Allegiance: Neptune Foundation [Trinity Continuum]

Open Development, Trinity Continuum

Production update: Given it’s been a couple of years since this party got started, inevitably there’ll be some hiccups in the availability of originally-assigned authors. I smoothed some of those over this past week, but otherwise things seem to be going well. It’s really great to see this lumbering monstrosity moving forward, let me tell you. I’m sure I’ve said that a lot, and I’m sure I’ll be saying it more yet.

I was going to post Jack Norris’ Triton Foundation writeup as this week’s teaser, but I posted part of that section as a small teaser back in October. And we’ve been seeing a lot of Jack’s material lately (excellent though it is), which isn’t fair to everyone else. So let’s show you something related from Craig Oxbrow, which you haven’t seen before…

macgyverThe Neptune Foundation

“There is always hope. We have to share it.” — Dr. Susan Rothstein, speaking at a press conference in 1968

The Neptune Foundation is a global charity dedicated to providing aid in emergency situations, working directly with those in need as well as sharing its support and expertise with fellow disaster relief organizations. It provides frontline medical care and logistical support, emergency rescue support and relief.

An independent offshoot of the Æon Society, the Foundation’s prominent international profile derives from its groups of specialists going into danger to rescue victims of disasters, broker peace in conflicts and deliver medical assistance in health crises.

History

The Neptune Foundation launched on July 18th 1968, the forty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Æon Society. Before this, Æon responded to humanitarian crises on a case-by-case basis, while many of its prominent members focused more on scientific research and investigation.

Whitley Styles, then leader of the Æon Council which oversees all of the Society’s projects, and last active member of the original founders, first suggested a separate organisation dedicated to immediate response to developing crises a year earlier, following discussions with Æon founder Max Mercer during one of his infrequent visits to the Society’s home in Chicago.

Following months of preparation, recruiting and networking with other charitable and government bodies, Styles announced the formation of the Neptune Foundation and appointed its first director, Dr. Susan Rothstein, an American trauma surgeon formerly a volunteer and then a regional director of the Peace Corps. Years working on the frontline of conflicts around the world, and in an emergency room at home in New York, gave her firsthand knowledge of what aid could do in a crisis. She had previously approached the Æon Society for aid in funding free clinics in impoverished areas of American cities and worked to develop projects in this area, and Styles knew she would fight her corner and make the Foundation a success.

The Foundation quickly gained prominence for its variety of philanthropic projects, but became world famous with members helping people in need around the world, often in the most extreme and dangerous conditions. Just a few months after the Foundation launched, a team of Neptune engineers and firefighters worked with a drilling team to rescue fifteen workers trapped more than a mile underground in one of the world’s deepest mines following an earthquake.

Since then, members have delivered medical supplies to outbreak zones, rescued crews from burning oil platforms and passengers from sinking ships, negotiated the release of hostages during revolutions, provided logistical support to public works and defused explosives in war zones. By the time Dr. Rothstein retired in 1985, the Neptune Foundation had already become a household name.

The next director, Dr. Adane Tegene, was head of a Neptune clinic in his native Addis Ababa before injuries sustained destroying a landmine lead him to take a desk job with the Long Term Development division, taking over Rothstein’s role after four years in charge there. He stepped down in 2001, to be replaced by his former deputy Lauren Devereaux, previously director of a homeless charity in Montreal. Like her predecessor, she focuses mostly on the less glamorous projects, largely leaving First Response teams to work independently. Today, many hold the Neptune Foundation in high esteem, governments listen to its representatives, and thousands owe its members their lives.

Goals and Methods

The Neptune Foundation’s goal is simply to help, to save and improve lives in any and every way possible. It focuses on developing crises as well as ongoing situations, providing immediate assistance as well as long-term aid. Highly skilled experts in a variety of fields stand ready to mobilize immediately in an emergency.

Based in Chicago, the Foundation maintains centres across the world. Major facilities are based in Washington, New York, San Francisco, Austin, Toronto, Mexico City, Rio, London, Paris, Oslo, Tangiers, Cairo, Johannesburg, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney. Smaller centers can also be found, charity shops and sponsored projects and permanent installations such as clinics, hospital wings, schools and education centers around the world.

Fundraising is a constant concern, as the Æon Society cannot afford to pay for every worthy project Neptune’s members would want to support, so the Foundation relies on donations from the public and funds provided by a chain of charity shops around the developed world. Foundation members have access to the best equipment available, including some advanced technologies beyond the budget of governmental emergency services, as well as rescue vehicles equipped for rapid mobilization and communication gear built for extreme conditions. Standard First Response field kit includes a ruggedized smartphone with GPS tracking, a first aid kit, and all-weather clothing with reinforced joints. All teams have access to off-road vehicles, and a variety of other craft depending on their location.

The Foundation provides access to private jets and expedites international border crossing, so First Response can send specialist help anywhere in the world within twenty-four hours. World leaders in a wide variety of fields will respond to the Foundation’s calls for aid, joining missions or providing support from home online, by telephone or video conference. Recently a group of Neptune engineers began limited field trials of telepresence systems developed from systems currently used in hospitals and in bomb disposal, allowing experts to take part in missions by remote control. Last year, a structural engineer in Chicago repaired a crane in Dallas using a telepresence arm carried by a rock climber hanging two hundred feet above the ground.

Membership

The Neptune Foundation seeks to recruit capable, determined people for each of its wings, with particular groups favouring particular strengths and aptitudes. It actively recruits in colleges and universities, draws from emergency services, and approaches individuals with particular skill sets that could prove vital in a crisis.

First Response is the most prominent wing of the Foundation, reacting to emergencies as they happen, always ready to go into action. It includes rescue workers for a wide variety of environments, medical personnel, essential service engineers and support staff such as pilots and interpreters. Every major Neptune facility has a First Response team, a number of skilled rescue and aid workers with access to the best equipment the Foundation and other Æon Society affiliates can provide, and can also call on individual members and contacts with a wide variety of specialist skills based around the world. Anyone could provide the skills or knowledge the Foundation needs. First Response teams save lives in danger around the world, from mountain rescue after avalanches to putting out wildfires, from a Neptune-trained astronaut based on the International Space Station recovering a damaged  communication satellite to a team repairing a listing nuclear submarine in the Atlantic Ocean towards the end of the Cold War. This is the division most likely to include people identified as Talents by the Triton Foundation, many of whom are referred over from Triton as Neptune’s more direct approach to solving problems will suit them better.

Long Term Development focuses on infrastructure such as providing seeds for crops in regions affected by famine, constructing wells and irrigation after droughts, safe housing and facilities for medical care and education following natural disasters and conflicts, working with local groups and other aid organizations.

Logistical Support covers the day-to-day practicalities of maintaining the Foundation’s ongoing projects. It contains administrative staff, fundraisers and charity shop staff, volunteer coordinators and liaisons with official bodies. Many of these roles are filled by volunteers and interns.

The Foundation encourages voluntary work and community outreach, and many full-time staff also support other good causes, and receive support in return. You might find Neptune volunteers at soup kitchens, first aiding for charity sports events, or running with sponsorship in a marathon.

Example Characters: Search and rescue worker, paramedic, surgeon, firefighter, engineer, pilot, security advisor, interpreter, negotiator.

Allies and Enemies

The Foundation’s primary allies come from the parent Æon Society and other offshoots such as the Triton Foundation. Neptune and Triton both contain medical personnel, with Neptune typically more focused on immediate aid and Triton on long term treatment. For example, a Triton epidemiologist needing to enter a hot zone might call on Neptune support staff to get her there and back safely, while a Neptune paramedic might work to deliver the cure Triton’s scientists developed. There is some mostly good-natured rivalry between the Foundations in areas where they overlap. For example, a city with facilities for more than one group will often see a regular sporting contest between them, the largest being Chicago’s Æon Baseball League where teams from Neptune, Triton and half a dozen other branches compete every summer.

Other prominent allies include other global aid groups such as the Red Cross, Amnesty International, the World Health Organization and Médecins Sans Frontières. On a local level, people and groups around the world will help the Foundation out of gratitude for aid in the past or admiration of their goals. The Foundation can point teams to potential allies in a variety of places, and the Neptune name carries a lot of weight.

However, even the most well regarded organization can still make powerful enemies. Companies and criminal conspiracies who want to sell what the Foundation gives away, or local regimes profiting from crises, will not welcome their interference. For example, Neptune teams have been forced to flee attacks from a mercenary unit known as the Black Eagles in multiple conflict zones in recent years, and found themselves racing against sales teams from pharmaceutical companies to provide aid during outbreaks.

Storytelling

Members of the Neptune Foundation willingly risk their own lives to save others, going into danger and thinking their way out of it. They find solutions for a variety of pressing issues, work around dangerous hazards, and outwit, evade or parley with hostile forces to save lives. Series featuring the Foundation draw from the subgenre of adventure stories that focus on rescue and aid for those in need, ranging from Thunderbirds to M.A.S.H. to Global Frequency, as well as individual stories of missions to save lives such as Armageddon and Sunshine. “Rescue fiction” series focus on human ingenuity, courage and kindness in the face of adversity as their heroes save people in danger and prevent catastrophes, the qualities the Æon Society encourages.

Neptune members often encounter environmental hazards in their missions, from fire to flood, earthquake to epidemic, so the Storyteller can challenge them in any number of ways. These dangers can be extreme and wild — while a Long Term Development mission helps refugees from an earthquake, a First Response team might have to repair a hydroelectric dam cracked by the tremor and in danger of bursting and flooding the entire region.

Human factors often complicate the Foundation’s missions as well — members might be called on to evacuate civilians from a conflict zone, have to fend off armed looters during a mission to supply aid after a natural disaster, or deal with local corruption to secure aid deliveries. In a series featuring a mixed group of characters, the Neptune Foundation could take the lead in emergency response and bring together experts from various allegiances, or provide aid and support for a philanthropic action organized by another party. Likewise, Neptune members could call on or work with any other allegiance if a crisis demanded it.

  10 comments for “Allegiance: Neptune Foundation [Trinity Continuum]

  1. Michael Stein
    March 3, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    So Whitley hasn’t been put out to pasture yet and was apparently doing some very good work before Utopia and their … whatyacallit … wetwork. No wonder he holds a grudge.

    • marin
      March 4, 2016 at 1:53 am

      Whitley was leading the Council in 1968. We don’t know what, if anything, happened between then and now.

      • Michael Stein
        March 4, 2016 at 9:48 pm

        Damm your right, I didn’t notice the date. It raises another question though, if the events of Aberrant are being moved forward he’s probably not around unless he’s pushing supercentenarian years. Could be done with a bit of latent telluric energy but it is probably pushing it.

        Also I have the urge to re-enact a Trinity campaign entirely with puppets. Puppet Action Role Playing or PARPing if you will, although I’m more of a Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons fan myself :).

        • Ian A. A. Watson
          March 5, 2016 at 3:25 am

          The original edition implied that Inspiration often provides an extended lifespan. Whit was at least still around in 1977 (Aberrant Players Guide), well into his 70s. If you accept Asia Ascendant as canon, he was even still around as far 2122, making him over 200.

          Jake “Danger Ace” Stefokowski — who notably was not a mesmerist or stalwart, but “merely” a daredevil — was born in 1905, but made a name for himself in the Aberrant War as Jake Danger: Aberrant Hunter. He would have been 144 years old at the start of hostilities in 2049, and was still spry enough to fight Aberrants.

          • marin
            March 6, 2016 at 3:47 am

            Terra Verde has an exchange between Max and Whitley, so Whitley officially does manage to get to 2122.

  2. Andrew McGraw
    March 3, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    I hate to ask, but Google images has nothing. What show or movie is that image from?

    Otherwise cool beans. Realistic-yet-still-optimistic-Thunderbirds are go!

    • March 3, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      It’s from Macgyver, apparently.

    • March 3, 2016 at 10:01 pm

      And thank you! 🙂

    • Ian A. A. Watson
      March 4, 2016 at 2:31 am

      That’s Pete Thornton on the left and MacGyver on the right, walking through Phoenix Foundation headquarters, from the MacGyver Season 2 episode “Twice Stung.”

      Contrary to most MacGyver episodes, this one in particular is very Leverage-esque. Mac and Pete are trying to double-cross a conman.

  3. WuseMajor
    March 4, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    First, the Aeon Society still exists?!? Kick-Ass!

    Second, this game has an organization that’s a cross between the Phoenix Foundation and the Global Frequency!?! Sign me up!

Comments are closed.