Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Colonizing Freehold

Mutated plants and animals able to survive on Freehold were introduced so that human beings would be able to live there without synthetics. It was necessary to import vitamin-generating organisms able to concentrate essential trace minerals, including the little iron in the soil. With such organisms in place, it became easier to colonize and exploit the wilderness. However, the new organisms, with no natural enemies, upset the ecology, destroying forests and generating deserts, like the one south of Startop. Consequently, early outbackers had to work hard to restore balance and fertility.

The outbackers were helped in this by the F-type sun's actinic and ionizing radiation penetrating the dense atmosphere. Because of such stellar radiation, the highly energetic biochemical compounds are more vigorous and evolve faster than their counterparts on Earth. The outbackers live in and with the Freehold environment instead of cultivating or domesticating it to support cities. This brings them into conflict with the Nine Cities whose citizens aim to re-civilize the "savages" and reclaim the land in order to practice traditional agriculture. However, the outbackers, who are not mere savages, possess not only scientific knowledge but also new "Skills" and techniques enabling them to destroy cities.

Here is a conflict completely independent of that between the Empire and the Merseians or the Arulians.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I agree, the conflict we see on Freehold in "Outpost of Empire" is smaller, more localized, but just as intense, in its way, as the one between the Empire and Merseia. The origins of the conflict lies in how the Empire, in the negotiations leading up to Freehold being annexed into it, was not told and did not disover that the Nine Cities did not truly speak for all of Freehold. The Outbackers had developed a new and powerful culture of their own. One the Empire should have discovered existed before granting the Imperial charter to the Nine Cities annexing the planet to the Empire and laying out the basic political system used by the Nine.

If the Empire had known how numerous and powerful the Outbackers were, it's easy to see a very different charter would have been negotiated!