The command structure of the space pirates, the larger Space Pirate Guild, and the complexity of their organization have become a hot topic as of late in galactic circles. Space pirate attacks have become more brazen on colonies as the defensive lines of the Federation and the Empire are stretched thin due to the rush to claim territory. A recent hack on space pirates' communications resulted in a massive release of documentation. The origins of the hack and the eventual leaks are unknown, but the information proved to be shocking and enlightening.
What was originally considered to be a loose affiliation of individual criminal organizations and crews has been revealed to be an unusually complex structure of operations with a definite hierarchy that seems to be, surprisingly, rigidly adhered to.
Leju Zen's recent blockbuster documentary on this organization, A Gathering of Crime, serves as my primary source, but I will note other sources as they appear.
At its heart, a great deal of the organization of space pirates makes a lot of sense. The backbone of the organization, after all, is the semi-autonomous crews. Each crew is free and encouraged according to documentation to operate in whatever manner the crew sees fit. That element of chaos is what accounted for the longtime belief that the Space Pirate Guild was essentially more of a collectivist structure than any real, organized institution. Pirate crews are able to seek out opportunities as they see fit barring highly specific commands from the organization.
Not exactly surprising was that there were fleets of interconnected crews of pirates. Fleets vary in size and are determined by the influence of the Fleet Captain. While hard numbers have been hard to come by, as the hack wasn't all-encompassing, it is suggested that the larger fleets may be comprised of up to 25 individual crews operating ships at various sizes. Sightings publish in the Galactic Free Press during colonial raids indicate that one such fleet operated what seemed to be a modified command vessel from the Alliance period, pre-Dividing War.
Alarming, to say the least. Though data is limited, there is a suggestion that many such ships may be operated by the Space Pirate Guild, serving as mobile headquarters and rally points for raiding operations.
What was most alarming, as documented in Zen's documentary, was that Fleet Captains work under a designated leader, dubbed the Pirate Queen. The identity of the current Queen is currently unknown. Little information on the Queen's duties exists beyond the idea that all Fleets and Crews seem to defer to her commands. How one becomes a Queen is up in the air, but what is not is that the Queen's influence.
The hack revealed a particularly interesting revelation: the Space Pirate Guild goes far beyond piracy and may have ties to the larger galactic industry. Pirates strikes on shipping lanes are an unfortunately common occurrence but these could, perhaps, be false-flag operations meant to supply the illegal operations run by the Guild. Investigations conducted by the IFGP are still underway.
It is the revelation of a central commander that the Fleets seem to obey that serves as the strangest wrinkle in all of this. How long has the Space Pirate Guild operated under such a structure? Was it a recent development, or does it indicate that this organization has been around for far longer? The presence of such leadership would, for example, explain certain aspects of The Battle of Sono Corridor, which would eventually ripple into the dissolution of the Alliance.
Is there a potentially vast criminal conspiracy that could be influencing the balance of power in the Silver Spiral? It sounds like fiction, but so does the idea of a Queen of the Space Pirates.
And yet, we know there is a Pirate Queen.
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Silver Spiral Archives (with Meilo Thench)Science Fiction
Learn all about the Silver Spiral Galaxy from the hit webcomic "Cosmic Dash" with your host, Meilo Thench. Every week Meilo will dive into a topic he has researched for Galactipedia and share a little personal insight into how life in the Silver Spi...