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The Fadi Sperry-Hutchinson Transaction by Dan Bieger
SUMMARY: July 2010 FF Contest Entry @ 735 words
In the fall of the year 4545, Fadi Sperry-Hutchinson spent almost every day of the coldest summer in the recorded history of the fourth planet from the star Nashira discovering and obtaining the final 4004 stamps necessary to amass, in toto, 4.54 billion such stamps. With the number in hand, Fadi could now apply for the re-purchase of the ancient home of all that is human.
Friends and family considered Fadi Sperry-Hutchinson a fool, an obsessive fool. They tended to ignore his rantings, ravings, collecting, amassing, and incessant tabulating. When the day arrived that he announced total success, there was none to hear him crow his achievement. They were all off on holiday on the other side of the California Nebula surfing a comet's tail. It surprised him, this, that no one seemed to care. In his mind, everything he had accomplished had not been for himself but for those friends and family on hoilday as well as the rest of humanity. There he was, the proud possessor of 1.4645 square kilometers of uniquely valuable stamps hanging in orbit around Nashira's fifth planet, one out from the populated fourth planet, Cryer.
The Merchants, Galactic entrepreneurs, philanthropists, capitalists extraordinaire, in 3000CE, purchased the ancestral home, the purchase price being transport of every man, woman, and child to the destination of their choice. Under the terms of the purchase, no one, not one solitary human, could remain on earth. All must emigrate to other planets, other worlds, other biospheres. Why this should be so was hid forever in Merchant psyche.
The Merchants presented a menu cataloging worlds of water, desert, forest, ice as well as an assortment of hybrids, all suited to become habitats for humanity, some requiring more work than others, some requiring co-habitation with other market species, all guaranteed to satisfy. If unsatisfactory within a 30 Earth-month warranty period, a re-location to another habitat would be made available. Thus, the stamps, each an indestructible 1.27cm x 2.54cm x 1mm coupon issued to each and every man, woman, and child, all 7.69 billion of them, came into existence. Tendering of sufficient stamps, never less than 1 billion, permitted purchase of a new habitat.
One point five billion Christians moved to a habitat resembling Europe. Another 1 billion Sunni Muslims moved to a an island habitat resembling Malaysia. Another billion Shia Muslims moved to a desert world resembling the current Mid-East Tigris and Euphrates valleys. A billion Hindi selected a habitat resembling the Ganges River environs. From the East came a 1.5 billion Buddhist/Confucian association to selecte a habitat resembling China below the Gobi desert. Another billion selected a habitat resembling Africa below the Atlas mountains. The Merchants sold the final habitat to nearly 700 million, a necessary exception to Merchant policy, islanders from around the globe who settled on a habitat resembling the Caribbean islands.
Over time, minor emigration occurred to other habitats available in the galaxy.