RICHES IN IRON
The exterior surface of this Slipseed is unblemished by human construction; feeble primate artifice can't survive the rigors of Jump-8 travel. Not that people haven't tried. The walls of the interior volume are honeycombed with skyscraper-sized concrete coffins; big enough to store a starship. It also contains a rich but sparse biosphere of rare flora and fauna adapted to hard vacuum and microgravity; taking in the radiation from starships and picking over the debris left by human visitors. The interior is also lit by emissive strips (mostly emitting in near UV) that provide a vital source of energy to the interior.
Deeper, the inner wall is dotted with habitats ranging from nothing more than tin cans and pressurized tents to sprawling complexes of interconnected modules.
While efforts to claim exclusive control of a Slipseed are not well tolerated, some amount of human governance seems to be permitted. Visiting ships must be stored in a coffin (and must pay for the privilege). Likewise, anyone residing on the inner wall must provide their own power, water, and food or buy or barter for it. But there is nothing stopping itinerant travelers without a ship from fastening one more tin can to the wall. There's plenty of space inside.
Riches In Iron is largely ungoverned. Like the technology people occasionally stick to its exterior, nothing really seems to stick.
Most of the coffins are controlled by the Orbital Solar Power Worker's Local 258 who ensure that nobody is fried by a hot drive and provide reasonably affordable space tugs for visiting people and ships. They are led by Yabby, an ancient union rep who got their crustacean nickname from their Daeyi sleeve. When they are not on union business, they run one of the Riches In Iron's larger guesthouses; an unfussy place with camaraderie of a jobsite bunk hab and no luxuries at all.
BURAJÄN AND LOUISE
Also known as "Bad John." A former colonel in the Antarctic Free State Marine Corps in a Werewolf Sleeve; burnt out from the Last War and running from his demons. Runs the local Fat Ludovico's Countercultural Pizzeria with his adult daughter, who is an ordained Reformed Eastern Orthodox Priest and also sleeved in a Werewolf (having previously followed in her father's footsteps). They also provide counseling services and anti-atavism medication to others in combat sleeves.
She knows everyone in the logistics business at every one of Riches In Iron's ports of call. She is a one woman broker, aggregator, customs agent, importer, exporter, and commercial arbitrator. Most of her business comes from the corps because that's who owns ships. But she doesn't have anything against small operators. Will rob you blind if given the chance but if you don't strike her as a sucker she's likely to be the best broker anyone without corporate contacts could ever get.
A Solarian priest; chimpanzee uplift. Has committed to ministering to those who travel through the sunless hell that is hyperspace. Belongs to the Eyes of Utu, a militant Solarian order committed to upholding the lawgiving functions of the Unconquered Sun. Not one to let the fact that there's no real law aboard Riches In Iron stop him from enforcing his idea of justice. A bit of a prick but reliable enough that he's a trusted mediator. At least he's decisive and predictable. May or may not be engaged in the other business of the EoU's more secretive branches.
The local commander of DSS Solutions' local security detail. He is only really a friend to the corps but willing to coexist with others while aboard Riches In Iron. Always scheming with assassins and saboteurs on call (often hires sacrificial outsiders). Presents as a dreadful, very corrupt person but articulate and well-read. Responds well to real paper books and cold hard cash. Secretly a PRU operative; if he gets wind of any dangerous artifacts or paranormal horrors he'll first ensure they can do no harm and second, secure them for Rhombus.
WHO'S VISITING THIS JUMP?:
- An android cult come to worship the Slipseed; childlike bodies and brilliant white robes. They haven't bothered with getting accommodation and wander around in the hard vacuum.
- Two PANSEC Fleet Security Division frigates and horde of ultraviolent crayon eaters; luckily they're only here for one jump. In the meantime the number of bar fights has tripled.
- A massive Jump-2 colony ship; hitching a ride before making several shorter hops into unknown space.
- Refugees from a local war; barely able to afford oxygen and food.
- A corporate wizard; everyone seems to keep a wide berth.
- A freighter full of pirated idol pop cassettes operated by the grimmest, most violent smugglers you've ever met.
- A professional sports team traveling for a multi-year string of exhibition games.
- Stratmeyer Syndicate goons.
- A small asteroid manhandled into into Riches In Iron's central volume; not clear why anyone would go to all that trouble. It's just floating there.
- A new greenhouse full of real coffee plants! Hopefully its here to stay.