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Liberty Corporations

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Liberty's main corporations are also known as "The Big Three": Interspace Commerce, Ageira Technologies, and Universal Shipping. Liberty has two other major corporations, somewhat less powerful than the "Big Three": Deep Space Engineering fills the role of a subcontractor to Ageira Technologies and the Liberty Navy, building ships and maintaining trade lanes and jump gates. Synth Foods, on the other hand, is a agribiz conglomerate which created the revolutionary "Synth Paste", allowing processed food to be made from unlikely vegetation. Synth Paste also has the advantage of an improbable shelf life and does not require refrigeration; however, there are concerns regarding its nutritional value, and many people simply find the stuff revolting.

These corporations took full advantage of Liberty's choice central location in Sirius to establish the Trade Lane network using the Universal Ship Identification system. All five have since profited handsomely from upgrading, maintaining, and extending this network, as well as trading commodities on the network and insuring the shipments.

Ageira developed the Trade Lane and Jump Gate technology and packaged it with the USI. Deep Space Engineering built and maintains the network of Trade Lanes and Jump Gates. Interspace Commerce originally financed the venture, but lost great clout in the 521 AS during the Rheinland-Kusari trade embargo and resulting Sirius Commerce Pact with Kusari and Rheinland. At this time, IC was forced to switch to insuring cargos to maintain financial viability. Using the USI technology, IC can determine what cargos are going where and instantly calculate probabilities to ensure profitable margins on cargo insurance premiums and minimize fraud. Ships from all Liberty companies can be seen in Bretonian, Kusari, and Rheinland space.

PiracyEdit

To combat piracy, the Big Three, not to mention DSE and Synth Foods, maintain good relations with the Liberty Navy, Liberty Police Incorporated, and Liberty Security Force. In Liberty space, these depredations are usually the work of the Liberty Rogues, Lane Hackers, Outcasts, or Xenos. Sometimes the occasional Junker gets greedy, but they're usually sent packing by coordinated Civilian fighter escorts. While the Liberty Rogues are disorganized, and the Xenos ships are outmatched by the Navy and Police craft, the Lane Hackers and Outcasts pose a serious threat to the Big Three's operations. However, as neither faction maintains a base inside Liberty space, instead preferring to use Rogue and Junker bases to repair, resupply and rearm, the Liberty enforcement arms have had a difficult time locating the sources of their worst troubles.

CompetitionEdit

The most serious challenges to Liberty corporations come from their official competition in Rheinland, Kusari, and Bretonia. Although Bretonia and Liberty have maintained mostly cordial relations in an echo of Anglo-American cooperation in the 20th century on Earth, bitter trade wars have erupted from time to time between the Houses. One major dispute was the Kusari-Rheinland Trade Embargo of 521 AS. This economic spat coincided with the Dallas Incident of 521 AS, which resulted in a major economic downturn in Liberty and the beginning of "lower-class cleansing" as Liberty began to eat itself.

SpeculationEdit

Prior to the Kusari-Rheinland Trade Embargo of 521 AS, Interspace Commerce was financially cleaning Kusari and Rheinland's proverbial clocks with legal-but-usurious financing terms on their Jump Gate and Trade Lane construction projects. It is possible that the Dallas Incident may have been the result of sabotage by agents of one or both Houses. It is also possible that Liberty agents were responsible for provoking, escalating or prolonging the 80 Years War and Rheinland Popular Revolution (perhaps even assisting in the formation of the Unioners in 610 AS or the Bundschuh in 679 AS). Interspace Commerce and Synth Foods benefited greatly by Rheinland's defaults on the terms of their war loans, and this would have offset the loss of clout following the Dallas Incident and Liberty's economic downturn, which began in earnest by 600 AS, which coincides with the start of the 80 Years War.

It is also possible that Liberty agents may have had a hand in encouraging Yuyu Matsuda to stir up internal strife in Kusari, though the direct economic benefits of such action are less clear. It is more probable that Matsuda was simply influenced by Liberty's more egalitarian stance on gender relations. In any case, the additional friction in Kusari very likely led to the breaking of Samura and Kishiro's monolithic control of the Kusari economy, the end of subsidies for Samura food production on Planet Kyushu (and the formation of the Farmers Alliance after the arrival of Synth Foods), and opened the House to competition from Liberty.

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