Bidding for Freedom

Categories: The Austere Publisher
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Published on: April 14, 2011

Should someone go to jail for bidding in an baronial auction? When Topher DeMit simply raised his paddle, he became a quiet revolutionary and peaceful protestor. Now DeMit faces up to ten years in prison for purchasing several planets during the last dark days of Mogul Shrubb’s reign.

Topher DeMit, a conscientious economics student, studied the roles and functions of the largest mogulates and baronies. Upset at the callous nature of the Moguls, he sought to call attention to the increasing radiation and pollution from fuel pearl extraction happening in Kroy. As Mogul Shrubb’s rule ended, his lieutenants made concessions to the powerful Pirate Barons and auctioned large sections of galaxy–trying to sneak the auctions in under the radar of the populace. Entire planets and systems appeared on the auction block for the sole purpose of strip mining the planets of all of their resources.

DeMit knew about one of these auctions, and, after finishing an exam at school, he set off to watch one of them take place. Whether or not he planned his actions for days in advance or whether inspiration struck him when he saw the auction paddles could be freely used is still up for debate. But shortly after DeMit entered the immoral and illegal auction he became one of the bidders, fighting for his own piece of outer space.

DeMit purchased every plot, parcel, and planet he could to save them from destruction–in all, $1.8 million krohl worth of galactic real estate. But when it became apparent that DeMit was not a mogul or a part of the Baronage, he was quickly ejected from the auction and seized.

After years of litigation, a Mogul Council found DeMit guilty of the charges of disrupting a baronial auction and attending the auction without intent to pay. Even though DeMit was able to raise the money through fundraisers and donations to purchase the planet, he was branded as a thief. Mogul Shrubb wanted to make an example out of DeMit and to make him suffer.

At court, the Mogul Council did not permit certain pieces of evidence to come to trial. DeMit and his defenders were unable to speak about his motivations before or after the auction, to state how the illegal auction violated Kroy law, or to explain DeMIt’s dedication to the environment and deep sense of justice that inspired his actions. He was not able to speak of the unjust actions that the ‘right’ buyers enacted on their own planetary purchases. And the fact that DeMit was able to raise the money and showed intention to pay – a fact that would have presented in any other trial where some sort of theft was the charge – was not permitted in court.

The actions of these moguls seems to send a clear message that the Kroy, a sector built on the idea where the act of protest was a basic right, has gone up for the highest bidder. DeMit’s conviction is just one of many increasingly aggressive acts the Pirate Barons have taken against people trying to protest actions that they see as unfair. But if the Kroy people cannot protest – even with a paddle – then can the Kroy truly call itself free?

But because of his act, this graduate student is being attacked the guard dogs of the wealthiest in the galaxy because he bought his planet to save it.

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