Monday, November 11, 2013

II. Broken Contract - Breakers

A few days ago I introduced the back story to a game I'm working on called Broken Contract. Today we're going to talk about one of the forces at play: Breakers. Though still a rough draft I want to point out that all of work I'm posting has gone past the eyes of Robert Ferrick who is doing quick copy editing and has been making great suggestions on organizing thoughts and throwing out ideas. Read on. -Nick

Breakers

Breakers are fugitives that have chosen to ignore the contracts that they consigned themselves to in a desperate attempt to live a free life. They see themselves as escaped slaves or justify their actions in light of cruel treatment and misleading promises, but the corporations paint a much different picture. To them the Contracted are good citizens and the breakers, criminals.

                Corporations have become a law unto themselves. Lawbreakers therefore are disloyal, the lowest of the low because they broke contract. There are many ways to break contract, running away is just the most obvious. Most contracts include provisions and clauses enough to shift planetary gravity if they were still on paper. To the corporations a contract is the basis of all civilization. If they neglect to mention that most contract laborers shipped in from nearby worlds are given the most dangerous jobs, charged for their space travel and housing, and have next to nothing left after paying what they owe, it is a Tracted’s fault for not reading more closely. 

The Contracted do have their rebels and rabble-rousers but the promise of a better life for towing the line is enough to keep many placated within their own ranks. The Corporations are also adept at twisting ideas with propaganda. Progenitor Workers, those born and raised on-world, often get preferential treatment and relatively higher wages. Progens are constantly told that they could lose their elevated positions to the influx of lower paid workers coming from abroad. This rivalry helps keep divisions between Drops, or off-world Tracted, and Progens. The Corporations don’t want the various peons banding together against their masters. Instead the work crews fight amongst themselves over imaginary differences. 

                Breaking your contract by yourself is rarely successful. Enforcers catch them quickly and drag them back to their positions a little beat up and with a harsher new contract in place. Contract Breakers band together, pool their skills, and improve the chances of success before breaking if they have any hope of success. Having a plan and the respect of the other breakers is a good place to start. Muscle, medical skills, diplomacy, agility, and sometimes plain old shifty street smarts are all huge assets. These ragtag groups are equipped with stolen equipment from their work postings and any items of worth they pick up along the way. What they lack in equipment and resources they can make up for with ingenuity and sheer desperation. Most importantly, they have their best chance at freedom when they rely on each other.