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Adele Mundy

– 2177 Cornelius Horatio Mundy born to Frederick C. Mundy and Joan Sutton on the passenger liner Positron, on route to Paragon, Titan System, Rhea Sector.

As a result of the New Lhasa incident, Trafalgar Tech expanded out of Earth, establishing manufacturing plants and research facilities on several Terran colony worlds. My grandparents were on route to Paragon, in the Titan System in Rhea Sector, partly to consider setting up a branch there, but partly as a vacation, celebrating their success and the imminent arrival of their first child. My father (named Cornelius, after his father’s second name, and Horatio, after Nelson) was actually born a little earlier than planned, on board the passenger liner Positron as it approached Paragon and its moon, Exemplar.

Paragon was an odd planet: superficially similar to Earth in many ways, and suitable for Terran life with very little modification, it was colonised early and with little fanfare, by a group of fugitives who, if their version of history has not been distorted by time, distance and subjective perception, believed themselves persecuted for their unusual genetic heritage. More colonists arrived over time, but their influx was always small, and Paragon remained something of a backwater.

Something about Paragon must have appealed to my grandparents, because as a centre of business operations it was not exactly ideal. It was remote from the main routes, and its population was still relatively small. The main city on one continent was called, unimaginatively enough, Paragon City. There were the Rogue Isles, once picturesque, but already by my grandparents’ arrival they might be best described as a wretched hive of scum and villainy. There was Praetoria, the gleaming capital city of a state that disguised its totalitarian government as a benevolent dictatorship, while outlawed rebels lurked in its sewers. There were vast, beautiful, dangerous oceans. And the people of Paragon were a strange mix, colonists from the earliest days of space travel, some of them with outrageous stories that smacked of myth more than history; more recent arrivals in search of an old-fashioned Earth-like environment; and entrepreneurs who saw Paragon’s distance from the USFP hubs as a way to escape excessive regulation – or, for some, regulation of any sort at all.

Still, there were great minds on Paragon, and a sense that anything was possible. Within a short time after their arrival, my grandparents decided they would stay.