Agents of HOST
The agency says the letters HOST stand for Holistic Organisation for Social Tranquility. This seems to largely be its aims. However, agents tend to be paranoid and so there are many rumours about what HOST ‘really’ means. Some agents think it means HOST of Angels, others say it’s meaningless or the four letters are a Cantonese acronym. Many take the letters at face value, others have their theories.
Whatever it stands for, it is a multimillion dollar organisation and its finances seem to be limitless. Again, no one is really sure how or why this is. Even the agents, skilled as they are in gathering information, have been unable to discover quite how the coffers of HOST seem to be bottomless. Nothing is too expensive and no expense is spared in the pursuit of a mission. Agents are well paid and have apartments in Hong Kong, in and around Central District, provided. In return, however, HOST expects the best.
When agents join HOST, they are required to renounce national ties. They remain citizens of their native nations, but are required, if necessary, to work against their native nations.
HOST tends to recruit those who have experience of espionage, combat or both. This is not to say they won’t recruit and train someone fresh out of university or in other professions, just that it is unusual. Their favourite subjects for recruitment are espionage agents from well funded and well trained organisations, such as the CIA or MI5/MI6, Mossad, the FSB, or the MSS, for example or special forces operatives, again, from well funded and trained organisations like the SAS, SBS, Navy SEALS, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta or the Spetsnaz.
The headquarters of HOST is on Queen’s Road Central in the Central District of Hong Kong. The cover is that it’s an international news agency, giving it the perfect reason to be sending small teams all over the world. Almost all agents working for HOST have a cover identity as a journalist or photographer. Hong Kong is an unusual choice, given that agents are armed and it has strict firearms control and also that the Chinese government isn’t known for leniency. Again, no one knows why Hong Kong was chosen and various theories abound.
As well as the headquarters, HOST tends to run safe houses in most of the major cities of the world. London, Paris, Berlin, Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Rome, Tokyo, Kyoto, and all over the world, almost all countries have several safe houses for agents to use.
Agents tend to be grouped into small cells working out of the main headquarters. A mission director of some kind will set an objective for each cell to complete. It is up to each individual cell to decide how to complete it. Almost anything is acceptable and individual agents will decide for themselves how to tread the fine line between breaking the law to do what they need to do and outright criminality.