Fred was in the automobile business. He sold what the society of 2045 called “clankers,” or cars from around the 2000s. It was once very famous, but his business had gone down recently. This was due to a new business moving in, a new CAR dealership, selling flying cars. When all of the business owners of the city’s current dealerships went to meet with him, he said something that sounded like a threat, “I will crush your businesses, and rule this city. And nobody will ever think I’ve done it, I’m just a measly car dealer.”
When the owners told the mayor, the mayor dismissed the concern, saying, “You just don’t want to lose business to a better dealer.” Fred complained later to his wife. He told her exactly what was happening, and then she asked what the new cars were like. He told her that they were “They were shiny, chrome plated, some even bullet proof for the important people of the city. They also have some that hover, and fly themselves.” Fred’s wife told him that he just needed to make the clankers seem vintage, and better than flying cars.
When he got this advice from his wife, Fred immediately started working on making the cars seem vintage. He added decals, souped up engines, and even modded some to have the roof roll back. This seemed to bump business up a bit, but it didn’t affect the new dealership, now called “Tomorrow here Today,” because their sales were still through the roof, in part due to a new brand of cars that had the same basic amenities as a house, such as a bathroom, fridge, or an oven. And these weren’t just campers, they were flying campers.
Fred tried everything he could. He tried to advertise more, and he even started selling the flying campers at a lower price, and for a while, his dealership was back on top. The other dealers began meeting to plan how they could ruin Fred’s business. One idea they came up with was that they would advertise Fred’s business as a scam, and have the city demolish his business. They presented their case to the city a day later, and they were almost able to get Fred’s business demolished. Fred’s punishment was that he had to pay a fine of one-hundred thousand credits within a week, or his business would be demolished.
Now, Fred just didn’t have that type of money, because if he did, he wouldn’t be working as a car dealer. He pleaded this to the judge, but the judge stood by the fine.
So Fred set about raising money. He even lowered the prices of the flying campers to show that he wasn’t a scam, but everyone thought his business was scamming people, so his business went down, and there was no way that he was going to be able to pay the fine. He was very emotional about the dealership closing, since it was in his family since 1998, and had sold every single clanker ever made.
The next day, he testified before the Board of Merchants as to why his dealership shouldn’t be shut down. He told them that to answer that question, he had to present evidence, and could not fully deliver why orally. He presented a flash drive, and a big stack of papers. He told them, “On the flash drive, you will find an audio clip of every other single car dealer in the city plotting against me. It is transcribed on the papers. Please, do take a listen.”
Audio File Transcription -
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I call this meeting to order. The topic is how to shut down Fred Hansen’s dealership. He is ruining our business by selling those seemingly “cool” clankers.”
“Well, I say we just destroy the place. It would be quick.”
“No more ideas from Lord Skeeter. Anyone else?”
“How about we present a case to the court claiming he’s a scam?”
“And how would we prove he’s a scam? Anyone think about that?”
“We could go around stealing cars, and then melt em’ down, and his customers would think that he is stealing them back.”
“But how would we get them into his dealership?”
“We could always leave them in his scrap yard, and make it seem like HE was going to melt them down to make new clankers.”
“Ooh, we could also accuse him of not selling gen-u-ine clankers.”
“But how would we make them seem fake?”
“Well, all dealers must stamp their sheets with when they received the cars. So we could make fake sheets, and hide them in his office, where the real ones should be.”
“I guess that could work. Last question, HOW WOULD WE GET THE PAPERS INTO HIS OFFICE?”
“Uhhhhhh, I don’t know. I didn’t think of that. Wait, we have people working inside his business for us, right?”
“Well then, they can just slip the papers into his office.”
“But who knows how long it’s gunna take for the court to call him up. What’ll we do if he finds the fakes?”
“We could always wait until the court calls him, have our employee trail him, and hand him the fake sheets telling him that he forgot them at the dealership.”
“That’s a good idea.”
“But what if he realizes that he didn’t forget them? Then what?”
“Well, we could actually steal them, that might make him ‘forget’ them.”
“True. So, you all are in agreement with that plan?”
The judges then went into a closed room, and discussed what to do. On one hand, they thought that they should drop all charges against Fred, and charge the other dealers. On another hand, they thought that Fred might have made this file himself, because some words were scrambled, and had to hear, and the transcript matched everything word for word. In the end, they decided not to drop all charges against Fred just yet, but they would if Fred won the case against the other dealers.
Upon hearing this news, Fred was exasperated. He could not believe that the judges did not drop all charges against him, because he provided very good evidence, and he thought that it would be enough. But now, he had to win a legal battle against the other dealers, who probably had a plan for what to do if this ever happened. He was fearful that the judges would rule in favor of the other dealers. That’s why upon getting the recording, he made a copy of the correct sheets with the dates of when the dealership received cars, and let them take the copy, and then brought the correct copies to the original hearing. Now, he decided to bring both, and show that the other dealers put lots of work into this, and that he couldn’t have possibly done it.
On the day of the case, Fred was ready to win the fight against the real scams, the other dealers. He found that they had gone on to use the idea of stealing back cars and making new ones out of them, and now their customers were flocking back to Fred’s business. Fred promised that since he had so many extra cars, he would be able to give everybody who had a car stolen a new one for free. He also planned to use the other cars that he was going to acquire if he won the case to make a new line of clankers. He was going to melt down all the metal on the new cars, but keep the valuable pieces, and make clankers that flew, and even make some modifications to old clanker campers to make them fly. He also planned to program a robot for each car, so that the cars could seemingly drive themselves.
When he got to the courthouse, he got some interesting news. The other dealers had been arrested, after arguing about how dumb the plan was at a local tavern. When the judges got this news, Fred was told that he didn’t have to make a case against the other dealers, and that he, was the winner.