“Should you ever change your mind, we will of course be most interested in supplying you with useful tools and IP licenses, including tools optimized for your species. Having said that, I much enjoyed tasting your three varieties of mate, which may someday be of interest to us as an imported product to balance any purchases you may be making in the future in the Republic. Naturally, I will not speculate on any political decisions that your country may or may not make, though, truthfully, my colleagues and I do not expect a great deal of change in the near future. With that, however, we have a long trip ahead of us, and should perhaps depart.”
The Frumpkins and their attorneys having gone on their way, Victor turned to his financial officer. “Charles,” he said, “so soon as we receive the Frumpkin catalog, sort out the kits by price. We do not have a stock of Republic Stellars, but I do. I have no idea how many tools they would be offering or what they would cost. Also, contact Lords of Cuisine, see how many varieties of mate are available in large quantities, and what they would cost for samples. I know a request for a business deal when I hear one.”
“Victor?” Tara Broadhurst’s voice came clearly over the intercom system. “There’s a letter here from Treemuhr Radspeth. He thought it important enough to use a bonded courier for delivery; you need to sign for it.”
“Come on up,” Chelan answered. “I even have some clear desk surface. And you get to use our newly repaired elevator.”
A few minutes later, Broadhurst and courier arrived. The courier’s name badge read ‘Arne Thorsson, Icelandic SecureNet’. If he was followed at a polite distance by two Seldon Legionaires, the fact that he’d been allowed to retain his sidearm told Victor that Thorsson had passed his security checks.
“Welcome to North California,” Victor said as he stood.
“Thank you,” Thorsson said. “I have for you a letter in a secured pouch.” Moving slowly, he withdrew a sealed envelope from his shoulder bag and set it on the desk. “I was instructed that your handprint would open it, and that I should not expect to carry a response.”
Victor held his hand above the envelope, which opened to reveal a letter and receipt. Thorsson took the receipt and went on his way, leaving Victor with an envelope. The letter in the envelope read: