When economic collapse happens, who takes over. If it's big business, are they after profit or power. What is the individual to do, go underground and look for an escape?
Infiltrating the Cartels laboratories they find experiments that chill them to the bone. The also find technology that is suppressed. One of these technologies offers them the chance, if they can build the equipment.
In hidden laboratories of their own, they work feverishly to duplicate the equipment, and hope the Cartel cannot detect the signals it generates.
Is the grass really greener on the other side? They send a team to prepare a place for their families.
When their families join them, the signals created by the equipment are detected by a merchant. He diverts from his scheduled route to investigate. This diversion cost him money, so he captures the refugees. In the decadent federation slavery is legal. Selling them will recover more of his expenses, than simply throwing them out an airlock door.
To increase the slaves value he educates them, and everyone knows that knowledge is power. Curiosity mixed with knowledge causes more problems than solutions.
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About the Author
I've loved westerns and science fiction since I picked up my first book at the public library. I've been writing on my computer for years. I never planned on any of my stories being published, just to be read by myself, family, and friends. The base journal is on forty spreadsheets with links to about a thousand files of short one day paragraphs plus other stories. A relative suggested that I aim for a wider audience. If you like my musings, comment on them. I wish to apologize to one or more of my readers. I promised a coupon in several of my books for a review, but have no way to contact those reviewers. To solve that problem, after posting the review to Smashwords, copy the review and email it to my "Write me a note" address at the end of that book.