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Zachariah Trench

The Federal Bureau of Control (FBC), or simply the Bureau, 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, Places 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 in October 2019.

Purpose & Goals[]

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. To these ends, the FBC also enforces various paranatural regulations such as the Ash Act and prosecutes individuals and groups who take illegal advantage of the paranatural world.

The FBC's jurisdiction appears to extend beyond U.S. borders; various files suggest that the FBC has acted beyond U.S. borders, including Altered Item investigations in Korea,[1] Canada,[2] and Cuba,[3] as well as criminal investigations in the Czech Republic.[4] The FBC also maintains field offices around the world, including one in Islamabad.[5] 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.

History[]

Origins[]

The Oldest House, headquarters of the FBC.

The origins of the Federal Bureau of Control are unknown, though it is stated to have been "young" in the year 1954[6], during which the agency held only three Altered Items. By 1958, four years later, it had responded to three Altered World Events. Originally headquartered in Washington, the Bureau was founded as a federal agency and as such fell under the jurisdiction of the federal government. In 1964 it officially became the Federal Bureau of Control, with the cover story that it was intended to be part of an initiative to strengthen government relations.[7]

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, as a firm believer in an "esoteric world", 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. Under Ash's directorship, the Bureau's outlook was much more arcane and ungrounded, treating the paranatural almost as rituals for worship rather than properties for research.[8][9]

Northmoor[]

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, skyscraper and Place of Power, imperceptible to public eyes, with seemingly infinite, shifting interior space.[8] 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,[10] 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.[11]

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, and was somehow given thermal powers. 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.[12] 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.[13]

Trench[]

Shortly following Northmoor's capture, Trench, "almost on a dare," picked up the Service Weapon and was named the new Director by the Board.[13] 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.[9] Nevertheless, rituals and superstitions retained some degree of importance in Bureau operations, especially in Frederick Langston's supervision of the Panopticon.

In 2002, Trench and Darling investigated an AWE in Ordinary, Maine 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.

Faden[]

See Hiss invasion.

Sectors & Departments[]

  • Containment Sector
    • Panopticon
      • Archives
    • Logistics
    • Security
    • Medical Wing
    • Processes & Protocols (shifted to the Foundation, no surviving staff)
      • Morgue
    • Unknown office department (relocated after being overrun by "The Clocks" Threshold)
  • Foundation Sector
    • Foundation research & excavation expedition (operated from August 4 to October 29, 1964)
  • Other
    • Department of Unhuman Affairs
    • Operations Department

Policies[]

As a federal government agency, the Bureau maintains a number of internal and external regulations. These include:

  • Ash Act - An ethics regulation detailing treatment of paranatural entities, persons, and items.
  • Bureau Codes - The Bureau's offense codes, detailing actions which it constitutes as criminal. The Bureau has at least 91 of these codes.[14][15]
  • NASA/FBC Coordination Agreement of 1972 - A document detailing inter-agency operations between the Bureau and NASA.
  • Paracriminal Rights Act - An ethics regulation detailing treatment of paracriminals.
  • Building access restrictions - Certain sectors and rooms of the Oldest House are restricted to Bureau personnel with the proper authorization.
  • No smoking policy - The Bureau prohibits smoking within the Oldest House.
  • Prohibited items policy - Certain items are prohibited from being brought into the Oldest House due to security concerns or the items' potential for adverse paranatural reactions within the building's environment.

Members[]

Directors[]

Department Heads[]

  • Communications
    • William S. Powers, Head of the Department of Public Knowledge and Diversions (circa 1950s, presumed deceased as of 2019)
    • Alberto Tommasi, Head of Communications (Unknown - 2019, deceased)
    • Howard J. Murray, Deputy Chief of Communications (circa 2019)
  • Investigations
    • William Kirklund, Head of Investigations (Unknown - 2019, resigned)
    • Remy Denis, Interim Head of Investigations (2019, status unknown)

Other Members[]

Trivia[]

  • The Federal Bureau of Control is strongly 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.

References[]

Control
Main Pages HomeBeginner's Guide
Control ControlExpansion 1: The FoundationExpansion 2: AWEProject Condor
Organizations Federal Bureau of Control"Blessed" Organization"Midwest" Organization
Locations Oldest HouseAstral PlaneOceanview MotelExecutive SectorMaintenance SectorResearch SectorContainment SectorFoundationQuarry ThresholdMold ThresholdAshtray MazeSlidescape-36Ordinary
Key Characters Jesse FadenDylan FadenZachariah TrenchCasper DarlingAhtiEmily PopeSimon ArishFrederick LangstonRaya UnderhillHelen MarshallAlberto TommasiLin SalvadorWilliam KirklundRandall PolaskiRupert WellsPhillip PhilsonBroderick NorthmoorTheodore Ash, Jr.Theodore Ash, Sr.Alan WakeEmil Hartman
Paranatural Phenomena Altered ItemObject of PowerAltered World EventThresholdService WeaponPlace of PowerHedron Resonance AmplifierHotlineSlide ProjectorMold
Paranatural Entities The BoardThe HissPolarisHedronAstral SpikeFormerClogMold-1FraNot-MotheresseJDark Presence
Events Hiss invasionOrdinary AWEBright Falls AWE
Miscellaneous CollectiblesList of CollectiblesMaterials Locations and AcquisitionClearance LevelOutfits
Missions Mission 1: Welcome to the Oldest HouseMission 2: Unknown CallerMission 3: Directorial OverrideMission 4: Old Boys' ClubMission 5: ThresholdMission 6: My Brother's KeeperMission 7: The Face of the EnemyMission 8: Finnish TangoMission 9: PolarisMission 10: Take Control
Developers Remedy EntertainmentSam LakeMikael KasurinenThomas Puha
Cast Courtney HopeJames McCaffreyMatthew Porretta
Remedy Connected Universe Alan WakeAlan Wake's American NightmareQuantum BreakControl
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