Capellan Free Merchants
This unusual conglomerate of retail outlets, distributors, manufacturers, and trading ships is much larger than most people realize. The Capellan Free Merchants is a union of small companies that protects its members from other corporations and mega-corporations. In addition to being a support structure to small companies, it specializes in the sale of exotic items, (which can usually be found nowhere else but in a CFM shop) repairs, and in rentals. This renting or leasing of equipment to its members (at a flat rate) and up to nonmembers (at the going rate plus 20% per month) is extremely lucrative and has been a thorn in other corporations’ paws for years. Free Merchants also repair and maintain equipment, giving them added income on other corporations products.
The most recognizable members of this conglomerate (although there are members of every known race in the CFM) are the Ifshnits from the Capella system of the Orion League. These tiny merchants organize hundreds of planet-hopping trading ships that ply the spaceways with their wares. Any being can belong to the Free Merchants, but he must pass a five-year apprenticeship program first. Entry into this program requires sponsorship by an already established Free Merchant.
The Free Merchants have a clear understanding with Trans-Travel and will only transport their own materials and personnel on their ships.