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Men in Black (story idea thread for mixing urban fantasy and supernatural)

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
PISS.

The joke. The embarassing younger brother. The black sheep of the family. When his brothers are engineers or doctors, he's in jail. When everyone else has started a family, he's homeless. The one who achieved nothing. The one who couldn't achieve a prom date. The geeky, gawky guy, alwasy embarassing himself. Pissing his pants.

PISS is the embarassing younger brother to the FBI and the CIA. Made in 1980, many thought it was a practical joke. Or perhaps a place to dump embarassing, scandalous, or just plain unmotivated agents. Agent arrested the Ambassador's wife, and was right to do so? Yeah, put him in. Agent failed to stop the terrorists and got slammed for it? Not his fault, but we've got to punish him anyway. Send him in. Agent just burnt out, or just hit with PTSD, and ain't good for much? Reassign him to PISS.

The joke goes: "Hey, how many ghosts have Piss captured today?" and the answer was. "Quite a few! They killed quite a few old ladies in that nursing home with shock!" Only a scant month or so will go by, without some embarassing incident or scandal involving piss. Perhaps they arrested a child dressed up for halloween. Perhaps they broke into a nursing home chasing a ghost and gave someone a heart attack. Maybe they chased a UFO non-stop for months, and only found out it was a frisbee.

Piss is a joke. A fraud. A waste of government money. And so everyone laughs. Everyone points at them as proof of government idiocy and incompetence. Everyone thinks that things like aliens, ghosts, magic, aren't real. I mean, what, that's what Piss is for, and they haven't found anything, right? Hahhaa.

Hahahaha.

Piss is an organization, made in the united states, meant to deal with those things that violate natural law, of ghosts, of aliens, and of the others. There were many things the government knew was weird, but it all came to a head in the 1970s. In another dimension, an archaeologist had found several valuable artifacts of immense magical power from an ancient dig site. A band of criminals had attacked the transport, and the artifacts crashed onto Earth, in America. What ensued was a firefight between local army groups, the criminals, several mercenaries, and local police forces. After the artifacts had been retrieved, and the criminals repulsed, the government had been contacted, by those who refer to themselves as the TSAB. Time-Space Administrative Bureau.

They informed the government of many things. Of horrors, of demons, of magic, of other worlds. Monsters in the night, and beasts in the daylight. Of symbols that make men go mad, to plays that bring chaos. Of musical notes that demand blood, to daemons that pray to the Four. Wonders and horrors, scattered across the multiverse.

There is good news, and bad news.

So far, the anomalies within this dimension has not caused great disruption to human society.

Bad news. With humanitys growing population, and the extrapolation from current trends, it is quite possible that within the next 100 years, the human race on this planet would be wiped out.

This was told to a general assembly of nations, from the five powers, as well as a host of other national officials. The meeting adjourned. No one would know it occurred. No one would know what was spoken. But all nations.... decided to do something.

The PISS was the US's decision. Make a grand spectacle, make it look like a joke... and in the shadows cast by the performance, their agents will strike, their presence masked by plainclothes and invisbility hexes and SEP fields. And a shroud against any discovery. Any outcry of magic or the supernatural, can be discredited, simply by associating the PISS with them.
 

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
I've got a secret organisation. PISS. (Paranormal incident state service). In-universe, according to 99% of humanity, they're a joke. A place to throw in fuckups and failures, so that you don't need to fire them. Every week or so, there's a piece detailing about the PISS's fuckups; scaring an old lady to death when searching for ghosts in a nursing home. Or sending children in a nursing school into a crying fit while chasing a werewolf. Photos of them cosplaying x-files and men in black. Their representatives are a joke,

The reality is far more sober. PISS acts as a combination of Stargate program, Black Ops, Ghost Busters, CIA, and other shit. In charge of dealing with the weird, protecting America, and all that other shit. They have a gate that can open up to other worlds, and they have made contact with them, even traded with them for rare substances and technologies and plant life. They have found magic, and are currently cataloguing and trying to analyze them fast as they can. They have found ring-sized laser cannons that can disable a MBT, miracle materials that break physics by existing. They have found worlds overrun by zombies, abominations, shadow monsters, and other insane shit. They have made contact with star faring alternate humans, and learnt how to build their own spaceships. They have hired out several mercenary groups, and learnt to fight alongside them.

Their base is chock full of alien artifacts, ranging from cabinets that have the space connected to each other, so they act as teleport gates, to flutes that play themselves and have mind and emotion-affecting powers, to crystals made of non-standard matter and react to thoughts, to antigravity engines, lasguns (40k), healing potions and poultices, artificial intelligences, devices that produce holographic clothing, bags of holding, and many, many more.

Ok. Here's the thing. This is a secret organisation, that's ostensibly a joke, that's consuming large amounts of men, resources, money, and equipment. They've got to get their funding from somwhere. They've got to get their maintenance, technology, and some such from some place. They have to get bases. They need smart scientists, to help analyze the loot they find. They need lots of soldiers, because out there, they're badly outgunned and they need everyone they can get. They need stuff, to pay off mercenaries with.

  1. How is this hidden?
  2. Would there be questions asked on where these resources are from?
  3. Really, how is this hidden? Someone's asking questions here. How do they buy him off
  4. There's gotta be some protocol or something, like if the supervisor of PISS says a specific codeword, and they have to jump to the order. How secret would this be?
  5. How angry would the people of America be, if they found out?
 

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
Steve Johnson looked at the news that wrecked his life.

He was sitting on his couch, the soft mattress beneath him squeaking slightly as he hunched down, staring at the tv screen. "-and tonight, news has come that the new Orion project, has been cancelled! NASA Director here, Anderson Quagmire, has cited numerous budget cuts, as well as several previously undiscovered eqiupment faults, that show that taking off for the moon for numerous experiments may lead to unacceptable losses! Now here's a short interview, with the Director himself."

The camera shifted to an interview room, showing the man in white lighting right before a table. "I'm afraid that, in light of the numerous budget cuts and alarming equipment failures, that we do not have the ability to guarantee that this mission will be a success, nor ensure that our astronauts will safely come home-"

The tv screen shorted out as he turned it off, and threw away the remote on the other side of the sofa. He slunk back, depressed, a hollow pit forming in his stomach. Damn it. 10 years, all wasted.

Steve Johnson was a man, who had wished to go to space. Even as a youth, he had been interested in the outer universe. He had begged his father, for a solar system model, which he then built himself. He had worked for summer months, finally saving enough money to get his own telescope. NIghts upon nights of looking at the night sky, pondering what was out there. When he grew up, he pursued his dreams even further. He obtained a bachelor's degree in engineering, and became a pilot for the Air Force. Numerous promotions and commendations came in, and he enjoyed them, but did not let them hold him down. His destiny wasn't in the army. And when the opportunity came, he applied. To the NASA Astronaut academy.

Three years of training. Underwater training, long treks through the forest, and months spent learning how to maintain and repair the electronics and equpment he would need to survive in space. And then, his dream came true. He was chosen for the goal. A mission to the moon, for exploration of several newly discovered caves and carry out several experiments involving lunar soil and gravity. He had been so excited for it... numerous congragulations from friends and colleagues, well wishes from relatives, and much more. He had run interviews, press releases, and several thanks yous on his blog.

It was wonderful.... until it was cancelled.

Steve didn't know what to do for himself. His boss, had given him some day off, to deal with it. He had always wanted to go to space. He knew that it was unlikely, that of the thousands that had gone to apply, less than a hundred had gone out into orbit. He knew that budget cuts were a Damocles Sword upon any NASA project. And yet, the failure of his dreams still stung.

He lay there, head resting on the armrest of the couch, staring at the wall before him. Happy times, photos taken during training, his first telescope, a photograph of winning the science prize in high school. Medals and commendations from the air force. Thank you cards.

There was a knock on the door.

---------------------------------​
"I'm sorry?" He couldn't believe his ears.

"How would you like to travel to another planet?" The government agent was sitting across him on the coffee table. On the table itself, was an NDA agreement, as well as a several forms for agreeing not to sue them in case of maiming, death, or injury.

Steve wondered if this was a joke. "I know you're FBI.... but yes, I would like to travel to another planet. I would like to go to places where no one has ever been. That's why I joined NASA."

The agent nodded. "That's what you said on your blog. So we both know that the program you were slated for has been cancelled, and in light of NASA's budget cuts and the lack of public interest in space, it is unlikely that you would get a second chance. So here's the deal. The US government, has its own program involving extra terrestrial program. However, it doesn't quite have the expertise in exploring regions or environments inimcally hostile to human life. However, you do. We would like to take you in, for your expertise."

Steve, couldn't but help feel that this was a trick. US government? Exraterrestrial? That meant a space program, but that would mean that someone would have talked about it. And why him, in particular?

"Why me?" He asked, echoing his thoughts. "And what's with this?" He pointed, tapping onto the NDA form. "What gives? I'm fairly sure that there's plenty of guys willing to do whatever, and willing to keep it secret. What are you doing that's so vital and that you can't tell anyone else."

The agent smiled, and pulled out a card. Steve reocgnised it. A report card, for his training.

"Excellent scores for surival and training. You displayed quick thinking and adaptability, as well as endurance. You have also majored in geology, as well as a commendation for detail and fieldwork. And as for you in particular? You have skills we need, little family, so we need not worry about widows nor fatherless children. Less worries of your death in the line of duty. And as for the secrecy...."

The agent's face became a blank mask, and Steve was slightly creeped out. "That is none of your concern, Mr Johnson. What we're offering, is for you to get onto other worlds. To explore, like you dreamed of. You will never be able to talk about it, nor would you be able to boast about it on social media. There would be no medals, and were you to die, your grave will simply be marked with 'car accident'. You will never be able to discuss what you experienced, save for in rather select circles. Still willing?"

Steve Johnson thought about it for awhile. He was not a proud man.... yet the thought of no one recognising his name, nor toasting him, and being barred from any hall of remembrance, pushed him away. Yet, he recognised this was an unprecedented opportunity. The winds were blowing, and it was likely that he would die in obscurity. Why not leap, once, to do what he had wished since his tenth birthday? The government agent was genuine, the documents were genuine, and he had an opportunity here, to walk on another planet. Dream or pride? Dream or Pride?

Dream.

He looked at the government agent, and nodded his head. "Where do I sign?"

------------------------------------------​
He looked at the photos, and shook his head. "Where is this place?"

The researcher standing right in front of him replied. "The place you're going to explore."

Steve just shook his head. He was in the army base. They had picked him up, at 2am in the dead of the night. Upon asking where they were going, they replied. "Washington." The car they were in sped forward, crossing the highways and the United States, until they entered the city. He entered the city, and entered a building. Here, he was blindfolded, and led about by a guide, through twisting corridoors and lifts. Until the blindfold was lifted, and he could see where he was lifted. A nondescript military base, filled with greys and blacks, with military men. And the symbol on it all.....

PISS.

The practical joke of the United States. Steve didn't go out much, but he'd heard of them crashing a birthday party, convinced that everyone inside was a reptilian. They were, ostensibly, made to investigate strange, weird shit. Many joked that they were chasing UFOs, or ghosts in old folks home. He thought that they were simply dumping grounds for fuckups and embarassments. Safely sequestered away from the public eye.

Must be slightly different, if they had access to heavy weapons and actual infantrymen.

Lately, he had regretted that thought. Strange things were constantly asked of him. No training in zero-gravity, nor dealing with weightlessness. None of that. Muscle trainings. Even steroids. He had been training decompression chambers, and low oxygen environments. He had been to obstacle courses, or classes. But something must be strange, because they talked of things like "dealing with radiation' or 'how to shoot this gun'.

Now, his frustration was at a climax. "Just tell me what's going on-" he said.

"I'm afraid that's classi-"

"Then damn you!" he shouted, finally losing his temper. He stormed out of the room, into the hallway. "Where are the cameras!" he shouted, convinced that he was under some long-running practical joke. "What the hell is going on here!"

He stormed forward to the director's office. He knew he would find answers there. He pushed it open, slamming the door. The man didn't seem startled, typing away at his laptop, various paperwork files and knickknacks littering the desk.

Steve took a deep breathe. Not now. Not yet. Maybe there was some misunderstanding, something he had missed out. Either way, shouting and yelling and threatening would not help him here. He strode out to the desk, and placed the photographs, and asked the all important question.

"Is this a joke?"

The photographs were of a sky. But not of earth. The sky itself was dark, with the stars glowing. But it was not night. The moon was missing, replaced by a shimmering band of colour, stretching from one end of the horizon, to another, over the head of the camera. The sun was shining, but it was not yellow. It was an immense red giant, covering half the sky. A scene from another world.

"This isn't in our solar system. This isn't even from a probe. That's not even from alpha centauri. So tell me what the hell is happening, what the joke is, what you're hiding, or I leave. Now. I have better things to do than play with LARPERS."

The director looked at him, not startled. not angry. Just a simple look. As if he was wondering about something. He leaned over and tapped the phone, speaking into it.

"Ok guys, I think this is enough. Let's override the protocols for now, and bring Mr. Johnson up to speed. If high command complains about it, I'll deal with it." He gestured towards Johnson, and nodded his head.

"You want to see what this is about? Fine, we'll show you."
 

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
Location: Planet orbiting a red giant
Atmosphere: Weak
Magnetic field: Strong
Temperature: Below zero
Water: Present

Planet #12851 is a planet orbiting a red giant in an elliptical orbit, with an active molten core. The core itself projects a strong magnetic field, protecting the planet's atmosphere from being blown away by solar wind. Nevertheless, due to its distance from the planet, and its lack of cloud cover, the planet is cold. Temperatures often hitting below zero.

Once again, the planet's core has assisted it. Life is on the planet, or more importantly, under it. The molten core has a vast amount of nuclear isotopes, the radiation other assorted factors creating an active internal activity. Volcanic activity has spewed multiple long-term decaying isotopes onto the planet's surface as well, leading to the planet to become more radiocative than normal.

Beneath the crust, away from the freezing surface, life lives, chewing on volcanic sulfates, as well as a unique biochemistry that enables them to consume radiation. The crust has a higher amount of metals than the norm, and the organisms take them into themselves, enfolding them within protein complexes, with immensely strong peptide bonds and no lesser than 15 different subsystems all dedicated to repairing the damage caused by radiation, enabling these organisms to live where most life on earth would die in minutes.

The only signs of life on the planet's surface, is a certain creature, labelled [redacted]. The plant analogue primarily has a single core of metal extending upwards, with numerous conduction chambers threaded through it. The spike punches upwards, through the crust, and into the surface, pushing through a layer of ice. There, it rapidly loses heat, the lack of warmth in the surface sapping away the thermal energy. But this is planned for. The difference in temperature, between the cold surface and the hot depths, creates an electrical current, that is harnessed by the plant to store energy. Thus heat energy, something which no ordinary organism can harness, is used in some way to the living creature's benefit. Losing heat on the surface, and gaining it beneath, is key to these organisms thriving. Thus, the parts on the surface have multiple adaptations to lose heat. Some grow to great heights, to increase surface area. Others, have great leaf analogues to act as radiators.

The plant look alikes have also adapted their reproduction. Spreading out offspring is hard beneath the crust, as rock does not allow for great movement. But out on the surface, travel is far easier. And despite the thin atmosphere storms and the like still occur. The seeds of the organisms are akin to tumbleweeds, blown about at great speed by the seasonal storms, with a single store of isotopes within them to help tide them over. Once they are scattered far enough, they take root, using their initial isotope store as energy to grow root deep into the crust, until they touch the heated portions and begin harvesting power via the thermoelectric effect.
 

Grasshopper

New member
Huh. Could be interesting.
How is this hidden?
You know, I'm not sure if that is possible in the modern day. Smear campaigns and classification will only go so far when you've got witnesses, cell phones with video recorders in every pocket, and even the best cleanup teams can't be everywhere at once. It'll get out eventually.

...unless you're thinking of things like large-scale mind control/brainwashing to remove memories or reality warping to remove evidence and the like. But it doesn't seem like you are.
Would there be questions asked on where these resources are from?
Almost certainly. I mean, I'm pretty sure that all government agencies are legally required to account for all resources and budget that they spend or don't spend in order to prevent corruption and minimize waste. If PISS doesn't do that, they're going to draw a lot of negative attention whenever anybody finds out about it and wants fame and attention. And if they do do that, they're probably going to have people wondering just what they're spending all this money on.
There's gotta be some protocol or something, like if the supervisor of PISS says a specific codeword, and they have to jump to the order. How secret would this be?
I'd imagine that at least the upper ranks would have been briefed on extreme and anomalous situations and events. "If such and such situation happens, accredited PISS agents can invoke Protocol so-and-so, in which case you shall do this and that". Probably not the grunts or middle managers, though, it'd be too many people to vet or track.
How angry would the people of America be, if they found out?
I'm thinking "demand that government immediately be replaced with your local demagogue who promises to Do Something About This" angry. I mean, we're talking about numerous successive administrations directly lying to the people about what they're doing, and not just about mundane corruption and torture either, but magic and space aliens. People would be furious.
 

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
I'm thinking "demand that government immediately be replaced with your local demagogue who promises to Do Something About This" angry. I mean, we're talking about numerous successive administrations directly lying to the people about what they're doing, and not just about mundane corruption and torture either, but magic and space aliens. People would be furious.
Question. Would anyone care to actually listen to them? And remember. This is international. Everyone knows about the supernatural. They just don't show it.

And they also kinda work together.
 

Grasshopper

New member
Question. Would anyone care to actually listen to them? And remember. This is international. Everyone knows about the supernatural. They just don't show it.
I dunno. But with the kind of evidence recording and dispersal tech available to us in the modern day, it seems unlikely that there would be absolutely no leaks at all, that every single whistleblower would be caught before they publish, that the cleaners would always be ahead of the media. And while people are unlikely to care about a single release, or even a few, you kind of have to succeed every single time at the coverup or evidence is going to start piling up and bits of the truth are going to slip out. I really doubt that all the world's governments are that competent.
And they also kinda work together.
I'm thinking 'that's even worse'. As in, it being revealed that the world's governments have systematically covered up and lied about the true nature of reality for generations is liable to flat out end civilization.
 

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
I dunno. But with the kind of evidence recording and dispersal tech available to us in the modern day, it seems unlikely that there would be absolutely no leaks at all, that every single whistleblower would be caught before they publish, that the cleaners would always be ahead of the media. And while people are unlikely to care about a single release, or even a few, you kind of have to succeed every single time at the coverup or evidence is going to start piling up and bits of the truth are going to slip out. I really doubt that all the world's governments are that competent.

I'm thinking 'that's even worse'. As in, it being revealed that the world's governments have systematically covered up and lied about the true nature of reality for generations is liable to flat out end civilization.
Huh. I was more thinking.... who would believe any whistleblower? I mean, a united earth? Magic? Dimensions? Aliens? Hahhahaha

Of course, they stop laughing when they realize its real....

Not generations. More like... 20 to 30 years.
 

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
Actually, that reminds me.

Say PISS somehow makes alliances, deals, and treaties, will they be treated as real, or would they be declared null and void?
 

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
The governments of the world declare their wish to make working fusion. All nation states working together, in one single goal. The goal, is to make a fusion reactor, with the knowledge and proceeds being shared freely. They make a conclave, gather up a team, and throw money and equipment at them.

Our POV character is a young scientist, with quite a few achievements under his belt. He's good, and he knows it. So when the director cuts him off from his ideas for the reactor and sends him down another path, he's rather annoyed. Then he's happy, when the path shows results. So he's willing to listen. Then a problem happens. The director comes out, and a scientist solves it. Quick and easy.

This happens again, again, and again. He's noticing a pattern. There's a conspiracy here. He's been on research teams before, and this isn't how it happens. There's always setbacks, difficulties. Setbacks, where research stalls for months while people rack their brains on how to solve the problem. Dead ends, where people often have to throw away months of research as worthless. Confusion, where people grope around, wondering in which direction to look for the answer.

None of this happens here.

The research goes immensely smoothly. No one is researching all that much. No one is left wondering about the answer for long. Problem? Solved in less than three days. Confusion? Not for long. Difficulty? It's dealt with. He notices that certain members of the scientists, have connections with the director or seem to know too much.

The climax occurs when a bunch of Greenpeace analogues crash the research centers with homemade explosives, molotov cocktails, and assault rifles. They start screaming about how nuclear is evil, and etc. Start shooting people. Until the police/ SWAT/ special forces come in, and kill them. The reactor is blown, damaged, and the maker of the components no longer exist. It won't be repaired until a decade later, and its the only one of its kind on earth.

Then a bunch of research notes are introduced, showing experimental results that are needed for them to finally complete fusion. In theory. Problem. The experiments that the results came from, were meant to be done five months into the future. The math checks out, and using a smaller, less powerful fusion reactor, they are proven to be true. The team has cracked nuclear fusion. Or at least, that's what the papers said. All documents are altered. All schedules are rewritten, so that no one questions this sudden influx of knowledge they had no way of knowing. And the source of the documents? The director of the project.

Our POV character has finally had it. He's confused. He's angry. He's lost friends. He's traumatised. He's lost his life's work, and found it again. He's been on an emotional roller coaster. He wants answers. He storms up to the director's office, and asks him and several scientists what is happening. Where did the data come from? Why do they seem to know so much on where to go? Why are they able to solve the problems and difficulties which should by all means have stumped them for months?

Where are all these ideas coming from? Who are they working with?

No answers.

Our POV character cannot take this. Too many secrets. Too many things hidden. Too much left unsaid. Shady business all around. He leaves the project, and requests that they leave his name out of it.

Fusion reactors are a thing now! And many thanks to the team. Accolades, recommendations, and awards are given. But our POV character is not there. He's given thanks, he's mentioned, and he's said that he's given contribution.... but his name is left out of the press releases.

In the dead of the night, a conversation goes out. One says that POV character knows too much, and must be deal with. Second says that he's smart and determined, just like any other scientist. And what made him different, was the desire to dig through and find out the truth although it might endanger his career and was inconvenient to him. One says that Second was too soft, and that POV character was a loose end, that might blab. Second says that since POV was smart and determined, with strong sense of curiosity and a desire to find knowledge and truth, stronger than his own survival instinct, he should be brought in. He would be a fine addition to the conspiracy. And killing him would be a waste.

Fade to black.
 

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