The Central Espionage and Intelligence Directorate (CEID) is the first and only civilian intelligence agency of the United Solarian Sovereignty government, responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior policymakers. CEID also engages in covert activities at the request of the President of the U.S.S. and has license to kill at the President's order. According to the CEID charter its continuing mission is to perform "police and law enforcement functions, at home or abroad" as well as "sabotage, anti-sabotage, assassination, demolition and evacuation measures...subversion [and] assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation movements, and support of indigenous anti-Bragulan elements in threatened states of the free universe".
To perform these tasks CEID has grown into a monolithic agency with far reaching jurisdiction, and takes care of virtually all the Sovereignty's myriad intelligence-related needs. Though described as a 'government service' the organization is in fact a cross between a government department, a plain clothes military unit and an operationally foreign power. Its influence is felt throughout the Sovereignty, leading the agency to be nicknamed The Permanent Government by conspiracy theorists and anti-government activists, who argue that CEID effectively operate as a state within a state with only token democratic accountability, and has long since abandoned the tasks for which it was originally created in order to focus on an agenda aimed at establishing totalitarian control over the Sovereignty.
Whatever the case, in order to perform its duties CEID has organized into five distinct divisions, each with their own mission. These divisions frequently find themselves at odds with one another, as conflicting goals and motivations clash in squabbles over jurisdiction and territory that the organization has found difficult to settle.
The Director of CEID is also the Director of Galactic Intelligence (DGI) who answers only to the President of the U.S.S. Officially CEID is supposed to have a certain amount of Senatorial oversight but in practice this is simply not the case, as the agency typically hides between invocations of national security and classified information laws. The current D/CEID and DGI is Abielle Magritte, a female third-generation human/Apexai hybrid who has risen like a comet through the ranks of the agency, no doubt aided greatly by her talents as a psion. She has a reputation as being exceptionally ruthless when it comes to eliminating the competition, in the form of both threats from outside the Sovereignty and those within the agency who would challenge her absolute control of the organization. Magritte is, however, in her own peculiar way fiercely loyal to the office of the President, which is most likely the primary reason she has not yet been removed despite a history of flagrant mis- and abuse of her office's power "for the good of the Sovereignty".
Practically all psions (espers, psykers) in the Sovereignty are the product of CEID research into the extrasensory abilities of the alien Apexai, which culminated in the creation of human-Apexai hybrids capable of generating their own psionic effects. These hybrids are classified by their generation, to wit first, second and third. First generation hybrids are freakish abominations that cannot in any way pass for a regular human being, but CEID has discovered that with each successive interbred generation the hybrids come to look more humanoid, whilst retaining their innate psionic abilities. By the third generation it has become almost impossible to tell a hybrid from a baseline human with the naked eye, barring minor issues such as a slightly androgynous appearance; larger eyes with slit-like irises; and paler-than-usual skin, all features inherited from the Apexai genome carried over into the hybrid DNA.
CEID employs its psion agents for a variety of missions. Mostly they are used to keep tabs on the minds of persons of interest, to plant thoughts, suggestions or ideas in the brains of traitors, or to mentally interrogate prisoners conditioned not to talk even under the most strenuous of circumstances. More illicit means of harnessing a psion's talents are to use psychokinesis for assassinations; either by using TK to lethally disrupt the bodily functions of the target or to for example give them a gentle shove into onrushing traffic. Some psions demonstrate limited precognitive abilities; such agents are typically withdrawn from the field and instead reassigned to the task of tactical or strategic prediction of enemy actions. CEID psions are instructed and trained to use their abilities in as low-key a manner as possible, as befits secret agents of the state. Spectacular showings of psionic force, as the agents of some nations are wont to do, are frowned upon by the Directorate as a vulgar and an unnecessary expenditure of energy and effort that could undoubtedly be used in a more constructive manner.
When a citizen of the Sovereignty refers to CEID, they probably mean CEID 1. Legendary and shrouded in mystique, One is responsible for the gathering information on foreign governments, corporations, organizations, individuals and so forth, inside and outside the Sovereignty. It agents frequently operate in deep cover within enemy governments or organizations, or organize covert ops inside enemy territory. One is renowned for its intelligence gathering and assassinations of the Sovereignty's enemies (foreign and domestic), and is adept at making its wetwork operations look like unfortunate but lethal accidents (or, if the situation calls for it, to make the killing look like the work of someone else).
Field agents working for One are frequently Replicants brainwashed for extreme loyalty, but the division also has a large number of human-Apexai hybrid psions on its payroll, and maintains a vast and covert military apparatus which partakes in uncountable clandestine operations around the galaxy. This private army is supplemented by top-secret research facilities which harness high technology for use of the agency and whose projects are known only to a select few.
Whereas One can be considered the all-seeing eye of CEID, Two is the Directorate's all-hearing ear. Two has extensive powers of surveillance. It taps phones, bugs apartments, eavesdrops on radio calls, monitors the datasphere, and collects and analyzes communications and messages of all kinds, listening to everything, everywhere. It maintains extensive satellite surveillance networks of all the Sovereignty's planets (and some planets outside the Sovereignty), operates large cryptologic and anti-cryptologic offices, fields a small fleet of stealthed Spystar espionage starships, and disseminates the intelligence it gathers to other branches of CEID, local police forces or the military, whichever the situation requires.
Two is run by a trio of Computational Intelligences whose identities are known only to the DCEID. When interacting with field agents this troika is represented as the Locksmith, a computational gestalt that allows the three CIs to speak as one. It is commonly suspected that Olympic is one of these or, in an elaborate ruse, possibly all three CompInts.
Three provides military intelligence to the Sovereignty by analyzing other militaries and engaging in military espionage, clandestine behind enemy-lines operations and other shady combat oriented activities. Even though Three is still a civilian operation it operates several brigades worth of field operatives whose gear is indistinghuishable from the Marine Corps, and who are expected to operate in active warzones (both those in which the Sovereignty is involved, and those in which it is not). Three provides timely and objective intelligence to USSF and USMC commanders, policymakers and force planners, often working in conjunction with One. Three is the only division whose headquarters is not located in the primary CEID command office on Solaris; rather it is based out of the Paragon, the headquarters of the U.S.S. military on Kerenkov.
CEID’s primary civilian investigative arm is the most public of all the five divisions, and has the best reputation amongst the citizens of the Sovereignty -- to the point where it is not common knowledge that the CBI is actually an arm of the more sinister CEID organization. Known not as Four but rather as the Central Bureau of Investigation it is the primary federal criminal investigative body, charged with detecting crimes against the Sovereignty. It is responsible for the investigation of interplanetary crime and the interception of foreign criminals on Sovereignty soil. The CBI deals also with counterterrorism, organized crime, foreign counterintelligence, unusually violent crimes, and white-collar crime, but also protects space- and starports; polices the hyperlanes within the Sovereignty; and assists people at risk in space. Like any other CEID operatives CBI agents can demand support from any local police officer or precinct, regardless of rank and standing.
Technically the fifth of the five divisions, Five is usually referred to as 'CEID Zero' -- among those who know of its existence, which itself is classified and not recognized by the public at large, or indeed even most members of the U.S.S. government. Zero is an invisible intelligence agency that exists within another intelligence agency. Its actions are concealed to an even greater extent, suggesting extreme deniability. Zero is essentially a smaller, less visible and as a consequence even less restrained version of CEID as a whole, and with extreme deniability, the Directorate's zeroth division is something which you definitely don’t want to mess with.
CEID has at its disposal a very large pool of assets, both deniable and undeniable. These assets range from thousands of operatives galaxy-wide to fleets of espionage vessels, teams of shadowy psion infiltrators and an elite cadre of black-ops troopers that numbers in the thousands. In addition to this the Directorate makes large amounts of money via a myriad side-ops of questionable legality it runs throughout Wild Space and the fringes of the Sovereignty. This abundance of black accounts and illegal slush funds has made the Directorate one of the most well funded organizations in the entire Sovereignty. So much money does CEID receive, in fact, that it is capable of funding a rather exorbitant shipbuilding program, as well as its own cloning facilities for the production of Replicants. CEID military assets represent a total worth of 8,025 metacredits.
Men in Black
'Men in Black' is the popular catch-all term for CEID field operatives of the first and zeroth sections. Whether simple field agent, trained psionic operative or black ops killer, these agents adhere to a universal dress code: the famed black suits, white shirts and black sunglasses. This makes it effectively impossible for most people to discern whether they are dealing with a psion, an augment or simply a human, which together with the Directorate's grizly reputation has the notable effect of leading most people to assume that all CEID agents must be psion augments ready to maim or kill at a moment's notice. This reputation, combined with training in applied psychology, allows even baseline field agents to come off as menacing, all-knowing heralds of spooky doom.
Although far from common knowledge only a small minority of the Men in Black are in fact psionic operatives. CEID psions come in two variants: recruits from the ranks of the Silver Shield, and hybrid Replicants grown in Directorate-controlled laboratories. The former are usually employed on sensitive or secret, but not top-secret, missions. Deep black missions are assigned solely to the heavily indoctrinated and programmed Replicants, who are directly overseen by Apexai minders and continuously monitored for ideological deviancy, signs of which tend to result in forcible retirement - with extreme prejudice.
The Mirrormen are a group of elite milspec enhanciles, direct-action operatives whose bio-technological acceleration is on par with that of USMC FORCE troopers. Their name derives from their powered suits, fashioned from a reflective hyperalloy and fitted with scatterscreen projectors that allows these men and women (or maybe even machines - no-one has ever seen them outside their armor) to simply disappear from view whenever convenient, which is most of the time. Mirrormen are deployed whenever the Directorate needs something destroyed that it cannot somehow destroy by less direct means, but also act as stealthed bodyguards for the President, the DCEID and select other VIPs.
Bloodhound-class spystars are small, stealth vessels used to infiltrate (or exfiltrate) operatives onto enemy worlds as well as observe high-value targets, rendition kidnapped foreign persons of interest for interrogation in the Sovereignty and a host of other covert activities.
The Darkstar program is an ambitious step up from the successful Spystar, an attempt by CEID to build a series of large, Warstar-size vessels in near-total secrecy. Goal of the Darkstar program is to greatly amplify the striking power of the Directorate. Darkstars currently in service are all of the Onyx class; currently CEID is building its second generation of darkstars, the Echelon class. [Author's note: Onyx class darkstars are 300 points apiece; Echelon class vessels will be 500.]