Shadows of Europe
Corporate Court Ranking (2075): #4
Corporate Slogan: “The Way to a Better Tomorrow”
Corporate Status: AAA, private corporation
World Headquarters: Tenochtitlán, Aztlan
President/CEO: Flavia de la Rosa
Major Shareholders: Undisclosed
Dominant Business Languages: Aztlaner Spanish, English, Nuevo Nahuatlt
If you’ve bought any kind of consumer goods recently, chances are you’ve contributed to Aztechnology’s bottom line. Sixty percent of the goodies you find at your local Stuffer Shack (ninety percent if you count the Stuffer Shack itself) come from the Big A. They make everything from chemicals to trideo-game software to military goods and magical supplies. They’ve got their fingers in more pies than just about any other mega, and their public relations campaigns are second to none. Which is good, because they’re also all about blood magic and evil conspiracies. Allegedly. Just don’t say anything about that within ear- shot of the Big A’s ferocious legal team.
Top of the Pyramid:
- Flavia de Rosa
- Domingo Chavez
- Domingo “Ding” Ramos
- J.J Arvin Jr.
- Necali Xólotl
- Marisol Deocampo
|Major Divisions & Subsidiaries/Brands:|
|Aztechnology North America|
|Aztechnology Latin America|
|Air Montezuma (Airline)
Armamentos Murreta (Personal Armament)
Aztech Shuttle Service (Urban Transport)
CEI (Heavy Industry/ Mining)
Channel 12 (Media/ Trid Network)
Corporación Clínica (Hospital Management)
Cuerpos Radicales (Health Care/Clinics)
DhakaSoft (Matrix/ Software)
Energia Viva (Energy)
Free Transit Cartage (Shipping)
Marine Technologies (Naval)
Maritech Enterprises (Aquaculture)
Medicarro (Medical Service Provider)
Microtrónica Azteca (Matrix/ Hardware)
Mystics and Magicks (Arcane Service Provider)
Natural Vat Technologies (Consumer Goods/ Foodstuffs)
Nature-Taste (Consumer Goods/ Foodstuffs)
Optical Dreams (Matrix/Simtech)
Productos Cultivatos (Agribusiness)
Pyramid Arcane Supplies (Magical Goods)
Seguridad Primero (Insurance/Emergency Service Provider)
Soluciones Orbitales Integradas (Aerospace)
Stuffer Shack (Convenience Store chain)
Televisa (Media/Trideo & Simsense Producer)
Trés Chic Cosmetics (Cosmetics)
This unique corporation —the only true national-megacor- porate hybrid in the Sixth World— has also had a unique history, with plenty of events unequaled in the entire corporate history of the Sixth World.
No shadowrunner is surprised to learn that Aztechnology’s roots are buried in crime —drug trafficking, specifically. In the early twenty-first century, three drug cartels —Medellin, David, and Massaya— joined efforts to build their legitimate business interests (some of which supported their illegal activities). Rather than make something entirely new, they bought out a Mexican corporation and named it ORO, which was an anagram of the last names of the three cartel founders as well as, happily enough, the Spanish word for gold.
Whether ORO was intended to be a new career for the leaders or just a sidelight to their drug ventures, its fortunes skyrocketed early in its existence when a large deposit of molybdenum was found off the coast on Panama in a spot controlled by the corporation. This brought in tens of billions of dollars, and suddenly the legitimate business was more lucrative than the narcotics. Not that they instantly disposed of the drugs or anything.
ORO went in a buying spree throughout Central America, diversifying and growing at a tremendous rate while buying themselves into the affections of many government bodies. This was nice, but they soon figured out that they could move a step beyond simply having good relations with government.
The structure of present-day Aztlan did not emerge all at once, and it probably was not even planned by the ORO corporation. It simply was the culmination of a journey that seemed to lead inevitably to that point. While ORO was cozying up to and occasionally buying government officials in Central America, VITAS struck Mexico. Horrible plagues in crime and poverty ridden nations are not easy to navigate, and the government could not handle it. It collapsed. ORO jumped in with medical aid, new infrastructure, and even a Matrix-based voting process to help build a new nation. Calling itself Aztlan to differentiate itself from the collapsed government while deriving inspiration from older sources, the new nation adopted many of the Aztec influences ORO was fond of sporting. The new government and growing corporation worked together exceedingly well, to the point where ORO moved its headquarters to the newly renamed Tenochtitlán (formerly Mexico City) in 2022, changing its name to Aztechnology.
Now, when ORO started supplying voting equipment, there were plenty of cynics who said the supposed civic charity was really a way of controlling future elections —no one could be sure what kind of back doors or other coding ORO had put in to alter results as they see fit. And sure enough, candidates who strongly supported ORO/Aztechnology filled pretty much all of the offices in the land, and while it may have been (as the Big A liked to claim) that people just really, really like Aztechnology at that point, it also might have been that Aztechnology had the fix in from day one.
Once Aztechnology had strong influence in the Aztlan government, they began to believe it was inefficient to worry about influencing several national governments when they could influence one, so Aztlan started gobbling up its neighbors to the south. The corp’s growing military manufacturing capabilities and potent finance capabilities combine with pliant local officials to make most conquests go down as smooth as peppered chocolate.
Just as a teenage child reaches the point where they feel a need to test their powers, abilities, and independence against the will of their parents, the rapidly growing Aztechnology corporation kept pushing against other megacorps, seeing how big it could grow and how fast it could get there. In one of the greatest signs of collusion between the Aztlan government and Aztechnology, the government started nationalizing all foreign corporate assets in Aztlan borders in 2044. Aztechnology had worked hard to obtain their territory, and they decided there was no reason to share it with anyone, including their megacorporate, extraterritorial siblings.
This turned into a major test for the future of the Sixth World and the megacorporations. Imagining the different outcomes of this scenario is an interesting exercise. What if every corp decides the Big A’s actions mean it’s every corp for itself? The era of total corp warfare, which the Corporate Court was instituted to avoid, would emerge, and the battle might end up making the world an even more hellish landscape than it is now. It might also have resulted in the corps taking each other out, freeing the rest of the world from their dominance, giving us the long-desired chance to build something new. Or someone, in a fit of pique about the whole thing, could have just decided to blow the whole planet to smithereens.
None of those things, of course, happened. The other AAAs united against Aztechnology and delivered the first Omega Order against a AAA corporation, instituting Operation Reciprocity in 2048 to pound the living hell out of Aztechnology. Ares guns, Saeder-Krupp tanks, Renraku planes, and more swept through a military base in Ensenada. The destruction was significant, but more important was the message: This could happen again (and again and again) if we want it to. Aztechnology caved, somewhat, and signed the Veracruz Settlement.
I say “somewhat” because the settlement did not punish Aztechnology as harshly as some megacorps wanted. The exact terms have never been made public, so there is a possibility that there are some hidden provisions that would make the whole thing seem more harsh toward the Big A, but to most observers it seems as if Aztechnology kept pretty much all the assets they nationalized, while giving up some fines or something.
The Omega Order was not the only setback Aztechnology suffered. In 2061 the Pueblo Corporate Council kept them from moving into Los Angeles, and then later that year Ghostwalker emerged from the Watergate Rift, descended on Denver, and kicked Aztlan the hell out of the city he claimed as his own.
As any such power would do after suffering such losses, Aztechnology looked around for someone to hurt, and they settled on rebels who had been occupying the Yucatan peninsula. They eventually took care of the rebels, but not before losing a CEO to assassination in 2064 and having toxic spirits cause chaos all over the peninsula. Then 2065 rolled around, and the Corporate Court made Horizon a AAA corp, putting a PR competitor in Aztechnology’s face. By that point, Aztechnology had endured enough and was ready to do what it needed in order to get its mojo back. It began gearing up for war.
Aztlan had been able to move south through Central America at a solid pace, but once it came close to South America, its progress slowed. They did not have any real influence with the nation of Amazonia, and that along with the political complications in the city of Bogotá halted their advance for a time. But when Az- technology has their sights set on something, there is no such thing as stopping —just changing tactics. They engaged in a number of activities, from subverting the city government and local institutions to corrupting the ecosystem of the Awakened rainforest, and eventually they pushed Amazonia far enough. War broke out, though more of a continual guerrilla war than a large-scale massive-army-on-massive-army conflict. The fighting went on for three years, dragging Horizon into the PR fight and Saeder-Krupp into the battle to rebuild Bogotá, but eventually Aztlan came out on top.
The spoils may not seem that significant —two large cities, Bogotá and Cali, as well as a border extension sixty kilometers to the south, but the symbolic value of beating back an enemy was worth a lot to the Big A. They had their swagger back, which made the world understandably nervous.
While Aztlan and Aztechnology won the war, they did not come out unscathed. Most damaging was the combined attack of a hurricane and the great dragon Sirrurg on facilities responsible for processing eighty percent of Aztlan’s food supply. That put the nation in a difficult spot, and they scrambled to find sources of food to keep the population of the nation fed. As it turned out, many corporations were willing to assist the nation —as long the Big A gave them the terms they wanted. Wuxing came up with a detailed financing package, and Aztlan’s need was so great and immediate that their lawyers and accountants did not have time to crunch all the numbers and run through the details as much as they would like. They removed some of the more draconian terms during their curtailed review, but there are still some significant escalators in the repayment terms that will keep Wuxing rolling in prosperity while keeping Aztechnology disgruntled for years to come.
While the famine has been problematic, the Aztechnology PR machine is too skilled to let such a vital opportunity go to waste. Images of hungry Aztlaner children have been spread throughout the world, and several charities have sprung up to help them. Many of these, of course, are Aztechnology fronts that will use the money donated to them to buy food from whatever sources they can but ensure they are shipped by Big A subsidiaries, so at least some of the money will stay in house.
The sympathy Aztechnology has engendered for their plight has brought other advantages. In late 2074, a storm of mysterious origin hit Denver, providing cover for Aztlan forces to move in and take part of the city belonging to the PCC. This was, of course, wholly un- lawful, and any of the nations with a sector in the Treaty City would have been well within their rights to demand swift and immediate action against the invasion. And Ghostwalker would have been only too happy to oblige. But building resentment at Ghostwalker and famine-inspired sympathy for Aztlan led to the reprisal being nothing more than a few stern warnings. More than three years later, Aztlan retains its hold on the sections of the city it took.
The exact opposite of Ares, Aztechnology suffers from the worst reputation in the shadows of all the corps. To be fair, this stems from their overall agenda, which can only be described as a plan to dominate or destroy the world, rather than their individual dealings with runners. If you can look past Aztechnology’s agenda, they are excellent employers (though they have the unfortunate habit of trying to pay in Aztechnology scrip. Just tell them no and continue with your negotiations). They typically provide a lot of assistance to teams and offer fair to generous payment. Azzie Johnsons do have a tendency to hide their affiliation, though. In such a case they’ll mimic the employment conditions of other corporations.