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by John Macpherson
The coming of the Hivers and the reawakening of interstellar trade was a welcome surprise and Jordan began looking for a way to get ship duty. His chance came in 1196 when a Free Trader stopped over on Fija and one of their officers announced he would stay on Fija with a local woman. Already desperately short-handed they gladly accepted Jordan's offer to leave Transstar and join their crew. On Aurora he managed to confuse the local Transstar office into paying for the ship's first complete overhaul since the Collapse and slipping away before the truth caught up with them.
He spent the next four years as the ship's purser and the engineer's assistant, trading throughout Khulam subsector. During this time his experience evaluating industrial infrastructure showed him the enormous possibilities for development in the Wilds. He became convinced that with the right expertise and leadership many worlds could make a recovery in decades rather than centuries.
Jordan maintained occasional contact with Transstar and the Dawn League on Fijan trading stops. When he heard rumors of the Apollo's imprisonment on Montezuma, he brought them to the attention of the Reformation Coalition authorities on Fija. Because of his experience trading on Montezuma, he volunteered to take a team of intellegence operatives back to Montezuma to discover the ship's fate. Things turned violent on Montezuma and Jordan had to be extracted by his Free Trader shipmates, but the information gathered by the operatives he helped infiltrate onto the planet proved crucial in the success of Ashtabula's rescue mission.
After the raid, Jordan returned to Coalition space. He went to Transstar with a proposal for the company to aggressively take advantage of the trade and development opportunities in the Wilds. Impressed with his initiative and passion for the idea the board of directors agreed to form the Office of Business Development and named Jordan its Executive Director. In the year and a half since then, the OBD has initiated a forward base to supply relic prospectors on Buhle, several Warm Recoveries, and Trade and Industrial Development Initiatives (TIDIs) on Vezina and Lancer.
He's not terribly political and his ideas don't fit neatly into one camp or another. In some ways this helps him because he can find something to agree with on both sides, which helps him gather support for his projects. O'Brien agrees with the Centrists that the RCs plans for absorbing Diaspora sector are totally overblown. He recognizes that it will take decades to economically integrate the AO into the RCs nascent interstellar civillization, and thinks that spreading the RCs few resources throughout Diaspora is like pissing on a forest fire. That said, he supports Federalist efforts to recover relic technology wherever it my lie, establish new long-range trade ties, and give what aid and comfort the RC can to the people of the Wilds so they can begin their own recovery. As for the strong vs. weak central gov't argument, he thinks that both sides miss the point, it's economic, not political, integration that will really make the difference. Politics needs to support that goal but be flexible enough to accomodate new trade partners.
His own politics might be the first that have to become more flexible after the discovery of the Covenant of Suffren. Before this event, he would be leaning toward the Centrists since he doesn't see any opportunities for economical trade over the great distances that the Federalists want to expand, but once Suffren and its anti-Virus technology is uncovered he will become very excited about long-range trading missions and will try to convince any influential people he encounters about the need for a mission to Alpha Crucis.
O'Brien and the OBD are a valuable way to provide a different perspective to players. After a series of combat oriented scenarios in the Wilds, they might undertake a warm recovery for Transstar. Imagine how their perspective on the RC's methods might change if, after negotiating a profitable warm recovery exchange, the deal falls apart when RCES or the Oriflammen Marines conduct a SAG raid on a neighboring community and the locals turn hostile.
Get some food in their stomachs and some medicine for their kids and they'll forget all about that xeno-techo-whatchamaphobia.
Violence doesn't do anybody any good, but if that's all they understand, lets toast those zips.
Everybody comes out ahead on this deal. It's a win-win.
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