The Bureau in Ignota Portus | World Anvil

The Bureau

"A state is better governed which has few laws, and those laws strictly observed."
— Rene Descartes
These guys have been around in one form or another, I'm pretty sure since we were all single celled organisms, but finding proof of that is impossible. The only real proof I have of their existence on the timeline clocks them in somewhere around 1916, at least in their current incarnation. I have a theory that at various points in time they adjust themselves to better fit in with the aesthetic of the world they are inhabiting. If my theory is correct than likely in the period directly before this latest paradigm shift, the inhabited a trapping that was more faith based. That part doesn't really matter, what does matter is this latest paradigm shift has placed them in a position where they are plugged into the government of every country in the world. They have assumed the ceremonial robe and scepter that comes with the Office and now are free to move about and make use of it.
So what, they work for the governments? No, they work within the governments, but not for them. They work for the Clergy, well, sort of. It's complicated but, to put to in simple terms, let's say the Clergy represent senators, one for each state in this imaginary country we call existence. Fuck he's got me doing it now, still as a metaphor this works so just shut up and imagine. Okay so the Clergy are our senators, each one ruling over a state. These senators can affect how things are run through the state they are in charge of, but they don't control anything beyond their state. Collectively they control the entire system, but each one is only concerned with their state first and the system as a whole second. The Bureau, serves and protects the system as a whole, and as such needs to protect the senators, but if one or two senators fall new ones will take their place. They don't need to protect them individually, only collectively. To the Bureau it's the system that's important, not those who contribute to it or keep things running, with allowances of course for them keeping things running. If you have one guy whose job it is to guard a chokepoint access door that is vitally important, you're going to protect that guy at all costs. The same isn't said for fucking Jerry whose job it is to answer e-mails all day.
They are also, for the most part, consistent in how they go about their duties. They don't uphold a rule one day and then decide not to the next. That's not how The Bureau works, if it's on their books, they will enforce it. So what are their rules? Well, that's where things get tricky and what makes them dangerous. One rule we know of for certain is that they will protect the stability of the System, the Status Quo. If you are a threat to that, you will be dealt with. Another rule that is known is that they deal with what they refer to as "Anomalies" or "anomalous materials", usually by destroying or locking it up somewhere. A third rule that is known of them is that they will monitor and sometimes interfere with normal society, but always only when that part of society is making itself aware of the Bureau. If you want to learn about The Bureau, they will control how that happens to the best of their ability. There are other rules and laws that they uphold but it is hard to figure out what they are just from observation.
If you are lucky, or unlucky, enough to run into agents of the Bureau it is important to know what you are dealing with so you can know how much shit you're in. So let's talk about that a bit:
  • Tick-Tock Men - These guys, and they are always guys, are usually the first sort of interaction people will have with The Bureau. They are always tall, imposing looking men wearing suits and ties, mirrored sunglasses an ear piece and a hat of some sort, usually a fedora, but sometimes something else. There is always something off about them, something that makes them seem not quite human. It'll be different for each one, maybe they have no hair at all, or they have hair but it looks wrong somehow. Maybe their skin is a strange color or their eyes aren't quite human, or the way they speak or move. They will have names like Agent Stone, Agent Glass, Agent Car, or Agent Door. They all wear watches that are broken, as in literally cracked and non-functional, but they constantly check it for the time. If it's very quiet and you are near one of them, you might be able to hear a soft ticking noise. I'm pretty sure that's from their hearts.
  • Investigators, Custodians, & Researchers - If you manage to attract the attention of one of these Agents, well congratulations they have absolutely opened a file on you. Unlike the Tick-Tock Men, these men and women are generally speaking kind of normal. I say kind of because nobody goes to work for The Bureau who is normal. Investigators are the agents who get sent in to investigate anomalies and classify them. If you've ever seen one of them work, they will absolutely make you think of the detective in some show or book. Custodians, on the other hand, will make you think of an assassin, and that's not a coincidence. They are the agents who get sent in to clean up a situation and remove problems. Most of the time those problems are anomalies, but not always. Lastly, Researchers, they sometimes get field world but the majority of the time they work from the office, finding data for the other agents, examining evidence and so forth. They tend to be technically minded and often will put one in mind of mad scientists. Or maybe that's just my interpretation. Investigators have names like Agent Alder or Agent Vedbend, Custodians have names like Agent Mysh, or Agent Abutre, and Researchers have names like Agent Niter or Agent Bojang.
  • Managers - If you meet a Manager, they don't just have a file on you, they have multiple actions plans and are keeping extremely close tabs on you. You are guaranteed to be monitored constantly. Managers are not mortal andlikely not human, though it's hard to tell. For the most part Managers aren't seen often but their presence is felt through phone calls, public announcements, e-mails, faxes, interoffice memos and so on. They manage the various departments within the Bureau and from what I can tell, all Bureau agents respect and admire their Manager. Each Manager is different, always. I don't mean that as a commentary on individuality, I mean that literally. From what few eyewitness accounts I have managed to piece together, ten people could meet the same Manager and walk away thinking they had met a different person. Sometime about the Managers seems to resonate strongly with what an individual person would trust and react positively towards. Would you instinctively trust a no-nonsense woman of middle age, or a young intelligent up a coming man destined for the top? Then that is how a Manager will appear to you. The one definitely visible note is that each Manager will have a just barely visible outline, a corona of color around them and that color will always be connected to their name. Managers of note as Mrs. Green, Mr. Blanc, Ms. Azure and Mx. Plum.
  • Director - No one who has even met a Director has returned unchanged. I have almost no information on them. The only thing I know for certain is that I have a copy of a memo that JFK was scheduled to meet with one "Director Vega" on November 23rd, 1963. He never got to that meeting, because some people knew the meeting would forever change him and they feared what that change would be.
There's no much else to say about these guys except to watch your back around them.
Fig. 1 - Bureau Logo (colored)


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