Tiberius knew Ray was right. What they had started had become much bigger than they could ever imagine. Wildbank wasn’t only a town, it was a legend amongst the folk of Haven, the last bastion of freedom in a desolate world. The war between the Haven Republic and the Eartheners was engulfing large parts of the north of the only landmass on Haven, a large continent that was about double the size of the continent of Asia back on earth in terms of landmass. (Wildbank was situated on the southern end of Haven, with only the Wildbank River and some desert separating it from the Blue Ocean, named for its strikingly rich navy blue color.) The little towns that scattered the Great Barrens, which covered almost the entire landmass, all were run by crooks and gangsters, smaller versions of Hans Drake, but with the recent surge in rediscovered technology, people were getting rich fast. The official currency of Haven, the Kosmo, or “K”, was the currency of all the Earthen colonies and Earth itself, a united currency for all humanity. It was highly sought after in Haven, and it was coming in a lot more thanks to the increase in trade out of New Liberty City.
Tiberius had heard that Hans Drake was stockpiling all his Kosmos in Janneh City and was using it to buy black market weaponry from space pirates, as well as luxury goods for himself. He couldn’t confirm it, but he had heard that Drake had opened up a space station for pirates and black market traders in the city, something which the Earthen Alliance would not take lightly at all. If they didn’t control it, then it had no right to exist, and anyone caught trading with the Haven Republic was to be punished by a life sentence on the prison planet of Coron.
A fair number of traders had begun passing through Wildbank on a daily basis, mostly interested in Ray Black’s fish, vegetables, and fruits – a rarity in what was now the desert world of Haven. Tiberius’ underground irrigation system had worked wonders for Black, even managing to grow a few farms away from the river bed and its lushness. There were a few smaller traders who had built up some stores alongside Wildbank’s Main Street, but they were mostly barterers – they’d trade something for something else, and try to sell every other item. The Homestead family, however, had developed their own profitable business, selling livestock and separate meats to guests of the town. As for Tiberius, he owned Driver Energy, a company he registered which owned the solar towers that provided electricity and energy to the town. He would collect revenue every month from each household depending on how much energy they had used, and it had become quite the profitable business for him. On the side, he spent his days developing weaponry for the men of the town, and they had come in handy when they repelled the Benstrike attack.
Ray Black now wanted to construct two outposts to the west and north of the town, fully equipped with the latest of Tiberius’ guns and machinery. Although Tiberius had told him that his satellite radar could spot any movement up to two hundred miles from Wildbank, Ray was still nervous. The outpost would require men to man them, and Ray said they would offer jobs to some of the unemployed men of Wildbank as guardians of the town. Each outpost would hold four men, and they in total Ray would hire twenty four men, with daily shifts being taken between them. Sheriff Turner Tower would be put in charge of the defensive operations, and all the new men under his command. While Tiberius didn’t think the outposts were necessary, he was not about to argue with a man who was clearly passionate about the town and all it meant to its people. He was right about one thing, though, and that was that Wildbank was on its own. Although he doubted the Haven Republic would send troops to occupy Wildbank and enforce its law on it, there was no one left to defend it but its people. The town was founded on the principles of freedom and escape from tyranny, and he knew Ray would do all he could making sure those same very principles would stay alive in these times of darkness.