The Nomad nation is composed out of three enormous space ships. The Nomads are those who have moved away from society, for some reason or another. They now travel through the various systems, offering their services to any planet, although they try to limit their relation with the commercial sphere.
The AI, ALEPH, doesn’t have influence within the Nomad nation, as they willingly dissociated themselves from it. Because of this, they are considered eccentric and anarchic by the major factions in the Human Sphere. The Nomads have a rebellious attitude towards the big powers and pressure groups. Those that don’t prefer to live in those nations often migrate to the Nomad nation. In order to have still have access to an information network, the Nomads founded Arachne; the Nomad AI and the only place to go on a net without ALEPH watching.
Their huge ships follow the commercial lines and often together with the Circulars, large moving space stations/freighter ships that travel the Human Sphere in circular routes. This allows the Nomad ships to make the interstellar jumps. Thanks to their travels and tradeposts the Nomad nation is a cheaper alternative to the great commercial enterprises and they are often sought for their distinctive confidentiality. They also offer labour specialized in Zero-G and Extra Vehicular activity, and their markets are filled with the rare and exotic, most of them illegal on any planet.
There are three large mother ships within the Nomad nation; Tunguska, Corregidor and Bakunin. Each of these ships has its own culture, character, functions and specializations within the Nomad nation. The ships are accompanied by various smaller ships and shuttles that perform different tasks, from communication and transportation to obscure subcontracting work. Next to the fleet, the Nomad inhabit orbitals, space stations and the occasional temporary outpost to cover the needs of contracts. These outpost could become full-formed orbitals in time. Many of these locations lack the artificial gravity, so many Nomads are used to living in a zero-G environment. You can even find some Nomads working on-planet as contractors or merchants and they can be found in the areas surrounding the space elevators and astroports.
The Phantom Conflict
The Nomad nation consist of the forgotten, dispossessed, criminal, rebels and discontent. Their disdain towards ALEPH, which is considered as a way of the state to control its citizens, makes the Nomad ships and orbitals one of the few places within the Human Sphere where ALEPH’s watchful eye can’t observe your every move.
Because the Nomad citizens live away from ALEPH they also lack the needed ID-chips to work legally on any planets or O-12 system, as well as many other implants that are widespread among citizens of other nations.
Because of their disconnection from ALEPH, many other nations have some form of hostility towards the Nomad nation, which ultimately led to the Phantom Conflict, the secret war against the Nomads, instigated by the main powers and ALEPH. The war was fought with low intensity and the Nomads showed their skills not only at fighting, but also at diplomacy, gaining the upper hand in the political arena that only fortified the Nomad’s position in the Human Sphere.
The Phantom Conflict started with what is now known as one of the most tragic moments in the history of the ship Bakunin. It is seen as an attempt by ALEPH to destroy the opposition of ALEPH’s primacy within Human Sphere. ALEPH infiltrated into the Nomad ship of Bakunin and during a remembrance of the foundation of the ship its agents launched a series of attacks against the systems, the local net of Arachne and the inhabitants of the ship.
It was due to the efforts of the Observerance, a militant Christian sect native to Bakunin, that the attacks of ALEPH were diverted and prevented. As no evidence could be found that would implicate ALEPH in the attack, the foreign press attributed to situation to internal conflict.
Nowadays the Nomad nation is protected by the international treaties forced upon the Human Sphere by O-12. These treaties allow the Nomad ships access to the Circulars and grants them the status as an independent nation. Thanks to the support of O-12 the Nomads have some representatives in the council, forcing the other nations to tolerate and interact with the Nomad nation.
Because the Nomad nation is a drifting society, the big motherships meet annually during an event that is known as ‘The Krug’. These are the source of many complaints by the factions in the O-12 council, as a Krug is seen as a ‘trouble magnet’ for the system where the event is hosted.
But in fact the Krug is a business opportunity for the smart and skillful trader, businessman or entrepreneur, and many companies and corporations flock to the system to dabble in the wealth of transactions and social opportunities that arise during a Krug. Being watchful and sharp during a Krug can earn you a small fortune.
Not only is a Krug a social and business bazaar, it also allows the Nomad nation to accept new blood, and renew the genetic pool on board of the vessels. The emphasis on group activities makes these reunions the best moment to strengthen the bonds between the ships with intervessel marriages, commercial activities and the exchange of ideas, projects and cultural phenomenons.
The Nomad fleet consist of three large motherships:
Tunguska – ‘the Money’
Tunguska is the money bin of the Nomad nation. Created as a joint operation by bankers and cryptohackers Tunguska provided an alternative solution for the tax havens, off shore companies, shady corporations, the Asian and Eastern European mafias and individuals for their extra-official activities.
Within Tunguska is the data Crypt, a large nucleus totally independent from ALEPH, where secrets can still be secrets. Guarded by firewalls and security systems the nucleus also provides the Nomad nation with Arachne, the alternative data network, alternative to Maya, the data network of ALEPH. Arachne is an internal web, to avoid any infiltration from ALEPH. Tunguska’s hackers are the best in the Human Sphere, and they work hard to protect Arachne as the Crypt and to make sure it stays safe.
Tunguska is regarded not as a nation but as a business and all the citizens are shareholders and possess a certain amount of interest of Tunguska. The big money however comes from the Asian and European mafias and in lesser extent the Central and Eastern European banks. This creates a mafiosi-economic structure within Tunguska that allows the mafiosi to run business as they like, although Tunguska’s security forces are trying hard to defuse the intrigues within Tunguska and keep parties from killing each other.
The ship is specialized in banking, money laundry and cryptography. Next to that their security forces provide some of the best hackers in the Sphere, allowing Tunguska to specialize in info warfare.
Corregidor – ‘the Hand’
Corregidor was launched as a high security prison ship. It would become the solution for the cartel crimes in South America. Corregidor would disconnect the cartel bosses from their gangs, so they wouldn’t be able to influence them from behind bars. A cruel and inhuman prison, Corregidor continued to work despite many protests.
The space program and the orbital elevators caused huge population swifts and many refugees were searching for a safe place. With its expense drain, Corregidor was looking for another way to generate the money needed. The solution was to make Corregidor home for all the refugees. Extra modules were built and Corregidor got a second life as a refugee and prison ship. Many African and Latin-American refugees found a new home in space.
The support of the nations still withered, and after a while the ship was forced to look after itself. Feeling abandoned, the inhabitants cut all ties with the governments that put them there and freed the prisoners as they could help maintain the ship. The Corregidoreans created more space for themselves and while many thought they wouldn’t be able to survive, the Corregidoreans somehow made it work, as they had no other way.
This period forced Corregidor to specialize itself in Zero-G and Extra Vehicular labour, something that wasn’t common in the Human Sphere. Because space is the most hostile environment of them all, the Corregidoreans are considered some of the toughest people in the Sphere. If you look for tough contractors, or perhaps an extra-official labour force, you will look towards Corregidor. They also provide mercenaries and fighting forces for hire.
Corregidor is run by a ‘one man, one vote’ system, and in order to gain this vote, and citizenship, the Corregidoreans will have to work mandatory service hours in maintenance tasks. From an early age until they reach adulthood they are require to work, and in order to keep citizenship they have to work a number of hours per year. If an individual can not work, they are often pushed out of the airlock or find another means to get off the vessel.
Bakunin – ‘the Soul’
Bakunin is a different beast all together. It is formed by the social groups that are shunned by the rest of society. In such a technocratic society as the Human Sphere, certain social groups just do not fit the models proposed by the system that is supposed to be rational.
Dissident groups across the Sphere united themselves in a hidden network, and searching for a safe place they looked for a way to organize a society that followed their own ideological schemes without interference from society.
Deep Space was the place where they would create their home. Discarded transport crafts were used to create the core of the ship, and thanks to funding from various religious sects that were censored and harassed by their governments they founded Bakunin.
Many discontent individuals would flock towards the ship, and it grow fast. Everybody was welcome at Bakunin and soon the inhabitants formed a cluster of the weird, extravagant and immoral.
Since Bakunin has no restrictions or moral considerations it has become the place where technology runs amok and science and experiments are conducted without any restrictions. There are no laws against trade goods or certain alterations, so those looking for the weird and exotic know they have to go to Bakunin.
The Black laboratories of Praxis and the city of Vaudeville are the main source of income for Bakunin. Praxis are the experimental workshops of the mad and the criminal, and Vaudeville is the extravagant frivolous bazaar filled with entertainment, illegal and exotic substances and the possibility to undergo some alterations for those that can afford it.
It is thanks to Bakunin that the Nomad nation has a foothold in the scientific-technological circuits.
Bakunin is divided among modules, and each model gets a vote. This way Bakunin can prevent social imbalance thanks to the demographic weight of each module. This system of votes is used to solve any questions.
Nomad Commercial Missions
The Nomad nation consists of more than just these three ships, accompanied by fleets of smaller vessels. Throughout the entire Human Sphere there are Nomad settlements, mixing the diplomatic nature of the embassy with the mercantile role of a commercial delegations. These so called ‘Commercial missions’ make use of their diplomatic status to cover espionage activities of the Black Hand, the Nomad Intelligence organizations.
These missions reflect the Nomad nation, and each of the missions is guarded and has access to Arachne through Tunguska, has the technicians and military units from Corregidor and export the exotic thanks to Bakunin.
Thanks to their diplomatic immunity, the settlements are protected against the complaints or actions of the local governments. In order not to stir these beehives, most Commercial missions refrain from dealing with activities that are considered illegal in the system they are in.