Posted by: Tio Silencio, Firewall Router, Jovian Republic <Info Msg Rep>
Two types of people get access to high-level state secrets: those ambitious enough to have seated themselves in the halls of power and those so diligent that the powerful deem them indispensable. The diligent—from whose ranks traitors come—are usually well cared for by their masters. When they betray them, then, their motives are invariably complex. Personal gain may be a factor, but it’s never the deciding one. No, treason boils down to the traitor’s belief that everyone around them—their colleagues, their family, their whole country—is wrong—so wrong, be it about a rival nation, a threat from nature, or a menace like the TITANs—that the only answer is to act alone.
That’s my story, in any case.
The Republic, when it’s aware of Firewall at all, misunderstands the Eye as a terrorist group working toward an agenda deﬁned by the argonauts and their left-wing allies. This attitude can be very difﬁcult to understand for those outside the Jovian intel community. Firewall might be secretive, but the argonauts are by and large very public about their goals. And those goals—x-threat evaluation, lifeboat strategies, and the like—are largely non-controversial, even in the hypercorp sphere.
If you’ve lived in the spook world, you understand its pathologies, chiefest of which is paranoia. The Jovian Security Council opposes the argonaut platform for transhuman survival as an ideological threat to the Republic’s own survival strategy. Once Jovian intel analysts drew enough lines between the argonauts and the Eye, then, all dealings with Firewall were shaped by the Security Council’s contra-argonauts worldview. At other times, elements of Firewall have been confused with native Jovian extremist movements, such as the anarchist JAC.
It wasn’t the stance of JSF Intelligence on Firewall, though, that lead me to treason. It was their stance on other polities—one of aggression thinly veiled in détente. Closely linked to this is their strategy in case of another TITAN attack.
The Jovian Republic, you see, is a massive x-risk for the rest of transhumanity. You will ﬁnd Jovian Firewall agents a strange breed, with complex motives. But on this, most of us agree.
The Security Council’s operational plan for resumed hostilities with the TITANs treats all other transhuman habitats, EM-spectrum transmissions, and space traffic as potential infection vectors. Neighboring habs are to be seized or destroyed. Planetary system-scale EM jamming would be set up to cook incoming transmissions—incidentally creating a comm hole through a swath of transhuman space. And any incoming ship traffic from other polities would be destroyed without warning.
It’s a sensible policy.
It’s also insane.
Jupiter is the middle solar system’s trebuchet. A high percentage of trafﬁc between inner and outer systems uses its mass for a gravity assist. The Republic’s scorched space contingency plans would isolate inner and outer systems from any hope of coordinating a uniﬁed defense.
For this and other reasons, we Jovian proxies and sentinels find common cause with Firewall. May history bear out our choice.
Jovian Intelligence Services
The Jovian intelligence community comprises the following agencies:
- Security Council Intelligence (SCI) is the Republic’s principal intelligence agency and also its internal security force. It’s headed personally by Intelligence Commander Zane McFarlane of the Security Council.
- Jovian Space Force Intelligence (JSFI) is the Republic’s military intelligence agency as well as its foreign intelligence agency.
- CBEAT Office of Investigations investigates suspected abuses of technology.
- Civil Defense Corps Bureau of Investigation (CDBI) is charged with domestic counterintelligence and counterterrorism.
- Senate Accounting Ofﬁce (SAO) investigates cases of government waste and malfeasance.Of these agencies, JSFI and CBEAT are the best equipped and the most likely to end up in a direct confrontation with Firewall agents. SCI enjoys political privilege but is mostly a surveillance and internal enforcement agency. CDBI and the SAO have no awareness of Firewall but command sweeping investigative powers. The latter two are mentioned in part because sentinels who work for either are valuable assets.
The Republic’s preparedness for various x-threats often stems from how its intel agencies control information about them.
Exsurgents and the Exsurgent Virus
The memory that, during the Fall, humans transformed into monsters and became part of the TITANs’ arsenal, and that some type of virus did this, isn’t something the Jovian authorities have ever attempted to suppress. If they wanted to, it’d be impossible. Too many people saw it with their own eyes. Whereas the Consortium media downplays these facts, or disguises them behind ﬁction and games, the Jovians present it matter-of-factly. They want their population to remember that fear and terror.
The average Jovian citizen participates in at least one simulated exsurgent outbreak per year in order to raise awareness and keep quarantine procedure skills sharp. However, JSFI periodically makes seemingly inexplicable tweaks to quarantine procedure without explaining their purpose to the public. No one is quite sure, for example, why the new guidelines advise civilians during a condition one emergency not to stand near any curtain with a gloss coat more than 1 micrometer thick.
What the average citizen or rank-and-ﬁle ofﬁcer lacks are facts about what the virus really does, how it acts, the variety of strains, or any inkling of its origins beyond being associated with the TITANs.
As plans for another war with the TITANs go, the Security Council’s are as solid as they come—minus the part about abandoning the rest of transhumanity to its fate. Counter-TITAN planning is where JSFI puts its best minds: veteran commanders from the Fall years, simulations experts, logistics wizards, researchers, and technology analysts. Occasionally CBEAT personnel are also drafted as collaborators. Their conclusions on how to prepare have been highly professional, mathematically exacting, and not a small amount paranoid.
What JSFI has planned, though, is a matter only for the Security Council, JSFI’s planning groups, and a handful of highly placed ofﬁcers in the Space Force and other intel services. The average Jovian, including rank-and-ﬁle military, receives only vague reassurances from state media regarding preparations and contingencies.
Beyond the plans themselves, specialized knowledge about the TITANs is closely circumscribed. In particular, the true facts regarding the TITANs’ likely genesis as a US Defense Department research project are a tightly guarded secret. Even those of us highly connected to the machinery of the intel community can ﬁnd only dark rumors. Is JSFI holding on to the secrets of the TITANs’ design and development—including any weaknesses? It’s a vexing thought.
Average Jovians know nothing of the TITANs unless they happen to have been following the rumor mill keenly during the Fall. Conspiracy theorists and others too free with these memories get nighttime visits from SCI.
Because destroyed spacecraft usually don’t leave much to reverse engineer, the Republic initially had one major disadvantage over inner system polities in counter-TITAN planning. They had very few captured TITAN war machines for research. JSFI remedied this with several daring incursions into the Martian TQZ during the early post-Fall years, before the Consortium had fully solidiﬁed its cordon. The incursions created a diplomatic incident, but the Consortium wasn’t about to start a war over the kidnapping of murderous robots.
JSFI and CBEAT have both reverse-engineered captured war machines. Aside from gleaning technology from them, the Republic’s researchers have cloned the machines themselves. War machine clones, either jammed or loaded with expert systems, are pitted against JSF Marines in live-ﬁre combat exercises. This leaves Jovian troops extremely well prepared for encounters with TITAN war bots.
Clones of war machines are also a staple in the military dramas that are a highlight of Jovian entertainment. The average Jovian citizen would recognize a headhunter, even if they had the wrong name for it.
Being militaristic and survival-minded, it should come as no surprise that the Jovians maintain their own hidden bunkers for surviving an epic war with the TITANs, transhumanity, or some other disaster. Unlike the vaults deployed by groups like Firewall, the Jovians do not load theirs with stored egos and the means to fabricate bodies. Instead, they are ﬁlled to capacity with cryogenic capsules capable of sustaining a frozen human for hundreds of years.
The Republic’s stance of protectionism in all things does what it says on the tin. Stray WMD, self-replicating nanoswarms, computer viruses, and the like are less of a threat to the Jovians than to any other polity. CBEAT’s go-slow policies do keep dangerous things locked up in labs. CDBI’s counter-terrorism unit interdicts most attempts at weapons trafﬁcking in Jovian space. And SCI is always watching for the enemy within.
That said, Jovian analysts do recognize one major Achilles heel in their preparations: disease. The sizable population of non-geneﬁxed humans among the Jovian citizenry means that biowarfare is Jovian COINTEL’s special bogeyman.
Access to Technology
Many assume that because the Jovian populace are denied bleeding-edge technology, their security forces don’t have it, either. This is a dangerous misconception. CBEAT has approved certain technologies specifically for use in the ﬁeld by JSFI ofﬁcers and CBEAT investigators. Aside from military-grade weapons and armor, this includes implants, nanotech, and espionage gear not available to civilians or the regular security forces. Nanohives, mesh inserts, surveillance gear, bots, bioware augmentations, life recorders, and even sometimes cortical stacks are available to elite agents.
Whether a given piece of gear or implant is issued depends on the agent’s status, the mission brieﬁng, and the risk to the mission and bystanders if a given piece were hacked or infected. In the last case, the concern for “bystanders” is with Jovian citizens and civilians, not citizens of other polities. Equipment Threat (ET) is a 1 to 10 scale developed by CBEAT to characterize the risk level to personnel and bystanders from the loadout for a given deployment. ET rapidly becomes asymmetrical between teams operating in Jovian population centers versus those operating outside of them.
CDBI and SCI have very limited access to nanotech and backup technology. CDBI’s Biowarfare Section has the best tech that CBEAT is willing to approve for civil defense usage, which includes limited medical nanotech. Note that AIs and AGIs are never issued, even at ET 10. Infomorphs may be referred to as ARCHINT (Archive Intelligence) sources, but they’re otherwise kept in dead storage. SCI’s ARCHINT group has access to ego bridges, XP rigs, and servers capable of hosting egos in simulspace. They’re used for the sole purpose of processing and interrogating ego backups of interest to internal security investigations. A culture that views ego bridges in the same light as execution devices has so far kept anyone with access to them from experimenting.
Equipment Threat (ET) Scale
The ET scale is used in Jovian military and espionage jargon to describe the threat to mission personnel and bystanders from a given mission’s gear and morph loadout. High-ET missions are prestigious assignments undertaken by only the most trusted, elite cadres in the JSFI and CBEAT.
- Chemical ﬁrearms and ﬂat morphs
- Rail weapons and splicer morphs
- Enhanced senses
- Adrenal boost, nuclear weapons
- Life recorders, XP recorders, neurachem
- Mesh inserts, COT tools
- Unrestricted cornucopia machines, any nanopharm
- Medichines, cortical Stacks, antimatter weaponry, any pod morph
- Any synthmorph
- Ghostrider module, petal trip, swarmanoid, ﬂexbot
Note that threat levels for morphs are for being sleeved into them, not jamming them.
It’s unknown whether ET 9 or 10 missions have ever been launched.
Security Council Intelligence (SCI)
Reports to: Ofﬁce of the Commander in Chief
Agency Head: Director Zane McFarlane, Intelligence Commander
SCI is both the head agency of the Jovian intelligence community and the Republic’s internal security agency. The public believes JSFI is the lead intel agency. Secretly, however, SCI under McFarlane calls the shots. In its role as secret police force, SCI has almost unlimited powers to surveil, search, and detain Jovian citizens and civilians.
SCI has existed as long as the Security Council. There was an immediate need for a surveillance and informant network when the Junta was establishing control. Before the shooting even started, McFarlane had tapped the best he could get access to. SCI’s work was instrumental in gauging the readiness of rival polities and identifying targets for the ﬁrst strikes that set up the Republic as the sole power in circumjovian space.
While it doesn’t have access to the same level of technology, nor possess the same prestige, as JSFI and CBEAT, SCI has a great deal of inﬂuence. SCI can detain and interrogate anyone below a Security Council member. Neither due process nor oversight curtail this power, and neither high-ranking military ofﬁcers nor CBEAT bigwigs are immune.
This can and does lead to abuse of power and an atmosphere of chilling paranoia within the Jovian security forces, but it also acts as a much-needed check on JSFI and CBEAT. Military coups are an ever-present danger for a regime like the Republic, as is the fact that CBEAT holds so many aces technologically. SCI’s mandate, which it performs with brutal efﬁciency, is to make certain that no one, no matter how high their rank or classiﬁed their work, challenges the Security Council.
The Director of SCI, Zane McFarlane, also has overall command of all Jovian intelligence agencies in his role as Intelligence Commander of the Security Council.
Subordinate agencies have wide leeway as to how they perform their functions, but they take their marching orders from McFarlane. As such, SCI’s top level analysts—the people with whom McFarlane surrounds himself—are also the immediate consumers of intelligence produced by the other agencies. On one hand, this makes SCI a bottleneck for intelligence making its way from security agencies to government. It also means that the interpretation of intelligence data is subject to the bias of SCI’s tight-knit circle of senior analysts. On the other hand, McFarlane and his inner circle are anything but stupid, and the system helps control inter-agency turf wars. When it comes to making big picture assessments of intel data from disparate sources, McFarlane has cut all the fat out of the process.
SCI is a civilian agency, so agents don’t have military rank unless temporarily assigned it for an operation. The exception is McFarlane, who is deemed equivalent to a general because he sits on the Security Council. SCI is organized into the following ofﬁces:
- Archival Intelligence (ARCHINT). ARCHINTis the Republic’s term for HUMINT gatheredfrom backed-up egos. Cleared to use resleeving and simulspace technology—in particular on non-Jovians—this ofﬁce debriefs, reports on, and archives ego backups, forks, and infomorphs that fall into SCI’s hands.
- Central Security Directorate. This ofﬁce includes McFarlane and his top analysts. Its role is to act as a clearinghouse for all intelligence data produced by other agencies. It interprets, prioritizes, and reports to the Security Council. CSD sets the agenda for all other Jovian security agencies based on its assessment of their intelligence product vis-avis the big strategic picture.
- Internal Security. Black-clad paramilitary thugs straight out of Gilliam, complete with 4 am raids and dentist chairs. Not usually an issue for Firewall teams. If you attract their notice, you’ve already blown your mission in numerous other ways.
- Ofﬁce of the Censor General. The name of this ofﬁce is something of a misnomer, as the Republic no longer has a single person in the post of Censor General. The name is functionally accurate, though. The Republic’s censors don’t have a particularly deft touch. They’re the equivalent to other polities’ memetic warfare specialists, but they lack both theoretical and practical grounding in the memetic warfare discipline. Largely this is because the practice of memetic warfare outside the Republic relies heavily on AIs, AGIs, and augmented transhuman minds to enhance pattern recognition and rapidly model the noösphere in search of ideas on the move. The result are blunt-edged information blackouts so abrupt and sweeping as to be darkly comical.
Zane McFarlane is Intelligence Commander of the Jovian Republic and Director of SCI. DCI McFarlane’s tenure has seen the ravaging of Earth, the birth of the Republic, and the subsequent decade of consolidation following the Fall. Like many of his peers on the Council, McFarlane deems himself more responsible to history than to individuals—and it shows in everything SCI does.
Colombina Acres is Deputy Director of ARCHINT, as well as its most talented memory trawler. Firewall would like a word with her, but given that she works out of the Castle, she’s incredibly difﬁcult to reach. Acres is known to have acquired and examined half a dozen cortical stacks cut from an Ozma team that got too close to a Jovian secret project in the Belt. Her report never got wide circulation; someone high up in SCI decided it belonged on a very exclusive distribution list. But Acres is still out there, waiting to be pumped for information by sentinels clever enough to shanghai an executive researcher on her day off from the Castle without bringing the entire Jovian security apparatus down on themselves.
The Castle (Ganymede Orbit)
The Castle is the operational heart of the Jovian intel community. In Ganymede orbit, its mission is to serve as a central archive and analysis center for all of the Republic’s intelligence product. The massive staff of all-human analysts work in rotations of two weeks on and one week off. The Castle is not what you’d call a family-friendly workplace, and the six to eight hours of ID checks and interviews performed anytime anyone comes or goes would be prohibitive if workers commuted. In the spartan quarters and starkly monotone cube farms of the Castle, more than a couple of analysts have “gone postal,” as we said in the olden days.
Aside from being an incubator for the neuroses of the analytical staff, the Castle also serves as a meeting ground for SCI, CBEAT, CDBI, and JSFI. SCI rules the roost, and doesn’t let the other agencies forget it. As long as someone as able and feared as McFarlane heads up SCI, this isn’t such a problem, but a weak SCI chief could easily make a hash of the combination of ﬁnesse and institutional brute force needed in the halls of the Castle.
Maui Patera Rehabilitation Center (IO)
Maui Patera takes every stereotype of an off-world penal colony and turns the knob to 11. The guards are casually sadistic, the inmates are just as brutal to one another, and the work—processing volcanic byproducts into useful chemicals—is extremely dangerous. Inmates who avoid burning, crushing, or dismemberment in the frequent industrial accidents take enough sieverts and inhale enough carcinogens that they’re not likely to live long even if eventually released.
What gives Maui Patera that special edge is the absurdity of the place. The facility’s logo is a pineapple, present on ofﬁcial communications and guards’ insignia. The Hawaiian theme was developed by a no-talent prison reformer who wanted to give the inmates positive thoughts. When this hack was ﬁred, their successor recognized the unintentional twistedness of it and ran with it. From it, the guards have derived an unofﬁcial cartoon pineapple mascot that adorns shuttle nose cones, vehicles, and guards-only areas like the door to the mess hall. This, combined with their custom of greeting prisoners with “aloha” and each other with the thumb-and-pinky “hang loose” gesture, has resulted in survivors of Maui counting pineapple fruit cups among their PTSD triggers.
Security around the facility is high. The thin atmosphere and sweeping vantage point of Maui Patera’s surface facilities makes the place hard to approach, even without the sensors, drones, and occasional human patrols covering the area. SCI has locked away here those they deem worst of the worst. Unfortunately for you, this means any Firewall agents they catch, since by their lights we’re a terrorist group. We still have a few sentinels doing hard time there. No one has ﬁgured out how to break into the place yet.
Interactions with Firewall
McFarlane and a few of his senior staff are the only members of SCI in the know about Firewall’s existence, modus operandi, and professed mission—and we don’t think they have a complete picture. An SCI ﬁeld agent doesn’t need to know anything about their target’s politics before bundling them off to Io in an unmarked shuttle.
SCI Black Ops
It would be irresponsible to talk about the SCI without discussing one of the ways they handle their deep black ops projects. Even within the security-sealed conﬁnes of a military dictatorship, it can be difﬁcult to hide certain operations from bureaucratic oversight. When the SCI needs to get their hands dirty, one of their options is TAHI: the Terrestrial Ancestral Heritage Institute. This lobbyist group, with its enormously high percentage of ex-military ofﬁcers, presents a powerful cover. TAHI gleefully takes on any black-budget affairs the SCI hands them, and the SCI makes sure that TAHI’s coffers are always full. TAHI agents are often more well-equipped than military units, and are more likely to make use of proscribed tech.
Civil Defense Corp Bureau of Investigations (CDBI)
Reports to: General Sergio Cauas, Civil Defense Corps Commander
Agency Head: Colonel Otavia Paz de la Luna
CDBI is the investigative wing of the CDC, charged among other things with domestic counterintelligence and counter-terrorism. As the police force of the Republic, CDC also investigates more mundane criminal matters.
The Civil Defense Corp originated as a militia during the Fall but quickly evolved into a paramilitary police force. The paramilitary origins show. CDC doesn’t police so much as it maintains checkpoints and surveillance stations everywhere. Jovian society is so regimented that there isn’t a great deal of crime, so this approach has lead to a fairly safe, if stiﬂing, society.
CDBI is one bureau of several within CDC. Internally, it’s organized into the following sections. True to its paramilitary roots, all CDBI ofﬁcers carry military ranks on a pay-grade scale comparable to JSFI’s. Each of the sections below is headed up by a lieutenant colonel or a major reporting to Colonel Paz de la Luna, the CDBI chief.
- Biowarfare Section. The susceptibility of the Jovian population to disease is a well-recognized weak point in the Republic’s defenses. CDBI’s Biowarfare Section (mildly derogatory nickname: “bugwashers”) is in charge of biosurveillance, risk assessment, and supporting the Counterterrorism Section on biological threats.
- COINTEL Section. Counterintelligence detains more citizens and civilians each year than the rest of the Jovian security services combined. McFarlane’s late obsession with rooting out anarchist inﬁltrators has a lot to do with this, but mass roundups have been par for the course in Jovian law enforcement from the beginning.
COINTEL has a rivalry going with JSFI’s COINTEL ofﬁce—or at least, a rivalry from CDBI’s perspective. JSFI, when they acknowledge them at all, see their opposite numbers in CDBI COINTEL as technologically disadvantaged, dangerously amateur, and sort of annoying. That COINTEL has no real channel by which to protest when JSFI peremptorily takes a case off their hands doesn’t improve matters.
- Counterterrorism Section. Counterterrorism is the face of CDBI most familiar to average Jovians, as its uniformed officers man the innumerable checkpoints dotting Jovian habitats and carry out the stop-and-frisk searches that are routine on their streets. Checkpoints and stop-and-frisk teams, while baseline humans, are well equipped with sensor gear, including t-ray emitters and gait- and facial-recognition software.
Undercover ofﬁcers and informants are much less common, serving mostly as moles in suspect organizations. Plainclothes counterterrorism agents with elaborate cover identities have even been inﬁltrated into prison populations, where they try to ferret out the identities of prisoners’ co-conspirators on the outside.
- Criminal Investigations Section. This section handles mundane criminal investigations—everything from drug trafﬁcking to white collar crime. Stressful living conditions under the Republic combined with the inaccessibility of at-home microfacturing have ensured a thriving drug trade. Alcohol and cannabis are legal, but Investigations still does a brisk business combating trade in tobacco, opiates, entheogens, and cocaine—all of which are widely used. Much more rarely, a source of nanopharm or other drugs based on forbidden technology crops up, requiring Investigations to collaborate with CBEAT.
Colonel Otavia Paz de la Luna was a high-ranking FBI domestic intelligence analyst. Pre-Fall North America experienced regular bouts of social unrest, and Paz de la Luna distinguished herself rooting out dissidents and would-be domestic terrorists. By sheer luck, she was in Jovian space when the Fall occurred. She’d been leading the investigation of a gas miners’ union that had been banned by the colonial authorities but quickly found herself with a much enlarged portfolio of responsibilities. Paz de la Luna is not a favorite of General Cauas, the overall CDC chief, having been installed in her post through the machinations of Zane McFarlane.
The problem with a militarized police force is that it doesn’t produce the kind of ofﬁcers who are any good at investigations. The Ranch, CDBI’s training academy, attempts to correct this. The Ranch is notable for its kinesics training programs, which are some of the best in existence. Agents of the other intel service branches may temporarily transfer to the Ranch to participate. They’re tailored to baseline human characteristics rather than relying on software and enhanced senses. The practical part of the kinesics course has one disturbing aspect. CDBI keeps a stable of transhuman prisoners representing a range of non-baseline facial structures and response patterns for student practice. Although a CDBI agent would almost never encounter a synth or uplift, their colleagues in other agencies, who also take these classes, might.
Interactions with Firewall
CDBI has labeled a number of Firewall ops as terrorist actions, but without connecting the dots as to whether those missions were the actions of a single group. Our own diversity of approaches and MOs furthers this obfuscation, but keeping CDBI in the dark remains important.
Council on Bio-Ethics and Advanced Technology (CBEAT), Office of Investigations
Reports to: Salvador Morteña, Executive Director of CBEAT
Agency Head: Dick Shiman, Director of Investigations CBEAT, while staffed mostly by policy-makers and analysts, has a small investigative division of its own, charged with looking into suspected abuses of technology, employment of banned technology, and proscribed research.
The cornerstones of the present Jovian system are JSF’s projection of force, the Security Council’s politics of dominance, and the Council on Bio-ethics and Advanced Technology’s regulation of technology. CBEAT’s place in this triangle of inﬂuence would have been hard to predict in the years immediately after the Fall, and it was by no means assured. The Council started out as a group of civilian advisors attached to the Jovian Space Force, but it was more than just a group of concerned citizens; it represented religious, industrial, and ﬁnancial interests. These lobbied for the legal framework in which CBEAT now operates. Participating, too, were notable minds in science and technology—or at least, those advocating a cautionary stance. This combination of inﬂuence and brainpower gradually earned CBEAT a place at the table and the full support of the taxpayers.
Full investigative powers are new to CBEAT’s tool box—more fruit of their patrons’ lobbying efforts. The Ofﬁce of Investigations has existed for a scant three years. All the same, it commands some of the most talented and potently augmented agents in the Jovian intel community.
CBEAT is a civilian agency. The analytical wing has a corporate managerial structure, with analysts, managers, and directors. The investigative wing has ﬁeld agents (usually just called “agent” in speech), senior ﬁeld agents, and a director.
The following divisions make up the Ofﬁce of Investigations.
- Abuse. Two-thirds of the ﬁeld agents in Investigations work in the Abuse Division. Abuse is charged with investigating Jovian corporations and government agencies in cases alleging abuse of advanced technology.
- Interdiction. Interdiction’s task is to prevent proscribed technology from arriving at or spreading within Jovian habitats. Off-hab, they work to break up smuggling rings. Inside, they’re charged with tracking down and conﬁscating forbidden tech when it manages to spread via the black market.
- Quarantine. Quarantine is a small group of specialists whose expertise is in quarantining scenes where dangerous technology may pose a risk to those entering. This can range from sealing off a section of corridor to selective outgassing of hab sections to create ﬁrewalls of hard vacuum.
- Retrievals. Other than JSFI, Retrievals is the only branch of a Jovian security agency whose agents are regularly sent abroad. Retrievals has the job of salvaging proscribed tech for research when it’s deemed an acceptably low risk. If operating near civilization (read: Jovian civilization), a Quarantine agent will often be assigned to ride shotgun with a Retrievals team.
- The Spear of Longinus. This paramilitary organization isn’t ofﬁcially associated with the government, but it receives 90% of its operating funds directly from CBEAT coffers. CBEAT uses this deniable organization when it needs to be quick, brutal, and dirty about something.
Dr. Wendy Gilder, Chief Technology Ofﬁcer on the Security Council, is practically a puppet of CBEAT. CBEAT uses her presence to upset their rivals’ agendas. So far, Gilder is a pliant tool for them. Salvador Morteña, Executive Director of CBEAT, pushed hard for the creation of an Office of Investigations. It was something of a triumph for him when the lobbyists’ work paid off in CBEAT’s favor. The Council has now for several years controlled a civilian intelligence agency with sweeping powers, even up to a mandate to operate outside Jovian territory under some circumstances.
Dick Shiman, Director of Investigations, was Morteña’s pick to head up the new agency. They knew each other from work in the private sector. Shiman was a colonial security chief responsible for protecting the mining companies’ holdings from industrial espionage. After the Fall, he served in the same role at a succession of Jovian corporations before being tapped by Morteña to head Investigations.
CBEAT Headquarters: Investigations Wing
CBEAT Headquarters on Amalthea is an ultramodern campus set along one of the hab’s immaculate parkways. Investigations has a wing off of the central building. Aside from ofﬁce space, the wing includes quarantine units, labs, a detention block, a medical clinic, and a pistol range.
This facility on the distant moon of Pasiphae is a warehouse, dug deep into the moon, jointly operated with JSF’s Materiel and Logistics Corps. The Locker warehouses dangerous technology seized from the TITANs, exsurgents, exoplanets, and other polities. It does not contain labs. It’s suspected that some of the devices and artifacts kept here might activate on their own if other devices are operated near them. Research that involves activating an item is conducted off-station, possibly on other nearby moonlets.
Interactions with Firewall
CBEAT’s highest echelons know of Firewall but have kept this knowledge secret. CBEAT and Firewall’s missions both clash and coincide where the disposition of TITAN, exsurgent, or alien artifacts within the Jovian sphere of inﬂuence are at issue.
The Crony War
CBEAT and JSFI wage a continual, low-intensity bureaucratic war over the awarding of government contracts. This struggle has been described both as free-market competition versus an entrenched military-industrial complex and as CBEAT’s Church-endorsed suppliers versus old soldiers gone private sector. Really, it comes down to cronyism on both sides.
JSFI has its preferred suppliers for spy gear, while CBEAT wields the big stick of being able to deny licenses to vendors it doesn’t like. Theoretically, of course, CBEAT’s job is to perform due diligence and license vendors based on adherence to technology regulations. But given the lack of oversight on their operations, it’s easy enough when granting licenses for CBEAT to narrowly favor one vendor—their vendor—over whomever’s bid JSFI is backing.
This turf war has been going on almost since the Fall, and it’s exploitable. A well-funded social engineer bidding on government business as a front company can get a great deal of technology licensing and access to restricted areas if they ﬁnd the right person in CBEAT to bribe.
Jovian Space Force Intelligence (JSFI)
Reports to: General Adam Westmoreland, Space Force Commander
Agency Head: General Antonia Olivas, JSFI Commander
JSFI is both the intelligence service of the Jovian military and the Republic’s principal foreign intelligence agency. In its military role, JSFI is responsible for assessing and reporting on the disposition and deployment of rival polities’ military forces. In its foreign intelligence role, it’s further responsible for gathering intelligence regarding their economies, their industries, their scientiﬁc research, and the activities of their intelligence services.
JSFI descends directly from the military intelligence services of the old USA, Chile, and Argentina. During the Fall, Zane McFarlane assumed temporary command of all intelligence assets embedded with local space forces in order to coordinate reconnaissance and intel gathering. This was a temporary state of affairs, but it set the precedent of JSFI taking its marching orders from SCI. Not surprisingly, few in the Space Force are happy with this continued state of affairs.
All JSFI operatives are commissioned ofﬁcers in the Jovian Space Force and, as such, carry military ranks of lieutenant or higher. JSFI also employs non-military analysts, but all of these are Jovian citizens (i.e., ex-military). Civilians may not be employed, even as analysts. Major divisions within JSFI are composed of one or more battalion-strength military units tasked with activities relating to their specialties. Additional battalions may be formed at need.
The following units make up JSFI.
- Analytical Battalions. The 87th and 903rd Analytical Battalions are an amalgam of JSFI ofﬁcers and embedded citizen analysts.
- Deep Space Reconnaissance Battalions. The 81st and 93rd recon battalions are tasked with tracking all space traffic in the solar system to detect incoming celestial bodies, ships on potentially hostile approach vectors, and other threats.
- HUMINT Battalions. Most of the Republic’s foreign spies come from the 48th, 49th, and 53rd Human Intelligence Gathering battalions. HUMINT field officers are the cream of JSF’s personnel and are regularly trusted with high-Equipment Threat deployments outside Jovian space. It turns out there’s one caveat to the Republic’s typical line on the dignity and empowerment of baseline humanity, and it’s best summed up as: “War is hell.” Encounters between Firewall and JSFI HUMINT ofﬁcers have been plagued by failures—mostly due to the sentinels underestimating how heavily their opposition would be augmented. JSFI ﬁeld operatives aren’t augmented to the worrying degree that their opposite numbers in Commonwealth Fleet Intelligence are, but they’re frequently on par or even better equipped than Firewall sentinels.
- 1401st Medical Battalion. The 1401st is a specialized medical corps created to care for heavily augmented JSFI and CBEAT operatives. Since most Jovians have little to no augmentation, Jovian doctors have little practical knowledge of implant medicine, caring for patients with biomods, resleeving, morphing disorders, and nanomedicine. They also have the wrong mindset, being accustomed to treating patients as if their present body were the only one they’d ever have. The 1401st is the sole medical organization in Jovian space with the full capabilities of a modern hospital or clinic. Impressively, its staff deliver care without the beneﬁt of any of the AI assistants enjoyed by most doctors in the solar system.
- Planetary Reconnaissance Battalions. The 84th and 95th recon battalions are constantly on the move, with company-strength units embedded at strategic space stations and throughout the Space Force’s ﬂeet. Their role is ground-side surveillance of both friendly and hostile bodies—speciﬁcally via drones and satellite photography.
- 603rd Psy Ops Battalion. A Firewall colleague who shall remain nameless once posted, “If you want a good chuckle, check out the bizarre scare messages these guys occasionally inﬁltrate into non-Jovian public AR channels.” She was reacting to the one where people freshly awakened at resleeving clinics are subjected to a barrage of AR messages saying things like, “YOU’RE JUST A COPY,” and, “THE REAL YOU IS DEAD.” I’d ﬁnd it funnier myself if I didn’t live here. The 603rd has not mastered the subtleties of memetic warfare—and probably never will.
- 38th R&D Battalion. The 38th is considerably above battalion strength if one considers the several thousand citizen analysts attached to it. Most of the actual research—on weapons and spy gear, captured technology from other polities, and the occasional TITAN trove—is done by citizens and takes place either on Amalthea, at the Castle, or (for hazardous tech) in the Locker. Ofﬁcers of the 38th, while they often have a research background themselves, spend most of their time managing and monitoring the civvies.
- Signals Intelligence Battalions. Given the importance of electronic warfare in the present age, the Space Force has no fewer than a dozen SIGINT battalions responsible for keeping communications open, intercepting enemy signals, and interfering with the enemy’s ability to talk to each other. Two of these battalions, the 11th and 23rd, are part of JSFI and are specially tasked with intercepting the diplomatic, intragovernment, and corporate comm trafﬁc of rival polities. These two battalions also support HUMINT teams with both signals security and interception.
- JSF Special Forces. While nominally not part of JSFI, the Special Forces have two company-strength commando teams with the security clearances needed to accompany JSFI ﬁeld missions as extra muscle. These troops may have the same heavy augmentations as actual JSFI ofﬁcers.
General Olivas, commander of JSFI, is a protégé of Space Force commander General Adam Westmoreland. As such, Intelligence gets a lot of attention from the Space Force Commander’s ofﬁce. It shows in both the budgets and the quality of the talent assigned to JSFI. Both Westmoreland and Olivas chafe at having to clear intel ops through Zane McFarlane’s ofﬁces. Olivas herself is notable for her quietly-held anti-biocon politics. In fact, they’re why she was appointed to head Intelligence. Westmoreland needed someone who’d sign off on the augmentations that ﬁeld operatives receive—which are far in excess of Jovian norms. The battalion colonels under Olivas are a mixed bunch. Politically, many of them are anti-biocons like Olivas. Others are expansionists that support the Republic widening its sphere of inﬂuence.
Lt. Colonel Darren Swirsky is the highest-ranking Firewall asset in JSFI, but unfortunately, he’s assigned to the 603rd. Swirsky crafted the persona of a crackpot memetic warfare theorist and used it to barter his way into a lead role in the psychological warfare battalion. More playing his own game of media-troll-with-a-cause than Firewall’s, Swirsky is behind much of the blunt absurdity of Jovian attempts at memetic warfare, all the while garnering approving nods from his superiors.
Firewall has, on the whole, had a difﬁcult time inﬁltrating JSFI, perhaps because the dissatisfaction with the regime that leads so many of us to Firewall is much less pronounced within its ranks.
Liberty Station Office of Intelligence
JSFI’s headquarters is a wing of modules dug deep into the asteroid to which Liberty Station is anchored. The second most secure place in the Republic after the Castle, JSFI HQ houses ofﬁces, meeting rooms, living quarters, emergency supplies, a backup fusion reactor, an armory, a detention block, interrogation rooms, and redundant data centers.
Security troops are lightly augmented but otherwise the best trained and equipped the Republic can ﬁeld. Rooms are arranged in three concentric rings that can be cut off by bulkhead doors. Heavily augmented ﬁeld operatives are only allowed into the outermost ring. Security feeds and surveillance are always actively monitored by multiple human sysops. The only thing the security arrangements lack on the Castle are the sheer length of SCI’s grueling interviews and ID checks for entry.
Interactions with Firewall
JSFI’s most senior staff are the only ones aware of Firewall. The Eye is classified as a terrorist organization, with little concern spared for its goals.
Senate Accounting Office (SAO)
Reports to: Ofﬁce of the Vice Commander (in their role as President of the Senate)
Agency Head: Eustacia Wibble, Comptroller General of the Jovian Republic
The SAO’s role is to ensure the ﬁscal accountability of the Jovian government by auditing disbursement of public funds and investigating any suspicion of irregularity or malfeasance. While not an intelligence agency itself, I include SAO here in part because its investigations often cross paths with the activities of the intel community, and in part because its investigative powers make SAO inspectors valuable Firewall recruits.
The SAO is the direct descendant of the old United States government’s Government Accountability Ofﬁce (GAO). The primary difference between it and its predecessor is that while the GAO made its ﬁndings freely available to the public, the SAO reports only to the Jovian Senate.
Our Senate is widely accounted a rubber-stamp legislature, a toothless assortment of windbags that blow where the lobbyists and the Security Council would have them blow. This is true from the standpoint of an outsider or an average Jovian. But there’s an intricate dance that goes on in the halls of power, one that our betters never invite us to see. Given restrictions on resleeving and life extension, even Security Council members’ numbers will eventually come up. When they do, the masters of this dance—senior senators, governors, politically minded military ofﬁcers, and lobbyists—all play a role in the transition of power. In the meantime, the dance goes on, and the Senate Accounting Ofﬁce is one of their chief tools for gaining advantage.
SAO Inspectors have a surprising level of access to classified government information. The secrets of intelligence agencies and their operations may be a closed book, but their ledgers aren’t, and from these a great deal of information can be inferred.
Several recent SAO investigations have targeted CBEAT and JSFI. This is another front in the bureaucratic war over whose contractors to favor. SAO smells malfeasance in the water, but what else might they ﬁnd if they follow the money? It makes for an opportunity from Firewall’s standpoint, as sentinels undercover in the Senate Accounting Ofﬁce currently have unprecedented levels of justification for snooping on both CBEAT and Space Force Intelligence.
As a civilian organization, job titles in SAO follow standard lines for a governmental accounting agency. Most of SAO is an undifferentiated mass of bean counters from Firewall’s standpoint, with the exception of the Division of Investigations. Investigations is organized somewhat like the detective branches of a police department. Several chief inspectors report to Comptroller General Wibble, with about a dozen senior inspectors under them, and about a hundred regular inspectors doing the grunt work. Inspectors do the ﬁeld work for SAO’s army of comptrollers, associate comptrollers, assistant comptrollers, CPAs, lawyers, and clerks, of whom there are probably several thousand.
Comptroller General Eustacia Wibble is an iron abacus in a velvet glove. Formerly a high-ranking auditor in the old US Government Accountability Ofﬁce, Wibble happened to be in Jovian space overseeing an audit of security contractor operations when the Fall hit. She impressed Monica Contreras with her ability to provide an accurate picture of available funds and raw materials during the ensuing chaos and has had the Commander in Chief’s ear ever since. Those who wonder why the Republic doesn’t implode under the weight of corruption need look no further for an answer; it’s because Eustacia Wibble is watching.
Managing Associate General Counsel Marek Baumann, of SAO’s legal arm, is a Firewall asset. Quietly Extropian in his politics, Baumann believes that the Republic is steering the wrong course. Baumann’s position is that of legal point person in assessing whether SAO has cause to act on a given matter. From there, he can steer Firewall assets toward suspicious activity in the intel community.
Liberty City Legislative Office Suites
SAO occupies a large but spare suite of ofﬁces in Liberty City. As with the Castle, the number of human staff working here is bloated by the usual standards. The Jovian prohibition on AIs and infomorphs means that a sizable staff of accountants, analysts, and admins is needed to perform the SAO’s work. The Investigations branch has its own corridor with cubicles and individual ofﬁces, but this area is no more or less high-tech than the rest of the place.
Interactions with Firewall
Like CDBI, SAO has crossed paths with Firewall operations without realizing what they were dealing with. Every so often, an audit trail dead ends at an operation or initiative involving the Eye. The few people in JSFI and SCI who know of Firewall aren’t about to clue in a bunch of legislative branch bean counters.