An owner is a citizen owning at least one of the essential facilities of a habitat. The more vital the owned structure is, the more political power the owner gets. Power generators, recycling centres, aeroponics or aquaponics farms, pressurization or oxygenation centres are examples of major facilities, but scientific laboratories, warehouses and transportation, when well managed, can give a smaller political edge. The most influential owners are those holding the habitat itself. Owners usually make good money out of their facilities, especially if they succeed in monopolizing the market since the state is forced to buy whatever service or resource they produce. Owners only exist in habitats allowing privatization of vital facilities. Following the EXRs, a series of worldwide citizens riots, some states expropriated essential facilities ownership in the year 12381.
The owners have the significant responsibility of making the machine they possess work well. A single minor failure can render a habitat effectively inhabitable, if not deadly, in a matter of hours. Even a temporary halt of a facility such as the oxygenation centre can quickly kill every person in the habitat. To efficiently do so, owners usually founded corporations to gain the manpower to handle maintenance and day-to-day tuning. They demanded to managers most duties to sit back and enjoy their net worth. While responsibility for a failure still falls back on their figure at first, owners spend their time as the embodiment of their corporation. They make public appearances, interviews for journalists and sustain the weight of having little to no private life. They usually participate in political debates, where their opinion is highly valued.
In exchange for their few responsibilities, owners get fame, political power and riches. Case by case, different facilities give different benefits. If a corporation owns all the nuclear plants in a habitat, the owner gets to sell all the electric energy citizens use, making a huge gain. However, owners learnt the hard way during the EXRs that the threat of cutting vital services can escalate and backfire quickly.
At first, before the Slingshot, owners were funders of habitats. Some of them were rich enough to pay for a whole habitat, some others had to pool their wealth, dividing the facilities among them. With more and more scientific papers confirming the imminent catastrophe, owners became increasingly influential and powerful, by selling houses or services inside the habitat. The first few years after the slingshot saw various changes to the life inside the habitats to optimise and better manage the new situation. The Apocalypse War against Deniers occupied a long period of that time. When the war was finally over, the surviving habitats witnessed owners become increasingly potent through their corporations. They often bought or built more facilities or reinforced the services they were already offering. The social gap between them and ordinary people grew exponentially. In a delusion of grandeur, owners started living luxurious lives, comparable to what they were used to before the Slingshot, even though within the habitats. To maintain their standard of living, the owners tried to leech off ordinary people, supported by states that could not afford to lose the vital facilities the owners were running. Until, in the year 12381, people worldwide organized a series of massive strikes which ended in violent riots to overthrow the oppressors. The conflicts are collectively called EXRs, expropriation revolutions. Almost all of them ended with dead or dismissed owners. The EXRs restricted the owners' power and influence, even in the habitats where people did not participate in violent riots.
Deniers believe the owners are conspirators trying to hide the real situation of the planet surface to keep people inside the habitats as prisoners, making money off of them. A strong argument is that, sometimes, owners depart for long periods for diplomatic or political meetings in other habitats, but rumours report they were missing. Deniers claim owners go to the surface in this period to enjoy "real life". From recent sociological studies, outside of deniers circles, the majority of people thinks owners should not earn too much money from the vital facilities they run. However, while a few extremists still think owners should be expropriated, higher taxes would satisfy most people.
Source of Authority
Ownership over vital facilities
Length of Term
Usually lifetime, unless they sell their assets