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From: Sal Balade
To: Our Adoring Fans
Date: 0065-W10-5 18:32
Subject: FanMail (Sal): Re: The Dung Heap We Left

This ship, the Liberty Eagle, was commissioned and fully paid for by a
little backward government on a planet we used to call home. I really
hope the <REDACTED> government on <REDACTED> has been overthrown by now.

To be very clear, we're a forced immigration vessel fully composed of
the poor and indigent. The government cut their water rations and only
gave them access to specially produced foodstuffs that utilized the
simple sugar in the tardigrade. This meant that humans could be dried
out and kept in dry storage.

Need a place to house the homeless? The <REDACTED> government used
warehouses without temperature control. They were also always without
power during peak power usage periods. You can't do that with cold
storage. It means our settler population to energy consuption rate is
radically different to a lot of ships out here.

Well, I guess they're potential settlers right now. The public was sold
a 60% survval rate for those who dried on the streets. According to our
gear-to-settler cargo, though, I'm guessing someone was thinking closer
to a 30% survival rate.

Our ship is equipped with the medbay nanobots, and the research
indicates they help. The security precautions on them cause them to
self-distruct pretty easily, though, so we'll see if any survive to the
planet. I can't comment on whether they've helped reduce the mortality
of the crew so far. That's a different matter, though.

We are not the only vessel of this type. We were most definitely not the
first.

They've been storing folks for decades. The legal system is complex,
and if you are targetted by the police, they can find a crime you've
committed. They don't have to make the charges up, because the laws are
written so that most people have already committed the crimes. It's just
a matter of making it official.

Most crimes are considered "minor" and this allows the voting population
to feel safe by how few major crimes occur. All minor crimes result a
"slap on the wrist," a 0.3% fine, and you're back out the door, only
needing to inform your boss and landlord of your crime.

Of course, most jobs and leases have clauses allowing termination for
criminal behavior. This also means there are a lot of little check-boxes
asking if you've been convicted of any crime. Nobody is legally required
to give a criminal either housing or a job, and generally nobody does
either one. After all, the government makes sure that everyone has
access to plenty of food, so there's no need to take pity those that
choose to be criminals.

This results in people drying out in the streets, then being swept up
and stored in warehouses. This worked well, until 40 years before launch
when activists started asking for people to be revived.

Those that dried on the streets had no right to be revived, but we used
to actually have jails and low security prisons. Those were cleared out
when Chlorizo was still in office. She dried them all out and moved them
to storage facilities. There was a huge tax refund that year due to the
savings and her popularity was at a peak, though it was later that year
that her administration fell apart.

We had been told that dry-storage jail time mapped to live-storage jail
time at a 90% penalty due to the lack of aging. A person with a one-year
sentance in live-jail would be gone 10 years in dry-jail, but reappear
having not aged a day. This was supposed to prevent recidivism as it
separates them from any bad-influence by years.

The idea was easily sold to the public. The problem was the government
never revived anyone. It didn't take long before folks were saying the
technology was flawed and that the rate of revival for those drying
in the streets was a lot less than they advertised. We knew it mostly
worked in controlled environments.

My sister and I wanted data to expose the issue. We'd each suffered our
own tragedies and only really had each other. The cause helped keep us
focused and prevented us from dwelling on our past. Once we were inside
and found out what was going on, we knew the only way to be safe from
the <REDACTED> administration was to let folks know from out here.

What neither my sister nor I fully appreciated at the time was that
from the <REDACTED> administration's perspective, it never mattered
if we reached our destination. They didn't want to colonize other
planets, they just wanted folks to die somewhere else.

We will be lucky if any of the ships from <REDACTED> ever successfully
complete their mission. We were just one of the five shift missions,
quick compared to some, and within the first two shifts our ship was
almost lost.

I've been working my butt off to try to share this with folks. I know
Molly couldn't get it done during her shift. That's a whole other mess,
though. The message is out now. I hope you see this on the surface,
sis. I miss you.

So there you go, <REDACTED>. President <REDACTED> and his party was
in power when we left. President <REDACTED> and their party were in
power when they started designing the ships, and the discredited
President Chlorizo and her party were in power when they started the
Homeless Storage Sugar program. It isn't a one-party issue. It isn't
a one President issue, as all three parties have had multiple terms
in office since Chlorizo started things up 60 years before launch.

Maybe if things were caught during President Chlorizo's term charges
could have been filed. Every one of the <REDACTED> major political
parties are implicated. At this point the government just needs
overthrown. Not "brought up on charges." They've already fixed the
laws and nothing they did was "illegal." The entire government needs
overthrown.

Preferably executed.

--
Your pal,
Sal
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If the QEC audience has any other questions for Sal or another
member of the crew, please let us know!
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