Mac Stone

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Stone is a Martian born in the shadow of Low-Canal’s massive water tanks.

When he was seven, his mother sold him to a mining company looking for kids small enough to fit into the midget tunnelers working larger asteroids and moons that were able to support a human being for a year or so before they died. Only he hadn’t died. He’d stolen air and survived and risen, by virtue of his uninhibited savagery, in what passed for Ganymedan society. Kru miners made him a heroic legend. They betrothed him to their daughters.

He had been sold out once again, this time to the Brothers of the Fiery Mount, whoever they were. They put him back to work on Ganymede.

They had called Stone a wild animal back on Mercury, and they were right. The Callisto slavemasters had made him into one after they pulled him from a sinking lavasub.

After that, he’d started stealing jewels with a vengeance. Hitting the mining trains. Fencing them back through Earth. Generous, like most thieves of his kind, and therefore much liked by the Low-Canal folk who protected him, he’d done well. He was one of their own, accepted as a Martian hero with stories told about him as V-dramas.

He—or really the pseudonym he’d chosen—developed a serious reputation. He was credited with any number of unsolved cases. No one knew what to expect from him. Few knew his face or his real name. A fist diamond had paid to have every mug shot and most records wiped. He began to build his pile. The first thing he needed was a good ship of his own. He went into water brokerage. He had a half share in an atmosphere factory. He was earning that ship when he’d been, he assumed, betrayed.