Ashar Coporation began as a small shipping company in the Sol system that negotiated shipments between Earth and Mars. The release of the Stellar Drive was instrumental in the survival of the company.
They began contracting shipments to the mining stations in the asteroid belt, the Kuiper belt and to the gas mining stations throughout the solar system, bypassing the lock Gleso had on shipments to these stations.
They employed freelance pilots to make the deliveries. They were told the model would never work but strict controls and heavy fines for failure to deliver kept the parcels moving successfully.
Individuals were able to ship and receive private packages that were beyond the control of Gleso, thereby gaining the worker a little more independence.
While no one could pin the blame directly on Gleso, many ships began to be intercepted by “pirates”. This gave way for the New Earth Defence to begin patrolling the space lanes to ensure the safety of travelling vessels.
DarkLight Labs began offering weapons to the entrepreneurial Captains, much to the displeasure of the NED and governments of Earth. The arming of private vessels was deemed provocative. DarkLight Labs defended their position, citing the inability of Government vessels' ability to patrol the space lanes effectively.
Anyone with a ship, and the available cargo space, could take a contract. Payment was made upon delivery, and failure to deliver resulted in heavy fines and the restriction of available contracts.
Ashar resisted all efforts to make it license haulers under their umbrella. Any hauler that met the minimum requirements could take a contract. In the early days this meant a substantial deposit on the contract, which was refunded upon delivery.
This gave rise to The Stellar Insurance Company "Our coverage is Stellar!". They offered insurance for the captains on the cargo so if there was an accident or pirate attack they would pay the fine to Ashar and pay the Captain for the loss of the deposit. It seems that Captains are gamblers by nature, and they began to make the flights without insurance. With the drop in premiums, SIC soon went bankrupt.
Ashar also developed a system where the primary contracts were placed on the first page of the contract board. If a pilot wanted to see additional offerings, they paid a surcharge to update the listing. This helped to ensure priority contracts were filled first.
Ashars big break came with the discovery and subsequent activation of the gate. Shipments between the Sol system, soon to be called the Core, and the Sphere became commonplace. Captains were paid by distance and the amount of the cargo contract, which made it very lucrative.
Ashar began opening offices on many promenades throughout the Sphere.
Ashar anchored its place in the Sphere by offering space-strapped Captains a way to earn a living moving cargo.
Postings from the staff working at the Historical Archives.
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