A number of corporations have risen to a degree of notoriety and acclaim since the Catastrophe, growing and stepping in to fill the void in needs and services created by the Catastrophe. Some are, perhaps inevitably, less reputable than others while others purport to having only humanity’s best interests at heart. In either case or anywhere in between, the current climate that puts survival of the species at the forefront of our list of priorities makes the perfect breeding ground for a handful of powerful organizations to end up with corporate control of various aspects of what is shaping into day to day life.
Ajax Arms and Armors
The best defense is great offensive capability.
Originally funded by the Gaule Protectorate, Ajax Arms and Armors has since come into its own and far outgrown any requirements for government funding (though they do still maintain a fairly lucrative contract of exclusivity with the Gaule). With a penchant for crafting highly effective weaponry that deal death in a manner of creative methods, Ajax has, in the years following the Catastrophe, grown quite popular indeed.
Historically, Ajax was a mercenary group that was paid handsomely to undertake certain black ops missions that governments or corporations did not necessarily want to be associated with. Their line of work being particularly high risk, the group tended to use the bulk of their profits to pay in house engineers to craft and maintain their gear to the highest of standards.
Before long, the quality and performance of both their offensive as well as defensive gear began to become the subject of much praise among various organizations and thus, one day, they received a request for equipment rather than manpower. Recognizing the opportunity this afforded, both in terms of credits but as well as a much safer route of business, Ajax Arms and Armors was soon born.
Wishing you an extraordinarily pleasant day
Initializing Omni-Reality Virtual Interface: Server neural access: BeDyne requesting CORETECHS synchronization parameters.
Parameters accepted. Thank you. Your Benevolent Dynamics Omni-Reality Journey is about to begin! Slice right to begin the guided experience.
Welcome to Benevolent Dynamics!
The letters form in front of you, shimmering into existence from the swirling galaxy of stars that has bloomed out of the floor before you. The people and sights around you melt away as your CORETECHS accepts and projects the simulated reality.
Your field of view begins to move, smoothly flowing between the stars that now glimmer in the air in front of you as the phrase drifts away and you seem to journey from system to system, distant sun to distant sun. A soft and soothing voice narrates your journey in dulcet tones.
Humanity is on a journey, it always has been, but now, the path meanders between the very stars in the heavens. The heavens are the only home we have left. Benevolent Dynamics is here to guide you, to help you survive the journey and reclaim our former glory.
Benevolent Dynamics is an independent technocracy. Dedicated to bettering the experience of mankind as we struggle to climb back out of the ash heap of The Catastrophe, we here at Benevolent Dynamics have made it our purpose to reclaim the science and technology of Before. We brought you the CORETECHS, we discovered how to re-activate robots and androids and, with some help from friends in the field, we are even rediscovering the use of the Omni-Reality Engine that is bringing you this very message!
Our services are offered freely and for the betterment of mankind alone. Neither the Consortium, the Gaule Protectorate, or even the Freebooters receive any preferential treatment. Rather, Benevolent Dynamics’ sole focus is science, and its reclamation thereof.
The field of view tightens, the galaxy swirling around you coalesces into a series of space stations orbiting small planetoids. You can even make out vessels travelling from one to another and through jump-gates to other systems.
The beloved brainchild of scientific entrepreneur, Maya Von Christova, Benevolent Dynamics is housed on an autonomous station that enjoys sovereign freedom from matters of politics and current affairs. The location of the station itself is currently classified to maintain this technocratic freedom though you will find many Benevolent Dynamics stalls and representatives around the systems to help with all your technological needs.
Every discovery brings new advances that in turn are used to discover the next breakthrough. Nano-byte by nano-byte and light year by light year, we will help guide our species back from the brink of extinction and onward to whatever the future brings!
The stations and star gates fall away, blending into a vast star-field. The stars shimmer and fall like droplets of dew off a water reclamation tank to the floor. Around you, the sights and sounds of the port of Tau Station come back into focus just as a final phrase intones in your mind.
Benevolent Dynamics, wishing you an extraordinarily pleasant Day.
Allow us to fit you with excellence.
Your galaxy's purveyor of VIP goods and specialist services.
This intrepid corporation found success by marrying expert scientific know-how with savvy high-end retail strategy. A group of scientists, rumoured to have once worked for Benevolent Dynamics, took their intellect and scientific discoveries to the market. Combining nanotech with powerful biochemical cocktails, they produced a number of products and services that help customers push way past their bodies limiting endurance levels when required. Hemmingway’s considers each sale of their products as entering a solemn partnership with their clients. Once on their list, one is considered to be part of a highly stylish and well looked after community.
The Hyperdashery is committed to ever-evolving excellence and invests a bulk of their profits into acquisition of the very best hardware and personnel in order to ensure that they may continue to provide a consistently high level of service to clients in any given corner of the galaxy, irrespective of faction or creed (provided they can pay).
Hephaestus Weapons Tech
Keeping your kill count up since 20PC!
One of the more notorious corporations currently operating in the galaxy, HWT has risen to infamy as well as success during the events following the Catastrophe. One of the most common legends about the beginnings of this mighty conglomerate of high tech guns and ordnance dates to the years just prior to the Catastrophe. A brother and sister team of professional scavengers who made a fairly lucrative living, so the story goes, lucked across the site of a massive battle – a battle with no winners, but two losing sides and scores of casualties. With a morally questionable but undeniably genius retail strategy in mind, they gathered the weapons and identification details from the corpses and swiftly set off to visit the families of the fallen. Using a personalized style of guerrilla marketing that targeted families of the fallen, the pair apparently developed and fueled multiple feuds that lasted for several cycles, and of course provided them with an endless cycle of weapons and gear. The plan worked like a charm, and by the time anyone caught on they’d become rich enough to start manufacturing and selling their own battle tech.
Today the titan of weapons manufacturing is known for its friendly advertising slogans advocating the death and/or dismemberment of your enemies, and an approach to business ethics that is casual at best.
Little Earth Paper Products
L 726-8 Jump Gate is the sole source of a special type of plastic created out of the pulp of refined plastics instead of trees. A cult-like group known as "The Roswell Division" is the sole manufacturer of the product, which is a cheaper, more easily accessible alternative to paper. Little Earth Paper Products is very secretive of its manufacturing process and none have been able to replicate it as of yet. Off-station imports of Little Earth Paper Products are one of the main sources funding the "Roswell Division" group and the L 726-8 Jump Gate.
Moemedi Medical Supplies
When you don’t have time to bleed.
In a galaxy full of danger, Moemedi Medical Supplies (MMS) provides valuable life-saving products and services. This no-nonsense provider of medical solutions has been known as the best option for patching yourself up after a firefight for a number of cycles now. The company got its start as squads of battlefield medics who tended to the wounded and saved soldiers regardless of side or affiliation. While they didn’t require payment for their services, they did accept credits and other valuables when they were offered in way of thanks. Many combatants happily gave away their plundered loot in exchange for keeping a limb or organ intact, and Moemedi’s business began to expand.
Moemedi continues to prosper today, manufacturing and selling meds, stims, and 3D printed organs that provide their customers with a second (third, fourth, or even twelfth) chance at life. Thanks to government contracts, they operate many sick bays and cloning centers throughout the galaxy, and many medics start their careers with the company.
Taste sold Separately.
The Sinclair family was one of the first groups to jump onto the organic 3D printing game after Moemedi Medical started churning out medical supplies after the Catastrophe. Siobhan Sinclair, the matriarch of this old family that predated the catastrophe, spent what little remained of her clan's fortunes buying an old 3d printing machine off Moemedi and transporting it to her home station of Ghost of Mali. There, she had a team of engineers and biologists working tirelessly to produce a viable cocktail of nutrients they could use as a base fuel for organic food replacements. Their dogma was that it didn’t have to taste good, only keep people alive.
On 34.59 an accord was reached with Moisson Station, they chose various molds and fungi as their base ingredient and began churning out all manner of edibles to send to every station for a modest fee. As the business began to boom, so did the product. Now, various artificial tastes can also be added to the production after the fact. It’s still mycelial, but it can be printed and artificially treated to look and taste with whatever one desires (to a certain degree of success).
Food for Thought.
The Catastrophe affected everyone; in most cases, the effect was death. Those few who managed to survive scraped by in any number of ways. Some resorted to cannibalism, others to creative ways of farming mold, others just fared luckier. In the case of Vladimir Fitzhenry’s great grandfather, it was promotion, gastronomic skill, and a stranded ship with a fully stocked larder. Vassili was just a chef on the intergalactic cruise liner Diomedes with a ship’s complement of well over a hundred individuals, both guest and crew. The Catastrophe assaulted the ship’s systems, infected critical networks and causing deadly chaos throughout the vessel. After the crew was able to restore some semblance of order, it transpired that Vassili was the highest-ranking surviving member of staff.
The Diomedes was dead in the water, so to speak, and the highest ranking officer was a chef. With no way to get the engines any power and barely any life support, he did what he knew best, he fed people. For seven cycles the Diomedes drifted through space, and while its primary function meant it had an extensive storage of vacuum sealed foods and even a fairly efficient water reclamation system built in, its larder grew emptier and emptier. Vassili was a world-class chef and it is said that even when the food was whittled down to the barest of rations, he somehow always managed to mold it into what appeared to be a king’s feast.
Vassili died some cycles before rescue came, but he passed on his knowledge to his daughter. When the Diomedes finally made contact with rescue vessels of the Gaule Protectorate, she brought her father’s skills to what remained of humanity when she set up shop on Bordeaux Station. There she trained dozens of cooks, including her son Vladimir who now runs the family business. Now, anyone who could provide them materials and credits would find the heartiest possible meal crafted.
The QED is a secretive new branch of Benevolent Dynamics, dedicated to researching the events surrounding and attributed to the Catastrophe. According to the corporation's PR department, this newly formed ‘think tank’ is entirely benign, seeking only to finally understand what caused the near extinction level event of the Catastrophe and, presumably, avert such a thing from repeating in the future.
However, whilst Benevolent Dynamics operates outside of governmental jurisdiction under the auspices of an independent technocracy, both governments have expressed alarm and suspicion at the formation of this group and their investigation. While neither government has the authority to impede this investigation in any official capacity, they have both declared that any citizens offering aid will be viewed as potentially criminal and may be subject to interviews.
Lending weight to governmental suspicion is the fact that the QED seem to operate on a highly secretive, if not clandestine, basis. Benevolent Dynamics refuses to divulge any names connected to the group nor have they released any reports of findings to date.
It has been reported that while the core members of the QED are comprised of scientists and researchers with varying areas of expertise, the bulk of their initial investigations are handled by field operatives who are out-sourced by Benevolent Dynamics. These operatives are, allegedly, vetted via an analytical process that quantifies various CORETECHS acquired metrics that pin-point certain characteristics above others. This, no doubt, also troubles the governments as they see such tactics as ‘fast and loose’ as such operatives cannot be tracked and reported on. It is highly likely that anyone identified as a field operative for the QED will most likely be detained and questioned at length.
There are those that feel, from a logistical standpoint, it does, perhaps, make a certain amount of sense to investigate the Catastrophe at this time. Infrastructure, economy, and even society to a degree have started to regain a foothold. But others fear that the QED are delving into knowledge that should best be left alone, or that what they discover may open up a colossal can of space worms. Perhaps this is merely the timeless fear of the unknown that our species has always struggled with. Or, maybe, it's something more.
CORETECHS notification: New bulletin available – Ship Spotters issue 12
Suit up, ship spotters! Welcome to a very special issue of the galaxy’s number one feed for all matters craft and vessel-related. Today’s edition is a real doozy; covering a visit aboard the Tanegashima Fleet’s most striking specimen. As always, I – Cosmo Sheridan – am your guide. Let’s get started!
An unexpected invitation
Last tenspan yours truly woke to find something curious in my inbox. After more than a cycle of failed attempts, I finally got a positive response from Admiral Hukon of the renowned Tanegashima fleet. ‘Request granted’ read the subject line. And – let me tell you, fellow spotters - I was pretty stoked!
Usually extremely private in their affairs, the Fleet Admiral had nonetheless decided it would be rude to reject another of my requests to see their capital ship, the Tonchō. Residents of Barnard’s Star system will know this impressive beauty is stationed at Hopkins’ Legacy. The Tanegashima Fleet’s arrival here saved it from cycles of post-Catastrophe disorder - turning it into the well-run independent outpost it is today.
So imagine my surprise when the response came. I couldn’t believe my CORETECHS! It turns out the Admiral visited my spotters feed and discovered he liked my respect (or ‘worship’ - as he called it) of space-faring hardware. He was happy to grant me a few supervised segments aboard the fleet’s Capital Ship, the Tonchō. A coup for Cosmo!
First impressions: A fierce reputation
I shuttled over to Hopkins’ Legacy (no, dear listeners, the Ship Spotters budget doesn’t stretch to Quantum Telepheresis travel!). Then onto the Tonchō via one of the fleet’s private transporters.
Views of the ship were magnificent on approach. Despite the pilot’s care to guard the Tonchō’s military secrets, I caught a glimpse of its renowned phaser arrays and aft torpedo launcher. Looking down the launch tube, my heart skipped several beats!
Already I knew the fierce reputation of the Tanegashima Fleet was well-deserved. It's no wonder the two great powers tread carefully in dealings with the fleet and their Hopkins’ Legacy base. These folk know their way around the big black. Woe betides whoever goes up against them in a gunfight!
Next I marveled at the Tonchō’s unique ‘z-shaped’ thruster rigs as we approached its dock. By now I was giddy from seeing such superlative ship design up close… I’d barely had time to catch my breath when we docked aboard. Admiral Hukon met me there.
The Tonchō and Tanegashima warrior code
My fellow spotters, the Admiral’s tour of the fleet’s prized possession was an unforgettable experience! The interior of this 6-million metric tonne masterpiece is like none I’ve seen before. There are no bare bulkheads here. Every corridor displays homage to the proud Tanegashima warrior code.
At every turn, we passed ceremonial forged-steel blades from centuries past on the walls. Glinting, curved swords, and battle-burnished daggers, each aloft on its own pedestal. Admiral Hukon explained they remind the crew of their heritage, and their duty.
Elsewhere, traditional cross-padded armor sat in a glass showcase at the intersection between two walkways. The protective plates were carefully - or even, lovingly, arranged under a respectful and dignified spotlight. I read the ancient Tanegashima proverb inscribed underneath: ‘Fall seven times and get up eight’. The Admiral bowed gently before it.
And then, something to top it all! On the command deck, we walked across a central foyer adorned with many large circular shields. Each is hand-painted, as the Admiral told me, with intricate scenes of ferocious battles from Tanegashima military history. What incredible work!
Many feature the Tonchō itself, adjacent to an explosion. A recently-vanquished enemy ship, perhaps? The Admiral merely nodded, without divulging further details. But one thing is certain: Tanegashima don't forget their military exploits in a hurry.
Memories to savor
Finally the Admiral politely indicated that my segments were up and it was time to leave. I said my thanks and proffered a gift of some Vkusno delicacies I’d picked up on my journey over. This prompted the Admiral into a series of small, grateful bows.
Within segments I was back on Hopkins’ Legacy catching my connection home and preparing these impressions for you, fellow spotters. Hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I did!
Yours truly - Cosmo