Corsair Benitez Family
- This is a player faction. For the affiliated NPC faction, see Corsairs
|Date of founding||unknown|
|Base of operations||Planet Crete, Omicron Gamma|
|Defence of territory and the Corsair people.|
|Advancement of the Corsair Empire and promotion of prosperity for it's people.|
The Benitez were a Corsair faction that played a significant role in the politics, defence and management of the Corsair nation. An adoptive crime-family, the Benitez were officially ruled by a "Don" normally descended from the original Benitez bloodline, though actual leadership of the organisation belonged to an appointed "Commandante". Often concerned with special operations, smuggling, espionage and diplomacy, the Benitez had a smaller but no less significant role in the defence of Corsair territory and front-line warfare up to 819 A.S. when the organisation suddenly disintegrated, with most agents disappearing into hiding. The cause of the "fall of the Benitez" remains unknown.
- 1 The History of the Familia
- 2 Benitez Diplomacy
- 3 Family Structure
- 4 Core Bloodline
- 5 Fleet
- 6 Territory
- 7 Recruitment
- 8 See Also
The History of the Familia
The Story of the Benitez began on the Sleeper ship, the Hispania. Sabotaged by one of the passengers, 4 out of the ship's 6 engines where almost completely destroyed.
Automatically, the Sleeper Ship's inhabitants where woken from their stasis. Panic took over. Arguments arose, and suspicion between the passengers was rife. The identity of the saboteur remained a mystery. Managing to obtain order, our ancestor, Santigo Miguel Alvarez (the first) managed to obtain order persuaded the rest of the passengers that it would be best to return to stasis and wait for the Ship to find its way to some kind of suitable planet.
A shudder, and the passengers awoke. The ship had detected planets. Looking out of the windows, 3 where visible. One, an ice moon, the other lacking any real atmosphere was instantly rejected by the ship's computer due to high radiation levels. One remained, a desolate world of Mountain peaks and fields of ash. The ship did it's scans. The people waited. Then the report came;
"Atmosphere can support life." The passengers breathed a sigh of relief as the computer continued it's report. "Planet lacks enough arable land to support a population this size. Hazards include dust storms and volcanic activity."......they waited. "Planet deemed unsuitable for colonisation." Mayhem broke out once again. Should they land and try to begin a settlement there, or should they move on? Some argued that they may not come across another inhabitable planet, others argued that they would starve if they landed on the one they had found. Unable to calm the passengers, Santigo-Miguel Alvarez engaged the engines of the Hispania. The engines shuddered, and the computer cut in, stopping the ship. "Warning, fuel level critical. Current fuel reserves will only be enough to provide 1 short burn". The news caused many arguing passengers to change their views on landing. No consensus was reached, and eventually around half of the group made for the escape pods. The rest remained on the ship. Many of the Alvarez family chose to leave. Santigo-Miguel stayed with his vessel. The pods fell towards the planet, through its atmosphere, crash-landing on an ash field on the planet's southern hemisphere. Those who remained on the ship decided that they would burn the remaining fuel, and use the momentum to drift to another system. In the dark sky of the planet, a bright light sped through the heavens, before fading, and going out, as a faint outline of a huge object drifted out of sight.
Over the next fifty years, the settlers battled with famine, and over half died out. Their children continued to farm the little arable land on the planet they had named "Crete" but marooned on such a desolate and bleak planet, the suffering continued for many generations. The settlers became resentful and jealous of those who had remained on the ship. They began to believe that perhaps even death in empty space would be preferable to the purgatory of Planet Crete. This attitude caused many changes within the settlers. As the family of the "drifters" leader Santigo-Miguel Alvarez, the Alvarez "settlers" where persecuted, even accused of being the ones who sabotaged the Hispania in the first place. The Alvarez settlers changed their name, and became the honourable family Benitez.
Lacking the resources to build ships, the settlers became resigned to the fact they might be stranded on the hell of Crete forever, but eventually, after 400 years, something came that changed their fate forever.
Financed by the Rheinland Government and Daumann, the explorer Franz Schulman was dispatched to the great unexplored expanse of the Walker Nebula. His exploration ship eventually stumbled across a bleak planet of ash and mountains. To his surprise, his scanner picked up life.
His landing party was met by a group of apparently savage humans. All of them where killed, except for Schulman himself. The settlers had, sensing an opportunity to break out of their ashen prison, attacked the party and taken Schulman hostage.
Bargaining took place over Schulman's communicator, and a the settlers negotiated their way on board the exploration vessel. Using hidden weapons, they took the remainder of the exploration team by surprise, and took over the ship. They left no survivors, and after Schulman was tortured and revealed the details of how to fly the ship, he was also killed. The Benitez were among the team that hijacked Schulman's ship, and among the first Corsairs to step back out into space.
The settlers used the ship to explore the surrounding systems, and to bring back supplies to the people trapped on Crete. Eventually, enough metal was obtained to build more ships, in a similar style, and they began to mine fields of resources in the system, bringing back their loot and taking it to Crete.
Eventually, they stumbled across a mysterious jump hole in their system. The ship was attacked by strange creatures, but the settlers managed to fight them off. They obtained strange objects...alien objects.
It was around this time they discovered a space station in a neighbouring system, belonging to a group of traders calling themselves "Zoners". The relationship between the Zoners and Settlers of Crete thrived, and trade lead to living conditions on Crete improving dramatically.
The Zoners had food to trade, and soon the Settlers had enough food to sustain a larger population.
The Outcasts and Corsairs
The settler ships explored further, and eventually came across another group of humans...speaking in Spanish accents. The settlers destroyed the ships they found, resentful of the drifters for leaving them to suffer for 400 years. The drifters had a new name now though, they called themselves "The Outcasts".
The Settler's expanded further, eventually constructing a space station of their own, Tripoli. Exploration teams came back with more alien artefacts, and it became a right of passage for young pilots to venture towards the mysterious alien jump hole and bring back Artefacts.
The Settlers then stumbled across something else...a huge civilisation, with hundreds of ships, settled planetary paradises (in comparison to Crete) and lanes linking all their many outposts. Their noisy comm chat revealed they were the people of the sleeper ship Bretonia.
The settlers began hostile actions against these Bretonians, raiding their ships and taking their cargo for the benefit of the people of Crete and Tripoli. 50 years after Schulman's hijack, the settlers had earned a new identity; the Corsairs.
Inspired by the wonders they had seen, the Corsairs became determined to live like the Bretonians, and the Rheinlanders that where discovered soon after. Not just like them, they wanted more.
The Corsairs ploughed their resources into ship research and manufacture, as well as constructing more stations across the desolate Omega systems. Their ships became the scourge of all traders in Bretonia and Rheinland alike, and soon Hunters from Liberty found their way into Corsair space, after pirate blood. They were no match for Corsair technology, and never provided more than a minor nuisance to the growing Corsair civilisation. An Empire of Crime began to form.
As the Benitez developed into one of the most significant crime families within the Corsair Empire, a democratic leadership was formed. Separate from the Senate of representatives that ruled Crete, the Benitez set up their own assembly to co-ordinate the efforts of the family of crime, ruled democratically by representatives of the highest level of respect within the familia, and presided over by the respected leader of the familia; a patriarchal Commandante sworn to serve the welfare and interests of his familia above all else. Thus, the Benitez Council of Elders was formed.
The Creatures of the jump hole infiltrated the house systems, but it mattered not to the Corsairs. The Houses nearly destroyed each other, but the Corsairs didn't care, after all, did they ever go to find the lost people of Hispania? Did they send out search parties to rescue the people of Crete from the suffering and torment? No. After 100 years living by the Alien jump hole, the Corsairs knew how to deal with the creatures. They would simply wait for the Houses to be destroyed, then move in and create a Corsair Empire. It was not to be.
A group of men and women from Liberty arrived on Crete with a proposition for the Corsairs. They where a secret group formed to fight the alien infiltrators. They offered Liberty Battleship technology. The Corsairs had never built anything bigger than a gunboat before then. In exchange, the group who called themselves The Order wanted the Corsairs to design a Battleship with the finesse and skill only Corsair ship builders had, and use it to hold back the nomad infiltration of Sirius.
After many months of work at Tripoli, Osiris class battleships rolled out of the space docks of Tripoli. The Order, satisfied with the effort, returned through the nomad jump hole and were not heard from again for some time. Meanwhile, Corsair engineers, thanks to the technology given by the Order, designed new classes of ships inspired by Corsair art and engineering.
News came from the colonies a year later that the aliens had been driven out. The Corsairs didn't care, they where content to continue their piracy and perhaps one day move against the Outcasts traitors, Liberty and Bretonian deserters and Rheinland scum, and build the Corsair empire across the stars.
An envoy from the Order returned years later, this time with a proposal for an alliance. The Council of Elders agreed, and pledged the power of new Corsair fleets to assist the Order in holding back the Nomad scourge and preventing further incursion.
Years on, the Benitez continue to be a significant part of the nation, with seats on the Council of Elders, and administrative powers over the Corsair territory and bases in the newly developed Omicron-94 system.
Records before 640 A.S. have been lost or are unreliable.
Late 7th century
|668||Esteban becomes Don.|
|690||Olympian SHF prototype developed. Talos A comissioned.|
|695||Corporate Wars end.|
|701||Artefact smugglers plunder the Graveyard of Innocents. The Artefact War begins.|
|702||Talos A destroyed. Talos B commissioned.|
|722||Don Esteban retires. Quixote becomes Don.|
|739||M26 Gunboat developed. Talos B is decomissioned, Talos C (an M26) is produced.|
|740||Hessian-Corsair war begins.|
|758||Benitez granted control of Omicron-94.|
|758||Don Quixote goes missing while exploring the edges of Omicron-94. Santigo becomes Don.|
|779||Don Santigo dies. Rivas becomes Don.|
|794||Carlos departs Crete for the first time, with Enrico Benitez.|
|795||Alandra and Helena are born. Carlos is betrayed, arrested and incarcerated in BPA Newgate.|
|796||The Order give blueprints of a basic version of the Osiris to the Corsairs. The Order-Corsair alliance is formed.|
|797||Talos D (Osiris Class) flies maiden voyage. The old Talos gunboat is renamed "The Tartarus".|
|800||Carlos escapes Newgate. Rivas is deposed and killed. Carlos becomes Don.|
|801||Praefect and Legate developed.|
|802||Carlos meets his daughters Alandra and Helena. They move to Crete.|
|805||Supernova cannon given to the Corsairs by the Order. Corsairs begin work on the Praetorian Bomber.|
|817||Carlos retires. Jose Benitez becomes Commandante, Carlos remains Don.|
|818||Jose steps down. Ronaldo Benitez becomes Commandante.|
|819||With little warning the Benitez organisation disintegrates. Many agents go into hiding, the group's small fleet is nationalized, and it's political power is absorbed by their chief rivals; the Brotherhood. The reason for this sudden downfall remains unknown.|
The Benitez family was an adoptive crime family made up of both descendants of the original Benitez bloodline, and agents of the organisation who after initiation were considered members of the family. Use of the term "Benitez family" is therefore ambiguous, and can refer to either the core Benitez bloodline, the Benitez organisation or the extended Benitez family which includes the relatives of adopted employees. Adopted members of the Benitez familia organisation received the surname "Benitez" in addition to their existing titles and designations after initiation. Therefore, after adoption and initiation, "John Doe" would become "John Doe Benitez" typically using "John Benitez" as a call-sign.
The Benitez familia organisation had a number of ranks used primarily for distribution of tasks and duties. Their leadership Council favoured a style of leadership by mutual understanding and agreement. The Benitez familia organisation disdained military-style command, with agents operating by consent.
Recruits were the lowest rank within the familia organisation. Upon enrolment, recruits were dispatched on smuggler transports to Liberty, to gain an intimate understanding of the Artifact distribution network in place there. After orientation on a Liberty planet, they were typically given scrapyard ships and instructed to demonstrate their skill by travelling safely to Trafalgar Base where they were given Legionnaires. Recruits were introduced to contacts on Trafalgar offering work, and typically spent a number of days proving themselves on the Bretonian front-line. After completion of this task, recruits would return triumphantly to Crete where they would be awarded full Benitez Soldati status.
Soldati made up the bulk of the Benitez force, all having proven themselves fierce and cunning warriors during their time as recruits. Soldati had the fewest duties within the familia, and focused on patrols, piracy, defence, and participation in larger operations organised by "superiors". Each soldato was expected to have a properly equipped Titan or Gladiator fighter vessel paid for by Benitez funds, and could, in addition, possess a Praetorian bomber if desired, or under recommendation from the Benitez leadership. Gunboats were rarely captained by Soldati except in special cases, though the Gunboat Aegis, based out of Myrtos Villa is available for Soldati to command in emergencies.
A sub-rank above Soldati, Capitans were individuals who had shown particular prowess in military operations and had been requested to command Benitez gunboat-class warships on behalf of the organisation. Capitans were particularly concerned with defence of territory, and guidance of recruits and newer soldati if no other figure of authority is present. Capitans were expected to take the helm of familia gunboats, and were allocated funds to allow this. Unlike many other ranks, the role of Capitan was exclusively militarily centred, rather than political, and tended to only be assigned to war heroes who had shown significant skill and cunning in battle.
Benitez Elders sat on the Benitez Leadership Council, not be confused with High Elders of the Corsair Council. Normally individuals who had devoted much of their lives to service to the familia, and were given this position of high honour to act as advisers to the Don. By the 8th century A.S. the familiar favoured a democratic system of leadership, and the popular vote of the Benitez Elders normally decided all major issues of Benitez policy. For this reason, Benitez Elders had a significant role in the leadership of the familia organisation, contributing to decisions ranging from policies to the approval of applications.
Praetor and Consul
Positions of high honour within the familia, the roles of Praetor and Consul were given to the Commandante's right- and left-hand men. With specific roles for managing the military and political sides of the family respectively, the Praetor and Consul were often chosen from the most respected Elders, and often had their own seats on the Corsair Council of Elders. As of 818 A.S. these roles were retired, officially, with the traditional responsibilities of them divided between the Elders, Commandant and Don.
Historically a combined role, the Don/Commandante was responsible for chairing the Benitez Leadership Council, representing the familia's interests in negotiations and politics, and running the organisation. As of 819 A.S. these roles were divided, with these offices held by separate individuals.
The Commandante was responsible for overseeing all activities, decisions and operations the Benitez are involved in. Traditionally holding a seat on the Council of Corsair High Elders, the Commandante also chaired the Benitez Leadership Council and ultimately had the power to overrule any clan decision. There are no recorded cases where this power was used. The Commandante was the operational leader of the organisation.
The Don was the ceremonial leader of the familia, with permanent residence at Benitez HQ at Myrtos Villa on Crete, and responsibility for representing the familia at official ceremonies and the signing of treaties. This position had traditionally been occupied by members of the core Benitez bloodline, but this was not essential; the position had been held by non-bloodline members in the past. The last ceremonial leader of the familia; Don Carlos Benitez, assumed the position in 800 A.S, but retired as Commandante in 818 A.S. retaining the ceremonial role of Don. Don Carlos was succeeded by Jose Benitez, who stepped down in early 819 A.S. The familia's last leader was Commandante Ronaldo Benitez.
The Core Benitez Bloodline descends from the original Alvarez settlers that abandoned the Hispania to settle on Crete. Eventually declining along with it's significance in the organisation, only a small fraction of Benitez forces are descended from the bloodline. Originally an essential trait of the organisation's patriarch, as of the 9th century A.S. genealogy was no longer considered important with respect to assignment of important leadership roles.
The Benitez fleet was comprised of a wide range of ships provided for and maintained by the familia's considerable financial assets. Young Benitez used Legionnaire class Light Fighters for patrols and front-line work in Bretonia.
Titan Class Very Heavy Fighters were used by almost all Benitez for day-to-day activities. A small number of Benitez agents traded in their Titans for Gladiator Heavy Fighters once they were developed, which served a similar purpose. Operations involving stealth or interception occasionally required deployment of one of the familia's handful of state-of-the-art Decurion class Light Fighters.
Most Benitez agents had access to Praetorian Class Bomber support vessels, which were ideally suited to combat against large targets such as gunboats, cruisers and battleships. Praetorians were also ideal for piracy and marauding operations, with their torpedoes making quick work of the hulls of trade vessels, and provision for mounting a Cruise Disruptor preventing escape.
The Benitez fleet also included a number of heavily armed M42 "Imperator Class" Corsair Gunboats which were captained by Benitez agents and crewed by highly skilled non-member employees. Benitez Gunboats were each named after elements of the history or mythology of the Corsair people.
Upon the organisation's dissolution, most fighters and bombers disappeared with members into hiding, though some found their way onto the open market. The majority of the familia's small fleet of Imperator Class gunboats were nationalized, although some continue to patrol Omicron-94.
The Benitez fleet was led by the mighty Battleship Talos. Latest in a long line of vessels to bear the name, the Talos D was one of the first Corsair-built Osiris Class Battleships to launch from Tripoli. Built with the purpose to defend Crete against all invaders, and named after a mythical metal giant that defended the Planet's namesake from enemy ships, the Talos remained stationed in Crete's orbit ready to fend off attackers. The Talos acted, for much of its life, as an orbital headquarters for the familia organisation, alongside the planetary Myrtos Villa and outposts in the Omicron-94 system.
Following the familia dissolution in 819 A.S. the old vessel was nationalized. Crews from Planet Crete found the ship in relatively good repair but sporting obsolete weaponry, shielding and hull plating. The ship was decommissioned months later, by Corsair Council order, to make way for a smaller fleet of new "Murmillo" Corsair Battleships.
In 817 A.S Capitana Valeria Benitez led the commissioning of a new research ship. the need for such a vessel and who petitioned the Benitez Elders that they should sanction the craft. Eventually the Benitez Elders saw the benefits of such a vessel and Valeria was tasked with arranging for the ship to be built and commissioned. The entire familia was involved in obtaining a number of the specialist components that were required for it’s construction, and upon completion Valeria was placed in command.
Whilst the vessel was usually to be found under the command of Valeria there were occasions when duty required her to be elsewhere at which point it is not uncommon for another Benitez to take temporary command.
To ensure adequate defense against both the natural and unnatural threats of the edge worlds, the hull of a Praefect cruiser was chosen as the base from which the research ship would be built. Its cargo bays were turned into research laboratories.
Although the cruiser had a strong hull and powerful shielding it retained a high degree of maneuverability. The Penelope was able to position itself wherever it might be required with relative ease and escape dangerous situations should the need arise.
In more recent times it was often stationed in Omicron-94 where it is usually found carrying out research into the nebulae that can be found in that system but sometimes operates elsewhere within Corsair zone of influence. Since the dissolution of the familia organisation, the Penelope has, on occasion been spotted patrolling the Omicron-94 system.
In early 819 A.S, by request of Don Carlos himself, a strike-force led by Elder Ronaldo Benitez ambushed and captured the luxury yacht "Orinoco" belonging to a subsidiary company of Orbital Spa and Cruise. This vessel was repaired, and rechristened the "Elegancia".
The Don's purpose for the vessel was to have it converted to become a stealthy strategic platform, and vehicle for comfortable travel to summits and treaty-signings with allied factions. Retrofitted with state-of-the-art engines and a unique missile defence system, the Elegancia was capable of outrunning most heavy combat craft, and was able to escape from most assailants with relative ease. Heavily armoured yet highly manoeuvrable, the Elegancia was adapted perfectly to provide the security the familia required for it's patriarch. On most operations, the Elegancia was equipped with a large compliment of highly trained Corsair marines tasked with the Don's protection. The Elegancia went missing during the dissolution of the familia in 819 A.S. and its current whereabouts are unknown.
Like most Corsairs, the Benitez considered the entirety of the Corsair Empire as theirs to patrol and profit from. This included contested regions such as Omicron Eta and Omega 5, Sigma and Omega space, and sections of Rheinland and Bretonia.
In addition to this, the Benitez held administrative rights over the territory of Omicron-94 on behalf of the Council of Elders, with the Don also holding responsibility as prime overseer of the region. The territory was put under oversight and control of the Benitez familia by the Corsair Council of Elders in an agreement struck in 798 A.S. and renewed in 817 A.S. following the re-stabilisation of the jump hole. The Agreement of 817 A.S. granted the Benitez familia administrative control of the region for the foreseeable future. Following the disollution of the familia, remnants of the organisation continue to manage and protect the system.
The Benitez family were laregely based out of Myrtos Villa, a large complex of luxury apartments and hangars situated around Benitez HQ and the Don's mansion, on the outskirts of Europa; Crete's main settlement, which has since fallen into disuse and disrepair.
Unlike many other factions, the Benitez did not actively recruit, and did not accept applications through the Applications Dept. (66) of the Neural net.
To join the Benitez familia, applications had to be made through the Benitez Private Comm Network relayed through Planet Crete. Applicants did not have to be of hispanic origin, but must have been Corsairs at heart and had sufficient credentials to be deemed trustworthy by the Benitez leadership.
Once the application had been processed and accepted by a Benitez Elder, new Benitez were dispatched to Liberty (normally to New York or Pennsylvania) to gain knowledge of the Artefact distribution network, before being provided scrapyard ships and sent to Trafalgar Base. At Trafalgar in New London they were provided M3 class Legionnaire Light Fighters and introduced to contacts on the base who provided missions.
New Benitez were tasked with completing enough missions out of Trafalgar and Islay Base on behalf of the Gaians, Corsair operatives and Junkers to prove themselves both capable and worthy of additional status in the familia. After completion of their work proving themselves on the front-line in Bretonia, recruits headed to Planet Crete at which point they were usually awarded with full Benitez status, Soldato Medallions and fully equipped Gladiator or Titan class vessels funded by the familia.