Task Force Pretzel

Why Pretzel? Because they'll tie themselves into a knot trying to do anything right.
— Bin Folks, Administrator
APRA-ACF Small 1.png
  Task Force Pretzel is, to put it bluntly— a complete joke. However, they know too much— and due to various unique circumstances, simple brainwashing cannot work. Either they live with other ACF personnel, have a rare resistance to brainwashing, or cameras for eyes— they won't forget what they've seen.   To make matters worse, they cannot simply be killed— either due to them being connected with other personnel who would really rather not see their friends and family killed, holding public-facing positions, or being frankly not worth the time and expenses to kill and cover up. Instead, the ACF opts to send them far, far away— where they cannot do any harm to anything of actual importance.


Task Force Pretzel is so undesirable, in fact, that they don't even have any corporate sponsors— like every other task force.   The foundation is all too glad to not have them ruining their reputation with another sponsor after the incident with Dave's Very Fragile Things Emporium and A-54, a sentient wrecking ball anomaly.   The foundation had to pay millions out of pocket to keep Dave quiet, and had to send in another task force to retrieve A-54.

Band of Failures

Members of Task Force Pretzel are those who are deemed incompetent, or, as other personnel tend to phrase it: "[email protected]#!!**@!$%! morons."  
Hey, let's see how many of us can fit in it's mouth!
— A former operative
Why don't we say hello to it?
— A corpse
Personnel who botch numerous jobs, place themselves or others in danger, or lose the foundation a great deal of money frequently find themselves reassigned to Task Force Pretzel. Task forces are often paid fairly well, and Task Force Pretzel's purpose is known only to those at the very top— so to many, their reallocation is seen as a "promotion." As personnel are not allowed to disclose their pay to one another— the foundation is easily able to pay Task Force Pretzel as little as possible. All of their equipment are hand-me-downs from the other task forces, or even outright plastic.  
Does this knife feel funny to you? Hold still, I want to see if it's plastic.
— It was not

Operation Whatsit

You've all been assembled here today for a special— absolutely critical mission. This thing has terrorized people across the world and will eventually kill us all. The uhm ....the ....uh ....the ....whatsit—
— Bin Folks, Administrator
Whatsit? Got it! Consider it dead, we won't let you down, sir!
— Task Force Pretzel
They just...hung up. Wow. I didn't even tell them where to go! Well, that was easier than expected. Hey, James, yeah— the idiots are gone. We're on for discogolf tonight!
— Bin Folks, Administrator
  Operation Whatsit was begun almost entirely by mistake, sure, the intent was to come up with yet another ad-libbed task to get the troublesome group out of the ACF's hair— but the instructions for the pseudo-operation were never even finished before Task Force Pretzel left eagerly to complete it. They have been missing for five years since, and nobody seems particularly bothered by this.


Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!

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15 Jul, 2020 06:14

I think I found a unit for me!   An all-round great article, both in terms of the concept and formatting! Some links to other articles could be handy though, such as the ACF one.

15 Jul, 2020 06:23

Thank you! There is actually a link to the ACF one, it's just that this sub-theme makes links hard to see— I'll try and fix that shortly!

15 Jul, 2020 06:40

Oh right, I can see it now that I look closely. But yes, the grey colour of the links seem to blend with the rest of the text a bit too well xD

15 Jul, 2020 06:53

All fixed now, should be MUCH easier to read.

Grandmaster Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
15 Jul, 2020 21:41

This is such a great subversion of the prompt, I love it. Poor Taskforce Pretzel.   Where do incompetent people go now they've been missing - or do they just get reassigned and head out on Operation Whatsit with no questions?

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
15 Jul, 2020 21:50

Thank you! They're just added onto the force and set out on Whatsit.

Grandmaster Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
15 Jul, 2020 22:09

Genius! XD

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
22 Jul, 2020 08:02

My god, this is utter gold. I have no feedback. One cannot improve upon perfection.   I gotta ask, how did you do the file formatting for Operation WHATSIT? It doesn't appear to be an image?

22 Jul, 2020 16:39

Thank you for the kind words!   The formatting for the folder effect is all CSS! I use two nested containers there.

22 Jul, 2020 22:00

Really? What about the paperclip?

22 Jul, 2020 23:29

Also CSS, it's an image, but still applied via CSS rules.

28 Oct, 2020 19:10

Okay sort of a lame question but how do your even make a container anyway?

Come and join my Discord or check out my world!
28 Oct, 2020 21:27

It's a grandmaster+ feature.

Master Kaleidechse
Kathrin Janowski
22 Jul, 2020 09:24

This is such a wonderful idea, both the concept and the article are utterly hilarious! The design looks great, too. I think I need to check out the rest of that world some time, you definitely made me curious!

22 Jul, 2020 16:40

Thank you! Here's hoping it'll live up to the standards from this one!

Grandmaster CoffeeQuills
CoffeeQuills the Coffee Quaffer
22 Jul, 2020 14:02

The comments and quotes are great... and all from dead people. I'm sure that's just a coincidence and they're hogging all the great pretzel jobs to themselves. :D

22 Jul, 2020 16:40

They're real showboats, first they get all this attention after their deaths, then they insist on getting quotes published!

22 Jul, 2020 16:39

I cannot say how much I love this! The article is fun, it's different, the formatting is excellent, and it is just all around a hilarious read whose ending killed me and made me wish I had Bin Folks' job.

22 Jul, 2020 16:43

Thanks for the kind words! Also trust me, you don't want Bin's job, literally everyone around him dies or gets hurt. I give James 1 month before they get possessed by a ghost shoe or something.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
17 Oct, 2020 20:02

I just love the idea of this. It seems absolutely ridiculous, but their is a twisted logic to it, pun intended. The idea of having an isolated group filled with undesirables is just awesome. It exhibits the control needed. Oof. Great idea.     My favorite bit is the end. They've been missing for five years?! Good Lord. Either they're dead or they are coming home with something big. Not sure which is preferable. I also have to praise the candy island, cause that's some serious willpower. I hope she got a promotion XD.

Check out my work | The Web | Expedition Demeter
17 Oct, 2020 23:05

Thank you! Glad you liked it!   And boy, you have no idea what's happened to them...because neither do I, or anyone else.