IOAs (Items, Objects and Artifacts), also known as Inanimate Entities, are notoriously the easiest neutralised of all threats, the majority being non-sentient, non-adaptive and non-responsive to outside stimuli. Most do not present an immediate threat, and those that do often yield a low difficulty of liquidation.
There are four categories of IOA, each of which is assigned a specific field reference name:
Designation A – Atypical Artifacts (Field Reference: “Mortars”)
Most IOAs fall under this type. Atypical Artifacts are any otherwise normal objects, designed by humans or similar to existing objects designed by humans, which have gained paranormal properties of some description. These can include:
- Entities demonstrating characteristics which, while otherwise shown by normal objects, are impossible or improbable for the object to possess, such as a light-bulb capable of organic regeneration, an artificial tree functioning as an assault rifle, etc.
- Entities demonstrating generally implausible characteristics, such as the ability to defy conservation of energy, the capacity to transport matter without intermediary physical displacement, etc.
An actively malicious Designation A is to be declared Response Level 2-5, and liquidated through methods conventional to the Artifact. If said methods prove unsuccessful, the Artifact is to be reclassified as an Unusual Object and an appropriate Kill Method is to be found. Benign or actively beneficial Artifacts may be assigned Response Level 0-2, and (if apt) recycled for the purposes of furthering the Fifth Mission (Education) as an NTE.
Designation B – Unusual Objects (Field Reference: “Oddities“)
Any object which, while similar to known non-anomalous analogues, have a physical form sufficiently unique and distinct are declared a Designation-B IOA. This distinction does not necessarily have to be supernormal. Known examples have included, among other forms:
- Devices which display a discernible intended purpose and consistent function, but deviate significantly from the structure of known devices typically designed to accomplish this; e.g., an amorphous mass of unidentified substances which functions as a key.
- Heavily modified Designation As.
- Artifacts which display properties notably different from their predicted attributes, and have as such been reclassed.
When dealing with Unusual Objects, an effective Kill Method must be determined either through standard testing or analysis of discernible qualities. Once the specific nature of a Designation B is accounted for, they may be dealt with in the same method as a Designation-A.
Designation C – Alien Items (Field Reference: “Blips“)
Designation-C IOAs consist of objects with an unpredictable or a previously unencountered quality (note that those objects displaying only these qualities are classified Designation-D). Known instances of Alien Items have included:
- Entities with improbable structures, such as non-Euclidean or trans-dimensional geometry.
- Entities of an unprecedented structure which successfully function on a principle inconsistent with accepted laws of physics.
- Items reflecting a previously unknown colour despite being composed of a known and identified material which does not normally have this colouration.
Alien Items present a Mono-Enigma scenario, although the nature of their specific characteristic may vary. If this attribute can be reliably ascertained and understood to a substantial degree, the Item may be handled in the same way as a Designation-B IOA. Otherwise, Designation-Cs are treated with Response Level 2-5, and are to be liquidated through standard means.
Designation D – Unprecedented Non-Animisms (Field Reference: “Vague-ies”)
"Unprecedented Non-Animism" collectively refers to any non-living or principally non-living thing displaying no perceptible characteristics which would allow useful prediction of its behaviour. Notable cases of Designation-Ds have included:
- Entities which long-term data or memory cannot be stored about, or which cannot be reliably observed.
- Entities with perception-affecting memetic qualities.
- Materials consisting of a non-terrestrial substance.
As they present an Omni-Enigma Scenario, Designation-D IOAs are invariably treated under Response Level 2-5 depending on activity, with particularly prevalent but non-malicious specimens being assigned Level 3. Fifth Mission (Education) related goals are waived except in the case of the Protocol Viola being applicable.