In the early century a little known telecommunications company called Intele Co created a paradigm shift in the technology market. As the world was taking its first unsteady steps into orbit, unprecedented wonders of science rose from their classified research department, and man entered into a space age overnight. Technology was king and the economy boomed, and at the center of it was the tiny town of Pilgrimage.
From a high rise suite a corporate fat cat gazes down over his the grounds of Intele Co’s headquarters, inspecting his domain with a careful eye. From this vantage he can see the lines of laborers set to embark for seasonal martian mining, all clad in tattered gear, unprepared for the harsh conditions of the mines. How many would return? Was it pity that he felt, or only a gluttony for profit margins? He may hold the title of CEO, but he can feel the board of directors breathing down his neck, obsessing over the details of financial reports, never satisfied with any gain. Would his father be proud of this company today? They were a powerhouse of industry, but at what cost? The gloom below was his empire, and nothing remained that could stand against the company. His eyes turned upwards, finding the form of the Holocene suspended in the sky, a sign of hope and a guarantee of prosperity. It was more than an interstellar ship, and few knew its true potential. With it, he could change everything.
In response to Intele Co’s stranglehold over not only the world’s economy but every venture in the solar system, the Martian Mining Union was formed. Far from Earth, the Martian mines operated with little to no oversight, leading to dangerous conditions, low pay, and slum like accommodations. Miners banded together, standing against Intele Co’s unquestioned authority, but so far from the eyes of the public the struggle was grueling. Still, their message spread, and they became the voice for the common man, fighting against Intele Co on all fronts. Above all they held the Holocene project to be an affront to their very humanity, a rich man’s venture costing millions that could have been spent to ease the suffering of miners and common folk.
Reports of union leaders disappearing were common, suspicions of sabotage leading to deaths of members abound, and many felt the union’s tactics were too soft. Rouge, extreme chapters rose from the effort, using violent schemes to push their agenda, and the lines between victim and perpetrator blurred.
The blackness of space is a soup of radiation, radio waves and rouge transmissions. Most of it is meaningless noise, but through that mess of sound and static something bizarre calls for attention. An astute few are able to focus in, isolating it, and in the early century the classified research department of Intele Co did just that, leading them away from Earth to the Martian surface. Little was known about the implications of this secretive discovery, but history shows the event to coincide with Intele Co’s dramatic transformation from small communications company to technology powerhouse. The signal was downplayed as little more than an interesting phenomenon, but the truth was well hidden behind a layer of corporate secrecy and deception.