I woke to the same moon outside my window five mornings running, so I asked one of the Polixaci crew why the passenger ship was staying so long in one place.
“We need permission to go on to Ugol.”
He clicked laughter. “We don’t control everything. There are politically independent volumes within our trading circuit. The Ugol are one such. We must buy permission.”
“Does it cost a lot?”
“What is ‘a lot’? The fees are significant.”
He clicked again. “At current exchange rates, we could buy Mars from your United Nations for less.”
“…It’s not for sale.”