Aqua-Negra Seguridad (or ANS) is one of the Verse's top private security companies. It started during the Unification War (working with the Alliance) but against stereotype, it quickly snatched up many Independent Veterans to fill its ranks. ANS has the dubious reputation of being the 26th century's Pinkertons, willing to do anything for a client. Morality be damned. Still, ANS does have its own rules, and its people are usually fiercely loyal to the company
- The crew encounters the ANS at Parker Strip Station on Jiang Yin, as Juanita Vasquez attempts to arrest our passengers for drug trafficking.
Without doubt, the ubiquitous Blue Sun is the richest and most politically connected corporation in the system. Blue Sun is on every planet, in every home—rich and not so rich alike. For all its fame, it is one of the most shadowy institutions in the ‘Verse.
The Blue Sun logo is everywhere: on T-shirts, billboards, posters, food cans, etc. The logo has become so much a part of daily life that people don’t even notice it anymore. Blue Sun products are considered essential to a person—like water and breathing. Just look for the Blue Sun label. It’s never difficult to find. The company doesn’t operate retail outlets, but every shop stocks its products. While not the best on the market, Blue Sun products are the most reliable. If you buy Blue Sun, you always know what you’re going to get. There are never any surprises—good, bad, or otherwise.
Blue Sun produces a lot of different things, but the company concentrates mainly on the basics of life. Folk will always need food and drink, and Blue Sun is there to sell it. They hold the monopoly on packaged foodstuffs, and their products have become essential to people on the newly terraformed worlds. Many new settlers wouldn’t have made it through their first year without Blue Sun packaged food.
Like all corporations, Blue Sun didn’t get into business out of love for their fellow man. They started the company to make a profit. No one begrudged them that. Profit pays the bills and folk’s salaries. But then, as the company grew bigger and bigger, and became more and more powerful, greed and corruption took over. Profit was the only thing those running Blue Sun could think about. They set out to make more and more money by extending their power as far as they could manage.
It’s an open secret that Blue Sun engages in deadly corporate espionage and then calls in favors from powerful government officials to cover their tracks. Its subsidiaries and shell corporations have branched out far from food and service industries, going into computer systems, communication technology, and even spaceship design, along with the biotech industry—even going so far (some whisper) as to conduct experiments involving living humans. Only top executives have a good grasp on what the “big picture” is when it comes to this mega-corporation. Its research and development division is a mysterious place guarded by security equal to top secret Alliance military projects.
In recent years Blue sun has suffered a number of set backs and restructuring. Many of its less well known subsidiaries (genetic engineering, pharmaceuticals, weapons systems) have been spun off to run as independent companies, or have been absorbed by other corporations. Its front line products--food, beverages, consumer products--are still manufactured under the brand name.
- Blue Sun employs the Hand of Blue
- Blue Sun produces Chempliance and Pax
The Corone Mining Consortium, formed just before the war, is made up of several of the most powerful mining corporations in the system. Those corporations were having a problem with prospectors mining claims of their own. Individually, the corporations couldn’t muster the resources to put the small fry out of business. By combining, they could afford the best lawyers, pay off the right politicians, and acquire the technology needed to buy up claims, drive people off their land
or simply make it unprofitable for the lone miner to keep operating.
Corone will first try to buy any claim that appears to be worth a full mining operation. If that fails, they buy a piece of land nearby, and then encroach
on other folk’s claims by digging tunnels underneath them. When the locals complain, they are told it was an unfortunate accident that caused the company to
strip their assets. Few locals can afford to take the company to court to get back what was stolen. Corone keeps costs down by making use of indentured workers. Some even claim they use slaves, going so far as to pay well for human cargo and never mind where it came from. On the flip side, they’ve been known to employ the locals they put out of business, promoting them to positions of
authority and paying good salaries. They recognize the skills these people have, and hope that loyalty can be purchased with platinum or credits.
Corone does not operate every mine in the ‘Verse. Not every claim is worth bringing in the expensive technology. Most locals have learned to keep real quiet about any major finds on their land, though Corone agents always seem to be in every two-bit mining town, poking around in the hope that they can loosen a few tongues with bribes, trickery, or threats.
In some areas, the Miners’ Guild has taken on the Corone Consortium and won, bringing about improved condition for workers and justice for those who lost property.
Crimson Permanent Assurance
The ancient firm dates back to Earth That Was. It's primary focus over the years has been speculative ventures. It charges a pretty penny, but guarantees returns in a dangerous Verse. Among CPA's strategies is a special provision to recover goods and services from parties responsible for losses. The fine print of many a contract includes the recovery by CPA clause that unwitting participants may not fully understand. CPA does everything by the book including investigations, litigation, and obeying all local laws. They are famous for being unrelenting in the pursuit of their fair due.
The largest of the ubiquitous Hydrogen Fuel Companies. H2 provides fuel for homes, businesses, and space ships. They operate a fleet of fuel tankers without equal, and also maintain specialized electricity plants for centralized energy production. H2 took a public role in its involvement in the Wu Ba after the civil unrest of Fall 2520. Executives from H2 are key members of the faction.
A large lumber and wood consortium. Interstellar Hardwoods Corporation (IHC) doesn't have the power or reach of a Corone or Blue Sun, but it does have mills and lumber camps around the 'Verse. Like many companies working in Rim and Border, IHC has its own security force (IHS). Interstellar Hardwoods is notable for investing in communities and developing good relations with regional and planetary governments, because much of its trade is both to and from the Rim and Border (supplying building materials for settlers).
There are many tech companies throughout the system, producing everything from computers to lasers, and Iskellian is the largest. Iskellian holds the
Alliance contracts to produce arms, spacecraft, and weapons for their troops. The products it sells are the best money can buy, and what Iskellian charges
for its wares more than makes that point. Given that the Alliance buys arms from Iskellian, the Alliance has laid down the law that none of these weapons
can be sold to anyone else. However, Iskellian does manufacture weapons
for civilian use. These are not the same weapons that the military buys, of course, but they are of the same high quality and have the price tags to prove
it. Such weapons are rarely seen on the outer worlds and few are on the black market. If you can get hold of an Iskellian weapon, you count yourself lucky.
New Byzantine Chemicals is a major corporation based in Londinium that focuses on agricultural enhancements, genetic engineering, and plant science. NBC frequently tests new products on the Border and Rim for eventual use in the Core. This sometimes results in a less than scrupulous use of controls and safety precautions.
One of the larger long distance haulers. Sophisticated computer routing systems send Shulan-Maersk vessels on seemingly labyrinthine journeys, hence the nickname S&M Transports. These odd routes are alleged to solve the traveling salesman problemin real time. The computers that manage this are said to occupy an entire city on Liann Jiun. Shulan-Maersk occasionally employed charter or independent vessels (usually mid-bulk or light transports) to meet the larger ships en route. These jobs are not strongly sought after because they inevitably require waiting for precise moments to launch or dock, then having plans change suddenly when the computer says so. Shulan-Maersk pays for the time and fuel, but it can be hard a crew, especially if food is running short.
There is a lot of trash in the ‘Verse, and Unified Reclamation owns it. The company began small with a few garbagescows, but its founders were wise enough to see the potential of trash hauling and, by taking out huge and risky loans, they were able to secure an exclusive contract with the Alliance government to haul off folk’s refuse. At Unified Reclamation, they consider garbage a growth industry. Picking up dirty diapers isn’t a very glamorous job, but someone has to do it and it makes for a very good living. Where Unified Reclamation struck gold wasn’t in diaper pails, however. Real money comes from issuing licenses for legal salvage. Currently Unified is the only system-wide operator allowed to claim salvage rights. Due to the sheer magnitude of a system-wide salvage collection operation, Unified Reclamation also issues licenses for small operators to collect salvage on their behalf. The small operator can go through the local government to obtain a salvage license, but that involves mounds of paperwork and fees. Such licenses are more quickly obtained by going through United Reclamation, though they see to it that you pay for the convenience. Small operators make more money if they run unlicensed, illegal salvage operations. Best to be careful, though, as things can get right ugly if United catches you poaching on their territory.
You’d better hope the Alliance catches you doing illegal salvage before Unified Reclamation gets its hands on you.
Verdian Dyanmics is a Bio-Tech company (among other things) focusing on state of the research and development. Much of its income comes from bio-pharmaceuticals used to slow aging and extend life. It is based in Londinium, but has branches and laboratories throughout the Verse. The more experimental the research, the further from the core. Veridian Dynamics has a cozy if competitive relationship with Blue Sun and the Alliance Military.
Volker Hovermotive Industries is a smallish hovercraft manufacturer that specializes in high end luxury hovercraft and wheeled vehicles. Volker HI is the epitome of high end. The Volker Family based in Ariel owns the business but shares its construction bases with Blue Sun and other industries.
The conglomerate has many interests, primarily, colonization, military contracting, heavy industry, civil engineering, and most recently ship building. Unlike Blue Sun that sought to have its name everywhere, Weyland-Yutani has a lower profile. It IS everywhere, but it doesn't promote itself outside the circles of elite.
One of the top five fuel and maintenance companies. You-Go stations support most of the Rim, and many Border planets, particularly in Georgia. You-Go is wholly owned by the You Ge Foundation, and managed from its headquarters on a private moon in Blue Sun.