Sunday July 9, 2000
Book 1: The Tub of Happiness — Meet The Mercenaries


Narrator: In deep interstellar space, the Mother-Cluster ship of the Partnership Colective™ floats freely.
Narrator: This communal being has evolved over a thousand years. Originally a humble partnership of attorneys, it incorporated, differentiated, mutated and assimilated.
Narrator: Today its attorney drones are found in the highest level of government, and in the lowest level of criminal defense. Picture an organism with the biomass of 21st century China: Billions of brains, but only one mind.
Attorney Drone 1: Billions of hearts.....
Attorney Drone 2: ... and absolutely no soul.
Attorney Drone 1: Okay. Enough cabbaging. There's lawyering to be done.
Attorney Drone 2: A mercenary in the Celeschul system killed two of our attorney-drones. Shall we assess the standard fine?
Attorney Drone 1: Two thousand Freem? It seems so cheap.
Narrator: To put it in perspective, a Poliflorian Hypernetter earns about two thousand Freem during one Efrickalian work-week.
Sign: There is no "I" in "Team"
Attorney Drone 2: Wo could litigate. Sue them for, say, twenty thousand kilocreds .
Attorney Drone 1: Better, but it still does not satisfy my craving for blood.
Narrator: Some more perspective: Our hypothetical hypernetter would have to work overtime during the entire Festival of Kwlaa to earn even one thousand kilocreds.
Sign: But there is an "I" in "Kiss Off"
Attorney Drone 1: Forget money. Have the Warrant-Cruiser prime the Plasma Lances. Let's give those mercenaries a few billion Terawatts of raw energy.
Narrator: One final perspective check: That much energy, concentrated and applied to our polyflorian hypernetter, would disassociate her component molecules to monatomic plasma, and further disassociate the atoms to their component sub-sub-atomic particles...
SFX: Thrummmmmm...
Narrator: The resulting cloud of quarks, gluons, bosons, and iMacs, would be roughly one-and-a-half times the volume of the lesser Magellanic Cloud.
Poliflorian Hnet: You leave me out of this!
Hypernet Customer: What's the wait? I've been on hold for twenty cronaths now!
Sign: There is no "F" in "Way"