Gater’s personal log 3015.6.12.1747LST(Local Standard Time):
Another boring run … but good credits. I’m just glad these merchants are too cheap to take the fast, high class transports, and in too much of a hurry to take the common runs. But this is getting old, I’ve got to find something more interesting.
Steve woke the next morning right on time even though he at last had the freedom to sleep in. No food to prepare, no passengers to cater to, no ship to fly. He knew from long experience that trying to sleep longer was useless, better to get something to eat, … something someone else cooked.
Finding a restaurant was easy but choosing what to eat, that was hard. There were too many choices on luxury vacation planets. He settled on French Toast, and ancient breakfast that he loved. He had just started when a man dropped into the seat across from him.
“Hi, my name is Jason, … Jason Thurston. If I’m not terribly mistake you would be Steve Holgate, am I right?”
“Yes sir that’s me. How can I help you?” Steve could tell from his bearing and dress that he was a potential customer. Many of his jobs started this way so he had long ago learned to be polite to strangers.
“I understand you’re a trader. I have a business proposition for you. I own a jewelry business and am running short of gemstones. The local supply is way overpriced so I need someone to make a run to one of the source planets. It would be a very profitable run.”
“It sounds interesting. I know where I can get a load for you. It wouldn’t be cheap, but about half of what you’d pay here.”
“No, I have a specific location in mind. It has very high quality gems at rock bottom prices. You will make much more profit even selling them to me at a quarter of the local value.”
“If that’s true why haven’t I ever heard of it? It must be highly trafficked by traders.”
“No it’s not a usual trade destination. It’s too far from the nearest fueling location for almost all ships to get to it, so there are no traders that make a regular run to it.”
“I’m sorry but my ship doesn’t have the long legs you say will be needed, and besides with as valuable a run as you describe, many traders would have outfitted their ships to make the run. It just doesn’t add up. Sounds more like you’ve been told hoax.” Steve still didn’t want to offend this man by simply calling him a liar, but the story certainly didn’t add up.
“Well another reason no traders go there is that there is no record or advertisement of the quality or quantity of the gems. The clan that lives there doesn’t want (or tolerate) new settlers. If word of the true value of the gems got out they would have a full time job turning miners away."
"So how do they marked their gems? They must transport them themselves, meaning that they won't be interested in selling to me."
Jason chuckled and replied, "No they don't transport themselves. They use me. I find reliable traders willing to do regular business and keep quiet about the source. You sell direct to me and no one knows or cares where the gems came from."
Steve didn't say anything immediately so Jason continued, "So are you interested? Or do you like what you're doing?"
"I need to sleep on it. This would require major ship changes which isn't something to be done lightly. What is the planet you have in mind?"
Now Jason laughed softly. "We need to have an agreement before I tell you that, but ... " Jason handed Steve a slip of paper with a distance on it.
Steve whistled. "That is a long way. Can I meet you tomorrow?"
"No, I'll be out of town, but you can contact me at this address. Just say yes or no. If you say yes I'll give you the planet name, it's in the registry. When you get back in system contact me again and I'll meet you at your ship when you land."
At the last minute Steve thought of one last question, "Jason, what is the name of your company?"
"My company? Oh yes it's Jewelry Unequaled. Well I must be going. I hope to do business with you Mr. Holgate." And Jason Thurston was gone.
Gater’s personal log 3015.6.14.0901LST:
I spend all day yesterday thinking about Jason Thurston's proposition. It sounds farfetched, but if it's legitimate (or even if it's not too illegal) it's a dream come true. I searched the nearby ship dealers for a ship that will handle the run and found one. It's an old, light cargo ship built before there were so many places to fuel. It has lousy engines, no armor, no shields and no guns, but huge fuel tanks. It doesn't carry much so it's not much use today. I think I can get it for a song and have plenty of credits left over from trading in my ship to load up with expensive, low volume cargo like gems.
I think I'm going to do this, I'm not getting any younger.
Personal communication - Steve Holgate (11293835472) to Jason Thruston (11293649854) @ 3015.6.14.0913LST): "Yes".
Personal communication - Jason Thruston (11293649854) to Steve Holgate (11293835472) @ 3015.6.14.0917LST): "Mystique"
Posted by strailon Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 00:00:00 UTC