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Author Topic: Amaris Security Services: The Terror  (Read 3694 times)

Takiro

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Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« on: 18 February 2013, 02:11:19 »
Amaris Security Services: The Terror

Well folks I’ve been gathering all the Star League era information up that I can this year and its been quite the mother load. One topic I wanted to discuss with you all is the Terror as all of Amaris Security Services were dubbed in Historical Liberation I (page 54). It appears multiple organizations, at least three established in canon sources, were responsible for a web of intelligence operations. To say this is a tangled affair is something of an understatement but appropriate if you consider the Byzantine nature of the Rim Republic. Leaders of this Periphery nation tended to be undone by coups and plots more times then I can count. The fear and chaos they sowed was unquestionably massive. Kerensky so despised these organizations and had the Star League survived he would have mercilessly hunted down every single one of their members. So lets take a look at four organizations responsible for state security – Kryteia, AsRoc, OPD/Section 9, and the Makos. Yes the Makos are a fanfic but one with a niche that fits and well they are one of my favorites. Maybe we will even throw in the quisling Hegemony Security Force and the dissident Rim Republican Army (RRA) organizations as well. Please comment as you see fit!

Krypteia

   Introduced just last year (2012) in the first Historical Operation Liberation was this pervasive secret society of the Rim Worlds. To quote page 54 directly “One part secret police hunting the RRA and undesirables, one part old boys club; no one rose to power or authority in the Republic without membership in and approval by the Krypteia. Rumors that every fifth member of the population was a member of or reported to the Krypteia are highly exaggerated, but peopled feared that this was the case.” This unseen octopus with tentacles throughout the Rim was clearly dreaded throughout the Republic.

   Presumably the last head of the organization was Samir Njari who destroyed his rectangular plastic ID badge during the last days of the Battle for Earth according to one of the intro stories (Historical LoT II page 7). It is Njari who gives us the most insight into this mysterious organization. Njari became one of Krypteia’s governing council in 2752 indicating some kind of established hierarchy. While listed as Head of the Krypteia (2767-2777) his official title was apparently Chairman, Krypteia Operations. Samir was raised to the leadership of Krypteia six weeks prior to the League’s first strike on Apollo.

   I’m really not sure if he replaced Jericho Jaycox (Era Reports 2750 page 93-94) or someone else in this capacity but he did expand the society’s role as Amaris’ secret police in the Hegemony, something his predecessor objected to. Did this mark the separation of AsRoc and the Republic from the new center of the Amaris Empire? Njari did become the Usurper’s chief enforcer bringing terror and forcing obedience among the populace. He also encouraged obedience through his media organizations and youth volunteer groups.

   During the Star League Civil War it exploited wide scale resistance growth to place agents within partisan cells compromising and annihilating a quite a few. Krypteia and the Imperial Army also worked hand in hand to carry out cleansing operations as well as employing suspect populations as human shields. While Commanding General Scoffins and the RWA worked with the Rim Worlds Krypteia both seemed to detest the growing importance of OPD and the HSF. Tensions grew during the war as these organizations supplanted Krypteia with greater manpower. This growing split reflected a cultural split within the Empire of Rim Worlders and Terrans.

To me the introduction of the Krypteia is a clever alternative for TPTB that avoids mentioning AsRoc and its greatest operation that never happened. You see for me Krypteia creates a massive umbrella organization that can encompass everything Rim Worlds. As a secret society it is more then just an intelligence organization which AsRoc can continue to be. Permeating all levels of the Republic includes AsRoc as well as the government and society at large. So rather than saying AsRoc you can just go over their heads as Krypteia is present everywhere. It is the boogeyman under your bed waiting until you go to sleep even if you checked – he is still there.
 
Was the Krypteia founded in the first days of Rowe’s Republic which was built upon on ancient Greek principles? Was a member of the Krypteia required to kill a member of the Helot class secretly in order to complete their initiation as Sparta warriors once did? Was the Krypteia akin to the Sons of the Dragons and the Draconis Combine but on a much larger scale? Given its possible age it could have guided the Republic through many years. Did it survive the fall of the Rim Worlds Republic? Is it still somewhat functional? Striving for a restoration of the Rim Republic?

cavalier1645

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Re: Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« Reply #1 on: 18 February 2013, 17:19:00 »
sorry not a fan of the Rim Worlds or any of it's organizations. Was not sad to see Kerensky crush the rim worlds and Amaris blood line into paste. :)

TigerShark

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Re: Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« Reply #2 on: 18 February 2013, 17:27:36 »
I never did get a clear understanding of the purpose of AsRoc's retcon during Operation Prometheus. Perhaps it's tied to this "new" organization as you state.
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Ian Sharpe

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Re: Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« Reply #3 on: 18 February 2013, 17:34:21 »
Interesting.  Guess its finally time to start looking at Liberation of Terra. 

Takiro

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Re: Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« Reply #4 on: 18 February 2013, 18:31:08 »
Liberation of Terra is a good read but its time to hit the way back machine for the Rim Intel Group.  ;)

AsRoc

   The Rim Worlds Secret Service (The Periphery 1st Edition, page 155) is mentioned ever so briefly in the 1988 classic sourcebook. Aside from their Index listing there is the now infamous page 21 which tells of AsRoc’s founding circa 2407 and their participation in Operation Prometheus (February 7, 2455). Their involvement reviled for its continuity issues, such as how could the Rim Republic have Mech design plans and not have a Mech army ready for the Reunfication War, was effectively retconned by TPTB leading to what I believe was AsRoc’s unfortunate black balling in recent canon publications. Rather than bring up this organization forever tied to stealing the BattleMech from Hesperus it was easier to create Krypteia.

   Now this is all my interpretation based on the material presented but there is no need for worry folks. Everything still works just fine for everyone. AsRoc’s relationship to the omnipresent Krypteia society is easy to imagine. The Rim Worlds, and Krypteia I maintain, were established 150 years prior to First Consul Heather Durant’s establishment of AsRoc as the intelligence service of the Republic. Krypteia’s reach by this time extends throughout the Republic and likely right into its new security agency. Hence you can mention AsRoc and its relatively narrow focus on spy games or you can label everything Krypteia for a wider liability. AsRoc is a specific group with given responsibilities while Krypteia general shadows every level of the Republic.

   Now why is there all this fuss about AsRoc involvement in the theft of the BattleMech? The entire reason this clandestine order was founded was “to acquire and profit from the transmission of military secrets to the highest bidder.” Yup that is right folks a mercenary intelligence agency peddling need to know stuff for a price. Pretty cool idea. I’m sure you’ll agree that playing both sides, usually the Draconis Combine and the Lyran Commonwealth to start with, is a common theme for the Republic. House Steiner did exchange several star systems for secret Republican aid to their military during the Age of War. Now it does say that the Hesperus raid netted the Lyrans and the Rimjobs their first Mech blueprints but nothing says you gotta start producing them!

   In fact the Rim Worlds being in the Periphery likely lacked the technological base to undertake such an endeavor. Now the Republic is said to be industrious yes but often the text speaks of a plentiful low wage hard labor work force rather than an advanced industrial colossus capable of cranking out Mechs. Besides this is AsRoc why not just sell what you have for money as your founding doctrine screams to do. What’s that, you weren’t involved?! Says who – we got Mech plans and we are ready to deal baby. Yeah I can see AsRoc playing up their involvement in order to raise cold hard cash for expanded operations. Oh and four years later when the Lyrans used their new Mechs the Republic started offering desolate worlds in its remote territory to the highest bidders for the development of new battle tactics.

   The only other mention of AsRoc in canon or semi-canon sources didn’t come until 2010 when the Battlecorps story The Dark Night of the Soul was published online. Now sadly I haven’t read this account but apparently it has AsRoc operating on Terra in the 2770s. Again this doesn’t create a problem for me because you can call Amaris goons AsRoc or Krypteia with its members spread throughout the Republic’s Secret Service as well as other arms of the Usurper’s empire. They are one in the same. If you want to refer explicitly to an intelligence operation you could say AsRoc but if you just want to generalize Krypteia is a great catch all.

   So what does AsRoc stand for? Anti Submarine Rocket ain’t it. Given its irregular capitalization AsRoc looks like a combination of two words but what could they be? Did AsRoc’s mercenary philosophy equate to close ties with soldiers of fortune throughout the Human Sphere? That would explain how Amaris was so successful in acquiring such private forces for service covertly time and time again. Was Krypteia membership a requirement for AsRoc operatives? Thus all of AsRoc was staffed by Krypteia members. Or is it more likely that command positions in the intel group were Krypteia staffed?

Takiro

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Re: Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« Reply #5 on: 19 February 2013, 22:51:40 »
I did see yesterday's post before it was removed. Let me say without giving a real world example that the Black Dragon Society is a good BattleTech version of a vast secret order that helped influence events in the Draconis Combine especially before Theodore Kurita started his reforms.  ;)

Office of Policy and Doctrine
Along with the ubiquitous Rim Worlds Krypteia the Historical Liberation of Terra books introduced us to the Office of Policy and Doctrine or OPD. Essentially they are Commissars of the Republic ensuring proper loyalty with thousands of political officers stationed throughout the Amaris Empire. While this security apparatus was fairly uniform it had at least three or four different manifestations. Another creation of the Amaris’ this bureaucratic organ ensured absolute loyalty to the rulers of the Rim. Likely founded by Gregory Amaris in the lead up to the Reunification War this truth police reached into two key sectors. One was the government of the Republic which kept a careful eye on the various administrators and civilians of the Rim Worlds.
The second dubbed Section 9, of the OPD, was a distinct group of political officers stationed throughout the Rim Worlds Armed Forces. In the Republic they were referred to as commissioners or commissars but Kerensky and the SLDF applied the Russian term Zamapolit. These keepers of the military were typically seen at the battalion or regimental level although on occasion they also appeared at the company level. Depending on the officer and the circumstance they could be friendly associates or terrifying autocrats. Their constant presence was a clear message to the rank and file – obey the President or suffer the consequences.
While this constant scrutiny fostered near universal compliance with orders from above it did not guarantee loyalty as intended. Troopers and civilians under continuous surveillance soon learned to keep quiet rather than voice concerns. This had several negative side affects like the widespread infiltration by dissident Rim Republican Army (RRA) into the growing Amaris military. These secretive rebels exploited Amaris’ build ups to enhance their own strength without authorities ever becoming the wiser. They had something to hide just like everyone else and fit right in. There are also colossal blunders in communication thanks to this silent fear instilled throughout the RWA leading to spectacular failures like the withdrawal from Asta. One can easily imagine innovation and tactical improvisation suffering throughout the Amaris Empire.
OPD bolstered its ranks during the run up to the Coup carefully recruiting entire squads of enforcers to maintain operational secrecy. It is a testament to their brutal efficiency that absolutely no word escaped the Rim World garrisons throughout the Hegemony. These new thugs would also help the Terran OPD once the takeover was complete. Established during Richard Cameron’s reign the Director-General’s Office of Policy and Doctrine was a carbon copy of its Rim World forerunner. Following the conquest of the Hegemony the Usurper formalized their place in the new order.
With the exception of the RWA Section 9 the make up of this Hegemony Office was mostly Terran. As the collaborators strength grew the original Rim Worlders found themselves displaced and tensions naturally grew. Of course the Terran OPD wasn’t exactly loved within the Hegemony either an attitude that gradually increased. You see a pattern developing here. As the war wore on Rim Worlds troops and Krypteia were less and less willing to cooperate with them. The populace as you can imagine was thrilled and by the time Kerensky took Earth they were despised.
Ironically Terran OPD members might have been the most motivated of Amaris supporters. What were they gonna be treated like if they lost? Would you rather have been a Patriot fighter in the Amaris Hegemony military or an informer for the Usurper? I guess neither choice is good but you wouldn’t have much to live for afterwards. They likely were complete fanatics at the end just hoping to die rather than face the consequences of their choices. What happened to the Rim OPD? Sounds like there were still some die hards out on the Rim. Were they such a group that survived out there?

Takiro

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Re: Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« Reply #6 on: 20 February 2013, 17:38:37 »
Mako
First appearing in Through a Mirror Darkly by BlackTigerActual (2007) the Makos quickly became the ruthless enemies in many such Star League era fanfics. These special force operatives were referred to as the Rim Worlds equivalent of the Davion Rabid Foxes. BTA also portrayed them as a military organization with ranks ranging from Captain to Sergeant. They also operated in hunter-killer teams and later on adopted the under arm shark tattoo that Master Arminas introduced. The Star League’s 90th Heavy Assault Regiment (the Black Tigers of New Vandenberg) were only their first opponent.
Master Arminas also wrote about the Makos in Book II and III of his Cameron Legacy. In that story a four man Loki team charged with assassinating the First Lord’s wife impersonate Makos. This is where the trademark tattoo of a swirling shark with an ID number and microchip on the interior was introduced. He referred to them as House Amaris secret police and the Special Security Forces of the Rim Worlds. Technically they were a part of the military (Rim Worlds Army) and filled the role that the Gestapo/SS had in Nazi Germany or what the KGB was to the Soviets.
They were an arm of the government not bound to military or civilian laws answering only to the leader of the Rim. The micro-chip implanted underneath the Mako tattoo was described as unsophisticated but effective means of identification and loyalty. Utterly devoted to the Amaris clan the Makos are authorized to deal with any violation of their will. A hybrid organization similar to Kurita's DEST and Liao's Death Commandos (even if the Makos aren’t contemporaries) the Makos are ultra loyal watchdogs for Amaris perhaps created during the Reunification War (2570s).
   Our only piece of contradictory information that might be gleaned from their appearances is in Book III of a Cameron Legacy. DEST commando Hiroyoshi Tanaka describes the hit operation conducted by the 4 man Loki team as being out of character for Makos. When Tanaka sparred with their kind before the war Makos never worked together but this runs in opposition to previous accounts. They preferred to use others as cats-paws pulling the strings from a distance. Makos would get ‘dirty’ if they had to but because of their responsibilities to the Amaris’ tended not to go down in a blaze of glory.
   As a further example of this practice high value terror operations against the Houses are sighted where not a single Mako was present. I’d like to resolve this contrast in styles and methods so that everything fits together into a single story. I’d also like to pin down their foundation date. Is it during the Reunification War when the Republic turns on Amaris? They could be a solution for such a situation. Were they House Amaris bodyguards as well? It seems as this protective task might fall within their purview as well as terrorist strikes and other special operation missions. Does M.A.K.O. stand for anything or is it just a shark name after the crest of the ruling family?
Also I see cawest has used them in his fanfic, Dairy of a Rim Worlder on Terra in 2766. Has anyone else? I’d love to see other appearances and hear your opinion on them.

Moonsword

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Re: Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« Reply #7 on: 20 February 2013, 18:14:43 »
As a reminder, Fan Articles is for canon material only.

cavalier1645

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Re: Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« Reply #8 on: 20 February 2013, 21:08:50 »
SO my questions was there any redeeming points to the Rim Worlds Security? I mean looks like they where just a terror arm of the Amaris. Why would anyone want to play them unless your into torture, murder and other unspeakable acts.

TigerShark

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Re: Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« Reply #9 on: 21 February 2013, 02:08:18 »
SO my questions was there any redeeming points to the Rim Worlds Security? I mean looks like they where just a terror arm of the Amaris. Why would anyone want to play them unless your into torture, murder and other unspeakable acts.

There's a very old saying, that history is written by the victor. In this case, it's literally written by Victor. ::drum roll crash!::

The atrocities are likely to grab headlines and get a reader interested, but if they were the normal, day-to-day operations and done without any consent of the people, the government would fold. I can think of real-world examples of this, but cannot discuss them here for obvious reasons.

Playing a member of the Rim Worlds security forces could be an interesting RP. Doing your duty for country, but finding that some things leave you feeling uneasy or are just downright wrong. How do you proceed with that as a character? Do you obey orders and become a staunch patriot or become a dissident who later sides with the SLDF or defects? Plenty of avenues to explore there.
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  "You will fight to the last soldier, and when you die, I will call upon your damned soul to speak horrible curses at the enemy."
     - Orders of Emperor Stefan Amaris to his troops

Takiro

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Re: Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« Reply #10 on: 21 February 2013, 17:28:35 »
SO my questions was there any redeeming points to the Rim Worlds Security? I mean looks like they where just a terror arm of the Amaris. Why would anyone want to play them unless your into torture, murder and other unspeakable acts.

In large part they are the terror arm of Stefan Amaris especially by the time of the Coup. In other words they are largely a black hat plot device who Hero PCs will want to splat. It is hard to see any other purpose but evil for these agencies however there are always possibilities.

The vast secret society of Krypteia could offer a very interesting RP experience. When Samir Njari the last head of this organization took over he expanded the society’s role as Amaris’ secret police in the Hegemony, something his predecessor objected to. That alone rings bells to me. Are the Krypteia epitome of the old Spartan warrior code? PCs always seem interested in being the best Warrior in the BattleTech universe maybe they'd like to try this organizations take on that. Why did they back the Amaris clan in the first place when they came to the Rim Worlds? Are they still out there trying to reform the Rim Worlds? In short there is plenty of mystery around this Rim Illumanti.

Lets not forget AsRoc with its information dealing ways. I also see them as very Rim World centric and not all in for this plot to attack the Hegemony. Additionally if some in Krypteia sought to rid themselves of Amaris what better way then sure go conquer the place. They could align with Kerensky. The final two bodies are much harder to imagine outside the box but there are always angles to play.  ;)

wellspring

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Re: Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« Reply #11 on: 02 October 2014, 06:05:05 »
A wee bit o' thread necromancy, to make a point for posterity. It's common for totalitarian societies to have redundant espionage/security services. So the conflicting information can also be reconciled as representing several parallel organizations working at the same time.

The problem for the dictator is that you're too busy running the country to run the security service yourself, but if you delegate it to someone, then that person has the power to overthrow you. The natural answer is to have multiple security services that you can play against one another.

In the Soviet Union, overseas intelligence came from the healthy competition between the GRU and the KGB. Stalin used the GRU to purge the KGB, and the KGB to purge the GRU. While they were (briefly) merged, Stalin realized the danger and separated them again. The GRU has great potential power as part of the military and GRU officers are immune to KGB oversight, but the KGB controls internal policing of the country and the rest of the military (but even that role is split with other orgs) and a KGB general always is put in the top position. Both have legal officers, illegals, agent networks, surveillance (ELINT and satellite), special forces (spetsnaz vs oznaz), counterintelligence units etc. Similarly, China is believed to divide its intelligence duties between the Ministry for State Security and the Ministry for Public Safety. The Nazis and other fascist states followed a similar pattern. The United States divides its intelligence and law enforcement arms into a sprawling array of agencies and bureaus.

So I'd actually be stunned if Amaris didn't have several intelligence agencies operating in parallel, some of which we know about and some of which were founded, operated, and disbanded without an outsider ever knowing.

TigerShark

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Re: Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« Reply #12 on: 02 October 2014, 15:15:48 »
In history, the Crypteia were (debatably) a kind of military police. Fanatics loyal to the state who made sure the battle lines stayed in order and kept people in line with fear and intimidation. It was also a quick path to leadership, since they were proven soldiers who were loyal to the state.

I imagine the Krypteia were much the same in this universe, where the AsRoc could have served as an internal police for the civilians and military. Something akin to the SD in Germany during the 1930s. Of course this could be disputed by citations, since I'm not sure anyone knows exactly how both operations work. Unless there's been a clarifying post.
  W W W . M E K W A R S - D O M I N I O N . C O M

  "You will fight to the last soldier, and when you die, I will call upon your damned soul to speak horrible curses at the enemy."
     - Orders of Emperor Stefan Amaris to his troops

Takiro

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Re: Amaris Security Services: The Terror
« Reply #13 on: 02 October 2014, 16:45:58 »
A wee bit o' thread necromancy, to make a point for posterity. It's common for totalitarian societies to have redundant espionage/security services. So the conflicting information can also be reconciled as representing several parallel organizations working at the same time.

I think this is what makes all of these groups (6+) so plausible. Hell, even the Makos who are non canon but deadly hunter killer teams serving as Amaris Special Forces certainly fit. Krypteria to me is the secret society at the center of Apollo and the Rim Worlds who were king makers likely inducting the Amaris clan to rule for some lost to history reason. Then you get AsRoc who were the official Secret Service of the Rim Worlds who sold their services to the highest bidder which is pretty interesting way to run intelligence/ trade secrets. The Office of Policy and Doctrine (OPD) is more a bureaucratic/governmental agency which serves as the Commissars of Amaris. It grew into a separate Terran branch which was apart from the original Rim World branch and lets not forget Section 9. This part of the Republic's OPD carefully watched over the Rim Worlds Military for any disloyalty making it a third important piece. The Hegemony Security Force (HSF) was the final piece of the official Amaris brute squad keeping order through the Usurper's new realm. Don't forget the Rim Republican Army (RRA) whose idealistic goals and Amaris hatred boiled over into two near successful rebellions.

 

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