(Note: Read Part I here.)
Mission and Organization
The OSA has a reputation for uncannily accurate predictions about the future. No one knows what precise methodologies its analysts use. Rumors variously cite Artificial Intelligences, powerful divination magics, or complex sociological algorithms. (Alternately, psychic visions and alien visitors are common node-talk.) Collectively, OSA analysts are referred to as “The Oracles”.
Though the OSA provides reports to state governors (through intermediary organizations), its primary focus is to serve as the long-term strategic planning office of the Federal government, tasked with identifying emerging threats and neutralizing them. The Director reports directly to the President, no other individual has jurisdiction or oversight of its operations.
The CIA collapsed in 2010, along with nearly all the Federal government. In 2016, OSA began a foreign intelligence program, to gather information from the most likely strategic threats, including Mexico, China, and India (the three emerging powers of the post-VITAS world). It soon expanded those efforts world-wide. The first regional Task Groups (specialized think tanks focused on specific regions or tasks) were founded during this period. The OSA is the only foreign intelligence service of the defederalized United States, replacing the CIA entirely.
Moreover, in 2019 the OSA began serving as an alternative to DARPA, providing seed funds and prizes to academic and commercial researchers working in areas the Office’s analysts deemed of vital national importance. Such research developed the semi-autonomous Expert System UAV’s deployed on the NAN border and the ubiquitous Satnodes, developed in conjunction with several Indian computer companies. The OSA also supported research into thaumaturgical areas; the world’s first physical adept training program began at a private institute and came to fruition under OSA patronage. Over its 13 years of operation, the OSA’s Special Research Task Group has proved adept at identifying fruitful avenues of research and developing practical applications of same.
OSA began deploying special forces units in 2021, using them to help shape events in many key hotspots. They served as advisors to the Eastern Alliance during its war with the Holy Islamic Caliphate, and were suspected of the assassinations of key HIC leaders, including Turk general Asil Kaya (called “The Demon of Athens”). OSA forces operated with Indian units in the anarchic Pushtun areas of former Pakistan, helped secure Kurdistan against deserting HIC units, and worked with Israeli forces in former Syria and Iran, during the breakup of the HIC.
After the conquest of the Pueblo-Navajo Coalition in 2029, Task Group Aztlan became the primary focus of the small agency. TG-Aztlan has developed and deployed technology unknown to the rest of the world, including the Direct Neural Interface and working cybernetic implants. Novel magical weapons and countermeasures are also a key focus for TG-AZ.
Within the last year (2031) TG-AZ has increased its recruitment efforts, bringing into the OSA skilled soldiers, police officers, magicians, and other prospects from across North America and forming them into small Special Task Squads, trained in espionage and special ops. The looming war with Aztlan has focused the efforts of the Office, and the Director is determined to win the war at all costs.
As with the rest of the greatly reduced Federal government, the OSA is funded by tariffs and fees (as the Federal Income Tax has proven difficult to reinstate). It receives a disproportionate share of Federal funds, something of a sore spot with surviving Federal agencies.
Each President has continued funding the agency despite complaints, as each has relied heavily on its accurate forecasts and effective and sparse use of force. No other agency could replace the OSA, and no President has ever tried. The Director has survived four Administrations, and looks likely to survive many more.