Characters: Shiraamer & Vincent
Location: Miishakaal hangar bay, parked at the Larkarda Starport
1125.6.5 - 11:40 / 15:40 local time (18 1/2 hr day)
Larkarda Lumber has just left and Chuck has just shut off the forklift when the captain gets hailed by the ship's comm computer over your comm. In a calm (feminine) voice it says, "Incoming voicemail from Lakir." Shiraamer acknowledges that she wants to hear it.
Lakir's voice comes through, "Cap'n, Simrii and I have hooked up with Gvarokh and Slade. We'll be proceeding to a shop called Starship Solutions momentarily. Looks like they may have that component you're looking for. If Vinny's running that check for you, word has it that the Space Ant, Sproan Express, Purple Prozac, Konrad's Karrier and Always Monday have been lost in the last year. Seems the Always Monday may have been nailed around the Olny system. Jum knows of two ships that frequent Vilani space, the Wrinkle Science and the Konica Tonica. Lakir out."
The comm computer voice returns, "End of message."
Shiraamer tells Chuck to let her know when the next shipment comes in as she starts to head in to the ship.
"Aye, aye cap'n."
She then returns to her quarters to re-listen to the message.
12:40 / 16:40 local time
Shibuya Mining has just left. They delivered 16 tons of sulfur crystals. Everything was routine. The captain notices that she has some time before the next delivery is scheduled to arrive. Just as she sets foot on the cargo ramp, Vincent emerges from the cargo bay.
"Hi Captain. I finished that search you wanted me to do. Got time to go over it?"
Shiraamer nods, "I have a bit of time, let's go to my quarters and see what you have. I wanted to re-listen to a message the others left me also." Shiraamer doesn't wait for an answer but just smiles and leads the way. Vincent follows silently.
Once in the captain's quarters, the two of them have a seat at the captain's meeting table.
"What did you find?" she asks.
Vincent takes control of the terminal and calls up a data file he wrote summarizing what he found. He refers to it often in his report, "As you know, Makhidkarun has been around since before the 1st Imperium. They were one of the three bureaus set up by the vilani government to keep foreign cultures in line and preserve vilani society. The Makhidkarun originated with the aristocracy. Its coreward territories were the sectors of Meshan, Mendan, and Amdukan. Although these sectors have been ruled by vargr states for the last 3,000 years, 50%-75% of these sectors were under Imperial rule during the 1st and 2nd Imperiums.
"Each bureau was a complete interstellar government operated for a profit, but responsible for its citizens' welfare, law enforcement, and defense of its territory. The bureau had rights of taxation, defense, and legislation in its territory. Bureau fleets protected its shipping and trade: bureau armies defended its installations and conquered new worlds. Mutual aid agreements allowed them to call upon each other for help or reinforcement. Each bureau was responsible for enforcing technology patents on an interstellar level, to guarantee that no one would innovate on newly acquired technology without approval. That jibes with what Mersshon said.
"All three bureau played a major role in the Consolidation Wars. Many client races were connected to Vland only economically. They were not governed or occupied. These clients contacted other races and traded technology with them. The Vilani high command accused them of violating their technology patents and using new technology without proper vilani cultural indoctrination. As such, the bureau were instructed to use force to bring these violators of vilani trade law into the vilani sphere of cultural influence. Resistance was not tolerated.
"When the Consolidation Wars came to an end, the 1st Imperium began. Although back then they called themselves the Ziru Sirka. Exploration, which had ended when the Consolidation Wars began, was permitted to begin anew but only by permit. And to prevent further technology leakage, no new technology patents were to be granted. Current technological levels were sufficient to meet the needs of the citizenry. Any further advancement without governmental permission was illegal.
"Makhidkarun and the other Bureaux prospered for the next several thousand years. When the First Imperium gave way to the Second, the Bureaux went into decline. When Vilani Patent Law was overturned, Makhidkarun went down the toilet and all but ceased to exist.
"Under the Third Imperium, Makhidkarun and the others began to grow again. This time they were just megacorps. None of them were permitted their all-powerful bureaux status. They've returned to prosperity and their reach extended from one corner of the Imperium to the next. Until the war at least.
"Makhidarun specializes in the communications, entertainment, and software industries. The entertainment division covers music, movies, books, zines, and art reproductions. The communications division produces hardware and software to cover data storage, retrieval, and processing. The software division has made advances in AI robots using synaptic brains. A gourmet foods division trades in rare and expensive food, wine, and delicacies.
"Here's a list of headlines. I can get the full articles if you want."
Vincent puts the list up into the holoviewer. (Referee Note: I'll make these available for anyone who wants to read them.)
1119.25.3 - Vland Secedes From the Imperium. Cites Vargr Corsair Invasion Concerns.
1120.5.4 - Vland Government Looks to Re-Institute Patent Law.
1120.5.6 - Vilani Megacorporations Announce Support of Vilani Government's Intent to Re-Institute Patent Law.
1121.13.6 - Hortalez et Cie Agrees to Exchange Assets With Sharurshid And Naasirka.
1121.21.2 - Emperor Expels Vilani Peace Envoy From Capital.
1121.39.5 - Hortalez et Cie Agrees to Exchange Assets With Makhidkarun and Zirunkariish.
1122.47.7 - Vilani Megacorporations to Suspend Paying Dividends to Imperial Family.
1123.4.2 - Makhidkarun Reports Earnings Up 15%
1124.4.2 - Makhidkarun Reports Revenue Down 8%
But before the captain can respond, Chuck's voice comes in over the comm, "Cap'n, the next delivery is here. Infomatics with data crystals."
"Thanks Chuck. I'll be right down."
Shiraamer then saves a copy of Vincent's report to go over in detail later. "Thank you Vincent. I'll have to get back to you later when I've had a chance to digest this."
The two of them get up from the meeting table and leave the captain's quarters. The captain goes out to the hangar bay while Vincent returns to his quarters.
NEXT: Leaving Larkarda