Rios, the Orange Conspiracy

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What is now familiar to StarShip inhabitants as the most pervasive espionage franchise in the galaxy started as a typo in the Rios Civilization's HomePage on the Universal Unrestricted Uplink, (at "uuu.rios.civ", of course). This typo created a security hole in the Rios' computer network, and soon a disparate band of hackers, degenerates, punks, and losers had used the hole to carve out a secret private space for themselves on the Rios server. Calling themselves the Riotians, they began using the Rios networks to store and trade pirated SpaceSoftWare, classified information, hacking techniques, conspiracy theories, and pictures of naked minifigs. It was almost two hundred years before one of them figured out the Rios Civilization had introduced the security leak on purpose and had been monitoring and cultivating their little group since the very beginning. By now, they had grown into a huge online community of juvenile delinquents that was unwittingly supplying the Rios Civilization with all kinds of classified information. When the Rios leaders realized the jig was up, they recruited the whole group into their intelligence organization.

The new group's maverick and unconventional methods gained them surprising successes, and as time progressed their tattoos, neon-colored hair, multiple body piercings, and garishly mismatched clothes became the unlikely hallmarks of the Riotian secret agent. They were extremely popular with SpaceChildren ages eight to twelve, and somehow managed to continue their clandestine operations despite the publicity of their line of action figures, cartoon series, movies, and other licensing deals. Then one day, the Chairman of Intelligence and Marketing had the idea to turn the operation into a franchise.

Today, there is an Espionage "M" Us in almost every major colony. Besides Rios action figures, comic books, toy garrottes, and Do-It-Youself SpyKit Jr.'s, customers can order any kind of classified information or any type of custom espionage against any target, if they can pay the fee.

The Rios espionage agents are divided into two groups: the SpaceSpies, who dress in suits of clashing black, blue, and red, with sickly green visors, and the SpaceCouriers, who dress in black, blue, and white, with orange visors. SpaceCouriers are well liked and not usually involved in battles, but if they are, they bring enough firepower to guarantee that the package arrives on time. SpaceSpies are popular with the kids, but by authority figures they are not well liked at all. Rather than raw firepower, they depend on an array of gadgets carefully selected for the mission at hand to accomplish their objectives.

Riotians very rarely engage in open firefights. Their battle philosophy is "cut and run" - they always have an escape route prepared. Ideally, they try to get their agents away before the enemy knows that anything has gone wrong. When push comes to shove, their agents rely on misdirection and an array of gadgets and booby traps to buy themselves enough time to complete their mission and escape.

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