|“||They often say history is written in blood. The Dominion took it as a challenge.||”|
–General Tyraag vex Kambryan (Ret.), Guest lecturer at Karsian Military Academy, 100 AF
The merest mention of the Travesti will send shivers down the spines of most Sapient Beings. For good reason as well. Eons ago, long before humanity looked to journey to the stars, the Travesti Dominion reigned over a significant chunk of the Galaxy. A reigned that was highlighted by long periods of tyranny, xenocide, and bloodshed. The bloody Dominion was finally toppled when Humanity arrived, finally aiding the Mjolnians in pushing the Travesti out of the Galaxy.
Now, the Dominion has been renewed, and the new alien empire may pose a far larger threat to galactic peace than it's predecessor ever would.
|“||Show them fear.||”|
–Imperator Jok-Kaadaash DCCVII, shortly preceding the Sinner's Night
In the year following the Battle of Homeworld and the subsequent collapse of the Empire, many feared the now nearly-unparalleled forces of the Reclaimers would swarm across the Galaxy, conquering all who opposed them like they did with the Kitsune League.
What most underestimated was the sheer amount of vitriol the majority of the Reclaimers felt to the Travesti, for both the crimes inflicted against their ancestors in the past, and sickeningly high body count collected by them during the War. Many of the Reclaimer leaders felt, bereft of the leadership provided by the Mi-Go, the Travesti would inevitably turn against them, and that alliances struck with the humans, no matter how temporary, would make far more sense in the long run.
They would be proven right. At Karsian Theatre, during the Battle of Sinner's Plains, the Travesti Imperator, Jok-Kaadaash, ordered a purge of all their non-Travesti Reclaimer allies, as well as the forces of the Hydra League in an act now called the Sinner's Night. Though Sinner's Plains would be overcome by Travesti might, news of their sudden betrayal spread fast throughout the Galaxy. Through all the major battlefronts, the defenders watched in shock as the Reclaimer forces turned on one another. Faced with the aggression from both in front and behind their lines, the Travesti retreated to Kitsune Space, now the Skarian Sector.
Though safe behind the Shredder-Grid, a deadly effect that surrounded most of the Sector, the Travesti found their forces crippled, barely thirty percent of their once mighty armada having survived the Reclaimer War, and nowhere to return to save for the irradiated ashes of the once-proud Kitsune League. Rebuilding an empire was a grueling task, and the Travesti were forced to turn to their few remaining allies, the cruelly logical Molluscs, and the omnipresent, microscopic collective known as Xenococcus-Cerebrax.
Restoration following the alliance proceeded alarmingly quickly. By 98 AF, United Alliance intelligence observed the Dominion army operating at one-hundred percent efficiency. While many in NEDA feared the Travesti might once again launch another attack on their old Reclaimer War targets, the Dominion would remain behind their borders for another four years.
The Siege of Canaan, or the 26th Travesti War, marked the Travesties' return as a galactic threat. Two years of bloody war occurred, the horrors of the Dominion matched only by the tenacity of the Ossyrians. When the Travesti armada was finally dislodged from their hold of the planet by the threat of a superweapon. The Travesti, however, would leave their mark, decimating New Ossyria's military, and leaving large patches of Canaan uninhabitable. More foreboding news, however, would come yet again from NEDA: The Travesties' attack was little more then testing the waters. The fleet which troubled the Ossyrians was estimated to compromise of a mere thirtieth of the Travesti Army. This information concerned many of NEDA's members. The Travesti rarely showed restraint in their tactics, preferring blunt show-and-awe to cowl their enemies into submission. This new development suggested that they were growing smarter...
NEDA's fears were well founded. However, the Dominion's sights did not fall on the North, but rather, to the South.
|“||Dear Gods above. It's never ever going to end.||”|
–Brigadier Tamsin Lang, 77th Kahadan Artillary, 92 AF
The Dominion possesses one of the most advanced armies in the Galaxy, and there is little doubt that they possess the largest. During the Reclaimer War, the Travesti fought devastatingly on multiple fronts, with no sign that their forces were stretched thin. While many recall the terrifying silhouette of a Capital-ship sized Fortress tearing it's way through population centers, the armies of the dominion possess far more then simply those powerful machines.
The average Travesti soldier is about 50 feet of armored chitin, venomous claws, and roughly two dozen 30 foot long tentacles of solid muscle. Each is armed as well as your average, mass-produced HMV. Travesti weapons are renown for their lethality, and even glancing shots from their energy-based weapons normally result in slow, painful deaths.
Most of the time, the entirety of the Travesti first wave is composed of such troopers, heavily armed, but lightly armored. Despite being 'only' lightly armored (Or as lightly armored as a giant crustaceo-cephalopod can be), most of the time, sheer numbers allow them to tear through enemy ranks. Often simply looking at a moving wall of charging Travesti is enough to make veterans flee in terror. These armies are usually backed up by additional auxiliaries, such as the infamous 'Corpsemen', as they came to be known on the Northern front lines. Travesti were never ones to waste a potential weapon, and made used of the many corpses laying about on the battlefield. The bodies were taken apart and reassembled, much like a child would with a jigsaw puzzle, and fused with the alien technology of the Mi-Go. Legions of necrotic troops were unleashed on Gaian population centers, simply launched directly from artillery into enemy territory. In addition to these undead monstrosities, the Travesti are also supported by Mollusc Fighting-Machines, a familiar sight to those well versed in Ancient Terra's history, as well as numerous combat drones and mutants. The leaders of these 'packs' are significantly more well armored then the rank and file, clad in hulking suits of Power Armor that make them look more like walking tanks then infantry. They are of course, absolutely bristling with weaponry, and several are even armed with their own point defenses for smaller, harder to hit targets.
The real teeth of the Travesti army, of course, are the Travesti Elite, and their mechanized hordes. The formidable Travesti Mobile-Fortress, or the Squid, as they are more commonly known, towering above cityscapes like almighty Gods of War, are a well known sight for any soldier who fought in the Reclaimer War. Bristling with devastating weaponry on all sides, a single one of these colossal machines poses a grave threat to any military. Travesti Fortresses tend to travel in pairs. Scale, of course, posses a problem. Even the most sharp-sighted crew can miss a squad of soldiers packing Bunker Busters. However, many Fortresses are supported by the Travesti's own brand of Mechs, which rival the Superheavy HMVs in sheer size.
Of greater concern is the fact that the Dominion make use of the Eedohi, personal guard of the Mi-Go during the war. The Eedohi are powerful, hard to kill, and definitely heavily armed. Fortunately, the Dominion possesses only a few hundred of the Mi-Go cyborgs, and lack the ability to produce more, as Mi-Go technology is notoriously hard to reverse-engineer. Therefore, the Dominion rarely use Eedohi cyborgs as front-line soldiers, preferring to save the powerful creatures as guards for important positions.
|“||Blacken the skies, rape the earth, devour the stars themselves. Such is our birthright.||”|
–Nightlord Xan-Xiincgh, Head of the Culling Arm
While soldiers might fear the war cries of a Travesti army, entire worlds fear the silhouette of a Travesti fleet. An entire world can be reduced to a husk in mere hours after the arrival of a Seeder Fleet, while whole Navies will almost always find themselves outnumbered and outgunned by a Reaper Fleet.
Travesti ships are amongst the largest, not to mentioned well armed, craft in the galaxy. To the Travesti, the word 'Civilian' simply does not exist. They can be quickly identified by their somewhat pseudo-organic design, closely resembling that of several species of crustacean, perhaps hearkening back to the Travesti's distant ancestry. For such a vile species, the amount of care and attention Travesti architects put into each ship is surprising, perhaps the closest thing the species has to an art. Patterns and etching decorate the hulls of every ship, and a strange sort of pattern goes into creating the shape of each one. It is said no two Travesti craft look exactly alike. After each battle, the ships are carefully scoured for marks and scars, ensuring they adhere closely to Travesti standards of pristine.
The majority of Travesti strike craft are automated drones. The Travesti themselves are not known for their exceptional piloting skills, as Travesti captains tend to be incredibly blunt instruments, steering their vessels through the middle of enemy fleets and asteroid fields, trusting in their shields and hulls to hold while picking away at their adversaries with their powerful weaponry. While these automated fighters and bombers lack the skill of actual pilots, they frequently come in such large numbers that their lack of piloting prowess becomes irrelevant. And of course, these drones are as well armed as their Carriers. Lacking the need to worry about life support systems or the welfare of a flesh and blood pilot, Travesti strike craft are armed and armored far more heavily than most standard strike craft.
The Travesti Armada is formed of several arms, and each arm is composed of numerous fleets. Each arm serves a separate purpose within the Dominion, ensuring that their forces are a well oiled machine.
The Reaping Arm forms the largest of these, and are the vanguard of the Travesti Armada. Composed entirely of warships and carriers, their priority lies in the complete destruction of their adversaries fleets and defenses.
The Culling Arm usually comes after the Reapers are finished, carrying with them the armies of the Dominion, to lay waste to the undefended worlds beneath them. The Reapers and Cullers often collaborate during invasions into outside territory.
The Seeding Arm scouts out for undefended or unpopulated worlds. Their ships are armed with payloads of irradiated bombs, covering vast expanses of land with deadly radiation. After all life below has perished, they begin construction of Cloning Facilities. Before too long, another world has been adsorbed into the vast Dominion.
The Hive Arm usually stay within Dominion territory. Their task lay in strip mining the numerous, resource rich worlds of the Dominion, and churning out the ships that compose the rest of the Armada.
And lastly, there is the Seeking Arm. Their job is simple: To scout out for new worlds ripe to be taken. The Seeker Arm is, by necessity, the smallest of the Arms, as the Travesti are not welcomed by almost all the Galaxy, and must work swiftly and silently.
|“||they came for the girl in the next cell today. i can't remember her name. i think they put something in the food. can't forget the screams though. theres only four of us left now. there were twelve. the dwarf came by yesterday to pick up the healthiest of us. so what happens to the unhealthy ones?||”|
–Graffiti found in the Chrom Lake Compound, Gaia
The Travesti have never been known for their progress in the sciences. They are by no means stupid, of course, having invented hundreds of new ways to inflict death and suffering onto others. Travesti War Machines and Weapons are widely known for their deadliness, even a graze from a small arm can become lethal if not treated immediately. Terrorists and Criminal Organizations have long had a history of trading with Travesti armaments, despite the fact that the Empire, and later, NEDA, have outlawed their usage. Despite their dangerous cunning with armaments, however, Travesti are, by their nature, neither contemplative not cunning enough to become scientists.
The fragmentation of the Reclaimers, and their post-War alliance with the Molluscs, however, changed everything.
The ancient enemy of Humanity expanded the scientific progress greatly in the years following the War. Travesti troops were equipped with Regenerative Serums, ensuring they lived that much longer through bloody front line conflict. Corpsemen are becoming far more frequent on Travesti front lines. Horrible creatures lurk in Dominion space, genetically programed to hunt down all who do not belong. And the Travesti have even started using viral weaponry. Rumor has it that the Molluscs are working on a Teleportation Device, though thankfully nothing seems to have surfaced from that.
Foremost of this new Scientific branch is the group known as the Circle of Mars. A collective of brilliant individuals gathered from all throughout the Galaxy, they are the brain trust overseeing the Dominion's most recent scientific advances. Curiously, however, many of the Circle are neither Mollusc or Travesti. Even more worryingly, all are part of it by their own vocation.
None of the Circle, of course, are by any definition the most 'stable' of individuals. War criminals, pariahs, or simply men and women of science who do not wished to be impeded by the Galaxy's close minded views of morality, compose their ranks. The Head of the Circle, #772-295-SAK, is considered an anomaly even by his own species. Other individuals include Eliza Nisch, Tyran Xenobiologist and War Criminal, who is said to have brokered a deal with the alien Ulraagi, and Cygan Tavoss, the infamous Jawhen 'Reaper', and former head of Hydra's 'Project Fenric'.
Infamous successes of the CircleEdit
- The Canaan Monolith
Following the Siege of Canaan, New Ossyrian scouts discovered a mysterious object 7.5 miles north of the city of Ariel. The monolithic structure was roughly a kilometer high, made of a gray metallic substance, though witnesses have observed the object emitting a greenish glow. Additionally, around the object, in a radius of exactly one mile, is a complete absence of any plant or animal life. When efforts to remove the Monolith were met with failure, the military cordoned off the 'Dead Zone', forbidding any members of the public from entering. Several new-age cults have been founded, despite the NOR's best efforts, revering the Monolith as a sort of sign from God.
- Destruction of Osaka IV
On the 22nd of June, 106 AF, UAFM officials observed a sudden spike of energy coming from the Skarian Systems. Following further investigation, it was discovered that the planet Osaka IV, had been destroyed, literally blasted to pieces by some sort of projectile, though thankfully long deserted with the destruction of the Kitsune League. It is still undetermined undetermined what exactly destroyed the former League world, though the source has been traced to one of the deeper Travesti worlds. It's suspected, however, that the Travesti are attempting to develop a counter to Mikalovich Warhead.
- Agent Indigo
On the 3rd of December, 107 AF, on the anniversary of the Travesties defeat on Karsol, one of the Dominion's Strangers released a modified strain of the Ossyrian Flu in the population center of Kreed, in the midst of Remembrance Day. With the aid of personnel from the nearby UAFM base, the Karsian military managed to contain and sterilized the mutant strain, now known as Agent Indigo due to the light purple discoloration around the noses of infectees, but not before it claimed the lives of nearly a thousand innocent civilians, and permanently marked thousands more.
- The Shredder-Grid
By far the most well known of the Circle's creations, the Shredder-Grid is a strange effect that surrounds the entirety of the Dominion's territory. Foreign vessels that enter the Skarian Systems soon find themselves cut off from all communication. Any attempts to travel at FTL speeds under the effects of the Grid results in the engines of the unfortunate vessel imploding, more often then not taking the rest of the ship with them. The Shredder-Grid is one of the main reasons attempts at assaulting Dominion territory has been associated to suicide. It's not known how exactly the Circle creates the Grid's effects, though it's suspected that they either managed to reverse-engineer Mi-Go technology, well known for their resistance to any tampering, or they managed to secure a particularly favorable deal with the malignant Ulraagi.
|“||There is no Xenococcus outbreak.||”|
–Secretary of Defense Li Hong Shen, Addressing NOR security concerns, March 17, 102AF
Fear. Far beyond it's vasts fleets and innumerable armies, fear is one of the Dominion's most potent weapons. And to seed fear, one must be amongst the people. And no nation's Black Network has it's talons sunk as deeply as that of the Travesti Dominion.
It would be a grossly inaccurate statement to call Dominion Intelligence one of the most efficient organizations in the Galaxy. Organization implies a number of like minded individuals, working together to form an efficient system.
There is no Organization.
The truth is, the entire network, with it's billions of agents and connections, is composed of a single entity. Xenococcus Cerebrax, the Neural Parasite. The sentient bacteria is well known for being one of the numerous reasons for the Reclaimer's efficiency during the war, as well as acting liaison to the Hydra League's Commander-in-Chief, Allan Fury, the enigmatic 'Stranger'. Xenococcus exists as billions of individuals, connected through a single Hyper-Consciousness. This consciousness is completely aware of each of it's individual bodies status, giving it situational awareness unparalleled by any organization in history. The result: A nigh-omniscient Superorganism constantly feeding its Dominion handlers with intelligence.
One of the entity's major advantages in the Great Game is the sheer ease in which it gains new agents, and the difficulty in tracking down such individuals.
The Xenococcus bacteria is transmitted via skin contact. Once the infectious cells reach the bloodstream, the victim is as good as gone. Thoughts and memories are adsorbed and added to the Collective, upper body functions cease to have any purpose. Whatever is left of the infectee's personality is hijacked by the alien bacteria, used as little more then a subtle took for the meat puppet's day-to-day interactions. External changes are minimal, other than a temporary rise in heart rate, which immediately returns to normal once the parasite seizes complete control (Approximately 0.0001 Sec after blood infection). A number of high-profile individuals have been compromised with this process while being unnoticed for years, the latest of note being NOR Secretary, Li Hong Shen. Infected individuals are classified as Strangers by NEDA, named after the Reclaimer emissary. Researchers throughout the Galaxy have yet to find a cure. Or rather, have yet to find a permanent one. Xenococcus is highly adaptive, and tested cures are almost immediately circumvented after the first time. Test subjects have yet to survive the process.
The process of Xenococcus infestation is not permanent. Which is not to say victims return to society unnoticed. After approximately three or so months, the body begins to react violently to infection. Rapid tissue mutation quickly ensues. Before too long, the infectee is little more then a bloated monster, cut off from the Xenococcus collective, wandering and killing mindlessly until it is finally put down. Of particular note are the sewers of the Planet Vegas, where hundreds of malformed individuals were discovered months after the Reclaimer War.
Dominion researchers have discovered a way of 'sterilizing' Xenococcus, however, extending the process for several years. Individuals 'gifted' with this specialized infection tend to be national officials or high-profile celebrities, where extensive undercover observation is required.
Due to the difficulty in tracking down Xenococcus Strangers, and general lack of information about them, several rumors on the bacterial collective have sprung up, much to the frustration of intelligence organizations Galaxy-wide:
- NEDA has discovered a cure for Xenococcus infection, but withholds the cure from the other nations to hold an advantage over them.
- An airborne strain of Xenococcus exists, and multiple Outer Rim worlds have been completely assimilated. NOR and UFS withhold this information to prevent widespread panic.
- The Circle of Mars has developed a nanoviral variant of Xenococcus, allowing it to infect synthetics such as Exiles and Synthoids.
|“||And after the Death of the Gods, the Travesti inherited the Heavens and the Earth.||”|
–The Coming Storm and the Trembling Nightmare, Chapter 2, Verse 12.
Travesti leadership serves simultaneously as the government, the military, the aristocracy, and the religious caste for the entire Dominion. It maintains a strict hierarchy, with the Imperator at the top, and the unnamed drones at the very bottom.
The Travesti Imperator (or Immortal Imperator of the Known Universe, Heir to the Gods, To Whom All Must Owe Fealty) rules absolutely. The Word of the Imperator is law and must be unquestioned. To do so is simultaneously Blasphemy, Heresy, and High Treason.
Directly below the Imperator serves the Dominion Council, comprised of various senior Masters of War and Dominion (Admirals of the Fleet), Overseers of the Innumerable Hordes (Marshalls), and the High Communicators of the Prince of Chaos (The Priest Caste, who worship an apocalyptic, Antichrist-like entity known as the Nightmare Child. Not much else is known.) . While the Imperator's decisions are final, occasionally he may ask for a secondary opinion. Unfortunately, the current Imperator, Jok-Kaadaash, has died enough times to know the value of outside opinion.
The rest of the Travesti military hierarchy is a vast and complicated thing. Officers often take on more then one commission, while smaller Hordes (The rough equivalent of a Military Corp) are occasionally adsorbed by larger ones in particularly violent battles. Despite this, the Dominion military maintains their own variety of order. Perhaps Xenococcus Strangers double as communication lines, where their collective consciousness would be invaluable in organization.
And finally there are the Drones. The lowest of the low, Drones are not even given the benefits of individual names, existing as little more than glorified statistics. While rankers are cloned from carefully selected gene pools after death (The Imperator and higher-ranking officers often re-cloned with 'improved' genetics.), Drones are selected from base templates, and it's not uncommon to have dozens of completely identical Drones at once. Particularly interesting or exceptional Drones may be studied to see what anomalies and mutations make them stand out from the masses, before being cast back into the hordes, their genetic information used to improve the positions of their betters.
Non-Travesti members of the Dominion form an entirely society altogether. Particularly talented individuals are unofficially seen as favored tools of the Imperator (Officially, they don't exist), while the rest slave away as manpower for those above them, though never under actual Travesti. The Travesti do not keep slaves.
|“||You do realize you've just pissed of literally everyone on the planet, haven't you, you son of a whore's bitch?||”|
–Recordings of Holocommunication between Warlord Jvargen ven Kambrean and Imperator Jok-Kaadaah, After Sinner's Night
To say that the Dominion is a controversial entity in Galactic Politics would be a gross understatement. The Travesti have earned the enmity of nearly the entirety of Known Space, and vice versa.
North-Eastern Defence ActEdit
The Travesti hold little but contempt for NEDA, who collectively hold possibly the only army in the Galaxy who might be able to fend off a full-scale Travesti Invasion. Despite, or possibly due to, this, the Travesti have performed no overt actions against the Act, though Strangers have been rumored to have infiltrated several officials.
Occasional reports of the Circle of Mars dealings with Forgotten Cells continue to flow through communication lines, though they are rare and far between.
Due to Karsol's instrumental role in ejecting Travesti forces from Northern Space, many Travesti wish little more then to lead another attack onto Karsian territory. The Imperator, however, has ordered overt action against NEDA's members, much to their frustration.
However, Agents of the Circle of Mars occasionally raid the less-patrolled borders of Karsian territory, abducting unwitting pilgrims and traders for the laboratories of the Dominion. Additionally, Xenococcus Agents maintain a presence in high-density Population Centers.
Though the Reclaimers struck almost every territory in Mjolnir, The Travesti themselves interacted little with the Federation during the War, other then the occasional cold standoff with it's fleets, and several border skirmishes. The immediate aftermath of Operation Hammerhead saw a rapid withdrawal of the garrison stationed in the North.
During the Neo-Soviet Movement, however, several witnesses claimed to have sighted Soviet forces armed with deadly Travesti weaponry, and even several war machines. Though the Movement was quickly quashed by the combined might of NEDA, investigations are ongoing.
Most of the Dominion view the Union as little more than another part of the Northern Federation. Though Hydra launched a bloody assault into the territory, most of the Reclaimer fleet bypassed the small collective of worlds during the Invasion of Karsol, other than one or two scouting fleets.
United Alliance of Free MjolniansEdit
Of all Mjolnir's nations, The Dominion saves most of it's hatred towards it's closest neighbors. Thousands of years before the first men looked to the stars, the Travesti launched Invasion after Invasion against the ancestors of the various races of Mjolnir. Not one of Mjolnir's natives have ever viewed the Travesti as anything other than bloodthirsty monsters. Even during the Reclaimer invasion, occasional small-scale skirmishes were not unheard off, only prevented from igniting further by the forceful and direct intervention of the Mi-Go.
After the formation of the Alliance, the Dominion continues to collect forces at it's borders. However, no military conflicts have been waged on NEDA yet, and the Alliance is no exception.
Though it's generally agreed by most of the Galaxy that Kanade Orihara is way over her head, being literally an enclave in the Skarian Sectors, the Travesti have, for the most part, left Amaterasu alone. Part of this is perhaps it's proximity to Alliance space, and by extension, NEDA. The Dominion, however, continues to observe the League, and any ship that strays too far into Dominion territory will soon find itself set upon by Travesti patrols.
Ever since their re-founding, however, the Xenococcus collective seems to have taken an interest in League affairs. Amongst Criminal Syndicates and Underground Families, in particular, whispers of 'Walking-Wraiths' fill the ears of those who listen close enough.
New Ossyrian RepublicEdit
The ruins of the Southern worlds were largely ignored by the forces of the Reclaimer invasion, other then the settling of supply lines for the fleets headed for Galactic Core. Dominion Agents observed the resettling of the Rim, though many Dominion leaders saw them as little more then a minor power.
102AF, however, saw the emergence of an invading Reaper Fleet in NOR territory. The forces of the Republic were taken completely off guard, due to heavy infiltration of Ossyrian bureaucracy by Xenococcus Agents, and the world of Canaan was swiftly and brutally taken by the Dominion. Despite the near-depopulation of Canaan, it's forces were able to hold out just long enough for reinforcements to arrive, forcing a showdown between the Reaper Fleet and Ossyrian forces.
The end of the Siege saw the Travesti retreating back to Dominion space, with heavy losses on both sides. It also saw the start of several subsequent raids on Ossyrian territory. And, despite numerous crackdowns, Xenococcus Agents continue to operate outside the radar.
A smaller, lesser known conflict is between that of Hayakawa Technologies and the Circle of Mars. This shadow war is fought not with lasers and missiles, but with thoughts and ideas, as both scientific communities continue to out-think each other.
United Federation of the Southern RimEdit
Like the NOR, the Dominion observed the rise of the Federation after the War. Unlike the NOR, however, the Dominion has launched no invasions against the UFSR, and Stranger presence remains relatively low.
The rapidly heating Cold War between the UFSR and the NOR, however, sees the metaphorical sword hanging over the heads of either faction. The Dominion remains a potential Wild Card in the conflict, should they invade while the War is raging.
To the Dominion, the petty remnants of their Reclaimer adversaries is as good as dead. The scattered worlds of the once-great Empire are not worth the trouble of crossing through NEDA territory, and The Dominion has little patience for the territorial disputes of ambitious Imperial Warlords.
Hydra League/Neo-Hydra CultsEdit
Though the Hydra League aided the Reclaimers during the War, neither the Alliance or the Dominion maintain any ties with them. Hydra Cells are inevitably sniffed out by Dominion Agents, and swiftly crushed.
The Circle of Mars and the Xenococcus, however, occasionally deal with the Post-War Cults that splintered off after Hydra's change of leadership. They mostly deal with information and 'goods' that the Dominion has little access of.
The Dominion has little need for mercenaries, and maintain no ties with the Lost Children, Hellknights, or any other PMC.
The Circle of Mars have recently uncovered the existence of Exiles. Several unfortunate groups of the alien species made the mistake of wandering too close to Dominion territory, where they were swiftly apprehended by the patrolling forces. They have not been seen since.
The diminutive Tyran scientist, Eliza Nissch, is rumored to maintain several ties with the Ulraagi. The exact nature of their business is unknown, though it generally involves trade of some sort.
Strangers, due to the nature of their work occasionally come into contact with Ghost Riders, though contact is brief. The Dominion cares nothing for his conflict with the 'Illuminati', and has little need for his technology.
Despite the charitable efforts of the Paladins, even they are hesitant to venture into the hellhole that is the Skarian Systems. Individuals occasionally make their way to hidden enclaves on the worlds on the edge of the Shredder-Grid, though they lack any significant presence.
Like many other scientific communities, the Circle of Mars continue to study Automation from afar. Though Artificial Intelligences are not unheard of amongst the older Mjolnian civilizations, the concept of an isolated, independent society of machines fascinates them.