It’s five years after the Unification War. Times are hard on the outer planets, as infrastructure hasn’t kept pace with terraforming. The emotional, physical and societal scars from the war have not yet healed and politics are as complicated as they ever were.
We begin on the planet Hera, a border planet and site of the deciding battle of Serenity Valley. It’s there that the Independents were routed – and there just doesn’t seem to be much money or will to rebuild. There’s talk that the Alliance is withholding the funds to punish the planet for harboring the Independents during the war, and in the mean time the planet is under punishing austerity measures.
Recent political changes reflect the tight purse-strings. Casinos and brothels have been shut down – the companion’s guild has even been refused permission to establish a house on the planet, despite the clear economic benefits such an establishment would confer. This neo-puritanism isn’t popular or well enforced and has allowed the criminal element to gain a toe hold on the planet. It’s something of an open secret that a Tong has been operating an illegal gambling operation but corruption has prevented any real clean up by the local authorities.
Of course, the Feds get a mite testy about illegal gambling, as they don’t get the revenue credits they believe is their due. Which could lead to interesting times.