|Organization: Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division|
Portrayed by Various
SHIELD is a government organization that works as the US Government's chief asset in domestic security and intelligence regarding mutant (and other super-powered beings) affairs.
- 1 Employees
- 2 Details
- 2.1 History
- 2.2 SHIELD’s Organization
- 2.3 Post M-Day
- 3 Plots
|Nick Fury Director||Director of SHIELD. See individual page for details.|
|Maria Hill||second-in-command. She enjoys a well-deserved reputation as tough-minded and by the book.
PB: Cobie Smulders - Modsock, no specific socker
|Jasper Sitwell||SHIELD – INTEL
PB: Maximiliano Hernández - Modsock, no specific socker
|Victoria Hand||SHIELD – OPS
PB: Saffron Burrows - Modsock, no specific socker
|Dr. J. Streiten||SHIELD – R&D
PB: Ron Glass - Modsock, no specific socker
|Robert Gonzales||the Triskelion when Fury is absent.
PB: Edward James Olmos - Modsock, no specific socker
|Roger Browning||the Vault.
PB: Matthew Glave - Modsock, no specific socker
|Anne Weaver||SHIELD Academy.
PB: Christine Adams - Modsock, no specific socker
|Abigail Brand||SWORD. Abigail Brand is the overall commander of SWORD. See individual page for details.|
PB: Clark Gregg - modsock, no specific socker
|Antoine 'Trip' Triplett||Day Zero announcement in 2008. Before this he was in the Special Forces. He has extra training as a medic and still keeps this current.|
|Nathan Tyler||daughter put him there and awoke almost two years later. He is currently in the Vault waiting for his trial for the murder of his ex-wife and her husband.|
|Clinton Barton||Namor and Susan Storm in a SWORD facility in Alaska.|
|Everett Thomas||Secret Warriors Caterpillar team before they were killed in action, excepting Thomas. Traumatised by this loss and suspicious of a possible SHIELD traitor, Thomas has returned to Xavier's, having graduated from there as a high school student.
|Natasha Romanoff||cover was blown, resulting in her being captured and tortured. Under the strain, her latent mutation manifested and her friend Clint brought her to the mansion for assistance and training.|
S.H.I.E.L.D. was formed shortly after World War II as a successor agency to the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR), an Allied deep science agency which fought against the Nazi's special weapons division during the war.
The founders of the new agency were Chester Phillips, the director of the SSR, Howard Stark, an industrialist of great wealth and a scientific genius, and Margaret "Peggy" Carter, who had worked with the American war hero Steve Rogers, better known as Captain America. S.H.I.E.L.D. was organized to protect the United States from possible threats from groups like HYDRA and other extraordinary individuals.
The agency's full name was the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, but some members of the agency preferred to call it by its acronym. The SSR was reformed as the scientific division of S.H.I.E.L.D. and continued to work on researching the advanced weapons captured from the Nazis. Over the years, their mission expanded to include various super-powered beings, new and unknown technology, and the increasing number of mutants.
For the first four decades of its existence, SHIELD's activities have remained highly classified, known only to the President and a limited five-man oversight committee called ‘The Council’. One could find that the agency existed, but no further information except a very bland mission statement was available. SHIELD's original mandate was simple; it had priority access to intelligence resources, both raw and analyzed, that superseded all other agencies' authority. There wasn't an agency or intelligence structure in the US that was permitted to withhold information or assets to SHIELD.
Following the retirement of Peggy Carter, SHIELD's impact diminished. It was primarily staffed with technical staff and analysts, focusing more on collecting and analysing data and passing it back to other groups. However, it showed itself to have the ability to big picture intelligence information, tracing the wide range of issues and crises through overlapping agency territory. It was also used as a dumping ground for personnel who were considered either too disruptive or unorthodox for their respective agencies.
Following the first Gulf War, President Bush appointed newly minted General Nick Fury to be the head of SHIELD. Fury, an incredibly effective but very unconventional commander of Special Forces units during the war, was one of the youngest operational commanders in the US Army, and his views and actions had left him no room for advancement. Bush appointed him as a sort of honourable early working retirement.
Much like how the Secret Service went from solely an anti-counterfeiting squad to the primary protective detail of the Presidency, SHIELD grew by accident. Their original charter had given them first authority over other agencies. It was meant to just be data, but hadn't been defined as such. Fury, realizing this, and having one of the most multidisciplinary staffs of any agency, began to do fieldwork. He was smart enough to not try to do what the CIA or the FBI already could. What he did was do that next step, where the other agencies' limitations and bureaucracy prevented them from doing. Because the chain of command and oversight was so incredibly short, Fury was able to push the envelope as he saw fit. Still, if it hadn't have been for a series of spectacular but classified successes in the early nineties, he likely would have been removed.
SHIELD grew into a larger yet still mostly classified organization. Like the CIA, its operating budget is classified and not released to the public. It also hides funding through multiple other departments. It has the authorization to work both inside and outside the United States specifically to respond to threats of an extraordinary nature, and when they respond, they have the authority to assume command of a scene. The only place they don't automatically have that authority is in situations involved the US military, but they do hold the same intelligence oversight with military intelligence.
Modern Era of SHIELD
SHIELD’s growth under Fury continued steadily. Following X2 and the mutants' "meeting" with the President, Fury became aware of the existence of the X-Men and kept subtle tabs on them and their activities. However, the invasion of New York City by Apocalypse created a turning point for the agency. Following that invasion, the President officially recognized SHIELD publicly as an agency and to help reassure the American people, dubbed them as the United States' first responders to superhuman threats of all kinds. Because of the lack of resources, a number of foreign countries have signed agreements with the United States to give SHIELD operating authority in their borders in return for assistance when a threat arises.
The head of SHIELD is the position of Director, currently held by former General Nicholas J. Fury. Fury has full oversight of all departments of SHIELD as well as subdivisions like SWORD and the SHIELD Academy. Fury is only responsible to report to two groups – the President and ‘the Council’. ‘The Council’ is still the primary reporting body for SHIELD and it is based on their discretion what is reported to the US Congressional Intelligence Community Oversight Committee. The full members of the Council are only known to the President and the Director of SHIELD**. It is unknown who they are specifically, but at least one is a current elected member of Congress and one is believed to be a non-American; part of the deal that allows SHIELD to operate in certain other countries. It is important to note that because of the arrangement, the President can only countermand SHIELD operations by Executive Order, giving SHIELD a great deal of flexibility and making it extremely difficult to be used for political purposes or to stock with partisan leaders.
Deputy Director Maria Hill is Fury’s second in command.
The only other person with access to the Director and the Council is the Undersecretary of Defense – Advanced Threat Response. While buried somewhat in the bureaucracy, the Undersecretary wields significant influence in any kind of superhuman based event. It is this person who reports to Congress, and advises the President and the Joint Chiefs directly. Alexander Goodwin Pierce currently holds this position.
There are three main branches of SHIELD. INTEL, OPS, and R&D.
[**Modnote: The Council and its composition will be fleshed out and discussed with players in a future discussion, given their important with regards to SHIELD. This may change some of the details in this section and a further review will happen should that be the case.]
The intelligence gathering and analysis section of SHIELD is the largest. They communicate and share information with various security organisations throughout the world. The primary headquarters is in the Triskelion building, but SHIELD operates an unknown number of smaller ‘branches’ as well as staff deployed to embassies and military bases outside of the US. SHIELD will often coordinate with the NSA, FBI and CIA on intelligence that impacts them both but like all agencies, they have a tendency to try to keep their intel in-house. Unlike the CIA and the FBI, SHIELD rarely relies on HUMINT from sources or planting agents into foreign groups. Their intelligence priority is heavily weighted towards technology; surveillance, wiretaps, hacking, and similar methods.
Assistant Deputy Director Jasper Sitwell is the overall commander of SHIELD – INTEL
The operations section is designed to deploy SHIELD resources which includes agents in the field and response teams, such as the one lead by Phil Coulson. Typically, SHIELD keeps a very low profile on the operations side when possible, working with local and national groups in an oversight capacity. One currently contested issue is that between SHIELD and the FBI in terms of jurisdiction; SHIELD’s official mandate is for threat response, not law enforcement. So while local police can call for SHIELD assistance, SHIELD can’t instigate or take over a current investigation, although they can assume command of a situation.
SHIELD operations typically involve two different groups – Agents, who are trained to be more investigative, able to research and assess situations and adapt the response accordingly; and Tactical, who are trained to act primarily as an assault force. In some cases, specialists from each group can be mixed together, again depending on the situation. SHIELD currently does not admit to having any mutants in their operations teams and has strict orders that no powers are ever displayed.
SHIELD ops teams use a modified VTOL power-rotor airship called a ‘Quinjet’ to deploy units. Combat Quinjets are armed with a powerful rotary cannon in the nose, clusters of air-to-ground rockets, and an advanced ECM package. Transport Quinjets, which are used as ambulances, material transport, and prisoner transfers are specially outfitted for their particular job. The do not have a weapons package, but side and rear panels can be accessed at low speeds to fire from. Operations units have a wide range of equipment available to them, including technology under development at SHIELD available on authorization.
Assistant Deputy Director Victoria Hand is the overall commander of SHIELD – OPS
As part of SHIELD’s restructuring after the disaster that was Day Zero, Nick Fury assigned Supervisory Special Agent Everett Thomas with the task of establishing a covert team of mutant operatives. Agent Thomas personally handpicked his team from the pool of recruits and molded them into the Secret Warriors. Despite the death of PJ Schmidt on M-Day, they functioned as a team for 5 years. The team met its end when they were all slaughtered while trying to subdue rogue scientist Franklin Hall. Only Agent Thomas survived the encounter.
The existence and composition of other Caterpillar teams is classified information at this time.
SHIELD OPS also includes the logistics for deploying the ‘Avengers’ – SHIELD’s team of superhuman operatives. While Ops supports their deployments, Avengers missions are all directly handled by the Director or the Deputy Director.
The Avengers are SHIELD's response to national - or international - threats and mutant-related incidents too large for a regular SHIELD team to deal with. Given the various personalities on the team, their personal views of the 'mutant problem' vary, but for now, they stick to the official line. For more about the team, please see their individual page.
[mod note - further details to be discussed among players]
The research and development department of SHIELD is the smallest branch, although efforts are being made to expand it. SHIELD sponsors a lot of R&D, as well as often seizing that of other countries and agencies. SHIELD has been developing a series of programs designed to respond to the growing number of mutants in the world. In their minds, eventually China or Russia is going to start weaponizing mutants, and they need to capacity to respond. These programs include technological research, particularly into "0-8-4s", or objects of unknown origin and significant power, genetic research, and mutant recruitment and training. The programs are known to the President and the Council, but they are classified so not open to the public.
SHIELD also sponsors a wide range of R&D in conjunction with private sector companies like Shaw Industries. Those programs are normally housed in the private company’s facilities or in a third party facility such as the location in Barrow, Alaska. In addition, there are a number of projects that are handled under a deep black rating, known only to the Director. There are many rumours that SHIELD’s research has been examining methods that are unethical or continuing work that is potentially extremely dangerous. It is unknown how much truth there is to that.
R&D also provides alternative weapons and armor to its field teams in order to deal with situations where conventional weaponry is less useful. The ICERs, guns which "freeze" the targets central nervous system, are one such device, recently developed by Agents Fitz and Simmons.
SHIELD’s internal R&D programs and labs are currently housed in the Triskelion, SHIELD's headquarters and R&D centre in New York.
Dr. J Streiten is the overall coordinator of SHIELD – R&D
Triskelion is the headquarters of SHIELD. Located in Manhattan, on the edge of the East River, across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It is roughly halfway between the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges, accessed by FDR Drive. The building derives its name from its unique shape – a roughly triangular central tower which connect to three slightly smaller rectangular towers jutting out at right angles from the sides. The main tower is 90 stories tall, and the three smaller towers are each 70 stories. The 71st floor (which includes the roofs of the three towers) has been outfitted as a hanger complex, with multiple launch pads for helicopters and Quinjets. The 73rd-90th floors are extremely high security areas in which the most secret activities of SHIELD are maintained, as well as the offices for the executive.
Each of the three towers is roughly used by the various branches of SHIELD. INTEL also fills 35 floors in the main building while R&D also has numerous labs and test sites scattered through the building and the basements. SWORD occupies 5 floors in the 50 level. Positions and duties that require the lowest levels of access are found in the lower floors of the building, including typical functions like maintenance, human resources, marketing, etc. Passcard entrance is required at all access points. Passcards have varying levels of clearance and will not allow the holder to access doors or elevators in an areas above their clearance. There is a standard internal security force that maintains the general security of the building, as well as a threat response team that can be developed with heavy weapons against a specific threat.
The subbasements are as equally high security as the top of the tower. It holds labs, secure storage facilities for rare or dangerous objects, holding cells, and the heavy weapons component of the building’s armory. At any given time, SHIELD can muster at least three hundred fully outfitted security personnel to respond to an attack. The windows of the building are blast proof and security has the ability to lock down access on a floor by floor basis. Accessways like elevators and stairwells can be cut off by security doors every five floors. The building is capable of isolating areas off from all its HVAC and ventilation systems in the event of a gas or biological weapon attack.
While in Triskelion, the Director is in charge of Triskelion. When not, Assistant Deputy Director Robert Gonzales is the site commander.
The Vault is a SHIELD run prison facility for mutants and other super-powered beings. Its existence is a classified secret from the public. In part because of the secrecy of the Vault, the few prisoners there are currently being held outside of the legal system and it can be considered an unconstitutional detainment centre. While the number of prisoners remains low, they can maintain the secrecy, but once it starts to grow, SHIELD will have to develop new procedures in line with inmate rights.
The Vault is built like a small super-max prison, with triple reinforced concrete, remotely controlled bulkhead doors at regular intervals and the best suppression equipment they’ve been able to develop. Mutants with physical mutations that they can’t suppress are often restricted through physical means. Cells are individually customizable to meet the needs of different powers and mutations.
Commander Roger Browning is the overall commander and Warden of the Vault.
The Fridge is a secret SHIELD facility for the containment of 0-8-4s and other dangerous objects seized by SHIELD or SWORD. It's also used as a facility where those who need to vanish permanently are kept, through the means of cryonics. Its location is top secret, given the amount of potential weapons it stores.
THE SHIELD ACADEMY
One of the newer initiatives has been to reclassify the old SHIELD training facilities as ‘The SHIELD ACADEMY’ and to retro-fit it to serve as an advanced training and testing facility for potential agents, researchers, intelligence analysts and field operatives. Candidates are usually recruited from other agencies or out of school directly and sent to the Academy. Candidates for the R&D division or focused on the sciences are housed at the main building in a university style environment. Analysts and technology focused candidates have a technology centre beside it, which houses workshops, servers and other related spaces. The potential agents and combat oriented candidates have a sprawling boot camp environment on the other side of the campus, although because of the multi-disciplinary nature of their training, all candidates spend at least some time in training area.
Anne Weaver is the Director of the SHIELD Academy
The Supernatural Watch Observation and Response Department (S.W.O.R.D.) is a subset of SHIELD specifically tasked with investigating incidents that appear to have a supernatural or magical origin. It is currently small and quite new, owing its existence to the direct evidence of magical and supernatural incidents over the last several years. SWORD has a small number of dedicated agents who specialize in their fields, and deploys with regular SHIELD personnel and support in the field. Abigail Brand is the Deputy Director and reports directly to Fury. SWORD has taken over the securing and storing of artifacts and items of a specifically magical nature, using a separate in-house R&D team but often using SHIELD storage facilities to house these artifacts. SWORD has on its staff at least one practicing magic user, but her status is kept confidential and on a need to know basis - to SHIELD, she is simply another agent. SWORD (and SHIELD) also engage as consultants various experts in relevant fields to assist in their work.
Abigail Brand is the overall commander of SWORD
The group was first introduced in the aftermath of the Aitkens, Minnesota incident in September 2012.
Following M-Day and the casualties it caused, SHIELD's focus on mutants increased. The Avengers were presented to the public to act as a team to deal with superhuman and other threats too large for the ordinary SHIELD teams. Unofficially, they also function as counter-mutant team. M-Day has seen a major boost in SHIELD’s budget and allowable technology; DARPA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been forced to share many advanced military projects and prototypes to see if they can be effectively adapted for SHIELD’s mission.
Socked by: Various
All of the PBs (except Abigail Brand and Nathan Tyler) for SHIELD are taken from the MCU movies or the Marvel's Agents of SHIELD television series.