S.H.I.E.L.D. is a U.N. intelligence agency that specializes in existential threats to human civilization from any source. Theoreticallly. While this mandate is rather broad and far-reaching, they were formed out of the bones of the Strategic Science Reserve, in response to the Liberty Island terrorist attack by the Brotherhood and have in practice spent a lot of their energy focused on surveillance and suppression of superhuman -- most commonly, mutant -- threats.
S.H.I.E.L.D. is a specialized agency of the U.N. It operates under the oversight of the World Security Council, which came together in 2015 following Magneto's attack at Liberty Island.
Day to day, they function as many highly bureaucratized agencies do. For every bit of flashy and exciting field work there is an enormity of paperwork, red tape, a whole cadre of supporting office staff keeping things functioning. Currently, the vast bulk of their day to day operations are simply surveillance and data collection/analysation. It's not always glamorous.
S.H.I.E.L.D. is headquartered in Times Square. One of many skyscrapers downtown, S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ could be mistaken for any government or corporate offices, although its security is quite high tech.
Their initial hiring run was primarily nepotistic, people suggesting those in their circles who they thought would be good for the job. Now for the most part they hire like any other agency; put out ads, screen, train. There is still the occasional nepotistic recruitment, usually outside consultants brought on for specific projects. Almost all new S.H.I.E.L.D. recruits will be put through one of their three training programs before they can work with S.H.I.E.L.D.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Communications takes in and graduates by far the most agents of any of their programs. Recruits learn data analysis/surveillance skills in this program.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Science & Tech trains agents for S.H.I.E.L.D.'s science / research department. Recruits will not be admitted here without already holding at least one Ph.D.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Operations trains field agents and specialists, and has the highest dropout rate of any of their programs.
Current PCs in S.H.I.E.L.D. are:
Prominent NPCs currently working at S.H.I.E.L.D. are:
- Nick Fury - Current director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Phil Coulson - Fury's right hand
- Melinda May - Field agent
- Jemma Simmons - Biochemist; works in Sci-Tech division
- Leo Fitz - Engineer; works in Sci-Tech division
- Grant Ward - Field Agent