“Nobody's mentioned the elephant in the room.”
Doctor Dolittle* #quote
A woodcut is an old printing technique. Yet a paper cut is painful. Hmm...I wonder what dastardly person decided that when naming these things to give cut a worse reputation when it comes to paper. Inconsistency is terrible. I wonder how many people fear woodcuts just from the paper cuts they've gotten!
Though woodcuts get printed onto paper...perhaps there is a method here...some sort of...linguistic conspiracy.
Anyway onto the flash fiction!
“Sold!” An auctioneer proclaimed in an alien tongue to thousands of absurdly rich alien bidders of many species. Earth had been sold for “10 trillion standards” the currency that is used for large transactions trade between areas in the solar system. It works off a gold standard so it never changes(even aliens are attracted to gold) and one standard equals about as much gold as contained in Fort Knox.
Life bearing planet bids tended to happen immediately upon the planet's discovery. As soon as the discoverer finds the planet they try to sell it off, to take care of the hype coming with it. Since so many planets exist that don't bare life, staking claim to new planets isn't difficult.
The seller managed to sell Earth for big, and he smiled at the man he sold it too. This unsettled him. The smile on the sellers gooey face seemed like he managed to get some sort of smoking deal despite the fact he showed so many pictures of varied life and landscapes. The pictures he gave covered most of the planets estimated surface and all the evidence showed an appraisal of about that amount.
However after visiting the planet the buyer called the seller, screaming with both mouths resisting all the various curses that existed in his languages. “You cheat! You hid the fact high-level intelligent life existed on the planet. They're advanced enough to heavily militarized and it'd take a fortune to conquer the planet! Nobody could make a single Standard off this planet when there's a species already on it!”
The seller just laughed and Earth would never been invaded since no alien could possibly project a profit from invading the planet. Maybe a few thousand years ago it'd have been a bargain.