Trope A Day-Covert Group

Covert Group-While the intelligence agencies of the various powers may count as this, who really remains covert are the organizations that handle magical mistakes, Precursor artifacts that should never see the light of day, and any other mistakes of technology that could eat unfortunate innocent brains.  How it’s handled really depends upon the nation involved.  The Ministry of Ghosts is the Equestrian answer to this problem, a whole ministry (and the only ministry run by three alicorns) that operates covertly to deal with these problems before they become noticeable.

The Griffin Moot has the Special Working Group, which operates inside of the Imperial Intelligence Service (more Declare than the Equestrian Laundry), agents operating in a manner that short-circuits most conventional operations.  And, they have to justify this to the ultimate masters of the Service and the Group when it happens.  For the Senate and Minotaur Republic, this is Unit 999 that does some very…uncomfortable things when dealing with such technologies.  For a nation that has a vicious paranoia about mental manipulation and mind alteration (even when voluntary), that Unit 999 can do what it does-and has the authority to do so-is an extremely worrying thing.  The only justification that they can point to is the scale of the threat they face.

For the Zebras…what little is known in the structure of their nation is the enigmatic group only known as “the Silent Ones”.  And, even this is believed to be an operational handle, not what the group is truly called.

Trope A Day-Precursors

Precursors-Whomever created the five races, created Equestria, and then left them at least ten thousand years ago…were complete about cleaning up, to say the very least.  What little is known about them is-

  1. They didn’t think small.  The smallest known Precursor artifact is the so-called Silent Cube (a perfectly formed cube exactly 1.1 meters on each side that perfectly absorbs all energy except for visible light, which it perfectly reflects).  The largest is the massive Splint, a huge disk surrounding a M-class star, fifteen kilometers thick and 10 AUs wide, spinning in a retrograde orbit around the star itself.  The disk has a hole in it barely larger than the safe entry distance for heavy cruiser-weight starships coming out of Tunnel Drive.
  2. They make the artifacts that the five races can analyze out of computronium, and whatever is being processed inside the computronium is still going on.
  3. They liked base 10 mathematics.
  4. They considered Ragnarok Proofing to be the minimum standard.  Active nanomachine repair systems have been found on some Precursor artifacts, some just can’t be damaged by any tools ponies have.
  5. They seemed to think that 10,000 years was a “short period of time”.
  6. Artifacts seem to come in two categories-working perfectly or gone horribly wrong.  It’s the second that keeps the Ministry of Ghosts, the Special Working Group, Unit 999, and the Silent Ones busy.  Especially the Ministry of Ghosts and the Special Working Group.

Hunting for working Precursor artifacts and securing them safely is something that all of the major powers do.  Some are safe enough for anybody else to look at them-and some have to be stored away because they’re too dangerous.