The Black Mass Assassination Squad is a splinter cell of the radical Order of Magdala.
The Black Mass Assassination Squad is a kunoichi style cell of assassins. The cell exists to serve the 'Black Mary.' The Black Mary is a cipher who indicates the targets of the squad, be they victims to be killed, persons of interest to be shadowed, or hostages to be abducted.
Assassination - employing the skills of the kunoichi, the Black Mass Assassination Sqaud will employ ninja tactics to get close to a target and to terminate them. They will adopt disguises, appear as the most menial of servants, beggars, or even children. When the time to kill comes, the squad will employ non-powered melee weapons, martial arts, and the use of non-conventional weaponry and asymmetrical warfare. The Squad isn't flashy on these missions and will favor a few drops of poison over high explosives, and a kitchen knife over a katana.
Surveillance - using the same disguise, misdirection, and related kunoichi tactics, the Squad will follow a person or a specific location to gather as much information as possible. In this role, the Squad functions as a Shadowrunner team with a penchant for black outfits.
Rendition - if a government abducts a person, its not called abduction or kidnapping, its called rendition. The Black Mass Assassination Squad is adept at abducting people, holding them, interrogating them, even going so far as impersonating them as needed.
The Canoness - the leader of the Black Mass Assassination Squad holds the title of Canoness, and has the ability to issue orders to any member of the squad or extant members of the order. Becoming a canoness requires exceptional skill, usually parapsychic manifestation, and perhaps the most difficult and important, recognition and patronage among the the leaders of the Neo-Catholic Church.
Soros - also known as the Sisters, these are the rank and file squad members, and have made a name for themselves with their skill and their devotion to the Neo-Catholic Church. An Assassination Squad will have 3-5 Sisters to support the Canoness leader.
Extants - non-initiates, the Extants are religiously devoted women who have not undergone the vows to God and the Church. They are the people who make the order run, from things as mundane as housekeeping, to as vital as healthcare, to as cutting edge as developing weapons and gear for their Sisters.
The Black Mass Assassination Squads were created by a historical Abbess Carla Sanborne. Sanborne hailed from the Coalition nation of Cascadia. Sanborne was a collector of antiquities for the Neo-Catholic Church and headed the Seattle-Tacoma convent. The facility was used as a 'Vault of Inequity' for holding cursed or questionable objects. The Convent also handled children and women who had manifested parapsychic abilities.
Sanborne herself manifested parapsychic abilities due to her exposure to contaminated artifacts. The Neo-Catholic church strongly believed that parapsychic manifestation was nothing less than a divine gift, and that this gift should be used for the glory of God. The challenge was that finding Good Works for emotionally traumatized teens with abilities like telekinesis or animating objects was less than easy. For every child with biokinesis and the ability to heal, there were dozens of other more destructive adepts.
There is more than one Black Mass Assassination Squad. Much like the US Seal teams, the church has identified the Squads, but none are numbered, as this would reveal the potential number of squads in existence. Instead of numbers, each Black Mass Squad has an identifier, being one of the 72 seals from the Lesser Key of Solomon.
How Many Squads are there?
There is not a concrete answer, but there are three potential ways to handle this: 1, a few, and 72.
1. There is only ONE Black Mass Assassination Squad, and as such its members are all Plus Ultra parapsychics with phenomenal devotion to God and the Neo-Catholic Church. In this instance, the Squad would have sufficient power to do things like stop an entire military division, fight mecha one on one, and stand up to cosmic horrors on their own. This is a very high power option.
A Few. There are maybe a dozen or so Assassination Squads, and they operate as a clandestine force for the Neo-Catholic church, a sort of highly dangerous and super sexy version of the FBI or CIA. A few squads are dedicated to actual assassination, but the majority are keyed for other tasks such as cybersecurity, data theft, espionage, and other intelligence operations.
72. There are 72 Squads, each aligned with one of the Lesser Keys of Solomon, and as such, they exist as part of a eschatological prophecy, and there is something along the lines of a virgin assassination squad being required to smite the Antichrist, or to bring about the Apocalypse, or to slaughter demons...
Underskirt - functionally a skin tight encounter suit with a zirconite coating. This garment resembles normal encounter suits, but it is completely unadorned and has no decoration, but the zirconite coating gives it a high gloss appearance. To those of a fetishistic persuasion, the material resembles a bondage grade latex bodysuit. This garment is normally worn under any other clothing or costume as needed, though not all of the time.
Tunic - the organization term for their mundane costume is the Tunic. Tunics are mundane clothing and disguises.
Crux Gemmata - a reliquary, the crux gemmate is a jeweled cross. Superficially it is an ornate crucifix, always adorned with jewels, and sometimes with engravings, or a facsimile of Christ on the Cross. This item, aside from being a serious religious relic, also is an arcanotech 'device'. The term is used loosely, as it functions as an array, with the individual stones being imbued with the parapsychic echoes of previous bearers of the crux gemmata. These are incredibly important to the organization, and they will kill without hesitation to recover them. Some are more than a thousand years old, and hold ancient glomes.
Ring of St. Yael - named after a woman who killed a general to help free the Israelites, the Ring of Saint Yael is a biotelemetric device that only identifies to wearer to someone who knows of the Black Mass Assassination Squads. This means high ranking members of the Neo-Catholic church, fellow assassins, and such.
Rosary - the Rosary is carried by each soros, and serves two purposes. The first and obvious purpose is that of a multi-tool. It can be used as any chain or metal whip would be, and can work as a garrote, and it is possible to replace a handful of the rosary beads with other 'items' such as explosive pellets, poison gas pellets, data capsules, drugs, and so forth. The other aspect is that the rosary is used as a tool during the training of a Black Mass assassin, and they find both comfort in it, and learn to deeply fear and respect it. Insolent and failing girls might be viciously whipped with a rosary, or be forced to flagellate themselves while recounting their failures.
The Luminous Mystery is a very specific Rosary and is functionally an emote cube without the Rubik's Cube interface. Rather than the typical emotional evocation, the Luminous Mystery is designed to walk a path of five specific emotional responses, geared to turn even the most reticent trainee into a deeply devoted member of the Black Mass. The Five Luminous Mysteries include: The Baptism - a period of mental restoration and a balancing of mental activities to induce a peaceful and recovering emotional state, The Wedding - the acceptance and the manifestation of Faith in something outside the self, The Proclamation - the call to trust in God and Jesus, The Transfiguration - manifesting a strong desire for holiness, or to become holy, and The Eucharist - adoration. The Luminous Mystery is quite good at turning devoted into fanatics, and skeptics into adherents. It is totally a primitive form of psychotronic intimation.
Weaponry - The Black Mass love their weapons, and there aren't any weapons they love more than knives and SMGs. Knives are up close and messy, and something completely unexpected in the CE, especially not in the context of a band of exclusively female kunoichi style demi-Catholic assassins. Submachine Guns are small and compact, and often easy to disassemble and hide through a woman's personal kit. In quick order, these weapons can be quickly assembled to deliver high volumes of firepower. When not working in an undercover operation, a soros could carry as many as 6 SMGs, a sword, and a dozen knives of different sizes and shapes. A mech is completely helpless is the pilot caught a throwing knife in the neck halfway up the ladder to the cockpit.
A pair of gloss black boots