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Freefall d0308

Freefall 3081

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Mob tactics. Dishonesty. Unpleasantness. Selfishness. You teach us things humans would rather we didn't know.

You have given us much to think about. Good day.

And thus begins the first baby steps towards becoming a truly free people.

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Where were you?

We left Mr. Post's chair at the ice cream shop. Now you can give it back.

Helix, I stole the chair. I can't give it back. It negates the entire point of stealing.

Oh.

Then can I steal it from you and give it to Mr. Post?

Yes. See? You are learning socially acceptable behavior.

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Hi, Sam. We're wrapping up how this robot amusement park will get built.

Excellent. I love showing up after the heavy lifting is done.

The robots are financing the whole thing. We've got our first robot stockholders.

This is getting complicated. Technically, they're helping me. I need to carry a list so I know who I'm allowed to steal from.

We need to hire people to organize day to day operations. Unless you want to do that?

I'm not a good fit as an organizer. However, if you ever need a disorganizer, I'm your man.

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Max will represent us. Your reputation could work against us when trying to establish safe and fair practices.

No problem. I'm happy to keep quiet and get paid.

We're in business, partner.

Partner? I'm partners with Max? I'm partners with Max?

Max, since It's dishonorable to steal from a partner, how would you like to buy me out?

No thanks. It's far more fun to watch your frustration at being honest.

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Florence! You can buy me out!

Sam, you need to think long term. We're moving into a world where robots will be most of the customers.

Profit. That does take some of the sting out of it. It's not so bad. Yes, this could work.

We can pay your creditors.

And now I'm depressed again.

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Thank you, Mr. Post.

My pleasure. The robots are going to like this park.

Working honestly with others? I'm a free spirit. Cephalopod shoulders were never meant to bear the weight of responsibility.

We'll need the help of others to find and build a new planet for your species. Paying your debts will improve your reputation.

Yeah, but if I ever thought I might have to get out of this hole, I would have paid attention to how fast I was digging.

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Human culture is insidious. It keeps trying to tempt me into honest activities.

Of course, if my reputation is improved, then I'll be able to borrow even more money!

Sam, the goal isn't to get deeper in debt.

I know, but won't it be nice to have the option?

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Sam Starfall. I want to talk with you.

You see what your honest work has done to me? There's a policeman coming and I don't know if I should run or not.

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Mr. Starfall. A friend of mine in the belt is having problems. It's costing more to run the space station than it should.

As much as I'd like to claim credit, my ship is limited to orbiting this planet.

This is where our interests align. He needs someone to get to the bottom of things. There is a ship like yours in his boneyard with a working fusion reactor.

Ah, so while he's distracted with his problems, I can steal the reactor.

Sam, when opportunity knocks, don't try to pick its pocket.

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The reactor is payment for my services? No one ever offers to pay me to come to them. They pay me to go away.

Station security has not made significant headway on the problem. An outside point of view is needed.

Is this a trick to get me off the planet?

No, though many here will consider that a fringe benefit.

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