Sins of The Empire
In the Terran Empire, large corporations, trading combines, cartels, and guilds handle most commercial activity. They have the capital, accumulated knowledge, and contacts, and can operate on a large enough scale to make a profit even in risky markets. Most corporations in Terran space establish their headquarters on the Senatorial worlds to avoid the higher Imperial tax rate; most choose Earth, Tau Ceti, or Barnard, though Kapteyn has seen an upswing in corporate registrations in recent years.
Large corporations in the Empire must abide by local laws on planet surfaces; in space, Imperial regulations govern their conduct. However, the sheer size of many companies allows them to bend both planetary and Imperial laws with impunity.
The corporations registered in the Ministry for Trade’s database number in the millions, if not billions. A few of the more prominent, influential, or intriguing among them include:
CENTAUR STAGE STUDIOS
A major media company based in the Alpha Centauri system, Centaur Stage pro duces video and holo programs, interactives, books, and music. Its productions all have a strong pro- Imperial tone, which has drawn criticism from various groups. Some people believe the TSS and the Ministry for Unity both have operatives within the company.
Founded and headquartered on Sigma Draconis III, Draconis Defenseworks specializes in all sorts of military systems short of full starships. It builds infantry weapons, ship weapons, ground vehicles, and more; it’s particularly well known for its “upgrade kits” for various standard weapons and military systems. In addition to several lucrative contracts with the Imperial military, it does a lot of business with local planetary militias and similar forces; rumors floating around for years claim it illegally does business with other major governments. GBG PHARMATICA
The Empire’s biggest biomedical firm, GBG Pharmatica develops new drugs and medical technologies. Based on Earth, the company has labouratories on several other worlds. A dispute with the Ministry for Evolution in 2640 caused GBG to lose some important Imperial medical contracts.
A large and diversified conglomerate, InStarCo began as a space transport company and remains one of the Empire’s biggest spacelines. The firm works closely with the Ministry for Colonization and Development to establish new colonies — which then depend on InStarCo for contact with the rest of the Galaxy. The company also encourages colony development by investing in colonial industries, and now has large holdings on several worlds. Although it’s based on Tau Ceti, its liners and cruisers travel throughout half the Galaxy.
Located on Mars, King Arsenal makes personal energy weapons. The company’s biggest claim to fame is the legendary Mark II laser pistol, which helped energy weapons replace slugthrowers in general use. The King Mark II (in various incarnations) and the more powerful Mark V remain among the most popular weapons in Terran space. An important military supplier, KA makes lasers of all sizes for the Imperial Army and Navy.
A leading designer of small spacecraft and personal transport vehicles, K-D has its headquarters in Mexico City. In addition to its fine line of civilian starcraft, it’s a major military contractor, with plants in dozens of systems across the Empire to produce ships and ship systems for the Imperial Navy.
One of humanity’s longest running corporations, Light Industries has been a major player in the economic world since the early 21st century. Mainly doing work in the R&D field for major government contractors, there are few areas in which Light Industries does not have a hand in.
A successful Tau Ceti computer software company, Mind Designs leads the industry in the creation of artificial intelligence computer systems. The company strongly favors machine citizenship, and contributes to organizations advocating machine rights.
Originally Knight Industries, it began as a weapons R&D and production company, but quickly expanded to cover all corners of electronics and aeronautics. Changed to Raith Industries in the early 21st Century when the owner publicly revealed the false nature of his “Knight” moniker. But once again the company changed its name when the Raith family set up the second Lunar Colony and made it into Raith-Luna Industries base of operations. Today RLI is still a leading manufacturer in advanced weapons, starships, and colonial environments/habitats.
RED STAR INDUSTRIES
A huge industrial combine based in the Barnard system, RSI specializes in large-scale space construction, starship manufacturing, and power systems. Red Star built the Barnard antimatter facility, and is a primary contractor for the Navy on other antimatter-related projects. The Sarro family of Barnard hold a solid majority share of RSI, and treats the Barnard seat in the Senate as a family possession.
Stella Importage is a successful trading firm dealing in luxury foods, wines, and spices from dozens of planets. Because the luxuries market remains ever-vulnerable to changes in fashion, Stella constantly follows trends (or tries to set them) and stays on the lookout for lucrative new products. An independent trader who discovers a new product can often sell out to Stella for a handsome profit. On the other hand, independents who try to compete head-to-head with Stella often discover just how jealously the company guards its business.