OSFI Player's Handbook Chapter 2: General Specialties of the OSFI Agent
BoI- Main Page |
Star Fleet Library |
SF Engineering |
SF Intelligence |
SF JAG |
SF Marine Corps |
SF Medical |
SF Records |
UFP Dept. of Colonial Affairs | UFP Educational, Scientific and Cultural Org.
WRITING GROUPS: Star Fleet: PRIME (SD- 2427) | Star Fleet: ORIGINS (SD- 2261)- DEFUNCT | Star Fleet: BEYOND (SD- 2771)- DEFUNCT
General Specialties of the OSFI Agent
As can be seen from glancing through the different types of missions, agents with a wide range of training and specializations are needed. Some agents, such as analysts, tend to have narrow training in terms of scope, but are the very best at whatever it is that they do. Some field agents- especially undercover agents- have a broad range of skills, but are NOT necessarily the very best at each area of expertise.
The agent with an expertise in science is indispensable, especially with regards to interpreting sensor readings. Since interpreting such data could depend on knowledge of gravitic technology (warp drive, etc.) to cloaking technology to string theory to stellar physics, such agents are often present in administrative circles as analysts. As such, these agents would work with military and sociopolitical analysts for BATA or ETAB, or work as a liaison to Star Fleet Science. Characters with an emphasis on science would not generally be a field agent, unless he or she is part of a larger team. He or she would almost never work alone.
The engineering specialist is a lot like the science expert, except that the engineering expert has intimate knowledge of the technology employed by various cultures. This makes him or her invaluable from an analytical standpoint in terms of understanding the far-reaching consequences of the implementation of new technologies.
However, the engineering specialist does have field applications as well. He or she would be the person who fixes broken audio bugs, pieces together or reverse-engineers sensitive devices of foreign manufacture, etc. Such an operative, if operating in the field, would probably be part of a network assembled in support of an undercover agent.
Infiltration is a vital specialty for any field agent, whether it be for purposes of going undercover in enemy territory, extracting blown or compromised agents, or posing as an attache in the UFP Consulate on Cardassia Prime. All agents operating in the field must have extensive training in infiltration techniques. Such training may include acting classes, voice training, learning languages and/or dialects, the art of the disguise, etc. Anything that helps an agent "blend in" to his or her surroundings without attracting attention is part of infiltration.
Analysts are agents who use their minds as opposed to their bodies in service of OSFI. Rarely does the analyst see time in the field (unless part of a team supporting a surveillance or undercover mission); his or her job is to draw conclusions from data already collected, not the procurement of the data itself.
A military analyst would be someone whose knowledge of strategy and tactics (both fleet and ground), fleet and troop deployment, weapons systems, etc. would allow him or her to see patterns and draw conclusions regarding enemy military strength, disposition, etc. This character may even be a retired Star Fleet command-grade officer or one who has otherwise crossed over into intel. Such officers are not common, but often the very best military analysts have field experience in command billets.
Civilian analysts have some expertise in non-military fields. Sometimes, a retired university professor of mathematics may do some cryptanalysis work for OSFI; perhaps a retired ambassador or consular sheds light on a geopolitical situation of a foreign power; perhaps even a successful businessman lends insight to the economic currents within a foreign power. Anything is possible, as OSFI is quick to use reliable assets when presented with them. the key, however, is relevant experience; one cannot learn in a textbook what can be learned through actual trial-and-error.
A person with psionic abilities are of obvious value to OSFI. Such rare agents would assist in debriefings or interrogations, or assist Ambassadors and other consulars in negotiations with a foreign power, etc. Most of the time, the psionics expert is used to detect deceit on the part of a target and nothing further; however, they do often take an active role in interrogations and debriefings.
It is important to understand that, while other cultures and races may employ such people in order to forcibly coerce (i.e. torture) enemy agents, OSFI does not; OSFI's mandate forbids such unethical and immoral behavior. OSFI does not use people of such gifts in such a manner, and players with a bent towards torture would be weeded out before being placed on such an assignment. In fact, should evidence suggesting that an OSFI agent has engaged in the torture or persecution of enemy agents, he or she would be subject to stiff punishments.
Communications training is another of those "must haves" for field agents as well as analysts. An agent on a surveillance mission needs an understanding of the operation and engineering of communications equipment in order to eavesdrop on his or her target; the deep cover agent needs such training in order to discreetly send messages to his or her case officer with sensitive information, an agent running a counterintelligence operation would need such knowledge in order to know the best way to plant phony audio information. The uses of communications training in OSFI are almost endless, and thus all agents in OSFI have substantial training in communications operation and engineering.
The medical expert in OSFI has both field and analytical uses. In the field, a medical specialist would be one member of an undercover agent's support team, posing as a local village doctor nearby; at a desk, the medical expert would run tests on alien tissue samples and draw conclusions regarding the physiology of a threat species. He or she might even use such knowledge to create sedatives and truth serums for use in extractions or interrogations.
Again, the ethical mandate of OSFI must be considered here. Medical experts do NOT perform experiments on living, sentient beings, nor do they work to create deadly biological weapons. Medical experts draw the line, as do all OSFI agents, at willingly causing another's death for reasons other than self-defense.
Almost every field agent in OSFI has some sort of knowledge in security procedures, weapons training, etc. Since field agents, try as they might to avoid it, are often called upon to take forceful physical action in defense of themselves, the lives of Federation citizens, or the life/lives of his or her targets, training in the protection of him or herself and others is vital. Agents conducting transportation missions in particular would have extensive knowledge in such training.
Training as a security expert would include training in small unit tactics, hand-to-hand and small arms combat, general security procedures, marksmanship, use of non-conventional weapons, etc.