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The Money Reform Party

Star Woes

Chapter 1

Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far way, where no one had ever heard of Star Wars and no one had any views as to whether the later films were a patch on the earlier ones, three large hyper-space transports waited to lift off from their docking bays at Skywalker City Spaceport.

The planet of Tattoo One was dying. That at least was the conclusion of those who had opted to travel on one of the waiting transports. For years, they had warned their fellow Tattoonians, of all species, that the planet was heating up, but their message had not been welcomed by the Imperial authorities for it created anxieties amongst the population.

Now they were leaving, to start new lives on new planets. Planets in the remote and uncolonised regions of the galaxy's Outer Rim. These were the planets Standardia, Bacchanalia and Elysium, and already, the colonists had begun to think of themselves by these names

It was an emotional time for them all. Very likely the three groups might never set eyes on each other or their old home planet of Tattoo One ever again. Even so, they were excited at the prospect of creating new homes on new planets. These were planets that had rather more greenery than the baking deserts of Tattoo One, no vicious tusked-raiders stalking the outer-lands swathed in robes and bandages, and no weird non-humanoids filling their favourite corner of the cantina and getting into fights over who had the greenest skin.

The other residents of Tattoo One, who noticed the colonists' impending departure, watched them go with mixed feelings. On the one hand they were glad to see the back of these doom-mongers. On the other hand, their departure rather confirmed their dire predictions that the climate on Tattoo One was now quite out of control.

In a few years, so the departing colonists claimed, Tattoo One would resemble its twin planet of Tattoo Two. That was pure desert and had been so even before recorded history, with just the remnants of a lost civilisation to warn, in vain, the citizens of a later age.

Before boarding their respective craft, all of the travellers had been carefully searched by members of the Imperial Customs Service, who were backed up as ever by the fearsome Imperial Stormtroopers in their sinister armoured suits of pale lilac.

"Why'd we have to wear pale lilac, sarge?" asked one bored rookie as the colonists moved off to their transports.

"It's the sun, son," replied the older soldier. "It discolours the white."

"I kinda like it," mooted a second rookie, and the first soldier edged away from him, gripping his blaster more tightly.

The colonists, for their part, were glad to be moving away from all of the Empire's mindless military and bureaucratic servants. They were idealists and dreamers, who wore loose clothing which somehow managed to stay in place without buttons, just a judo belt around the middle. They had found themselves rejected by the Empire's mainstream mores, so now they were being ejected from it. They were not actually convicts, but they were classified as undesirables, being free-thinkers, drunks and gardeners.

The technology that they took with them would be of the most primitive and limited kind, sufficient, in theory to enable these human colonists to survive in their new homes, but nothing more. They were permitted nothing that would cause them ever to be a threat to the Empire. Neither would they be permitted to trade with other worlds. Each colony would be alone in the galaxy and would have to survive or perish by its own accord. That, and other conditions and limitations, had enabled the Empire to feel confident to allow these misfits and dreamers to leave, and it did not concede them total sovereignty of their new home planets. They would necessarily be self-governing, but would still remain part of the Galactic Empire.

They were permitted no weapons, no precious metals, no droids (not even little cute ones that made incomprehensible bleeps and buzzes), and no money, indeed, it had taken almost every last Imperial Credit that they had possessed to buy the lease on their new homes, and to stock up with their tools and supplies.

The colonists, so the authorities reckoned, would be in no position to buy anything even if a trader did happen to find their lonely new homes. The Imperial authorities confidently expected that they would all die very quickly on their new planets, and if they did not, the Empire would inherit some partially developed new worlds.

The Empire had more serious worries than these idealistic colonists. On planets throughout the galaxy, there was talk of rebellion. Imperial spies had detected the suggestion of meetings, plots and dangerous talk amongst myriad Imperial citizens. How far up into planetary government this talk extended, the Imperial authorities had yet to discover, but if it involved planetary governments, the Empire itself was facing civil war and internal collapse.

As the colonists strapped themselves into their seats on the transports, the space-stewards tore themselves away from admiring the Stormtroopers' armour and settled everyone for the trip.

"Ladies and gentlemen, could I have your attention, please. You are required to remain seated with your safety-belts secured until we enter extra-orbital space. We shall by be travelling through hyper-space and our journey will take approximately fifteen standard time-parts.

"In the event of an emergency, please return to your seats and follow the captain's instructions. Than kyou."

The stewards also strapped themselves in for the lift-off and chatted quietly amongst themselves.

"So did you get to that show? What was it?"

"No, I was working."

"You're always working, you."

"We've got a home loan to pay."

"Oh, yeah. Don't you get any time off?"

"I try and manage the Emperor's birthday..."

"Of course!"

"...usually."

"Hello, Flight-deck? This is the Passenger Module. We are all strapped in and ready to go."

"Thank you, PM. Let's get this job done."

During their jumps through hyper-space to their far distant destinations in the galaxy's swirling tendrils, there was time for the colonists to get together to plan their new communities.

The Standardians met to decide on the design of the flag of their new home. The Bacchanalians wondered what, if any, bar opening times they should have. The Elysians had an informal little gathering which featured a talk on the correct pruning of fruit trees.

Soon, the three disparate groups had been landed on their new exiles. Here they unloaded their cargoes and, waving off the transports, found themselves left marooned.

The first actions of the three groups varied. On Standardia, a hastily sewn flag has hoisted and saluted by everyone with hands on hearts. On Bacchanalia, a barbecue was contrived, and a passing jimbuck was caught, skinned and grilled. On Elysium, the first action was to brew-up a nice pot of tea

Thereafter, the pattern of activity on each planet was much of a kind. Food had to be identified and caught or collected, the forest cleared, wood cut, habitations erected, fields and gardens created. These activities took up all their time and energy and with each person depending upon the health and well-being of everyone else, all, or at least most, strove their hardest to benefit their fellows as well as themselves.

Contrary to official hopes, on none of the three planets did the colonists starve, although all three came close a couple of times. Neither were they consumed by giant underground worms or eaten by abominable snow-bears. However, they did all stop celebrating the Emperor's birthday, which just shows how far off the wall these guys were.

Soon new baby colonists added to their number, and the colonies flourished and prospered. They had worked hard to create their new lives. They had established themselves as viable self-sufficient communities, although some of their members muttered as to how some had not worked nearly as hard as their fellows and were now reaping more than their fair share of the rewards.

Next: Chapter 2

Previous: Introduction

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