The Paladin Security Group is a conglomerate of private security and private military firms based in the United Solarian Sovereignty that have banded together under a common name in order to reduce investment risk per company and create an internal capital market members of the group can use to generate funds for large-scale investments. The companies in the Group are linked by interlocking shareholding and a central bank owned by the Group (the Orion Bank), giving rise to a very large and very influential corporate group which does regular business with the government of the Sovereignty. Paladin Security is especially prominent in post-conflict reconstruction areas and in so-called 'contingency zones', areas of continued unrest in the colonies, but is also capable of fielding significant direct-action forces that are hired out across the galaxy. In effect, PSG can do almost anything a small military can do, up to and including the wholesale invasion of lightly defended planets.
Members of the Group
Paradigm Security Services
The largest of the member companies, Paradigm Security Services (or Par-Sec, as the company is usually referred to) is also the most notorious member of the Paladin Group. Par-Sec is a large private military firm with a long history of power abuse, blue-on-blue incidents, wrongful shootings, abuse of locals and attempted coverups of wrongdoings, but continues to receive ample business from the Sovereignty in the colonial territories as well as Wild Space areas near the Sovereignty. This is mostly due to extensive bribes paid to key senators as well as the relatively cheap cost of hiring Par-Sec to do those jobs the United Solarian Marine Corps would be 'too expensive' to do. Paradigm Security has a highly antagonistic relationship with the Marine Corps, and its soldiers (mostly volunteers, in sharp contrast to the nearly all-Replicant marines) have over recent years exchanged fire on several occasions with marine forces. So far this has not led to the dissolution of its contracts with the U.S.S. government. Paradigm Security operates several divisions worth of mechanized troops and has its own troop ships, typically converted liners, and operates a limited aerospace superiority contingent. It is forbidden by Sovereignty law, however, from operating dedicated warships without a letter of marque, which it so far has not managed to obtain.
Jagged Edge Consulting
Jagged Edge Consulting is smaller than Par-Sec, but not by much. It focuses on paramilitary security, and provides foreign internal defense and counter-terrorism training to colonial security forces, as well as bodyguard details to VIPs. It also has an elite but little-advertised black-ops division made up almost entirely of former Para-Marines who engage in all sorts of illicit behaviour - sabotage, demolitions, assassinations and worse - on behalf of customers, as long as the customer can pay for it. Unlike Par-Sec, Jagged Edge does not have its own troop ships, but rather habitually leases foreign transports to infiltrate its operatives onto target worlds without attracting much in the way of attention.
The smallest member of the Paladin Group, the Cerberus Syndicate exclusively recruits psions. Many of its operatives are ex-CEID or former members of other intelligence agencies. It is the most covert of all the companies in the group, operating almost exclusively in plainclothes and providing mental defense as well as espionage and meta-offense services to its customers. The Syndicate is rumoured to be a front for CEID Zero.
Smaller than either Par-Sec or Jagged Edge, but almost exclusively focused on direct action, Executive Decisions was founded with the explicit intent of forming a force capable of landing on a Wild Space planet, disposing its leadership, and installing one more amenable to the wishes of the customer (typically megacorporations out for mineral resources). The mercenaries of Executive Decisions form a small number of highly mobile brigades equipped with powersuits and high-speed armor, trained to blitz colonial militias with speed and superior firepower, decapitate colonial leadership and then present the survivors with the conquest of the colony as a fait accompli. This tends to work somewhat well, at least until the company pulls out... At which point a colony usually promptly rebels against whichever megacorporation has taken over. Accordingly the minute Executive Decisions pulls out of an operation, you'll typically see Par-Sec move in. This practice, as well as the gratuitous violence with which the company tends to establish its hegemony over barely defended settlements, has lead Executive Decisions to develop a reputation that is possibly even worse than Par-Sec itself.
A notoriously shady organization, the Orion Bank has over the years been implicated (but never convicted of) several counts of fraud, money laundering and other financial malpractices. It however continues to operate in the Sovereignty with seeming impunity, lending some credence to the theory that CEID might be using the bank to conduct at least some of its less-than-legal transactions. The Orion Bank is used to control the funds generated by the Paladin Group, as well as finance its operations and conduct hostile take-overs of targets of opportunity. In the past, the bank has bought entire settlements wholesale, only to dismantle them, sell them to the highest bidder without regard for the well-being of the colonists, or simply to use the settlement as a security asset to generate credit for the military operations of the Paladin Group. More illicitly the Orion Bank acts as a bank for any number of pirates, mercenaries, privateers and rogue traders of questionable morals, gleefully taking their money and using it to generate even more funds for the Paladin Group.