Republican Pathfinders

Several Terran Stellar League organizations were obsoleted, replaced or simply closed down in the wake of the Republic's founding - one such example was that of the League Pathfinders' Society, which was partly - but not wholly - replaced by the Core Systems Scout Service. Though most of the LPS bureau was simply renamed, many of the League's finest explorers were left out in the cold by the regime change. Understandably miffed at the change, these unemployed explorers banded together to found a new organization by themselves, one they called the Republican Pathfinders. A sort of private Scout Service, the remarkable thing about the Pathfinders is that even their new recruits become better astronavigators and star mappers than most CSSS veterans ever become - which has lent itself to the group getting considerable money and influence through their efforts, their zeal for exploration unhampered by the political concerns of CSSS careerists.

What this all boils down to is that odds are very good that any system within about 4-6 parsecs of known space has been charted by a Pathfinders ship, and any RP ship encountered is liable to have a more comprehensive map of the region than a given CSSS stelnav station. Of course, this information is likely to cost a dear price to those outside the group. Conservative estimates place the cost of contracting the Pathfinders anywhere from two hundred to five hundred million credits for a one- to two-month mission, and upwards of ten billion credits for a long term survey.

Understandably, there is some mutual bitterness between the Scout Service and the Pathfinders; the former see the Pathfinders as weekend adventurers and unreliable, unhinged old coots gone space-crazy, while the latter see the CSSS as bureaucratic functionaries, taught how to observe, copy and report but not how to explore.

One final note to pirates about the Pathfinders: While it may seem tempting to capture an RP ship, as they have cutting edge jump drives and the power plants to put them to work, it is strongly advised that you do not. Their ships have been known to carry nuclear-tipped missiles - a throwback to the League days when they were expected to 'handle any possible threat alone' - and their captains are not shy about lobbing them at attackers with abandon.

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