Alliance Russian / American : Russia became more powerful since WWIII and signed an alliance with the Northern States of old America. What formed was the Alliance. It is assumed Canada is also a member of this group, giving the Alliance domination over a large portion of the Northern Hemisphere. It is not known their position in the global circle but given their relationship with the AE, it is assumed they formed a Democracy with the American Democratic Party at its core.
American Empire : Shocking, as it may seem, one of the biggest loser of World War III was the United States, which found itself fractured after the war. The conservative party, along with the majority of the defense industry, took control of the Southern States. They formed Empirical America, or the American Empire, as it is often known. The Empire is predominantly right wing and carries an antagonistic relationship with the America/Russia Alliance. The American Empire has been demonstrating its authority as a military state since the last Great War. However, it started to suffer from a collapsed economy recently. Part of this is due to the reduction of Nuclear weapons as a deterrent now that almost every nation has them and with the Japanese Miracle, fallout is no longer a fear.
Although still a very important nation, America's superpower status has been giving way to the economic behemoth of Japan in recent years. Currently, it is suffering from a faltering economy and a divided population. Class and racial lines have divided people into separate groups, each struggling against the others. Crime has risen to an all time high and the under funded government cannot keep enough police on the streets to do anything about it. The major corporations have stepped in somewhat offering privatization of law enforcement in some areas. As for foreign policy, the government is looking to do anything that will improve their status economically.
European Union (EU) : Previously called the European Community (EC) and sometimes known as the Common Market - it is an intergovernmental organization of 12 Western European nations with its own institutional structures and decision-making framework. The aim of the EC's founders was to construct a united Europe through peaceful means and create conditions for economic growth, social cohesion among the European peoples, and for greater political integration and cooperation among governments. Despite criticism early on, the EU has become a formidable economic competitor to Japan and the Americas. Although relations are good between the EU and Japan, this economic rivalry has become the basis for several corporate sponsored covert actions between the two entities. They survived World War III with battle scars. It is known that Berlin was struck. Thanks to the resolve of its people, it rebuilt itself faster than any other city after the war.
Gavel Republic : The Gavel Republic is a small, relatively new sovereignty in Asia that used to be a military dictatorship. It recently survived a revolution and is now a democracy. The old leaders of Gavel attempted amnesty in Japan. Gavel may sound like an odd name, but that is because it is a conglomerate or capitol group.
Japan : By 2029, Asia became the most important and most powerful economic region in the entire world and at the helm of all the prosperity in the Pacific-Rim is none other than Japan, home to the biggest and most technologically advanced cites in the world. Details are in their own chapter.
Jenoma : Located in South America, this nation, like Gavel, became a democracy. It owes this status thanks to Marcelo Jarti. Jarti was a drug kingpin and a known murderer. He is also responsible for freeing Jenoma from a military dictatorship and securing the democracy that now stands. Jarti lead the Democratic Revolution and remained the military advisor to the current administration. Jarti avoided multiple assassination attempts, the last, in Panan City. He is regarded as a true hero even though he had no interest in politics afterward. He considers himself a soldier and assisted neighboring countries in revolutions of their own. He has thwarted five attempts from SAS and Delta force to have him wiped out.
LAS - League of Arab States : The League of Arab States was formed in Cairo on Mar. 22, 1945, by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan (now Jordan), and Yemen. The main aim of the league is to coordinate the political action and safeguard the sovereignty of the Arab states. In the council of the league, on which each member has one vote, only unanimous decisions are binding.
The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 split the league. Twelve of its members condemned Iraq, and nine sent ground forces to join the anti-Iraq coalition in the 1991. The league was split again during World War III when 11 members left the League for good. Today the League has negotiated lucrative trade agreements between several of its members and Japan. This has, of course, led to problems with Israel, and the fighting has spilled over into the streets of Japan. Recently, Japan's Foreign Minister, Hidaka, tried to remedy the problem by getting Japanese corporations to form joint ventures with Israeli corps. The whole thing was scraped when it was discovered that the Mossad was manipulating events in order to sway public opinion over to the Israeli cause.
Pegasus : A floating city being built in the Indian Ocean. Large unzoned sectors exist for corporations to take root. The process continues and it may be decades before the city is populated to capacity.
Russia : Russia, or the Russian Federation, is the largest country in the world, extending from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and occupying more than half of the Eurasian landmass. From 1922 to 1991, Russia was the main constituent republic in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In the early 2000s, a hard-line communist faction seized control of the Russian Federation once again, but by the end of WW III, it became apparent that economically, Russia would have to change. After a plot to gain access to EU markets through a German connection failed, Russia turned to Japan for help. In order to grease the gears between the two nations, Russia withdrew its presence from the Northern Islands (which it has occupied since 1945), returning them to Japan.
The United Nations (UN) : The UN is a general international organization established at the end of World War II to promote international peace and security. The main purposes of the organization were to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war". It has since participated in almost every major war including the "peacekeeping actions" that escalated into World War III and WW IV. It should be noted that by 2029 Japan has become a principal supplier of military aid to the UN.
These groups don't necessarily need to be rivals unless, one works for the Public Office in Japan. Potential games may involve working for or with these groups. Some are terrorist groups while others are intelligence offices for rival governments.
CIA : Part of Imperial America, the CIA has returned to their roots of covert actions and active espionage. Now the outfit of honor they established before the United States split has long since passed.
HRU - Hostage Rescue Unit : The HRU is an international organization tasked with the retrieval of hostages in a crisis situation. They try to enforce their authority but if a situation may involve issues of national security, they are often denied access.
Human Liberation Front : When Cyberization became commonplace after World War III, a grass roots movement appeared in the corners of the world. They preach a gospel against the onset of cyberization. They feared machines would take over... not from physical force, but by simply turning us into them. They believed once a human undergoes cyberbrain modification, they are no longer human. Humans toss in their sleep. Human memories fade over time. Humans grow old and die when their time has come. As someone sheds more and more of their organic side away, what is left to call them a person ? A ghost is not enough to the members of the HLF, which grew in size substantially after the discovery of Cyberbrain Sclerosis. The HLF believed CS fell from God as punishment to those breaking the laws of nature. It wasn't long before the HLF became finally recognized as a terrorist group. One of their first acts was the kidnapping of the daughter of the CEO of Tokura Electronics, the first citizen ever implanted with substantial cyberbrain prosthetics.
The leader of the HLF for the majority of their existence is only known as "Zebra 27". Under his leadership, they soon followed up the Tokura incident with a major attack on the Megatech Body Research & Development Division Headquarters. This lead Section 9 to one of their first high-profile cases. Zebra 27 is presumed dead at the conclusion of the Aeropolis II nuclear threat incident.
Today the HLF still strike out from hidden locations, fighting the onset of cyberization and the overpowering monopoly of the Internet.
Korinkai : The Korinkai is a known and massive mafia organization in Japan. They have branches all over Japan. Gondo Kanekichi, known to be a key figure in the organization, runs the Niihama branch. They control most of the cyber-drug market in Japan.
Mossad : The world famous Israeli Intelligence Agency which, in this era, has gone a little soft.
New World Brigade : A terrorist group following of the ideals of the Human Liberation Front. They believe man is becoming too much like machine. They believe humans should stay human and that robots should remain inhuman and not resemble or mimic humanity in anyway. They have struck cybernetic and robotic companies in their futile quest to push back the onset of cyberization.
The Individual Eleven : The Individual Eleven is a terrorist group working to free the 3 000 000 refugees currently in camp. The ideology is based all around the need for individualism. In the past, many fear that onset of cyberization cultivates a trend for people to be more synchronous. They would share so many similar memories via the Internet, and could share their memories at will, they would cease being unique and lose the individuality. They believe the Internet may eventually become a group consciousness for the entire world and people themselves, would not possess singular ghosts. The group itself formed from an idea of separate individuals performing terrorists acts without knowing the other members or how many there really are. The true origin of the group stems to a more insidious source, leading from evidence that a virus may have infected cyberbrains with the knowledge to act in a certain way, in fact contradicting their motus operandi. By having similar motivations and sharing the exact same root cause of agenda, they become a more self-contained entity. Because no leader ever came forward and several other cases were connected to the Eleven even though the virus theory never made a connection in those situations, it is thought the events around this terrorist group mirrors that of the Laughing Man case.
Red Bianco : A volunteer corps supporting the interim Mexican government. They fought off both the UN and the American Empire, which covered up their attempted takeover as another war on drugs. They employed several mercenary units. Saito is known to have been working for them during this time and met Major Kusanagi during this time... on the wrong side of the conflict.
Refugee Liberation Organization : After World War IV, Japan took in almost 3 000 000 refugees, mostly from the Peninsula temporarily, as refugees. This situation continues to this day. The RLO is a group trying to gain independence from the Japanese Government for the millions of people still trapped in the refugee camps. They claim to be non-profit but rumors of corruption have arisen.
Russian Mafia : Not nearly as powerful as they used to be, the Russian Mafia is known for kidnapping people and selling their cyberbrains and organs oversees. This black market is the largest financial source for the Mafia. They began this kidnappings almost ten years ago, being dubbed the Blindfold Ivan abductions. They stopped for a short time and then restarted again, only to be stopped in their tracks.
South Sees Mafia : Another known crime syndicate. Little knowledge available.
SVR : SVR is short for Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki or the "Foreign Intelligence Service". It was founded in 1991 after the demise of the Soviet Intelligence wing of the KGB. The Soviet Union's Committee for State Security dissolved along with the USSR in late 1991. Most of its assets and activities continued through several separate organizations.
Headquartered in Moscow, the SVR has offices in Russian embassies, consulates and trade establishments throughout the world. As with its predecessor, the First Chief Directorate of the KGB, it is likely that the SVR continues to be composed of separate Directorates, and Services :
- Directorate S, which is responsible for illegal agents (those under deep cover) throughout the world.
- Directorate T, responsible for the collection of scientific and technological intelligence.
- Directorate K, which carries out infiltration of foreign intelligence and security services and exercises surveillance over Russian citizens abroad.
- Service I, which analyzes and distributes intelligence collected by SVR foreign intelligence officers and agents, publishes a daily current events summaries for the Politburo, and assess future world developments.
- Service A, which is responsible for planning and implementing active measures.
- Service R, which evaluates SVR operations abroad.
The Foreign Intelligence Academy is the main training establishment for the SVR. The operational core of the SVR is eleven geographical departments, which supervises SVR employees assigned to residencies abroad. These officers, or rezidenty, operate under legal cover, engaging in intelligence collection, espionage, and active measures. Although SVR personnel frequently use diplomatic cover when assigned abroad, the SVR frequently uses journalists for cadre work, and many SVR intelligence officers consider it one of the best covers.
The SVR is represented on the Security Council and the Defense Council. It participates in the work of various interagency groups and commissions.
Umibouzu : In legend, it's a Sea Monster. In reality, it is a crack mercenary unit loaded with the most advanced weapon and machines on the market. They worked on the Meguro Recapture Operation. Umibouza is not technically their name. They don't officially exist so they don't officially have a name.
Events leading to the Aeropolis II incident.
Eighteen people were severely injured when 50 grams of C-6 were detonated at the Megatech Body Research & Development Division Headquarters. The HLF soon admitted responsibility with a message leaked onto an encrypted security net, making trace and identification virtually impossible. The security hack indicated member or members of the HLF had substantial hacking prowess.
Only 2 days before, Zebra 27 staged a heist on a military arms depot and was caught on camera. This revealed his presence and his connection to the HLF to Section 9 as the weapons stolen from the depot were used against Section 9's A-4 loadoat personnel in the Bay Area, where the HLF were organizing since the HQ bombing.
Soon after, the Energy Ministry was discovered trying to access Section 6's files on Zerba. An official at the Energy Ministry, Sawamura, had leaked the Arms depot location and inventory to Zebra. Sawamura was also connected to Megatech's Body R&D.
Survivors from the Bay Area shootout, including Zebra, fled to an unsued refugee relief sector, abandoned by the city because of the build up of industrial pollutants (not even the Refugees wanted to be there).
It was in the old city where the HLF's current secret base was located, at the monstrosity known as Aeropolis II. Section 9 moved into the Geofront while Sawamura was arrested.
In the end, the whole incident stemmed originally from a defect in Megatech's main reactor.
Sawamura planned to collect bribes from Megatech's development section in exchange for covering up the problem. The blast of the Aeropolis II reactor, which was prevented by Section 9, was meant to resemble a terrorist act... then Zebra stepped into the picture.
His scheme was to take over the reactor and extort money from Sawamura. He went too far when he contacted Section 9 and claimed responsibility. Zerba 27 was eventually caught on the top floor of Aeropolis II and eliminated.
The SVR was established as an independent entity by Presidential Edict No. 293 dated 18 December 1991. Its specific aims were to provide the Russian Federation president, Federal Assembly, and Government with the intelligence information that they need to adopt decisions in the political, economic, defense, scientific-technical, and ecological spheres. The agency was tasked with promoting Russian Federation policy in the security sphere, to promoting the country's economic development and scientific and technical progress, and providing military-technical support for Russia's security.
On 10 January 1996, President Yeltsin signed the law on foreign intelligence that was passed by the old Duma in December 1995. The law, which identifies the four Russian agencies including the SVR with external intelligence functions, determines the structure, main principles and government control over the SVR. The committees on Security and International Affairs of the Russian Duma have both created subcommittee to deal with intelligence matters.
The Spetsnaz unit Vympel ("Banner") is a counter terrorist unit of the SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service). Originally developed in 1981 as an infiltration unit to conduct infiltration, sabotage, and intelligence missions in enemy territory, Vympel subsequently evolved into a Counter Terrorist (CT) unit, and by 1987, the unit had expanded to a staff of over 500. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the unit was transferred to the Main Administration for the Protection of the Russian Federation (GUO), along with Spetsgruppa "A", and in 1993, the unit was again transferred to MVD's control. After many original members left, Vympel was disbanded and a new unit, Vega, was created, and subsequently the SVR reinstated the name Vympel.
Proving a Ghost exists as something that could be digitized does offer a conundrum on a spiritual side. Does a soul die every time he Ghost dives ? Are we unknowingly copying ourselves and suiciding the originals every time our Ghost leaves our body ? This is where the future got confusing. When information moves, it does not really. It copies itself, deleting the original. It never really moves. If someone's Ghost leaves his or her body, it really does leave. It does not copy. Does a new Ghost appear where it wants, exactly the same, none the wiser ? Does one die every time they attempt to leave their Shell ? Its very possible the Ghost information is so unique, it cannot be duplicated, so when someone's ghost moves, it does really appear to move. Yes, one could argue that its simply a series of switches that turn of and on in succession.
Perhaps the Ghost (our personality) is that which is anchored in our brain, and thus is the reason why it is susceptible to attack from disease and mental illness and (in the future) from Ghost hacking. Our soul, that spiritual part, remains tangible, moving where the Ghost is transferred. Using this theory, the Ghost may indeed by copying and deleting every time it movies but we remain ourselves.
I imagine this debate raging when someone first discovered the ability of Ghost transference. Later, someone invented Ghost Dubbing, actually personality copying. The fact that the duplicates could not be copied and the original faded every attempt, seemed to prove that really only one unique Ghost can ever really appear at the same time.
You will have to determine where your morality sits on this issue, as it always remained a point of confusion whenever I read it.
Okay, the first theory was wrong, this one must be it ! Right ?
Perhaps in the future of Ghost in the Shell, the idea of moving from your Shell is a far off from Science Fiction as the story is to modern day. People do not really dive into other brains. A simulation makes those who dive into others only seem that are physically moving their psyches.
Someone hacking into a database is not really traveling there, but is simply getting the information to appear they are.
So, what of these few incidents of people's ghosts being lost ? What of the reports claiming someone had been able to exit their Shell and download into a new one without physical transplantation ? Rumors abound of a movie theatre built into a cyberbrain where people who entered never came out. A story circulated that a therapist at a CCSS facility was lost inside a patient's brain and never returned. These reports fall into the files of the unexplained. Some can simply be passed off as rumors, urban legends to frighten people. People's souls are bound in their brain and can never leave. Right ?