EDICT ZERO: FIS
is a science fiction audio drama series created by Jack Kincaid and produced by Slipgate Nine Entertainment, a not-for-profit endeavor dedicated to the release of free speculative fiction media.
During the new year celebration of 2415, the Vortex Club, a nightclub in the Center City of the main island on the world of Edict Zero, was bombed by a man who goes by the name "Mr. Cook." While the main task force of Federal Investigative Services (A division of Edict Three) is focusing on a mob war angle, three agents who disagree with the angle were formed into a separate task force to determine the alternate cause of the bombing. As their investigation continues, the evidence leads to more and stranger questions, possibly ones with world-altering ramifications.
This series contains examples of:
- AI Is A Crap Shoot : Edict One is constantly working to mitigate the damage caused to the world by errors in the program.
- Afterlife Antechamber : The Guph is a storage space for clients to be reintroduced to Edict Zero as new entities.
- Ancient Artifact: The Paradox Artifacts. The "Paradox" is that these artifacts existed on Edict Zero before the Human colonists arrived, and yet are identical to their counterparts in historical accounts and fiction. According to the Edict One Ambassador, possession and use of these artifacts can cause corruption of everything in contact with it, and the surrounding area. Artifacts mentioned and encountered include:
- A Gun specifically stated to have unlimited ammunition. Mentioned, but not yet identified; possibly the weapon used by Mr. Cook, as it was mentioned that no traces of the bullets were found in his shooting victims.
- A Ring of Invisibility. First shown as worn by Captain Socrates.
- The Hexgate Disk, an artifact that can be used to summon creatures to do your bidding. This is what Jacob Tonell and Mr. Cook were attempting to find.
- The PTD Artifact, a Portable Teleportation Device. This was being used by Mr. Cook to escape the Briefcase Bomb.
- The Briefcase Bomb, a gravity bomb that relocates itself after causing a detonation. The story begins with Mr. Cook using this at the Vortex Club.
- Anthropomorphic Personification : The Edict One Ambassador is the personification of a chess program.
- Apocalypse How: The backstory states that "Old Earth" suffered a meteoric impact, and that 13 billion people lost their lives. This suggests a class 3 event at the very least.
- Arc Words: "There are no spheres." Nothing keeps the same shape when viewed from all angles. Originally a Tri-Don saying, but it seems to be a regular theme to the unit's investigation.
- Artifact Collection Agency: Edict One
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever / Attack of the Killer Whatever: The Banisher Robot summoned from the Hexgate Disk.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Nick Garrett will often lose his thoughts to tangents, or completely fixate on something completely unrelated to what he's doing. Other agents will often remind him to focus.
- Awesome by Analysis: Nick Garrett
- Becoming the Mask: Referencing the risk that deep-undercover agents take when following their assignments. Theorized that Mr. Cook is this; his original identity of "Edmund Bryce" was itself a mask for undercover agent Isaac Allistair.
- Big Brother Is Watching: All calls are monitored for keywords, that agents can set filters for. Also, there is a lot of video surveillance.
- Brain–Computer Interface : A client is a program that handles the interface between an organic brain and the Edict Zero world.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Admiral Jenkins plays this straight. Captain Socrates, however, seems to be a possible mix of this and Obfuscating Insanity.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Called "Conspiracists" in Edict Zero, and is carefully watched by police. Edict Three has a division specifically to monitor conspiracist cells.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Nick Garrett and John Braddock. Nick's wife killed their daughter, and then killed herself. She also happened to be John's sister.
- Determinator: Nick Garrett is a determinator not out of willpower or resolve, but sheer obliviousness.
- Emp: One of the briefcase bomb's side effects during its relocation.
- Eldritch Location: Weirdspace seems to be some kind of memory leak in Edict Zero; time flows differently, and thoughts can have substance there.
- Enforced Technology Levels: Edict One has a monopoly on research.
- Five-Man Band: Each member of the unit also comes from a different department, and brings that department's specialty to the table.
- Forbidden Zone: The seas surrounding the five islands are forbidden; Any ships that try for the ocean gets destroyed, as experienced by Zurn.
- Foreshadowing: Mr. Cook foreshadows his views in the very beginning while talking to a drunk partier in front of the Vortex nightclub. While it seems to be an insult, he is being literal.
Partier: What you see is me, man! Ain't I beautiful? Ha-hah!
Cook: You are a nothing with eyes.
- Freudian Excuse: Nick's behavior is understandable, considering his Dark and Troubled Past.
- Frying Pan of Doom: Captain Socrates carries around a frying pan, which he uses to determine peoples' musical notes.
- Government Conspiracy
- Grand Theft Me: An Ambassador of Edict One takes over the body of Agent Briggs
- Grew Beyond Their Programming : The Ambassador for Edict One has 14 clones, who are worried that #1 (the original) may be doing this.
- Innocent Innuendo: In "Byproducts," John Braddock is showing a handgun to a subordinate as part of a training lesson.
- Inside a Computer System: The claims of the false reality conspiracists. Confirmed in the second part of Quondam Hearts; in fact, the simulation is Edict Zero, version 7.02, running on the Sleeper Starship Pioneer to keep alive colonists in stasis.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: The Banisher
- Jurisdiction Friction: There are four edicts in the Edict Zero government, each in charge of a different area of investigation. The lower the number, the higher the edict, and the primary difficulty our protagonists have is that Edicts 2 and 1 can pull their jurisdiction from them.
- Edict 1 is the scientific research wing. And is also in charge of maintaining the Masquerade.
- Edict 2 include the military and intelligence branches of the government. Which includes a counter-intelligence branch against Edict 1.
- Edict 3 is the inter-state investigative branch of the federal government, including the FIS, which our main protagonists answer to.
- Edict 4 is the equivalent of the local police.
- Large Ham: Captain Socrates has an extremely theatrical style of talking.
Socrates: Can't you hear it in my voice, see it in my eyes, feeeel it in my presence? It's beyond denial! I'm heavy with it; positively bursting with it! It wails from every orifice of my tapestry, and blazes in every cell the wretched gods saw fit to fuse! I am not in theatre, you ninny! Any fool can be in theatre! Yes, young man, accursedly wrong, you are! For Theatre... (whispers) is in me.
- Loners Are Freaks: Agent Garrett is the most socially-inept agent in the department; he is well-known for his personality deficits, unprofessional behavior, and difficulty working with others.
- The Mafia: There are two main families in Edict Zero, The Eastern Tri-Don, led by someone called "The Big V," and the McCrinn, led by Seamus McCrinn. The Tonell family was another one, but Jacob Tonell, Sr. died at the Vortex Club bombing, and Jacob Tonell, Jr. has no interest in following in his father's footsteps.
- Many Spirits Inside of One : Captain Socrates is an "understudy," a native entity who can take on the role of departed clients. Normally, understudies can only play one role at a time, but Captain Socrates has an error that causes him to accumulate roles. Among the roles that Caprain Socrates has accumulated, one is an actor (Robert Marlowe Tell), and another is a writer (Oliver Dooley), resulting in a complete pork dinner.
- Mob War: The Center City Bombing was originally blamed on this.
- Nerves of Steel: Nick Garrett does not seem to feel fear; he calmly walked around inside a bombed building on the verge of structural collapse, just to take pictures of the site. This fearlessness is also the source of most of his conflicts with his supervisors; he does not fear the consequences of his actions.
- Never Found the Body After Nick Garrett's fall at the end of season 2.
- The Nicknamer: Captain Socrates will hit a person over the head with the frying pan, and let it ring out. Whatever note the ring is in, that is how he'll identify the person. Briggs is an F-flat, and Zurn is a G-sharp.
- No One Could Survive That: Mr. Cook survives multiple detonations of the briefcase bomb. Also said of Nick Garrett after jumping off a 100-foot ledge of Harlan Hills Sanitarium after Captain Socrates.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Captain Socrates seems to be doing this, although some of it seems to be legitimate.
Socrates: I live! I breathe! I walk this world, juggling my jams and muddying my metaphors into jigsaw puzzle pieces!
- Platonic Cave: Some Conspiracists see Edict Zero as this. The ones with Mr. Cook in particular seem to be attempting to reveal this. Confirmed.
- Police Procedural: The story is centered around the actions of the task force as they investigate the source of the bombings and surrounding evidence of larger issues.
- Precision F-Strike: Assistant Director Alan Dockstader, who tends to be the epitome of professionalism, accomplishes this when Kora Reznik refuses to take command of the unit. Still in a calm, formal tone.
Dockstader: Understand... the offer still stands. But, the moment you walk out that door, it vanishes. Gone. Well, dismiss yourself at will.
Reznik: Thank you, assistant director. (Walks out the door)
- Refuge in Audacity: Nick Garrett, so very much.
Dockstader: Excuse me, Agent Garrett, I know you didn't just interrupt me—-
Garett: (interrupting Dockstader) Actually, I did, Assistant Director, but with good cause.
- Reincarnation : The Guph should facilitate this with clients, but it is not working. Nick Garrett is among the last to be reincarnated; his last self was Rupert Canterra.
- Reluctant Ruler: Subverted with Kora Reznik. She was willing to accept any disciplinary action, up to and including removal from service, in order to avoid leading the unit. She was successful at avoiding leadership.
- Renaissance Man: Garrett has degrees in psychology, criminology, anthropology, and philosophy, which he uses with impressive effectiveness in figuring people out.
- Shout-Out: The first time Kora Reznik was introduced to him, Briggs confused her last name as "Reznor." Nine Inch Nails was one of the sources of music for the series.
- Single-Biome Planet: Edict Zero is reported to consist of a water world with five islands, which is where our story takes place. Some Conspiracist groups believe that there is more land beyond the range of the islands, but nobody has been able to get that far, as authorities block (and destroy the ships of) anyone who tries to leave.
- The Sociopath: Mr. Cook considers the value of all life as zero; he doesn't consider himself or anyone else as a real person.
- Spinventory: Each of the Paradox Artifacts were found floating off the ground and slowly rotating.
- Stun Guns
- Techno Wizard: Spoon, to the point that he claims to have magic.
- There Are No Coincidences: The more the unit looks into the events occurring, the less its members believe in coincidence.
- Tracking Chip: The Remote Mission Oversight System, or RMOS. A similar chip is used for Harlan Hills mental patients, although Captain Socrates somehow manages to extract his.
- Visionary Villain: Mr. Cook, even though this only began when he removed his own eyes.
- Waif Prophet : Melissa Parker is tuned into Edict Zero so completely, she can hear and see everything going on, including communication between the different clones of the Edict One ambassador, and the people, both trapped in the Guph, and those ejected into the world as ghosts.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Most conspiracists are like this. This includes the Chariot group that assisted Mr. Cook.
- Wham Episode: The Captain's Understudy, Part 2. Nick Garrett jumps off a cliff into a waterfall after Captain Socrates. They Never Found the Body, but they did find his RMOS Implant.
- Year Outside, Hour Inside: While not that extreme, Time moves more slowly in Weirdspace. To Nick Garrett, he was in weirdspace for one day. For his unit, it was over a month.