The Colonies of Beyond Sector: Yang 3

The Yang Corporation is one of the largest interstellar corporations in Imperial space. It has more employees than the population of an average planet, and an annual turnover which can be measured as a meaningful percentage of Imperial GDP. It is far easier to list the goods which the Corporation cannot produce than it is to list the ones it does produce.

Wei Yang was a junior executive aboard one of the colony ships Helen Cleon led into space. As the Terran Mercantile Association grew and transformed into the Terran Space Empire, the Yang Corporation grew with it. It built warships for the Imperial Navy to conquer new worlds, pre-fabricated shelters for the Ministry of Colonisation, and massive super-computers for the Ministry of Finance.

The fact that the Corporation survives until the present day can partly be attributed to its size and its closeness to the Imperial authorities, and partly due to its decentralised structure. The Yang Corporation is technically only an umbrella corporation; it doesn’t make anything and employs relatively few workers. The rest of the corporation is broken up into a horde of autonomous divisions, franchises, subsidiaries, and shell corporations. Individual sub-units have on occasion gone bankrupt, been bought outright by third parties, been arrested en masse by Imperial authorities, or simply disappeared, but the overarching Yang Corporation carries on.

Yang 3 is – as the name would suggest – the third planet the Corporation has bought. The initial survey report by the Ministry of Colonisation noted the unbreathable atmosphere, the lack of liquid water, the lack of a magnetosphere to protect from stellar radiation and the absence of any strategic minerals. It was promptly logged as Beyond2147/8/F and deemed not suitable for colonisation. However, for the Yang Corporation purposes, it was ideal; close to a significant population who could purchase Yang products, who were sufficiently geographically distant from the Imperial Core to make shipping problematic; well situated within that market; and available very cheaply.

The colonisation rights were purchased for a pittance, Yang 3 ILC (Imperial Limited Company) was promptly spun up and a colony ship dispatched to settle the world. Within a generation, the Executive Board had created a thriving manufacturing centre in great underground cities. Focussing initially on consumer goods and heavy machinery, Yang 3 was soon exporting goods to the rest of the sector and was held up as an ideal example of New Beyonder world.

The surface of Yang 3 is uninhabitable without heavy-duty protective equipment and so the population lives underground. Conditions are cramped, and industrial accidents are regrettably common. 10 years ago, worker discontent boiled over and sparked civil unrest which was only suppressed with the assistance of Imperial Civil Stabilisation units from the Ministry of Stability. Since that date, the Executive Board has opted to create an advisory group for the workers to air their grievances. While all workers are permitted to vote for the members of this group, all candidates must be pre-approved by the Executive Board, and the Advisory Group has no power beyond access to the Board. The Corporation has also supplied additional funds for internal security, and the Security Division’s surveillance is omnipresent.

Beyond Sector is the sector furthest from the Imperial Core, and the Yang 3 ILC Executive Board thus operates with even greater autonomy than most Yang subsidiaries. The local executives cannot afford to wait a month for instructions from Head Office on an immediate crisis, and accordingly are granted considerable latitude. This unusual situation is compounded by the fact that Yang 3 ILC is recognised by the Sector Governor as a world government, and thus the corporation’s PR department carries out work comparable to a foreign ministry in most governments.

Current issues concerning the Board include the increase in political tensions in the sector, and how best to maximise profit from this; whether the increase in productivity which could be gained by introducing gene-modded workers would outweigh the inevitable worker unrest; and an ongoing rivalry in high-tech products with Helen’s World.