Conversation with an alien
|"Quit'n time Hank. Sounds like Jerry's powering down the drills for the day."
"Another solar flare?"
"Third one this month"
"If this keeps up I won't be able to afford the registration fees for Sarah's new roe."
"How many are in the clutch this time?"
"Thirteen little ones."
"Thirteen? Shit! What's your DRL?"
"Our designated reproductive limits are none of your damn business!"
"Relax Hank... you're gills are puffing."
"Last time they took most of the clutch and the few they left hardly had a chance after being handled so much. Only one survived. It's not natural... having only one little pollywog."
"They don't make life easy for you here."
"You know Hank... there's this guy I know... he used to work in the genetic engineering field? He's helped others like you before."
"Are you talking illegal incubation? You mean swap out our eggs with artificial GMs?"
"Keep your voice down!...Something like that... there is a cost though."
"Grab your sack and we'll walk and talk. What do you think happens to the eggs Proliferate Enforcement Officers remove from your clutch?"
"Rumours have been heard... genetic experiments, government research, bio-engineered armies, but ..."
"They've always told us our eggs were written off as biological waste. After the last procurement, we received a notarised holograph of the Electronic Priests speaking the ancient tongue over our little ones, just as abandonment tradition dictates. "
"What do YOU believe Hank?"
"I don't know. I'd rather not think about it - push it out of your mind..there's not much we can do. Law is the Law and we are under enough scrutiny as it is. It's best not to ask too many questions and just believe what they tell us."
"You're really OK with what they're doing?"
"Hold it together, pull in the gills..."
"Like I said, our hands are tied."
"Not as tight as you think, Hank. What if, for a small fee, you could keep 90% of your eggs?"
"That's right. For only 10000 credits you could save your clutch and feed duds to the system."
"Wait, what happens to the other 10%?"
"Couldn't be worse than what's happening to them now. Listen.. take this card and talk it over with Sarah. The risks are small. My guy has this down to a science. Just make sure you give him my name.- God I need this finders fee, And remember Hank, this offer's only on the table for 48 hours. That card I gave you will be useless if you wait any longer."
'Hold up! HEY! Slow down! I'VE GOT QUESTIONS!"
"Sorry Hank. Places to be..."