Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Content on this site is free to use under the Creative Commons License unless otherwise noted.

03 August 2011

Fictional Companies in my ATZ Campaign Part 1

Well I have alluded to a couple of companies I created for the background fluff in my campaigns, the main one and most detailed to day is Castle Pharmaceuticals, though they aren't the only company I created. In my last post I mentioned using the Ebbles Helios Thermosolar generators from the Farmstead set (now out of print, though it may be back in the future via Ebbles lab over at World works Games), so I figured I would knock out some quick fluff for Helios, please note this may not be the finalized background fluff for Helios Communication Technologies.

Helios Communications Technologies

Founded in 1927 by Randolf Alexander Helios. Helios Communications Technologies was originally called Helios Radios. During the 1930's and 1940's 4 out of 5 households that owned a radio manufactured by Helios. When the build up for World War II began, Helios was chosen by the US government as a contractor to produce the field radios. After the war ended Helios radios changed their name to Helios Communications Technologies, to reflect the fact they they were no longer just manufacturing radios for households to listen to, but telephones, broadcasting equipment, and television equipment.

Helios released the very first cellular phone in 1965, the Ranger Mk. 1, for US military communications use. The Ranger Mk. 1 while housed in a backpack, proved to be very popular with the military due to the fact that the soldiers could use it to call home while in the field, and when needed to call secure lines, as the Ranger phones were able to use the the signal encryption that the US military used. These phones gradually replaced all other US Military communication radios, both in the field, in military vehicles/watercraft, and command centers on US military bases, on board navel vessels and on bases the Ranger Mk. 1 were built into a special console that eliminated the portability of the phone, larger navel vessels also received Ranger Mk 1.5 phones (also built into a console) for the crews personal use for calling home to family while deployed at sea. The Ranger Mk. 2 released in 1980 cut the size of the phone in half. From the Mk. 2 model Helios released a civilian version the Eagle. Initially the Eagle was used by those who ran companies, financial moguls and brokers, Helios seen the need to release a more consumer obtainable model, which they did with the Pilot, a cellular phone that while it cost $200 without any service when initially released, Helios did offer great rebates, in some cases up to 80% off the retail price, for those who purchased it, they also went with including a free years worth of service with selected cellular providers that Helios partnered with. Currently 1 in 3 cell phones are a Helios smart phone using the Helios Sunfire OS, and 1 out of 3 phones by other manufacturers use the Sunfire OS. The Helios Sunfire OS has proven to be an very popular OS for smart phones. It is both efficient and easy for the user to use, phones with the Sunfire OS also have on average a better battery life, typically a talk time of up 15 hours to 20 hours longer then other cell phones, and 300 hours (12 1/2 days) of stand by time.

Helios also was one of the leaders in the pda/multi-media phone/smart phone field along with computer networking, both wired and wireless. Helios modems, routers, and network servers sales soon surpased even those of Castle Pharmaceuticals, which lead to a partnership between Castle Pharmaceuticals communications division and Helios, with Helios as the majority partner. Through the partnership Helios manufactured select communications equipment, primarily limited to computer networking equipment, and the Castle Pharmaceuticals Axiom cell phone, for Castle Pharmaceuticals to sell under thier own branding.
During the early 1990's Helios released the Helios Satellite Communications System (SCS), which has since been adopted by 80% of the worlds broadcasting networks. The Helios SCS consists of the Helios 1 Communications Array. The Helios 1 unlike other Broadcasting arrays of the time was a fration of the size, the dish was about 6ft wide, and attached to a base station of approx the same height. The Helios 1 was designed to be upgradeable with any new technologies that would come out in the next 30 to 40 years. In fact Helios 1 SCS were broadcasting the first true digital signal back in 19968, years before any other broadcasting communication system was. Helios soon released the Helios 2 SCS a smaller man portable version primarily for use by news teams in the field, that was able to broadcast its signal out to a 1000mile radius without having to broadcast to a satellite orbiting in space. Helios also released the Helios 3 a higher powered version of the Helios 2, that was able to broadcast up to a 10,000 mile radius, again without having to broadcast to an orbiting satellite, further if it was broadcasting to repeater stations. It isnt uncommon for a news team to carry two Helios 2/3 units, one mounted on thier vehicle and one that they will set up on location for those times where its not feasible to have the vehicle right there on site. The Helios 3 SCS also found favor on various marine vessels due to the range it could broadcast, because of this Helios released the Helios 3 Marine Communications System (MCS) version of the Helios 3 SCS, with refitted the Helios 3 with more durable weathering seals, slightly higher power, the Helios 3 MCS could transmit out to a 15,000 mile radius, and also the Helios 3 MCS has a built in emergency life support system that transmits the MCS's location in case of an emergency to search and rescue teams, that consists of an inflatable life boat for up to 15 people, and a weeks worth survival bars, a high calorie, high protien energy bar and a small water distillation/desalination plant that can process 2 gallons of water a day for 4 weeks, in addition to the standard first aid kit, flare, survival blankets, etc...

I am do have other companies and businesses I have created for my background fluff, that I do plan on posting later, as previously mentioned I will be adding an additional page to my blog of the various companies like I have done with Castle Pharmaceuticals.


  1. Fantastic stuff Doug! Your attention to deoth and detail is amazing.

  2. That should say 'depth'

    So many zombies, so much death... however it might be spelled!

  3. I love your background fluff, Doug. I felt like I was reading about a real company here. Bravo, my friend!