"Spy For Another Alpha Complex" Profile

Note: This is structured very similarly to the profiles of secret societies in the PARANOIA XP supplement "The Traitor's Manual". Originally written in 2012, it was lost and only subsequently recovered in 2017. The profile has been posted here for your convenience by traitorous Romantics.

Beliefs: All Alpha Complexes believe themselves to be the "One True Complex", uncorrupted and utopian, compared to all those tainted, flawed, subverted, or traitorous other Complexes. In fact, most Alpha Complexes are entirely self-sufficient, and thus do not need to [contact/steal goods from/migrate to/become a parasite latching onto] the other Complexes. If these Alpha Complexes had their way, each Complex would be isolated, each living in their own perfect utopia, without any knowledge of the affairs outside their own borders. But they cannot. Why?

Fear and ignorance. Your Complex is ignorant about the intentions and capacities of the other Complexes, and thus live in constant fear that all these other Complexes can band together to destroy your Complex [1]. That's why your Home Complex established a spy network, to gather as much information as possible about the Target Complex they are assigned to spy on (removing the ignorance, and by extension, the fear). If necessary, these spies will engage in brutal sabotage and other desperate measures, even going so far as to assist in the utter destruction/conquest of the Target Complex. Vapors don't shoot back.

(For the rest of this article, "Target Complex" refers to the complex that is being spied on, and "Home Complex" refers to the complex that is doing the spying.)

Recruitment: You can divide spies into "Foreign" and "Native" spies. "Foreign" spies are BLUE clearance or higher at their Home Complex, and they do not willingly choose to be a spy. They were forced to by their direct supervisors, or even the rulers of the Complex, as part of their daily jobs. There are some incentives involved though: these spies tend to get paid extra bonuses, are cleared to more information that other people at their security clearance, and (assuming they succeed) will get promoted upward to high security clearances.

"Native" spies are a bit more problematic to recruit, partly due to the inherent unreliability of these spies (they have not been subject to the same mental conditioning that "foreign spies" had been exposed to at Home Complex). Some Complexes spin an elaborate tale of how their Complex is indeed far better than the one they live in currently, and that if they just serve Home Complex faithfully, you too can live there like a King. Other Complexes do not have the time and patience for that sort of propaganda though and just blackmail random individuals to serve as their agents.

Initiation: Officially, "foreign" spies goes through a rigorous training program that gives them the skills needed to survive in a strange new complex. Unofficially, "foreign" spies are literally just handed a book about the Target Complex, given some training as to how to survive in the Outdoors so they can covertly make it to the Target Complex, and then shoved out the door with a fake ID and an a copy of their clone template to upload at Tech Services. There are just so many other Complexes and so much attrition out on the field there that the Home Complex does not even bother training each individual spy. Learn on the job.

"Native" spies are given a more dignified process where they fill out paperwork to apply for citizenship. The forms are kept as blackmail material.

Recognition Code: Each Alpha Complex has its own unique slang, so just using it is usually enough recognition for other Agents. Other people may look at you funny if you start calling a “bot” a “Metallic Citizen” or “Hot Fun” as “AHA98C” (Algae Heated at 98 Degree Celsius)…but they’d look at you funny for doing any of the other secret society recognition codes anyway.

Codename: “Foreign” spies use their old name at Home Complex, mostly as a status symbol if anything. “Native” spies are assigned a new name as part of the Initiation Process, to help solidify their loyalty to Home Complex. When utmost secrecy is called for though (which is, generally, all the time), each spy identifies themselves by a letter or series of letters. (Agent A, Agent AA, Agent AAA).

Structure: There are two type of structures: an "individual agent" model and the "collective cell" structure. Generally, more established spy networks lean towards the "collective cell" structure (as it is the most efficient at intelligence gathering and sabotage), while new spy networks lean towards the "individual agent" (less chance of the spy network getting compromised).

Individual agents contact their Home Complex through a "shielded communication system within the complex", i.e. an "unlicensed long-range radio transmitter". Possessing this long-range radio is treasonous at all security clearances, and the communication is subject to monitoring by Internal Security, so the agent has to be very careful when using it.

A "cell" structure is functionally similar to that of a conventional secret society. The agent receive orders from higher-clearance colleagues of his Service Group whom he generally have a good "professional" excuse to meet up with regularly ("Yes, I have to meet up with my service firm supervisor every week and talk about my job while drinking TeaSir. If you have a problem with that, take it up with him.") Larger "cells" further disguise themselves by pretending to be one of the other "native" secret societies, gambling that Internal Security will overlook the activities of a cell claiming to be a member of the Romantics or the Sierra Club.

Sometimes, this system falls apart. The "cell" may had been purged, the radio doesn't work, etc. In that case, the spy is temporarily or permanently out of contact with their supervisors. If that happens, the spy is ordered to reestablish connection with the Home Complex through whatever means possible. This takes priority over all other existing orders given by the society. The last thing the Home Complex wants is a rogue spy undermining all the progress the Home Complex has already done because the rogue spy had outdated orders.

Attitudes: The spy network of the Home Complex has no true friends. Though the Home Complex may share an ideological affinity with one of the "native" secret societies, its spies must be willing to betray this "native" secret society at a moment's notice if it will help further the national security of the Home Complex. Home Complex's spy network is generally opposed to Target Complex's Internal Security (which wants to shut down their operations) and Target Complex's Program Groups (who are the purveyors of the Status Quo and thus have an interest in keeping the spies out).

Perhaps the only entity that the Home Complex might consider allying with on a semi-permanent basis is PURGE. PURGE is only interested in overthrowing (or destroying) the existing Alpha Complex regime, and is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish this goal, even selling themselves out to another Alpha Complex. This sort of ideological consistency makes PURGE very trustworthy and predictable, two traits that any spy network loves. Even if the Home Complex allies itself with the Target Complex, it makes sure to maintain a few contacts with PURGE…just in case.

Subfactions: The Home Complex’s Spy Network has long ago been infiltrated by service groups and secret societies from said Home Complex, all of which have their own covert agendas and plots. For now, however, they have to work alongside with other agents, leading to the creation of small informal cliques within the Network. Though all subfactions remain nominally dedicated to Home Complex's interests...all have different ideas on what those interests are. Certain subfactions may be declared 'rogue' and cut off from the main Network, and it is speculated that many of Target Complex's secret societies actually had their roots as subfactions in the Home Complex's Spy Network.

The Loyalists believe in sabotaging and harming Target Complex at every turn, and tends to hide their activity under a PURGE facade. The Loyalists however tends to be at odds with the other subfactions who views Target Complex as a useful tool. The Researchers want to use Target Complex as a “research lab”, inflicting painful 'experiments' that could shed light on why people conduct treason. The Liberators desire to aid resistance organizations like PURGE, Humanists, and Sierra Clubbers, in the hope of slowly corrupting them into being willing servants of Home Complex (or more accurately, willing servants of Home Complex's Secret Societies). The Manipulators try to convince Target Complex to attack the enemies of Home Complex, thereby killing two traitors with one stone. And, the Parasites steal whatever they can from Target Complex for the glory of Home Complex.

The only thing that these above subfactions have in common though is that they want to do their job, whatever they interpret their job to mean. The Slackers, for their part, has lost all loyalty to Home Complex, instead using the resources of the Home Complex's Spy Network to make their life at Target Complex more tolerable. Any help they provide to Target Complex is only incidental to the help they provide to themselves (for example, blowing up a strategic location may really be cover for murdering their rivals).

Sidebar - Diplomacy: Congratulations, you are skilled/lucky enough to make it to Degree 16 in this secret society. That's the good news. Everything else is bad news.

Your activities have attracted so much attention that Internal Security has a 30-page dossier on you and your connections to Home Complex. Since you are useless a spy, but you still possess useful “field experience”, Home Complex ‘arranges’ for your public defection before sending you back as an “Official Ambassador”, representing your Home Complex to the ULTRAVIOLET leaders of Target Complex. At this level, you must find UV patrons willing to support Home Complex’s interests in return for certain “favors”, and try to cultivate good relationship with Target Complex as a whole (either to lure them into a false sense of security, or as part of a genuine hope for an alliance). Occasionally, you may also have to negotiate a “prisoner swap”, getting Target Complex to release Home Complex’s Spies in return for Home Complex releasing Target Complex’s spies. To make your life more interesting, every single step you take is constantly monitored by an Internal Security team ready to terminate you on a moment’s notice.

At least you get diplomatic immunity.

[1] Some of the more paranoid leaders of Home Complex (such as The Computer) believe that other Complexes already have spies infiltrating Home Complex at this very moment and that they are covertly responsible for every act of treason and imperfection in Home Complex. The only logical solution is to send spies into those Complexes and support treason against them first.