28 April 2012

Frothup: Dropping In (Fragment)

"'Tar Zany?'" Rannie Wu gave the Edger cop a doubtful look and turned back to the topo map on the wall. "It's not even on this map."

The big man leaned over her shoulder, his artificial leg clicking and humming as he moved. "Tarzany. Right there. On the edge of rice-growing territory."

"Except it's named 'Edgar."

"No one calls it that. --At the peak of the War, Mil/Space built their planetary defense command bunker in the hills outside of town. Dug in almost solid granite. Huge job."

Rannie frowned. Why couldn't people get to the point? "And...?"

He smiled. "It never came to that. You -- USSF and NATO never found us. General Filiaggi's guys were mostly withdrawn and what we did here, was produce food. Rice, soybeans, corn. Stepped production way up."

Geez O Pete, where was he going with this? Rannie reminded herself she was a guest here; 2/O Dr. Schmid had been at pains to point out this was the biggest transfer of tech between a former Edger world and an Earth-flagged spacecraft, ever and that every crew member who hit dirt was a de facto ambassador for Earth. She made an effort to smile back and cocked an eyebrow questioningly at the local.

"Come harvest, the warehouses were full and the bunkers were mostly empty, so the Edgar Co-Op improvised: they took them over. Blasted new entrances, eventually."

"I see," the hell I do, she thought.

"So, they started calling them burrows instead of bunkers, and put up signs so drivers would know where to go..."

Rannie still didn't get it.

Aberstwyth's top cop was mildly embarrassed to explain. "The signs said 'To Edgar Rice Burrows.'"

She couldn't help it. She rolled her eyes. Edgers!

"Before you knew it, everyone was calling the place 'Tarzany.' And that's where it looks like your missing Stardrive parts were taken."