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Friday, March 9, 2018

F³ Fund Raising

            “And how much have we raised?”
            “Eight thousand, Captain. The going is quite slow because we are operating without a proper license and are subject to high taxes.”
            Ann swore under her breath, for which Flynn was grateful.
            “And our supplies?”
            “On that front, we are on better standing. Consumer goods aren’t as heavily taxed, and food not at all. Also, Hank has been able to make thorough headway on our repairs.”
            “Meaning he hasn’t blown us up, yet,” Ann said flatly.
            For better or worse, Hank hadn’t had the time or resources for his tinkering projects. Calypso had been too heavily damaged in the fight at Vitaly, so all his efforts were in getting those systems back up and running.
            “That’s some good news, at least.”
            “Good news!?” Ann whirled back at him. “We’ve been trapped in this Celestials-forsaken system for weeks. Let’s get out of here, put wind back in our sails. Even being hunted by the Alliance or Constantine is better than this.”
            Unfortunately, Flynn agreed with her, at least in part.
            We’re too vulnerable here. We’ve got next to no combat capability, and the longer we’re here, the more worried I become. The Consortium is not the merchant paradise it’s touted to be.
            In the time they had been in Exolym, they had witnessed a dozen different skirmishes between ships, four planetary raids, and three coups on two different moons. At any given time, a confrontation was possible because the Consortium believed that possession was the law. Those who don’t have the strength to hold onto wealth or power don’t deserve to keep it.
            So even if we get Reese’s account back into shape, we can’t go trading until we outfit the ship with some decent weapons again. For the same reason we can’t go back to the Reach. Fortunately, in the Consortium, everything is for sale.
            “Reese, pull up the latest weapon prices from Witwick’s market. We need to outfit the ship and get out of this system. We might find better opportunities elsewhere.”
            “Finally,” Ann said.
            “Aye, Captain,” Reese said simply, checking his console.
            We also can’t stay here forever because sooner or later someone’s going to figure out there’s a sizable bounty for me from Constantine.

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