by Bill Kowaleski
Creative Destruction is a sequel to the novel Brighter Than the Stars, in which Earthlings meet technologically advanced space aliens. The Cygnians come only to do business, but their schemes to sell fusion-powered generators become contentious and competitive.
Many human and alien characters return from the previous novel, including Jim McDermott and his team, who try to reduce the risk of societal upheaval that the new technologies threaten. Meanwhile, many different groups are either plotting to steal the technical advances for their own purposes or trying to destroy it and drive the Cygnians off of Earth.
|Cast of Characters and Species||Table of Contents|
Part 1: Thesis
Chapter 1: The Sociologist and the Salesman
Salesman-Drake owned the distinction of having been the first salesman to visit Earth, the first Cygnian to have encountered humans, and the first to have placed the test units. But the trailblazer is too often forgotten once others begin using the trail, and so it was with Salesman-Drake. He stood defiantly on his hind legs, his eyestalks quivering with annoyance, towering over Sociologist-Andrew in the small room that served as the permanent Earth altverse tunnel way station, located underneath that small planet’s first nuclear fusion generation plant: the Upper Zion Power Generation complex. He was tired of being ignored.
“I will remind you, Sociologist, that I took many risks to open this market, and that meeting my quota depends on our selling many, I repeat, many units. This facility has only four units. Introducing the product in this manner will not meet my quota. I want to begin planning immediately a true commercial rollout, mass consumption, sales incentives, all the same things we did on Arcturus Prime, for example—”
“Salesman, first, it is true that we have sold only four units, but they are very large, expensive units. Second, and most important, we have made an agreement with human authorities for a phased introduction. After the terrible failure of the Maywood test unit, we have no other choice; we simply cannot put these generators in uncontrolled environments for some time to come. And do you not realize that if we try to flood this world with fusion reactors that their economies will be severely disrupted, that they will blame us for this disruption, that we will be driven off this planet forever? This is not Arcturus Prime, this is a much more primitive society.”
“The failure was due to sabotage!” The Salesman transmitted anger and frustration with his thoughts. “We have corrected the security and technical problems that allowed that. And Earthlings will benefit so much from our small generators that governments will never be able to stop us from delivering them. We can simply funnel the product to third-party human corporations who will, in turn, sell them. It cannot be stopped. Besides, you are a sociologist, you know nothing of proper business practices. Why are you running this facility?”
“Precisely because I am a sociologist,” he retorted, transmitting anger and frustration. “I can think for the long term, consider the societal implications of major technological change, unlike you, who are concerned only with pushing units out the tunnel. I will approach management about adjusting your quota. Now please leave me.”
Salesman-Drake felt relieved; he’d accomplished his real goal, something he could not have asked for directly: his quota would be reduced. While he walked away, he thought more about seeking out third-party agents to sell smaller units.
Why not? Surely humans would appreciate the advantages of a small generator that provided power and heat using a fuel that cost nothing; a generator that operated flawlessly for many lifetimes with no maintenance and cost less than a forced-air furnace. He would just ignore the Sociologist and move that idea forward. How could selling something humans really needed possibly cause them to have ill feelings toward Cygnians?
Copyright © 2019 by Bill Kowaleski