Once again, the party meets for breakfast before attending to their tasks for the day. Once they have finished, Taeva heads off shopping while Max fires up his handcomp once more and starts looking for more cargo.
The others all start looking for a ship heading to Collace that might be in need of their many talents. The first few inquiries they make are for ships that are heading to destinations other than Tarsus, but soon they find one that looks interesting.
Free Trader Uguin’s Princess looking for full crew for its inaugural flight to Tarsus. Call kiimii.shaaskuu.impex
Grim makes the call and is answered by a young, well-spoken girl who is in her early twenties. Grim explains that he has an almost full crew available. Kiimii tells him that this sounds great and that everyone should stop by the company’s office at 3.00pm that afternoon for an interview.
The four of them head back to their rooms to shave, put on their best clothes and make themselves look as presentable as possible and then head off to the address that was given over the commo.
Shaaskuu Import/Export occupies some very fancy looking offices in one of the more exclusive parts of the starport. The group members aren’t kept waiting long before they are welcomed by Kiimii and invited into the conference room.
Here the party members learn that Kiimii is the only daughter of Unguin Shaaskuu, a minor aristocrat and a wealthy merchant. Kiimii is fresh out of Merchant Academy and, as a reward for passing all of her exams, daddy bought her an A2 Far Trader to play with. It’s obvious that she has zero experience with the day-to-day routine of operating a spaceship although she knows a fair bit about economics. Tarsus is the obvious destination for the ship’s maiden voyage as the only other options a jump away, Pavabid and Judice, her father has forbidden her to go to, saying that they are ‘too dangerous’.
Kiimii is immediately taken by Grim’s credentials, his rugged good looks and his polite and well-spoken demeanor and he is immediately offered the job as engineer. She’s rather less impressed with the uncouth nature of the other party members, however, being something of a snob. Once William has demonstrated his fine academic background to her as well as his excellent credentials though, he too manages to win her over and is offered the job of pilot.
Arvor plays on his Collace Naval background, but Kiimii is still not convinced, so Arvor tries a tactic of namedropping. When Arvor mentions the fact that he is a very close friend of Baroness Anya Veeleesarkasian, Kiimii’s eyes light up in recognition of one of Collace’s leading socialites, and Arvor is offered the job of Chief Gunner. Being very protective of his daughter, Unguin has ensured that the ship is well-armed with two triple turrets.
Unfortunately though, Jie is not able to sell herself well to Kiimii. Maybe it’s her horrible accent, maybe it’s the way that she keeps scratching herself in embarrassing places, maybe it’s the fact that she was just a grunt on a backwater planet, or maybe Kiimii is just jealous of Jie’s good looks, but Kiimii refuses to offer her a position either as a second gunner or as the ship’s medic. Grim tries to talk Kiimii around, but Kiimii is resolute – it’s her ship and she only wants classy people working with her.
Realizing that three working passages are as good as they are going to get, the party members leave. Kiimii tells them that she is seeing other people for the remaining positions and that the ship will leave as soon as it is fully staffed. She takes Grim’s contact information and tells him that she will be in touch as soon as she knows when.
The party members head back to the hotel. Max is waiting for them in the bar.
“Trade goods are all sorted,” he announces. “No point in reinventin’ the wheel – so I went back to the bloke I got the piping off an’ he has plenty more to sell. Price is a little higher than the last time, but not much an’ they should sell better on an Agricultural World like Tarsus.”
“Price is normally 90k for 10 tons, but I’m gettin’ ‘em for 60k. I’d like to get 20 tons, but I’m not sure if we can afford that now – especially when we’ll need to pay freight charges as well. ‘Ow did you get on with your job’untin’?”
Grim explains that three of the party members were able to get jobs, but that Jie, Taeva and Max will each need to pay Cr.8,000 for Middle Class Passage."
“OK,” Max replies. “Well are we all able to chip in 11k each so we can buy 10 tons of pipin’?”
“Can anyone afford to put more than 11k in? I can chip in another 15k on top of that if you can find another 50 grand between you.”
He looks at William hopefully.
One by one, the party members check their balances and throw cash into the pot. Jie can just cover her ticket plus 11k for the original goods. Taeva has just 5k left after paying for her ticket.
“We can use 6k from petty cash for the goods, cant we?” Max asks. “That’s all we’re short and we won’t burn through 6k before we leave.”
The others agree and Max is happy that they are able to buy another 20 tons, knowing that there should be at least another 25k in profit coming from it. He orders another round in celebration. The party members spend a few more hours at the bar and then head for their rooms.