MI13 - Intelligence and Wisdom
In 1963, with superhuman activity on the rise around the world, the United Nations established a commission, the Tribunal on International Law, to study the subject.
After extensive discussion and study, the Tribunal concluded that the menace of supercrime was a global, rather than regional or national, one. Not only did many supervillains move from country to country and continent to continent with ease, but more than a few superhuman threats involved attempts to conquer or destroy the entire world.
No one nation – not even the United States – had the resources and jurisdiction to cope with this worldwide problem.
The Tribunal had an idea for a solution… one so radical it caused a furor in the General Assembly and nearly led to the entire committee being disbanded. The Tribunal suggested that the U.N. itself should establish, maintain, and command a global police force for dealing with superhuman crime and related matters of global, regional, or even national security.
The proposed police force would have the right to enter the territory of any U.N. member nation who signed the treaty establishing it, but would have to receive permission from other nations to conduct operations on their soil. The agency would not employ superhumans for the most part, but would instead equip trained human agents with the latest in high-tech law enforcement gear, some specifically designed for combatting supervillains.
Disturbed both by the costs and the implications of this proposal, many member nations were initially skeptical. But the cogent and forceful arguments of the Tribunal’s members, including the famed soldier and diplomat Major Juan Martinez of Paraguay, gradually won the members over.
Many smaller nations realized this “police force” would provide them with a valuable service they otherwise could not afford, and larger nations realized their contribution to the agency’s costs would be less than the cost of establishing a similar organization of their own.
On November 27, 1965, a treaty (now called the “Tribunal Treaty”) was signed formally establishing the United Nations Tribunal on International Law – UNTIL. Not every member nation signed the treaty, though; notable exceptions were the United States, the Soviet Union, and the People’s Republic of China. Not having the U.S. on board was a particularly egregious blow, since the majority of the world’s superhuman activity occurred there, but the leaders of UNTIL – including its
Secretary-Marshall, Juan Martinez – had to work with what they were given.
Over the next 25 years, UNTIL established an enviable record for opposing superhuman crime and related threats. Its agents, recruited from all U.N. member nations, were dedicated, brave, and intelligent, and by working together so well represented the epitome of everything the U.N. stood for. UNTIL developed and refined its equipment, becoming one of the most technologically advanced organizations in the world. In 1980, with some help from the United States, UNTIL established its own Stronghold-like superprison, the International Superhuman Correctional Facility (ISCF, nicknamed “the Guardhouse”) on an isolated island in the North Atlantic.
“Major” Martinez retired in 1990, and was replaced as Secretary-Marshall by Wilhelm Carl Eckhardt of Germany. Eckhardt faced his first major crisis in 1992, when the infamous Dr Destroyer launched his latest scheme for world conquest in the United States. Still barred from operating in the United States without permission, UNTIL was unable to reach the scene of the conflict in Detroit with new equipment that probably could have stopped Destroyer, or at least protected much of the city.
When this fact became public knowledge in America, the resulting outcry finally forced the United States to sign the Tribunal Treaty and allow UNTIL to operate, unhindered, in American territory (Similarly, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, UNTIL gained the right to conduct operations in Russia, but it remains barred from China to this day.)
As of 2002, UNTIL is recognized around the world as one of Earth’s most powerful, competent and successful law enforcement organizations. Devoted exclusively to stopping superhuman and paranormal crime and related dangerous phenomena, it has saved millions (if not billions) of lives and helped keep the world safe for 47 years.
Since 1996, it has established the first truly permanent human presence in space, on its station GATEWAY, to remain alert for potential alien visitors or invasions. No one knows what the future holds for humanity, but whatever may come, UNTIL stands ready to protect the world.
Most UNTIL field squads include agents from more than one “branch” of UNTIL. The branches are defined by the type of environment the agent is specially trained to operate in, or the type of work he primarily does. Thus, UNTIL has Urban agents, Oceanic/Arctic agents, an Intelligence Corps, and so forth. Each squad contains what the commander feels is the right mix of agents to get the job done. UNTIL also has an official superteam, UNITY.