The Side Alley, Outside the Leviathan Club: Medellin Edition - Redux

If you do find someone “taking numbers”, I wouldn’t mind placing a wager myself.


Oh hai 8th,

Looks like your Citizen and my Commander have come to an agreement for me to visit your fisheries.


I’m sorry you couldn’t help on upgrading the inter-connectivity on the .NETS devices. See, we’re on a Federation mission, which means only Federation officers are authorized to configure Federation equipment. ESPECIALLY since the Charbydis incident, when agents of Don Mondo were discovered to have suppressed evidence of sentience amongst the space meese. What a time that must have been, when only humans, lizards, and androids were recognized as sentient. We’ve sure swam a long way since then.

Let’s go, shall we? I don’t know if the hard freeze will hold off long enough to survey two fisheries, but I do want to get to yours before spring because of how excited and welcoming you and Mr. R-K have been.


So, fellow Sea Peas Are we ready to be pimped out…excuse me…“Introduced” to society.

I know Coat Rack (@Wisconsin_Platt) would love to see me off with his cousin (@Hadley), but I’m sure if the Devil’s Own Disco Ball (@manwich) looked twice at me, he’d happily let me “take my leave”

Oh well, it is our lot in life…

At least I’ll be looking good


That’s quite a jacket! Local tailor or off-world?

I suppose I should escort Rounder to this event, what with him being so… how to put this kindly… under the weather of late.

Do you think this ensemble will do?



Tom sits back against the wall, plucking petals from a weedy flower while humming a tuneless dirge.

Walleye wakes up in the compost bin behind Saul's Martian PotatoWorks

he struggles to remember how he got there
and when exactly he is

searching back, he remembers

Oh why, thank you Lord Farnsworth. Most generous of you.

Walleye recalls learning from Rocco that Weatherby credit chits aren’t tied a sentient, like his Federation stipends are, but rather the can be exchanged anonymooosely. chitcoins the working classes call them.

Recollection begins to dawn…

Slipping into The Silk Whip…A Royale Roll, please and thanks. Chits exchanged.

He’d never even heard of Weatherbee before, and as they say

when in [X}, be like the bees

the smoke from the embered end coiled and swam
dancing in the eddies of the fluid dynamic ripples
caused by carriages conveying citizens
into the Leviathan, in such a rush

melodies and and harmonies
chords and discords
emanate from the club
suddenly the crash of a clash


piling boxes on cans and pails in order to reach the window
inside, a circus scene is seen
a song, a dance, a fight
but not a Piker in sight

still, what a spectacle
a singing eagle, a throbbing squaretacle
fighting, or maybe courting, either way both proud
putting it on for a rowdy crowd

his vision hazes
blurry hecklers, drinkers, barkers
collectors of fluid from the floor using weird tubes
a lizard in a dress

wait, a lizard?
dizzy, slipping
the bucket-box tower collapses
he falls
and is out


Oi, mate. Pace yerself. You were drinking like a … well, like a fish.


@Eighth Just to let you know, Mister Farnsworth tends to be a little forthright when dancing. I’m not sure how he’ll handle your extra appendages, but I’d try to keep your extra arms out of the way.

I’ve gotta to go get my tail brushed out, so I won’t see the lot of you until the Ball. Cheerio, Fellow Sea Peas.


Bit of a rough head, eh? You shouldn’ try to keep up those benders when yer not prepared. I’ll let you in on a secret, leans in close and taps his right side just below the ribs Synth-o-liver. Turns it on, turns it off. Not much I can throw at it it can’t handle. Sobers ya up inna minute, if ya need doin’. Got mine fitted as a wee boy, me Mum blew out my first liver, heavy hand on the laudnum had she. Said I was the worst cholicky baby, said it was like I didn’ even want to be in my own skin.


So I’m supposed to wear a suit?

Like this?


That looks great, Eighth.

I’m sure you will make Commander Piker chuckle with that one, since it looks JUST LIKE Admiral James “Jamesway” Riptide, famed hero of the United Federation of Oceans and Seas.

It’s such a coincidence, Commander Piker accepted Mr. Rothschild Karenkin’s offer to dance with you in the Double Quartile, while “Jules” wants to dance with me.

And then, Commander Piker hopes to dance with Admiral Jamesway themself in the Waltz.

Oh, what a dreamy night it shall be~



I think there was a mix up in the post, and the dance cards got jumbled.

I was told to prepare three dances, and none were with Commander Pike.

These social engagements are harrowing - -I wish I could stick to genetics and quantum mechanics.


You mean the thought of me,

dancing with Mr. Rothchild Karenkin,

a human who proclaims to be a hero and protector of sentient sandfish everywhere…

You mean he won’t dance with me?


er, um, here’s my understanding.

You were his first choice, but a missive went unresponded, and Mr Karekin is a man of action.

Speaking of Karekin, I’m not sure where you get the idea he’s a “protector” of sandfish.

He sells them.

He just thinks sentience is more valuable than protein, so if sentience is a possibility, it’s stupid to fish them all out now and destroy the local population before we know.

For example, if sandfish have the mental capacities of a lesser canid, then just as a shepherd is more effective working alongside a well-trained dog, so fisherman with low sentience sandfish would be more effective.

Moving up the scale, a sandfish with full linguistic capacity is a sandfish you can bargain with – and that’s Karekin’s meat-and-potatoes.

Add in the these sandfish might be capable of interstellar communication - - you’re here, after all - - and who knows what kind of bargain can be struck?

The more diverse / abstruse the intelligence, the sharper the difference in preferences, the richer the arbitrage possibilities.

That’s how Karekin thinks.

Mass slaughter is a bad way to start a negotiation, so Karekin has found a different way to make money from this fishery while sponsoring extensive research. You should see the steady stream of researchers coming through the secure facility.

Karekin, like any Rothschild, is looking for a “win win” negotiated outcome with the sandfish – so the more sentient they are, the better.

But first someone needs to figure out if these tasty things can even pass a Skinner test.


My humble apologies.

I mistook him for a man of his word.

runs tearful out of the alley


a bit breathless, perhaps some might say slightly manic, Tom hurries into the alley

She did! She did! She did! Did ya see lads, did ya see!? Oh, she held the last dance for me! Me!
For me!

off again Tom disappears down the other end of the alley. Strangely, no one’s ever noted it too contains an exit


Oi, @Eighth, why didn’t you let me know you could dance so well. I’d have asked for lessons.

Be honest now, I think you should give some to Mr. Karekin. He might be light on his feet, but not mine … if ya know what I’m saying.


[ A faint pop sounds, the air shimmers, and Dick appears in the alley ]

Hello fellows! How about that ball?


Say, Rockford, was that the future Duke Gummibuns I just saw exiting the far end of the alley? Quite a dance he and the Duchess shared, from what I could tell. Sparks flying and whatnot.


Is that blob of protoplasm Karekin “light” of anything?

I’ve gone to his damnable “dance lessons” for a year now. BOR-ing. least your poor, Karekin-abused feet got some use

Karekin. Goddammn. I wish I could put that sums-loving annoyance through my analyzers. I bet he even tastes lousy.

@Rockford_Julius, Wanna head out to Territories? I know a little bar with tastiest fresh sandfish. I can say we’re doing “fisheries research.”

Maybe you can tell us about the Duchess’s softest parts (nudge, nudge, wink wink)


@liversnaps-grayson, that waltz was supposed be a formality so the Tee-Cess could get their chattel (us) through the evening without incident. But my sensors picked up the oddest bio-chemical response in Karekin as the Waltz got lively.

How the hell did you it?

You devil, you!