Syndicate

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Syndicate

Manual entry

In the shadows of the cities the Syndicate thrives by providing the desperate and the downtrodden with the opiates they need to distract themselves and the weapons they need to kill each other.

When you really think about the power the TCTF wields it makes you wonder how the Syndicate has survived. There are a lot of theories: some say World Coalition Government lets the Syndicate slide because they keep the underclass down. Others claim a connection between the Syndicate and the remnants of the countries erased by World Coalition Government's land grab.

No matter what the truth is behind the Syndicate's power one thing is for sure - you have to steer away from Boss Muro. Muro came out of nowhere less than ten years ago and took out all of the old Bosses. He runs the whole show now. Since he became Boss things have gone from bad to worse. The TCTF doesn't like him. They have been at war with him for years but so far he has stayed one step ahead of the game.

History of the Syndicate

GENERAL ACCESS - Clearance Alpha G1>
TCTFaa01\hop\gM1 History of the Syndicate

The Mafia was the dominant criminal organization in the US for many generations but they began to lose their hold when the information age dawned. Their old world traditions were ill suited to the techno-centric world of the twenty first century.

Younger and more agile organizations were able to exploit this weakness. One of these, a collaboration known as "the Network" had earned incredible sums of money through black market technological sales, patent jumping and mercenary exploitation of their expertise in the underdeveloped nations of the pre-WCG world.

That last paragraph doesn't fit into
the frame, so it's not seen ingame.

Funded by wealthy white-collar criminals, the Network viewed their involvement in organized crime as an investment. They treated other criminal organizations as foundering companies ripe for takeover, a strategy well suited to the new face of crime.


TCTFaa01\hop\gM1 History of the Syndicate [cont]

The Network's financial assets made it possible to simply buy the loyalty of top men from existing criminal organizations and within twelve years their dominance of the criminal world was complete.

When the new geopolitical order of the World Coalition Government was instituted many technologies were identified as dangerous to world stability and were banned or reserved to restricted access. The Network survived the chaos of the world riots by establishing and maintaining a reliable technological black market.


TCTFaa01\hop\gM1 History of the Syndicate [cont]

During that time of unrest they found that they needed a more centralized armed power base to maintain their operations and so began to arm and train their operatives in a consistent manner. In doing so the faceless Network evolved into the highly trained and heavily armed force that we now know as the Syndicate.

The Syndicate has strong ties with and influence over several small countries that lie beyond the easy reach of the unified WCG. In these countries Syndicate factories produce the goods they sell here.


TCTFaa01\hop\gM1 History of the Syndicate [cont]

At present the TCTF is involved in two thousand ongoing Syndicate-related investigations. The resources of the WCG are at our disposal and we will use them to strike down this cancer that threatens our entire way of life.

Strikers

The front-end of the Syndicate, be it for the WCG or the public (or the gamer) is its strike force : a well-organized, worldwide army-like structure. There's a big variety of task forces (much greater than at the TCTF), and a ranking system based on insignia and uniform color.

Specialized troops

Strongmen

  • Muro : the big boss. Mai's brother and a "prime" Daodan symbiote.
  • Barabas : Muro's right hand man. Possibly another Daodan symbiote (if so, a "harnessed" Imago)
  • Mukade : head of the assassins. Subordination unclear. Possibly another Daodan symbiote.

Business

Renegade scientists

Bertram Navarre

The project had a few similarities to Hasegawa's Daodan ("retasking" of a host's cells), but somewhat eerier as for the organism's integrity.

Hasegawa and Kerr

Obviously, they are not the first nor the last renegade scientists to be harboured by the Syndicate : looks like a routine event.

Sci-goons

Historically, the Syndicate has provided shelter and equipment to a number of renegade scientists. The ones we see in CHAPTER 14 . DAWN OF THE CHRYSALIS work more specifically on Muro's STURMANDERUNG project.

Bribery

Deadly brain arrangements with corporate doctors go here

Smugglers

Hollow leg prosthetics go here

Dealers

Hypo spray addicts go here

Terrorism

After being taken over by Muro, the Syndicate gradually evolved towards terroristic activity, culminating with the STURMANDERUNG project.

Flatline Zombies

Deadly Brain

STURMANDERUNG

Raids

Various quotes presenting them as "maniacs".

Administration

Musashi Blast Doors

The best example of the Syndicate's internal communication is that of Musashi Blast Doors : a report filed in the best bureaucratical spirit.



Added value

An alternative to the Mafia

"The Network" is presented as "younger and more agile" than the Mafia. There has been a number of original concepts of criminal organizations (my favorite reference is Street Arms, Inc. from Shadowrun fansite swo.com). However, usually such face less organizations oppose the corporate world at national scale, dealing with the political and economical establishment of a given country. The Syndicate's scale of influence matches that of the WCG : it's global.

Before Muro

The important feature here is that the pre-Muro Syndicate was faceless rather than multifaced, as opposed to the strong head figure it was to acquire in the person of Muro. That goes in the direction of not repeating the Mafia's mistakes.

Semi-independent "barons" prospecting their own grounds, betraying each other on occasion... that can never provide for steady, reliable, lucrative business at the scale of a city, let alone a country or 80% of the world. You have to think global, and you have to enforce stability somehow.

The key idea seems to be a high degree of organization at every level. Tight internal regulations to rule out dissident behaviour : law within the outlaw.

Joint structures, like a unified armed force, a corporate-like administration (with a reasonable amount of paperwork), and an executive power concentrated in the hands of an almighty ("don't f##k with me") Council of peers (martial style).

That's closely related to the spirit of industrial syndicalism : trade unions, craft unions and initially guilds were meant to counterbalance the dog-eat-dog capitalistic background. The Syndicate brought social security to the criminal world.

TITAN

Actually, Muro's Strikers never refer to themselves as the Syndicate : it looks like the official designation made up by the WCG. Deprecative, almost, perhaps coined by the WCG to make the enemy appear like just a bunch of criminals in the eyes of the public (it's not the same thing to say the TCTF is fighting the Syndicate as to say they're fighting "Muro's Global Army").

At some point, the faceless opposing force may have adopted designations such as the Network or the Syndicate, but it seems out of proportion with Muro's megalomania. Strikers who were aware of Muro's global plans were picturing themselves as pending supermen, not petty criminals. From that point of view, Syndicate sounds just plain lame. Striker, Fury (Banshee, Valkyrie, etc)... that's already better.

The "server" of the STURMANDERUNG complex went by the name of TITAN : that's a name with strong mythological connotations (genesis of everything, from Olympian gods to mankind, Prometheus, Pandora, evil and hope, war...). It could be that's what Muro's men called themselves (Strikers is broad enough, but maybe they had an even broader term).

The Daodan trap

In the same way as a Daodan Chrysalis could be "just a resilience patch" but isn't, the Syndicate didn't get what they expected in the person of Muro.

Super-soldiers are all very nice if they're subject to control and fit into an existing hierarchy and administration (as an "inert patch" would).

By design, however, how to best serve the "host" is entirely up to the "patch". This fundamental freedom is where restrictions break down.

The Syndicate expected Muro to fulfill an instrumental role. It wasn't long until he broke out and started to "upgrade" and "redefine" his host.

Hyperevolution took its course. Heads flew. Trap snapped shut. Question is : had anyone seen it coming? The Syndicate's Council? Hasegawa?



Related

Troops