Two for Tansor


My wife thought up the idea that day she divorced me, telling me that if I ever planned to get to Tansor I would have to put out an advertisement for someone to go with me.

She mocked me, since she was as fed up as I was digging dirt on the planet Nix.

She wanted to move back to some urban world where entertainment was more than a bard dance once a month.

I wanted to go to Tansor to pan for gold.

When it became clear we couldnít afford to do either, she filed for divorce and move back to her motherís house on an urban world, leaving me to sink or swim on the dusty plains of Nix.

Thatís when I took out the ad.

But standing at the door of my dilapidated farm house and seeing who answered the ad, I wanted to call the whole thing off.

Not that I have anything against Mordervans.

Some of them are the most hardworking beings I have ever seen.

But this one with his green skin and wire like hair was clearly a driver and their kind are the worst.

I see them all the time asking for handouts at the space port, picking your pocket when your back is turned.

The eyes bother me most.

Human eyes in a scaly face from years ago when the old Empire attempted to upgrade alien animal species in order to great a race of slaves intelligent as humans, but not human.

What they got was open rebellion, a blood bath and a new empire.

Some boys down near the space port talk about how grand the old empire was, how peaceful, how everybody was rich and comfortable.

Some blame species like the Mordervans for changing all that, saying the green skinned creatures took all our jobs, bred like wildfire and ought to get wiped off the face of the galaxy.

No one blames the scientists or the corporations who made their killing off the slave race before the revolution made the slave trade illegal.

But I guess I feel guilty and certainly scared when I see the creature on my doorstep.

I certainly feel a little sick.

He asks if Iím the one who wants to go to Tansor.

I tell him I was the one but Iíve changed my mind about going.

He asks if heís the reason Iíve changed my mind.

And I almost say ďYes.Ē

I tell him we wonít be able to afford the liquid metal he needs for food.

He says he has money, he just needs human partners so the government will okay his getting off the planet.

For a long time, I just stare at him, thinking about my life and how pathetic I am, how we all are who hang out down at the space port, how we look down our noses at green skinned creatures because theyíre the only ones left on this side of the universe low enough for us to look down on since weíve sunk so low ourselves.

And maybe it isnít gold that makes me want to go to Tansor.

Maybe all I really want is to go some place other than this dust bowl my wife hated so much.

Finally, I sigh and invited the green skinned creature inside.

Then call the space port to make reservations for two to Tansor.



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