Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Executing Standard Strategic Action Plan 17-76

7:30 AM daily staff teleconference:

Good morning. I see that all divisions have joined the call, so let's get started.

I want to begin this morning by welcoming our new intakes. We're thrilled you could be here and grateful you've joined our little group. As you've probably heard, we're perennially short-staffed and there's always too much to do, so we genuinely appreciate you signing on.

We have a very pressing issue to attend to today, but for you old hands it's nothing too out of the ordinary…

Background: HQ's been worried about the alarming increase in strong-handed governmental actions, the ongoing degradation of our society, the total subjugation of the media, and of course the first-ever Federal "must purchase or else" order related to the Individual Mandate.

Our analysts have been working 'round the clock to discern any common threads so as to assist Intelligence with their Root Cause Analysis.  We believe those efforts have born fruit.

Situation Report: All indications point towards Lady Liberty having been kidnapped.  Again.

I know, I know - and this may get me in trouble with HR but to heck with them - it just seems that beautiful broad can't stay out of trouble; always eager to give a helping hand to the most rundown and oppressed. We're old friends so I don't think Victoria will be offended when I say she sees the world through Freedom-colored glasses and can be a bit heavy-handed with the whole "opportunity" spiel. Well someone took advantage of that opportunity, and once again sweet Ms. Liberty is in chains.  Robertson, you have a question?

[Robertson] (lowering hand) Who is the suspect? Is it the President?

Surprisingly, no. That's jumping ahead a bit, and I'll get to the details shortly, but I will say that while we're not certain where the President's true loyalties lay, we're definitely targeting a power behind the throne.

Now in regards to Lady Liberty's sad situation, you've probably guessed - because it should be obvious - that it's our turn in the rotation, so once again her rescue falls to us.

I know many of you will be asking "How did we let this happen?" I generally don’t want to engage in finger-pointing but… well… here we go!  Although we have to guard against a lack of vigilance, and we're always tempted to place the blame on the New York, Illinois, and California divisions, it is incumbent upon me to point out that with the success of our grass-roots efforts these last few years, one of the unforeseen consequences has been the opening of a major ideological rift between HQ and the field offices.  Rest assured this has been identified, and all of your division heads are working to hammer out their differences with HQ before the next campaign season gets fully underway.  But until then, if you have any issues to escalate, don't hesitate to throw them at Leadership… frankly, they deserve it.

Now..., the Strategic Planning Department feels that in the realm of process execution, we're getting repetitive to the point where we're not only dangerously predictable, but we're also bordering on the operational definition of insanity.  As an organization we apparently haven't been learning much from our debriefs and after-action reports, but rest assured the data is regularly reviewed at our highest levels. The Standards Department wants me to remind everyone that we don't want to risk losing our CMMI Level-5 rating by going all "ad-hoc" or, God forbid, "improv", so they've decreed that for this operation we're going to de-delimit and dust off one of our oldest processes - "Standard Strategic Action Plan 17-76".

I'm told it was just updated, and all references to items like mimeographs, postage stamps, and pagers have been removed or replaced. You can download a copy from the SharePoint site, and all squad leaders will be reviewing the plan with their squads within the hour.

For now, allow me to summarize:

We have to break into the Necromancer's lair, exorcize his demon sentries, kill his dragons, kill or disable the dark wizard himself - which I should point out as a side benefit will break his psychic hold over the President and Congress, let's see - where was I? - oh yes... eradicate his troll guards, scale the dark tower - uhm… Also- a note about scaling the tower… Intelligence indicates a high probability that removing the wizard as a threat will cause all magic portals to close. That's apparently the standard arcane default these days, in hypocritical defiance of OSHA requirements (someone please remind me to savor the irony about that later).
 Expect the entire lower level of the tower to be sans windows or doors, thus the necessity to climb. Anyways…, we'll rescue and evacuate Lady Liberty - and obviously if we are unable to wake her in situ we will have to bodily carry her out - and then either defeat or evade the remainder of the evil legions until we can cross the boarder back into the Free Territories.  And of course we have to do it all before sundown.

So… fairly standard stuff.

Any questions?

[Kaparsky] Will killing the Necromancer also free the Vice President's and the Cabinet members' minds?

The Cabinet, yes, mostly, probably. Please recall there are indications some of them may be his willing allies and not actual thralls. The Vice President however, as far as we can tell, is not under the Necromancer's control. He's just normally that scrambled.

Any other questions?

[Hollerbach] (while glancing through his training binder)  Uh yes, uh… Does Ms. Liberty have some sort of tree with her? And are we going to have to water it somehow? 'Cause if the pot's too big or if it's on the balcony and it's rained recently it might be too heavy to carry back outta-

Liberty does not have a tree in this paradigm, so you don't have to worry about that.  But even if Vickie did, I'm sure you guys could manage. Come on - you've certainly faced worse!

Anyone else?

[Goldstein] My squad's been hearing rumors that the Necromancer's being funded by our own Treasury. Is this true?

Sadly, it is true.  And this is arcana of the darkest sort.  In Liberty's absence the Treasury has looted itself to the benefit of our enemies, and has so bewitched the law as to appear to be doing so legally. In my opinion those particular minions make practitioners of black magic look good by comparison. On the plus side, they should sparkle brightly in the fire.

[Adams] Is it true the Necromancer may be a hive-mind group-entity that's being fed by the Heralds' Guild?

That's all the time we have for questions - see your squad leader if you need anything clarified, especially you new guys.  Don't hesitate to ask.  But let me remind you - this is the job, this is what we do - this is what you signed up for.  For us, this is normal.

So gear up, be careful out there, and remember: No heroics!

1 comment:

  1. And then the next sound you hear is John Boehner shouting "LEEEROYYYY JENKINS!"