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.
The desert is a curse from the Water God upon the wicked people who live in the South.
Said people offended the Water God in some way, and so the Water God placed water-trappers, bizarre, water-sucking beings, in the soil, and within years, the wilderness became a desert.
Thus, the desert folk shamans have special powers that allow them to find water-trappers so that they can be dug up and their water harvested.