The Imperial Bureau of Galactic Vigilance (IBGV) is the Imperator's cloak and dagger to the sword and shield of the Bragulan Warmachine. For, as he himself once said, "the cost of Bragulanity is eternal vigilance", thus it is through the IBGV that the Imperator watches over the entirety of his dominion and the outlying nine vectors of space yet to be under his glourious rule. The claws of the Bureau are far reaching and far more insidious than most would imagine, confined not just inside Bragulan territory or encroaching merely within the Koprulu Zone, but also without, as the true extent of the Imperator's inscrutible machinations range far and wide - for as many as Bragulanity's enemies are, the methods by which the IBGV can strike them down and wreak their expedient demise far exceeds their numerosity.
The IBGV is a massive agency responsible for not only watching over a hostile galaxy and undermining the horrendously huge human hegemonies populating it, but also the surveillance of the Bragulan Star Empire's own internal power structures - monitoring various civilian government organizations and ensuring that they are kept in line; providing assistance and intelligence to the militaries and justice-enforcement while simultaneously scrutinizing them thoroughly for signs of dissent, be it real or perceived; and maintaining the ideological purity of the general citizenry, examining the correctness their thought contents, and rebuking any observed or suspected intellectual deviations. The scope of the IBGV permeates the entirety of Bragulan society, from its upper echelons to its lowest segments, for it is in line with Byzonist theory where it is said that the Imperator's unblinking gaze truly sees all.
Outside the Empire, the external activities of the IBGV are similar to that of many other foreign intelligence services, but in a much more extensive scale owing to the unique situation faced by the Bragulan Star Empire in the Koprulu Zone, where it is locked in perpetual low-intensity combat with its principal enemy, the Sovereignty, as well as skirmishes with the Byzantine Imperium. IBGV agents operate in foreign nations as well as in Wild Space, inside and outside of the K-Zone, where they deal with not only the agents of CEID and the Inquisition, but also the operatives of other major and minor polities. It is in the crucible of this invisible war that the IBGV has honed its skills in esionage and wetwork to not-inconsiderable efficiency.
The general lack of technological sophistication on the Bragulan Star Empire's part has forced the IBGV to compensate by adopting various cruder, though no less effective, methodologies that has garnered it a well-deserved reputation of brutality and ruthlessness in galactic intelligence circles. This has not hampered the Bureau in carrying out the traditional roles expected of any self-respecting intelligence service, such as: sponsoring regimes and revolutionaries throughout the galaxy's third worlds, intelligence gathering through both covert and overt means, performing assassinations, conducting acts of state-sponsored terrorism, delivering political messages through assassinations, delivering political messages through acts of state-sponsored terrorism, extraterrestrial rendition, and supporting anti-human movements throughout known space, to name a few.
The aforementioned roles of the IBGV has led it to be divided to two almost equally large divisions, each with a myriad of smaller sub-divisions inside it, and though there is a considerable overlap between the two, they are generally segregated by their function and field of operations - domestically, inside the Bragulan Star Empire; and externally, outside the Empire.
It is the branch of the IBGV that the outside galaxy has had most contact with, and the face of the IBGV that the galaxy's intelligence services are most familiar with. External Vigilance is charged with operating in foreign territories, gathering information on the Empire's enemies and its friends (a common joke among IBGV-EV agents is that the Empire has no friends) through a variety of means, building up useful long-term intelligence networks in other nations for various purposes, the conduction of both covert and overt activities directed at foreign personnel, entities and/or assets as well as operations against Bragulans who have become foreign - and thus marked themselves for summary retribution. External Vigilance is simultaneously a tool of espionage, subterfuge, disinformation and revengeance.
To carry out its task, over a prolonged period of time External Vigilance has built up a vast network of cells, associates and proxies - while a few are knowingly complicit in conspiring with the IBGV, most are decidedly unaware of their service to His Bragulan Majesty's Secret Service. Among those included in this web of deceit are amoral independent businessmen and tradesmen of various degrees of prominence and duplicity, private trading companies serving as fronts with commercial vessels being used as IBGV spyships; smuggler rings, arms-dealers and gun-runners who've helped proliferate Bragtech weaponry in third worlds, making Bragulan arms prevalent in Wild Space hotspots and turning the deadly K-bolter into a symbol for galactic revolutionaries; the revolutionaries themselves, either alien movements struggling against humanity's rampant expansionism, or even human ones that willingly ally with the Bragulans for convenience's sake, who when victorious become brutal Bragulan-backed regimes puppeteered by IBGV advisors; criminal syndicates like the Bragulan Mafiya, where even rogue Bragulan expats and renegades cannot tell those who have truly fled from the Empire's oppression from those who are IBGV plants, and other species of scum whose purchaseable loyalties have been bought and paid for by the Bureau.
The conniving intelligence services of other polities, including human ones, also consort with the Bragulans - most notably the Shepistanis, whose smoldering hatred for the rest of humanity nearly matches the Bragulans' own disdain for mankind; and even the Byzantine Inquisition, whenever the mutual interests and mutual enemies they share with the IBGV intersect and are soon afterwards purged and stick-beaten to oblivion, conveniently in time before the scheduled resumption of Byzantine-Bragulan hostilities.
It is widely believed that the People's Department of Limited Foreign Interaction and Human Affairs is largely an IBGV front that has helped the Bragulans extend their expansive spiderweb of contacts, and that the department's diplomatic liaisons are almost all IBGV agents to a bear. This gains credence to the popular CEID theory that the recent Bragulan moves at glasnot and bragstroika are all a part of a massive espionage maneuver, a strategic deception move of Bragskirovka. But perhaps the biggest Bragskirovka is in leading the likes of CEID to believe that it is a Bragskirovka when maybe it isn't one at all!
External Vigilance also maintains several backdoors with its nearest K-Zone neighbors, from the Karlacks to the Byzantine Imperium and the Sovereignty. Worlds like Al-Kar and Jenova, despite their unlikely appearances, are used by the IBGV to discourse with both friends and enemies, and sometimes those in-between - when those who cannot simply be overcome by brute force or subversion come to discuss their terms of tolerance, standing each others' presence, and maybe even coming into coexistence. A coexistence disguised in clever Bragskirovkas, for sure.
Though thoroughly familiar with navigating the grey latitudes, External Vigilance is not one to shy from going deep down into the murky realm of blackops and wetwork. The dark days of the Solarian Wars and the height of the cold conflicts between the Bragulan Star Empire and its greatest foe saw the IBGV test its mettle against the Sovereignty's CEID, and there in those unsung wars both organizations were shaped into what they are today. The string of assassinations and state-sponsored terror not only directed at the Sovereignty, but towards the minor Wild Space statelets that threatened to gravitate towards the Solarians' fold, and the ensuing CEID reprisals on those standing with Bragule and thus against Solaris, would become the stuff of horror stories told by other intelligence agencies when they want to scare each other at night. The night never ends in the Koprulu Zone.
"A CEID agent receives a bag of minced meat with a pin bearing the CEID logo sticking out, while an IBGV agent gets a new rug for his floor."
Outside the K-Zone, the IBGV has most recently been implicated in several high-profile assassinations - although the suspicions have never been confirmed - such as the mysterious unexplained vegemite poisoning of the last High Commissioner of the Outlands, whose death was followed by a short but violent inter-species civil war and the subsequent disintegration of the Outlander Commissions. The tragic death of former Shepistani Presidential candidate James Crater - a known liberal and political opponent of General Sheppard whose platform campaigned for cuts to the war department budget - in a freak bicycle accident (that broke every bone in his body) on his peanut farm have also been tied to the Bureau, supposedly as a favor to General Sheppard (who did not wish to implicate the SIS). Aside from inciting anti-human violence, acts of sabotage and subterfuge, and secretly backing interstellar criminal organizations, the IBGV has also been accused of kidnapping - the most bizarre accusation linking the IBGV to the disappearance of none other than famed surrealist Sovereignty filmmaker C.J. Motonow, which Solarian theorists theorize was ordered by Imperator Byzon himself, who is said to have been a big fan who wanted C.J. Motonow to direct a series of Bragulan propaganda films Byzon wished to star in.
Internal IntegrityEditThe oft-unseen branch of the IBGV, at least to the outside galaxy. Within the Bragulan Star Empire, the presence of Internal Ideological Integrity is both ubiquitous and foreboding, omnipresent and seemingly omnipotent. In its domestic confines, Internal Integrity has no reason to act with External Vigilance's tact and subtlety, and the responsibilities of Integrity are twicefold that of External Vigilance's - but directed inwards, domestically, towards the apparatus of government and military, the various ministries and facets of the state, towards law and order, and the very Bragulan people themselves, all to ensure a safe and secure society. Internal Integrity are the eyes with which Imperator Byzon watches his beloved people and his Bragulan state, and it is with its claws he mauls those who would dare threaten Bragulanity from within - those worms who would eat at the core of his great society. The purpose of Internal Integrity, as well as all the other overbearing security mechanisms of the Bragulan state, is to reassure the Bragulan people that wherever they may be, at all times and places, Big Brother Byzon is watching.
Internal Integrity's origins lie in the immediate years after the Great Civil War when the newly coronated Imperator Byzon sought to consolidate his newfound powers by ensuring ideological purity and cohesion amongst his fellow victorious revolutionaries. Internal Integrity had the distinct honor of purging all of the Imperator's political rivals, those fellow revolutionary figures who differed with Byzon's methodologies, who dared to question his ideologies, and went so far as to brazenly defy Byzonism in their thoughts, words and deeds - who, in the end, were forgotten from all Bragulan memory, their names and faces erased as they were summarily combusted along with all records of their existence. Ultimately, even the original nameless leader of the proto-Internal Integrity was purged by the Imperator's own paws, though for his contributions to Byzonist society he is remembered in the form of a nameless, faceless figure of noble Byzonist sacrifice - a truly loyal Bragulan worthy of being called the Imperator's brother.
The IBGV began with Internal Integrity, for only with ideological fortitude within is patriotic vigilance on the universe possible, and the IBGV ends with Internal Integrity - for it is through Internal Integrity that the IBGV polices its own ranks for dissent with the same uncompromising nature it persecutes the entirety of Bragulan society with.
To this end, Internal Integrity maintains a sizeable Border Security force working in conjunction with the Space Fleet and the Proletarian Defense Forces of the various sectors of the Bragulan Star Empire to ensure no ideological contaminants may seep in from the outside universe without Imperial permission, and to prevent patriotic citzens from wandering out into the unclean and unsterile galaxy outside the borders of the immaculate Empire. It is through Border Security that the IBGV maintains records on all travel within Bragulan territory, transits both authorized and allowed, as well as those disallowed and discontinued with extreme prejudice.
Internal Integrity is Bragulan society's only protection, from itself.
Through various methods, from Border Security to omnipresent telescreens, and the constant covert and overt surveillance of Bragulan citizenry, Internal Integrity maintains the cohesion of Bragulan society by systematically liquidating any elements of dissent within the population. And while it is the job of the Space Fleet, the Legions of Liberation, the Emerald Guard and even the Proletarian Defense Forces to repulse the imperialistic and militaristic depravities of humanity, it is Internal Integrity's solemn duty to likewise protect Bragulanity from more sinister threats in the form of enemy secret agencies seeking to infiltrate the Empire to sap and impurify the precious bodily ideologies of its patriotic citizenry. In the Solarian Wars, with CEID black operations threatening to penetrate even the Bragulan iron curtain, Internal Integrity was forced to commit unspeakable acts on the Bragulan Star Empire's human populace to vaccinate the greater whole of Bragulanity from contamination. In this grave responsibility, Internal Integrity stands alone, for it cannot trust any other Bragulan agency with the heavy burden the Imperator has entrusted it with.
Even the intelligence gained by External Vigilance is filtered through the myriad tactico-strategico-bureaucratico-cryptoanalytical subdivisions of Internal Integrity, until they are relayed to the relevant portions of government judged to be in need of information - such as the Space Fleet and Legions of Liberation, for matters concering military intelligence; and the Imperial Ministry of Plentiful Supply and Demand Regulation and Registration for information regarding foreign economies; to name a few. Internal Integrity's regulation of information is mostly due to the principle of 'knowledge is power', and by holding the information needed by the various departments and agencies of the Empire, the IBGV thus holds sway over them and is better able to insinuate itself against them.
Not only does Internal Integrity hold life or death power over other aspects of Bragulan governance, capable of purging them all on the suspicion of ideological impurity, but Internal Integrity has also made itself needed by these other departments - thus furthering its foothold, and perpetuating its power over Bragulan society.
It is because of this that some say the IBGV answers only to the Imperator.
Internal Integrity's standing with other Imperial agencies is not improved by the fact that its authority overlaps with many of them. In matters of thought crime and punishment, its jurisdiction intersects with that of the Arbitrators; in terms of ensuring loyalty within the ranks of the militaries and justice-enforcement it competes with the Commissariat - which was created by the military to police its own ranks precisely to ward off the IBGV's grasping claws - while in the task of indoctrination it also vies with the various ministries of truth, information and ideology, and even the Byzon Youth. It is only the sheer bulk of the Bragulan bureaucratic behemoth that keeps Internal Integrity from marshalling its forces to purge specific rivals, for its operatives and moles and informants are spread out throughout an expanse even more vast than the entire galaxy's worth of enemies External Vigilance contends with. Concentrating its assets in bringing down particularly powerful rival institutions would leave so many other enemies uncovered and unwatched, unscrutinized by the eyes of the IBGV that are supposed to see all - something Internal Integrity cannot afford to do.
While some would scoff at Internal Integrity as an antiquated mechanism of oppression, a tool for enforcing Imperator Byzon's totalitarian will upon his very own subjects, better off at brutally subjugating the Bragulan populace than at actual counterintelligence directed at foreign agencies - it would be unwise to underestimate Internal Integrity's capabilities, as indeed many foreign spies from outside the Koprulu Zone have attempted to infiltrate the Bragulan Star Empire and have had that mistake turn out to be their last. The excessively paranoiac measures used by Internal Integrity to surveil the Bragulan populace are no less effective at dissecting foreign attempts at infiltration, and agents of any alien power unfamiliar with navigating the dystopic terrains of Bragulan society quickly find themselves under the scrutiny of the omnipresent telescreens, unaware that the televised visages of Big Brother Byzon are following them with moving eyes. All of them.
Exactly as Byzon planned.
The IBGV has a variety of instruments at its disposal, each instrument tailored for a specific operation, whether it is the surgical excision of the Imperator's enemies, or the wholesale purge-amputation of ideologically diseased segments. Border Security forces working in conjunction with the Space Fleet scour the territories of the Empire for wayward deviants on ideologically incorrect methods of transportation while civilian ships secretly rigged into spy vessels trawl the hyperlanes innocuously, agents slide to and fro foreign lands under the guise of dignitaries and diplomats while kill squads roam within both Wild Space and enemy territories liquidating targets of opportunity. What the IBGV lacks in sheer technological sophistication compared to its rivals, it makes up with sheer tenacity and a distinct lack of ruth lesser than even that of its peers.
The most disturbing aspect of External Vigilance is its Human Intelligence department, HUMINT. After the Bragulan Star Empire's first contact with humanity, HUMINT was quickly set up to dissect and autopsy both humans and posthumans to gain detailed files on their anatomy, and shortly afterwards they moved on to conducting experiments with human captives to become more efficient killers. But over the centuries, HUMINT's activities have grown far more insidious, now tasked with purchasing samples from the galaxy's lucrative slave trade business - no longer for anatomization, but for Bragulanization. The previous dissections and experimentations were not only in physical human anatomy, but on mental anatomy as well, and HUMINT currently employs a considerable program for brainwashing the young human samples it purchases from places like Pendleton (formerly) and the Pfhor, raising them to be loyal servants of Imperator and Empire on par with the finest cadre of Byzon Youth cubs. The HUMINT program has proven so successful that after so many years, entire families have been raised in the light of Imperial truth, freedom and the Bragulan Way (the initial subjects being crossbred to rear more offspring to indoctrinate) - giving the IBGV no shortage of human spies to work with, and even several generations worth of them. With these HUMINT operatives, handled by Bragulan agents, the IBGV is presented with a variety of infiltrative options it can exploit at its leisure.
Ever since the Bragulan Star Empire's glourious triumph over the insufferably arrogant Apexai alienoids, the Empire has long longed for samples of alien technology to further enhance the unstoppable march of Bragulan technological progression. As the foremost intelligence agency of the Star Empire, it is the duty of the IBGV and External Vigilance to acquire samples of said alien technology through whatever means possible - from using legitimate diplomatic and trade routes to simply purchase un-Bragulan devices and consumer hardware from the market, to dispatching pathologists to scour the wreckage of human vessels destroyed by the Space Fleet in any number of Wild Space encounters, or using HUMINT infiltrators to steal the technological secrets of others. Invariably these prizes will be brought to the IBGV science division's many techno-morgues for thorough autopsies. Also, despite being extremely behind in terms of computer technology, the IBGV nonetheless has in its employ a small army of data-hackers and splicers well-versed in alienware, constantly attempting to crack the electrospheres of various foreign polities.
The IBGV competes against several Bragulan agencies in the realm of reverse-engineering alien technology. The Technologists of Bolshaya Chernovyi are the leaders of Apexai technoarcheology and technopaleontology, jealously guarding the secrets they uncover from within the catacombs of the ruinated Apexai home world, and it does not help that their loyalties lean towards the Imperial Space Fleet - whose act on decimating the Apexai by dropping a whole moon on their planet literally opened the treasure chest for the technoarcheologists. The Emerald Guard also has in the members of its Inconceivable Missions Force specialist individuals with unique experiences in dealing with un-Bragulan technology, though unlike the Technologists they are more willing to cooperate with the IBGV and often work together with External Vigilance agents in missions that take them to faraway stars and alien worlds.
The machine race known as the Collectors are also of great interest to the IBGV, and External Vigilance has invested considerable assets in monitoring all their movements in Wild Space and beyond.
The Karlack KonnectionEdit
While the IBGV has learned the secrets of many alien technologies, it has also gained an understanding of the nature of the nightmarish Karlacks, unmatched by any other save perhaps for the creatures' own mortal enemies - the Inquisitors of Byzantium. As the Bragulan Star Empire allies and works hand in hand with the Swarm, the IBGV through its diplomatic and scientific channels has gained a deeper insight to not only the hierarchy of the Karlacks and its Aspects, but also a deeper look into the makeup of their biotechnologies. Thus, when absolutely necessary, the IBGV can make use of the precious samples of Karlack biotechnology it possesses. These organoids are no less effective than their more technologically advanced counterparts... but are much more painful.
Though the Byzon Youth belongs to a different Bragulan government ministry charged with ideological correctness and indoctrination, the IBGV has so thoroughly infiltrated it that in the end it has practically become another extension of the Bureau - its children's department, if you will. The original indoctrination ministry has capitulated to the IBGV and, in compliance with the Bureau's requests, every year it recommends the finest Byzon Youth members to the IBGV. Though the Bureau accepts many recruits from the Byzon Youth, it only chooses the cream of the crop, the top percentiles with superior scores in their ideological purity and indoctrination examinations, leaving the vast majority of Byzon Youth members for the other departments of the Bragulan government and armed forces to collect - where the top players of children's war games are recommended to the military, while those with high grades in Byzonist arithmetic go into the bureaucracy, etcetera. Another thing the IBGV gets from the Byzon Youth are also the records of all its members, giving Internal Integrity detailed files on the Empire's junior citizenry. For this reason, the Imperial militaries and goverment agencies set up the Young Pioneers to try and circumvent the IBGV's sway over the youth of the Bragulan nation - even going so far as to give the Cub Scouts their own merit badge Commissar-Counselors and Commissar-Cubmasters/Scoutmasters.
The prospective IBGV candidate is educated by the Byzon Youth through a variety of education programs, included in the curriculum are classes on learning how to spot ideological deviants and thought-criminals, and field trips to the local Braghack Arcades where they can remotely control Braghack attack drones and apply their previous lessons in spotting traitors to the Empire and summarily chopping them to bits. In the Byzon Youth, cubs learn to play wargames with one another as well, and learn detailed files on human anatomy to make them more effective patriots. One of the differences between the Byzon Youth and the military-sponsored Young Pioneers is that the Pioneers also teach their Cub Scouts wilderness survival in worlds like Spevik Ansils, where they learn to make a fire out of wood for summarily combusting the guilty. However, none can match the Byzon Youth in the sheer precision and exactness of their beating-stick drills - as many practice humans can attest to.
Internal Integrity manages an entire star system filled with prison-planetoids and dungeon-moons, collectively known as the Gulag Archipelago (also known as the Bragule Hilton, by repatriated USMC personnel), where prisoners of war are arbitrarily granted Bragulan citizenship and thus imprisoned as 'uncommon criminals' and made subject to the innumerable Bragulan laws they may have undoubtedly violated before their suddenly becoming Bragulan citizens. Bragbyanka, a secret facility in Bragule, is joked to be an interdimensional gateway because political prisoners held there are said to be able to see the frigid wastes of the Severnayan work camps from their cells.
The IBGV in popular cultureEdit
- The origins of the agency has been portrayed in a classified propaganda film available only to high-ranking IBGV agents. The film depicts the formation of Internal Integrity during the post-revolutionary days, the various purges it carried out in the name of Byzonism, and the eventual demise of its founder Bragvreyentyi Bearya at the claws of Imperator Byzon himself. Byzon is shown purging Bearya by giving him a tight embrace that turns into a bear hug that breaks Bearya's spine and Bearya is shown willingly embracing the Imperator, knowing his fate and accepting it like a true patriot. The scene was lauded by IBGV operatives for its dramatic and emotional overtones, how it depicted Bearya's patriotism and loyalty, how Byzon regarded him as a comrade and as a brother, and how the Imperator's mercy was ultimately delivered. Bearya's name is never once mentioned throughout the whole film.