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Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far Future
The remote centralized government of the Imperium is possessed of great industrial and technological might, but it is also unable, due to the sheer distances and travel times involved, to exert total control everywhere within its starspanning realm. On the frontiers, extensive home rule provisions allow planetary governments to choose their own forms of government, raise and maintain their own armed forces for local security, pass and enforce laws governing local conduct, and regulate (within limits) commerce. Defense of the frontier is primarily the responsibility of local indigenous forces, stiffened by scattered Imperial naval bases manned by small but extremely sophisticated forces. Conflicting local interests often settle their differences by force of arms, with Imperial forces looking quietly the other way, unable to effectively intervene. They are able to operate as a police force only in the most widespread of conflicts as they cannot jeopardize their primary mission of defense of the realm. Only when local conflicts threaten either the security or the economy of an area do Imperial forces take an active hand, and then with overwhelming speed and force.
In this environment, the soldier for hire finds active employment. Tolerance by the forces of the Imperium make the hired military force a practical matter. Im