One after the next, the remaining chairs around the table filled. “Gentlemen, Ladies,” Chelan said, “I see we are exactly on time. I hope you all received the expenditure reports in a timely way?” Heads nodded. “I’ll assume there are complaints? I was taken slightly by surprise when the Elizavetsians indicated that they would be appearing, but they had the codewords for the mysterious payments Dewey and Rothham had received.”
“Must we be dealing with them?” Eli Bywater asked. “They are truly evil people, and have been since Elizavetsia was founded.”
“Eli,” Lawrence Morningstar said, “the Treaty of Separation ending that part of the Discord is completely specific that we are setting aside all disagreements based on things they and we did at different times. Anglic Union law makes very clear that considering that issue is illegal. Therefore, the issue does not arise.”
“Also,” Victor said, “the current issue with the Elizavetsians is that they have already paid us for a large amount of nickel iron, which they have not yet received. They are politely asking for the nickel-iron, as opposed to suing to get their money back. We actually knew most of this — it’s is in the reorganization proposal we adopted — except for the detail we did not know who was buying all the nickel iron that they did not appear to have received. Now we know. As it happens, they happily agreed to pay us for future purposes at twice the normal rate for the material, so it is very much in the interest of our noteholders that we continue to sell them nickel-iron at the admirable rates they are proposing to pay.”
“I’m not proposing to discriminate against them based on what they did prior to the Treaty of Separation. I object to their current behavior,” Eli said.
“On behalf of the small noteholders,” Rose said, “I must insist that we honor our contractual obligations with the Elizavetsians, and furthermore if they are willing to buy nickel-iron at the indicated price, we should very definitely continue to sell to them.”
“My principals are happy to insist that dealing with Elizavetsians is an undisclosed material fact which voids the agreement,” Eli said. “In that case, my principals insist on being paid immediately for our share of the debt.”
“You will need to take that to the Oregon Chancery Court,” Victor said. “The presence of an unknown purchaser in the financial records, who certainly could’ve been an Elizavetsian, was surely disclosed, because it was a significant obligation.”
“I see I will have to do that,” Eli said.
Victor looked at a message from his legal staff. “In that case, Agnelli and Hong are withdrawing from our agreement, which still has 90% of the noteholders in it, so therefore you must remove yourself from the meeting.” Victor looked at Eli.
“I completely agree,” Eli said. “It has not been nice negotiating with you all, so I do not look forward to doing it again in the future.” His image disappeared from the video. A quiet warbling tone informed all listeners that he had departed.
“That was different,” Benjamin Goldsmith said. “I knew Agnelli and Hong weren’t completely happy with your proposal, Victor, but I thought they would at least stay the course for a few months.”
“I fear that we will have more of this in the future,” Victor said, “whether over Elizavetsia, annoying the Stellar Republic, or some other issue, and will have to live with it.”
“One might propose,” Rose said, “that some people will realize they want out from the deal, and will take any plausible reason as an excuse. However, they did buy in at the start. Chancery Court will not overlook that.”
“Having said that,” Benjamin Goldsmith began, “what shape are the Yards in? What are all these expenses? And why are the freighters flying half-empty? Surely we have not mined Proserpine out of existence?”
“In short,” Victor began, “the Yards are mostly not in functional shape, but it appears that everything can be fixed. Let me restate that. We haven’t yet found anything that can’t be fixed. The expenses are paying off debts that would let people seize the Yards. Legal is working on a full set of reports. We’re working on the freighter question. In more detail…” Ten minutes later, Chelan finished his legal report.