RE: Colonize Atlantis!

Billy Brown (
Thu, 4 Mar 1999 12:01:59 -0600

A possible antagonist:

I assume that mass will be at a premium on the colony ships, but robotics are good enough to make it feasible for a few thousand people to set up some kind of civilization. I also assume that the colonists are in cold sleep
(so they live long enough to benifit from their plans).

So, we start with a rich guy on Earth who sees this as a chance to set himself up in style. He hires a small security team and pays for their passage, with the announced intention of forming a PPL provider on Atlantis. He also takes along medical equipment (including cloning gear), a small medical team (including a geneticists or two), a couple of teachers, and a large library of genetic material.

On Atlantis they operate a clinic and a PPL service to stay afloat in the short term. The PPL's rules take the concept of self-ownership to its logical extreme: signatories have the legal right to sell themselves, either permanently or into indentured servitude. It also provides that children are covered by their parent's PPL service until age 16.

In the nice version of the scheme, he grows lots of clones, educates them, and puts them to work building the colony. They are all employees of his company, and get paid just like anyone else. In theory they have the right to quit, and to sign up with another PPL, but ordinary social factors will ensure there is a strong bias in favor of staying put.

In the unpleasant version, he grows lots of clones, educates them, and bills them for services rendered. A 'company town' scheme ensures that they are stuck in indentured servitude their whole lives. This gives his company a cheap, fast-growing labor force, which is a significant competitive advantage. The clones can't escape unless some other PPL service decides to make a concerted effort to give them the opportunity - which may not happen for quite some time in a frontier setting.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I