Project Flotsam

Flotsam is a small, low-expense, high-return outfit that has been operated quietly by the US DoD for the best part of twenty-five years. During the Gateway Wars, an opportunity was seen to acquire technology, mystically-attuned items and intelligence from a multitude of alternate realities, which could prove an invaluable resource for winning the present conflict, the Cold War, and assuring future strategic advantage. A decision was made to fund a small team to assess and gather useful extradimensional (XD) resources, and to provide advanced scouting of possible threats arising from Gateway's attacks.

The first Project Flotsam team was composed of a corps of Army Rangers and Pathfinders, with a few engineers to provide technical support. However, they found themselves woefully ill-equipped for what they were sent to face and investigate. The DoD found itself repeatedly bombarded with requests for field-trained medics trained in exotic diseases; hazardous environment experts capable of dealing with radiation, alien atmospheres and illogically placed volcanoes; anthropologists and linguists to deal with XD cultures and species; dimensional mathematicians to help predict and counteract the effects of Gateway flux and to work out how to close rifts and portals; and dozens of other esoteric professions required to handle the impossible on a daily basis. Flotsam's administrators essentially gave up, realising that it would take a huge, networked team of hundreds of specialists to run the operation, and they were only budgeted for a handful. The operation was passed off to a young colonel named Daeller to handle its mothballing.

Daeller, however, persisted. He understood that Flotsam would have to proceed slowly and carefully, cataloguing every obstacle and learning the techniques that worked for such diverse threats and environments. They would have to research artefacts and analyse intelligence as they went, rather than waiting for a set end point, and use the resources they acquired to adapt to the mission. Over the years, this is exactly what Flotsam has become. Amongst the artefacts they have recovered are a high-efficiency catalyst for detoxifying radioactive spillages; a spellbook that allows a competent magus to manufacture magical healing potions; a program that can simulate quantum computing on a standard machine; and an ancient stone archway recovered from Anasazi ruins in the south-west. This portal proved to be one of Flotsam's most important discoveries; it is an antique, magical interdimensional doorway, and one of the few means of planar transit not based on Gateway technology.

Flotsam's current missions include attempting to chart areas of dimensional instability (such as the Gobi Anomaly, the Jerusalem haunt-zone and New Brigadoon, a neighbourhood of Adelaide, Australia that tends to phase in an out of several parallel universes); investigating new portal incursions; dealing with threats to and from the XD residents on Earth; and combing the last few areas with a good chance of containing XD artefacts. When time permits, they also use the Anasazi Gate to explore parallel universes adjacent to Earth Prime, scouting out potential threats. The typical Flotsam team is a small squad of mismatched veterans with the look of men and women that have seen into the heart of the incomprehensible. They are equipped eclectically, with personalised, non-standard weapons and catch phrases or witticisms painted on their armour and helmets. They have a tendency to bedeck themselves in trophies and tools; some carry magical talismans and charms they have collected to ward off attacks; while others keep a handful of minor XD devices, ranging from novelties to hold-out weapons.

It is highly likely that the Ministry of Extraplanetary Technology's operational plan and structure was based on observations made of Flotsam's successes. How ever, the MXpT has proved both more ruthless and more accomplished, making more profitable discoveries in six years than Flotsam had in twenty-five, thanks to a more aggressive policy on acquisitions and wider multi-governmental support.

Threat Ratings

GTR: Moderate; Life & Limb: Negligible to Moderate (Flotsam's role is artefact recovery and the elimination of XD threats); Property: Minor (though they resort to theft from time to time, Flotsam's field teams are not really optimised for covert acquisitions)

Group Membership

Approximately 150 personnel, including scientists both lab and field; XD guides; specialists in alien and experimental technology and magical phenomena; and black-ops rated military teams.

Bases/Centres of Operation

Flotsam's recovery teams roam all over America and beyond, but the central warehouse for recovered XD artefacts is in a repurposed missile base in New Mexico. Their major research lab is a secure facility in Los Alamos, classified and compartmentalised to a higher level even than the nuclear research programmes nearby.

Leaders/Notable Members

General George Daeller

A farsighted strategist, Daeller is a career soldier who knows how to work the Pentagon bureaucrats and military commanders of dimensionally-damaged regions to secure the freedom Flotsam needs to operate. His military record before being assigned to Flotsam was exemplary, but he willingly submersed himself in the secrecy and focus required to run his interdimensional outfit.

Sgt. Sarah Myles

Know as 'Hardcase' to her squad mates, Myles is one of the few Flotsam field soldiers to display metahuman powers. Her ability to mimic the density and molecular structure of different substances manifested when her squad was pinned down by dimension-lost shadow monsters, as she transformed herself into titanium, impervious to their attacks, and then into concrete to pass through a wall, in order to reach a generator and rig up enough lights to drive the shadows off. Capable and resourceful, she is the most sought after veteran for assisting on missions.

Spec. Lester Yalework

An English occult expert, Yalework was brought in to advise Project Flotsam on matters of XD magic. It's known that he is no longer a member of the Congery, and there are rumours of an extremely disagreeable split between him and the organisation. An elegant, refined man, he always has a dry remark for his team mates when they slip up, but his knowledge of things arcane is comprehensive, even if his sorcerous skills are limited.

Spec. Landen MacMuir

An XD human native to a world ruled by feudal scientist-barons, MacMuir is a versatile engineer that covers Flotsam's field science needs. He's as happy disabling an iridionian booby-trap or figuring out the wiring on a crashed dimension-craft as he is wading into battle with his Tesla rifle and mechanosword. MacMuir became stranded on Earth near the end of the Gateway Wars, and initially joined Flotsam with the hopes of finding a way back home. Over time, he decided he preferred the more liberal culture of Earth Prime, and elected to stay.

Heroic The Congery
The Primacy
Project Flotsam
The Tellran Family
Villainous The Ariadne Compact
The Furies
The Guild of Thieves
The Khans
The Second Renaissance
Triland Corporation
Neutral/Civilian The Global Mumbai
The Ministry of Extraplanetary Technology
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