack rat thing is what we pride ourselves on, but it's not always the most useful mentality. These people can give us an in. We're giving them a second chance.
Yes, Agent Johnston?
"Kumbaya bullshit?" Really? Great. I'll be sure to relay that to the higher-ups. They will definitely take that into consideration.
I mean, yes, we'll be interacting with weirdos. Probably even some people with the Hand. But it's not as though we're going to be going on magical fairy rides or whatever with them. Like I said, we can't use Ways any more, and that's how they get around. What we are doing, though, is trying to work our way into the anomalous community. Think of it as deep cover, alright?
What was that Lee? You need to, uh, you need to speak u- ah! Alright, that's a fair question.
There are a few reasons, and it depends on where you're coming from. Some of you were selected because of your, uh, your firsthand knowledge of the Library, for better or for worse. And those of you on the old Sigma-3 - back when it was "Witchfinders General" - have probably the most extensive working knowledge of the Serpent's Hand and its operations of anyone in the Foundation. Not directly applicable, but still it has the potential to be useful.
As for the rest of you? It depends, like I said. Some of you are trained in research, infiltration, all that fun stuff.
Yes, Perez? What? No! Sweet Christ, no!
Let me be clear here: there is a blazing, huge line between "integrating ourselves with the anomalous community" and "being goddamn wizards." People who can do it naturally are freaks - sometimes useful freaks, but still freaks. The Foundation locks them up or, if we find it useful, maybe release them and use them as a contact. We do not employ them, at least intentionally.
As for the other stuff, rituals and all of that? Things where ordinary people can do it? That is acceptable, if avoiding it would blow your cover. But we're not going to try to do this stuff on our own for fun. Leave that to the Hand and the GOC. We'd be out of our depth very, very quickly. And you don't screw around with magic.
Are there any other questions?
Look, I know that this is a lot to take in. But think of it this way: that uneasy feeling you're having? About wandering into a world you didn't even know existed? That's what you felt - or at least, that's what I felt - when you joined the Foundation.
We're still working for humanity. Still preserving the world. Just trying to be smart about it.