Sunday February 5, 2006
Book 7: Emperor Pius Dei — Part IV: Touch and Go


Narrator: The mercenary warship Touch-And-Go is in low orbit above Celeschul, ready to make a delivery. . .
Ennesby: Captain, I've got Doctor Leroy LeFrench on the line.
Captain Tagon: I'll take it here.
Captain Tagon: Doctor LeFrench, it's good to hear back from you.
Doctor LeFrench: Yes, ahem, I got your message. Ahem. I'm afraid there's a slight, ahem, hitch.
Captain Tagon: It occurred to us that delivery might be problematic, but if you have a suitable transport vessel, all you need to do is follow us outside local Teraport interdiction, and we can put the giant squid into your hold, no trouble.
Doctor LeFrench: Actually, ahem, I think that's unlikely, ahem. You see, ahem, what you have in your vessel is not, in fact, ahem, a giant squid.
Tagon: You got the pictures we sent, right? It's got tentacles and a funny fin on its head. It's the biggest squid I've ever seen. If that doesn't make it a giant squid, I don't know what does.
Doctor LeFrench: The creature in your hold has eight tentacles with club ends, and two short arms. Ahem. True Giant Squids have eight arms and two clubbed tentacles. They're also not nearly so, ahem, large as what you showed me.
Tagon: It's one-of-a kind then! Even more valuable to a fancy fishtank like yours.
Doctor LeFrench: Ahem. No, it is not.
Captain Tagon: Not unique? Or not valuable?
Doctor LeFrench: Not either. Ahem. I did some research when I saw those pictures.
Doctor LeFrench: What you have there is, ahem, a prototype rockhound pilot, ahem, cooked up from nine-hundred-year old engineered gene-sequences.
Doctor LeFrench: Ahem. And we don't want it. Good day to you.
Captain Tagon: This was your idea, Adjutant.
Ennesby: Oooh, I hear paperwork calling.