“Some of you,” Chelan continued, “may not caught the last question, asking about the lawsuit of the space shipping cartel against Bulger Spaceways.” You did not catch it, he thought, because I asked it myself, sotto voce. “I am advised that the cartel has exercised its privilege of enforcing a contract that has long been in place. It is their right to do that. Bulger will not be contesting the suit, assuming that the final settlement terms are as reasonable as the proposal.
“In answer to a separate question, Bulger Spaceways will remain entitled to import rare earths for its own use, for the use of the Space Guard, and for export to Elizavetsia. I anticipate that those uses will consume what we are importing, so we will not have a surplus leading to a further conflict with the cartel.
“I anticipate that the first of our ore haulers will be departing earth in the immediate future. Delayed maintenance on the others may take a while, though I gather for two of them flight will happen sooner rather than later. One of our ore haulers appears to be mostly useful as a supply of parts. We are in the process of reviving the entirety of the space yards. Do we need all of it? Each segment of the yards is arranged to permit replacement of particular types of components of a ship. We can’t anticipate in advance which components will need replacement, so therefore we do have to bring the entire yard up into operation. Because we are busy paying off bond and note holders, the number of people we can pay for yard refurbishment is a bit limited. My message to the holders of Bulger debt is that we appear to be on schedule on repayments, recent changes mean that we will have significantly more income than had been expected, and therefore we may be repaying ahead of schedule.
“Since I must leave to meet with faculty and student leaders, in answer to the question ‘will Bulger be building more spaceships?’ the answer is still that we are too busy killing alligators to consider draining the swamp. Once we are done killing the alligators, that question becomes at least of hypothetical interest. Finally, I thank the local constabularies who appeared so that I could land and address the press. Thank you also for separating the demonstrators and the counter-demonstrators, so that there will be no unpleasant events. And with that, I must advance.”