Chapter Three. A Year of World Peace and Quiet.
Sogwa asked all her friends if they knew the twenty-three trillionaires who think they run the world. None of her friends knew, but they promised to ask their friends. None of them knew either; but a friend of a friend of a friend of Sogwa’s knew all sorts of people; and he knew a millionaire, who knew a billionaire, who knew the twenty-three trillionaires who think they run the world. Sogwa sent the trillionaires a message down that chain of friends. She invited the trillionaires to a power lunch with the Nerdlings.
For their power lunch the trillionaires had pickled lizard gizzards, the Nerdlings had crottled greeps, and Sogwa had a fish. First they ate, for you mustn’t make deals on an empty stomach. Then the Nerdlings gave their pitch. “We need twenty-three trillion dollars to fix our ship, and one whole year of world peace and quiet.”
The twenty-three trillionaires said, “We can arrange a year of world peace and quiet; but why should we spend twenty-three trillion dollars?”
“For two reasons,” said the Nerdlings. “If you spend twenty-three trillion dollars to fix our ship, then we will teach you the trick of turning tin into gold.”
“That’s a good reason,” said the trillionaires. “And the other?”
“If you do not spend twenty-three trillion dollars to fix our ship, then we will just have to stay here on Earth and live with you.”
“That’s an even better reason,” said the trillionaires. “It’s a deal!”
The twenty-three trillionaires pulled strings, and paid bribes, and twisted arms, and tattled tales, and before you knew it, everybody on Earth decided, as if on their own, to have a year of world peace and quiet. “For one whole year,” the Earthlings told each other, “let us set aside our stupid quarrels and instead help the Nerdlings fix their worn-out Crystal Cuddle Ship and send them on their way.”
And the twenty-three trillionaires said, “The sheeple have spoken.”
So for one whole year there was world peace and quiet, and every Earthling did nothing but replace gems and rockets and reactors and reagents and beams and seams and wires and tires and struts and nuts and fuel, air, water, dirt, ballast and everything else on board the Crystal Cuddle Ship. They replaced everything except the crew; and for doing all that work, the twenty-three trillionaires paid the people of Earth twenty-three trillion dollars.
Finally the big launch day came, and Sogwa got on board, and the whole world watched the Crystal Cuddle Ship lift off. The Earthlings were glad to send the Nerdlings on their way, so they could spend their twenty-three trillion dollars, and then get back to their stupid quarrels. As the super-ship lifted into space, Sogwa looked out its diamond window and saw a cat who looked just like her watching from her house.