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The Singleton Clan is a trading company and armed merchant organization dominated by members of the Singleton family that was formed in the aftermath of Doomsday. Thanks to the diaspora of family members around the world the organization has grown from a small partnership between two in-laws to a worldwide organization with interests in every area of transport except air.
Aftermath of Doomsday
Muriel Singleton was at her parents farm in North Yorkshire at the time of Doomsday and was effectively cut of from the world. However, her father's failing health meant that she and her mother had to travel to the nearest hospital in Scarborough which was also the home of her husband's sister Margret. However, Scarborough was a smog filled disaster zone and her father died barely two months after Doomsday. Her mother died a month later and she met her sister-in-law a few days after that.
The two women were disgusted by the conditions in Scarborough yet could do little to help the people. Instead they decided to return to the farm using the last drops of petrol in the 4 by 4 she had driven in with. Upon reaching the farm they saw fields which still grew with uncontaminated fresh food, the pigs roaming around and the shire horse nibbling on some hay. The local farm boy was still helping run the farm and while they had gone had set up a good trading system with the inhabitants of the nearby village. It was then that the idea of the clan first took hold. When they returned to Scarborough in January 1984 it was on a horse and cart with a group of heavily armed men with shotguns and over a ton of salted meats as well as fruit and veg. Proclaiming themselves to be the Singleton Clan & Co the two women had just started what would unknowingly become the largest trading company in the former UK.
Scarborough and the Kingdom Of Cleveland
For the next four years they continued to trade with Scarborough and the surrounding villages trading food and livestock for services and mechanical equipment all the while continuing to make a profit. The goods they supplied helped bring some order to Scarborough and the Town Council was able to reassert its control on the town which meant that there was of course increased demand for luxuries. Muriel visited her brothers machine shop at this time and entered a business partnership with him which secured his and his mens mechanical services for the clan.
This allowed them to supply small luxuries along with the food as well as weapons and ammunition for their hired guards. Therefore when the Kingdom of Cleveland took control of Scarborough the Clan was more than ready to exploit the opportunities the new nation offered. They entered a pact with other farms and companies in the area allowing them to ship their goods with the Clan for a small fee and benefit from the increased protection it offered. This marked the beginning of the Clans transformation from a small farm and machine shop company into the trading company it eventually became most famous as.
Expansion into the Kingdom
In 1989 Muriel hired a group of mercenaries and ex-soldiers to go through the Kingdom of Cleveland and beyond to find other Singletons who might like a place in the organization. When they returned in 1990 they brought 23 other singletons including her oldest son Martin and her nephew Joe. She wasted no time putting the new hands to work though and assigned them as convoy managers to look after the caravans going throughout the kingdom. As well as food and small luxuries the Clan expanded in to sweets and in 1993 made a deal with Cooplands bakers to exclusively distribute their products which effectively granted them a monopoly of pastry including the popular Eccles cake.
It wasn't all good, however, as the Kingdoms conscription put a burden on the company by depriving them of enforcers from time to time. It didn't particularly slow them down, however, and when the Kingdom sent explorers west in 1995 the Clan insisted on having a cart with their own soldiers on it sent with them.
Between 1995 and 2000 the Clan sent traders into Lancaster and other neighboring countries bringing with it goods from most of Yorkshire. It also soon entered into a contract with farmers and other businessmen in Lancaster to ship their goods to Cleveland for a fee. In addition to this the Clan began to ship goods to and from the Celtic Alliance using ships to avoid the wastelands and travel either to Scotland or Ireland and the Isle of Mann.
However, this brought some problems to the Clan, previously it had been operating as the only large cargo operator in an area where it also had a monopoly on fresh food, pastry, new mechanical equipment and luxuries. In the CA, however, it was competing with several Irish companies over distribution and had lost its monopoly on its goods. However, they were still the main distribution company in the Kingdom of Cleveland and the Duchy of Lancaster and some CA merchants wanted to take advantage of its existing distribution networks. While it never achieved the monopoly it had in the Kingdom it managed to gain a monopoly on most products that were shipped to England, It also managed to gain distribution contracts with certain companies in the CA for distribution in the CA as well as England.
In 1998 the Clan sent traders with Clevish diplomats to the Federal Republic of Southern England to try to establish trading links in another country. What they brought back was far more surprising, Joanna Singleton Muriel's first child was alive and well on the Isle of Wight. Despite much celebration in the Clan's HQ in Scarborough there was also a major business bonus acquired by his survival. Using her home in Ryde as a base Joanna set up a branch of the Clan in the south to ship goods from the north and around the Republic. Like in Cleveland the Clan was the only major distribution company in the South and was quickly able to establish dominance in the area. Expansion into Southern England also brought in contracts from as far away as North Africa and it was as a result of these convoys that the Clan made contact with yet another family member, Ian Singleton in Eritrea.
After being forced to land in Eritrea after Doomsday and being captured by the Eritrean rebels in 1984 Ian had since been rescued by Ethiopian troops and returned to Massawa to start up a shipbuilding and shipping company with former crewmen. Despite being forced into making ships for the Eritrean Navy in the late 90's and having several ships confiscated in early 2000 the Company was still relatively stable and family loyalty being what it was his company was merged with the Clan in 2001.
Despite its merger the Company was for all intents and purposes independent up until the Clans restructuring in 2003. After this it became necessary for African employees of the company to be held accountable to the main HQ in Scarborough whereas before hand they had only been accountable to their own HQ in Massawa. This did have some benefits, however, as the Clan began shipping goods to and from Africa on a regular basis. It was in this time that the Clan first developed its attitude to wars that would eventually bring it into world news. At the time Sicily had just begun the First Sicily War and the Clan had received a contract to ship goods to the Italian state, They were ordered to stop by Spanish ships but when asked to hand over their Cargo they refused and outran the ships getting the equipment to the Sicilians. Although they refused to take any more contracts from the Sicilians unless they provided a military escort (There was a war on after all) it brought them to the attention of several groups who had less than honorable goals.
In response to this the Clan began refitting its ships with weapons and published a mission statement saying that it would take goods from any paying customers so long as they declared what the goods were and that they would not harm the company or one of its host countries.
Silver Anniversary and the Present
In January 2010 the Clan celebrated its 25th anniversary, It had come a long way from its early roots and in 2010 gained two huge contracts, The Clan gained the contract to supply CAMC forces in East Sudan. The supplies and goods from England were most welcomed by the CAMC and the Contract brought the Clan to the attention of several world governments. Recently the Clan has also gained the contract to supply OBN forces in East Anglia and the future looks bright.
The Clan is based in Scarborough with other headquarters in Ryde (Southern England) and Massawa (Eritrea). The HQ in Scarborough is responsible for the whole of the Clan's operations in addition to the localized caravan boss's responsible for the caravans and convoys that leave Scarborough and Dublin. Each HQ is responsible for the localized Caravans and Convoys leaving their area and are also responsible for assigning local caravan boss's.
Despite the overreaching main HQ's the individual caravan bosses and supervisors have large amounts of autonomy. Traditionally each boss will be assigned to a specific convoy for most if not all the time and will have the freedom to build the convoy. However, they like with the only requirement being that all employees wear the official uniform and that all ships or vehicles display the Clan's flag. Vital when entering war zones as most organizations don't want to irritate the clan and lose their supplies.
As of 2011 the Clan has three major contracts in addition to its localised shipping contracts:
- Contract 1. Sussex
The Clan has a contract with the government of the Federal Republic of Southern England to supply its troops and settlers in the recently captured areas of Sussex. The contract involves shipping ammunition to Federal Army soldiers as well as supplying food and medical aid to the Federal Government and escorting humanitarian aid convoys from other organizations.
- Contract 2 East Africa
The Clan is contracted to supply the CAMC's military forces in East Africa with ammunition and equipment. It also has a contract to transport and escort goods by sea to the CAMC's naval forces on station in the Gulf of Aden to allow those ships to remain permanently on station to watch against pirates.
- Contract 3 East Anglia
The Clan has a contract with the states of the Organisation of British Nations (OBN) to supply their combined forces in Norfolk with Humanitarian aid and equipment. They are also in charge of escorting some the few convoys that are allowed through to relieve pressure on the OBN's soldiers.
The distribution branch of the Clan is the largest and most profitable of the branches. It is in charge of transporting goods to stores in most of the former UK and some other parts of the world from both the Clans own suppliers and independents who value the extra security it brings. This branch has its HQ in Massawa and is often the most visible sign of the clans presence in an area has convoys or ships will traditionally arrive once a week.
The Clan owns several pre-war brands that were popular in the north of England in the 1980's. The profits from these shops goes straight to the Clan. This branch has its headquarters in Scarbourgh and at the moment the following pre-war brands are under Clan control;
- Cooplands Bakers
- Newboulds Butchers
- Boyes Department stores
The Escort/Mercenary branch of the Clan is perhaps the most (in)famous of them all, it has its origins in the early protection offered by the Clan to Local businesses but has since grown into a huge organisation with builds, maintains and crews armed boats and transports as well as providing guards.