Many details of DSA operations are classified to protect national security and/or DSA personnel. For information on closed DSA cases that have been declassified, please refer to the Casefiles section, below. However, the following information on current and ongoing operations is available at this time.
The Agency uses the Operational Level scale to define the current operating conditions of an agent. Operational Level is a rough indicator of the current hazards the agent is under (of which the Agency is aware, anyway), as well as the degree of logistical support he has and the amount of discretion he has in interpreting his orders. Every Special Agent is always at one of the following Operational Levels, which replace the standard Mission Codes in Spycraft:
The agent is off active duty. No DSA resources except non-secure communications are available for his use, but he is unavailable for orders except in the event of a dire emergency. This category is a catch-all for agents who are on vacation, hospitalized or on medical leave, on suspension or mandatory leave after an incident, undergoing medical or psychiatric evaluation, or jailed or imprisoned for crimes in which DSA is disinclined to intervene.
The agent does not have a field assignment. He is on desk duty and expected to maintain normal office hours as determined by his field office's policies and duty schedule. He has access to his standard personal equipment (personal budget and signature items), but may not requisition additional gear or resources without authorization from his Site Director.
The agent has a field assignment that is believed to have zero to minimal threat potential. This usually includes research assignments or the preliminary stages of non-criminal investigations, as well as standard duty assignments to the Las Vegas field office, AMTReL, Xenopath, or TRC. The agent has significant leeway in his schedule and itinerary as long as he fulfils his assignments in a timely and professional manner. He has access to his standard personal equipment and an unmodified Agency vehicle (usually a miDir-size or sedan), and may requisition additional gear or resources that are appropriate to his current assignment (mission bonus: 5 BP, 0 GP).
The agent has a field assignment that is believed to have a risk level equivalent to that of standard police patrol duty. This includes criminal investigations where there is a low degree of supernatural involvement, or research assignments in high-crime or exceptionally insular areas. An agent is also placed on Operational Level Three if he has standard duty at APRF proper, a high-risk assignment at AMTReL, Xenopath, or TRC, or desk duty at the Las Vegas field office during an alert period. The agent has access to his standard personal equipment and an unmodified Agency vehicle, and may requisition additional gear or resources that are appropriate to his current assignment (mission bonus: 15 BP, 2 GP).
The agent's current assignment carries a significant risk of supernatural exposure, violent confrontation, or hazardous environments or substances (note that this includes standard duty at several of the DSA's research facilities). The agent is authorized to use lethal force in self-defense without following normal procedures for escalation of force. He has access to his standard personal equipment, but may not use a "government motor pool" Agency vehicle for reasons of liability and plausible deniability. He may requisition additional gear or resources that are appropriate to his current assignment (mission bonus: 25 BP, 4 GP).
The possibility of violent confrontation or life-threatening supernatural or environmental hazards approaches certainty at Operational Level Five. The agent is authorized to use lethal force without warning if he deems such action necessary to preserve human life or national security. He has access to his standard personal equipment, as well as significant latitude in requisitioning additional gear or resources (mission bonus: 40 BP, 6 GP).
Operational Level Six is only used in circumstances where the fate of the nation or the planet literally depends on the agent's actions. At Operational Level Six, the agent's actions fall under Presidential Special Order 1952-508, which allows him to violate the Constitution in the pursuit of his duties without fear of sanction. Few agents ever operate at Level Six, and only a bare handful more than once. Records show that "going to Six" (also referred to as "going to Eleven") has a 40% mortality rate for DSA Special Agents, rising to 98% for civilians who are directly involved in such an operation. Under Operational Level Six, the agent has access to his standard personal equipment and the full available technical reserves of the Agency (mission bonus: 60 BP, 10 GP).
Operational Level Seven does not officially exist - it is part of Agency folklore. The following are the most common rumors about Level Seven:
- It is the assignment code for off-planet or extradimensional operations.
- It allows the agent to release nuclear weapons or other WMD without Presidential authorization.
- It is the Operational Level designation for a rogue agent whose termination the Agency is actively seeking.
- It is the Agency-wide code for a scorched earth defense of the planet in the event of a large-scale paranormal or extraterrestrial invasion.