OSFI Player's Handbook Chapter 3: Tools of the Trade
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Tools of the Trade
OSFI agents cannot successfully complete missions without the use of some basic tools. Some of these tools can be found below.
The biopattern recorder is a small, flexible device attached to the finger or thumb of the agent which copies, when it comes in contact with another person, the target's biopattern and holds it in its memory. This allows the agent to circumvent any sort of biopattern security measure, such as palm identification or any sort of biopattern scan.
This device can only hold a few biopatterns in its small memory at any given time, and needs recharging after only a few uses.
If found by anyone else, it would look like a simple butterfly bandage one would place on one's finger.
This device, usually very small, essentially disrupts all electronic listening devices and computer activity within a 40-foot radius through the creation of "white noise" and feedback loops in the circuitry of a computer or electronic surveillance device.
This device does not need charging; however, as mentioned, its range is essentially limited to one room.
This jamming device looks like an old communicator or paging device, with a single button on its surface.
An older technology, but one which is still useful is darkvision film. It captures stray electromagnetic emissions, both inside and outside the normal visual range, and converts them to light for the user of the film. Darkvision film requires a small current to operate, so a power cell of some sort is needed. Generally, it is used as a backup system for emergencies as much better systems are available. But it is easy for an agent to store the film and parts for a disassembled chemical power cell on his person so that the film and power source are very difficult to detect.
Normally, if an agent is going on a deep cover assignment, cosmetic surgery is generally performed in order to change an agents appearance so as to blend in with his or her surroundings better. However, for more short-term assignments, a field disguise kit, including all necessary replicator attachments, is provided. This kit would usually include the materials needed to make masks and other small prosthetics, substances to change skin color and texture, colored contact lenses, etc. However, equipment to perform major field surgery is NOT provided.
This kit appears to be an ordinary briefcase or piece of luggage; in fact, it is often disguised in a briefcase or suitcase underneath a false bottom.
Most sensitive installations have automated warning systems set up to detect the firing of beam weapons such as phasers and disruptors. Therefore, OSFI gives its field agents a sonic knife, which essentially uses hypersonic waves to create its cutting blade. Such a blade is undetectable to almost all security systems, even when in use. It can be used several times before needing to be recharges, and is at least as sharp as the sharpest metal blade; however, it does fall short of the cutting abilities of other energy blades.
Hardly unique to special operations use, small computer interface terminals can be build into devices of similar size to the older Personal Access Display Device. The most advanced of these confine all of the memory and networking electronics into small bars down each side of a flexible, collapsible screen and use a virtual interface through a securely networked set of eyeglasses or, less commonly -- both for power and security reasons -- a small holographic projector. The key feature of an intelligence microcomputers, other than its small size, is the ability to connect over an exceptionally broad range of frequencies to almost any possible computer network.
Microcomputers differ from intelligence tricorders in that they generally lack sensors of their own, though they can network with sensors, and so are even more compact than their cousins.
Given the Federation's experiences with the Borg, cybernetic or other types of implants are not widely used in OSFI. However, under extreme circumstances, OSFI will authorize the use of such devices under great secrecy.
These devices are used as an alternative to physical mind alteration or brainwashing. Generally, they would be used to give undercover agents a cover identity and story, supplementing his or her own physical memories. Deep cover agents would be more inclined to create his or her cover through his or her own work and would be less like to employ such devices lest they be caught. They are almost never used on enemy agents, save when putting an enemy agent back into circulation for our own purposes, should the circumstances dictate such dire actions.
The moral and ethical questions the use of such devices pose cannot be ignored; essentially, this is a form of mind alteration, an invasion of a person in the extreme. OSFI agents are never forced or coerced into allowing such devices to be implanted into them; OSFI operatives would never impose such a device's usage on an enemy agent except under the most critical of situations, such as being faced with the possible destruction of the Federation itself. Saving the agent's own life or those of his or her support team does not justify the use of such devices- only extreme loss of life (like, say, an entire planet) would justify it, and then only begrudgingly.
One of the latest developments in disguise, this device looks like a jumpsuit with small holoemmiters on its surface. At the push of a button, the suit mimics the pattern of whatever it has been programmed to mimic. This could be any suit or piece of clothing, or even a race or species itself.
There are, of course, pros and cons to the use of this device as opposed to physical disguise. This device is quick- it can change patterns in a matter of seconds at the push of a button so long as the device has the appropriate patterns in its memories; it is lightweight, so it can be worn comfortably anywhere; combined with a biopattern recorder, mnemonic clothing can fool most passive sensor scans. However, it is essentially a finely focused holographic image, and therefore would not fool direct sensor readings. it is also very delicate- a good phaser shot or other moderate blow to its surface would render it inoperable. But, if an agent is in need of a quick escape, such clothing could be the difference between attracting too much attention and blending in.
A neural recorder is a device that records whatever is sensed (not just merely audio and visual experiences) by the being wearing the neural recorder. Essentially, this is using another being to gather information.
Again, moral and ethical concerns arise when discussing the use of such a device. The very voyeuristic nature of the neural recorder make its usage strictly forbidden in civilian circles within the Federation, and under strict controls within OSFI. However, if used with appropriate restraint, few could argue against its potential benefits.
This device is built to fit whatever it must fit inside; some are subdermal and are thusly very tiny (and therefore also somewhat limited); some are hidden inside clothing or disguised as other benign devices. these larger versions are capable of storing much more information and operate for a longer time than subdermal models.
This device is used on surveillance missions to perform audio surveillance on either stationary or moving targets. Either way, the device essentially has the same purpose- to transmit audio information to the agent.
A generic audio bug is one that must be planted within a specified area, be it within a conference room or consul chambers or the home of a suspected double agent operating in Orion space. The range of such devices varies with model, though none are any larger than a person's finger. Most of these devices are equipped with jamming capabilities to defeat any detection equipment present.
A tracking drone performs the same tasks as an audio bug, but for different reasons. A tracking drone is simply tracking the movements of a target and is not concerned with specifics of what may be said by the individual in question. therefore, the listening technology employed by a tracking device is less sophisticated than that of an audio bug; however, a tracking drone does have limited bioscanning abilities, able to pick out a predetermined biopattern from others in the area of its placement.
A video bug is largely the same as an audio bug, except that it transmits video data instead of audio. They can easily be fit inside the most inconspicuous of items within a person's home or place of business- a lamp or chandelier is a common hiding place, but they can be sophisticated enough to fit even inside of the button on a person's shirt. The method of disguise is virtually completely up to the agent; they can be developed to fit inside of most anything. However, range and clarity are sometimes compromised in order to achieve the necessary diminutive size.
As with audio bugs, secrecy is the key. therefore, these devices employ sophisticated jamming technology to avoid detection from just about any known scanning device.
This device is basically a field agent's right arm. On its surface, it appears to be a smaller Star Fleet tricorder. However, aside from performing the tasks of a normal tricorder, they can also act as a tracking device, able to track individuals by biopattern or biochemical signature over a limited range; they can act as a sophisticated lock pick, bypassing most security and access codes to gain entry into restricted rooms; it can even act as a polygraph of sorts, able to detect fluctuations in a person's body temperature, chemistry, etc. A field agent almost never goes anywhere without it.
These devices are usually secured by some sort of biopattern recognition; only a person matching the programmed biopattern can access anything more than normal tricorder functions.
As mentioned, it is smaller and thinner than a conventional tricorder, able to fit inside most normal-sized pockets.