Company Men

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Company Men

Post  NightFire on Sat 17 Jan 2009, 1:37 am

While most shadowrunners are freelance operatives,working for the highest bidder and living hand-to-mouth, some of us in the shadows choose a different path. We become full-time employees of a particular corporation. Known as company men-along with many other, more colorful names-we provide out corporate patrons with dependable shadow-assets they can call upon at any time. They provide us with the stability and regular income other shadowrunners often lack.

There are many benefits to working for one corp: regular pay, new gear when you need it, a roof over your head and the backing of your corporate patron. Perhaps the most important thing I get out of being a company man is knowledge of where I stand. In a situation like that, it's difficult to know who your friends are. Working for one corporation, I have a better idea of who my friends and enemies are at any given time.
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Re: Company Men

Post  Dancer on Sat 17 Jan 2009, 1:52 am

That may be true most of the time, but megacorporations are huge critters, and just because you're working for (say) Ares Macrotech doesn't mean that everyone in the "Ares family" is your friend. Interdepartmental rivalries, power plays and internal politics can be just as bad, if not worse, than dealing with your current employer's rivals. At least in the latter situation, your enemies are usually up front about wanting to geek you. They don't pretend to be on your side before pulling the rug out from under you.
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Re: Company Men

Post  Dr. D on Sat 17 Jan 2009, 2:01 am

Company men aren't quite like everyday employees, either. The really effective company men are just like shadowrunners, usually SIN-less and outside the law in many ways. This means they don't really exist. The corp pays them out of secret slush funds for black ops, puts them up in safe houses, provides them with cover identities and such. If the company ever decides to pull its resources and leave its shadow-ops in the cold, they're literally nobodies, just like any inhabitant of the Barrens. Well, any inhabitant of the Barrens with serious black-ops training and some cutting edge gear, anyway.
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Re: Company Men

Post  NightFire on Sat 17 Jan 2009, 2:19 am

Corporations able to hire full-time shadow-ops tend to treat them well. They take care of logistics-supplying the gear, setting ups safe houses and allocating resources-while we handle planning and execution of shadowruns. Of course, things tend to be a little more controlled than most shadowrunners are used to; company men still have to play by the company rules. We answer to our employers, just like the other runners answer to their Mr. Johnson, but we don't always receive complete freedom in our operations.

For example, my particular field of expertise is the Matrix. Like any shadow-decker, I build my own hardware and write my own code. However, I get access to corporate hardware and tech shops to do my deck-building, and corporate mainframe-time to do my programing. On the other hand, the tech I build and programs I write have to meet with the approval of my employers if I intend to use them in the corp's service.
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Re: Company Men

Post  Twixed on Sat 17 Jan 2009, 2:29 am

Very diplomatic, Nightfire. However, in my experience, a great many shadowrunners can't handle this aspect of being a company man. You might think it wiz-cool at first to have access to all those company toys, but shadowrunners are generally used to doing things their own way. Deckers build and program their own stuff, magicians design and enchant however they want, samurai choose their own weapons and riggers often have their vehicles and drones wired like Christmas trees. That kind of drek doesn't always pass muster with a corporate employer who wants things just so. If you're a company man, you generally have to do things by the book. Personally, I threw the book out a long time ago.
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Re: Company Men

Post  NightFire on Sat 17 Jan 2009, 2:57 am

In the shadows, the popular view sees company men as "sellouts" because we work strictly for one corporation. Corporate-retained shadowrunners apparently violate the much-cherished notion of the shadowrunner as a romantic rebel mercenary, fighting corporate oppression and taking from the rich in a Robin-Hood fashion to give to the poor--- namely himself. From where I sit, the shadowrunners who change their loyalties depending on who is paying them at any given moment seem more like the sellouts, but that is neither here nor there. The point is that company men are often shunned by freelance shadowrunners who subscribe to the "sellout" theory. If you're planning on taking a regular corporate assignment, keep in mind that many of your so-called "friends" may not look kindly upon it.

working full-time for a corporation may also spoil you. After spending time living in the worst rat-traps, scraping by on various shadow-jobs and keeping your gear together with sweat and prayer, you may find life as a company man almost luxurious. Sometimes we get passed down gear that the rest of the world doesn't even know exist yet. Corporate employers expect the best from their professional shadowrunners, and provied the best for us to make it happen.
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