AS A RESULT OF MY adventures with a space travel device and a little talk with the President, James Aquila (me) and Janice Smith, my Senior VP, are now in the merchant adventurer business.
The first thing I do when Janice and I get back home to the Marine base, is to set up a corporation with the name Merchant Adventurers (clever name, huh?)
During my first adventures, I met some very advanced civilization people who call themselves, 'Keegor.' The Keegor gave the people of an alien south seas island called Vaakia, a root crop. I managed to secretly get a chunk of one of the roots. The stuff will grow in poor soil, grows fairly rapidly and provides complete nutrition for the people of Vaakia. (I later find out that the stuff isn't quite complete nutrition for the people of Earth. However, it's way beyond anything else available.) I planted the small chunk of root behind a Marine gym and it grew. I now dig up the plant and go and talk with the government agricultural people.
The government agricultural people grab my plant, replant it in isolation, and then tell me, "James Aquila, you're a complete idiot! Do you realize that the bacteria in the plant you brought back could wipe out all life on Earth?"
I think on the matter briefly and say, "'Scuse me." (Actually, no it didn't go over too well with the agricultural people.) After the nastiness dies down, I point out to the agricultural people that all of the other plant material I brought back from my adventures was benign and much like Earth equivalents.
Well, the government agricultural people finally do agree to grow the plant(s) in isolation. Assuming that all goes well, they will then try the root crop on human volunteers. If it passes all of the tests, the government agricultural people will clear it for use. If it does what the Keegor claim it'll do, there will be major agricultural companies lined up to bid. Merchant Adventurers will make a ton of money and I can fund even more adventures.
The Marines, after quite a bit of interrogation of Doctor Smith, know how to operate the Doctor's (actually Keegor) space travel device. Actually the Marines now know better than Doctor Smith how to operate the space travel device. They have done a little experimentation with the space travel device when I was exploring the alien world. Also there are any number of scientists now involved with the space travel device and they're apparently learning a lot from examination of it.
The space travel device is now powered on at least once a day, for testing and whatever. One day, something comes out of the space travel device when it's powered on. The something is a job assignment for James Aquila, from the Keegor.
I and any number of PhDs go over the assignment with considerable care. The assignment is to travel to a new planet and solve a problem that people called Pannar are causing on the planet.
I remember the Pannar all too well. They're large, grey skinned aliens who tried to kill me during my visits to the first world to which I travelled.
It would seem that the Pannar have found a primitive planet where the natives grow some sort of plant that has a medical use, even in an advanced culture. Apparently the soil, the plant and some sort of insect produce a result that even the Pannar's advanced culture can't duplicate, or maybe can't duplicate at a reasonable cost. So, the Pannar have sent in a crew that has conquered the most advanced civilization on the planet. They're now holding several groups pretty much as slaves in the supply chain from the desert location, where the plant grows, to the castle where the Pannar send the plant stuff back to their home planet…..