GOC, or that guy with a gun fetish
rating: +235+x

It was O5-10's first day, and he was nervous.

Not that any of the security staff around him knew. To them he was one of the mysterious and semi-mythical members of the Overseer's Council, a shadowy group that controlled an already plenty shady organization. The rumors swirling around made them sound like immortal sociopaths that had been kicking around since the Stone Age.

So when the previous Ten approached him to succeed her, he almost thought it was a prank. A leader of the most powerful organization on the planet, asking him to replace her so she could spend more time with her granddaughter? But for some stupid reason, he accepted.

Though right now, he did wonder what would have happened if he had refused. Was that even an option? Would he have been allowed to walk away intact?

The elevator doors opened, revealing a short hallway ending at a pair of doors, guarded by two more members of the Red Right Hand.

"Just through there, sir." Captain Suarez said. "We'll be waiting for you upstairs, sir."

"You're not coming with me?" he asked.

"We're your personal security staff, sir, we can't enter," Suarez explained. "Meeting rooms are guarded by a careful selection of staff who have no reason to value one Overseer over another, sir. Don't worry, you're in the best hands in the world."

Ten stepped out and began what felt like a mile long stretch to the double doors on the other side, clutching the classified papers he had been sent.

The guard at the other end of the hall nodded. "Overseer. Right through these doors, please." Weren't they going to scan him?

The other guard looked over him briefly, before returning her gaze to her colleague and giving the most subtle of nods.

Oh. Ten went through the doors as fast as he could.

The meeting hall of the famed Overseers was surprisingly tame. All there was in the medium sized room was a round wooden table, with eleven seats filled. He expected something fancier, but the Foundation had never been one for ostentatious decoration, now that he thought about it. The lengths it took to request a potted plant…

It looked like all the other Overseers had already arrived, chatting among themselves or just flipping through documents. Most likely by design, if they were going to be welcoming a new member.

A Middle Eastern woman got up to greet him. "Ten, I assume. Does the black moon howl?"

The code word. Every Overseer had their own code word, something to confirm that they were who they said they were. If he misspoke, his predecessor had told him, he'd be shot immediately as a spy.

"With a mourning song." His voice cracked a little on the ending, and he noticed the woman's eyebrows slightly rise and her hand dip to her belt for a moment.

"Well, it's nice to meet you," she said, raising the hand that was just about to end him. "I'm Eve. Yes, that Eve, garden of Eden and everything. It's a bit of a long story."

Ten lost the ability to talk, instead opening his mouth and turning into a really stupid-looking fish. Of all the things he had expected, he hadn't been expecting someone from the Bible.

"These are the other Overseers," she said, gesturing at the table of polite smiles. "If you ask nicely, they might tell you their names. Going around the table, that's Two, Four, Five, and so on, and on my other side is Death. Yes, that death, Grim Reaper, Thanatos, whatever you'd like to call him. We all got together back in the day and trapped him. Long story, but you're now immortal. Enjoy."

Death looked like a middle aged business man in a black suit, who was currently flipping through a document. He looked up at O5-10, politely nodding before returning to his business.

"I-uh, okay." Any second now, his head was going to explode. They had Death locked up? As in the Death? Maybe some of the rumors weren't so far-reaching as they thought.

Ten looked around the table. "Wait, I thought there were thirteen of us?

"Three's an artificial intelligence," Two said, pointing to the terminal on her right. It flickered to life, showing an image of a teenager waving, before it went blank again. "Runs security here at the site."

Eve sat down between Two and Death, gesturing for him to sit between Nine and Eleven. "Usually we'd give you some time to catch up, learn everything you need to learn, but we have a bit of a situation on our hands that requires a consensus vote. Four?"

A short man with a mustache stood up, distributing folders to everyone. "So, we've got the Bull of Heaven running around in Syria right now. Assets are on the ground right now sweeping things up, but it won't be long before someone gets footage of it. We need to deal with it, fast."

Ten opened up his folder, which contained images of a gargantuan golden bull barreling through a concrete building like it was a sandcastle. Rubble was flying around it like a tornado had sprung up.

"All our weapons are pretty much useless," Four continued. "We haven't been able to so much as scratch it. I'm estimating a Broken Masquerade scenario within forty-six hours."

Everyone else looked rather bored at the thought of a public Foundation, rather than terrified as Ten was. But he kept a brave face and focused his attention on Four.

"Interesting," Eve said, looking through the photos. "Bigger than I remember. What's your plan then? I imagine you have a solution in mind."

"Actually, I thought we could bring in Gock on this," he said, which was met with a series of exasperated groans and eye rolling.

"You sure about this?" Seven asked. "It was a bit of a clean up last time. You know how he gets."

"Better than a mythical creature in the middle of a war zone."

"Uh, I'm sorry," Ten said, raising his hand like he was back in middle school again. "Who exactly are we talking about?"

"Oh, didn't the old Ten fill you in?" Four asked. "Gabriel Oscar Cartwright. Or Gock, as I call him."

He said it so matter of factually, Ten almost accepted it without any questions. "Uh… I'm sorry? Do you mean the GOC, the Global Occult Coalition?"

"Nah, it's just him," the woman to the right of him said. "The whole GOC organization is a myth, it's made up. Just Gabe."

"I'm sorry, the Global Occult Coalition of the UN is just one man?" Ten asked incredulously. This had to be a joke. They couldn't be serious, could they?

"Pretty much. Albeit one man with a metric fuckton of guns," Five said. "Seriously, I'm pretty sure its a fetish at this point. No one needs that many."

"Whenever we get something we can't wipe out by ourselves, we call up Gabe and he nukes it off the planet," Eve explained. "Egypt, the Ohio Incident, the wolf with the big teeth up in the Arctic. He's saved the planet more than a few times. All we need to do is the cover up."

"But… how? I've spoken with Coalition agents, hell I led a joint strike team with one before!" Ten exclaimed.

"Red Right Hand agents. Sure we'll fire a few bullets, but Gabe always kills the anomaly. It's really the only thing he asks for."

"See, told you." Five muttered. "It's a gun fetish. Dude gets off on killing them."

"I don't care if he gets off to pictures of my mother," Four somehow managed to say without the slightest hint of a joke on his face. "He does his job perfectly, that's all I care about. I can call him and have the bull wiped out as soon as possible. All in favour?"

Every hand around the table went up immediately except for Ten's, who was still processing that the Foundation's biggest paranormal rival was actually just a man with a unhealthy love of guns.

Maybe it was peer pressure, maybe it was stupidity, but he raised his hand not soon after.

"Great." Four flipped open a phone and quickly dialed a number. "Hey Gabe, its- uh huh. Yeah, the bull in Syria. Wipe it out or whatever, don't really care. I-what, this weekend? Hold on, let me ask everyone."

Four covered the phone with a hand, looking at the others. "Everyone free for a barbecue Saturday?"

Again, everyone agreed, even Death. Did he even have to eat?

"Yeah, that works. See you then. Remember, the bull. Gotcha. Yeah, I'll try and make it. Ice? Sure, I'll grab a few bags. Gotcha."

Four flipped it shut. "That's a wrap. Bull should be dead in a few hours. Eight, do you think you could remember to pick up some propane for the grill a few hours before on Saturday?"

"Sure," Eight nodded. "So that was it for today, right? Unless anyone else had something to share…"

Everyone turned to look at Ten, who had been filling up with so many questions that he felt like he was going to burst.

"Something on your mind, Ten?" Eve asked.

"So. The entire Global Occult Coalition, including their strike teams, High Command, member organizations, whatever, is just one guy with a gun."

"One guy with a lot of guns and a gun fetish," Five corrected. "If he wasn't so into destroying anomalies, he probably would be our biggest threat."

"Is he… is he anomalous, somehow?"

"Nope," Six said. "Just a guy who really likes guns and really anything that explodes. I'm about ninety-eight percent sure that his dad was an AK-47 and his mother was a hellfire missile, but he's very much non-anomalous."

Ten didn't know what to say to that.

Eve drank her coffee. "I'm sensing you still have some questions."

"Are there any other groups of interest that have been… well, faked?"

Six shrugged. "Depends on your definition, but kind of."

"The Church of the Broken God?"

"Steampunk fans, mostly," Six said. "There was a cosplay event in California that got out of hand a couple years back, but we handled it."

"Alexyva University?"

"Some pretentious foreign university that only speaks Latin. They're assholes, but ordinary."

"Marshall, Carter and Dark?"

"A bunch of very rich liars. They've never actually sold a single anomalous artifact, believe it or not. We fake a few files to keep their idiot buyers away from the actual stuff."

"Okay, then Dado? Is he also fake?"

"It's pronounced 'dado,' but no, he's real," Eve chimed in. "Haven't faked a single word. Still not sure what's up with him, to be honest."

"What about the Fifth Church?" Ten asked.

"Five guys who share a pet starfish."

"That Nobody fellow?"

"Three kids in a trench coat, believe it or not."

"The Sarkic cults?"

"Just a bunch of people who are really into vore. Completely disgusting, but definitely non-anomalous."

"Well what about Doctor Wondertainment?"

"Oh, that's just Santa Claus."

Ten sat in his chair, utterly stunned. He had spent twenty years of his life at this agency, protecting the world against countless anomalies and the groups that would use them for their own ends. And now to just hear that they were all fake-

Wait a minute, why were they all smiling again?

The entire room burst out into laughter as they couldn't hold it in anymore.

"Oh my god, I can't believe you fell for that!" Five wheezed as he gasped for breath in between fits of laughter. "The look on your face!"

Ten relaxed, letting the tension that had been building up fall off his shoulders. So it was just a prank, something they did on the incoming O5s. He had to admit, it was a little bit funny, them winding him up to believe all the tall tales.

"Wow. Can't believe I actually fell for that."

Eleven slapped him on the back. "Don't worry about, we were all in your shoes once. Just a little bit of hazing to welcome a new face. Glad you're here."

"Thanks, it's good to be here."

"It never gets old," chuckled Eve. "Two hundred or so years, every Overseer I've known has fallen for that one."

"Well I-"

"I mean come on, Santa Claus? That's just ridiculous."

The smile quickly slipped off of Ten's face. "Wait, what?"

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