Explore the scifi worlds of Probability Shadow, by Mark Laporta. Discover a rich interstellar culture, whose bright future is forever shaded by its dark past.
This political and commercial empire began as a trade organization, founded by the first humans to achieve real-time interstellar travel. With advance-design space-folders that outpaced the starships of every other species they met, they quickly dominated the interstellar marketplace. Resource-starved worlds, eager for faster delivery of essential commodities, granted them long-term shipping contracts.
Among the old-guard power brokers of deep space, resentments flared. Some imposed tariffs or blockades. In response to a savage attack on one of their freighters, the humans now gave every shipment a military escort. As political infighting increased between “Cosmists” and “Earthists,” humans offered protection to loyal trading partners, in exchange for exclusive access to their markets.
Rapid economic expansion followed — until the bubble burst and recession set in. Colonists on several worlds agitated for change. Instead, the Protectorate revived an ancient Earth religion. Suddenly, their administration was “blessed by God,” and required only “righteousness” to restore its prosperity. Recent financial woes were due to “mutants, aliens and non-believers."
Rising from the ashes
Emotional, holographic rallies converted billions to the new state religion. Protectorate Admin relocated the remaining protesters to Reservation Worlds. They framed this action as a public works program that, in fact, created millions of jobs. As its fortunes rose, the Protectorate’s iron rule seemed unstoppable.
Yet only a few years later, the crustaceans of the Grashard Sidereal Caucus developed their own new class of space-folders. The Grashardis offered alternative trade agreements, based on mutual respect and cooperation. The Protectorate actually lost some of its lesser trading partners.
But there were darker days to come. The paranoid, murderous and relentless Quishiks were destined to escape from their ancient prison on the other side of the Fremdel event horizon before century’s end.
Inside the Terran Protectorate
Meet the fleet officers, administration and artificial intelligences who help shape the action in Probability Shadow: