Pirates, the most common and most widespread threat in the Gemini Sector. Pirates operate out of three hidden bases in Gemini that are nearer to the major systems than most people would think. Two are four jumps from major systems and one, the most isolated (and productive) is five jumps away from a major system. It's a good idea to steer clear of these bases, as they are all surrounded by asteroids and always have four or five talons circling the base. If you really want to make money though, these bases supply some the most desired goods in the sector. All pirate produced goods are illegal except for plaything magazine. Piracy, which was considered an ancient sixteenth and seventeenth century practice has once again become extremely profitable because of sparse patrols and the fact that Gemini is so vast. Pirates fly talons and are actually pretty good pilots. Becoming a pirate is quite profitable as you can become allied with one of the largest and most powerful groups in Gemini. Pirates have gained control of almost all of the Fariss Quadrant and operate out of abandoned mining bases. It is known that two of the three pirate bases are located in Fariss, with the other most probably located somewhere in Humboldt.
Pirates are very numerous and you will encounter them almost every mission. They usually travel in groups of three or four and their main targets are large merchant ships such as the Drayman. They blow up the cargo ship and tractor in the cargo that was blown clear in the explosion, they then sell the goods at the closest base for pure profit. Very lucrative business piracy.
The Church of Man or "Retros" as they are more commonly known, is the one of the most hated groups in Gemini. In fact, the only other group known to fly in Gemini that ranks equal to them on the "hate-o-meter" are the Kilrathi. Retros are a group of fanatical zealots who hate all technology and have resolved to use it against humanity to eliminate all who don't "believe". Retros have a base somewhere in Gemini although the location of it is currently unknown. They fly talons and are not afraid to die for their god, indeed they have been seen flying kamikazie missions against confed cap ships. They are fanatics, willing to ram you, killing themselves and taking you with them. Retros usually travel in groups of three or four, and consist of mostly outcasts of society who think that they are important now that they are Retros. They can't fly for crap and are a lot easier to kill than pirates. Retros are encoutered all over Gemini although they aren't nearly as common as pirates.
There is a rumored "death list" that the Retros have compiled that lists the ten people that the Retros want dead the most. One known man on this list is Hunter Toth who wrote the book "Prometheus Unplugged" which labeled the Retros as backwards for their hatred of technology, indeed he coined the term "Retro" and we know that he has to be their most wanted man at this time. If you ever encounter Retros, you can either fight or run. Retros will not run, surrender, or stop to pick up cargo, so know that if you are attacked and are alone, you're in big trouble.
The Empire of Kilrah which was unified only two hundred years ago is now strongly organized around a powerful heirachy that conrols the whole Kilrathi war effort, an effort which has, unfortunately, begun to swing in their favor. The Kilrathi are a society obsessed with honor, death, and the destruction of the "terrans". Kilrathi are orginised into two classes, Thrak'hra, which are highborn kilrathi (nobles), and Kilrah'hra, which are lowborn kilrathi (common folk). The Thrak'hra are the only kilrathi allowed to pilot fighters or attain any high rank. The Kilrah'hra are the laborers of society and obey orders from their lords without hesitation. The supreme ruler of all the kilrathi is the emporer who has supreme power and can do whatever whenever and wherever he wants. Prince Thrakath, heir to Kilrah, is the one who organizes the military and his hrai (blood relatives) control all the different clans of Kilrah. In Gemini the Kilrathi have a military presence, but that presence is being lessend somewhat by the increased Confed patrols. The Kilrathi have been eliminated from all the quadrants in Gemini except for Clarke. Here the Kilrathi seek to destroy anything that they can. They think that Terrans do not deserve to live and kill any and all terrans they come across. One of their weaknesses is that they think that no human can defeat them and this makes them a bit careless in the cockpit. Ocassionally they will run across a hunter in an upgraded Centurion and go head on with him, this is usually disasterous for the Kilrathi. With this said the Kilrathi are an extremely dangerous foe and unless you are a crack ace, I wouldn't recommend on taking on more than two at a time.
Bounty Hunters are the bullies of the Gemini sector. They are constantly on the prowl for some wanted criminal. They are civilians who consider themselves to be better than everyone else. They will attack you even if you only have five or six merchant, confed, hunter,or militia kills, even if you were supposed to kill them in a mission you took. Hunters think of no one but themselves and believe, like Kilrathi, that they can't be beaten. This is one of their weaknesses. They always seem to go head on with whoever they're fighting not heeding their monitiors that tell them that this ship is a lot better equipped than theirs or that they're going head on with a destroyer. I've seen hunters blindly charge into a group of four or five pirates and be blown to bits even though he managed to get one or two of the little buggers. Try to use this carelessness to your advantage if you piss a hunter off. Bounty Hunters fly Demons, Centurions, and Orions. They are usually found on the major space lanes and in the main systems. Hunters are great to have around when hostiles attack, but they are really annoying with their comments about how they can handle themselves when their diagnostic shows heavy damage. It is Bounty Hunters who are responsible for the Palan Blockade, keeping the population without much needed supplies. Even though Hunters are generally disliked throughout the Sector, they make up for the shortage of military and you have to admit some of them are really good pilots.
The Militia are a group of pilots that work for the Confederation. Militia are paid by whatever system they are sent to patrol. They fly the talon and the gladius and are better pilots than the pirates. Militia search civilian ships passing through their system and destroy any ship carrying contraband. Just like Confed patrols, there is a shortage of Militia patrols in Gemini. The Militia are competent wingmen who will not hesitate to go after a ship regardless of its size. In a dogfight, Militia pilots are easy to get confused with pirates or retros if the Militia are flying talons. The best remedy for this is to buy a color scanner. Militia usually travel in groups of three and can be found anywhere in the sector. If you get caught carrying contraband by the Militia, you shouldn't have too much of a problem handling them. A few well placed shots will disable most Militia fighters, although the Militia seem to know exactly how to make use of the talon's particle cannon.
The Terran Confederation sends out dozens of patrols every day to locate and eliminate Pirate, Retro, and Kilrathi threats. Confed patrols systems at random so you never know when you'll run into a patrol. Confed will also scan civilian vessels from time to time. Any ship carrying contrband is destroyed on site so don't get caught doing it. If you get caught with contraband you can either run or fight, but they are hard to kill. Confed patrols are most frequently encountered in the major systems such as New Detroit, New Constantinople, and are always encountered in Perry. Although Confed patrols can be a real pain for a brilliance runner, they are neccesary to the Gemini Sector. Confed established a strong military presence thirty years ago and now that Admiral Terrell is in command, Confed has begun to drive the Kilrathi back into their own space. Even though the Kilrathi are a major threat, Confed is winning the war in this sector. The Confed forces of Gemini are based in Perry at Perry Naval Base. This superbase holds over a thousand fighters and has been a vital strongpoint in Gemini.
Merchants are one of the most vital organizations in the sector. Without them there would be a severe shortage of supplies all over the sector. Merchants are civilians who transport cargo from base to base, making a good profit as they go. The cargo they transport is the kind in high demand such as plutonium to a refinery or brilliance to a pleasure planet. Merchants are in constant danger from pirates, retros, kilrathi, or the authorities if their cargo is illegal. This is why pirates and retros have become such a major problem. Merchants are usually all members of the "Merchants Guild" and are under the protection of the Guild. This is also where they get their missions. The guild gaurauntees payment which is a must when you could get shot at any time while en-route to a base. If you decide to become a merchant, the first thing you should do is to sign up with the merchants guild. The cost is only 1,000 credits a year and the guild is the only place to get really good missions, and if at all possible, get two or three cargo missions to the same planet at once to make a big profit. Don't just take the mission cargo, load up on whatever you can afford that will turn a profit where you're going. You really have to be a penny pincher to be a merchant, but it's a steady income if you can manage to stay alive.