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The Great Gadani Heist

It's not a secret that I like hanging around on Yards of Gadani, and have done so for maybe half a cycle or so.

When I arrived, the border patrol checked my Gaule visa, gave me the usual spiel about not letting it expire, duties of foreign visitors and so on.

A few days ago, something odd happened. I was doing some work for the "friendly ghosts", and visited the station's Security Services. And there it said, in big, bright letters, Consortium Security Services. On a Gaule-governed station. And they acted as if everything was ordinary, chatting with the visitors, observing the numerous monitors and so on.

I did my best to conceal my shock, conducted my business quickly, and went back to my hotel room. Had it been always this way? I thought I'd been to security before, but I wasn't sure. I consulted my CORETECH, and it answered with EFAULT, which was not very helpful.

I watched the news, nothing about political tensions or a hostile takeover at Yards of Gadani. I checked my weapons and my armor, packed a spare gun and some rations, and cautiously left the room. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary; the ship breaking yards were loud and busy, the markets lively, and brig hostile. As usual. After a while, I even approached the government center. Nothing out of the ordinary.

The next day, I went to the Government Center again, picking up my ration. Just as I was about to leave, I noticed some Gaule officials leaving, and Consortium clerks staffing their positions instead. As if it were the most ordinary thing in the world. They calmly took down the previous official notices, and put up the Consortium standard material about preventing infections, proper dental care, ration schedules, customs rates and exceptions, etc.

As much as I admired the peaceful change of government, I was confused. Why wasn't it announced in advanced? Why did the proud Gaule Protectorate give up Yards of Gadani? What did they get in return? How did they manage to convince everybody to keep quiet? For a change of that scale, even if it makes sense for everybody, I always expect a few folks to freak out, simply because it can be human nature to resist change.

Still amazed by the sheer scale and brazenness of the greatest peaceful heist is living memory, unfolding right before my eyes, I trudged to the port, and watched the Gaule officials hanging around before the entrance of a medium-sized shuttle. A high-ranking minister appeared without hurry, said allons les gens, and boarded the ship. The others followed suit, and they were gone.

Later that day, I found a single line of news coverage about the whole affair:

Yards of Gadani – Affiliation has been changed to Consortium.

Comments

  1. I blame lawyers.

    The most logical explanation is that someone realized some crucial part of the Accords didn't mean what everyone had been assuming it meant. Maybe it was convoluted legalese; maybe it was as simple as a typographical error. Whatever the reason, some folks began to realize that Yards of Gadani was always meant to be a Consortium station.

    As to why the Gaule Protectorate acceded so peacefully, we'll probably never know. Perhaps they fought it vigorously in what passes for a legal system these days, all the way to the High Court, but eventually lost. Or maybe they're the ones who discovered the error themselves, scouring the Accords for a reason, any reason, to escape the endless medical claims from non-Belters unused to the lower gravity.

    My intention, as usual, mainly involves keeping to the shadows with my head down. The past is alterable. The past never has been altered. Yards of Gadani is a Consortium station. Yards of Gadani has always been a Consortium station.

  2. There's an underground resistance.

    Sure, on the surface everyone seems to be one great big happy Consortium family. But if you look a little closer, push a little deeper, get involved with some of the less savory elements of society on Yards of Gadani, you'll find those "friendly ghosts" still remember their roots. Do a couple of discreet tasks for them, and it won't be the Consortium that thanks you; it'll be the Gaule Protectorate.

  3. Are you sure? My Gaule friends are pretty unimpressed by what I do on Yards of Gadani; yet my reputation with the Consortium is, for the lack of a better word, stellar.

  4. Perhaps it's just me, but yes, definitely. For days now. The Consortium couldn't care less, but the Protectorate seems fairly happy with my discreet work on YoG.

  5. The Consortium appears to have rooted out the resistance.