UNITED NATIONAL CONTROL OF ENIGMATA MINISTRY Foreword: Let never the spirit of mankind falter in the face of the abyss, lest that long and venerable line before us be cut by cowardly hands. Our race has delved into the unknown for countless millennia before; let us not trip over our heels, nor shudder at another such domain as yet uncharted. Enigma is a familiar demon to our species. From the great and terrible spirits of a more savage era, to the deific figures of budding civilization, to the arcane arts of long-passed magi, to the recondite mechanics of massless particles which we now observe only theoretically, mankind cannot ever reach immutable and irrefutable truth. Only this thread interlinks all times and spaces. I find it to be no coincidence that Enigmata arise now, in our time of scientific and technological development. The cosmos, it seems, does not deign to be looked at too closely. Thus, the operative functions of this Ministry are as follows: to eliminate what is too dangerous to control, to control what is too useful to eliminate, to indefinitely obscure significant enigmata from the public eye, to oversee and superintend the affairs of superhumans, and to maintain the normalcy and welfare of humankind. Failure in any of these objectives is not an option. Take nothing as true, The unknown as your nemesis, And the abyss bows. -Madeline Ambrose, Administrator of UNCEM. Section A: Procedure, precaution, and probity. Trepidation for one’s role within UNCEM is perfectly natural, to a certain point. The competence of our personnel, thankfully, is of little concern; your selection for employment with The Ministry is evidence enough of your worthiness to operate under the strenuous conditions to be regularly expected. That accounted for, do not take your work lightly; procedures often only account for a miniscule degree of human error, and a drastic failure to follow directed procedures will often have drastic consequences. Section A I: Your Sector. Distributed with this manual is an identification card, color-coded to your individual sector within The Ministry. Contained here is a full list of designations, which you may follow as necessary: RED: Research and Development Sector, dedicated to the study of enigmata for the purposes of further control and elimination efforts, utility for The Ministry’s purposes, and technological application. ORANGE: Engineering and Application Sector, dedicated to the application of enigmatic resources to practical ends, such as optimizing enigma control protocols, maintenance of public obscurity, etc. BLUE: Security and Surveillance Sector, dedicated to the detection of dangerous enigmata, the security of UNCEM site operations, the extraction of threats, and the maintenance of public obscurity. GREEN: Maintenance Sector, dedicated to the continual operation of control procedures, the oversight of active enigmata, the upkeep of facilities and resources, and the handling of documentation and regular operations. VIOLET: Superhuman Operations Sector, including on-sight superhumans, anti-super strike teams, dedicated to the utilization, control, and maintenance of superhuman affairs. WHITE: Command Sector, dedicated to administration, arbitration, ethics judgements, authorization level, document classification, and so forth. Outlining your card, a band of a different color will be present: this corresponds to your Authorization, allowing or disallowing access from certain site facilities, documents, and so forth. SILVER: Beta Level Authorization, allowing access only to documents and facilities necessary for one’s individual duties and procedures, often disallowing an understanding of enigmata that would prove unnecessary to the execution of procedures. GOLD: Alpha Level Authorization, allowing access to confidential documents and facilities pertinent to intricate knowledge of all facets of one’s individual duties. This is typically granted to higher-level staff, for whom a more intricate knowledge of an enigma is useful. BLACK: Omega Level Authorization, allowing full access to all Ministry facilities, resources, and documentation regardless of one’s individual duties. This is typically reserved for Cabinet Members and Administrators. Section A II: Enigma Classification. Enigmata are classified in such a way as to delineate their overall threat level, the ratio between benefits accrued by controlling the enigma versus the safety procured by eliminating it, and specific attributes which that enigma presents. Respectively, these are it’s DANGER, its UTILITY, and its SPECIFICATIONS. Section A II Subsection A: Threat level. The danger of an enigma is classified as follows: Inert: The enigma presents no continuous or present danger; if it has the ability to harm or threaten the world at large, this effect is well understood and easy to mitigate. Albeit carefully, such an enigma could reasonably be handled by a regular person with no harm coming to them. Hellion: The enigma has distinctly undesirable effects, attributes, or activities, but these effects are of a danger which can be counteracted, dampened, or otherwise controlled by means at the disposal of The Ministry. Such an enigma could not safely be handled by a regular person unless said person were extensively aware of the danger which it presents. Seraph: The enigma presents a pointed danger in its effects, and these effects are difficult if not impossible to counteract. A regular person could never handle this enigma safely, regardless of any non-enigmatic means of preparation. Olympian: The enigma presents a continual and high-priority threat whose effects must be continually counteracted in order to avoid unprecedented catastrophe. A regular person is in a constant and continual state of danger merely by existing in proximity to or in relation to this enigma. Cataclysm: The enigma is of a danger level of the highest conceivable priority, whose effects present a danger to humanity omnipresently. A regular person is in a constant and continual state of danger merely because this enigma exists at all, regardless of their knowledge, proximity, or relation to it. Section A II Subsection B: Power Classification for Supers. Supers, unlike enigmas, are classified on a different scale, which can accomodate for a larger variety of superhuman abilities. They are: F-Class: The subject’s powers represent some of the weakest among Supers as a whole, though may still exceed what a normal human being is capable of. F-Class Supers make up roughly 10% of the Super population, or 43,292 individuals. E-Class Though not the weakest powers, the subject’s are over standard deviation below the average. Of course, they considerably exceed what any human is capable of, but not by an absurd margin. E-Class Supers make up roughly 12% of the Super Population, or 48,920 individuals. D-Class The subject’s powers are considered to be below average for most Supers, but aren’t below a standard deviation from the mean. They exceed by a strong margin what a normal human can achieve. D-Class Supers make up roughly 20% of the Super population, or 81,610 individuals. C-Class The subject’s powers are quite close to the average level of operation for most Supers, though there are certainly many who exceed their power. C-Class Supers make up roughly 20% of the Super population, or 78,200 individuals. B-Class The subject’s powers are above average, but aren’t above a standard deviation from the mean. They are at a generally competent level of superhuman power. B-Class Supers make up roughly 20% of Supers, or 65,380 individuals. A-Class The subject’s powers are considerably above average by over a standard deviation, and their abilities are considered remarkable in the community. A-Class Supers make up roughly 10% of Supers, or 36,120 individuals. S-Class The subject’s powers are drastically greater than what most Supers can achieve, at a height of power few can reach. S-Class Supers make up roughly 3% of Supers, or 11,230 individuals. X-Class The subject’s powers put them at an extraordinary level of operation that overshadows other Supers by a wide margin. X-Class Supers make up roughly 1% of Supers, or 3,150 individuals. Y-Class The subject’s powers are so great that they remove you from the human condition almost entirely. The subject has crossed the line between man and god, and could be compared as such in their powers. Y-Class Supers make up less than a tenth of 1% of Supers, or 324 individuals. Z-Class The subject’s powers are at the highest level of operation on the planet Earth, capable of facing off against dozens of lower-level Supers with as much ease as a blink. They could present a significant threat to the world and beyond it if they were ever to go rogue. Z-Class Supers make up less than a hundredth of a percent of Supers, or less than 10 individuals. God-Class The subject’s powers are of an unprecedented level of operation, so great that current methods of classification cannot account for such extreme abilities. These powers are comparable to those of the Avatars, and pose a threat to the world at large or even the reaches of far-flung space if the subject should ever go rogue. Section A II Subsection C: Utility The utility of an enigma codifies its use to the Ministry, as a ratio to how much danger it poses and what resources are required to control it effectively. Specifications are as follows: Deficient: The enigma presents no present utility, or presents such a vast danger that any utility it may provide is eclipsed. For these, elimination is typically an optimal course of action. Specialized: The enigma presents some small utility in comparison to the danger it presents; nevertheless, that small utility may, in specific scenarios, prove to be useful to the ends of the Ministry. If the utility provided is unnecessary, deemed too costly, or is otherwise eclipsed by a superior enigma, then in these cases the enigma may be eliminated. Applicable: The enigma’s utility is significant, or outweighs in benefits what dangers it presents by far. Applications in engineering, control of other enigmas, or security may justify its existence even if the danger it presents is high. Only in exceptional circumstances, such as enigmatic instability or an increase in danger, would it be justified to eliminate this enigma. Requisite: The enigma’s usage is paramount for integral functions of The Ministry, and whatever resources required to control it are miniscule by comparison to the benefits it provides. Only in the most absurd or otherwise desperate circumstances would an enigma of this classification be eliminated, and as such it’s continued function is of a high priority. Section A II Subsection D: SPECIFICATIONS The Ministry continually adds new entries to this list, and employees should keep regular track of new terms and groupings added to this list, available to all personnel. Within this manual, we have included several examples, listed here: Spectre: Physical control methods are inoperable in combating this enigma; the enigma may be intangible, conceptual, or purely informational, and as such more esoteric means of control must be employed to properly regulate functionality. Substratum: This enigma is, rather than creating enigmatic circumstances, integral to circumstances conducive to normalcy; perhaps the elimination of this enigma would cause further temporal enigmata, or perhaps something foundational to physical laws is dependent upon this enigma. Whatever the case may be, it is inadvisable to eliminate this enigma. Errata: The enigma is an informational hazard of some kind; perhaps it is capable of erasing information pertinent to it from the minds of personnel, or perhaps it triggers its effects when understood, read, spoken, or seen. Whatever the case may be, perception of this enigma and its specifications is to be cautioned. CONTINUED IN FURTHER CHAPTERS.