I congratulate you on your newfound fortune, Tad.
You must be surprised to have this message delivered to you in the middle of lunch, but it is of the utmost importance that it be delivered to you now. I imagine that you have had many surprises of late – it must be so difficult balancing your upbringing, with its focus on the trappings of wealth, with only having just recently come into the money required to fulfill it. I am writing this to congratulate you on the recent purchase of your private yacht. Certainly, the 890 Jump is a beautiful ship, and I am certain that you will enjoy its spacious interior, its elegant decor, and the friendly staff whom you will no doubt hire to maintain its systems as well as the comfort of your guests. You will also enjoy its hangar space, which will allow you to host a pair of shuttles. Yes, the 85x is a fun little boat, and I am certain that it will give you some measure of joy to travel in its comfortable confines on your vacation to Green. It is racing season, after all, isn’t it, Tad? Because that’s where you go on vacation. To Green. Every single season, Tad. For the races.
I too had a Jump once. But you see, Tad, I do not settle, and yachting life is for a very specific measure of the wealthy. A person cannot simply be idle, Tad. They cannot simply drink wine and eat salad at Graymouth’s and watch races for a week straight in an antigravitic chateau. They must be busy. They must have a purpose, Tad. A vision. Which is of course why I long ago abandoned the yachting life, and have embraced a better vessel as my private headquarters. I speak of course of my humble Endeavor, the Lady Alexis Carrington.
You may be surprised to know that I have abandoned what could be considered an icon of luxury for a science vessel, Tad, but I assure you that it was hardly a step down – in fact, Tad, let me tell you about how superior the Lady Alexis Carrington is to anything that ever scuttled out of the Origin yards. Are you ready, Tad? Because I know you’re waiting, Tad. You’re always waiting. Waiting for someone else to do something so that you can capitalize on it. Tad.
Where to begin? Well, certainly your ship is more elegant, at least in terms of creature comforts – private staterooms, personal kitchen, completely different quarters and mess for the crew. Well, that’s just your style, Tad, isn’t it? Divorcing yourself from the public, doing things where people cannot see you. Plenty of personal armament as well. Are you hiding something, Tad? Is something going on inside your yacht that you would not want someone to see? The Endeavor is a noble, honest ship, armed only very lightly. But of course, a science ship isn’t meant to be armed, is it, Tad? Then again, you never know when there are unpleasant people about trying to get at your secrets – you’d know all about that, I’m sure – so the hangar module that is mounted to her belly is filled with paramilitary-grade Super Hornets. You don’t want to kick a Hornet’s nest, now do you, Tad. Do you. Tad. Especially when the weapons of those Hornets have been supercharged by a specialized process, patented by myself, thanks to the supercollider module that I sometimes mount on the Lady Alexis Carrington. I understand that when you purchased that physics laboratory from Belmount Dupress you turned it into a grav-racing track. But that’s just like you, Tad. Short-sighted.
I think it important at this time to mention that medical facilities can be very difficult to come by out here in the periphery, Tad – I understand that you recently had a bit of trouble with your system after having some bad cheese at La Borgia. Can you imagine how it would be in your yacht if you were out here? No medical facilities on board the 890, are there, Tad? You could be in quite a bad way – why, you could even die. How terrible. but of course, I routinely mount a hospital module on the divine Lady Alexis Carrington, and give fine health care to those who require medical attention on the fringe. So many colonies, Tad. They have such awful outbreaks of diseases here. And of course, we always make sure to work hard and try and research new treatments – after all, you didn’t take all of my money when you broke our partnership. Medical treatment brings a great deal of resources to my table.
Ah! And of course, there is the table, isn’t it? You are such a fan of your exotic greens, aren’t you? And why wouldn’t you be? To sample delicious vegetables, grown in different climates, at different gravities – why, it’s like having the universe brought right to you, is it not? No travel necessary. You simply…order. You like ordering things, don’t you, Tad. Food, spacecraft, company. You like to have things your way. But of course, there is no greenhouse on your yacht, is there? Would it interest you to know that I can have up to four? Yes! Four geodesic domes at any given time, all of them growing such interesting and exotic species of plants from across the Empire and neighboring territories. I hear that you’re very fond of Banu salads, specifically. How marvelous. Did you know that I have thirty-two varieties of Banu plants growing in my biodomes at this very moments? Yes, even your favorite. I know your favorites, Tad. I know everything about you.
They say that in space, they cannot hear you scream. And of course, you cannot you hear them scream, either. But I can hear you scream, Tad. I can hear the seething crackle of your jealousy as I pen these words to you. I quantify them scientifically, and I read the reports. And I laugh, Tad. I laugh, even though you cannot hear me. I laugh because you do not need a powerful telescope array – which I have on board, as it happens, deployed and always pointed on your location – to know that you are inferior to someone else. As you are inferior to me, Tad.
And to think, you called me unhinged. Unhinged, Tad! Unhinged, because I’ve lived for five years in space without setting foot on a planet, eating nothing but greens produced on board my own ship! Because that’s what you have to do if you want to be the best, Tad! Better than you! Because I will always be better than you, Tad. You plebeian scum. You thief. You pretender. You’re nothing but a fop who does not understand the true wealth of the universe – that is not wealth, Tad. Wealth is a means to an end. True power is knowledge. Influence. The two can combine to give me what I truly want…and that is revenge.
Because you see, Tad, I know that you’re on Terra Prime. I know that you’re having your last lunch at Le Marche before you depart for Green and the racing season. I know that you’re ordering a Grand Blossom Salad – Le Marche’s most famous dish – replete with all manner of exotic alien flora. I know that because I put them there, Tad. I put them on your table. Those are my plants. My labor. My engineered virus coating every frond. Because that is what happens when you spend five years in the dark on a science ship, living in silence, brimming with poison in your soul – poison that you put there, Tad, poison I could never have created in my laboratory. You learn to get revenge, and you kill the man who ruined you. I suppose that vengeance is a dish best served cold – and, in my case, with white wine and a fine vinaigrette. I hope that you enjoyed it.
Goodbye, Tad. You’ll always be a plebeian, but at the very least you tried.