The Need for Freelancers
Syndicrats are much like any other kind of aristocracy in history; they play conniving games of power and subterfuge, jockeying for position. To that end, they need agents, assassins, bodyguards, and other such specialists. They can’t always rely on their own internal services to perform these needs, either. Sometimes, outside experts are required.
As syndicracies matured as a system of government, Freelancers emerged as an outside class of people to fulfill that function. A Freelancer is not a citizen of any specific syndicracy, but nor are they considered a non-comp or an anti-citizen. They are exempt from the usual constraints and rules of society, but are also not afforded many of the protections and benefits of it as a result. They are itinerant mercenaries and adventurers, who travel the globe seeking their fortune.
Freelancers are not completely without their own rules and structure, however. They have their own Code they abide by, and most Freelancers are part of a larger organization called a Union. Some also group together into a Crew or Set, hiring themselves out as a package deal to syndicrats looking to solve problems that just one Lancer couldn’t solve.
A Freelancer who goes “full-time” and starts working for a specific syndicrat on a regular basis to the exclusion of other jobs stops being a Freelancer. A Lancer who stops taking legitimate jobs for the syndicrats and just focuses on nefarious deeds for the highest pay is indistinguishable from a criminal, and loses his special status as a Freelancer. It is a precarious exemption, one that has to be maintained by a particular lifestyle and form of conduct.