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The Money Reform Party

Star Woes

Chapter 12

Across the Galaxy, Greenboi was visiting the other of his master's intended dominions. The hold of his small craft was packed out with surf-boards in a range of bright colours. Some even had three fins on them.

His instructions were simply to collect 100 Imperial Credits from the human called Bruce Brewsterson as interest on his loan, to sell off the surf-boards at whatever the natives thought was a fair dinkum price and then to discover by whatever means in his power just how many Imperial Credits the Bacchanalians possessed between them, indeed to discover whatever he could about the nature of the Bacchanalian economy.

Barcla the Hoard had come to the conclusion that such an exercise would very likely involve the consumption of beer, which was not something he would be able to undertake himself.

A large proportion of the population of Bacchanalia were enjoying a few drinks in Brucie's Bar, when Sheila Diggerdigger walked in.

"Looks like we got visitors, fellers," she warned them.

"Not Imperials!" called Brucie in alarm.

"Don't know who else it could be. You expecting visitors?"

"Don't be daft, Sheil," responded Howie. "This is Bacchanalia. No one ever comes here!"

"Did last year," Brucie reminded them. "Hey, yeah, that's it! I'm expecting a visitor, but hide your Credits just in case, guys."

He snatched up the box that held his takings and hurried off to both hide it and to check that he had the 100 Credits that he needed to pay the interest to the fat slug who had called before. He had the money and to spare. He had nearly half of all the money in Bacchanalia in his cash box.

"Does it look like last year's ship?" he called out to no one in particular.

"Don't think so. It's smaller and weirder. Doesn't look like an Imperial, though. No worries, mate."

Greenboi had experienced many cultures and many receptions from many different creatures in his years of working for Barcla the Hoard, but Bacchanalia took the prize for sheer informality.

"Hey, look! It's a little green fellow! G'day, little green feller, come and have a beer."

"He ain't green, more blue than green, I reckon."

Greenboi approached the bar cautiously.

"Greetings, people of Bacchanalia. I come on behalf of my master, Barcla the Hoard. I seek one who is known as Bruce the Brewsterson."

"Well, you found him, mate. This here's Brucie's Bar, which is Brucie's bar."

"Say, are you green or blue?" asked Dewie.

"It depends on the light," replied Greenboi politely.

"Well, I reckon you're blue. I'm gonna call you ‘Blue', " declared Dewie.

"G'day, Blue, I'm Bruce Brewsterson. Call me Brucie"

"Greetings, Bruce Brewsterson. Call me Greenboi."

"Oh, come on, Blue, let's just stick to the one name here, or things'll get really confused," cried Dewie.

"Don't mind him, Greenie, me ol' mate. He's just had a few drinks. Come out the back, and we'll sort out the business where it's quiet," said Brucie, ushering his visitor through the swaying throng. "Here, have a beer. On the house."

Greenboi looked up to see where the beer might be on the roof, then found one thrust into his hand. He sipped it politely. He tried to formulate a response that was both honest and respectful. The word ‘interesting' was the one that finally emerged from his electronic chest translator.

"Yeah," agreed Brucie. "It's not as good as it should be. Can't get it cold enough. Any chance you could supply us with a refrigeration system? It should be so cold you can't actually taste it."

Yes, thought Greenboi, that would improve it enormously. He counted the money and assured Brucie that he would pass on his request to Barcla the Hoard, who would, without doubt, consider his request favourably.

"Ah well, I guess that's business dealt with," declared Brucie. "Time for another beer!"

"Not yet," countered Greenboi. "I have things for sale."

"What's that then, Greenie?"

"I believe they were ordered last year."

"Maybe so, feller, but last year was last year. Hell, I have trouble remembering last night most days. Whatcha got?"

"To me, they each look like a rankled monster's tongue depressors, but I understand that you will value them greatly."

"Well, lead on, Greenie. Let's take a look."

As Greenboi led the way out to his ship, not only Brucie, but most of his customers followed him to see what the little blue-green visitor had to sell.

"Surf-boards!" they all cried when the ship's hold was opened.

"Hey, Blue, that's wonderful. How did you know we'd be interested in surf-boards?"

"You informed my master."

"We did? Oh, right. Still, look had these beautes, fellers!"

"Hey, Blue, you want to sell any of these?"

"Of course."

So the deals were done and almost all of those who wanted to buy one and could afford to do so, put up his money. It was all in crisp Imperial Credit notes Greenboi noted. Each Bacchanalian surf-boy took away his new pride and joy, but soon they were all back at the bar, where, with their new boon companion, they settled to the day's serious business.

"So Blue, tell us, mate, exactly what shade of blue is that."

"He ain't blue. He's green, I tell you."

"I'd have said he was turquoise," suggested a new voice.

"Turquoise? Where'd you pick up that kind of language. You some kind of poofter?"

"So Blue, what's yah name really, then?"

"Its Greenie," explained Brucie.

"Told you he was green."

"But if you're green, Greenie, how do you know when you've had enough to drink? All these fellers go green when they're pissed, right mates?"

"Oh, leave the poor feller alone, Stewie. You're going green yourself. Don't you worry about him, Blue, my little ol' green matey. You're a bonza feller. Have another beer."

Greenboi sat through all the banter around him. Half of it was untranslatable anyway, whilst much that was not, was not for tender ears. He drank. Enough to be sociable, although hardly for pleasure, insufficient to prevent his third task from being successfully completed. As more and more of the bar's floor became carpeted with sleeping Bacchanalians, he found himself alone with Brucie Brewsterson.

"Business is booming, Brucie Brewsterson?"

"You can say that again, me ol' green matey, an' its all down to your master, Barky the Hoardy. What a bonza feller. Here's to him, an' all as sails in him!"

"Profits are good?"

"I'll say they are. D'you know... now, nobody else knows this, right? But I have now got about half of all the money in Bacchanalia. I know how much that is 'cos our sheilas, right, get this, our sheilas each hid some up their you-know-whats to hide it from the Imperials when we come here!"

"How much is that?"

"What? How much I got? It's nearly five hundred Credits, mate! Here, I've just thought, I could pay you back s'more of the loan. Four hundred at least."

"It is not necessary," Greenboi assured him.

"Yeah, but I better had. Another four hundred smackers, so I only owe one hundred, s'right?"

"You are a rich man, Bruce Brewsterson."

"Yeah, I am."

"Mm. So life is good?"

"Life is absolutely sodding perfect, mate, now we got them surf-boards... Yeah... All we got to do now is find out where the sea is."

Next: Chapter 13

Previous: Chapter 11

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