The Swarm's Relations with Others
Despite plying the path between Outer system strongholds, the Stars swarm maintains relationships with all sorts of people and groups. Because they are a reliable and discreet way of traveling between several highly populated areas with no questions asked, they find themselves relatively well liked. Characters from nearly any background can find themselves traveling with the scum and can expect most of the people to react to them first by their @-rep but also based upon any factional affiliation they may claim.
Since a large number of the Stars crew are part of anarchist collectives, they tend to get along well with other anarchists. It is not uncommon for an anarchist from the outer system to catch a lift from the flotilla to get from place to place to avoid the bothersome customs inspections that result from egocasting.
There are a few argonauts participating in some of the collectives in the swarm. They are typically found running the long-range scanners and operating the media and research facilities on various craft. Argonauts are generally held in high regard and are welcome aboard nearly any ship of the fleet.
Given where they usually travel, the flotilla doesn’t usually chance upon many brinkers. However, their willingness to send at least a shuttle to any outpost, no matter how remote, has earned them a great deal of respect among some brinkers who are grateful for the occasional visits.
Operating internally with a gift economy, the scum do not have many problems with criminals, and they do their best to deal with any antisocial elements within their own ranks. Of all of the autonomist factions, the scum are the most tolerant of criminal organizations within their ranks. The Stars swarm is home to a thriving red market, and members of the fleet regularly deal with crime syndicates around the inner system. Aside from the Bahala Na, the scum are careful to not allow any other criminal organizations to become too entrenched within the swarm.
Unlike most other groups, the scum are relatively accepting of exhumans. They certainly understand the desire to push boundaries and engage in personal experimentation—as well as being considered outcast for these desires. Also, like the exhumans, they are able to see a positive side to the Fall and TITANs though they don’t quite go so far in fetishizing it as many exhumans do. For this reason, the Stars swarm will often offer shelter or asylum to exhumans on the run in the inner system until they can find a more permanent home.
In the swarm’s early years, several ship crews advocated for the fleet to adopt an Extropian economic model. When a serious dispute broke out over fuel supplies one of the Extropian ships was hoarding and not sharing with the swarm, these ships were expelled from the fleet (though the Extropians claim they left voluntarily, of course). Since then, the swarm has held a cool attitude towards Extropians.
The scum of Stars are willing to deal with hypercorps and their representatives, but prefer to do so from a distance. Citizens of Consortium or other hypercorpcontrolled habitats are allowed on the flotilla but are carefully watched until they are able to establish trust among the scum community. Hypercorp executives and members of Oversight are generally only allowed aboard the swarm’s craft in exceptional circumstances and are otherwise treated as hostile adversaries.
Unless they are refugees or rebels, Jovians are not welcome aboard the swarm—nor are most other
bioconservatives. This is a hot issue however, since the Stars fleet does travel through Jovian space.
Members of this faction are welcome and many call the Stars their home. It helps that the flotilla stops by, and is willing to supply, many mercurial and uplift habitats in the outer system.
The Stars scum gets along well with other scum swarms. It is not unusual for some ship collectives to break away from one swarm in order to join up and travel with another for a while.
Of all the groups in the solar system, the scum of Stars probably have the least use for socialites. The feeling is, for the most part, mutual, since most socialites see scum as terribly tacky and unrefined. From time to time, however, some daring or stupid socialite decides that slumming along with a scum swarm is the new “in” thing. They are generally tolerated unless they make too big a nuisance of themselves, at which point they can expect to find themselves dropped off at the next habitat the flotilla stops at, whether they wish it or not.
The Stars swarm doesn’t encounter many Titanians on its chosen course. The Commonwealth’s citizens are welcome aboard the flotilla and there are a few members of collectives who are also Titanian citizens.
In general, the ultimates are welcome guests as long as they remain guests and don’t try to stick around for too long. The more authoritarian aspects of the ultimate credo and their social Darwinist tendencies cause a lot of tension among the Stars scum who take a more relaxed outlook on life. However, both groups are interested in radical self-improvement and ultimate visitors are often willing to exchange new body modification tech in exchange for the newest scum creation.