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|
Chapter 4: On Cygnus Prime
Sales-Manager grazed in his commons, discretely surveying the placid herd for signs of his direct-report. Evening sunlight, intensely neon blue, created long, distorted shadows that exaggerated the periscope Cygnian eyestalks, and sharply outlined the shadows of their panda-like, bulbous bodies against brilliant green grasses.
The commons-keepers planted six distinct grass varieties, each with its own taste and chewing characteristics. He’d chosen the sweetest and most tender type, popular despite its tendency to create bloat. As he approached a tall, solid white enclosure fence, he caught the brainwaves of the Salesman and wandered over to him.
He dug his eyestalk into the Salesman’s fur so that the conversation would be private. Cygnians communicated entirely with thought waves that emanated from transmitters in their eyestalks and were very skilled at both limiting the range of their thoughts or, when the situation demanded it, broadcasting their thoughts widely.
“Salesman, I am disappointed to hear that we have sold only four large units on Earth, and now Sociologist — the one running the whole Earth operation — is coming to me asking for a reduction in your quota. This is most disturbing.”
“But, Sales-Manager, Cygnus Prime Diplomatic Services Corporation made an agreement with Earth to phase introduction, something about Earthlings needing time to adapt to the new technology.”
“What drivel!” Sales-Manager transmitted disbelief and disdain. “We are an independent corporation. This is not Epsilon Eridani Prime! We can decide for ourselves what we want to do, and I don’t intend to bend down in supplication to those tiresome CPDS bureaucrats.”
“Yes, sir, I was feeling very much the same after my discussion with the Sociologist on Earth. His telling me what to do was very degrading, especially since he works for us, especially since it was I who took the risks to first place the test units.”
“He works for the implementation side. We work for sales. He has no authority over you beyond that power plant. I see no reason why we could not try another tactic, perhaps take advantage of the way the Earthlings have all those different political divisions, sell smaller units in large numbers to individuals in poorer areas, out of the view of these major political entities — Union of States, Union of Kingdoms, or whatever they call themselves — that are dictating our rollout schedule.”
The Salesman transmitted happy agreement, something like a human smile. “Sir, you will be pleased to know that I have already researched this matter. There is a region on Earth called Africa that has a very low level of electrification. Many of the inhabitants still subsist by burning fires. Some of the political entities there contain exactly the ores we are seeking. I could possibly arrange for a direct trade of units for ores.”
“What an outstanding idea! Please pursue it.”
“Yes, sir, but there are complications. I know nothing about how to conduct business in those areas. I will need to recruit an agent. Some seed funding will therefore be necessary.”
The Sales-Manager transmitted a sigh. “I suppose that makes sense. Develop a proposal and present it to me within a fiveday.”
Proceed to Chapter 5...
Copyright © 2019 by Bill Kowaleski