On a planet with no name, a group of lawmen must protect a colony nobody has heard of from the universe’s most effective killers. All the while preserving the safety of both the guilty and the innocent in an effort to make society more about dignity and freedom than profit and force.
It is pretty.
Yes it is. A man could get lost in himself there.
Is that a bad thing?
Depends on the man.
The Earth-That-Was got used up.
The folk that could made for the sky, and made themselves a new home out here. They made a dozen worlds and all their moons just like Earth, but it weren’t all roses and sunshine.
The government, in their vast and mighty wisdom, made the worlds of the Core great havens of culture, medicine, and trade, then dumped everyone else out on the rim with nothing but forty acres and a donkey, and expected them to be happy about it. Eventually, they decided even that was too much, and took back the one thing they’d let the Rimworlders have - their independence.
So naturally, there was a War. The people who just wanted to be left alone, versus the big bosses who wanted to control everything. The bosses won, of course; now everyone’s part of the Alliance and supposed to love, honor, and obey them, ‘til death do us part.
But that was six years and a few million lives ago. Purple or brown, we’re all just folk now. Out here on the Rim, we just do what we have to, take what we can, and thank Whoever every time a new day sees us still flying.
Except for the few of us they took everything from, whose daily prayer is just for a chance to get some of it back.
We’ll fly as long as we have to, but we’re looking for a place to land.
On their beacon, such that it was, we came in from the east, low across the wet and mud. When you get close to the Pielshome Field, the beacon is pretty useless. Visibility was good and I saw the oil lamps that lit the green circle we had been assigned by the controller. As soft as a leaf, I sat us down. A perfect landing graced with a perfect sunset filling our windscreen. The sun set rose, as the sinking began. The paving bricks they use to line the landing circles they only hold so much weight. The mud is everywhere here.
As the Earth That Was was being "used up", the Dysporia began. Any Rocky World in the Lifeband were made to be habitable by people. This produced a huge number of barely habitable planets, most of which are out on the frontier.
Madeira is not one of these world. It is a rich and lush world where the fine arts of wine making have been reborn, along with a culture of civility and honor.
All through the Alliance there are those that follow the Shepherds of The Book. The Book is old and came from many Great Teachers of the Past that walked The Earth that Was. These folks have followed a Great Shepherd into the Desert that is The Rim and have been given the Promised Land.
Nob was a fairly developed colony world. It had a few cities, some manufacturing, and something that passed as a space port. Then a wonderful disaster showered riches and power upon it.
I was watching one of those famous sunsets while I was waiting for the Mule to come back. I saw the spot in the sun. I thought it was a bug. My gut knew what it was. I was running for the cockpit before it registered in my brain. It was time to get off this planet, as the soil was about to run red with blood.
Hot Dang, we are going to LaVenda!
Flying into Lewiston, once you get low enough, is difficult, captain. There is constant wind sheer through the valleys. You have to fly careful, as the wind will slam you into a mountain side faster than a card player tossing in a bad hand. Of course the town you want to get to, Porsen, is the very worse. So best we land in Ramsy territory on the Blue Diamond Lake there, and take the mule up the "road" to Porsen. I just hope the Ramsy and the Regina towns arent feuding any more. I hate dodging bullets that arent even meant for me.
The place looked like a pile of plastic containers, but it was home.
On the voyage from Earth-That-Was, most feuds were put to rest. But there’s some bad blood that can’t be healed with anything but payback. The Native American Indians managed to keep their communities together. While they were as glad as any when the terraforming began to take, they made it known to the Alliance that they expected payment for the land they lost nearly 1000 years ago.
"Cold beer and scantily clad dancing girls all surrounded by glass. Does it get any better?"
Rogers, Episode 2, 8, 12, and 13 of Into The Black.
It doesn’t look like much.
After looking at a shoddy looking town, "This is the bright spot of the galaxy?"
"Do you have to wear shades out here?"
"Thus my point is proven."
Chen Fong to Deiter - Episode 6 Into the Black Campaign
Houston is a very rare world. It once held life. Now it holds life again. That "once life" has given us a legacy that is leading to wealth for the colony.
"Well we can’t fix it, so we will just have to live with it," on a plaque dedicated to the terraforming team and first colonists.
We came in on low burn. There was a lot of glitter in the space. You could see all the scattered material. The nav sensor just turned red and blinked that "I’m broken" icon. We stopped . One of the Buoys floated by the windscreen. My brothers name was on that buoy.
A collection of plot hooks for a game on the road, or more precisely, on the route.
Dropped Colonies are the worst kind of colony, one step up from a forced or pirate colony. However, they are the most common.
Now, this ol' ramblin fellow tends to walk his talk a bit too far down the train sometimes.. So I'll be brief in my recantin' of how it was my Tavern "came to bein'" on the multiverse as a weave of it's own spell.. And how I'm even alive to tell the story!
You see it's simple really, trust me.. that's my specialty, keepin it elementary. And you can trust this old Bard.
Anyway, this one night these wizards get a ramblin' on about the temporal exististance of space and time and how it could be manifested in a weave of super dimensional space. whereupon the folded space would give rise to an infinite number of entrances and exits to one or many spaces. Now, seein' how my talkin' sometimes get's locked into the way us folks used to talk back in the ol' west. These wizards didn't know I was a master of the word. and I had heard everything they said. They were also a bit over the wagon, while I was steerin' the show.
So that's how it came to pass, I struck a bargain with the wizards. They come to me in the morning and conjure up their idea into reality and I'd pledge them my life, my existance.. in essence my soul. but in a much nicer sense of the word. So they came by in the morning a half remembering our talks the prior evenin'. And I recanted their words verbatum, and that's how it came to be. The spell was complete that afternoon. My tavern would be the super dimensional cube that would exist in this weave of space and time, folks could come and go as they please, knowin in mind some of the rules and limitations set forth.
A few of 'em as follows.
No feller can be causin a ruckus inside any of my fine establishments, as always rule number one god damnit.
n' second the portal works kinda tricky. When ya outside ya cast the spell and lend your will to luck a bit and regardless the doors to the bar will appear, the windows a luminescent amber.. you can hear the chattee but ya can't see in. And the catch is the door might be locked, in which case you chalk it up to lady luck and go walk off and try again in an hour. Now most times the door pops right open and from the outside you always come in the front door, immediately greeted by myself or one of our many fine patrons of Hooper McFin's Ale & Steakhouse.
Now when ya cast the spell from inside the Tavern, another catch comes up. The back door is mainly a secret for the non-initiated staff and the regulars but for sake of the prose let's assume we all know there's a secret door in the back with a portal there. Now when you go on through this one, you got two scenario's you oughta be aware of. One is ya pop outside relative to the same spot you came out. The other is, you walk back on into this one or another of our many Hooper McFin's Ale & Steakhouse.
so it's a clever quantum railroad I got my tavern and my people's caught on. But, Hey the show's sure as always goin. ohhh' rutin tootin skidoodle -
** And that's it.. that's the only notes I found on the spell, apparently out there somewhere is a Tavern caught on the mighty ebb and flow of the multiverse. Well. at least I can put to rest my torment as to the condition now referred to as "Hooper McFin's Teleportation Paranoia".
Dr. Clarke T. Mulligan - Professional researcher of Time & Space.
Hooper McFin's Ale & Steakhouse