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Chapter 9 - What Could Go Wrong[]

27 June 3040
Sevon (Outworlds Alliance)

David Mitchell and Harry Caldwell, now formerly discharged and retired from the AFFS/AFFC had been on planet for 3 days. After six failed attempts to see the CEO of Alliance Mining and Geology at the company headquarters, they had left a message at the front desk each time they were turned away by the receptionist. But this morning, they had gotten a call at their hotel room informing them to be at the front desk at 11am sharp. Now, at 1045am, they sat near the receptionist desk waiting. A woman exited the elevator, and the receptionist pointed her towards them. Mitchell and Caldwell both stood as she reached them.

"I am Susan Long, Division Head of Alliance Mining and Geology. I am told that you both have been coming here daily trying to meet with me. So here I am and what can I do for you?" Susan Long said

"David Mitchell and this is Harry Caldwell. We have a business proposition for you and your company." David Mitchell replied

"And what sort of business idea do you have that could interest me?" Susan Long asked, clearly feeling she was wasting her time on this small meeting.

"We have come into some information that could very well change the foundation of your company and possibly your nation, but we would need assistance to locate the exact location. I would prefer a much more private location before we speak further." David Mitchell said

"Before I make that determination, exactly what kind of find are we talking about?" Susan Long asked

Seeing no one was remotely close to them David Mitchell lowered his voice and leaned in "Germainium and I go no further. Not here."

Her interest now fully peaked, Susan Long gestured both men to follow her. She led them to the elevator and once the doors were closed pushed the button for the top floor. On arriving, she gestured them to again follow her, leading them to her office and as they walked past her secretary she said, "Hold my calls, Cheryl."

Once inside her office, door closed and everyone seated, she started the conversation. "Germanium. How much and where?"

"Enough that the SLDF placed a full-time garrison in the system, only that system is no longer on any maps I have been able to find. But I have a pretty good idea of where it is located at, we just need a ship and crew to help us locate it exactly." David Mitchell explained

"My company is just a Division of Alliance Industries Diversified. That sort of expenditure would have to be approved by Adam Smith Pallas CEO. And what are you asking in return for this information?" Susan Long asked

"The information itself is not for sale. We go with the exploration team. Once we have located it, well, we can discuss terms at that time. But I think I should talk to Mr Pallas." David Mitchell replied

"Tell you what, Mr Mitchell, I will speak to the CEO and see what he says. Go back to your hotel, I will be in touch very soon." Susan Long said

"Thank you for your time, Miss Long, but this kind of information is valuable, and I can think of quite a few other companies that would jump at this kind of information, do not take long." David Mitchell replied while standing up

28 June 3040

The phone call came in at 730am, waking them both up. Hanging up, David Mitchell looked over at Harry Caldwell and said "9am, we have our meeting with Mr Pallas and Miss Long. A car will pick us up downstairs at 830."

"We going to be packing?" Harry asked

"Damn straight. Just hope we don't need them." David said as he pulled the Hold-Out Needler Pistol out from under his pillow.

At promptly 9am, David Mitchell and Harry Caldwell met by Susan Long at the doors to Alliance Diversified's headquarters building. "Mr Pallas was interested, but he wants more information from you." She said as she led them into the office building, to the elevators and up to the top floor. On entering a conference room, David Mitchell counted 3 seated men wearing suits. The blading man at the head of the table did not stand but waved them to seats. "Susan told me about you little find, and though it interests me, it is going to cost a lot of money, so I need more information to work with."

Taking his seat next to Harry, David said "Right to business then. I have come into information that details a large Germanium deposit in a system near the Federated Suns border. 26LY from Inner End to be exact. Technically it is inside space claimed by the Outworlds Alliance, and that is why I am here, but I am sure First Prince Hanse Davion would love to have this information and would not hesitate to act on it. But getting to see him is impossible. The deposit itself was rich enough for the SLDF to garrison the system itself on a permanent basis. The system used to belong to the Outworlds Alliance, but no longer appears on any Star Maps."

"What would you need and what exactly do you want if this find is found?" Adam Pallas asked

"I figured we would talk terms once we confirm what we found and it's actual worth to you and your company." David Mitchell replied

"I will give you 500,000 C-Bills for the information right now." Adam Pallas said

"Yeah, that is not going to, happen sir. If you feel I am wasting your time, we will just leave, and you can explain to someone why the Federated Suns just came into possession of a Germanium deposit that used to belong to the Outworlds Alliance to begin with. I can think of several companies that would gladly take possession of this find and pay a large merc unit to garrison it. So, if that is the best you're going to offer, we will quit wasting your time." David Mitchell said as he pushed the chair back from the table.

"Take a seat, Mr Mitchell, it is business. I wanted to see how you would react. Obviously, you're not trying a scam, because a scammer would have taken the money and been out the door. You obviously believe in what you have come across and that the information is gold plated and not a wild goose chase. Now, what do you think this expedition will take?" Adam Pallas said

Sliding back to the table David Mitchell replied "A Jumpship, with crew, probably 2 Dropships to assist in locating the deposits itself, since it is said to be in a asteroid belt. I will aid the Jumpship navigator in more detail when we arrive at our search area. I have already given you more information than I wanted."

"How long do you expect this to take, I am not writing a blank check for this." Adam Pallas said

"On arrival, I would hope no more than 6 months." David Mitchell replied

"Three months on arrival. After that, I will have the Jumpship crew drop you off on Inner End and you're on your own. If you find it, they will bring you back here and we will finish our business." Adam Pallas said

"Then I guess that will have to do. Thank you, Mr Pallas, we will await your team's arrival on Inner End. I assume you can have a team on site there by January 3041?" David Mitchell replied as he stood

"If there are any changes to the schedule, I will make sure you are located. I do not have a Jumpship and Dropships in my back pocket, that does take some effort on my part." Adam Pallas said

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