Unlimit3d 8 fluff
- 1 Foreword
- 2 Setting
- 3 Major Corporations and Organizations
- 4 Minor Corporations and Organizations
- 5 Marginal Corporations and Organizations
- 6 Technology
- This is a Squirmish papercraft game created by B&hammer40kun.
- Miniature templates have been created by James Bowen.
- Dark_Matter and Hats contributed to graphisms
- Dark_Matter, Indonesian Gentleman, SquashMonster and James Bowen contributed to fluff.
It is the fourth millennium, and the Earth is full. With humanity numbering over twenty billion, the planet can no longer sustain human civilization. For centuries man has been fleeing to space, hoping to find new life in asteroid mining colonies and solar farms . However, space travel was expensive, and no matter how much the world's governments dedicated themselves to offloading their surplus population, their efforts made no appreciable dent in Earth's massive overcrowding. That changed forty years ago with an event referred to as "The Encounter" - the discovery of a wrecked alien craft in the Oort cloud. One of the technologies reverse-engineered from the craft allowed for affordable, faster than light travel.
With this technology in hand, humanity's ability to take to the stars finally approached their desire to do so. Millions of Earth's citizens signed on to any contracts they could find that would get them into space. The promises of clean air, no matter how artificial, real food, and comparatively greater personal space were, for many, more than enough to accept spending the remainder of one's life performing dangerous, zero-gravity mining.
Now the Outer Frontier is being colonized rapidly by a group of corporations known as the Space Exploitation Assembly. These corporations compete with each other, often using covert violence and a thin layer of plausible deniability, for the precious materials of the solar system. However, an increasing number of their colonies are rebelling and forming their own independent governments. Amongst these rebellions it is often hard to tell the difference, if there is one, between the liberator, the terrorist, the savior, the pirate, and the lunatic - out here, far from the Earth's governments and any authority beyond a corporation's hired military, there might not be such a difference.
Major Corporations and Organizations
Space Exploitation Assembly
The space exploitation assembly is a group of corporations that rule over the solar system. As Earth governments have given up the idea of making law above their sky, this privilege was taken by the SEA, establishing the rules of trade, travel, security, unquestioned for almost two decades before the first syndicates emerged.
Nova Mind Trust
The history of the Nova Mind Trust begins with a different organization, the Church of the Exploding Sun. A powerful cult, the Church of the Exploding Sun built dozens of massive arks - slow-moving colony ships designed to last generations - and prepared them to other solar systems. The arks were to leave in waves, starting with scientists and engineers to create the infrastructure required to start new civilizations among the stars, then a wave of workers and colonists, and finally a wave housing the church's leadership. The Sunners (a derogatory but wildly popular nickname for the cult) believed that, once their exodus is completed, the sins of the nonbelievers will cause the sun to explode and cleanse the solar system.
The Church of the Exploding Sun's exodus never finished, for the commander of one of the first wave of arks, Uriah Hugel, decided to investigate an unexpected signal at the limits of the Oort Cloud and found the remains of an alien vessel. After analyzing the craft, Hugel decided to return to the Earth and present the church leaders with a gift: the ability to travel faster than light.
With this discovery, the Church of the Exploding Sun quickly became relevant to everyone, not just a large group of crazed cultists. To facilitate this, several higher-up officials founded a corporation separate from the church: the Nova Mind Trust.
The Nova Mind Trust is, officially, a non-religious entity. The fact that its upper management is predominantly comprised of members of the Church of the Exploding Sun is, according to the NMT, nothing more than a coincidence. Transparent that this lie may be, humanity is forced to depend on the NMT. Although Uriah Hagel eventually betrayed the organization and gave faster than light travel to everyone, the rest of the alien technology remains thoroughly in the Nova Mind Trust's hands, and anyone wishing to use it must deal with them.
Foundation for Outer Settlement
The Foundation for Outer Settlement styles itself as a non-profit organization with the goal of getting every individual that wants to live in space the opportunity to do so. However, this is just a marketing ploy, and as often as they like to imply a non-profit status, they never say it outright for fear of being barred from the Space Exploitation Assembly for false advertising.
The Foundation for Outer Settlement is, quite simply, a very unscrupulous corporation with a talented marketing department. When the FOS builds a colony, it is always highly-specialized, and never self-sufficient. Some colonies grow food, others mine water, others mass produce air. The FOS offers transport to their colonies for cheaper than any other corporation, and with no indentured servitude in their contracts. Once at their new home, however, colonists quickly discover that the FOS does not provide cheap transportation back to Earth, that the FOS is the only organization that ships food, water, and air to their colony, and that making the payments required by the FOS for these shipments requires constant, back-breaking labor. Those who refuse to work themselves to exhaustion are often killed by the other members of the colony to eliminate the dead weight. They are, in essence, slaves.
The Foundation for Outer Settlement is also a leader in human biological modification research: they can easily find volunteers for inhumane and dangerous procedures by offering the volunteers transport to colonies with less horrific conditions. Additionally, since the FOS is the only organization that the colonies can contact, it is extremely easy for the FOS to cover up any incident within the colony that leaves the outside of the colony unmarred. It is widely suspected, but never truly proven, that this has something to do with the FOS's wildly successful biological weapons research division.
Patrician Investment Conglomerate
The Patrician Investment Conglomerate is, at its heart, a cartel of outstandingly wealthy investors who decided they needed a foothold in space. In addition to a moon-based palace-town that serves as a headquarters, the patricians have several colonies, massive freight ships, and small military organizations at their disposal. Each of these is fantastically well-equipped, and even more fantastically profitable. Patrician mining colonies inevitably end up mining the rarest minerals, Patrician freighters inevitably haul the most valuable cargoes, and Patrician militaries inevitably fight the most profitable wars.
The Patricians accomplish this partly through good business sense, more through an expensive ring of corporate spies amongst all their competitors, and even more importantly through the use of artificial intelligence. The Patricians are one of the most AI-tolerant organizations in the solar system, to the point that several patrician-owned companies have AI CEOs. Artificial intelligences are often considered to be too focused on the goals they are given to be trusted by a group whose goals involve subtlety and human factors, but the Patricians are openly motivated purely by their own profit.
Although those assets owned directly by the Patrician Investment Organization are the best-equipped in the solar system, they are few in number. The bulk of the Patricians' clout comes in the form of shares of other corporations and outstanding loans to corporations and governments.
Helion Peace Keeping Corporation
The Hellion Peace Keeping Corporation is a military agency financed by the Space Exploration Assembly as a whole. The Hellions exist to maintain peace and order, enforce the regulations created by the SEA, and to do the group's dirty work.
They were originally created during the Acheron outbreak, first as a FOS taskforce, at which time it was only focused in crushing the Starboard Pirates, and, of course, failing ever since. But the SEA couldn't allow the FOS to dispose of such powerful army, but couldn't overlook the danger the pirates represented, and reformed the taskforce into the Hellion as they are now.
The Hellions have been forbidden to own colonies of their own since the treaty that allowed the Free Space Federation to join the SEA. Instead, their battleship-freighters constantly patrol areas deemed "sensitive" by the SEA, searching for outlaws and distributing supplies to other Hellions fighting one of the several SEA-sanctioned covert and guerrilla wars.
The Hellions, like many corporate-owned police forces throughout history, consider themselves legitimate officers more than hired thugs. The Hellion leadership encourages this viewpoint, and tries to avoid causing its members to think too much about who they're working for. Several Hellion divisions, especially those with covert and guerrilla roles, are comprised of those who view the job of the Hellions as a crusade rather than a corporate guard dog.
The Aegis division is patrolling the space between the asteroid belt and Saturn. Their base is the Agis station orbiting around Jupiter. It's a giant ship housing most of the Hellion administrative facilities and a great deal of technical workshops.
- Space stations : 4
- Heavy Battle carriers : 3
- Assault carriers : 6
- Battle cruisers : 8
-Defcon Zero is a rumored project of a heavy battlestation equipped to wreck havoc on a planetary scale. The destruction of a whole world as a mean of peace keeping seems a bit off balance, making those who dispute this issue either contest its veracity or the true purpose of the Hellion Corp.
Free Space Federations
(HOW COMES I CAN LOSE SO MUCH MATERIAL DAMMIT!) (IG note: I remember them being the Sinn Fein to the SLF's IRA. Can we fill out stuff from there?)
Minor Corporations and Organizations
Space Liberation Front
An organization whose objective is to free the various colonies from the grasp of the SEA and the major corporations. Some time after its creation, a schism occurred within its ranks. Some of SLA's members who are more diplomatically inclined decides to form the FSF, using diplomacy, politics and negotiations to free the colonies. Unfortunately this left the more radical and merciless members in control of SLA, which carried out vicious attacks against several major corporations. SLA was quickly branded as terrorists by most corporations.
They utilize various mechs, from construction mechs converted into fighting mechs to some battle-grade mech acquired from the black market. One of their most notorious attacks involve Arbeiter-type construction mechs strapped with heavy explosives, which devastated an entire fifty-story tower.
(IG note: this is what I remember from that post, although I added some flavor to it myself. Change what you will, B&hammerkun)
Flank Starboard is an alias used by the leader of a group of pirates in the Kuiper Belt. They began as a revolt against the Foundation implemented a warp beacon on Pluto / Charon, the "Acheron", in order to facilitate the exploration of the Oort Cloud. The colonists had become fed up with their harsh living conditions and attempted to bargain with the Foundation by going on strike. The Foundation decided it would be less costly to just cut off the oxygen supply to the habitation domes and bring in a new batch of colonists a month later, claiming a disease wiped out the previous inhabitants. With Pluto being a remote location with little outside communication, this would have gone unnoticed by the rest of the Solar System if it weren't for the actions of a handful of miners who took up arms and wrestled control of the colony from the foundation.
The man leading these miners was John Dakka. He was an engineer who worked for the colony maintaining and upgrading its mechs. Being exceptional at his task, he was used by the local Foundation Security Taskforce to maintain and upgrade their vehicles. This gave him access to various weapons technologies he had begun recreating in his sparse spare time (The average workday was 20 hours with only 6 hours of the 26 hour day allotted for sleep). Unbeknownst to the FST, Dakka had been preparing for a coup for years. He had arranged for "accidents" to occur within the construction site where a vehicle was reported lost in a cave-in or sinkhole, or even made some spare parts disappear on the stock registers. In actuality he would have these vehicles hidden in the vast warehouse. He was able to slowly retrofit these vehicles for combat usage. It was in this task that John Dakka had become a legend. He could turn even the most harmless automated rock cart into a horrific weapon of destruction. The weaponry he was able to develop from the discarded scraps of the FST and junked mining equipment is still being used years later by pirate forces. People would joke that he "Put guns on his guns, so even his bullets would shoot more bullets".
When the labor strike occurred, Dakka gathered the people he knew he could trust and formed a militia to prevent the Foundation from retaliating. One of his closest allies was the man who would later become known as Flank Starboard. Starboard was a troublemaker in the colony from his first days arriving on Abyssus IV. Dakka took note of Starboard's anti-authoritative behavior and took him under his wing, looking out for him like an older brother, so the Foundation let his antics slide since Dakka was pivotal to the operation of the mining facility as well as their security forces. Flank was also an exceptional, if not sometimes headstrong mech pilot. He operated a Gespia Arbeiter 515C that was used for digging new tunnels. Two months before the revolt, his Arbeiter had conveniently been lost in a supposed accident involving the unintentional detonation of explosive materials. When the uprising began in full, Starboard emerged from the mines piloting his converted mech, now dubbed "Face Wrecker".
The rebelling forces had taken over the oxygen production plant early on before the inhabitants occupying the living areas succumbed to asphyxiation. After their air supply was turned back on, the colonists were furious, knowing that the Foundation has tried to kill them all. With the number of people in his rebellion growing, Dakka grew bolder and began attacking the Security forces and attempting to take control of the starport. With Pluto being a highly valued asset by the foundation, they were not going to give up easily.
Over the next several months the Foundation tried to reinforce the embattled FST forces with hired mercenaries, but to no avail. Eventually, they decided to risk drawing the attention of the rest of the galaxy by mobilizing the Outer Settlement Defense Corps, sending the warship Saturnus to deal with the rebellion.
Dakka and Starboard fought at the forefront of most of the battles, and both had sustained their fair share of injuries. Dakka would often boast, after the mech he was piloting was shot that "They haven't made a gun big enough to kill me yet". However, in a pivotal battle with the newly arrived Corps, Dakka's mech suffered a direct hit by one of the massive turbolasers from the Saturnus. It is claimed that his last words were "Well, I guess that'll have to do".
Infuriated by the death of his mentor, Flank Starboard rushed on into the front lines of the Corps battle suits and mechs. Although these were highly trained soldiers and pilots, the constant struggle to survive had hardened the colonists of Abyssus into a lethal fighting force. Over the course of the battle many of the miners were killed, but they would always take out a greater portion of the attackers. Eventually, Starboard and his Face Wrecker managed to breach the hull of the Saturnus and destroy the command center, killing the officers orchestrating the battle. With no central command structure, the broken Defense Corps forces were easily defeated.
The battle had destroyed so much of the settlement that rebuilding was not an option. The habitation dome had been cracked and it was only a matter of time before the pressure caused the crack to shatter, leaving only the Beacon in the middle of the ruins. The surviving colonists instead repaired the Saturnus and left the Acheron station behind, following Starboard, Dakka's second in command, as leader. Flank jokingly redubbed the ship "Satan's Asshole" after hearing that most of his people were calling the ship satur-anus.
It is not known for certain why Starboard chooses not to reveal his real name. His alias comes from an argument he and a crew member were having over an incident involving a docking mishap when the ship veered in the wrong direction since the crew were inexperienced and were not familiar with ship terminology.
Though the Foundation for Outer Settlement has tried to dub the Acheron incident as a terrorist attack, it has still become public knowledge that they are at least in some part responsible for the formation of this group of pirates. Occasionally, the Foundation will send out bounty hunters, assassins, and covert mercenaries to try and destroy the pirates, but so far, nothing has been able to erase this stain on their public appearance.
While S.A. pirates have access to the equipment that was recovered from the Saturnus or acquired through raids or bounty from captured vessels, they seem to prefer vehicles, mechs, and weaponry that was converted from civilian vehicles. Weaponry made by John Dakka is one of the few things these outlaws consider sacred. Over the years, Flank Starboard's personal mech has been almost completely destroyed numerous times, but he still keeps having it repaired, claiming it was Dakka's finest creation. The Face Wrecker, while having undergone much reconstruction, now looks like a walking junkyard covered in guns.
While they are able to sustain themselves by capturing cargo freighters and supply ships, the pirates still favor ground combat, and will conduct raids into colonies ran by the major corporations. They incite rebellion wherever they go, and are considered by some to be heroes, while others claim they are petty criminals and space thugs.
The origins of the Collective is unclear, but what is known about it is that it is an advanced K-class combat AI. From the few encounters where there are survivors, it calls itself 'The Collective', and it uses remotely controlled mechs. We do not know why it keeps waging skirmishes in the Asteroid Belt, and always with a high human death count.
Marginal Corporations and Organizations
After the opening of the space as a ground of conquest, some Earth governments chose to indiscriminately send their prisoners, particularly the "political" kind, to penitentiary colonies on Ceres, which has been fortified to prevent any assault aimed at freeing its particular residents. Problem was that the prisoners rebelled and took over the base, offering them a shelter the HPKC could not uproot. They count toward the most virulent members of the Space Liberation Front.
A cult which believes the makers of the Xenotech as their gods. They devote themselves to keep the Xenotech 'pure' from human contamination, by seeking to 'liberate' the still-pure Xenotech. This made them at odds with Nova Mind Trust, and sometimes with other corporations too. Since they believed that in every mech there is some degree of Xenotech, they regard what mechs they have as shrines to their unknown gods. This is why a Megiddo mech would be decorated with flashy, religious symbols or decorations. Since they operate in small cells, they are not considered to be a major threat.
Made of a small army of scientists, adventurers, and mercenaries, this faction is devoted to searching for other Xenotech relics. They are poorly funded volunteer organization. Most of their weapons, vehicles, and mechs are obsolete castoffs from other organization. Members are expected to buy their own gear. They are a favorite target for bandits. It is worth noting that so far, they have not been able to secure any instances of xenotech, with more powerful groups either beating them to the punch, or outright wiping them out.
Ouroboros Combat Specialists
This small mercenary group has been around for quite some time, first as Global Solutions before space exploration, then Dynamic Frontiers Ltd. during the colonization era, and now they're known more as Ouroboros Combat Specialists. Although they may be small in numbers, their mech pilots are very experienced, Ouroboros being one of the first mercenary groups to use mechs when the Xenotech was discovered. They still operate as a small mercenary group without expressing desires to expand.
They are based on Gilead gas mining station on Jupiter. Originally they were miners and base security, but due to the Foundation's questionable actions and the rise of rebellions against them, Gilead GMS' director decided he should liberate Gilead along with their workers. So, Gilead GMS was set adrift from the other GMS in their area, and was reported to the Foundation as an accident. But actually, Gilead worked with several independent gas mining stations to keep it afloat, and made it a mobile mining station. After their 'independence', they still kept good relations with the other GMS on Jupiter. Since then, the station's inhabitants have became paramilitaries, to keep the Foundation from knowing their location. They typically use agile quadrupedal mechs with anti-grav capabilities as a means to patrol their station.
Warp beacon are large structures containing a certain number of "warp cells". Each warp cell contains a single atom set to vibrate at a certain frequency. Some of the containers are said "fix" and provide a vibration of reference, the others are used to convey information. These devices use the principle of information teleportation, a quantum paradox that allows these atoms to vibrate together as if they were bound, although they are not, meaning that all the synchronized atoms on a particular frequency will behave like one. These are used to convey information relatives to the masses present in the neighborhood of the beacon. Since Warping is about bending space, it uses subtle deformations of the different gravitational fields to achieve teleportation, which is why the information given by the beacons allow considerably more accurate and safe jumps.
Instead, the on-board computer should make particularly complex calculation to make the jump, which in some cases can last for days, which is still faster than travelling with just bare rocket engine. But since the implementation of the beacons have been made by investment of the FSO with technical support from NMT, these two companies push the other corporations to use the beacons, selling the encryption code of the beacons' signals, and of course earn great deals of money out of it.
The only exception is the Pluto / Charon beacon, that is held by the StarBoard Pirates. Its access code is known by all, and since it's mainly effective in the Kuiper Belt near Pluto, it helps the many mercenaries and bandits that hide there.