The man who sold the world

The Doctor walked passed the various holographic projections showing various planets. Rose followed him looking around wide eyed at the sight of so many creatures in such an amazing surroundings.
“So why are we at this auction? Do you want something for your mantelpiece,” asked Rose.
“I don’t think I’d fit any on these planets through the door, well except that one,” he pointed at the hologram of a planet who’s dimensions were listed as barely a meter in circumference. “It’s from a micro universe.”
“A pocket size planet. Cool. I can’t believe you can buy your own planet.”
“It’s quite a lucrative business-,”
“So is this like the future?”
“That’s relative, but to you it would be the present,” he unrolled the interactive brochure and tapped in a search.
“What are you looking for?”
“There’s a particular lot I want to keep an eye on. Ah, this way.”
He strolled over to a hologram of a familiar looking planet floating like a blue and green jewel. Lot number 364. Terran.
“Doctor,” exclaimed Rose. “That’s-,”
“I know.”
There were several other creatures standing round the hologram and checking the statistics of the planet.
“I think this is a bargain,” said a strange three eyed alien.
“A very good price,” agreed another. “A lot of potential.”
Rose went to say something, but the Doctor placed a restraining hand on her shoulder.
“Well, you think it’s a bargain but it’s what the brochure doesn’t tell you that is important,” said the Doctor.
“What do you mean,” exclaimed the first alien. “Do you know something?”
“It says here close to main shipping routes, but what it really means is prime target. It’s in a bad neighbourhood, that’s going downhill. The resources are almost all gone, there’s an indigenous population, which is always tricky. You know how much those heritage species protection guys charge. And don’t get me started about the invasion rates.”
“It says here it’s only got a 3.4 risk factor.”
“Look, my friend I have visited the place. I’d say it’s more like an 8.9. You can buy it one week and the next it will be blown up by some flyboy who decides he wants some revenge or real estate.”
“If what you say is true, we are very grateful.”
“Try Terik 4, nice little holiday planet. It’s got beautiful views,” he winked. “Nice meeting you.”

***

As they both took their seats Rose turned to the Doctor.
“The auctioneer…he’s a giant parrot,” she exclaimed.
“A Redalpangra, actually,” replied the Doctor, sliding his glasses onto his nose and peering at the brochure. “Don’t stare, its rude. Oh, here comes your planet.”
“And now Lot 364. An M-Class planet with large expanses of both land and water. Close to amenities. What am I bid for this gem of a planet?”
There was silence, punctuated by a few coughs.
“Surely someone with give me something for this beautiful sphere-,”
“Twenty Crediz,” said the Doctor, holding up his card.
“Twenty Crediz, from a bidder in the room. Any other bids?”
“Thirty,” barked an alien on the opposite side of the room.
“That’s-,”
“Forty!”
“Forty from-,”
“Fifty.”
“One Hundred,” said the Doctor.
There was a hushed babble of conversation punctuated by several exclamations of surprise. The Doctor had just bid double the asking price. There was no way he could make a profit from re-sale. They either thought he was stupid, crazy or very crafty.
“Is there any more bids? Please may I have order-,” pleaded the auctioneer. “I said is there anymore bids.”
No one moved a muscle or whatever else they were made up of and enabled them to move.
“Going once, going twice, last chance….sold to the creature with the large brown plumage.”

***

“Wow! You own a planet. You own Earth, how cool!”
“Well I couldn’t let some developer get it and go bulldozing the place to make way for a galactic highway.”
“You could always do an Arthur Dent again. I was thinking-,”
“That’s a dangerous pastime.”
“Ha-h’m. A hundred credits seems very cheap,” commented Rose.
“Actually it’s a Hundred thousand Crediz…with a Z.”
“And that means what? Does the Z make it more futuristic?”
“To put it in terms you’ll understand, I just spent a ninety billion pounds.”
“Do you have the money to cover it,” asked Rose in a hushed whisper. “I hope the cheques not going to bounce.”
“Its fine, thanks to accumulated interest and some farsighted investments. Not you understand that I would abuse my time travelling ability in order to make a profit.”
“Nah, you just know what’s going to happen.” She smiled and folded her arms. “So now you own Earth, are you going to start throwing your weight about? Make your self King or President or whatever?”
“Actually,” he handed her the folder containing all the deeds. “You are the proud new part owner of Earth.”
“You what? You’re kidding me?”
“No. You are now a trustee…for tax purposes. The Heritage people only annoy non native owners of planets. As you are a resident you don’t have so much paperwork.”
He smiled.
“Wait till I tell everyone, they’ll never believe me.”

The End

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