Tweet of the Day: Revising Your Book: Do’s and Don’ts
Steiner-Satori Estate, 24km Southeast off Milgrom, Bekenstein, Boltzmann, Serpent Nebula, March 14, 2196
A pair of security mechs armed with assault rifles guarded the door. On the other side a vanilla painted room covered in windows on three sides. Beyond rose the tall spires jutted of Milgrom an archipelago in Sagan Bay. Mrs. Steiner’s guests, some of the richest men and women in Citadel space, lounged around the room or queued to the bar for drinks.
Time to mingle,” I said to Galeena. She moved to corner where she could see the whole room.
Pratchett Peters, of ExSolar Shipping, waved at me, “Theo, glad to see you again. Maybe we can get this shindig started already,” he said. He ran a hand over a thin wave of blond hair, a vain attempt to forestall male pattern baldness. He leaned closer, his breath heavy with vermouth, “How’s colonial life treating you, eh? I noticed an uptick in TRS stock. Anything I should know?”
I ordered Rum & Coke, “Just check the public record, Peters.”
“Still riding the Arborea wave, no?”
“Something like that,” I said.
A krogan, one Mr. Turok, stepped to the bar, “Ryncol please.”
“Well, I better find a comfortable seat before they are all taken. I’ll talk to you later,” said Peters. He darted to the farthest point from the bar.
“Coward,” I said.
Mr. Turok chuckled, “Was it something I said?”
“Considering Mr. Peters current blood alcohol level it was better for him to retire than to say something that would cost him,” I said.
“A pity. Mr. Peters is a savvy businessman,” said Mr. Turok. He downed the glass of ryncol in one shot.
“When sober,” I said.
I looked around the room. The occupants reflected the upper echelons of Bekenstein society such as Charles Mancuso of Nezo Transportation and Sarah Kalo of Elegant Artist, all of them human except for Mr. Turok, Galeena and a third asari I did not recognize.
“At the risk of sounding extremely ignorant, do you know anything about the asari chatting with Mr. Beckmann,” I asked Mr. Turok.
“We are all ignorant Mr. Thompson-Ramos. The difference between the fool and the wise man is that the latter chooses to fill the gaps in his understanding. The young asari in question is Ms. Malena Dantius, CEO of Dantius Biotech and last surviving member of the Dantius family,” said Mr. Turok.
“You are well informed, Mr. Turok.”
“Mr. Thax had extensive business dealings with the Dantius family. However, Mr. Thax lost contact with the family after he vacated Ilium, and never had any direct dealings with the youngest member of the family but….”
Mr. Turok leaned closer, “Anesidora Dantius had a penchant for genetic determinism. She elected her bondmates with great care. The father of her first daughter, Dahlia, was a batarian. Rumor has it that she dabbled in slavery. The middle child father was a crafty salarian always in search of a quick credit.”
“Her father is a turian, still very much alive and living his last days here on Bekenstein under his daughter’s well paid care.”
“I bet that made for some interesting family reunions.”
Gloria Maria Steiner Satori made her entrance in a charcoal gray dress contrasted by long golden locks. She sat down near the screen on the south wall. The others followed suit.
“Mrs. Steiner thank you for hosting this meeting,” I said. She nodded. I launched into a description of the current situation in the Terminus systems. Various charts showed a steady decrease in raids on human colonies and a rise in profits. I read the crowd: a smile here, a nod there. They liked what they had seen so far.
Time to hit them with bad news.
“However, attacks on shipping continue across the Terminus systems. In order to counter this threat we initiated Phase Three which involves the construction of four escort carriers and eight cruisers. Two carriers and four cruisers are already on line and we expect the rest to be available by the fourth quarter of the year,” a few pressed lips and silent sighs told me they feared what came next. “If trends continue we will need to triple the size of the force by the second quarter of next year, a total force of between ten to twelve carriers and up to twenty light cruisers.”
A voice from the back shouted, “Are we supposed to do the Alliance job for them?”
I raised a finger, “One, the Terminus systems are beyond Alliance jurisdiction,” a second finger, “Two, they are still rebuilding from the war,” and a final finger, “Third, Alliance protection comes with Alliance taxation.”
“I’m not giving my credits to the Alliance. God knows what they will waste it on,” said Mancuso.
“God forbid they spend in on orphans or war widows,” said Peters. Inside the cowardly lion lay a gold nugget.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, what is the point of doing business in the Terminus if we can gate our goods to market? Mr. Thompson-Ramos has an excellent record when it comes to dealing with these matters, and I for one support him fully,” she said with a raised wine glass. Others, including Ms. Dantius and Mr. Turok nodded in agreement. Steiner had the deepest pockets in the room. She controlled the farms that fed billions across Alliance space and was a major backer of colonial construction projects. It all came down to food and shelter.
Something caught my eye in the sky beyond the room. A dark, bat like silhouette rushed forward with yellow sparks coming from its nose followed by a long buzzing sound.