Essdy Yarnspinner continues his story.
This first voyage of the starship Iguana gave this group of Nimrovs a great deal of confidence in their ability for intergalactic travel. They had gone farther from their home world than any other Nimrovs and were hoping to continue their adventures. They would have to turn what they had learned into supplies to mount another mission. They believed that their next mission they would interact with other races. These other races may even be friendly towards the Nimrov race. This is what Sparky Daniels had hoped. He was the linguistic expert on the crew and he was by far the best of the crew of the Iguana in using the gestural Galactic Commonwealth language.
These Nimrovs were hoping to become adventurers and explorers. They wished to travel where they could and exchange their knowledge for supplies. They had hoped that the United Nations of Earth government would be interested in their enterprise. Sadly, this was not the case. Thus, the Iguana's crew had to be adventurers for hire. They would have to find sponsors and patrons to mount each expedition. This would be difficult without the prospect of some tangible return. The next mission of the Iguana may be the last, as it was simply a charity run. Few were willing to help mount the expedition without the hint of profit. Without governmental sponsorship, the second mission of the Iguana may have been its last.
They gathered as many resources as they could and loaded them on the Iguana. The ship had as much supplies as she could hold. This mission was going to last as long as possible. They were going to run the "Izanian Gauntlet" and find some friendly individual in Commonwealth space. Perhaps they could find further sponsorship in alien worlds.
After entering Commonwealth space as they had the previous journey, they picked gate GC63:54:15. They had a few to choose from, but that one was similar in designation to the one they had just passed. Thus, if their records were lost, they should still be able to find the way home. While it was not a particularly busy Commonwealth system, the Nimrovs found themselves at the Selrach trading hub. They could dock at their first trading center and interact with Commonwealth citizens.
The bureaucrats of the Selrach system were annoyed by the Iguanas lack of Galactic Commonwealth certification. This would require them to fill out a great deal of paperwork. Further, since they were dealing with an unfamiliar vessel, some standard precautions also made more work for the Selrach crew. Thus, upon docking with the port, the ship and these Nimrov explorers were placed in quarantine. They could go nowhere until a Commonwealth representative arrived.
After several days of non-communication with anyone, the Iguana received a message from the Galactic Commonwealth. It stated:
First contact required a scanning of the crew and cargo. Any harmful organisms must be removed from the vessel before formally making contact. If self-contained breathing apparatus is not available to the members of the crew, an escort will be provided for the ship and it will be immediately escorted to the hypergate that they had passed through. Further communication will be made prior to the scanning process.
Sparky remarked how odd it was be the first person of his race to receive a Galactic Commonwealth form letter. However, they did have environment suits, so they were ready to meet their Commonwealth ambassador. Nevertheless, it took several more days for a member of the Commonwealth Council to make their way to the Selrach system.
There was a standard procedure and the crew of the Iguana and the Commonwealth first contact crew played it by the numbers. They asked many questions and they took many notes on the Nimrov conflict with the Izanians. They were pleased that the Izanians were unsuccessful in conquering another star system.
The crew of the Iguana took the first steps for the Nimrovs to join the Commonwealth. They filled out the proper forms and indicated the location of the Nimrov home world. It was then that they should have said something about their standard names. They did not, and thus these humans were stuck with the name of 'Nimrov'.
Further, the commonwealth began the process of building a hypergate directly from Nimrov space to commonwealth space. It would not be to the Selrach system, but to a more central location. There would not be free passage through this gate, so the crew of the Iguana would need to be certified and pay the fees if they were to continue to explore. The Commonwealth would allow them to use their ship to begin trading, and they explained the rules and regulations for commerce.
Once the gate between Nimrov and Commonwealth space was established, a government official escorted the Iguana to Nimrov 3 and the seat of Nimrov authority. This official had the power to establish normalized relations with this emerging world. This was an exiting time for the Nimrovs.
However, the Iguana was going to have to cease being a scout ship and become a trader. Eagle's crew had little interest in being traders. The crew abandoned him and decided to stay on their home world. Sparky Daniels offered to stay on board the Iguana, but Eagle decided he could use the room for more cargo.
Eagle refitted his ship to be a cargo ship. He greatly increased the capacity, but he was not sure what to carry. Plant goods are unique among the various planets. Thus, there is always demand for unique edible plants and processed plant products. Thus, Eagle decided to trade these commodities. Nimrov is the original source and the best source for 'Chocolate.' They are also responsible for the corn that is referred to in Galactic Standard as 'Maize.'
Since Eagle's ship was not originally designed to haul cargo, it was difficult for him to make a living as a trader. Eventually chocolate would become a big demand item, but there was no way he could keep up with the demand. It became difficult for Eagle to compete with other traders who began making contacts on Nimrov 3. The Nimrov Chocolate run became very lucrative to several traders. All of which were Eagle's competitors.
Eagle became increasingly frustrated with being unable to compete with non-Nimrov traders. On one chocolate run, he met a trader by the name of Fejj Recked. The Izanian Empire displaced Fejj. His home world had been 'conquered' by the Izanian when he was just eight. His parents were traders, and continued to trade. They just no longer had a home or home world. When Fejj came of age, he obtained his own ship and went into business for himself. He was a bounty hunter, trader, cargo hauler, and part time pirate. He had a mid-sized trading ship that was no thing of beauty, but it was still more advanced than the ship Eagle had designed.
Eagle and Fejj began to exchange goods regularly including maize and chocolate. After several transactions, they became loosely tied business partners. However, Eagle's ship could never handle a large enough load of goods to please Fejj. Demand was always outstripping supply on Nimrov goods. Therefore, Fejj would occasionally make the run to Nimrov 3 himself. Competition was increasing, and Eagle was lagging behind. Eventually, Fejj made Nimrov 3 a regular stop on his trade route. Thus, it eliminated the need for Eagle.
In the mean time, Eagle was bored with the day-to-day grind of being a trader. He wanted more. He liked being in charge, but he could not afford to do any exploration like he wanted. So when Fejj offered him a position on his ship, Eagle jumped at the chance. Eagle signed up with Fejj in order to explore more, and to learn what he could about the vast technologies the Galactic community had to offer.
At his first opportunity, Eagle sold his ship and trading route information to one of his Nimrov friends. This individual was interested in exploring the galaxy and was a much better businessperson that Eagle. This trader made chocolate even more in demand.
Eagle on the other hand was ready to be an engineer again. He was always a quick study with technology. Although he started as a grunt mechanic, we quickly earned his way up the ladder in Fejj's enterprises. Once he learned how something worked, he could think of several ways to make things better. Eagle became a very valuable asset to Fejj. Once Eagle knew how the systems on Fejj's ship worked, he could fix them quickly.
Fejj's ship was prone to breakdowns. His ship is one of those early Model G freighters. They are getting up there in age, but they are still a quality ship. Eagle eventually learned how the Model G worked backwards and forwards. To this day, there is probably no one who knows more about its systems. Moreover, if Eagle was given the right equipment and parts, he could vastly improve any system on board the 'G.'
At one point, Fejj's ship failed a Galactic Commonwealth inspection. The propulsion system had developed a major plasma leak. This had to be repaired before the ship would be allowed to leave the inspection station. Eagle went to work on it, and when he was finished, the inspectors tried to hire Eagle on the spot. The overhaul had improved the performance of the propulsion system by 25 times. In fact, it was far greater than most brand new ships.
Furthermore, in one instance when Fejj had to run a blockade in order to complete his mission, the improved propulsion system allowed them to outrun the enforcing body. With this upgrade, Fejj's ship was now one of the fastest ships around. Not only that, but the reliability was greatly improved. Fejj rewarded Eagle with a large bonus.
Fejj also set Eagle up with the task of learning other systems on the ship. Eagle went through the various systems one by one. Learning how they worked, and improving each system as he went along. However, it was destined to end at some time. Eagle was not good at following orders, and Fejj was not great at giving them. Nevertheless, the alliance was very lucrative while it lasted. Fejj could earn plenty of credits with his regular and legal trading that it was becoming uncommon for him to need to run from the authorities.
One day, one of Fejj's trading partners, a ship from the Mitciv star system was late for an exchange. Fejj did a quick scan of the area, and he discovered the cargo ship drifting in space. Mitciv ship had been attacked by a group of pirates. The ship had minimal life support, and Fejj's ship arrived moments before their power systems failed.
The Mitciv trade routes had become targets for these pirates. They pleaded with the Galactic Commonwealth to do something, but a segment of the route was not in their jurisdiction. The Mitciv offered a small reward, but no one would accept the challenge against these well-established and ruthless pirates. After several rounds of negotiations, the Galactic Council upped the ante and included a large reward of its own. Fejj's crew agreed to take on these pirates with the hopes of earning this large reward. However, every attempt by Fejj to thwart these pirates had failed. They were just too well organized and too well armed.Posted by deg at June 5, 2005 7:30 PM