Intruder : Background Story
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SLA Industries and The World of Progress
The massive corporation known as SLA Industries owns and controls all of known space, labelled by SLA as "The World of Progress". It is run by the infamously powerful and truly immortal Mr Slayer, with the assistance of a small group of similarly immortal 'trusted' associates. The few companies and businesses that SLA does not own are collectively known as "Soft Companies"; they are business rivals of and frequently in actual physical conflict with SLA Industries.
The two largest Soft Companies are DarkNight, who prefers infiltration and subversion as a means for gaining support (consumers), and The Thresher, a kind of mercenary force that directly opposes SLA using mighty powersuits and massive weapons. These groups and others fight SLA on many worlds; these war-torn and dangerous planets are known as War Worlds. A common statistic is that the life expectancy of the average new soldier on a War World is measured in minutes.
The headquarters of SLA Industries is on the world Mort. The majority of the surface is a dead wasteland; there are several massive cities, such as Meny, but the largest is the capital and true headquarters of SLA, Mort Central.
The centre of the city is Central, which is centred on Head Office. Here are the offices and training grounds, and the most expensive living areas. Around Central is Uptown, where the majority of the employees of SLA Industries live.
Both around Uptown and below it is Downtown. Downtown is situated mostly underground in many levels, each held up above the lower levels by a massive arrangement of pillars and girders. Here the normal people of Mort live, in what amounts to slums and ghettos; the lower the level the worse it gets.
Around the edges of Uptown and Downtown are massive walls bristling with weapons. These walls exist to keep the denizens of the Cannibal Sectors from attacking or entering the city. These denizens include degenerate humans; twisted, predatory hunters known as Carrions; Manchines (robot killing machines created by SLA but cast out into the wastelands when they were all discovered to be dangerously unstable and demented); and the famous killer pigs, pigs that escaped into the wastes long ago and since evolved into dumb but terrible predators.
Most of the population of Mort are fed a daily diet of advertising, violent programmes and propaganda through television. They are all but completely controlled by SLA Industries in a kind of "bread and circuses", Orwellian nightmare, forged from birth into obedient subjects and consumers. Some, however, rise above the average citizen to become trained operatives, agents of SLA Industries that root out Soft Company infiltration units, keep the Downtown gangs under control, and investigate strange disappearances of personnel and goods made and owned by SLA. The rewards for good service include good pay, excellent housing and an increased security rating, which can lead to better assignments, public recognition (and sponsorship deals) and, perhaps more importantly, access to the hidden secrets of the World of Progress.
One of the greatest achievements of SLA Industries is the creation of the Stormer, a warrior race created in the Karma biogenetic labs many centuries ago. Since then several sub-classes of Stormer have been created, inclusing the huge and massively strong but slow-witted Chagrin and the many-eyed, stealthy Xeno. Karma's newest and possibly greatest accomplishment is the Vevaphon, a biogenetic shapechanger.
One of the few alien species in the World of Progress is the Ebon race. Ebons are a good-natured, emotional and spiritual people, humanoid, slender of form with eyes all of a single pastel shade. They possess the ability to channel the Ebb, an all-present, semi-mystical web of energy that pervades the universe. An Ebon must use a Deathsuit, a bodysuit created by Dark Lament (yet another SLA subsidiary), to calculate the formulae needed to transform the Ebb energy stored in the body of the Ebon (and in the Deathsuit) into physical effects; effectively, they can perform magic (though the power of the Ebb is not referred to as such). This stored energy is known as Flux.
The Ebon race has it's dark side; a subrace known as Brain Wasters. They are like Ebons, only antisocial and frequently psychopathic. they are also physically similar, but are always characterised by being gaunt rather than slender and by their 'charred eyelids' (all Brain Wasters have markings on their eyelids that look like they have been blackened by fire). Brain Wasters are disdainful of their cousins, while the Ebons despair at the antisocial behaviour of the Brain Wasters.
Before Deathsuits came Glyph Cards. Each card bore a glyph that represented an Ebb effect, but could be dangerous if not properly used. As a result they were immediately declared illegal as soon as the Deathsuit was released. They still see use in the darkest corners of Downtown, and by Ebons and Brain Wasters employed by Soft Companies such as DarkNight.
In this strange and dangerous environment a talented operative can go far. An operative with extra advantages gained from an unknown and powerful heritage can rise higher than most, if the risk is worth it....
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