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About the FVZA

The Academy

By Hugo Pecos

In its early incarnation, the FVZA consisted of a ragtag troop of vagrants, soldiers of fortune and ex-convicts. But the growing vampire population necessitated a better-trained force, and so, in 1933, the FVZA Academy was established on Air Force property in the shadow of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Students were culled from the country's finest colleges and universities, as well as the four branches of the military, and had to pass a battery of physical and psychological tests to gain admission into the program.

An FVZA recruit in training
Upon arriving in Albuquerque, recruits were thrown into a six-week boot camp known as the "Baptism of Fire." The focus was on physical fitness, teamwork and intensive martial arts training. Drill sergeants were tough on the newcomers, and less than half of the recruits were around at the end.

Freshly "baptized" recruits then began intensive classroom study in vampiric science. In addition, martial arts and weapons training were stepped up. Recruits dubbed the Academy "Fang University," or "Fang U." for short; the nickname eventually came to adorn the hats and T-shirts recruits wore during training.

Planning an assault on "Fangtown"
Much of the final phase of training took place in "Fangtown," the Academy's mockup of a town—complete with abandoned buildings, a sewer system and a small town square. Each day, agents were briefed on a vampire sighting, then taken to the Fangtown to confront the problem. After interviewing witnesses (local actors), agents took appropriate actions. Other local actors were employed to act as vampires. The training culminated with night missions, in surroundings where the "vampires" had the upper hand.

After graduation, junior agents were sent out to FVZA offices around the country, where they spent their first two years working with the Investigations staff before moving on to the Advance and Assault teams.

FVZA agents had the most dangerous job in the world. In the years before the vaccine, an average of 50 agents were bitten by vampires each year. Those that were transformed into vampires were a particular problem, as they retained memories of their FVZA training and thus were one step ahead of agents in the field.

While FVZA agents were as busy as ever in the years following the vaccine, eventually, incidents of vampire attacks shrunk, and the Academy was no longer cost-effective to run. On June 24, 1960, the Academy was closed. Though there briefly was talk of renting the compound out as a movie set, eventually it was torn down and replaced with a golf course.

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