The Shipping Trade (1)

Kythera System, Lunar Transshipment One, Docking Ring Gilek, Third Quadrant, Afterquay Level
Offices of Hyneral, Myninine and mor-Vertak, Bonded Cargo Brokers

“Good shift, brokers. Athné Calaris-ith-Calandia…”

“…master of Greed and Mass-Energy! Cheneos-class free trader, I seem to recall. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen you in-system, Captain. Good trading?”

“Still flying.”

“So, what brings you to us – anything to offload this trip?”

“No, not this time. We just came off a charter – unloading thirty and a half of reaction-control assemblies out of Kerbol System. Hold’s empty, lookin’ to fill it.”

“Got commitments, or free-course?”

“Thinking of heading out spinward, but no contracts as yet. And I’d like to keep ten free for spec. Apart from that, we’ll go where the cash points.”

“Spinward, huh?” The broker rattled his terminal’s keys. “Quiet out there this week. I can fill your mail locker, and give you… twenty of laser pigs, containerized, delivered ex-ship High Transit Station, Wynérias System, pays out at market local.” He steepled his fingers, thinking. “Now, if you’ll yield back some of that ten, I can throw in 12,750 of assorted breakbulk for Wynérias and points on a spinward routing from there, pays three points over market local for lash comp.”

“Any liquids in that?”

“None on manifest. You’ve got one-twenty drums on-board from here to Losen Actual highport, but they’re listed as ‘powder, ceramet, special formula’ – yard consignment. Will you take it? It’s cutting out warehouse space, and I’ll owe you a favor for the inconvenience.”

The captain hesitated only slightly.

“Sure. Deal. We’ll be done unloading and cleared to metal by top of the second.”

“I’ll have the cargo and my longshorebots lockside by third of the second. Want to grab some lunch while the contracts clear down?”

“Don’t mind if I do.”

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