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Vahn and Games In The Dark
As the colony established itself, and the flow of information through the system expanded from a trickle to a flood, the willingness of various officials to be... profit oriented... has encouraged the creation of the thriving black market. Like many planned cities on terraformed worlds, the city of Conímbriga features massive tunnel works, dating back to its founding in anticipation of future expansion. The black markets have taken root down in the tunnels and thrived. So much so that the various black marketeers are collectively known as Tunnel Corps in the city. For the last two decades, these marketplaces have been one of the foremost locales for various islander groups to acquire the seed tech packages that they hope will sustain them in their dreams of independent living on the fringes of the Fourth Population. For various copyright and patent holders the place has been an ongoing thorn in their side, but during the Shohan planetary blockade the black market proved to be a true lifesaver for the planetary population. Its illicit designs and unregistered G3Ps provided a large portion of the necessary goods required to keep the city functioning while it was cut off from the outside world.

Unfortunately, their new found power spurred rounds of gang violence and blood spilled down tunnel drains as the various tunnel corps have tried to consolidate their power. Most of the violence died down prior to the liberation, some say with quiet government intervention. However, with the blockade now lifted and the communications flowing again, organizations like the Consórcio that had fallen with the blockade are rising again. The tunnel corps have no intention of relinquishing their new found power without a fight. The city of Conímbriga finds itself balanced precariously between three major powers: the Government under the leadership of charismatic president Augusto Alto; the Consórcio, emboldened by the military’s ravenous need for Tangle after nearly a decade of fading power; and the newly ascendant Tunnel Corps.

Sidebar: The Tunnel Corps
Despite the consolidation of the underground powers, there are several factions operating in the Underground. Among them are:

  • The Yellow Book Group - One of the older, more established outfits in the Underground. During the blockade wars, it was able to subsume several other tunnel corps during the conflict and remains one of the largest of the tunnel corps. It is led by Matias “Bombinha”, the so called “Firecracker” of the tunnels, who proved himself to be an effective and cunning leader in the gang wars. A giant of a man, Matias towers over his compatriots, but wears a special breathing apparatus to aid his breathing in the planet’s heavy gravity. The group is committed to holding on to the power they’ve taken and are working to create some kind of unified front among the remaining tunnel corps to oppose government and corporate efforts.
  • The 27th St. Corp - Another of the survivors of the blockade wars, the group used to control territory underneath 27th street, where many of the colony’s telecoms had Tangle banks. The corp had used this advantage to gain the inside track on cutting edge designs and data. However, when the blockade went up, this turned out to mean little. Although it survived the wars, it is a shadow of its prior self, even losing its namesake territory. These days, while they are publically receptive to The Yellow Book Group’s overtures to form a unified front, internally, they are willing to do whatever advances their own interests, hoping to play the other factions against each other.
  • The Light at the end of the Tunnel - More simply known as The Light. While the other groups have maintained the pretense of being simple businesses, The Light has leaned far more into the idea of being a gang. Comprised mostly of survivors from the various losing Tunnel Corps, that couldn’t or wouldn’t cut a deal with other outfits. This organization has been escalating its actions against all comers. While it’s the most overtly violent of the tunnel groups, it is also hard at work suborning corporate and government officials through blackmail and intimidation. Currently its biggest liability is the lack of a clear leader. As an amalgam of several defunct corps its board of directors all jealously guard their remaining power. No single person has managed to unify the unruly group.
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