BACKGROUND/DESCRIPTION: The merging of small farms into larger corporate farms that began in the twentieth century was only the beginning. Today, a few agribusiness corporations own nearly all of the world's farmland.
Global Agritech is the largest of these agribusinesses, though not so large that it can afford to ignore its competitors. It controls large areas of farmland all over the world, though its largest holdings are in central North America.
In an age of bioengineering, the image of farmers raising crops to feed people no longer applies. GA's goal is to find the most cost efficient way to use plants to turn earth and sunlight into salable material. GA is heavily into genetic research. It is also investing a great deal in the colonization of space, which might seem surprising until one considers the possibilities of terraforming.
Though fiercely competitive with other agribusinesses and similar corporations, they try hard to stay on the good side of other corporations. They are painfully aware of their Achilles heel: the fact that a great deal of their wealth and power is tied up in large, hard to defend regions of land. They play the political game with gusto, taking advantage of their usefulness as a source of raw material.
SLOGAN: Cultivating the world.
CAMPAIGN USE: GA isn't at all reluctant to use force to get a piece of land; PC's could become involved on either side of such a conflict. Their genetic research could result in some sort of horror, anything from killer microbes to killer food animals. Spacegoing PC's could come across a GA installation. As GA is prone to ally with other corporations, corporate PC's could find themselves enmeshed in some sort of GA ploy.
BACKGROUND/DESCRIPTION: HariChem started out as a small company producing industrial chemicals and has grown and expanded into pharmaceuticals, bioengineering and genetics.
An up and coming multinational corporation, they have been able to develop and grow at an exponential rate, while being able to maintain a "family run business" atmosphere amongst the employees.
CAMPAIGN USE: HariChem is a growing concern on the lookout for fresh talent, or would be if disaster hadn't struck. The entire Harihatu family and their household staff were brutally murdered, with only two bodies unaccounted for - Midori Harihatu, eldest child, being groomed to take over the business upon her father's retirement, and James "One Eyed Jack" Anderson, Hoshiro's right hand man and security consultant. Until the whereabouts of Midori is determined, the company is being run by the senior staff.
BACKGROUND/DESCRIPTION: Kagura Securities was founded in 1999 to provide private security forces to its customers. Its line of security services includes everything from military and security forces, to covert action teams, to solo operatives, to "consultants".
Structurally, Kagura is divided into three divisions: administration, security, and consultation. Administration is what you would expect, the managerial and administrative division of the corporation. Security is the division that handles all of the security forces and services. They also ostensibly handle the covert action teams as well, although in actuality the personnel that form the covert action teams come from the consultation division and not from the security division itself. The consultation division ostensibly provides personnel, called Trouble Consultants, to act as advisors and consultants in security matters, but in actuality the division is more like an elite military force who's personnel run the gamut from strategic military planners, to special forces operatives, to electronics/computer specialists. All it's personnel are highly trained, experienced, and extremely proficient at what they do.
Kagura takes its reputation as a supplier of elite paramilitary forces and consultants very seriously and once they have accepted a contract they will complete it, regardless of the eventual cost, as long as the contract remains in good faith. That having been said, however, as a corporation who's personnel literally are it's product, Kagura is extremely protective of them and any customer who wastes Kagura personnel (i.e. accumulates losses beyond that which are deemed "acceptable" for an particular operation) will find themselves with an enemy.
Although they are not yet well known in North America, their services are well known and popular all around Asia and the Pacific Rim, as well parts of Europe.
SLOGAN: "We will solve any problem for you."
CAMPAIGN USE: Kagura is fairly laid-back, for a megacorp, offering their personnel a larger degree of independence than many other megacorps; this being the result of Kagura's policy of rewarding their personnel for hazardous service (i.e. since they work hard, Kagura lets them play hard). As a result, they are well suited to be the home of corporate-employed PCs.
Due to the nature of its business, Kagura is always on the lookout for new personnel. Currently, it is especially interested in acquiring psychokinetic personnel, which it is lacking at the moment.
As an antagonist, Kagura is the proverbial sleeping giant. At first they will use minimal force and effort, hoping to either swat the annoyance or just make it go away. If the giant is woken from its slumber, however, Kagura has a great deal of military and technological power at it fingertips and is not afraid to use it crushing an annoyance to dust.
BACKGROUND/DESCRIPTION: The NFC started out as a single Forestry corporation amongst a sea of others in British Columbia in the old nation of Canada, but quickly rose to the top and bought out others through clandestine operations.
As the only forestry corporation in all of BC, the NFC maintains and holds a strict monopoly on forestry and allows little room for any other competition, yet does not, for good reason, openly interfere in the operations of other larger corporations. It is, to say the least, a medium sized corporation, and will only do business with others such as Ishiyama very tentatively.
SLOGAN: "NFC... the only service for all your construction needs."
CAMPAIGN USE: The NFC is always on the lookout for short time (read: expendable) workers in the use of sabotage and terrorism against fledgling companies, preferring them, as of late, over the use of their own black ops teams in order to avoid any suspicion brought about by the focus of attention due to the escape and death of Karin Nys.
BACKGROUND/DESCRIPTION: Though chronologically over three decades old, Shinkuu is a relatively small megacorporation and only recently reached the size at which they could be called a megacorporation. They began as a Japanese aerospace firm interested in developing new space launch technologies in the 1990s. As the global depression crept in, the firm began acquiring equipment and personnel from world governments, making significant purchases in French Guyana and Cape Kennedy. When large chunks of the Russian military space program went on the auction block, Shinkuu invested heavily and managed to acquire several programs virtually intact, and hired their affiliated personnel from the Russian military and intelligence agencies.
These proved to be the tail that wagged the dog. In less than three years, a group of Russian ex-army officers accomplished a coup that left the corporation entirely under their control. The new regime moved ruthlessly to put down internal opposition, and fended off two hostile takeovers using tactics both Machiavellian and bloody. This period forever altered the corporate culture from a relatively ordinary business environment to one suspicion and repression.
The new leadership moved the focus of the company from communications- satellite related processes to one centered on construction and manufacturing in space. Shinkuu invested heavily in radical new technologies such as hard shell cyborgs designed to function in orbit, and quickly emerged as one of the leaders in orbital operations. They competed fiercely with their closest rival, Schern-Astroplex, and the two companies indulged in acts of sabotage such as the discreet launching of space debris at each others facilities. The rivalry ended fifteen years ago when Shinkuu won the contract from Genom to build Genaros station; the massive influx of capital assured Shinkuu's dominance in orbit, and Schern-Astroplex was ground down and eventually bought by Shinkuu.
Shinkuu remains virtually unmatched in the field of orbital construction, but within the last decade has diversified into a wide range of orbital manufacturing technologies. Their most successful products are specialty materials, and they protect their production technologies by taking advantage of the isolation of their orbital facilities and heavy monitoring of their own personnel.
The orbital assets of the company amount to roughly 60% of its worth, though less than 1% of its personnel are actually in orbit. The remainder are centered around its three arcologies in Moscow, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City. The company holds only a small market share in commercial satellite launch, but is one of relatively few possessing the "heavy lift" capacity necessary for orbital construction. Launch facilities are located in several central Asian states, and the company operates a major sea-based launch program in the Gulf of Mexico.
Shinkuu's corporate culture remains one of intense paranoia, in which all employees are watched carefully and threats are dealt with quickly and brutally. The company's long association with space habitats has led to a very ascetic corporate culture even on Earth, where luxury is frowned upon and executives live frugally regardless of how well they are paid.
The unique nature of Shinkuu's products mean it has few competitors. Its major rival for dominance in orbit is Genom, and all public indications are that the two corporations remain on excellent terms. Indeed, Shinkuu owns a 20% stake Genaros station, and there has never been a hint of disagreement over the management of the world's largest space station. Nevertheless, Shinkuu maintains heavy security both in and below orbit, and is known to use its advanced sky-based surveillance systems to monitor other corporations. The company is rumored to possess a unit of mercenaries capable of operating in space. It is also rumored that the company has contingency plans such that, if pressed, key personnel can be evacuated to orbit and the company remain intact even if all terrestrial assets are lost.
SLOGAN: Official: "Touch the stars." (Consensus in the business world is that they paid Madison Ave. entirely too much for that.)
Unofficial: "Barbed wire for the final frontier."
Campaign Use: A good source for exotic technologies or characters with unusual abilities. Shinkuu does not like to directly antagonize other corporations, and so might hire PC mercenaries for actions they would prefer not to be associated with. They are also great villains for a space adventure, giving the GM a good source for really terrifying space-capable weapons and agents.
BACKGROUND/DESCRIPTION: This company was born in the recent merger of Shiroko Biomedical and Tsuhi Consumer Electronics. While these two technologies remain its principal areas of operation, the company also has significant interests in other domains—most notably information technology, the budding field of industrial nanotechnology, and financial consulting. Most people will likely know Shiroko-Tsuhi as the company that makes many of the microchips and software used by smart appliances, such as refrigerators that are aware of their contents, heating systems that keep track of the locations and preferences of the inhabitants, and laundry machines that detect the kind and amount of washing and detergent to be used with their loads. Some will also know them as the providers of quality over-the-counter medicine.
A more recent merger with the Daitokuji Financial Group, however, has brought more than much needed capital and fiscal clout. It seems that both sides of the union found that the other held less than they had hoped, and tensions are running high. None of the subdivisions have been renamed to any unified scheme, and the two sides operate like separate corporations with fairly minimal collaboration. Financially, however, the corporations have become difficult to disentangle, so a spin-off is unlikely. Analysts and other corps are watching closely; if the two corporations do manage to conciliate their differences, they will hold much of the financial services market.
Campaign Use: Shiroko-Tsuhi is fairly laid-back, for a megacorp, offering their operatives a larger degree of latitude than most other employers. As a result the company is well-suited to be the home of corporate-employed PCs. Growing internal tensions could provide those PCs with intriguing adventures, where picking sides may prove to be difficult.
As an antagonist, Shiroko-Tsuhi could fall into the classic 'human guinea pig', model, with its heavy focus on pharmaceuticals. Kidnapping unwilling subjects or dumping experimental drugs through black market channels are possibilities. Shiroko-Tsuhi is also looking to expand its roster of psychokinetic operatives; PCs with the Talent may find themselves sought out by agents of Sanato (see below).
OPTIONAL VERSIONS: If Shiroko-Tsuhi achieves major breakthroughs in industrial nanotechnology, its newfangled methods might make it a contender for any sort of manufacturing virtually overnight. Other corporations in the domain would not be pleased by this development and would seek to either acquire S-T's research secrets, or remove them as a threat.
BACKGROUND/DESCRIPTION: The company was subject to a hostile takeover by multibillionaire Jason Stone, ostensibly in revenge for their late or misdiagnosis of his father's cancer. Jason Stone believed the corporation's callousness and lack of regard for their patients was the direct contributor to his father's death. He has since rebuilt the company and it is now returning to profitability. Its new corporate focus is "patients first," and Stone has been responsible for a great many price cuts in areas he considered "gouging the clients".
Jason Stone himself stands as the best representation of SynTech technologies. He had some of their best cybernetic systems installed and has in the past personally demonstrated its reliability and functionality. He has even done away with personal security, in spite of many assassination attempts, relying on training and SynTech cybernetics to keep him alive.
It is currently in the midst of a complex deal with Mitsumi to design highly specialized cybernetics-ready replicants. SynTech is to design and build them, Mitsumi is to supply replicant technology and market the results to the world. To further this research, they are polling gene pools from volunteers. Essentially, they install the prototype cybernetics in a variety of volunteers and figure out which works out best. Genes are then harvested for use in replicants in full production. Thus, they are able to more quickly find a genetic "solution" than if they designed the genes from the ground up.
Like any major corporation, politics are involved however, an some of the old heads of management still remain in place. They are unhappy with Stone's leadership, and one in particular (Jacobson) has begun maneuvering the research division to refocus on furthering their technological lead—at any cost.
SLOGAN: SynTech: "Making a Better You."
CAMPAIGN USE: Any time a character may need to be hospitalized, its possible they could arrive at a SynTech hospital, as they have installations around the globe.
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