Pamela Foland's Factors
The factors are a loosely organized group dedicated to intervene against evil. The factors are a group which assists the forces of good on a universal scale, but they do it with an almost pitifully small number of operatives, in a seemingly unorganized fashion. Without the factors there would be no Sanctuary, Refuge or Shelters.
Chief- Head factor/ Chief of operations.
It is a post which is constantly filled. The chief is in charge of organizing, directing and protecting the factors in their charge. The chief makes sure factors aren't wasting energy by preventing duplication research. The chief also organizes rescue attempts when factors run into trouble. There is always someone who is referred to as The Chief. It isn't necessarily a voluntary position. Angela, the first chief, ended up in the position because she was the founder and everyone looked to her to solve their difficult problems. Annette Peterson, the second chief, abruptly took command after the rushed move from Sanctuary to Refuge when Angela relinquished command to her and her assistant Carl. Most later chiefs were nominated by their predecessor and served as deputy chiefs first, easing into the job as their predecessor gradually stepped down leaving them more and more of the active responsibility. In cases where the chief has either died without naming a deputy chief or both have stepped down in short succession, the new chief is the factor who takes charge, and or proves most competent in handling the difficult situation.
Deputy Chief- Second in command/ Future chief
There isn't always a Deputy chief, there tends to be one but usually there is a lag between the promotion of the previous deputy and their nomination of the next. The deputy chief is really just a second chief. Generally most people refer to the deputy chief as chief most of the time anyway. Their promotion to chief is a gradual process and often includes the official chief becoming less and less publicly available. Eventually people just stop searching out the previous chief.
Slightly more prestigious than primes, Independent factors operate as teams out of shelters rather than Refuge. They usually have one main factor, like a mini chief, who organizes efforts and is ultimately responsible for the group. Independent factors also have molecularmorphic suits which can alter shape and form to fit in with any style of dress or cover the factor completely in an emergency. The suit comes with an integrated A.I. and the ability to Atack= into the home shelter from anywhere (early suits were thwarted by Tanerian minefields which block all teleportative and space folding travel. The fault has been corrected in later upgraded versions.)
Prime- Top field factors working out of Sanctuary or Refuge
Prime factors are the best of the best. They have proven themselves repeatedly. Often prime factors possess special skills, and or training. They have excellent problem solving abilities, and intuition. The route to prime factor is different for everyone. Some spend years in each of the levels and make prime by sheer force of experience. Others become prime factors before finishing, or even beginning, the official training program. Prime factors are just a step below the chief and deputy chief. They can handle most problems on their own and are often on call to solve the problems of other factors. It is rare for most average factors to run into problems that a prime cannot handle. Prime factor is a definite stepping stone to Chief, but timing is necessary. Prime factors perfectly suited for the position of chief can be passed by if the person in the position is extraordinary and or much younger.
Primary- Scouts/ First contact
Primary factors are like test pilots. They go in when nothing is known about a world or dimension. They safety test it, make sure it there aren't any hidden dangers. They classify the world briefly and establish a loose factor profile for future study, no female factors for worlds where they haven't any rights or mobility, ditto for any other suppressed population segments.
Secondary- Watchers/ First Observers
They do a systematic anthropological study of previously scouted dimensions. Watchers are sensitive to the behaviors of those around them they have trained so as to blend in with cultures so that they can gather information. They establish cultural profiles which in the form of P&P reports are circulated among factors. P&P reports, or world profile and protocols, help factors blend in to the society so as not to draw attention to themselves.
Tertiary- Observers/ Plain factors
They are stationed on strategic worlds, which may or may not be targeted for interruption by the dark. They take up residence on their assigned worlds. They appear to be average citizens of their assigned worlds. They continue the anthropological studies started by the watchers, detailing the particulars of their social position and world, and they act should the need arise.
There are usually several zippered compartments with dime-sized, color-coded zipper pulls scattered around on the sides. The pulls are color coded; blue for medical, green for survival, and red for emergencies and a silver zipper or a buckle for the main compartment.
Without unlocking the fastenings on the main compartment clothes, shoes, a toiletries kit, a camera, a note pad and a pen can be found. It is fastened with silver zipper pull or a buckle. The blue zippered compartment on the right side holds a small first aid kit. The matching pocket on the other side holds maps and a compass, with a green zipper pull. On the front of the pack would be a twelve inch diagonal zipper marked with a red zipper pull when lock it appears empty.
When the zippers are unlocked by making firm thumb contact with the metal backing behind the buckle main compartment the story is different. Then the main compartment is full of Mylar packages in several different sizes, electronic gadgets and various other things, including a long clear plastic tube that retreats somewhere beneath the other stuff. The emergency pocket has a handful of small silver pins, some disposable plastic bindings, a silver cube with what looks like extendible aluminum antennae with alligator clips protruding off each end, and a four meter long length of heavy metallic cording with bi-colored clasps on each end- called a stasis loop. In the locked blue, for medical, zipper one would find; emergency spray dressing, surgical adhesive, and various advanced medical devices easily used by factors in emergencies.
The factors grew quickly into a disorganized mess, thwarting their own good intentions for lack of proper cooperation. For the sake of organization, and mutual support, Angela set about creating a home base for the factors. She built a small base in the core of a large asteroid establishing support systems, medical facilities and quarters for the factors. She revealed it to them and inadvertently became their leader. Once organized the factors began to strike some severe blows to the dark. That led to reprisals.
One of the first retaliatory attacks the Dark made led to the rape of Meg Dreamsky by a demon, driving Angela's dear friend and mentor completely insane. The rape brought to the factors' attention the vulnerability of friends and family which had been left behind in order to fight the dark. Angela opened the base to all who needed their help. The population grew rapidly as the factors brought friends and relatives there for their own safety. The base also became a sanctuary for refugees of all sorts, people and animals which were unable to fight for themselves. That is how Sanctuary got its name.
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