Covert Intellience Group (CIG)

"War? Who are we at war with? -- Stanley

"Anyone who impinges on America's freedom. Terrorist states, Stanley. Someone must bring their war to them. They bomb a church, we bomb 10. They hijack a plane, we take out an airport. They execute American tourist, we tactically nuke an entire city. Our job is to make terrorism so horrific that is becomes unthinkable to attack Americans. -- Gabriel, Operation Swordfish

"The war on terror is little more than street theatre for the masses. We know the real enemies. We fight the real threats" -- Artemis Hawking, CIG Director


The Covert Intelligence Group is a secretive American intelligence organization charged with countering unconventional threats to the security of the United States. It's a black-ops organization, covertly funded by the U.S. government and reporting directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security. It was created in 2003 in response to terror attacks of September 11 with the intent of having a cadre of hyper-talented agents who wouldn't be subject to the endless second-guessing of the Sunday morning news shows.

The CIG operates independently of other national law enforcement and intelligence agencies like the FBI and CIA, and all but the directors of those organizations are ignorant of the CIG or its mandate. Those in other agencies -- particularly of the FBI -- are vaguely aware of CIG's existence, and have started calling its operatives "Cigarette Men" and missions associated with them as "blowing smoke".


CIG operations are covert in the extreme, with the agency always maintaining plausible deniability about its activities, and even its very existence. Compromised agents can expect no backup; those who've maintained their cover may be able to draw upon additional teams and/or support from other government agencies (in the later case of course, these agencies have no idea of the true nature of their missions).

As members of a covert agency, CIG agents have no law enforcement powers of their own; instead those powers are granted on an "as needed' basis and as often as not, they take the form of orders to the appropriate, public agency.

For example, agents investigating a suspect may want to search his apartment. They can request approval from the director to do this. In most cases, the director will then task agents at the FBI to file the necessary paperwork, and then route the information back to the CIG agents. In other cases, where including outside agencies may be detrimental to the investigation, the CIG director may request a secret warrant under the auspices of PATRIOT II.

Special Operations Teams

CIG maintains several special teams which it assigns to particular missions that are too complicated or dangerous for a single agent. There are seven of these "Special Operations Teams", named SOT-1 through SOT-9 (members of the Prometheus campaign are assigned to SOT-9).


CIG draws has an eclectic mix of agents drawn from numerous backgrounds. About a third of its roster are former members of the military, coming from either from special operations or intelligence. Another third comes from the more conventional "alphabet soup" intelligence and law enforcement agencies (FBI, CIA, NSA, etc.) while the remainder are drawn from the ranks of specialists developed specifically for CIG and with no operational experience in other branches of government.


Artemis Hawking, Director

The director of CIG is Artemis Hawking, a cynical, occasionally vicious and always ruthless woman utterly devoted to the protection of the United States by any means necessary. She has held the reigns of CIG since it's founding, having previously served as an assistant director at the NSA and prior to that, as a field agent for the CIA.

Hawking has fended off numerous attempts by Secretaries of Homeland Security to force her out in favor of their own candidates, and she has succeeded in forcing Washington insiders from discussing her or her organization in public (Rumors have she ordered the mugging death of an administration aide who was about to blab about CIG to a Washington Post reporter, but nothing was ever confirmed).

Phillip Nelson, Assistant Director

Hawking's second, Nelson had several decades of experience with the CIA before being brought in as a counter-balance to Hawking when the CIG was created. He is a skilled bureaucrat, able to keep track of dozens of ops simultaneously, yet he has proven to be incapable of preventing all but the most extreme of his superior's actions.

Jason Verrick, Senior Handler

Verrick is an experienced CIA handler who joined CIG two years after its creation. He is currently responsible for managing the SOT-9 team. He's a professional, distant, aristocratic individual. He delivers competent mission briefings and is usually good about providing his teams with the resources he feels they need. Problems arise when people question his anaylsis or methods; he tends to view such questions as challenges to his authority. Field requests are similarly viewed with scorn.

Isaac Stanley, Tech Support

Stanley is a brilliant engineer tasked with technological support for SOT-9. His intelligence is unquestioned, as is his ability to create almost any gadget imaginable, and a few that aren't (at least to more people). He invests a tremendous amount of himself in his work, and comes to view each gadget he creates with a kind of intense paternal affection.

Unsurprisingly, problems when he is forced to actually deploy these gadgets and entrust them to agents. At his very core, he believes that agents have absolutely no understanding of the importance of proper equipment maintenance and are hellbent on destroying any creation he gives them. Any agent who actually returns his equipment undamaged earns Stanley's appreciation. Anyone who returns equipment in pristine condition earns his respect.

Stanley is oblivious to the political manipulations and bureaucratic pressure of CIG; he is focus entirely on his own work, and as long as the budget money is flowing to his department, he doesn't care what the others are doing.

The Home Office

CIG maintains offices in a downtown Philadelphia building under the guises of front company called "TechCal", which produces calendaring and scheduling software for corporate and non-profit Web sites. The original company dot bombed in 2000, but CIG was able to purchase its remains through a front company. The company maintains a handful of clients (namely other front companies for CIG or government agencies) and generally keeps a low profile.

CIG's home office is home to approximately 200 full-time agents, but only a quarter of these are on site at any given time, as many are either in the field or working from remote secure computers. CIG maintains field offices in Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and Las Vegas, all under the guise of TechCal or similar front companies.