Office Of Unexplained Affairs

The Office of Unexplained Affairs

Overview

The Office of Unexplained Affairs (Oifig Ungnóthaí Míniú ar) is an adjunct office under Ireland's G2 national intelligence agency.

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The OUA was formed to monitor and combat the threat of the Gloom and to assess whether or not the Watch is a threat. The Office is classified Top Secret. Many Agents are current military, ex-military, or are former members of Gardai (Irish police.) The office also employs civilian contractors for various tasks. There are OUA branches in Galway, Dublin and Cork.

Seven years ago, an Irish special agent fell into the Gloom in the Burren outside of Galway, and re-emerged only half sane. Before he committed suicide, he tipped the Irish government off to its presence - and that of the Watch who tried to help him. A small project team was formed to learn more. Investigation of both entities are ongoing, with the goal of establishing threat levels and plan of action for both entities. The Gloom assessment is complete; the Watch assessment is ongoing and is not blessed with fruitful cooperation from the entity in question. For now, agents are under strict orders not to antagonize the Watch, but many are suspicious of them. Who knows how long the truce will last?

Mandate

The OUA is tasked with assessing supernatural threats and are dedicated to keeping the truth of the paranormal from the public. The Office is quite new (only 7 years old) and thus tends to play catch-up with regards to knowledge of the Gloom. They are often caught flat-footed and their current efforts are aimed at knowledge-gathering.

The OUA's primary concerns are the Watch itself (see relationships), the Touched and whether their abilities constitute a national security threat, and the threat that Others pose.

History

Captain Archie Donovan was taken by the Gloom in the Burren in 2007. His ability was particularly debilitating. The Watch in Galway at the time, tried to assist him, but he was too damaged. He died as a result of spontaneous combustion. In his will, he directed a diary be given to G2. In it, contained information about the Gloom, Others and The Watch.

G2 were reluctant to investigate at first, but the existence of a secret organization with its own agenda was enough to warrant an investigation. Over the course of investigating the Watch, several agents came face-to-face with Others and proof that the information in Donovan's diary was in fact true.

From the start, G2 saw the Watch as a threat. They believed that the Watch were recruiting and training Touched for their own purposes. Given the very recent violence between the Republic and Northern Ireland, Irish Intelligence was particularly sensitive to domestic security threats.

It didn't take long for G2 to track down the Watch's then-headquarters, located in an old warehouse in Claddagh. Military forces raided the headquarters with a unit of 12 armed men. The Touched, afraid of being locked away in government facilities or thrown into asylums, fought back. Casualties were heavy on both sides.

The Watch disappeared underground after that, and none of the soldiers could remember any faces (thanks to a Touched ability on the Watch's side.) Things settled into a quasi cold war. The Office of Unexplained Affairs was established as a permanent organization to deal with this new threat.

The Watch had learned their lesson, however, and hid their activities from the OUA. Over the course of trying to track down the Watch, the Office came face to face with several Others, and lost a few of its agents to the Gloom. They found themselves woefully ill-equipped to fight supernatural forces. They were like small children kicking at the earth and sometimes they stuck their toe in a hornet's nest. They started hiring on civilian contractors - people who were previously considered fringe elements, to flesh out their knowledge. Given their violent attack on the Watch, any attempts to reach out were met with suspicion and most often ignored.

The cold war continued for several years. The OUA was mostly chasing its tail. Then a few years ago, things changed.

Recent Developments

About three years ago Captain Patrick Darcy's 12 year old daughter, was taken by the Gloom. Darcy had recently transferred to the OUA. When his daughter reappeared, she was very damaged. Darcy recognized what had happened to her and realized that the OUA could do little to help her. He appealed to the Watch. (This section may change in conversation with Darcy's player. It may be the Watch found her first, it may be that Darcy went to them for help when he found himself unable to help his daughter.)

Due to the assistance of the Watch, things started to repair slowly between the two organizations. Darcy explained the Watch's true motives to his superiors and ensured them that the Watch had no desire to get embroiled in things of a political nature. They were concerned only with helping the Touched and combating Others. Even if Darcy had come to trust the Watch at least somewhat, other agents in the OUA and his superiors were not entirely convinced.

So, the Watch and the OUA settled into an uneasy truce. The wounds inflicted at what has come to be known as 'The Claddagh Raid' are still fresh in their collective memories. The Watch knows they can't fight the OUA because it will only bring in more soldiers. The OUA dare not attack the Watch because they do not know the extent of the supernatural powers of the Touched there, nor are they completely convinced that the Watch are the enemy.

Favours are occasionally traded between both organizations, though it's always done cautiously. Any OUA agents who need to come to Watch headquarters do so by a river entrance. The OUA has the entrance bugged, but they realize it's the 'visitor entrance.' The other entrance remains a secret, and for the time being, the agents aren't investigating further for risk of antagonizing their quasi-allies.

Officially, the OUA is in 'threat assessment mode' with the Watch, though that may or may not be entirely accurate. Some OUA members trust the Watch more than others, though for the most part, the OUA's superiors in G2 still consider them to be a threat, but not one worth coming down on with violence just yet.

Operations

The OUA is an organization overseen by the military. Although they hire civilian contractors, no one in the OUA can take on a senior role without also being a member of the Irish Army. As they grew out of Irish Intelligence, their mindset and methodology stems from their connection to a counter-terrorism organization. They are far more interested in threat assessment, stopping plots and containing dangerous individuals than they are in seeking out any sort of great truths that might be found from researching the Gloom. There are individuals within the OUA who may be interested in more academic pursuits, but it is not in the OUA's mandate to research for its own sake. Any research that takes place has a practical application.

The OUA struggles with being perpetually behind the 8 ball when it comes to their knowledge. They know far less about how the Gloom functions and what the motivations of Others are than the Watch. Even after a few years, they're still caught flat-footed more often than not, and find themselves in over their heads. The Watch will occasionally trade knowledge with them, but for the most part, they're on their own.

The OUA don't have uniforms, although they can call in military support if need be, and have access to military arms and equipment. Their operations on a day-to-day basis are plainclothes. Their work is extremely secret. OUA agents are not permitted to discuss any part of their work with anyone, not even their family. Despite its secrecy, the pay is only average.

The bulk of their work involves gathering intelligence, monitoring Gloom and Other activity and the Watch itself. They have occasionally gone after Others themselves, but rarely come out unscathed, and are successful even less frequently. They are slowly beginning to understand how difficult it is to deal with the Gloom, which gives some of the agents a grudging respect for the Watch.

Recruitment

Members are recruited to the OUA in the following ways:

  • The individual had a sterling record as a member of the Irish Army and was hand-picked. (A must for senior positions.)
  • The individual was a Gardai and has police training and knowledge of Galway.
  • The individual is a civilian with specific knowledge in domestic terrorism as an analyst, a psychologist, an administrator or a strategist.
  • The individual was an expert in an occult field either as a fringe academic or by studying the supernatural without believing it to be real.
  • The individual is a former member of the Army or a former Gardai and is now assigned to the OUA in a more martial role. (Note that this type of character is most likely to also be engaged in intelligence operations outside of the OUA, as they will not always be needed in that capacity.)

** Every member of the OUA (with the possible exception of a valuable academic,) must be Irish citizens.

Relationships

Bear in mind that this is the stereotypical stance. PC opinions may vary based on personal experience, or may closely follow the official line. People are people.

Watch

The OUA views the Watch as a potential threat. They fear that the Watch are recruiting and training Touched individuals for their own means. With the historic tensions between the Republic and Northern Ireland, the OUA superiors in G2 are concerned that Touched might use their abilities for political purposes.

The concern over the Watch's potential involvement in politics has diminished recently, but they are justifiably wary about a coalition of people with extraordinary powers operating in secret. After what happened at the Claddagh Raid, the OUA are very hesitant to attack them right on. Any attack at all is likely to push the Watch further into hiding. Their own failed efforts to combat Others and to help the Touched means that the Watch is something they realize is necessary - at least for now. Wiping out the Watch could also mean they'd lose the knowledge they possess. At the moment, they have tenuous access to it through favours given and received.

The OUA will very occasionally help the Watch with securing identification and passports for displaced Touched. This is a fairly large favour though, and one they won't grant without being certain that the person in question is not a criminal. Anyone they create identification for is closely monitored. They will also occasionally ask the Watch for help with information, or with cleaning up scenes that are far too strange to even go on their official records.

Church

The OUA are aware that some religious rites performed by clergy seem to have some effect on Others. They have occasionally worked with the church, but the relationship is not close.

Unaffiliated

The OUA takes it upon themselves to keep an eye on anyone known to be Touched who does not seem to be affiliated with the Watch. Their truce with the Watch means that their members are not actively tailed, but unaffiliated are fair game. Sometimes they're taken in for questioning or tested on, but the OUA realizes this is risky considering how powerful some Touched can be, and having seen what happens when they're cornered.

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