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. No Hacker has ever been captured, although various Rogues in the Independent Worlds have been caught possessing remarkably accurate information regarding upcoming high-value shipments.
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.
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Mine Dispensers For SaleEdit
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.
"In this system we make plenty of raids on valuable shipments traveling between Liberty and Bretonia. We use the Jump Hole to raid shipments in Cortez that may be trying to bypass Magellan, and the Jump Hole from Cortez to California lets us get back to our beloved homeland. Financial freedom has its costs, I guess." - Mactan Bartender Peter White
"The Outcasts run Cardamine in here from somewhere out in the Tau worlds. They ship it out from here into Liberty, with the Rogues handling much of the dangerous work in New York. We pay a pretty high price even here. If you wanted to make a killing, get in close with the Outcasts and buy some Cardamine further up the stream, closer to the source." - Mactan Bartender Peter White
"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, Lane Hackers
"There's a Jump Hole into Manchester just to the west of this base. We often pop through and hang out in the North Sheffield Field, waiting for an unsuspecting Bowex Gold shipment on the Trade Lanes." - Ian McDavid, Lane Hackers
"Since we know what ships are hauling what, we can hit the Gold freighters and sell the Gold to the Rogues at their Montezuma Base in Cortez. This keeps the Rogues pretty happy with us, and oftentimes they do our dirty work, which leaves more time to pursue our own diversions -- like dropping Cardamine." - Mactan Bartender Peter White