Blakfire Notes 1. Contracting Corps
The Contracting Corps is a vast, mysterious organization, known for having a prescence almost anywhere in the world and an abundance of knowledge about it, yet so little of its inner workings is known to the public. Described as a sort of mix between bounty hunters, mercenaries, and men/women for hire, the Corps is loyal to no nation, though they are by no means above a nation's laws, and must suffer the consequences of violating such. To join the Contracting Corps, one must be at least 18 years of age and able to verify their age, and that's about it.
A Contracting Corps individual, known as a Contractor, starts looking for work at a Contractor's Board, basically a large bulletin board found in many towns where citizens will post up contracts, or jobs specifically for Contractors. Most contracts follow a similar layout, with a brief description of the job, contact information, an expiration date, and an area for a Contractor to stamp their emblem. Contractor Emblems differ from person to person, each one unique and featuring identifying marks such as a special symbol, initials of a Contractor, or both and while black stamp ink is the standard, sometimes Contractors use a special colored ink to differ theirs from others. Once a contract is stamped, the Contractor will get in touch with the person who left the contract to obtain more details, and to acquaint themselves with the contract holder. The details of a contract can vary, ranging from protection/bodyguard missions, courier missions, guides through hazardous or unfamiliar territory, or sometimes even domestic services (which themselves can range from something as simple as house-keeping to more...explicit services) Sometimes, contractors even employ other contractors to help with a particularly complicated or dangerous job. Of course, there are some rules clients must follow:
1. A client can not employ a contractor to do something that is against the laws of the nation he or she is currently in. (i.e. murder, smuggling, extortion)
2. A client has no real authority over a contractor; he or she cannot force a contractor to do something he or she is not willing to do.
3. A Contractor has the right to void the contract at any time, for any reason.
4. A client purposefully harming a contractor, and vice versa, automatically voids the contract.
5. A client cannot "pass" a contract to another person. If the client dies, then the contract is void.
6. A client MUST pay a contractor IN FULL upon successful completion of a contract. IOU's are not accepted. Failure to pay a Contractor without an acceptable reason may result in a civil lawsuit filed by the Corps.
7. A client may void a contract ONLY if they feel that the Contractor failed to meet the contract's conditions, or if they feel that efforts to complete the contract may result in serious harm to him/herself or others.
Of course, Contractors have their own rules to obey. If these rules are violated, the punishment can range from their current contract being voided, suspension/termination of Contractor liscence, or even being put on the Corps' "blacklist," which basically means the ex-contractor will have a bounty put on his or her head to be captured, dead or alive. The "Contractor's Code" is as follows:
1. A Contractor is personally responsible for him/herself while in a nation. If a Contractor commits a crime, the Corps will not intervene for the Contractor's sake.
2. A Contractor cannot take a contract already claimed by another contractor. Contract Theft will result in the contract being voided and penalties applied to the offending contractor.
3. Forging of another Contractor's emblem is prohibited. Emblem Forgery will result in suspension of the offender's Contractor Liscence.
4. NEVER purposefully hurt an innocent. The Contractor is personally responsible for any harm they cause, be it purposefully or through negligence, to an innocent and may incur penalties from the Corps on top of legal penalties.
5. Never harm a client, unless in self-defense. Harming a client will result in the contract being void and penalties by the Corps.
6. Contractors may occasionally be called upon to serve in a "black squad" , a temporary team formed to deal with blacklisted Contractors. While exigent circumstances may excuse a contractor from this duty, it is otherwise mandatory and failure or refusal may result in penalties.
7. A contractor is loyal to no nation, not even their homeland.
While the last is mostly made to make it clear that Contractors do not belong to any nation, there are times when their neutrality makes an exception. One exception is when a country becomes openly hostile to the Contracting Corps, and actively attacks members and Corps property, such as offices, or Contractor Boards. In this case, the Corps will denounce the country and pull its members from it if possible, as well as block off contracts from said country. This has happenned twice, once during the First Damontian War, where the Corps denounced Damontia after they targetted and raided several Corps buildings in Deadland, Damontia's capital, under the accusation that the Corps were "harboring Extremi spies and made their bed with the enemy." The second time the Corps denounced a nation was fairly recent, when the Nilatio Empire enslaved several Elfin and REAVER* contractors and refused to return them, citing Nilatio's policy on non-humans being open for enslavement. Following the Corps' denouncement and pulling of Corps resources from the country, the contractors were returned, however negotiations to end the denouncement failed when Nilatio refused to acknowledge the Corps' condition that Contractors, no matter the race, would be immune to enslavement. The denouncement, like the Demontians's denouncement remains active to this day. In addition, there have been cases in the past where groups of Contractors were allowed to be hired by a nation's military to serve within their ranks. Due to a Contractor's ability to be flexible, reliable, and to think outside the box, their expertise is useful for irregular warfare and assignments otherwise not suited for large rank-and-file armies.
* REAVER: Pre-World sentient androids.