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Symbol for The Imperium

James Heid

Admiral James Heid as he appears in-game

Imperium is one of the six playable factions in Pandora: First Contact. Imperium, also known as Empire Management is a militaristic corporation led by Admiral James Heid. Imperium begins the game with one Colonial Trooper

Abilities[ | ]

  • Militaristic: +25% power
  • Resilient: +100% healing rate
  • Well-trained: 3 free Field Training
  • High-paid: +25% unit upkeep

History[ | ]

Sure I'm aware that for out guys this fight was a hellhole, a living nightmare. But for me, for the veterans... it was Tuesday.

-- Admiral James Heid, The Callisto Conflict

At the end of the 20th century, war got expensive, fast. When a single-shot dumb missile costs more than a small town, you can’t just fire them at anyone –- but the Western powers did, fearful of losing even a single soldier. Most first-world soldiers never got within a mile of a living enemy, and their autonomous drones.

Meanwhile their developing-world opponents cobbled together counter-tech from video game consoles, how-to guides on 4chan and sheer bile. It was asymmetric warfare to the nth degree, one side using money, the other lives.

For the West it got to the point where a single soldier’s death was a tragedy –- so it was simpler to hire veterans, mercenaries and the insurgents themselves. The corporation that fronted all this –- that provided a one-click military solution anywhere in the world, dropping bombs like ordering pizzas –- was Empire Management, originally an internet logistics firm run by Chad Harrigan and Buck Smith, a pair of Muscle Marys from Venice Beach, California.

Empire’s rise to dominance was fast, thanks to the terrorism scares of the 2030s. It was often rumored that Empire's boys supplied the terrorists too –- indeed, that they instigated minor insurgencies in key mineral territories when the global warfare levels dropped. Empire's troops, raised in private camps to work in squads called ‘legions’, were recognized as the best on the planet. Soon, warring factions could bid against each other for Empire’s protection in a territory –- with the auction loser often surrendering and the winner paying the full fee, with no troops or bombs ever deployed.

With the private space race in full flight, Chad and Buck saw a new opportunity. They approached the management of Noxium, offering them a simple deal; access to space in return for the elimination of their competitors. Noxium agreed and, in a series of short-lived skirmishes, space became the fiefdom of the two corporations, with Empire absorbing other military firms, and pretty much merging with the US military. An internal marketing-squad renamed the firm Imperium in the late 2060s, in parody of the Solar Dynasty.

Chad and Buck didn't make it through the 2070s –- a loophole in their procurement software saw a disgruntled employee dump a small satellite-rod on their rural Californian home, obliterating it and the local area –- and the company was left in trust for their body-building club. Operationally, it was taken over by a young veteran, James Heid, a self-styled admiral, who’d grown up in the Spartan training camps of Ceres.

Within a few years of Heid's appointment, his first major challenge arrived; the Pandora discovery and the revelation that Noxium was working on transports without the involvement of Imperium. Heid's reaction was characteristically calm. During a long-distance conference call with the Noxium board, he raised the issue – and was rejected, explicitly. At which point Heid panned his camera to reveal that he was on Callisto, already silently conquered by his troops, under his personal command, and that they had seized the prototype colony ship.

Heid's decision to fly personally to Pandora is pragmatic. His forces don’t need Pandora – but the company’s pride couldn't stand the concept of wars without Imperium, and he was sure war was going to come on Pandora.