Setting: Syndicate Ascendant

“Humanity made itself clear. It’s not interested in Enlightenment or Transcendence or whatever trash the philosopher kings and shamans were peddling. They want two things – for everything to be free, and to have more than everyone else. That’s all they want. And I say we strip mine reality to give it to them until we don’t need this world anymore.”

– Markus Nicolaides, Syndicate

The 20th Century belonged to the State. Powerful men in powerful position, backed by rules and bureaucracies, armies and enforcers, ruled that era. The New World Order was ascendant, while the Syndicate played a close second. But in the aftermath of the Technocracy’s recent re-invigoration and renewed hostility, no one doubts the Syndicate is finally ascendant.

For the longest time, their creed was ‘Greed is Good’. But now it’s shorter – ‘Greed Is.’ Even tyrants now bow to the power of the corporation and trade. They’ve choked the world in loans and debts; and the magical money men make the world dance to their tune. Some think they are capitalists, but that’s lacking understanding. The Syndicate is Money, the clink of cash and profit. They manage the bribes and books of the Central Committee as much as their portfolios on Wall Street. Wherever someone wants something more than someone else does, the Syndicate has its hooks in.

Many of the Technocracy’s recent victories were the Syndicate’s doing. Mergers and Acquisitions made the moves that started the Adept Civil War that still rages, for instance. These in-roads convinced them it was time to begin a new streamlined targeted version of the Pogrom (new term is “Realignment”).

The rest of the Conventions are still enough to keep the money men from running completely amok. They need the New World Order and Iteration X for their military power; and they are more than willing to pass off unprofitable R&D to the Void Engineers and use the Progenitors to lock down agricultural markets. Not everyone is happy, though. The Enlightened do have higher ideals after all – to change the world for the betterment of everyone. And the Syndicate has shown itself more than willing to tolerate all sorts of things if it is good for their bottom line. Even ideas that weaken the scientific consensus or worse, pose a threat to modern society – from apocalypse cults to anti-vaxxers – propagate themselves through the systems that the Syndicate protects.

The Syndicate worries about this, too. Because as much as they have the world wrapped around their finger, they know their control is based on all sorts of things that they do not fully understand themselves. The massive trading machines on Wall Street and the networks of information that span the globe make them reliant on other, more technical types. And the law and order of the NWO is required to keep their markets captive and the trade agreements enforced.

And who knows what will happen if their “contractors” start making demands? Or if their laxness and lack of vision, the inhumanity with which they deal with humanity, will cost them should the balance come due?

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