I apologize for the short fiction today, at home helping wife take care of kids as they all get over colds.
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9
Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14
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After the corporate meeting (which involved an amazing amount of drinking and story telling) I begged out of the following patrol citing a need to go purchase some new ships and weapons. It was mostly true, I did want another Merlin and a new Cormorant, but I needed to follow up on the first real lead I since Rusack disappeared from Perimeter.
I had a contact name from Vorn in the Stacmon V Impro station so I headed there to try and get more information while I made my purchases. My instinct was to fly straight to Slays and search every level of each station for him, but my rational brain knew that was not going to work. I needed a plan but first I needed more information.
Stacmon is one of two major trade hubs of the Placid region, the other being Orvolle. The Amarr were the first to divide their territory into administrative regions based on locality and governance and the other empires followed suit as they developed and expanded. A region is a level of organizational government and is responsible for security, trade customs, licensing major corporate activities, marshaling fleets for the empire, taxing member systems, the list goes on and on. They don't however deal in treaties with other empires' regions, they don't have any say in laws passed by government on colonies, and they are not responsible for the education and well being of the citizens.
The result of this division of powers is that regions develop local markets protected by tariffs and consumer laws, and local corporations or corporate divisions form to work within the laws of each region. Thus each region, driven by laws of economics, naturally develop one or more trade hubs where the majority of the transactions between buyers and sellers takes place. Most regions have a single major hub and one or two minor hubs, but a backwater like Placid region where the "north" is separated from the "south" by numerous system where full rapid response CONCORD fleets are lacking due to insufficient funding you may find multiple hubs in each high sec "pocket".
So Stacmon, which in any other region would a forgettable local mining and manufacturing centre is instead a significant market hub. Being on the border with "low sec" and only a few jumps from the Serpentis space in Syndicate region also made it a gateway market system meaning prices fluctuated wildly and it was easier than most hubs to get questionable supplies and most would turn a blind eye to commodities falling off the back of freighters.
Perfect for a man like Rusack.