The Greens

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To step into the world of the Green family is to enter one of elegance, culture, and refinement. To the western public, they are celebrities — media icons, regularly seen gracing financial journals and fashion magazines alike. To the tightly-knit cliques of champagne-swilling socialites, they are highly respectable Old Money. In the political circles of Washington, they are wealthy industrialists to be courted for endorsement and donations.

To millions across the globe, they are The Boss — and the tone with which those words are uttered ranges from bored acknowledgement in boardrooms to fear and respect in back alleys, for the Green family's vast wealth has its foundations in hearts blacker than midnight. Money buys a veneer of respectability and layers it over terrified silence, for breathing a word of the steady stream of black-ops programs that keep the Greens on top will see your death in either a tragic accident or backstreet mugging within a week.

Of course, that's if you're lucky or not worth the hassle. Hazel Green's mansion has so many interesting things in the laboratories beneath, after all...

Contents

History

Part 1

The history of the Green family is a long and distinguished one, of which the family themselves are considerably proud. So say the official biographies of their scions, at least, which claim the family funded almost every major invention and notable cause of the 19th and 20th centuries up to and including the Wright Brothers and penicillin. Needless to say, serious historians (and Boardies) disagree, instead pointing to the patchy strings of evidence and records that draw a picture of a ruthless dynasty of money-grubbing powerbrokers who channel their wealth into their twin major interests — acquiring as much power and yet more wealth as possible, by fair means or foul. Mostly foul, with a network of elite lawyers and PR firms providing a polite veneer over brutal underworld connections reaching from the cocaine fields of Cambodia to the Triads of Hong Kong.

The family's origins, as the name suggests, lie in the earliest English settlements of the Caribbean and southern plains of North America (A surname trace reportedly found documents naming the family dating back to the Roman patricians. It also found a claim to the English throne, unclaimed controlling interests in five global companies, and title deeds purporting to state the family owned all Ohio. The ink was still wet.) - portraits in the Green collection include dashing privateers and corsairs, but a more likely source of their wealth were the corrupt officials and factors in American coastal ports. Savvy land investments turned such ill-gotten gains into the foundations of their future financial might, and the decidedly insalubrious truth about their opulent upstate mansion in New Jersey is that it was paid for by plantation slaves far to the south.

Such southern connections made the family firmly Grey in the American Civil War, the better to keep their cheap labour source, but with classical caution the family quietly placed sons on both sides to hedge their bets, such proven "loyalty" enabling them to hold onto their lands with a minimum of skulduggery (and some hefty bribes). The losing half fled to Europe, there to lay the foundations for Green holdings in the "Old World".

The end of the 19th century saw the Greens disdain their old agricultural holdings in favour of the growing steel industry. Already well-established railroad barons, it was a relatively simple matter to add the last obvious pillar to their portfolio — armaments. The changeover was just in time to pay for itself during the Spanish-American war, and historians note Archibald "Archie" Green was alongside Hearst in the shameless yellow journalism that triggered the war in the first place. Needless to say, in two decades WW1 swelled their coffers enormously, adding a little martial pride to their family history with the "heroic" actions of various Greens who, naturally, never went anywhere near the front lines.

After the Great War came the roaring twenties, a period the family thrived upon — somewhat to their detriment. Media investments were bringing in ever-growing dividends, the European rebuilding demanded steel, and the runaway stock market was raking in cash. Needless to say, when the market crashed in 1929, their losses were horrendous.

Only mortgaging their illustrious mansions kept the Greens afloat as the Great Depression hit, and recriminations abounded for years over poor stock management - costing more than one Green accountant (and at least one of Archibald's sons) his head, a telling fact which betrays the ruthless manner by which Archie Green set about restoring the family finances. Disdaining Prohibition bootlegging as too common (although their mansion constantly hosted well-lubricated receptions where the family flaunted their "old money" status), the then-current Green patriarch concentrated on less legal methods, channeling the family talents for PR into becoming a powerful mob lawyer and hiring out estate hands as muscle. His more flamboyant heir preferred blatant war profiteering during WW2 - once again, bribery got them off the hook, although even that couldn't prevent them from being badly burned in the Cuban revolution shortly afterwards. The loss of the lucrative tobacco farms hit the family hard, driving them even further into the arms of organised crime. The very same managers were smuggled out of Cuban jails and packed off to South America to start drug labs organised on the same lines.

Part 2

It was into this wealthy family, already steeped in criminal interests, that the current head of the family was born in the early sixties. Hazel Green was relatively publicity-shy, mostly on the orders of her father, but his hopes of finding her a wealthy match to return a degree of respectability to the family backfired badly when her high-school crush hit the tabloids. Rival magnates gleefully drowned the young girl and her boyfriend in media coverage.

Despite this, the scandal over her "marrying down" and the subsequent messy divorce was barely a blip in the family's social program - despite the best efforts of a furious pater Green. After his untimely death ("Natural causes", it being natural to die after receiving that much strychnine), Hazel's inheritance of both the legal and illegal aspects of the family empire proceeded remarkably smoothly. In the turbulent 80s, her gender was no longer an issue for the Green loyalists, and the family was no stranger to intrigue-laden matriarchs. Crime lords that had a problem with this were replaced with ones that didn't.

In more public arenas, sensing the writing had been on the wall for years in the family's manufacturing industries, she sliced them off and rapidly invested in microelectronics and fast food, cunningly parlaying the criminal drugs cartel into a respectable pharmaceutical company with astonishing speed. The old family shipping concern, once used to ferry steel, was instead tacitly given over to smuggling illegal refugees from ports across Asia and Oceania, notably Hong Kong and Sydney, handily proving the Greens with a source of indentured muscle.

With her assets firmly modernising, and with a new generation of "management" ready to respect her hands tightly on the reins, Hazel entered the 90s with her own agenda. Her technology and medical investments were reaping dividends in research and bringing in steady income on patents, but the point at which she saw the potential for less therapeutic uses for them is unknown. Regardless of cause, it was immediately after glasnost that she began recruiting ex-Soviet specialists and equipment in the realms of hypnotism and brain research, looting the infamous Russian "sleep laboratories" ruthlessly and offering the legions of destitute former scientists more work, provided they asked no questions about their research. Within five years, she had assembled a formidable team of dedicated mind control specialists, all of whom were quickly put to work on new and improved ways to dispense with the need for negotiation and bribery altogether. While information on their results is patchy at best, it is assumed that by now stable and dependable "co-ercive treatments" exist. Certainly the Green mansion is now infamous for boasting a docile gardening staff packed with former criminal masterminds, all of whom presumably angered the "Green Queen" in some manner.

It was this, and the public displays of power Hazel used to take over what few dregs of the Hong Kong triads she didn't control in the infamous pre-handover riots in 1996, that earned her the underworld moniker of "The Green Dragon" - later to cross the Pacific to the more public "Dragon" nickname now familiar to all but the Green-owned media.

Her current priorities appear to be a steady program of advancement into Eastern Europe, on both sides of the law, now that the Iron Curtain is down. Caspian Sea oil (and the decaying Russian industrial structure) would doubtlessly secure Green power on both sides of the Atlantic. Hong Kong's reversion to China (and the Chinese government's brutal purges of organised crime) may well be hitting her recruitment in the Far East, implying ties to the Russian mafia will fill the gaps. As to any more ambitious aims, the implications of her advanced mental research are extremely disturbing. Potentially, any or all of the hundreds of wealthy patrons of Green hospitality could be under their control, and exactly how total said control is remains unknown.

Given all this, it is ironic that the worst recipients of such techniques appear to be her own children, who claim Hazel uses the equipment to instil fear, respect, and (perhaps most telling of all) to quash any dissension especially where deviant activity is concerned. It appears the family drive towards a respectable image is not dead yet...

Corporate Empire

The Sunday Times "Rich List", of the year Michael Green left for university, placed Hazel Green 26th. These were merely the assets she would admit to in their interviews. Forbes, after a detailed investigation, estimated her corporate holdings to have a net worth of roughly US$18 billion. Within a month of the article being published, their financial editor was killed in a tragic rail accident.

In the wake of Enron, demands by the US government for "transparent accounting practice" produced a grudging admission by the accountancy firm of Burrough & Anderson that the real figure was nearly twice that. Icy glares from the FBI made them "suddenly find" a further $80 million, but the volley of vengeful lobbying subsequently unleashed by the Greens at the White House crippled any attempts to follow up.

Speculation suspects the real figure to be between three and five times the US government's estimates. At least. From third-world pharmaceuticals to Alaskan oil, the Greens have their dirty fingers in a staggering number of tills - and yet, they remain aloof from such "mundane" matters in the public eye, the common Board myth of a vast conglomerate remaining just that.

The telling presence of their henchmen in so many boardrooms tells the real tale, however - with layers of financial and legal cutouts saving them from any embarrassment if their skulduggery were to be revealed, the family prefer to control their assets via strings of offshore trusts, front companies, and distant tax havens. If Embarrassment does strike, then the "independent" audit firms brought in to clean up are invariably firmly within the draconic fist. When challenged over this, their response is invariably that such activity is merely good business practice.

Science

The name "Maximum Fun Chamber" may sound amusing to the uninitiated, but to any veteran of Green affairs it arouses pure fear. The code-name for the mind control centre at the heart of the family's ambitions, what little is known of the horrors therin suggests Hazel's dream of mental domination is all too attainable. The source of the name itself is obscure, although Board investigation (read: one agent snuck out of the last New Years' party pretending to be drunk) has revealed the Green library does contain a complete set of Paranoia editions.

What is known about the clinical nightmare below the Green mansion is mostly from the supplies it orders — vast quantities of nerve toxins, amphetamines, and behaviour-modification drugs. Small quantities of carbon fibre and several electron microscopes suggest work on nanotechnology as well as drugs. Power consumption is apparently massive, with on-site generators supporting industrial landlines more suited to a steel mill. The few witness reports and rumours corroborate to describe a state-of-the-art medical centre where "patients" are sedated and given extensive drug treatments under some form of encephalographic helmet. A full lobotomy suite is on hand to clean up afterwards.

Her warped masterpiece aside, Hazel Green also controls extensive mundane research labs. The family hold a number of military contracts for high-tech equipment, ranging from fighter jets to night-vision goggles, and quietly disseminate some of it for their own use. It is a brave pilot who approaches a Green corporate jet, and her personal guards and mansion security system use defensive and early-warning systems that would not disgrace a missile silo. A tiny trickle of Board ultratech is also beginning to make its presence felt, as the low-end computers leased to the Greens begin to take control of the systems from human (and thus bribable, and highly-paid) hands.

By any conventional standard, the Greens are highly advanced — dangerously so. The "holy grail" of a one-dose mind control pill is, thankfully, still beyond them...but not for want of trying.

Family Abode

Less Stately Wayne Manor and more the House of Usher, the historic home of the Green family was once the property of a French lord in Ardeche, before being bought wholesale by a past magnate with a taste for the Old World and shipped out, brick by brick, to the New Jersey estate where it stands today. A grim atmosphere and the dark stone used in its construction have earned it the nickname "Decerto", after the setting of Alone In The Dark.

While the building itself is forbidding enough, it is the maze of underground bunkers and caverns installed during WW2 and the 1950s that provoke the most fear from visitors. The bunkers are self-contained, self-powered, and nearly self-sufficient, and it is here that the Dragon conducts her extensive research on those who get in her way. Underground tunnels lead from a helipad in the grounds to the mansion's garages and beyond, allowing occupants to come and go unseen. The mansion's servants' quarters house the medical staff as well as the thugs used as guards, and are thus carpeted in surveillance equipment.

Which is not to imply that the rest of the house is lacking in microphones, cameras, and other observation methods. The interior's fine statuary and elegant architecture hide enough eavesdropping devices to keep a platoon of operators constantly busy, and Hazel herself oversees matters either from her private apartments deep within the mansion, or via the dozens of network links scattered throughout the house.

All is not gloom and doom at Decerto, although it is statistically higher than average. The inhabitants have amassed a considerable collection of fine artwork, which it is even open to the public on occasion - although discreet guards and barriers ensure no-one strays from the "sanitised" areas. When one tires of walking along endless picture galleries, the massive ballroom used to host the family's famous New Years' parties ranks as one of the finest in the state, with its wall-to-wall marble cladding and panoramic views of the grounds. The grounds themselves consist of several acres of well-kept parkland and landscape gardening, lovingly maintained by a team of single-minded groundsmen who bear a deeply worrying resemblance to certain missing crime bosses. Despite their lack of mental facilities, they still manage to weed around the myriad hidden cameras and bugs.

As a final note, although perhaps it is best considered an extra security feature, mention must be made of Amadeus Green's "garden maze". A classic hedge maze built in the 19th century during the Victorian fad for "surprise gardening", it contains dozens of "amusing" hydraulic traps, gimmicks, and ways to combine a warped sense of humour with jets of high-pressure water. Later incumbents kept everything maintained (and armed), out of "reverence" for the old man's favourite toys. In the modern day, it is sometimes used as a method of checking how intact a "patient"'s remaining mental facilities are.

Greens & The Board

The Greens and the Board officially get along like a house on fire. Indeed, there are a lot of people running around screaming and valuable property is getting torched, but perhaps a better way of putting it would be "not officially at each other's throats". To the secretive Boardies, the Greens are powerful allies through which they can launder funds and provide resources, and to the Greens the Boardies are a valuable source of intelligence and technology that can, literally, be found nowhere else. This doesn't mean either side does anything so naive as trust the other, of course, despite their shared Nemo base deep in the Pacific.

Their first meetings were accidental — Hazel Green's paranoid surveillance of her jet-setting children led Green pointmen to discover curious Boardies. A bitter turf war followed as both sides attempted to discover just who was so interested in these people, until word got back to Hazel Green of just how bizarre these Boardies were. Eventually, via delicate negotiation, she offered a truce.

Initially horrified to discover her mind-control experiments, the Board refused all further contact...until, as often happens with Boardies, a new Director chose a less extreme stance. Seeing the value of friendly bids on their plans for Nemo, the Board re-opened negotiations with an intensely curious Hazel, herself eager to get ahold of the incalculably-valuable spying potential of Board speculation feeds. Cautiously, both parties accepted each other's offers...and the status quo followed, as both sides parroted reconciliation while quietly sharpening their knives.

For now, the Board prefer to foster the belief that they are merely another conspiracy in a world littered with cabals. The family just doesn't need to be burdened with little things like, say, the Funky Horror...let alone the true nature of the Board's mission. Hazel suspects they aren't telling all, of course, but then it would only be natural for a like-minded organisation to keep some secrets.

Notable Greens

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