Shadows of Europe
Corporate Court Ranking (2075): #8 (Previously #2)
Corporate Slogan: “Tomorrow Runs on NeoNET”
Corporate Status: AAA, public corporation
Worlds Headquarters: St. Louis, CAS
CEO: Richard Villiers
Chairman of the Board: Anders Malmstein
Major Shareholders: Richard Villiers (22%), Anders Malmstein (18%), Celedyr (13%), Trans-Latvia Enterprises (11%), Caroline Villiers (11%), Cale Winters (2%), Christopher Winters (2%), Kazuko Yoshiyuki (1%), Chandra Patel (1%), Minor Shareholders (19%)
Internal Corporations: Fuchi Industrial Electronics, JRJ International, Manadyne, Mangadyne, Novatech, Transys-Erika
NeoNET is the primary power behind the Grid Overwatch Division, and they practically invented the wireless Matrix. Needless to say, they’re heavily invested in Matrix infrastructure, along with cyberware, electronics, software, biotech, aerospace, small arms, and many others. As a corporation, NeoNET is pretty fractured. The major factions are controlled by a long-time corporate raider, a reclusive dwarf, and the great dragon Celedyr. Runs for or against NeoNET are a grab-bag, all the time. Randomness can be fun, until that time you end up reaching in the bag and grabbing a scorpion.
Asclepius Int. (Medical Services)
Central Industrial (Heavy Industry)
Everyman (Consumer Goods)
Minuteman Security (Private Security)
S&S Agricorp (Agribusiness)
Visionary Design Works (Architecture/Industrial Design)
Walker Aerodesign (Aerospace)
Pacific Rim Computer Consultants
Living Touch Studios
|Matrix & Electronics
Belle Mead Comm
Cyberspace Development Corp.
We can start all the way back in the 2030s with JRJ International. JRJ was a founding member of the Corporate Court and thus gained a permanent seat, what is often referred to as the “Golden Ticket.” They are a multinational conglomerate and still a legitimate megacorporation, but even Horizon has more assets. I always start with them, just to show the ball before playing the shell game. Richard Villiers didn’t have JRJ yet when he started playing in the megacorporate big leagues, but it’s an important part of the rest of the story. From this point forward the important thing to note is that JRJ International belongs to Richard Villiers and assures a seat on the Corporate Court.
Next big piece of the historical puzzle is Fuchi Industrial Electronics. While the brand name and chunks of the corporation still exist, they are the scattered remains of a once powerful Japanacorp. Fuchi was the computer industry powerhouse owned by the Yamana and Nakatomi families of Japan in the 2030s. Enter our corporate shark, Villiers, who happens to have control over Matrix Systems and the key technology for the first cyberdecks, which most believe he acquired through less-than-legal means. Villiers offered Fuchi the technology in exchange for a third of the corporation and control of North and South American operations. Initial refusal was followed by a timely murder and a more amenable member of the Nakatomi family, who accepted Villiers offer.
With his influx of capital, Villiers purchases controlling interest of JRJ International and now brings a seat on the Corporate Court and a AAA rating to the company. The Japanacorp, with the Boston-born shark as CEO, was destined for internal strife. While Fuchi’s divisive internal pieces may have poured billions into the shadows over the years, it took a few decades and a dead dragon to instigate the final spiral of Fuchi. Dunkelzahn must have had a real problem with Fuchi. It was his bequeathing of stock, in Renraku, to Miles Lanier, Villiers’ right hand man, that drove the final wedge between the divisions. When the cracks became visible, so did the fact that Villiers now held the most valuable pieces of Fuchi NA in his personal portfolio. Triple-A Fuchi broke apart, and Fuchi NA gave rise to the next phase of life for NeoNET’s most turbulent ancestor.
The day the Fuchi Towers in Boston were relabeled the Novatech Towers became a corporate holiday, known as Ascension Day. While Novatech was found- ed on paper on some unknown date in the mid-’50s, this was the date for the official rise to Triple-A status. They were headquartered in Boston, much like NeoNET, owned and operated primarily by Villiers, much like NeoNET, and they got hosed in an event involving AIs, much like NeoNET.
The name of Novatech was appropriate for their nova-like rise to power, flash of apparent implosion, and then their black hole like gravity that pulled other powers to them. Looking for a big win with an initial public offering, or IPO, for the privately owned Novatech, Villiers didn’t realize he was setting the stage for the Crash of ’64. Though flush with cash from the offering, he was also hammered by the confusion caused post Crash and the spread of damaging rumors that Villiers was in collusion with Winternight. Novatech’s reputation stumbled, but their value did not. Still guaranteed a seat on the CC, they faced serious takeover threats due to the coincidence of their IPO and Winternight’s attack. With enemies at the gate, Villiers sought some new friends. From Novatech’s embattled position, NeoNET rose and Novatech went from being the second largest megacorporation in North America to part of the second largest corporation in the world.
One name was all the branch ever needed. Erika was a AA-rated telecomm and electronics giant based in Finland. The baby of Anders Malmstein, it was, and technically still is, the biggest competitor for S-K’s Aetherlink in Europe. As megacorporations go they kept their heads down, focused on dominating their chosen arena while dabbling in other places, and avoided troubles that crippled competitors.
Erika’s primary focus has always been government and industrial data-infrastructure and upgrade. They’ve left tasks like maintenance to sub-contractors so they can focus on the future, not the past. After being a key player in the development of the WMI (Wireless Matrix Initiative) post Crash 2.0, Erika merged with Transys-Neuronet, combining tech expertise and precision craftsmanship with innovations being developed by Celedyr.
If you follow cybernetic advancements, you’ve been following Transys-Neuronet, If you’ve had an interest in the public affairs of dragons, you’ve been follow- ing Transys-Neuronet. If you like stories of intrigue, insanity, and innovation, you’ve been following Tran-sys-Neuronet.
Transys has always been a leader in augmentation innovation thanks to the curious brilliance of Celedyr. As a great dragon curious about the advancement of metahumanity through medical, rather than magical, advancement, Celedyr has kept T-N beyond the fore- front of the field. Megacorporate extraterritoriality, a draconic sense of morality, an insatiable curiosity, and an unrivaled ruthlessness when it comes to his studies have allowed Celedyr, and T-N, to push the envelope and stretch what is considered acceptable in terms of augmentation, including work on augmenting animals, paranimals, and even dragons.
All of that was even before merging with Erika, and eventually Novatech, to become part of NeoNET.
Under the NeoNET umbrella, T-N has added AIs and technomancers to their areas of study. Celedyr has spoken frankly about his beliefs in AI sapience and the rights they deserve right alongside technomancers and their potential to bridge the gap between man and ma- chine with nothing but the mind. The depths to which one could speak on Celedyr can be found elsewhere so I will extend a final important point on his part in the history of T-N and NeoNET and remind that throughout this history he has been the head of Research and Development. While other dragons play at owning and manipulating corporations, Celedyr has focused his considerable mental faculties on augmentation innovations.
Finally the mysterious Trans-Latvia Enterprises. In all the years since they snagged a chunk of Novatech, they have been a giant question mark. Rumors surround them about magical cabals, vampires, templars, and even a society of adult dragons. The key thing to know about them is that they have worked to keep Villiers in check. They don’t keep him from being successful, but they certainly keep the collar and leash on.
As a corporation, NeoNET came into existence in the late ’60s, when Novatech merged with Transys-Erika. After the crash, Richard Villiers and Anders Malmstein met privately to discuss the merger of their two megacorporations. Celedyr had only recently been craftily outmaneuvered by Malmstein and Hildebrant-Kleinfort-Bernal to lose control of Transys-Erika and suddenly he was again outmaneuvered as Malmstein colluded with Villiers to merge into NeoNET. That pair took the positions of CEO and Chairman of the Board for themselves and left Celedyr with R&D Director. The new megacorporation was quickly assessed as number two in the world and Villiers was right back near the top.
For over a decade NeoNET continued to grow and in- novate. They played the megacorporate game like every- one else: hiring runners, bickering internally, and trying to keep the value of their stock moving upwards. Since their creation, they have played a part in many major world events. Right now, though, I’ll limit my history to just two instances where they’ve made their mark, because those two are still making a significant impact today.
As the innovators of the WMI protocols, they were the first to be approached by Danielle de la Mar to create the Matrix we now all know and hate. While at the forefront of this “innovation,” they were also battling in- ternally about cognitive fragmentation disorder and the possible source being a NeoNET operation that was not signed off on by Villiers or Malmstein. The new Matrix has been a huge corporate success as they’ve slapped the shackles back on information. The new Matrix is now leading toward a world SIN registry and the push to put shadowrunners of the world back onto the SINless list, rather than the multi-SIN list.
NeoNET Johnsons are probably the most hard-to-peg lot. That is probably because, really, NeoNET does not exist. You’re either dealing with Novatech, Erika, or Transys. Heck, there is even some ancient Fuchi stuff in there, too. So really, without a central corporate culture, you can hardly expect Johnsons to share a lot in common.
NeoNET Johnsons form a sort of web of secret agents. While there is a lot of competition between them to raise the best team, Johnsons delight in showing off their ponies by lending them out to their colleagues. So if you feel like a used whore being swapped around at an orgy, you’re working for NeoNET. This international coterie of back-channel Johnsons, set up by the legendary (and now CFD-afflicted) Miles Lanier, works better and smoother than official NeoNET channels and exists under a parallel sort of leadership. This is actually beneficial to runners, as Johnsons know a lot of stuff they aren’t supposed to know. They are as wary as you are of the “official” NeoNET. Thankfully, this translates into NeoNET having a very low ratio of betrayal since Johnsons are out to build reliable teams first and foremost. However, do expect to be shipped around the globe.