A fist full of euros
The helix sits in orbit round Neptune, An otus moves slowly round it and down to Neptune. The otus hovers above a set of still doors. They open and the otus moves into an antechamber. The door above the otus shuts, after a pause the door below opens.
As the otus lands in Neptune city a small crowd gathers. This was not one of the Neptunian fleet. This was the otus alius. The Neptunian fleet was made up of older model otus, scops & sunias mostly. The door opens and Kevin Colman appears from behind it. He steps out slowly as if unsure if the ground would take his weight. The Neptunians shift towards him as He jumps up and down. “Its clever that” said Kevin punting at the ground “who are you” asks a middle aged man in the crowd “I’m Kevin am, here to trade” the crowd stair at Kevin he twitches uncomfortably as he tried to think of what to say. “take me to your leader”a wide grin grows on his face. “I'll take him” the middle aged man gestures for Kevin to follow him. Kevin looks around as he walks through the city if you can call it a city most of the buildings are obviously temporary. The only permanent building was the enormous clock tower in the centre of the city. They approach a group of prefabricated huts. This was the nerve centre of the city. People move from hut to hut on important jobs. They come to a large hut, and go in without knocking.
“so who are you” said the prime minster without waiting for the door to close. In the corner was a monitor showing a live feed from the air lock, the only way in and out of the metal and glass star shape habitat chamber that shields the city. “I'm Kevin I'm here to do some business” the prime minster looked up from his desk. “so your under the impression were all stinking rich up here. Well I got news for you. All the money we earn from the research bases gets spent on keeping that ground your standing on from sinking in to a sea of liquid ice.” Kevin sits down on the seat opposite the prime minster and puts his feat up on his desk “oh I know that”
the crust of Neptune was man made and floated on a see of super chilled liquid gas. At the moment it was barely started and it need constant monitoring to keep it a float. But work on the crust was being slowed down by the poor quality of the ground. Nothing would grow on Neptune. So money and man power had to be spent on importing food from earth.
Dennis drives the forklift up to the glass horse and moves the fork under the wooden pallet the horse is strap to. It was Dennis's holiday he had two weeks off from his work on Triton so he can help out on Neptune. He keeps looking over at the pm's hut as he loads the sculpture on to a flat bed truck. He wanted to stay and find out who this stranger was but he had to take the sculpture to Trinity Point. Trinity Point was one of the ten points of the star of Neptune city. Seven of the points are farm land the other three are the research bases. Dennis started up the truck and it move silently across the city kicking up dust as it went. He parks the truck by a triangular plinth lined up with the glass walls of the habitat chamber. Six men standing by the plinth move to the back of the truck and drop the tailgate. Dennis gets out joins the six men. Tree of them get on the back and push the glass sculpture as Dennis and the others pull. the ten neptunian horses was made on the Helix on the long journey from earth. They had got the material from asteroids pulled along by the forces created by the movement of the giant research ship. Once they got to Neptune the asteroids was used to start the construction of the crust. Having delivered the sculpture Dennis gets back in the truck and drives to get the next sculpture. Dennis pulls up next to the eight remaining sculptures. He gets out the truck and started up the forklift. As he was about to load a brass horse on to the truck the prime minster and Kevin leave the pm's hut. “Don't put that on there, we're going to need you and that truck”called out the pm.
“So who is he and what does he want”Dennis drives the truck with the pm in the passenger seat and Kevin seating on the back. “he's a rock hopper and he said he can get the crop to grow” Dennis look back out the rear widow at Kevin how was picking dirt out of his long matted hair. “Do you trust him” the pm exhaled “I think we have to. No ships have left earth since the riot begun” the truck pulled up next to Kevin's otus “and what does he want in return” “the rock hoppers want to start a new Colony in the kuiper belt and to do that they need a ship, the Helix” the tree men step in to the otus. Dennis and the pm look round the otus. It is pack with plants and trees. “all this was grown on asteroids, I dont think there is anywhere they wont grow” Kevin declared “and this”Kevin rest hand on a barrow full of seeds “this will grow in to the best wheat the solar system has ever or will ever see and it can all be yours for the small small price of a interstellar research ship. Do we have a deal ” Kevin look at the pm “i think we do but you don't get the ship till we see a crop ”
four months later Kevin dances round the cockpit of the Helix as the Neptunians below bring in there first crop.