Star Traders: The Insider
Category : Personalities
You started working as a page to a minor functionary in the Trade Commissariat. It was a sprawling bureaucracy, spanning the whole of the Empire. Like any government body, it was riddled with layers of redundant procedures, pointless functionaries, and hideous wait times. You started watching how the game was played. You discovered the great truth of the galaxy: it’s not about what you know, it’s who you know.
You began laughing at terrible jokes, you complimented the beauty of ugly and boring spouses, you smiled when everyone else was frowning. You began running mind-numbing errands for people, helping speed up the process of pushing paper. Your networks of contacts in the commissariat was small at first, but it began to grow. You began to get noticed by people higher up the rungs. Each little favor you performed lead to another opportunity.
You stayed one of the faceless appointed clerks, because that’s where the real power was. You latched onto one particularly charismatic commissioner; she was very personable, even if she was almost totally incompetent at her job. Officially you were supposed to be processing trade forms and certifying economic reports. In reality, you were just trading favors around between other workers. You worked very hard to make sure you had the right people in the right place at the right time. Your network of favors owed kept growing.
You never quite crossed over the edge of doing anything actually illegal; you just greased the wheels to speed up the process for people who couldn’t afford to wait. A trade company needed to move goods quickly to take advantage of a shift in the market; in exchange for their application going to the top of pile, they agreed to shift their operations out of a system. The remaining company in that system agreed to prioritize shipments from a mining company. The mining company agreed to provide a generous donation of material to a construction project on your patron’s home world. Your web of contacts was spun bigger, and the importance of the favors grew with it. Your work made your patron more important; she moved higher in the bureaucracy, and she took you with her. Each time a new election came around, you were appointed to a new position.
Thanks to a friend in the Imperial court (who also held a now-lucrative chunk of the spice guild) word of the “retirement” of the Star Tsar reached you long before anything was officially announced. The plan for appointing a new Tsar came moments later from another friend at the top of trade commissariat (a friend, and also the new owner of a diary that once had some rather compromising information in it). You thought about bringing this information to your patron, but the more you considered it, the more you realized that the Star Tsar is not an elected official. The office is appointed — just like all those you’ve held over the years.
You spent a lifetime building up favors. It was time to call them in. A word to the comptroller of an impound lot and you had a brand new starship. Reminders were sent to certain people and permits appeared, giving you special access to key installations. Whispers spread throughout the trade commissariat; you let the right people know you were making your move, and they stand ready to help.
You are the Insider. You’ve worked the system for years; now take control of it.