Austrin-Ontis Unlimited
Austrin-Ontis Unlimited
logo
motto
Headquarters -
Years active -
Founder -
Notable members -
Major activities -
Rivals -

“Without guns, where would we be?”
—CEO James “Crazy” Gates

“If there is no further business, then I will take this opportunity to welcome our new employees.”
—CEO Akutagawa Chieko of Austrin Arms, following her hostile takeover of Ontis Ordinance

“Belra, you stay. The rest of you are fired.”
–-CEO James “Crazy” Gates declares a State of Crisis

“What?! Are you crazy!?”
Brandon Waters, then recently fired Director of Military Operations

Many outsiders consider the survival of Austrin-Ontis Unlimited (often referred to as A-O) as evidence of a human obsession that stretches back for centuries. Of course, Austrin-Ontis accepts the tradition of supplying armaments with pride. Categorizing Austrin-Ontis remains a difficult task for diplomats and historians alike. It stands somewhere between a corporate stellar nation and a confederation of rugged colonies. Most Austrins see no contradiction between maximizing the profit line and exercising the desire to demonstrate their products whenever possible.

Population: 646 Billion Sentient Beings
Founding Year: 2112
GW2 Alliance: Profit Confederation
Capital World: Powder
Citizens: Austrins
Common Langauages: Galactic Standard, English
Dominant Faith: Old Earth Faiths
Notable Locations: Galvin, Algremron System (Verge world - currently contested with the Thuldan Empire)

History


Arms dealers are nothing new to human history, and by the early half of the 21st century, the industry was booming. As new superpowers rose and corporations staked their claims to global power, both national and corporate armies felt the need for state-of-the-art, military-grade arms. Simultaneously, many free-minded citizens who were intimidated by the world's changes soothed their fears by arming themselves. By 2050, personal firearms were rapidly spreading throughout otherwise civilized nations.

Austrin Arms and Ontis Ordnance devoured corporations of the previous century. Both companies had grown into diverse conglomerates with holdings in dozens of industries from transportation to agriculture. Austrin focused on personal arms, marketing itself to concerned citizens worried about protecting their homes and families. Ontis met the demands of a professional army. Over time, the possession of powerful, advanced weapons became popular in many frontier areas of the solar system. Ontis began to market itself to the public, and thus started an economic war between the corporations. Aggressive advertising pushed gun sales ever higher in those nations that allowed ownership, and corporate-sponsored smuggling sent weapons into the rest.

The competition ended in 2112 with Austrin Arms' hostile takeover of its competitor. With its new military-grade weaponry and research facilities, Austrin-Ontis Unlimited became one of Earth's most powerful corporations. It clung to monopolistic control of the arms trade and ruthlessly obliterated any attempts to encourage competition. Simultaneously, A-O trained a lavishly equipped corporate security force. The A-O private army mushroomed in size to exceed that of many nations. To command this ideal army, the megacorporation hired experienced military commanders from existing armies.

The result was never ideal. Given the newest toys to play with from the moment of enlistment, A-O soldiers tended to be highly individualistic. Competition among the troops in accuracy, speed, and nerve spread through the entire company. While sometimes these games were simple contests at a shooting range, duels and individual acts of violence also increased, plaguing the corporation's ability to organize.

Most analysts believe that Austrin-Ontis would have consumed itself from within had existing trends continued. Fortunately for the Austrins, the stardrive arrived to transport humanity to other star systems. Like most multinationals that survived the century, Austrin-Ontis made the choice to leave Earth and the restrictions that governments could impose. The same rugged independence and boldness that plagued attempts to bring order to the corporate ladder served the Austrins web in space. Austrin-Ontis defied the trend of governments and corporations tightening down on their new colonies.

Without guidance or organization from above, many Austrin colonies failed. Fortunately, new groups of hardy adventurers always stood ready to take their places, and the Austrin-Ontis stellar nation rose on the backs of the fallen. Officially, the nation remains incorporated, and Austrins retain employment under the auspices of a board of directors and a CEO. In practice, the Austrins grew used to the freedoms and liberties that life on a faraway colony provided. During its early days, most Austrin-Ontis colonies met or exceeded production quotas, and the corporation didn't tighten controls until the First Galactic War. Even today, A-O provides a far more relaxed atmosphere than that of other corporate nations, such as VoidCorp.

The First Galactic War came as a shock to most Austrins. At the war's inception, the corporate management relocated to Powder one of Austrin-Ontis's well-established worlds. As demand for A-O weapons rose, profits from the war filled the corporate treasury. At the same time that it was supplying arms, Austrin-Ontis fought against all of its neighbors at one time or another. The Terran Empire was the primary enemy, but Austrins also attacked the Leodal States and the fledgling Orion League. The Austrins pushed the Terrans out of their space and more than held their own against the stellar nations around them. Most important, Austrin-Ontis Unlimited kept its reputation as arms supplier to the interstellar community, even though it was both a supplier and a combatant.

The Second Galactic War

History texts lay the responsibility for inciting GW2 on Austrin-Ontis Unlimited. The accusation is well founded. Between the wars, A-O merchants roamed the galaxy as arms dealers and rogues. Desperate to increase sales, the Austrins soon gamed a reputation for creating business-stirring up trouble wherever they went to raise the demand for weaponry. No conclusive evidence has yet been found linking Austrin-Ontis operatives to the Mutant Uprising of Tau Ceti, though most of the rebels were armed with A-O arms. As A-O representatives point out, though, Austrin weapons are common throughout human space.

The war proved disastrous. Demand for A-O weapons fell as stellar nations saw the foolishness of fueling an enemy's economy and built up their own weapons industries. After initial successes -the Leodal States fell in 2355- Austrin-Ontis fought the combined forces of the Nariac Domain and VoidCorp. By joining the Profit alliance and trading space for time, Austrin-Ontis survived. Self-interest motivated even the Orions to assist A-O occasionally, lest the members of the Expansion Pentad rest on their border instead of the Austrins. The systems between Austrin-Ontis and the Nariac Domain became a wasteland of battered planets that were eventually donated to Concord Prime. By the end of the war, even some Austrins admitted a certain exhaustion.

Today

During the war, Austrin-Ontis joined an alliance motivated by a single goal: increasing the revenue of its members. The same goal extends throughout this stellar nation. Members travel the galaxy in search of deals and opportunities for profit. As long as a member of the society adds to the profit line, the corporation allows its people freedom to transact their business however they wish. Failure doesn't meet with the same result; Austrins who fail to meet sales or production goals are consigned to serve in the A-O bureaucracy, pushing paper for the rest of their lives. Forbidden from transacting A-O business, these wretched failures suffer the highest indignity: Their right to bear arms is revoked.

The consequences of failure and the corporation's blind eye toward method have promoted a popular image of Austrins as desperate, bullying tradesmen. While there is a great deal of truth in this public conception, most Austrins don't confine their interests to making the deal of the century. Even while in search of making money, most Austrins are would-be heroes, rugged individuals who travel to the edges of known space and beyond. The same individualism has kept pistol duels as an accepted practice. If both parties agree to the duel, murder is legal in the A-O sphere of influence.

Military service is voluntary but common. The corporation lures volunteers by providing its soldiers with the best equipment - state-of-the-art firearms, for the most part. Three weeks into training, enlistees receive an automatic rifle, which they may keep after three years of service. Furthermore, the A-O military maintains its strength by lavishly supporting its troops. As a result, Austrins tend to be highly effective when operating alone or in small units. In large actions, Austrins sometimes fail to demonstrate strict discipline and training.

Thirteen fortress ships bear the Austrin-Ontis logo. The Austrin Navy mirrors the army's strengths and weaknesses- fantastic equipment without direction. Despite the Navy's successes in the war, the corporation favors a large standing army to this day. Even Navy troops and officers prefer personal combat; their specialty is disabling and boarding enemy ships. Once aboard an enemy vessel, Austrins take a mad delight in wholesale slaughter.

The A-O capital planet Powder is said to contain enough firepower to level dozens of star systems, though this may be an exaggeration. It is true, however, that Austrin-Ontis has devoted an substantial level of resources to the protection of the planet. Defense drones and cascading layers of roaming satellites cordon off the entire system into defensive sectors; the defenses combine strategies of strength and depth.

In the Verge, A-O influence is focused on the planet Galvin, contested by the Thuldan Empire. However, Austrin salespeople are a frequent sight throughout the region, as they peddle arms to the local governments. Since the majority of Verge equipment is quite dated, there's a large market available for the latest A-O models. Sales to the Ptolemy pirates have been proven, but no Verge nation can stop the A-O juggernaut, and the Concord has not yet intervened. They have also applied for permission to resettle Vieron.

Playing An Austrin


There's no polite way to say it: Austrins are a little gun-crazy. Sure, stellar nations, including the mighty Austrin-Ontis, consist of billions of inhabitants scattered over hundreds of worlds. In these massive collectives, each planet and each individual is unique-with diverse origins, opinions, and beliefs. Pundits claim to abandon notions such as the 'typical Orion' or the 'typical Austrin'. Citizens of the 26th century can only laugh. The traits a nation shares are what hold it together. What holds the Austrins together is a love of firearms, the belief in violence as the crucible of character, and even a somewhat quaint notion of personal honor.

Within Austrin-Ontis, conditioning for a life of action and heroism -the true life of an Austrin- begins soon after birth. In childhood games of Marines and Bug-Eyed Monsters, school versus school wargames, and serious adult duels, Austrins learn not to shy away from confrontation or competition. The Austrin psyche requires brave deeds. Austrin-Ontis wisdom recognizes the inbred human need for violence and doesn't try to suppress it; instead, it provides healthy ways for Austrins to express their violent urges.

Violence, the Austrins hold, is merely a manifestation of change, discovery, and progress. Witness human history. War and conflict bring out the need for development: technologically, mentally, and even spiritually. Controlled violence keeps Austrin-Ontis a dynamic, growing entity ready for any challenge. Fortunately for the nation, this brew of aggression and competition has fostered a respectable esprit de corps. Recognition of kindred souls allows the rugged frontiersmen to survive the 26th century.

The long relationship between Austrins and their specialized material of trade has had its influence in the Austrin-Ontis character. Austrins tend to be direct, honest folk. Fans and foes alike agree that Austrins as a group lack deceit; they tell it as they see it. This trait and its fame serve the Austrins well in their trading throughout the galaxy. Integrity and lack of duplicity are points of pride. Austrins manifest these traits in their trading, too; frequent and willing demonstration of their finest military wares is a hallmark of Austrin-Ontis commerce.

In matters of spirituality, Austrins tend toward the conservative and traditional. Old Earth faiths predominate, though over the past century, missionaries from the Humanity Reformation and even the Hatire Community have enjoyed a little success. Indeed, the reformers have done so well that many wonder about a new openness in Austrin-Ontis thought. Having fought over much of the galaxy, Austrin society may now be slowing down to enjoy life's more abstract pleasures. Of course, if war is declared, this cultural change may be quite short-lived.

Austin-Ontis Character Concepts


The Demonstrative Salesman

A salesman always looking for trouble. Not for mischief, but for an opportunity to show off the efficacy of Austrin Arms. Quickly and obnoxiously pointing out to enemies and allies alike the superior weapon brand as he uses it with practice precision, and a cheesy smile. Kicking ass and taking orders.

“There, now you see how cleanly I took the head off your comrade? Only that precise of a blast can be accomplished with the Merrick's Personal Security 41A Charge Rifle. Much more effective than your competitor brand, and less inconvenient jamming!”

Drummed Out Soldier

His story would be considered tragic if it wasn't so prevalent in Austrin-Ontis military. The independent show-off attitude of Austrins are common even in soldiers. Most commanders know how to curb it in line with their strategies and orders, but some take it too far. He proved too unreliable for a military unit, but in a fight you wouldn't want anyone else standing by your side. Some bring knives to gunfights, he brings the bigger guns to gunfights.


Political Philosophy


Austrin politics hinge upon Company stock – gaining, holding, and wielding it to maximum effect. There are “political parties” but they form as simple collections of everyday citizens who meet and decide how to vote as a bloc. Since A-O exists as a corporation, there are no democratically elected offices per se, but each citizen can exercise his or her rights as a stockholder and vote on a wide range of issues, including the appointment of some Company positions. A-O has also taken steps to ensure that only citizens are eligible to purchase stock, so that outside parties cannot gain influence over local politics.

Company Employment


Even with the many benefits of corporate employment, such as an attractive retirement package, disability protection, and access to fantastic equipment, not all of its citizens work for Austrin-Ontis Unlimited or one of its many subsidiaries. Several Austrin citizens work independently (called ‘freelancing’ by corporate workers) for businesses and trading concerns based in other stellar nations. A rough estimate would place about 95% of the Austrin citizenry working directly for A-O Unlimited or one of its subsidiary companies, but this number is dropping as more young Austrins leave for foreign lands at the urging of government leaders. Upper management hopes that these entrepreneurs will help to open new markets for Austrin goods. However, these freelancers are still Austrin citizens, and in order to work outside the Company they must first register and promise not to engage in activities that could seriously harm Austrin interests. In addition, many citizens do not work for the actual Austrin-Ontis Corporation either. Quite a few find employment with the subsidiary companies and holdings that are independently operated, but technically owned by the primary corporation.

All citizens are given the option upon reaching the age of majority, to join either corporate or military service. If they decline, they must supply within 5 years proof of crippling disability or must register as a freelancer. The Company frowns upon freeloaders as unnecessary burdens to its welfare system. Failure to provide such proof or arrange for work as a freelancer results in the loss of one’s right to bear arms and the loss of stockholder privileges until the situation is resolved.

Subsidiary Companies


While Austrin-Ontis is a corporate government, it did not choose the path of VoidCorp, where a lone monolithic entity rules overall. Instead, A-O allows for the creation of small businesses and concerns within its territory. These companies are operated by their individual company officers, but all companies based within Austrin space are technically owned and controlled by the parent company: Austrin-Ontis Unlimited. This means the Company automatically owns a 50.1% stake in all of its subsidiaries. Collecting dividends off this stock is the prime source of income for A-O, with other taxes making up only a minority of its income. This ownership is usually no more than a formality, as the Austrin government cares little for how a subsidiary conducts business so long as it brings profit to the Company as a whole.

These smaller companies usually remain free to conduct their own affairs, and need only submit an annual earnings and profitability report to the Finance Division. However, if annual audits indicate an unprofitable subsidiary, the Company may take corrective action such as buying more of the subsidiary’s stock and thereby infusing more capital into their business initiatives. Or, if the subsidiary is a lost cause the subsidiary may find itself liquidated and its assets seized by another division in the parent Company that needs them more. This has on occasion sparked infrequent duels, but most of the stockholders of the now-defunct subsidiary gratefully accept the Company’s buyout of their failed endeavor. Also, during the Second Galactic War the Company occasionally incorporated some of the larger, more important subsidiaries directly into the main corporate structure, rewarding them for contributing to the wartime economy. This consolidation usually resulted in great profit to the existing shareholders on both sides of the acquisition.

The CEO

The head of Austrin-Ontis is its Chief Executive Officer, Karina Jahra. She has the final say on many issues, including appointments to the Board of Directors. She easily comes across as the most visible representative of the Company to other stellar nations.

The CEO’s chief powers are as follows:
(1) She may dismiss any Director for any reason. This may be overridden if 6 out of 9 of the Directors vote against her.
(2) The CEO has full veto power over individual decisions made by the various Directors. Her veto may also be overturned, but only by a two-thirds vote majority. However, during a formal State of Crisis, her decisions cannot be overruled by anything less than a unanimous decision by the Board. This allows for strong, politics-free leadership during times of emergency. A State of Crisis has happened only once, during GW2 as A-O overextended itself and had to fall back from the combined pressure of the Orions and Nariacs. The CEO declares powers in effect and the stockholders and Board must consent. The crisis powers remain in effect for one-year periods, and consent must be re-obtained every year.
(3) The CEO is entrusted with most major decisions that affect the Company as a whole. This includes directing general research, finance, and the military. However, she will occasionally poll the stockholders when an issue involves a major shift in policy. These votes are binding and so are usually only called when the CEO is confident the vote will go her way.
(4) The CEO appoints members to fill positions on the Board when a vacancy opens up. These appointments are always subject to stockholder approval.
(5) When a CEO dies, resigns, or is forced from her position, the sitting Board members recommend a new candidate, almost always drawn from the Board itself. This requires a 7/9-vote majority of the Board members. The new CEO then takes her position as soon as a majority of the stockholders also consent to the appointment. CEOs are rarely forced out, but to do so, seven Board members must agree, and they must obtain the additional consent of 2/3 of the stockholders.
Legislature

The Board and the CEO hold all legislative powers of the Company. No independent governing bodies exist outside their control in Austrin space.
The Board of Directors and the CEO draft the laws. Any Board member can propose a law, and the Board then votes on it. If the law in question affects only the Director’s own division, then the law is typically considered to be in effect unless vetoed by the CEO. Any laws issued by the CEO are considered immediately in effect, unless the Board overrules her through a majority vote.
In reality, only very minor laws are issued autocratically. The CEO almost always ensures she has the Board’s consent before issuing major legislation, as she would not want to suffer the humiliation of having it overturned. The CEO and the Board have been known to act without one another, but this usually precipitates a political crisis with each struggling for dominance. These situations often call for polling the individual stockholders to gauge public opinion. Likewise, the Board runs most legislation past the CEO before issuing a law directly.

The Board of Directors

Board members are lifetime servants of the Company that have worked their way up the corporate or military ladder. Many of them started out as lowly sales associates, and rose accordingly. Due to their many years of service, all Board members have considerable stock holdings, and wield massive influence within the Company as a whole.

Each Director heads up a large chunk of the Company and takes responsibility for the day-to-day operations of his or her division. They make most of the routine decisions, and many of the not-so routine decisions as well. The truly important judgments get passed to the CEO, who sets the course for the Company, and then ensures the Director enforces her decision.

The Board of Directors concerns itself with the daily operations of the Company. The nine Directors oversee the most important tasks of keeping the Company viable, strong, and profitable.
The Directors all hold equal rank, but differ in influence. The current Directors, along with their separate departments, are listed below, roughly in order of their current importance and prestige:
Director of Sales Justin Waters (Hm/Austrin/DCS-14] heads the most prestigious of the directorates; the Sales Division. He controls all sales associates, all corporate stores located throughout the Stellar Ring, and all exports with other nations involving armaments or any other goods manufactured by A-O Unlimited.

Peiter Gates (Hm/Austrin/FA-7) holds the position of Director of the Colonial Authority (CA), and handles the colonization and administration of new Austrin worlds. Eventually, as the colonies become more developed, he transfers their administration to the Department of the Interior. Gates also handles Austrin interests in the Verge.

The Director of Military Operations, General George Ober (Hm/Austrin/CS-19), was chosen directly from within the military ranks, a traditional occurrence for most Directors of the division. He oversees A-O’s vast military machine. As Director, he wields considerable influence to determine who receives military promotions and who manages each branch of the armed services. Reporting directly to him, are the Supreme Admiral of the Navy and the Army Chief of Staff.

As the Director of Research and Development, Belra Jerlousch (Hf/Austrin/-TO-17) controls the direction of all scientific breakthroughs. Some consider her the most important of all the Directors, since A-O’s superior weapons technology has consistently kept the Company afloat. Members of the Sales Division protest this claim, arguing that the innovations delivered by R&D would remain meaningless unless someone properly marketed them to the consumer. This has led to an intense rivalry between the two divisions, which upper management often encourages as a means for driving Company profits higher. The negative aspects of the rivalry rarely outweigh the advantages, resulting in little more than heated arguments, legal duels, and violent sporting events. Also, as head of Development, Belra has control over all manufacturing concerns within A-O space.

As the Director of the Interior, Serina Berrot (Hf/Austrin/DFA-8) oversees the careful administration of all developed systems, worlds, and corporate outposts. She coordinates extensively with Corporate Security, deferring to them in courtroom and police matters, while controlling the underlying bureaucracy herself.

The Director of Public Relations is Harash Justar (Hm/Austrin/DMW-11). This is the diplomatic wing of the Austrin-Ontis government. It handles all routine external affairs, as well as the choosing of A-O delegations to the Concord and other nations. He also assists the CEO with matters of international law and helps the Sales Division with their marketing campaigns.

Director of Corporate Security Matrie Courth (Hf/Austrin/DCS-11) presides over all non-military police forces and the Austrin judicial system. She holds the position of Chief Justice in Austrin territory, as well as the top law enforcement title among the police force.

Director of Finance Gerald Merkolth (Hm/Austrin/DFA-10) oversees all incoming funds generated by the Sales Division, as well as all other sources of revenue. He ensures the money’s distribution as necessary, and as directed by the CEO.

The Director of Intelligence at Austrin-Ontis Unlimited is Vicor Maravian (Hm/Austrin/FA-10). Most Austrins tend to look down upon espionage and spies due to their dishonorable nature. Nevertheless,
Austrin-Ontis maintains a spy network both within the Stellar Ring, and a very small, but effective counter-intelligence network within its own space to watch for internal problems and Nariac subterfuge.
The Directors enjoy a large amount of latitude in how they run their own departments, but always remain subject to veto by the CEO. Serious dissent very rarely occurs at Board meetings, since most members have only the well being of their beloved Company at heart. This ensures that they are at least civil to each other.

The Board holds regularly scheduled meetings, though the CEO or a Director can call a special session at any time. The special sessions usually arise when the CEO has an important announcement, or needs advice. Board members usually call special meetings only when they strongly disagree with a decision made by the CEO and wish to override it, or discover new information that calls for immediate attention. Otherwise, they stay content to run their own divisions and leave the others to their own business.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License