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Chapter 21 - What Could Go Wrong[]

3 May 3041
Sevon (Outworlds Alliance)

The phone call to Alliance Industries Diversified to set up a meeting went down without a hitch. Within 2 hours, a car had picked up Captain David Mitchell and Sharon Campbell bringing them to the company's headquarters. Susan Long, Division Head Alliance Mining and Geology, met them at the curb and led them into the building. Captain Mitchell carried a good-sized suitcase while Sharon Campbell carried a briefcase. When security tried to halt them for a search, Susan Long waved them off, leading the pair onto the elevators.

"I am going to assume by your return that you located something important." Susan Long said, looking for some clues but neither Captain Mitchell nor Sharon Campbell said a word, both just smiled at her.

Exiting the elevator, Susan Long led them into the same conference room where Captain Mitchell had first met Adam Smith Pallas, President/CEO of Alliance Industries Diversified. When each had been seated, water placed in front of them, Mr Pallas entered the conference room with several other people.

"Mr. Mitchell, it is so good to see you again after such a long time. So, tell me what you have discovered.", Mr. Pallas said as he took a seat.

"I found what I was looking for. I am certain we located the Toten system. We found four beat up mining stations among the asteroid belt there." He hefted the suitcase and placed in on the large table. Opening it, he extracted 6 chunks of ore and placed them on the table for all to see. "No one among us was a geology expert, but Chief Zuniga is sure that 2 of these samples are unrefined Germanium. The other four, well we are not sure except for this one, Gold, but there was several hundred tons of the stuff on the one station we boarded." Captain Mitchell said

Susan Long picked up one of the suspected Germanium pieces and her smile widened "It is Germanium, without specific testing I cannot tell the overall purity." She looked over the other ore samples "Titanium, Iron, Nickel, and Platinum."

"I am no commodity expert, but I am pretty sure it's all worth something. So, shall we discuss our percentage?" Captain Mitchell asked.

"Down to the hard nut of business, is it? Fine. I am willing to pay you a finder's fee, onetime payment of.......25 Million C-Bills." Mr. Pallas replied

Captain Mitchell laughed out loud as he stood and started reaching for the ore samples. "I am no fool, Mr. Pallas. But I am sure Basantapur Fine Metals or Vickers Mining in the Federated Commonwealth will pay a king's ransom for this find. If that is your best offer, then we will be leaving."

Mr. Pallas smiled broadly "Still a serious man with no humor I see. It is business, how about you tell me what you want for this find. Give me a starting point."

Captain Mitchell decided to swing for the fence "Twenty-five percent of the operation."

The smile vanished from Adam Pallas' face "Your out of your mind if you think I will agree to that."

This time Captain Mitchell smiled "See, I have a sense of humor. Look let's be serious here. Your about to spend a fortune bringing that mining operation back into operation. Years of expense and development before you show a profit from the operation. All of us in this room know this, so I will return to reality. So, for the location of this system, the exact location, giving you complete control of all mining operations and the profit from said mining operation, 200 Million C-Bills. I will even take it in payments of 20 Million per year for the next 10 years. The first payment today of course."

The smile had not returned to Adam Pallas' face, but he did wave the men seated next to him in closer, and they whispered among themselves for several minutes. "The dollar amount is agreeable, but we would feel more comfortable at 10 Million a year for 20 years."

Captain Mitchell shook his head slightly "If the payment schedule increases so does the total amount sir. If you want 20 years, that is going to cost you 25 Million C-Bills per year. Call it an interest payment."

Another round of whispers ensued until Adam Pallas said, "I will agree to those terms, Mr Mitchell."

Now for the sandbag Captain Mitchell thought silently before saying "Oh, and I want exclusive salvage rights to EVERYTHING derelict remaining in that system. If it is not a rock, it belongs to me and my people."

Adam Pallas spoke a little too quickly, but either way, it was too late "Agreed. You can freely salvage what you like from the system. All mining belongs to Alliance Diversified."

Sharon Campbell opened her briefcase and pulled a thick stack of papers. "We had this contract drawn up by a law firm in the Federated Suns and then re-certified by a law firm here on Sevon. We will just be filling in some blanks and then we head to the local courthouse for the contract to be filed." She said as she started filling in the blanks. As she wrote, one of the suited men stood and moved to read the contract as she wrote from over her shoulder. Though not a lawyer, Sharon Campbell had seen quite a few contracts filled out serving with Interstellar Expeditions. When she finished filling out the large blanks on the contract she looked up at the hovering man "Satisfied?"

"The terms are as stated." The man said moving back to his seat but before he could sit back down Sharon Campbell stood up. "Good, shall we all head for the local courthouse and get this witness and legal?"

Three hours later, each party had a copy of the contract. With a nod, Sharon Campbell handed over a data storage stick. "This holds the exact coordinates of the Toten system. It also contains images captured from my ships navigational telescope."

Taking the data stick, Adam Pallas smiled broadly "Your check is being cut as we speak. You should have held out for more you know. Those mining stations are going to save me a fortune."

"You mean the mining stations that I STILL own? Did you totally miss the part where I said If it is not a rock it belongs to us? I do believe that was very clearly placed in the contract we all just signed not long ago." Captain Mitchell said as he flipped thru the pages of legal mumbo jumbo. "Page 33, paragraph 3 states Alliance Industries Diversified hereby grants David Mitchell and company complete ownership and full rights to all derelict objects within the Toten system. Alliance Industries Diversified retains full ownership of all asteroids and mineral deposits within the Toten system to include those located on any planetary surface or lunar surface. I will wait until you read it yourself and verify, that I am correct."

Furiously flipping the pages until he found the proper page, Adam Pallas read it before angrily shoving the contract towards the obvious lawyer. Captain Mitchell watched silently before speaking again "I assume we agree that I read that correctly. I did some research, a ton of it actually, on the way back here. Now way back in the day, the Snowden Mining Station cost an eye watering 5 Billion to build. Or that is the historical number I could find. These particular stations are not Snowdens, they look different, even beat up as they are. I figure that to build new mining stations in the Toten system will cost much much more than that today. How much do you think it will cost?"

Adam Pallas was furious at himself and his head attorney for missing that key detail before he signed the contract, so focused on getting sole ownership of the minerals there "Billions, it will cost my company Billions and add quite a few years to bringing the operation online."

"So, I am willing to part with those stations. For a fair price." Captain Mitchell said

"What do you want, Mr. Mitchell, I am tiring of these games." Adam Pallas replied

"I need a Jumpship, preferably a Star Lord. In addition, I have need of several Dropships. Having spent time in normal bay accommodations, I want better for my people. So, 2 Monarch Passenger Liner Dropships, a Mule Cargo Dropship and a Leopard Dropship, fighter carrier version please." Captain Mitchell said much to even Sharon Campbell's surprise

"That will cost a fortune." Adam Pallas blurted out

"But much less than bringing in and building on site your own mining stations will cost. The rough math I came up with is 1.6 Billion C-Bills. Probably less than that, because I will settle for used ships, I do not have the time to wait several years for them to be constructed. But they have to be certified, in fairly good condition with an overhaul within the last 5 years." Captain Mitchell said

Adam Pallas did the mental math before speaking "Fine. You will get your ships. It will take some time to locate them and deliver them. Where shall I have them delivered?"

"Inner End will be fine. It's a nice jump off point for recovery operations in the Toten system. Sharon, I believe we need a new contract write up, and then taken to the court." Captain Mitchell said smiling, he was sort of enjoying this business stuff.

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