Summary - Season 6, Episode 3: The Merchant Princes

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    The Merchant Princes
    Season 6 , Episode 3
  • In about 155 FE Hober Mallow, a trader, meets with Jorane Sutt, secretary to the Mayor of the Foundation. Sutt is troubled about the disappearance of four ships in the remote Korellian Republic and asks Mallow to go there with his “eyes open.”

    Mallow, thinking this is the start of another Seldon crisis, agrees to go and takes Jaim Twer with him.

    Upon landing on Korell, in the midst of a tense standoff with a local mob opposing his presence, the crew of Mallow’s ship Far Star, takes in a priest named Jord Parma, who has escaped from the mob. After consideration, Mallow orders to give Parma up to the authorities, citing that a priest being on Korell is against the laws of both Korell and the Foundation. Secretly, he confides to Twer that he thinks the entire situation was a set-up.

    Mallow’s suspicions are confirmed when shortly after, he is extended an invitation from the leader of Korell, Commdor Argo, for dinner at the palace. When he meets with Argo, he ensures him that they are not there to spread the Foundation’s religion, but just to trade. Mallow offers nuclear goods from the Foundation ranging from women’s jewelry, to kitchen appliances, to industrial equipment. Argo is persuaded once he learns that he personally can become rich by funneling trade through himself.

    During his time on Korell, he also visits a factory and sees that the guard has been outfitted by weapons of the Empire.

    After leaving Korell, Mallow makes a side trip to Siwenna in the hopes of seeing their nuclear reactors, which are controlled by the tech-men, an order where the knowledge is passed down generationally. Mallow, aided by a former Empire senator named Onum Barr, is able to bribe one of the tech-men with a personal shield to see the reactor, and when he asks him if he knows how to fix it, the tech-man incredulously says that they never can break down.

    Mallow returns to Terminus and works with Ankor Jael to get himself elected to the senate. Sutt does not like this political move, and instead has Mallow arrested and put on trial for the murder of the priest on Korell.

    During the trial, Mallow shows that indeed the priest was a set-up as he shows in the recording the priest had a tattoo of the KSP, or Korellian Secret Police.

    Mallow rides the momentum of public support to ascend to the position of both Mayor and High Priest of the Foundation in just three years, during which time he decided to take no action against the looming threat of Korell’s impending attack.

    When Sutt confronts him about his inaction, Mallow explains that now that Korell is dependent on the goods that only the Foundation can supply, that the threat of economic collapse on Korell due to the cessation of trade will quell any planned attack.

    As Mallow once again has Sutt arrested, he tells him that the time of control via religion is over and the new means of control is now economic. The Foundation will now become a land of traders and merchant princes