Chapter 459 459 Jealousy

While the last few hard-partying Mercenaries retired to their rooms for the day, the teams from Terminus finished the installs of Replicators on over fifty ships. They didn't take particularly long, they only needed to be connected to power and double-checked for functionality, but fifty ships in a day were far more than they had expected to ever have to do.

They also delivered the Materials Printers to the dozen Mercenary Companies who had ordered one right away, while most of the others had held off on the spending until they had their ships refitted in the Rae 5 system, deciding to do all the upgrades at the same time.

This end of the galaxy would surely see a resurgence in Mercenaries competing for work in the upcoming years. Max could tell that most of them were planning to spend their entire life's savings to upgrade their vessels and get the new technologies that the Reavers could offer.

The construction facilities had already reported back to Max that they had orders for over a thousand Mecha just from these few Mercenary Companies, plus all the work on the ships and the Materials Printers that they were planning to have installed. It would be a big change for most of them, who currently only had obsolete Line Mecha they had customized making up their forces.

Once they got the new Reaver Pattern Line Mecha that closely mimicked the Samurai appearance of Max's Cleansing Light, they would more than double their firepower without increasing their numbers, and their survivability would skyrocket.

The fact that all of the new Reaver Mecha had shields, so they wouldn't need to be repaired after every single mission if they only took small amounts of enemy fire, was a great selling point for the ever-frugal Mercenaries.

In the long run, they would save far more than the unit's cost simply by not having to purchase replacement armor pieces to fix the damage that had been done to them.

While they were finishing the work, Max received a status update from Mary Tarith on the happenings in the galaxy so that Terminus wouldn't be caught off guard during future negotiations and would know to skip certain systems that had proactively joined or had declined the Reavers invitation.

Some of the news was just as they had expected, the Border Nations between Rae 5 and Death Wind Territory had all been approached, and they all turned down the invitation because the Reavers wouldn't accept their terms that the entire Territory must be excluded and officially embargoed.

​ More unexpectedly, the Cygnus forces were ahead of schedule, and almost all of the small nations that had attacked the Kepler Empire had been absorbed into their borders. Many went without much of a fight. Some even came willingly when the Cygnus fleet showed up, but one after another, they had all agreed to join.

Unsurprisingly, the two regions governed by the Kepler Princes were in a state of civil war with each other after a dispute over a group of small nations along their borders that both of them wanted to annex.


The best news for the Reavers and for Terminus was that the Cygnus Military had purchased the rights to produce the Tarith Pattern Shields that Nico had developed, and the royalties were astronomical as they retrofit millions of Mecha with shielding units. The Kepler Free Territory had done the same and was purchasing entire Mecha Regiments from the Reavers since their facilities along the Inner Core of the Galaxy were lacking in Mecha facilities and focused more on nonmilitary production, which was profitable enough that they didn't want to retrofit it.

By any standard, other than the size of their fleet, Terminus Trading Company was currently the single wealthiest Reaver Company in existence. They didn't actually need the money at the moment, but it was nice to know that they had the funds to obtain favors or resources anytime they needed them.

Max had just finished reading the status update and planning their route, which shouldn't see any disturbances now that they were starting from the far side of the Death Wind Territory instead of being closest to Rae 5 as the others were when the notification that the Cutters were ready for shipment arrived.

The Mercenaries had partied well into the day when Max was expecting to have them depart hours ago, and the Transport Vessels were needed to move other ships around, so Max had to request for the Station to give clearance to the four brand new vessels to dock with their bays.

He called them Reaver Ships for delivery, but the obfuscation didn't fool anyone. Only one of the assembled Companies could afford four new ships, and the Black Wolves hadn't ordered any for themselves yet, though they could afford at least one new Cutter.

[Did I hear that right, Terminus? Four new Warp 10 Cutters for delivery to this location?] The Station Commander asked.

[That's right. We can't confirm the customer, as per standard privacy agreements, but they have been ordered for delivery to this location.] Max replied.

[Fine, dock them next to Terminus on the spur arms. Whoever ordered them can move their gear to that location.] The Commander replied, sarcasm clear in his voice.

News of the vessels coming through the portal that Rae 5 had opened using Terminus as a beacon spread quickly through their new allies, and everyone was out of their rooms, checking the public viewscreens, which showed the outside of the ship so that they could verify the news that their crews had sent with their own eyes.

"How much bloody money did they have to spend? I am not sure we have made that much in total, much less enough to have that stockpiled. Those new Cutters go for nearly ten times as much as our old ones are worth." One of the Captains complained.

"Do you think that means they'll have old ships for sale? Or are they going to expand and try to corner the delivery market in this arm before the rest of us can afford to upgrade?" Another asked and promptly got laughed at by his counterparts.

Of course, they were trying to corner the market. Both in trade, since they could easily run the blockades with these ships, and for emergency intervention requests, since they could get to a call so much faster than any other Mercenary Company.

"Get everyone packed up. We are heading to the dry docks as soon as the Replicators are installed." One of the Captains declared, intending to be the first among the first come, first served priority.

"The Replicators are all installed and functional. Most of your crews have already had a meal from them as well. Our teams worked all night to get you ready." Max informed them, and the Captains started moving to their ships, which turned into a foot race as their competitive nature took over.

[Station Command, prepare for multiple departures.] Max informed the staff while he sent a message to Rae 5 to hold the Portal open at maximum diameter, as they had a lot of ships incoming over the next hour.

[Got it. Good work Terminus. This should make you the leader on the recruitment list by number of deals signed. There is no prize except pride, but you lot are rich enough.] The Moon Base Communications Officer, who was in charge of all Portals in the star system, replied.

[Find us some more staff as well. We need everything for the Cruise Ship and guest quarters, as well as an Infantry Regiment, preferably Kepler born, so that we can test some new designs.] Max informed them.