Shadows Beneath Shadows
Established in 1917, the Hoffman Institute is a fixture in the ranks of human politics and history, created as a response to changes on Earth and especially to alterations resulting from Dark Matter tides. However it remains a largely independent force, not advancing any particular national agenda. Instead it derives its funding from a series of crucial patents and by farming out its technical expertise to certain well-placed government agencies.
To the general populace, the Institute appears to be nothing more than a private, independent “think-tank” devoted to developing alternative, non-polluting energy sources and other new technologies to benefit humanity. A public website proclaims the Institute’s mission as “Improving the Human Condition.”
The Hoffmann Institute was bankrolled by former German diplomat Thomas Hoffmann in 1917. Although the Institute doesn’t appear to make a profit, its modern sources of funding elicit much speculation. In fact, the UN and certain departments within the U.S. government may foot part of the bill for the Institute’s operations. Officially, since the Hoffmann Institute is not a government agency it has no legal authority whatsoever, and in cases where its members have run afoul of the law it relies exclusively on the law firm of Marshall, Wickham, and Vanderdossen to defend, advise, and lobby for them.
After Hoffmann’s death in the 1970s, Dr. Itohiro Nakami, Director of the Institute and Hoffmann’s former associate, used the Institute’s mandate of investigating alternative energy sources to conceal a secret agenda – saving humanity from what Institute insiders call the Dark Tide, the steadily rising level of dark matter in the galaxy. The presence of dark matter “feeds” certain fortean phenomena and entities. Since such entities have traditionally used their abilities to menace humanity, it follows that this period will pose the worse threat to human survival since the last ice age. Dr. Nakami believes that if humans aren’t ready, they won’t survive.
The Hoffman Institutes first and most important goal is the suppression and control of alien organisms, and the discovery of alien technology, arcana, and mindwalking abilities before this information reaches the public. On the one hand this strategy allows the Institute to broaden its own knowledge of the threats that humanity faces. On the it permits the Institute to keep one step ahead of other groups that would use the information for less benign purposes.
If necessary, Institute researchers are expected to destroy such evidence to prevent it from falling into the hands of rival organisations. Under no circumstances may the materials be released to public groups; they must always be turned over to the Archives.
The Institute has no wish to draw attention to itself, as its sometimes fringe researches could easily become a scapegoat for human fears, government investigation, and public outcry. As a result it keeps it activities quiet.