Anglic Union


There came a distant tap at Chelan’s open door.  “Ah, hello, Tara,” he said.  “Please do come in.  I infer that your issue might be something critical?”

“To put it mildly,” she said.  “The cartel – our three competitors —  has filed for a restraining order, directing us not to sell our rare earths from Proserpine, at least within the Anglic Union. That includes things we make that include those rare earths.”

“That’s interesting.  Did they have a legal basis for this gem?” Chelan shook his head, then pointed at a chair.  “Someone on their legal staff sounds to have become imaginative.”

“The core claim is that we have left the transport cartel,” Tara said.  “We relinquished all obligations, those being claims against the bankrupt prior firm, obligations that included no debts, so they made no  claim against Dewey and Rotham.”  Chelan nodded.  “So we also relinquished all cartel rights and privileges.”

“And?”  Chelan wondered where this was going.

“It seems that some years back the cartel paid the Anglic Union a large sum,” Tara began, “in return for which it was given a monopoly on importing rare earths from Proserpine and selling them within the Union.  That was done very quietly, buried in multiple places in several large spending bills.  The usual assumption – no evidence – is that several senators and House members got to rake off a considerable chunk of the payment.  When we left the cartel, they claim, we left that privilege behind.  Since we have not imported rare earths in some years – they were being stolen,  but Dewey and Rotham got their cut of the profits – they also claim Bulger had abandoned the privilege. Yes, there is a cartel rule on privilege abandonment.”

“Oh, frabjous joy!”  Chelan said.  “How solid is their case?”

“I’m doing a careful study,” she answered.  “Actually, I’m sitting here, and  two of my volunteers from the Harry Seldon Legion, law students doing practical internships as part of their combat litigation training, are pulling up all the language.  The cartel hired for itself some really top-notch legal talent, much more expensive than I thought they’d spend.  I did the usual back channel call, to ask what they wanted as a cash or profit settlement. No, the clients were  absolutely firm.  They want a solid restraining order.”

About George Phillies

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