John Fray’s thesis, “Theory of Ordered Colonization” received wide acclaim on Asperia, just as the scientist of that world rediscovered the trans-dimensional drive. An advanced technology lost when their world fell into chaos. Now exploration of the stars could begin anew. The Home World’s Central Council formed the Governing Quorum. Using the “Theory of Ordered Colonization” to guide colonial reconnecting and development, colonial expansion took off with renewed vigor.
For over two-thousand Colonial Periods the rules of the “Theory” have remained unchanged, unquestioned, and unchallenged. For many the theory worked, as evidenced by the steady expansion of the colonies without wars or chaos. The Governing Quorum approved and controlled every aspect of an emerging world’s government until they were considered able to self-govern, but under continued Quorum scrutiny.
The expanding colonial movement required a tremendous amount raw materials. Enter the Mining Consortium. Determining the raw material needs of the movement, the members of this group of businessmen have license to preform mineral exploration anywhere, anytime. They can buy out whoever owns the land, move them off, and remove the minerals. In most cases they left the land or even a whole planet polluted and unusable.
While the Theory meant freedom from political chaos to many, for one group of weary agriculturist it meant continuing enslavement to the Governing Quorum and Consortium wishes. Tired of pulling up stakes, resettling, re-establishing their farms, only to have families uprooted again, they were determined to do something.
In the twenty-three hundred and seventy-fourth colonial period, farming families disappear after being displaced by the consortium. Around that same time, lawsuits against them are on the decline. The Consortium and the Governing Quorum, relived of the legal costs pay little attention to the disappearances.
In the twenty-four hundred and ninth colonial period, two men, Shawn MacKenna and Arturo Santiago, stroll into the great central hall and interrupt the Quorum’s routine monthly meeting, requesting colony status for their world, Ventura Arriesgado.
The irony of the name (Risky Venture in the desert language) is not lost on the Quorum and Arriesgado should have been declared a rogue world. However, unforseen circumstances make the farming world’s enormous food stores of critical importance to colonial survival. The Arrisians obtain colony status without close examination of, or modification to their constitution.
The secret development of Ventura Arriesgado, and the Arrisians sudden emergence as a politically stable colony put the Quorum’s guiding theory in question by disproving the need for central control to develop a stable colony. Arriesgado’s accomplishment thus weakens the Quorum’s and the Consortium’s control over other emerging worlds, and earned the Arrisians some very powerful and patient enemies.
By colonial period twenty-four thirty, Arrisians are a peaceful agrarian culture, settled largely by people who’s roots trace back to the mountain and desert regions of the home world. They carried to this world, their languages and many of their old traditions. In that same period, a chance meeting at an old style county fair between a reluctant fortune teller and a pregnant woman will effect their world’s future in ways neither could foresee.
In twenty-four fifty-three Shawn MacKenna’s youngest living descendent is convicted of brutally murdering his wife and father. The trial judge, aware that Kalen has been framed — but unable to prove it — sentences Kalen to twenty-five colonial periods in cold stasis, instead of imposing the death penalty. The judges hope to uncover proof of the frame up and free Kalen.
Removed from Cold-stasis, Kalen is informed he has served his full sentence and his trial judge has died. He has awakened to a world change beyond anything he could have imagined, and someone still wants him dead. Kalen finds himself alone in the mist of a struggle that he must win or face his own death and the destruction of his own world’s entire population.
In his search for the truth he will discover the royal lineage of his family and a history never reveled to him. The old wounds of forgotten family friends he must find a way to heal. A prophecy foretelling the events of his life only hours before his birth, and a plot that could enslave mankind to a future of controlled development and genetic manipulation.
But on a world as technologically advanced as his, where man controls the very environment he lives in, who would pay attention to a prophecy made by a woman who didn’t it believe herself?
The Quorum and Consortium are.
Kalen and the Arrisians had better.