Rassist was a dying planet. Not in the physical sense as such, but dying nonetheless.
It was a cold, relentlessly unforgiving world clinging to the edges of Vorstaat space, both physically and politically. There remains some speculation as to the planetary governor’s knowledge of events, but to all eyes Rassist appeared as the unwitting host to a dramatic shift in the course of history.
From violent clashes to abortive acts of genocide the war came to the quiet industrial planet with a vengeance during Control: Bleak Pass, shattering any sense of isolation they might have enjoyed before. The planet was broken down and in a state of entropic decay; its failing economy, entrenched criminal underworld and lack of political relevance eating away at its heart, leaving little of interest for the rest of the galaxy.
It wasn’t always that way.
Before the Vorstaat, before the war for independence, there was the Industrial Arm of the Systems Coalition, a loose collective of mining planets and production facilities that were the backbone of the Coalition’s military and industrial strength. They sourced the raw materials, using their expertise and resilience to draw minerals from the ground of a thousand inhospitable worlds.
Rassist was one of those worlds.
The technology behind mineral extraction is in a constant state of evolution and so it was when the first settlers arrived on Rassist. Every colonisation was a gamble in those days and unfortunately Rassist’s didn’t pay off. There was enough to keep them trading, but only just, and it would have been a short story for the freezing planet in the back end of civilised space had it not been for a couple of unexpected things.
The Dares and the Rands.
One was an unusual atmospheric anomaly and the other was an established and opportunistic criminal fraternity. The Dares was a collection of islands scattered across a thin slice of temperate ocean. Their unusual weather patterns meant that the climate was always gentle on the islands and very much at odds with the harsh conditions that plagued the rest of the planet.
Despite this the Dares were all but ignored when the settlers arrived as there were no discernible mineral deposits to be found there. The general population settled on the mainland where they chased the vast wealth of metals and resources buried in the ground, leaving a few farmers to work the rich soil of the islands, all but forgotten in the rush for financial success.
Generations passed and the resources started to dry up, but the islands remained much as they were and it wasn’t long before the few rich families left on Rassist realised where the planet’s true wealth lay. The Dares became a retreat for the rich and famous. So beautiful were the islands that they became known across the systems, but their size and some rather inflexible local laws meant that only a handful of people managed to secure homes there.
The farmers remained, forming one half of a rather eccentric and symbiotic relationship with the Vorstaat’s great and good and so the islands became an icon – worthless in themselves, relatively speaking, but a burning light that somehow slowed the planet’s descent into oblivion.
What really kept the planet ticking over was its criminal heritage.
Being out in the middle of nowhere while still being loosely connected to the major trade routes meant that Rassist was perfectly positioned to foster an uncommonly successful criminal network. One family in particular, the Rands, made the astute decision to secure stakes in the planet’s future very early on. Josephine Rand invested her considerable wealth in the planet’s infrastructure even before the planet had been fully terraformed, bringing her more affordable – if slightly outdated – APP terraforming platforms to Rassist as a front for her vast criminal operation.
Her family flourished and extended and ultimately became the hidden bedrock of the planet’s economy. When the mining started to fail her legacy of organised crime flourished, growing into something so deeply entrenched as seem completely invisible.
Entropy, though, knows nothing of favour it would seem and even the criminal network started to fail after a time, the Rands all but disappearing into the past. When we visit Rassist in Control: Bleak Pass the light has almost gone out.