The next episode for Jamison’s Battlefields. Here are the previous episodes in order. Like any story you will get the most out of it by reading it in sequence.
The first battlefield was The Battle for the Mind. Zilkas Asteroid Belt, Jamison’s Rescue, Dinner with an Alien, Dibolocos Attack, Departure Orders, Homecoming, Into the Darkness, The Family Business, Jewel’s Place, Shanghaied, First Mark, The Pirate’s Life, Defensive Position, Adrift, Self Sacrifice, Crash Down, The Lake House, Dancing with Egopods, Lunch with Aliens and Kilkian Alignment.
The second battlefield is The Battle of the Hands, Here are the previous episodes in this battlefield Learning to See, Maintaining Common Sense, Meeting Compagno, Unseating Dibolocos, The Journey Homeward, Ambush on Platinum 9, Refit, Retrain and Rethink, Saved by Rodent Weed and Convoys and Propaganda. Today we get Episode 30
Changing the Moon
Back on Platinum 9, Jamison had made great headway. The people were organized into a temporary government and when it came time to elect regular representatives, the people had asked for Jamison to consider running for Chancellor, the post they had determined would be the highest office.
Jamison had originally declined, but Colofer suggested he change his mind. When he announced his candidacy, he also was obligated to discuss what his operating principles would be. He used that chance to tell the people about the nature of the warfare going on around them between the Kilkians and the Dibolocos. He told them his own history and how he had been led to the rodent weed by the Kilkians. Finally he explained what it really meant to be aligned with the Kilkian king and invited any others who wished to make this choice to join him.
In the days that followed, Platinum 9 began changing very quickly as large numbers of people also aligned themselves with the Kilkian king. Those who had aligned with the Dibolocos were hostile to the whole transition, but the majority of the people understood this hostility and were not dissuaded by it. Jamison made sure he began carrying a side arm again, because he knew the battle of ideas often spilled over into a more physical battle.
When the election came he was elected Chancellor, and to his surprise every single member of his governing board was aligned with the Kilkians. He took this as a mandate to set up a society operating on the principles of the Kilkian king so he immediately set about making laws affecting moral behavior. Severe penalties were put in place for causing injury or death, theft, sexual crimes, and many other activities which harm others. In addition to this, sexual entertainment was outlawed, as was most forms of chemical recreation. The proprietors of these businesses were uniformly under the control of Dibolocos and Jamison knew outlawing them would invite trouble. But he also knew removing their influence would help even more people accept the Kilkian king.
Regarding trade, they determined they needed a way to market their rodent weed. So a signal was sent to the capital city seeking a partner in marketing the product. It only took a short time before a businessman contact them back offering to trade water and cash for the product which he would then package and sell. Jamison believed this negotiation was critical to the future of the colony so he took on the task of finalizing the negotiations and signing the agreements personally. When he did, he found out the businessmen was his friend, Compagno.
Compagno insisted on giving him better terms than previously negotiated, and the deal was finalized. One aspect of the deal which was normally in place during this time was agreements over who took the losses due to pirating. Compagno and Jamison both felt there would be no pirating, having been so led by their Kilkian advisors. The product would be marketed under the name Platinum Sweet Moss.
In the meantime, the colonists had harvested enough extra rodent weed to fill the first order. They discovered that it would keep very well as long as it was kept cold and moist. Jamison sent out a general request for traders to work the short route between his moon and the capital, but got no immediate response. After a couple of days the message reached Chambers. She would be able to bring her convoy by on their return trip. They could expect her to be there in two weeks.
For Chambers on the convoy, the two weeks went very smoothly. She was surprised that there had not been another pirate attack on her trip. She decided this meant a few things, first no one with her was communicating their plans to the pirates any longer. Second the pirates themselves were having to find a new tactic. If any of the pirates were truly just human and not guided by Dibolocos then they would not be anxious to attack an entire battle group. But she doubted there were any in this category. She believed all of the pirates were guided by Dibolocos and this explained their great success. Now that four CDF ships were controlled by Kilkians, the Dibolocos no longer held the advantage in battle.
When she pulled up to Platinum 9 she was amazed at the transformation of the colony since their last visit. She made sure this fact was recorded and added to the video documentaries they were preparing. She also spent some time with Jamison. She attended a Chancellor’s dinner and met the governing board. More interviews were done and additional footage was available to show the other colonies what success was possible when governed with a moral standard and under the leadership of the Kilkian king.
The visit of the trading convoy also meant the resumption of business on platinum 9. Store owners could stock their shelves, the colony government had cash to restore public services, and most importantly they had fresh water. This allowed Jamison to do several things he had been pondering since he took control of the local government. He wanted to know what else was on this moon. Were there other resources and supplies that could be useful to the colony?
Since the records held by the previous mining interest had been erased, the quickest way of knowing was going out and exploring. So he immediately sent out parties with this purpose in mind. They had very few vehicles for this kind of operation, but they did have some of the best scanning and survey equipment in production.
The early trips found that this moon truly did have a remarkable amount of platinum. There were trace amounts of other minerals, but in order to make mining them profitable they needed more concentrated finds. After a few days of these explorations a group came back with a very surprising report. Their scanners had shown ground water. This led them to a small lake and an area of only a few square kilometers with a lush life belt. Jamison figured something like this had to exist because there was no other explanation for the source of the rodent weed, and rodents.
The team that found it encouraged him to come and see it for himself. He found the idea to his liking and loaded up with them for the trip. But when he set foot on the land-barge he immediately felt a sense of danger. Looking around he realized it all settled on one of the men in the expedition. Colofer confirmed this to him, and noted the man planned to kill him if he got the chance. Jamison simply handled the situation by having the man assigned to a task which required him to stay behind.
Upon arriving at the life belt Jamison was surprised at how lush it was, given its small size. There was a a variety of game, fish in the lake and fresh fruit. He decided a sampling could be taken back without depleting the resource and assigned men to gather these products. But he also sensed they were not alone. A Dibolocos was a couple kilometers across the life belt. He was aware of the presence of Dibolocos from time to time even back in the mining colony. They would come in and manipulate the unaligned or directly control the individuals who were aligned with them. But finding a Dibolocos out here was surprising.
It took him a few minutes to realize that with the Dibolocos was a man with a sniper’s rifle. Jamison knew that his side arm did not have the range that this weapon did and likely if he came into view he would be killed. Other members of his party were probably also in danger, but he had already sent them out. Even worse, if they heard the firing of a weapon, they would likely just attribute it to the hunters gathering game.