Travellers do not flock to Ross 128 or to its only inhabited planet, Grant's Claim.
When Maurice Grant claimed it, it was through an over ambitious desire to build an
independent colony that he could rule without question. His early surveys suggested that the
planet was mineral rich and promised an exciting future amassing wealth from mining.
Unfortunately, he discovered that in every body of people there are always a few who ask
questions, and awkward ones at that, then don't settle for a feeble answer. Whilst answering a
few of these at his Citizens' Clinic he was assassinated.
Grant's analyses proved to be
erroneous as minerals were only to be found in small pockets here and there - the mines were
soon abandoned. The remaining would be leaders realised that it was not an easy job to govern
a population driven mainly by greed and the resulting economic collapse was devastating. The
Federation stepped in and 'rescued' the colony on the condition that it came under their
control. The populace greeted them with open arms and promptly found that their home was to
become a prison colony.
The prison, nicknamed The Warren, is a vast underground complex of cells
accommodating miscreants of every kind. The security is very tight and few have seen beyond
the visitors' hall without being an inmate. For this reason rumours are rife, and include tales of genetic experiments, prostitution and corruption. It is true that the prisoners experience great hardship due to the manual mining at minus four degrees centigrade. It is no holiday for the warders either and there are reports of some of the narcotics intended for use in prisoner
obedience programmes being diverted to the staff. Nobody outside really complains because
they are glad that someone else is willing to do the job.
Don't forget, if you ever have a loved one serving a sentence, you need a permit to see them.
Entry by Kathy Dickinson