By Patrick Morgan and David Kidger

Three sisters walk different paths in search of the origins of their technology driven race.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Councillor Joss Ratha

A former field biologist, the stern and often abrasive ‘Grey Lady’ is the longest serving member of Skala’s Privy Council. A consummate political force, Ratha presides over Hellinar Research manipulating policy to coincide with her own opaque interests.

The extent of her wealth is disputed, close confidants including Katherine Kane speak of her generous philanthropy while those she has crossed cast suspicion on her motives. Her decisive nature is undisputed, paradoxically at odds with chaotic working practices.

Hellinar Research is a misleading title, in reality its function is the management of the failing infrastructure on the desert side of the Divide. Skala’s electrical grid is powered by huge thermal towers, giant glass structures that heat air creating an updraft that drives clusters of turbine generators. A similar principal has more recently been employed to the actual buildings in Skala’s more affluent Eastern District widening the gap between wealthy, non-dependants and the less fortunate who rely on the aging grid. The maintenance of the towers, the supply of raw materials such as fulgurite for glass production or ore from the northern mines is Ratha’s responsibility.

The increasing burden of cost posed by the construction of Aya has put great strain on Hellinar Research but ensures the wider community turn a blind eye to some of its more questionable practices. That is until the so called ‘Council of Three’, leading an underground movement from Gygath Slum to shine a light on what they suspect is occurring behind closed doors.

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