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Firelance Inc.
by Lewis Roberts

Firelance Inc. is the largest freelancer group in Coalition space. They are also one of the most well organized. They have approximately 75 men and women under contract as active duty freelancers. There are an additional 70 support personnel based on Nike Nimbus. These include analysts, brokers, and salespeople. Other necessary support such as starship mechanics are subcontracted out.

The company was founded in 1199 by a Major Xelena Vishkliklina, formerly of the Nike Nimbus Special Services Branch. She was backed by several prominent business people who saw it as a business opportunity. This backing provided her with advantages that the average freelancer does not have. Instead of being a ragtag band of mercenaries and dropouts she was able to recruit the best and the brightest from the RCES, RCN and various planetary forces. The employees were provided with the best equipment and were given a generous benefits package. This benefits package includes retirement plans, full health insurance, four weeks of paid vacation and profit sharing. Firelance does not hire only ex-military personnel, after all it is not a mercenary unit. The company also hires historians, linguists, relic technology experts, and researchers. In general the company likes to hire intelligent highly-competent people no matter what their field. Any skills they lack, can be learned. Freelancing is an physically active job and employees are expected to meet certain physical standards.

The company specializes in recovering relic technology and bringing it back to the Coalition. They prefer to make cold recoveries or even to trade for the relics, but too often the necessary technology is in the hands of those who put it to the worse ends. When this is the case, Firelance is prepared to make hot recoveries. The company clears all hot recoveries with RCES officials. The company does not want to damage Coalition relations with other planets and it does not want to gain a reputation as reavers or pirates.

Due to the large number of ex-RCES personnel the company has good relations with the RC government. It is often hired for missions that the RCES can not perform either due to the mission being outside of the AO or due to overextended resources. All three of the companies starships were involved in the recent decapitation raid against Marax. It was tasked with securing the outlying PAD batteries. Several of the personnel involved were awarded the Assembly Commendation of Merit,

The company has several non-traditional ways of earning money. When it has space in its cargo hold the company's ships will haul cargo. Depending on the mission, the ship will carry trade goods to sell at friendly Widls worlds. The company does not traffic in guns or offensive weaponry, though it often traffics in missile systems that can be used to protect a world against raiders or Vampires. The company prefers to trade in goods that will help develop the world's economic potential and make it a better trading partner. The company has sent out exploration forays into the deep wilds. It uses these forays to sign exclusive trading contracts with newly discovered worlds. It then sells access to these worlds to Coalition ships. Eventually Firelance wants to buy merchant ships of its own to take advantage of these deals. It also sells the survey data to the RCES and other interested parties. Of course it uses the data to determine the targets for future missions. Recently it has been sending ships into Syrs, subsector E of the Old Expanses.

The company owns three ships, the Firenewt a Fiery Close Escort, the Firedrake a Shambalator Escort, and the Firestorm a Phantom Decoy Ship. All three ships are painted in the firm's trademark red and orange paint scheme. Troops are equipped with TL-9 combat environment suits and are armed with gauss rifles and RAM grenades. A few troops will be equipped with TL-11 tactical missiles for use against armored vehicles.

Personnel

Major Xelena Vishkliklina. President and director of operations. Major Vishkliklina was formerly of the Nike Nimbus Special Operations Branch, which is local special forces and counter-espionage force. She left the branch in 1196 when she saw more profit making potential in the Wilds than on Nike Nimbus. She considers herself a patriot and will not do anything to harm Nike Nimbus or the Coalition, but she is in this to make money. The Major is a 45 years old and is a rather plain looking woman. She is in excellent physical condition and regularly competes in the annual Zlotown Mega-marathon on Nike Nimbus. She has not ever placed in the race, but she is always in the top 25% of the runners. (The race is a 200km race across the Nike Nimbus wilderness. It takes several days to complete, and runners take whatever sleep they need on the racecourse. They must carry any food/drink that they consume on their person. It is a test of endurance and stamina. The race carries a 50,000 Nimbus Credit prize.)


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