Valid For Life, Not For Living

WANTED: Bids for mercenary contract: stealth raid on fortified drift, extraction of corpsicle or verifiable proof-of-death, transport provided from Mersenta (Cherith Beacons). Will pay five points over top exval, plus expenses. Details on request. Contact <nym>.

“Hey, how about this –”

“No.”

“But — why not? A sneak-and-snatch on an ice-house should be easy money.”

“Raid a drift for a corpsicle, close to Mersenta? That’s Tis!ngey Station, and that ain’t easy money. The whole place is locked up tighter than a deshniki matron’s cloaca, out to a light-minute, and not just with private security but regular fleet. Even at five over, it’s sucker bait – the desperate and the stupid only.”

“That hardened? Who are they keeping there, the Lost Kings?’

“Authors.”

“Authors?”

“Yeah. Tis!ngey belongs to a cartel of datacorps from polities recusant on the Accord on Intellectual Property. Their home-office version supports life-plus term copyrights, so when one of their authors gets old and sick enough, they freeze him down and ship him off to Tis!ngey. Sometimes they make him scribble out a bushel of part-works first, just enough to make a claim on the whole valid, for them to farm out later, but either way, as long as he stays frozen and their chrunes are on the ball, he ain’t dead in what you might call the technical sense. Anyone proves otherwise, that’s billions, maybe trillions of exval floatin’ free. More’n enough to pay for a guard fleet that’s high above our paygrade, you copy?”

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