Sathar and the Megacorps

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by Phillip Campanaro

All of us have seen the holovids of Star Law Rangers and Spacefleet Sailors and Landfleet Soldiers confronting and stopping the evil Sathar in their never ending attempts to destroy the Frontier. But these is not our sole defense, and in some cases offense, against our enemy. While the UPF was formed as a result of Sathar attacks there are other groups equally and some would say better able to deal with the Sathar attacks. These are of course the Megacorps of the Frontier. As is appropriate, each of the Megacorps has its own ways and methods of dealing with the Sathar threat.

First off, this does not mean that there are not common methods used by all of the Megacorps and lesser companies as well. Pretty standard methods include the use of security guards, identification badges, security devices such as retinal scanners, and of course security departments charged with keeping out all interlopers. These methods work for the usual threats but how do you deal with a Vice President who has worked for the company for 75 years who has been hypnotized into doing the Sathar’s bidding? Here is some of the ways those with the resources have developed to handle these problems.

Pan-Galactic Corporation, Streel, and Cassidine Development Corporation are the top three Megacorps. Each of them likes to use the famous, or infamous, Troubleshooter teams in dealing with the possible Sathar threat. However they each approach how their teams are put together and how they operate in a way that reflects that Megacorp. The following is a breakdown of the top three’s teams.

Pan-Galactic Corporation

The oldest of the Megacorps and one of the few in existence when the Sathar first appeared, PGC had to find ways from scratch to deal with this new threat. They began by upgrading their usual security and by creating an entire new Megacorp with a special hidden purpose. Galactic Task Force, Incorporated, headquartered at the same place as PGC: Port Loren, Gran Quivera, Prenglar, is known to provide employees for any and all jobs including security work.

They find the perfect job for everyone with an extensive screening process which includes personality tests. It is these tests where GTF screens for those with a strong ability to resist the Sathar hypnotism ability. These beings are further tested during an employment period which can last up to five years to ensure both their loyalty and ability to resist being turned against PGC and GTF.

Once these beings have been identified, they are then brought in and offered special positions and training with the sole objective of protecting PGC assets. These are usually high-level, behind-the-scenes jobs like quality inspectors and floating supervisors. Whatever the title, they are given the authority and backup needed to handle whatever they find. For those with a more teamwork approach, troubleshooter teams and strike force groups are also available to deal with larger scale Sathar problems.

Editor’s note: The skills and Primary Skill Areas are taken from “A Skilled Frontier”, Star Frontiersman issue 9

A typical PGC undercover investigative team would look like this:

A four member team with the following positions: Lead Investigator (PSA Agent), Science Investigator (PSA Science), Support (PSA Technician), and Protection (PSA Military). Each member of the team would also have skills outside their PSA and outside the PSA of the other team members to give as much diversity as possible.

The team goes into a suspected section of the Megacorp with either the cover of a Quality Assurance Team or an Asset Rebranding Team. Both of these teams are actual parts of PGC and serve real purposes. Quality Assurance Teams are sent out to review all levels of PGC’s holdings and report back. They are not considered a threat because the action taken on their reports is usually suggestions for improvements or so that some of the numerous awards, rewards, and certifications can be given out. Asset Rebranding Teams are a little feared since they are usually sent to failing sections of the Megacorp to see if those sections can be saved or not, usually through drastic measures. However since it is PGC policy to send employees back to GTF for reassignment it is not as devastating to be rebranded as with other companies.

Once a team is on site they begin to investigate. Many times they are not sure what they are looking for so they try and keep open to any and all possibilities, spies, Sathar, embezzlers, Taurcut Frogs in the wiring, etc. The teams are encouraged to deal with the problem as they see fit either internally or contacting whichever planetary or UPF agency has jurisdiction.

Streel Corporation

One of Streel’s secrets to success is their copying of everything that PGC does. Of course they do this much more aggressively. Streel uses Merco for these jobs and Merco does not pretend to hire janitors and secretaries they just go after warriors. Streel and Merco use the same methods of screening and training as PGC, but when they put teams together they seldom pretend to be anything other than who they are. The real twist to Streel is that they not only investigate possible attacks against themselves but they look for and attack Sathar outposts. It is said that Sathar technology in Streel’s possession is the real reason for their innovations and successes.

A team from Streel will typically be small and not have a lot of equipment but be very highly skilled with the following positions: Lead Investigator (PSA Agent), Science Investigator (PSA Agent), Support (PSA Military), Protection (PSA Military). Each member of the team would also have skills outside their PSA to cover skills needed. i.e. the Support being would have driving or computer at level 3 or 4.

The team goes into a suspected section of the Megacorp as an Investigating Team. They demand full cooperation from all Streel employees. To say that they are heavy handed might be an understatement but these beings are smart and resourceful and know when to use the carrot and not just the stick. However, since it is Streel policy to deal with employees who do not cooperate internally, they usually do not have a problem getting cooperation from loyal employees.

The teams are encouraged to deal with the problem as they see fit, but it is seldom externally. They can call in additional resources and even entire battalions if needed. Of course if the team calls in too much and it is not justified, there are repercussions from Streel.

Cassidine Development Corporation

CDC sponsors many activities beyond the Frontier. They have a special need for protection since they are often far from UPF and Star Law assistance. Besides the standard protocols used by all space travelers, CDC takes a unique approach: they are actively seeking peaceful contact with the Sathar. Why? CDC is at heart explorers and first contact with other species is all important to them. Contacting and negotiating with the Sathar is a top priority. However this does not mean they go in with flowers and cuddles. Armed and ready is more like it.

A team from CDC will typically be a self contained unit with its own starship consisting of a Lead Investigator (commander of the vessel), 2 or 3 Science Investigators (PSA Science – specializing in alien contact), as many Support as needed (various PSAs), and 2 or 3 Protection (PSA Military). Each member of the team would also have skills at high level but typically not as high as a PGC or Streel team since CDC teams are usually much larger.

The team goes into action in two different ways. If it is an internal problem then the team usually enters a suspected section of the Megacorp as individuals. One team member may not know every being on its team, only the Lead Investigator who usually stays separate. Once they find what they need, action is taken and the team is quietly pulled out. If the team is outside the Frontier they are typically assigned a ship and make rounds of all CDC outposts and holdings, providing friendly check-ins.

The teams are encouraged to deal with the problem as they see fit, but the importance is placed on not letting the information get outside of the Megacorp. CDC feels this would damage their reputation of getting along with everyone.