Overview

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The GPPI (whose members are known as Trackers) is a professional organization whose members pay dues and work their way up the ranks. Although they work independently for the most part, they are governed by professional standards and can have complaints lobbied against them by governments, the police or private citizens in the case of misconduct.

Trackers find their own clients and charge their own rates, though there are suggested rate levels for newer investigators. What a Tracker can charge is based on their rank and their reputation - as well, often on what kind of contacts they have.

Structure

When you app a PI, indicate their level based on the following chart:

PI-1 - A newly-licensed tracker with less than two years of experience.
PI-2 - A tracker with at least ten successfully closed case and two to five years of experience. An investigator transferring from private security, the military or the police will have their skills assessed and usually placed at PI-2 status.
PI-3 - A tracker with five to ten years of experience and 30 or more successfully closed cases.
PI-4 - A tracker with greater than ten years of experience and 60 or more successfully closed cases.

The rank system is intended to help PIs work together. A PI-4 may charge the same to a client as a PI-2, but if a PI-4 and a PI-2 were to work the same case, the 4 would be the lead investigator and take a bigger share of the client's payment. A tracker may apply for a raise in rank at any time, but a move up is rarely granted unless the quotas indicated above are met. PIs can also be reduced in rank as punishment for misconduct rather than having their license fully revoked.

Should two PIs of the same rank work the same case together, mediation is conducted by the guild to come to an equitable arrangement. Generally speaking in those cases, the client fee is split 50/50 and each tracker takes on specific aspects of the investigation. It takes exceptionally compatible investigators to work this way, so most tend to work with someone higher or lower in rank just to keep things simple.

This structure is designed to reduce strife, but healthy competition is encouraged. Sometimes two accredited investigators will pitch their services to a high-profile client. Sometimes it's a matter of working contacts. Sometimes they land the client with straight-up charm. Once a client is signed by a tracker, the other PIs are expected to back off - though in practice, this isn't always the case.

Resources

Licensing

All Trackers need to pass tests in order to become a certified member of the GPPI. These include basic firearm certification, understanding of laws in the jurisdiction in which they're operating, understanding of Guild regulations (including those surrounding discipline and fines) and client confidentiality. It is not difficult to join the Guild, but the membership fees mean that one has to be serious to start out in the field. A Tracker can also be recommended and mentored by a senior Tracker. If they are referred and mentored, a Tracker can receive a discount on their first year membership fees. This usually involves working as an associate under a Tracker of PI-2 and above for a period of six months to a year. As this involves the reputation of the senior Tracker, this is not done unless the Tracker sees true potential in the junior.

Certification brings with it the cooperation of street level law enforcement, morgues, hospitals, public records offices and the general public. In theory, anyway. In practice, these groups will be more or less helpful depending on the approach of the Tracker and how much effort he or she has put into building and maintaining those relationships. Certification also means that the PI can be contracted with confidence that they will be held to professional standards.

Sleeve Bank

Trackers of PI-2 and above can pay for access to a sleeve bank. PIs can rent out various sleeves for a few hours to up to a week to use in the course of their investigation. These sleeves have varying hourly rental costs depending on quality. The cost of rental also includes secure storage for the PI's primary sleeve, as well as decanting.

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The inventory of sleeves is maintained by a few private contractors who cycle sleeves through the inventory at regular intervals. The sleeves generally belong to people who have rented out their bodies while their consciousness is on ice or in VR. These short-term leases can result in respectable payments for individuals, but there is no guarantee that their sleeve will be returned in the condition they left it - especially in the case of use for Trackers. Trackers are however, responsible for repairing any damage done to their rented sleeves.

As part of their GPPI dues and their paid access to the sleeve bank, the Trackers have insurance that covers the cost of medical as well as a modest payout should their work result in sleeve death. This insurance can be voided if it is shown that the Tracker was negligent or did not exercise reasonable caution while in a borrowed sleeve. Trackers can also modify the sleeve depending on the individual policy surrounding rental. This can include cosmetic alterations that may or may not be reversed, and the addition of neurachem or cybernetics.

Trackers undergo basic mental training to help mitigate sleeve sickness. The short-term re-sleeving also means that even PIs who make use of the bank regularly don't tend to suffer from personality frag.

Law dictates that Trackers cannot impersonate others during the course of their work in an official capacity without special dispensation. That means any DNA scans or payment made via touch will reveal a Tracker's true identity - unless they apply for and receive a temporary identity overlay permit. These are the same kinds of overlays employed by undercover police. The overlay will disguise their true identity on DNA scans for a set period of time. Law enforcement officials and certain government agencies can see past an overlay, but it will hide their ID from general DNA scans. Overlay permits are usually only granted when a Tracker can prove that it's necessary and that the case they're working on is significant enough. 'Significant' in this case, often means the PI is working for the government, someone wealthy, or a meth.