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Below are the 9 most recent journal entries recorded in Dryden, Ohio M-force office's LiveJournal:

Monday, October 29th, 2007
12:37 pm
[ajaxtalbot]
Well met, Drydentonians. I'm back.

No, not back to Dryden. I'm back from a mission that the M-Force Powers That Be have clamped the lid down on so tight that it hurts.

Suffice is to say that our team in Chicago seems to have discovered a mother lode of monsters and that an initial foray was just completed. If I were any happier I'd burst--which gives you an idea of how target-rich this place is.

If you want suggestions of what to give me for Boxing Day this year, I'd say incendiary rounds--and lots of them. :-)
Saturday, May 19th, 2007
12:31 pm
[joabwhite]
Too quiet

I have a terrible sense of foreboding.  Something's about to happen.

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007
3:30 pm
[ajaxtalbot]
Slaughter
So, Tina, I've got a new gun. I think we need to test it on some of Joab's brighter heckelstimps.
Thursday, April 5th, 2007
5:05 pm
[tiaesmerelda]
Oh my God!
I don't believe I've ever seen Tina turn that color before.  It was precious!

You see, we got this flyer, or invitation, to a "Slug Fest".  Apparently that pushed about 36 buttons in Tina's brain and she just went off, storming around the office, ranting, raving.  God she is so gorgeous when she gets homicidal!

I suppose I ought to tell her that we've been getting junk mail about slugs, and slug traps, and all that for about 2 months now.  Usually I just throw them out (because what do we care about gardening?!) but I suppose from now on I'll pass them on to her.  It seems important.

Maybe "slug" is code for something they haven't told Guillermo about.
Tuesday, March 20th, 2007
4:01 pm
[tinadunlap]
Hunting
Hahaha - I feel so much better after I've gotten to kill something.

One of those web-faced monsters went rogue and attacked a child. I knew eventually one would mess up. Of course, the fund we have forced the monster council to pay into (think of it like a tax - the money goes to any damages or victim restitution that is needed) payed off the parents quickly so that it wouldn't get spread over the media. And I got to go with the council representative on a hunt. I think I scared him. :)

I must say though, I don't like it when they can actually beg for their lives. Not as much fun. But, he was still covered in childs blood, so not much question of his guilt. There are rumors that the blue guys have a resistance group forming - that ought to be fun to wipe out if needed. All of them need to decide on pronouncable race names so I can quit calling them gill-faces and blue-heads. Names will sell the council better.

But yeah, yay for a real hunt! This town has been quiet lately, at least in terms of things needing killed.

Current Mood: blood-thirsty
Thursday, March 15th, 2007
10:15 am
[tinadunlap]
Time for an update
So, it is the second year of our levy – Most of it went into investments this year. We decided against the helicopter – things just haven’t been hectic enough to justify it. There is so much paperwork involved – thank goodness for Guermo. Although he’s almost impossible to live with since he was shot. And if he doesn’t quit leaving wardrobe recommendations in my locker I’m going to throttle him.

But he’s a godsend with the paperwork. He and Mary keep my head on straight. And lets talk about paperwork! In addition to the taxes, there is Joab’s hecklestimp farm. Good lord, the paperwork!

You see, the FDA only regulates the farming of animals. Hecklestimps are classified as monsters. So no one really knew who should be governing the emissions and water quality and general care of the hecklestimps. Me? I think Joab babies them. Music plays 24/7 and I won’t even get into the cost of one family size tubes that have shades on them so that they are mostly dark but can be opened to expose light. That was a trial and error mess, let me tell you. The researchers have been loving it though – we have a scientist big shot staying out there with them 24/7 right now. I told him its his own fault if he gets his neck ripped open, but of course for liability reasons I have to have an agent babysitting him all the time. What a waste of manpower.

Who knew hecklestimps could dig so well? But they can – and our first set-ups with dirt floors was a near disaster. Then the little bastards learned how to take out the light bulbs on the inside of the tubes so that we couldn’t turn on the lights. I killed the ones that figured it out, but it is almost like they have a hive mind or something – all the ones on the farm knew the trick. They can’t have a hive mind though, because if so it wouldn’t be so easy to wipe out the ones in NY. Maybe a family mind, like ancestral history? I need to make sure Joab keeps periodically changing his breeding stock.

Gah, now I’m starting to sound like a researcher. Anyway, we figured out how to put plexiglass on the tops of the enclosures and metal shades to roll up – that way the buggers can’t avoid the light. We put in concrete flooring and shallow troughs where water can just be poured in from the outside – then I had it changed to tubing since the sight of little hands poking out creeped me out and made me want a knife. Joab is the one that came up with all this stuff – he can detail the whole farm better than I can. I just know I made sure it was secure – last thing I need is them to get loose. Evidently he’s feeding them minnows and rats – he’s telling me he hasn’t decided which is easier to raise, but I think he just wants to give them variety. Last I saw he had even tossed a couple of Kong dog toys in there for them. I don’t know about that – but Joab is happy as a clam, and I have to remind him to do shooting practice he’s so enamored.

But back to paperwork – The FDA made a push to classify them as animals, since we were starting a breeding program and Joab had talked about even selling the meat to other monster groups or even adventurous people. Of course, if they are classified as animals then they are no longer monsters, so all of M-force was up in arms about that since it would mean that the fish and game departments would be responsible for hecklestimp control and they would be torn to shreds if that happened. Jason got real heated about it, considering New York has one of the biggest messes of hecklestimps and he gave us our breeding stock.

We’re skirting the legalities right now by saying we won’t feed the meat to people, and having excellent containment, cleanliness, and kill standards. (Who knew hecklestimps were actually pretty clean little guys?) Of course, the whole kill standards had to be worked out and attracted protesters. Seems people don’t like the idea of us killing an entire family at once, cleaning the pen, then putting new ones in. I don’t know what they are all worried about – something about the smell of blood scaring the guys. Shit, the smell of blood makes them happy because they are looking for dinner – they don’t know the smell of their own kinds blood from the rats we feed them. Joab’s working on something better than shooting them I guess, but I like the practice. I’ve already had green agents in from other offices – it’s the best training tool I’ve ever seen. Nothing like seeing the little buggers being all cute, watching video of a mauling, and then going and actually killing some. Of course it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, but these new agents need to get comfortable with killing and this helps. I mean, the vinegar cat prey has to be live, but I’m not about to make that arrangement with the other monsters in town and selling the meat is helping keep the place from being a funding sink.

But the protesters – oh my. They got suckered in by the cute faces (M-force doesn’t release pictures of hecklestimps when they are being passive for this very reason) and they were all up in arms about us raising them to be food for other monsters. I don’t know how the music got turned off or the gate opened, I swear. Of course, Ajax and I were there, and they zeroed in on him like they always do. (Does his flesh just smell tasty? What is it with him and monsters?) Watching those cute guys try to rip off Ajay’s protective neck brace shut up those protesters though. I took a nasty gash on my arm but it was worth it to not have to listen to their damn chanting. That and it was making us look bad in the press. M-force public relations has practically set up an office here to make sure I don’t mess up. The whole program has brought out the crazies, but it’s been great for us to. M-force agent applications are up 200% and donations around the country are pouring in. Seems a couple churches took exception to us actually raising ‘demons’ and are lobbying their members to wipe out the scourge. We haven’t had any attacks yet, but the PR people have done a great job replying with “If you want them wiped out, support M-force so we’ll have enough money to wipe out the vinegar cats.”

And don’t get me started on those cats. I had a couple crazy celebrities who wanted to model with them, for christ’s sake. And the researchers are all over them as well. M-force PR is trying to keep them out of the media until we figure out the line on sentience and monsters, but it’s been a struggle. (Plus we can only introduce a little new at a time to the public, or something like that. And what with our monster council and breeding program, we’ve already got quite a bit of new to save up.) As for the cats, they are happy with the food and have a couple people they like to talk to. Unfortunately, one of them is me. Something about being the leader. God I hate the smell of vinegar – I have to shower three times to get it out of my hair. There’s been talk of burning the whole forest down, but then we are back to the EPA, Forestry departments, and of course the whole protest that they are sentient.

My life is crazy and I don’t get to kill nearly enough stuff. Had I realized how much paperwork their was, I may have never taken Agent in Charge, and now theirs talk of promoting me higher. I want no part of that – I’ve figured out that promotions = less killing. At least the public has accepted my personality as that of a gruff general. I think I would die if the publicists told me I had to be friendly.

Current Mood: bored
Thursday, December 28th, 2006
2:43 pm
[tinadunlap]
M-force - how missions work
The Team
M-Force normally fields teams of four to eight agents, depending on agent availability and the nature of the assignment. These teams are called up by the local offices and are generally formed from agents within an office's jurisdiction. M-Force strives to field versatile teams capable of conducting a thorough and effective on-site investigation. The team must also be able to render whatever threat-elimination services may be called for. In putting together a team, M-Force looks for a combination of needed skills, familiarity with the mission locale, and past experience working together.

Typical Mission
Every M-Force mission begins with an alert -- the contact that brings an unusual situation to M-Force's attention. This can occur in a variety of ways. A civilian witness or surviving victim reports a monster encounter via the toll-free hotline. The staff of the news-monitoring room at M-Force headquarters spots a report that bears further investigation. A part-time agent notices signs of monster activity in her hometown. If the alert comes in at the national level, the next step is to relay it to the appropriate local office. Afterward (or if the alert reached the local office first), the local Agent in Charge selects a team of agents and activates their badges.

Worn at all times by every M-Force agent, the M-Force badge incorporates a satellite pager, a global positioning system, and a personal locator beacon in one small, shock-resistant, and stylish package. The pager can reach the agent nearly anywhere on the planet. In addition, the GPS and PLB work together to insure that an agent in danger can always be found.

Upon receiving their badge alerts, the agents call in, and are apprised of their assignment. Once the team is assembled and briefed, the team leader takes charge, and the mission proper begins. In its early stages, the typical M-Force mission is not unlike a police investigation: there are witnesses to be questioned, evidence to be examined, and leads to be followed. The goal at this stage is to determine what exactly occurred, what sort of creature is responsible, and how it might be tracked and neutralized. Even in cases where the threat is obvious, such as giant monster attack, this data-gathering stage is still important, as few such creatures can be stopped by force alone.

Eventually the team has enough information to begin actively hunting the monster, rather than simply reacting to its predations. Perhaps they have discovered a way to track it to its lair. Alternatively, they may have worked out its pattern of attack, and lie in wait at the home of the next likely victim.

Once the monster is slain or driven off (or, on rare occasions, communicated with and offered an alternative to munching on the citizenry), the team must deal with the aftermath. Wounded agents need treatment, and fatalities must be reported to headquarters for investigation. Most importantly, the agents must insure that the defeated menace was the only one, and has left no mates, eggs, or the like to trouble the populace in the future.

Finally, the agents head home. The team leader's work is still not done, however, until he or she has submitted the official report on the case to M-Force headquarters. The agents then return to their everyday lives until the next monstrous threat rears its head.
2:41 pm
[tinadunlap]
M-force Today
To the average American citizen, M-Force is about as familiar as other major do-gooder organizations like the Red Cross. Everyone has heard of them, and their larger exploits make the news, but few people know much about the organization's internal structure or the day-to-day activities of the local offices unless M-Force has touched their lives directly. Because monster encounters are rare, and those worthy of national attention even more so, M-Force's activities tend to fade into the background for most people; much of the organization's PR efforts are directed at keeping itself in the public eye when there's not a seventy-foot crustacean scuttling toward Santa Barbara.

Naturally, the government pays a bit more attention to M-Force than does the average Joe. In the wake of the overzealous anti-Slug vendetta, Congress passed the Federal Monster Hunter Act in 1972, creating a Bureau of Monster Affairs within the Department of the Interior. FMHA-72 simultaneously gave federal sanction to outfits like M-Force and provided a check on their activities. Under the Act, M-Force operatives are exempt from most federal, state, and local restrictions on the possession and use of firearms and destructive devices while in active pursuit of their duties. Furthermore, the BMA's Official Monster List classifies the most dangerous nonhuman menaces as 'nuisance creatures,' exempting them from concerns about due process or species endangerment. In return for these privileges, the BMA keeps a close eye on M-Force's recruitment, training, and evaluation procedures, and works with M-Force's Oversight department to bring down harsh justice on the heads of agents who abuse the trust placed in them.

Though the insurance benefits are excellent, an M-Force field agent's pay is mediocre at best. Most M-Force agents work day jobs to support themselves, and work for M-Force part-time. The meager pay insures that no M-Forcer is in it for the money. Agents join for a wide variety of reasons, but they are all dedicated to protecting humanity from monsters.

National Headquarters
Located in Caledonia, Massachusetts, the M-Force headquarters was once the home of Sadie Witterstadt. The mansion still retains its charm and splendor, even though it houses the high-tech nerve center of M-Force. The main administrative offices, communication center, War Room, and staff bedrooms are all situated in the mansion.

Behind the mansion is a beautifully kept garden. The garden features statues of legendary monster hunters such as Herakles, Perseus, Beowulf, Saint George, and Abraham Van Helsing. In and around the garden are several other buildings, including the M-Force laboratory, the supply depot, Quinn Library, and the guest house. The M-Force Academy is located a short way from the mansion. All M-Force agents have spent some time at the national headquarters, if only at graduation ceremonies.

Local Offices
There are hundreds of M-Force offices all across America. Some offices in major cities employ up to forty agents in addition to support personnel, but these offices are the exception. Many M-Force offices can barely support the required minimum number of staff.

The prototype local office is composed of five full-time staff members. There is an Agent in Charge (AIC), a Communications Specialist, a Supply Specialist, and two Watch Officers. The local office is supposed to be manned 24 hours a day, with the two Watch Officers splitting the night and weekend duties. Since M-Force is constantly short of personnel, many offices have only one Watch Officer.

Each local office is required to keep a vehicle. This vehicle is purchased and maintained at the local level, which results in a wide variety of transports, from Humvees to station wagons. Some offices have helicopters and boats, but most don't.

Several offices are located at colleges. In these cases the college provides some office space, and the staff is required to help out with 'Non-conformal Biology,' or monster studies. These offices are often more like campus clubs than M-Force organizations. This kind of office is usually in an area with no history of monsters. The office may even be there at the request of the college who funds it rather than due to M-Force's need for an office.
2:41 pm
[tinadunlap]
M-force History - What everyone should know:
M-Force was founded in 1952 by Dr. Henry Fields. At that time most researchers believed that, while monsters had once plagued mankind, their threat had long ago ended. Fields, a respected professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis, discovered evidence that monsters were all around. When the authorities would not listen to him about the monster problem, Dr. Fields and eight of his graduate students formed a monster-hunting organization. The faculty knew them as the Cryptid Studies Club, but the students preferred the nickname "M-Force." On weekends and vacations, M-Force would pile into a van and drive to the site of any strange occurrences they had turned up in the newspapers. The fledgling M-Force encountered restless spirits, mischievous pixies, animated corpses, and at least one authentic werewolf. These were innocent times, until a student died in the course of an outing. This prompted Fields to disband the group.

Not long afterwards a secretive stranger named Abernathy Quinn met with Fields and convinced him to re-form the organization, only this time with detectives, mercenaries, police officers, and other men of action who could take care of themselves. Students at Washington University continued to assist with research. Quinn purchased weapons, kept the M-Force office running, and paid the field agents as much as he could. The new team saved hundreds of lives all across the country. Unfortunately, they always found themselves strapped for cash and, more importantly, lacking public support.

In 1958, everything changed. M-Force saved San Francisco, and possibly the world, from the alien behemoth Galaxikhan. None of M-Force's previous victories had been quite so public. Overnight, they became heroes. Hundreds volunteered to join. The President personally thanked M-Force, and requested their help in future monster emergencies. As a result of all this publicity, M-Force attracted the attention of millionaire Sadie Witterstadt.

Sadie Witterstadt was an aging eccentric who seldom left her mansion in Caledonia, Massachusetts. Upon meeting Dr. Fields, however, she demonstrated an abiding passion for monster hunting. She decided that supporting M-Force would be the best possible use for her vast family fortune, no matter what her family might think. She pledged to make sizeable yearly donations to the organization, and volunteered the use of her guest house as M-Force's new headquarters. M-Force moved out of St. Louis and into the Witterstadt guest house in 1959.

As M-Force increased the scope of their investigations, they discovered a new and terrifyingly subtle threat -- a species of small slug-like creatures capable of taking over human bodies. M-Force agents discovered that these Slugs (as they dubbed them) had infiltrated human hosts throughout New England. M-Forcers worked diligently to track the Slugs down and eliminate them. The Slugs did not appreciate this attention. Unlike most of the creatures M-Force had battled in the past, the Slugs were intelligent and highly organized. On April 3rd, 1965, the Slugs mounted a full-scale assault on the Witterstadt mansion. In the process, both Abernathy Quinn and Sadie Witterstadt were killed.

Sadie had, much to her family's horror, willed the entire mansion to M-Force, requiring only that they "keep the place looking nice." In addition, she established a trust fund for M-Force, making sure they would always have enough money to operate. M-Force was able to step up its operations, and its first priority was to begin a brutal war against the Slugs. As this war dragged on, an attitude of fear and mistrust gradually gathered around M-Force. In 1969, M-Force made its greatest mistake. Two M-Forcers tracked down a Slug and opened fire on it . . . only to discover that they had killed not a Slug, but an innocent human being. A firestorm of criticism descended on the organization.

After years of Senate hearings and compromises, M-Force underwent a rebirth in 1973. M-Force regained the public's trust--but not until some changes were made. To usher in a new era, M-Force needed new blood. G. Carlton Saunders had been one of Dr. Fields' grad students in the 50's, and had stayed a vital part of M-Force's alumni network over the years. During that time he had also risen through the ranks at a major American company. With backgrounds in both monster-hunting and business management, Saunders seemed the perfect choice to take over as Director. Immediately after taking charge he began making changes, and over the next few months built M-Force into the organization we know today.

Most agents would be based out of local offices, rather than out of the central headquarters in Caledonia. Saunders also decided to expand M-Force's numbers by taking on more part-time agents. One of the charges leveled against M-Force was that they had given untrained civilians deadly weapons and sent them out into hostile situations. Saunders admitted to the problem and instituted a comprehensive training program. By 1980, M-Force had grown into an effective, well-run, nationwide organization.

In 2002, M-Force celebrated its 50th anniversary. M-Forcers from around the country attended the festivities at the Caledonia mansion. Surprisingly, the weekend celebration went off without a single monster attack. An attitude of good cheer reigned. Despite countless alien behemoths, walking corpses, radioactive mutants, fairies, occult horrors from beyond, vampires, giant insects, apparitions, frog-men, cults of elder gods, Slugs, and protoplasmic horrors, human civilization was still intact, thanks to M-Force.
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