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[2007: MAR-APR] Bedtime Stories

Ryan Horn

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"I want a STORY!"

The shrill cry of his son cut through the elder Ferengi's ears like a spike driven into his skull.

"Fine. Just lie down and be quiet." He bent down, reaching over to the table near the bed for the worn book lying there.

"NO! Not the rules of acquisition again. I want something NEW!!!"

The elder Ferengi glowered at the younger lying in the bed. His words came across with the tone parents have learned to use through the ages, and children have learned to their dismay.

"You'll learn these rules, and know them. When I was a young Ferengi, that's all I ever wanted to know. So lie down and listen!"

"But Father...I KNOW the rules, and...well...nevermind."

"What? Tell me."

"I just thought...someone as rich as you...would have stories..."

The half hidden smile on the young boy's face revealed the deception to the elder, still he had to give him credit. He sat down next to the boy and began speaking.

"A long time ago, in a galaxy far..far away. A young Terran..."

"But Father, the Terran's live in OUR galaxy"

"Fine. A long time ago, on a planet far..far away..a young Terran told a lie."

"This Terran was not a fighter, but he saw battles being fought. There were ugly truths that were all around him that he could not change. So he started to tell a lie.

In this lie, the truths that haunted his daily life were already resolved. Terrankind had united under a great empire. They expanded to the stars, meeting new life and new civilizations. And with this lie, the Terran fought for what he believed in. The Terrans in his lie showed other civilizations the lie hidden behind each ugly truth. And in the midst of this, something...amazing happened."

"He used the rules of acquisition, he merchandized?"

The older Ferengi smiled fondly at his son. "No, sadly the Terrans have always been fools in that regard. But, each time the Terran told his lie, people listened."

"They looked into themselves and wondered if they would fit into the Terran's lie. Where they found themselves lacking, they worked to improve. Technologies were pushed to match what the lie said would be true, policies were changed to lead to the possibility of what might become. Eventually, the lie...became truth."

The younger Ferengi snored softly, his lips curled up into a small smile. The elder looked down at him fondly, covering him up. His words were soft as he finished his story.

"So be careful my little liar, who knows what truths will spring up from what you speak. May they be worthy of the dreams you create."

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