Department H - Phase 1

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Organization: Department H
Depth.jpg
First Seen: May 2003


Department H is Canada’s lead organization in research, experimentation and development of esoteric and unconventional technologies. Almost all of the country’s mutant related programs are attached to the department in one way or another.

Roster

  • The Hon. Robert Gordon MacDonald - Under Minister of Defense (Special Projects). The formal government head of Department H, and the direct representative in the Canadian Parliament.
  • Director Malcolm Colcord – Director and operational head of Department H itself.
  • Heather Hudson – Operations Director: Alpha Flight and official departmental liaison.

Details

Department H was formed to replace the war time Burroughs Commission. It was designed to be a central agency in the Department of National Defense to organize and coordinate government research and development into unorthodox areas, like psychic phenomenon, bio and cyber technology, mutant abilities, and other esoteric areas. The Department remained a small, minor area of the government until the early 80s. It was during that time that two major incidents changed it. The first was the appointment of Malcolm Coleman to the post of Director. The second was the first influx of mutation to government studies, proving that the rate of mutation was started to increase.

The Director pushed for involvement in a much wider range of involvement, including the Weapon X program, and other initiatives with different NATO governments. When the Soviet Union broke up in ‘89, the Director arranged for several scientists involved in now defunct programs to secretly immigrate to Canada and continue their work. In the early nineties, a brilliant inventor named James MacDonald Hudson joined the department, and quickly established himself as a force in the agency. The Director wasn’t happy with this, and moved to slowly undermine Hudson. Eventually, Hudson’s proposal for an Alpha Flight program was approved and formed.

Hudson’s Flight series of programs was based around the new mutant testing procedures out of Johns Hopkins. The Canadian government installed mutant testing as part of the universal health care system across the country, and mutants who manifested were required to report to the Gamma Flight program. Gamma is a training program, designed to assess mutant abilities and provide training to a point that the mutation does not present a danger to people around them. Considering that most powers are minor, like the power to change hair colour at will or duplicate scents, the training program is often less than four weeks. Gamma is mandatory for Canadian mutants, and is normally done in conjunction with their schooling.

Beta Flight level is the next step. Mutants who have powerful mutations, or complex control issues are offered a position in the Beta level of the program. Beta is not just about control, but also application. Beta members receive compensation for their training time, and in return, they are asked to remain ‘on call’ for their mutations when needed. For the most part, it’s similar to a reservist in the Canadian military. Beta Flight graduates are only called in for extreme conditions, mostly dealing with natural disasters to date. Beta graduates are never called up for military operations.

Alpha Flight was designed to be the final level; a mutant response team to handle mutant threats and disasters inside of Canada. Unfortunately for Mac, the independence of the team pushed the Director to advocate the disbanding of the original team. However, in light of the San Diego disaster, political pressure has caused them to revisit the idea of Alpha Flight. The Director is focused on building a team without the independent streak Hudson’s team presented. As part of the initiative, Minister MacDonald has pushed for sending a Beta Flight graduate to study with the X-Men as a liaison. The goal is within 36 months to have three established Alpha Flight teams; one designed for disaster relief assigned to the government, one designed for direct mutant threat response assigned to the Canadian military, and one tasked for law enforcement assistance linked with the RCMP.

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