Madame Olatana, Warbut Astrologer, page 4
“I can’t believe I didn’t see these complications on these charts,” Madame Olatana said.
“We didn’t have Wood Fordbreez’s birth information. I have it now, and I have loaded it onto your computers. I also am trying to find the birth information for Mrs. Marion Sommers, but the Earth’s systems are not as easy to access without the express permission of the subject. I have a year, if that will do you any good,” Ralli said.
“No, it won’t help. Nevertheless, I’ll use the information about this Wood entity to prepare a report for Doctor Weathers. That ought to allow us to pay the Universal Message Service’s invoice,” Madame Olatana decided.
“We’ve got the first client due in fifteen minutes,” Ralli reminded her.
“Let him wait. We need cash. The Universal Message Service has called four times about that invoice, and we absolutely need to continue to talk to clients all around the Universe over the Service’s lines.”
Bed and Wood Foodbreez shared the large Lillitzen-style bed on the craft’s third-class deck and had a magnificent time at the around-the-clock buffet lunch in the third-class dining room.
“We’ll put on a little weight. Don’t want to look so skinny for this Earthling woman,” Bed said.
“We could use new clothes, too,” Wood reminded its sibling.
“We have exactly three hundred in Universal Gold left,” Bed reported. “The cheapest item in the first-class gift shop is too small for either of us, even at this weight, and it is marked at two hundred.”
“Those swells in first class don’t need clothes,” Wood said. “They are dripping with gold jewelry.”
“Don’t get any of your ideas,” Bed said, alarmed. “We know the craft’s prison stateroom is empty. Wait until we get to Warbut before you start to allow your fingers to wander. We don’t want to get too far from that buffet table.”
“Indeed. Do you have a message from our hostess today?”
“Yes, and she knows you are coming. The spacecraft manager has a loose tongue. You can’t trust those Drintde entities with any little secret,” Bed replied.
“That may be why King Edsella is anxious to shut the whole planet down,” Wood suggested.
“No, King Edsella is ticked off because the King of Drintde hired some workers Edsella wanted to retain,” Bed told its sibling.
Wood shook its head. “Edsella fired those entities, refused to pay what they were owed, and then is irked because they took honest jobs with good wages on Drintde?”
“Our king is deranged. Everybody on Lillitzen knows it, and now most of the rest of the Universe does, too. King Edsella thinks the rules of interplanetary commerce set up by the Universal Supreme Court don’t apply to it.”
“I think our visas will allow us to get out from under King Edsella for at least ten years,” Wood guessed. “We could find work on Warbut or on some other planet and return to Lillitzen with enough money to retire. Maybe Edsella will be gone by then, too.”
“We’ve got a contract with this Earthling woman, for at least three months,” Bed reminded its sibling.
“Let’s forget her. We can take the first opportunity that comes along and get out of her house. Earthlings are too dumb to notice when they are being duped,” Wood suggested.
“Pretty good mattress,” Wood Fordbreez told its sibling, Bed, as it bounced on the new bedstead Rolli had ordered. “Just like the one we bought for Mom during its final days.”
“Separate bedrooms, too, one for each of us,” Bed added. “And three new cooking robots.”
“I talked with the food distributor today,” Wood said. “He’s a Warbutian, and he has agreed to come every other day to replenish the robots with flour and other staples. We ought to be very satisfied with the food.”
“Only sixty items on the robots’ menus, though,” Bed told Wood. “The ones at King Edsella’s palace can fix over four hundred dishes.”
“What do Earthlings know about food? This woman is just skin and bones,” Wood said. “She eats vegetables only, no grains, few oils, and no meat.”
“Meat is nearly impossible to find here,” Bed said. “The Warbutians won’t kill any animal on their planet, and beef from Earth arrives at the spaceport only about once a month. The food distributor won’t sell any to us because the rich Warbutians have it backordered for a number of years.”
The siblings also had called the tailor from the capital, over sixteen thousand miles away, and had ordered three new suits each. The tailor was alarmed to find out, when he appeared at Doctor Weathers’s home, the siblings were dependant upon Doctor Weathers’s Universal Credit Card, a financial instrument that would charge the tailor almost ten percent for processing. To make up for this added expense, the tailor convinced the siblings to order one suit each in vicuña, a material not even King Hutarfe could afford. The expensive fabric in the enormous quantities the tailor would need to cover the two siblings allowed the tailor to pad the invoice sufficiently to allow for a nice profit margin.
“She’s rich,” Wood insisted. “Just inherited fifteen million in Universal Gold from her late uncle in Cincinnati, Ohio, wherever that might be.”
“And,” Bed added, “she certainly wants her consorts to look as if she were prosperous.”
“Maybe I could relieve her of that silver tea service on the sideboard,” Wood suggested. “She might never notice.”
“No!” screamed Bed. “You can’t steal from our hostess! She will throw us out.”
“We’ve got nearly seven thousand in the bank,” Wood reminded Bed. “Mom’s cemetery lot is paid up for another five years. As soon as we have found interesting scientific work, we won’t need to worry about Prucilla’s attachment to her mother’s silver. Now that we are getting new clothes, we ought to be in a prime position to accept jobs.”
“Do not steal Prucilla’s household items!” Bed insisted. “We are comfortable and well fed here.”
“But we have to pet her every few days,” Wood pouted. “Get all undressed and put her between us on her Presidential-sized mattress. Poke her in two places, kiss her, and suck on her breasts. You can’t pretend it is not humiliating.”
Bed sighed. “Yes, of course it is humiliating. However, when this Charles arrives next week, she may be so pleased with his idea of Earthling sexual intercourse that she will forget about us. We might be the odd entities out.”
Two weeks later Charles picked up the apparatus in his bedroom that connected to the Universal Message Service’s interplanetary telephone system and dialed the number he knew best. Doctor Weathers was at work, and he knew he could speak in confidence, particularly since the Fordbreez siblings were out of the house on one of their frequent shopping trips.
“Mother, I have been here for three days,” Charles said, “and I moved money into your account. Yes, I find I can spare three thousand for you.”
“What do you mean by spare? I thought all them expenses were taken care of by this whore, the one with enough nerve to take a mother’s son away from a real comfortable life in Pennsylvania? To keep him on some planet filled with heathens?” Marion asked, scarcely pausing for breath.
“Mother, Doctor Weathers is not a whore. She is fairly well-to-do, but she goes to work every day. My only real job here is to keep out of the way of the housekeeping robots,” Charles told her.
“So she is able to afford housekeeping robots while I work my fingers to the bone cleaning and cooking?”
“Mother, this is a very different life on Warbut,” Charles said. “Everything here is automated.”
“And how many men are there in the house, sucking off this high-class tit?”
“I am the only Earthling male in the house, Mother. There are two Lillitzians, androgynous entities that are very advanced in intelligence. Every two days the three of them go into her bedroom for several hours. I don’t know what they do, but I can hear her screaming and moaning,” Charles said.
“So far I have been only asked to be a fourth at bridge. One of the Lillitzians is always partnered with Doctor Weathers and another is partnered with me,” Charles said. “We play bridge every evening, just before we retire for the night.”
“Young people don’t play bridge these days,” Marion told him. “They have sex, real shameful sex. Now that all them girls over to the college are getting them shots that delay their periods for a year, there’s no incentive to abstain.”
“How about disease? Don’t they worry about that?” Charles wanted to know.
“Son, for somebody who has studied for years and years and not done nothing else, you are very ig’nert about what’s what. Disease is all gone. There is no sex diseases them medical people can’t cure. Just a shot in the butt, and them girls is good as new,” Marion said.
“Very well, Mother. I hope you will have enough money for a few months. I don’t know when I will receive another payment,” Charles said.
“You are surely aware, Charles, I can’t collect any retirement money for ten years,” Marion reminded him. “I’m just sixty-six now, and I have four living children. The government assumes you’ens will support me since your father abandoned us twenty years ago.”
“As I said, I will send you half of whatever I collect,” Charles told her, crossing his fingers behind his back. “This woman is wealthy, but I have no expectations other than a ticket home after three months. Can’t you ask Wilson or Janice to send you something?”
“They have children, you know,” Marion reminded him. “They have real responsibilities and are working to feed and house them children. Unlike you, they are real productive members of our parish. They don’t sit around playing cards all evening, and they don’t have time to listen at bedroom doors.”
“I’ll call you in another month, Mother,” Charles concluded.
“I may be on one of them crafts, going to Warbut,” Marion said. “If I can git a loan from the bank, based on joining you and this rich whore.”
“Don’t even think about it, Mother,” Charles said. “If I survive the three months, we can make plans.”
“I’ve written to the King of England, asking him to sponsor me,” Marion continued. “He’s got lots of money, and he could use another Earthling servant.”
“He’s quite poor, according to the gossip here,” Charles said. “The reason he is on Warbut is that he could no longer afford to keep up appearances on Earth.”
“We’ll see. If he says he will sponsor me, I’ll be there,” Marion insisted.
“She’s got to buy a much better house,” Wood Fordbreez insisted.
Its only sibling, Bed, shook its massive head. “Let’s make that a stipulation for our continuing on with her here in Warbut. In another six weeks we will be up for renewal, and we can decide what we want to ask for.”
“No need to wait,” Wood urged. “She needs something larger and grander. She can’t hold her head up around town while she is living in that place. Only twelve rooms, only six bedrooms, only seven bathrooms.”
“There would have been eight bathrooms if you had not broken that toilet,” Bed reminded its sibling.
“She should not have kept four bathrooms only for Earthlings,” Wood countered. “She knew we were coming three months before we arrived.”
“Nevertheless, you can’t use the Earthlings’ bathrooms. The commode is never large or strong enough for our wide rumps,” Bed said.
Wood waived away any talk of the inconveniences of broken commodes. “You know we need another place, something more in the style to which we hope to become accustomed. And, I found exactly the place while I was out yesterday, just after I visited the haberdasher’s store.”
“Wood, you must stay out of clothing stores!” Bed cried. “We have already spent our limit on her Universal Credit Card. Furthermore, you can’t go gallivanting all over town in that autotaxi. It costs twice as much to operate as her own vehicle, as she has told us several times.”
“She’s filthy rich. And this place I found will be very good as a next step,” Wood said. “The real estate agent will be preparing the offer for her signature today, and we can present it to her tonight after our session in her bedroom and right before dinner.”
“How much will this place set her back?” Bed asked.
“Just five million, but it is a really hot property, according to the real estate agent,” Wood replied. “When we are ready to build something better, it will sell in an instant.”
Bed sighed. “What has happened to your ideas of finding something in our own line of work? Perhaps on Octula or Drintde?”
Wood stared at its sibling as if it had lost its mind. “You see how she smiles in an embarrassed way after our sessions in the bedroom,” it said. “She won’t deny us anything. And that wimp Charles will be sent back to Earth quite soon. I set up a subliminal recording that plays over and over every night, and it tells her to get that stupid, lazy male out of the house by the first of next month.”
Bed was alarmed. “She will surely get him into the sack soon,” it replied. “You see how she smiles at him during the bridge games.”
“That’s only because Charles is such a terrible bidder,” Wood replied testily. “The more outrageous his bids, the more likely it is she will win!”
“Nevertheless, she and Charles are both Earthlings, both mostly Caucasian, and both lapsed Catholics,” Bed told its sibling. “They belong together. You and I are temporary diversions and will be given our walking papers before Charles is thrown out, no matter how many times your subliminal recording plays.”
“At any rate, let’s get this place straightened out for the real estate agent,” Wood suggested. “She will be here before dinner, and she won’t want to see all our new clothes in the dry cleaning robot.”
King Alfred the Great, the titular monarch of Great Britain and the two remaining Commonwealth Nations, looked over his correspondence while seated on a tattered sofa in the largest room of his house, the home King Hutarfe had given his mother when she immigrated to Warbut with fifteen land-buying Englishmen.
“Elli, here’s a funny letter from an American woman,” Alfred said to his wife, Ealhswith.
“The one who wants to be our servant? Yes, I saw that,” Elli answered.
“Do you have any use for an American servant? Do you have any use for a thousand dollars in Universal Gold?” Alfred asked.
“I’ve already spent that money,” Elli replied. “Please send her an authorization to enter the planet. We will never need to actually have her here since she plans to visit her son on another island.”
“I don’t know where we would put her, anyway. The kids are already filling up the bedrooms, and we have no money to remodel this house,” Alfred said.
“Don’t you get any ideas of your own about that thousand dollars,” Elli replied, shaking her head.
“You want to show me what?” Charles asked Wood.
“We want to show you how Prucilla likes to be serviced,” Wood answered. “She likes a threesome, but one of us might be called away for work or some other matter. In that case, you would need to substitute.”
“I know nothing about threesomes,” Charles confessed. In fact, Charles knew nothing about twosomes, either.
“Come into my bedroom and we’ll simulate what happens,” Wood said. “Bed is already there, ready for the demonstration.”
Within a few seconds Charles and Wood had joined Bed in Wood’s bedroom.
Charles was aghast. “My lord, Bed is in the buff, and without its bra. Am I supposed to undress, too?”
“Absolutely,” Wood told Charles. “We can’t show you how this business goes unless you are naked.”
“You aren’t going to hurt me, are you?”
“No, no,” Wood insisted. “This will be nothing n
Two hours later the Lillitzians saw that same embarrassed smile on Charles’s face, the one Wood was counting on for the siblings’ futures.
Madame Olatana came into her office’s reception room and asked Ralli, “Where did we get this extra three thousand in income? The money that appeared just this morning on the bank statement?”
“From Doctor Weathers,” Ralli answered.