Chapter 6.

3 Feb

Over the next several weeks, specialized engineers from Piezopower labored to integrate the magnetized pipe system of Central Echoline into the surrounding network under the control of the three Uxor brothers. Necessary modifications in the contours of the lines owned by Xipha Lokum were carried out carefully, but with numerous corrections and maximum possible speed. As soon as practical, personal psychic messages were in motion throughout the city of Tinok.

Meanwhile, Dawt became the  constant escort of the wealthy old maid. He took her to a number of interesting entertainment centers she was unfamiliar with, exposing her to new, exciting attractions for the first time in her life. She was thrilled and enthused.

He accompanied his new friend to the Skiagraphic Theater where she witnessed a romantic drama depicted by shapes and shadows projected onto a lighted screen. The show enthralled and excited her.

The pair attended a musical concert at the Mannequin Hall so that Xipha could enjoy the songs of the mixed chorus of dwarves and midgets. This proved to be an astounding experience for the sheltered heiress. She had never seen anything similar to it before.

Dawt took her to a festival of celebration at the Mimetic School of Acting, where she saw pantomimic dumb shows bereft of all human speech. Xipha had never before seen such gifted comedic talent on a stage. She ended that evening in high humor.

The two of them visited popular music halls and variety shows where the masses in the capital went for light entertainment. It was all new to Xipha. Everything she saw and heard fascinated her.

One evening, Dawt ventured to take her to the Pulcinella Theater, where low comedy consisted of actors imitating life-size puppets that were close to naked. She laughed with spirit at the finale, a mad harlequinade of uninhibited buffonic characters. Xipha had never in her life laughed so hard and uncontrollably. She was losing her fears of enjoyment without realizing it.

After this course of companionship, Dawt considered whether the time was right for him to take bolder action of a romantic nature. He understood how important it was to maintain caution with someone as isolated as Xipha had always been. Did he dare take risks?

I will be on the lookout for an appropriate occasion and only then will I move, the young engineer decided. I will seize the opportunity when it arises. After all, she is older than I am.

That will be my final, ultimate success, he said to himself. Her resistance should crumble before my great advance upon her.

Orez was the brother who was capable of envisioning the possibility of profits where no one else could. He met with Trino in the large study of the family residence as soon as technical integration was achieved with Central Echolines.

“I know where we can generate a flood of transactions at once,” he boasted to his brother. “Patrons will be crowding out each other to send and receive psychic messages through our nodal system with this new addition.”

“What are you talking about?” asked Trino with surprise. “Where can such a bonanza be generated?”

Orez smiled smugly, then related the idea he had in mind.

“The Tinok Hippodrome. Not only horseracing, but all major forms of gambling are centered there. Think what instant telepathy can mean if it originates from that location.”

“Do we have any business contacts at those tracks?” inquired Trino, his interest aroused by what he had just heard his brother say.

“Indeed, I know the biggest bookmakers on the planet who work from there. What if I approach them with the prospect of telepsychic gambling? What if bets could come in over Central Echolines with instantaneous speed? That would revolutionize their sweepstakes, number pools, lotteries, and keno games. All of Velvet can thereby be drawn into a single gambling net. There would be no limits of space or time any more.”

“You believe that feats like that are still possible?”

“We will never know for sure unless we try,” confidently asserted Orez.

“Go ahead then and investigate the possibilities,” decided Trino with a reassuring grin.

The Hippodrome contained three separate tracks, allowing multiple races to be run simultaneously. Large stables and gambling halls surrounded the covered track and the three uncovered oval courses. Races occurred all day and all night in the area. There was never a moment of rest or quiet in the busy complex. It was always crowded, busy, and profitable.

On the day that Orez Uxor arrived to seek a business partnership, there was a match of little quaggas in one track and a harness race and thoroughbred sweepstakes in the other two.

Animal smells wafted about everywhere.

Large crowds of onlookers and gamblers filled the stands for all three contests. There was no scarcity of excitement and enthusiasm anywhere at the Tinok Hippodrome. Noise never stopped ringing in the ears of the people present. Excitement never flagged.

Orez made his way to the expensive, exclusive Turf Club, where he was certain to find the man he wanted to see. Dzig Geta, king of the realm of sport, the man at the apex of a gigantic empire of gambling. He was the only person capable of making the crucial decisions that would result in changes that the three Uxor brothers might profit from. There was no one else influential enough to alter conditions necessary for a revolution in the racing and gambling system. The wealth and power of Dzig Geta had to be harnessed and applied in order to accomplish a radical change in how things operated here.

The advantages of the new telepathic method of focused messages had to be described and justified for this powerful magnate. He had to be convinced to cooperate with the Uxor brothers in their scheme that promised astronomical wealth to both sides of the bargain. The task ahead was an extremely difficult one, but had to be attempted because of the dimensions of the possible rewards.

Unlimited gains were to be dangled before the eyes of the famed lord of gambling and racing.

Orez could estimate the odds of gains or losses in entering this risky field. The chances of success were less than even, but the promise was one of profits that would be adequate to cover all the heavy expenses connected with setting up the new system of focused telepathic communications. The winnings promised to be immediate, without a long period of initial application and preparation. Entrance into the field of sports and gambling promised the brothers a rapid covering of their mountains of debts and expenses.

This promised to be a wise solution to many immediate problems, thought Orez as he entered the Tinok Hippodrome.

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