Post Sat Dec 10, 2005 6:31 pm

Introduction

Where it begins

Maldiara-4
A mineral crammed rock fifty parsecs from nowhere, aptly named a black-hole in the arm-pit of the universe. Maldiara-4 had two main features, a large penal colony and a planet-wide strip-mining facility worked by the inmates of the colony. In its early days, Maldiara was a wildly profitable venture for the Metua sectorial government. Unfortunately, after 20 years of operation, the easy to get resources had all but dried up and crust instabilities had made it increasingly more dangerous to operate the super-mine. Accidents, dead prisoners, it was starting to get messy—worse yet it was becoming a source of liabilities rather than profits. So, it was no surprise that Metua govs decided to shut down the mine and ship the inmates off to a planet that wasn’t falling apart.

This was a big colony, close a hundred thousand inmates, shipping them all to other penal institutions in regulation prison vessels was expensive. So then, some sharp Metuan bean counter came up with the bright idea of letting freebooters run the inmates as cargo. Put the prisoners in cryosleep, then send them off to their destinations like sides of beef in a meat locker. Brilliant.

Solomon Grundy
Solomon Grundy
Born on Monday
Christened on Tuesday
Married on Wednesday
Ill on Thursday
Worse on Friday
Died on Saturday
Buried on Sunday
This is the end of
Solomon Grundy.

The good ship Solomon Grundy is probably the ugliest vessel you ever laid eyes on. Weighing in at a lean 16,400 long-tons when dry, the Grundy is a burly long range freighter and one of the few working in the Metua sector capable of setting down planet-side. With a little over 2.5 million cubic feet of common cargo space and 12,000 tons of load capacity, the Grundy gets more than her share of work. That probably explains the Maldiara job. It’s simple enough—transport a bunch of convicts iced in cryostasis containers to the penal colony on Denar-5. Pay is good for a three hop jaunt that doesn’t take the ship too far off the beaten path. It’s a little creepy to be transporting several hundred frozen criminals, but what could happen? Simple job. Simple delivery. Fat credits. No sweat. Right?