O-12

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Background

O-12 is an international representational and governing body, evolved from the UN, but with greater action and decision-making power. Endowed with a tactical police branch, Bureau Aegis, O-12 is the arbiter, judge, and jury of the Human Sphere. Protecting the weaker nations, preventing any form of abuse from the stronger ones, and controlling all international systems essential for the effective functioning of the Sphere all lie within its purview. Its mission is to protect the whole of Humanity and strive for its stability and progress. This is not an easy job and O-12 knows it, but it will never give up, much to the chagrin of some powers in the Human Sphere. Now that Bureau Aegis is back on the board, more dangerous than ever, everybody is wondering: how far will they go to fulfill their duty? What secrets are they hiding? And how will this interference affect the Human Sphere?

Common Ground

A bunch of squabbling, fractious children looking after their own self- interests. That’s how anyone from outside of the Human Sphere looking in might view our great interstellar powers. And they would be right, to a degree. Luckily, some people have the foresight to see beyond factional divides towards a brighter future of mutual prosperity, peace, and collaboration for the whole of humanity. The foundation for that golden age of cooperation is rooted right here in the Öberhaus, with its branches held aloft by the four Pillars of O-12: Unity, Cooperation, Support, and Progress. Far from representing a pipedream for a united humanity, O-12 are the unifying factor providing common ground to every resident of the Human Sphere. We are also the stewards of humanity’s own guardian angel, ALEPH. Regardless of former allegiances, we take our appointed roles very seriously.

Detective chief inspector (DCI) Romana Caceres, Gangbuster for the Special AntiCrime Unit, during a pep talk to potential new recruits for Bureau Aegis’s Section Spatha.

Open Forum

The interstellar organization we know as O-12 rose from the ashes of the United Nations, which rattled its last breath back in the 21st Century. Much had changed on the global stage at the time: the once-great United States were no longer considered a superpower, Europe was also in serious decline, China, Japan, and South Korea had transitioned into a new empire named Yu Jing, and PanOceania had just begun to find its feet as the intercontinental Hyperpower. With the ties that bound the UN no longer valid, the new major powers signed up to a fresh group of accords that were better suited to a political stage that would soon span entire star systems.

Much as the major powers of the Human Sphere have, O-12 has transitioned exponentially since its fledgling days as a platform to provide common ground and unity for Earth’s mightiest alliances. Under its remit of political neutrality and the umbrella of the four Pillars, O-12 has not only taken each major crisis that developed in the wake of humanity’s interstellar expansion in its stride, but also developed significant weight as an organization that is capable of guiding humanity in many different aspects. So much authority, in fact, that the organization now oversees an entire star system that holds humanity’s new capital world at its heart: Concilium and Concilium Prima, respectively. In addition to this, however, O-12 also oversees the great Circulars that tour the Human Sphere’s component star systems and acts as the self-appointed supervisory body that oversees ALEPH.

As an organization, O-12 is sub-divided into various bodies and bureaus that strive to uphold the four Pillars for the good of all. Based out of the Öberhaus, which some refer to as the beating heart of the establishment, the Senate and Petite Assemblée debate and pass international Laws and treaties. The O-12 Security Council act as a secondary check to the Senate and collaborate to agree best practices in contending with external threats to the Human Sphere. The Courts pass judgement and mete out justice on international Law and other issues that have been granted an appeal. The Conclave ratifies or denies applications for new member states wishing to join the O-12 body. Commissions delve into and analyze specific problems occurring within the Human Sphere and report back to their commissioning bodies. And then, finally, there are the Bureaus, the twelve subsets of the administration each tasked with a specific set of responsibilities, and each granted a unique set of powers to accomplish those tasks.

From ‘A Stellar Phoenix – The Human Sphere’s Greatest Work’, a historical study of O-12 undertaken by the ALEPH Aspect, Arcus, that was intended as a discourse for a Tohaa delegation.

The Organization Within

From the overt judiciary known as Bureau Aegis, to the highly secretive covert operatives of Bureau Noir, through to the inescapably transparent Bureau Toth that supervises, supports, and maintains ALEPH, the twelve Bureaus of O-12 are tasked with the important and necessary functions that allow the organization to continue operating within its mandate. To avoid overlap and the potential for abuse of power, the affairs of each Bureau are purposefully kept separate from each other unless shared through the platform of a joint task force between Bureaus. The only exception to the rule of separation lies within the hands of O-12’s secret service, Bureau Noir. As an intelligence agency, Bureau Noir is tasked with serving the whole of O-12, and therefore, by definition, each subset that forms part of the greater organization.

Team Escalation

Most often referred to as O-12’s military, Section Spatha’s makeup encompasses traditional policing elements, a tactical law enforcement unit, and a powerful naval element. As a whole, Bureau Aegis is tasked with enforcing the rulings of the Courts. When its sister branch, the lawyers and civil servants of Section Statera, find themselves unable to apply those rulings without force, Spatha step in to take a hand. Hence the name ‘Escalation’.

With the predations of the Combined Army also escalating, however, Spatha’s role is likewise rapidly evolving to better assist with plugging the holes of the Human Sphere’s defenses. Section Spatha, best-known as SWORDFOR, performs two important roles: tactical police duties and international crime and crime analysis which depends on the Global Police (or GloPol) department.

SWORDFOR’s penchant for high intensity operations that require a small, elite cadre has seen its operatives serving in unique flashpoints across the entirety of the Human Sphere. Their scope of operations has ranged from tackling rogue mercenary outfits and Submondo elements, dismantling private corporate armies, and providing specialist expertise within unique environments such as Svalarheima, Paradiso, and Dawn. A Starmada ship ghosting into a system is sure to spell doom for any unruly organization that has managed to bring itself to the attention of Section Spatha. Rarely have SWORDFOR failed to bring their target to justice.

A briefing paper commissioned by the Senate into the evolving nature of Bureau Aegis, and the remit of Section Spatha in particular.

Bureaus

Bureau Aegis

Legal issues and enforcement.

Section Statera

Legal branch. Lawyers. Civil servants. Run the courts. Implements laws. Named for the Scales; as in the scales of justice.

Section Spatha

Also known as SWORDFOR. Turns out that everything is under O-12's jurisdiction. Consists of tactical police units, military units, and a large naval force. Enforces laws. Named for the Roman straight-sword.

Bureau Agni

Energy supply and distribution. Teseum trade regulation. Neomaterials. Ultra-high-tech research. Named for Agni, the Vedic deity of fire. One of the five elements.

Section Metis

R&D. Based on Huaquiao in central Concilium Prima. Monitor technology. Deploy ultra-advanced physics labs. Experimental technology. Named for Mētis, a nymph from Greek mythology. Freed Zeus. Crafted armor, spear, and a shield for her daughter Athena and raised her in Zeus's mind.

Bureau Athena

Human rights. Protection of minority groups. Ethical and religious issues. Cultural promotion. Named for the Greek goddess of wisdom, art, protection, and learning.

Section Clio

Based out of the University of Manaheim. Responsible for analysing and producing comprehensive and encyclopaedic information on all aspects of the Human Sphere and beyond. Uniquely prohibited from working with Bureau Noir (including requesting secondment assistance) in order to create a firewall between the shadowy expediency of covert operations and the essential search for truth.

Bureau Concilium

Governing body of the planet Concilium and Free Cities (Toronto, Jerusalem) Named for the planet of its name.

Bureau Gaea

Planetary development. Terraforming projects. Relief supplies. Cultural anthropology of non-human races. Named for the Greek primordial deity of life and earth.

Bureau Ganesh

Trade. Economic standards. Aid programs. Disaster response. Loans. Smuggling. Piracy suppression. Named for the elephant-headed remover of obstacles to good luck, art, and science in Hinduism.

Bureau Hermes

Ship licensing. Spaceports. Running the Circulars and jump gates. Communications. Named for the herald of the Greek gods, protector of travel and orators and merchants.

Bureau Lakshmi

Health. Medicine. Vaccination. Cubes. Protection of all of the above. Timekeeping. Distribution of medicine. Runs the free resurrection lottery. Very popular. Named for the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune, power, prosperity, and Creation. Related to Parvati.

Bureau Noir

Intelligence. Secret service. A confusing structure. A mixed reputation. Bureau Noir operatives are everywhere, in every faction. In the role-playing game, players are by default agents of Bureau Noir.

Named for the French word for black.

Bureau Tiandi

Space. Exploration. Survey data. The ongoing search for new worlds. Mapping wormholes. Space rescue. Named for Tiāndì, Emperor of Heaven - one of many terms for Tian, creation, Heaven in Chinese theology.

Bureau Toth

ALEPH. Managing ALEPH. Defending ALEPH. Containing ALEPH. Obeying ALEPH. Supervising ALEPH. Ensuring that ALEPH is the only AI. Destroying ALEPH if ever needed. The largest and most secretive of all the bureaus. Named for Thoth, Egyptian ibis-headed god of the moon, magic, and judgement. Comparable to Hermes in Greek myth.

Bureau Trimurti

Coordination. Liasons. Implementation of laws. Diplomacy. Social media. Courier. Monitoring. Internal affairs. Named for the Trimūrti , the divine Trinity, the supreme beings in Hinduism who perform maintenance on the cosmos. Brahma creates, Vishnu preserves, Shiva destroys.


Starmada

Starmada, O-12’s space fleet, was born out of the need of the Bureau Aegis to be a global action force, endowed with an acting capacity that reaches anywhere in the Sphere. They are a part of Bureau Aegis.


Torchlight Brigade

The Torchlight Brigade was a dormant project fed with reserved funds. Its members were secretly recruited among the best troops of Bureau Aegis and Bureau Noir, and they pledged to answer the call whenever a new planet, a potential new home for humankind was in danger, whenever a law enforcement and security force was needed to operate in the remotest settlements in the middle of uncharted territory. Scattered throughout the Sphere, its dormant agents waited until the time came to carry the torch that would bring light to those distant colonies, out there where chaos reigns supreme and injustice lurks in the shadows.


Gladius Teams

People tend to forget that most of the Human Sphere is a frontier territory, and that the presence and power of the state, as well as the rule of law, are either limited or merely symbolic. Those territories out there are the godforsaken Wild West everyone has seen in Mayaproductions, where the nearest sheriff is always too far away to be of any help. In such circumstances, colonists feel safer when they carry a weapon to defend themselves, rather than calling for help that won’t arrive in time.

The problem is that the bad guys are always better armed, better equipped, and more used to unbridled violence than any colonist. To sum it up, in the Wild West of the Human Sphere, innocent civilians stand to lose.

However, there will always be someone who will stand between them and the bad guys, and that someone is Section Spatha of Bureau Aegis. It may not get there before the sheriff, but when it does, it will be able to accomplish far more than him. This is the purpose of the Gladius Teams—rapid deployment investigative and tactical intervention task forces—named after the ancient Roman sword. This is a hybrid unit composed of agents from different teams of Section Spatha who have been chosen for their special operational profile to fulfill various critical functions in rapid deployments.

The Jackboots are the muscle, with a nickname given by those who didn’t follow their orders and suffered the consequences. The Vidocq are the spies, and anything else they are required to be. The Nightshades are the thieves, as well as assassins when necessary. And the Ment agents are the team’s sleuths. All of them make up the core of the Gladius Teams, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they always act together, since these teams also draw on other regular units of Section Spatha and Starmada. [1]

Navigation

Below is a list of units which are commonly considered to be from this faction and/or its sectorials either in terms of availability or theme. This does not include units which are typically considered to be mercenaries, unless they thematically originate from this faction nor does it include units which are only available during specific ITS seasons.

A full list of units available to the generic faction and its sectorials can be seen via the Availability Categories links within the Navbox.