Stories / Spirals /


an excerpt from the files of the Worlds Security Overdirectorate

ASSET UID    : 2898E-88D039-CEB33
LANGUAGE     : Zia Ţai, Carnelian Colloquial
TRANSLATOR   : Sermec Tegvari
LOCATION     : National Security Bureau Headquarters,
NOTES        : Original audio available in asset


Welcome, welcome everybody. It’s good to see such new, young faces in the Division. Welcome to orientation. I’d like to begin by telling you my name, but I’m afraid that’s classified. Haha. No, that’s a joke, I’m Kestrel Goldenbough, General Secretary of Division 6. You lot can call me Kes, we don’t stand on ceremony here.

So, congratulations, kids. You’ve made it to the big leagues. I see some of you are in Justicariat uniforms; you must casualties of the new transfer program. -No, no, don’t tease them, we’ll get them broken in soon enough. If you’re here, someone higher up than you thinks you’ll be an asset.

So, show of hands, who knows what we do here at Division 6? Oh dear, we’ve had quite the security breach, haven’t we? Don’t worry, a few bullets in the right places will seal the leak up nice and tight. -Joking! I’m joking. No sense humor at all, you lot. You’ve got to have a sense of humor in this business, else you’ll go mad. As some of you already know, Division 6 is the Bureau’s counterintelligence task force focused on the Society of Worlds, or the Society, as we usually call them.

Yes, counterintelligence, specifically. Intelligence on the Society is mostly SIGINT business, for reasons you’ll find out shortly. If you’re hoping to gallivant around the galaxy to glamorous foreign locales, you’re in for a disappointment.

It is our mission to smoke out Society operatives on Imperial worlds, shut down their attempts at sabotage, keep an eye on their “embassy,” liaise with industry to keep our infrastructure secure, conduct routine inspections of civilian bureaus, all that fun stuff. Yes, there’s some overlap with Division 7 - we actually work very closely with them - but Union operatives take a different skillset to handle. The Thalisans like the direct approach; the Society doesn’t have the same fancy tech but they’re a hell of a lot more devious. Counter-intel used to be just one division - back before pretty much every operative got massacred in the opening salvos of the Great War. The few who weren’t themselves enemy agents, at least. We’ve learned from that mistake.

Let’s talk about Society operatives a bit. The worst mistake you can make with them is to think they’re corruptible. Occasionally Seven snares a Thalisan with promises of riches and an Imperial title, but trying to compromise a Society agent is hopeless. Bribes are useless because they haven’t got money back home - and unlike the Thalisans, any Society citizen allowed off their worlds is fanatically loyal. Brainwashing doesn’t work, for the simple reason that they’re better at it than us. They’ll happily let you think it’s working, of course, right up until they decide you’re not useful to them anymore. Threats are useless, because nobody who could be used as leverage against one of their agents is going to be allowed within ten parsecs of Imperial space.

And don’t think for a second that the reverse is true. Every year a few people in Division 6 get compromised. That’s the downside of Imperial freedom, I suppose - too many attack surfaces. It’s the bitter reality of international politics among us Great Powers - nothing about this game is fair. We do our damnedest on the background checks, and a lot more people get recommended to Six and Seven than end up passing those checks. But ultimately, there will be traitors. Keep this in mind when you share information with your colleagues.

As I mentioned earlier, we don’t do infiltration, because nobody does infiltration. The Bureau learned the hard way during the Great War that trying to infiltrate the Society is like throwing mud at a wall. It doesn’t accomplish anything and it just makes a mess. Society worlds are locked down tighter than the Crown Princess’s privates - if you believe the rumors. Even the Thalisans can’t get in. -What? No comment. About the best we can do is maintain a few void stations in their territory, so the military has somewhere to regroup if war breaks out, and it’s damn near certain they’re doing the same in our space. The Union probably is too, although you never really know with those assholes.

That’s all classified, by the way - you tell anyone below your new clearance that particular fact, and you will be sorely missed. No, this time I’m not joking.

-Sorry? Yes, especially the bit about the Crown Princess.