ANother World of Darkness - Alpha Network
“Corporation: an ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.” – Ambrose Bierce
The Pentex Corporation was recast recently due to some oversight or complication. It’s had its central, core company renamed Pentex Global and this public face of the Pentex corporation itself, appears to the public to possibly be a corporate consulting firm or administrative assistance firm. Its true method, however, is to own other businesses. As such, „Pentex“ not only refers to the central corporation, but also to hundreds of other companies and businesses, openly owned or secretly controlled by the Pentex upper management. This allows Pentex to achieve vertical integration, allowing them to secure powerful but clandestine monopolies.
With renewed interest in growing it’s Market Shares in Europe as well as Asia and Far East it has opened a new small but astute Head Office in London on Christian Street. Though manned by a bare minimum of Staff it has often been known to hire from outside on a freelance or temporary basis when the moment requires.
Ref:Darrien Terrell seeks to become member of the Board of Directors.
The central body of Pentex (and thus, indirectly, the entire conglomerate) is controlled by the office of the Executive Director (EXD). Under the EXD are four main branches, each with its own sub-branches:
Project Coordination Division (PCD): The largest branch of Pentex, responsible for coordinating the various Pentex subsidiaries to make sure they act in a unified manner without being detected doing so. Its sub-branches include Public Relations (PR), responsible for maintaining a good public image, and Finance (FIN), responsible for controlling the expenditures of Pentex subsidiaries (which, when they buy or sell to one another, essentially simply acts as moving money around without changing its true owner).
Acquisitions Division (AQD): Responsible for tracking down new companies to add to the Pentex family, as well as acting as the company’s emissaries to other supernatural forces alied with the Wyrm, such as the Black Spiral Dancers. Its most important sub-branch is the Information Collection Systems division (ICS), responsible for industrial and individual espionage.
Operations Division (OPD): Responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Pentex, including its paperwork, shipping, and tech support. Its most important division is Human Resources Development (HRD), which hires and fires (or kills) employees and identifies those employees who have „potential,“ either as possibly corruptible executives or as scientific guinea pigs.
Special Projects Division (SPD): Responsible for the research and development for Pentex that is too clearly Wyrm-tainted to be public. Its branches include Project Iliad (IL), responsible for creating fomori, Project Odyssey (OD), responsible for creating powerful psychics, and the small but growing hybrid division of Project Aeneid, responsible for creating psychic fomori. As a note, this group is not to be confused with the Special Projects Division of the Syndicate, a Convention of the Technocracy. Though the two Special Projects Division are allied, they remain separate entities.
While certainly not the only companies owned and controlled by Pentex, these are its most important. It includes some of Pentex’s oldest subsidiaries, as well as some of its fastest-growing acquisitions. In principle, Pentex Global is an international corporation, but many of its largest „product“ companies (Magadon and [[Young & Smith]] in particular) have had difficulty spreading past North America. The European market has been especially tough to enter for these companies, as farmer’s unions, government oversight, and health & safety regulations are more stringent. As the „consumption capital“ of the world, the U.S. remains the most common retail zone for Pentex. Its effect worldwide has grown most easily among its „resource“ companies (Endron, Good House, [[Harold & Harold Mining]], Rainbow, etc.)
Abbadon Chemicals: A huge Chinese conglomerate, Abbadon owns the most foul chemical production facilities imaginable, churning out toxins for use by corrupt businesses worldwide. Fa Bing Li, the Kuei Jin owner, sees to it that her company’s products are too useful and cheap to pass up, and made so cheaply in polluted 3rd world countries desperate for investment that she doesn’t have to use bribes to get her way. Poor countries beat a path to her door to get jobs and revenue they need, while dictators take advantage of the fact that the Chinese conglomerate does not place any emphasis on human rights, freedoms, or environmental concerns as opposed to most Western governments.
Alimentation Jouche-Vallard: Founded in Quebec by the psychic Fomor Rene Jouche-Vallard, it runs several convenience store chains, most notably the Circle P chain and Dollar Demon stores. These emporiums hold the cheapest, unhealthiest products imaginable, at unbeatable prices. Such wonderful products as Squirmies, Urge! Cola, Tastee Treats, Mrs. Stuffin’s Muffins, Penelope Emmanuelle’s North Texas Vineyards wine(The solace of drunken soccer moms world wide), and Golden Bull, are all available at rock bottom prices, with predictable results. It also owns P-Mart, a big box store that stocks corrupted products from other Pentex branches at insanely cheap prices, with cheap financing and layaway.
Ardus Enterprises: A company that (in principle) does environmental cleanup work. In fact, it is just as responsible for pollution and „waste relocation,“ using industrial wastes to corrupt areas dominated by the Weaver and Wyld.
Autumn Health Management Systems: A chain of private hospitals and retirement homes throughout North America. While in treatment, patients often become reliant on the drugs they are prescribed, and sometimes become the hosts for Wyrm spirits (or „Banes“). Often a testing-ground for Magadon, Inc. and Young and Smith, Inc. (see below).
Avalon Incorporated: Manufacturers of toys. Avalon toys range from merely unsafe to almost openly corruptive. The most successful line of toys are the „Action Bill“ action figures. „Action Bill“ is a gun-toting superhero who fights evil shapeshifters; the toys help subconsciously turn young people into gun-toting werewolf-haters.
Black Dog Games: A small but influential publishing company that writes and markets role-playing games. Front-to-back, Black Dog Games have an impressive number of titles in their Back Catalogue such as „Zombie: The Putrescence,“ „Lycanthrope: The Rapture,“ „Warlock: The Pretension,“ „Pixie: The Delusion,“ and „Spectre: The Annihilation.“. The company is famous for its racey, "adult-only“ role-playing sourcebooks containing graphical violence and sexual content. They are a small but dedicated company based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Circinus Brands: A tobacco company. In many ways, cancer is a wonderful vehicle for the Wyrm’s agenda, and Circinus is the top causer of cancer among Pentex subsidiaries.
Consolidex Worldwide: This investment firm manipulates stock and securities markets worldwide. While its broad objective is to make money, it also is highly effective at bringing controlling shares of new acquisition into Pentex hands and causing stock crashes for Pentex competitors.
Empyrean Cosmetics: The new you can be achieved, as long as you buy Empyrean’s products. That’s exactly what Tzimisces flesh crafter and alchemist Emmanuel Vincent wants you to do. He’s constantly playing on women’s fears about not being good enough for modern society and bottles his snake oil remedies to sell them in his exquisite boutique stores and spas. Only a very small percentage of the products allow Banes of vanity and rage to enter a user, but enough do to keep the company supplied with new Formori, who when they become no longer useful, are rendered back into base ingredients for his cosmetics factories in 3rd world countries.
Endron International: The oldest, most international, and most profitable of the Pentex subsidiaries, Endron sells petroleum products and natural gas, as well as training and hiring out nuclear energy engineers and experts. Part of Endron’s success has come from its impossibly complex money-laundering schemes. People have often suggested it’s name is similar to two other large, renowned US corporations and this may be true but we’re not sure it’s 100% intentional. Endron has had a rather tough time since the middle of the 00’s when they were embroiled in allegations of Money Laundering, Fraud, Corporate Espionage and Tax Avoidance amongst other things but after much investigation by various Government Agencies and conflicting reports from the Media it ended it nothing but cries of outrage from the Public and a couple of low-key dismissals. Rumours of corruption still abound as Endron strives to regain their reputation and move on.
Good House International: Makers of paper products. Needless to say, this subsidiary’s real objective is deforestation, particularly of areas as-of-yet untouched by development.
Hallahan Fishing Corporation: This high-yield fishing company not only seeks to fish in as destructive a way as possible, it also engages in blatantly illegal whale, shark, and dolphin fishing for covert sale on the black market.
Harold and Harold Mining, Incorporated: This mining company not only provides many of the raw materials Pentex uses in its manufacturing, but also uses cost-effective methods such as strip mining to do as much harm to nature as it can in the process.
Herculean Firearms Incorporated: Makers of guns of all kinds. Though it makes cheap, effective guns, the real corruptive power of HF, Inc. is its lobbying power, ensuring that firearms in general (whoever manufactures them) can get on the streets.
Herrick’s: A grocery and retail chain. Herrick’s itself does little to corrupt the masses (though it does engage in practices designed to squash small businesses), but its preference for selling the products of other Pentex subsidiaries at rock-bottom prices makes it the single most effective branch of Pentex’s product distribution strategy.
King Breweries and Distilleries: Makes of cheap beer and liquor. King uses special formulas and ad campaigns designed to accelerated alcoholism. It is among the older Pentex subsidiaries, and produces the spirits for many brands people think are different. It also distributes its products through a network of „microbreweries“ that are, in truth, simply fronts. A parody of Anheuser-Busch, whose premier product, Budweiser, is marketed as „The King of Beers“ and which due to its primarily negative reputation markets many specialty products through labels that have little connection to the primary Anheuser-Busch corporate name (a common tactic among large breweries).
Konshang Electronics: Based out of South Korea, Konshang is the world’s 2nd largest manufacturer of physical and electronic appliances. If it is electronic, Konshang makes it. Its owner, Lee Kon Shang, is a Kuei Jin of mysterious origins, who pursues his agenda sometime in concert with Pentex and at other times at odds. His corporation’s brand of corruption stems around the generous up front financing for its products offered through its retail outlet Radio Hut, with onerous interest rates. The products break down the minute the warranty expires, then Radio Hut steps in with a new product financed at new rates. The cycle of ever increasing debt, which is by the contract passed on to the heirs if the debtor dies, and subject only to biased arbitration courts that almost inevitably side with the lenders, always produces the levels of stress that the Banes in the products look for in their victims.
Magadon, Incorporated: Pentex’s #2 company, Magadon sells pharmaceuticals, „health“ products, and cosmetics. If Endron is Pentex’s most profitable company, Magadon is its largest, sprawling its influence across its own network of sub-subsidiaries.
Meta Data: Another titan of the new online world, once Meta Data was a group of hackers and software designers who wanted to make knowledge available online to anyone at anytime. However, their Pengle search engine has grown more and more invasive over time, even as lead designer Cort Tsarnakov, a Virtual Adept, became more and more obsessed with the power finding out information gave him over the world. Slowly, he forced out the other founders and brought in people loyal to him and his vision, a corrupted version of the Adept axiom that information wants to be free. With Pengle, you can find anything anywhere, as long as you are willing to pay Meta Data’s price of no privacy anymore. Meta Data’s original motto of " We’re the good guys" has become an empty slogan, replaced by the hard reality of how much money the company makes from marketing what it finds out about anyone using its services.
Nastrum Enterprises: Manufacturers of cheap military technology. While Nastrum is, in principle, a contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense, it also produces military-grade goods for other countries, including dictatorships and totalitarian regimes.
Nephrah Wincott’s “The Circle”: One of the most popular shows on TV, not just on the PXTreme Network, is talk show host Nephrah Wincott’s The Circle. Wincott is a fomori, and surrounded by her Circle of friends, all very vain, popular, catty women who dish and discuss the day’s hot topics, she reigns as the Queen of Media. Her pronouncements on fashion, culture, politics, celebrities, are all taken without question as gospel by millions of women across North America. Any book she supports, any cause she espouses, any celebrity she befriends, is guaranteed to be a success, backed by her legions of followers, just as anyone she condemns is shunned. Of course, mortals don’t see how she negatively influences them, making them more judgmental, condescending, and herd minded, and how she makes it so Banes of rage and hate permeate them, driving them to follow anyone she condemns with the mentality of a mindless, howling lynch mob, seeking to destroy the object of their hate. All this is perfectly suited to Wincott’s type of Seduction Bane, which entices people into following her.
Omni Television: This network TV station specializes in vapid television aimed at encouraging baser instincts. It also acts as a platform from which Pentex Global can advertise its many other products.
O’Tolley’s: The O’Tolley’s fast food chain sells dirt cheap fast food full of empty calories. Of all of Pentex’s many tainted products, OTolley’s foods are among the fastest acting, causing massive weight gain, diabetes, and emotional instability.
Pacific Entertainment Network: Once a small television and newspaper business, it was bought out by Russian exiled oligarch Katania Korosov, and under her guidance has transformed itself into a global news giant. It controls many of the few remaining newsprint editions of newspapers and magazines, and the Revenant sorceress ruthlessly purges staff, controls financing, and makes sure that Pentex’s agenda is spread by her empire, by restricting investigative reporting of actually newsworthy stories, and burying stories that might expose Pentex Global, while offering vicious celebrity gossip and angry partisan pieces, to inflame anger and resentment among its viewership, making them ripe for rage Bane, while reaping the profits her greed Banes demand.
The corporation controls the PXtreme Network, which hosts reality shows that showcase ordinary people put in horrible situations, forced to compete ruthlessly for meaningless challenges, suffer insults from vile people, and forced to endure humiliation on world TV, making those who participate ripe for rage Banes and those at home vessels for humiliation Banes. The network also hosts PXtreme challenge sports shows on its PX Sports Network(PXSN), inventing more and more bizarre pseudo-sports and extreme events that often leave amateur athletes crippled and dead trying to outdo each other in outrageous stunts for a taste of fame. Also produced are PXtreme’s very popular Ghost Chasers reality show, where amateur ghost hunters are recruited to investigate alleged hauntings. Most are devoted to debunking the supernatural, but every now and then the network picks a site that results in some fatalities, which drive ratings up. The network also owns Dead of Night studios, a exploitation cinema company that films brutal, bloody slasher films very cheaply. It uses a lot of starlets and studs desperate to break into movies, whom are paid cheaply and overworked, as well as washed up older stars desperate for one last gasp at fame. The movies are filled with bloody murder, rape, torture porn, and sex, feeding a variety of banes on both viewers and participant’s emotions. The studio usually uses scripts based on real events and places, altered just enough, of course, to avoid paying the subjects, and prides itself on filming at the real sites, where ‘accidents’ to stars and crew sometimes happens, feeding more of the brutal gorehound fans descent into bane ridden dementia.
On the news side, the PNN channel on line covers what news Korosov decides is important, spiced up alongside the vicious and spiteful celebrity gossip from its Fame Buzz website, which pays for all the exposes on celebrities private lives that it can get a hold of. Coupled with the venerable Star Herald newspaper, which also went from being a respected bastion of serious journalism to a partisan swamp of gossip, and its latest venture, Wolfe News, a hyper partisan news channel that encourages people of differing views to hate each other and argue rather than trying to find common ground, which poisons minds and prevents cooperation against Pentex’s agenda as well.
Penultimate Postal Service(PPS): One of the world’s biggest private mail carrier and parcel services, PPS presents itself as a model of modern economic policies to increase the middle class. Drivers are owners of their own routes and receive a share of profits. All this owner Kingsley Deacon, a suave, savvy Fomori, preaches to the world in his slick ads and corporate PR products. He is in high demand to give seminars explaining PPS’s amazing growth and business model, which he does, without explaining how his company forces the route drivers to buy their own health and automotive insurance, how all maintenance on their vehicles comes out of pocket, or how drivers are forced to work as long as it takes to clear out a route, under penalty of being fined for each item not delivered on time to PPS’s extreme time frame. This effectively keeps the PPS drivers as near company serfs, always in fear and working themselves to death to reach goals that are always just out of reach, creating an atmosphere of rage and despair that is ripe for Banes to move in.
Persimmon Computers: Once a rogue group of computer engineers trying to manufacture elegant, cutting edge systems, most of the original founders were forced out by the rogue Virtual Adept James Hobbes, who reinvented the company into a mobile computer and phone company. Imposing his vision of a fully connected, sterile, stylish, always active world, he has forced engineering of mobile products that keep its users entertained, and apathetic, always connected and always monitored, and desperate to buy the latest models, sleek, fashionable, and considered must have by the fashionable and pretentious. Its P Phone is a worldwide success, sold in soulless white stores by black turtleneck wearing, bespectacled experts filled with contempt for the herd buying their products, and made by forced labor in Third World factories, all of which allows vanity Banes to enter the owners and do their work.
Rainbow Incorporated: Where Good House produces paper products, Rainbow Inc. produces plastics. Rainbow has made of point of developing cheap plastics that are difficult to recycle, and provides plastics to many other Pentex subsidiaries.
Sentry Data Solutions and Virtual Identification Network: New big data company tracking the citizenry. Founded by computers experts from several companies, Sentry Data Solutions is in the business of designing algorithms that predict behavior patterns. While on the surface it seems to be no more than another successful software company taking advantage of modern technology and marketing, in fact it is an unholy alliance of forces on the cutting edge of Pentex’s evolving plan for Earth’s future. SDS is headed by Mr. John Tanner, a former Technocracy MIB who was corrupted in the Technocracy’s war conflict with Pentex, and subsequently faked his own death and defected. There he took the obsession with data based surveillance and security, and combined it with the technical skill of Robert Watson, a former Virtual Adept, and a rogue Daeva named Sanjid Ramesh who is a marketing genius, and together they formed SDS. The company sells itself as a protector of data and a security provider, summed up in their logo of an armed knight standing behind a shield of electrons, but in reality they are spies and manipulators. Their best selling product is a program called Sentinel. It targets law enforcement and city governments, who upon purchasing allow SDS to enter all of anyone ever convicted or charged with a crime of any type, into their data base. Using the data base on any 911 call about a potential threat, a police operator in headquarters can consult the software, which then scored the suspect’s potential for violence the way a bank might run a credit report. The program scours billions of data points, including arrest reports, property records, commercial databases, deep Web searches and the suspect’s social-media postings. It calculates threat levels in one of three color-coded scores: red for the most dangerous, yellow for a moderate threat, and green for no threat. That information is then relayed to the police on route, so they can decided what to do before even encountering the suspect.
While on the surface this seems like no more than a tool to enable police to evaluate a situation before they rush in, it amounts to a vast data base on the inhabitants of the local using it that can then be used to track them in a very Orwellian fashion, and can even be used to predict behaviors, such as anything defines as anti-social behavior. It subtly stacks the deck against the poor and ex-convicts, while providing a degree of smug respectability to both SDS and the authorities, since after all the program in algorithm driven; someone is not in the database unless they’ve done something to be put on the data base, ignoring the fact that the poor get stuck in a catch 22 that keeps them in the data base with no way out. All this serves the Wyrm well, by providing Rage and Violence Banes with fertile hosts, and makes SDS very wealthy in the process.
Tellus Enterprises: A video game design and hardware manufacture company. Originally aimed at corrupting the youth while they were young, Tellus’ recent expansion into hardware has allowed it to continue this process of corruption well into adulthood, as the average age of game-players rise and their medium of choice is the PC.
Transworld Bank: Owner of many predatory banks and investment funds, Transworld is run by Giles Desmond, an English businessman known for his financial acumen and ruthlessness. In actuality, he is the Apophan mummy Khor-Sham-Ret, returned after millennia to oversee Apophis’s affairs in the modern world. He is aided by his three vampire assistants, Tila Rhasheem, a Setite, Ranjay Osman, a Child of Apophis, and Jamal el-Farsi, a apostate Child of Osiris. They encourage predatory lending to 3rd world countries, only to force the countries to default or pay back enormous interest. They also manipulate interest rates to give them an edge over other banks, bundle toxic mortgages to sell to unsuspecting investors, buy out and loot respectable banks, and in general do their best to keep the masses poor and angry, and the wealthy rich and isolated.
Vesuvius Incorporated: Publishers of print matter, including novels, comic books, and magazines. Though rarely directly damaging, Vesuvius spreads the philosophy of the Wyrm among its readership by de-emphasizing the environment and gun control and encouraging materialism and trust in corporations.
Young and Smith, Incorporated: Pentex’s #3 company. Young and Smith manufactures food products and some health products. While not as profitable outright as Magadon, Young & Smith, Inc. have achieved greater product ubiquity. Most households in North America have at least a few Young & Smith products on their shelves.
YumTum’s: A relatively new contender in the Fast Food Industry, it’s msde it’s name by making the most of it being Environmentally friendly and Healthy. It’s also been a strong detractor of O’Tolley’s, using them as a solid example of the Old Ways of Fast Food while they are the New. Bright, Fresh & Green is their whole mood!