The reward for competence

Neu Pregel Orbital Highport & Yards
Konigsberg Orbit
deWulf Corporate Democracy

PackMaster Hella Kobetsky flopped down into a seat in the sparsely decorated VIP lounge. Neu Pregel had only been completed two weeks ago, and the invite to visit the new shipard had only been sent out a few weeks beforehand. The entire station still had that too-clean smell of fresh filters and burnished metal, and Hella found it just a little nauseating. ‘Give me the lived in smells of an old staton any day’ she thought. Lifting her head fractionally she looked across to the new Station Administrator, a young Fenren that had displayed entirely too much energy while giving her the tour. ‘As if I haven’t seen this design before anyways. It’s a standard civilian design!’ Hella found her mind wandering more as the administrator started talking. Again.

“And of course we’re ending the tour here in the VIP lounge. We still haven’t gotten some of the furniture in, and the drink bar is still somewhere in the primary cargo hold, but we’ll have it all installed by the time you come back.” He paused for a moment, finally giving Hella a chance to get a few words in edgewise.

“Administrator Kaarst, I appreciate you taking the time to show me around your station, and you’re clearly very proud of your station here. I can understand that. But this isn’t the first station I’ve visited. Not even the first of this design. It is a rather common civilian layout after all. Admittedly this one seems to have had fewer corners cut than the last few I’ve visited.”

Kaarst paused a bit, not really sure how to react to being so coldly damned with faint praise. “I… see. Well, my apologies Packmaster Kobetsky. We don’t usually get your level of visitor out here at Konigsberg to begin with, so you ARE a little bit of an instant celebrity, no matter how jaded you might be from your visit.”

“That’s alright. Like I said, you’ve got plenty of reason to be proud of what you’ve done. Base Command and the Logistics Bureau usually ends up holding quite a few hands when a colony world builds their first yard. We first found out about it when you sent the invites for the opening luncheon. That might sound like faint praise, but it’s not. Most times there’s a lot of money floating around and now brains to match it.”

That pulled a chuckle from Kaarst as he relaxed backwards, the new chair squeaking noisily in response. “Well, we did have some help. I have a small list of repair, refit, and construction orders. Expediators and Blue Star both have a laundry list of work they need to get done, since most of the new yards are all tied up with naval construction.”

Packmaster Kobetsky reached into a breast pocket, pulling out a single data stick before tossing it over at Kaarst “I hope your contracts with them were properly drawn up. They might be waiting a while longer.”

The chip landed square in Kaarst’s paw, rolled from finger to finger with an air of concern. “What’s this for?”

“Formal notification” intoned Hella “of the Neu Pregel yards being awarded a three-ship wartime production contract. Three Landser Mk3 Battleships. You’ll get the official paperwork in a week or so via the usual Datawings Courier packet, but this is an official advance warning. If your facility was another one of those ‘quick and sloppy’ yards, you would have been all on your way to those nice civilian contracts.”

She pulled a stimstick from an inside pocket, twisting the base before taking a long drag. The chems soaked into her lungs and onward into her bloodstream even as she exhaled. “The reward for competence is, as always, an invitation to solve harder problems.”

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