Interstellar Statute 24 § 38 prohibited police actions against “sovereign worlds” without the consent of the Council. Seemed simple enough, but as always the devil lies in the details.

As it happens, Interstellar Statute 977 § 119 set a minimum size limit for sovereign worlds. Because grandfathering was strictly prohibited by IS 48 § 12, the lower limit had to be small enough to recognize tiny worlds that had already been settles and recognized as sovereign like Charon and Ceres.

Pirates and ne’er-do-wells quickly seized on the loophole implicit in the spaghetti of case law: they located planetoids just above the legal minimum size, fitted them with engines, and operated them as pirate havens protected as “sovereign worlds.”

That’s how Quaoar Station came to be, and why pilots like Chuck were always sure to triple-lock their spacecraft when they docked.

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