From the moment humans invented laws, there have been those who seek to acquire the goods and services those laws prohibit. And where there are those with the capital to create a demand, there will always be others who find the means to furnish a supply. More often than not, in the contemporary Novus Ă†terno universe, this supply is provided by a special breed of Pirate known as the Smuggler. The Smuggler plies his or her trade in the thriving black market that exists in the dark corners of the charted galaxies.
They are adept at the transport and concealment of all manner of contraband, shuttling their illicit cargo from star system to star system, all while keeping a low enough profile so as not to attract the attention of those Zealots dedicated to upholding the Law, not to mention that of other Pirates who might seek to plunder their freight. From banned weapons and non-human technology, to the latest designer narcotics and even a burgeoning sex trade, the Smuggler is prepared to cater to the whims of any consumer, regardless of the risk, so long as there is profit to be made.
In recent years, in addition to serving as the lifeblood of the human black market, large groups of loosely organized Smugglers have begrudgingly forged a symbiotic relationship with cadres of Verunasi Outcasts scattered across the cosmos. These ostracized Verunasi are the only members of their species willing to associate with humans, whom they generally consider to be greatly inferior and unworthy of diplomatic relations of any kind. The Smugglers satisfy the Outcastsâ€™ appetite for transium, a valuable mineral and potent narcotic consumed exclusively by the misanthropic aliens, and in return, the Outcasts provide protection in the increasingly hostile territories beyond human control, as well as a steady supply of Verunasi technology.
It is also whispered in certain circles that the Smugglers provide their Outcast cohorts with human slave labor. While this may or may not be true, one thing is certain: unlike many of their Pirate brethren, most Smugglers hold no false pretenses when it comes to their criminal nature. They know there is nothing romantic about what they do. Instead, they view the driving principle of their existence to be one of simple economics.To the Smuggler, life is really quite simple: so long as the demand for their services exists, they will continue to deliver the goods.