Hello! As my first story heads into beta (shameless plug), I’ve started work on a second one and would love to get an interest check before things… get off the ground (space joke, ha ha!)
Somewhere between a blurb and a first chapter, here’s my elevator pitch (any political undertones are imagined by the reader, wink.)
Untitled Space Crime Story
In 1967–the midst of the Cold War–more than sixty nations signed an agreement. They signed it in Washington, they signed it in Moscow, and they signed it in London–the capital cities of the world’s superpowers.
Although the communist tyrants and the capitalist devils (as they saw each other) remained at odds on everything else, they managed to agree that no nation should use the sky above as a weapon.
So from 1967 on, at least in space, humanity was at peace.
Thanks to the…(big breath in)… “Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies”, fifty years went by without interstellar incident.
Then, one man decided that a declining empire should take to the skies and establish their dominance there.
While millions of impoverished citizens struggled to find their next meal, the country quickly allocated funding for the “Stellar Force” and plans were established to build a base on the moon.
After two years and hefty budget allocations, an anti-war activist challenged the moon base on the grounds that it violated the 1967 treaty. Despite years of bending the courts to his whim, the President’s plans were defeated.
With billions of dollars invested in space infrastructure and nothing to do with it, the nation turned to another pressing issue. For decades, they had propped up a failing economy with slave labor. The prison-industrial complex had more bodies than ever, but nowhere to put the men and women they deprived of their freedom in pursuit of bumping the Dow a quarter-point.
Stellar Force ships were repurposed for prison transport, and orbiting satellites configured to mine asteroids. Fatalities were high among the initial groups of forced laborers, but years of propaganda took the average citizen’s mind off it. Eventually, space was the destination for all criminals that fell into two groups: those “Too Dangerous” to remain in prison alongside other workhorses, and those “Too Skilled at Escape” who would jeopardize the state’s investment if they remained in Terra cells.
But the remnants of Stellar Force found a second purpose: one that wasn’t trumpeted as a miracle of capitalism, or even mentioned publicly at all.
A country that spends trillions of man-hours spying on its own citizens has to do something with zettabytes of data.
The most sensitive, the most crucial, the most valuable information—it became too much to keep on hand. Hacking attempts grew exponentially as personal data became a black market currency.
Too valuable to destroy, too volatile to hold: secrets that could start wars and topple empires were stored on servers by a select few with Top Secret security clearance. And those servers?
Houston, we have liftoff.
In the years since, rumors spread among those in the know. The value—from both a monetary and power standpoint—couldn’t be overstated. But the servers were securely in orbit around Earth, and governments kept any attempts at private spaceflight tightly under their thumb.
Only two groups of people travel to space now: the “Too Dangerous” inmates and those “Too Skilled at Escape”. And unluckily for you, you’ve found yourself in one of those groups.
…but this is simply step two of your plan.
The potential to get unfathomably rich, turn the world into a utopia, or rule it with an iron fist? It’s flying around the planet at five miles a second. And soon, you will be too. Have you bitten off more than you can chew? Or will your plans to shape Earth’s future come to fruition?