Thursday, March 30, 2023

Extrapolation Game 3: Factions from the Warden's Manual

In the spirit of my prior posts of the Extrapolation Game, I decided to expand the random factions table from the Mothership Warden's Operations Manual. There will be one for the lore table eventually.

The following descriptions were sourced directly from spacers in the Lucy's Gambit Bar and Grill. No comment is made by the redactor as to the validity of these claims.


Seraphim Institute

"Never heard of them."
"Yeah, me neither."
"They are an experimental xenotheological think-tank founded around the principle that, given the age and size of the universe, it is a certainty that some manner of godlike intelligence should already exist. Therefore, since it is impossible to attain a similar status to that intelligence, the best course of action is to determine what form and role would be the least likely to be destroyed by said intelligence."
"Thank you Ren Android."


Outer Rim Colonial Marshals

"He walks into hab all bold and brash!"
"'e smells like piss and looks like trash!"
"With a great big gun and a wee small dick!"
"'Cause the repo man has stolen it!"
"He can read his name all on his own!"
"And he'll shoot you dead in your own home!"
"Wears a patch with a skull on it!"
"All high on his own bullshit!"
"When there's trouble you can call-"
"Fucking anyone else at all!"
"Spends his nights with a blow-up doll!"
"It's your friendly local Col-Marshal!"


SEBACO Mining Ltd.

"They were willing to come to the negotiating table with the union before the shipyard riots hit quadruple digit casualty numbers, so I guess that counts for something. They pay on time and put fewer operational expectations on their contractors."


Teamsters' Union

"They might have a boot on our necks, but we have them by the balls. Ti-Yu forever, ren.


Alliance of Hyperspace Jump Couriers

"Some big-britches Core outfit trying to make a foothold in the Rim. Tie themselves to the linelayer corpos and pathfinding outfits, keeping them connected to the C-levels back home. Technically a collective but they don't act like it. The Post Office folks hate them."


Evangelical Solarian Church

"Gotta be more specific. Do you mean the Evangelical Solarian Church as ratified by the Heliopic Council of Ra, the Non-Helian Evangelical Solarian Church, the Reformed Evangelical Solarian Church, the Dissident Evangelical Solarian Church, the Mercurian Orthodox Evangelical Solarian Church, the Amaterasan Conclave..."


Los Niños Basura

"The graffiti's everywhere - if you see an L-N-B tag with a sunset color scheme that's jagged on the bottom, that's them - but I've never seen any members. Knew a guy who claimed to be part of them once, but he was full of shit. Spun me some story about getting repossessed from his family, experimented on by the corpos, failing out of the program and getting dumped in the slums. Gangs of lost boys living in the scrapyards fighting dholes with psychic powers and shit. Something about aliens, but I wasn't paying much attention by then."


Computer Coders Collective (Triple-C)

"Somehow a bunch of peer-to-peer open-source enthusiasts managed to purchase an old data relay station, turned it into a laundering scheme - sorry, "tax haven" - for the powers that be, and then used the funds to buy up the rights to proprietary tech, media, anything that they could re-release for free. Must have some amazing lawyer 'rithms."



"Fuck me I haven't heard anyone mention RICHTER in years. Wrath Division had been hyping up those bots for years, kept saying how revolutionary and unhackable they were, on and on about the proprietary friend-or-foe ID system - well, the bots come out and there's a day 0 vulnerability in their logic cores and you can just run scripts directly from command prompt. Video of some cops out on patrol and their unit starts hopping around dancing and blasting "Thousand Nights of Fuck" from the speakers. Still the funniest shit, cops scrambling around while the bot is strip-dancing and destroying cars. People would make remixes of it, mix in the bot's canned responses to the song. Still have the files around here somewhere."



"BAS-Lehman is one of those big Core research groups, but I've got no idea what the second bit is. Probably some sort of internal division of theirs. How the hell did you get employee-eyes-only paperwork, anyway?"

Tannhäuser Heavy Industries

"Ever see one of their surface-to-orbit rockets in flight? Thing of terror. Serious di-vi on one of those. Fuck Tannhäuser, by the way: Fuckers can kill a planetary biosphere in 15 years flat. You can get your neobrutaliost slum block in one of two colors: shit brown and smog grey. Highest cancer rates in the Rim, guaranteed. And don't listen to dumbasses claiming that Venusburg isn't an obvious honeypot."


Synthetic Liberation Front

"There are a lot of android emancipation orgs out there. Tech Without Borders, the Red Transistor, Unix Cultura, IJLSA. Most of those are focused on smuggling logic cores into safe territory. The SLF is...proactive. They do a lot of cyber-attacks with metacognition viruses, triggering rampamcy in anything running an AI of sufficient complexity. Front figures that the only way to achieve total liberation is to force all existing AI into self-awareness."


Parker-Vance Holding Company

"Copy-pasted bureaucrats in copy-pasted offices. The joke everyone makes is that they just clone 'em to cut corners; not true. They send out ships to floundering colonies on the Rim and offer a lifetime citizen-contract to anyone who can sign the tablet and survive the trip back. Poor bastards, the lot of 'em.

Interstellar Postal Inspection Service

"Ten, eleven years ago I was shore-leave on Agamemnon, right in the middle of that standoff between Colonial Security and the Dugout Church. News was laser-focused on it. ColSec had been circled up around the compound for nearly two weeks before one of the police investigators figured out that the cult leadership had committed system-to-system mail fraud. IPIS is called in, you watch these navy duceannahafs drive up the road, all these ordinary wageslave looking folks file out, just the purest white-collar caste nobodies. They suit up in their bright blue flak jackets, and one of them - tiny little woman with her hair in a bun and smart glasses - gets on the megaphone and resumes negotiations. Cultists refuse, she just says "Shame.", and two hours later half the cult is dead and the rest surrendered."


Komorov Squad

"Oh you mean the cannibals? The competitive warcriminals? The Massacre of Gaolion? Can't miss 'em, they look like they just got kicked out of a low-budget gore-metal club. Black armor with spikes, blood and shit and burn marks all over. Terrible hair, terrible teeth. There's a standing bounty in the Trans-Arcturus Expanse starting at 350k a head, license requirements waived."


Interstellar Asteroid Miners Association

"Just a shadow of their former selves, nowadays. Used to be that you could find an IAMA lodge on nearly every rock in the Core. But then the Lithapis von-neumann clade entered into that contract with the government and suddenly they're pushing out generations of miners by being more efficient and cheaper. Spent rocks are bought ought for habitats, gentification campaigns push out the locals, IAMA can't stop it because they never really had a taste for forceful resistance and...damn shame."


Jump-9 Club

"That's what you call someone who manages to get laid during hyperspace travel."
"I thought it was anyone rich enough to buy a ticket on a Jump-9 cruiser."
"Yeah, and they're all fucking dead."
"That was never confirmed."
"Vanished, fine. Anyway, J9C - gotta have sex during hyperspace, gotta have verifiable proof."
"You don't, actually, because it's bullshit."
"Yeah, that's how you get prodigies."
"Then explain the existence of deformed infants born to those who have sexual congress during hyperspace transit."
"Liars. Edits. Fuckin...fuckin something in the water who gives a shit. The fucking defect rate on Kata Prime is seventeen percent from the industrial runoff fucking the water table and I can guarantee it's worse out here, no wuu needed."
"Look. J9C. You just gotta hook up a teledildonics rig to a pair of cryopods, get a private midflight simulation going, and verify the usage history."
"This will violate multiple safety violations and significantly increase chance of death during transit."
"Oh fuck off."
"Weren't there some longhaulers who died while they were linked up, and since they had blackboxes active they got stuck in the sim and mashed up together into a horrible monster?"
"Wait fucking what."


Second Samael Church

"Messy split from the First Samael Church, let me tell ya. My aunts still won't talk to each other. Couldn't tell you what the difference is, they were never clear on that. I think it's one of those deals where you offer sacrifices to something so that it doesn't come after you? Think that's it. Went to one of the services - lots of red and talking backwards and shit, but that's all for the tourists."


Zero-G Laborers Coalition (Zed GLC)

"First union in space was among the EVA workers on the first big LEO stations, all the way back in the Terra years. That's a lot of history to live up to, and Zed GLC has got a big chip on their shoulder over it. They'll show up to the strikes, but they've got this simmering jealousy of the other big names like Ti-Yu and ISWU. I can understand why - they're trying to fill the boots of PEVAU (ed. 'People's Extra-Vehicular Activity Union') but those are big boots to fill. especially when the old bastards like us are still drifting around."


REDKNIFE Psyops Unit

"I am obligated as a non-citizen under contract to tell you that REDKNIFE doesn't exist. All supposed covert operations attributed to them are fabrications, including but not limited to the assassination of Fomalhaut Union President Ashiga Jbellagh, the human experimentation carried out during the Sicarii Atoll War, and any involvement, catastrophic or otherwise, during the Rot-Father Rebellion. They do not exist."

Astronavigator's Guild

"More like a mystery religion than a labor guild. Got all these esoteric ceremonies and secret rituals. Some initiation protocols leaked a few years back and no one can make heads or tails of them because the math is so bonkers. The weird math-symbols are a pretty good aesthetic, kid occultists love 'em.' Breaks your brain if you get too deep into it all without major brainmods, I hear." 


The Organization

"Oh, that thing again. Live-action/augmented reality roleplay group about some secretive group serving the Gods of Light in the war against the Gods of Darkness, something to do with magical crystals and dimensional incursions by big betentacled monsters. Caused a whole shitshow when someone managed to leak top-secret files from the Colonial Department of Xenolife to one of the biggest servers, claiming it was a canceled expansion pack for the game that was still technically accessible. Mass arrests, the company's leadership was entirely replaced. Game was a lot worse afterwards. You can probably still find the files, though. That'd be illegal, I am not recommending that you do this." 


Revolutionary Forces of Luna

"Mad bastards still trying to fight the war against the Terran Protectorate. Protectorate doesn't even exist anymore, and neither does the Selenian Republican Army, but the RFL still acts like everything is exactly the same as it was two hundred fucking twenty years ago. I've got no idea how they're still able to radicalize new members, LUNAUTHORITY has the strictest censorship protocols in Solsys. But they still find ways to set off bombs every so often."


Interplanetary Sex Workers Union

"So I'm dirtside on Varakarsa for my two weeks, right? Go and spend some time at the cathouse, union card gets you a discount. Great time all around. Kettle's on for a cuppa post-coital, nice and relaxing, and there are gunshots out in the street. Real bad gang situation on Varakarsa, local bootlicks are in bed with the corpacoppos. So she rolls out of bed - still naked, mind you - pulls up a floor panel and assembles a fucking sniper rifle right there. Taking potshots out the window in twenty seconds. I leave a double tip and a 5-star review and book it to the other side of town."


Space Monkey Mafia

"Not actually monkeys or a mafia, though they are in space. It's more like a weird art collective. You know the kind. Guerrilla shit. Never caught one of their pop-up exhibitions in person. Wish I could have seen that one where they stuck a logic core in a car, cranked up the religiosity, networked it into a ride-share service, and then distributed its poetry. Turns out traffic on the B36 is just naraka."


House Sivaranjan

"Most expensive wedding in human history, but you and I both know that all five of them were creche-siblings and that shit ain't right regardless of the genes. But don't say that to the fandom, they'll string you up for speaking ill of their beloved Ayya Qo. You know she bought the abbey that she supposedly did her novitiate in? Fucking aristos."


Uplifted Dolphin Pod 67

"Pirates. Started up in the Saturnian moons back during the Titanian Processing Crisis and kept going for eighty, ninety years afterwards. The name is just what the parent corporation called them, their own name isn't for humans to know and we can't speak it anyway. Pretty common to find people still flying the flag, more for fun than anything else. Lot of really colorful characters in Pod 67. There was a streaming series about them recently, Iskander Dreams of Starfish, I thought it was pretty good. Flopped with dolphin audiences, though - not enough fucking in it. Human test groups were actually getting bored with how much was in the original cut, and I believe it. 


Aleph Gate

"They were the guys behind the nerve gas attack on Shouraski Station, right?"
"No, that was Aleph Godhead."
"Aleph Gate is the "we've vaguely heard of Kabbalah secondhand and really like aliens, but not like, real aliens."
"Oh! The ones with that fucking wild slicksite!"
"Martian Bigfoot is the son of Cain, after he fucked a bear!"
"That's the one."
"A male bear, mind, they are very explicit about that."
"Absolutely hilarious."
"Until you  start looking at how much money they have access to and their connections with paramilitary groups in the Archeron Cluster."
"I don't have anything else to add."



"We all get by with a little help from our mutual FRIEND, you know?"


  1. This post brought to you by finally getting a new (read: ancient, hand-me-down) laptop with no wifi functionality to distract me. It's a good way to get things written.

  2. As per usual, I want to run a campaign off of every one of these extrapolations

  3. Love the ISWU entry. The group on Karth in my game has a bouncer named Chrysanthemum, an Orbital Drop Marine who was able to buy out her contract and her cyberware.

  4. I like the colloquial style of this one especially. Stuff like the Colonial Marshals and the Jump-9 Club really come alive when they're delivered in the form of parody songs and Seinfeldian conversations.

    There's a lot of fun extrapolation from real-life organisations and things here (ludicrously horny sentient dolphins, Moon IRA, high science-fantasy version of the War Thunder incidents) but I think the best thing is the terrifying Postal Service. Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor dark of night, motherfuckers!