Cry Wolf: a HERO Television Special
Disinfestation Annihilation Unit
THE DISINFESTATION ANNIHILATION UNIT
“Here’s one good example of ‘irony’. The people at Saffron can be compared to those traditional super-powered blokes living dual lives. In their normal alter egos, they’re just a bunch of professionals making a living for some pharmaceutical company, but once that ‘other’ branch calls them, the fancy work clothes come off and the biohazard gear comes on and then shit hits the fan. Perhaps that’s what makes them scary. It’s like the gasmasks they wear are their TRUE faces and everything else is just a disguise!”
- The last entry on a former Saffron employee’s (now deleted) blog before his sudden “promotion”
The Exterminators of SHADOW
SHADOW Company boasts a wide variety of professionals (engineers, scientists, soldiers, etc.) being a semi-independent business entity working as part of a larger corporation. In many cases, selected employees (those sworn to secrecy) are rotated between the SSF and SHADOW to further their training and experience. As a PMC, its most valuable asset is the army of motivated contractors that it may send to any corner of the globe to do Foxglove’s bidding. This army of vapour-masked and biohazard-ready field operatives of SHADOW go by the acronym D.A.U. which stands for Disinfestation Annihilation Unit.
The armed contractors of the DAU are known as Disinfestors though they are also uncommonly (and derogatively) referred to as Exterminators. Although their tasks include search and rescue and the protection of non-combat personnel, they are commonly used to procure specimens and technology (usually alien in origin) for Saffron’s scientific study and for possible reverse engineering. These dubious tests include the conception of genetically-engineered monstrosities which are deliberately released into the world and then hunted down by Disinfestors, so that SHADOW may test the combat aptitudes and marketability of both their mercenaries AND the results of their experiments. Hence, being the “military” of SHADOW, they are also its clean-up crew, covering up, recovering or destroying all traces of physical evidence and eliminating potential witnesses to any wrongdoings by the Company. In fact, a number of incidents involving towns wiped off the map were the handiwork of the DAU.
It was the concept of the DAU that also laid the foundations for the kill team project that created the empowered commando squad known as the Edelweiss.
When Foxglove gained complete control over the Saffron Corporation, one of the significant changes she implemented was the re-organization of Saffron’s then small private military group. This led to the formation of the present Saffron Security Force, and yet even then the CEO was unsatisfied with the unit’s role and abilities. Kimberly Anne Foxglove eventually decided that in order to stay ahead of her competitors and keep her cash flowing into the Company’s coffers, then a more underground unit was needed to perform the most unsavoury of tasks and bypass international laws. Whatever the SSF could not fulfil within all the accepted jurisdictions, SHADOW would move then in to complete the job even if it meant using the most violent means available.
The DAU itself was originally intended to appear like any black ops outfit until Foxglove recruits Nightshade into SHADOW. Kimberly Anne admitted that the concept of the Disinfestors was inspired by Marzanna Kriegvogel’s written experiences particularly her time served with the Sisterhood of the Dark Rapture and much later in the German Imperial Army’s Obskura Korps during the Great War as well as the Waffen SS Paranormale Division in the Second World War. The picture of heavily-armed, well-protected, and exceptionally well-trained and strong-willed troops that could operate in chemically-despoiled battlefields while battling both human opponents and alien abominations enthralled Foxglove. She later adopted and improved on the idea and the “exterminators”, the dark-clad hazmat soldiers of SHADOW were born.
Through the years, the DAU has battled a host of enemies including Starspawn minions, rival PMCs, agents of both Hydra and SHIELD, and the occasional costumed superhero. While their missions are not always successful and having suffered a string of defeats and losses, not only against alien-related opponents, but against the superhuman community, the Disinfestation Annihilation Unit along with its mother company SHADOW, always rises from the darkness to fight again.
The official figures as to the number of Disinfestors and support personnel in the DAU remains unknown though it maintains the same table of organization and equipment as other PMCs, making use of NATO command structures, phonetic alphabets for communication and designation, as well as a complement of the best weapons, miscellaneous equipment and vehicles that money could buy.
Due to the extremely hazardous nature of their missions, the casualty level in the DAU is much higher than any sub-unit of SHADOW with a known ratio of seven out of ten Disinfestors being labelled as killed, wounded or missing in action. As a result of such attrition, the DAU tends to recruit its fighting force from a mixed bunch of former professional soldiers, freelance mercenaries, convicted criminals, psychopaths and other expendables of various nationalities. This has led to many employees within SHADOW to be highly suspicious of their own field operatives and thinking that they have a dreadfully low standard of training. While in truth, the selection process of the DAU is at par with the Special Forces training programs of standard military forces, the concept of the Disinfestors being a modern day death squad is closer to the truth than most realize.
The DAU draws its arsenal and fleet of vehicles mostly from the same stocks as the Saffron Security Force, weapons and gear exclusively designed by SHADOW, as well as whatever may be purchased from the ever expanding Black Market. (See SHADOW Company Armory)
With the obvious difficulty of using verbal communication while wearing gasmasks, as well as following the example set by Nightshade, each fully-protected Disinfestor is equipped with an encrypted personal communications system that allows them to send and receive messages clearly and without the danger of using compromised radio frequencies.