- Harmony Chapter 1: Exiled
- Harmony Chapter 2: The ship
- Harmony Chapter 3: First Class
- Harmony Chapter 4: Landing
- Harmony Chapter 5: Customs
- Harmony Chapter 6: The City
- Harmony Chapter 7: The banquet
- Harmony Chapter 8: Going to bed
- Harmony Chapter 9: Breakfast
- Harmony Chapter 10: Train Ride
- Harmony Chapter 11: Third Wheel
- Harmony Chapter 12: Plowing
- Harmony Chapter 13: Supper and a walk
- Harmony Chapter 14: Another Shower
- Harmony Chapter 15: Riding East
- Harmony Chapter 16: Apples
- Harmony Chapter 17: Economic Lesson
- Harmony Chapter 18: Autopilot
- Harmony Chapter 19: Taking my man
- Harmony Chapter 20: A survey
- Harmony Chapter 21: Stephen’s family
- Harmony Chapter 22: First Changes
- Harmony Chapter 23: The Cooks
- Harmony Chapter 24: Playing with the cook
- Harmony Chapter 25: Shopping
- Harmony Chapter 26: Mining with the boys
- Harmony Chapter 27: Solving Logistics
- Harmony Chapter 28: Cream of the crop
- Harmony Chapter 29: Talking about Pigs
- Harmony Chapter 30: Delays and taking a bath
- Harmony Chapter 31: Cities?
- Harmony Chapter 32: Going west
My parents are rich. Filthy rich. To the point where it is completely insane.
While I was growing up, I didn’t always realize it, but as I matured, I came into contact with kids who didn’t have private tutors.
Kids who didn’t have their own city just so that their family would be left alone.
I can’t really blame my parents. They were raised that way. My father inherited from his father one of the biggest colonial management company and my mother inherited from her own family the biggest space shipping conglomerate.
They never had to work a single day in their lives as their business ran themselves just they had been run for the past four generations.
It was planned that instead of going to the university to get my master in business administration like they did, the professors would simply tutor me until I graduated, making me the single richest person in the entire universe when I would succeed both my parents in their respective still independent companies.
Of course, the merger plans had been already drafted and prepared years before my birth and I would have nothing to do other than make sure I would have a single kid to pass the new entity to when I would die. It was a logical thing to do: my father controlled the majority of the private colonies and to function, they needed constant trade using, in general, my mother’s company.
The new entity would reduce costs and create a vast unstoppable empire.
I could have twins or even a second kid, I was taught, but the second one would need to be kept in reserve, far away, to prevent an eventual uprising and a fight between siblings for the control of the family businesses. I existed to perform the merger. That was my goal in life.
It was even already decided since my birth who I would marry to merge my own empire with the future giant Mars ship construction trust which would be inherited by a certain Paul Lee the fifth, my future husband. His parents had inherited two competing ship construction companies and they decided to merge them when their son would marry the heiress of their common biggest client, my mother’s company.
Our first kid would thus inherit a new company which would build ships using minerals it mined on distant colonies it controlled and shipped using a shipping company it controlled. In turn, the shipping company would get the ships it wants internally and so on.
If I didn’t like him, I just had to do like my parents and built two distinct houses on the same lot and just spend months without us seeing each other. Hey, with our common resources we could even live on different planets, as long as we stayed married. After all, both my parents had multiple lovers, just like I already had.
And so, I was raised to accept the fact that Paul would be my husband and to learn how to ensure my own empire would remain independent from his for as long as we would both be in control but ready to merge with his at the moment our heir would marry with the heir of yet another business empire we would commonly pick with the help of our respective board of administration. Perhaps a manufacturing conglomerate?
This how businesses were run in our century. The big monopolistic corporations were now spread across the stars, escaping from all legal jurisdictions and each of them was too powerful to be bought by another.
Merging over generations was the only real change in the spectrum and when that happened, often, millions of people lost jobs they inherited from their own parents who themselves were apparently bread to serve the greater corporate good.
I knew that in far away planets entire cities or even countries prayed my parents would divorce to prevent their upcoming bankruptcy.
I dreamt years ago to just save those people but quickly learned that vast corporations like those controlled by my parents weren’t really understood by any one individual. Saving a job was easy as it only required transferring a person to another department.
Saving a department was however, impossible to do for no one had a procedure, a form or simply the will power to act.
So at first, I rebelled, but I too succumbed to corporate apathy and just counted myself lucky to not really have to work a single day of my life, left to simply enjoy the simple pleasures that being a multi-multi-trillionaire offered.
Sadly, Paul Lee had a fatal accident when the space station he was visiting caught on fire and a malfunctioning rivet overheated, allowing the compartment he was located in to vent to space, killing him and 42 other people.
Paul had two younger discarded sisters. They had been raised on two distant and distinct colonies, unaware of their origin and educated to simply become business administrators.
The oldest was rushed to Mars to receive express education on what her new role would consist of.
Gay marriages were by now common and frequent but because gay couples couldn’t conceive an heir, I was told that I too had younger siblings I had never heard of before.
Suddenly, I became a problem. It was clear that I needed to disappear to let my younger brother take my place in the merger.
I quickly feared for my life and out of my own accord, proposed exile as a solution to my parent’s problem.
Do you ever think someone loved you until they broke your heart ?
My parents, instead of being saddened by my loss they exploded in joy at the obvious solution they had never thought of before.
My father opened the list of planets under his corporate control and picked one at random, a new purchase he made a few months earlier. An hour later, I was already aboard the shuttle without my parents even telling me goodbye.
I asked my former aides if I could bring any of my lovers with me, either John or Tania, my two favourites, but nobody even bothered to answer any of my calls or requests.
I tried to grab as much clothes and personal effects as I could, stuffing my past into my briefcases, but when it was time for me to leave, our head of security didn’t even let me grab a toothbrush or carry a picture of my parents with me.
I even had to give my hearings, leaving as my only possessions the clothes I had on my back. My own personal house filled with clothes from the best designers were left behind and my entire wardrobe consisted of one pair of panties, one bra. One pair of pants, a blouse, two socks and a pair of running shoes.
Depressed, I boarded the shuttle in our private space port and didn’t even protest when I had to give up my identi-card before leaving our private shuttle at the orbital station.
I was given a few credits for the trip, not even enough to cover a day of meals on Earth and my one-way ticket which was pre-cleared for customs.
I saw the shuttle leave and looked one last time at planet Earth, with tears running down my cheeks.
I looked at the ticket. My first name, Harmony was printed on it, but my last name had been changed to Smith. It was an economic class ticket meaning I couldn’t even make my last trip in first class.
The ship belonged to my mother’s company. The colony I was leaving for belong to my father’s company.
Once upon a time, both companies would have belonged to me. But now, I was a nobody and my only proof of id was a worthless ticket.
I considered tearing it apart, stranding me on the station until I would be sent to a work camp for the unemployed. At least, I would have stayed on my home planet.
But my parents would have known and I probably wouldn’t have survived the week.Tags: re-edit