The Directorate is a plutocratic oligarchy which, rather than an actual nation in the strictest sense, is a massive conglomeration of corporations that bought freedom from the Alliance. It makes its secretive home in a star cluster well outside of the Milky Way, which was known as Camargo 438 but is now known as the Velium cluster, named for the ample sources of Velium there. The Directorate is not very well known as an agency, however, some of its corporate members are very well known. The Directorate likes to maintain some semblance of secrecy and an excellent PR branch, because if this organization (and all its dealings) was exposed to the Milky Way in full light, they'd have a much harder time selling to them.
The Directorate had been in planning well before 2320 came around. Certain corporations were rather displeased with the way that the Terran Alliance was running things, putting things like ethics and conservation before profit, and that meant less profit for the Terran corporations within. Three of the biggest megacorporations of that time began to speak in whispered tones with one another, discussing ways they might be able to get out of their predicament. These three corporations were Omegatronics, Omnidyne, and of course Raptor Inc.
These three corporations began to buy up various other businesses and corporations, as well as whisper insidiously in the ears of other name brands. Then, when 2320 rolled around, the corporations, which had already secretly formed the Directorate within the Alliance, informed the Alliance that they were fed up, and were leaving Alliance space permanently.
Of course, the Alliance and its citizens were not willing to sacrifice their ideals for these corporations, however, them leaving did blow a small hole in the wealth of the Alliance. Although, this did have the one positive effect that quite a bit of the greedy and amoral people and businesses in the Alliance left. The Directorate gathered the majority of its collective wealth, property and staff in a fleet of (well armed) starships and took off to parts unknown.
Just how unknown? Well, beyond the known galaxy. The Directorate had pre-selected the Velium Cluster as a perfect candidate. When they arrived in the Velium Cluster (which took a few years) they discovered, just as they had expected, an interstellar nation had sprung up in it, belonging to the crustacean-like amphibious species known as the Velinoids. The Velinoids were highly isolationist and xenophobic, and they immediately fought to expel the Directorate from their space.
The Directorate fleet punched right through to the Velinoid homeworld, ignoring all its other holdings. This they could do primarily because the Directorate fleet was not only big, but carried state-of-the-art, even experimental weaponry courtesy of Raptor Inc. They landed both Human (the Directorate members call themselves Humans) and the robotic forces of Omegatronics on the surface and instituted many outlawed forms of warfare to subjugate it. The battle lasted less than a year, and the Directorate took the remaining population as slaves and renamed the planet "Zenia".
The Velinoids were, of course, infuriated, and while they certainly fought ferociously to reclaim their homeworld, they yet underestimated the Directorate. The Velinoids believed that, while the Directorate was effective in their surgical strike, they would lose in a proper war. The Directorate proved them wrong, and by the time the Velinoids figured out their mistakes, it was a bit too late.
The Directorate unleashed devastating bioweaponry, some of it very creative in its application. They even unleashed special types of explosives and a unique plague engineered to target Velinoids. While the fighting was undoubtedly fierce, and the Velinoids were not without victories against the corporate invaders. However, those victories were few and far between, and when the fields of starship debris cleared, the Velinoids were ground under the mighty corporate boot of the Directorate. It was a hostile takeover, in the most literal sense.
The Directorate spent time consolidating their power over the Velium Cluster, and with the free labour and ample test subjects provided by the Velinoid slaves, the Directorate was able to mine. However, soon enough, the Board of Directors convened, and they spoke of an issue: while they were certainly gathering resources and inventing new things, they were not actually making any money.
The Board discussed, and agreed that the time was right to expand business. The shadowy tentacles of Directorate influence stretched out, but not only to the Milky Way, oh no. Why limit opportunity to just one galaxy? No, their tendrils stretched to other nations as well, in fact, they managed to work a deal with nearly everyone they encountered, even the Rin Empire which their people supposedly loathed.
Of course, it extended its hand to the black market in the Milky Way, which was under constant threat by the disciplined and effective police and military forces of the various Galactic Council nations. The aid of the Directorate gave the black market a bit more security and room to breathe, and gave the Directorate a steady flow of credits and a place to sell some of their fun toys.
Of course, the Directorate did inadvertently create the Pathogen, and drove it off to save themselves, which resulted in one of the greatest threats to the Milky Way in the past 500 years, though they did a very good job of covering that up, and actually turned a bit of a profit by selling aid to the forces of the Galactic Council, including a weapon which just so happened to be quite effective against the Pathogen.
these days, in the 26th century, the Directorate's insidious influence can be felt in multiple galaxies. Its might is not in military power or in bulk of number or territory, but in their vast network of contacts, shady and perfectly legitimate deals, skills at diplomacy and web of secrets. And of course, its extensive coffers and elaborate laboratories help.
Directorate society would initially seem very oppressive and unpleasant. Upon closer look, they would discover that this massive collection of corporations is actually quite egalitarian. Really, anyone who displays enough talent and intelligence in the proper areas can move through the ranks. Provided you're Human, that is. Aliens cannot be citizens of the Directorate, only slaves or "assistants". And if you're Human, you can make a really nice life for yourself in the Directorate. That's why sometimes, Terrans from the Alliance or Dominion will leave to join the organization.
Then you take an even closer look.
The Directorate is cutthroat as all hell. The political struggling for a more prominent place on the Board of Directors, or more resources, or more territory, or more slaves, is a brutal one indeed. After all, in the Directorate, greed is the ruler. However, almost no blood is spilled in these struggles. No, that would be barbaric. In their society, the right buyout at the right time can be just as devastating as a knife in the dark. CEOs must be like master chess players (and many of them are), moving their shadowy agents across the board of the Directorate and all of known space.
While no blood is spilled in these battles of corporate strategy, losing can sometimes be even worse. In the directorate, if you aren't above a certain point in the totem pole, you're worth almost nothing. So you can make a real life for yourself in the Directorate, a life of luxury, a life where you can have almost anything you want when you want it. But if your talent doesn't match or exceed your ambitions, you will go down and you will go down very hard.
The Directorate is not so much a nation as an organization made up of many businesses, corporations and megacorporations. These members are greatly varied, the Directorate has its fingers in basically every pie. It has been said "If you can pay for it, the Directorate can get it for you." And for them, no job is too disturbing. You want an entire planet's population melted by a horrific bioweapon? That'll be six billion credits.
Of course, the Directorate's corporations often make their greatest profit in times of war. They sell weapons, soldiers, and even entire security fleets to anyone willing to pay for them. Now, in times of war, nations may not be able to afford the Directorate's costly yet effective help. Well that's okay, the Directorate tells them. We can work out an IOU situation, and you can pay us back at a set date.
And then they come to collect, and only then do they realize exactly what the Directorate required for payment, and took money, resources, more contracts, trade routes and outposts, and even people.
Now, it would be very difficult to list out all the members of the Directorate, and many corporations compete with one another for prominence in particular areas. I will list a fair number of them, however.
Raptor Inc.: There is no corporation in the Directorate more feared and hated than Raptor Inc. It is one of the ruling triumvirate of this economic hyperpower, one of the original three that created the Directorate. Each and every last thing that Raptor makes kills. They are weapons manufacturers, the merchants of death. They command the most sophisticated weapons technology ever developed by Human hands. The company's actions are often considered brutal and savage even by the other members of the Directorate. Raptor Inc. delights in live-testing new weapons. Isolated colonies frequently become targets of biological, chemical, and energy weaponry. Tens of thousands of unsuspecting frontiers-people suffered agonizing deaths; cut down by lethal manufactured diseases and toxins, or as their settlements were consumed by plasma storms from the heavens. As terrible as their fates were, they paled in comparison to what befell those foreigners deemed ripe for abduction by Raptor’s forces. Although many Directorate powers indulged in this particularly obscene behaviour, Works Raptor’s atrocities dwarfed them all. Whole populations were snatched from their homes, sealed in the bellies of the corporation’s ships and taken back to specialized facilities in Directorate space, and all were mere raw materials, earmarked to fuel Raptor’s horrific experiments. While it selled most of these to Omegatronics for cybernetic experimentation or to Greentech for genetic experimentation, it kept some for its own private "security forces".
Omnidyne: Omnidyne was once a renowned starship manufacturer for the Terran Alliance. It was formed in the early days of the Alliance, and many people relied on Omnidyne for transport through the Sol system. And Omnidyne didn't only make civilian starships, it also made military starships, and multiple launchpads and orbital shipyards. It also continuously worked to research new spaceship technologies, searching for more effective means of transporting themselves across the void. They were also the ones who invented and constructed the Alliance's first warp drives. Later on, they worked in tandem with Raptor (which was bad enough then, abducting alien populations and testing on them, though not as bad as it is now) to develop even more effective spaceship weaponry. Omnidyne ships saw the Terran navy through combat with many foes. However, it was a bit annoyed by the Alliance's strict environmental conservation laws, so when Raptor Inc. approached them with the suggestion of the Directorate, Omnidyne quickly signed up. Now, most Directorate ships come from Omnidyne's shipyards, as their extensive mining operations cut into crusts of planets all over, their powerful industry fuelled by the greatest number of slaves of any Directorate corporation.
Omegatronics: Omegatronics, back in its day, drew the eyes of the entire Alliance for their works in robotics, cybernetics, and AI. They attempted many things, including robotic miners and the predecessors to many of the cybernetic implants widely available to the Alliance today. However, the things that drew most public attention was their experimentation with full AI. These attempts usually met with setbacks, however, Omegatronics was able to make leaps and bounds with the constructs dubbed VI, Virtual Intelligence, which were a great help in all walks of life. Omegatronics also developed powerful cyberwarfare and counter-cyberwarfare weaponry, drones for use in combat, scouting and espionage, and even helped make strides in medicine, mainly prosthetic limbs. Omegatronics hadn't been especially restricted by Alliance law, but it could see itself being restricted in the near future, once it developed full AI. It also saw a chance for greater profit within the Directorate, and so it accepted Raptor Inc.'s deal. Nowadays, Omegatronics has a much darker reputation, mostly for highly amoral cybernetic experimentation. It has managed to create and, of course, enslave full AI, and Directorate ships are often equipped with highly advanced cyberwarfare suites, used for disabling defenses or listening equipment around colonies targeted by the Directorate.
Greentech Genetics: Greentech Genetics is a rising star within the Directorate. It was not one of the original companies that left along with the Directorate, it was formed after the Velinoids were subjugated. The company was founded on the idea of genetic manipulation, and its potential applications. Greentech actually has a sterling reputation, people throughout the Milky Way and beyond know Greentech for its friendliness toward all races, despite being a Human only corporation. The primary reason Greentech Genetics is so beloved is because it has bridged a major obstacle for couples of the same gender or differing species: the inability to conceive. Using complex genetic mapping and construction technologies, they can grow a child based on the DNA of both parents. Of course, the child is vat-grown, however, Greentech offers an additional option. Should the mother wish to carry the child, Greentech can utilize a similar process to create the embryo and plant it in the womb of the mother. However, in this case the child must be of the mother's species. Greentech also offers a unique option to couples of two different races. Using a very complex (and expensive) procedure, Greentech can, rather than grow a child as the species of one of the parents, instead grow the child as a hybrid of the two. Essentially, they can use the parents' genetic coding as a launching point for a new species. This option really does require a lot of money, however. Now, Greentech seems all sunshine and daisies, but as I'm sure you can imagine, they really aren't. For starters, they keep copies of the genetic code of everyone that ever comes to them, and uses them for further experimentation, including cloning and the creation of more efficient slaves. But the worst of it all was their work with Omegatronics to design the ground troops that the Directorate is known and feared for even today. Using civilians supplied by Raptor Inc. and others, Omegatronics and Greentech Genetics plunged into biological and cybernetic modification. This awful research produced the devastating shock troops of the Directorate's terrifying Special Forces, as well as the troops which make up the bulk of their army, but the failure rate was extreme. Clusters of asteroids became charnel houses, filled with the remains of gene-spliced, semi-mechanical horrors which "didn’t make the cut." Some were dumped alive in further experiments, carving out savage new societies under the eyes of dispassionate Greentech researchers.
Jupiter Energy: (Power)
Fafnir Industries: (Heavy Industries)
Cerberus: (Prominent security agency)
Pleides: (Consumer goods, i.e. clothing, snack foods, etc.)
Applied Atomics Inc.: (Explosive weaponry)
Dunwich Borers: (Mining company)
Gaia Hydroponics: (Produce)
Butterfly Enterprises: (Slaver guild)
Malcontent Studios: (Entertainment)
Med-Tec: (Pharmaceuticals, surgical equipment, drugs)
The Directorate has the most advanced technology in Human hands, and their fleets are demonstrative of this fact. Their ships are sleek and streamlined, little to no protrusions unlike others. Their armaments are many in number and wide in application. You name it, they probably have it hooked up to one of their ships.
The primary armaments of the Directorate vessels is plasma. They have developed a wide array of plasma weapons, which are very good at melting anything they're pointed at. Another classic Directorate weapon is their powerful cyberwarfare arrays. While some might think the space they take up would be better served by a turret, the Directorate disagrees. Their ships are frequently outnumbered, and cyberwarfare weapons (which are essentially transmitters for AI that hack into ships) help them play havoc with their enemies. Many the admiral has ordered that all weapons be turned to manual firing, for fear that the Directorate would make the fleet attack itself.
The Directorate, and especially Works Raptor, has a certain fondness for torpedoes, and they engineer a great variety of them. Special nuclear torpedoes which mess up enemy sensors and targeting systems, torpedoes which unleash a biohazard agent into the enemy ship, torpedoes which cover the impacted area with caustic goo, even torpedoes which deliver energy based attacks.
Of course, they have just about every sort of gun you could think of. A popular purchase recently for warring nations has been renting out a few of a new model of gunship equipped with a large graviton cannon. That is a new weapon fresh from the Raptor laboratories.
In terms of defenses, most Directorate ships make use of energy shields. These devices are generally not as strong as the Terran Alliance's shields, but the Directorate makes up for that in other areas. Some ships, like carriers, destroyers, and literally every Works Raptor vessel, utilize advanced stealth systems. Only a few Naalu ships can match these ships for stealth. Of course, Directorate defences are often customized for the mission they're running.
Of course, the Directorate possesses a number of cloned and genetically/cybernetically enhanced soldiers, and their ships often have large rooms full of vats of soldiers just waiting to be unleashed. This makes boarding a Directorate ship a rather troublesome endeavour. Of course, they are more than happy to board you. And it's generally not fun to be boarded by those black-armoured hulks with plasma rifles and glowing face masks. Generally bad for morale.
The Directorate fleets pale in comparison to the grand navy of the Terran Alliance, but they are still quite formidable. They don't have a single unified fleet. Instead, they have "security fleets". Each security fleet is a private corporation, and each of them jockeys for the best results from their missions to get more funding and access to the latest ship, weapon, and soldier designs. While they do of course work for the Directorate overall, they also frequently hire themselves out to anyone who will pay. The Directorate, of course, encourages this. And people are almost never displeased with how their hired fleets perform.
Until, that is, the bill comes.
One exception to this is Raptor Inc. They do not sell their fleets to outsiders. They use their bleeding-edge warships only to further their own inscrutable ends.