A City Full of Possibility
Maltese is a dimensional melting pot where many things change constantly, but a few things seem to resist the change and remain. Overall the city is diverse with a mixture of species, wealth, and technology that can be seen with a casual glance. The undercurrents include various political and gang activities in a constant battle to gain more control and influence.
The gangs vary in size with most being between five and thirty members and those who survive the collapse of one gang often join or form others. The most common gang is the street gang which centers around a particular area or business it declares as its turf and harasses or robs from those in the area. The next most common is the go-gang or bouzouki who revolve around a set of vehicles and either engage in banditry or street racing, often both. Ghoul gangs are the most despised as they often engage in murder for body parts or slavery. Thrill gangs tend to be short lived, but are often violent and destructive with wiz-bang gangs being the most frightening as they are thrill gangs made up of wizards.
Organized syndicates are generally more subtle, but harder to get away from than gangs. The Market is a well known shadowy organization that sells nearly anything and has gangs of acquisition experts to help find those items not for sale or too hard to come by legitimately. The Carnival is rumored to deal in all kinds of nefarious activities including demon summoning and assassination. Kingpin is a giant alien who operates a variety of businesses and is rumored to practice extortion and assassination as well. Nearly all the syndicates and probably many of the corporations practice slavery to cut costs, often kidnapping and then using torture, drugs, magic, or cybernetics to keep the slaves in line.
Corporations are rarely less criminal in action than the syndicates, but put on a more polished public image. The law really has no meaning for the corporations although a bad reputation can cause a loss of sales so most operate their own media outlets and pay the neutral stations to give them good press if they can’t be controlled or destroyed.
Government is a joke in Maltese with the Oligarchy rule there is a counsel with members all controlled by various corporate or syndicate interests who bicker and pass meaningless laws while affecting no real change.
Police and Military forces often blur jurisdictions with conflicts erupting on occasions as both forces are rife with corruption and may be working for different factions in the same territory. Generally anything internal to the city is police business and any external threat is military business, but with most resident originating from another dimension the lines get blurred even for an honest person.
Small business is at the mercy of the gangs and corporations who prey upon them relentlessly. Some pay tribute to the syndicates for protection and if they are lucky the syndicates may occasionally hold up their end of the deal. Still there are those who manage to establish a small business and eke out a living in spite of the danger.
Vigilante enforcers who work alone or in groups can be just as nasty as the gangs, but often tell themselves they are perpetuating justice. Some organize into rather large groups or form alliances with others remaining lone wolf or falling into the gangs and syndicates they started out to stop. The Militia is the most well known vigilante organization and often backs the military when something really nasty crawls out of the lake or an alien invasion drops in from space.
Mercenaries are similar to vigilantes with the exception that they get hired to do the work acting as anything from private detectives and bodyguards to assassins and thieves for hire they rarely remain loyal to a single employer and most often expire soon after a big job against one of the corporations or syndicates. Falling between Mercenary and vigilante is the Oracle group, basically a well intentioned group that tries to save the city from internal and external threats.