42. Onward Bound
Date: 283-993 Imperial.
Location: a nice restaurant, Sentry System (0921).
Six days on Sentry, back from the salvage, and it was time to touch base with each other. The swapped stories and laughter over dinner, and then it was time for business. Luan reeled off the figures.
"We sold the machine tools back to Ling in the end. They offered 15,000 a box and a 20,000 exclusivity fee, if we swore an affidavit saying that last box was destroyed during the salvage. We got them up to 17,000 for the boxes. So that's 411,000 for the boxes, plus 91,000 in cash and sundries. Take off 8,000 for suit repairs, 18,000 lost reselling the two suits we bought for the salvage, and 1,000 in legal costs. The gross was 485,000."
"We agreed on 50% to the ship and split the rest between us, so we're all 48,500 richer."
"And the ship's part pays for the fuel purifier..." put in Sir David.
"... leaving a decent trading fund in place for continued business" finished Luan.
Everybody nodded and smiled. It was a fraction better than they'd reckoned on the way home.
"So, are you two going to spend it how you thought?" Sir David looked at Silea and the Fish.
"Yes," said Silea. "It's Daramm for us. We'll get the gene splicing and I'll put a few ova in the freezer. Then off to my family – who're down to twenty-five or so at the moment – and I'll bear the first child, or maybe two."
"Sorry to leave you without the crew..." started Fish.
"No worries," said Sir David. "I can fly Avarice Rewarded if I stick to easy stuff, and Sentry's so busy I'm sure we can hire an engineer. I met this Ursa from Rising who might be interested..."
"And what about you two?" Silea looked back at Luan and Sir David.
"Well," said Sir David as he took hold of Luan's hand on the table and shot her a smile, "Luan did say she wanted to see sunrise on Gateway Station. It seems like as good a direction to trade in as any. We can get there in a year, near enough."
"We'll need good security, of course, out there in the wilds beyond the empire." Luan gestured at Maelcum with her other hand. "I wonder if a certain Major Maelcum Rivers is available?"
Maelcum took a sip from his drink. "I think the Star-Merc business can wait a couple of years, Miss Derhayenne."
"I was hoping you'd say that. Well, I think that's in the bag." Sir David stood, and raised his glass.
"To Avarice, which has Rewarded us with love and children and more stars to wander."
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