Ice World Truckers: Where did that come from?
Ice World Truckers: Where Did That Come From?
In the future, space will be colonized. More than that, I believe it will also be commercialized. Planets, moons, and dozens of asteroids throughout the solar system will have humans living and working on them. As humanity expands outward from the core for scientific and commercial development, there will be logistical needs that will require Ice World Truckers in order to bring people, supplies, and equipment to the farthest reaches of the system.
Ice world truckers is an original science fiction story published in two parts at OMNI Reboot. If you have not read the story yet, feel free to check them out here (part one) and here (part two). The art used in this article was created by my friends Sarah Adams (Nayeli) and George Silsby (Chooch99) with model by “Herminio“.
Ice World Truckers – Character Bios
Jax was born on the Pacific island of Bora Bora with his family. When he was old enough, he attended school in France, the United States, and England where he obtained a well-rounded education. While attending university in England, he met his future husband, Peter. The two became fast friends and their relationship developed slowly over time. When they could no longer deny their feelings for each other, Peter proposed marriage and they were wed shortly after graduation. After school, Jax focused on his career as an architect and industrial engineer.
When the Colonial Wars broke out over a handful of nation-states claiming the moon and large swaths of Mars and the asteroid belt as their own territory, Peter and Jax were conscripted into service to protect European interests from those of the Eastern Coalition and the Western Alliance. After boot camp, Jax found himself in the Logistics and Engineering division of the Euro-Africanis Union. More often than not, he was doing little more than maintaining and repairing equipment. It was dull work, but in the grand scheme of things, it was some of the safest work in the Colonial Wars.
Peter, on the other hand, was not as lucky. Peter’s education and prior experience made him a perfect candidate for flight school. After a few weeks of training, he was given an aircraft and sent out to the frontlines of the war. Most of the Colonial Wars were fought on Earth and in the skies above it. There were only two major engagements off world. The first took place in orbit, and the second was on the moon. Peter lost his life during the Lunar battle.
When news of Peter’s death reached Jax, he broke down. He couldn’t go on. He refused to go on. Jax’s commanding officer convinced him to focus on the work, and help their people win the war. If he didn’t, Peter’s death would have been for nothing, and that was something neither of them wanted. The war waged on for several more years, but Jax kept his head down and concentrated on his work. When the war finally came to an end, Jax returned to the home he and Peter had built together, and for the first time since his husband’s death, Jax was confronted with his loss.
Jax no longer wanted to live in a world gone mad and responsible for the death of the only person he loved. He sold his home, bought a cargo ship, found a crew, and set out into the deepest reaches of space to get away from the pettiness and senseless bickering of the core-worlds. He obtained a contract hauling freight from Ceres to the outer worlds and rarely ventured core-ward. He’d been running ever since, never quite getting over the loss of his beloved Peter.
According to her parents, Emma was conceived in space on the three week journey between Earth and Mars. She also holds the unique distinction of being the first person born on another planet and more specifically, Mars. Her parents were geologists tasked with exploring the underground caverns inside of Olympus Mons. Six months later, she was born prematurely at the Martian medical facility at the foot of the ancient and extinct volcano.
Her childhood was strange, since she was the only child at the colony. It forced her to spend her time with adults, scientists, and researchers. Without a school or formal educational structure, Emma was educated by the people that worked at the facility. Science, geology, technology, and other similar subjects were their specialty, and Emma became an expert in all of these topics by the time she reached her teens. Emma published her first research paper by the time other children her age were entering high school.
Emma’s upbringing, however, was difficult on her socially. When children were eventually brought to Mars, she didn’t know how to act around them. She was more comfortable around adults than other kids. Things that many children understood and took for granted were alien to her. However, her understanding of the sciences surpassed her contemporaries and rivaled those of most adults.
Once the Colonial Wars began, she was of age to be recruited. But, since she had been born on Mars and didn’t claim a nation-state as her own, she was not required to participate in the war. While people returned to Earth to join their respective militaries and in some cases fight against the people they had worked together with on Mars, Emma was able to remain on Mars.
For years the various factions fought over the right to claim territory beyond Earth’s atmosphere. When the war ended, it was decided that no nation-state had the right to claim territory beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Each of moons, planets, and asteroids had the right to self-determination, as part of the global Earth government. Luna, Mars, Ceres, and several of the larger asteroids in the belt were free to form their own nation-states under the planetary government established in the aftermath of the war.
After the war, exploration of the outer worlds resumed, starting with the construction of Jupiter Station and the outlying research facilities. Emma heard about all of the opportunities for new scientific discoveries and applied to take part in their endeavors. She was denied because of her unorthodox education. She wanted to see the universe. The only option remaining to her was to find work for one of the corporations servicing the research facilities out beyond the asteroid belt.
She considered joining one of the constructions crews building Jupiter station, but her engineering skills were lackluster. She settled for a position with a freight and logistics company servicing the outer worlds. It wasn’t ideal, but at least it allowed her to see the rest of the known universe, while making contacts at the facilities. With so much downtime between stops, she continued her education with the hope of landing a job at one of the scientific outposts.
Hershey was born at the Osan Air Base on the Korean Peninsula. His mother was an Air Force Captain and his father was a local contractor. They moved around a lot from one air base to another. By the time he was sixteen years old, his family had moved a dozen times and seen more of the world than most people had seen in a lifetime. Hershey found it difficult to make lasting friendships because his family didn’t stay in one place long enough to do so.
He found the best way to get the attention of his peers was to take risks and act out. He embraced his new lifestyle. Beginning with simple stunts on his bike, he graduated to more elaborate and more dangerous activities in order to draw more and more attention to himself. Girls liked him. Boys wanted to be him. But very few people knew who he really was. Very few people knew that he had a passion for tinkering with machines, electronics, and anything else he could take apart. It was a hobby that developed from the countless hours he spent recovering from the various injuries he sustained.
Eventually, his exploits landed him into quite a bit of trouble – first with his family, and eventually with the law. His parents sent him to military school at the age of 16 with the hopes that the discipline would help him and eventually it did. He found the opportunities the service offered him to be exactly what he needed. Upon completion, he joined the air force as an officer and began a lucrative career as a space diver, which presented him with both respect, and satiated his desire for thrill seeking.
When the Colonial Wars began, he was one of the first to sign up to defend the Western Alliance and protect its interests in space. He fought in countless battles on the ground, in the skies, and even those few waged in space. He had made it through most of the war unscathed, until a bomb took out the plane he was a passenger on. He narrowly survived the crash and spent the rest of the war recovering from the injuries he sustained. He was given a medical discharge, effectively ending his career with the military.
After the war, Hershey traveled the country looking for adventure. His tinkering skills kept him fed and usually provided him with enough money to take him to his next adventure. He roamed the world for years, before he decided to experience the adventures that awaited him beyond the Earth. After several attempts to find work in space, he was finally hired by a freight logistics company on Ceres, where he was eventually placed aboard Jax’s ship the Mari Kait.