Who remembers in the Art of War Trilogy the frequent callbacks to an event known as the Treaty of Hadan's Reach? A few chapter quotes:
‘As humans and citizens of the UN, you have a birth right. You have the right to a home; the right to an education; the right to food, and to drink. The right to security. These things we will provide you with, free of any charge, without any expectation or requirement. We ask nothing in return. These things, these gifts, are yours to do with what you will. But I urge you never to forget that everything comes at a price, no matter how remote it may be or how inconsequential it may seem. This is not a zero-sum game.’
Undersecretary Brandon Williams, addressing the UN after signing the Treaty of Hadan’s Reach
‘Hadan’s Reach is the worst thing we have ever done as the human race. Our collective responsibility is beyond question.’
Michael Constance, Federal Socialist Xeno Affairs Minister
And of course, plenty of references by the characters in the body of the novels:
General Pike cleared his throat and took a short step forward. ‘Not entirely unprotected. Aryn Vance has reported to me that we currently have one squadron of Interdictor-variant amrocovs based on Anternis on soft rotation. We also maintain a permanent battalion of troops there, as has been policy since Hadan’s Reach.’
She paused the report, rubbing her neck. The last of those scenarios almost certainly wasn’t true. On provar insistence, the Treaty of Hadan’s Reach had resulted in the confiscation of almost all kaygryn advanced warfare technology. She pushed the thoughts from her mind. She was not immune to the UN’s collective guilt for Hadan’s Reach.
In the lore of the trilogy, the Treaty of Hadan's Reach was a deal struck between the UN and the Provar Ascendancy for the supply of 40 million tonnes of EXM. EXM itself is a (fictional) form of matter which can be mined and refined to perform many of the functions that the UN's advanced technology requires. As David, the EFFECT interrogator in Reclamation sums up nicely: ‘IHDs, nanotechnology, FTL drives... All of them depend on EXM, in one form or another.'
After the bleak baroqueness of Children of the Empire, I want to get back to some more high-tech shady activities, a morally-grey spies n' soldiers tale, and to that end I'm currently working on a novel exploring the build up to the signing of the Treaty. It's a time in which Tier Three relations were much less stable; a time when the galaxy was rife with espionage and brushfire conflict; a time in which no-one had a clue what the Ascendancy crusade fleets were doing and the Kaygryn Empire wouldn't trouble anyone for half a century.
As it stands I'm about 30 thousands words into the first draft. I'd describe it as Sicario meets Platoon (in spaaaaaace), and for the moment I'm pretty pleased with how it's shaping up.
I'll be posting updates and snippets on here as I go. I currently have an unrealistic stretch first draft deadline for the end of Christmas, but in reality I don't think I'll get it done before Jan / Feb '18.
As always, feel free to get in touch with questions and comments.