Anglic Union

“Perhaps, if you limited yourself to replacing your current ships, we could find new alpha cores for you,”  Tzoltzin said, “enough to maintain your current vessels, so you could avoid the vast expense of developing new classes of spaceship.”

“That would be an interesting alternative,” Chelan said, “but I think we prefer our current approach, which does not risk putting you in the embarrassing position, someday, of having to tell us that the Stellar Republic is out of alpha drive cores again.  After all, to advance amity it is best not to do things that would embarrass your amicable partners.”

“Understood,” Tzoltzin said, “though I am confident that the Republic can currently find all the drive cores you need to maintain your shipping fleet, at a very small fraction of the expense of developing a new class of ship, as you are doing.  After all, you do have a fiduciary responsibility to your debtors and stockholders  to maximize their profits.”

“As it happens, the only remaining debts are owed to me,” Chelan said, “the ownership rights are divided between me and the Seldon Legion, and we are in complete agreement as to our plans, plans that include the construction effort that you were so kind as to inspect today.  So I am grateful for your extremely generous offer, but I must decline.”

“For you and leading Legion members, it would be possible to arrange highly lucrative consultancies,” Tzoltzin observed, “if you were to accept my offer.  Very highly lucrative consultancies.”

“Your offer is overwhelmingly generous, but I am legally forbidden to accept such an offer.”  He shook his head firmly.  “Citizens of the Anglic Union may not work for foreigners.  There is also a question of currency exchange under your laws.   You have a very long flight back to Batavia.  I have other work to which I must urgently attend.  I believe in the interests of amity we should allow you to return home.”

“I understand that sometimes local cultures have strong and highly proper reasons for going about things in expensive and inefficient ways, and I respect you for holding to your reasons,” Tzoltzin said.  Chelan wondered how he could manage that line without laughing.  “To set forth on the starry void in a ship of your own design is an act of great courage, which I much respect. If you change your mind, the offer remains open.  But you are correct. I should be on my path homeward.”

About George Phillies

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