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Summary of Operational Theater

  1. Targets.

    There are many rogue states in the world connected to arms dealing, drug running, proscribed hypertechnologies [1] and terrorism who have acquired metahuman [2] strike forces. The use of metahuman forces in irregular, guerilla, espionage, counter-espionage, sabotage, commando and terrorist roles is becoming increasingly common, chiefly because of the high speed and low cost of equipping their units.

    Some of these metahumans are motivated by nationalism or an agreement with the regime's politics. Others have their loyalty purchased via mercenary means or obtained by force or blackmail. Because metahuman abilities often [3] arise during puberty, those who acquire them are often inexperienced and easily manipulated into doing the bidding of other more powerful persons. The United States intelligence community must field a force capable of dealing with this increasingly dangerous situation.

    An Executive Directive has therefore issued for the creation of PROJECT TENEBROUS, a counterintelligence, commando and espionage group of metahumans under the direction of the Central Intelligence Agency. It would be ineffective to use such a force against mutant criminals, against governments who can be more effectively dealt with via overt military force, or even against political radicals who are not connected to international destabilization, criminal activities and rogue states.[4]

  2. Cryptonyms.

    Code names are often used for shorthand in the shadowy world of intelligence as well as the self-absorbed criminal world. [6] Other superhumans have adopted their own codenames to shield their identities from the public, or have been labeled by the tabloids, or if they are particularly distinctive, the public themselves. But plenty still get along with their real names and real lives. Exclusive cryptonym use should not be an enforced rule of this unit.

  3. Deniability.

    Some members of TENEBROUS are obviously known to certain underworld figures and often to the media. The incongruity between their appearances outside in the world and their supposed incarceration at Bellewether should neither be explained nor elucidated. Obviously escapes from Bellewether do occur, but law enforcement and the public should simply not be informed of the truth.

    Some degree of uncertainty in the outside world is to our advantage in making the TENEBROUS team's motivations hidden and slightly more intimidating. In the event of direct confrontation with law enforcement, maximum security precautions should be used to minimize interagency conflict and the release of information.

[ Footnote 1 ]: The use of the term "hypertechnological" refers to secret or limited technologies far in advance of those available to the consumer, including antigravity fields, energy projectors, cold fusion, and powered armor applications.

[ Footnote 2 ]: "Metahuman" in this document is used in the common sense of the word. Scientific descriptions of "metahuman" abilities fall into many multifarious groups with an extreme amount of variety. These are chiefly of interest in research, not, presently, in policymaking.

[ Footnote 3 ]: An estimated 87%, according to the most recent NIH study.


[ Footnote 5 ]: Political considerations for TENEBROUS should be closely monitored to maximize its efficiency and secrecy on all missions involving Bryngali.

[ Footnote 6 ]: The League of Assassins has a complicated system of ranking involving a material and an animal or flower (Jade Lotus, Paper Monkey, Iron Petal, for example). Some choose to use these as mercenary pseudonyms to identify themselves as League of Assassin members.

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