Worldwide News Servicetm

Headquarters: London

Regional Offices: Anchorage, Seattle, Ottowa, New York, Washington, Miami, Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Denver, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Mexico City, Caracas, Rio De Janeiro, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, London, Berlin, Jerusalem, Cairo, Tokyo, Honolulu, Tangier, Beijing, Shanghai, Gateway, Luna, Mars, Jupiter.

Name and Location of Major Shareholder: Mahmet Al Hamedi, Ryiadh, holding 31.6% of total shares.

Worldwide: 215,000
Troops: 7,005
Covert: 644

Background: WNS keeps tabs on the world, by any means possible. Nespapers and news stations around the world pay large amounts of money to receive WNS stories via the WorldSat Network. WNS has more offices than most corporations, but most of these offices are fairly small and limited in function, intended to serve only as bases of operations for the Operatives and reporters working in the area. WNS has at least one small office in almost every major city of the world, but these are sometimes no more than rooms with a few provisions, one resident agent and a Telecom-Terminal linked to the nearest regional office.

Few competitors can match WNS' information gathering capabilities, and WNS ensures that it remains at the forefront, not only through legitimate means, but also through spying, espionage, sabotage and illicit snooping of all sorts. WNS does not run any stations of its own, choosing instead to broker its information to the highest bidder. There is no shortage of buyers, as ratings-hungry broadcasters will fork over millions for exclusive rights to an especially juicy story and the included multimedia presentation package containing WNS' videos, write-ups, and commentaries.

Resources: Dispersed among the regional offices as needed are 65 AV-4 urban assault craft, 25 Osprey II aircraft, 25 corporate jets, and five Boeing C-25 heavy cargo aircraft. Each regional office has two helicopters and an infirmary. Only the London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Tokyo and Seoul offices have surgical capability.


Most players in Shadows of the Soul will be employees of the Worldwide News Service, a megacorporation described in the sidebar, either as full-time "Company" operatives or as freelancers and independent contractors. Company operatives or "salarymen" (also called sarariman, from the original Japanese term) will probably have the best resources available, but freelancers will have much more freedom of action. The company knows everything about its employees, after all; often only scant research is performed on prospective independent contractors.

Cops: These will probably be corporate security officers or investigators for WNS, armed and outfitted according to the needs of the mission. A Cop might be placed in charge of a particularly dangerous or delicate job, or he or she might be assigned as security for the team.

Medias: These are the backbone of the operations of WNS, the reporters and information-seekers who compile their stories and prepare them for broadcast on 3V and SimStim. Some Medias will be covert operatives, working undercover to develop a story so that a more public figure can deliver it in broadcast, while others might be famous, the "talking heads" seen in WNS news stories across the globe and throughout the colonies.

Solos: These might be corporate security tactical specialists, veterans of the GovWars and usually trained in the Special Forces, or they might be "street samurai" hired independently for a particular job. Considering the rarity of their particular gift, A WNS CorpSec team typically involves six Cops for every Solo. Good Solos are hard to come by.

Techs: Techs working for WNS could fill any number of roles, from pilots to computer or cyberwear technicians. Typically WNS prefers to use company techs, but on certain jobs an independent (preferably one with little contact with the news industries) might well be used.

Med-Techs: These will almost always be company doctors, but in some circumstances a street-doc might be called upon--again, depending on the secrecy of the job, and whom it is to be kept secret from.

Fixers: By definition, Fixers are independents, but their unparalleled contacts and access to the streets are skills few jobs can go without.

Nomads/Gangsters: Nomads and Gangsters also are independent by nature. However, most megacorporations maintain quiet contacts with street gangs and some nomad packs, and rumor has it that WNS is no exception.

Corporates: Corporates are the quintessential salarymen, the clerks and executives who make the company tick. A Corporate on a WNS mission might be the mission organizer, sent to ensure its success and compliance with WNS protocol. Or he or she might go simply because the job is too important to leave alone.

Rockers: Musicians and other entertainers and artists are split fairly evenly: the most famous and wealthy are those in a sponsorship contract with a megacorp, while others, often the most talented and cutting-edge, those who set the trends that the others make famous, live on the street and blast the "sellouts" for their lack of artistic integrity. Either way, a rocker's involvement in a WNS job will either be accidental or an integral part of the mission profile.