“Nonetheless,” Victor said, “I’d like to know what I’m getting into. Please send that over. However, it sounds to me that I have no real choice other than to agree with your proposal. I am a little busy dealing with new litigation from the other spaceship companies, litigation that I anticipate will not end up giving them what they thought they wanted, but I do need to clear that before I publicly agree. You may, however, advise the leaders of the other parties that I will take on this task if I also get to lead the Technical University and have something like adequate authority to deal with unpleasant issues.”
The Investors Meet
The Bankers Committee, Bulger Spaceways
Lawrence Morningstar looked around the table. To the best of his recollection, each member of the committee was dressed in precisely the same clothing as the other times they had met. Long-standing traditions of good luck rabbits feet and the like came to mind.
“In any event,” he said, “we have been advised by the Audit Committee that there have been significant changes in the financial picture which require that we review the agreement. I believe I should ask Victor to explain the situation.”
“First, thank you all for assembling,” Victor said. “I realize that bringing us all together required some time, but as the Audit Committee hopefully explained there was a need for review, but the situation was not an emergency. As you are all here physically, after we meet a tour of the facilities has been arranged. On one hand, our three competitors have sued to oblige us not to sell any of the rare earths we recover, except of course to the Space Guard, whose finances are limited, and the Elizavetsians, who have no use for them except as trade goods. Legal staff advises they have a very strong case. Tactics indicated that they were in the process of cutting their own throats, though they hadn’t figured out yet.
“On the bright side, we were able to bring up all three fusactors. They are running cleanly at standard maximum power, selling large amounts of electricity to the Pacific West. That’s actually a significant income stream, as outlined in my report. On the dim side, all four of our freight haulers have now landed. None of them is safe to fly. We have undertaken the needed repairs, starting with the Mighty Transporter, which seems to be in the best condition, but it will take some time to bring all four of them back into operation. The former crews have all been arrested and are being tried for various crimes. Since the stolen materials were always deposited by them directly on the surface of the moon, they were able to beat the space piracy charge, because their crime was not committed in space. Still, they will almost certainly be guests in Club Portland for some considerable time to come. Income from the fusactors is adequate to keep us in operation and do the necessary repairs to our spaceships.”