February is World Building Month. Day 16: Space Accountant

[personal profile] piratekitten has declared February world-building month.

Every day in February, I will answer one question about any one of my settings.

The question post is here, please feel free to add more questions!

The sixteenth question comes from [personal profile] kelkyag and is for Space Accountant ‘verse.

What do the external economics and logistics of the pirate ship Genique is stuck on look like? Do they actually make most of their money on ransoms? How do they make contact to make those exchange without getting caught? Are they being grossly overcharged by their suppliers, and/or have wonky and unexpected expenses? Are they a one-of operation, or part of a larger organization??

This plays in well with the earlier question on What do the pirates pirate? here.

The ransom rates have been carefully calculated to maximize income: they are set at a rate that most families (of cruise-ship travelers) will be both willing and able to pay, but high enough that they bring in about fifty percent of the ship’s income.

If they plan and train properly, they can actually make more money off of a kidnapee either in free labor “working off their ransom” or in straight slave sales on one of the luxury slave markets; the slave sales make up about 25% of their income.

As for their suppliers: there are a couple suppliers who overcharge, thinking that they can get away with it because, really, who’s a pirate ship going to complain to? Of course, that comes with its own inherent problems like, when you piss off pirates, what do they do to you? Mmm?

The vast majority of the ship’s financial problems, however, come not from their suppliers, but from graft, as Genique is beginning to find out. At almost every level of accounting on the ship, someone is skimming from the till. After all, they are pirates.

I believe the ship is a one-off organization, although they sometimes work with other pirates in a very loose confederation, and they do have “sister organizations” – a couple land-bound fences and a couple of ship-based traders who push the pirate ship’s merchandise.

As for making contacts on the ransoms, the pirate ship works through a Bonded Drop Person/Ship. There are many of these throughout the galaxy; they serve as “international waters” sorts of people and are used by the law-abiding and the law-ignoring alike when they need to make deals. The Bonded Persons are universally discreet, free from subpoena or prosecution for their Bonded actions on almost all planets (and do not do business on or with those where they are not), and known for their reliability.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/671203.html. You can comment here or there.

0 thoughts on “February is World Building Month. Day 16: Space Accountant

  1. Though where can most of the pirates spend what the swipe from the ship, other than through ship-based mechanisms? Are there places they can go where they actually get shore leave and can get their nominal ship funds in cash and go shopping, or sell the stuff they steal when they raid (rather than just barter among themselves)? I, umm, wonder how Genique is going to work out for them on that front. But I really don’t know which way her story may go … it’s kind of still in the introduction.

    • I think there are definitely shady ports for shore leave and selling/trading things. How Genique will work out how? /curious/ I’ve been thinking this would make a nice novel/la

      • What her net value to the ship will be. But that may not be relevent or meaningful, depending on where the story goes. With a beginning, a middle, and an end! I’m dubious about legitimate uses for these Bonded Drop Persons/Ships. Reliable couriers are good, but why place them outside law enforcement review?

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