Long ago in another universe (Babylon 5), there was a little company called Interplanetary Expeditions (IPX) with a nasty reputation as a bio-weapons front corporation for the military. Well, let’s give that idea a little spin for the Aliens & Asteroids universe, shall we?
Extra Dominion Expeditions, Inc. (XDX)
Xeno-archaeology (XA), or the study of the physical remains of extraterrestrial cultures, came to be more than a hobby when the first Grey Men remains were discovered in The Field in 2072. Corporations quickly saw the benefit of being the first to find and exploit any alien technologies discovered as humankind expanded the bounds of Dominion space.
Founded soon after BANCE-3 was made operational, Extra Dominion Expeditions (XDX) was among the first corporate-sponsored XA efforts and began utilizing an aggressive technology-led campaign to be first-to-site (F2S) when even the hint of any ruins were discovered. They employ a series of probes to every likely astronomical body thought capable of having signs of alien life, often running afoul of the claims of others already staking claims over such ruins. Since the discovery of the Stellar Graveyard, XDX has seen a great expansion on the Dominion rim and put them in direct conflict with the Excursori, who have their own reasons for exploring the same areas.
Such conflicts escalated quickly in many cases, and XDX began to employ a group of ex-military forces known as the Black Band to handle any such problems. This mercenary band is led by Winston Black, though the name is thought to be ceremonially passed from one leader to the next. The Black Band has been associated with some of the most heinous mass murders in Dominion history, but there is never enough evidence to convict them.
The Butchery of Betel VIII was a particularly gruesome event that leveled an entire mining colony on the edge of BANCE-7 space. An ex-employee of XDX was rumored to be speaking to the Colonial News Network (CONN) when every man, woman, and child in the facility was summarily executed. The XDX swept in to purchase Betel VIII from TaylorTech and all but a few traces of the event were wiped from the public record.
XDX employs a strict non-disclosure approach and as many scholarly and scientific disciplines as possible to achieve their goals. Astronomers and Archaeologists to Electronics specialists and programmers fluent in writing artificial intelligence applications. Each discovery is closely guarded and written about extensively, though locations are never revealed. And then like locusts, they descend on the next site in their list. Their deep network of sites is a closely guarded corporate secret they have proven willing to kill to protect.