Campaign of the Month: July 2020
The SpaceFarers Collective
Following the discovery of a natural jump route from Moros to the Hades Cluster in 2345 C.E., a consortium of Commonwealth corporations organized and began pressuring the Moros World Assembly for exclusive charters to exploit this new find. This consortium was headed by many corporations who already had a presence in the system, such as Corone Mining, Maas Industries, and Tenzan Heavy Industries, to name just a few, and because the World Assembly was already familiar with their practices, these corps found themselves running into wall after wall.
Enter Duke George Ivan Asquith-Orlov, a spectacularly incompetent fool who desperately need money in order to finance his expansive rebuilding of the ancestral ducal palace on Elpis. Already convinced that the World Assembly had illegally seized powers and authority that should properly be his, Duke George was all too eager to make a string of poor agreements with this fledgling consortium provided they paid him for it. Recognizing that they served to make more money if they presented a unified front, this consortium officially created the SpaceFarer’s Collective in 2347 C.E. and gladly paid the duke for his time.
Within a year, the Collective had established a colony on the larger moon of Erebus, the system’s outermost gas giant, that was rather conveniently the closest set of facilities to the newly discovered natural jump route. The official name for their new colony was a string of numbers but it quickly became known instead as Foothold thanks to an offhand remark made by the senior Collective director at the time about them now having a foothold in the system.
Within a decade, House Asquith-Orlov regretted this policy as the ‘Footholders’ were thriving, having effectively assumed complete control of the entire moon as well as having extended their influence to the other satellites of the gas giant, Erebus. Without the duke’s permission or knowledge, the Footholders had also begun constructing their own shipyards to service the rather considerable traffic passing through the jump route to the Colonies. This would provide them with even more economic power throughout the system, which cemented their effective rulership of Erebus and its satellites.
Duke George would move to revoke the colonial franchise in 2365 C.E., but by that point, it was too little, too late. The Footholders were firmly in control of the Outer System and his efforts met fierce resistance, both legal and illegal. Petitioning first the Moros World Assembly and then later, the Confederacy itself to uphold the colonization charter, the Collective bribed hundreds of administrators and bureaucrats to find in their favor. And those who did not cooperate suffered mysterious accidents that could not be traced back to the Collective, like the duke’s eldest sons and his sole daughter. By the time of Duke George’s death in 2375 C.E., the SpaceFarer’s Collective was the dominant economic power in the system.
The new duke, however, already had plans in motion. Careful political manipulation by Aleksey (b. 2345) quickly saw fruit as legal actions in the Commonwealth resulted in the mining consortium backing the Collective collapse into internecine conflict and legal squabbling, thus cutting off a significant portion of their external funding. This would force the Collective, out of financial necessity, to stop interfering with the World Assembly, which was one of the duke’s primary intentions as it allowed him to pressure the warring factions into a peace settlement; Duke Aleksey had also expected the Collective’s board of directors to splinter into smaller, warring factions but to his very great surprise, his actions had the opposite effect. With two ruling members of his family in a row actively ‘persecuting’ them, the SpaceFarer’s Collective now had an Enemy to focus their ire upon while they continued on. If something went wrong, well, clearly it was the fault of House Asquith-Orlov.
Currently, the Collective is firmly in control of all of the moons of Erebus, and is involved in a low-intensity proxy war with the duke over control over the moons of Oizys. They are also heavily invested in the Belt, but under Moros law, no corporation may control more than 50% of any asset within the Belt – a relatively new law quite obviously intended to curtail the Collective’s power there. The SpaceFarer’s Collective heavily disputes the legality of this and been mired in protracted litigation with the ruling ducal House for decades (as well as some covert war). As the principal investor in belt exploration and exploitation, it believes its share should match its investment – which is rather significant – and as a result, the Collective is often at odds with the independent Belters and Free Companies who prospect the Free Radicals.
To maintain legal pretense of appearing legitimate, they paid taxes to the duke grudgingly. With the eruption of open civil war in 2405, however, this is no longer the case.
There are currently nine corporations making up the Collective, with each company having anywhere between three and twelve lesser subsidiaries. In the years since the Collective was established, there have been up to fifteen corporations within it and as few as five. Companies wishing to join must do so by ‘buying into’ the executive board. As of 2410, Maas Industries Corporation, a local Moros company, is the major stakeholder in the Collective, owning a 21.5% share.
- Maas Industries Corporation (MIC) (21.5%)
- Columbia Aerospace (CAe) (16.375)
- Amalgamated Biotronics (AmBio) (13.01)
- Vosper-Babbage (VosBab) (12.72)
- Corone Mining (CMC) (10.36%)
- Tenzan Heavy Industries (8.09%)
- Kozmovot Tenno Tanjo, LTD (KTT) (7.915)
- System Technologies AG (STAG) (5.44)
- Iskellan Technology Solutions (IskTS) (4.59)
The Collective itself is governed by an Executive Board of Directors with a single representative sent by the member corporations, with each Director possessing a percentage vote equivalent to their parent corporations’ share percentage. Ostensibly, each Director is supposed to be “equal”, but in truth, the Top Four – Maas Industries, Columbia Aerospace, Amalgamated Biotronics, and Vosper-Babbage – are the driving force being the decision-making as together, they have a voting threshold of over 60%. This has led to growing discontent among the lesser corporations, chief among them being Corone Mining, who have been steadily chipping away at the larger share-holders.
Shares are traded on the Confederacy stock exchange.
Officially, the Collective is not legally allowed to deploy proper military assets as that is the province of actual governments. To skirt around this legality, a number of private military companies have been created for the sole use in Moros. In all ways, these PMCs are a military, with active training academies on Rigveda. With cadres recruited from retired or former Commonwealth military, training is only slightly less stringent than that of the Ducal Royal Military, though it is commonly held that the Collective forces are more heavily reliant on technology than the Royal Navy and Marines.
The three PMCs are split up in the following ways:
- Aegis Defense Assets – primarily a space navy to include marine and boarding actions; there is considerable tension between them and Paragon Security over which one should be considered “top tier”
- Paragon Security – station and facility security and policing; there is considerable tension between them and ADA over which one should be considered “top tier”
- Allied Intelligence Corps – less of a PMC and more of a private intelligence service, this is the Collective’s primary information gathering organization; maintains a surprisingly cordial relationship with both ADA and Paragon Security
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