Martial Law 3–Snippet

5 May

Had this going through my head…

Infiltration – Snippet

The boss tapped a key and a planet appeared in front of me. “Parkston’s Folly,” he said, by way of introduction. “Parkston was a United Nations Survey Service scout, one of their best. The UNSS was always looser than the Peace Fleet and attracted many of the weird ones who would otherwise have been dismissed or forced to spend the rest of their careers on isolated mining asteroids. Parkston found this planet, named it after himself and recommended that the UNSS develop it for itself. His superiors didn’t see the funny side, added the Folly to the planet’s name and sold the settlement and mining rights to the lowest bidder. The joke turned out to be on them.”

He smiled, coldly. “Parkston’s Folly holds the largest known reserves of Unobtainium in the entire Human Sphere,” he continued. “The Garlane Syndicate snapped it up for a song; they’d been looking for a place to ship their indentured workers and the Folly seemed like a suitable place to put them. Their directors must have creamed their pants when they realised they’d accidentally purchased a license to print money.”

That brought me up short. Unobtainium didn’t get its name because you can find it on any old asteroid. Despite its value in constructing wormhole generators – the key to FTL travel – there were very few sources within the Human Sphere. A lucky strike by an asteroid miner would leave him rich enough to buy an entire planet, assuming he lived long enough to get paid. Fleet patrolled the known sources heavily and still had problems with pirates, rogues and starships from various black colonies.

“I’m surprised the UN let them keep it,” I said. “Even a modest source would be very helpful…”

“Their lawyers earned their pay,” the boss admitted. “They settled the world and kept developing it for the following eighty years. The Peace Force took its cut – I don’t think that many Peacekeepers knew that the planet even existed – and everything looked rosy. And then the Fleet rebelled and Parkston became independent. It’s still run by the syndicate.”

He passed me a datachip. “There are currently five cities on the planet, all domed to protect the workers from the ravagers of the weather,” he said. “Someone has definitely been trying to terraform the planet to make it habitable, but it will take at least another hundred years before the weather came under control – assuming that they managed to avoid further damaging the environment. Right now, they’re strip-mining the planet to locate other deposits and ship the raw material to orbit. Given a few years, they’ll have the wealthiest planet in the Human Sphere.

“Apart from the former directors, who have become the planet’s rulers, the vast majority of the planet’s population consists of indentured workers – and the guards who keep them in line. It has been decided, at the very highest levels, that something has to be done about the planet before it becomes too important to the Human Sphere. Your mission is to get into the planet, make contact with the rebel forces and assist them in overthrowing their government.”


4 Responses to “Martial Law 3–Snippet”

  1. The Deposed King May 8, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    I haven’t read your first two books in the series. But this sounds like typical, new overarching government moving to keep potent recourses under its control.

    The Deposed King

    • chrishanger May 8, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      Something like it, true. But Fleet would probably argue that leaving the corporation in charge of the Folly would cause major problems in the future.


  2. Liam Fisher (@liamkfisher) May 9, 2012 at 4:17 am #

    Chris, I’m loving your stuff here. Great ideas, great style, you’ve gained a new fan and I will spread the word.

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