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.
It is possible to buy magical abilities. The process is very dangerous though, involving chemicals, rituals and surgery possibly leaving the aspiring mage insane, retarded or scarred for life.