The Cratos Corporation was the end product of the merger of four older professional mercenary companies into a single resource sharing corporation.
Victory Squadron - a large mercenary force, Victory squadron had an established history as a mercenary naval force. They started from a single defector ship, and grew as a group of dissidents out in the Belt States beyond Mars. Eventually they gained enough clout to take their own habitat and shipyard and started building small warships and recruiting for their privateer navy. The Victory squadron mostly worked for megacorps and 2nd and 3rd world powers defending their meager offworld holdings.
Dragon Force - the Dragon Force was a sort of Chinese Foreign Legion, former ACPS military men and women who defected from the Emperor's armies to become international freelancers. The Dragon Force was predominantly composed of infantry, a handful of special forces, and armor. The Dragon Force excelled in asymmetrical warfare and guerilla war, but was always fighting in desperate situations for suicidal pay.
Zealot's Immortal Brigade - a custom build power armor force for hire, the Zealot's Immortal Brigade earned its reputation on the Silk Road and on some of the hostile environments in the solar system.
Titan Technologies - Titan was on the surface a mundane tech company. Under the thin veneer, Titan was a cyber-ops corp for hire, and a source of international hackers and cyber-terrorists.
The union of these 4 companies allowed all of them to use their respective strengths to cover the other's weaknesses. Victory had ships, but was often short on manpower, while the Zealots and the Dragon Force had men, but were often highly dependent on and vulnerable to their lack of transportation. Adding Titan into the fold allowed them to become a combined arms mercenary force to be reckoned with. They have ships, they have power armor troops, boots to put on the ground, and both a cyberwarfare department that handles their finances and PR.
Life is cheap, weapons are expensive.
The Cratos Corp hires out their ships, men, and weapons sometimes down to a by the round level of billing. This means that in the pursuit of profit, Cratos will sell individual missiles, or have accounts set up where their clients are billed in real time for the ammunition expenditures of their contracted forces. This is rarely done on an infantry level.
Per Shot - interested parties can purchase not so much missiles, but missile strikes. A Cratos ship will fire a long range missile to the strike coordinates provided in the contract. Results not guaranteed. Strikes are guaranteed to hit within a certain distance from the target, and if they miss, they will fire until the target it hit to contractual satisfaction.
Per Target - interested parties can provide an account of funds to purchase the destruction of a specific target. Within this cost, Cratos will destroy the target in their own desired fashion, unless specified otherwise. A customer might request a specific installation destroyed, and Cratos might fire a volley of long range missiles, or might send a handful of men to carry out a firebomb attack.
Per Retainer - more commonly used in garrison and campaign operations, a Per Retainer contract allows for a certain amount of force to be purchased, such as the presence of a Cratos warship to expend X amount of fuel and Y amount of munitions not to exceed Z the cost of the retainer. This has caused some interesting occurrences where some clients ended up having to pay more than they had and being forced to forfeit holdings to satisfy their Cratos debt, or for Cratos forces to stage a withdrawal in a battle as they were not authorized to continue expending ammunition. This again, is more seen for Cratos mecha and naval assets, rather than for their infantry and power armor forces.
(A million credit retainer for a Cratos cruiser is enough to purchase no more than 70 shots from her main guns, an independent space station might end up becoming Cratos property rather than being destroyed)
The Cratos Corporation is a corporate dictatorship, and the absolute leader is the 'Sky Marshall'. The Sky Marshall is supported by a full military hierarchy, and has, to the surprise of many, Combat Accountants, Combat Lawyers, and Combat Appraisers. The Sky Marshall is just as liable for military victories and blunders as they are for the finances of the corporation, and in the case of gross negligence, the Accounting Department can stage a Financial Coup, refusing to pay out to the Corporation until the Sky Marshall is either deposed, or steps down.
The Cratos Corporation has a large number of Contractors, synonymous with employees or citizens. The families of contractors are allowed to live in Corp owned facilities, with the level of those facilities being determined by the rank and reputation of the contractor in question. Just over 25% of the Corp population is active military, a far cry from the less than 1% found among most CE nations. The entire purpose and focus is military, and the corp encourages it's contractors to have large families, so that children raised in combat oriented households will join the corp as contractors themselves, with corp loyalty instilled since birth. The Corp also takes in large numbers of veterans, regardless of their home nationality. The only real limitations the Corp puts on recruitment is that they do not accept clone soldiers, and they do not accept veterans who are heavily augmented and modified, or who are having mental problems like PTSD. The Corp is a professional fighting force, not a retirement home for cyborgs and the mentally ill. Save that noise for the terrorists and the wastelanders.
Cratos Corporation has a number
of offworld colonies, mines, habitats, and one anchorage as their vassal
states. These, along with recruitment offices supply the Corp with the
soldiers and staff they need to operate. There are several thousand
active soldiers, dozens of ships, and several hundred mecha and fighters
in the Cratos Corp.
The logo of the Cratos Corp is the Omega symbol. The symbol is found on all Cratos equipment, ships, weapons, and uniforms. The organization is hyper-masculine, and as such their equipment frequently features what they refer to as the Poutsa on it, representation of the male genitalia. The depiction varies from unit to unit, some favor more artistic representations, or abstract versions. Other, more salty and macho units will have much more realistic imagry. One thing that is common is that the poutsa is not erect, but deliberately flaccid, often large, and depicted as resting across the testicles.
If a unit has a depiction of an erect penis is an indication of shame, and of a soldier who has displayed disobedience, reckless behavior, or otherwise unacceptable behavior.
The Cratos Corporation has a colored history of work across the Solar System, almost always working for independent powers, or powers that lack any sort of measurable space force. As such, they have almost zero presence on Earth, and their largest recruiting station is on Huo Hsing. The corp is considered gray and amoral, as they work for whomever is willing to pay them their going rate.
The biggest racket for Cratos Corp involve liberating colonies and habitats from other corps and second tier earth nations. They colonies will engage Cratos on retainer, and Cratos will take the retainer even knowing that the employer in question will not be good for the balance due. The forces in question will either surrender the colony or hab to Cratos, or will be forced by international law to basically ransom their holdings back from Cratos, either way, the corp gets their due. Having a large veteran contingent, and an average soldier age that is a fair bit higher than most nations, those said nations are less interested in sending their young men and expensive ships to be killed by old men in old ships.
Allies - Cratos Corp remains in good standing with the NOMAD group, regularly defending their holdings from privateers and pirates, often with a gentleman's agreement that NOMAD will repair or replace any ships lost defending their holdings.
The EUdAS (United State of South America) are regular employers of Cratos, to shore up their relative lack of space forces. They pay, they pay well, and they pay on time.
Wastelander Factions - while rarely able to pay cash, various wastelander factions have traded Silk Road stolen tech and black market deliciousness to the Corp in exchange for courier and bodyguard services.
ACPS - while loathe to hire mercenaries, the ACPS understands that it needs protection for it's offworld colonies besides Mars, and routinely hires Cratos as convoy protection.
New Themyscira forces will fire on Cratos forces without provocation, as they consider Cratos' alliance with the EUdAS and their bold display of the Poutsa to be provocation enough.
Eurasian Alliance will not hire Cratos or offer aid to Cratos ships, and the Alliance has borne the brunt of Cratos guns too often to be forgiven, as well as having the pay Cratos for failed rebellions on their offworld colonies or risk losing them.
Atlantic Federation - only international law and the reluctance of Cratos to take contracts against the Federation keeps them from retaking the Corp holdings and burning their ships out of the sky. Federation Intel Ops do on occasion make use of Cratos ships for clandestine purposes.
The basic concept I had that inspired the Cratos Corporation has nothing to do with the God of War franchise, but the idea of a mercenary force selling their support literally by the round. The visual of a battle with warships slugging it out with each other in orbit, while a combat accountant and colonial administrators struggle to find financing options to keep fighting because their original deal only covered 110 rounds of capital weapons fire, and the battle is about half over and they've use 90 of their shots, and dipped into the damage retainer.
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? Responses (1)-1
'Oh no, evil masculine merc, you have displayed an image of a phallus, and thus I shall fire upon thee!' Gee, New T should chill, and perhaps learn that good mercs are useful and don't come cheap.
I love the idea of Cratos being sort of a haven for veterans who left their former employers/homeland for various reasons - I can only imagine their canteens being filled with colourful characters, mentor types, and grizzled soldiers. All of them of course with varied levels of cynicism, level-headed and experienced, some just going through the motions because that's all they know, and others trying to patch up some sort of life again, perhaps with a missus and tots back at the base. 'No country for old men' my a$$.
Also makes good background for young PCs who find they're too idealistic for merc work, but remember the old man who taught them all they know and kept them from getting themselves killed.