Anglic Union

Robert Smith waved a hand. “Tryon Interstate Trust and Securities has very large investments in manufacturing firms, most of which depend directly or indirectly on Proserpine ore for their manufacturing processes.  There will be concern that some of these firms may become unstable if ore shipments are disrupted.”

“I’ve taken the precaution,” Victor said, “of sequestering the respectable amount of rare earths that we had on hand before we were sued.  We can sell those.  We also have in the drive and fusactor systems of our four spaceships large numbers of parts that contain pre-lawsuit purified rare earths in various forms. We can actually keep manufacturers going for a long time without violating the terms of the suit.  However, we shouldn’t tell the cartel that. In addition, a reasonable financial and manufacturing forecast would appear to indicate that, well before the cartel gets into all this trouble, Bulger Spaceyards will be in full operation. That allows us to solve this problem in a way that I would prefer not to discuss further, other than to say that Elaine Bell and her supporting staff have done the needed calculations and to show that it works.  Note that with the changes I have mentioned, in particular constructing more fusactors, our ability to pay off notes with reasonable rapidity will be going up. Also, while our spaceships are in poor shape, we have not yet found anything wrong with them we cannot fix.  It’s just a matter of time.”

“Victor,” Rose said “you left us with this note on ‘special steps needed to maintain the engineering staff’, without saying what the steps were. Could you explain?”

“That was the expected last issue with this meeting. We could discuss buyouts of current bondholders, but those require that we get our transports back into condition where they can legally be flown. The Mighty Transporter appears likely to be ready in another week, assuming that it passes its flight tests.  I’m assured by Elaine Bell that it will probably apss its tests. ”

“And the other three ships?” Rose asked.

“We now have all three on the ground,” Victor said. “We’re doing an assessment of which can be flown the soonest. One is in very poor shape.  The other two should be available soon. The one in poor shape may be used as a parts car for a while. Our arrangements with the Space Guard for retraining will soon give us a significantly larger labor force, at a limited expense to us. Expense because the training will use time of the current staff.”

“And the last issue?” Rose asked.

“We’re now doing engineering,” Victor said “I propose that Elaine Bell be made Chief Executive, since she understands what is going on, and has a much better ability to prioritize what needs doing than I do, and that I be given an honorary title and an obligation to oversee what she’s doing, and that we agree I take my offer from the Senate.”

“Offer from the Senate?” Lawrence Morningstar asked.

Robert Smith waved his arms in the air. “Pray tell,” he asked, “what is this offer from the Senate? And how does not interfere with what we need to do to make Bulger a highly profitable and much larger space line?”

About George Phillies

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