2603 Purchase of a Hypermodern Old Cargo Ship

The solar company Astronáutica General buys a cargo ship in the Thoris system. It is the first ship with exo-technology in the Solar system. The purchase takes 17 years.

The ship is a slow tug by Thoris standards, but it is still 30 times faster than anything manufactured in the Solar system and it can carry much more cargo. The ship is adventurously acquired from a ship recycler in the outer F asteroid belt of the Thoris system, the domain of the so-called Babur III Harmony.

Several slow Sol built freighters transport ship loads of precious metals to Thoris to pay for this old ship, because the Solar system does not manufacture any engineered products in demand in the advanced economy of the Thoris system. The precious metals are then sold on the open market to obtain assets in one of the Thoris currencies, at first far below their real value. But over the course of three years, commodity trading by the human outpost becomes more professional.

Three out of eight shipments are stolen at the storage area of the transshipment point. They have to be replaced by more flights from Sol. In the meantime, a local economic crisis and fraudulent futures contracts reduce the available assets to just 10%. In cooperation with the authorities, a Thoris commodity cartel can be proven to have committed fraud. A large part of the loss is compensated by penalties paid by the cartel. After 12 years, there are enough funds in local currency to buy a small used cargo ship from a scrapyard.

Then the vessel is immediately stopped by the Thoris Interplanetary Flight Safety Office and decommissioned for lack of a pilot's license. The crew must spend four years studying at a flight academy for a Thoris system flight license. Penalties, fees, and academy costs require more shipments of precious metals from the Solar system. While decommissioned, the ship is stolen. A mercenary force hired from the Babur Trojans and led by Akofa Ata is able to recover the ship after three months.

After repairs – paid for by additional shipments from Sol – the ship is ready to be transferred to the Solar system. Yet, it is stopped again by the authorities of the Babur III Harmony which demand a demilitarization before the ship is allowed to cross Harmony space. Before departure Astronáutica had installed some light weapons to prevent the ship from getting lost again, but the Harmony's authorities have no sympathy for weapons on civilian ships in major traffic zones.

Finally, the ship is transferred to the Solar system where it is used to open the first regular lines to colonial systems: Cobol and Polean.

2626 An Administrative Process Saves Humanity

An expedition visits the Kisor system. Kisor is the regional capital of the Interian Empire and thus the local authority. This is the first time that humans are visiting the sector's capital. Having had two densely populated and equally important planets for millennia, the system is called the Kisor Twins.

After the experience with the Artu domain and extrasolar pirates in the Solar system, the coalition's most important task is to build relationships with peoples who can assist humanity when attacked. It is hoped that the Kisor Twins, as local representatives of the Empire, will take on this role.

So, the Solar Coalition charters an interstellar ship from a ship rental company in the Babur III Harmony at Thoris. The voyage would have taken two years for any ship produced in the Solar system, whereas the rented ship is supposed to take the Coalition's ambassador to Kisor in two weeks.

The Coalition's embassy ship reaches the Kisor system perpendicular to the ecliptic. They are approaching cautiously. Beginning at a distance of two light-days, about 25 billion kilometers, the ship stops every light-hour transmitting its transponder code and waiting for a response. It is assumed that Kisor's authorities recognize the ship's identification because of its Imperial transponder. At ten light hours distance they receive instructions from the flight control center telling them to wait for a guide. 30 hours later a courier ship approaches. Using a flexible docking tube, the Kisoran guide and two armed escorts transfer to the embassy ship. The guide helps navigating the human ship into the inner system. Finally, they are assigned a parking position in orbit around a moon of the double-ringed planet Altur – a striking sight.

As expected, the system is highly developed and industrialized. There are two habitable planets, Kisor-Alpha, the home world of the species, and Kisor-Beta, the inner planet, which had been adapted to the conditions of Alpha by eco-forming a long time ago. There are large structures in space appearing to be traffic nodes for interstellar shipments. The traffic volume at those massive freight terminals is overwhelming. The terminals will later be known as the transshipment points of the Kisoran trade guilds.

The Kisor system has several asteroid belts, one of which rotates as part of the ring system around the gas giant Altur. There is a lot of activity in the asteroid belts most of it being automated. The population is concentrated at the two habitable planets where they prefer living on the planetary surfaces at the bottom of the gravity well. Only a few small settlements are scattered throughout the system. There are far fewer orbital habitats and open surface areas than we now know from other advanced civilizations.

The humans receive a friendly welcome. An employee of the Kisoran immigration office creates a file taking up the case: the application of humans to attain the status of an officially recognized Imperial subject species. The file number for humanity: S206297ER.

The arrival of the humans is kept secret so as not to trigger further visits of adventurers to the Solar system.

The ambassador of the Solar Coalition is not allowed access to higher authorities.

After four weeks the humans have to leave, because the rental contract for the embassy ship is about to expire and ship rental companies of the Babur III Harmony are known to charge high late return fees.

For the next 20 years, there is only sporadic contact between Humans and Kisori. In particular there is no help against outside attacks.

Then a new danger arises. As early as 2643, human outposts and colonies are attacked by Kelrecs, one of the recent techno-barbarian species. These are peoples and factions that have adopted advanced technology – usually from other species – without being ready for the responsibility that come with such power. From the point of view of highly developed civilizations they have a deficient sense of morality. The techno-barbarians often possess modern interstellar technology pilfered from stocks of the Interian Empire, which has not taken sufficient care of its outer reaches for some time. So, equipped with advanced weaponry those techno-barbarians are now plundering civilized systems. Especially interstellar newcomers like humankind are helplessly exposed to this new threat. The Solar system is still technologically underdeveloped, but rich in population and resources. It also has lots of space borne equipment at a medium tech level easily accessible to techno-barbarian raiders.

The Kelrecs do not distinguish between the various ethnic groups that have settled in the systems colonized by humans. They constitute a threat to all of humanity. Kelrec raiding parties have been working their way through the interstellar neighborhood of the Solar system plundering and occupying, extorting bribes and requisitioning goods. Initially only Solar colonies in the direction of the Kelrec home planet Miro were affected, but by 2647 an attack on the Solar system is expected at any time.

Meanwhile the administrative process S206297ER initiated by the formal filing in 2626 duly passes through the Imperial administration. In 2647 the Solar system is finally granted the status of a category 18 Imperial member nation. A courier ship of the Kisoran authorities delivers the official notification of the status change to the Solar Coalition in the Solar system. Observing the massive defense effort of the Humans the courier, upon its return, reports on the situation in the Solar system.

So, in accordance with Imperial "Regulations for the protection of member nations in categories 17 through 19" providing for "substantial assistance to avert external existential threats" the Kisor Twins now take action by arming humanity.

Though Kisor's forces never intervene directly, the Kelrec threat is finally averted with the help of hundreds of thousands of Kisori advisors, modern fab designs, and gigatons of technical equipment supplied by Kisor's trade guilds.

Humanity then needs 80 years to repay the debt to the guilds.