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Aurora Restoration Project Part 9
by Christopher Wilson

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It was time for damage control. Smeagol had created concern for several of the council members. The best way to put out this fire was to solve the current issue. I simply asked Smeagol what he was owed from Indy and I paid him. He was soon back to normal. The problem however still existed with the council and would not easily go away. Our meeting was coming up soon and I wanted to make a good initial impression.

Indy had not paid Smeagol because he was broke. He had spread himself to thin. Had I learned about this sooner I could have avoided this extra issue. I now made sure Smeagol was being compensated.

The day of the council meeting finally came. I would of course do my best but was a bit nervous over the current situations at hand. I met with Indy in town at a small restaurant to work over a final proposed deal to put in front of the council.

No matter how much preparation that you do. Nothing ever works as you think it will.

The City Manager was a great man and believed in what I was doing and had already been speaking with the council. When it became my turn to speak in the council chambers it was easy. I was honest and let them know my intentions. I have always been a strait forward people person. They soon related to both me and my project.

The ship relocation plan to a dock within the city was approved but with rules. The lease now had to be written. This was going to take some time. I walked out feeling great. I had just saved the ship. I found a legal and secure location to begin her restoration.

Life was good.

I went back home and basked in my glory for a few days. I took Jin to dinner and did things to mildly celebrate my small but substantial victory while we planned the next moves.

I gathered up Jeff and we headed back to the ship a few days later. Christmas time was coming soon and the weather was cold and wet. We had a while to wait until we were able to move so we began working on the ship.

Smeagol had learned from Indy that I had acquired the ship. He now treated me with a confused but new respect. He didn't know where he stood any longer. I made things easy for him and told him that he was still working for Indy and nothing had changed just yet. I needed eyes on the ship when I wasn't around. He wasn't my first choice but I really didn't want to disrupt his fragile life at this time. Over the next while I had him clean up and actually assist Jeff and I on projects. We were getting along without any problems. I even boosted his pay for the extra help.

Jeff had been working on a shower and living environment so that he could feel comfortable while working on the ship.

I worked on patching some holes on the decks that had been leaking for years ad bagging up mountains of garbage.

What we were able do was actually very limited due to not having a proper dock situation to work with. We wanted the ship to be presentable for her arrival in the city so we did everything that could be done to show progress.

The holiday season had come and gone and our lease was ready for review. I traveled into town and picked up a copy. After I read things over I cringed. They were not very relaxed on anything involving the lease. It was for one year. The cost was high and the security deposit was a rather large sum.

Great..... More hurdles.

Over the next days I was able to renegotiate a few of the terms and make the lease much more tolerable. The problem is that this would again have to go in front of the council and any changes would have to be approved. Nothing was ever quick.

It was approved weeks later in the next meeting and we had struck a deal. It was never a great deal but it got the ship off from State Lands and gave us a place to begin restoration. Now we had to wait for the revised copy for another week.

I was to share these docks with Indy as he had several other vessels that needed a new location. This worked out great for both of us. The next step was to pay the city the first month and a deposit and plan an official move date.

I met with Indy in town yet again and bought him lunch with the intention we would pay the first installment to the city that day. I asked him if he brought some money. He told me that he was broke and couldn't afford to make payments. He gave the sad dog look.

What great timing..... He could have told me this at anytime but chose the moment before we were due to pay the city. I felt much anger inside but kept my composure.

There was no way I could afford four ship docks every month. I was lucky to maybe be able to afford one. This certainly did not help. I couldn't make payment that day. So I traveled home, grinding my teeth the entire trip while I thought of solutions.

My expenses just grew to the unmanageable status over night. How was I going to make money while restoring a ship and managing this project?

The stress had begun... I couldn't turn back and the deal was already on the table. Indy just schooled me and put his problems on my shoulders. I was a sucker.

Welcome to the delta.....

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More to come......

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