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Chapter 240 - What Could Go Wrong[]

Inner End (Federated Commonwealth)
15th September, 3046

Briscoe Osbourne sat at the table waiting for Sergeant Major Chester Pullman this time. He had finalized the employment of 1,490 specialists that were willing to relocate to a new system and job. While not everyone had dependents, there were still 4,470 of them. To entice them all, he had promised them free travel to their destination and a modest 3,500 C-Bills per employee per month until they reached their destination, and their final salary would be determined then. While it was still 5.2 Million C-bills per month it basically also assured them a literal paid vacation for little to no work until getting to where they were going.

While waiting, he was also still working, he had his pad out and was making final notes to present to the Sergeant Major over dinner. He would even pick up the tab, since he also collected a 10% head hunting fee from the first paycheck, which meant his pay for the task was 520,000 C-Bills. During slack time, he had had conversations with several lawyers who represented various merchant shippers, both independent owner operators but also a few small companies. The majority opinion had been that most failures were due to extreme downtime for maintenance. The larger the Jumpship, the further it normally had to travel for routine maintenance. This not only cost money but time and both were expensive. The best companies minimized their ship types as much as possible and only used the Monolith and Star Lord Jumpships on the most valuable routes and usually very close to yards that could handle their maintenance.

These discussions had caused him to do a search of available ships on the markets. With Inman Shipping having a Monolith and single Star Lord Jumpship, after some careful checking, he had determined that the Monolith had an average of three collars empty at all times and the Star Lord averaged two empty collars at all times. They were just too big for the routes in this area. He compared that to another small company that ran four Merchant Jumpships and found that they were almost always fully booked. He had dug a little deeper and found out that the Merchant was the ideal ship for this part of the Federated Commonwealth since it could get regular maintenance and repairs at any Olympus Recharge Station. Another check and he found that there were actually quite a few in this region.

The proposal he would make was to sell the Monolith and Star Lord Jumpships from Inman Shipping, which he figured he could get 2.3 to 2.7 Billion C-Bills for both. He could then use the funds to purchase four to six Merchant Jumpships. They would lose some dropship capacity, but since the ships he would sell were usually running empty collars, it should balance out in the end. It made sense in his head, anyway, fully booked in his mind meant maximum profit on every jump made. A chair being pulled out brought his head up.

"Mr Osbourne, fancy place you selected. Not sure I can afford this place." Sergeant Major Chester Pullman said as he sat down.

"I have no problem treating you to the finer side of life, Mr Pullman." Briscoe Osbourne replied as he laid his pad to the side. "I have completed hiring the requested personnel you delivered to me. I spread them out across every nation as best I could to minimize raising any red flags. I have employed 1,490 people that require transport to their new jobs. In addition, there are 4,470 dependents that will be relocating with them. I am just starting to really focus on hiring the requested people with teaching credentials. I have sent out quite a few invites but have received only a few responses. It seems that most are happy where they are. But I will expand my search to fill the requested numbers. Though this might mean offering a pay scale above what they currently might be making."

"Lot of people to move. Do I even want to know what this is costing us?" Sergeant Major Pullman asked

"A hair over 5.2 Million C-bills per month in salary. Plus travel expenses." Briscoe Osbourne replied

"Damn, we could be talking 50 to 70 million before they even get to where they are going." Sergeant Major Pullman said

"Probably more, some will not arrive for at least a year. Unless you want to pay for express routing, which in turn could cost even more than your estimate." Briscoe Osbourne replied

"Any of the dependents have skills we could use?" Sergeant Major Pullman asked

"As a matter of fact, quite a few skills. There are 52 Grade School level, 93 Middle School, 211 High School level and 17 College level teachers among the newly hired people. While this should count against the teaching credential list, I am being nice and not counting them as hired. Call it a free bonus for the repeat business." Briscoe Osbourne replied

"That is just so nice of you. How much do we owe you for the completed request?" Sergeant Major Pullman asked

"520,000 C-Bills. I might have to spend a good portion of that on medical care, I think I developed carpal tunnel from all the typing I did." Briscoe Osbourne replied with a smile

"Yeah, you look so crippled sipping on that drink. I will have the funds transferred tomorrow to your account." Sergeant Major Pullman said

"It is so nice to have a client that pays in full and promptly. I have a proposal for you though." Briscoe Osbourne said and then laid out his idea of selling the large Jumpships and purchasing smaller ships.

"I will have to run that idea up the food chain. Those purchases were made by direct request from the General. So for right now, they operate as they are." Sergeant Major Pullman replied

"Then how about I use the money saved in the initial purchases to purchase additional Merchant Jumpships while they are on the market. I should be able to purchase four to six with the remaining funds easily. I can have them moved to Humansville, not even hire crews for them yet. If they say to go ahead, we are ahead of the game and the money from the sale of both ships can then be deposited back into the account since we already have the ships. If they say no, I will sell the ships again." Briscoe Osbourne said

"You just love spending our money Mr Osbourne. Your addicted to spending money, our money. I do not know what the boss has in mind exactly, but I can read between the lines. Purchase the ships, try not to spend it all, get the best deal but also the best quality. I would rather not have to answer to a certain Chief Engineer." Sergeant Major Pullman replied

"That is what I really like about you, you make a decision quickly. I always strive to deliver the best for my clients. Now, shall we order? My treat, anything you want." Briscoe Osbourne said with a huge smile.

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