|“||Our mission is to expand the limits of human understanding and contain those elements we cannot yet control.||”|
The Federal Bureau of Control (FBC) is a clandestine United States government organization tasked with the containment, study, and control of paranatural phenomena. Operating on a national scale, the FBC investigates events and objects which violate the scientific laws of nature, with the goal of understanding and controlling these elements. The Bureau's headquarters is a mysterious Brutalist skyscraper in New York City known as the Oldest House, which exists outside of ordinary reality.
The FBC is responsible for both the scientific study of paranatural elements and the protection of the nation (and humanity as a whole) from these forces. Among the phenomena studied by the FBC are Altered World Events (AWEs), Altered Items, Objects of Power, and other realms and dimensions. The Oldest House, itself a paranatural location, serves as a containment and study facility for these types of phenomena.
The leadership of the FBC is determined by the Board, an extradimensional being, through the Service Weapon Object of Power. The current Director of the Federal Bureau of Control is Jesse Faden, having succeeded the late Zachariah Trench after his death during the Hiss invasion.
Purpose & GoalsEdit
The FBC is the U.S. government agency responsible for investigating "paranatural" phenomena - objects, places, or elements which violate the known laws of reality and exist outside of conventional scientific understanding. The existence of said phenomena is not publicly known, as the FBC engages in elaborate cover-ups to prevent knowledge of said phenomena from spreading. The FBC's ostensible objective is to protect the United States and the world from paranatural forces via containment, study, and ultimately control.
It is unknown whether the FBC's jurisdiction extends beyond U.S. borders or if other nations have equivalent paranatural investigation agencies; some Altered Item files suggest the FBC has acted beyond U.S. borders, including investigations in Japan, Canada, and Cuba. As per their primary goal, the FBC seeks out paranatural phenomena across the country and the world, studying them and attempting to contain them to the best of their abilities. Among the phenomena investigated by the FBC are Altered World Events (AWEs), wherein the laws of reality are violated by forces seemingly originating from alternate dimensions. Ordinary objects can be affected by paranatural forces, and are referred to as Altered Items and contained by the FBC. Certain Altered Items called Objects of Power are capable of causing AWEs and are connected to the Astral Plane.
The FBC is a scientific organization that seeks an understanding of paranatural phenomena through objective, empirical research. However, these methodologies may not always apply, as paranatural phenomena seem to gravitate to the human mind and thus tend to be highly subjective and ambiguous. Additionally, the nature of the paranatural to defy physics and even logic suggests these forces may not be comprehensible or controllable. Nonetheless, the FBC focuses its efforts on control of these forces, developing rituals and studying Altered Items and Objects of Power with the intent of learning to control unexplainable forces. The Director of the Federal Bureau of Control is selected specifically due to their ability to control Objects of Power.
Origins EditThe origins of the Federal Bureau of Control are unknown, though it is stated to have been "young" in the year 1954. The Tennyson report and quotes from Zachariah Trench suggest that the Bureau is centuries old, and that its origins were much more arcane in nature before the Bureau shifted toward more scientific thinking in the twentieth century, possibly under Trench's tenure as Director.
The Director of the Federal Bureau of Control directly prior to 1964 was Theodore Ash, Sr. Ash's son, Dr. Theodore Ash, Jr., acted as the Bureau's Head of Research, while Broderick Northmoor was one of Director Ash's leading agents. Director Ash dedicated the Bureau to searching for paranatural locations, though while the Bureau recovered many paranatural objects (later coined Altered Items), no significant discoveries of Places of Power were made until after Director Ash's death.
Shortly following the death of Director Ash, the Federal Bureau of Control investigated a suspected Altered World Event in the subway tunnels of New York City. On August 4, 1964, the FBC discovered an entrance to what would later be called "the Oldest House," an enormous, hidden skyscraper and Place of Power with seemingly infinite, shifting interior space. Ash and Broderick Northmoor both considered this to be the most significant discovery in the Bureau's history. Exploring the Oldest House, they eventually discovered an area known as the Foundation, which Ash discovered was the conflux of the Oldest House's "leylines," essentially the building's "heart." At the core of the Foundation was an object which was named "the Nail" which was later found to link the Oldest House to an alternate dimension known as the Astral Plane.
During the investigation of the Foundation, an incident occurred in which a black pistol suddenly appeared in front of the Nail, which was picked up by Northmoor. At that moment, Northmoor came in contact with an extradimensional being (or group of beings) known as the Board. From this point onward, Northmoor became increasingly deluded and obsessed with power; he insisted that the Board had chosen him as the new Director of the Bureau through the pistol, and that the FBC were their "guests" in the Oldest House, which belonged to the Board. The Board then became the informal leaders of the Bureau, directing its actions from the shadows, while the Bureau began intensive investigation of the Astral Plane and related phenomena.
Beginning with Northmoor's pistol - known as the Service Weapon - the Bureau began to discover other powerful Altered Items capable of granting paranatural abilities, all of which possessed an apparent connection to the Board. These "Objects of Power" (OoPs) became central to the Bureau's research, particularly of the Astral Plane, as the OoPs could transport certain individuals to the Astral Plane in voyages known as "astral dives." Meanwhile, Northmoor's parautilitarian powers continued to spiral out of control, until he ultimately could no longer handle his own abilities. Deputy Chief Zachariah Trench eventually convinced a reluctant Northmoor to imprison himself within a huge machine, the Northmoor Sarcophagus Chamber, and serve as a power source for the entire Oldest House.
Shortly following Northmoor's capture, Trench, "almost on a dare," picked up the Service Weapon and was named the new Director by the Board. The Bureau underwent significant changes under Trench's tenure, including the addition of the Panopticon and a revision of Bureau policies. As implied by the Tennyson report, Trench, as well as Dr. Ash's successor Dr. Casper Darling, refocused the Bureau to a more scientific understanding of paranatural phenomena, which included the renaming of known paranatural events and objects to suit an objective bureaucracy. This resulted in some schism in the Bureau, with some individuals challenging this new leadership, but Trench silenced most of these voices.
In 2002, Trench and Darling investigated an AWE in Ordinary, Wisconsin involving a slide projector Object of Power capable of opening doorways to other dimensions. The Bureau apprehended the Slide Projector along with parautilitarian Dylan Faden at this time, who was made a part of the Prime Candidate program, established to determine Trench's successor based on eligibility for wielding the Service Weapon through parautilitarian abilities. Trench and Darling repeatedly explored Slidescape-36, the only surviving slide dimension, after Jesse Faden (Dylan's sister) destroyed the other slides. During this time, they discovered an entity known as Hedron, which Darling brought back to the Oldest House.
See Hiss invasion.
Divisions & DepartmentsEdit
- Executive Sector
- Office of the Director
- Communications Department
- Accounting Department
- Human Resources Department
- Nostalgia Department
- Maintenance Sector
- NSC Power Plant
- Janitorial Department
- Black Rock Mining
- Black Rock Processing
- Research Sector
- Containment Sector
- Investigation Sector
- External Surveillance
- AWE Response
- AWE Forensics & Analysis
- External Surveillance
- Theodore Ash, Sr. (Unknown - 1964)
- Broderick Northmoor (1964 - unknown)
- Zachariah Trench (Unknown - 2019)
- Jesse Faden (2019 - present)
- Theodore Ash, Jr., Head of Research (status unknown)
- Casper Darling, Head of Research (missing)
- Emily Pope, Head of Research
- Helen Marshall, Head of Operations (deceased)
- Lin Salvador, Head of Security (deceased)
- Alberto Tomassi, Head of Communications (deceased)
- Kirklund, Head of Investigations
- William S. Powers, Head of the Department of Public Knowledge and Diversions
- Frederick Langston, Panopticon Supervisor
Other Members Edit
- Ahti, Janitor
- Penny Bartwell
- Francis Bertram
- Carl Bishop, Custodian
- Agent Frank Breaker (retired)
- J. Bozer, Vice Chief of Staff
- Paula Bronte, Researcher
- Cho, Ranger (deceased)
- Ranger First Class Coleman (deceased)
- Remy Denis, Chief Investigator
- Lorenzo Dunnne, Researcher
- Bill Everett, Custodian
- Dr. Gustav Frenzel, Lead Physicist
- Mark Gibson, Astralnaut (deceased)
- Dr.Jerrod Gronson, Synchronicity Department Chief
- Guy, Ranger (deceased)
- Agent Hardy
- Dr. Bethany Harrington, Parapsychology Department Chief
- Hazzard, Ranger (deceased)
- Agent L. Heinz
- Hepstonstall, Ranger (deceased)
- Kevin Horowitz, Ranger (deceased)
- Special Agent Lisa Keenum, External Investigator
- Dr. Abraham Lewis, Parakinesiology Department Chief (deceased)
- David Lindquist, Operations Assistant
- Captain Lopez, Ranger (deceased)
- Lewis McNairy, Chief Excavation Engineer
- Malcolm Milosz, Threshold Safety Inspector
- Howard J. Murray, Deputy Chief of Communications
- Ollie, Ranger
- Dr. Suvi Patton, Coroner
- Agent Philip Philson, Junior Agent
- Dr. Edna Pierse, Lead Researcher of Parakinesiology Department
- Ranger Second Class Randall Polaski (deceased)
- Agent Graham Potts (deceased)
- Captain Ramsay, Ranger (deceased)
- Remus, Ranger (deceased)
- D. Rodriguez
- Agent Rowley
- Dr. Saba
- L. Samson
- Marcus Talbot, Senior Cartographer
- Dr. Hubert Tan, Research Specialist
- Thomson, Ranger (deceased)
- Dr. Raya Underhill, Senior Researcher
- Dr. Carla Vaughn, Research Specialist
- Paul Warren, Astralnaut First Class
- Rupert Wells, Ranger
- Hank Wilder, Security Chief
- The Federal Bureau of Control is partly inspired by the SCP Foundation, a fictional organization from an eponymous online collaborative fiction project. Like the FBC, the SCP Foundation is a morally ambiguous global organization responsible for containing items which violate the laws of reality. The format of the FBC's containment files for Altered Items is directly based on the SCP Foundation's SCP containment files, beginning with an item's classification number followed by "containment procedures" and then a description of the object and its supernatural effect.
- An Easter egg in the video game Quantum Break (a title by Control developer Remedy Entertainment) mentions a "Bureau of Altered World Events." This organization is said to have had ties with Monarch Solutions, the antagonist organization of Quantum Break.