Monday, 29 December 2014

The Antarean System

See here and here.

Antares, expanding, has engulfed its inner planets. Thus, its remaining planets are uninhabitable but contain mineral wealth. Also, the system is a convenient location for a trade center in the Antarean Sector. Therefore, there is "...a human population equal to that of Luna." (The Van Rijn Method, p. 169) (How many is that?)

A single League cruiser protects this colony from "...bandits, political agitators and other imaginable nuisances." (ibid.) I cannot imagine what the other nuisances are? If the agitators protest against some of the injustices that we have seen perpetrated by League companies, then I would support them. Working conditions in the mines are bad and criminals are assigned to them. Penal reform sounds like a legitimate political demand.

Nicholas van Rijn, Master Merchant Polesotechnic League, visiting the Antarean colony with a cargo of cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves, tea, whisky and gin, feels entitled to:

stay at the governor's mansion in Redsun City;
make free use of its wine cellar and concubines;
consume banquets for three days;
check prices and add a millicredit per gram to pepper;
lounge on the governor's throne, served by three girls, to interview a prisoner.

The business with the pepper is pure van Rijn. The colonists can afford an extra millicredit and, in any case, their alternatives are to do without condiments or to synthesize them at twice the cost. Van Rijn feels entitled to his "...honest profit..." (ibid.) but helps himself to it only when he has calculated that it is socially and economically feasible for him to do so.

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