Acrylic on illustration board
The chartered Zarathustra Company had it all their way. Their charter was for a Class-III uninhabited planet, which Zarathustra was, and it meant they owned the planet, lock, stock and barrel. They exploited it, developed it, and reaped the huge profits from it without interference from the Colonial Government.
Then Jack Holloway, a sunstone prospector, appeared on the scene with his family of Fuzzies and the passionate conviction that they were not cute animals but little people.
The Company was aghast at this threat to their power and profits. If Holloway could prove the Fuzzies were people, Zarathustra would automatically become a Class-IV inhabited planet, the Company’s charter would become void and the Colonial Government of the Federation would take over.
The Company did not hesitate to resort to coercion, murder – even genocide – to prevent the Fuzzies from being declared the ninth extrasolar sapient race.