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PROLOGUE

FTL travel has existed for a little over one hundred years, allowing exploration and conquest of planets and systems within three hundred parsecs of earth. The Federation of Aligned Worlds has replaced the failed United Nations but lacks the power to govern. Reminiscent of the old six sisters who ran mass media two centuries earlier, six conglomerates effectively control space. The new conglomerates are deadlier and much larger. Over one thousand planets, moons or asteroids had been colonized, mostly for commercial purposes. Mixed among these are a few religious groups who somehow managed to get transplanted and form havens for those of a like mind.

Commercial interests vie to do business following the standard adage that money knows no sovereign boundaries. Each conglomerate strives to be independent, each must provide its own security and all have professional Marine, and Naval forces. Those interested in conquest have standing armies. The cost of space travel and colonization is so high collaboration is the order of the day. Security alliances, like commercial associations do make for strange bedfellows.

And then there are the renegades and pirates. They rule by terror and no one is immune.

The problem of FTL communication remains unsolved. Messages travel no faster than the fastest space ship.

White Mining Corporation (WMC), one of the first companies to venture into deep space, claimed planet, Saragosa Prime, in the Vega region on the edge of the Galon Sector. It fell to the grandson of the founder to make good on promises to give Saragosa Prime political freedom.

Winner White IV has a reputation for keeping his word. Once he decides to do something, time is the only factor in doubt. He matured in the cunning world of a fighter test pilot and Navy SEALs. However, being the new head of smallest of the Big Six conglomerates, he's found little peer support and even less respect.



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