The Process Board


Chairwoman Nancy McDaggart

Ready for the action
I feel the power
Striking the attraction
Her magic hour
Ready for the game
A woman named America
- Vacuum, A Woman Named America

Atlantean anarchist corporate executive and financial visionary.

Nancy's original family name was Nielsen (even if there is some of Nat McDaggart's genes in her - not that an Atlantean would care much since family is largely something you choose). Her parents were a team of knowledge entrepreneurs moving constantly across Atlantis. After majoring in business, administration and space engineering at GGU she was recruited by McDaggart Transplanetary. Unlike most employees who move on to other companies after finishing their projects, she decided to remain with the company - for ideological reasons.

During a joint McDaggart-Trillicon marketing project she met Erich Karibidis (currently the Chief of Marketing at Trillicon). Erich was a puzzler, a careful designer of marketing and projects, excellent for his company but not with any giant ambitions - something that complemented Nancy's confidence, ambition and vision quite well. After lengthy squid compatibility testing they negotiated a contract for marriage.

Meanwhile, Nancy made a brilliant career at McDaggart Transplanetary. She advanced and eventually became chairman of the board, while building up a sizeable personal fortune. She also satisfied the McDaggart Foundation criterions for becoming a McDaggart, and in 2339 she formally became a member of the family. Another triumph was the 2345 start of the Beanstalk project, where she is the McDaggart representative.

In 2347 she met Xerxes van Halden from Nova. Intrigued by the character, she followed him to Nova to study the possibilities for interstellar trade. Together they began to think about the possibilities of enhancing it, of cultural exchange and technological synergy. She also made Xerxes her second contract-husband, although it is a deep economical relationship rather than an emotional one. Back at Atlantis she encountered the thesis of Mr Lee, suggesting how interstellar organisation could be achieved sociologically and psychologically. The meeting between the three people was the start of the Process.

Nancy's edge is not her technical expertise, nor her administrative skills but that can integrate the basic philosophy of McDaggart (and the Process) with the areas. The integration is important for leading a major Atlantean corporation, as it enables her to see the deeper implications of the business on a strategic level. She thinks ahead and tends to take control over situations - she never sits around passively, she has to be involved. Sometimes she almost becomes a control freak even if she never, ever becomes authoritarian (at every sign of an authority that doesn't pay for itself she reacts very negatively; they can even get a free booting sometimes).

She is an extremely busy woman, and her calendar is sacred - getting an appointment is a quest in itself. Intruding on her is not advised: her goons pay you a compensation for damages to throw you out quite physically. She likes to make a point about her time and person. If someone manages to meet her on her own terms, then she is friendly and eager to make business. She is known as a hard bargainer but fair trader. People proposing new ideas get a hearing, but have to face her penetrating and often hard questions as she ruthlessly test them and their ideas - do they work in practice, do they work philosophically, are they profitable?

She is a conservative (i.e. libertarian) Atlantean, upholding the railroading ideals of the McDaggart family. She likes the Atlantean way of life, but is open enough not to see it as the ultimate, perfect society (as some of the older Atlanteans view it). Somewhere there is Atlantis version 2.0 or something even better to be found - she is open to new possibilities. In fact, she can't get enough, she always has to build something new and grand. It doesn't have to be physically large like the Beanstalk, but she isn't satisfied by small unimportant things.

She wears old Nat's ancient 9-mm pistol in her belt; old-fashioned but stylish (as well as showing her position in the family). She owns a sizeable collection of antique Disney art, some quite expensive ("Bambi In Forest" was valued at the latest auction to 50,000,000 McDaggart dollars). Together with her husbands and some expensive consultants from EugeniX she has spliced together a child, scheduled to be decanted sometime in 2351 (when the involved people's schedules cohere enough for everybody to participate).

Quote: "They are nuts. You go nut if you live in a state."


Mr. Sallu Manasse / Chang Yu Lee

I've been around the world
In search of my reality
I sign my page in history
Memoirs I do
Leave me to pray the past
I contemplate the role I cast
And meditate the play to last
Future plans progress fast
- Vacuum, Prussia

Dionysian renegade psychodesigner with interstellar ambitions.

Sallu Manasse was a Dionysian psychodesigner working on his doctoral thesis on the social effects of psychodesign. He was using the newly accessible data from the other colonies to make cross-cultural and historical analysis of the issue, gradually coming to the conclusion that under certain circumstances well placed ideas and organisations can grow into self-supporting paradigms, emergent new cultures, and also that they could be designed just like personal psychodesign. Just when he was about to finish his work and publish it, he realised what he had discovered. He knew how to create a new civilisation.

Sallu decided that this was a too good chance to pass up. He decided to go to Atlantis, as Dionysos would be rather hard to work on. Before leaving, he redesigned his personality completely, taking the new name Chang Yu Lee. His new personality was not something his peers would have approved of - far too much personal ambition and a vision of creating his own empire - but then again, this was an unique opportunity for personal experience and growth. Once on Atlantis, he found his way to Nancy McDaggart and managed to sneak a copy of his thesis onto her desktop (a remarkable feat in itself). As he expected, she immediately realised the potential of his ideas and hired him. Together with Xerxes van Halden they began to plan the Process.

Mr Lee (as he prefers to call himself) is an extremely likeable man. Using his psychodesign he has turned himself into a social chameleon that always fits in, always gives a honest, confident and friendly impression. He prefers to stay in the background, never revealing his plans or role in the Process but making lots of friends and slowly building up the basis for his empire.

He employs many daimons, something which is also rather dangerous for psychodesigners (since the daimons also have access to psychodesign) and especially with the kind of self-reinforcing personality that Mr Lee has. The main daimons are: Korall (enhanced perception and willpower), S (a subpersonality with perfect memory), PGP (Pretty Good Paranoia, a standard daimon for danger sensing with enhancements for environmental observation and personal combat), Spam handler (dealing with Nova spam), Sun Tzu (A strategic daimon under development) and Kaiser Lee (himself as emperor, an ideal/superego to guide him towards grandeur).

Quote: "You don't have to feel guilty about it, you know. I can fix it for you."


Xerxes van Halden

It's the sign on the skyline
God's eye over mankind
The mother of machines
The sign on the skyline
We walk in the starshine
The gravity of dreams
- Vacuum, The Sign on the Skyline

Nova advertising guru.

The van Halden family has been involved in politics, high finance and marketing on Nova almost from the start. Jahn van Halden was influential in the fight against the Administration in 2190's, and since then the family has produced a significant number of famous people. Xerxes is just the latest in a long tradition.

Xerxes particular genius is advertising. He sees advertising as a form of art, a philosophy. To him, the universe is deeply in need of a multitude of things it doesn't yet know it needs - but he has the ability to make it realise its needs and supply them. He feels a deep joy in giving people what they want (whether they know it or not) and willing to go at any length to supply it. He is a bit of a gambler - he loves taking risks, giving all to rise to a challenge.

His firm, van Halden Image, has risen to become one of the most exclusive and highly regarded marketing firms on Nova, with customers including the major megacorps, several leading politicians (including the current president), Unity and a long list of celebrities. Van Halden image handles the image of more eternals than the other firms together, and Xerxes personal network includes everyone worth knowing. Needless to say, among those-in-the-know Xerxes himself has a brand name that is more solid than neutronium.

However, after triumphs such as the 2345 campaign for Unity or the election of president Pandora, Xerxes began to feel understimulated. He had risen to the top, and there was no longer any challenges in the Nova system. He decided to go exploring, and left with one of the first civilian interstellar flights to Atlantis. His departure was a textbook example of brand name maintenance: he just disappeared, leaving enough clues for people to gradually piece together the truth and adding more myth to his legend. When he returned he could be sure to have everybody watching what he did.

On Atlantis he met Nancy McDaggart, and the two quickly became interested in each other. After a tour of Atlantis she visited Nova, where he introduced her to the Right People. Together they began to think about the grand possibilities of interstellar trade, ideas that eventually developed into the Process when they met Chang Yu Lee. Xerxes has a new quest now: not just to sell a product, but to sell a whole new civilisation.

Xerxes is an impeccably stylish man, with a potent combination of breeding, intelligence, willpower and charisma. He doesn't seem able to make anything wrong - which is of course not true, but his style is so great that people have a hard time believing it. When confronted with a true marketing challenge his normally somewhat aloof manner turns into pure enthusiasm, and he brings all his abilities to focus on the problem.

He owns a daemon chip containing his secretary/advisor/confidante Kroesus, an marketing AI acting as his right hand and sounding board. Kroesus shares his personality and vision to a large extent, often acting quite independently when gathering information or setting up small side-projects.

Quote: "What I dislike about the Li is how it markets itself."


Isabella Esmeralda Lopez Calavera

Rock my heart
Make a difference
Shake your love
Bring it on
Rock my heart
Share the vision
The shape of things to come
Shape of things to come
- Vacuum, The Shape of Things to Come

Xenocreole diplomat-philosopher.

Isabella grew up in a mixed human-trahan xenocreole family; she was bilingual from the start and never saw Trahans as anything but normal people. She was one of few humans that attend Capital University where she majored in philosophy, inter-species diplomacy and social enhancement. She tied many contacts, and had she been an average Victorian she would likely have continued with a career within the extensive Victoria diplomatic corps. But instead she became involved in the formation of the New Tree out of several precursor networks, essentially becoming a diplomat for the xenocreoles rather than any government.

She began working for the New Tree, first as an emissary in certain Capital branches (where she made contact with the empress-widow - a powerful, devious and quite risky contact) and later interstellarly. She was sent by the New Tree to find allies on the other colonies. She and other Tree emissaries went on to found a number of "twigs" - small independent branches of the Tree - on New America, Nova and Atlantis. On Atlantis she made contact with the Process as it was starting up, and both sides realised they had found an useful ally. She is currently the New Tree representative on the Process board.

Isabella is a quiet, mysterious lady with pleasant but slightly odd manners - her xenocreole background makes itself felt, even if most people cannot quite place what is strange. Much of the time she seems just to be working with background details of little importance, like the interior decor of starships, naming of companies, instructing people in etiquette or arranging meetings, but in reality she wields a powerful influence just from her control over small details and how people interact. When she charms or persuades people, few can resist. She is extremely good with coming up with astute observations at the right moment or negotiating hard deals without getting the least stirred up. She contributes Trahan wisdom to the Process plans.


Philippe North-Makari

The man is worthy who serves the common man
crowned in charisma the leader of the land.
It takes an anthem to make a nation proud
born to a vision
the sound of the crowd
- Vacuum, Tears of a Nation

Arcadian business-politician.

Philippe's parents wanted their son to grow up to something big, so when they planned him they went for the stag package of leadership abilities and an education to amplify them. Philippe is a natural leader: charismatic, self confident, somewhat competitive without being rude, intelligent and a good listener.

Philippe rose to a prominent position within the Outreach Program, and was sent to represent them in the Process Board. He has been working to improve Process-Nova contacts, convincing other Hive networks to support it and the Process to open up closer connections to the hives (not a very hard proposition, since most of the Process Board is enthusiastic about Arcadian biodesign).

Many outworlders are overwhelmed by his enhanced charisma and Arcadian strangeness: he has a refined presence that makes people open to his suggestions. However, much of his leadership abilities come more from training and skill than pheromones and augmented social processing networks in the brain. His other side is extreme willpower: when he sets his mind to do anything, he will do it no matter what. He can be an extremely hard worker, often wearing even his own enhanced physique (beside the enhancements of willpower and charisma, he has adrenal control, improved durability and enhanced senses).


Professor Martin Highglade Paul Stevens

When I sleep
when I dream
I can see the culture of night
Where I go
I take in
I feel free
in the culture of night
the culture of night
- Vacuum, The Culture of Night

Conservative Ridgewell anthropologist.

Martin grew up with his clonebrothers in the Highglade household in central Swift, the bastion of the Paul network. The Pauls consider themselves reasonable people who take on responsibility for the good of everybody, and thoroughly impress on their young the importance of upholding the ideals of the clone and being an example for others. This rubbed off on Martin, who grew up to become a proud Paul.

The Highglade household is somewhat more academically/politically oriented than the other Paul households (which tend to business/politics), and the question was never that Martin would pursue advanced studies but rather what he would study. In his case he discovered sociology and anthropology, something which aroused his intellectual passions to an extent nothing else had succeeded. While he originally had planned a political career, he decided to continue an academic career at Swift University, where he soon became professor of anthropology.

Anthropology was never a particularly popular or important subject on Ridgewell (after all, there were no other cultures around except for in history books), up to the day when a starship from New America arrived. Suddenly the Family had to deal with an universe filled with unknown cultures, and anthropology was in high demand. Professor Martin was sent by his clone to act as a representative and investigator of the other worlds, something he enthusiastically did. During the next years, he managed to visit practically every colony (including Negsoa, as a part of the New America contact expedition) as well as a lengthy stay at Adobe. It was here he made a name for himself as the leading human expert on Mother culture, contested only by his equally brilliant rival Dr Eduardo Miranda Jörg Ralf Li of Nova.

The Process managed to recruit him after lengthy negotiations and much persuasion (the deal involves sizeable donations to Swift University as well as a place on the Process board). His knowledge, brilliance and alien contacts are worth everything for the Process, and they know they have many competitors (including research projects and exploration programs) for him. What the Process offered beside money and the chance for travel was something Martin could not get anywhere else: the chance to not just study cultures, but actually participate in the design of a new one.

The importance of Martin makes the Process Board overlook his rather irritating personality. Martin is of the Paul clone and proud of it, and the air of smug superiority combined with conservatism he shows when he is not engrossed in actual studies tend to put people off. Martin is a tall, dry man with more inhibitions than even the average Stevens; even if he has seen and experienced much he still has strong views on things like sex (a bestial activity in his opinion).

Quote: "No, we are not nepotistic. We do our best to get the best people elected. It is not our fault that all of them are Pauls."


Inga Gustafson

On a starry night
construction of a dream
in a dream
from my satellite
watching the scene
- Vacuum, Satyricon

Ex colonist, celebrity and ancient technology expert.

Inga was born in Sweden, Earth in 1999. Her first career was as a traffic planner in southern Sweden; a fairly boring and useful job that slowly felt ever more stifling. In the 30's she watched as the first interstellar expeditions were launched and she began to dream to go to the stars. She kept up with the various colony foundations, and was delighted when the Turnbull Foundation accepted her application. Her administrative skills and understanding of advanced management software systems was viewed as a small but useful part of the initial colony effort, where she would direct local aerospace traffic and set up other management software. Despite all the great visions and hopes, the Turnbull colony failed horribly. Inga was one of the last to succumb to the flaying disease, but together with the other survivors she had no choice but to freeze herself in the desperate hope somebody would rescue her someday.

Her rescue came more than two centuries later. To her amazement she was revived in the temporary sick bays of the Nova ship Democracy, surrounded by people from the other colonies. After the first future shock had faded (partially helped by being given an AI assistant she named Kurt to help and educate about the modern world) she was moved to Nova where the full blast of the remote future she had found herself in hit her - from her subjective point of view, only two years had passed since she left the Earth in 2039. Like some of the other rescues she managed to adapt to the Nova media circus. She wrote a book (or rather, authored a multi document) about her experiences - Leaving Earth - which became a best-seller and providing her with not just some useful money but also plenty of more or less unusual connections.

It was Xerxes van Halden who contacted Inga about working for the Process. He needed a sounding board, someone with an outsiders perspective on the current and future world, and Inga fit the bill perfectly. Her knowledge of ancient computing was useful to the process when trying to negotiate standards with many different planets, her media experience, administration skills and her fresh perspective all made her extremely useful as a consultant on the Process board.

Inga is a cheerful and independent. She tries to act worldly, but sometimes her uncertainty shows through or she behaves slightly out of tune with the modern world. Overall she delights in all the new and exciting stuff around her, and gladly samples what the colonies have to offer. She speaks with an ancient, unusual accent most modern people can't place.