“Very well, that would be 100k for each gate jump, and ...”
An incoming message indicator popped up on my terminal.
“... hang on a minute, please.”
Taking the nod of my conversation partner as agreement, I pulled up the incoming message and read it.
And I couldn’t believe it.
I read it again.
[Good news, I presume?]
I felt a flush of embarrassment coming on, but that wouldn’t do in a business negotiation, so I suppressed it.
At least I think I did.
“You could say so.”, I answered in my best business-like tone. “It looks like that our difficulties, which we talked about before, ... decreased.”
The black-haired woman on the holo-communicator frowned.
[So I take it you no longer need our services?]
Now it was up to me to frown. Granted, the war had been retracted, but there was still one day left during which fighting could occur. And a multi-day backlog of missed deliveries, which was just getting larger by every minute passing. And there was still a chance that the war would be re-declared, in defiance of the spirit of the Yulai Concordance rules.
I made up my mind.
“No, on the contrary. We will still need your courier services until CONCORD gives the official ‘all clear’.”
The black-haired woman nodded.
[Very well, I am glad that we could come to an agreement. I will send you the contract, and as soon as it has been signed and escrow payment being submitted, one of our couriers will check in with your office to arrange the details.]
“Agreed.” I acknowledged.
[Pleasure doing business with you.]
The holo-display flickered and briefly broke into static before shutting off - the connection was terminated.
The courier contract would cost my corporation a few million ISK, but at least it would bring our products back on the market. And while I probably should have negotiated a contract like this sooner, the old adage of ‘late being better than never’ still held.
I almost didn’t dare to pull up the local occupancy statistics - but it confirmed the message: our war targets were no longer in the system.
Granted, in terms of ISK and number of kills, we had been steamrolled - but in terms of sheer stubbornness...
... I think we won.