From the desk of Anastasia Xu
Heiress of the Asteroid Syndicate
Everyone comes to Mars with grandiose ideas. Booming businesses, second chances, a new life…
Me? I came to Mars because I was bored.
Everyone always talks about how difficult it is to run a business. Frankly, I think they’re simply missing the ease of it. Hire competent people and demand that they do their jobs. You shouldn’t have to lift a finger to do anything once you get the pieces in place properly. Throwing a bunch of money at it doesn't hurt, either.
Perhaps it’s that first step that eludes them. Everyone keeps saying I’ve come here to prove myself, but they couldn’t be further from the truth; I already have everything I could possibly want. Why should I bother seeking their approval?
This really is an unsavory place. A prison planet, one where civilization sends the undesirable rabble and sequesters them away so they don’t have to deal with them. Fortunately for me, my business model means I don’t have to, either -- I have robots for all of that.
I paid Yoshimi a handsome amount to ensure that these contraptions could do everything necessary to carry out day-to-day operations. Their high level of functioning intelligence meant that they could communicate and facilitate trades with the economy, and all I had to do was watch.
It started simply enough. I spread out my empire and laid claim to whatever valuable plots of resources I could find. We began to produce large amounts of steel -- it’s funny, the phrase “behind iron bars.” The iron makes steel, sure, but it’s really an outdated expression. In fact, the methods themselves are outdated - shouldn’t we be into laser-powered force-field shielded cells or something by now? It’s all quite primitive.
My father once told me not to get too embroiled in bidding wars for things. Commit just enough to force the other interested parties to spend their money, then pull back and let them buy it. You can just take it back from them when you buy out their assets later.
I don’t play that way, though. If something is on the market and I want it, it is mine, no questions asked and no price tag considered. One of those obnoxious little tin-can workers tried to supply me with the math behind the financial risks; irritating as it was, I had to give credit to Yoshimi for the thorough programming.
Unfortunately, as it turns out, my faith in Yoshimi Robotics was misplaced. The sheer cost of powering the robots and my facility was proving to be too much. Debt flowed in at a pace I’d never before seen. I re-routed what power I could and tried to continue producing my steel and electronics, but it wasn’t enough.
A man named Ezra Song and his Penrose Collective started to overtake my business dealings with the colony. Despite several under-the-table payments made to bookkeepers, my debt prevented me from purchasing any worthwhile assistance. Those robots couldn’t keep up with the change, their algorithms weren’t enough, and before long - I received a letter from the colony stating that my contract was under review.
Under review? That wasn’t the only thing they’d be reviewing. I may be in debt now, but that won’t last - I will pull myself out of this and prove to everyone that I am not one to be underestimated. I want to make them suffer, to drive their businesses into the ground and take all of the profits for me. I want to prove myself to them.
And I always get what I want.