Max, Kiimii and Laarii all get busy with their respective assignments and Max asks Arvor if he wouldn’t mind looking for some mail if he has nothing else better to do.
After 24 hours on the job, everyone reports back at breakfast the day after.
Max is his usual philosophical self. “I bought us 3 tons of a precious metal called Ruthenium,” he says. “Normally 50k per ton and I got it for 35k. Would have liked to have bought some more of it, but that’s all they’d got.”
He sighs. “I spoke to a bloke who’s got some robots to sell. Would have loved to have bought them – could have made some tasty money on it on a primitive agricultural world like Tarkine. But it would have cost us a few mill to have bought them and so it was out of our league … at the moment, anyway.”
“So looks like we’ll be shipping a few tons of empty air. I ‘ate doin’ that, but there’s not enough space left after buying that. I guess we need to keep some hold space free in case the high passengers want to use all their baggage allowance.”
“Talking of passengers, ‘ow are you doin’?” he asks Kiimii and Laarii.
Laarii is looking smug. “Looks like we will be full, darling,” he says. “All six high class staterooms are sold and we’re doing OK on low berths as well. We should have them filled by departure.”
“I’m not having a lot of luck with mail,” Arvor says.
“No worries, mate,” says Max. “I know it takes a while to make the right contacts and we’re leavin’ in a hurry. Forget it then.”
Everyone checks out of the Sheraton after breakfast and take their bags to the dock. The party members then head back to the Port Authority. After waiting for a couple of hours, they pay the fine and Max gets a receipt and an official release, before heading to the dock.
Max shows it to the guards on duty who inspect the paperwork carefully, scowl at him, but then head off, allowing everyone access to the ship.
Kiimii is delighted to be back on her ship again. Max gets to work immediately on arranging delivery of the cargo (including the fusion valve). Grim heads for the engine room.
He lets out a stream of curses when he sees the state of it. Whoever Kiimii’s last engineer was, he or she was obviously a complete clown who shouldn’t be trusted with a bicycle, let alone a spaceship. He sees that he is going to be busy in jump looking after the drives, or else they will require some serious expenditure further down the line.
A couple of hours later and the fusion valve arrives and Grim sets to work on installing it. It turns out to be a lot bigger job than he thought it would be, requiring him to work through the night to have any chance of getting the ship ready for its departure time in under 24 hours’ time.
As well as overseeing loading of the cargo, Max also has to see reprovisioning of the ship, refuelling and also landing fees which have not been paid for the past month. Max seems to spend the whole late afternoon and evening paying out money to various suppliers.
He lets out a sigh.
“So we’re making 42 grand from the passengers and we’re payin’ out 41,400 in expenses,” he says. “Oh well, at least the ship’s set up for another month and it ain’t costin’ us anything else.”
Laarii reluctantly flicks a duster around in order to clean the ship, but Kiimii does nothing apart from lounging around in her (and now Laarii’s) stateroom. Laarii cooks dinner for everyone. His culinary skills have improved little since the party member’s previous journey onboard Unguin’s Princess.