Monday, January 14, 2019

Solar Trek: The Orion Syndicate

This is an expansion of this post.

The Orion Syndicate is transnational criminal organization involved cybercrime, money laundering, piracy, drug and weapons trafficking, and the slave trade. It originated in the Orion Colonies of the Belt (a loose association of libertarian ultra-capitalists of unclear origins), but the current center of its operations, to the extent such a diffuse organization has one, is believed to be in the Jovian Trojans.

The Syndicate are perhaps most infamous for their traffic in artificial humanoids. Their "Greens" (named for their green skin-tones) came to the attention of Federation authorities in 2250. Greens are promoted as having heightened sexual appetites and intoxicating pheromones. What is not mentioned by the Syndicate is that the conditions of their accelerated growth and training often lead to violent responses and animalistic behavior.

Despite the remoteness of their base of operation, operatives and associates of the Syndicate are involved in smuggling, hijacking, and hostage taking in the high traffic regions of Earth orbit. Syndicate associated hackers are all concentrated in this region.

While the Orion Colonies are officially neutral, the Syndicate's haven is likely protected by the Klingon Empire who may employ in them cyber-espionage against the Federation.


JB said...

This is neat, but not what I want to talk about.

One cool thing about this setting; it need not feel "small scale" despite being confined to our own solar system. When we think of the traditional "Klingon Empire," for example, I think we tend to think of a loose (possibly shifting) group of planets conquered by the warlike Klingon.

But their have been plenty of historic "empires" in our own Earth history that were vast without even encompassing the entirety of the planet. The Aztec Empire. The Mongol Empire. The Holy Roman Empire. The Klingon Empire of Solar Trek need not occupy multiple planets...nor even an entire planet! Geographic isolation caused by early (not-quite-functional) terraforming could result in multiple, highly different cultures developing, even on the same planetary sphere.

[likewise conquered "colonies" of a particular "empire" might appear in small sections of various planets]

The solar system is a pretty big place...if our own small blue planet can sustain billions of people (even with most of its land mass below water) there's no reason to think a fantasy future could sustain a huge expanse of diverse humanity. I think the potential is pretty darn cool.
: )

Trey said...

Exactly! A lot of people's first impression is it makes Star Trek smaller, and in a literal way it does. But the vast distances of the series are just window dressing with a ship that can traverse them in hours or days. The Earth itself is a large venue from any historical game. Slow communication and travel times, and the Solar System becomes vaster in a narrative since than the whole galaxy is on TV.

Brutorz Bill said...

Nice post!

PabloNada said...

I dunno, I really enjoy this concept and I have always been a big fan of of pulpy Solar system science fiction but shrinking it down Enterprise's universe down to just the solar system takes a lot of what made Star Trek Star Trek out. I am guessing you are going to maintain the balance by slowing the ships own considerably so that you can maintain that 'vastness of space' idea. Consider all the wonders and mysteries Star Trek OS bumped into in the galaxy, cram that all in our little solar system and it's very very pulpy instead of just pulpy. It's more like the'Have Death Ray Will travel' rpg or even Buck Rogers with all the genetically modified Gennies, instead of Star Trek. I remember reading some essay where someone compared Kirk to Horatio Hornblower - the comparison is very good because the Enterprise does feel like a Napoleonic ship spending weeks and months out in the middle of 'empty' space exploring and otherwise, and the Captain has to make decisions as the sole representative of 'order' for light years around when he bumps into these wonders and mysteries. Again, I really like the concept of ripping off all that star Trek Stuff but it doesn't ring like Star Trek. If you make our solar system too sparse you have like Outland or something, if you cram it full of stuff it's more like Buck rogers (esp with all the genetically modified Gennies). And the rationale for exploration will not make too much sense. look at that TV show the expanse, it's got one 'wonder' for the whole solar system.