405 – Deserted Port
『Master, we will be arriving at the Reemay Prime colony soon.』
「Gotcha. In any case, just make sure not to cause any accidents. Safety first, alright?」
『Yes, Master. I will pay apt attention to the surroundings while docking.』
I communicated with Mei while inside Krishna’s cockpit and unlatched my seatbelt from the pilot seat. After all, it was virtually impossible to encounter any pirate attack now that we’ve come this far.
But actually, the areas around a colony were surprisingly dangerous in a different sense. This is because ships of all kinds and sizes were usually crowded around the vicinity of a colony. Among them were truly large ships similar to the Restalias with a total length of more that 1 kilometer, as well as ships similar in size to the Black Lotus, which was no slouch either. The Lotus easily exceeds 400 meters in length after all. Anything past that will be bigger than Earth’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
Well, such large ships being fully capable of being controlled by even a crew as small as ours was simply a testament to how advanced this world’s technology was though. Of course, in our case, we also had someone like Mei, so controlling such a ship was even less of a problem. She was simply just that capable.
“I’ll send out the docking request later as usual.”
Mimi, who boarded the Krishna quite late, activated the holo-interface in front of the operator’s seat and began typing out a docking request.
“If you note that we’re transporting supplies all the way from the Alein system, I think they’ll give us docking priority.”
“Oh, that’s right. I’ll do that then.”
Mimi’s fingers danced over the holo-keyboard. It was kinda neat that they were still using the keyboard as an input interface despite this world’s technological advancements. Well, the fact that it’s a holo-keyboard instead of a physical one does give it a lot more of a high-tech feel.
“The situation inside the colony seems quite worrying though, My Lord.”
Even though I nodded in response to Kugi, I wasn’t actually that worried. The disease in question seemed to have a high fatality rate if left untreated, but it didn’t seem particularly difficult to cure. As long as the colony’s inhabitants received adequate treatment, they wouldn’t fall into a critical state, and a Graccan imperial colony probably wouldn’t be managed so poorly…… No, the Termaine Prime colony where Mimi lived previously did have a slum-like block within it huh? And from what I’ve seen so far, there were quite a few of such colonies. Considering that, it does feel worrisome huh?
“We can’t make any definite conclusions for now. But it might really be dangerous inside.”
Come to think of it, despite this world’s advanced medical technology, rumors of a pandemic were still circulated, and there really was a pandemic after all. Even though we did take solid measures so we wouldn’t fall into the same predicament as the rest of the system, the situation may really not be that optimistic after all.
“It will be nice if the medical supplies we brought over prove useful.”
I didn’t know which idiot caused this disease to spread out in the first place, but the rest of the colony’s inhabitants were just innocent victims and didn’t deserve such suffering. It really will be great if the medical supplies we brought with us prove useful to them.
『We need to gather info first, right, Hiro?』
“That’s right. Let’s hit up the Mercenary Guild first to get a hold of the situation from them. Mimi, Kugi, please cooperate with Mei in order to gather more info from other sources as well.”
“Yes, My Lord.”
Now then, shall we get going?
Boom! A thunderous roar resounded, and even without looking at the main screen, I was made aware that the Black Lotus had ceased its FTL navigation state. It looks like we really made it to Reemay Prime without encountering any problems along the way.
“Send out the docking request. I’ll contact the local Mercenary Guild branch through Elma’s Antlion.”
I headed for the Antlion, which was currently connected to the Lotus via its hatch. The Antlion, which was classified as a medium-class ship, wasn’t able to fit inside the hangar of the Black Lotus, so whenever we travel great distances, it connects to the Lotus via the outer hatch instead.
『I’m opening the hatch now.』
After reaching the outer hatch, I issued an access request and entered the Antlion. Actually, I can also contact the Mercenary Guild through the break space of the Lotus, but it was kinda embarrassing to contact the guild staff with the spacious and luxurious break space in full view. That’s why I decided to contact the guild inside the Antlion’s cockpit instead. I left Mimi and Kugi inside Krishna’s cockpit instead.
We planned to collect info from various sources such as private news agencies, the colony’s PR agency, and local forum sites.
“You too. I’m glad we’re able to arrive at the colony without any incidents.”
Elma welcomed me as I entered the Antlion’s cockpit. Well, she didn’t get up from the pilot seat though. She just rotated it to face the cockpit entrance.
“Look. There are only a few ships out there.”
“I don’t think there are gonna be many ships that’ll go out of their way to visit a colony experiencing a widespread pandemic.”
If they mess up, they could bring the pathogens causing the pandemic aboard their ships after all. Thus, it’s normal to choose to head to a safer colony instead of one that presented such a huge risk. The scene displayed on the Antlion’s main screen was seemingly proof of this.
“It’s almost deserted.”
“There seems to be a lot of ships docked inside the colony itself though. It’s possible that they weren’t allowed to leave after docking huh?”
“Yeah, the chances of that are high. They’d have to get a safety certification in order to prevent the pathogens from spreading outside of the colony, but they probably didn’t have enough manpower to perform the necessary work in order to issue such a certification, so the ships were prevented from leaving as a result.”
“Maybe this was intentional.”
“As long as the ships remained docked, money for buying water, air, and food will continue to flow into the colony. If that’s really the case, then I’ll just use my special privileges as a Platinum ranker or an honorary viscount so we’ll be allowed to leave later on.”
Power and influence should be used for such situations after all. I won’t hesitate to use whatever’s at my disposal when necessary.
“So, shall we dock as planned?”
“If we don’t dock, we wouldn’t be able to sell off our medical supplies. In any case, let’s contact the Mercenary Guild first.”
I sat on the sub-pilot seat next to Elma and operated the terminal in order to contact Reemay Prime’s local Mercenary Guild branch. Communication was soon established.
『This is the Reemay branch of the Mercenary Guild.』
A female guild staff with a smart-looking countenance was projected through the holo-display. It was another beautiful guild staff member. Most of the guild staff we met so far were pretty good-looking. They were the face of the Mercenary Guild after all. Well, they still lost out compared to my crew members though.
“Hello. This is Captain Hiro speaking. Here’s my ID.”
“I’m Elma. Here you go.”
Elma and I used our portable info terminals to send our ID details over. We wouldn’t be able to talk to the guild properly without confirming our identities first.
『Allow me to confirm…… Welcome, Captain Hiro-sama. Elma-sama. It’s my honor to serve a Platinum ranker and an excellent member of his crew.』
The female staff’s expression didn’t even twitch as she delivered her spiel. She was probably on par with Mei when it comes to making a poker face.
“We’re carrying a lot of medical supplies from the Alein system. We’re planning to divest them here, so please mediate for us. There should be an official request for these, right?”
『As expected of a Platinum ranker. You have very keen insight. And here I thought people like you only concerned yourselves with hunting space pirates, bounty hunting, and escorting merchant ships.』
“As long as we can earn money while saving lives, then why not? Whether it’s fighting like a mercenary or conducting trades like a merchant, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re earning Enels at the end of the day.”
『True. No matter how one earns them, Enels are Enels. And a mercenary’s primary concern is to earn Enels. Can you send us an inventory of your cargo?』
“Ok, I’ll send it now.”
I operated the interface and sent an inventory of our cargo to the guild.
『……This is quite a lot. However, aren’t some of the items of the troublesome variety?』
“We have a licensed ship doctor on board. I’ll also send you her license details now.”
It was illegal to carry and handle some of the supplies we brought over without a special license. This person was pretty good since she was able to quickly notice such a matter. I made Dr. Shouko participate in the call as well, and once the guild staff confirmed her license details, we immediately moved on to negotiations.
『We’ll be able to cover all the goods in the request using your goods. There will still be a remaining surplus though. Shall we handle those as well?』
“It’s fine for now. We’re planning to get in touch with the governor, so we might need them when negotiating with him. If there’s anything left after that, can we leave them to you?”
『Understood. As long as we can account for all the requested goods, the guild will be satisfied. Thank you very much.』
“No problem. I’d like to get some information from you as well. Would that be fine?”
『Yes. You can ask us anything, as long as it’s information the guild has access to.』
Great. It looks like my discussion with the guild was proceeding quite smoothly.