Corporations and Clones
Human resources [a cyber punk scene]
“Mr Banu, thank you for coming,” they said, their pristine pale suit forcing his attention to their jade green eyes.
Weston shifted slightly in his seat, barley able to avert their eyes. He could see the delicate fibres of wires running through them, circles cut through with segments, threads of fine and delicate technology enhancing the jade green that stared at him.
His attention wandered, taking in the dead, surgical grey of the room. The steel chairs, the camera silently judging him from the corner, the detail of the glass and the dust settling on it in a pattern reminiscent of the patterns of the JX23-F.
“Mr Banu?” they offered, mildly reproving.
He flinched. “Sorry, yes,” he managed, trying to sit up straight.
“Mr Banu, do you understand why you are here today?”
“I was late because of the police -- they stopped me--”
“Mr Banu, we understand that you have waived the right to a union representative in this meeting.”
“Yeah,” he said, “like Sarah, she’s my team leader, she said that at the moment the dispute meant that it would be a really bad--”
“Such details are not relevant to the matter at hand, Mr Banu, and it does not behove you to attempt to distract from such.”
Those eyes. The detail entranced him once again, he felt his transmitters releasing gentle waves of joy into his mind at the simple perfection of the pattern. He smiled, and lost himself in them once more, imagining where those patterns could lead him, through a maze of design.
He realised far too late that they had stopped talking.
“I was stopped by the police,” he entreated, “because they accused me of loitering. I have the paperwork, the discharge, there were no charges brought. I was looking at a pattern for a new DLC wall texture.” “Mr Banu,” they interrupted, “An inability to separate your home and work life is somewhat troubling for your own well-being. This is the third episode of lateness in the period of twenty four months.”
He blinked, and nodded, mutely. Silence was the best option, Sarah had said. No point arguing. Just a slap on the wrist because he was so damn good at creating new detail, new art, new things for the rich to enjoy.
He drifted away, and imagined the patterns of dust in the air settling into a floral shape. The thrill of creation released endorphins into his mind, as he traced the patterns he was going to draw onto the decorative piece he was working on.
“Mr Banu. Your service record as a nano-artist is exemplary. In light of this, the corporation is content to merely remove home-aug privileges from you for a period of 6 months. Lateness will not be tolerated.” The words filtered through his artistic creation reverie. No more creativity endorphin release. His mood crashed. No more ability to see the patterns in the patterns and the joys of the delicate movements of air in his room. The pit of his stomach lurched. No more thrill of drawing, of making, of building. No more high resolution in his eyes.
No more eyes.
He would be alone. Like the addict he was, he sobbed.
“No. Please.” His voice throbbed with the terror of losing his augs, even for a moment.
“Mr Banu, we can only hope that this minor removal of privilege will encourage you to re-assess your timekeeping methods. We hope you are better able to maintain a work-life balance. Go out. Have fun. The Corporation recommends it in fact. You will report to level five thirty minutes prior to your shift and following your shift each day for augmentation activation and deactivation.”
They stood up, and left the room with short, efficient steps.
Weston simply cried, crumpling from his chair and curling into a ball.
Heinreiter Resolutions are the world's leading experts in HRM (Human Resource Management). With modern industry reliant on cybernetic interfacing the human aspect of the process needs to be carefully controlled lest cost spiral out of control.
Market leaders, Heinreiter are responsible for lobbying the Gov. for the implementation of the “Enhancements for workers” scheme. Whilst critics claim it set back workers’ rights hundreds of years, their PR team point to the statistical drop in unemployment.
As a result of their historical and ongoing success you will often find a Heinreiter Resolutions representative on the payroll of virtually every corporate entity.
With the ongoing Union action in the tenements it will only be a matter of time before a HR rep is sent in to “negotiate”.
Armed with an extensive array of reports on individual employees, the HR Rep will be expected to deliver a resolution that is acceptable to their client, using any means necessary to end the strike.
Growing out of the ashes of many a failed delivery service, Deploy INC. aggressively (and violently) keep a tight rein on the delivery service monopoly they hold. Anti-Union they are one of the few large scale employers offering a steady income for Pu’re, as being desperate for work they are less likely to fail.
From pizzas to sensitive data drives, if you need it moving Deploy INC. will get it shifted.
Kitted out in branded polymer fabrics and equipped with a firearms licence they are ready for the dangers which face the modern delivery agent.
Contractually obligated to opt out of union membership these “scabs” are targets for pent up aggression. In the least delivery agents find that union members will do their utmost to disrupt a delivery and in the most extreme cases face extreme violence.
Alongside this threat and opportunistic thieves are data runners, always on the lookout to intercept, ransom or fence data drives in transit. With their gang mates in tow they often lay intricate ambushes (which abide by “The Truce”) to incapacitate the agent and retrieve any drives they are carrying.
(The Truce) Whilst Deploy INC. will accept the occasional loss of data, they will not stand for the death of an employ by outside groups or individuals. Murdering or excessively wounding a delivery agent will result in local Deploy INC. representatives putting out contracts on the perpetrators.
Finally the biggest danger an agent is exposed to is failure, a failed delivery always results in the termination of an agent’s contract and contractually forfeits (legally) their life.
Bring the noise
“Zee Munitions, for when you have to make sure your target stays down.”
Whilst it may be tempting to go straight to the producer many prefer to use an arms broker when making larger purchases. When that’s the case Zee Munitions are you go to people, if they can’t get it, then it probably doesn’t exist.
Built up during the conflicts of 2018, Zachary Logistics as they were known then later championed the privatisation of military forces in the mid 20’s. Fingers in all the pies they can broker deals on small arms, personal protective equipment, combat vehicles, augmented defence weaponry and even WMD’s.
For Zee Munitions there are no boarders and loyalty is not in the company statement. If you want guns whole sale, cash talks.
With the invention of bio locked firearms business boomed, weapons needed to be registered and the biometrics logged in private and secretive hard drives. Only Zee Munitions were in the position to offer impartial register and so now hold a virtual monopoly on the supply of weaponry to corporate security teams and police departments.
By 2040 the power held by this corporation is phenomenal, with control over both licensing and supply it is virtually impossible to obtain a firearm with their involvement.
Despite police complaints to the Gov. the Zee Munitions “outreach” and “growth sector” departments are reportedly supplying civilian customers with the latest in arms for the right price. In the tenements Texters constantly report on Zee Munitions backed arms dealers making trips to supply gangs, runners and other criminal elements. Highly illegal but un-prosecutable the police department can do nothing more than shut down operations as they are discovered by taking down the street merchants.
Any character playing a corporate dealers/agent will most likely be an operative of Zee Munitions whether they realise it or not.
The Willow Foundation
Of the mega corporations the Willow Foundation are the most intriguing. Whilst the others grew from the ashes and mergers of older multinationals The Willow Foundation seemed to grow overnight in the early months of 2030.
Acquisitions from anonymous benefactors and little heard of financial institutes their stock value rose at an extraordinary rate. What was even more perplexing for commentators was the company focus, medical research and application was no new thing but once in business the mysterious board began opening free to use medical outreach centres.
Whilst not in the same league as Cantos the foundations reputation took another unexpected leap in 2038. Whilst it was common knowledge that the foundation had been experimenting on integrated cyber ware nobody expected their product launch on 4th February 2038.
Fully augmented cyber bodies, bio synthetic skin over a polymer skeleton enhanced with the latest combat systems all run by a human brain implanted into an armour case (the skull). Faster, stronger, almost bullet proof and extremely deadly but only available for hire The Willow Foundation became the go to place for your black ops needs.
Summer 2039 rumour has it that some of the team leaders went rogue, sick and tired of being treated like living weapons. Several units to kidnap the CEO from the car park beneath Tower One and a rolling gun battle across several floors (maybe you know somebody who saw it go down).
It came to end when Ogedi security personal were able to lay on sustained fire from automatic caseless assault rifles.
Within the hour the termination code was broadcast to all units detonating small explosive devices in the base of their necks. As the dust settled and the “clean up” went into overdrive it became apparent that some of these devices had failed.
The few remaining Augmented Combatants V1.0 as they were known still evade the authorities and kill teams dispatched by the foundation to supress their faulty (and now illegal) product.
We implant it so you don’t have to [Aerophyte Industries]
The number one name in cyber implant technology it is highly likely that any tech your character has implanted will have been produced by Aerophyte. For residents of the tenements this is often older tech, obsolete by the standards of modern high society.
Occasionally new tech does make its way down into the tenements though, often through implants “harvested” from a poor union worker recently promoted in their chosen profession. In these circumstances you can expect a response from Aerophyte.
The corporation are painfully aware that the new kids on the block NeuROTic are on the prowl for their tech to reverse engineer. As a result Aerophyte make no effort to hide the fact they actively use Fixers to recover stolen goods with the intention of deterring would be thieves looking to sell items on.
A pricele$$ commodity
They used say that you can’t put a price on friendship and love, in 2040 it’s still true but now there are other things money can’t buy.
Sometime in 2034 the process was perfected, advances in biotech and Artificial Intelligence finally broke through the barrier of cognitive transference. With the final piece of the puzzle solved human consciousness could finally be backed up and transferred into an engineered cloned duplicate.
The Cantos Conglomerate patented the tech overnight, ensuring they maintained a monopoly which is still going strong six years later.
With remote satellite uplinks in place the memories and personality of an individual are backed up on an hourly basis. Should they tire of it or the duplicate be damaged another can simply be activated.
Gifts and presents, the price of these clones is beyond comprehension both in monetary and status terms. One simply cannot purchase a clone no matter how wealthy they may be. In fact only five of the corporate dynasties who have survived the fall of the internet age are thought to be “in the club”.
Uncharacteristically the Gov. found a backbone during the negotiations in allowing Cantos a continued monopoly on this world changing technology. A clause was inserted into the contract which states that; “Only one clone of an individual possessing the conscious state of a registered individual may be active at any one moment.”
Whilst rumours run wild in some circles of multiple copies of Cantos Senior roaming the halls of their corporate headquarters no evidence has made it to the public domain.
For the people of the streets, trends in the latest designer duplicate fashions will never factor into any aspect of their daily lives. In fact the concept is so far beyond comprehension that some amongst the tenements do not even believe they exist.
Design note: Only characters born into or lucky enough to marry into one of the five corporate dynasties will be lucky enough to be clone duplicates. When booking to play a high society character please let us know if you wish to play a cloned character, all Cantos family characters are assumed to be clones.