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No way! It took so many years for those damn space industry companies to get around to building a decent spacecraft, and for tickets to the Moon to get so cheap that a sane and normal person can buy one. For such an incredibly long time, Mr. Mushinka has not been allowed to inspect his own property. He looked forward to the moment so much that he spent the two nights before his flight in the spaceport waiting room, living on overpriced coffee and biscuits over the expiration date. The authorized copy of an old deed guaranteeing its owner's claim to an acre in the Mare Crisium area had been in his hand the whole time.

Because being a real estate owner on the Moon has some clout. Certainly can't have a neighbor stomping on his lawn. True, Mr. Mushinka won't be treading too often, but it's a matter of principle.

And no sooner does he get dropped off here than he finds some trespasser on his property.

"Get out," the surprised and indignant owner waved his precious document, "You can't stand here!"

The three heads, riddled with thick transparent veins through which bubbled a poisonous green fluid, did not bother Mr. Mushinka. Even if he had five heads. Or none. He has no business here!

The creature grunted something, flicked its tentacles, tapped the glass hemisphere covering its left head for a moment, croaked a few words in unpleasantly high tones, shrugged apologetically, and then – finally – spoke intelligibly.

"Sorry, I'm just looking. Is there something dangerous here?"

"I'm here," said Mr. Mushinka menacingly.

"Have you seen a doctor?" The creature asked solicitously, "Maybe it's nothing serious."

"I own this place!"

"You mean this part of space?"

"This land. From here to... all the way over there," Mr. Mushinka pointed to the boundary of a nearby crater. He thrust the document in front of the nearest alien eyes.

"But there must be some misunderstanding, sir," said the creature, studying the document with the aid of some apparatus.

"I should say so."

"You can't own it."

"Ah!" Mr. Mushinka exclaimed, feeling suddenly more secure, "That's what some people said, too. But the lawyers have made it clear to them. First come, first served..."

"Exactly. I've had contract on this whole solar system for a hundred and fifty years already. Plus the one next door."

"You bought this place?"

The alien pulled out another device, looking through it for a moment at the colorful ball of Earth hovering over the horizon.

"Yea. If I sink those continents to the north... What did you say? Buy? Why? Who would spend money on such a backcountry?"

"I would! I mean, I bought the place. Paid for it, sir!"

"I was left with the rig in a raffle at a company party. I've never been lucky," said the alien, "A long time ago. It's only now that the damn tickets have gotten so cheap that even a sane and normal person can buy them that I was able to make the trip here."

"Lawyers!" Mr. Mushinka threatened, but he could only fit his threat into one word; he didn't get to any more.

"I beg your pardon? I see. I know, we must follow the local laws. And if you have: First come, first served... But you know what? You seem nice. Weird, but likeable," the alien repeated, "The craftsmen will be here the day after tomorrow, it'll be expensive, but if they're only going to tear it down rough, I can finish the rest myself on the weekends..." he said to himself for a moment before he realized that Mr. Mushinka had stopped protesting and was just – with his mouth rudely open – staring.

"I won't be counting your rent for a year or so. I'd hate to be disturbed on that planet, but I don't care about this piece of rock. Didn't you say something about lawyers?"

Mr. Mushinka said nothing more.


© 2010





"Things just happen. What the hell."
* Terry Pratchett. Hogfather


Welcome to my world. For the longest time I couldn’t think of right name for this place, so I left it without one. Amongst things you can find here are attempts of science fiction and fantasy stories, my collection of gods, bogeymen and monsters and also articles about things that had me interested, be it for a while or for years. (There is more of this, sadly not in English but in Czech, on www.fext.cz)



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