Investation: A Short Story of First Contact
What would you do if you could buy anything?
Duncan Andrew’s life is going nowhere. He and his wife, Ursula, live in a filthy trailer where they use the floor as a shelf.
Then his uncle dies and leaves him an inheritance. Ursula’s idea of financial management? “We can blow it on a roulette wheel and act all fancy-pants for once in or lives.”
At first, all Ursula wants is a new caravan trailer with the built-in transmitters so she can watch more channels. But Duncan likes his caravan.
A broker talks Duncan into investing in the “celestial market.” And Duncan finds himself the owner of a distant solar system. He’ll never see it in person. It’s thousands of light years away from Earth. And the tolls through all other owned space to get there are exorbitant.
But the young broker promises him an investment “guaranteed to increase your wealth.”
“In the next few years, whatever you buy isn’t going to be on the edge of space anymore. . . . That means it’s guaranteed to increase in value.”
Once the money’s invested, Duncan figures he won’t see a return for at least 20 or 30 years. That’s too bad for Ursula, who needs to pay a deposit to be the next new star on Real Caravan Wives.
But Duncan’s investment pays off much sooner than expected. Intelligent life forms from his solar system arrive . . . . on Earth. And the next thing he knows, Duncan is seated between the President and an alien delegation.
Unlimited wealth and unlimited alien tech? What could go wrong?
I recommend this clever story about a loveable loser thrown into the deep end of interstellar dealings. It’s smart and engaging. You don’t want to miss laugh-out-loud funny scenes. Duncan hires a no-money-up-front lawyer to negotiate the biggest deal in Earth’s history. And then Duncan invites the squid-like Bakchu to his caravan trailer for dinner and serves up spaghetti.