Anglic Union

“Keemun.  Wonderful.  Alas, I am too busy to travel,” he answered.  “However, there are practical consequences.”  She raised her eyebrows.  “Please point them out to your superiors, who will doubtless understand what I am saying, even though you do not.  First, spaceships not registered, meaning registered even before construction started, cannot carry goods to or between Republic starports.  You can build a ship, but it would have next to no use.  Second, owners of unregistered ships cannot buy or license devices protected by Republic patents.  That means no alpha drives.  That means no high-field fusactors.  You may build a hull, but it will have no power or ability to fly.”

“I see,” she said, her tone as bland as warm milk.

“Third,” Bronkowski continued, “your Union has no licensed naval architects, no one authorized or qualified by the Stellar Republic to produce your starship design.  It is illegal for a licensed naval architest to work on the design of an unregistered starship. It is impossible for someone who is not a licensed naval architect even to begin designing  a spaceship, for which you need a large team of designers.  You cannot even design this ship, let alone build it, unless you register it with us.”

“What do you mean licensed?” she asked.  “The Anglic Union at the time of its foundation banned occupational licensing.  Or do you mean licensed by the Stellar Republic?”

“Precisely,” Bronkowski said.  “While licensing is only mandatory within the Republic, all neighboring states have willingly and voluntarily agreed to impose the same requirement on their naval architects, so don’t think you can hire from some lesser species beyond the pale.”

Willingly and voluntarily, my backside, Broadhurst thought.  Those agreements were obtained by bribery or force.  “An interesting point,” she offered. “Of course, it would be illegal for us to hire a naval architect of another species, one who was not an Anglic Union citizen.”  Not my fault, her mind continued, that Republic engineers are all very narrowly trained.

“Said again,” Bronkowski said, “without registration with us, you can’t design a spaceship, you can’t equip it, and it can’t go anywhere.”

About George Phillies

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