The Mercantile Alliance [is the] the most Metric-infiltrated faction ... They [have] cutting-edge Centopoly technologies. And, their high Metric scores give them unrivaled access to Bridge tech and the power to rule dozens of planetary systems...
-Outback Talkcaster Crysis Bonoi, 11,087 CE
Mercantile Alliance Maneuverings
Centopoly Outback Ansible Monitoring
High Brother, Jurdian Componeius, TriParte Order
More Evidence of Mercantile Alliance Maneuverings?
High Brother Jurdian,
Fifteen years ago, your predecessor established a network of ‘pirate’ ansible Talkcasters throughout the Outback, which were hosted by sentients with known anti-Centopoly leanings. Their purpose was to cultivate sources who could provide potentially useful intelligence (shared through Talkcasts as speculation), as well as influence thinking about the Centopoly and its client factions. Our agents have posed as Talkcaster sources, providing a mix of false and true (but harmless), information to both build Talkcasters’ credibility and ensure that most view them as fringe conspiracy theorists.
The Talkcaster network has proved useful in the past. Talkcaster sources have used them to share information about faction operations. Additionally, the Talkcaster network has yielded some significant intelligence victories for the TriParte Order.
These excerpts are from a transcript of a recent episode of The Underground, a popular Talkcaster program, and look to be of great interest. It mentions a rogue group of Mercantile Alliance leaders using an unknown technology to plot against the Centopoly. We have no evidence this technology exists, but it may be worthy of intensive followup. I await your decision, High Brother.
Sub-Officer Malick Jvarstis
Talkcaster Transcript Excerpt: Part I
Talkcaster Transcript Excerpt: The Underground
S’both Drineas (SD): ...Last week we reported on an unusual request from the TriParte Order...they requested planetary sensory logs across a huge section of planets all along the Typenian Trading Route. We don’t know what they’re looking for, but this type of request is highly unusual. I don’t think we seen it since the Byterian Uprising last century, right Cyrsis?
Crysis Bonoit (CB): That’s right S’both. We don’t really know what they’re up to, but I’ve reached out to my sources for more information. I’ll report back if they’ve got anything juicy. What’s next, SD?
SD: Sentients! It’s time for another episode of our Underground Exclusive Series. This one’s called The Mercantile Alliance: Uprising. It’s a doozie!
CB: S’both, you know I’ve been on the fence with this series. The Alliance is the most Metric-infiltrated faction in the Cosmos. Their power comes from their use of the most cutting-edge Centopoly technologies. Their high Metric scores give them unrivaled access to Bridge tech, which allows them to consolidate (and rule) dozens, if not hundreds, of planetary systems across the Outback. Why would they rise up against the Centopoly? Hell, even if they could, they’d never be able to operate unobserved. I don’t know...
SD: Listen, Crysis. I’ve had a lot of time to think on this. We all know that the oldest megacorps predate the Centopoly, right? And, many of them played key roles in the Reunification Crusade. So, what’d they get for their efforts? I’ll tell you: many Mercantile Alliance member planets were included in the first Centopoly 100 and they still control the vast majority of resources and economic development within the Centopoly.
So, what else could they want? Well, we all know that in Alliance-controlled Outback Space, Metric compliance is uneven. Some of my sources even say this has been done on purpose. They say the Alliance is testing new compliance and behavioral modification techniques that don’t even rely on the Metric. I don’t know how that’s possible, but, supposedly, some of these experiments have been pretty successful. Obviously, Alliance leadership doesn’t want this information spread too widely.
Talkcaster Transcript Excerpt: Part II
CB: So, you’re saying the Mercantile Alliance is trying to see what a Cosmos without the Metric would look like? Why in the Cosmos would the Metric tolerate this?
SD: Who knows the ways of the Metric? Maybe they’re doing something useful?
CB: I’ll give you a maybe. So what’s the big reveal S’both?
SD: Well my sources tell me that the Mercantile Alliance has gotten its hands on two items that just might change everything. The first is some type of artifact. My source couldn’t tell me much about it other than it’s under the highest level of Alliance security. The second is something called Null Space.
CB: Null Space?
SD: Uh huh...it’s supposed to allow users, for a short time, to be hidden from the Metric.
CB: S’both, you lost me. It sounded like you said “hidden from the Metric”. You know we can’t hide from the Metric. It’s impossible.
SD: My source swears it can be done.
CB: We’re going to get a midnight visit from the TriParte Order, aren’t we?
SD: I don’t think the tech is real. Seems impossible. Also, my source said they’ve never used Null Space or even seen it used. Their information is second-hand, at best.
CB: Huh. They share anything else?
SD: Yes. My source says a group of Alliance leaders and operatives have begun meeting in Null Space. No one knows what’s being said. Just that the meetings are taking place.
CB: Okay, I think your source is feeding us misinformation...
SD: It wouldn’t be the first time!
CB: If you don’t believe them, why share?
SD: Well my sources also report an uptick in Alliance activity in certain sectors of the Outback. I don’t really know what to make of it, but it’s quite the coincidence.
CB: What do you mean?
SD: Well, they say the production of certain unusual ‘elements’ has increased, but that’s not atypical. You know that the Alliance likes to put on a show during each Conclave, and this may just be part of it. We’re trying to corroborate the story.
CB: Okay. Well, we’ll come back to it if we learn more. Next week: Our continuing coverage of the sentient known as Hash. 75 years after the Outback broadcast that started it all, the Cypherian cult is still growing. We’ll have Cypherian true believer T’nearah Zcohv on to talk about what’s next for Cypherians and how the new Ansible broadcast of Hash’s consolidated Musings is helping to accelerate the movement. Thanks for listening. Until next time, fellow sentients.