Sunday August 10, 2003
Book 3: Under New Management — Part III: Board of Accidental Tourism


Narrator: Applying the sort of fine gravitic control only possible at point-blank range, the mercenary ship Serial Peacemaker disinters herself and reshapes the dunes beneath which she was buried.
Schlock: I miss those little guys already.
Reverend: At least we were able to do them some good before leaving. In five hundred years they'll be enjoying all the luxuries of modern living. And they'll be living longer, healthier lives, too.
Tagon: It's a shame we can't come back and collect.
Tagon: "Hey, you remember that robot that lifted you out of the stone age? We leased it to you. Now you owe us 30% of your gross global product."
Reverend: Hah. If they knew you were going to say that, they'd destroy the uplift robot tomorrow.
Kevyn: They might try, but they'd all die of frustration first.
Kevyn: Sure, it's strictly passive, but they won't have tools hard enough nor fires hot enough to even scratch that robot for at least 200 years. It's a good thing, too. Even the tiny annie-plant on that sucker could level an entire city if it got breached before it could dump.
Kevyn: They're safe. There's nothing they can throw at that robot to damage it.
Narrator: It's not the throwing "at" that's problematic.
Uplift Bot: Guys, NO! Throwing me in this volcano will not bring many-arms and pack-dung back to play with you.
Uplift Bot: !
Native 2: Shhkaaaa. . .
Native 1: <Dude, do you have another one of those?>
Narrator: Fortunately for the cause of progress, contact with another alien civilization was established on "Pack-dung beach" less than two weeks later.
Narrator: Never underestimate what a thinking being can accomplish with a sharp enough stick can