Mishima Corporation Settlements – Mutant Chronicles
Mercury is the Mishima homeworld, a fortress planet of underground cities linked by a planet-wide system of tunnels known as the Webway. With the lone exception of Imperial’s outpost at Fukido, the whole planet belongs to Mishima. Only in the capital, Longshore, may non-Mishima employees rent land.
The planet’s thin atmosphere and desolate surface are hostile to human life. Only a handful of military outposts, mining facilities, and observation drones operate above ground.
Beneath the surface, the underworld cities of Mercury are brightly- lit, bustling places of industry and prosperity. The urban network spread originally from both poles, excavating new tunnels and chambers, or repurposing existing caverns, as the population expanded and new seams of mineral resources were discovered.
Longshore is Mercury’s capital city, nestled in a huge surface crater near the south pole. It is covered by a centuries-old atmospheric shield that uses long-forgotten technologies to hold air but let spacecraft pass through. The city is the seat of Lord Heir Moya. It is a city that never sleeps, the corporation’s leading trade port, and home to Mishima’s most prestigious public buildings, including the major universities and the central stock exchange.
In the tunnels of the Webway, rocket trains blast along elevated tracks at close to the speed of sound, ferrying high-ranking aristocrats, military officials, and the Lord Heir’s personal couriers from one city to another. Beneath the raised rails are the Webway roads, where pedestrians, motorcycles, cars, and freight vehicles travel in a chaotic, constant stream. Every 20 kilometres, checkpoints wait ready to bar the way at a moment’s notice and inspect vehicles and identification.
Policing this planet-wide network are the maverick inspector-magistrates of the Webway Force Patrol. They pursue high-priority wrongdoers through the most dangerous parts of the Webway, along unfinished or abandoned tunnels, before they can disappear off the grid into unmapped caverns. Their high-speed patrol cars rocket along to the accompaniment of furious traditional percussion blasting from their siren arrays. Among Mercury’s inspector-magistrates, the Webway Force Patrol is a breed apart, working for little glory with a high fatality rate.
Fukido and the Closed Zone
Seized by the Conquistadors and Murders & Acquisition agents of Imperial in a series of ingenious, if somewhat underhanded, financial manoeuvres, Fukido is now the second largest city on Mercury. Lord Heir Moya finds this fact intensely annoying. Worryingly for him, his legal experts have identified some parts of Fukido where the original leases may force him to cede the land to Imperial in perpetuity. However, the vital geothermal power station that keeps Fukido running is not one of them. In a few years Mishima will have the power to cut off the city’s lifeblood.
The area around Fukido has been blockaded, fortified, and designated the Closed Zone. Access is tightly regulated and given only to the military units stationed there, Lord Moya’s trusted administrators, and the inhabitants of Suna Takoku – a small Mishima mining town that thrived near Fukido before the Imperial buyout.
Mining continues at Suna Takoku, the only official crossing point between Fukido and Mishima territory, at significantly reduced output. Half of the town’s population now works in the service industry, selling refreshments, guidebooks, and other travel paraphernalia to Mishima officials passing through the town to Fukido.
The seven provinces of Mishima Venus are the dominion of Lord Heir Maru, and the abundant resources found there fuel almost a quarter of Mishima’s overall revenue. The territory is also an important strategic foothold. Lord Maru has the strongest of all the Mishima armies, though not the largest, and is the greatest strategic mind Mishima has seen in decades. His domain is surrounded on all sides by rival corporations and the menace of the Dark Legion.
Maru rules from the beautiful island city of Quan-to, built on the slopes of an extinct volcano. Hewn from the rock of the island and covered with gold leaf, Maru’s Golden Palace is practically a city itself, with thousands of chambers and layers of gently curved roofs climbing to the sky. It is guarded by the elite Umi Legion, who wear the colossal Shogun-class kote suits. The volcano’s caldera lake connects through a twisting channel to the sea and is the home base of Lord Maru’s navy, including the megacruisers.
Shinseki Fortress is the farthest outpost of Mishima power on Venus, located in the monstrous jungle of the Venusian equator. A heavily fortified bunker complex that barely peeks above ground level, Shinseki Fortress is located to provide protection for the region’s far-flung business interests. The garrison is frequently called upon by Mishima prospectors and farming operations to ride to the rescue when rival corporations or the Dark Legion move into view.
The force that responds to these cries for help is the mechanised cavalry unit called Nobue’s Riders. It is led by the charismatic Nobue Jen, who scorned the life of pampered luxury set out for her as the daughter of a daimyo in favour of Venusian adventure. Adventurous and brash, she has landed her unit in hot water more than once.
Another unit attached to Shinseki Fortress is the very hush-hush Cell 514. It is a military research facility that has been based at Shinseki since its inception. Buried deep in the jungle, surrounded by a no-fly zone and a sophisticated, hidden air defence system, Cell 514 is guarded by soldiers sent directly from the retinues of Lords Maru and Moya. Reinforcements and supplies use Shinseki Fortress as a staging ground, arriving in unmarked transports, usually in the dead of night. The majority of the base’s personnel are studiously uncurious about the nature of Cell 514’s work.
At the other edge of Mishima territory is the island of Ochoku, hidden in the fringes of the jungle where the great southern ocean laps upon the shore. From here the notorious swamp pirates prey upon the shipping lanes. Mishima vessels are not immune to their opportunistic attacks, but the majority of their targets are those of Capitol and Bauhaus enterprises.
The swamp pirates strike swiftly and – whether successful or not – quickly retreat to the safety of the jungle. Capitol and Bauhaus make regular representations to Mishima complaining about the swamp pirates’ depredations. Mishima disclaims any responsibility, and with some cause. While some of the pirates originate from Mishima, the majority are freelancers and ex-employees of the other corporations.
The Mishima territories of the red planet are the domain of Lord Heiress Mariko. She dwells in the Palace of the Skies, a huge whitewalled fortress that towers over the sculpted landscape of her capital, Hosokawa. The city is part built in classical Mishima style, full of immaculate lawns, pristine raked gravel, serene temples, and elegant buildings. However, appearances can be deceptive. Many of the beautifying features of the Hosokawa’s architecture conceal the entrances and viewports of the hidden fortifications that permeate the city. Hundreds of defensive emplacements, bunkers, and barracks are artfully blended into their surroundings. The broad avenues and spacious plazas also create wide open killing grounds in the event of invasion.
The reason for such extensive fortification is that Hosokawa sits at the centre of a domain constantly on edge, with its population and military stretched thin over a vast, treacherous land. Mishima’s Martian holdings radiate outwards from Hosokawa in a ring of settlements that extend for over 1600 kilometres, as far as the southern polar ice cap. The corporation has ploughed resources into improving its territory here, rebuilding the canals, coaxing abundant crops from unyielding land, and aggressively founding new settlements.
All that investment would be in vain if Capitol forces were able to seize it – and they are very keen to do so. Mishima troops are in a state of constant low-intensity conflict with Capitol’s frontier units. So far the conflict has remained at the level of brushfire wars and occasional raids by Capitol civilians into Mishima territory.
Mariko is arguably the least powerful of the three Lord Heirs. Her financial clout is minuscule in comparison to that wielded by her eldest brother Moya, and she lacks the military capabilities and strategic nous of her brother Maru. She is, however, the most effective diplomat of the three, and aided by her close ties to the Brotherhood, encourages the other corporations to see her as less of a threat than the other Lord Heirs. Mishima enterprises based on Mars are fewer and smaller than those on Mercury and Venus, but they enjoy direct access to key markets throughout the inner system, including Luna, San Dorado, Volksburg, and Fukido. Life on Mars for a Mishima employee is much less restricted than on Mercury or even Venus. The governor has too much on her plate to waste time on dealing with any but the most vital matters. As a result, life here is – by Mishima standards – positively laissez-faire. The people have frequent contact with other corporations, and outsiders are commonly found living in the larger towns and cities.
The Southern Banners are a sparsely populated wilderness, bitterly contested among rival powers. To maintain a strong foothold here, Mariko has made tracts of land available to any ronin who will swear allegiance to her, in return for assuming the banner and stewardship of the land. Many of these lands are not, strictly speaking, under Mishima control. In such cases it is the new ronin bannerman’s duty to make it so. Many of these ronin-turned-governors rally old comrades in arms to their banners, assembling ragtag but highly skilled armies. Almost as many ronin are attracted to South Mars on a freelance basis, wandering the badlands as guns and blades for hire.
500 kilometres north of Hosokawa is Sensomachi. Here, in a dust-choked canyon, is a military industrial city dedicated to the
maintenance and improvement of Lord Heiress Mariko’s armed forces. Aerospace and interplanetary transports thunder in at all times of day and night. Factories churn out vehicles and munitions. Soldiers – both samurai and the newfangled ashigaru commoner troops – train rigorously.
In the shadow of the spaceport are the Proving Grounds, where those who seek the Lord Heiress’ favour duel for supremacy.
Every two years the Lord Heiress permits warriors from all corporations, and those with no such ties, into the Proving Grounds to compete in the Tournament of the Skies. The winner’s prize is a secret. The winner’s fame is colossal.
Mishima’s presence comprises a mixture of the concerns belonging to the three Lord Heirs, and the largest concentration of employees directly loyal to the Overlord anywhere in the solar system. The Overlord guards his lunar sphere of influence jealously, constantly marshalling spies, informants, and other agents to stay on top of his children’s Machiavellian politicking. Luna is all the Overlord has left, and he fears losing his grip on the Mishima enclave and his palace truly becoming a gilded cage.
The Overlord’s most fanatical followers are his hatamoto – his elite personal guard. These are the finest warriors in the corporation, handpicked by the Overlord himself, and utterly devoted to him. When not on duty in parade ground finery, these stalwarts are usually to be found at the Yamori Teahouse. They go there to blow off steam with a few jugs of sake, and sometimes to pick fights with any of the Lord Heirs’ hatamoto who happen to pass by. The Lord Heirs’ soldiers are no less proud, and no more shy about defending the honour of their patron.
Just off the Street of Coffin Carvers, in a drab office block, are the bland and unassuming offices of the Internal Audit & Research Office. Here the officers of the “Naiken”, as it is called, sort through reports and data feeds. Every so often they send out an action directive to agents in Luna or beyond. Sometimes those agents bring individuals in for questioning. These individuals are shown to a grey meeting room with a water cooler and an artificial hibiscus in a pot. Often they are never seen again. The proximity of the coffin carvers is no accident.
The chief of the Naiken answers directly to the Overlord and the agency is his eyes and ears beyond Luna. Officially, the Naiken serves the whole Mishima corporation. However, the Overlord is careful only to supply each Lord Heir with the information that suits his agenda in order to play one off against the other.