A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral – Part 2

Part 1

“I’m sure they’ve forgotten all about that by now.” The two women gave me identical looks. I don’t think I’d ever told them what happened, but they apparently knew me well enough to know it was dramatic. I like dramatic; it’s fun.

Looking that the two women and giving my best dramatic sigh, I told them the story, “When I first discovered I was slowly dying, I didn’t take it well and decided to take a vacation. What better place than Callisto. It had soft sand, endless beaches and the grandest casinos in the system.

“While I was winning at the poker tables, I swear I wasn’t using any telepathic or prophetic powers, I started chatting with the other players and discovered that the casinos were run by a syndicate of the organized crime variety. That got me exploring the less touristy areas and discovering that while the syndicate was making lot of money with the casinos and resorts, that money wasn’t coming anywhere near the locals.”

We walked towards the bridge and they both smiled knowing me enough to know I’d meddle. What can I say? I’m a meddler.

“Before I had much of a chance to snoop, they found me, stripped me and dumped me in less than mint condition on top of a landfill. As I lay naked on some really uncomfortable garbage, Sol decided to give me some extra information. I couldn’t do anything to incite a revolution and I couldn’t do anything to attack the syndicate directly. Doing that would end with them being stronger, or one of the empires claiming the planet.

“Obviously, I couldn’t leave things the way they were. Sol works in mysterious ways and that’s when I met Adric.

“Besides helping me out of the garbage pile and helping me find some decent quality if not smelly, clothing, he built me a mini computer to contact my ship. I was travelling alone at the time. I took the brilliant eight year old onto my ship, fed him and had a brilliant idea. What if the casinos and resorts belonged to the people of Callisto and not the Syndicate?

“From there, it was just a matter of hacking the Syndicate, the banks, the Inter-Solar monetary fund, and the Jupiter Alliance Protectorate.”

We all sat down at our designated posts. Me in the pilot chair, Janet on sensors, and Suzie on weapons.

“In one brilliant coup, Adric managed to make the syndicate broke and the people of Callisto rich. I made sure they were protected with heavy bribes to the Jupiter Protectorate and the Solar-Monetary fund.

“The next day’s stock market showed a marked increase in business to Callisto and they’ve been living happily, and profitably, ever since. The planet was filled with the well off and every tourist they encouraged to visit made them more money.

“After a long talk, Adric decided he’d rather stay on the planet and attend school. I may have helped him along by paying for a private education,” I finished.

“So why is there a warrant for your arrest on the planet then?” asked Suzie.

“People are afraid of power, and I had just rearranged a planets financial and political landscape in one brilliant move…” I drifted off knowing the women would figure it out.

“They were afraid that you’d do it again.” Janet shook her head.

“And they didn’t trust my benevolence. Isn’t this face trustworthy?”

“I’ve learned one thing in my long life, it’s that men as handsome as you are never trustworthy.” Janet said it with a gravitas that only fools and those who’ve lived long enough to gather true wisdom could pull off. It made me almost giggle. Bartenders on most worlds wouldn’t serve her anything with alcohol in it.

“Don’t tell him he’s handsome,” Suzie said, misinterpreting my smirk. “How he’ll be insufferable for days.”

As I had told them my story I had also calculated the jump that would put us in close orbit with Callisto. Sol had shown me that Adric needed help and I needed a mechanic, there was only so much I could do to keep this boat flying.

The ship’s panels started making panicked noises. “What did you do?” asked both women at the same time. Suzie sat down.

“It’s just three Jupiter Protectorate battleships. I’ll deal with it.”

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