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The Summerlands of Biodyne

Gigantic elephant-ears loom impossibly over the trails the tourists trample, fat balls of water slide from their emerald fronds to the rich soil below.  Gardens of flora that have no business growing anywhere in this hemisphere sweep over the land they hide, the indoor fields sprayed with colors as vivid as Chandler's neon lights.  Immense, smooth-skinned trees, roped with vines, climb through the maze of irrigation pipes, their lazy limbs a canopy beneath which the sun's light disappears. A true sight for even the most hard-bitten city cynic; even the most militant mother-earther admits it is a haven for the plant life which thrives there.

Just inside Metrodome, where the Lobby and main offices are located. Here, the geodesic tiling is specially-designed to intensify the UV rays from what little sunshine gets through, making it hot and steamy, creating the perfect conditions for growing tropical plants. Most visitors are taken on tours of this area, as it is the pride and joy of many high-ranking officials within the corporation. BioDyne considers the Summerlands its showplace: The perfect example of the agricorp's capabilities. This is the public "hothouse" of BioDyne, and all of the pictures citizens see of the agricorp are taken here.

Clever use of irrigation technology allows computers and overseers to trigger gentle rainshowers in specific areas beneath the dome; this creates the "Summerlands steam," but the dome magnifies the effect, as there is little place for the steam to escape. The lights are too hot for the bats, so guano is distributed via the same irrigation pipes, and carefully regulated by computer.

Drones are still the primary workers, but there are more humans in the
Summerlands than in the fields or factory. Workers vie for a position here, despite the heat and humidity, and the fact that there are no living quarters in the Summerlands, as mid- and high- ranking executives frequent the area.  Basically all visitors are steered to, or through, the corporate showplace, so those working in the Lobby and Reception Area get to rub elbows with some pretty important people on a regular basis.  All "regular" visitors (that is, non-corporates/tourists) are taken on a mandatory walk through the gardens.

Some say that some of the biggest deals in the corporation's history have been decided on these grounds. They are right.
 
The Summerlands
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The Tribe of the Summerlands

The name given the unseen group that has been raiding the fields over the last several years, stealing crops and somehow avoiding all attempts at security, no matter how stringent.  Some think they are Eco-Warriors, mocking the corporation, but some (however few) know better.  As one former CEO put it, "There are literally tens of thousands of acres out there, gentlemen.  I've seen horses, cattle, dogs, wildcats -- I've actually seen people out there -- dirty, filthy people that look like animals.  I've seen them with my own eyes!"

He is correct: the Marauders are a group of semi-nomadic, clannish people who are tied to the agricorp lands, locked behind its fences.  They live deep within the heart of the Outlaw fields outside the Dome, in the thick treelines and vast copses left to control erosion.  Not even they remember exactly how, or why, they ended up here.  They train the wild, indigenous horses and herd what few cattle they find, taking great pains to hide them from the workers, drones, security guards, and overhead flights which sometimes try to capture, or kill, and remove the animals from the fields.  They develop strong Empathic ties to their steeds.

Crop circles are a part of the Marauders' way of life, as well.  But although they are responsible for many of the circles that appear on BioDyne's lands, they are not to be blamed for them all.  The Marauders' crop circles, however misguided, are created as part of their hodge-podge religion, which - over the generations - has come to include bits and pieces of many popular religions, as well as "religious experiences" individuals within the tribe have had (invariably direct contact with Minions and/or Aliens).  They believe the crop circles they did not create, which appear from time to time, are the gods responding to them.  They are not entirely wrong.

While they eke-out their meager, though not entirely insufferable, existence deep within the BioDyne fields outside of Metrodome, they have recently been infiltrating the Summerlands more and more, as it provides better food, as well as plants they can use for medicinal, and other, purposes. This has lead to some dispute within the tribe, as some believe the Summerlands are sacred and should not be pillaged except in times of need, or at least less frequently than as of late, while others say it is the Marauders' right to take what they need, no matter where it may lay. There are also concerns over being captured - not just because of what the zaibatsu might do to them, but for fear of reprisal against the entire tribe.

Very rarely, a Marauder will infiltrate greater society.  If the referee allows them, Marauders have
EMP of at least 1 and are required to purchase Animal Empathy.  A Marauder's EDU is limited to 5 (in the outside world; he may have a higher EDU amongst his own kind).  Once he has accomplished whatever goal he set for himself in the outside world (education, making Contacts, completing a mission), he almost always returns to his birthright, often to take a leadership role.

The Backstory


The Marauders in the agricorp is a direct allegory for the plight of the American Indians: These are the descendants of the original farmers, scavengers, and other peoples who rightfully owned these lands (well, parts of them) and were forced-out by the ever-expanding zaibatsu.

Many generations ago, the leaders of the rag-tag Marauders and the CEOs of BioDyne came to an understanding - one which is so highly-classified that only the top tier of the megacorporation's executives have ever even heard of it. This agreement basically allowed the Marauders to remain on the lands, so long as they did not erect permanent structures or settlements. Originally, they were even allowed to pilfer "enough untreated crops as to sustain their numbers." They were specifically not allowed to attack workers, or the corporation, in any way. These conditions were agreeable to the small tribe, as they were always a peaceful community of disenfranchised land-owners who simply refused to bow to BioDyne's forcible assumption of their property.

Over the years though, the Marauders have become more aggressive. All the current members know is that they have a right to be where they are, to live the way they have always known, and to take what they want. Still largely peaceful, most probably would not attack any of the workers or outposts even if they were not taught not to do so as part of their religion and upbringing. After all, those people live much as they do, and are as disconnected from the rest of the world as are they. But, while they do not raid the outposts, they most certainly raid the fields, sometimes with the express intention of causing as much damage as possible, sometimes only to feed themselves or create their "prayers" (crop circles).

Part of this anger comes from simple disenfrachisement, the desire to be/have more, and so forth; some of it comes from the Cyborg Escapees, Environmentalists, Drifters, Homeless, Proles, refugee BioDyne employees, and others who have gradually infilitrated their rank over the years. The Marauders are not accepting of just anyone, but they also aren't the only ones who bear a grudge against the megacorp or raid their fields. Nukids (
DC, p. 225) comprise a good portion of the tribe, as most of the children born to them are affected by the untreated food on which they subsist.

The original agreement went further, though: Knowing that future executives might seek to overturn it, or even ignore it outright, as well as the fact that it was of such a sensitive nature that few would ever even know it existed, the original pact-makers acquiesced to Marauders' demands for a "good faith" showing and created a handful of secret tunnels and accesses into the Summerlands (which, then, covered nowhere near the ground they do today). This is how the Marauders get into and out of the Dome - both by underground tunnels, as well as through "loose," ground-level panels in the Dome. This is a secret so well-kept that it has only recently (within the last two generations) been made known to the tribe by its former leader, now deceased.

Obviously, such knowledge could prove devastating to BioDyne and/or Metrodome itself, were it to fall into the wrong hands.
 
The Marauders

A Summerlands Dark Conspiracy Campaign

A prominent Charon (DR, p. 16), with connections to the Insectoid ETs that control BioMed is on the fast track to becoming one of the CEOs of BioDyne.  If this happens, a truly awe-inspiring conspiracy could come to fruition - one in which Minions have a foothold in both Metrodome's agricultural and medicinal industries.  The possibilities are terrifying.

His specific desire is to dust the zaibatsu's crops with Pink, thus enslaving the entirety of Metrodome, as well as the populations of the other cities and locales to which BioDyne's products are shipped and sold.

For reasons known only to him, part of his plan involves ridding the fields of the Marauders, whom he sees as a threat. How he knows of their existence is unknown, but is part of the reason he is so highly-considered by many - but not all - of BioDyne's innermost circle. Keep in mind that, all larger conspiracies and goings-on aside, most people are going to look-out for ol' Numero Uno first and foremost, so the Charon is not going to be able to just slip right in without a fight. Of course, the Charon has his own powers to employ to achieve those ends.

It should also be noted that the Charon knows the Marauders' crop circles have to do with their religion, as well as the fact that Minions and/or Aliens make others. He has directly instructed Field Managers to hire certain members of their workforce - those who fear the Marauders, and/or are least likely to tell others about their clandestine operations - to create crop circles with the express purpose of confusing the Marauders. Some of these crop circles, however, have a more nefarious purpose - one known only to the Charon... and, possibly, whatever it is with which he is trying to communicate.


While Charon are basically Agents of the Dark, as explained in
Dark Races, they have grown powerful enough to be counted as Minions in their own right. This hook, though intentionally left sparse for you to flesh-out as best fits your game, is definitely a campaign-length lead. Not only does it have several directions in which it could be carried if, and when, the Charon achieves a position of power within the corporation, it could be played all the way up to that point, then beyond.


Like all Minions, Charon are not to be taken lightly, despite the fact that they are, to some degree, (still) human. In fact, that makes them all the more dangerous, as their true nature will be hard for all but Empaths to definitively detect. The Charon makes for a conspiratorial foe within the larger structure of a corporation which might, itself, be contrary to the PCs' directives/motives (if for no other reason than that it is a corporation, which exists solely to make more money, etc.) - especially if you allow Marauders as PCs - so he could be thought of as a "double-whammy."


If you choose not to carry your campaign in this direction, it is best to eliminate this Charon (not necessarily all) entirely from your campaign, as he is a recurring foe, and should not be able to be defeated within a single session, even by truly high-powered PCs/parties. Remember, if your PCs defeat any Minion - at any point - too handily, you are running them wrong! This will only result in a loss of ambition for PCs and passion for the game.
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