Project Twilight


Surveillance, Awareness, Defense.

The United States government is a labyrinthe, often ponderous institution which is all too often ill suited to recognize, let alone effectively challenge, the near demigods that walk its streets. In fact, the government has been a prime factor in shrouding the existence of these creatures. This comes partly from a genuine concern for what it perceives to be the public welfare, and partly at the behest of the supernaturals who wield a good measure of influence in the halls of power. Very few in the government know of the threat posed by these supposedly fictitious beings. Those who do, however, are aware of the turmoil that would erupt should knowledge of their existence become widely accepted. If the supernatural were to become the natural in the public mind, the government fears the result would be nothing less than the total destruction of all existing social structures. They may be right.

The government thus believes it has no choice but to engage in a campaign of deception and misdirection to cover up the existence of these beings, becoming a de facto ally to the very creatures it fears. At the same time, though, it has launched (especially in the last three years) an ambitious plan to gather information, with the hope that it will someday have the power to curb, or perhaps even control, these entities.

The U.S. government has vast human resources and financial reserves (budget deficit not withstanding) which put both the Camarilla and Pentex to shame. It has allowed its special agents a good deal of latitude and "extra-legal" powers (sometimes equal to those given in a police state) to deal with incursions of supernatural activity as they see fit. No special agent has ever been formally accused, let alone convicted, for their often questionable activities while investigating paranormal phenomena. The history of the various paraintelligence agencies, at its worst, displays a troubling pattern of abuse, including such activities as covert spying operations on its own members, secret experimentations, wholesale violations of civil liberties and even assassinations, in order to keep the lid on the secret knowledge of the existence of the supernatural.

Certain of the more "conservative" factions in the supernatural community (most notably the Kindred Camarilla and the Technocracy mages) have reciprocated in kind for what they see as the governments wise choice of "discretion." They have acted (separately) in various ways to defend the government against assaults by the more "reckless" supernaturals (i.e. many Garou tribes, the Anarchs, the Sabbat, etc.). This system of countervailing forces has been successful in maintaining the status quo and in keeping the general public in the dark. However, it may not continue for much longer. The evidence is beginning to mount. As the final days approach, its becoming harder and harder for even the most uninforme minds to escape the conclusion, at least subconsciously, that there is something very big going on.

The government, after spending many decades in denial of the mounting evidence, has finally begun to show some signs of life when it comes to what it has dubbed the "Super Human Equation", or "SHE." (Many paraintelligence agents speak darkly amongst themselves about the growning paranormal menace they perceive as a living entity; it is almost always referred to in the feminine gender.) The other nickname commonly adopted by agents involved in the investigation of the paranormal is "Project Twilight". This stems from the sense that many agents have that they are constantly treading the terminus between day and night, reality and madness - living in a perpetual world of twilight. Going on a mission is invariably compared with entering the "Twilight Zone."

Funding for both research and direct action has increased precipitously in the last several years, owing particularly to the heightened interest of the Department of Defense and the NSA (National Security Agency). All paraintelligence-type activities are "black book" funded, meaning that Congress votes for a lump sum to go into top-secret activities, but is not aware (with the exception fo several key Congressmen) of the ends to which the funding is being put. Most of the decisions about which aspects of paraintelligence research receive funding, as well as their general mission statements, are in the hands of a few mysterious "Puppet Masters" who form a shadow government within the government system. Some of them are not human.

When it comes to dealing with the recent increase in supernatural manifestations, the government has found most of its standard methods to be ineffective. Its efforts are hampered by an unwieldy bureaucratic structure and a budget which, while still growing, is unequal to the tasks that aare expected of it.

Its greatest drawback, however, is that the intelligence-gathering organizations are, for the most part, inherently conservative, lacking imagination and vision. Many of the endeavors of the paraintelligence agencies are marred by turf battles between, and within, the various agencies, as well as poor analysis of available data (the CIA is particularly guilty of this sin), and - and perhaps the most damaging - a divisive arrogance and corruption on the part of its leaders. But for these interdepartmental rivalries, the government would know much more. In addition, several agencies have been heavily coopted by the beings they seek to investigate. These disadvantages are only partially ameliorated by the superb field work of many lower-echelon operatives, the courage and vision of some agency leaders, and the fact that a number of supernatural beings greatly underestimate the government.

Finally, it should be noted that the government in the World of Darkness is, if anything, more corrupt and ruthless an organ than our real world government is held to be (even by its most severe critics). The far ends of the political extree have dominated the debate and violent, quasi-military political groups, both left and right, have become increasingly ubiquitous. But there are glimmers of hope. The government is still a democracy (of sorts) and often responds to its citizens' calls for justice. As the converging forces of the Apocalypse tighten their grip around all of society, however, the government has become increasingly authoritatian. Whether Project Twilight decides to battle this trend or to become its willing tools may decide much in these final days.