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Writer’s Guide: Part Two

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Hello again, welcome back to another installment of the Star Citizen’s Writer’s Guide. We’re all really excited about the great response to last week’s issue and this feature in general. One change to this week’s installment — I know I said that we would discussing local governments and Citizenship, but as I was writing out the issue, the Citizenship section kept expanding and expanding.
Ultimately, I decided to hold off on the local government stuff until next week so that we wouldn’t have to trim either one. For new readers, please check out our caveats for this series. Here’s a summary: this information is meant to be used for coming up with your fan fiction. Each of these installments is not complete or intractable information about their respective topics. We’re still designing the universe, fleshing out details, and saving information for bigger releases.
In the inaugural installment of Errata, this is where we will address questions, offer further clarity, or present additional facts on topics covered in the previous week’s installment. Last week, we started looking at the human experience, specifically the UEE and its structure.
As requested, we created a graphic of the timeline presenting the facts depicted in the Time Capsules. It will be posted at the end of the issue.
For simplicity’s sake, we modeled the military ranking system after the modern U.S. Navy:
Navy Officers (UEEN)
2nd Lieutenant
Lt. Commander
Rear Admiral
Vice Admiral
Notes about these ranks: Pilots are 2nd Lieutenant or above. 2nd Lieutenant through Captain are the most common ranks among fighter pilots. Carriers are under the command of an Admiral. Each Squadron consists of a carrier, its various wings, and support crew. Some carriers have Ground Assault Specialists onboard.
As for the Army and Marines, we have not addressed rank structure since we’re focused on the single-player experience at the moment and characters will be enlisted in the Navy. If you want to create a character for your fiction in the Army or Marine, I would recommend sticking with the current rank structure.
UEE SENATE/POLITICAL STRUCTURE There are a couple of updates regarding the political structure. There was a strong reaction against the use of the word Commoner; we agreed and brainstormed an alternative. Here’s an amended chart:
We haven’t really fleshed out the day-to-day responsibilities of the political figures but here’s a broad reference guide I keep in mind when coming up with things for them:
Imperator: Originally the dictator; after the Messer Era, the UEE restructured the Imperator to more resemble a President (democratically elected, term limits, not insane, etc.). To quote Ivar Messer, “every ship needs a captain.” The position is there to provide a final decision. Bills and legislation start in the Senate, move up to the High-Secretary, then go to the Imperator for approval or veto.
High-Secretary:  This is the chief executive of anything structural that takes place inside the UEE borders — communications, transportation, sewage, power, agriculture, bills/legislation, etc. Any and all issues regarding the infrastructure of the UEE are debated and refined by Congress, then eventually funneled to the High-Secretary before they are passed up to the Imperator.
High-Advocate: Basically the Attorney General. This office handles enforcement of laws, but also coordinate efforts to make sure that UEE local governments are complying with the latest amendments to galaxy-wide imperial UEE laws.
Senators: Elected by the Citizens of their respective planets and work primarily out of the Congress on Earth (though they will return to put in time with their constituency, particularly when it’s nearing election time). Senators do not directly create any local legislation or appoint local officials, but their endorsement and influence are undeniably powerful.
Due to the massive size of the UEE, there are dozens, even hundreds of political parties but there are three that dominate the political landscape.
Universal - Institution-focused ideology. Government and systems will guide the people. Seen by some as a blue-blood, wealth-based ideology.
Centralist - Traditional even somewhat libertarian-styled political ideology. It’s about sustaining and maintaining the status quo, and excelling through the values of humanity. Embrace the past, be proud of where you came from, etc. Needless to say, they support keeping Earth as the capital.
Transitionalists (Transits) - Relatively recent “People’s Party” formed around promoting a progressive human agenda. Most of their rhetoric is aimed towards “the future.” They obviously support Terra as the center of the UEE.
When Messer consolidated his power and transformed from the Prime Citizen to the Imperator, he also bonded the powers of the High-General to the position of Imperator (in an effort to prevent any other faction of the government from legally wielding the military against him). Therefore, the UEE High Command was created, a committee of representatives from the branches of the military to facilitate the orders of the Imperator.
Think of it like the Joint Chiefs, a consolidation of high-ranking military officials who organize and brief the Imperator about military matters.
The general public are known as civilians (or Civs used with varying levels of derision). They are the salt of the earth, the workers and the masses. Everyone’s born a civilian, only the civically minded become Citizens. Civilians are still registered residents under the UEE. At the age of seventeen Standard Earth Years, they start paying taxes, can own property, and vote in local elections and legislation if they’re registered to a system. Citizens are chosen members of society.  This is a status that has to be earned. In short, you must show an active commitment to furthering the interests of the UEE, which can be done through distinguished military service, community service, or application (that’s the least successful by far). It’s not easy to become a Citizen. It’s not meant to be; the powerful hate sharing their power.
As far as the perks for being a Citizen, here’s our working list at the moment:

    [*]Allowed to own a Multi-System Corp [*]Pursue political office (on a local or UEE level) [*]Vote for UEE issues (Senators, Referendums, etc.) & Local Elections/Legislation [*]Work for the UEE government (like the Advocacy) [*]Easier to obtain UEE trade licenses to sell/buy from Xi’An or Banu [*]Local Law Enforcement might let you skate on smaller crimes (unofficial perk) [*]They pay a slightly lower tax rate

    Convicted criminals and assimilated cultures defeated in war (such as the Tevarin) are never allowed to become Citizens and a long history of behavior deemed counter to the purposes and dictates of the UEE can cause your Citizenship to be revoked.
    To many, it may sound like Citizenship is the only way to have a good life in the UEE. Ultimately, it depends on your priorities. There are things that absolutely require Citizenship to achieve (see above list). But if you want to live on the edge, make your living slugging cargo or exploring the depths of space on the fringe, there isn’t much that Citizenship can offer you.
    This is a big topic, one that is in constant discussion as to how it will be implemented into gameplay. This entry is barely going to scratch the surface about the possibilities that you can explore with Citizens. As I said in the last post, we’re trying to build a universe of greys, not black-and-whites. Of moral complexity, not absolutes. But here are the broad strokes to set the boundaries of where you can go for your own stories.
    There isn’t a class war going on … yet. While it’s true that Civilians are the lowest class in the UEE, this is not the Middle Ages. Civilians are not slaves or a subjugated populace. They are not treated like scum or spit on by the powerful. Do some Civilians feel like they’re toiling away while the Citizens live in the lap of luxury? Sure. Conversely, do some Citizens resent Civilians? Sure, there can be fat-cat Citizens who despise the dirty plebes outside their door, but others use their positions and resources to look out for them.
    So what is the general sentiment about the Citizens/Civilians dynamic? If you can boil the sentiments of a populace into a single emotional feeling: it’s a system that seems to be working for the most part. For a majority of people, this is just always the way it’s been and it’s not likely to change anytime soon. From the govenrment’s perspective, there are trillions of people in the UEE. Think how difficult it is to have an election with the 120 million or so voting citizens in the U.S. alone. So they needed some way to whittle down the enfranchised populace.
    From Samden & Gundersum:
    Q:  You mentioned the Advocacy as a cold war KGB/CIA mirror, are they still the arm of the UEE which conducts covert affairs and espionage?
    A:  I think the Advocacy handles counterespionage while the military handles intelligence/espionage missions.
    From corocoro:
    Q:  You didn’t mention any form of a judiciary power – has technology made court cases obsolete or are they just too irrelevant to the game/lore? From the Kid Crimson story it sounded like the Advocacy is confirming guilt and then acting based on their findings without oversight (both jury and executioner), but how are low-profile cases and those that are “skirting” the law handled?
    A: The Advocacy is responsible for the courts as well. There is still due process (which was probably forgotten during the Messer Era). Advocacy Agents are legally allowed to shoot/blow-up criminals in the field if they are acting in self-defense or if innocent lives are at risk. The existence of ‘kill-orders’ has long been unofficially acknowledged within the UEE infrastructure. Though never confirmed, the rumor is that they are only placed on the most dangerous and vicious fugitives.
    It’s been mentioned in some of the comments: the Advocacy is like the FBI. They don’t handle small-fry cases; they come in for egregious inter-system fugitives and murderers. Anything else is handled by local law enforcement and bounty hunters.
    We’ll get around to discussing how local governments work and if there’s space, will start covering how the media and communication systems affect the flow of information.As always, feel free to leave questions about this week’s post or about next week’s topics in the comments below.Without further ado, here’s the timeline (created by Zane):


    2075: Roberts Space Industries introduces Quantum Core Engine Technology. This new engine allows humanity to travel to the corners of our solar system with relative ease. The sun to Pluto in 50 hours.


    2113: Terraforming technology patented.


    2120: First attempt to terraform Mars begins.


    2125: The Mars Tragedy. Early attempt at terraforming the planet suffers catastrophic failure. Over 5000 souls killed when the atmo collapses.


    2140: First commercially available starship.


    2157: Mars successfully terraformed. Memorial built to honor those killed in the Mars Tragedy.


    2214: New version of the RSI engine released, allowing travel up to 1/10th the speed of light. More ships exploring our solar system.


    2232: Artemis Launched. First attempt to have a manned spacecraft fly (slow-burn) to the nearest star system. Captain, crew and thousands of volunteer colonists are placed in stasis for the flight. Ultimately the ship disappears.


    2262: A series of ships inexplicably disappear in the same area of space. Drawing comparisons to the Bermuda Triangle, the government declares the Neso Triangle a no-fly zone. There is much more myth and conjecture about why this happens than there are hard facts.


    2271: After almost ten years of study, Nick Croshaw goes to investigate the Bermuda Triangle-esque Space Anomaly and discovers the first jump point, becoming the first human to travel to another system and the godfather of the modern Navjumpers.


    2380: Croshaw System has been terraformed. The search for new jump points signifies the beginning of Humanity’s expansion to the stars. The Earth’s social and political differences are set aside. We are united in our desire to strike out into the stars. The United Nations of Earth (UNE) is born.


    2438: First Contact. It is considerably less cinematic or romantic than many had dreamed of. An explorer encounters a Banu in Davien. He is just as surprised as we are. The Banu are also just beginning to expand into the universe. General Neal Socolovich and delegates negotiate the first intergalactic peace and trade treaty.


    2460: Through expansion and terraforming, there are vast amounts of land and territory for humanity to move to. Earth is overcrowded, so more and more people are leaving to stake their claim out in the universe.


    2516: Terra settlement established. Found at a confluence of jump points, it’s a perfect nexus.


    2523: 70% of humans live off-world. They feel that they deserve equal representation in UNE proceedings. The government changes form once again, becoming the United Planets of Earth (UPE). The new government will be run by a tribunal; a High-Secretary (responsible for maintaining the infrastructure), High-General (responsible for expansion and protection), and a High-Advocate (responsible for maintaining the law).


    2530: Discovery of the Xi’An Empire. We stumble into their territory without knowing and are about to start terraforming. High-General Volder receives criticism for being too aggressive, while there is muscle flexing and threats from both sides. A cold war of sorts begins, with occasional casualties, but not full-on open conflict.


    2541: In the leedward systems, humanity discovers a war-like race called the Tevarin (about 150-200 years behind Earth technologically) who have control over several systems. Each Tevarin planet is its own entity with very little interaction with each other, similar to warring tribes. UPE decides to annex them to prevent them from attacking us and to ‘civilize’ them in the process. Colonel Ivar Messer, a brilliant and ruthless strategist, distinguishes himself in the Battle of Idris IV. He quickly becomes the pride of the military and the face of the War.


    2546: Messer, now promoted to commander, brings the captured Tevarin leader to the UPE floor. He rides the popularity of his victory to become High-General. Claiming the Tribunal is an outdated system and cultivating a fear of the Xi’An, Messer proposes the creation of a new single office with the title of Prime Citizen. Upon election as the first (and last) Prime Citizen, it isn’t long before he restructures the government into the new United Empire of Earth (UEE) and annoints himself Imperator, ushering on in an age of unprecedented expansion and colonization.


    2603-2610: The Second Tevarin War. Repopulated after hiding on the Fringe, the Tevarin have spent the last fifty years building their forces for the sole purpose of retaking their homeworld Kaleeth (renamed/resettled by the UEE as Elysium IV. While theirs is a cause that some humans could support, the UEE isn’t about to give up territory. Realizing that they can’t win, the Tevarin decide to make a final desperate push to scuttle their ships on Elysium IV. If they can’t live there, they will die there.


    2638: Senator Assan Kieren of Terra publicly decries the pro-military agenda of the UEE and its unconditional support of the military-industrial complex. He calls for another vote of sovereignty for Terra and its adjacent systems. Imperator Messer XI wields the UEE’s brutally efficient propaganda machine to discredit and destroy Kieren, who disappears soon after. There are rumors that he is murdered, but nothing can be proven.


    2681: The Vanduul, a nomadic leeward race in the west, starts raiding our new settlements in the Tevarin systems and disappearing. They seemingly have no homeworld; each Vanduul clan is a roaming fleet, making them exceedingly hard to catch.


    2715-2788: The military regime reaches a plateau. While the human populace has been somewhat beaten into submission, there’s a current of subversion in the culture. People are starting to see the cracks in the system. Activist groups launch attacks against the political/propaganda machine. The military is stretched thin, bracing for war with Xi’An, chasing down Vanduul raiders, and trying to maintain security on the human systems. The Imperator’s power is waning.


    2789: In a daring act of defiance, peace is independently brokered with the young Xi’An Emperor Kray by Senator Terrence Akari of Terra, who refuses to fight open war on his doorstep. Terra blasts Earth for being imperialistic and short-sighted. Xi’An looks at the situation as a potential way to create a divide in the Human Empire.


    2792: The Massacre of Garron II. A terraforming Corp begins to terraform an inhabited planet. The inhabitants weren’t star-travellers, just a developing race, which get wiped out from the atmo-processors. The corp vehemently denies that the aliens were capable of conscious thought. Activist vid-footage of the aliens’ rational behavior is leaked to the Spectrum. It is also revealed that the terraforming Corp is closely tied to the Benevolent Imperator’s family. That’s the final straw; the people rise up and overthrow of the government. Erin Toi of Earth becomes the new Imperator and promises an age of enlightenment and social consciousness.


    2795: The Fair Chance Act is ratified, decreeing that is a capital crime to attempt to terraform planets with developing creatures. These planets are to be left alone to give the species a chance to advance/evolve.


    2800: UEE builds the Ark, a repository of information and culture located in space for all the races in the universe. It is seen by some as an attempt at reparation.


    2872: In response to criticism that humanity is only interested in greed and blood, the UEE embarks on its greatest achievement: a SynthWorld, converting a lifeless rock into a life-sustaining planet. Construction begins in Chronos system. It is viewed as the current era’s legacy. A massive undertaking, it will take decades, maybe centuries to complete.


    2920: The SynthWorld project is moving slowly and it’s draining the Empire economically. This is the point where our reach starts exceeding our grasp. The disparity between the rich and the poor is reaching an all-time divide, and the poor are reacting with greater and greater frustration. The Vanduul attacks are growing in frequency and the UEE doesn’t seem to be doing a thing about it.


    2942: Today…


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  • Similar Content

    • By Gallitin

      Dropping his duffel, Gates looked around his tiny apartment a last time and verified he had every one of his very limited assortment of personal items. Satisfied, he took his MobiGlas out and called the management company to let them know he’d vacated the premises.
      Mundane matters complete, Gates cued the cutout software on his MobiGlas and placed another call. Angelique’s heart-shaped face appeared in the pick-up, smiling. The bruises Kitty had put there were already fading. “Armi!” she said, eyes too bright for complete sobriety, but not so high he had to take notice.
      “Good to see you’re feeling better, Angelique.”
      She nodded, picking up on the cool response. “What is it, Armi?”
      “I’m leaving on business. You’ll be on your own for a bit.”
      Angelique frowned, pretty brows drawing tight, “But who’s going to look after me?”
      “You will continue as arranged. Nothing changes.”
      “The Se-“
      He interrupted her, not wanting her to use the title, “Nothing changes. Deposits will continue. Keep happy and listen well. I will be in touch.”
      “What about the other thing?” Angelique asked, brushing her bruised eye.
      “Taken care of.”
      “Just like that?”
      “A word of advice: clean up, if you can. I won’t be around to correct such problems in the near future. Besides, you know that stuff does you no good.”
      She bit her lip, looked away, “I know … thanks.”
      “Be safe.” He closed the channel and put his MobiGlas away. She would either sort out her drug problem, or not. Either way, she was a good source on Senator Yaldiz’s secret life, being the central pillar of it. He gave the apartment a final glance. Two years, reduced to a single ruck and a couple new assets; some on and some off the books. Not bad, but not the best use of an old agent’s time. He sighed. It will be good to be back in the fold, back with Special Action.Picking up his ruck, Gates left.
      An hour later he stepped up to the local Advocacy quartermaster’s counter to claim the tag for the ship he’d been allotted. The kid behind the counter smiled as he pushed the datakey across.
      “Avenger, designated A3301. That old bitch is on flight line two.”
      Ignoring the kid, Gates signed for the tag and hit the locker room. Donning his flight blues lit the old excitement, putting a bounce in his step as he walked onto the flight line. Gates found her by the designator painted on her tail. Found her, and snorted. He was tempted to go back and punch the kid quartermaster out: A3301 was an early model Avenger, but at least a decade younger than Gates.
      He shrugged, mounted the ladder. It’s been too long, he thought, slinging the ruck through the hatch of the old fighter.
      Pre-flight was easy and quick, old skills coming back. Gates logged his ground-to-orbit flight plan and request to depart. Both were quickly approved.
      He took off a bit gingerly, getting a feel for her. Been flying a desk for a long time, even before the suspension, after all.
      Gates found an honest smile curling his lips. In comparison to the ships he’d piloted at Special Action, she was sluggish and long in the tooth, but A3301 was his for the next little while.
      The trip to the Black Box was long and less than entertaining, requiring several transits and a few stops to confound anyone trying to track him. The irregular black asteroid wasn’t all that box-shaped.
      Gates was one of the few that knew its shape wasn’t the reason Special Action had named the place — it was their policy of wiping the black box nav recorders of ships that stumbled upon it.
      The defense network surrounding the Black Box sent multiple queries to verify his ID. For a long moment the only evidence he had that he’d satisfied the security protocols was the fact he hadn’t been blown to tiny particles.
      He was given a flight path and followed it to the last decimal. Some things you just don’t take chances with. He entered a blacker pit in the dark side of the asteroid and slowly linked up with the docking collar extended for his craft. The hull clunked as mag-locks gripped his ship, connecting his systems with those of the base.
      Gates smiled as his sensors went off-line and all lights went dark before the docking collar started drawing A3301 into the asteroid. Advocacy agents were trusted, generally, but institutional paranoia was the name of the game with SA.
      This way he couldn’t have told anyone what ships were in the docking bay even had he wanted to.
      “Special Agent Gates, welcome back to Special Action,” a woman’s voice interrupted his thoughts, mild trace of an accent spinning the words in pleasant fashion, “I’m Vasser, Special Agent in Charge. When your hatch opens, follow the blue line to me. I’ll brief you in on your mission.”
      The Special Agent in Charge briefing me in herself? Unusual. Probably wants to set the tone by putting the old warhorse in his place first off. Setting himself to keep his temper, Gates collected his bag and waited for the hatch to pop. When it did, he followed the illuminated line along a series of empty passages to a hatch. It opened under his hand, revealing a small room.
      Vasser sat inside, fingers interlocked on the table before her. White-blonde hair, cut short to fit under a flight helmet or combat armor. All in all, a bit hard on the edges for his personal preferences, but quite attractive. Her expression was neutral as she shook his hand. Nice grip. Not trying too hard. Good sign.
      Gates smiled, “SAC Vasser.”
      She gestured him into the seat across from hers, “Special Agent Gates. I trust your trip wasn’t too trying?”
      He shook his head. “Good to be back in a cockpit.”
      She smiled, showing even white teeth for the first time, “You might grow to resent being in one before this is over and done.”
      “I doubt it, but do tell.”
      “All right.” She punched at the tabletop, calling up a series of files.
      Gates heard his MobiGlas chirp as it received copies for later review.
      “Three Advocacy agents have been murdered in recent months.”
      That got his attention. “Why haven’t–” he snapped his jaw shut on the question when he realized why he hadn’t heard: if these were deaths of undercover agents on active investigations, they wouldn’t have been reported, not through any channels to which a suspended agent would have access.
      She continued as if he hadn’t started to say something stupid: “We already have a team chasing down the primary suspect in one case, but I’m tasking you with looking into the other two. On the quiet, as a bounty hunter.”
      Not adding up.
      She read him too easily, or at least figured her explanation was lacking: “Problem, Agent Gates?”
      He shrugged, “Just that I’m not known for the quiet quality of my investigations.”
      Her smile returned. He decided he liked it as she continued, “No, you’re known for breaking things. That works in our favor on this one: in fact, as far as anyone but you, me, and your old SAC knows, you’re still on suspension.”
      “About Oda, she’s not a fan of mine … And there’s the quartermaster who assigned the ship I came here on.”
      “My problem, and already dealt with.”
      “All right.”
      A barely-visible eyebrow arched, “Just like that?”
      He smiled, “If you say Oda is handled, then she’s handled. Same thing on the kid manning the ship depot. Beyond that, I’d rather get on with learning what you know about someone who thinks they can plant our agents without retribution.”
      She looked at him a long moment, seeming on the verge of saying something.
      Gates waited, expectant.
      Vasser didn’t speak, instead looked down and called up an image of an agent in his academy uniform. “Agent Max Nawabi. Graduated twelve years ago. Most recent assignment: Customs Control and Enforcement. Sent in, undercover, at Corel, to investigate rumors of slave trading. Expected to be a long-term op, he was checking in regularly before his handler lost contact two months ago. He turned up dead in a back alley on Nexus last month.”
      Another graduation image. “Agent Gage Knowles. Graduated ten years ago. Most recent assignment: Narcotics Investigations. Sent in at Nexus on long-term undercover operation regarding narcotics trade along the Magnus-Nexus-Corel systems. Made regular reports until contact was lost two months ago. Turned up on Nexus in a trash heap within days of Nawabi’s corpse.”
      “Aside from the timing, what makes you think the killings are related?”
      She looked at Gates, called up the autopsies of both agents. “They made almost no attempt to cover up either killing, and the weapon used was the same in both instances.”
      “Exactly the same?”
      . . .to be continued
    • By Gallitin

      Hello everyone, and welcome back for the final installment of the Writer’s Guide. Should you need them, here are the links to the previous entries, and if you are new, please review the caveats at the beginning of Issue #1. You can also find the beginning of this discussion in Issue 12.
      Issue 1 – UEE Structure Issue 2 – Timeline & Citizens/Civilians Issue 3 – Local Government & Media Issue 4 – Corps Issue 5 – Criminals Issue 6 – Alien Civs (Banu & Xi’An) Issue 7 – Alien Civs (Vanduul & Tevarin) Issue 8 – Technology Issue 9 – Transportation Issue 10 – People Issue 11 – Storytelling Issue 12 – Civilian Intelligence Agency
      Probably should note that this was written before the website was transferred over so some of the usernames might be outdated. Without further ado, let’s get to it:
      There were a lot of fantastic reactions to Sengar’s original idea and the version presented to the community. The biggest part of coming up with these aspects of the universe is discussion, where everyone has the freedom to throw out and explore any and all ideas, so let’s go through piece by piece.
      THE NAME
      Reactions to the Division of Executive Services were quite varied. Again, the idea was to create something so innocuous that would almost defy investigation or question. It’s a weirdly fine line to try and walk because you want something that encapsulates the agency (without describing the agency) but also something that sounds harmless if you don’t know what they are but ominous if you do.
      Let’s take a look at some comments and address them individually:
      Space Elmo says:Really like these names.(pan imperial data acquisition services sounds bland and cool at the same time) Prefer them to Division imho however perhaps they could be the name for the public government “front” and behind the scenes known as Division?
      That’s a good name. Definitely covers the innocuous thing, it’s doubtful anyone would really want to dig too deeply into that for fear of a massive wave of technical jargon. My issue with it is that it feels too locked into the acquisition part of the agency and not really factoring in the field work that Division handles.
      Cardboard Brain says:I feel like it should be called “The Division” more than it’s called “Division.” Could just be me I guess, but it seems… odd without the “the.”
      Aside from that, though, I really like this idea. It’s got a sort of MIB vibe, too, which is always a good thing.
      That’s a good point. This feels like personal preference. To me, adding “The” makes it sound like more of an established name, whereas simply Division is just kinda weird and ominous but only in context, “Division is sending someone over.”
      LudicrousSpeed says:I like the concept, which adds a layer of intrigue to the ‘verse. IMO “Division” isn’t ominous enough, especially if it will have political leanings and the power of information/secrets. My suggestion: “Intergalactic Reconnaissance and Surveillance”, (I’ll let you figure out the acronym), referred to as simply “The Agency” for short?
      Love the acronym but it feels too overt. Since they are operating under the radar the last thing they would want to do is draw attention to what they’re doing.
      CooperSmith says:How about Office of Executive Services. Sounds like a much small group than Division. Then you can tell someone, “I’m going to the office”
      Office could work. TRAJAN had a good point that Division sounds too much like a military name.
      Peraion says:I very much like this idea. For a really bland name and plausible deniability, why not call them the Census Bureau or have them be a part or subdivision of them, e.g. the Census Bureau Field Office? Those guys collect and analyze data too, after all.
      That’s a pretty cool idea, but I feel like you would have to make them a subdivision in order to avoid confusion with the real Census bureau. Also, I’m worried that it implies only one facet of their operations (hard data collection).
      cmopatrick says:Miscellaneous Research Committee – MSC (insiders pronounce it “mask”).
      New recruits are “Student assistants” aka “Flunkies”
      Journeymen are “Research Associates” aka “Readers”
      Masters are “Document Writers” aka “Compilers”
      Station heads are “Lead Researchers” aka “Librarians”
      This could work too. Definitely innocuous. Probably easy to avoid intense questioning about it and would provide an easy way to justify sending people all over the UEE and outside. My big concern is that it’s so similar in name to the ship manufacturer, MISC.
      Kickforce says:Statistical Analysis Department?
      Sounds so boring no one will bother disturbing them, and for statistics you have an excuse for demanding to see any kind of information. The acronym SAD seems to make it even worse. Agents could be called SADists, but not when they hear you.
      As with the Census Bureau idea, it could work but I feel like it’s too limiting in covering the scope of what they do.
      GiantSnark says:I’m a little confused on the dividing line between the Division and the Advocacy. Basically the Advocacy is the FBI(focus on enforcement of federal/imperial laws, investigation and pursuit of inter-system criminals) and the Division is more like the NSA (focus on intelligence gathering and analysis within the territory of the Empire)?
      What about foreign spy networks (the CIA)? Who is running the UEE’s intelligence-gathering and covert operations outside the borders ofthe UEE? They’ve already been mentioned. Is that Division, Advocacy, or a third group entirely?
      Division handles intelligence operations both within the UEE and outside of it. The Senate (particularly the members who are privy to Division’s existence) are voracious in their appetite for knowledge.
      Mosern says:Just a question. Does DES have an executive branch that actually does anything other than gathering intel? (Ex: “Eliminating” double-agents etc) Or is that role done by other departments?
      Yes. There are operatives within Division who can handle that, but they would also be likely to hire outsiders to do the deed.
      There was a pretty consistent thread of people who weren’t really feeling the term ‘gatherers’ for the operatives. Upon review, they made some good points. Like the agency’s name, the tricky part of these names is that it can’t feel too overt, but should feel intimidating if you understand what it means. I kept trying to think of something along the lines of “Cleaner” (from La Femme Nikita and The Professional) or “Gargoyles” from Snow Crash. Anyway, let’s go through some of the suggestions.
      Chromasphere says:Interesting. So this agency is a Panoptic-Data-State Collection, Assessment and Distribution group.
      I would call the operatives Technicians as they do all the technical work to gather the current info then distribute it to enforcement agencies.
      I like Technicians, but Sengar brought up a good point that it feels a little too technical.
      IceVamp says:Not completely sold on these internal agent designations though. It’s not very spacey. How’s about “Compiler”?
      Compiler could work for the analysts. Not sure it really applies to the field agents.
      Anzig says:“Gatherer” doesn’t have enough government flunky in it though. Going with the “travel agency” theme I’d use Associate.
      As per IceVamp’s introduction:
      “So what do you do for the government?” “I’m an Associate with the Division Of Executive Services. I help smooth over travel issues in our area when other members of the governm…” “snore”
      I like Associate a lot.
      match says:How about Accountants? They are often overlooked but normally privy to sensitive info. I do like “Division” as the name. Messer himself may have elevated this group in order to keep the different arms of government “divided” to maintain dependence on him.
      While it could make sense for the Field Agents (i.e., managing accounts = managing human/alien assets). I worry that Accountants might be too misleading.
      So, after all that, let’s take a look at the revised entry for the civilian intelligence agency:
      Office of Executive Services aka OESRESPONSIBILITIES
      Long hidden behind an innocuous (i.e., dull) name within the labyrinthine bowels of the Senate’s budget, theOES is responsible for the collection, analysis or exploitation of information and intelligence in support of law enforcement, imperial security, defense and foreign policy objectives.
      This can take on many forms, from communication intercepts to asset gathering to counter-intelligence to black ops in alien civilizations, as OES utilizes operatives throughout the Empire on both domestic and foreign missions.
      Since it has never been officially recognized, no one really knows when OES was created. The first known mention ofOES came in the archive of the Senate subcommittee meeting in 2794. But the first potential indication of an OESaction came six years earlier, in 2788. Nathan Warrick, an Advocacy Section Chief in the Terra System, helped facilitate Senator Akari’s meetings with the Xi’An to create the Kray/Akari treaty that defused tensions with the Xi’An and marked the beginning of the end of the Messer Era. After that incident, Warrick left the Advocacy and disappeared. After the fall of Messer, Warrick reappeared as a ‘consultant’ on Akari’s staff before being named as the first Director of the new Office of Executive Services during that Senate subcommittee meeting in 2794.
      Terrified at the prospect of another despot, the Senate wanted to make sure they were kept informed of the mood of the people, as well as the atmosphere of the other branches of the UEE. The Office of Executive Services was designed to infiltrate, keeping an eye not only on the public but also the military and even the Advocacy.
      The Senate Subcommittee for Internal Appraisal handles budgetary and executive oversight of OES. Again, the official incarnations of this elusive spy agency are designed to be forgettable, hence the bland names.
      Field agents for OES actively recruit assets within and without the UEE to keep the Senate apprised of potential crises and growing threats to imperial security. Known within OES as associates, they are charged with digging up information or turning assets for OES analysts to consume.
      Even the oversight committee has no idea how OES recruits its associates. Its strength is that its agents can be anyone, so their recruitment path is personality-based more than physical. They want adaptable, intuitive and intelligent people who are capable of being present but not being noticed (or at least forgotten soon after).
      The existence of OES is still heavily guarded. The Imperator, the Military and the Advocacy are all aware that the Senate has a clandestine agency at their disposal, but having to sift through wild conjecture and unreliable sources, they can’t isolate exactly where it is or even who’s in charge. Also, associates embedded within those organizations are very good at disrupting any potential leads.
      That isn’t to say that the OES is an open book to all of the Senate. Senators have to be in office for several terms before they are brought into the fold about the agency’s existence.
      There are many in the public who hear whispers of Senatorial spies. Some have unknowingly worked jobs for theOES, but deniability has been OES’ prime directive since its inception and thus far, they haven’t been caught.
      That’s it. Thanks again for everyone’s participation. As always, feel free to post responses in the comments below. As we mentioned earlier, the Writer’s Guide will be going on a hiatus, but we will be bringing you some brand new serials in the Star Citizenuniverse so stay tuned and keep writing.Until next time…