Tartarus Incorporated
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Name: Tartarus Incorporated
Type: Prison company
Discovered/Founded 3016
Discoverers/Founders Redwaison Seckelforn
Vanelsa Parenger
Key people SCAMPS
CHIARA
HADES
Based in Tartarus (ship)
Largest population Tartarus (ship)
Ethnic groups Primarily Humans
Official languages Human Standard
Official religions Church of the FSM
"motto or quote here" —Tartarus Incorporated

Tartarus Incorporated is an Interstellar Prison Company (IPC) based aboard the Tartarus. They offer their services to most out- and mid-world planets, taking criminals in for a fee, which can then be ransomed off for money. Their primary source of income is the research, development, and manufacturing of anomalous materials and anomalous materials weaponry (AMW), which they obtain through their REKT branch: a branch of the ship where the very best criminals they take on board are trained as troops to collect resources.

Etymology

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History

Pre-founding: Acheron (2878 - 3016)

The history of Tartarus goes much farther back than its official founding. In fact, its history goes all the way back to the year 2830.

Following the collapse of Old Earth and the mass migration from the mother world, the galaxy's inner planets found themselves inundated with all manner of criminals. It wasn't long at all until they could hardly maintain and imprison what criminals they had, forcing them to loose the lesser criminals on the streets, as executing criminals within a star system was illegal under interstellar law. Genocide became a common news subject as psychopaths raged throughout the stars, and drug and slave paradises flourished with the galaxy's collective law enforcement stretched so thin. These were dark times indeed, where men barricaded themselves in their homes for fear of who lay in wait outside.

In the year 2869, a trio of young adults, Carketon Avestor, Liiren Marse, and Allestina Kilan, noticed this uprising and decided during one of their weekly FSM prayer meetings that something should be done about it. The three friends were well-to-do individuals on their outer world homeworld of Endvar. Avestor's father was the head of a large mining company - Odysseus Enterprises - which was slowly falling into ruin as criminal organizations pirated the company's smaller mining ships. Liiren was the son of the head of a local interstellar law firm, the Marse-Statlen Law Offices, which remained in business until 2953. Kilan's connection to the others is somewhat uncertain, although she was known to have dated Avestor previously and Marse at the time. Initially their efforts were tuned towards protest groups and rallies, but as these efforts proved entirely futile, the three abandoned their attempts and turned their attention to their studies for the time being. During this period, Kilan and Marse grew much closer to each other, eventually getting married in 2875. Avestor was invited to the ceremony but declined to attend, and soon began to withdraw from his friends, keeping to himself more as the years drew on.

Finally, in the year 2877, Avestor's father committed suicide. Avestor, 29 at the time, was severely shaken by this. Distraught, he turned to the only people he knew and trusted - Mr. and Mrs. Marse. They were quick to rush to his aid, both emotionally and financially, covering the funeral of Avestor's father, and the Marses took their friend in while he decided on his next move. This did not take long - Avestor was seized with the desire to take up their old cause to rid the galaxy of dangerous criminals, using his father's old mining cruiser, the Mavra Pania. Allestina found this idea commendable and persuaded her husband Liiren to take the first steps in making it a reality. Over the course of the next year, the Marses used spare funds from their law business to rebuild and refit Mavra Pania with several thousand prison cells and the facilities needed to maintain them. The ship was then rechristened as the Acheron, and a new company was founded: the first prison company. The ship company was founded in time for the peak of migration from Old Earth.

Over the course of the next few decades, Acheron became a name widely known throughout the galaxy as a herald of peace, order, and longevity, as they filled a spot that no one else had yet dared to fill. The Acheron would travel from one world to the next, picking up the planet's worst criminals for a fee, and then killing them in space via legal lethal injection. They were able to amass a decent living through this method, and even to the end of their days were proud of themselves for doing the galaxy what was, in their minds, a great service.

Acheron's fall

By the year 2924, all three of the original founders had died or retired. Originally Acheron refused to accept people with questionable criminal records, but the company's decisions lay in the hands of Aedalus LeCharse, who did not quite have the same religious approach towards his business practices. He was shown to be perfectly okay with accepting inmates with questionable histories, provided he still received his fees. Normally this would not have caused such a problem, but the political climate was leaning towards war as Earthborns continued to mix with the Coreworld colonies. The earthborns brought with them a very stark difference in ideals, ranging in subject matter from planet bombardment to alien rights, and two clearly defined factions were beginning to spring into place. Crooked government officials often had dissenting members of their populace arrested under false charges and sold to Acheron, and Acheron happily accepted.

Acheron weathered the war quite well and indeed made a hefty profit from taking in supposed war criminals, which tarnished their reputation on all sides as promoters of justice and peace. While the criminal underworld had always hated them, they began having to protect themselves from not only pirates, but vengeful civilian factions as well, and even some outright attacks from some of the more honor-bound governments. LeCharse responded to this by using his extra funds to hire small mercenary fleets, which continued to protect Acheron for the rest of his time as CEO.

LeCharse died in the year 2984 of natural causes, having lived just long enough to see anomalous materials harnessed to create the first Blink Teleporter. His successor was Emilia Astebon, who was even more lawless than LeCharse. She was rivaled by Redwaison Seckalforn, a pioneering gentleman with a love of physics and theorycrafting, and who wanted to shift the company's efforts towards anomalous materials, to aid in their manufacturing. Astebon quickly vetoed this notion and changed the policies even further: she wanted to begin taking in aliens as well as humans. With the Galactic Cleansing finally coming to an official end, attacking aliens or forcing them away from planets was becoming increasingly illegal. Slavery was completely forbidden, outlawed, and stamped out by the earlier civil war, but the hatred on both sides remained untouched. Astebon utilized this to make an even greater profit, but earned the loathing of nearly all the alien races in the galaxy, especially when enacting the policy of not needing a reason for taking on "alien scum". Meanwhile, Redwaison Seckalforn took up a planet-based position in the company, keeping track of Acheron's finances.

In the year 3014, the Acheron came under joint attack by a combination of pirates and aliens. The battle was intense, and many of the hired mercenaries died before quitting and leaving the Acheron to its fate. The Acheron and all aboard were lost, including Emilia Astebon. The majority of the galaxy was pleased by this outcome, and the name of Acheron began to drift into obscurity.

Tartarus: founding and early years (3016 - 3071)

Tartarus was officially established in the year 3016 by Redwaison Seckalforn (more popularly known as "Red") and his former secretary, Vanelsa Parenger. Together, the pair had acquired an ancient worldship from the early colony days and refurbished it with the money remaining in Acheron's accounts; this was supplemented by funds from both Red and Parenger. This ship was christened "The Tartarus", and the company, Tartarus Inc. The company's mission was twofold: for one part, Red planned to search for and acquire new types of anomalous materials to study, research, manufacture, and sell. He planned to accomplish this by taking on prisoners like the Acheron had, but use the best prisoners as artifact procurement troops instead of immediate euthanasia.

The founding of Tartarus Inc. brought a flurry of media attention; the fact that Red planned to use dangerous criminals as ground troops was a cause of much dread; Red assured everyone, however, that the prisoners would have no means to escape, and everything would be fine. His assurances did little to ease the anxiety of the general public, but the entire incident attracted the attention of a great many engineers and researchers that latched on to the idea, hopeful that Tartarus Inc. would help them around the standard ethical constraints inhibiting further scientific growth.

Over the next several decades, Tartarus Inc. continued to grow in size, soon developing and filling out the rest of the ship with research labs, prison cells, and more. In the meantime, they continued to send criminals out as soldiers on missions and discovered several new types of anomalous materials. These were quickly studied, researched, and developed into new useful forms of technology. Red and Parenger were ever hunting their "holy grail" of discoveries: an anomalous material that would be exceedingly useful for household use, and yet still cheap enough to manufacture to the general public. This, they imagined, would set them far enough ahead that they would be able to abandon the prisoners and their fees altogether, and turn the Tartarus into a great research ship.

Red's dreams never came to fruition. In midyear of 3049, both he and Vanelsa disappeared while vacationing on Ilpkenore II. Their boat was discovered at the bottom of a shallow lake near Elescarte, but their bodies were never found. The authorities suspected foul play, but as they had no suspects or leads, the case was closed. The exact reason for their disappearances remains a mystery and a popular topic for conspiracy theorists. With Red gone, his position in Tartarus Inc. was taken by Milton D'spinel, formerly the lead member of Tartarus Inc.'s Board of Directors.

By this time, Mimir Corp. had already been founded for some time, and was beginning to inch ahead of Tartarus in terms of profit, sustainability, research, development, and public opinion. D'spinel's mild-mannered approach did not do any favors for the company; in fact, it began to fall behind ever more rapidly as Mimir gained the lead. Their method of execution was much more popular with the public, and D'spinel's "by the books" bureaucratic approach to company matters became the reason for many hangups in the continued functioning of the company, and many private investors withdrew their funding when Tartarus's research began to grind to a halt.

The most notable event during D'spinel's tour as CEO of the company was in 3061, when thousands of prisoners breached containment during a massive riot and began to attempt to overtake the rest of the ship. The lives of many guards and civilians were lost during the rebellion, which was eventually put down. The leaders were soon thereafter executed behind closed doors. This change prompted D'spinel to begin the lengthy six-year installation of two additional AI's in the Tartarus's core: HADES and CHIARA. CHIARA was specially designed to have full control over the automated defense systems of the ships, while HADES was given the full knowledge of Tartarus's financial and scientific databases. They were both activated during a large ceremony in 3068, only a few years before D'spinel's death at the age of 83 due to complications in a routine lung surgery in 3071.

Environment

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Demographics

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Population

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Language

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Ethnicity

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Religion

The official religion of Tartarus is The Holy Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, widely recognized as one of the most popular religions of the 32nd century.

Politics

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Economy

Tartarus makes its money in several different ways:

  • Fees from taking in new inmates
  • Private investors
    • A surprisingly large number of people have personal stakes in the operation of Tartarus Inc. In exchange for forwarding funds, they're entitled to a share of the profits and have a say in the company's financial decision. While it's not much, it's enough to keep investors interested, and Tartarus makes a decent amount of money on the side from this.
  • Bailout money
    • One of Tartarus's more questionable policies, and one that was not present in Tartarus's forerunner, Acheron. All interred inmates are kept for a year before executed; if bailout demands are not met by that time, the inmate is put to death, typically by spacing. The body is then recovered and any valuable implants are removed, and the body is put into a compost heap. Tartarus markets the compost for extra money, and it has been shown to be a surprisingly popular product.
  • Selling discoveries
    • Sometimes Tartarus deems objects and artifacts as worthless for further research. Perhaps it's an old alien art piece, or just too bizarre to really care about - but Tartarus is always able to find collectors that would be willing to take these items off their hands… for a price.
  • Selling research
  • Selling anomalous materials
  • Selling manufactured weaponry and equipment
    • Tartarus will sell many of its new inventions - at a steep price - to local militaries, mercenaries, research teams or collectors.
  • Making deals to visit planets or sectors a minimum of 1 time per X months
    • As Tartarus needs to move about to keep its REKT platoons headed to appropriate locations, it's always on the move. Making a deal ahead of time to keep Tartarus coming back to your home sector is a cheap and easy way to be sure you'll always have your friendly neighborhood criminal disposal service on standby.
  • Loaning out trained soldiers as mercenaries

Likewise, Tartarus loses money in a number of ways as well:

  • Staff
    • The majority of Tartarus's permanent staff reside on the Tartarus itself, and help pay rent depending on what kind of personal accommodations they've chosen. This helps Tartarus keep the staff pay in a meritocracy state: the better job a staff member does, the more likely they are to receive a higher pay, and the better apartment they'll be able to rent. This doesn't actually result in a profit, however; staff members still need food and other services, and naturally want to make a profit off their own work. Rent for rooms merely balances this out a little.
  • Research
    • Many of the items Tartarus acquires require well-stocked laboratories to research; in fact, research and development of new technologies is one of Tartarus's largest money sinks. Tartarus's LAMBDA division is a particularly large money sink, as they need special equipment to study and research new forms of anomalous materials.
  • Manufacturing
    • Tartarus needs materials to keep the production lines open and flowing, and the production lines themselves occasionally need maintenance.
  • Inmate upkeep
    • Inmate upkeep takes a significant chunk of Tartarus's funds. A large part of Tartarus is devoted to growing synthetic hydroponic crops year-round in order to keep the inmates fed, but they also need to purchase other amenities for the staff and REKT members.
    • Clothes need to be maintained as well as basic toiletry items.
    • The death machines aren't free to operate either.
  • Soldier upkeep
    • Tartarus keeps a number of traditional soldiers alongside the REKT troops, although the soldiers themselves rarely, if ever, set foot on Tartarus.
  • Ship upkeep and maintenance
  • Scouting divisions
  • Construction
  • Advertisement

Military

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Science and Technology

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