Corporations of Warfleet
Corporations have been an integral part of human space exploration ever since the discovery of jumpspace and development of the first practical FTL drives. Exploration, prospecting, colonization, and mining are very expensive ventures that carry a significant amount of both financial and material risk.
Megacorporations would often partially or fully fund prospecting and mining expeditions in exchange for exclusive resource rights for whatever resources they happened to find. This gave certain corporations an unprecedented amount of economic -and thus political- power within the EED and later the UCO and IA. Some systems are completely controlled by corporate interests.
During the War of Independence some corporations threw their wealth and resources behind the UCO, others behind the IA, some tried to stay as neutral as possible, and others yet tried to play both sides for greater profits. It is known that some pirate bands are indirectly sponsored by corporations and used to raid or harass competing corporations or even on occasion Government assets when the end result is believed to be of value to corporate interests. Such actions are of course illegal and occasionally enough circumstantial evidence can be collected to result in a corporation being named in the newswire headlines, but these allegations are very difficult to prove and seldom is a corporation ever punished for engaging in what is essentially guerrilla warfare against its competitors.
Most of the major corporations have either their own small fleets (in the case of the DSMG and TMCL) or higher mercenaries to protect themselves from these raids. Less wealthy corporations have been known to employ raiders and private militias for protection, but this is unreliable and more than once the protectors have been bought off by the competitors and have attacked their former employers.
The Deep Space Mining Guild
Dating from the early days of space exploration, the Deep Space Mining Guild specializes -as their name suggests- in non-terrestrial mining operations. This largely involves mining of asteroid fields, non-atmospheric moons, and gas harvesting from nebulae. By 2200 the DSMG was by far the largest of all of the megacorporations, but was punished severely with unfair contracts, lowballing, and non-preferential treatment by the UCO for their support of the breakaway systems in the Resource War. However, the UCO's thirst for raw and processed materials and the DSMG's capitalization on mining in the outer colonies has gradually repaired much of the damage done.
Currently the DSMG is the largest and most powerful of the independent corporations. They sponsor and run nearly two thirds of all the mining expeditions that take place off-world. The DSMG has countless mining colonies of all sizes spread through most of occupied space.
The DSMG maintains a modest force of ?cutters? for escorting and protecting company interests. While called cutters, these ships are actually light cruisers. The design was purchased off of the UCO before the War of Independence. The DSMG has since made modifications that make the cutter a formidable combat vessel.
As it had in the Resource War, during the War of Independence the DSMG sided with the outer colonies as most of the company's interests were not within UCO controlled space. Since the end of the war and the end of UCO regulation, the DSMG has been able to increase the price of its exports, adding a new mountain of wealth to this already thriving corporation and repairing the last damage done in the wake of the war of 2200.
Despite it's origins on Earth, the DSMG has been based in Capella for over a century.
Moraton Corporation, Ltd.
Generally known simply as 'Moraton' or TMCL, the Moraton Corporation is a newer corporate entity that emerged completely outside the core UCO systems. Unlike most of the modern megacorps, Moraton's specialty isn't in mining. The corporation's roots are in advanced power system for deep space engineering, with a specialization in small, dense, hig-output systems. In the decades following the Resource Wars TMCL began research into using refined crystal dynamics to modify the geometry of their dense reactors in an effort to artificially boost reactor output. Their results were never more than marginal as far as reactor output was concerned, but they made a completely different and far more influential discovery -the laser focusing lens. Moraton discovered that the lenses could be used to focus the high burst output of their reactor power systems into a cohesive burst of energy.
Originally they envisioned a type of mining laser (and indeed practical mining lasers did come out of this discovery), but further refinement of the power systems, crystal lenses, and focusing apertures led to the modern starship laser cluster. Within a decade this weapon has replaced turrets as the primary weapon on starships and quickly became Moraton's key product, and the company transformed itself from an advanced equipment manufacturer to a weapons research and production company.
Other corporations have recently begun producing their own versions of laser cluster weaponry, but Moraton remains on the forefront of energy weapons research and development.
Samura Mining Conglomorate
SMC is a massive co-operation of vertically-integrated companies that have near monopoles on whole industries. Expanding from humble beginnings on Earth, Samura came to prominence with their prospecting and subsequent sole mineral rights to the Groombridge 34 system. Releasing pressure on the UCO from the resource-rich outer colonies granted the corporation a significant amount of political capital, and the Board of Directors wasn't shy about using it to greatly expand corporate interests.
At present SMC is second only to the DSMG in total capital, and unlike the later SMC specializes in mining, shipping, manufacturing, and production of items ranging from consumer products to starship components.
Despite SMC's wealth and influence the corporation has been unsuccessful in expanding into the outer colonies. The trade policies enforced by the Capellan Alliance at the end of the War of Independence effectively ended any chance of the corporation gaining a strong foothold into Capellan territory.
Hanold-Mag Corporation: Defunct starship manufacturer. Primarily produced smaller starships for intersystem use. Went bankrupt after financing the failed Remora heavy freighter.
Lamborant Corporation: Large starship manufacturer. Known for the Annihilator and Nova military designs among other, smaller starships. Based in the Luyten 725 system.
Resloth Yards: Small starship manufacturer focusing on civilian designs. Resloth ships are known to be inexpensive, reliable, and versatile. Based in the Abraxus system.
Kaplin Stardrive: Known for its reliable deep space freighters, Kaplin Stardrive lost clout with the UCO when it refused to build warships leading up to the Resource War, fearing significant impact on its lucrative freighter market. Their attempts to break into the warship market in the years since have been unsuccessful. Based in the Abraxus system.
Nolan Industries, Ltd.: Once the third largest (by volume) shipbuilder in the outer colonies, the NIL dockyards in Capella were captured during the Resource War and later scuttled by the UCO. Although building transports for half a century, NIL is best known for producing large numbers of the C4 Patrol Frigate, many of which ended up as Palak Class Raiders.
Haydron Technology: Haydron specializes in creating plasma stardrive systems and long-range hyperdrive coils for heavy starships. Their designs are often efficient and powerful, but expensive and only used on starships that can take full advantage of the units.
Monolith Defense Systems: Builders of the Monolith Series of defense platforms. Based in Sol.