Home of Sword and Soul
"This is pure air," Yuri commented. "I love the way a new world smells. Or should I say how it doesn't smell. Remember this moment, Mr. Cassidy. It goes downhill from here."
"Not if I can help it," Cornelius whispered.
"Shall we go inside?" Yuri said.
"Not yet." Cornelius took a moment longer to gaze on his gamble. If not one person ever migrated to Cassidy he would still feel successful.
"Okay, let's go inside."
Yuri led them through the functional structure to the main conference room. They spread out around the table as an Environ employee served them glasses of water.
Cornelius took a sip then grinned. "The water is as good as the air."
"Our work is first rate. It also helps when the heavenly body responds well to our handling."
Yuri's eyes studied Yvonne as he spoke.
"Let's get down to business," Cornelius said. "What do we have here?"
Yuri stood then activated the controls for the holoscreen. An image of Cassidy appears, spinning slowly on its axis.
"What we have is a class M-2 planet orbiting a yellow sun. Our distance from the star is approximately 85 percent that of Earth, hence the solar defectors. Currently the temperature patterns are tropical to subtropical, but we are forming ice capes both north and south. The equatorial region is currently uninhabitable due to extreme heat but we expect that to moderate over the next twenty years."
"It there any chance the ice capes will expand to glaciers?" Yvonne asked.
"No," Yuri replied. "We provide climate monitoring at no charge for the next two hundred years. It usually takes that long for weather patterns to establish themselves."
The planet view zoomed in as Yuri approached the image.
"We've designated 30 initial sites for prime city development. We expect another 15 to come online once the patterns settle. For now there is no threat of volcanic activity or earthquakes."
Cornelius eyebrow raised. "For now?"
"We're working on establishing a molten core," Yuri said. "It helps to anchor the atmosphere if the planet can generate it's own magnetic field and a molten core is essential for it."
"I'm not sure I like that," Cornelius said.
"It's a necessary evil for a class M planet."
"How soon before we can start settling people," Yvonne asked.
"A year from now," Yuri replied. "How are your recruitment efforts going?"
Cornelius sagged in his seat. "Not good. So far we have 750,000 signed. We'll probably lose half of those once we begin boarding on the arkships."
For the first time since landfall Yuri looked displeased. "Our agreement called on an initial payment then a 100 year lease based on planet production. You'll need at least one million people to meet our requirements."
Cornelius took on a hard look. "Yvonne?"
His daughter handed Yuri a bank tablet. The screen displayed the Environ/Cassidy transaction data.
"Press enter," she said.
Yuri pressed enter. The remaining balance for Cassidy appeared in the Environ account.
"Oh my God!" Yuri whispered.
"You can verify it if you like. I think our business with Environ is done."
"Yes, I think it is."
"Can you deliver the other documents so we can make this deal final?"
Yuri was almost giddy. "Yes I can. It will take a moment to download them."
Yvonne sat close to Cornelius.
"It's all yours now, daddy," she whispered.
"Yes it is, baby girl."
"And we are now officially flat broke," she added.
"For now," he replied. "I've been here before. Don't I always rise again?"
Yvonne kissed his cheek. "Like a phoenix, daddy. Just like a phoenix."