- “We got to check everything?”
“Everything. Even clothes. Savaphoong didn’t get this far by letting anything slip by him. When you’re in his world, you’re under his absolute control.””
- ― Raven and Arnold Nagy on Halinachi
From above, it looked like two fairly large domes connected by a long cylinder, with several smaller domes along the cylinder itself. It appeared to be more of a space station than a ground settlement.
Though Halinachi looked quite advanced and reasonable from the air, once you emerged into the Spaceport, it was easy to detect that the Outpost was in some degree of disrepair. The air smelled somewhat foul and unpleasant, the heat and humidity were oddly off, and even the elevator down into the main complex was jerky and noisy and looked the worse for wear.
Each main dome held the equivalent of a small town, with breathable air for most humans and even some aliens. The Easternmost Dome was for the permanent residents of Halinachi such as Procurers, harems, security, and other employees, as well as space for storage and projects. The Westernmost Dome had a small Spaceport attached to it and serviced all visitors, complete with many luxuries a hardworking crew could want, personal quarters of varying sizes for each visitor or visiting party, the Lounge, and places to do business, usually trading or bartering. Off the connecting cylinder, there were several private domes for storage or residence by rich visitors or important individuals, such as Savaphoong himself.
The Halinachi Spaceport had three bays for visiting ships along with several ferry and transmuter stations. Each Bay, though lacking the capacity to fully build a space ship, could still modify, overhaul, and service one as needed. The three bays were small however, with Lightning, which was not a large ship, being one of the largest ships they could handle.
There were rarely many Free Booters visiting Halinachi at any given time, but there were always more than could be accommodated by the small Spaceport. Because of this, most of the visiting ships were in orbit, being too large to land directly in one of the three bays or too fragile to handle entering Halinachi’s atmosphere, so their people were brought down by either one of Halinachi’s numerous shuttle ferries or transmuters. Since murylium is expended when traveling by transmuter directly, and, to a lesser degree, by powering the small transmuter that powers a ferry’s engines, there was a minor fee for using Halinachi’s infrastructure for such travel (ferries were cheaper than transmuters but rougher and much slower), which was why some ships elected to send their own shuttle ferry, or to send a probe carrying their own transmuter, or to land directly in one of the three bays if they could, since doing so costs them nothing. Some people were actually dropped off and left at Halinachi to be picked up later, either to do business, to work, or to simply relax and enjoy Halinachi’s many luxuries.
The Halinachi Lounge was a cozy, intimate place of semiprivate booths with a small stage area. The seats seemed to be made of some kind of soft brown fur, a bit worn, and the tables were of a marblelike rock. The Lounge usually accommodated a hundred or so individuals, but around thirty or forty whenever dangerous company such as Vals were around. Much of the area and booths were soundproofed so that the noise level would be bearable even when crowded, and to engender a modicum of privacy. The Lounge itself was serviced by many Procurers acting as waiters who could acquire most luxuries a person might need in order to relax and enjoy his or her time there. The only drawback however, despite its comforts, was that it was not good for socializing. One does not get information in a private booth serviced by slaves.
Private Quarters Edit
The private quarters of Halinachi came in varying sizes and qualities, depending on how much you could afford and how large your party was. The four Pirates of the Thunder who visited Halinachi, with four days unlimited Halinachi Credit no less, were given a luxury suite with a round central living area furnished with couches and a built-in bar and entertainment center, along with four private sleeping rooms.
- Main article: Procurers
Procurers were mindless slaves owned by Halinachi and imported from Melchior, where they were transformed from useless prisoners by Doctor Isaac Clayben and sold to Savaphoong in exchange for murylium. These slaves were about half Earth Human and half Colonial in number, coming in all shapes and sizes and races, but they were all perfectly beautiful and willing slaves who could and would summon or do anything a visitor might need with a smile, especially if they had four days unlimited credit. They were all sterile and checked medically each day, so they could be used sexually without risk.
- “Any form of money was worthless on Halinachi. Anyone who controlled a transmuter controlled everyone dependent on it. The true medium of exchange was information, innovation, and ideas — but there was a single commodity that was always welcome, and that was murylium. The irony of the transmuter was that it could not take power from its own sources; it needed an independent, direct source, a particular compound of absolute purity and quality one key component of which was murylium, a scarce mineral found only in a few places in the universe. Just as Fernando Savaphoong controlled his minions by alone controlling the transmuters, so too was he dependent on a supply of murylium, the one substance transmuters needed and could not make.”
- ― Pirates of the Thunder, ch. 5
Halinachi Credit Edit
For these reasons, information and murylium were the only truly valuable commodities on Halinachi. Though it had its own version of currency called Halinachi Credit, it was useful only on Halinachi and did not exist in any tangible form outside the base, as the records of which accounts held what amount of credit were stored only on Halinachi and could only be updated there. No forms of bank checks even existed to trade such credit with other Free Booters heading that way, forcing traders to return to Halinachi if they wished to spend it.
Business Reputation Edit
- “And we just give that to Savaphoong? So he just takes it and we’re still in the hole.”
- ― Raven, wary of being cheated on Halinachi
Free Booter Outposts were reasonably safe places to do business. If their overlords didn’t give fair returns, or double-crossed those bringing them things, they would quickly find themselves a non-market. Due to the high degree of competition among Free Booters, and not just between the half dozen legally tolerated Outposts, Savaphoong was inclined to pay, and pay well, in Halinachi Credit because he wanted the next items exclusively for himself. Since traders are likely to return to Outposts where they have credit, as they can only spend it there, they will likely also trade more items or information while they are already there, meaning that Savaphoong gets their business mostly to himself, or at the very least ensures at least one potentially profitable return visit.
In the past, Halinachi and Fernando Savaphoong were engaged in a brisk trade business with Melchior, Chief of Security Arnold Nagy, and Chief Doctor Isaac Clayben. In exchange for needed murylium, Doctor Clayben would transmute and mindprint unneeded Melchior prisoners into beautiful and mindless slaves which were sent to work at Halinachi. It was Arnold Nagy who went between Halinachi and Melchior to officiate trade deals.
In the series Edit
Pirates of the Thunder Edit
- Main article: Pirates of the Thunder
Needing murylium and information, the Pirates of the Thunder dispatched Lightning, along with Arnold Nagy, Vulture, Raven, and Manka Warlock, to Halinachi to trade a sequence of equations developed by Isaac Clayben, which increases transmuter efficiency by 10%, for whatever information they could glean about Master System supply routes, which they hoped to plunder for more murylium.
As they entered the Halinachi System however, they spotted the ship of a Val which was investigating the area, but proceeded to land in Bay One of the Halinachi Spaceport anyway because they would arouse suspicion if they fled, and they could not outrun or outfight the Val anyhow. Once landed, Arnold Nagy traded Clayben’s equations for four days unlimited Halinachi Credit and a conditional 40,000 Credits for a return visit, then entered Halinachi itself. They went first to the Lounge, but were questioned and bugged by Val Hawks. Angry at being questioned, the Pirates retired to their personal quarters, but held their tongues, because they had no way to know how many bugs the Val had placed.
Nagy went straight to Savaphoong with his complaint, who agreed to remove the bugs out of self interest, and then exchanged information and promises of mutual protection and shared profits with Nagy. As the Pirates were leaving, they received a bill from Savaphoong, who had managed to charge them for all 40,000 future Halinachi Credits, which was fine by them, since they didn’t believe they would be able to return at a later date anyway. Afterward, the Pirates burned away all the tracers on the outside hull of the Lightning, and then left Halinachi System, though they were still followed.