There is no less important or more significant nation on Rifts Earth than The Black Market. Yes it can be referred to as a nation, for it is all encompassing in every facet of life on Rifts Earth. The Black Market remains inconspicuous but looms large in the background. The Black Market is found everywhere; it permeates nearly every niche of life. Without it, most of the world would be even more ignorant of what is round the corner or the beyond the mountain, than it currently is.
Most of the economies of the world only function because of the Black Market. The world will be in turmoil, if it suddenly vanished, that is how important it is. Most rulers see it and currently accept it as a necessary evil.
Black Market leaders are some of the most powerful people on Rifts Earth. They are the holders of the keys to whatever your heart desires if you can afford it.
Doesnít matter how much the world needs the black market, it is still a criminal organisation run by ruthless people. Like most they have to be strong willed & ruthless to survive. However you will be surprised at some of the people who see working for the Black Market as a way of life & to use it for the betterment of all, rather than as a tool for evil or to fill the pockets of the greedy, selfish few.
The Black exists to such an extent, as they are the only real means of communications between warring nations. When you donít even acknowledge that something exists how then do you even talk to them. This is where the Black Market comes in to itís own. It provides the latest news on faraway places as well as being able to move goods from one warring nation to another, without upsetting too many people. If you need something but are unable to use force to obtain, than the Black Market is your answer. How do you export your wares, when everyone is an enemy and you canít trade with them? The answer as always is use the Black Market and so the day-to-day running of empires runs smoothly.
The Black Market can be single man operations to being funded by a nation. The CS, NG & even Laszlo have their arms in the Black Market. Even Atlantis & NEís have their own Black Market operations, for the latter two, it is just another business area to exploit. For most Rifts Earth, the Black Market is a necessity and runs the very fabric of day to day life.
Most Nations use the Black Market as a source of revenue to further their empires, as well as an intelligence gathering resource. They will fund or put into power Black Market bosses, helping them set up their Black Market operations. The nations usually turn a blind eye to the Black Market, unless it has been brought to their attention that there is something amiss. Both the Black Market & the Nations they operate in, have a plausible deniability policy in place, so that even with complications, a smooth relationship can still be maintained, if it can be helped. For if the Black Market suffers, so does the nation that hurt it directly.
Some nations are founded on the back of their black market, a notable example of this is the fledgling Freebeings Nations. Which is made up of people who utilised the black market in and around NGR to protect and provide for their families and friends. Now they have amalgamated into a larger more coherent unit, as a larger size means greater profits and more protection for themselves.
Many people have no idea how powerful the Talon black market is, they have operations in the Chi-town Burbs, Lazlo, Lonestar and Pecos Empires, they have made inroads into NG & MI. they are the first truly global black market, having made contacts in Yucatan, Columbia and Africa. They have influence in Atlantis, they run black markets in England and Europe, including London Splynn. They were founded in the Chitown burbs, but quickly realized the importance of Lazlo operations. Unlike Bandito Arms, the Talon remains hidden and anonymous. They operate in small cells, so if one gang is taken out, it does not lead to others. This way no one actually realizes that the black marketeers they are dealing with are actually of the one and same organisation. The CS wars have been a blessing for the Talon, because it has allowed them to consolidate and embed their operations within Chi-town burbs and CS territory, as well as take over operations run by black marketeers in and around Tolkeen and FQ. While the CS was busy with its wars, The Talon has become a nation unto itself in the Chi-town burbs. That is if it was to reveal its hands. it now has power and influence in chitown fortress city and the CS heirarchy as well as the CS burbs, that may surpass influence of the Prosek family. Its power and influence means it has a chance of taking out Chi-town (prosek loyalists) before Chi-town new what it hit.
After CS wars the CS military will slowly try to reassert their control over the burbs, but this is going to be a long attrition war. Even before CS wars it was fighting a never ending war, just keeping things in check, now the power in the burbs has shifted to the black market bosses, whether CS acknowledges it or not. No one on Rifts Earth realizes that the Talon is one operation due to their structure, not one even their operatives or their black market partners know that the Talon is one organisation.
One of the Talons greatest achievements is the Black credit. Itís the main force behind this. Its use amongst CS enemies is due to the Talon push of it and the security they offer against the CS/or any of your enemies knowing your financial transactions. it is now nearly as commonly used as the universal credit. It was used a lot more than the universal credit during the CS wars, and if nothing is done by it, it will become the main currency used in Rifts North America in next few years. Because of the CS wars the CS has lost between 20-30% of its market share in trade in North America, the Black market has taken up most of this flak, especially The Talon and Bandito arms in the west. Atleantean, Triax, NG, MI and Wilkes, Lazlo, Titan Robotics, also took opportunity to consolidate their position in North America, and taken market share away from CS, while CS was diverted in its war efforts.
While the major wars were occurring on Rifts Earth, there were also Black Market wars going on. Many Black Market gangs in the CS burbs were gunning for stakes in Lazlo, and many Black Market gangs in Lazlo were going for pieces in CS Burbs. Likewise the displaced black markets of Tolkeen have moved into Chitown and other CS territories. Meanwhile Old Bones Black Market looking for sanctuary elsewhere, as their hand is revealed in how much they cooperated with Quebec prewar. The people they told on and their family and friends want payback.
The Talon controls the burbs of Cityside, Hillcrest, Lakeside, the new twin burbs of Holmes and Jerico, they have made inroads into Firetown burb.
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