Dirt Cheap

Super Short Story Saturday 
Dirt Cheap
By PR Henriksen 

"Planet for sale." The man said. 

In a crowd of over 17,000 unique beings, I still got tons of sideways looks and a plethora "tentacle" encounters. He couldn't see me way down there, behind the auctioneer, but I knew him- sorta. Life's journey?  I flipped an 1878 double eagle gold piece through my fingers, weighing the fate of the world.  I could never have planned this.

We were becoming part of an intergalactic trade in planets, species trafficking, solar system resource break up and destruction. Basically, across-the-board space skullduggery. 

"The planet is only slightly used. It has housed and developed mega-type 5 flora, fauna, and reptiloid species and has been inhabited by a class 13 species for the last 18 millennia or so.  Offered 'as is', or add planet-wide sterilization and redevelopment options with the purchase for an additional 28% - today only!"

My mind screamed "You can't sell what's not yours!"  I rocked back and forth in my cowboy boots.  You could take the cowgirl out of Colorado and her fifth grade science class, but you couldn't take her boots.  

“Wait for it Penny. The timing’s got to be right. We need to make sure everyone is in position.  Don’t forget to point out the thief.”

Space Feds... Government got us into this mess and now a bigger intergalactic government thought they could help me get us out of it. A president with an overdeveloped sense of self-destiny and a godhood complex combined with a economy weakened world left us lacking in confidence and options.  A "friendly" alien visit, a few back room deals later, and someone is selling our planet off for scrap with a side option of genocidal cleaning.  

“You mean I have to publicly point out that guy back, to the left of the salesman, kind of hanging in the shadows like a hot snake?”  The new implant made my voice sound funny, even though it came straight from inside my head. It felt funny to “not talk”. It itched.

A minute or so later, Agent Braxten vibrated in my head. “Are you absolutely sure.”

“Yes. Why?”  

“That’s Kase Thanton, head of the intergalactic trade and commerce guild. This is a bigger problem than we thought.”

“It usually is.” I said matter-of-factly.

“We need to rethink this.  We need more time.”

“Earth doesn’t have it.”  

I moved through the crowd towards the main stage.  It’s all about attitude.  Just like people and cows, space critters tend to get out of the way for the determined, especially if there is an adept use of cowboy boots.

“Class 13 my eye!" Technically, I’m now space faring. "I’m from Earth and under laws 3db843.219c and 7294ca93.24125 of the interplanetary codes for space faring species,   I declare this sale null and void.”  Silence.

Holding the gold coin in my hand, I approached the planet stealer. I clenched the coin tight and punched him hard in his face.

“Grandpa sends his regards- Father.”

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