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No. 3508
Because she is so often ignored on this chan.

Saturday, April 4, 1968

Behind the Microphone: An analysis of The Announcer

By Patrick Allard

To many people, she is an enigma. Her armies appear in deserts, in industrial zones, and around military facilities, engaging in bloody internecine fighting and destruction before disappearing. It is rumored among the populaces of the earth that she is most powerful person on the planet. Heads of States fear her cunning, military generals admiring her technical capabilities, and amongst her own camp, the Technocrats, she is proselytized. Although the extent of her powers remain opaque, it is certain that this woman wields an unparalleled amount of power in the current events of the world. Coups, rebellions, and wars in many third-world nations as well as first and second world ones can be traced to her proxies and bureaucratic channels. She keeps a low profile, rarely making public appearances and often communicating only through telegrams and intercom announcements in her bases of operations. Staying as an investigative journalists in one of these bases, a military complex in the midst of the Nevada Desert called 2fort, I was privy to many of these announcements. Her authoritative inflexions, command and succinctness of language, and assiduous style of talking have earned her a colloquial name among her soldiers. To them, she is The Announcer.

The Announcer is the founder and commander of the two largest military contractors in the world: Builder’s League United and Reliable Excavation Demolition, also known as BLU and RED. She has supreme authority over both organizations, which in turn are often considered by political analysts to have full autonomy from the nations of the world. In fact, calling these contractors sovereign is something of an understatement. Combined, the forces of RED and BLU exceed those of both the United States and the Soviet Union, in both Nuclear Capability and military might. Both control innumerable installations worldwide, from the gelid taigas of Siberia to the deserts of the Southwest United States, and in countless, albeit clandestine, locations worldwide. RED and BLU, however, are far from synchronized companies. Despite being run by the same person and Technocrat coalitions, these two mercenary groups are not allies. If anything, they are inimical. The Announcer is unscrupulous in her business investments, and sells the services of her respective companies to different, opposing sides of international conflicts. Her companies, in the true mercenary sense, lack any sense of allegiance, even to each other, and most often engage in direct combat with each other, rather than outside forces. While BLU has been known to side with NATO and its allies and RED with the Socialist-Communist forces, their relationship is fluid and dynamic, with no actual allegiances being made with either bloc. It is a rather bold sweep of genius on the part of the Announcer, for no matter what side wins a conflict, she gains huge revenue from all its belligerents. Like the villain of a James Bond novel, she sits in the shadows, collecting money and power in ways most people would consider downright slimy.

But unlike James Bond villains, The Announcer is not plagued by any amount of megalomania or psychosis. In fact, she is nothing but pragmatic. And while I cannot personally attest to this, having been unable to meet her for interview, her history can. While much of the Announcer’s personal whereabouts and history lie in muddled rumors and obscurity past her founding of RED and BLU, I was able to investigate her earlier life quite easily. The woman known as The Announcer was born in 1909 as Ursula Fabrietti, in Sicily, the daughter of an Italian lieutenant and count and a Libyan courtesan. Her mixed heritage won her the ire of her classmates as a child and undermined her brilliance in the eyes of her teachers, which led her father to pull her from public schooling in favor of private tutorship. Being a man of considerable wealth and prestige, he possessed a large country estate in Trapani, a place far removed from the otherwise impoverished peasantry of the largely agrarian south of the country. He possessed a large library, from which the precocious Ursula read voraciously, on subjects ranging from philosophy to history to mathematics and art. She was an innate genius, someone with cognitive abilities that overshadowed even the most intelligent adults around her. What most fascinated her were politics. Her interest in this subject grew tantamount with the volatility of Italian politics, and the March on Rome by the fascists of 1922 was an early and landmark influence on her political development. Her father soon became a patron and supporter of Mussolini and his government, and he in turn was rewarded with a lofty position in the Italian Military as a top bureaucrat and adviser. To Count Fabrietti, this secured his future and his daughter’s education, who was sent in 1926 attended the University of Turin. Having developed a position as a Corporatist and a Fascist, she became an ardent and vociferous debater on campus, often taking on Socialists and Communists before they were repressed by the government. She became disillusioned with fascism after this, and by 1930, when she graduated with dual degrees in Economics and Political Theory, she had privately shifted her allegiances to an American philosophy known as Technocracy. In a Technocratic system of government, the distinct fields of economic activity are directly controlled by their technicians, or the experts within that field. It seemed Ursula, after witnessing staggering incompetence in the Italian government and economy, came to view Italy as a failed state in its sociopolitical and economic endeavors, which was the subject of one of her earliest academic papers, “Concerning the State of Italy in the era of Corporatist Policy and Gentillian Fascism.” The paper, highly critical of Mussolini and the fascists, was never published.

Because of this, and other such repressions in her home country, Ms. Fabrietti traveled to France in 1932 to continue her studies, and from there, to the United States. In college, she had mastered a plethora of languages, from English to German to French and Arabic, and successfully eschewed her accent for a sharp, neutral tenor voice. She took up work as a radio host to fund her education, which was where she developed her curt yet efficient oratory skills she is so known for today. Working for a radio station in Massachusetts specializing in international news, she garnered a reputation among listeners as “The Announcer,” prescient of her eventual status as the world’s most powerful and influential woman. At Harvard, she absorbed the works of American philosophers and politicians from Thoreau to Roosevelt to James Dewey and Charles Sander Pierce, and redoubled her academic endeavors, working at prodigious pace in multiple fields. Rising above the latent sexism of the university, she became a model student, achieving perfect or near perfect scores in her many eclectic subjects. Those acquainted with her said that she was a vampire, never sleeping and constantly studying through every night and day. What she became most attracted to however, was socioeconomic theory, and the general discourse of political systems, which became the focus of her work. She earned three PHDs between 1936 and 1938 in Economics, Modern Philosophy, and History, as well as a Master‘s in Sociology and two bachelor’s in Geometry and Physical Chemistry. But it was her main aspiration, a PHD in political science, that eluded her. Her dissertation on the subject was a book length essay that critiqued modern conceptions of the state and society and constructed an entirely new theory of a modern nation, one that based its power in the economic fields of a region and the utility of the society thereof. In Fabrietti’s theoretical society, a geographic region’s sovereignty is dictated not by arbitrary nation borders and governmental ideologies, but instead in the resources endowed to the region, the citizenry themselves a part of this. Contrasting the United States, Japan, and the Soviet Union with weaker European and Asian nations of time, she concluded that this system of government was developing naturally in international politics, but believed its eventual fruition in the abolishment of arbitrary government to be stunted by the oppressiveness and ubiquity of said governments. When the workers, or, to say more precisely, the bureaucrats, of a region took control of their respective fields of work, as is expounded in Technocratic theory, they would disassemble the government and develop into separate quasi-nations, each one dedicated to their respective expertise. Food would be provided by one geographic sect of experts and workers, technology by another, and ideas by another, and trade of these products would be arbitrated \by a guild of trade specialists, themselves sovereign in their field. Individual transition between these separate nations-corporations would be fluid, and the citizen would be judged by their capability and utility to the geographic corporate-state they resided in, and deported or kept in said region depending on their utility. Particularly salient is her conception of the military, which she sees not as an independent force dedicating to spreading or defending political ideology, but simply another channel of economic activity, the only difference being the necessity of an opposing armed force to stimulate military activity. Seeing war as a necessary component of development in a Technocratic society, Fabrietti concluded that, in order to preserve peace and yet stimulate war, military forced would have to become detached from any form of ideology and fight arbitrarily, without purpose, in controlled environments between identical forces. This idea led to the eventual creation of her military companies, RED and BLU.

The essay, published in 1938, was decried in academic circles, who saw it as a volatile and radical synthesis of Communism and Capitalism that disregarded by then well-grounded liberal ideas of the sanctity of all men. By reducing them to resources, her critics in Harvard said, she had stripped them of their dignity, and was therefore no better the dictators flourishing overseas. She was denied her doctorate in Political Science, and soon after left the University. With her plethora of qualifications, finding work was not at all difficult, and in 1939, she was working as an economic analyst in several Wall Street Firms, as a visiting professor at New York University and Drexel University, and as a radio host for the show “Howdy America!” Living ascetically in a New York suburb, Ursula accumulated a considerable amount of money and continue developing for political theories, which appeared in essay in several New York magazines and in her second book, A Society of Genius. This book, two, received generally dismissive reviews. While living in New York, Fabrietti cultivated many important friendships, including with famous entrepreneur John Abbot and retired four star General Phillip Blake, both of whom would become indispensable allies in her eventual company. Although Ursula was reviled by most academia, she gained a strong cult following of like minded technocrats and scientists, who together formed an organization in 1942, aptly called The Technocrats. They were mostly upper class professionals who wished for greater autonomy in their fields, and with their combined wealth, the group was able to purchase an office in Manhattan from which they developed both theoretical and practical aspects of their socioeconomic ideas. In 1943, Ursula’s father, who she had not seen in a decade, was killed in the Allied invasion of Sicily, and from him she inherited a huge sum, equivalent today to one million dollars. Ursula saw in the war a confirmation of her early ideas of her home country, as well as an opportunity to put her own ideas to practice. She continued to produce political essays in treatises, as well as several lay works and a novel to explain her ideas to the common people. The novel, titled The Downfall, illustrated a society controlled by incompetent politicians who instated ridiculous laws and bureaucracy on the people, and the experts and professionals who rebelled against them. Published in 1944, the book has been compared to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged in its message and style, but where Rand is shrill and impractical, Fabrietti is nothing if not pragmatic. She deftly illustrates the frustrations of the subjugated man, the man subject to unfair laws and dehumanizing governmental practices, and gently offers an alternative, where a society cherishes their talent and fosters their goals, one where there work will be used for the good of many, rather than the good of few. It was a commercial and critical success, and sold 450,000 copies within two years, supplementing Ursula’s already considerable fortune. By 1946, The Technocrats were gaining momentum as both a movement and a political lobby. They had several offices now, a radio show (hosted, naturally, by Ursula), and a growing following around the country. Many in the organization saw the time as ripe to attempt their ideas, through legislation or revolution. And while Ursula, to some extent, agreed with them, by that time her prodigious mind was moving on to bigger things.

She liquidated The Technocrats in 1946, and in its place established a corporation with her private funds, then called Purple Multinational. As the world wound down from the adrenaline and terror of World War II, Purple Multinational purchased by then defunct weapons facilities in Germany, the USSR, Australia, and the United States, her many connections in international bureaucracies helping her avoid legal entanglements. She spent the year of 1947 directing the repair of these facilities and their restorations to weapons production, spending copious amounts of money on equipment and experts in the field. This was easily her largest gamble, for were the company to fail, she would be bankrupt and ruined. The world, however, has always had necessity for weapons of destructions, and within a few years, her company thrived. She did not stay there for long, however, and handed the company off to a minor proselyte named Albert Duchamp before heading off into the world, a plan clearly in her mind. Records indicate that she departed the country in early 1948 with John Abbot and Phillip Blake, and traveled across the world in the following nine or so years, analyzing the political geography of the world and figuring out how and when she could bring her ideas to life. Back in America, she’d hired a group of private scientists supportive of her cause to begin study of military technology and research, particularly as to how they could create small, discrete military units capable of destruction, espionage, and other such activities. She traveled from France and Germany to Australia to the Soviet Union, coming in contact with mercenaries in these countries to recruit to her cause. By this time, she figured she needed to start with a military unit as the nucleus of her prospective society, for it was only through military service and function that she would be able to garner the wealth and power necessary to establish herself on an international scale. During this time, the HUAC attempted to keep track of her movements, but she would disappear from their radar for long periods of time, only to reemerge unexpectedly all the way across the world. Utilizing her own Economic prowess, she invested in the stock market back in the US and made extraordinary financial gains, placing her as one of the top 10 richest people in the world by 1957. Working clandestinely, and through numerous proxies, she began purchasing military facilities all across the world, often two in the same location. By 1959, the scientists she had hired had made a technological breakthrough, a synthetic chemical regenerative system that could produce full functioning human beings through permanent copies of their DNA, copies that would be identical to their originals in both memory and ability. The technology was colloquially called Respawn, and it would prove to be the final piece in Ursula Fabrietti’s plans. In 1961, after bringing all the mercenaries she had contacted together (seeing them all as paragons of their respective field, fitting in with her ideas) She had all of them individually signed into contract and made copies of them using Respawn technology. The original nine men, who I have been acquainted with here in 2fort, each occupy a name befitting of their line of work, I.E, Medic, Spy, Sniper, etc. These men were separated into two distinct military entities Ursula established in 1961, with the help of General Blake, known as BLU and RED. By this time, Purple Multinational, which became the parent company of RED and BLU, had become on the five largest corporations in the world, making unprecedented amounts of money in its arms dealings. She divided the bases she had purchased into separate team holdings, and made the teams appear to be rival mercenary companies, so that they would be purchased to fight against one another. And with the special technologies Ursula’s scientists had designed, they became an ultimate, and perfectly matched, pair of fighting forces, in high demand by the Superpowers and military organizations of the world. And that brings the past to the present. Today, we see unsettling specters of Fabrietti’s-or should I say, The Announcer’s, since we know longer know Ursula Fabrietti as the academic she once was-vision of a world utterly dominated by its industry. RED and BLU have put entire governments into debt, and several smaller countries, unable to cope with such pressures, have collapsed entirely. In Africa and South America, as well as Eastern Europe, this can be witnessed. And with no ramparts holding them back, The Announcer’s radical brand of Technocracy has taken root in these countries, which are both backed and contested by RED and BLU. And these military companies, shown to be more efficient than any of the world’s militaries, have in seven years come to dominate contemporary politics, to the point where their influence of RED and BLU weigh more salient than the concerns of the actual people.

And thus, it seems, we see the Announcer’s visions coming to fruition. She had played the world like a fiddle, using her companies’ battles as a brilliant distraction and a way to take hold in the very politics she wishes to abolish. She observes her forces brilliantly, talking to them and of their struggles as if they matter, as if her mercenaries' perpetual fighting actually concerns her. And in a way, their pointless fighting does. Even if nothing changes for her, every fight, every action, is a calculated step towards her eventual dream of a complete manifestation of bureaucracy. She fabricates disputes, using them as excuses to sap resources and wealth from the world surrounding the fighting, until RED and BLU are a parasite, absorbing the will and wealth of the world, until they are inextricable. Are we to allow this? With this article, I hope I can expose the truth of the world around us today, and of the mysterious Announcer who seems to narrate all of its troubles. And hopefully, if we are to band together in opposition to her ideas and her armies, we can be the Announcers, not the audiences, of our own destinies.
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>> No. 3510
I have to say, I am very impressed by this. This is incredibly well thought out and intricate, and even entirely plausible within the TF2 universe. I can't really find any faults in it, really, although I have to admit I imagined the Announcer as being British, but that's hardly a valid complaint. I am floored.

I'm also kicking myself, because I had an idea for doing something similar to this and have it be related to Respawn of the Dead, and I hadn't planned on writing anything like it for a while, if at all, and the approach would have been a lot more... /gonzo/. You pretty much managed to blow any ideas I had completely out of the water.

I really hope there is going to be more. I almost didn't read it because I kind of have a headache right now and there's WALLS OF TEXT, but I'm glad I did.
>> No. 3518
Jesus hell this right here is a thing of beauty. You've taken someone who is nothing more than a voice from the speakers and made her ...human. Believeable. I want this Announcer to be the Announcer.
>> No. 3522
oh my god yes

hnnnng i love you, kind sir
>> No. 3527
Thanks for all the praise, and sorry for beating you to the punch. I'm not sure how I could extend this story in particular, but I think I might do biographies of the other characters like this, or write about how each of the team members was recruited. That'd be fun :]

3I don't. If this was the announcer, then what would be the point of fighting in the game? It'd feel so utterly futile...glad you liked it though

4hnnnng, love you too
>> No. 3529
This is absolutely amazing, but there are a few mistakes here and there,
who was sent in 1926 attended the University of Turinfor example. Do you have someone who reads and edits your work beforehand? They all seem to be small errors that can be easily corrected by having a beta.
>> No. 3571

I tried, but the person who said they'd beta for me didn't get it back to me for about a week. I got impatient, and just looked it over it myself before posting it. Bad idea, maybe? Anyway, thanks :]
>> No. 3581
I might do biographies of the other characters like this, or write about how each of the team members was recruitedI would love to see this from you = )

I think I stated the fact that this was- to use my stupid highschool slang- "legit" about five times while reading it. It's so thorough and well thought out that I may never see the Announcer as anything but a brilliant, if slightly inhumane, politician.
Looking forward to anything else you might post here.

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