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Abilities[edit | edit source]
- Economic: +25% credits from taxes
- Bargainers: +25% better prices
- Wealthy: +120 starting credits
- Extravagant: -25% habitat
History[edit | edit source]
In this day and age, supply and demand is the driving force behind society. I made several fortunes by understanding the market, by buying and selling at the right times, and to the right people. In this world, provided you have the liquidity, nothing is impossible
-- Director Eric Preston, Planetary Markets
No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that Earth was being controlled keenly and closely by intelligences more subtle than most men's. The Noxium Corporation didn't exist then, of course. But the handful of greedy men who valued their own happiness more highly than that of a thousand others had existed since the 17th century.
The slow cartelization of most economic market really took off in the 19th century, but advanced marvelously in the 20th century, and in the USA in particular. By the end of 2000, the poorest 80% of people in the USA owned just 15% of the country's wealth -- and that fell to 10% in the next five years.
By the 21st century, these financiers had reached an almost perfect capitalist state. They did nothing. They produced nothing. They gambled huge amounts of money on stock markets like roulette wheels, but hid it carefully when the tax-man came to call. When the countries of the world, driven to desperation by their collapsing incomes, eliminated tax havens, these financiers just bought up the nascent space industry and moved into orbit.
Noxium wasn't the first company to make money from space habitats -- in fact its main focus was on asteroid mining -- but its establishment of the so-called Ceres Cartel with the Empire Management mercenary group in the 2030s meant that it was quite soon the only business in town. Habitats that weren't launched with the cartel's approval had a horrible habit o being struck by micrometeorites, exploding on launch or directing themselves into a burn-up orbit while the occupants slept. The commercial war was bloody but understandably short-lived.
The Ceres Cartel held together for the best part of forty years, until 2075 when the first interstellar probes reported back from the superterran exoplanet Tau Ceti e. Though the planet was uninhavitable the prospect of space colonization suddenly reawakened Noxium's dozing commercial instincts and plans for interstellar ships were put into effect. Unfortunately, Noxium foolishly neglected to take their military allies Imperium into their new venture, instead of allying with the production facilities of the Solar Dynasty and the design geniuses of Togra University.
Imperium's vengeful raid on the Callisto headquarters of Noxium's mining opertaion killed off the Ceres Cartel totally. The Imperium vacuum troopers took the prototype ship -- intended for Noxium's own use -- which Imperium then used to head to Pandora. It's worth noting that though the Noxium board was angry at the Imperium for this, it was mainly that they hadn't realised space-piracy would be such a lucrative business model. Instead, they focused their ire on Noxium's own security section, who soon found that, whilst accountants might not be boring people, it doesn't take much imagination to cancel your bonus and/or throw you out of an airlock.
Retrenching and belatedly establishing their own security force. Noxium built itself a new colony ship, and hastened for the new markets of Pandora, ripe for the exploitation of its new physical, human and financial capital.