Tales of the Anglic Union

[My current published novel is Practical Exercise, available as an ebook on Smashwords.com and Amazon.com.]

The delegates looked at each other.  Chelan was sure that remarks were passing back and forth, but how?  “You will not give us all 60,000 tons immediately?”

“I have several customers in boats similar to yours,” Chelan said,  “and similar legal claims.  I need some income, or the operation crashes to a halt.  In any event, your one freighter, once it reaches our harbor, can only carry 20,000 tons, or a bit more.  It  needs days to load and more to unload, so if I gave you more ore it would just sit in my cargo area gathering demurrage charges.  Heavy demurrage charges.  However, in the interests of comity, I will drop in fifty tons of mixed heavy metals with each 20,000 tons of ore.”

“The ten thousand tons a shipment will then continue?” the shortest of their three delegates asked.

“Ten thousand tons every ten days,” Chelan said, “arriving as per shipping schedule.  However, the ships are getting new crews, who have to be hired.  Also, there is some question as to whether or not the ships are currently spaceworthy.  The prior administration was the foolish man who did not oil his axe,  grease the bearings on his wagon, or have his chimney cleaned.  Until matters are put in order, I can’t promise which of our ships can actually fly.”

“Ten thousand tons, each time one of your ships actually arrives?  With renegotiation if you find more ships?” 

“That’s entirely agreeable.  My legal people and yours need to negotiate fine print,” Chelan said.  “I gather that negotiation with you was much more pleasant than negotiating with some other people.  Also, there is a litigation hazard.  Someone else may show up with a legal claim on an unload, just as you did.  The prior owners seem to have left many hidden debts behind.  I believe we have paid off all debtors other than the bondholders.  I want to agree, but must warn there is a force majeur hazard. Nonetheless, agreed,” Chelan said.

“We recognize,” the tallest delegate, “the you are newly arrived here, had almost nothing to do with these challenges, and every time you solve a problem for a while you will uncover two new problems.  The Council of Syndics wishes to be kept apprised of these.”

“Happily agreed,” Chelan said.

“In that case, we agree,” the tallest delegate said.  “Subject to our legal people and your legal people negotiating fine print.  Though I gather we are much more pleasant to negotiate with.”

“Indeed.” Chelan smiled.

A Need for Maintenance

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
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