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Can you tell me where we can start again (cover art) Chapter Art

Chapter 32[]

Can you tell me where can we start over?[]

Ia Drang House
'Federated Commonwealth
February, 3057

[There are easier jobs than governing.  There are harder jobs too.]

In FY 3055, roughly 193,000 tons of Endosteel was produced in the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth.  This was considered to be a lot.

It's early in 2nd Quarter, FY 3057 now.  Production tonnage just in the Coventry Province is passing 1,000,000 tons, and the year's not half over yet.

Enough excess was flooding into the market, to put a significant portion of Ngo Industries' customer base in financial trouble.  Tapping off the excess has become one of Elizabeth's new projects.

"Find a use for Endo-Steel."  seems like it should be a no-brainer. Finding a use that makes the vast quantities suddenly entering the raw materials market?  Not such a no-brainer.  It still costs less to use regular titanium-steel alloys in most applications.

This isn't the only case, either, but it's the most obvious problem case, since Endo-Steel is a specialist material really unsuited for most applications that aren't Battlemech related.

"Cutlery, gun-barrels...structural steel for bridges?" She asked.

"We're looking into it."

The armor market was tipping on a similar precipice-with sufficient amounts starting to push the price of Ferro-Fibrous near to, or even below, Starslab formulas.  This one proved easier to fix-armor, after all, can be used on nearly anything in the military market, and quite a few things in civilian applications.  Finding buyers was a matter of coordinating sales forces, arranging deliveries, and getting contracts signed.

Finally, the last hurdle, the last serious technical issue, the most volatile of the materials markets.


Megatons of the stuff was being harvested in outer belts. Also near gas giants and in areas and zones where lighter elements tend to congregate.

Unfortunately, there is more of the stuff than there are forges to process it.  In a situation almost the inverse of how the 31st century began, Germanium's price was plunging, and the demand was flattening out.   More shipyards, building more kinds of ships, in greater quantities would be needed to stabilize the price before it can fall so far it annihilates hundreds of thousands of small outfits...not to mention what so much of the previously valuable material is doing to currency values as reserves are plunging toward the equivalent of the value of synthetic diamonds-nearly worthless, in other words.

In her effort to help the nation, Elizabeth had laid down a curse of plenty.

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