Trading for Fun and Fuel
The Deuterium Argument [Rebooted]
Location: Operations Office
Timeline: MD 01
Following the senior staff meeting, Jean retreated to his office to gather some background information for the assignment the captain had given him. Finding things that were valuable was easy; finding something that they could trade without either handing over advanced technology or needing a bulk freighter was a bit more tricky. Once he was feeling like he'd put together enough to get started, he called his quartermaster to come join him.
Jordan had been returning from Lt.Cdr Dumont's quarters after a rather nice visit, although it was official, when her combadge chirped alive with Commander Reynard's voice. She lifted her free hand and gently slapped the emblem with a polite, chiper acknowledgement.
She walked off the lift and went to the door and rang the chime, then rocked slowly on her heels while waiting for an answer.
"Come in!" Jean called
Jordan walked into the office with her eyes falling directly on her Chief seated behind his desk. "Reporting as ordered, Sir."
"Jordan, good, take a seat," Jean said, gesturing toward a chair across from him. "Captain's got an assignment for us. Iota Command wants a local source of fuel, and we need to figure out what we can pay with. Apparently Federation credits aren't worth much to people who have never heard of the Federation."
"No, I don't imagine they would be, Sir." Jordan stated after taking the offered seat with her PaDD which she rested in her lap. "Well, we could do some research on what shipments they receive the most of and see about doing one better for them." She suggested after a moment of silent consideration. "Luxury items are always a coveted trade item. Holo-tapes, electronics, tech. things like that."
"And a lot of luxuries do tend to be light and small enough to carry around without a bulk freighter," Jean said. "There's a couple small complications, at least for this first deal. We'll probably be dealing with a smaller refining colony, so while recreation options might be a good bet there's a good chance they'll be more interested in something practical. The second is that this area of space is a lot less advanced than our peers in the Alpha and Beta quadrants. Think along the lines of late 22nd or early 23rd-century, or, say, the Talarians. We have to avoid giving anything of strategic military value or that involves a transporter, including replicators and holodecks."
She nibbled her bottom lip and had to agree. It'd take some getting used to where they were. And, weren't. This wouldn't be as easy as she first thought. But, she always welcomed any challenge that would really give her brain a workout. Her eyes lit up with a thought and she let go of her lip. "What about upgrades to their respiratory equipment and ventilation processors? I'm sure their equipment is way below par compared to what we use. And, what we could give them wouldn't be breaking any rules I wouldn't think." She paused with her eyes never leaving Jean. "I'm thinking better hydraulics, filter systems, things like that."
"That's a good idea," Jean said, nodding along as she listed her suggestions. "Anything that helps increase their productivity can only help us, and a lot of life support tech would almost be a luxury good too when you think about quality of life improvements. Depending on what they've got already, pre-replicator food synthesizers would probably be a big step up too."
Jordan nodded as she listened in agreement. "There's plenty of options, actually, Commander. But, I still believe they want it all work and no play. Would access to books and novels through a network system or through our own data base that we could set up like an online library for them? I mean, completely separate from SF files and data."
"I'd want to load it onto a stand-alone storage drive of appropriate tech level so we don't need a communications link," Jean replied. "We'd also have to make sure there's no references in them to technologies the captain wants hidden like transporters. Otherwise I don't see any reason we couldn't give them any sort of entertainment, whether it's written or audio-visual, although the diplomat types may want to look it over to make sure we don't offend anyone."
Jordan had to laugh softly at that. "Can't imagine what they'd think we'd be sending them." She shifted in her chair. "I'm sure it'll be as clean as they expect, Commander. I'm glad we came up with some ideas for this project."
"So am I, especially if some of the less resource-intensive options work out," Jean said. "As for the parts, I'd like you to review the available schematics and determine what each costs us in terms of raw materials and power consumption for replicating them. Compare that to what we can easily spare, and the rest of Iota command too if you can. That'll give us an idea of what's worthwhile for us to replicate samples of to have on hand."
Jordan was entering notes on her PaDD as Jean listed off the tasks she needed to take lead on. She then looked up at him. "Commander, permission to get with the other task force quartermasters. I think it would be to our benefit if we pool our resources and get a lay on how to proceed with gathering the necessary resources."
"Yeah, that's fine with me. We may be running point on scouting for a refinery and doing the initial negotiations, but sustaining trade will need the rest of the task force."
"Understood, Commander. And, thank you. I won't let you down." Jordan stated with a slightly raised chin of confidence and and pride of how serious she took her job.
"I have every confidence in you," Jean replied. "Let me know when you have something. Dismissed."
Turning perfectly on her heel, the Petty Officer headed gracefully towards the door and disappeared behind them as they closed to begin her assigned task.
Lt Commander Jean Reynard
Chief of Operations, USS Highlander
Petty Officer Jordan Cassidy
Quartermaster, USS Highlander