It is characteristic of the Syndicate that the wilderness is entirely ignored, both scientifically and agriculturally, until it is plowed under to make way for expanding industry.- Moonshake planet description
"Well, they do have a long record of environmental and human rights violations. But they are also the single largest employer in the galaxy, and a main reason for the stability the Republic has enjoyed for the last few centuries. So, I wouldn't call them 'evil.' It's more complicated than that."- Alondo, FW Syndicate Diplomacy 1
The Syndicate is an interstellar megacorporation that acts as the government of 25 human systems in the region known as "the Core." In return for the Syndicate's protection, these worlds provide the materials and most of the manpower that has turned the Syndicate into an economic powerhouse throughout human space. However, many of the Syndicate's employees are immigrants, fleeing overcrowded or underdeveloped worlds in search of a living wage and the opportunity to advance through the corporate hierarchy. The Syndicate's leadership is notoriously prejudiced, and the Syndicate is known to have close ties to pirate cartels and to other shadowy organizations.
The Syndicate's most profitable subsidiaries include Syndicated Systems, located on Hephaestus, which produces components widely required by shipyards, while Syndicated Shipyards on Foundry manufacture nearly half of the merchant freighters currently in service in human space. The Syndicate also includes the Megaparsec corporation further up north.
The Coreward fringes of the Syndicate are sometimes raided by Korath ships from the east. The Syndicate often attacks these raiders in hopes of plundering alien outfits, including the mythical Jump Drive and a Cloaking Device, although they attempt to do so discreetly and hide their efforts in order to gain exclusive access to the alien technologies.
The Syndicate turns out to be responsible for the eventual nuclear attacks on Geminus and on Martini, and for the outbreak of war between the Republic and the newly formed Free Worlds, all for the sake of "forestalling a galactic recession" that was predicted by a quantum computer called the Oracle, given to them by the Alphas in exchange for stolen alien technology, most importantly the Jump Drive.
The Syndicate's freighter ships are Syndicated Shipyards' biggest sellers, but the Syndicate also manufactures its own line of warships for anti-piracy action and planetary defense.
- Republic - The Syndicate is technically part of the Republic, and Syndicate worlds hold a large number of seats in Parliament, but the corporation is permitted a great deal of autonomy. The Syndicate is the source of much of the Republic's tax revenue, so Parliament seldom interferes in their business.
- Free Worlds - The Syndicate leaders are willing to cheat the Free Worlds in the middle of the War to sate their greed.
- Alphas - The Alphas have traded with and manipulated elements of the Syndicate, creating a group of extremists who are willing to start a nuclear war in order to restore the galactic economy in these unstable times.
- Hai - While some of the Syndicate's merchant fleets probably trade with the Hai given their proximity, there is no official contact between them.
- Korath - Korath raiders frequently appear on the eastern fringes of Syndicate space, mainly in Polaris and Sheratan. The Syndicate attacks these raiders, hoping to plunder alien technology.
- Quarg - The Quarg are seemingly ambivalent toward the Syndicate's actions, although there is insufficient information to be sure of their attitude.
- Pug - The Syndicate is briefly in direct conflict with the Pug at the end of the Free Worlds storyline.
- Drak - The Syndicate, powerful as it is, remains a mere subset of humanity, beneath the notice of the Drak.