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Postby vemlich » Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:11 pm


Perched just inside the Stellar Cloud, of sector CUD, the scout pilot Lt. Strix and Cadet Kreetan are on guard duty watching the Foldgate. Guard duty a boring but necessary task. Since the cyber uprising all of the estra galaxy has been on alert. After running through duty protocol, humorous stories and anecdotes Strix tells the Cadet to take the first watch. Knowing the Cadet would not last the 6 hours. Strix decided to switch his station to off duty and the noise reduction dome rose over his station and the lieutenant leaned back and closed his eyes. About thirty minutes went by then all hell broke loose. That is the very bowels of hades opened and spewed the largest Cyber Fleet anyone free living species has seen. If you should encounter this you have three choices; submit yourself to enslavement in the Hive, stand and fight take as many of them with you maybe you will be remembered, flee and don’t stop to rest until you realize you are all alone and no longer of interest to the Cyborgs. A fleet of 300 cyber-attack craft appeared, Kreetan hesitant, trapped between fears and wonder, reach for the com, “Father this is Little Chicken, The sky is…..” Laser fire was the last image in the Cadets’ mind as the Nashkin Scout Ship erupted into stellar dust.
Meanwhile back on Nashkin 7, Gnuda a bio-geneticist of the Federation of Estra worked frantically loading ampules into a Seeding Pod. These ampules contain the DNA strands of a wide assortment of species each designed to perpetuate life. “This is the last one,” exclaimed Gnuda, “secure the pods and ready them for launch.” Zeltor the Lab’s Guard asked what this pod would be, Gnuda replied, “This is a union of reptilian and human DNA, structured for success as a trader, and we call them Merchetti Merchants.” “Launching sequence initiated, countdown, Five, Four, Three, …..” Explosions could heard cascading across the city. The future of Estra rest in those pods launched to distant reaches of the galaxy. Life must go on, as the federation decided they must make stand to stop the Horde of Cyborgs or else all of Estra would soon be collection of machines geared into chewing up the entire universe.
On distant planets across Estra life goes on in some cases starts anew.

Eleven Centuries Later
Ikcor sat at his desk going over his invoices and balancing his tally. Accounting a tedious task that he endures, because it is a welcome relief from the 9 months on the Sales and Distribution detail. Sales and Distribution assignments are journeys into newly charted space, following up on contact lists generated by the scouts.
The Merchetti send out large numbers of first contact ships looking for those who are in need of Trade Centers. The trade centers give the recipients the opportunity to prosper and trade goods. Products from across the galaxy are now available to them perhaps even items that were part of the empire’s culture Ions ago.
“Kurdet (an explicative to express anger and anguish)” shouted Ikcor as his books did not balance. He quickly recounted his silicate rings, these rings are the nucleus of the Merchetti counting system each full ring represents 144 units and partial rings weighed in carats. 36 rings and a partial weighing 0.97 carats that comes to 5281 PC’s supported by Trade Centers so the weekly leases should total twice that 10562 RU’s should be coming in. Comparing to his First Galactic Trust account he is receiving 10476 RU’s weekly. This means 43 Production Centers are not complying with their lease agreement.
Further Investigation confirms planets GRV32312 and GRV31115 are 9 weeks behind on payments. Reluctant to jump to conclusions Ikcor heads to an Estra Express kiosk to send a diplomatic message to the Imperial Governors of both worlds. The radiograph reads,
We are disconcerted, according to the lease agreements signed by your Imperial Governors in lieu of receiving trade centers your payments were to start upon delivery and continued until the end of existence. Your prompt response is vital.
Apprehensive for a response Ikcor taps the two fingers of his right hand on the side of the booth. After 10 minutes, of no response over this loss of commission, Ikcor is disheartened. He was looking forward replacing the family transportation with the new suborbital multipurpose transport. Now that three more fuzzy lizards are on the way. Ikcor then calls the collections office and ask to make arrangements for removal and restitution. Saddened by the day’s events Ikcor heads to his burrow so he can spend the next few weeks with his family before heading back out on another S&D run.
Removal and Restitution
The air is filled with the sounds of welding, and grinding, the shipyard is busy with the production of Missile Sloops, Fighters Carriers and an assemblage of Warships. The Flagrant tardiness of payment cannot be ignored. The cost of the Trade and Delivery is trivial in itself. However, when coupled with the idea of getting away with it becoming virulent would be cataclysmic. Admiral Ckrew takes the helm of Carrier sting ray and gives the standing orders shoot on sight all Maltasean vessels encountered. Two sectors away from the Maltasean home worlds the skirmish starts. The young interceptors were just gnats brushed aside by the Armada Adm. Ckrew commands. Upon entering Maltasean space the Admiral starts the bombardment with the Missile Sloops designating the primary target to be the trade centers and the secondary targets the productions centers he also orders the 1500 Fighters to fly escort for the Sloops. During the briefing Adm. Ckrew stated “while collateral damage is understood do your best gentlemen to avoid civilian casualties. Remember the Merchetti Manifesto “LIFE MUST GO ON”.”
Installing Trade Centers
Still wanting to purchase that suborbital multipurpose vehicle, Ikcor decides to sign up for the next Sales and Distribution run. The business of installing trade centers will take him away from his family. Luckily he found a short run to sector NJK where a couple a worlds just got terraformed for a growing empire. They have asked for a half dozen centers and offer a life time clause for future expansion. The fleet launches in the morning.
Ikcor spends the evening going over a list of names, for the expected trio, with his wife Gnidra. They finally decided on Gnidrina, Ikcra, and Uhtuma so Gnidra and Ikcor nestle in their burrow for a good night’s sleep. At sun rise Ikcor crawls out of the burrow, satisfied his life in order again, and heads down to the port.
There they are, the pride and joy of all Merchetti, six trade center ships glistening in the morning sun. A slender, tall standing, and clean shaven, lizardman walks over from the destroyer escort nestled in the middle of the TCSs. “Greetings I’m Major Crona I will be your escort, intelligence informs me that we should have an uneventful run. Here is the flight plan, when we arrive I will fly around the sun to avoid concerns about our intent.” Ikcor replies, “Thank you Major, once the centers are installed and all the paperwork is finished I will signal you to pick me up. Let’s get underway, my wife is expecting and I would like to be here for the delivery.” Maj. Crona congratulates Ikcor and insures him they will be back in no time at all.
Upon arriving at star system NJK22332 Ikcor orders the other 5 ships to orbit the planet. Meanwhile, Ikcor rides MMTCS1 down to the planet surface and contacts ground control to pinpoint the desired location of the trade center. An envoy comes out of the port edifice to assist Ikcor with delivery. Ikcor steps down the ramp with his signal wands and introduces himself. “It is good to meet you, I am Ikcor your Merchetti Merchant we are at your service.” “Hi I’m Samuel Peabody Yeager III, Vice- Chairman of the Terra-formers Inc., you can install the trade center over there in the area mark by the purple pylons. When you are through there come on in to the office and we will sign the contracts.”
Raising the wands over his head Ikcor commences the installation process. The pilot of MMTCS1 glides over to the designated area and on Ikcor’s mark starts the installation. Four foundation locks, one from each corner of the vessel, begin spinning toward the firma, like giant drill bits they screw into the bedrock. The haul locks tightly to the planet’s surface. The pilot steps out and assembly begins, walls sliding left and right the verticle slides rise up out of the top. Once a vessel, MMTCS1 morphs into a shipping and receiving warehouse complete with docks and a conveying system which robotically moves the product about. The assemblage finalizes with the erection of a neon marquee “Merchetti Mercantile”.
Ikcor, anxious to get back home, heads to the port edifice for the contractual matters. Shakes hands with Samuel and expresses his pleasure of doing business. Giving a contact card to the Vice-Chairman Ikcor excuses himself so he and the pilot can get back to the fleet and complete the order with the five remaining Trade Center Ships. Hopefully, you now know a little of what it’s like to be a Merchetti Merchant.
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