The Unification War was a travesty, an act of naked fascism against frontier worlds so diverse and destitute that their submission was not worth the cost in lives, material, and hostility garnered. We, gentlemen, have created generations of enemies.
L. C. Vallandigham
Charity out of spite, resistance in submission. Loosing everything can produce strange associations indeed.
On an outlying farm, the sick grandfather of a family was kidnapped. Can the kidnappers be stopped before they deliver him off-planet?
Ships, that have character, are the best means to get to the stars.
"Binding the Life Coil" is an ancient quasi-mystical technique rediscovered to prolong one's life at the expense of one reproductive ability. It is a simple magikal technique that anyone can learn (a skill or feat). The promise of near immortality or a lifespan of a thousand years or more makes everyone want to learn it.
This technique has a price though, the amount of immortality is in direct response to the strength of ones reproductive spirit. Those that have never breed will live longer than those that have. The use of the technique makes conception difficult, if not impossible. So you trade the future of your society for the chance for you to see much of that future.