The Parindra II lands at Sei Capital to follow up on an offer from a contact of Captain Chabra’s, Kumar Molla. Since the last operation Captain Chabra ran with Molla ended poorly, yet spectacularly, zhe has some doubts about the particulars of the contract, and wants to go in to the meeting as fully armed with intelligence as possible.
Chief Niazi and Bosun Kaffir head into the night in search of some street level information on what Kumar Molla might be up to. Arriving at the Outcaste bar “The Blue Oyster”, they hear the criminal dialect spoken by the Outlaw faction in the Belt, and get to work with intrigue, deception and subterfuge. They make a resource of Nisha Mirza, a figure in local organized crime. While a mediocre contact at best, Mirza mentions that Kumar Molla is the Deputy Councillor for Interplanetary Trade…and definitely has a history of “playing ball” with the local organized crime syndicates. In fact, some of the insurance premiums negotiated in trade contracts end up in the coffers of Hanuruha.
The next morning, Niazia, Kaffir, and Chabra meet at the capital Hall of Record, for the kind of academic investigation Captain Chabra is slightly more familiar with. Chief Niaza finds a recent trade deal for transhipment through Sei of goods manufactured by Chandra Sundries. It looks like Sei is able to get an exceptional price for the goods that stay, due to the absence of the usual insurance provisions for goods lost due to events occurring in the theater of war
Scene Five: Sei Capital, Offices of Kumar Molla.
Deputy Councillor Molla remains polite yet hostile throughout the negotiations, despite attempts to sway them with common connections and the recent work the crew has done on behalf of the Solar Navy. Apparently some grudges still run deep, which makes the crew all the more suspicious of accepting the mission. Still, expenses are up, and a success might buy them some positive reputation with the colonies affiliated with the Independent Trade Union (ITU).
It gets worse when the crew discovers that accepting the mission requires paying a bond as surety, even before they’ve been paid for their efforts (“wait… this deal is going to cost us money?!?”). The contract is for mercenary work, protecting the ships of a trade convoy originating at Yamuna and traveling outwards to Dakatia, dropping off transports and cargo at each colony along the way. The primary mission is to protect the transports on the hop from Yamuna to Sei. A bonus will be awarded for the safe transit of every ship in the convoy to their final destinations.
Happily, assistance will be available in the form of lightly armed gunboats on contract from Paladin Security Services.