Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in Freelance Traveller’s June 2011 issue.
“Trader Trey” Kowalskie 584AB7 Age 48
Merchant 4th Officer (Free Traders)
Liaison-4, Streetwise - 3, Dagger-3, Steward-2, Legal-2, Carousing-2, Ship’s Boat-2, Trader-1, Forgery-1, Broker-1, Brawling-1, Zero-G Cbt-1, Gambling-2, Laser Carbine-0, Shotgun-0
Laser Carbine, Dress Dagger, Dagger, 3 Glass Daggers, CivStd, Low Psgx2, TL-13 1000-power (Medium Range) Radio, TL-13 Earpiece short-range, TL11 5000-power radio, Shotgun w/ 4 mags bullets, 1 mag HEAP, 1 mag Tranq, Cr 196,500
“Trader Trey” is a small, slouched, garrulous man with a piercing twinkle in his eye. He has worked for 30 long years on the free traders of the Spinward Marches, and it seems that he knows everybody, and everything. He is as at ease in a liner’s ballroom as in a startown’s most dangerous barroom.
Trey will, if need be, get his hands dirty actually “doing something,” but this is not his style. He might book as a steward to make a passage or two and keep in circulation, but his real skill is the linking up of needs to solutions, gaining access to the inaccessible market, tapping the black market, and dealing with lowlife. He expects to help others make money, and to be treated well, in the earthly pleasures, while he is doing it. He may bring a shady “friend” or two along, but will stick them in Middle or Low passage on his own 0.10Cr, unless they are fit company for the party. He has a weakness for gambling, drinking, and seeking “friends in low places.” He has made and lost a few fortunes, and takes more interest in helping others make money than making it himself. He has seen enough of his friends go away for lengthy prison terms or take a shotgun in the back for breaking the rules, so he will either very subtly bend or avoid them or have others skirt or break them rather than putting himself in harm’s way. Trey always carries a “glass” (advanced ceramic, actually) dagger close to his skin, even when wearing his “dress dagger” aboard, or his very worn, very sharp dagger more openly in low places. He usually has at least his earpiece radio, and will often make sure he has a “wheelman” with another radio and some deadly hardware (including his own shotgun) close by in potentially sticky places. He usually keeps a couple of low passages to help out the desperate, along with about Cr 50,000 in Cr 100 to Cr 1,000 notes, to make the quick deal; he will not bribe officials directly, but is not above getting others to do so indirectly.
No investigator will ever get Trey on tape bribing or directing a bribe, however. He will go to one of his more discrete contacts, though, and ask them to “hire a consultant to study and facilitate the transaction,” and give them the wad of credits, while making sure someone else has given them the name of the right person to approach. Trey will rarely let his contacts get burned in such transactions, as he has usually done his homework; but when someone does blow the whistle, he is has distanced himself enough from the crime that he is not directly implicated. His laser carbine is strictly a shipboard affair, and that for desperate situations; he can hold his own if boarded, but detests being in such scrapes.