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Chapter 62 - What Could Go Wrong[]

22 November 3041
Valasha (Outworlds Alliance)

Arriving at Valasha, a system noted for being a rich mining world with heavy metals, it was also the perfect place to possibly hire a large Dropship. At both Jump Points and also in orbit of the planet itself were a multitude of Dropships, even several Jumpships. Ship Master Sarah Campbell used her credentials to access the systems shipping schedules. After a few minutes, she had identified three Mule Cargo Dropships, a massive Behemoth Dropship and a Merchant Jumpship that did not have any scheduled pickups or deliveries.

Behemoth Cargo DropShip (in Orbit)

Behemoth Class Cargo DropShip, largest type cargo ship in the Inner Sphere.

"Even hiring all three Mules will not allow us to move all that stuff. But that Behemoth could and have room to spare, but it cannot land on the surface. We would have to transfer the equipment via Dropship transfer in orbit." Ship Master Sarah Campbell said

"Well, all we can do it try. We found too much stuff, simple as that. I never expected to find something like this anyway. Contact the Behemoth and see if they are interested in making some money." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell replied

It did not take long to get an answer from the Behemoth's captain and within two hours Ship Master Campbell and Leftenant Colonel Mitchell had taken a shuttle over to the Behemoth Dropship. Now in the small office they met Ship Captain Maurice Desmonte. After quick introductions, Captain Desmonte said "I do not do military operations."

"This is not a military operation. It is a simple cargo pickup and delivery. But I am willing to pay and pay well for this.", Leftenant Colonel Mitchell replied

"Where and what would I be picking up?", Captain Desmonte asked

"Uncharted system. It is military cargo though; we happened to find and recover it. But it is way more than we can transport. We have met no resistance and as far as we can tell the place is uninhabited.", Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"Uncharted is dangerous, that will cost extra. My normal fee is 8.4 Million C-Bills per jump and another 250,000 per day of loading and unloading. But this is not normal. I want Ten Million per jump and 350,000 per day during loading and unloading.", Captain Desmonte replied

Some fast metal calculations by Ship Master Campbell brought her into the conversation "How about Eleven Million per jump instead of the daily rate. It is two jumps to our pickup and an additional three jumps to our unloading destination. If we get done quick, you stand to make more money."

Captain Desmonte was quiet for a minute before responding "Eleven point five per jump and you have a deal."

"Agreed. If by some chance, your ship is placed in any danger, we will pay an additional Five Million C-Bills. Is that fair, Sir?" Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"Very fair. Your Invader Jumpship is already carrying a Dropship. If you need extra collars, there is a Merchant Jumpship here at the Jump Point I have worked with several times. Always nice to have people you know and trust." Captain Desmonte replied

Leftenant Colonel Mitchell winced ever so slightly and looked at Ship Master Campbell, who took the unspoken hint to answer. "We are willing to pay triple normal jump rates for this mission. The same danger bonus will apply to his ship if needed. Do you think he will agree to those terms?", Mitchell asked.

"I think I can convince him to take the job.", Captain Desmonte replied

"But we will insist on having some of our people onboard both of your ships during this mission. You can understand our concerns, I am sure." Ship Master Campbell said

"Afraid we will take off on you, Hon. We are not bandits. But I will agree to it, and we will see if he agrees also. Your people will be in the cargo bays, so the ride is going to suck for them.", Captain Desmonte replied

"Then let's get him on the radio and see if he is interested." Ship Master Sarah Campbell said

It did not take much convincing for the Merchant Class Jumpship captain to agree to take the job. "I will have 25% of the funds transferred to your accounts and the rest will be payable on completion. We need to make a jump to Inner End to pick up a few things and then we will be back within 3 weeks. We will depart at that time, is that agreeable?", Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"Going to want an extra Million for such a long wait just sitting out here. I do have mouths to feed and pay.", Captain Desmonte replied

"I can agree to that, same goes for your Jumpship friend. Be ready to leave the moment we are recharged though." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

On the shuttle flight back to SaRI Express, Invader Jumpship, Ship Master Campbell asked "Why back to Inner End?"

"I checked my messages when we first arrived. That Union CV is there. We cannot crew the danged thing, but worst case. We get it docked to the Star Lord, loaded with 6 Rapier and 4 Hellcat fighters. We can at least launch it from the Star Lord so it can launch the fighters and then reel it back onto the Star Lord. Plus, even with a broken collar, it gives us 2 additional collars to work with. We transfer your crew to the Star Lord for this operation.", Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"You expect trouble?", Ship Master Campbell asked

"Not really, but extra firepower is always nice to have. Plus, we can grab some extra people to guard those two ships. One of these days, we will have enough people that we do not have to operate so shorthanded.", Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

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