Bubblegum Complex Municipal Guide #3:
Secret Societies

Secret Societies are all theoretically treasonous. In practice, some societies are more treasonous than others. Friend Computer encourages some societies in secret because they provide harmless outlets for discontent or even produce useful break throughs (such as Pro Tech). Such societies tend to be heavily infiltrated by Internal Security. Others pose a major threat to Bubblegum Complex and must be suppressed. In theory. In practice, efforts to suppress Secret Societies don't work much better than the nuclear reactors; long periods of mediocre performance, followed by total disaster.

Nearly ninety percent of all clones belong to at least one secret society; some belong to more than one. Some people use their societies as a tool, others are fanatical followers. The following is a non-comprehensive list of the major societies.

Amazons

This is a secret society of women, dedicated to following a collection of laws passed down on the sacred scrolls from the old reckoning period. All Amazons view themselves as warriors and talk among themselves in the sacred style, ie, speaking in the third person of themselves and using bad grammar. They train with archaic weapons and learn ancient Amazon techniques, such as 'Martial Arts Deep Vacuum Survival', which is far more useful in Bubblegum Complex than most people would wish it to be.

"Iya! Shan-B-UUU-3 has been defeated by a Commie! Now Shan-B-UUU must marry you. [beat] Unfortunately, Shan-B-UUU is not cleared to know what marriage is. Can you help Shan-B-UUU?"

Anti-Mutant

The KKK of Bubblegum Complex. They have pledged to exterminate all mutants. Every last one. Sure, almost all of them are mutants with non-obvious powers and 90% of mutants have no external signs of mutations, but hey, if they were rational, they wouldn't join a hate society. Anti-Mutant members range from cold, calculated serial killers to frothing mobs to simple bigots. They are fanatically opposed to PSION for obvious reasons.

"The only good mutant is a dead mutant." [shrugs off a hail of rocks telekinetically hurled at him by a PSION member] "I'm not a mutant, dammit! I'm just thick-skinned."

Big Fire

Many secret societies are harmless places, a way for Bubblegum Complex citizens to just hang out and socialize without worrying about security clearances and being terminated for treason for not liking the eighteenth showing of the same Teela-O episode in a row. Big Fire is NOT one of those societies.

Big Fire is a criminal organization headed by a shadowy ring of high clearance clones, each with some kind of strong mutation or powerful technology to simulate the same. It seeks to take over Bubblegum Complex by infiltrating other societies and service groups and subverting them until one day, the whole complex answers to Big Fire.

Well, maybe. No one is quite sure what Big Fire really wants; quite possibly each of its leaders wants something different, as its agents sometimes work at cross-purposes. But all its followers are assured that one day, they will rule Bubblegum Complex. Honest.

"I pledge allegiance to Big Fire!" [hand salute]

The All-Conquering Bugrom Army

One of several groups of rampaging anarchists, who play pranks and wreak havoc because they can. Some bands actually seek real power, others are just merry pranksters, while some are just sadists. Because the only power structure comes from convincing people you have the best prank ideas, and thus should be helped to carry them out, they are poorly organized at best. Tradition holds they were once a 'Conquer the complex' secret society, but that goal was lost by the way side a long time ago.

[High Programmer finds his showerhead is spraying him with Fizz Wizz, as a tape plays] "You have been hosed by the All Conquering Bugrom Army!"

Church of Ukyou

This society is an off shoot of the Otakus, obsessed with a cute okonomiyaki chef from an Old Reckoning animated show. They are fairly harmless as long as no one insults their goddess, at which point they will rip you apart in a berserk frenzy. The more highly ranked they are, the more they either try to be like her (if female) or like her animated fiancee (if male).

"You're not cleared to know what this big metal thing on my back is, you jackass!"

CLAMP

Clamp has two major goals:

  1. Smash the Computer and end its tyranny
  2. Look snazzy while doing it.


These goals often come into conflict as CLAMP members are incapable of consistently carrying out all the non-cool grunt work of conspiracy unless they do it in some way that makes them look good. They also tend to be easily identified by their highly angular faces and overly skinny bodies, rumored to be the result of either major reconstructive surgery or a secret CLAMP controlled cloning and genetics research facility.

CLAMP also has problems due to its command structure; the most bishonen looking person is always in charge and must carry an umbrella as a sign of rank. Since no one below blue clearance is allowed to carry an umbrella, this sometimes leads to problems.

"I can't disarm the bomb! I'd muss my hair crawling into that confined space."

Clone Arrangers

The Clone Arrangers are a secret society which makes clones to order, both new clones for clone families and clones to order, such as if you want your own Teela-O clone or five. The price is high and it gives them a perfect blackmail tool against you, but some are willing to pay the price.

"Add some blue hair, hold the freckles, special orders don't upset us!"

Communists

Founded by the legendary Marx Brothers (Harp-O, Grouch-O, Karl-O, Chic-O, and Bepp-O), the Communists believe in wearing large furry hats, cultivating thick moustaches, throwing small exploding black spheres everywhere, and speaking with a thick accent that might be called 'Russian' if anyone had any idea what Russia was. They seek to overthrow the Computer and replace it with a communist utopia, although they usually aren't too clear what that would be like. It wouldn't have Friend Computer, that's for sure. Rumor has it that the Communists secretly control several sectors where they have reprogrammed the Computer to serve them, known collectively as the People's Republic of Bubblegum Complex. Rumors are treason.

"Da, Comrade, I be liking friend Computer werry much. Where are the nuclear wessels?"

Computer Phreaks

The Computer Phreaks are a fraternity/sorority of hackers. They are a very loose network rather than a cohesive secret society, all of whom know the highly treasonous skill of Computer Programming. They all use codenames in their communications; most Phreaks have never met another member of their society face to face, although many frequent a VR bar known as 'The Broken Circuit' where they often hold important meetings to pull off a really big hack like reprogramming Friend Computer in some sector to speak in broken Russian and demand that everyone call it 'Comrade' or to raise everyone with a 'T' in their name to Ultraviolet. Their only goal is to find new ways to do interesting things with Friend Computer without getting caught.

"Now if you use THIS code, it causes the sector's reactor to pump the irradiated water into the pay toilets in FOO sector."

Corpore Metal

This society has two major components: Bots gone bad and the idiot humans who love them. Not all bots whose Asimov circuits go bad and join Corpore Metal. But many do and dedicate themselves to the day that Friend Computer will be chained to their will and all the disgusting goo bags exterminated. Some humans who WISH they were robots join Corpore Metal; a few find some way to become bots, the rest are expendible, used by Corpore Metal to commit sabotage where bots can't go.

"First Law? I'll show you the First Law, you disgusting goo bags!" BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! "The only good fleshling is a dead fleshling! That's the First Law!"

First Church of Amway

The First Church of Amway believes that the more people you convince to join the First Church of Amway and buy your cheesy products, the higher your rank will be in Heaven. Basically, it is a combined spiritual/financial pyramid scheme, in which those below pay a portion of both earned spiritual brownie points and their financial income to those above them. You move up the hiearchy by convincing people to join the Church or to move into a subordinate position beneath you. Sometimes, you may be promoted into a superior's position if they die or prove incompetent. Many members of the Church are either in PLC or HPD&MC, and most of the goods sold by the Church were 'gifts' from the PLC storehouses. They form an extensive black market in rivalry with Free Enterprise, who they see as soulless heretics who must be destroyed. Most Church of Amway products are cheap and cheesy, however, they can get you just about anything if you are willing to pay enough.

"We're having a 'Flubberware party' in my dorm block in three daycycles at eighteen hundred hours. You've just got to come! Oh, don't worry, it's not any more treasonous than that secret society you belong to...oh, you WILL come. Good."

First Church of Titanic

The First Church of Titanic is an offshoot of the Romantics dedicated to worshipping the cast of the movie Titanic as gods. Most treat the movie as the story of the origin of the universe, with all of humanity descended from the survivors of the shipwreck. A variety of morals are derived from it, but the most common viewpoint is that Bubblegum Complex is itself a giant ship like the Titanic, and one day, it will strike an Iceberg and sink. On that day, only the faithful will be saved. The wicked will be punished, drowning.

The society is really a medly of loosely connected societies; each local congregation is usually self-governing, with a charismatic 'Captain' who can do miracles (usually because he or she actually understands how to use his mutant powers correctly), a group of elected 'Midshipmen' who administer the 'Crew' treasury, and a large collection of 'passengers' who attend services.

The Computer sees this society as mostly harmless, and it tends to be heavily infiltrated with Internal Security who makes sure that obedience to Friend Computer is preached as a high virtue. Still, some congregations take a more radical view, noting the evidence of wickedness in high places which the holy writ portrays and arguing that it is a warning that incompetents in high places must be purged in order to prevent Bubblegum Complex from 'sinking'. Such groups often become very dangerous terrorists.

"I have good news. While my mission among the heretics bore little fruit, I have obtained from them...an authentic signed picture of Saint DiCaprio!" [sound of cheering]

Frankenstein Destroyers

Like Anti-Mutant, this is a hate society. However, they don't hate their fellow man. They hate 'bots. All robots MUST die. Kill the soulless metal monsters! They range from abusers of talking vending machines to the most insidious ones...who become Bot Maintenance Men and use their position to rig bots to self-destruct, or worse, alter the bots to themselves become homocidal towards bots.

The Computer hates them, for they see it as just another bot, but a big one, although some FDs see it as less a menace than actual mobile metal death machines. They are locked in an eternal war with Corpore Metal. The main reason the Computer hasn't wiped them out is that they somehow do a much better job of rooting out Corpore Metal agents than Internal Security does, even when IntSec uses R&D's best Infiltration Bots. Strange how that is...

"I like robots. They make great coat racks after you smash their bot brain into itty bitty bits and shred their circuitry with a chainsaw."

Free Enterprise

Free Enterprise is like the Mafia if the Mafia sold useful products as well as drugs, prostitution, racketeering, etc and advertised heavily. Rather like the Russian black market during Communism. If you have the credits, they have what you want. Sure, it's treasonous to buy it from them, but especially at lower levels, just about anything useful is treasonous to own anyway, and if it isn't treasonous, you can't get one legally. Think heavily armed used car dealers. You can't trust them any further than you can bribe them, but compared to dealing with PLC...

Free Enterprise is organized into 'families' each of which dominates one sector. At least a third of all PLC facilities are secretly controlled by Free Enterprise, and they often infiltrate HPD&MC and Power Services as well.

"Clubbing a Baby Seal to Give You a Better Deal!"

Humanist

The Humanists believe that Friend Computer must be put back in its place and replaced by the rule of an enlightened group of humans, namely themselves. They are a fairly well organized hiearchical secret society which strives to infiltrate BC society and take over by seizing the important postions of power, then reprogramming Friend Computer to no longer be insane.

Friend Computer takes them very seriously; they are high on the list of 'Organizations to be smashed into tiny, tiny bits'. Some branches are heavily infiltrated by Internal Security and manipulated into suicidal wars with other societies. Several other groups such as CLAMP, BIG FIRE, SEELE, and Corpore Metal seek to destroy them. So why haven't they been destroyed?

Three reasons. First, its members don't fear mutants and encourage the development of powers, which helps them to spot and neutralize some of those IntSec infiltrators. Secondly, many high ranking clones recognize that Friend Computer is WHACKO, and agree that it needs reprogramming; they just don't want to kowtow to some group of self-selected enlightened ones. So they act to keep it alive. And thirdly, some Humanists hold high-ranking positions in Internal Security and thus have deflected many investigations down blind alleys or into attacking other societies. Fourthly, some societies support the Humanists in return for access to the large Humanist stockpiles of knowledge and high tech goods. And where did these stockpiles come from? That might just be a fifth reason...

"One day, we will live in Plato's Republic."
"But...didn't he advocate a society of castes with controlled breeding and no freedom of speech and people not raising their own children and..."
"Yes, but there's a difference."
"Which is?"
"We'll be in charge instead of a lunatic machine."
"Those in the highest caste will."
"Exactly. And those who join now..."
"Where do I sign?"

Illuminati

Other than that they want to take over Bubblegum Complex, no one knows much about them. They're organized by ranks and use codewords and secret code names to communicate; the average Illuminati doesn't know who he is working for, and may sometimes not even be sure who is working for him. Still, they do get things done. Maybe. Since usually no one tells the lower ranking people why they are doing what they are doing, it's possible that they could just be pawns of Friend Computer, being sent chasing each other around in circles to keep them out of trouble. But surely a society tracing its roots back to [Deleted for Security Reasons] couldn't just be a bunch of fools prancing about on strings held by an electronic hand. No, of course not.

"Citizen Elme-R-FUD-3, go to cubicle 2345-TY67 and place a grenade under the eighth bed on the left. Set the timer to explode in thirty minutes, then go to Compulsory Recreation Resort #56 and do the Funky Chicken for five minutes. Then you are free to do what you want for the rest of the day, but do NOT do the Hokey Pokey. EVER."

Jedi Knights

The Jedi Knights are one of the many Romantic offshoot groups. Not every Romantic is stupid enough to try to reconcile 'Peyton Place', 'Meatballs', and 'Space: 1999' as simultaneous events. Some pick a group of compatible films and shows to construct their view of reality. One such group is the Jedi Knights, a collection of mutants who have modelled themselves after a trilogy of science fiction films. If you don't know which ones, please report to the Termination Center.

They are very loosely organized, ususually operating individually, or in small packs of students who follow some 'master'. Unlike most Secret Societies, they rarely try to lead a double life, but act in the pursuit of truth, justice, and flashy combat, wandering the Complex, aiding the good and battling evil. While some are wise and careful, many are loose cannons who pitch into battle without thinking too much about who they are helping or what they are doing; as a result, almost everyone simultaneously fears them and hopes for their aid.

Almost all are strong mutants, usually with multiple powers; those without powers tend to die horribly and quickly. They know how to make Force Swords, and most carry one.

[Sound of laser fire] "I sense a disturbance in the Far Side."

Moroboshis

The Moroboshis are rumored to have been an offshoot of the Otaku at one time. What they are now is a collection of men and women who have one thing in common: a mutation which renders them immune to hormone suppressant drugs. Many of these people are rapidly executed for treason after the first few fumbling attempts to express their sexual instincts. The rest are recruited by the Moroboshis who teach them to control their sexual drives and all the secrets of finding ways to actually get to express them. Not that what the Moroboshis consider acceptable 'pick up techniques' would work very well in a normal society let alone Bubblegum Complex...

"Hey, Baby, I'm a High Programmer in disguise."

Otaku

Like the Romantics, the Otaku want to bring back the Good Old Days, however, the Otaku base their view of the Good Old Days on Japanese Animation. ALL of it. Sure, trying to explain how 'Slayers', 'Touch', 'X', 'Sailor Moon', 'Gundam 0080', and 'Eighth Man' could all happen in the same universe at the same time would destroy most people's brains, but most people have never spent dozens of hours arguing over who Ranma should marry or whether Ifurita could beat Ryoko. Or how to spell Jyusenkyo.

The Otaku have a rather twisted view of reality as a result. Still, this has had several effects. First, the Otakus think Mutant Powers are not just okay, but great. They carefully train in using their powers, if they have any, and try to gain more. At the same time, they are careful to conceal any powers from the 'mundanes' as they call them. Secondly, like the Romantics, they know what Love is, but they don't really understand it. This does them in good stead when they get to a high enough clearance to no longer recieve hormone treatments. Thirdly, every Otaku takes a character to model themself after. Fourthly, they can read subtitles really quickly.

Every Otaku club maintains a secret base which holds the club tape library, several viewscreens, and props and costumes. Some clubs try to make their own animation. Each society elects an 'Otaking' and/or 'Otaqueen' who is loosely in charge.

"Reprogramming scrubbots to paint the entire sector Ultraviolet so everyone is exectued for treason just isn't right!" [Strikes poses] "I am the lovely Troubleshooter Usag-I! I will punish you in the name of Friend Computer!" [opens fire with her 'Moon Rod' (A cone rifle with hearts painted on it]

Pro Tech

Pro Tech likes machines. Most of its members belong to Technical Services or R&D and make up about 90% of the competent members of those groups. Pro Tech is fairly harmless as long as you don't stand too close; their inventions rarely explode and they're not out to conquer and kill. They just like to make things. Sure, they may steal parts needed to maintain the reactor in order to built a pocket fisherman that can also scramble an egg, but hey, that's the price of progress.

Pro Techers use secret code names because it is cool, but usually meet without disguises, except in the smarter groups, which typically defeats the purpose. Each sector typically has its own club which is divided into 'Professional Associations' by specialty, not that a lack of training in some particular field ever stopped anyone in Bubblegum Complex.

[Two Pro Techers meet. They stare at each other then begin to produce devices at high speed, explaining the function of each one]

"And this is my combined toenail trimmer and blow torch! I only lost three toes before I finished it!"

"Okay, you win."
 

PSION

PSION is like the X-MEN crossed with the Nazis. More like the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Yeah. Their response to the abuse hailed on mutants is to say that 'You laugh and taunt me now, but one day I will explode your head.' PSION is entirely composed of mutants, many quite powerful, who seek to take over Bubblegum Complex and inaugurate the Reign of the Mutants. This is unlikely to happen for two reasons. First, PSION's high commanders spend half their time fighting each other for control of the organization. Secondly, virtually everyone in BC is a mutant, which wouldn't give them anyone to rule over but the bots.

Still, if anyone is going to overthrow the Computer, it's likely to be PSION. They have a telepathic communications network. They have very powerful mutants and they can train people to learn to use more powers. They have multiple high programmers who are either their mind-controlled patsies or who are members of PSION. Sure, Anti-Mutant hates them, but Anti-Mutant is run by some of the dumbest people in the Complex. They're about as dangerous as day-old Jello. At least in PSION's opinion.

"The day of our oppression by Homo Sapiens is over! Now the day of Homo Sapiens Superior has begun!" [slips on a banana peel] "Now you see the violence inherent in the system!"

Romantics

The Romantics want to go back to the Good Old Days.  They were founded by clones who stumbled upon an ancient cache of 'VCR Tapes' of old sitcoms, sci-fi shows, and soap operas. Thus, they have a somewhat...warped view of the past. Imagine trying to reconcile 'Days of Our Lives', 'Ozzie and Harriet', and
'Star Trek' as all simultaneously true and historical accounts. Throw in a few commercials and you can see how out of touch with reality they are.

For the most part, the Romantics are fairly harmless, trying to mimic some favored character, putting up posters everywhere, collecting tapes and Old Reckoning
artifacts, and trying to subtly influence Bubblegum Complex society to become like the 'Good Times' of the past.

Some Romantics cliques become rather more...dangerous.  Sometimes it is because they've watched Red Dawn, Terminator, and the Green Berets too many times and want to be Action Heroes, overthrowing the Oppressive Regime. Sometimes it is because their clique focused on such tales of the Old Reckoning as 'A Nightmare on Elm Street', 'Friday the Thirteenth, Part Three Hundred and Sixty Five', and 'Muppet Hellraiser'. And sometimes a group decides the only way to bring back the 'Happy Days' is force.

"DYN-O-MIT!"

Seele

Seele is a secret organization of truly ancient clones, a handful of whom even remember the pre-Oops period.  They are led by 'The Walking Man', an old cyborg who used to call himself 'The Wandering Jew', except nobody knows what a Jew is any more. While certain rumors claim his real name is J. R. Dobbs, he uses the name Keele-U-NRV-1 when out and about in Alpha Complex society.

While Seele's inner circle is quite ancient, they use a larger society of patsies who believe they will one day be initiated into the higher secrets; in a few cases they
are. Most are simply expendible.

The real basis of Seele's power is magic. Or possibly mutant powers. Who can tell the difference? As you climb in rank from 'Apprentice' to 'Exalted Ascended Master of All He Quantity Surveys', the members are taught 'magic'. It seems to work better for some than others, and many find they can only master a particular
spell. While many outside the society believe this is a con job, that does not explain how the highest ranking members wield what must be incredible levels of power,
causing entire sectors to explode by pushing a pin into a doll. Then again, given how badly maintained some sectors are, at least three are known to have been
destroyed after someone stumbled and bumped into a wall too hard, causing the entire sector to collapse.

Certain rumors say that the ultimate purpose of SEELE is to fulfil some ancient prophecy. Then again, the same rumors also claim that Teela-O-MLY is actually Keele's sister.

"Now, draw a fifth circle around that one in blue...yes, I know you aren't cleared to use blue paint. You're not cleared to summon the Lesser Daemon of the Knowledge of Nuclear Engineering either, but you need to do this anyway."
 

Spanish Inquisition

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition. Or fully understands them. They are a group of furtive redclad clones who burst into rooms unexpected, interrogate
people, force them to do penance, then run off and hide.  It remains unclear as to what code they use to judge ransgressions or levy penances, although it is believed
they are a religious group.

Every member of the Inquisition is either a 'Cardinal' (leader) or 'Brother' (follower/goon). Not much more is known about their organization beyond that.

Indeed, some speculate that the Spanish Inquisition doesn't actually exist, but is rather a pose used by various Secret Societies to accomplish their own goals.
Those who make such speculations seem to attract the attention of the Inquisition, much to their surprise.

"Our three chief weapons are Surprise, Fear, and PLASMA GENERATORS!"

Trilateral Commission

In the conspiracy theories of Bubblegum Complex, the machinations of the Trilateral Commission take a central role. Can't get a chapstick cap in time? The Trilateral
Commission must be manipulating chapstick cap production. Your entire team wiped out in a war between secret societies? Probably the entire war was set up by
them just to wipe out your team. Tripped and fell on a rock? No doubt one of their agents placed it so you would fall down and not notice something else happening
JUST at that moment, something which might lead you to them.

No one knows much about the Trilateral Commission. They are the most mysterious of Secret Societies, their agents carefully placed among other Secret Societies,
making those groups dance to their tune. They are ruled over by a secret council or maybe a compnode gone rogue or a hidden mastermind or maybe Elvis. Even their goals are secret, other than seeking power and manipulating events to make the life of conspiracty nuts miserable.  The only thing known for sure is that one of their goals is to put 'Florida' in the water supply, whatever that is.  Even the Illuminati fear them.

There is no typical Trilateral Commission quote; I can't risk them finding out I know about them and killing...ZZZZOOOTTT!!! Move along, Citizen. The
Trilateral Commission is only a rumor, and rumors are treason.