The Space Frontier
“We progress by reaching towards what has yet to be done.”
– Mission statement of the Confederational Regime
My name is Iain Daniel Bryce, that’s pronounced <Ī-yăn>, and I am a pirate but not in every sense of the word. I’ve done my share of swashbuckling and do indeed steal, and I won’t deny that I’ve occasionally pillaged, sometimes burned, from time to time wantonly destroyed many a thing in my day and, yeah, I’ve killed, but only when I was forced to, and truly took no pleasure in doing so. One thing I will adamantly deny, and dare anyone to say otherwise, is I’ve never, nor do I allow my men to rape! I’ll admit I am guilty of being a menace to society and imagine someday I will have to pay for the crimes I have committed, but not today!
I been called the Robin Hood pirate by some, which I don’t particularly like, I say leave the man to his own story and legend, I wanna make one of my own, but ‘cause I steal from them that’s got and give to them that don’t, I guess that’s a fairly accurate appellation. Some say I’m a hero and I guess to some I am, but not to anyone that really matters. I been called a god by some ‘cause I seem to be immortal and I guess to some it would seem that way as well, but believe me that’s far from the truth. I am just a man. I bleed red, I love and I hate like all them others, I can die, and someday will, hopefully of old age, but my life will most likely end in a far more bloody way. Difference between me and some of them others is I believe in something that’s bigger than me and that belief has helped me make it out of some right tight scraps, is all.
Before you is the first of my journals (hopefully one of many more); these chronicles are not meant as a declaration of my guilt, quite the contrary, they are intended to be a true account of my exploits as a BrimTier pirate aboard the diamond class star vessel Phoenix. Some of these stories will be rough in language and a bit graphic in content but then what would a pirate story be without? I haven’t changed the names to protect the innocent, partly because I don’t think there are any and partly because I believe in giving credit where credit is due. No doubt I’ll long be dust by the time anyone that could do anything to me for these pages reads them. Nor have I exaggerated, embellished or lessened a story to make it any more or less enjoyable. Everything you read between these covers will be exactly as it happened with the feelings and emotions of the people at the time. Even my own shortcomings will be laid out for all to see. (Yeah, I got a fair few!)
So now, how best to begin?
I suppose the best way is to give you some backstory to explain why I chose this way of life, since it was a conscious choice. First let me explain how the BrimTiers came to be then I’ll tell you a bit of my world.
The word BrimTier is a synonym for the space frontier – the last true frontier. We never found proof of aliens, though some still look – it’s a big frontier. By 2160, Earth had became the utopia everyone prayed for, disease and war becoming only brief passages in medical and history books, but this paradise lasted for only about fifty years then the truth of the situation became too much to dispute. It was finally admitted, though it caused more than a fair few tribulations, that this paradise hid an acrimonious side; without disease and war the death rates dropped while the birth rates continued to climb, at an alarming rate, meaning a great population boom.
By the year 2215 the increased population had all but depleted Earth’s already strained resources, forcing extreme measures. This did act as a jumpstart to the space program, which had been all but spinning its wheels for close to a hundred years; this jumpstart was more necessity than advance in true science, though some of the latter was achieved in the offing. Now, in 2261, we have people all over the known universe.
How was this achieved, you ask? Under pressure from the Confederational Regime, our current government, Earth’s scientists came up with a rapid way to make some of the moons and planets of our universe more Earthlike, often in as little as a matter of weeks, by a process called terraforming.
Terraforming creates a livable atmosphere on a celestial body, be it natural or manmade, by mimicking Earth’s climatic properties. The difficulty or extent is determined by the present conditions on the planet or moon; atmospheric pressures must be increased, water must be made available, if no polar ice caps or underground water is available, and any ultraviolet radiation or cosmic radiation must be reduced to manageable levels. By satisfying these four conditions an ecopeosis (there’s my ten letter word for the day, or rather nine, but you get the gist!) can be achieved.
When there are adequate amounts of carbon dioxide plant life is introduced, they produce oxygen, which builds up atmospheric gases and increases temperature and atmospheric pressure, thus making a site livable. The new world is then seeded with animals and beneficial insects to continue the circle of life. (Good God, does my brain hurt after spouting that tidbit of knowledge … and don’t be asking where I got it because that kind of thing just seems to pop into my own tiny big black every little while.)
Some of these moons and planets took well to this process and some didn’t; in fact some it destroyed, horrific weather conditions and the like.
The planets that weren’t good enough even to be force terraformed were peraterraformed.
When there aren’t any features on a body that can be manipulated but it has enough commercial value, being situated in the galaxy to help promote good commerce, it is peraterraformed. In this process biospheres are constructed then fertilized soil, plants and water are brought in to create a mini ecopeosis (there’s that word again!). Inside these domes cities are built, roads laid, forests and gardens planted, rivers cut and lakes dug and a system of pipelines and levies is constructed to reproduce any weather conditions a colonist might wish for. As the complexity of it sounds, this is a far more expensive system to maintain so only the first two BrimTier planets have them.
By using these terraforming processes we’ve moved outward from Earth.
This seemed a new version of paradise but it didn’t take long for the colonies on Venus,
Earth’s moon, Mars, Jupiter’s moons: Europa and Callisto, Saturn’s moons: Mimas and Rhea, and two space stations: one between Jupiter and Saturn and one just beyond the mini planet,
Pluto, to fill to capacity as well. This pushed us out farther and farther.
The colonies within our original solar system are called the Inner Tier, fifty lightyears out from that is the First BrimTier, the next twenty-five lightyears out is the Second BrimTier and all after that is uncharted space. The tiers are separated by more than just blackness of space; all the advances have done nothing to change the public’s perspective of social orders, more than ever a person’s name and birthplace is all that matters.
The Inner Tier is mostly old money and gets the best supplies; middle class families and blue-collar laborers, the ones that had the resources and money, were able to purchase spots in the First BrimTier which is adequately supplied; the rest, the ones without wealth or influence, and the criminals, were sent to the last, the Second BrimTier, which barely sees any supplies at all. That’s where me and mine come in; we try to help the people of this forsaken tier.
What my crew and I do won’t make their lives more likable but I hope we do make them livable. Our task isn’t an easy one though, we must contend with less benevolent pirates and the CRF. I’ll tell you of each, beginning with the latter, since they are currently the bigger thorn in our side.
The CRF is the police for the CR, which is an acronym for the Confederational Regime, rolls off the tongue, don’t it? That’s why most of us call ‘em simply the CR. This is our current government. (Did you notice I didn’t say elected?) In spite of all the scientific, technological and medical advances the political arena has reverted back to feudalism. The position of leader of the people is now passed down from father to son in the same family. The president is like a king, in many ways: having power over all beneath him; he has his lords – the CRP, his army – the CRF, and his subjects – the rest of us.
Most of us think he’s a bumbling oaf, but he’s the final authority on all things so then he must be respected, right – NOT!
Never cease to amaze!
Lisa Comstock is a resident of Northern New England. She has enjoyed telling stories all her life and always wanted to be a published author. Her dream has come true! She has two published credits: The BrimTier Chronicles series – about a Robin Hood style space pirate, set in the 23rd century – Part 1, Life of a BrimTier Pirate and Part 2: Times of a BrimTier Pirate and the soon the be released Part 3, Sins of a BrimTier Pirate. She has several other manuscripts she hopes to have released over the next few years as well. She writes mostly in the science fiction/ fantasy genre but her works encompass many genres – including action, adventure, romance and suspense.
My books are available in the store at www.brimtierchronicles.com/store and at all major online bookstores (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target etc.)
One lucky reader will win a copy of Part 1: Life of a BrimTier Pirate. To enter, leave a comment or question for Lisa. Be sure to include your email address in your comment or send a message to email@example.com to complete your entry. The winner will be chosen on Sunday, November 29.