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Old February 25th, 2014, 10:39 PM
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Secretary Tracy:

Thank you very much, Mr. Laclede for your detailed and informative presentation. I believe that we have some questions for you, and may wish to meet with you again if necessary for additional discussion. We will, of course, meet with your entire party before leaving.

As you know, the acquisition of additional liftwood is of great importance to the United States and the Navy in particular, given the extensive coastline of the country and the great distance between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Capt. Mahan (gesturing at him) views the use of Aerial Flyers as vital to a successful defense of our coasts. Gen. Miles (gesturing at him) regards liftwood flyers as being of great assistance in rapidly transporting troops to vital areas, and also for extending the vision of our coast defenses, on which great sums are being spent, further out to sea. Capt. Zalinski (gesturing at him) has proposed the concept of dropping the projectiles fired by his "dynamite gun" from aerial vessels on attacking warships, which is something that both the Navy and the Army are quite interested in, while the potential for dropping these missiles on army units is also quite intriguing. The State Department (gesturing at another gentleman) has requested that a Royal Naval officer accompany you on your expedition and we have agreed to allow this as the area where the British purchase their liftwood, as you said, is a considerable distance away. We greatly appreciated the assistance of the British in the rescue of Ambassador Boynton and his daughter. In order to increase our knowledge of the people with whom we will be, hopefully, trading, we have also granted the request of the Canadian government for an anthropologist to accompany your party. We understand that you will have some additional associates accompanying you on the trip, in addition to Capt. Cochrane's Marine detachment.

Now, on to some questions.

First, what is your view of the use of hand weapons and implements made of the special bronze alloy of the Sharps' Company in trading with either the Hill Martian middlemen or the High Martians?

Based on your experience on Mars, how violent a reaction might some of the current liftwood traders have?

How large a quantity of the various goods would you anticipate taking? There is limited cargo space on the Either Flyers, and we appreciate your focus on selecting goods that you believe will have the highest return for their weight and bulk.

We do wish to maintain good relations with both the government of Thymiamata and the Empire of Tossia, so are you anticipating supplying the Prince of Thymiamata and the Emperor of Tossia with some samples of your goods?

Also, we have just supplied the city of Thymiamata with an advanced solar boiler powering an irrigation pump. In your view, would material such as this encourage Thymiamata and the Tossian Empire to assist us in acquiring liftwood?

Lastly, based on information furnished by Lt. Edward Very and confirmed by the Office of Naval Intelligence, the French are apparently paying even more than the United States for liftwood, although that is coming from a different area. It is understood that they wish to gain an advantage over the German Empire in the use and deployment of aerial flyers. How may this influence your trip?

Lastly, and this question is more for Gen. Miles to research, what would be the cost of establishing and maintaining such a fortified trading post as you propose somewhere nearer to the source of supply?

(Note to SpaceBadger: You might want to check with Vladika on the idea of trading technology with the Martians. Also, watch the News Flashes. They are not just for color.)
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