|Breaker Childern - Art by Filip Dudek|
The Children of FerrumSky
Childbirth is strictly manipulated by the corporations. A spike in births can devastate the supplies on the colony ships or within the colonies themselves, or at least that is the statement continuously fed to the Tracted. Those who wish to bring new life into the world have two options. One is to increase their workload in order to pay for the additional resources needed to provide even the most basic provisions to the child. The other is to enter the Gen-Mod program. The child will be given up to the orphanages at birth, but a couple can bring new life into the world at limited expense to themselves.
The children raised by their families are put to work as soon as they are able to lift or carry objects. During feeding times the children bring buckets of food and water to the work sites, and more children carry the buckets of waste away. When a child is old enough to swing a pick or sift rocks, they will often be moved to more difficult work. The child mortality rate across the colonies is quite high, working in dangerous settings, carrying waste, and living in barracks not suitable for adults, let alone growing children.
The orphanages are different. The genetically modified children have their growth and development accelerated. They are treated like machines, given masks and limited identity. They are seen as tools, equipment to be used until it breaks down and needs replacement. There are orphanages for other children as well. Occasionally a family will forfeit a child before they reach working age, or sometimes the parent’s will die in a work accident leaving a baby without care. These children will be cared for, raised, and tutored in orphanages, frequently indoctrinated into a branded identity. To discourage this as a common practice by families, these orphan children are put under contract and their contracts are sold to corporations, or even to Steaders, shipping them off far and wide, never to be seen again. Many of these children are actually sourced by security firms, like Black Squadron Security, to instill loyalty and discipline from an early age.
Excerpt from the upcoming FerrumSky Campaign Book.
|Art by Filip Dudek|