United Table of Commerce
Former ‘global government’ run by the top people of large corporations.
Pre-dates Yellow Dawn. A global organisation that grabbed the reigns from a failing United Nations and absorbed institutions such as the International Monetary Fund. It is a patchwork quilt of corporate alliances with its own central Administration, with the top people of successful companies acting as executive or non-executive steer.
The UTOC logo is of four-interlocking chain segments, forming a cross: their motto is “strength through diversity”.
Built on the bedrock policy of the Fluid Investment Medium, where big business bullied nation states and governments to ensure minimum taxation of corporate profits, minimum employee rights and the ability to shift resources and assets when and where they like. Before Yellow Dawn, UTOC became the most influential (and many would say dangerous) organisation in the world.
After Yellow Dawn, they attempted to reshape the emerging world of survivors, through work-camps and enforced pooling of resources. This led to a massive backlash and the formation of a new ‘global’ government called the Universal Democratic Party, or UDP. As such, UTOC continues to exist but has been reduced to the status of an administrative function within the bureaucracy of the UDP, tasked with stimulating productivity and industry within New Tokyo and the rebuilding of infrastructure for survivors around the world: not a position it enjoys.
UTOC – Before Yellow Dawn
Governments who signed-up to UTOC mandates, became ‘territories’ and handed over astronomical sums of public money for private contracts to run all types of public services. These funds were controlled by the UTOC administration. When Jo Public was wondering why his road was full of potholes and his electricity supply kept failing, his answer lay in where UTOC was investing the funds entrusted to them.
The majority of these government investments were going nowhere near the public services that needed them. Those public services were allowed to struggle along on a caretaker budget.
Where Governments did see rewards was when UTOC decided to plunge vast sums into a particular project; and the benefits that percolated through a territory from this.
The final administration that was in placed when Yellow Dawn occurred is possibly remembered as the most notorious; it was headed by President Mikkel Hoffman – through the UTOC assembly – and was the source of countless scandals that provoked a surge in anti-UTOC sentiment from the tax-paying Jo Public.
Possibly the biggest scandal to surround UTOC was the blatant corruption of Hoffman and his administration – and the extraordinary amount of money that was channelled into the post-Great Gulf War reconstruction projects. Projects that were primarily run by corporations that had senior UTOC officials as non-executive board members. Money that many world citizens felt should have been spent on their schools, roads, power generation and water treatment facilities.
Fluid Investment Medium
UTOC was founded on the bedrock of the Fluid Investment Medium (FIM)
CEOs of the world’s biggest corporations were – and still are- protected by what is effectively their own global charter of rights and freedoms.
They were supported in this vision by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), the Pacific Rim Industrial Alliance (PRIA), the Orbital Development Fund (ODF) and other organizations representing thirty-nine of the world’s richest economies
The FIM effectively created a single global economy allowing corporations the unrestricted right to buy, sell and move their businesses, resources and other assets wherever and whenever they want. It is a corporate bill of rights designed to override all “nonconforming” local and national laws and regulations, and allow UTOC to sue cities, states and national governments for alleged non-compliance.
UTOC created a frightening mechanism to police and enforce this: the Ministry of Cultural Integration and Development – MOCID.
Sold to the world’s citizens as inevitable and necessary in an age of free trade, these FIM negotiations met with considerable grassroots opposition, but time and money were on the corporations’ side.
“The Fluid Investment Medium has been likened to the land Enclosures act in England, when common people were robbed of their common land. With the enactment of FIM, common people in participating UTOC “territories” were robbed of the common human rights: rights to a minimum wage, to a clean and safe environment, protection from abusive employers, compensation for injury at a workplace, all of these were lost as legislators removed ‘obstacles to investment and open market’. Certain members tried to join and then use their political, military and financial muscle to create a two tier system where they could reap rewards at the expense of weaker partners, but in the end, total conformity was required to survive.”
UTOC as a concept
UTOC is a dysfunctional family formed from the bastard children of corporations who turned their back on the land- and people – that spawned them and ran to embrace the Globalised Village of planet Earth and beyond.
UTOC is an assembly of the CEOs of numerous corporations, with strong influence from a handful of ‘royal’ corporate families, or clans; people with business excellence in their blood and success that spans generations.
The CEOs have formed themselves into alliances that cross boundaries of nations, religion and culture, and form war lines around industry sectors and markets. CEOs jostle for power within their own alliances.
Corporate resources, influence, charisma, all have an impact on the total power of individuals within an alliance. Alliance members agree to divide common markets for shared benefit of all, price fixes and combined ‘wars’ against rival corporations and alliances.
Corporate espionage has become increasingly rife, and violent, in a vicious circle of escalation. Companies employ small security teams to protect critical assets from terrorism, sabotage and theft. These forces are grown to cope with more powerful teams sent against them. Eventually, some alliances have small corporate armies ready to fly out to trouble spots and handle ‘incidents’ or perform intrusions. A few alliances have a ‘common’ army or security force. The majority of alliances nurture their own security forces and usually place them under the command of pan-alliance directorship until events require independent use.
Author’s note: the sci-fi & cyberpunk novel, Iron Man Project covers this subject in detail.
Natural Revival Programme [NRP]
Essentially redeveloping major city centres to encompass a contiguous architectural theme, demonstrating that all UTOC members are together as one. The much hated figurehead of this programme was Porfirio Strotz, the leading architect behind the compulsory designs: local governments and citizens were given no buy-in to the project, and had no right to oppose the redevelopments. MOCID was heavily involved in clearing “opposition” to the programme.
The key components of Strotz designs are: red marble facings; truncated cones of five or more sides; unsymmetrical lines and structures that create a sense of invasion within a normal cityscape. One commentator famously called them, “Eyesores of the nearly non-Euclidean kind.” These ugly, brutish buildings can be found in many major cities; now Dead Cities.
Operation Metal Hammer
This was a prolonged military conflict in the Middle-East initiated by UTOC; in other words, launched by private corporate interests against multiple sovereign states.
The actual origins of the conflict are (suitably) vague. Nobody really knows how or when it started, but there are deep suspicions that this nebulous phase was planned in. The outcome, after thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of causalities, after trillions spent in funding security and redevelopment projects, was the inauguration of an interim and ‘elected’ government for the newly created Independent Gulf States.
Operation Metal Hammer had been sold to the media as a massive ‘one-strike’ to neutralise terrorist cell-clusters and the regimes that supported them; there was also rhetoric about removing oppression of basic human rights, but this was lost in the white-fury of recent terrorist atrocities across Western cities by Islamic fundamentalists.
The reality had been a political and military quagmire on a vast and astronomically costly scale. Hundreds of billions of UTOC funds, gathered from taxpayers and governments around the globe, was being funnelled into the Independent Gulf States.
In hindsight, Operation Metal Hammer has been viewed as nothing more than a symptom of the corruption at the heart of the Hoffman administration; a way for the former President of UTOC to award lucrative contracts to his corporate cronies.
Rather than an island of democracy, civil liberty and secular sanctuary, the Independent Gulf States became a fortress nation. Arabic commentators called the IGS, a speck of grit in the eye of the ‘true Middle-East’.
Such sentiments colour the mind-set of survivors and settlements in that region.
UTOC – After Yellow Dawn
Some people point a suspicious finger at the UTOC Defence Council for the speed at which they responded to the Extinction Level Event: were UTOC the cause of Yellow Dawn? Did they orchestrate it?
Whatever the speculation, the facts are that the UTOC Colonial Marine Core quickly took marshal control of all Orbital & Deep Space habitats.
This in itself was not alarming. UTOC represented a bespoke world government.
In the early days the priority was in helping terrestrial survivors to retake New Tokyo and keep the city alive. New Tokyo represented a survival foothold for the non-terrestrial colonies.
UTOC wanted to see order restored to the Earth; harness the maximum efficiency of assets and resources. UTOC used the language of survival but the dirty reality was they were talking about business.
The following text gives a flavour of events around New Tokyo following Yellow Dawn; but similar scenes occurred around many Living Cities as UTOC reached out across the Wilderness to gain a grasp on the lives of people who were holding onto the branches of true freedom.
UTOC tasked their much-feared enforcers, MOCID, the Ministry of Cultural Integration & Development, with the remit to tame the wilderness.
MOCID agents – Cultural Attachés – rapidly travelled out to survivor settlements surrounding New Tokyo bringing food, water and medical supplies. They assisted where they could and whilst doing so identified the leaders of survivor groups – and approached them.
These leaders were made to feel special and important. Where MOCID met resistance, UTOC Marines came down from orbit and took control. Such stories of martial law are now woven into survivor myth & folklore – and are particularly prevalent in New Tokyo sub-culture. Co-operative leaders naturally towed the line and arranged for all settlements to be ‘audited’. Survivors were electronically tagged… “for their safety”; the occupation of any property was challenged by officials – ownership had to be proven; skills and resources of survivors were assessed and a work-plan put into place.
UTOC took a page from the Holy Roman Empire to help rebuild. They took an existing fringe religion and made it the centre of the universe: it was not Christianity.
The Power of Eight Group (PO8) is described as a business and lifestyle cult. Their motto “business is life” and the strict daily regime embraced by followers suited UTOC’s rationale.
PO8 became the official ‘religion’ of UTOC. In the early months following Yellow Dawn, membership of PO8 became mandatory in many survivor communities. Any other religion was not tolerated: Christians, Jews, Muslims and others found themselves persecuted and in some places, hunted by over-zealous leaderships eager to please their new UTOC masters.
Members of PO8 paid a percentage of their income direct to PO8. In return they gained access to and help from PO8 Intelligence Officers. These officers had PA handsets and unlimited satellite access; an immense benefit to terrestrial survivors.
PO8 Intelligence Officers often had a lot of time on their hands. With access to good technology and services they became useful within the survivor settlements, providing medical, technical and educational assistance. This resulted in more people turning to PO8 out of choice, some becoming Intelligence Officers themselves. PO8 expanded rapidly. This was especially so in the more remote settlements.
PO8 became extraordinarily powerful.
UTOC grew wary. Then a shift within the UTOC power-structure led to PO8 being branded a threat, and outlawed overnight.
This resulted in a explosive hedonistic release of tension within New Tokyo and other affected areas; people felt they had been suppressed by the overbearing “work yourself into a grave” dogma of PO8.
But further out, in the Rural Support Zone and fringes of the Wilderness where survivors actually relied on PO8 Officers to cope with the hardships of their dramatically altered post-apocalyptic lives, there was resistance.
There was also resistance from PO8 itself. Key members of its governing body had been arrested on the Orbital Colonies. On the ground, large PO8 forces began to muster and plot – and took action to create a stranglehold on New Tokyo; back then, the umbilical chord for the space-based colonies. The aim of PO8 was to force UTOC to back down and force a U-turn on their decision to outlaw the PO8 Group.
It evolved into a dramatic and highly-charged stand-off.
It did not go well for PO8. The newly emerging shoots of what would become the hugely dominant political party, the space-based UDP, provided total support to UTOC.
MOCID sent in assassins and began a witch hunt for any PO8 officers within UTOC-controlled territories.
The PO8 fled – eventually regrouping and taking control of a large part of London, now a mega-settlement.
The departure of PO8 left a faith gap. UTOC was exhausted.
And so the UDP (Universal Democratic Party) took root. Based on traditional religious and moral values, it gained huge support, particularly from those suffering on Earth: primarily because of its core principles of letting people live their lives with liberty, democracy and freedom.
UTOC: 10 years on
The current situation, 10 years after Yellow Dawn, is an uneasy alliance between UTOC and the UDP.
UTOC has become subsumed within a larger administrative entity, running projects related to industry & technology, particularly in supporting and promoting progress within developing survivor settlements.
It is not happy about this status.
MOCID, the Ministry of Cultural Integration & Development continues to exist and remains utterly loyal to UTOC. Quietly, the Cultural Attachés of MOCID work to further the cause of UTOC; assassinating members of PO8 and quietly trying to destabilise the political operations of the UDP – particularly in regions where the UDP is attempting to convert survivor settlements to accept UDP governance.
UTOC Structure and politics:
- Current UTOC President Vassily Heng.
- Heng and his counterparts are referred to as the administration. .
- Previous UTOC President before Yellow Dawn struck, was Mikkel Hoffman (highly criticised for corruption).
- Companies that are part of UTOC are called UTOC members.
- It used to be that countries that had signed-up with UTOC were called UTOC territories; however this is no longer the case. UTOC does not have any official territories; but may continue to do so unofficially, in regards to member corporations carving up survivor settlements for exploitation and profit.
- UTOC Defence Council: responsible for the private corporate army that UTOC wields.
- UTOC Secretary for Global Asset Security: currently Andrew Keef. Responsible for protecting facilities and personnel of corporate members. He has been criticised for not restraining the operations of MOCID. Suspicions are growing that Keef is utilising resources from the UTOC Defence Council to support MOCID insertions. Prior to Yellow Dawn this was John Martinez who changed his name from Juan to John for unknown reasons.
- UTOC Ministry of Cultural Integration and Development (MOCID). Have been likened to the 20th century Gestapo. The Head of MOCID is Hiedi Blalack, (female), Vassily Heng’s spymaster, she reports directly to Andrew Keef (above).
- UTOC Assembly: based in the Saša Tower, a large complex in New Tokyo. Formed from the heads of corporate entities and alliances.
- UTOC Civil Defence Force (CDF): operate much like peace-keeping troops or passive enforcers of UTOC policy; they are the primary security force for Living Cities under UDP control – the men and woman who operate the “toast-towers” and Infection Free Zones. The CDF are also deployed to locations deemed of strategic or economic value by the UTOC Defence Council, or Secretary for Global Asset Security. Many Living Cities not governed by the UDP have employed UTOC, and the CDF to handle the critical services of protecting Infection Free Zones; this makes logical sense because the CDF has a large security presence wherever UTOC members have production or administrative facilities – and the CDF typically recruits from local militia.
- UTOC Tactical Neutralising Team (TNT): the equivalent of Special Forces. They’re under the direct control of Andrew Keef.
Ministry of Cultural Integration and Development
A part of UTOC, enforcers of UTOC policy
Pre-dates Yellow Dawn. Part of UTOC and have been referred to as the ‘apparatus of global fear and coercion’.
The most-feared members of MOCID are their Cultural Attachés; men and woman loyal to the ideology of UTOC and tasked with enforcing its policies.
Most Cultural Attachés are selected from the ranks of cadets who join the KSK (Kultur Sicherheitskraft).
MOCID have a purpose-built Headquarters in New Tokyo’s financial district. Cultural Attachés are seen as zealots, fanatical about the idea of a global hegemony, with UTOC as the beating heart. MOCID come under the auspices of the Secretary for Global Asset Security (currently Andrew Keef), the second-most senior figure within the UTOC administration. Cultural Attachés have significant political connections and many commentators consider their powers to be draconian; they can detain, investigate and pass judgement.
Before Yellow Dawn, the wrong word from a Cultural Attaché could see the CEO of any corporation, or even the elected leader of a government subpoenaed to appear before a closed MOCID tribunal. If such an individual was deemed by MOCID to be interfering with the smooth progress of UTOC policy, in other words, getting in the way of business and profit they could be interrogated and even imprisoned.
This is no longer the case but Cultural Attachés are still very powerful individuals.
After Yellow Dawn, MOCID refused to yield to the dictates of the emerging new power – the Universal Democratic Party (UDP). MOCID remains devoutly loyal to the surviving organisation of UTOC and covertly does whatever it can to bring about the return of UTOC to total global dominance: in this regard they’re suspected of sabotaging UDP reconstructions projects, stirring up hatred within survivor settlements to cause unrest, and generally acting against the interest of the common survivor.
YELLOW DAWN – THE AGE OF HASTUR: The Earth has been ravaged by viral pathogens, the death of billions observed by the orbital colonies and deep-space habitats that were largely unaffected by the Outbreak. Terrified of infection, nobody came to help. Less than 30 percent survived the first few weeks. Then came the 2nd Wave of infection, spreading steadily outwards from the impact points, and that was when the horror really began…
This book is crammed with everything you will need to create characters, run scenarios and experience horror and adventure in the fictional world of David J Rodger.
FEATURES: Narrative examples of key themes • The Influence of Hastur • Medical theories on the Infection • Zombie surges • Dead Cities • Wilderness survival • Comprehensive scavenging system and how to repair or build things with resources • Backgrounds and motivations of government bodies and corporations • Computer hacking and drug abuse • High-tech immortality options • Non-human characters • Enhancements through cyberware and bioware • Weaponry, equipment and armour • Complete character generation and development system • Complex political, corporate and quasi-religious tensions • Schools of Elemental Magick, occultism, demonology, and the alien horrors of the Outer Chaos – the Cthulhu Mythos. Purchase via LULU.