Atlas Syndicate - History
Tue Aug 09 2022 (Updated: Tue Aug 09 2022) - 4 min read
Background Briefing for Trusted Clients/Private Dissemination Addendum 1: Historical information Cypher Key #TI-349GO561DIS808# Security Level: 4 [3 if Nightcorps info expunged] Last Updated: 7.18.2420 Access granted by: EDL (FA-SE)
In 2300 the Atlas Syndicate was created through the largest megacorporation merger in history, explicitly in order to act as a “champion” for Lunar philosophy and interests on the Frontier. In the preceding decades, the elites of the Lunar Directorate had grown increasingly worried by the Martian Commonwealth-backed MPL's growing power and influence, and they saw the Syndicate as their best chance to remain competitive and maintain Lunar relevance in a galaxy increasingly shaped by private industry. With the stroke of a pen, two major banking institutions, a massive insurance company, and several of the Sol System’s most prominent law firms were merged into a single entity, and Atlas was born.
Interestingly, it seems that establishing the Atlas Syndicate went directly against the guidance of Tenebris, the Advanced AI at the heart of Lunar society that has long acted as a direct advisor to the Directorate’s leadership. Tenebris warned that encouraging economic conflict between Atlas and the MPL could reignite the war between Luna and Mars, and argued that the Directorate should instead focus on improving living conditions on Earth. Tenebris believed that future cooperation between Luna and Mars would be necessary to prevent humanity from once again splintering into warring nations. However, the Syndicate's rapid success and interstellar expansion led the Directorate's leadership to conclude that these prescient warnings were unfounded. As the scope and ambition of Atlas’ operations grew, Tenebris' concerns were largely forgotten.
In 2347, the Syndicate purchased its own Dyson Sphere from a group of independent commanders. This acquisition remains a point of pride for the Syndicate and its employees, many of whom are still quick to point out that while the MPL labored for years to build their own Sphere, Atlas simply had to authorize a bank transfer. With Sphere in hand, Atlas formally declared their independence from Luna. This decision was made with the Directorate's blessing, as Atlas had outgrown the need for government backing and would require the freedom to operate within independent systems in order to remain competitive. What’s more, as a member of the so-called “Sovereign Six” (then five), an independent Atlas could serve as an even more effective counterweight to the MPL.
At the same time, some members of the corporate hierarchy began to see the Syndicate’s commitment to the rule of law as a hindrance. During a period where public perception of the Tianchao Clan had soured amongst the galaxy’s elites, a demand arose for alternative information brokers and private intelligence services. In response, Atlas secretly formed its own espionage agency, the shadowy organization known as Nightcorps. Operating with near-autonomy and a chilling ruthlessness, Nightcorps quickly made its presence felt on the Frontier, and was responsible for the irradiation of several Deadzone systems.
The connection between Atlas and Nightcorps remains a carefully guarded secret, but on numerous occasions information obtained by Nightcorps has been purposefully leaked by the Syndicate's leadership. One of the most prominent of these occurred in 2354, when a group of “independent commanders” first reported that Marauders had been making use of MPL technology. Investigation into this rumor would ultimately lead to the Marauder's creation being linked to several prominent members of Martian society, and deal a massive blow to Mars' credibility and reputation.
This revelation presented Atlas with a rare opportunity. By exposing the connection between the MPL and the Marauders, the Syndicate scored a decisive blow against its old rival, shattering perceptions of the organization and its Commonwealth-backed leadership within the wider galactic community. However, as predicted by Tenebris more than 180 years earlier, this act set events in motion that would eventually culminate in the second Lunar-Martian war and subsequently the Terran uprising.
The following years held a number of difficulties for the Syndicate. Following the defeat of their Lunar allies by Terran rebels and their newly formed Union of Sol, the megacorporation attempted to pull back from the costly conflicts of the Sol system, instead choosing to focus on the largely untapped resources found across several Deadzones through its Nightcorps subsidiary. This, too, would ultimately lead them into costly warfare, as violence flared between Nightcorps forces, pirates, and independent factions with an interest in the area.
Despite these hiccups, in recent years the Syndicate has managed to continue their vast operations across the galaxy mostly unimpeded. However, their expansion efforts have now turned decidedly towards consolidating their presence in the Omega Sector and pushing towards the Spiral Expanse. There, Atlas has focused their efforts towards contracting out their financial, military, and information brokering services to independent colonies and commanders, while also turning their eyes towards corners of the market currently held by smaller corporations, such as the Binderburg Conglomerate and Gelecek.