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Lord Liaden

The Full Scope of ARGENT

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Lets talk about the Department of Inhuman Resources. What they are is a supervillain temporary employment agency. It is not entirely that, as these beings also are used for anything ARGENT needs them for.

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Ok here is a question. Would ARGENT sell to/work with VIPER? Or are they just such rivals that even money isn't worth it?

 

 

Although ARGENT and VIPER do compete on some occasions, for the most part they share a productive, positive underworld association. VIPER often buys high-tech equipment from ARGENT, or hires its labs to do some quick, high-quality research. ARGENT has developed a close relationship with many VIPER Nests as their armorer. ARGENT, for its part, sometimes "subcontracts" with VIPER when it needs to resort to overt force.

 

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Ok here is a question. Would ARGENTsell to/work with VIPER? Or are they just such ricals that even money isn't worth it?

 

Canonically ARGENT sells to VIPER.

 

ARGENT mainly works behind the scenes, and doesn't have much muscle on the ground, so they don't directly compete all that much. I doubt either trusts the other, naturally...

 

Lord Liaden provided the relevant quote.

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Lets talk about the Department of Inhuman Resources. What they are is a supervillain temporary employment agency. It is not entirely that, as these beings also are used for anything ARGENT needs them for.

 

As presented, ARGENT doesn't keep a cadre of "staff supervillains" on the payroll, like VIPER does. They create them to sell them, or to develop a reliable empowering process they can market; or as a contract with someone who wants super powers. Their success rate in those endeavors has been spotty at best. (See "ARGENT-Created Superhumans" on the first page of this thread.) The only official ongoing super employee of their creation was Interface, but he was partly accidental, and he was already employed as a mercenary by ARGENT before becoming a cyborg. Typically  ARGENT hires freelance supervillains as needed, since unlike VIPER they don't need or want to build a standing army.

 

Of course if you want to add that to ARGENT you can; but I tend to be wary of trying to make a group all things to all people. Past a certain point you start to lose sight of what makes the group unique.

 

I think we're moving farther away from ARGENT as presented in the materials I collected at the start of the thread. Which is fine; but in that case I don't think I'll have much more substantive to add.

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Canonically ARGENT sells to VIPER.

 

ARGENT mainly works behind the scenes, and doesn't have much muscle on the ground, so they don't directly compete all that much. I doubt either trusts the other, naturally...

 

Lord Liaden provided the relevant quote.

Sorry I must have.missed it. : (

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Scenario idea. Presuming that DEMON has Mechagents and.ARGENT sells them, I don't think that ARGENT would still like DEMON to bring on the apocalypse. Just as the Mob found that it was in bests interest to help the US in WWII, I can see that ARGENT would tip Heroes to DEMONs activity and depending on scenario, perhaps aid im the form of equipment. Untracable of course.

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Hey does DEMON still have its Mechagents? If so since they are techological, would Argent design and sell them?

Looking at my digital copy of DEMON for 5th edition, there are no Mechagents. We got the DEMON brothers (non-powered cultist agents), the outer circle Morbains, inner circle Morbains, the Inverted Trinity, and "the Endimite" Luther Black himself.

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1)  Looking at a general organizational chart for manufacturing companies, I see that product design (R&D) is often separate from the Production department.  Do you think ARGENT would have separate heads of R&D and Production, or would individual front companies each be responsible for both the design and implementation of their own creations?  Personally, I'd think ARGENT might have a separate Production group which can produce tried-and-true items from all front companies, but true cutting-edge stuff is still the purview of the individual front companies.

 

2)  Would ARGENT have an overall Shipping and Receiving department?  Or rather, front companies who handle the shipment of finished products to their clients?  Also handles cases where its necessary to bypass countries' import/export restrictions, bypassing sanctions, etc.

 

3)  Might ARGENT have somebody responsible for the acquisition of special parts / materials needed by various front companies?  I'm thinking some shadowy group who hires mercenaries (normal or super-powered), gathers information on locations where "forced acquisition" is needed, makes the overall acquisition plans, etc. 

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The closest thing to Mechagents in the current DEMON are der Hartherzig Soldaten, "the Hard-Hearted Soldiers," cyborgs built by German scientists during WW II, found in suspended animation in a hidden bunker by Herr Doktor Pandemonium. It's unlikely but possible that Pandemonium might contract ARGENT to service them.

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1)  Looking at a general organizational chart for manufacturing companies, I see that product design (R&D) is often separate from the Production department.  Do you think ARGENT would have separate heads of R&D and Production, or would individual front companies each be responsible for both the design and implementation of their own creations?  Personally, I'd think ARGENT might have a separate Production group which can produce tried-and-true items from all front companies, but true cutting-edge stuff is still the purview of the individual front companies.

 

2)  Would ARGENT have an overall Shipping and Receiving department?  Or rather, front companies who handle the shipment of finished products to their clients?  Also handles cases where its necessary to bypass countries' import/export restrictions, bypassing sanctions, etc.

 

3)  Might ARGENT have somebody responsible for the acquisition of special parts / materials needed by various front companies?  I'm thinking some shadowy group who hires mercenaries (normal or super-powered), gathers information on locations where "forced acquisition" is needed, makes the overall acquisition plans, etc. 

 

Bolo, I'm the first to admit I'm no expert on corporate structure. In fact, most of my suggestions along those lines were inspired by Hero Games's old Corporations source book. So I find your questions both highly pertinent and highly illuminating. :)

 

I will say that generally speaking, ARGENT's front companies allow them to operate with a veneer of respectability and hide some of the corporation's shadier practices in plain sight; but they are not the only, or necessarily main components of the organization, ARGENT is said to have numerous hidden bases around the world for both research and manufacturing, so a significant degree of central coordination of related activities would appear to be necessary.

 

1) A Production Department had not occurred to me, but now that you mention it it makes a great deal of sense. :thumbup:

 

2) Since ARGENT teleports its finished illicit orders all over the globe from hidden manufacturing plants in less populated parts of the world; and receives orders for such goods through covert channels; I would say a Shipping and Receiving Department would be a must.

 

3) I had thought about a "Department of Acquisitions," but hadn't considered all the ways you suggest that term could be applied. Now that I have, I believe it's very logical for ARGENT to have one department devoted to getting whatever unusual items ARGENT needs or wants, whether it's rare or valuable materials, rival companies ARGENT wants to subvert, or subjects for experimentation. Personally I'd still leave hiring mercenaries to the Human Resources Department, but a case could be made otherwise.

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The closest thing to Mechagents in the current DEMON are der Hartherzig Soldaten, "the Hard-Hearted Soldiers," cyborgs built by German scientists during WW II, found in suspended animation in a hidden bunker by Herr Doktor Pandemonium. It's unlikely but possible that Pandemonium might contract ARGENT to service them.

 

More likely, upgrade them for that special surprise.  :winkgrin:

 

Can't you see the heroes' faces?  "Wait, these are WWII Nazi cyborgs - where did they get antigrav tech?!"  (Though you wouldn't want to overdo it, or you lose the whole Nazi cyborg feel.) 

 

And you know some ARGENT tech would get a kick out of making the upgrades seem like old tech, but aren't.  For example, a "Hard-Hearted Soldier"  is hacking into a modern computer... and the distinct sound of a 56k dial-up modem connection is heard. 

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More likely, upgrade them for that special surprise. :winkgrin:

 

Can't you see the heroes' faces? "Wait, these are WWII Nazi cyborgs - where did they get antigrav tech?!" (Though you wouldn't want to overdo it, or you lose the whole Nazi cyborg feel.)

 

And you know some ARGENT tech would get a kick out of making the upgrades seem like old tech, but aren't. For example, a "Hard-Hearted Soldier" is hacking into a modern computer... and the distinct sound of a 56k dial-up modem connection is heard.

Nazi Cyborgs? Wonder if one of them is named Rudolf Strohime? " German science is da best!"

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1) A Production Department had not occurred to me, but now that you mention it it makes a great deal of sense. :thumbup:

 

2) Since ARGENT teleports its finished illicit orders all over the globe from hidden manufacturing plants in less populated parts of the world; and receives orders for such goods through covert channels; I would say a Shipping and Receiving Department would be a must.

 

3) I had thought about a "Department of Acquisitions," but hadn't considered all the ways you suggest that term could be applied. Now that I have, I believe it's very logical for ARGENT to have one department devoted to getting whatever unusual items ARGENT needs or wants, whether it's rare or valuable materials, rival companies ARGENT wants to subvert, or subjects for experimentation. Personally I'd still leave hiring mercenaries to the Manpower Department, but a case could be made otherwise.

 

If I may speak as someone who has worked/currently works for a big company:

 

1) A lot of companies have separate production and prototype divisions.  I could see ARGENT mass producing product for wholesale to VIPER, rogue governments, Teleios, etc. via a Production Division, with the Prototype Division handling the built-to-customer-spec devices.

 

"VIPER sent us an order for another six dozen Jackhammers for their Nests in the Southeast.  Something about Grond being spotted in the area."

 

"Give it to Production."

 

"VIPER is looking to subcontract a network of satellites to mind control Spanish speakers only.  Seems they want to gain a foothold in Central and South America." 

 

"Give it to Prototype."

 

2) I could see Shipping & Receiving (more commonly known nowadays as Logistics...I should know, I have a hand in this) not only maintaining the teleportation network, but also managing front trucking companies that appear totally legitimate but handle more mundane deliveries for ARGENT.

 

3) Alluding to my earlier post, Acquisitions could be responsible for the theft of technologies, either in part or wholesale, from other companies.  IT could steal intellectual property/data.  If either required outside subcontractors i.e. mercenaries, they would be hired through the Human Resources/Manpower Division.  Evil corporate synergy to use a buzzword.  :) 

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Rethinking the Department of Inhuman Resources.

 

Ok...villaintemp services can't officially work. So, what they do instead? Track all the ones they created. They also act as "customer services" for those looking to buy superpowers. They don't exactly care why you want powers, and this create as many heros and "normals with powers" as much as villains.

 

Is this more in keeping with the original scope of the group?

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I quickly flicked through Lord Liaden's list of references, and didn't find this one:

 

From the Champions Villains Volume 1 writeup of Teleois:

"Teleios has worked for ARGENT, but the two are rivals in some respects. ARGENT would love to get its hand on the Perfect Man’s notes, resources, and working materials, since it too provides “biological consulting services” to the underworld at times. If he felt seriously threatened by ARGENT, Teleios would try to replace some of its leading personnel with clones loyal to him and bring the whole organization down from the inside."

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Actually, there's a few other sets of comments about what other villains think about ARGENT. I haven't got time at the moment to pull them out.

 

Here's one, from Book of the Destroyer:

 

"ARGENT
“Profitmongers perverting what intelligence they have for their own selfish ends.”

To the extent he’s spoken about it publicly, Dr. Destroyer’s expressed nothing but scorn for ARGENT. Privately, though, the organization concerns him. Its ability to independently develop technology approaching the sophistication and power of his own, and the increasingly broad scope of its operations, worries him. He’d happily see the corporation destroyed, and would even help out behind the scenes if necessary... though first, of course, he’d like to loot its databases and factories for anything of use."

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Indeed, I paraphrased that passage when referring to Dr. Destroyer on the "Rivals and Enemies" post.

 

It's worth keeping in mind that a great many criminals probably have purchased or will purchase ARGENT's services; or if inventors, could be on ARGENT's acquisitions list. For example, King Cobra's nascent COIL organization is noted as having purchased equipment from ARGENT; while Mechanon hates everyone who has "enslaved" advanced devices, including ARGENT. Rather than try to be exhaustive, I decided to just include villains and groups described as having some sort of significant relationship with the corporation, one that could spawn further distinctive plots.

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Rethinking the Department of Inhuman Resources.

 

Ok...villaintemp services can't officially work. So, what they do instead? Track all the ones they created. They also act as "customer services" for those looking to buy superpowers. They don't exactly care why you want powers, and this create as many heros and "normals with powers" as much as villains.

 

Is this more in keeping with the original scope of the group?

 

Hey, I just point out the official precedents. Please change in any way that works for you -- I learned that mantra from Steve Long. ;)

 

I would absolutely expect ARGENT to track any supers they create, to the degree they're able. Accidental supers or those who escape them often prove difficult to locate. I do think ARGENT cares why people want powers, though. Indiscriminately creating superheroes could come back to bite them if those heroes target the corporation itself, as Nova did. That's why I suggested in "ARGENT Goals and Methods" that any true heroes who unknowingly bought powers or equipment from an ARGENT-backed source would surely find significant strings attached; although probably when it's too late. I wouldn't put it past the corporation to "sponsor" a superhero purely to infiltrate their enemies with a "spy" they can monitor without him being aware of it, or neutralize or even control at a strategic moment.

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LL I was just going to post that I think that covertly ARGENT would aid superheroes. Mainly they would do this for profit. If you build a better lock then make a better lockpick for more money. Also superheroes could be a R&D for them.

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When I state that they don't care, that means that heros can buy powers/weapons/equipment from them, not that there won't be a steep price for them. It is probably standard operating to provide powers they can "turn off" or "counter" or "neutralize".

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Another way the "Department pf Inhuman Resources" could be used as a database on all known superbeings, the source of there powers (if known) and how to counter there powers (if known). Basically Batman's "if the Justice League goes rogue" plan times a thousand.

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Scenario idea. Presuming that DEMON has Mechagents and.ARGENT sells them, I don't think that ARGENT would still like DEMON to bring on the apocalypse. Just as the Mob found that it was in bests interest to help the US in WWII, I can see that ARGENT would tip Heroes to DEMONs activity and depending on scenario, perhaps aid im the form of equipment. Untracable of course.

that stands to reason

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