Just For Fun: If I Am Ever Head of an Alien Monitoring Agency
Things to think about if I ever run a counter alien agency. note
Part of The Universal Genre Savvy Guide
Maintaining the Masquerade
- My first job will be to create a website revealing my existence. I will link to all the strange conspiracy sites I can find, use very poor or dubious photos, lots of bad science and include forums. This has the twofold purpose of discrediting anyone who finds out about me and letting me know what the conspiracy nuts are noticing.
- If aliens do something really public like destroy an aircraft carrier, I will go public and lobby for more powers and an increased budget, not create some ill-conceived cover story about asteroids that nobody will believe.
- Except, of course, before going public: People will be more inclined to believe in the agency's existence if they suspect it than if I proudly announce it.
- If possible, I will commission an animated cartoon, anime, or cheesy live-action series depicting people somewhat like us fighting aliens somewhat like the ones we fight. This will allow me to better pass off any sighting as part of a live-action movie.
- If an invasion seems unavoidable, I will go public. Sure, the public will panic, but they won't be quietly sipping coffee in a café when the aliens start blowing them up either.
- If in doubt as to whether the situation counts as 'unavoidable' I will remind myself it is better to get the panic over with sooner rather than later. If the situation resolves itself, I can always claim the credit and use the incident to press for more funding and cooperation from the rest of the world.
- I will not, for the love of god, keep the imminent invasion secret from heads of state, even if it isn't strictly "unavoidable". Especially if, hypothetically speaking, I was hired by said head of state.
- All heads of government and all heads of security services will be kept under very close scrutiny, for their protection.
- If no one can give me a sensible reason to maintain the masquerade other than so we can remain a secret company and have a Masquerade, I will immediately go public. It will save time and effort in the long run, and I will be able to work more efficiently if people know I'm not some random loon.
- Emergency response plans will exist in case any of my bases are taken over by alien forces.
- Not all of these plans shall be known to all the people at said bases; only those plans that require or involve the cooperation of said people. For example, "Run," or "Activate the nuclear scuttling charge."
- All of my electronics and facilities will be be built to local building codes and meet all Health and Safety regulations.
- High-Level facilities (underground bunkers, headquarters, laboratories, etcetera,) will be built to the highest building code standards possible. Covert facilities, on the other hand, will be built to resemble the local infrastructure as much as is possible without compromising their function. Savehouses for covert monitoring only, for instance, located, in a shanty town will be built as a shanty, but there will be fire extinguishers everywhere, for instance. It's really pointless to build an elaborate underground base that gives you away by costing more than the gross yearly income of everyone who isn't a drug trafficker in a hundred-mile radius.
- They will also include a high level of EMP and TEMPEST shielding.
- All doors in my bases will have Chubb or protector locks, Yale locks, and mechanical combination locks in addition to the electronic locks, retinal and fingerprint scans etc etc. And bolts. Thick bolts.
- I will not store alien artefacts in a major city, in my headquarters, or in my pocket.
- In fact, why have a single centralized location that can be plundered or nuked all at once? Several storehouses and analytical labs in unrelated areas work better (and only a trusted few, trained to resist telepathy and mind control, would know about more than one).
- If possible, I and my immediate subordinates will be the only ones who KNOW that multiple locations exist.
- If at all possible, breaking glass will be cued to the security systems, so that the room where the glass broke will be locked down. If it is someone who just dropped the coffee pot, well, no harm done. But I don't want The Klutz working in my alien HQ, either.
- I will have scanners of some type at the front door that are capable of detecting secretly planted bombs. If I don't have the technology for this, that means I don't have security.
- All base systems will have sensible backups. And by sensible backups I mean in addition to back up electronic generators and batteries, there will be a diesel-powered generator on each floor, and rules forcing all operatives to keep a lighter on their person and a butane lamp under their desk at all times in case the power does go out, and guns in their desk drawers (preferably revolvers) in case we are attacked. Should Alien Tech Bane stop firearms from working, swords, preferably katanas, will also be available. And typewriters and hand cranked mimeographs so power outages will not keep them from their paperwork: I am not an Obstructive Bureaucrat, but no one would let people with the sort of powers my operatives will need have that much power without keeping track of it, electricity or no.
- As of yet, no logical reason for a self-destruct sequence has ever been put forward, especially on a static building.
- Conversely, the buildings that truly require self-destructs never seem to have them. Like Maximum Security Prisons, for example. Also, there's no reason to destroy the entire building. Centralize the explosives in the R&D department and the Archives. Preferably in a way that destroys all evidence of supposed wrong-doings without actually damaging the room.
- If a situation develops that would call for such a measure, an externally controlled containment method such as a missile strike would be preferable.
- And any such system will have at least one, and preferably several, fail-safe override systems whose operation is known to all key personnel.
- And making sure the cancellation sequence is always a high maintenance priority and never out of order.
- I shall employ competent electricians, industrial engineers, and members of other trades and professions to inspect and maintain my facilities. While I am head of the alien monitoring agency, I shall not regard myself as superior to the various industrial-hygiene codes, as they were enacted to prevent accidents that would have a worse effect on my operations than would simply complying with them. It is far simpler to ensure that my Ultimate Weapon is properly grounded and equipped with the appropriate number of fire extinguishers than it is to rebuild my entire base.
- I will make sure that security cameras can all be seen from other security cameras. This will prevent anyone from hiding in a blind spot below them or from obscuring the camera.
- Chemical-based film cameras will also be made available. Should our regular security cameras go out, concealed spring-powered backups loaded with film stock will automatically start running in our more sensitive areas; development may take some time, but it will be worth it to know who stole what/who from where when they thought we were blinded.
- I will remind myself that redundant overlapping security systems are my friends, especially when it comes to critical systems like prisoner containment and life support. If an EMP takes out the electronic locks on the warehouse where we keep the cool stuff, let's see the thieves go through the cuneiform-based mechanical puzzle locks and the poisonous gas contained between the inner and outer vault walls.
- If they do get through them, I am dealing with a traitor, an infiltrator, or Batman, and will investigate accordingly.
- If it's Batman, I will tell him anything he wants to know, provide him with any materiel he requests, and place all available units and resources at his disposal. If things are so bad that Batman is involved, he probably has a better grasp on the situation than I do, and I shall act accordingly.
- If my base must be in an alien-created structure, I will trust that base's computer systems as little as possible. On the flip side, the aliens who constructed the facility probably had a better idea of the risks it entailed than I do. I will check all of their security measures and try to implement as many of them on my own systems as is possible. Only if there is no other choice will the alien computer system be given control over anything. if this includes the doors, I will either replace the doors or install a manual override. Note that in an emergency and in complete lack of other practical alternatives, a breaching charge is a valid means of manually overriding a door that otherwise will not open.
Storing Alien Tech
- I will not be stupid enough to have one of my alien artefact storage areas underneath, inside, above, next to or anywhere near an iconic and well known landmark: They are always the first to get blown up. If I am forced to do so for some reason (such as it being the only space allocated to me by those who control my pursestrings and who refuse to allow me to relocate, or if I require the power-generation facility housed in said landmark,) I will not keep a frozen genocidal alien robot in my basement. If I have no other choice but to keep a frozen genocidal alien robot in my basement, for instance if containing said frozen genocidal alien robot is the primary, entire, or founding purpose of my alien monitoring agency, I will remain smart enough to invest in multiply-redundant backup generators and the best industrial insulation available so it doesn't defrost the second the back up generator goes off-line.
- I will also maintain a large supply of pressurized liquid nitrogen in which he may be immersed or hosed down with in order to buy additional time.
- That said, if my alien artefact storage area in the desert comes under attack and the Big Bad is defrosting, I will endeavour to contain him and the final battle there, if only because having to move my alien Artifact O' Doom MacGuffin from the desert into an easily destroyed, highly populated urban area where I will have to rely on high school age children to hide it will only guarantee Humongous Alien Mecha will have to smash shit up, and this will probably cost me my Hero Insurance no-claims bonus.
- If necessary, I should be prepared to blow up/flood/freeze/incinerate/nuke/some combination of the above my artifact storage. Relatedly, before putting an artifact in cold storage, I should figure out something that can damage it, so I don't end up nuking Godzilla eggs or something similarly pointless.
- Furthermore, if I know the maximum safe temperature at which an artifact/alien can be stored before it activates, I will set up a system so that the artifact/alien contained in cold storage is destroyed automatically if the storage temperature exceeds a limit a few degrees below the activation point. If I do not know the maximum safe temperature, I will strongly consider having a failsafe system that destroys the contents of the cold storage if the cooling system fails or loses power at all. It may set research projects back, but better safe than sorry.
- If an alien artifact of unknown origin and power suddenly pops into existence in my HQ, I will immediately move all command functions to a different building.
- All of my staff will be given the following instructions regarding alien tech: If you don't know what it is, it's a highly contagious transsapient and malevolent XK-class Keter that must be contained and tested as quickly as possible. Or, in plainer language, it can destroy the world if mishandled, it hates your guts, it's smarter than you, and it will eat your soul if you look at it; but we still have to keep it safe and figure out what it does.
- I will upgrade to new HQs every now and again. Old HQs will be mothballed, and I will keep a spare key. These will also be well patrolled in case someone has the bright idea to take them over. This will allow me a place to fall back to if my main HQ is taken over, or if I am compromised or terminated, a base of operations from which secondary command structures can attempt to take charge of and manage the situation.
- This will not, however, be allowed to proceed to the point where an unlimited string of old HQs dots the landscape. I especially will not leave dangerous alien tech lying around in these unguarded buildings. If the alien technology under study in an HQ slated to be replaced cannot be moved, then the old HQ will be converted into a dedicated containment and (if appropriate) research facility, with mothballed command-and-control functions able to be brought online if needed.
- Old bases that remain structurally sound and in appropriate locations will be periodically upgraded technologically and infrastructurally, if they are being maintained as backup sites. It may make for good fiction, but it won't do us any good if our main high-tech base gets nuked/wiped out by an alien incursion and we have to fall back on cold-war era tape drive computers. If upgrading the facility is less cost-effective than constructing a new one, then if possible it will be cleaned thoroughly to eliminate any trace of its true origins and auctioned to improve my cashflow situation, or if not it will be completely decommissioned and dismantled.
Alien detainment facilities
- If we take any aliens prisoner, they will be stripped of all their technology, and held in a maximum security facility. I will remain aware of the fact that not all of what actually is technology is what looks like technology, therefor captive aliens will be stripped completely and issued some form of prison garb. They will also be cavity searched and diagnostically imaged. If desperate human prisoners are willing to go to such lengths to smuggle things into prison, I have to assume that any aliens I take prisoner (who cannot be confident at all of their survival, much less future freedom,) will be even more desperate, and take appropriate measures.
- If an alien is heavily-implanted with cybernetic augmentations, any augmentations which are not strictly life-support only shall be removed or disabled beyond any reasonable ability to repair them. Any augmentations whose purpose I am uncertain of will be assumed to not be life-support only. If life-support augmentations have been integrated with augmentations which can assist an alien in escaping captivity, I cannot contain this alien and he will be executed instead.
- If an alien race possesses technology levels so far beyond mine that I cannot reliably detect his technology, or discern what it is or what it does, I will assume at the minimum it is psychic, extremely intelligent, and harboring nanite colonies within its body which are capable of doing anything up to and including converting the metal with which we seek to imprison it into body armor for it. If I cannot contain it, it will be executed, dismembered, and its pieces studied in different labs on different continents. If any pieces start to reanimate, the whole thing will be incinerated in a blast furnace.
- Likewise, if an alien is known to be psychic, I will employ methods to prevent it from using its psychic abilities to affect its own escape or otherwise to attack me. If I cannot do this without inflicting harm on the alien which is beyond my ability to reverse, so be it. If it is capable of reversing the harm I inflict on it in order to prevent its psychic powers from manifesting, then it will be treated the same as an alien with integral nanotech and disposed of accordingly.
- I will always assume that alien prisoners have mind control and shape-shifting capabilities, even if there is no evidence of such, and take appropriate counter measures. I will also have multiple contingency plans for if they fail, ranging up to nuking the entire prison.
- If communication with the prisoners is possible, they will be appraised of the fact that their continued existence is predicated on cooperating with us. If at any point they make it clear to me that they will only play along until they find an opportunity to escape and exact vengeance, they will be executed on the spot.
- All prisons for aliens will have security systems at least as secure as a maximum-security human prison, however in my designs and planning it will be understood that failing in a safe manner means safe for the guards and staff, not for the prisoners. Therefor, doors will lock hard when the power goes out, rather than opening, and the emergency destruction systems will be chemical and mechanical, not electronic.
- I will not keep all alien prisoners in the same detention facility. If the aliens I am holding captive have some form of a caste system or a command structure as we know it, the controllers/leaders/officers will be separated from all other specimens. If I lack the ability to prevent them from giving orders (such as their abilities are psychic with seemingly a range beyond the scope of my program and I have no means at my disposal to erect a jamming field,) then the officers/controllers/leaders will never be detained simultaneously: all grunts in custody will be executed when officers are taken alive, or vice versa.
- When taking an alien prisoner, I should consult with (or at least study) other aliens who have kept this species locked up in the past. Note both successes and failures. If I'm ever given a prisoner by other aliens, I will take their advice, especially if they impress upon me the importance of keeping the damn thing locked up (doubly important if they're dying somehow).
- If I need to shoot them, then I need to shoot them. The safety of Earth is more important than me sleeping at night.
- Aliens will be given nothing that assists them to escape. Yes, that includes pitchers of water if they short out the electronics. Given the unlikeliness of any alien capable of being on Earth not needing water, this means I will ensure that the electronics are protected against water, and ensure that we use real doors with locks and things that aren't electronics.
- If I believe that a system fitted to my group's bases, vehicles, or other equipment is suspect, I will have it removed. If I cannot unambiguously trace the provenance of the design and manufacture of said equipment to trusted sources, it will be considered suspect. This means that not only will I be exceptionally wary of installing any hardware produced by human interests who are known or widely believed to be compromised (and not necessarily be extra-terrestrial interests: for instance, anything manufactured in southeast Asia is automatically to be suspected of being infected with some sort of malicious software or of exceptionally shoddy quality until unambiguously proven otherwise,) but if it was built or programmed by alien hands, I'm not installing it until my people can manufacture it.
- All staff will be briefed on exactly what the term "last resort" means, and I will have drills to test last resorts that my staff will NOT know are drills. If my weapon of last resort or ultimate emergency all-purpose contingency plan x or other act of last resort is so terrible no one amongst my highly principled agents will dare use it, then to all extents and purposes I do not HAVE a weapon of last resort and I need to recruit some more callous staff (or find a more reasonable last-resort program - nukes are right out). Likewise, if it is a weapon of last resort and people appear to be using it once-per episode with no apparent ill effect then there is no reason to class it as "last resort" rather than say "First option" and so its use will be reviewed.
- All my equipment and vehicles will be equipped with anti-theft devices far greater in standard than those used to secure civilian vehicles, unless said vehicles are strictly-auxiliary and never used in sensitive operations or to transport sensitive personnel or materials; in which case they will be equipped to at minimum the highest grade of civilian anti-theft devices.
- My fleet of clandestine vehicles will include units of many different makes, models, ages, body styles, and trim levels. Special care will be taken to ensure that every facility has at least one vehicle in which the vehicle can be started and operated entirely without the benefit of electrical systems, and at least 10% of the installation's personnel, or 10 persons, whichever is less, shall be fully-trained in both operating and maintaining the mechanical-principled vehicle. For other vehicles, we will take care not to present the appearance of uniformity, and definitely not to present the appearance of being law enforcement, military, or government. Vehicles will be appropriate to the part of the world in which they are deployed, and random units will have aftermarket upgrades, equipment, or embellishments installed which are otherwise only seen on personal, private vehicles.
- Black Suburbans will only be used after they are equipped with clamshell car-top luggage-carriers and/or at least two child seats; one for for an infant, one for a toddler. They will also have a bumper sticker advising the world that "My child is an Honor Roll student at [X] school", "59% of the British Public Say Keep Foxhunting", or a similar locally appropriate sticker.
- Clandestine vehicles will work better if the cars are NOT driven by heavy-set men in dark suits and sunglasses or whatever other combination of racial phenotype, garb and size indicates government or other operatives, but by more civilian-looking personnel in appropriate local dress for someone who is unimportant, wealthy enough to be trouble if robbed but not wealthy enough to be worth the risk of said trouble.
- I will not emblazon my clandestine vehicles with the name of my top-secret organization, or its logo. That is a treatment reserved for Overt Operations Vehicles (see below.)
- With all that established, some Classic Black Vans or other vehicles which are appropriate for local governmental clandestine service stereotypes will be kept around, for intimidation or in case we ever need to impersonate the FBI to keep the Masquerade.
- Overt Operations equipment and vehicles, on the other hand, will have a distinctive, uniform color scheme with our logo proudly displayed. If the shit has hit the fan to the extent that overt operations are in effect, I want every human on the planet to know we're the good guys, and I want every alien hiding and operating on our world to know we are coming for them. This means everything from our vehicles to the uniforms which will only be issued when it is time to transition to overt operations.
- Overt combat uniforms and vehicular paint schemes, however will feature whatever camouflage is appropriate to the terrain and/or threat we are facing, unless it has been conclusively proven that all forms of camoflauge are ineffective against the threat we are acting against.
- Teams disassembling alien technology in person will be outfitted with a combination of EOD and Haz Mat suits with as much protection against radiological, biological, chemical, and nanotechnological hazards as we can create. If at all possible, disassembly will be handled remotely via drones.
- All staff will be made aware that hazardous material handling equipment is issued for their protection from infection or bodily infiltration by alien McGuffin. Staff who feel that donning their protective equipment is a sign of cowardice will be dismissed, as the Agency does not require the services of someone who is so insecure as to believe that wearing protective garments diminishes them somehow.
- All personnel are to be reminded that wandering off on their own is bad. That's an invitation to get hijacked or replaced. All staff responsible for facility security (which means all staff who live there,) are to move in a minimum of a pair at all times whilst on-base. If visiting the restroom, the person with you is to be within earshot, and if things sound hinky, is to raise an alarm and have you thoroughly investigated before returning to duty.
- There will be a minimum of pipes, none connected to outside sources. Water will either be delivered in tanker trucks to on-site tankage, or collected rainwater. Wastewater will be disposed of in septic systems or plasma furnaces.
- All guard posts will be manned by no fewer than four people, so one may visit the restrooms with a buddy and the minimum number of personnel remain at the post. If at any point a guard finds himself alone at a guard post, it is to be treated as an emergency situation and the alarm sounded. Better to have an "unscheduled drill" over a lapse in procedure than to have people getting complacent and attacked alone.
- Under no circumstances will a guard post ever have less than two people standing watch. If one guard has to go to the bathroom and one has to accompany him, the others will have to stay there and keep an eye open. If they hear a strange noise, or there's some other problem that demands someone go check it out, the guards will call for backup to investigate. No exceptions. We're not guarding a parking garage or storage park, here.
- Important guard posts, such as entrances and prisons, will include a deadman's switch linked to the alarm. If technology and budget permits, I will incorporate personal versions into the standard uniform and radio. And I will remember that if something is important enough to dedicate the lives of four operatives to guarding it, it's Important, peroid.
- Guard duty shall be considered a hazardous duty, equivalent to handling unknown materials or alien creatures. No mere guard post will actually stop a determined, prepared attack: if I post four guards, someone will bring four snipers. If I harden the guard post into a bunker, they'll bring out the rocket launchers. It's impossible to make it impossible to bypass my normal security posts through brute force, the idea is to make it impossible to do so without an alert going up.
- Any equipment failures are to be considered an emergency until proven otherwise. Especially those involving security or communication systems: any disruption in communication systems or security systems is to be treated as a full-scale attack in progress, and to trigger all appropriate reactions.
- All agents' phones will be monitored to allow me to track them in an emergency and detect treachery. Said phones will be issued by my own agency, and hopefully will be able to run on an operating system which is literally and figuratively alien to human hackers, as well as incorporating discrete alien hardware. They will be equipped with monitoring devices and their SIM cards or equavilent will be built-in in such a way that they can't be removed without destroying the phone itself. That'll keep sneaky bastards from playing with the agents' gear when they're not looking. I will also bear in mind that as the head of an alien monitoring agency, I am not concerned with copyright, patent, and other intellectual property laws. Therefor, we will keep pace with advances in the civilian sector by the most expedient means available to us, regardless of legality.
- Agents will be prohibited from using civilian telecommunications gear or bringing it onto any bases. Any non-issued gear of electronic nature which is discovered will be assumed to be suspect, taken to the secure labs for disassembly, and the agent in question will be treated as if they are compromised, either by some kind of mind control or by being blackmailed. It shouldn't take more than one weekend of being interrogated for the lesson to sink in that forgetfulness leads to unpleasantness.
- Likewise, all my installation computers will be, if at all possible, as secure from human hackers as possible; as with portable units, this means that ideally, they will operate on proprietary hardware and software. I may or may not be able to secure it from the X-Rays (though I will have contingency plans in place for that,) but I'll be damned if I'm going to let some punk Chinese state hacker, American Air Force Cyber-wing operative, Russian bot-net builder, or goddamned Nigerian 419 scammer get into my computer systems.
- On the other hand, I will take to heart the lessons of military and governmental computer breaches. Adequate electronic leisure facilities will be provided on base, and I won't bother installing any form of cyber-nanny. If my agents are adult enough to be part of an alien monitoring organization, they're adult enough to surf pornography on their free time. Their net activities will, of course, be monitored (to ensure that they aren't posting things they oughtn't be posting on the internet,) and this will be made known to them. I leave it to their discretion exactly what factoids about their personal entertainment they decide to allow our IT department to deduce from their browsing activity. I will also make it known that electronic frustrations or bottlenecks in the procedures are the sort of thing that leads to carelessness, and have our IT department working to ensure they're minimized.
- Rather than just having a single, all purpose password I will use a system of passwords. Each person will have more than one unique to them, one of which will mean "I am being forced to do this". Logging in with this password will grant all standard accesses and permissions, but with a hot-key that will automatically undo everything that has been done during the login session and lock down all base computers. Nothing permanent will be able to be done during this login session, but the appearance will be made that it has been such. Hopefully it goes without saying that using this login will send security, locked and loaded, to the terminal where the login has been made.
- All users will have two valid logins in addition to the emergency login. They will alternate between passwords at each login. Using the same password twice consecutively will mean either "I am being forced to do this" or "My password security has been compromised," or possibly "my memory has been tampered with." (Or, at worst case, "I am forgetful.") In either event, it will also trigger the same responses as above and maintain the same hotkey.
- I will demand pedantic and frequent radio protocol. If you send a message and do not get a "Roger!" or other authorized response, you are to assume that your transmissions are being jammed and behave accordingly. Likewise, the only excuses for missing in a check-in are death, capture or incapacitation. As such, I will assume one of those.
- I will not attempt a scheme of two computer systems in the same base, one with internet access and the other without. Experience has proven that this is a fantastic way to get a frustrated agent to move data from the internet computers to the base computers or vice-versa with a flash drive or by running an unauthorized cable. Computer security will be maintained as above, unless this is genuinely the highest level of information security I am capable of maintaining, in which case there will be no internet access from the base at all. Wirelessly-enabled devices brought onto the base, in such an instance, will be treated as compromised.
- No data will be leaving the base except as authorized. Persons departing the base will be very thoroughly searched (very thorough searches include an X-Ray,) for data storage media. Unauthorized data storage departing the base will be treated as compromised, and the person departing will be interrogated very thoroughly as regards how it came to be on their person. Even if the base is notc onnected to the internet for reasons of being unable to maintain a sufficient level of information security against terrestrial intrusion, a base intranet will exist, so there will be little reason for physical storage media on-site anyway.
- I will invest in a minimum of two plasma furnaces per base: one for mundane rubbish and alien material that does not contain any exotic elements or isotopes, and another for items that do contain such matter. The output of each will be stored and disposed of in separate facilities.
- My computers will not be installed with the kind of firewalls that allow intruders to play Password Slot Machines, take a speed-typing test or, heaven forbid, beat some lame children's game to gain access. If our technology does not permit us to employ effective firewalls, I will just have to invent them.
- My security systems should include as few stock components as possible, to minimize the risk of falling victim to a common security hole. Under no circumstances will I use the same security as the rest of the galaxy, because everyone likely knows how to crack it by now.
- Agents, Operatives, Staff, and other members of the organization will be reminded that just because they are low enough on the totem pole to be permitted some semblance of a real life does not mean that they are not capable of revealing useful information to potential enemies or of being compromised. As such, agents will have to be wary at all times for the possibility of being personally manipulated and seduced. If they're not willing to take things slow (to provide time for us to perform a background check, not that they need to know that) then chances are they're an enemy and you should turn them down cold. (Or worse, they're potentially infected with ST Ds and you should definitely turn them down cold.)
- Human emotions, especially romantic and sexual, are a sticky situation altogether, figuratively and potentially literally. From a security point of view, things would be peachy if we could simply turn off everyone's emotions and biological imperatives, but we can't do that, and if we develop the capability to do that, we definitely can't do that! I will have the best analysts, psychologists, and other qualified personnel evaluate the situation.
- Specifically, we will put some thought into constructing, if need be, living quarters and even entire towns to house exclusively the families of our staff where we can guard them. If our people cannot be effective without knowing that their loved ones aren't in harms way - or worse, are going to be susceptible to manipulation by having their families attacked, and recruiting only lone wolves without families isn't an option (for practical or ethical reasons,) we may simply have to accept the fact that we're going to be directly responsible for the security and well-being of a lot of noncombatant, non-staff personnel.
- Likewise, not to demean the sexual prowess or attractiveness of my agents, the potential of enemy operatives or other unwelcome operators employing a honeypot is ever-present, and has been for centuries. If the best solution to this is to employ a cadre of sex professionals, so be it. (Additionally, if we did take that step, I'm sure our psychiatrists could find some way to use them to help bolster and monitor our agents' mental health.)
Chain of Command
- All high ranking members of the agency will run on carefully chosen code names only. They will not be allowed to connect with their "normal" lives for safety reasons and will be, if possible, preferably loners with no living relatives. A name like "Mr. Steven" will protect you in ways body armour can only imagine, as will not having a "normal life" to distract you or present a possible avenue of attack against you.
- That said, all high-ranking officers will wear as much body armor as is practical, and have at least as strong a guard detail as a major political figure. If at all possible, this armor should be augmented with alien defenses, or at least defenses tested against alien weaponry (assuming we have enough of either to work with).
- I will never have all of my commanders in any one place. They will never go all to one meeting, and if requested to do so, some or most will employ an advanced system known as "teleconferencing".
- On all levels, my organization shall have a clear chain-of-command, with clear succession lists for the possible event of several chiefs being taken out at once. If all of the administration is taken out, there will be contingency plans in place that operatives, base personnel and science staff can enact to reestablish a chain of command, including, if necessary, revealing their existence to and placing themselves under the command of the nearest uncompromised command structure likely to adopt the mission of protecting the Earth, such as that of national militaries or intelligence services.
- "Clear chain of command" means everybody knows who they answer to and who's next in the line if something happens. I don't want some strangers entering my facility by pretending to be some form of unexpected visit from the high-ups or the infamous surprise inspection. If my employees don't recognize who are they talking to, they just don't let that person in and don't tell this person anything important. It's better to have angry leaders than destroyed base.
- My organisation will not have a single head. There will be an inner circle of at least half a dozen, each with supreme authority over one area. As such, multiple people will have to be compromised to significantly control the organisation.
- My organisation will be large and inclusive, not A Half-Dozen Guys in a Basement.
- If I absolutely must have an organization made up of half a dozen people in a basement, I'll recognize that it's easy to entirely take out, and will have emergency resources and procedures in place for surviving agents. These will at a minimum include money, weapons, a list of contacts, and a password encrypted DVD holding information that may be useful in an emergency.
- In such a situation, although specialization and distribution of duties is important, I will ensure that there will be at least one person on staff, preferably several, with the necessary skills to compensate for the absence of any individual (leader, medic, etc.) in case said individual is killed, working on something more important, or absent for personal reasons.
- Any humans who voluntarily get involved with aliens will be screened for potential recruitment. Megalomaniacs and power-mongers will be killed. Xenophiles will be recruited. Any humans who involuntarily become involved with aliens will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, but will at the very least receive a thorough physical.
- Anyone who gets involved with aliens in any way will be periodically checked up on for some time afterwards, possibly the rest of their lives, to see if there are any unusual long-term effects.
- I will employ great direction in recruiting my agents. Psychopaths cannot be controlled, and sociopaths are almost always more trouble to control than they are worth. It does me no good whatsoever to employ someone who likes to kill if the aliens can promise him more slaughter than I am willing to permit him to indulge in, and if it is power he seeks, he won't take long to realize that he'll have more power as the puppet ruler of the aliens than as a regulated cog in my organization. Foolish notions about such people being better employed "pissing out than in," will be regarded as backward-thinking at best.
- This is not to say that such dangerous persons cannot be manipulated into serving our interests as the situation calls for, but they shall never be recruited and trusted, even if we do permit them to believe they will be.
- I will check the phone book to see if anyone is advertising him/herself as a "wizard" or other supernaturally-gifted person. If they are, I'll check them out and demand to see actual "magic" in action. If they're fake, no harm done. If they're able to evidence powers which are beyond normal human science and trickery to explain, I shall have them grabbed and their equipment confiscated. They will be treated as a potentially-dangerous alien taking human guise, and any objects in their possession will be treated as potentially being an alien technology, possibly in disguise.
- I am an equal opportunity employer. Ethnic slurs, as well as spur-of-the-moment xeno-slurs, are not to be tolerated. The last thing we need is a war because someone was compared to a water cooler. Or a pepperpot.
- If we are already in a war with an alien species, however, all bets are off, as it has been for all of human civilization. If it succeeds in making a race already engaged in a war with us even angrier, we will have at least learned something about their psychology.
- My pension plan and pay scale will be very good. The last thing I need is some scientist hawking xeno-tech for cash.
- If needed, I will hawk alien tech for cash myself. I will prefer sale of equipment with limited fuel/ammo/batteries that cannot be reproduced by the buyers, but only if there is a large on-hand supply of such. Under no circumstances will I sell anything with limitless use that provides new capabilities other than structural strength. I will also not sell any material vital to the use of alien tech I have integrated into mainline units.
- If the existence of aliens is widely known and official or semi-official contact is made, however, I will wholeheartedly enter the xenotech business, before somebody else beats me to it.
- I will recruit from the world's finest soldiers. As such, my forces will be able to use cover and avoid obvious hazards.
- I will really make sure I'm recruiting the world's finest soldiers, instead of soldiers who cannot hit an alien hostile ten feet away.
- All staff issued with firearms will be regularly tested on both marksmanship and basic gun safety. The Evil Overlord List’s advice about using those unable to hit man size targets at close range as targets may be a little too cruel for a progressive organization of the type I hope to run, but anyone who points a gun at themselves or at ME when no breech-flag (or equivalent, once we start to develop energy weapons,) is visible is going to get a breech-flag forcibly inserted into their person. Or at least removed from armed positions to some other duties. (Alien Monitoring Agencies need janitors as much as everyone else, if not moreso.)
- Guards at my bases will be equipped at least as well as the US Armed Forces, and at least as well trained as Royal Marines. If not the SAS.
- In fact, if I'm running an organization with national backing, I will actually liaise with said nation's armed forces, and make sure that there's a cadre of clued-in Special Forces troopers ready to work with me. Some threats don't go down to bullets and grenades, but there's a peace of mind to knowing that Eryx antitank missiles or—failing that—the Artists' Rifles will be able to respond. If at any point I am outgunned, it should be well after I've exhausted every possible option in my nation's arsenal.
- If said nation's special forces have a reserve program, I will recruit some of my staff from them. Nothing like knowing that the quiet desk boffin is in fact a fully-trained National Guard Special Forces or Artists' Rifles trooper.
- I will presumably be running at least a small military sooner or later, and they will need training to guard my facilities, to say nothing of engage hostiles. They cannot do this concealed. As such, I will take care to have people assume that they are the local National Guard, not random people with guns.
- Helmets will be the preferred choice of headgear for overt combat operations and black ops.
- Patrol caps in the same camouflage pattern as the uniforms are recommended for non-combat situations.
- Optional berets will be available for dress uniform, but by no means required.
- Said helmets will be designed so that no one will be able to see my agent's real face or hear his/her true voice. Having my Masquerade blown because of someone's college friend would be somewhat embarrassing.
- Elite troops often have real difficulty adapting to normal life after they have to leave. I need as many highly trained experts as possible. This should be clear enough.
- My troops will be trained to call in for backup before investigating a strange area, not after entering said area.
- Troops investigating a strange area will always deploy drones first to investigate the area before moving in, unless the situation renders this unfeasible. It's easier to replace drones than personnel.
- Investigative personnel will wear casual clothing appropriate to the area being examined, and not black suits with sunglasses.
- Unless, of course, they are investigating a science-fiction convention.
- I will employ a team of experts in linguistics, anthropology, zoology, biology, and anything else I can think of to create a college level course in every new alien species we work with, and encounter. It will include basic language, culture, taboos, anatomy, and anything else useful in working with them. This will be mandatory for all of my staff. This should curb the horrible misunderstandings and failed emergency medical treatment, and should encourage overall acceptance of these new species.
- If the existence of aliens is widely known, I will consider giving this curriculum, and experts if necessary, to actual universities, or at least other government organizations. The more people know, the fewer embarrassing incidents will occur.
- I will employ a large — I repeat, a large — staff of behavioural physiologists and behavioural zoologists. This will ensure that my troops can get therapy and I can immediately call on trained professionals to help me understand the possible mindset of any encountered alien.
- I will have experts in mythology on staff. If aliens have visited us before, someone may have written something down.
- And a staff of anthropologists specializing in prehistory, in case the aliens may have visited before the advent of writing.
- I will have my technicians work up and test safety procedures for recovered alien technology as well, so I can know how many Green Rocks to include in my Death Ray or the stress tolerances of my new hover-car.
- I will employ several conspiracy nuts, and keep them under close observation. Admittedly, most of their theories will be nonsense, but sometimes a 300% increase in honey prices is important. They will be culled from the website I already set up in point number 1 under "Maintaining the Masquerade," above.
- I will employ, or at least maintain a functional working relationship, with several people in the media. They help kill any security leaks I have, and they get to have the exclusives on any non-alien scandals and threats I uncover.
- Preferably, the majority of these individuals will be senior editors or producers, or even station or paper owners who actually control what is aired and printed, and not just reporters who submit stories in hopes that they will be printed or aired.
- I will employ a group of competent accountants and lobbyists to make sure I am not constantly underfunded or on the verge of having my funding cut off by the government. If the government I nominally work for is pressuring me to apply my technologies, resources, methodologies, or infrastructure to aiding their terrestrial agendas against other terrestrial targets, being financially-independent is the first step to breaking ties with them.
- They will also keep an eye out for suspicious expenditures. We should be paying our staff enough that embezzlement shouldn't be tempting. If it is, then we may presume that an agent may have a gambling problem, a chronic form of kleptomania, or personal needs/dependants s/he have not disclosed to us and which our background checks somehow failed to spot. It may also expose other problems worth knowing.
- One of my revenue streams should be a games company. This has the now familiar screening benefits (see previous points), but also gives me the advantage of employing a group of people whose job it is to consider strange scenarios and who will be running forums, presumably, for people who do the same as a hobby. Some gamers can be dangerously fiendish.
- I should also take a gander at NetForce: The Archimedes Effect. For those who haven't read it yet, the important part was the villain's use of an online video game to test ways to get into secure facilities. I will carefully weigh the pros and cons of this idea and, should the pros outweigh the cons, a similar system will be implemented.
- This will also provide a potential source of revenue, if the company does well.
- I will keep in mind that hiring celebrities and other persons in the public eye, even B-list celebrities, scientists with well-known names, and former government officials, increases the chances of exposure greatly, as they are by definition under public scrutiny of varying intensity. The pros and cons of hiring these individuals will be carefully weighed, balancing the risk of their engaging in clandestine meetings or going off-grid for large amounts of time with the unique expertise they may bring.
- Therefore, as much as I may wish to hire Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, I will consider that there probably are less well-known individuals with similar expertise and experience whom I can employ if, for some reason, I need some people capable of MacGyvering in my organization. Good administrators who are more or less unknown are similarly easy to come by, so really, the only well-known personnel I should even be considering recruiting are scientific geniuses whose minds are simply and literally without peer, such as Stephen Hawking.
Employees in transition
- I will let my employees leave my organization without undue coercion or harm. If kept under observation, they don't pose much more of a security risk than employees on the job, and forcing disgruntled employees to stay on is probably more of a security risk; mind-wiping them not only has ethical problems, but reduces morale a lot.
- In fact, I will set up a nice little retirement home for them, or a good reference for a position with subsidiary of our civilian engineering firms. Or I'll just set them up with a nice place on an isolated island resort, which really is better than it sounds.
- Guards will be able to get excellent education and scholarship benefits upon discharge. When they have earned advanced degrees, I will hire them back at an increased rate. This will ensure that one of them is a Badass Normal in the event of any Alien Invasion.
- Retiring employees with sufficient experience, intelligence, and combat expertise will be given the option of joining a reserves unit. For a handsome stipend, they will maintain their combat and espionage capabilities, the better to serve as a fifth column should the Earth be invaded and the organization somehow incapacitated or destroyed.
- I will include as least as much oversight of operations as an average intelligence agency. More, in fact.
- Outsourcing is not in my dictionary.
- Neither is Public-Private Finance. Unless our alien-tech business is the Private, and under our strict control.
- If I do decide to use reverse-engineered xeno-tech for civilian purposes, such as to provide cheap clean power, I will first predict the likely effects of such on the world economy. Nothing like destroying a major industry to plunge the economy into chaos.
- Rather than reverse-engineering alien weapons, unless in an immediate situation where my soldiers and vehicles having alien small arms is a matter of organizational survival or destruction. the first thing I will attempt to recreate is alien sensors. That way, if titanic starships appear overhead, at least I'll know ahead of time.
- If aliens found us and not vice versa, the planet Earth is unlikely to be more advanced. This means that we are unlikely to be able to compete in the tech market if we make contact, and history has well-proven the fate of societies which sell off their natural resource rights. To avoid economic domination, I will make sure we are ready to push out art and culture to get some financial leverage. Obviously, we'll have to be selective of what we send out.
- I will watch carefully any piece of technology that suddenly and rapidly manages to be in everything, especially if it involves common pieces of technology like mobile phones or sat navs which should by all rights have several competing systems.
- I will also remember that a patent explains how to make the patented device. Any ubiquitous piece of technology that depends on an unknown Black Box or on unknown technology should be very conspicuously unpatented.
- Just because I employ an R&D department does not mean I do not need to understand how things work. Or at least how to work them.
Policies towards employees
- I will develop a rich and varied after-work environment for my employees, especially those who have to be cut off from the world.
- I will also develop a very strict, professional no-nonsense work environment.
- As a consequence of the two above rules, sneaking off to have a quick one whilst you are on duty (and similar) is a Class 1 disciplinary matter. Aliens always invade whilst the guards either have their trousers down or are lighting up.
- As cabin fever is not desirable, all personnel assigned to remote locations will receive frequent relief, at least daily (monitored) contact with the outside world, and basic leisure facilities for use when off shift.
- As they will often consist of 100% of my agents' contact with the outside world on these occasions, radio operators/communications officers will be encouraged to be chatty and informal after they have received all necessary info and will be asked to remain online for at least 20 minutes, with time available for at least half an hour.
- Also, if internet access is limited (see above), I will shower my (off-duty) employees with porn.
- Employees in less remote places will have access to and be encouraged to patronize highly-trained, attractive escorts of both genders, numerous races and body types, and all orientations. These escorts will work for me exclusively, be highly compensated, and maintain absolute confidentiality of any employee's kinks and acts. This will reduce the possibility of enemy agents, investigative journalists, or random bar pick-ups learning things they shouldn't and/or blackmailing my employees. This will also keep my brilliant scientists, engineers, and military personnel from causing undue conflict or destruction due to sexual frustration.
- I will need to train my staff in advanced pursuit driving and other.... less usual motor vehicle skills. As I will be dealing with alien Tech, some of my vehicles will be very conspicuously, unusually and heavily, sometimes bizarrely modified. So when I will run my motor vehicle unit out of the old RAF base in Dunsfold, Surrey the bizarre vehicles, insane stunts, random explosions and the race of preternaturally gifted Human-Alien super-racing-drivers in white helmets will be attributed to the TV show they make there.
- If a battle with super aliens burns down my storage unit there, I will get the TV show to jokingly blame it on sabotage from a rival TV motoring Show.
- My organisation will have a team of official Devil's Advocates to ensure that we consider the alternative courses of action. Their job will be to put forward alternate policies to the default in all circumstances to ensure we aren't overlooking something.
- Having several "anti-yes-men" will keep resentment from building up during staff meetings.
- If I am assigned a skilled agent with unusual capabilities and an unclear background, I will immediately look into said background to determine where his/her skills came from. It might be relevant.
- I will make sure large amounts of money are put into R&D for future generations. I don't want to find that my descendants in the 42nd century will still be stuck with M-16 rifles.
- If I can reverse-engineer weapons, I can also reverse-engineer civilian goods. I can then get non-governmental funding from patents.
- I shall remember that I am defrauding the government by trying to patent something which has prior art (even if secret). However, if we're the good guys, we might be able to get away with it.
- I will require that all personal projects be reported to the appropriate leaders. Both proper surveillance and fostering the trust of my employees will go a long way. This will serve many purposes, including making sure that everyone knows about potentially useful experimental technology in case of emergency, allowing employees creative and motivated enough to work on these "extra-curricular" activities to receive the aid they deserve, and preventing and preparing for any nasty surprises if a personal "project" goes awry. Nobody will benefit from hiding a risky experiment or captive hostile in the basement.
Policies towards everyone else
- I will study the various invasion techniques from history. I will recall that the Europeans whose descendants now rule America did not arrive all weapons blazing, for example.
- I shall remember the limitations of torture. It can often yield highly inaccurate or suspect information and is easily thwarted by either not having multiple parties to cross-reference with or said parties having planned for the eventuality. It breeds hostility and resentment, dangerous if the victim escapes. As such torture will never be the first resort, that is trying to have a decent, civilized conversation. Torture is reserved for openly hostile visitors, and never used to attempt to acquire detailed information. It has value in emergencies but if a protracted period of time is available, turning the enemy is preferable. In addition I will keep in mind that the threat of torture is often just as effective, if not more so, as torture itself.
- I will not randomly lock up very competent scientists without charge or trial because their relatives have been held hostage and they've been forced to steal state secrets. Instead, I will offer them a job, as they have just demonstrated both scientific and espionage skill, along with basic loyalty instincts.
- I will then closely monitor said relatives. This will ensure that (a) no one will be able to kidnap them again, and (b) the scientist will appreciate the organization more for taking good care of his family, extending his familial loyalty to at least some of my agents.
- I will not assume that cyborgs and Half Human Hybrids are automatically evil. If they're sapient, they are capable of independent decision-making. I will treat them with the same respect as anyone else.
- I will monitor anti-alien sentiment. We don't want contact with a friendly species ruined by someone on our planet.
- Any Artificial Intelligence will be treated as my equal and be kept under just as much protection and scrutiny.
- No matter how much my organization puts the needs of humanity first, xenophobic groups are counterproductive at best, active threats at worst. I will not encourage extremist xenophobes. I will not give them equipment, personnel, money, or the time of day. I will not work with them, even if they do bring me back to life. I will not let them within spitting distance of alien ambassadors. The last thing we want is for potentially friendly aliens to turn against us because they think humans are all selfish bastards.
- I will not be so stupid as to "disappear" members of the media. All their friends and colleagues are paid to be nosy and you end up having to "disappear" whole population centres.
- I will classify all alien species as generally malevolent or generally benevolent. This scale will have an absurd amount of gray. Even in the clear cases, hostile ones will not be presumed quite useless and helpful ones will not be presumed quite harmless.
- When dealing with humans who are manifesting superhuman or alien powers, I will treat them with the utmost care and respect. I will attempt to recruit them if possible. If they are dangerous, I will explain the situation to to them and contain them in comfortable, secured housing inside my facilities. Under no circumstances will I treat them like criminals or dangerous unless their actions force me to. I will not conduct unethical experimentation on them, and if they are too dangerous to let live, I will quickly and painlessly euthanize them while they are sedated.
- I will investigate my superiors for signs of an Ancient Conspiracy and/or a Government Conspiracy larger and more sinister than my job already implies. I should, for fairly obvious reasons, also make sure my boss isn't an alien.
- If I discover that my nominal bosses have been witholding valuable or vital intelligence or materiel from me, such as the fact that my agency encountered and already fought off aliens when it was in its infancy fifty years ago and in doing so captured vast quantities of alien war materiel and equipment that could have been released to my scientists for study or pressed into service by my tactical teams from the word 'go,' and instead chose to allow me to fight off the alien invasion from first principles with a cripplingly-small budget, I will be forced to conclude that my superiors are, themselves, enemies of humanity or in league with same, and I will began taking action against them as such.
- If I suspect I have a mole in my organization:
- I will not announce this to all my staff: given my hiring policy should be actively seeking out the Properly Paranoid and Genre Savvy, they will hear the words “we have a mole” as “I will now be turning from a Reasonable Authority Figure into an Obstructive Bureaucrat and letting a bunch of Inspector Javert Internal Affairs boys harass you and pry into your innocent and completely unrelated Dark and Troubled Past whilst The Mole, alerted by the announcement, will breeze past them with his or her carefully prepared cover-story. Feel free to stop working and accuse all your co-workers of being the Mole: we now throw open the floor to your wild accusations.”
- If I have narrowed the possible mole to a small group, I will not send them on an elaborate mission designed to kill them, monitored by another team, and presume that the only apparent survivor MUST be the mole. This is inefficient, costly, WILL kill good agents and negates the idea that the Mole may be either prepared for this and able to fake his or her death, or is simply unlucky and one of the ones killed.
- Moles will not be Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: They will be used to feed false, but plausible information (plus some true but minor secrets to keep them interested) to our enemies preferably without the mole knowing we know. If the mole finds out he will be reminded that Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves is still an option should they fail to comply.
- I will remain alert of the many hilarious incidences of moles being the persons appointed to find The Mole in the first place, and then realize that it's not hilarious when it's happening to you. Therefor I shall activate no fewer than three separate investigations into whom is the mole. Only the leaders of said investigations will be aware that there are multiple, concurrent running investigations; they will not be appraised of who is running the other investigations, and they will all be made aware that I trust each of them individually about as far as I can throw an enraged African Elephant, so they'd either better start producing hard evidence or concurring with information which originates wholly independently of them.
- If I have discovered a mole in my organization, I will remember that if the organization could be infiltrated once, it can be infiltrated multiple times.
- Corollary: If I do decide to move against known spies, I will wait until I am reasonably confident I have discovered their fellows. Disappearing one member of a spy ring will only make the rest more careful. In the meantime, the known spies can be used as a conduit for disinformation. Should this prove impractical, they should be promoted or otherwise rewarded in some inconspicuous way to encourage them to believe they have me fooled.
Working With Others
Working with other agencies
- I will maintain good relations with all other agencies in my field.
- Likewise rich xenophiles.
- While I may not necessarily approve of a plucky band of civilians fighting aliens on their own, I will at least maintain contact with them. I can recruit them, or at least train them; and they, in return, may come in handy in situations where plausible deniability is needed.
- I will emphatically not send assassins to wipe out another agency right when there's an alien invasion afoot.
- If a plucky band of high-school aged youths tell me that aliens are taking over respected and influential members of society, with the help of some human turncoats, some in government and some in my own organisation using an elaborate cover story and they have been fighting against them alone for some time and are subsequently developing serious behavioural problems from being forced to take lives at such a young age, then I will give them the benefit of the doubt, and prepare an info leak revealing both my agency and these alien invaders in case they are telling the truth, and THEN investigate the truth of their claims. If they are wrong, no harm done. If I suddenly die or mysteriously vanish, then the leak will alert the world to the problem that my agency is compromised. And I will try to get them some therapy.
- If at any time The Masquerade threatens the continued safety of the planet (such as by giving one corrupt politician the power to single-handedly shut down the entire operation out of spite), I will not hesitate to go public.
- Once the Masquerade has been broken, whether or not I started it, I should consider going public with some or all of my operations. There's no sense spending money denying the existence of a counter-alien organization if people know we're out there anyway.
- I will let the heads of the major world governments know about me only on sufferance, assuming one of them is not my boss. If they are aware of me, I will make it as clear as possible that I am there to fight aliens, not other human nations.
- I will endeavour not to let all world leaders join together in one place to meet aliens. Teleconferencing is still an option.
- It is my job to protect the planet. As such the governments of said world and the rights of citizens of said world are secondary concerns. They may complain, but dead people can't.
- A world-spanning police state is therefore an emergency option.
- I will also look at the fate of dictators throughout history and therefore hand back power the moment I no longer need it—that is, the moment the immediate crisis has been resolved. Granted, that may leave the planet vulnerable to the aliens' inevitable follow-up attack, but if I don't trust the general population and their appropriately chosen leaders to be able to take care of themselves once the danger has been exposed, then planetary dictator just became my job for life... Besides, the more strongly I can justify my actions as motivated by urgent necessity, and the more plausibly I can deny any interest in power, the more likely it is that the Agency will continue to operate. Yielding power too soon is more likely to maintain my ability to influence events than attempting to hold it for too long...
- I will maintain good working relationships with terrestrial civilian law enforcement agencies if at all possible. Earth should not collapse because of a pissing match about jurisdiction. Also, you never know if you need an emergency source to research Emily Dickinson for you, so it pays to be nice.
- If I am operating in a universe where travel between different parallel worlds is possible, my first act will be to seek out parallel heads of my agency and heads of other similar organizations on other earths to get some ground rules sorted. At the very least I want businesslike relations if not friendly ones with other parallels because the second to last thing I want is to suddenly find myself in a jurisdictional pissing contest with the Men In Black, The SCP Foundation, The Royal Order Of Protestant Knights, The Troper Board On Multiversal Travel, RCSI, Agent Bishop, SHADO, the Protectors of the Plot Continuum, UNIT, SHIELD the XCOM project or Bloody Torchwood. And the last thing I want is open war with them: it’s not my job, they could present a major threat, and if I defeat them then I’ve just removed a serious barrier to the enemies of Earth, and an earth with links to mine at that. Not to mention, having them on your side or at least out of your hair might be handy, if you ever have to deal with their foes or if things get out of hand.
- I will make it a point to know about and establish good working relations with all other government agencies in my world whose operating procedures are similar to mine but whose area of jurisdiction are vastly different. If, for instance, my organization is investigating mysterious happenings and they turn out to be terrestrial in origin and caused by an object, I will immediately and with full disclosure hand the case over to Warehouse13, including full copies of all case files, all samples collected, and full access to all knowledgeable employees. I will expect this same courtesy if Warehouse13 investigates a possible artefact only to uncover extra-terrestrial origins. Likewise this will go for any other agency investigating any other incidents; if horrific murders we are investigating as alien experiments turn out to be the work of a genuinely human serial killer the case will be rendered unto the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, if something turns out to be supernatural it will be handed over to Bobby Singer, and so forth. We will in all cases retain full copies of all files and full records of everything done, and if possible offer any useful assistance.
- If I am operating in a universe with Superheroes, or other Benevolent Mutants, I will not make it my open goal to capture them and cut them open For Science!.
- I will take it a step further. Recognizing that being a superhero is often lonely, thankless work, I will attempt to establish a friendship with any such entities and politely thank them for their assistance.
- To take it one step further, I will actively assist them in any way I can that does not violate my organization's charter or overstep my authority. There's always the chance they'll return the favor, and if not I've made Earth a little safer.
- If it is ever either a necessity, or manifestly in earth’s best interests, I will not be too proud to work with super villains against a greater enemy, however I will act on the presumption that they are going to betray me, and will be prepared for this. Note: work with them against a common, BIGGER enemy: If we find ourselves working alongside the Joker, to beat up E.T. we're doing something wrong!
Working with friendly aliens
- I will learn to spot the tell-tale differences between intelligent species with whom I can negotiate, and beasts with which I cannot negotiate.
- I will try and recruit aliens if at all possible. I will take all possible security measures in dealing with them, however.
- If conventional security techniques such as photo IDs are, for whatever reason, inapplicable to my alien ally (e.g. can shapeshift, can regenerate), I will make a note of this in his/her/its file and develop an alternate method of identification, so our field agents don't waste valuable time going "But you don't look like him...".
- Since such species and their neighbours probably faced the same problems, methods already practiced by them should be taken into account — and also used to enhance security on the human side, if appliable. By the same token, if terran crooks and spies adapt, aliens' basic security techniques should not be automatically assumed foolproof either.
- If I am lucky enough to have as a resource an advanced and incredibly knowledgeable alien who occasionally helps our organisation, I will request that he tell us as much about the most common kinds of alien threats as possible, rather than explaining only when he meets them.
- I will also arrange for some kind of contact method with him, as well as for anyone who he may have travelled with and trained up.
- I will not treat people travelling with him like tagalong children. They probably know more about aliens than I do, and would likely make great recruits for my organization.
- And I'll do everything I reasonably can to entice him to join the organization full time, or at least to be on priority retainer.
- Failing that, I will hire a reasonably unobtrusive, but charismatic young woman who will "resign" from the organization in order to travel with said alien. I will be able to contact this operative at a moment's notice.
- I will do everything in my power, and command my subordinates to do everything in theirs, to not piss him off.
- If the friendly and hugely powerful alien tells my organisation, more than once, that bullets are not the best way to deal with a problem, then I will have a team of competent planners come up with some less violent plans. (Or more violent plans, if that's what they meant - sometimes a tank round or missile is exactly what you need.)
- If my incredibly advanced and intelligent alien buddy tells me that I cannot negotiate with an alien species, I will assume he is correct, but try anyway, just in case.
- Despite how sensible it may be, I will not follow through any plan to save the Earth that will doom our alien protector in the process if he may literally be moments from safety.
- However, if the above mentioned alien is hostile to our organization, I will undertake an immediate and paradigm-shifting overhaul of the objectives and practices of my organization (at least for the time being). If that is not possible, I will attempt to negotiate a relatively favourable/painless surrender. I will not attempt to outsmart him; and above all else, I will not threaten/harm/use as leverage his current or former associates.
Telling friendly aliens from unfriendly
- If a race of apparently human Visitors appear friendly but have oddly cool handshakes and cause any animals present to panic, I will keep them under observation. The fact that someone is a reptilian alien does not necessarily make them a bad person, but if they are trying to hide this then something is very wrong.
- If "friendly" Aliens ask the industrialists of earth to produce a chemical for them, supposedly to save their own world, I will ensure it is carefully analysed by us before I let any government say yes. I will also keep a close eye on pollution-control atmospheric monitoring stations: If it's toxic, I’m not letting them make it in case they dump it into our atmosphere. If it's not toxic and they are dumping it into our atmosphere, then the whole story of them needing the chemical is a cover, they are up to something MORE sinister than poisoning our world and must be stopped.
- I will remember the great improvement in the human condition brought about by scientific progress. If “friendly” Aliens start spreading anti-scientific sentiment, implying a global scientific conspiracy despite the fact that scientist are about as far from a unified group as you could get on earth, or if prominent scientists and anthropologists investigating these Visitors start to disappear, I will remember to whom, between human scientists and aliens, I owe my allegiance. (Hint: humans.)
- Given that very few nations on this earth still have the exact same sets of allies and enemies they had 100 years ago, I will never presume a friendly alien civilisation will stay friendly forever, especially if they have any Magnificent Bastard traits: at the very least I will plan for any sudden, yet inevitable, betrayals.
- No matter how friendly someone appears, I will implement a carbon copy of the Monroe Doctrine with the words "European" replaced by "Alien" and "western hemisphere" replaced with "Earth", until such a time, if ever, it is manifestly in earth’s interest to do otherwise. Just in case.
- If aliens are kidnapping people and their explanation, when pressed, is that their race is dying or they are the Last of Their Kind and they need to breed with humans, In order to survive, and so they have been kidnapping and knocking up humans, then I will take this with a pinch of salt as even with convergent evolution any form of viable pregnancy or even sterile hybridisation seems unlikely. If this in fact turns out to be the truth, or if it’s not but they just honestly find humans sexy and want some fun but did not understand we would not approve of the kidnap as they would then I will stop the abductions and just recommend that they set up a website to recruit like minded humans via the internet safe in the knowledge that no matter what the aliens look like or how they reproduce, There will be no shortage of volunteers.
- I will bear in mind that just as neither a pickup truck full of rednecks nor a Volkswagen mini-bus full of hippies represents, or should be allowed to represent, the U.S.A in international politics, I should not necessarily assume that a single craft with a small crew represents the entirety of an alien race, or even a political division of that race, that they claim to represent.
- I will bear in mind that alien cultures which have any degree of individuality at all likely have criminals. Thus, if a small band shows up in a single ship to open some sort of negotiations, I will entertain their communications and extend all courtesies, but refuse to make any binding and meaningful commitments to what may be a band of confidence artists until my organization is convinced they actually do represent a foreign power.
- I will likewise not authorize any small band to represent Earth or the Organization in any capacity greater than making our existence known to aliens and extending the offer to open diplomatic communications.
- I will be employing some of the best legal minds available to me, in conjunction with all of my cultural and linguistic specialists. Ironically, while I am not overly concerned about the legality of my operations as far as Earth governments are concerned, I will want them to go over any binding documents or promises any aliens ask us to make with a microscope. We may or may not have standing to negotiate or make treaties on the behalf of Earth, but we will definitely be representing the Agency, and I don't want to make any commitments I do not understand.
- We will not be signing anything or promising anything if we don't get to keep a copy or read and review it before signing. Period. Likewise, we will require that all terms, clauses, and agreements within the documents be explained to our satisfaction, and our understanding of said explanations will be written down. If the other signing party attempts to hold us to an understanding of a term, clause, or agreement in the document which is not consistent with our written-down understanding of it, we will consider the entire document null and void until full review and re-signing has been undertaken.
- When trying to tell friendly aliens from unfriendlies, I will not jump to conclusions. Obviously, being too quick to trust visitors who might not have our best intersts in mind is bad, but being too quick to mistrust potential allies (or, heaven forbid, current allies) could be equally diasterous.
Weapons and combat procedures
- In view of the fact that many aliens are immune to standard weapons, several forms of non-standard weapons will be on hand.
- I will remember that human armies have access to a full variety of systems, including heavily armoured tanks, aircraft, bulletproof body armour, helicopter gunships, guided bombs and cruise missiles. For this reason I will think twice before attempting to counter any alien emergency with either light infantry or nuclear bombs.
- I will only ever use reverse-engineered or Earth technology for standard missions. If I cannot replicate it, I cannot predict, control, or fix it.
- No unit securing a structure, especially the dark basement area of that structure, will operate in teams of fewer than 12. Furthermore, the squad will be in constant communication with base control.
- And if they encounter something threatening (or just plain inexplicable), they will immediately report back and give a concrete description/video of the anomaly (from a safe distance if possible). They will not waste time gawking like deers in traffic. That team may be only seconds away from capture or death, and some actionable intelligence is better than none.
- All units will contain at least one anti-tank level piece of equipment and one mass suppression piece of equipment with strict rules on their use. Thus they will never be forced to fight a swarming horde or a tank with small arms. Grenades will also be available.
- If remotely possible, all combat personnel will be issued some form of light, collapsible, disposable rocket launcher like a M72 LAW or M80 Zolja. This provides both redundancy and a cost savings for targets not requiring a true anti-tank weapon.
- If one of my agents is travelling in a civilian vehicle fitted with some form of suspect device and it begins behaving strangely, he or she will park the vehicle and catch a bus.
- I will not commit crimes in front of highly moralistic allies, no matter how logical or necessary it is.
- I will not assume that aliens have the same mental outlook or ideas as humans.
- The first thing I will do in any area I think is under alien control is to check if the workers are hypnosis victims, zombies or alien clones.
- If newly arrived aliens turn out to be able to understand English, I will want to know why. They may have a very very useful Universal Translator, or they may simply have been here longer than they claim.
- In addition to this, I will have with me at all times a staff member who can speak a language I explicitly do not understand. That way, if their "translators" can translate the alien tongue into english, but not that spoke by my companion, I will know the translator is either a fraud, or has English programmed into it to translate, thus requiring them to have been here long enough to have learnt it.
- If I clearly can't win, I won't fight. Sometimes you can do more as a heavily armed, well-organised and well-led resistance than getting slaughtered in a blaze of glory. No, wait — make that all of the time.
- In general, glory is a waste of life.
- For some reason aliens may want to invade to eat humans. This makes no sense based on size and time to mature, but if they do try, I will instead offer them a large stock of more traditional livestock, feed plants, and a manual on animal husbandry.
- Unless this is why they want to eat humans, in which case I will find something even more rare and harder to bread/rear/mature for show-off aliens to eat (and then sell it to them in exchange for Alien Tech). If push comes to shove, and it's us or the Pandas, well... they're finger Ling-ling good!
- Also, aliens who want to invade to steal our water will be offered low-priced concessions on Saturn's rings or the Kuiper Belt, self-delivery.
- Even if they are airborne battleships, I will operate all warmachines in groups of at least two, or at the very least give them competent backup.
- I will keep in mind that even if the enemy forces consist of giant, menacing space vessels that earth maintains a highly skilled and expedient air force and I will make judicious use of it. Very few things in the universe can survive sustained fire from fighter jets and bombers. I will not leave stopping a fully armed alien invasion to a small group of paranormal individuals to defend a fully populated city when I can explicitly have air forces in the area in less than a minute.
- If unknown attackers suddenly descend upon the cities of the Earth and are then repelled by a second unknown group with casual ease I will not necessarily trust the second group.
- In fact, due to demonstrating superior millitary power and having not made contact with us to let us know it will be used beforehand, I will be much more suspicious of them.
- When meeting aliens, the security detail for any meeting will not consist solely of alien human hybrids, mutants or normal humans in case the aliens have some kind control power over one of these groups.
- While my military force is not a Legion Of Terror, I will keep in mind that some evil overlord procedures are still applicable. Also, The Universal Genre Savvy Guide will be a required reading for all personnel.
- Named stars are generally bright. Bright stars are generally big. Big stars are generally unsuitable for life. Most of them do not live long enough for life to emerge in any case. If a race of aliens claims to come from Deneb or Rigel, I will proceed on the assumption that they are lying until and unless they can provide some kind of proof for their claim. I will bear in mind that if they are telling the truth, they are probably refugees from the imminent (<1M years) supernova of their home stellar system and sending them back is not going to be an option. I will also keep an open mind in case the Rigel they're from is different from the Rigel we're familiar with. Though I'm gonna want an idea where that Rigel is.
- I will not assume anti-personnel weapons work on alien soldiers. But I won't assume they won't work, either.
- I will issue Type IV body armour to combat personnel until and unless it is proven to be like unto paper against alien weaponry. If such proof arrives, I will immediately withdraw it from the combat teams, to be replaced with light anti-shrapnel armour and order development of armour that actually does work, using alien armour technology as a starting point if recovered examples prove resistant.
- If I have a scanning device that can detect my enemies, any evident malfunction will not be ignored, and the subject of the scan will be put in security until a new scanner is available.
- Better yet, all such scanners will be deployed in pairs or trios, where feasible. Remember, one alert is a malfunction, two is a coincidence, three is your cue for Five Rounds Rapid.
- I will, of course, realize that I'm on a budget, and therefore should take care not to be too damn clever with this either. In particular, if I'm having major problems with passive security, more armed guards might be a simple yet effective solution. The reverse is equally true.
- If I ever run low on money, I will not sell recovered alien technology on the black market. Dealing with heavily armed mobsters along with the aliens might prove to be rather problematic.
- In the event that I have no alternate method of obtaining money beyond pawning alien tech, I will remember that first-world military forces have both more need for heavy weaponry and more money. Third world militaries are right out, since it's all too likely they will blow the secrecy and garner plenty of bad press in the process.
- I will have suggestion forms available. These will be in both anonymous and signed forms. All suggestions will be reviewed by an evaluator or committee. Serious and constructive suggestions shall be forwarded to myself and the relevant department head. There will be some form of compensation (pay bonus, extra leave time, etc) to the responsible employee if a "signed-form" suggestion is implemented.
- I will make it clear to my agents that assigning the rookie a sidearm without explaining its capabilities, let alone qualifying said rookie on the firing range and assault course is not kosher.
- Plainclothes agents will employ standard-issue sidearms as well as high-tech/alien-tech weaponry. The last thing we need is an agent being forced to use a pistol that can kill tanks because he doesn't have anything less powerful and discreet.
- If I must deploy a heavily-armed combat team, they will be outfitted in kit that matches the local military or police special-response unit. The last thing we need is a distinct uniform that anyone with a cameraphone can get a snapshot of.
- I will not, under any circumstances, ever rely on any private military contractor for personnel. I will recruit from such a company if possible (they tend to attract skilled personnel).
- If need be, I may use such a company in a support role, but only for plausible deniability. If such an organization does get involved, they will be very carefully monitored.
- If the necessity arises, I may disguise my agents and combat teams as a PMC as cover to operate in certain areas. If I am going to use this concept as a disguise, I will form a front PMC corporation to establish the name so no one gets suspicious.
- Flamethrowers are not covert weapons. They will be selectively deployed and only used in appropriate situations. Agents trying to "discreetly" use flamethrowers will be subject to harsh disciplinary action.
- Just in case of the unlikely event of one or more agents having a complete psychotic breakdown in the middle of the HQ flamethrowers, and all other high-end weaponry, will be kept under lock and key until properly checked out from the armoury, after having their use approved. Agents will be permitted to wear standard-issue sidearms inside the base in case of a sudden compromise in perimeter security, but all heavy or specialised weapons must be checked at the door and taken directly to the armouries (which will have a range and other training facilities), and until an emergency such as the invasion of that HQ justifies opening the armoury to all comers, the carrying of specialist weapons will not be tolerated in normal working areas except by dedicated base-security staff. I do NOT need to be interrupted from my paperwork by someone tearing up the corridors firing jets of blazing napalm and shouting "Mr Rodgers! Mr Rodgers!" and all staff will have weapons immediately withheld if they fail their scheduled psychiatric evaluations: Issuing flamethrowers to the gas-masked psychopath with the speech-impediment is WAY out.
- I will keep in mind that aliens may not have the same visual, auditory, or other sensory range as humans when designing such things as combat uniforms. A camouflage suit that fluoresces in the UV range is not camouflage.
- In the event of major combat operations, I will blame battle damage on terrorists, not gas leaks. It's less sterotypical and there won't be any contradictory evidence outside of the affected area. I will also attempt to get local authorities to clear the area prior to my troops arriving. If they don't want to be left out, they are welcome to secure the perimeter — preferrably far enough that it won't matter much if they are infiltrated.
- All military personnel will be issued a combat knife, a taser and a pistol. These items are all light, but provide a variety of attacks in case an alien happens to be immune to bullets (which will probably be a surprisingly common occurrence). All guards that are likely to encounter humans are also issued a baton and are to be reminded that killing is bad for public relations.
- As I've just stated, killing is bad for public relations, and so is destroying entire cities or buildings. Therefore I will try to limit collateral damage and civilian deaths as much as possible without endangering my task.
- All members must undergo a weekly physical examination to guard against alien infiltration.
- These weekly examinations will NOT, repeat, not, be held on the same day every week. Preferably, they will be held no more nine days apart, or before four days after the previous examination.
- All members will have their DNA, fingerprints, and retinal patterns on record.
- I will take care not to store these records in a form that would allow an infiltrator to steal and use them to produce evil clones.
- All members will have a sub-dermal microchip fitted. This will not be for identification, but as a guard against shape-shifters or clones, as these can rarely replicate inorganic components as well (this will not be taken for granted either).
- These microchips will be manufactured exclusively in house by a team of several dozen randomly selected engineers, to avoid them being used to infiltrate me.
- These microchips will monitor their brain waves to tell me if they are hypnotised.
- These chips will be designed to permanently disable themselves if an attempt is made to transfer the device to a different person.
- All politicians and high military commanders will be subject to the same tests as my personnel. Due to the great power that comes with their positions, keeping their bodies unchecked is a Very Bad Idea.
- Whilst dealing with uncatalogued organisms and chemicals, I will maintain a total quarantine of the area.
- Should I have to interact with said organisms/chemicals, all work must be performed in Biosafety Level 4 facilities. I will take such simple precautions as a full-body HazMat suit and handle dangerous chemicals remotely using robots, lest I become contaminated.
- Autopsy is the least efficient way to gather data about an alien's physiology and capabilities. Doing it immediately to unknown aliens may also result in my missing important intel such as "Earth is about to be invaded."
- If I have to perform an autopsy for any reason it will be in a specially designed, entirely sealed, remote bunker with remote controlled robotic medical instruments and emergency chlorine gas dispensers and flame-throwers. Just in case.
- All such procedures will be filmed using the best motion picture equipment available to ensure clear images. At the same time, a handheld super-8 camera with a dirty lens will also be used to shoot jumpy, poorly-lit, out-of-focus, scratchy footage of the operation, which will be posted to YouTube.
- The cameraman for the above will be Uwe Boll; ensuring no one will take it seriously.
- Even if the alien is dead (note: don't assume it's dead just because a human would be), I will make a reasonable attempt to contact others of its species before performing any autopsies. The last thing we want is to violate some alien funeral rite, and returning bodies - assuming we didn't kill them, of course - might be a point in our favor diplomatically.
- I will also remember why X-rays, MR Is, CAT scans, and TWA scanners were invented, and see if they can be safely used. I will also remember that a lot can be learned from very small tissue samples.
- Despite the obvious lure of the fascinating things I could learn about their biology, I will not conduct live experiments on any alien that I capture unless it is an absolute neccessity. Not respecting the sanctity of life paints a bad picture of humanity, and torturing a first contact does not much help interspecies relations. If the race turns out to be hostile, I will have fresh specimens soon enough.
- I will develop a technique to find out whether people are under hypnotic control. That technique will be used regularly.
- In addition, the people performing these tests will be trained to shoot or try to otherwise control those who turn out to be mind-controlled. This policy will be known by all employees, so they are aware of a risk. Ideally, all examinations will be performed in the presence of several already-checked armed guards.
- In the event that we end up with someone actually does get controlled and breaks free, there will be a quick way of telling the entire agency "I have been compromised; disable my clearances, lock down the area, and do not look directly at me". A belt buckle for sending the message is not fast enough.
- If I wish to use aliens for medical experiments, I will at the very least conduct proper animal testing to make sure that they do not have horrible parasites that hatch inside the victims, alien mind control or other side effects.
- All agents will have regular psychological checks from real psychologists with more care and attention than a school counsellor.
- Due to the high security nature of most of the info they will be dealing with they will be among my most carefully monitored personnel, the chief counselor most likely on my inner circle.
- Alien Sex is Danger Sex.
- There is no reason to even assume that human and alien physiologies are compatible. I will therefore not eat or drink anything until I have had a full toxicity scan run.
- Likewise, I will insist on a similar test before allowing any food, drink or medication to be given to an incapacitated alien. The last thing we need is to kill a friendly alien because we didn't know they were allergic to, say, aspirin.
- My rules on using only technology I can replicate and understand goes double for medical technology. While formerly pregnant men can be useful leaders, if medical technology is the reason for the pregnancy, you're doing it wrong!
- No medical experimentation on my employees. Especially not without their consent. I do not ask for trouble.
- All medical techniques I do reverse-engineer will undergo testing at least as stringent as normal medicine before implementation.
- All visitors from off-planet will be quarantined before interaction with humans to protect mankind from extraterrestrial diseases. Visitors will be kept in a sterile environment and, if possible, vaccinated against common Earth viruses. The last thing we want is an interstellar diplomat getting killed by chicken pox.
- On the other hand, in case of alien invasion, the first thing we will try is a water balloon full of those same common, harmless earth viruses and bacteria.
- Or alternatively send a few ill people to the enemy home planet if possible.
- I will also keep in mind that diseases that affect humans will not necessarily affect aliens. However, should these ailments affect aliens I will remember how much we hate HIV. And tuberculosis. And mosquito-borne viruses.
- Keeping the above point in mind, I will remember that even if these ailments affect aliens, what is fatal to a human may only be an annoyance to an alien.
- I will also take into account any risk of such weaponized pathogens mutating into something humans are not resistant to; I'd hate to accidentally wipe out humanity with a mutated common cold virus.
- Also in the same thought process I will make sure that if said off-planet visitors have a foreign disease a vaccine for it will be produced immediately and distributed to the population. after testing them. I don't want my men suddenly drop dead because they were vaccinated against alien flu.
- If my daughter dies of a mysterious illness, I will understand that it would be disrespectful of her sacrifice to forbid an autopsy. In fact, I will treat all members of my personal circle with as much care as I would my employees.
- Any staff coming back from missions or leave will have a full medical afterward.
- Any alien children discovered in mysterious spacecraft will be placed under the care of Muggle Foster Parents and will be put under proper surveillance. If they are Human Aliens, they will be told of their origins as soon as possible. However, annual visits to a doctor under my employ will be regularly expected.