Thaddeus Sterrrn has long been an up-and-coming functionary in the Con-Am corporate structure, with a well-known reputation for cutting deals and forging alliances to get things done. In many ways, he was the embodiment of corporate culture: doing whatever it took to meet the demands of the stockholders, and the company’s numerous customers. Negotiating trade deals with multiple governments, planetary sectors, and even a few aliens was a natural skill for him, allowing him to pick up a few different languages along the way.
Unfortunately, Thaddeus’ success made for some serious rivals within the company – he started running into funding problems for his projects, and no small amount of setbacks – both natural and engineered – in the deals he had brokered. Soon, in order to work around the problem, he set upon a novel solution – he turned to one of the organized crime families, brokering deals to smuggle cargo past inspection points and other problematic spots in order to meet his contracts – again, everyone profited on these deals as well – deliveries were made, with a statistically small increase both in shipping costs and loss of material (part of the agreement with the smuggling cartel).
Everything was going well until the deal was discovered by one of Thaddeus’ rivals. Sneering, another plot was hatched, an elegant hack job that not only marked shipments resulting in several smuggler vessels being impounded, but also drained their accounts – with everything seemingly going to Sterrrn.
With a corporate scandal about to break, and even worse an entire criminal organization wanting his head, Thaddeus quickly booked himself on one of the outbound colony ships – at least there, he could start over, or at the very least avoid losing his head!