“A campaign to enforce the manufacturing non-intercourse act, for all it is a monstrosity, might be desirable,” Charles suggested. “That’s a Seldon Legion project, if someone knows how to reach them.” His audience chuckled.
“it would be nice to say,” Bell observed, “that we need to move even faster, but we already appear to be moving about as fast as we can. And we appear to be running very tight on financial constraints.”
“Too tight,” Charles said. “I’d really like to ease off to run up a larger cash reserve. Contingencies. Though ‘we don’t commit it until it is in the bank’ has been keeping us fairly safe.”
“The major noteholders grumble,” Chelan said. “Though they are getting paid back faster than we anticipated. However, I may have to appear in Chancery Court again. Agnelli and Hong want their money. Perhaps Senator DeWitt and her committee can be persuaded to take official notice that she is getting her wish, and a legislative inquiry pointed at the litigant and court would be helpful. Or perhaps not.”
“Meanwhile, where are we on cargo?” Chelan asked.
“The Space Pirate Harrington departed, leaving space for The Mighty Hauler to land,” Elaine Bell said. “Pumping on the graving dock will soon be complete. That includes drilling out the drains and a high-pressure water spray to eliminate salt. We can then fly The Mighty Transporter there for serious maintenance. We have, legal requirement, second-rate landing points for all of our ships, so we can land all of them at the same time. Getting the ships into safe condition will take a while, even using all the maintenance robots, when they become available, on the same ship. I did manage to hire some people with fusactor licenses, so we soon have our own power, and can sell to outside.”
Senator DeWitt’s Office
Tara Broadhurst looked across Union Plaza at the Great Stairs of the Union and Capital Hall at the top end. The stairs were white marble. The hall above was concrete and cinder block with a minimal facade, one that would have embarrassed Potemkin. Fortunately legislative offices were all down here, she thought, with a pair of aging funiculars serving to haul legislators and their staffs to their meeting rooms. There had been plans to give the Hall wings for Senate and House offices, but those always foundered on cost. There were a perfectly adequate set of offices down here, so down here the offices would stay. She smiled at that thought. Thrift was always a good thing.