North Star Mining

Upper Copper City, Venus, Sol.
Chief Executive (R7)
Marcus Copper

One of the oldest corporations still in existence and one of the Big Three Megacorps, North Star Mining has its origins on pre-space Earth. In 2045, a former mine supervisor for SA Mines named Dawie Copper took advantage of the privatization of his former employers and purchased several palladium mines in South Africa. By the start of the Second Space Race in 2075, the Copper Mining Group (CMG), owned almost all of the mines in South Africa and Copper’s son Anton had taken the reins of the company.

CMG made the news in 2076 when as part of a deal between the South African Space Agency and the government of Tanzania, CMG purchased Mt Kilimanjaro in its entirety to build a 30km long mass driver along with its most gentle slope for $610 million. While decried by western liberals as destroying an African national monument – the Kilimanjaro Mass Driver, in the course of its operational lifetime, provided an immense amount of income for Tanzania and allowed the SASA to compete with NASA and the ESA in the colonization of the Moon and Mars. The completion of the KMD in 2084 was the culmination of Anton Copper’s life work and in a speech to assembled dignitaries at the opening of the KMD, his daughter, Aneke, now CEO, outlined a greater ambition and a new name for the corporation.

My father’s dream was to make space available to all. He believed that the bounties of our Solar System should not only be there for America or Europe. That all the peoples of Earth regardless of creed or color, or nationality or wealth should be able to reach out and grab the brightest star they can see in the sky. To this end, our North Star Mining Corporation has built the Kilimanjaro Mass Driver. This is our gift to you, the stars. Aneke Copper

As the Anglo-American Federation and the European Union focused on colonies on the Moon and Mars, the fledgling African Alliance under the guidance of South Africa, began to colonize the resource-rich asteroid belt. North Star Mining took advantage of their close association with the South African government – when in 2097, North Star was granted the mining rights to all African Alliance colonies in the Belt including Ceres and Psyche 16. The desperate zero-g conditions and tough workload made recruitment of mining engineers almost impossible for North Star, so the corporation looked to the old practices of the colonial powers on Earth. Prisons of all the significant superpowers were overflowing with civil disorder, and political dissent grew, so North Star approached the various governments of Earth and offered to buy prisoners sentenced to more than twenty years. A one way trip to the colonies on the Belt and a lifetime of indentured servitude for the many criminals of Africa and the new Union City solved North Star’s staffing problem.

Life in the Belt colonies was harsh, brutally violent and often short with over half of all ‘indents’ dying before serving even five years of their sentence. In 2112, the poor treatment of indentured workers on Psyche 16 led to a large-scale revolt against the company and several administrators and security staff were killed. Then, CEO Zandre Copper showed the family’s characteristic iron heart and iron fist, arranging for North Star Corporate Security (the so-called Black Stars) to take the next SASA transport to the mining colony. Two and a half months later, the rebels opened up the shuttle pads to what they thought were food shipments from Earth. The only people to walk off that rock were the CorpSec team and three children that they had decided to spare.

In 2117, ‘Iron’ Zandre commissioned what is still seen as North Star’s crowning achievement with the discovery of cetracet gas and the corresponding gravitic effects of passing electricity through it. Venus is the greatest source so far of the compounds that make up cetracet, though the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn have been found to contain some. To this end, Zandre decided to personally fund a gas mining and cetracet production facility on Venus — a dream that would have proved impossible if not for the cetracet itself. While it would still have been impossible to set up a colony on the surface of Venus itself, magnetic shielding and alloy technology had made it so that ships could be constructed that could work in the upper atmosphere of Venus itself. Zandre started funding small 30 man mining outposts with cetracet ‘repulsor’ coils set into the underside, to allow them to remain buoyant in the upper atmosphere but his grand plan was much more prominent. In 2130, North Star Mining unveiled the culmination of this dream — Copper City, a square mile floating platform in the upper atmosphere of Venus. While the upper parts of the city were no different from living in an urban sprawl on Earth, the lower parts of the city contained the gas mining centers and cetracet refineries, and occasional atmospheric leaks made the life for the indents here hazardous — While the executives and middle management of North Star lived in luxury above.

In 2137, there was a disaster that hit one of the mining colonies on the moon Titan. A methane mine was struck accidentally and blew up a significant portion of the underground mining shafts that housed most of the colony. Out of the 2500 colonists on Titan’s facility, only five survived. Defiant in his pride, Marcus Copper, the nephew of Zandre, decided to send in more colonists to rebuild the mining complex. His enterprise saved the North Star Mining Company from bankruptcy when it was at a low point. The success of this venture brought in massive amounts of palladium, iron and an abundance of fuel.

As the interstellar frontier rush occurred, North Star gained the mining rights to several extrasolar colonies making it the third largest corporate entity in the Union and has recently founded a mining colony on Getha — though this has to be always guarded by the Teran Defence Force and Black Star Security.

Rank Name Description
0 Indent Short for Indentured Worker the Indents are the lowest rung of the North Star corporate hierarchy and only progress in status once they have made a certain amount of money for the corporation.
1 Worker Workers are low skilled employees of North Star, with low pay and little more rights than an indent most workers attempt to enter vocational training or join a department as soon as possible.
2 Able Worker The rank of able worker dates from the era when massive numbers of prisoners were being shipped to North Star facilities, and supervisors needed ways to quickly determine which workers were skilled enough to be given the less dangerous more technical work. Able Workers, for the most part, make up the bulk of the departments.
3 Warden The lowest supervisory rank in North Star Wardens is responsible for keeping the workers in line and for achieving work quotas.
4 Manager Managers work as officers within departments and (rarely) are allowed to start franchises within North Star.
5 Junior Executive Junior Execs are the senior officers of departments and are with the permission of the board of executives allowed to start franchises.
6 Senior Executive Senior Execs run departments (often as their own mini kingdoms) and sit on the board of executives.
7 Chief Executive The current CEO is Marcus Copper, and normally the CEO seat would go to his eldest child, unfortunately for North Star, he has none so at his death from old age (something even cloning can’t fix) it is unknown what will happen.

Mining and Resources

The largest of North Star’s departments Mining and Resources is focused on the production of raw materials from iron ore and oil to the gas compounds that are used to create cetracet gas for repulsor coils and artificial gravity plating. Often refining them for higher sales prices.

Board of Education

The Board of Education is in charge of the ongoing training of North Star’s workforce to produce more efficient and skilled workers and indents. Often this continuing education is both required as part of employment, and expensive.

Colonial Department

With the opening of colony worlds, the colonial department has been founded to focus on the smooth running of North Star’s colonial holdings including the upgrading of infrastructure.

Research and Development

R&D focuses on obtaining new blueprints and copyrights and on creating more efficient mining technology.

Black Star Security

The Security Division of North Star, Black Star is famously brutal in their security measures being the founders of the so-called ‘zero-zone’ policy (zero intruders, zero survivors) that many corps enact for their corporate HQs