Nelson katzadoulos's dream was to create a mercenary organization that could offer a variety of high quality services to the discriminating customer who wanted a little more for his money.
With an honored war hero as military coordinator, and a wealthy inheritor as silentpartner, the lazarus group was born.
The Lazarus Military Operations Group or Lazarus Group, is a megacorporation entirely focused on private military contracting with operations across the globe ranging from single operatives to entire armored divisions.
The Lazarus Group's reputation, continued success, and income depend on the contracting of military services in a number of disciplines and a wide selection of varying conditions. In short, it is a versatile mercenary force, providing soldiers and special agents for hire to people or organizations that do not have the resources, need, or time to recruit and maintain a full time armed force of their own. The variety of military services offered by the Lazarus Group are considerable. Force sizes range from single, specialized solos and small special-operations teams to entire infantry divisions that can be leased wholesale. A variety of expertise and equipment are available as options.
Nelson Katzadoulos' goal when he founded the Lazarus Group was merely to establish a profitable corporation that catered to the military contracting niche. All expansion and diversification of the corporation has occurred simply because marketing analysis showed that it would eventually lead to increased profits. Katzadoulos has no ulterior motives for the corporation other than to increase his fortune; however, he will go to great lengths to ensure the continued success of the Lazarus Group, including pressuring competitors out of business and engaging in in-house black operations. That is no different from any other modern corporation, however, and not deserving of any special elaboration.
Emile Lazarus' goal was to create and implement a military organization that was efficient, competently run, and worthy of his pride. Since Lazarus commands all the Group's military forces and oversaw their creation, he has been largely successful. Lazarus troops, agents and commanders are competent, battle worthy, and honorable in the field. Morale remains high among the troops, and a Lazarus Group uniform demands respect throughout the world military community. Lazarus continues to keep a tight reign over his forces, ensuring that standards stay high and operational success is the rule. He has done his best to make sure that the incompetence and bureaucracy that undermined the U.S. military forces in Central America does not infect his organization.
Needless to say, a corporation that earns its keep through military action and the analysis of other organizations military capabilities is bound to make a few enemies. Lazarus is fairly scrupulous about what contracts it takes, attempting to avoid military confrontations with corporations that have the power to take serious retribution. Fortunately, that is a rare limitation. Among the corporations that Lazarus has crossed swords with are Arasaka, Net 54, Orbital Air and Petrochem. The Group's staunchest corporate ally is Militech, from whom it purchases millions of dollars worth of military equipment annually. Several nations across Southeast Asia, Africa, South and Central America, and even Europe have run afoul of Lazarus mercenaries. Chief among these are Burma, Italy, Spain, Libya, the Congo, South Africa, Venezuela and Colombia.
Nelson Katzadoulos, a wealthy inheritor, came up with the idea for the Lazarus Group. Katzadoulos had remarked that the twenty-first century would need a mercenary organization that offered high-quality services for discriminating customers. His dream was to create a mercenary organization that could offer services of a much higher caliber than the mercenary companies or loaned-out corporate military services of his day.
Katzadoulos, knowing nothing about how to lead a military force, set out to find somebody who was able to. Emile Lazarus, a former Colonel in the U.S Army Special Forces and Medal of Honor recipient, was hired to lead the operations. His well-known name was also used to brand the corporation. Nelson Katzadoulos remained a silent partner, taking care of corporate finances. In 2010, the first Lazarus training facilities were built. The first group of recruits to Lazarus consisted of 5000 trainees who received eight weeks of training from experts in equipment and tactics. Throughout the 2010s, the Lazarus group expanded rapidly.
Throughout the 2010s, the Lazarus group participated in the following conflicts:
|Central African Conflicts of 2013||Brief conflict that took place in Central Africa with guerilla fighters|
|Urban Unrest of 2014||Brief conflict that took place in the United States|
|Third Corporate War of 2016||A large-scale corporate conflict that took place mostly on the Net|
|European Brushfire Wars of 2018||Brief conflict that took place in Europe.|
With its many triumphs and constant operations, the Lazarus group grew consistently in the decade between its 2010 inception and the present. Auxiliary, basic training, recruitment facilities, and corporate offices opened around the United States and in several other countries, while Lazarus constructed specialty training schools for troops and operatives world-wide. Katzadoulos and Lazarus maintained an even hand at all stages of development, ensuring that all finances were tight and high standards were maintained for all military acquisitions and training.
Presently, the Lazarus Group is the most successful and largest, specialty military service contracting organization in the world. Its reputation remains high, and the corporation continues to grow, boasting over a quarter of a million troops on active service or quick-activation reserve. With increasing tensions, brush fire wars, and corporate armed conflict spread across the world, it looks like the future of the Lazarus Group is rosy indeed.
Military Combat Services
The Lazarus Group's reputation, continued success and income depend on the contracting of military services in a number of strengths, and a selection of varying conditions. In short, it is a versatile mercenary force, providing soldiers and special agents for hire to people or organizations that do not have the resources, need or time to construct and maintain a full time armed force of their own.
The variety of different military services offered by the Lazarus Group are considerable. Force sizes range from single, specialized solos and small special operations teams to entire infantry divisions that can be leased wholesale. A variety of expertise and equipment are available as options.
Lazarus trains its own operatives, and hires on solos who already have a wide range of experience. The more experienced a solo, the higher their lease price. Not only is this the result of supply and demand, but part of the fee is insurance. Losing an experienced operative can cost the Lazarus Group a lot of money, as highly skilled solos, commonly with years of experience and expensive training are highly prized, not to mention the additional cost incurred by having one less active solo to lease out. Lazarus maintains solos of both genders, and as many combinations of race and linguistic ability as possible. There are times when a black woman with perfect fluency in Swedish and an Osprey combat pilot certification is the only agent that will do for a particular mission. Lazarus does its best to be prepared for any hiring conditions. There is usually a surcharge, similar to the experience surcharge, for solos with unique or rare combinations of looks and/or skills. The more unique the package, the higher the surcharge.
The tasks usually assumed by solo operatives include reconnaissance, infiltration, assassination, sabotage, investigation and industrial espionage missions. All situations are accommodated, including airdrops, scuba infiltration, special terrain, long range or long duration, deep cover, and multinational operations. Solos have the right to turn down missions that they consider too risky, but the Lazarus group is not likely to maintain on call an operative who pales at the prospect of a tough mission. Unless a mission is truly suicidal, rejection is unusual.
Small Units and Special Teams
The second group of services offered by Lazarus are small unit forces and special operations teams and cadres. When the situation calls for small unit special tactics, or where a single operative does not pack enough punch but a large force would be too obvious, Lazarus can provide a variety of team types, strengths, and specialties. Force sizes range from two soldiers to about twenty, but most of the contracting in this area involves teams of two to six. As with solo operatives, a variety of specialties and equipment options are available. Common training and special ties include deep penetration black operations, maritime, amphibious and submarine operations, long range recon, quick strike teams, urban-specialized, and special terrain teams. These teams run missions such as demolition and sabotage, assassinations, intimidation, hostage rescue, extractions and other special-forces type operations.
Small unit maintenance and leasing is done in a couple of different ways, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The first type is the custom-assembled team. The Lazarus Group will assemble a team with a cross section of skills and a numerical strength exactly as specified by the client. The advantage of this method is that any assortment of peculiar looks, talents, and skills can be arranged. The disadvantage is that there is no guarantee that the individual soldiers will have ever worked together; so the client will have to choose between leasing a team where the soldiers may not be familiar with each other, or paying and waiting for extra training time. Payment for custom teams is assessed by the individual lease values and surcharges of each soldier over the length of time of the contract, plus a team hiring rate.
The second type of small unit is the cadre. In cadres all the soldiers live, work and train together with each other over a long period of time. The advantage is that all cadre members are intimately familiar with each other, and each compatriot's skills, weaknesses, and personalities. Because of this, cadres tend to operate more efficiently and suffer fewer losses. The disadvantage is that cadres tend not to be as specialized as custom teams. There is no doubt that they are deadly, and can handle a multitude of situations, but they will not necessarily have the specific assortment of skills that can be attained by assembling a team from scratch. Payment for cadres is also a little different than for custom teams. Instead of paying for separate individuals there is a single cost for a cadre, assessed over the contract time. All specialization and experience surcharges apply to the group, not to individual members. The end result is that cadres and custom teams of comparable strengths cost about the same, but have different advantages and disadvantages. It is up to the client to decide which type would be more advantageous for a given mission, although the Lazarus Group will be happy to make a recommendation.
Medium forces encompass groups ranging from large platoon size (about 50 soldiers) to company, and finally, battalion strength (about 1000 soldiers). Medium forces are used for a variety of catch-all purposes, including area security, crowd control, ground interdiction, reinforcement, assault, and so forth. Most medium forces are equally trained in standard operations plus urban combat, mountain, snow, desert, jungle, maritime, and other operations. There are, however, some available units with extra training in one or the other specialization. These units can be leased at extra cost.
Most of the specialization in medium units concerns deployment tactics and available equipment. The Lazarus group maintains rapid deployment light infantry, assault troops (both airborne and amphibious), and mechanized infantry including mobile armor and aircraft, and tank-equipped units. All air units are for troop deployment and ground support. Lazarus does not maintain any interceptors or strategic strike aircraft.
Medium troop deployments represent the bread and butter of the Lazarus Group. Few organizations can afford to contract large groups for long periods of time, and most contract situations do not require tremendous troop strengths so much as they require deft application, intelligent planning and execution. Payment for the leasing of medium troop forces is assessed against the size of the contingent, the equipment at their disposal, and the length of the contract. Lazarus will add surcharges for assessed risk to the force, and for equipment used by the contracted units. Air equipped troops are most expensive, ground armor is of intermediate cost, and light infantry is cheapest. There are other surcharges for rapid deployment, chemical and biological warfare conditions, and equipment maintenance under harsh conditions.
Large forces include all groups from brigade size (about 2,000 soldiers) to divisions (about 10,000 soldiers). A division is the largest single unit fielded by the Lazarus Group. As a general rule, only nations and large corporations can afford to contract large forces. Typically recruited as straightforward mercenary units, these are used for reinforcement by one side or the other in brush fire and corporate wars. The largest contingent that Lazarus will provide to any client is 20,000 troops, at a cost of up to 100 million eurodollars per month after troop salaries, corporate overhead, equipment costs and special situations are factored in. Obviously, only a select few clients can ever afford to retain a group of soldiers that large; and even then not for a very long period of time.
Large forces are composed mostly of Lazarus-trained G.I.s with only a basic familiarization with unusual combat circumstances. If necessary, specialized units can be subcontracted as part of the force. As with medium groups, several varieties of troop delivery and equipment are available, and the surcharge ratios are the same.
Combat Services (Non-Lazarus)
There are a few types of duty that the Lazarus Group generally does not contract for. Chief among these is corporate security, considered an impacted market due to Arasaka competition. Lazarus troops train for more discreet combat operations over short or moderate lengths of time, and not for long term static operations. That being said if someone suspects that they or their corporation are going to be infiltrated or attacked by an armed force during a particular time window, Lazarus will contract out troops for defense purposes. These contracts are typically for short periods of time, and do not represent permanent security. Also worth noting, the Lazarus Group will not contract for offensive operations against civilians, although it will defend against them if they become unruly.
Consultants and Advisors
Since many of the finest military men and women in the world Lazarus employs, the Lazarus group also licenses out consultants and advisors for use by clients in operations, and in the training and management of their own military forces. Third world countries no longer need to engage in messy alliances with larger powers in order to obtain expert trainers and advisors as they can contract these experts straight from Lazarus. Many corporations and nations around the world currently employ Lazarus consultants; aiding in operations planning, equipment management, troop training, and strategic command.
Training Client's Troops
Lazarus training produces some of the finest troops in the world. Not only does Lazarus train all its own troops, re-educating those with previous military experience, but will also train the troops of other corporations or nations. This can be done either by sending advisors to construct a program for the client, or by sending the client's trainees through Lazarus' own facilities. Both are considered acceptable options. The only training that Lazarus considers proprietary are its special operations schools and certain programs affiliated with the Foundation. Lazarus has trained G.I.s and officers from, or established programs for, several other corporations, along with many wealthy individuals and small nations.
The Lazarus Group has two distinctly different marketing goals, each of which demands its own strategy. To sell its product, Lazarus must be able to convince corporations, governments and powerful individuals around the world that its troops are the best available. In order to provide those troops Lazarus must woo the general population, and persuade talented individuals from around the world, experienced and inexperienced, to join up.
Advertising the Product
Lazarus advertises its services around the world. Its primary clients are large corporations and small countries,and it is toward these markets that the Lazarus Group's in-house advertising department directs most of its efforts. Regular circulars are sent out to potential client corporations. These are flashy, colorful affairs which present a shallow, glossy look at the Group's military capabilities. Ads run in corporate periodicals, and are placed on corporate sector billboards. Commercials run during corporate oriented network programming and on corporate broadcast channels. Huge advertising icons stand in the corporate areas of the Net's virtual universe.
Lazarus will recruit anyone, experienced or not, whom they feel has the potential to be an effective combat asset. Since the pool of potential combat employees spans a wide spectrum, from wet nosed high school kids to street-wise, battle-hardened solos, to retired field grade officers and analysts, Lazarus must recruit in a variety of ways. For the inexperienced, Lazarus runs advertisements during network shows popular with people age 17 to 25. These ads tend to emphasize short and medium enlistment periods, during which the candidate can gain skills and experience that will supposedly prove valuable later in life. The truth is, once you sign up with Lazarus, they will do everything they can to keep you on board, offering re-enlistment bonuses, lifetime commitment bonuses, and promises of advancement. In big cities, Lazarus usually has one or two small recruiting offices; like the national armed forces, only slicker. Also, the Group frequently holds recruitment seminars on high school and college campuses, and in underprivileged areas of the cities, where the emphasis is put on the corporation being a means of escape from the underclass and into respectability.
The Lazarus Group, unlike certain other corporations, goes to considerable pains to maintain a good image in public eye. Since so much recruitment takes place from the general population, it is important that people feel positive about the corporation. This can be tricky when the main service is military contracting, i.e., destruction and warfare. Lazarus spends a considerable amount of money on public relations and image advertising. The prestigious (and costly) Washington D.C. public relations firm of Jenner, Anatolyev, Rodriguez, and Blume handles the Lazarus account, and devotes a large amount of time to seeing that the worldwide perception of the Lazarus group, at least among the ignorant masses, is that of a benign protector of those too weak to fend for themselves, and as a means of character building and escape from poverty for the world's youth. Jenner et.al. work closely with Lazarus' ad department, and lobby fiercely around the world on Lazarus' behalf. The P.R. campaign has been quite successful, despite debunking attempts by several of the Group's enemies.
- Main article: List of Lazarus employees
The Lazarus Group is unique among Cyberpunk corporations in that it only has one really large office tower. Most of the Group's regional offices are somewhat small, low-key buildings located in suburban areas. Alternatively, since many local bureaus need not have more than a basic showroom, sales, and consulting staff, even one small building can be overkill. It is common to find Lazarus sales offices in spaces leased out of city business towers. Of course, what Lazarus lacks in towering offices it makes up for with the Foundation campus and various training facilities.
Lazarus Rosslyn Headquarters
The main Lazarus Headquarters, its executive base of operations, is a tower in the Virginia corporate center of Rosslyn. Rosslyn is an area in Arlington County, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. Since developers have been unable to overturn the old ordinance that makes it illegal to build any structure taller than the Washington Monument within D.C. city limits, Rosslyn has become a construction Mecca for corporations who want offices in the D.C. area but can't build their towers in the city proper. Many a corporate office billed as residing in "Washington D.C." is really in Rosslyn. Its a cosmetic separation that doesn't seem to cause the corporations much inconvenience, especially since Rosslyn has a much lower crime rate than the city proper.
The Foundation Campus
The campus of the Katzadoulos Military and Strategic Studies Foundation is located in the wooded outskirts of Bethesda, Maryland, only a few short minutes away from Washington D.C. and Rosslyn. It is a cluster of low, modern buildings surrounded by trees and connected by a loose web work of paths and service roads.
The campus buildings house the large, six story Foundation Research Hall, where most of the think-tank's offices and principal personnel are located, the three classroom/laboratory buildings comprising the Lazarus Military Studies Institute , an auditorium, a small Lazarus troop barracks, a guest dormitory/recreation building, and a small office and administration building. There is a general parking area, and a maintenance area for the Foundation troops to stow and work on their vehicles. A landing area about two-hundred meters from the campus is equipped to handle AV-4s, helicopters and Ospreys.
Security at the Institute is extremely strict. The barracks house two hundred Lazarus troops, including solos and special ops cadres, and the grounds are patrolled by armed soldiers and dogs twenty-four hours a day. The Foundation security chief is always a special ops veteran of at least deuce Colonel rank. The entire compound is surrounded by a fifteen foot security fence, and a security center in the Foundation Administration Building coordinates all electronic and manpower security. There is no admittance to the compound without clearance from the head office. To obtain clearance, potential researchers, students and staff must undergo a background check and have their identities verified. Once given the OK, a clearance I.D. badge will be made at the head office and issued to the candidate or guest. All pertinent information, along with the I.D. photograph, will then be transmitted to the foundation security unit. The individual, badge, and transmitted information will all be checked on arrival, and only then will admission be granted.
First time visitors must be accompanied by an upper level Lazarus executive or soldier. Even for regular Foundation personnel, the I.D. badge and photo comparison is required for access to the campus and all buildings. For crisis situations there are secure, cellular hotlines to the head office, the Arlington/Rosslyn Corporate Air Center, and the Arlington main troop barracks. Security is this tight not only because of the sensitive nature of Foundation work but also because important Foundation researchers, guests and students make extraction or assassination attempts a likely possibility. To this date, the security of the foundation has never been compromised.
Fort Powell, Montana
This is the Lazarus Group's main training facility and largest single barracks. There are over twenty-thousand troops stationed here at any given time. The lion's share of these are in training or re-training; but many are fully trained, ready for action soldiers. The fort itself is almost a small city, and it is no secret that the nearby town of Mineral Rock, in Mineral County, has undergone something of an economic renaissance largely due to the huge amounts of money spent by Lazarus troops on liberty.
Fort Powell is tucked into the cold confines of the Rocky Mountains, in the midst of a rugged and beautiful area. The placement is largely functional. The fort is geographically protected from assault, and air defense is aided by the confining mountains. There is a large airfield capable of handling heavy airlift jets. The airfield is occasionally closed down by winter storms, but never for more than a few days, and Lazarus has more than enough troops elsewhere in the world to cover for any short term access problems at Fort Powell. Full closure for more than two days is rare, as heavy runway clearing equipment is kept on hand at the fort, and the advanced avionics in the C-25 and other aircraft used by Lazarus make landings possible even in harsh weather. In fact, it is something of an initiation rite among Lazarus airborne troops to have taken off from Fort Powell in the midst of a raging storm, bound for a combat drop somewhere. These flights are colloquially known as "vomit hops".
Besides the airfield, facilities at Fort Powell include hangars, barracks, a large store, a movie theater, a bowling alley, enlisted and officer clubs, dance halls, mess halls, gymnasiums and indoor training facilities, firing ranges, vehicle maintenance shops, urban combat training mockups, athletic fields and outdoor training grounds. The commanding officer is four-bar Colonel Yolanda Nesbit, a long time U.S. Army and Lazarus veteran.
Other Training Facilities
Lazarus maintains a variety of more specialized training facilities. Among these are the Marine Combat Operations School in Annapolis, Maryland, the Special Operations and Airborne School in Charleston, South Carolina, and the secretive Cadre Training Camp near Abbeville, Louisiana.
These are the small facilities around the world where Lazarus stations and trains its on-duty soldiers, and where on-call troops report to. The bulk of Lazarus' quick response troops are based out of these small compounds. Lazarus has troop barracks near almost all sizable cities, with the larger camps being located near regional offices. There are forty-five in all, spread around the world. Many camps are mothballed bases purchased from the U.S. Government at a discount, but some were custom built for Lazarus. Most have airfields, and those that don't have easy access to one. The size of the contingents at barracks camps range from 1000 to 5000 troops. Barracks camps always have a cross section of soldiers on base or on-call in the area, including line troops, solos, and cadres. Ospreys and AV-4s are kept on hand for deployment to local operations. Larger camps have C-25s on call for rapid deployment anywhere in the world.
Lazarus Group regional offices can be found in major cities around the world, including New York, Chicago, Night City, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Seoul, Cairo, Nairobi and others. These are usually discrete buildings tucked away in suburban industrial parks. The regional offices serve as coordinating and resource centers for all Lazarus contracts in the area, and offer information centers and sales reps for potential clients. Lazarus also has many executives and officers who have to travel the world to manage various accounts, and the regional offices provide office space and resources for these individuals. The bureau chiefs at these offices have the authority to dispatch troops and agents as needed for combat actions.
In just about every city on the face of the Earth, tucked into a commercial mall or corporate center, there is small Lazarus Group Sales Office. These are nothing more than flashy showrooms staffed with handsome sales reps. Potential clients and recruits can come in and check out stats and file footage of Lazarus Troops and operations. These offices cater not so much to large corporate clients, who usually deal directly with the Lazarus head office, but to wealthy individuals and small companies who need to hire small detachments of Lazarus soldiers to run specific missions.
Equipment & Weapons 2020
The Lazarus Group has a mutually beneficial exclusivity/endorsement contract with the Militech Corporation. This means that Lazarus uses Militech equipment whenever possible, and makes sure that the equipment is visible in ads and films of Lazarus combat actions. In return, the Group receives Militech's typically high quality merchandise in bulk for a substantial discount. Lazarus also conducts operational trials for experimental Militech equipment and weapons. The two corporations are closely allied, but it is wholly a marriage of convenience. Not all of Lazarus' equipment is manufactured by Militech, there are some products that are outside the manufacturing giant's purview. Non-Militech products come from a variety of sources. Here are some items commonly carried or used by Lazarus personnel.
There is a pretty wide latitude in standard dress and equipment among Lazarus troops and executives, but a few basic rules govern both arms of the corporation.
- Militech MK IV Assault Weapon (revised) – Purchased but not produced by Lazarus
- Militech Dragon Light Assault Weapon – Purchased but not produced by Lazarus
- Militech Arms Avenger – Purchased but not produced by Lazarus
- Militech Viper Submachinegun – Purchased but not produced by Lazarus
- Militech Renegade Squad Automatic Weapon – Purchased but not produced by Lazarus
- Militech Personal Tactical Computer/Global Positioning System – Purchased but not produced by Lazarus
- Barclay and Co. Infrared Defeating Camouflage – Purchased but not produced by Lazarus
- Microcomm Pagestar – Purchased but not produced by Lazarus
- Shanling Biological Research Inc. High Energy Field Ration – Purchased but not produced by Lazarus