Wednesday, February 8, 2017

HIVE Security

"Giving you better protection, through unity"

HIVE Security is but one of many private security hypercorps based on Extropia. Technically, they are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the WASP Corporation, but WASP is held by a single owner and director, Deborah Vespasian, who controls several subsidiary and branch companies. For services, HIVE offers what can be typically expected of a security contractor: including personal protection plans up to light paramilitary response, secured courier services and holding, identity and privacy protection and business plans for site and asset protection. HIVE's prices are usually in the "premium" range, but this is because Vespasian offers a particular level of service integrated into the company which "thematically" approaches eusocial insects.

This sort of coordination takes many forms, though with "HIVE" the theme is obvious. On a basic level, all employees (even outside of "tactical" situations) stay in TacNet when on-shift, sharing data feeds, positional data and other information. In the field, HIVE security personnel have built a complex signalling language and code based on scent cues and body language - which also makes many of their employees highly skilled at Kinesics. They also use UV light signals and markets, such as tracker dyes, for a number of purposes. The cost for these augmentations and training is covered by the employment contract, which may be a reason why their contracts have such a high price. Unlike competitors, HIVE does not use bots, but instead utilizes biodrones for security purposes, such as Gardener Insects (p. 154 Panopticon) or Dragon Flies (Seedware 263). While not a subtle, the use of transgenic insects has a certain intimidating quality to it.

Organizationally, HIVE also might resemble certain insectoid caste-systems. Entry-level contractors are "workers", who typically utilize neuter or feminine morphs and serve basic jobs of customer relations, research and also perform scouting, logistical and very basic duties of security. "Soldiers" make up the bulk of the security teams of HIVE and are typically sleeved in Fury morphs of the latest generation, utilizing small squad tactics with tightly knit units they are trained and drilled with in simulspace - and who utilize the workers as support staff. Pretty typically, any worker who remains employed at the corp long enough will be able to move up into soldiering, though those with skill and experience are often hired directly at the active level. Despite the name "drones" (more commonly "management" to avoid confusion) fill in the leadership position for corporate - and utilize male or hermaphroditic morphs. These operate in small teams to support the highest levels of HIVE and several other WASP subsidiaries - they do not perform fieldwork but instead handle resource allocation and high level management, handling teams of soldier or worker operatives, overseeing individual projects, and making sure money and raw materials are being appropriately moved. The highest level in HIVE is called "monarch", these are senior operatives with high-level management duties in HIVE and other subsidiaries who form Vespasian's inner circle.

Monarchs utilize feminine or hermaphroditic morphs - if they are physically instanced to do their jobs, and they are only selected after multiple years of exemplary service from existing contract employees. Monarchs do not network directly with each other, but instead may oversee any number of networks with their subordinate units, and generally oversee long-term contracts, particular projects of WASP, various internal departments or divisions or high value contracts. The theme does not extend so far as to give monarchs "reproductive" rights (though romantic or sexual relations with subordinates is allowed or encouraged in order to "bond"), they instead have high powers of budgetary rights and hiring rights - getting to pick who they hire for what positions, handling promotions at their own discretion and managing their resources. Due to the amount of things they may have to coordinate, some engage in the process of fork-hiving themselves to increase productivity, or choose to instance as infomorphs.

Employee-wise, while HIVE almost always uses standardized humanoid biomorphs (particularly Fury lines) they do broadly recruit. Some neo-avians willing to adapt work at HIVE for their experience with UV senses and flight (which is handy for biodrones). Hominid and Cetacean uplifts often find the intense social or community sense inside the company appealing and Extropia itself is not necessarily designed well to aquatic uplift forms. AGI also sometimes join, liking the logical structure of the company. Most of the employees are drawn from humans however, such as those who actually struggle in Extropia's society, or some ex-military who miss a command structure. Others just want to do it for a paycheck, and don't mind camaraderie.

Why exactly Vespasian and WASP decided to go this route is unknown. Deborah herself is fairly reclusive, not engaging in external social media, making limited public reports on her company, most of her meetings with other business entities are done behind closed doors. Local extropians offer a mix of amusement, distrust and fascination with HIVE and other WASP subsidiaries. Many do not like that their corporation technically builds a hierarchical system, but at the same time much of it is based on roles and involves deep cooperation (and HIVE has acquired strong ties to some mutualist groups) and it is all voluntary based on the terms of the contract. People who have used or tangled with HIVE forces say their efficiency and coordination is something impressive though. Others find the marketing style impressive and memorable. Positive relations tend to be helped by "Monarch" workers, many of whom are more sociable and form the key base of HIVE's leadership - and are very visibly not an "exclusive club", taking on new people at that level as needed based on merit or growth.

WASP owns several other business ventures in Vespasian's name besides HIVE, though that is their largest component. They also have research into "smart" insect lines, and also in-house biomorph and implant development, survey and prospecting business, and investment and legal firms. Most of these operate similar to the organizational structure of HIVE, though slightly smaller and more focused.

Notable Faces:

  • Deborah Vespasian herself is not often directly involved with HIVE, though she self-employees their most expensive service (The "Royal Guard" package) for her personal security. A businesswoman of European descent, she was originally based on Venus but moved to Extropia when it looked like the Consortium would solidify power there. She spends most of her time working with her business partners in private, but has enough social sense to appear at certain public events to promote her businesses. Generally regarded as a friendly but private woman, who is often distracted.
  • While Cadmus McLellan's business title is "Executive Assistant" and he is technically a "drone" level employee, he is widely known in all WASP companies as Vespasian's right hand and fixer. When others cannot solve problems of logistics, organization or finance, he steps in to clear things up and move the company forward. He is business-minded and no nonsense, and generally seen as the less friendly visitor when Vespasian takes personal interest in a project or problem. 
  • Raz Jezek is one of the senior-most Monarch employees with HIVE, having been employed for the longest period. Originally a Scumborn, she joined with HIVE in a fit of young adult rebellion when her parents said to "get a job" (presumably meaning to do something useful around the swarm). Raz quickly rose through ranks as a soldier to a leader, and effectively operates marketing and customer relations for HIVE via AR ads and XP programs she creates and edits. Unlike Vespasian, Jezek is very sociable, and helps maintain relations with the Extropian populace and other autonomist groups - and jokes she has a girl or boyfriend on every asteroid. 
  • Luciana Winter is the newest promoted Monarch. She was promoted up after surviving a vicious attack on a secured shipment and rallying the surviving members of her unit into a counteroffensive against suspected Nine Lives operators. Her story went a bit viral, so she has appeared in some marketing materials - and was placed to head up internal divisions on item security. Luciana is ex-military, recently off an indenture in Luna, and while not highly experienced at leadership is said to have some natural talent. People like her because she has a very humble vibe which fits with anarchist ideals. 

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