The Angels aren't interested in idealistic Utopias or cosmic destinies. If the Angels have a coherent ideal at all, it centers on freedom for the individual. They believe that human beings can manage their own destinies just fine if they're left alone. On the other hand, the Angels have a definite (if unsophisticated) moral sense. They despise wealth gained by exploitation, power seized by force, knowledge kept secret, and truth hidden by lies.
Like many of the civilizations, they are centered around some fringe element of Earth. The Data Angels are based around hacker communities and much of their society is focused around the Hacker Ethic.
The Hacker Ethic
- Access to computers — and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works — should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-on Imperative!
- All information should be free.
- Mistrust authority — promote decentralization.
- Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position.
- You can create art and beauty on a computer.
- Computers can change your life for the better.
The Angels enjoy creature comforts and entertainment. This is especially true of the members who are not ace programmers and researchers. The engineers, scientists, researchers, administrators, police and others who make up the community's support network are particularly fond of luxuries. Meanwhile, even the technological elite indulge in good food, intoxicants, and elaborate role-playing games when not pursuing a clever hack.
The Data Angels are nominally led by a chief executive called the "Datajack." This figure presides over a democracy of very pure form, in which all serious issues are decided by a vote of the entire civilization. Current Datajack Sinder Roze must manage her fractious followers through charisma, persuasion, intimidation, and sheer mastery of their shared technical craft. This last factor is particularly important. The Angels grant a great deal of status to those who can execute difficult burns or "count coup" on powerful faction enemies.
Administration is more informal among the Angels than in any other civilization. Basically, any Angel is free to see a job that needs to be done and try to make a profit while doing it. There is also a strong "gift economy" among the Angels, in which people win social status by contributing to the community's well-being. This gift economy is moderately effective at meeting the civilization's needs in areas that the free-enterprise system might miss.
Data Angels tend to wear simple but stylish clothing. They have a definite sense of fashion, but that sense changes from year to year. Of course, functional and unpretentious work clothes are always in style. The Angels tend to accumulate lots of personal toys and gadgets, which they carry along wherever they go. The best of these are not only entertaining, but useful in a crisis.
In their dealings with others, the Angels get along well with the Stardwellers sharing much in common outlooks and shared interests. The Mechanica is another friendly civilization for them, with the Independents, Spacers and Stored rounding out the ones the associate with the most. Relations with the Logicians and Union are not friendly and cool at best. Given their ethics, the Data Angels do not get along well with the Roamers, Masquerade and Disciples, in fact any civilization that places a strong emphasis on secrecy, privacy and anonymity will have difficulty with them. While the Angels think its harmless, those on the receiving end tend to be furious about it.
All societies in the core book can be found among the Data Angels. All of the unofficial ones can also be found among them as well.
Common Name: Angels
Benefit: Neural Mesh (regardless of Cognitech score) and the Hacker special ability at level 5 which can function as Programmer, or Spy and be improved like a regular Profession.
Inspector Status: Equivalent to a local police officer.
Core Values: Freedom and Hacker Ethics
Freedom refers to physical and ideological freedom. It helps Angels resist any attempt to remove what they see as basic rights, and lets them argue more effectively against restrictions that might be put on their actions or selves. Arguing with a Angel over the merits of restricted research, caste-style societies, indentured servitude, or similar ideological restrictions is an exercise in futility.
Hacker Ethics (above). The Angels hold to this and as a result they'll count coup on organizations and individuals they disdain. Needless to say, holding closely to this Core Value can cause problems when visiting other civilizations.