The Typhoon Maiden is a civilian ship, but this does not mean that it is without all the usual trappings of the authoritarian future culture of Warhammer 40k. People’s live are regulated by laws and stifled by corruption, surveilance and coercion.
There are three security agencies aboard the ship. They are the Criminal Police (KriPo), the Security Police (SePo) and the Religious Police (RePo).
KriPo is the largest force. They deal with typical criminal offences such as murder and theft, conducting beat-style police activity right through to detective investigations. Technically they should apprehend law breakers and deliver them to People’s Courts for judgement and punishment, but it is more likely that they will take justice into their own hands, ‘tuning up’ trouble makers and ‘levying fines’.
In a population of only 18,000 citizens KriPo might be considered a ‘community policing’ outfit in that it is definitely part of the community. Almost everyone knows everyone else so it is difficult to keep secrets. However the idyllic image of the friendly beat cop fails to capture the true nature of these thugs with badges. The goal of all internal security is to maintain order – not seek justice. As such, KriPo is better seen as the major gang operating the protection and extortion rackets aboard ship. They maintain order because they smash anyone else trying to set up a rival gang. Far from combatting organised crime, KriPo is the organised crime.
This state of affairs is tollerated by the senior crew members (the aristocratic owners and plutocratic merchants) simply because that’s how things typically work in human space. As long as stability is maintained then who really cares if a few trouble makers get their heads bashed? Pay the dues, keep your head down: everyone makes out all right.
SePo is concerned with genuine ‘intelligence’ work both within and around the ship. These agents are the spooks and puppet-masters, spying on the inhabitants of the ship, intercepting their communications, listening in on their conversations, and collating huge files for future reference. Ultimately they are concerned with the health and viability of the ship itself as an effective city state. The ship is the SePo man’s country, and he (or she) defends it with every tool fair and foul available. Snitches are paid to provide information. All citizens are encouraged to denounce each other.
For all their repulsive snooping, SePo rarely take action. When they do it is often revealed as a body discovered in the canal, an event that KriPo generally recognise and quickly close the case.
The last agency, RePo, is the most feared. Technically RePo is part of the Inquisition. If ever put to the test, agents of RePo would have to submit themselves to the authority of a visting Inquisitor, even above their own Navigator.
Staffed predominantly by the mutants and psychics of the Navigator’s department, RePo is concerned with the ‘spiritual health’ of the Typhoon Maiden. Corruption by the creatures of the Warp is of course the most obvious danger to watch out for, but RePo are also alert for signs of disloyaty to the Emperor, and general ‘defeatism’. Denouncing someone to RePo is considered the ultimate threat. Anyone investigated by them seldom find the experience pleasant and most find it fatal. Luckily, they are a small agency, perhaps no more than 20 staff. They make up for this by using the denunciation processes to make the citizens do the work, the advanced surveillance techniques commandeered from SePo, and the extensive systems of secret passages and offices known only by the Navigator’s department to appear more numerous than they are.
Fear is their tool. Fear and surprise. Fear, surprise and a fanatical devotion to the Emperor.