The agricorp is not corrupted by Demonground, even though it neighbors Birdston and other affected areas. There is an underground tunnel leading to the Demonground from the agricorp, known only to some Igors and Dark Minions who are attempting to infiltrate the corporation, and/or maintain good relations. These operatives have also posted beasties and Igors about the fields to ward off intruders, unbeknownst to the corporation or its guards (who have reported weird lights, strange odors, and wild sightings off and on, for years). As massive as BioDyne is, there are definitely patches of Demonground within its borders - amongst the dark and twisted trees far out on the field lines, and deep within the uniform rows of the vast corn fields - but Minion activity is not (overtly) rampant.
Though the vast majority of the workforce remains Unaware, several of the top CEOs and managerial employees are Aware that patches of Demonground exist on the agricorp's vast grounds. For the most part, these areas are completely avoided - however, grounds which cannot be cultivated on are obviously of little use to the megacorp, so if Demonground is discovered early enough, Biodyne has been known to hire Minion Hunters in an attempt to stop its spread.
They do not, however, seek to make their workforce Aware. If Demonground takes root in a cultivated area on which workers live, and early attempts to stop it are unsuccessful, Biodyne relocates them, or - if there are no other fields in which they might prove useful - fires them (fairly rare), then discontinues use of the affected area(s).
If questioned about The Dark, Aware employees generally disavow knowledge of such things. Generally speaking, field laborers are the most likely of all Biodyne's employees to have some knowledge of, and possible experience with, The Dark. Aware employees, and those who experience Dark Minion activity, are briefed by managers not to discuss it with anyone outside the corporation, and then to only discuss it with superiors who directly question them. Those who do not comply are summarily dismissed. They take the same position on The Marauders.
Biodyne has, however, been known to turn a blind eye toward those involved in the Empathic Underground.
The Buildings of BioDyne
While there are several buildings in the BioDyne sector, all but two are parking garages, living quarters, and retail shops, centers, and entertainment venues (several have been left intentionally undefined); the other two are the Processing Factory and Lobby/Reception Area, which opens-up into the famed Summerlands. While most of these close around dusk, and are open to the public, they are frequented specifically by BioDyne employees. Of course, when those employees are looking for some real action, they head over to Chandler or Robinsville.
Inside: There are six, basic character types to be encountered within the buildings and buildings area (inside the Dome), not including guards; two more are included for completeness. It is assumed the following professionals took the most direct route to their current occupation and/or have remained there for more than one term. For simplicity's sake, this includes all of the inside areas of BioDyne - specifically, the Lobby/Reception Building and the Factory/Processing Buildings - including the retail shops, entertainment venues, and parking garages noted. Generally speaking, visitors are not allowed in the Factories, as it is too dangerous, but if PCs enter (either as workers or clandestinely), it is obvious that they will encounter Factory Workers more than others; common sense rules. The fields are covered below.
Computer Operator/Programmer(DC, p. 38): Receptionists, assistants, clerical, and the like. They are encountered inside the office buildings only, and are the most frequently encountered character type in the Lobby/Reception Area.
Factory Worker(DC, p. 40): The grunts and general workers who handle all manner of labor from outside work to packaging, processing, shipping, and more. They can be encountered anywhere at any time, and are the most frequently encountered character type in the factory/processing area(s).
Mechanic(DC, p. 43): Mechanics are as plentiful - perhaps moreso - as Factory Workers. They can be encountered anywhere at any time, though in the fields and on the processing floors are where they are most commonly found. Where Farmers oversee the Factory Workers, and Factory Workers oversee and work alongside the 'bots, Mechanics make all the necessary repairs to... everything needing repair. As such, they are among the most well-treated, and well-paid, of all the character types working at the zaibatsu.
Farmer(DC, p. 40-41): As factory workers above, farmers can be encountered anywhere on the grounds or inside, though the former is more common. Farmers make up the middle management and overseers' echelons; they oversee the Factory Workers in the fields, and (rarely) on the processing floors. As such, they should have some measure of Business and Persuade.
Corporate Executive(Manager - DC, p. 43): The most common authority figures, these are the true bosses and managers of the corporation who answer only to the CEOs and stockholders. They may be encountered anywhere, but almost always indoors. When they are encountered out of doors, they will have the best version of whatever apparel and equipment is needed for their task (such as gas masks and biohazard suits when the other workers may have only face masks). These managers also oversee the workers on the processing floor, sign the paychecks, and handle similar, official busines smatters.
Corporate CEO(Politician - DC, p. 46): These are the company's CEOs, officials, and major stockholders. They may be visiting representatives from another corporation, there on business. If they are from the Agricorp, they will have Level 3 Access at the very least. Encountered only indoors, and almost solely in executive-designated levels and areas.
Truck Driver(DC, p. 49): Most often encountered in the processing areas or Lobby, Truck Drivers are never encountered in the fields, and very rarely in the Lobby/Reception Area (where they receive their orders, forms, and paychecks). This character type is actually only rarely encountered, and is included for completeness.
Paramedics(DC, p. 45): BioDyne maintains its own, small clinic within the main building (where this character type works - and lounges, when there is no work), and far-reaching Outposts have their own clinics, also manned by Paramedics. This character type can be encountered anywhere at any time, but very rarely; there are only a handful throughout the entire agricorp. They are included here for completeness.
As mentioned, much of Biodyne's core workforce actually lives in the fields on which they work. These small settlements generally consist of little more than a handful of housing buildings, a hangar in which the vehicles and equipment is stored, and a general store in which a "nightclub" -type entertainment area is located. Those farther out also have their own clinic, manned by one or more Paramedics. These settlements are referred to as "outposts." Strictly speaking, outposts are Mike-Towns.
Outposts are patroled by BioDyne Guards, usually mounted on horseback (detailed on the main page), which come through irregularly but are always available when called. They are behind Biodyne's moat and fences, affording them extra protection against outside forces. Streetlights, where present, tend to work as they are necessary to the job. Likewise, BioDyne keeps the outposts clean and in good working order.
The general store serves as the social hub for the entire outpost and provides the workers with literally every necessity and convenience for which they could hope, given the circumstances. Here, they can find food (including a nice selection of fresh crops they probably harvested themselves), clothing, general hardware and household items, and a slight selection of games, books, and entertainment products. Resident workers are allowed a stipend by period, allowing them to receive most of these goods at no real cost (even though, technically, this stipend accounts for part of their living wages, just as does housing).
Each general store also has a bar which serves alcohol. Near this is usually a small dancefloor, jukebox, dartboard, and a handful of video games. Pool tables, foosball, air hockey, and similar entertainment can also be found in this area. While the general store is available 24/7, the interior "bar" may not be, depending on the area, number of workers housed there, season, and more. Nothing in the bar can be bought on stipend; all such entertainment must be paid for outright.
There are no other retail outlets in any outpost, though the General store may provide other services, such as hairdressers, prepared foods, house a post office, and the like - all under the same roof. Strictly speaking, these general stores are owned and operated by entrepreneurs, but these shopkeeps receive products from BioDyne, are reimbursed for residents' "stipend" purchases, and are allowed to work rent-free. PCs may own and operate General Stores on outposts, generally as Managers(DC, p. 43).
Remember that these general stores are exactly that; they are unlikely to carry items specific to any area or pursuit outside those related to the job. For example, you will definitely find a shovel and oil lamp; you might find a tent, or even a computer; you will not find handcuffs or laser sights (DC, p. 273). These stores do not sell weapons, but they do sell bullets. General stores are provided for convenience; one must go into town for "real" nightlife and supplies.
Guns are not exactly outlawed, but brandishing them is a great way to get fired and quickly escorted off Biodyne lands. Managers carry pistols in the fields for wild animals, and - depending on the project - some workforces are given pistols to carry as part of their job. For instance, lettuce attracts many rodents and birds, and workers are expected to kill any they see.
Crops are rotated in the fields annually, so peas may be grown in a field one year, then corn the next. Generally speaking, the work team rotates with the crops, so a team assigned to work the fields in which peas are cultivated will move with the peas. However, there are exceptions; many managers stay with the same outpost indefinitely (until the outpost is closed or the field[s] abandoned), and longtime workers who have experience with several crops may be able to establish permanent residences, though this is considered a promotion, or perk benefit.
Fields which have become "stripped" are those in which the soil's nutrients have been depleted. These fields are abandoned and nursed back to health at planting time and harvest time, when mulch from healthy fields are worked into their soil. In can take several years for a stripped field to revitalize, during which time the associated outpost lay dormant. These are called "ghost towns." Sometimes, there's a very good reason for that.
If outposts remind you of the American Wild West, they should; that is a good reference point for running them.
Not everything about BioDyne could be explained on the main page, lest we inadvertently expose the many Dark Conspiracies surrounding it. Remember that Biodyne is a major agricultural corporation, and there is plenty of conflict and adventure to be found here based on that alone. While Demonground and Dark Minions are obviously key to a Dark Conspiracy game, there is an awful lot going on in and around Biodyne which has nothing to do with either. Troupes are encouraged to explore roleplaying opportunities along these lines to experience everyday life in the Dark Conspiracy world.
This information also paints the picture of a large agricorp in the Dark Conspiracy world. Others, in various locations, may be larger or smaller, but will be similar; you can use BioDyne as a template for your own Dark Conspiracy agricorporations.
Suffice it to say, as the major foodstuffs supplier, and one of the major industries of Metrodome and its surrounding 'burbs, BioDyne is a keystone of the Metrodome campaign. Largely immune to greater political scandal (at least so far), it certainly has its share of intrigue it generally manages to keep out of the press. Creative GMs can use these hooks, along with the following randomizers (and those found elsewhere), to spur their imaginations when the omnipresent agricorp comes into play.