Little is known of the one who goes by the alias of Red Empress. Attempts to trace her origin find her first appearance in the holonet more than ten years ago, at which time the holonet handle was used by a slicer-for-hire. Eventually mentions of the alias became less overt and harder to track, as presumably they found employment and the resources to better cover their tracks.
It is only very recently that the name has become significant. Starting five years ago, smugglers throughout the galaxy started to receive mysterious messages with either warning or advice. Some were told to take different routes from what they’d planned, others were given reason to suspect their fences, or officials in port. Without failure, those who heeded the advice found it to be in their best interest, and slowly the name developed a fame as the mysterious holonet guardian of smugglers everywhere. A living urban legend.
After a few years of these indirect interactions, the contact started to become more frequent and more personal. Whoever hides behind this identity openly stated her desire to form a new Smuggler’s Alliance, inspired by the tales of such groups from the distant past. Many of those who’d personally benefited from her advice in the past were enticed to join the organization, which soon began influencing the smuggling and information-brokering underworld throughout the galaxy.
The organization is currently aggressively seeking to spread its reach. There have been attempts to bring other bands and gangs into the fold, as well as rumors of a growing web of corruption, as officials throughout the galaxy are either paid off with credits to allow the organization to operate, or subdued with blackmail. Some rumors state that the organization has also become more ruthless, with some of their rivals finding their locations and critical information leaked to authorities in ways that swept them out of the way. These days they even have some muscle, as demonstrated by a few armed raids conducted against the hideouts of competitors in some of the more lawless worlds of the galaxy.
The life of one Sidonia Zel seems much simpler. She’s a spacer who sometimes shows up at various holes in the wall throughout the galaxy, though depending on location she does so with a full suit on to mask her features that are a hint too feminine for such a crowd. She seems to have a preference for the finer things in life, and endless curiosity for the random acquaintances she meets. According to all records, she’s a fairly competent Systems Specialist, having served in several trading interests, both smaller ones and larger corporate ones. A simple life of doing difficult, highly-technical work, and then burning through the credits with simple pleasures.