Monster Control Bureau (MCB)

It shouldn’t come as any surprise to you that the United States has its own skin in the monster hunting game. The Monster Control Bureau, formerly a secret branch of the Department of Justice and now a secret branch of the Department of Homeland Security, handles the government’s response to monster- and magic-related incidents of all sorts. Including the MCB in this section of your Employee’s Handbook is a bit misleading. The MCB isn’t exactly MHI’s ally. They watch us like hawks, making sure we don’t violate any of the countless government regulations we possibly could. They bar us from the scenes of monster attacks, “encourage” us not to get involved in incidents they’re “investigating,” threaten us with arrest (or worse), and generally make it much, much harder for us to do our job. But despite all that, they’re not our adversaries either. On more than one occasion they’ve worked with us to handle some menace neither of us could cope with on our own, or cleared various obstacles out of our way so MHI could complete a task they weren’t authorized to handle. When it comes right down to it, we both want the same thing: to protect the US and her people from monsters. We just have different perspectives on the best way to do that.

The difference lies in this: we think that monsters need to be destroyed, and that ideally the public should be made aware of their existence so we can better monitor for them, respond to their attacks more quickly, and provide proper care and treatment for monster victims. The MCB takes what it likes to call a “broader view.” The US government’s official policy is to keep all evidence of the existence of monsters and the supernatural as tightly and thoroughly concealed as possible. The government believes that widespread public knowledge about monsters would only make the overall monster problem worse, and that letting a few individuals suffer is a necessary sacrifice for the greater good. The MCB has never fully explained why it believes this, but that philosophy guides everything the Bureau does. In pursuit of this goal, the MCB can marshal considerable resources to cover up the truth, hide or destroy evidence of the supernatural, plant cover stories in the media, and shift the blame for monster attacks to realistic causes. Many of the stories you hear about spectacular disasters and strange tragedies are really the MCB at work, concealing the truth of some werewolf attack or zombie outbreak. Similarly, they visit all survivors of monster attacks to make sure they understand how the world works: if they talk about what they experienced to anyone, the MCB is empowered to imprison them and anyone they spoke to indefinitely, or to simply kill them if that seems to be the best way to handle the situation. MCB personnel don’t care who or what they have to ruin to keep their precious secrets. For example, during the Martin Hood incident, he sent two oni to attack Owen Pitt’s brother Mosh as he was performing a concert in Birmingham, Alabama. The resulting devastation affected the stadium, its parking facility, and several nearby roads and highways, and also led to the deaths of multiple individuals and injuries to dozens more. Rather than admit the truth — that two ancient, evil mystical beings were the cause of the problem — the MCB pulled a bunch of strings and blamed it all on Mosh Pitt. All the lawsuits he had to deal with as the result of the MCB’s blame-shifting destroyed his career. If a situation’s serious enough — a “condition red” incident in bureaucratic parlance — the MCB’s powers become even broader. It can basically suspend anyone’s constitutional rights at will for the duration of the incident, and sometimes even beyond. The Bureau’s also directly empowered by law to summarily execute any type of monster, and that sometimes includes people who only may have become infected with monster-related viri. Some agents are a little more “zealous” about using these powers than others, so the best thing you can do around all of them is watch your step.

The government considers MCB’s mission one of its top priorities and therefore denies the Bureau very little if it says it needs something now to keep a situation under control. With just a few phone calls the MCB director can mobilize huge numbers of armed men, get just about any sort of equipment he needs (up to and including nuclear weapons), or put his hands on however much cash he requires to ensure that a supernatural incident remains under wraps.

During the course of your monster hunting career you’re likely to run into many different MCB agents, particularly those assigned to whatever Bureau office is responsible for the territory where your regional team operates. But there are a few prominent Bureau officials that you’re almost certain to encounter if you stay in this business long enough.

Director Douglas Stark
Douglas Stark is the current director of the MCB. He’s a former Navy SEAL who served as an MCB field agent and then regional office director for over twenty years. Stark is the perfect man for the job as far as the government’s concerned: he’s a wishy-washy bureaucrat type who does exactly what his superiors tell him to. Unlike his predecessor, Dwayne Myers, it’s obvious that someone’s pulling Stark’s strings pretty much all of the time.

Special Response Team Commander Dwayne Myers
Dwayne Myers used to be one of us — an MHI Hunter. But after an incident that made him come to doubt the validity of our methods, he quit and joined the MCB. anks to his talent, attitude, and intelligence, he rose through the ranks relatively quickly. During the DeSoya Caverns, Martin Hood, and Copper Lake incidents he was acting Director of the Bureau, but for various political reasons he was never confirmed in that job. After Copper Lake he was moved down to command the Special Response Team (the MCB’s heavy weapons squad) and Doug Stark took the directorship. Myers was simultaneously everything we did and didn’t want as MCB director. On the one hand we can’t deny that he was strongly — if not obsessively — dedicated to protecting the people of the United States from monsters. Sometimes that allowed him to see past ridiculous government regulations and procedures to help MHI do its job. But on the other hand, as a former Hunter he strongly questioned not only MHI’s methods but our very existence. If ever given the chance he’d probably have shut us down for good — and probably still would. Despite that, compared to Stark he’s one of the good guys… relatively speaking.

Agent Franks
Agent Franks (we don’t know his first name) is the MCB’s chief field agent. If there’s a particularly difficult problem or dangerous monster to handle, Franks is the one they send in to take care of it. Franks is huge, immensely strong, and incredibly fast — he makes Owen Pitt look like a weakling. He’s completely humorless, totally dedicated to his work, utterly without fear of anything, and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. He can punch hard enough to kill an ordinary man, suffer injuries that would leave anyone else hospitalized and keep going at full force, and shoot with deadly accuracy. To be honest, we’re not entirely sure he’s human. Franks usually prefers straightforward approaches like “shoot everyone involved, just to be sure.” Fortunately for us his superiors are usually more cognizant of the law and of the possible repercussions of his actions and keep him in check. We’d advise you not to get on his bad side, but the truth is that just by working for MHI you’re already there.

Other Agents
MCB has many other agents (though it’s not nearly as large as its leaders would like it to be; it can’t grow too big without exposing itself to public awareness). Most of them are military veterans; in fact, many come from the Rangers, SEALS, or other elite units. They tend to be well-armed and to think in military terms, so watch how you act around them. Compared to us they’re much better equipped and more efficient, but they don’t all have the truly flexible mind necessary to be a good Hunter.

Special Task Force Unicorn
The MCB isn’t the only government agency involved with the supernatural. There’s at least one other one we’re aware of that’s called Special Task Force Unicorn. If the MCB is a “shield” designed to protect US citizens from monsters and magic, STFU is a sort of “sword” that tries to make use of “supernatural assets” for military and espionage purposes. The whole operation is so secret (and illegal) that we don’t know much more than that. The leader of STFU, as far as we can tell, is a tall, thin, albino known only as “Agent Stricken.” We don’t know anything about his background, but whoever he is he has a lot of pull in government circles — whatever he wants, he gets. We suspect that he’s the one behind demoting Dwayne Myers and elevating Doug Stark into his place as MCB’s director, for example. If you encounter Stricken or anyone else who seems to be (or even claims to be) with STFU, report it to your team leader or other MHI officer immediately.

Monster Control Bureau (MCB)

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