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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 FBC 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 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 show 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 exact beginnings of the agency that became the FBC are unknown. The agency is stated to have been "young" in the year 1954,[6] during which it held only three Altered Items. By 1958, four years later, it had responded to three Altered World Events. Originally headquartered in Washington, D.C., 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 such 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, treating the paranatural world as ritualistic rather than scientific.[8][9]

Northmoor

Ash Sr. died in September 1964, and Broderick Northmoor was named Acting Director by the federal government. Just a week later, 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 Jr. 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. The Bureau moved its headquarters from Washington D.C. into the Oldest House, and by virtue of the House's innate nature, the Bureau also became invisible to the public eye. From then on, the Bureau was a federal agency in name only, operating with only nominal oversight from the federal government.[13] Ash, meanwhile, rejected the Board, concluding from his studies in the Foundation that they were invaders who had unjustly taken over the Oldest House. Refusing to let the Board use humanity for its own purposes, Ash directed his efforts into keeping the Bureau free of its influence, leaving his research for future administrations to discover the truth.[14]

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."[15] 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 Container, and serve as a power source for the entire Oldest House.[16]

Trench

Shortly following Northmoor's "retirement," Deputy Chief Trench, "almost on a dare," picked up the Service Weapon and was named the new Director by the Board.[16] The Bureau underwent significant changes under Trench's tenure, including the addition of the Panopticon and the Dead Letters Archive and a revision of Bureau policies. One major addition, the Prime Candidate Program, was started by Trench in order to ensure a line of succession for his role.[17] Trench, understanding the need for assistance despite his tendency to work alone, also formed an official administrative team out of the Bureau's department heads to support him.[18]

As implied by the Tennyson Report, Trench, as well as Dr. Ash's successor, Dr. Casper Darling, refocused the Bureau towards 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.[19] In the following years, 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. Meanwhile, Trench claimed to be exposed to a different entity, which went undetected by all others alongside him, including Darling. This would prove to be the beginning of Trench's decline and the buildup to the worst disaster in the Bureau's history.[20]

Unknown to anyone else, Trench had been infected by an entity later known as the Hiss, a natural enemy to Hedron. Meanwhile, Darling became convinced of Hedron's importance and increasingly prioritized the study of the entity. He founded the Dimensional Research division, protected by the Ashtray Maze formed by the Ashtray and Cigarette OoP, one of the last times Trench and Darling would cooperate.[21] Trench, growing increasingly paranoid and erratic under Hiss influence, came to see Darling's support of Hedron as a threat. He lashed out at everyone around him, seeing everyone as enemies. Darling, too, retreated into his secret projects, more and more convinced of a present threat.

The worsening situation was not unnoticed. William Kirklund, Head of Investigations, ordered his department to conduct internal investigations into both Trench and Darling for their changes in behavior.[22][23] However, the escape of a dangerous paranatural entity related to the Bright Falls AWE had left his department severely understaffed, and distrust on all sides left Kirklund's team unable to affect the events to come.

In late 2019, things reached a critical point. Darling, convinced that danger was inevitable, began handing out devices called Hedron Resonance Amplifiers to protect Bureau personnel using Hedron's resonance. Trench, believing that Hedron had compromised the Bureau, chose to fight fire with fire. On October 29, 2019, he took the Slide Projector, entered the Nostalgia Department, and opened a portal to let the Hiss into 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)
      • Data Entry And Filing
      • Evaluation Hall
      • 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
    • Armory (mentioned by Arish to have shifted shortly after the Hiss invaded to an unknown location)
    • Department of Unhuman Affairs
    • Entrance Lobby
    • Examination Hall[24]
    • Possessed Object Gallery[1]
    • 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.[25][26]
  • 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

Name Tenure Status
Theodore Ash, Sr. ? – July 1964 Deceased
Broderick Northmoor August 1964 – ? Alive; contained
Zachariah Trench ? – 10/29/2019 Deceased
Jesse Faden 10/29/2019 – present Alive

Department heads

Department heads
Name Tenure Status
Head of Research
Theodore Ash, Jr. ? – 1995 Retired
Casper Darling 1995 – 2019 Missing
Emily Pope 2019 – present Alive
Head of Communications
William S. Powers* ? Unknown
Alberto Tommasi ? – 2019 Deceased
Head of Security
Lin Salvador ? – 2019 Deceased
Simon Arish 2019 – present Alive
Head of Operations
Helen Marshall ? – 2019 Deceased
Head of Investigations
William Kirklund ? – 2019 Resigned
Remy Denis** 2019 – present Unknown

* Head of the Department of Public Knowledge and Diversions, a precursor to the Communications Dept.
** Interim Head appointed in 2019; status unknown circa the Hiss invasion.

Other members

Note: Roles using location names are unofficial, based on source context.

Bureau personnel
Name Role Status
Abraham Lewis Parakinesiology Department Chief Deceased
Ahti Janitor On vacation
Andy Ranger Alive
"B" Black Rock Quarry worker
Barbara Martin Director's Secretary
Barry Foundation expedition member
Bethany Harrington Parapsychology Department Chief
Bill Everett Custodian
Booker Employee Deceased
Carla Vaughn Research Specialist
Carol Bishop Custodian
Caroline Dempsey Agent Deceased
Charles Murray Agent Deceased
Cho Ranger Deceased
Coleman Ranger First Class Deceased
Coleman Ranger Deceased
Collins Ranger Alive
Coppack Trooper Second Class Deceased
D. Rodriguez Employee
David Black Rock Quarry worker
David Gleeson Special Investigator
David Lindquist Operations Assistant
Delgado Employee Deceased
Derek Shah Agent Deceased
Donna Employee
Doug Employee Deceased
Edna Pierse Lead Researcher of Parakinesiology Department
Estevez Field Agent Alive
Ezra Cruz Researcher Deceased
Farrow Ranger
Fischer Agent
Francis Bertram Employee
Frank Maintenance Worker Alive
Frank Ranger Alive
Frank Breaker Agent Retired
Frank Rosen Physician
Graham Potts Agent Deceased
Grayson Agent
Gruman Agent Missing
Gustav Wagner Lead Physicist
Guthrie Agent
Guy Ranger Deceased
Hank Wilder Security Chief
Hardy Agent
Hazzard Ranger Deceased
Heptonstall Ranger Deceased
Hewitt Agent
Hooton Ranger Sergeant Deceased
Hubert Tan Research Specialist
Jeanne Gibbs Containment Process Designer Deceased
Jerrod Gronson Synchronicity Department Chief
Jim Bozer Vice Chief of Staff Alive
John Employee Deceased
Jonathan Conner Agent Deceased
Karen Harris Producer (America Overnight) Deceased
Kevin Horowitz Ranger Deceased
L. Heinz Agent Alive
L. Samson Agent Deceased
Lewis McNairy Chief Excavation Engineer
Linda Black Rock Quarry worker
Lindsey Malcolm Agent
Lisa Keenum External Investigator
Lopez Ranger Captain Deceased
Lorenzo Dunne Researcher
Malcolm Milosz Threshold Safety Inspector
Marcus Talbot Senior Cartographer
Mark Gibson Astralnaut Deceased
Mike Hill Employee Deceased
Morales Agent Missing
Nadine Employee
Nicolay Employee Deceased
Ollie Ranger Deceased
O'Neill Ranger Deceased
Patricia Lewis Special Agent
Paul Warren Astralnaut First Class
Paula Bronte Researcher
Penny Bartwell Head Archivist (Dead Letters)
Phillip Philson Junior Agent Missing
Pinelli Ranger
Pryce Ranger
Ramsay Ranger Captain Deceased
Randall Polaski Ranger Second Class Deceased
Raya Underhill Contract Threshold Specialist Alive
Remus Ranger Deceased
Robert Ricardo Special consultant
Roberts Agent Deceased
Rowley Agent Alive
Rupert Wells Ranger Alive
Saba Researcher Alive
Samuel Turnbull Supervisory Agent
Sarah Employee Deceased
Smith Employee Deceased
Steve Ranger Alive
Strobridge Trooper First Class Deceased
Stu Employee
Susan Employee Deceased
Suvi Patton Coroner
Tim Spalder Special Agent
Thomson Ranger Deceased
Tom Foundation expedition member
Tom Employee
Werner Researcher
Willett Trooper Captain Deceased

Gallery

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


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 SectorThe FoundationQuarry ThresholdMold ThresholdAshtray MazeSlidescape-36Ordinary
Key Characters Jesse FadenDylan FadenZachariah TrenchCasper DarlingAhtiEmily PopeSimon ArishFrederick LangstonRaya UnderhillHelen MarshallAlberto TommasiLin SalvadorWilliam KirklundKevin HorowitzRupert 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 invasionAltered World Events (Ordinary AWEBright Falls AWE)
Miscellaneous Collectibles (List of Collectibles) • MaterialsClearance 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 BreakControlAlan Wake II

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