Hober Mallow is a Master Trader and captain of the Far Star. Originally from Syria, Mallow is a freelance trader and considered among the best of his class. He is sent to Iran on a mission to discover the fates of three ships lost in that area, as well as to investigate the possibility that Iran has developed nuclear technology.
Mallow avoids a trap (a member of the Iranian secret police disguised as a cleric) set by a Mullah, and arranges for a profitable trade between Iran and his employer. When he returns, he is accused of being a traitor for allowing a missionary to be killed. He defends himself successfully at trial, exposing the "missionary" as a member of the Iranian Secret Police. On the back of the resultant publicity, he then wins the mayoral election, becoming one of the main leaders.
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