KGB Special Section 8
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
KGB Special Section 8 is a small hero group. It is composed of former Soviets and newer recruits.
1945 - 1948 The Soviet Shield
In 1945, the Great Patriotic War was nearing its end. The Soviet forces were pushing the fascists back. Things were clearly desperate for the Axis forces.
Hitler had long had a fascination with the occult and super-science, and he put it to good use. On the eastern front, he deployed some of the creations his mystics and researchers had come up with: resucitated casualties, armored soldiers, werewolves, the early vamppyri, crude robots, and all sorts of other superpowered tactical elements.
The fascists met with great sucess at first. The Soviets began to lose ground. After all, if a Warwolf could rip a tank open, what hope did infantry have? Joseph Stalin authorized the creation of the Soviet Shield, a Red Army unit dedicated to fighting these new super-powered weapons. Given the best training and equipment available, these units were dedicated to destroying laboratories, ritual centers, factories, and other vital facilities, to deny them to the enemy. They were also rumored to have destroyed many valuable artifacts and manuscripts, rather than to allow them to fall into the hands of the enemy.
As a way to buffer the Soviet Shield, Stalin began his own super-power program. At this early date, with little time for research and development, the Soviets fell back on pre-existing super-powers. Whether a shaman from the steppes, a mutant hiding in the Urals, or a master of the ancient arts living in isolation in Siberia, they were tracked down and drafted.
It was after the war ended that our story will really begin. In 1948, at the dawning of the Cold War, an arms race of another nature began. The Soviets were afraid of a super-power gap. Scientific and technological programs were heavily funded. And, in 1948, KGB Special Section 8 was created, primarily from the surviving members of the Soviet Shield.
The purpose of KGB Special Section 8 was to ensure that the People would always have a defense against super-powered threats, both at home and abroad.
1948 - 1989 Special Section 8
By 1952, the focus of KGB Special Section 8 was changing. Members of the group were becoming more focused on suppressing super-powered dissent behind the Iron Curtain, and operating primarily in Europe. Special Section 8 fought in some of the major battles of the Cold War, operating in secret to combat other super-powered operatives, primarily from France, Britain and the United States. While the exploits of the Western heroes were often glorified in 'comic books', the Soviets' carried out their duty largely in secret, and thus their stories and many victories are less known to the world.
During these years, also, many of the superhuman veterans of the Great Patriotic War who did not fit the mold were purged. Technological heroes had their devices confiscated. Mystics and mutants were sent to a special gulag, as those in power feared what they did not understand. Others who had been given their powers by the government underwent 'procedures' to have them removed, with limited results.
Special Section 8 also began to lose its focus, both internal and external. Conspiring and plotting were the primary activities of the administration. 1959 saw KGB Special Section 8 providing security for the Soviet Space program, a prestigious position, but one which wasted the talents of the members.
It was not unil 1964 that the man known today as the Komisar took power. Recognizing the growing threats of the super-powered units of other nations, the Komisar refocused Special Section 8 on its primary purpose.
Few records of that era, from 1964 to 1989, are still available. The Komisar ran the section very closely, keeping many things unknown even to its senior members. The Siberian Dimensional Incident, which claimed the lives of half the members of Special Section 8 in 1983, was unknown to nearly all of the surviving agents.
That incident was the beginning of the end for KGB Special Section 8. Even with advanced weapons and armor being produced by the Bogatyr Project, Special Section 8 could no longer match the resources or manpower of other groups, such as the US military group Vigilance. Combined with the losses in Afghanistan, the Soviet answer to the Vietnam War, Special Section 8 began an inexorable downward spiral.
1989 - 1991 Soviet Collapse
In 1989, political chaos and infighting was destroying the Soviet Union. The Berlin Wall had fallen, and the Soviet Union was clearly doomed.
KGB Special Section 8 was still operating around the world. Many operatives were stationed outside the Soviet Union when it collapsed in on itself. Being resourceful, many of them managed to endure, even without support from the motherland.
The Komisar disappeared during these days. No one knows where he was, and those who know him are afraid to ask.
KGB Special Section 8 was gone, a relic of a war that had ended, a unit in the service of a nation that no longer existed.
Some members of the unit returned to Russia, choosing to serve the new government. Others turned to mercenary work, using their talents to serve the highest bidder. Others retired, and still others disappeared. The greater KGB as a whole was officially disbanded by Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1995, and that should have been the end of matters, but history had more to say.
1991 - 2003 Searching the Shadows
One of the most daunting tasks of the new Russian government was an attempt to catalog all of the many Soviet-era government projects that were now the business of the new regime. On the surface, this seemed like a simple enough matter. After all, they were the government, now. However, the nature of Party patronage and nepotism being what it was, much of what one arm of the government was doing was being kept secret from other arms. The activities of Special Section 8, being highly classified, were very difficult to track down. One thing quickly became apparent, however. The KGB had been maintaining a stable of superhuman operatives and counter-superhuman projects that was far larger than anyone, perhaps even the Politburo, had imagined.
Needless to say, the possibility of a legion of communist superhumans, loyal to the old government and unable to be accounted for caused consternation in certain circles of the Russian government, and nowhere was this uneasiness higher than in Russian military intelligence. Charged with holding together a young and unsteady federation together against the threats of breakaway republics, Islamic extremism along the southern border, a modernizing Chinese military to the East and the old rivals of NATO to the West, the potential threat of old-line communist superhumans returning and destabilizing matters was simply too great to be ignored.
In 1996, Yeltsin signed into law the creation of UNOSOV (Upravleyini Nakhadka Obivnyat Sovyet Okinyi Veshiyem), the Bureau to Locate and Prosecute Rogue Soviet Superhumans. Organized under the aegis of the Russian Army, UNOSOV aggressively pursued lone agents in all corners of the world, often obtaining the cooperation of local governments under the auspices of bringing them to justice for 'crimes' committed while KGB agents.
Under the Putin administration, UNOSOV has only become more aggressive in its pursuit, and at least a few former KGB agents have turned themselves in and become UNOSOV operatives, finally bowing to the winds of change.
2003 - Special Section 8 Re-forms
Following the short but devastating Rikti War, manking was forced to reevaluate its priorities, to become concerned not only with threats from fellow men, but with the very real likelihood of more new threats from beyond the Earth. In this environment, superhumans suddenly acquired new purpose and value, as only they had truly been effective at blunting the Rikti onslaught wherever the aliens attacked. Many former heroes, and not a few former villains, retired for years or even decades, returned to join the fray.
It was at this time that the Komisar reappeared. Not in Russia, but in Paragon City. For reasons of his own, the surviving members of the old KGB Special Section 8 were all tracked down and contacted, given the option to once again work under him.
No strings were attached, or so he said.
Some accepted. Comrade Smersh had lived in Paragon City for some time before that, and signed up immediately. Smersh had enjoyed something of a reputation among other Soviet-era agents, and following his return, more agents, new and old, followed.
KGB Special Section 8 was registered with the Paragon City government as a non-profit educational organization, as well as an active The Komisar, as always, was in charge of administration. For some time, things proceeded smoothly, with Special Section Eight even acquiring a modest reputation as 'Those Helpful Commies the Next Block Over' in the area around their Kings Row offices.
In 2004, however, the Komisar himself went rogue, revealing himself to be an extradimensional alien conqueror of extreme power. Whether this had always been the case, or whether this being was merely masquerading as the Komisar since his 'return' has never been proved conclusively. It was only though the combined efforts of Special Section Eight and several other allied supergroups that the Komisar was ultimately defeated.
Since that time, Field Commander Yevgeny Ivanovich Korsakov, aka 'Comrade Smersh' has been in charge of Field Operations, which continue to this day, with only minor interference from Praetorian duplicates, Arachnos operatives, Malta spies, and UNOSOV investigators.
The offices are still situated in Kings Row, and the members of KGB Special Section Eight currently act as socialist educators, providers for the poor and infirm, and freelance defenders of The People of Paragon City.
The history of KGB Special Section 8 has been taken from the 'official history' found at the KGB Special Section 8 archives.
Its official website, with further information, can be found at GuildPortal.