Lane Hackers are mostly composed of former Los Angeles Ageira Technologies employees who created the extremely complex scanning and database system known as USI (Universal Ship Identification). Departing the company rather acrimoniously in 750 AS, they have become a growing problem in the Independent Worlds.
The Lane Hackers in Magellan and Galileo share one common origin -- Ageira. The scandal that erupted within the company after the great Galileo bypass project, which resulted in the unnecessary construction of a hugely expensive set of Jump Gates and Trade Lanes, forced several executives and an elite development team out. This would become the second part of the core of the Lane Hackers, along with the original California scanner group that fled to Magellan. The investigation continues to this day, but has so far been unsuccessful in locating the Lane Hacker bases.
Security measures have been added to the software, but the Hackers remain one step ahead, leading Ageira security experts to believe that there are many sympathetic programmers still within the company, possibly being secretly paid off with the proceeds from the thefts. The Lane Hackers prefer to sell their information to others rather than do the dirty work themselves, although they sometimes swoop in and tractor in a cargo if it’s particularly juicy. Fancying themselves as modern-day Robinhoods, they avoid direct confrontation when possible, unless it is the henchmen of the despised IC and Ageira.
They like to frequent Freeport 4 and the Ames Research Station, as their asteroid bases within the clouds can become claustrophobic. Their Cardamine addiction forces the Hackers to trade drugs for Trade Lane info with the Outcasts at the Mactan base. Leiden is a key transfer point for smuggled goods between Kusari and Liberty, especially the Artifact trade, which the Hogosha dominate. A steady stream of Hogosha ships make the journey to the Galileo system. The Lane Hackers have also been spotted in Colorado, leading authorities to speculate that there may be multiple Jump Hole routes into that system from the Independent Worlds.
Bases Under ControlEdit
OUTCASTS THREATEN PRICE INCREASE: LEIDEN -- The days of trading information with the Outcasts for Cardamine may soon be drawing to an end as Outcasts threaten to boost Cardamine prices. "The Outcasts have to realize what a service they are getting by trading us for information," said division manager Gary Holden. "If they try and put the squeeze on us, then they are going to lose millions when they stop getting all those choice shipments." Information will be withheld from the Edge World Cardamine suppliers if they hike the prices again.
HACKERS KILLED IN AMBUSH: GALILEO -- Gary Burnam, William Lieberman, and Hamilton Jones were all killed when they stumbled into an IC/Bounty Hunter trap last week. The three pilots attacked a Kusari Luxury Goods armored transport as it approached the Galileo Jump Gate in Colorado. They sent a distress call just as they made their first pass. The reports are inconclusive, but it is believed that four Hunter ships were hidden in the transport's relay signature. Flight leader Burnam gave the order to retreat, but shortly afterwards all three of their com-signals went dead. A day later IC paid the Guild three pilot bounties.
TECHNOLOGY UPDATES FROM AGEIRA: COLORADO -- Our code breakers cracked the new encryption code that Ageira designed to protect its USI systems. It would not have been possible without the help of our company operatives. It looks like we are still one step ahead of the game; Ageira will have to come up with another way of stopping us from conducting business. Scores of Lane Hackers still work for Ageira and act as informants for our organization. Through their brave contributions we continue to prosper.
NEAR MISS: CURACAO -- None of our numbers have ever been captured alive, but that fact almost changed recently when one of our own was identified while she was on an impromptu vacation in Curacao. Sue Williams found herself surrounded by undercover IC operatives at the Orbital Spa and Cruise Lines Resort last week. She was able to send a distress call to a patrol that was passing near the planet. "We got her message. She seemed worried, so Jake and I went to get her out of there," quoted Hacker pilot Robert Butcher. The two pilots flew in and picker her up just as the IC agents were about to close in.
HACKERS ANNOUNCE RECORD PROFITS: MAGELLAN -- Despite increased bounties offered by IC and Ageira, Lane Hacker operations are just as successful as ever. This quarter both bases posted record profits from lucrative heists that we pulled off. "I don't know how Liberty ever gets any Gold from Bretonia with the operations we are pulling," Lane Hacker executive Bill Hunter quoted. Privately many members admit that mounting Cardamine abuse could be a serious drain on Hacker income if not curbed in the near future.
ARTIFACTS OUT OF VOGUE: MACTAN -- Every Hacker has Artifacts these days, and it looks like there isn't much of a market for them among our own numbers. This is a good thing, since we can sell directly on Liberty's black market. "We'll make more off of them if we stop picking the best ones for ourselves anyway, plus with the new ban on Artifacts, the prices should go up, netting us more in the long run," quoted John Gustafson.
News About HackersEdit
HACKER WINS LA SURF COMPETITION: LOS ANGELES -- Apparently, piracy isn't the only thing Lane Hackers are good at. This year the California Cup was won by none other than Gilbert Hudson, former Ageira employee and Lane Hacker. Hudson, who entered the competition under a false name, was identified by a former Ageira co-worker, who recognized him as he took center stage to accept the cup. As soon as Hudson saw LPI security guards making their way through the crowd towards the stage, he grabbed the cop and fired a message from a wrist transmitter. A moment later a ship descended from the skies. Hudson hopped aboard and fled with several police cruisers in hot pursuit.
HACKERS AVOID CAPTURE YET AGAIN: KINGSTON -- Two days before the Lane Hackers seized a Bowex Gold shipment headed for Liberty space and disappeared before authorities could get to them. The Hackers are known for their advanced technology that allows them to strike with stunning accuracy at the most valuable ship convoys. This attack was no different. IC is posting mammoth rewards for the live capture of any Lane Hacker, and many Bounty Hunters are getting ready to try and collect. As of yet the well financed pirate organization has been too slippery to let one of its own be captured alive.
HACKERS HELP OUTCASTS ELUDE FATE: MAGELLAN -- A military patrol witnessed a strange example of fraternity between criminal factions last week when Lane Hackers came to the rescue of a badly damaged Outcast ship. The patrol came upon a single Outcast and damaged his craft considerably, but before they could finish him off, four Lane Hacker ships swept in and fended off the patrol until the Outcast's nanobots got the engines going again. The Hackers provided cover for the ship until the pilot escaped, and then they retreated into the Barrier Ice Cloud.
"Being a Lane Hacker is a commitment to a way of life. I guess some would call us hedonists -- maybe we are. We live for pleasure and the moment. I used to work for Ageira and I can tell you that this is a much better way to live. We enjoy the finest things in life -- we eat the best foods, we wear the best clothes, and we have the best toys. And the Cardamine... as much Cardamine as you want. If we could just land on Curacao, life would be perfect." - Mactan Bartender Peter White
"No Lane Hacker has ever been captured. Sure, some of our lackeys have gotten tagged by the police or military, but nobody ever knows enough to finger the Lane Hackers. It just goes to prove that we're smarter than everyone else. That's why we left Ageira; we didn't get the recognition and money we deserved." - Allan Von Krunk, Lane Hackers, Mactan Base
"We designed the entire USI software system to track ships and their contents throughout the entire Trade Lane network in the Sirius Sector. Ageira didn't give us a penny extra. So we left and started the Lane Hackers, along with a scanner hardware development group from Colorado. IC uses the USI system to calculate precise shipping insurance rates. With USI there is no cheating, like there was in the old days. The shippers hate it, but they have to insure their shipments. IC and Ageira are quite the pair." - Ian McDavid, Mactan Base
The Outcasts use our base as one of their R & R bases on the long journey into Liberty from the Edge Worlds. We trade information for Cardamine, which we need on a daily basis. Funny, we didn't use to need it all the time like nowadays. We have to take Cardamine with us any time we leave base, as we start to get sick pretty quick otherwise." - Jon Kimmich, Mactan Base
"The Rogues are a simple lot. We don't really have much in common with them, except maybe the love of Cardamine. Most Rogues are products of the Liberty penal system. We're too smart to get caught by the LPI or Navy. We'd rather die than set foot in Texas." - Truett Cate, Lane Hackers, Montezuma Base
Rumors About HackersEdit
"Lane Hackers partly owe their origin to the Ames Research studies, which predicted that a huge storm would disrupt the system in 680. On the advice of Ageira technicans, Liberty financed a costly alternative Trade Lane through Galileo. When the storm didn't materialize, Ageira tried to redeem itself by ruthlessly ousting an elite development team and several executives, who re-emerged as the core of the northern Lane Hackers." - Frank Maddin, Zoners
"Our most valued Cardamine customer is the Lane Hackers. Not only do they pay us well for our Cardamine, they will barter valuable Trade Lane information for it. I foresee them becoming completely dependent upon us. Soon their Trade Lane technology will be ours." - Maria Cortez, Outcasts, Cali Base
"The Lane Hackers in Galileo are a bunch of pansy rich boys who can't do their own dirty work. It's that kind of attitude that has let foreigners come in and take jobs from the Liberty working man. At least they use Rogues to do their work for them and not Kusari pirates. That still makes the Rogues the pawns of the rich and lazy. Lane Hackers don't know what real work is, how hard it is for so many of us to survive." - Ouray Bartender Richard York, Xenos