The Maker: Adventures in Time and Space
Although much like Earth society, that of Kaldor is dependent on its robots, which do all the menial work and provide for the needs and comfort of their masters – or for those who can afford robots, at least. The planet’s twenty Founding Families are still the richest and most powerful in Kaldor society. The names Landerchild, Mechman, Roatson, Farlock and others are high in the list of the great and the good on Kaldor and dominate the Board of the Company which effectively governs it. At the other end of the social spectrum, the poor and homeless are largely confined to the sector of Kaldor City known as the Sewerpits, an area of slums where the only law is survival of the fittest. There is a marked split between the rich and the poor in Kaldor City, the haves and have-nots, which results in frequent unrest and the rise of dissident and terrorist groups.
As well as governing Kaldor, the Company controls all industrial activities, food production, security services, news and media, healthcare provision and most other aspects of life on the planet. A civilian administration called the Minor Faction is intended to represent those not from the Founding Families but is in effect under the thumb of the Company. Kaldor City is not a democracy, but a dictatorship ruled by the thirty members of the Board.
The planet has a population of 15 million people and almost as many robots. Kaldor City is the largest settlement on the planet by far, being a sprawling metropolis of 8 million people. It is an urban oasis amid the wilderness of the Zones and the vast desert known as the Blind Heart. From Kaldor City, huge mobile refineries called sandminers are sent out to extract vital minerals such as lucanol and zelanite from the Blind Heart and from the sandstorms which ravage this trackless wilderness. As with the rest of society on Kaldor, the sandminers are crewed by only a handful of humans, while robots undertake all the menial or repetitive tasks.
Although Kaldor was only colonised by Earth three hundred years prior to this adventure, during the 25th Century, its people have lost all contact with other worlds. Their official history only goes back to the founding of the Company on Kaldor in 2605, and most of its inhabitants don’t even question why they know of nothing before this. Behind the scenes, the real rulers of Kaldor – the aliens known as the I – have suppressed this information, wiping all records and brainwashing the people of Kaldor, removing both knowledge and curiosity in selected areas over several generations. Quite why Earth has also forgotten about Kaldor is unclear, but is possibly due to the wider manipulations of the I.
Kaldor has a 26 hour day. It is a Tech Level 6 culture in most respects, but it has almost no technology related to space travel, other than to be able to put a few unmanned communications satellites into orbit. Under the covert control of the I, the focus of Kaldor’s technological advancement has been in the areas of robotics, computer intelligences and the extraction and refinement of minerals, while fields of knowledge which might threaten the I’s position have been suppressed, as has curiosity in those areas.