Sector-wide merchant line based on Mora ( Mora / Spinward Marches 3124). Established in 120 as a local transport company serving systems within ten parsecs of its base, the company soon expanded to handle freight and passengers travelling from the Darrian and Sword Worlds subsectors to the Imperium.
During the widespread explorations of the Marches in the third century (201 to 300), Al Morai established an Exploration Division to supplement its cargo carriers. That division discovered, claimed, and developed two worlds: Windsor ( Glisten / Spinward Marches 1935) and Shirene ( Lunion / Spinward Marches 2125).
Windsor was later sold to Ling Standard Products; Shirene was retained as a base of operations and a source of merchant goods.
Al Morai has three operating divisions: the Transport Division, the Markets Division, and the Exploration Division.
The Transport Division operates Al Moral's fleet of thirty cargo carriers, providing both passenger and freight service.
The Markets Division maintains Al Morai's starport facilities along its routes. In addition to providing ticket facilities and freight terminals, it operates as a merchant, buying local goods for export and importing needed materials for sale.
The Exploration Division originally surveyed star systems, but as new star systems became unavailable, its purpose shifted to surface exploration of Shirene . The Exploration Division currently operates a large geological survey team, with prospecting detachments throughout Shirene .
Al Morai was originally organized under the business codes of Mora. The peculiar corporations of that world grew out of frontier partnerships where the partners contributed capital to build the business, but also relied on their membership to provide themselves with jobs.
When the company was organized, 100 shares of stock were issued. Most of the partners received one share; a few received more than one. Each share of stock entitled the owner to a portion of the profits of the company, and provided the right to a job (of certain salary levels and responsibilities) with the company. Those with more than one share used the extras to provide jobs for family members.
The original organization served well enough in Al Morai's formative years, but as the company grew, the stock ownership system changed. Stock splits and stock dividends increased the number of shares outstanding. Eventually, the company by-laws were amended to allow the employment rights to be stripped (separated) from the common shares and sold or traded separately. Employees could sell their stock while retaining their right to their job; heirs of former employees could sell their job rights to Job seekers while retaining their common stock.
Eventually, the current system evolved. Common shares indicate ownership of the company and provide dividends when the company is profitable. There are currently 200 million common shares outstanding; single shares sell for between Cr500 and Cr8OO on the open market. Shares currently pay a dividend of Cr10 per share annually.
Employment shares provide the right to employment with the company. For a variety of reasons, one share no longer entitles the owner to one job. Instead, employees must own one employment share for each credit of monthly salary. A starship pilot entitled to Cr6,000 per month must own 6,000 employment shares. A pilot normally eligible for a 10% skill bonus because he or she has Pilot-2 would also have to have an additional 600 employment shares before the additional salary could be paid. The true value of employment shares is that they can be used to achieve higher than normal salaries. An excess of up to 50% of normal salary can be drawn if enough employment shares are owned. A pilot normally entitled to a salary of Cr6,600 could actually draw a salary of Cr9,900 if he or she held 9,900 employment shares. Excess salary comes from company profits and is paid only if the company is profitable; when the company is losing money, only normal salary is paid.
Holders of employment shares have an absolute right to a job of the appropriate normal salary as long as they own the employment shares.
Employment shares sell for Cr12 each. Employees often purchase their employment shares through a time purchase plan administered through the company.
Al Morai does not have enough employment shares outstanding to completely fill its labor needs. Consequently, the company acquires much of its labor through independent contractors. Ship crews are exclusively hired from employment share holders. Market Division employees on worlds other than Mora and Shirene are often independent contractors; they are paid ordinary salaries and can be hired and fired as required.
Employment share employees of Al Moral refer to contract employees as children or kids.
Al Morai maintains interstellar service to the capitals of Imperial subsectors in the Spinward Marches , and to Imperial worlds along the trade routes which connect them. Service outside the Imperium (to Darrian and the Sword Worlds ) was discontinued when the First Frontier War began in 589, and has never been resumed.
In 951, service was established to the Five Sisters subsector through Biter (1526), Caladbolg (1329), and Flammarion (0930). That service was suspended in 1107 when the Fifth Frontier War started, and resumed in 1111.
Al Moral's 53 ships should mean that with perfect traffic, each world would be visited by a new ship once every week. As a practical matter, the convolutions of the Al Morai route system make ship visits somewhat less frequent - one ship visits each world once per four weeks (with a 50% chance that it is going in a specific direction).
Al Morai maintains starport facilities (under the control of its Markets Division) at worlds along its trade routes. With a few exceptions, Al Morai serves only class A and B starports , and facilities are maintained only at such starports .
In order to keep its routes open for their full length, Al Morai has found it necessary to establish facilities at the class C starports on Carey (2726) and Roup (2007). These installations supply refined fuel for At Morai ships and provide all of the facilities that are present at other Al Morai installations. The fuel and repair facilities are exclusively for the use of Al Morai, and effectively upgrade the class C starport to class B for Al Morai.
Al Morai maintains its own overhaul and maintenance facilities for its fleet of cargo carriers. One shipyard operates at Mora (3124), where Al Morai also has its head office. The other operates on Al Morai's wholly-owned planet, Shirene (2125). Both facilities operate at full capacity, overhauling one ship every two weeks.
The Al Morai route map shows the worlds and jump connections served by the company.
[Map of the Spinward Marches Al Morai Trade Routes]
Al Morai maintains a homogeneous fleet of 53 Type MK Mora-class cargo carriers . Officially, these are classed as merchant couriers. The quantity 53 allows one ship to be present at each world along Al Morai's routes, as well as one ship in maintenance at each of the two overhaul facilities.
Al Morai also protects the ships on their routes with a squadron of four Route Protectors. Cruising the trade routes on a random basis, these ships maintain an armed presence for the line and act as a deterrent to piracy against Al Morai.
Al Moral's Mora-class ships are named for the worlds on the company routes, for example, Regina , Fornice , Bendor , and Jewell . Two additional ships are named Imperial Glory and Imperial Reign.
These 3,000-ton ships are capable of jump-4 and 1 G. Cargo capacity is 1,200 tons; there are staterooms for 30 passengers.
Each ship carries three 40-ton shuttles for ground contact; the ship itself is unstreamlined .
Al Morai's route protectors are privately constructed Gazelle-class close escorts.
The 400-ton close escort was originally designed as an anti-piracy vessel and is better adapted to that role than to large scale naval combat. In Al Morai service, the close escort is used as a piracy deterrent and as a fast messenger.
These 400 ton ships are capable of jump-4 and 4G. With drop tanks installed and dropped, jump-5 and 5G. With drop tanks not installed, jump-2 and 5G. Cargo capacity is 6 tons. There are eight staterooms for the crew of 12.
Each close escort carries a 20-ton streamlined armed gig , which is required for surface contact because the close escort is unstreamlined .
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