Douala’s Tramp freighter market, March 10th 2170ADThe meeting with Pierrot ended by early afternoon. The contract for charter 22 was signed, but the CAMEROON was still in low-earth orbit at TSS Merkel. Molly, Aeryn and Anika bought a shuttle ticket and caught the burn upward just as the gate was closing. Some two hours later, they keyed in the passcode and entered the tramp freighter. Molly ran a few diagnostic, Aeryn . Aeryn checked life support then the kitchen. Anika looked in vain in the ship’s locker for armament, then established contact with orbital control to obtain the permission for a reentry to Douala regional spaceport. The last crew were smokers and the ship felt filthy. With minimal system’s running, Molly made the first of many burn and plunged into Terra’s atmosphere.
Diane and Jane installed their copies of the best trading assistant that money could buy on their shiny new tablets. Their next stop would be Callisto: in most way a backwater in the Terra system. The soundness of this next move resided in the availability of a second hand Jump-2 drive for them to acquire. While Jane started a search for speculative cargo, Diane engaged with the tramp freight bidding process. It was a slow day, with a small 17 dT shipment of paletted aluminum trusses. No less than three other tramp freighters were interested in going to Callisto on that day. Diane had to go as low as 10.3 KCr to get the contract. Nothing else was coming in the pipe for now. She shook her head in disbelief and went across town to pick up a nursebot that she scored from the surplus of an NGO.
|Douala in the mid-day sun. Circa 2170AD.|
Tom headed for the bar to score the place for passengers. There was a lot of people, but most were waiting for their chartered liner. A single man was desperately looking for a passage. His name was Rashid Meer, a department store catalog model trying to head back home in a pinch. Tom signed him up and sent him to Jane to sign the contract and close the deal. Jane got the deal signed and probed him for information on what would sell well on Callisto. He smiled blankly and replied that the most valuable thing on Callisto would be soon be a pair of underwear with himself in them.
Diane, concerned about running the Cameroon at a loss, dictated a snappy advertisement for passages of all kinds. Unfortunately, she figured out only much later that instead of sounding funny, the ad had a threatening tone. Shockingly, no one followed up on the disturbing offer.
Tom was eating a packaged sandwich in the heat of midday as Molly was testing the interior grav fields. The plan was to get going to Callisto, procure the Jump-2 drive and outfit the CAMEROON with it. This will cost the ship about 3-4 weeks of valuable time. Hopefully, Jane can score something worth selling on the remote ice cube. At the ship's console, a couple of people inquire about a shipment of ATVs that she has put a feeler for. Chatting with people 33 light-minutes away can be annoying. Diane wants to go and Tom groans at the thought of unloading all that aluminum crap to make place for second-hand 4-wheelers.