Max Simian 2

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"Shanzi is a planet of scenic desert vistas."

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"It has some interesting adaptations in how structures are built there, like these Hiver dwellings."

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"It has lots of possibilities if you want to be alone."

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"The planet was discovered centuries ago by this lady's ancestors. Her name is Yuki, Yuki Shanzi actually, and she was the defacto ruler of the entire planet."

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"Besides the Bug Juice Yuki has quite a few small herds of these desert bovines that are native to the planet. Under Yuki and her family's stewardship the herds have prospered."

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"Yuki has a gift for being able to work with dogs and she raises them to mind the herds, among other tasks."

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"The place has some exotic sorts of species. One notable nasty are these sand snakes, this species has relatively smooth scales. And a usually fatal bite."

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"Another type that can move amazingly fast are these legged snakes. There is some question that they are actually lizards."

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"Another animal inhabitant are these sand monkeys. Yuki made protective suits for some of them."

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"But the Alliance didn't drop us here to enjoy the scenic vistas and explore desert biology while we entertained the native population. They sent us here because of these flying insect type critters. Should that bug me?" Max laughs heartily at his jest.

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"The Bugs live in these hive farms tended by the Hivers."

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"The Hivers use these tank truck sorts of desert tractors to collect and transport the Bug Juice."

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"The general surmise is that the Hivers are like the Bugs, native to the planet. Now obviously these guys haven't been driving their little yellow trucks for aeons and aeons. Somewhere along the way, ages ago, their ancestors had formed an arrangement with Yuki's ancestors. It still held to their mutual benefit."

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"Yuki's ancestors had a sense of value they attributed to gold, and they collected a lot of it."

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"Things might have continued happily, and I would not be here, except that some wayward society decided that they needed a prison colony and that Shanzi had real potential, potential that would benefit their own home world's criminal enterprise."

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"These guys here are the second of the two cartels the prisoners have formed here. Both cartels make their living by hijacking the Hiver tankers. Most of the Bug Juice they didn't use themselves, they shipped it off world."

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"Yuki's family was able, after a fashion, to keep her family safe."

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"The cartels shared a stronghold, a keep they had built up out in the peeks. From there they plied their trade in Bug Juice with their home planet. The Alliance is intolerant of usurpers, especially those that steal from the Alliance, and such were these guys. Your basic gang of thieves, and then things got nasty."

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"After a particular hijacking that resulted in a few Hiver deaths the Alliance dropped me here to correct the situation."

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"I was in command of a squad of Battle Apes."

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"And a team of Rillas. All my team members had tasted battle, our victory would have been a certainty."

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"The Alliance wanted to demonstrate commitment and they even dropped a Battle Gundam for our use."

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"I wanted to see all my guys get home safe ya know? And the Hivers and most of Yuki's family wouldn't really want our continued presence after the action. Plus my guys mostly didn't like this duty station.
So I was yakking about all of it with this Hiver and he offered up a rude and nasty solution to the entire issue. For him part of it was vendetta, he just wanted approval from the Alliance to act. So I said sure, why not?"

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"A couple of days later one of the loaded tankers had a breakdown on the sand road. So the Hiver crew just abandoned it. And, as might have been expected, the cartel crews took advantage of their great good fortune; a full tanker there for the simple taking.
Three days later when we reconnoitered the stronghold they were all dead, slow cooking in the hot sun. We believe that the chemistry probably also took out the crew of the transit ship that came to get this shipment.
We have no idea how the Hiver came up with the knowledge and skill to do this.

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"Yuki is still the nominal ruler of Shanzi. Now I am her consort."

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"I serve as Shanzi's Governor General under the imprimatur of the Alliance."

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"Yuki and I have a daughter, Yukimax, and she is raising a new species of dogs and studying the Bugs."

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"In our quarters I have a viewbie of a scene from the jungles of my home planet, Tan Aerith."

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"Sometimes I reflect on the comforts of life there, just watching the jungle from a comfortable perch."

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"Yuki and I are no longer collecting gold, it is actually relatively worthless because it has no utility. Now we are investing our part from the Bug Juice profits into negotiables that have value nearly everywhere that claims a measure of civilization. We are planning to check one of the upscale tree villages on Tan Aerith for a new situation."