The Way of Things
Late in the 21st century, mankind left the cradle of Earth, migrating to the stars. They took with them dreams of a better tomorrow, settling dozens of worlds. While teeming with plant and animal life, humanity found itself alone among the stars. Those systems were dubbed the ‘Colonial Core’, or simply the ‘Cores’. Two hundred years later, guided by Earth, the Cores came into their own. Together they ushered in scientific and technological miracles.
After that, they set fire to the galaxy.
The Cores War raged for ten years. It engulfed the twelve colonial Core regions of deep space in blood until the fighting came to a tenuous end. Humanity had fallen from its zenith, with most of its scientific achievements lost to the ravages of war. Some, like starships, survived but were harder to produce in the post-war era.
Now, fifteen years later, some Cores are ruled by militaristic regimes, others by dictatorships or organized crime, and still others by shaky presidencies. Many inhabitants, looking to leave their past behind, make their post-war living as ‘vessel extractors’. Otherwise known with derision among the Cores as scrapjacks.
Scrapjacks skate the line between piracy and legitimacy. They navigate unstable colonies rife with underhanded business practices and corrupt government officials. Trying to repossess or salvage illegally seized freighters, decommissioned military ships or other craft can prove dangerous. But scrapjacks are well-entrenched in the seedy underside of colonial life, willing to use inventive or questionable tactics to solve the problem at hand. They are paid well, considered indispensable by some, and free to move through the Cores with relative anonymity. Clients go to great lengths to guard their ‘jacks identities against those who fall victim to a scrapjack’s “ship liberation”.
But a scrapjack’s work sometimes causes more trouble than even a few million cred - and a little luck - can fix.