As is their custom, the party member come together at 09.00 for a hearty breakfast.
Before they make any plans for the day, Taeva gives her family a call. Her mother answers the phone:
“Taeva Ranch, how may I help you?”
“It’s me,” Taeva replies.
There’s a moment’s pause before Taeva’s Mom recognizes the voice:
“TAEVA!!!” she squeals in delight. “It’s so wonderful to hear your voice. And so quickly too! I thought that it would be months before you got my message and could get here.”
“I was back on Collace for a couple of weeks and so got your message very quickly,” Taeva explains.
“Where are you? At the starport?”
“Yes, we got in late yesterday evening.”
“Do you want me to send you one of the air/rafts on autopilot? They could be there in about 48 hours.”
Having seen that air/rafts are renting for Cr.500/day and knowing that the party will probably be needing them for a week or more, Taeva realizes that this will save the party a lot of money.
“That would be great,” Taeva replies. “Can you send two? I have some friends with me.”
“No problem at all,” confirms Taeva’s mother. “I’ll text you their tracking numbers so that you can keep an eye on their progress.”
“Your father will be so happy to hear that you’re coming back. He’s been out for the past few days but is due back shortly, so he will be here when you arrive.”
After bidding each other farewell, Taeva passes the information on to the others. So they have at least two days to kill before the air/rafts arrive.
“No worries,” Max says. “’Opefully that will give me time to turn the goods into cash.”
The others discuss their plans. They realize that the Nob Plain is sparsely populated and so they might need to camp out for the night and so they decide to get some tents and some warmer clothes. With shopping facilities at the starport limited, they decide to head to Newland City, which is less than two hours away by the mag/lev.
They check out of the hotel and head for the station. Max tells them that he will keep in touch and go to join them in the city if he manages to find a buyer for the goods quickly.
The party members head for the mag/lev station and don’t have long to wait for the train to arrive. On the short journey, Taeva places an ad on the local network for drivers.
It’s shortly before noon when the party members disembark from the train and enter Newland City. It’s a very pleasant place – very modern having only existed for a few hundred years, yet small enough to still feel quite cozy.
They hail a couple of grav/cabs and Teava asks them to take them to a decent hotel, and soon check into a reasonable establishment overlooking Newland Bay. The sea looks rather uninviting at this time of the year though – gray-colored, with ice just starting to form on the shoreline.
The party members have a spot of lunch before heading off for some shopping. With Tarsus’s rapid and regular temperature changes, there’s a wide selection of warm clothing available. There is also a good selection of camping gear on offer as well. The quality is good, but the prices are quite expensive as most of it has been imported from Collace.
They are just heading back to the hotel after a successful afternoon’s shopping when Taeva gets a call from Max. He sounds very happy. He has managed to sell the goods already at 15% over standard wholesale, the deal having netted Cr.75k in total after costs. He tells the others to wait for him so that he can split up the proceeds and Taeva gives him the address of the hotel.
After freshening up, the party members meet in the bar, enjoying more of the local beer while they wait for Max’s return. While they are waiting, a news item on the wall-sized TV catches their attention. They see the broker that was onboard Unguin’s Princess being interviewed by a reporter, explaining that the trade delegation was a success and that they were able to negotiate an increase of 8% for the prices of all agricultural exports for financial year 06/07.
A grinning Max turns up a little after 20.00. After checking in, he divides up the spoils from his latest deal. Everyone gets Cr.12k back on top of their original contribution to the trading fund and the kitty is topped up by Cr.9,000 to take care of sundry expenses.
The party members then head off to find a really good restaurant where they celebrate their good fortune with Max’s trading.