Shadows of Europe
Corporate Court Ranking (2075): #9 (Previously #7)
Corporate Slogan: “Making the World a Safer Place”
Corporate Status: AAA, public corporation
Worlds Headquarters: Detroit, UCAS
President/CEO: Damien Knight
Major Shareholders: Damien Knight (23.7%), Arthur Vogel (24.1%), Gavilan Ventures (12.2%)
Most shadowrunners know Ares from their Ares Arms division, and with good reason. The Ares Predator is the staple sidearm for the discerning runner. Run by wealthy playboy Damien Knight, the corp has a reputation as a very “American” outfit: gung-ho, militaristic, patriotic, and individualistic —Mom and apple pie, in other words. Don’t let that fool you —sure, they’re one of the better megas to work shadow ops for, but keep your eyes open, because they can be as underhanded as the rest. Ares specializes in law enforcement, military hardware and arms, aerospace (they have five orbital habitats), entertainment, automotive (the former General Motors is also part of the Ares family), and smaller divisions in many other areas.
- Damien Knight
- Arthur Vogel
- Leonard Aurelius
- Daniel Truman
- Michele Borden
- Clayton Wilson
|Major divisions & Subsidiaries|
| Ares Arms
Fleche Armaments (miltech systems)
Israel Military Industries (armament)
| Ares Consumer Products
Cerebrotech (cyberware, optics)
Crystal Optics (electronics/cybernetics)
General Dynamics (electronics)
Leviathan Technical (communications/electronics/cybertech)
Quick Trigger Systems (software)
Unlimited Technologies (hybrid technologies/research)
| Ares Heavy Industry
Ares Integrated Solutions (heavy industry)
General Motors (heavy industry/automotive)
| Ares Services
Ares Global Entertainment (sim/trid production)
Executive Protection Services (personal security)
Hard Corps (security service provider)
Info Santé (medical service provider)
Mercury Express (delivery service)
Wolverine Security (security service provider)
AresSpace Commsat (aerospace/communications)
AresSpace Lifters (orbital construction/transport)
NASA Consulting, Inc. (aerospace/orbital management)
|Knight Errant Security Services|
In the early twenty-first century, wealthy investor Nicholas Aurelius took a huge gamble and merged GM and several other companies he owned into one big extra- territorial conglomerate called Ares Industries, rechristened Ares Macrotechnology, Inc. in 2024. Before the Crash of ’29, the gamble had already paid off big, which led to Ol’ Nick buying up and revitalizing the struggling NASA program from the US government and selling the space station Zurich-Orbital (née Freedom) to the Corporate Court. From there, Ares Industries went on to equip a whole bunch of EuroWars armies, salvage all kinds of space junk left adrift after Crash 1.0, and begin to make itself a household name in the UCAS, home of the corp’s HQ.
On 24 January 2033, just a few months after Nick suffered a fatal heart attack, the future of Ares shifted when a new player entered the scene. In the span of sixty seconds, a previously unheard-of investor snatched up a controlling interest in the company via a series of prearranged Matrix transactions that no one has been able to duplicate since. This new investor was Damien Knight, who has been the public face of Ares for more than four decades. This “Nanosecond Buyout” unseated Ol’ Nick’s son, Leonard, and Knight took over as CEO and chairman of the board.
Though Knight and Leonard maintained a heated rivalry, Ares prospered with Knight at the helm. His initiatives during the ’40s and ’50s included such things as the founding of Knight Errant Security Services and the fostering of what would eventually become Ares Global Entertainment in 2055. Insect spirit hives were first discovered in that same year, but the resultant Chicago disaster remains a major black mark on the corp’s public image.
The rivalry saw Knight and Leonard rotate in and out of the chairman slot, but Knight eventually came out on top. Leonard watched Knight run his father’s empire until the assassination of UCAS President-elect Dunkelzahn in 2057, when the great dragon’s will gave him the out he was looking for.
The Big D’s last will and testament bequeathed his seat on Ares’s board of directors to Arthur Vogel, an eco-lawyer who had run against Dunkelzahn in the election. Ares’s third major shareholder, Gavilan Ventures, was a corporation owned by Dunkelzahn and bequeathed to Nadja Daviar, the former Voice of Dunkelzahn and then-UCAS VP. Leonard saw this opportunity and sold all of his shares to Vogel, meaning that between Vogel and Daviar, they would have enough power to oppose Knight. Leonard then took the money from his sale and defected to AA corp Cross Applied Technologies. Unfortunately for him, during the chaos following Crash 2.0, Knight acquired most of Cross and worked to dismantle what he didn’t buy.
Leonard got the last laugh shortly after Nadja Daviar went missing in 2071, when Gavilan Ventures named Leonard’s son, Nicholas “Young Nick” Aurelius, its proxy on the board. Nick quickly aligned in Vogel’s camp, further thwarting Knight’s agendas. To worsen matters, Roger Soaring-Owl, CEO of Knight Errant and one of Knight’s trusted advisors and confidants, suddenly resigned in ’72 over some undisclosed matter involving UnlimiTech —something bug spirit related, according to multiple insiders— and jumped ship to be a military consultant for the Sioux Nation. The final blow to Ares’s ego was Horizon’s sudden acquisition of the media giant Truman Distribution Network. Though the takeover surprised the whole Ares board, the departure of TDN represented more of a loss on a personal level rather than a fiscal one.
At this point, Ares was rolling in dough. They were positively swimming in defense contracts for the UCAS and had good relations with President Colloton. Knight Errant had become a visible driving force in the war against the bugs. Ares —in the eyes of the public, at least— was the golden boy of the Big Ten, incapable of doing wrong and looked on favorably from everyone in need of firearms, military expertise, aerospace, exterminators, entertainment, and so on.
But much of that was surface glitter hiding internal rot. When the Excalibur problem happened, it revealed a depth of weakness that surprised pretty much every observer. Stunningly, Ares’s fate went from rock-solid to uncertain with remarkable speed.
|Billet: Job posting
Boot: Initial employee training
Brass: Board of directors
Brigade: Division (e.g., Ares Arms)
C&C: Command and Control, corporate HQ in Detroit
Casualty: Former Ares employee/citizen
CO: Immediate boss/manager
Colonel: Subsidiary/division head
Corps: Subsidiaries (e.g., Ares Global Entertainment)
Engagement: Meeting Enlistment
Period: term of employment
NCO: Team lead
Pogue/POG: Person Other than Grunt. Middle-manager
PT: Mandatory training courses
Theater: Area overseen by a regional division (e.g., the South American theater)
Top Kick: Senior project manager
Ares continues to enjoy a mostly good reputation among shadowrunners, though recent events regarding the Excalibur fiasco and hints that it was only the exposed tip of a vast iceberg of problems at the heart of the corp have stirred the shadows somewhat. More than any other corp, Ares tends to recruit its Johnsons from military and security officers. Don’t expect a drill sergeant-esque personality, though. Rigidity has no place in the shadows. Expect rather crafty out-of-the- box thinkers without a concept of morality. Everything is just a figure for them. Ares tends to offer payment in kind a lot. Most runners would obviously equate that to otherwise hard-to-get milspec gear, but little lifestyle perks from Ares Entertainment don’t hurt either.
Be wary, though —Ares Johnsons know they have a good rep, so they know teams won’t expect betrayal. They will use that to its fullest advantage if the situation requires it.