Part 45 of my third global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”. Link to Part 1: “Back To Paradise Era”.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21 2023 10:15 A.M.
“How are you, Mr. Baker? Have you recovered from the shock of being nailed to the solar cross?” Angel said over the phone.
She had phoned his office. His assistant had put her through, not without thanking “Her Majesty” Angel for kindly contacting the humble offices of Non Standard Oil.
“I have,” John Baker said. “What do you want?”
“How about our little bet? Have you decided to follow my orders and stop oil production at the Canadian tar sands yet?”
“Of course not. And I haven’t accepted your bet. It’s just another ridiculous publicity stunt. Non Standard Oil will not stop production at the Canadian tar sands. We are not giving in to environmental terrorists.”
“That’s too bad,” Angel said. “You’ll reconsider in time, of course. How about the Glaring Glasses? Do you still want to rob me of them?”
“Certainly not. I had enough of them last time. How did you get those anyway?”
“I told you. I’m a Princess from the 24th Century. I brought the Glaring Glasses back with the time machine. We have far superior technology in our World.”
“That doesn’t make sense,” John Baker said.
“It sure does. Have a nice day,” Angel said, and cut the connection.
“Looks like you’ll lose your little bet,” Satoshi said. “My turn now.”
He dialed the same number. When John Baker’s assistant answered the phone, he introduced himself.
“Hello. This is Satoshi Nakamoto. Have you ever heard of me?”
“No. Are you in the oil business?”
“Not yet. Right now, I’m just a regular guy who happens to be the World’s richest person. But I am in the process of setting up the World’s largest oil fund. The ’24th Century Princess Angel Fund’, to be precise. I am going to invest $4 billion for starters. I wonder if I could have a couple of moments to discuss these matters with John Baker.”
“Wait a moment. I’ll ask him,” the assistant said.
A couple of seconds later, the voice at the other end changed.
“John Baker speaking. Who are you and what do you want?”
“I am Satoshi Nakamoto. You may have heard about me. I developed the Bitcoin network.”
“I sure have heard of Satoshi,” John Baker said. “How do I know you’re for real?”
“You don’t, of course. But if we can set up a meeting, I will send you a mail signed with my PGP key. That should be proof enough.”
“I’d certainly be interested in meeting Satoshi Nakamoto,” John Baker said. “What would the meeting be about?”
“I’d like to discuss this new $4 billion oil fund I’m setting up. There may be some business opportunities for Non Standard Oil.”
“Can you meet me at eleven thirty?”
“That’s okay. I’ll come to your office.”
“Thank you. See you later,” John Baker said.
“See you,” Satoshi said, and cut the connection.
“Thank you for meeting me on such short notice,” Satoshi said.
“You’re welcome,” John Baker said. “What’s up with that surgical mask?”
“I don’t want your security cameras to record my face,” Satoshi said. “I’m sorry about that. I really am.”
“We’ve met before. And you brought the Princess as well. How come?”
“Haven’t you read her blog?”
“Actually, no. I’m kind of busy.”
“I am assisting her in setting up the solution to our little global warming problem,” Satoshi explained. “Have you checked my PGP key?”
“I have. And it checked out,” John Baker said. “This is most extraordinary. You know, I have been collecting some bitcoins over the last years as well. I’ve already got about 1,800. My goal is to make it to 2027 in the next couple of years. I want just as many Bitcoins as there are years in the calendar.”
“I won’t tell you how many I have,” Satoshi said, smiling. “You might be tempted to try another stunt like last time. When you called your security guys.”
“I won’t try that again,” John Baker said. “I’m not interested in getting my bitcoins by robbing someone.”
“It wouldn’t work anyway. I have some serious security in place,” Satoshi said.
“So, what can Non Standard Oil do for you?”
“Have you heard about my new fund?”
“Actually, no. I haven’t been following the story.”
“I just announced last Friday that I am setting up the ’24th Century Princess Angel Fund’ with $4 billion of my own money. I’ve got some lawyers working on the necessary approval procedures.”
“What is that fund supposed to do? What’s your business model?”
“We will buy oil and hold it for a couple of decades. The idea is to take oil out of the fuel market. That will increase oil prices, giving us a guaranteed profit.”
“Before we discuss how Non Standard Oil might get involved, I have another question. Have you decided already to stop production at the Canadian tar sands?”
“I certainly have decided about that.”
“You have seen the light? You will stop production?”
“Of course not. Do I look like I would give in to the environmental terrorists? It took us a great deal of effort to get that project going. And to build the Keystone pipeline. We’re not going to stop.”
“So you are not afraid of the Wise Vampire?”
John Baker laughed out loud.
“Ah, the Wise Vampire. I remember. That was that ridiculous story the pretty Princess came up with last time she was here, wasn’t it? You actually believe that crap?”
“Based on what? It’s completely absurd.”
“I heard it directly from the source. It was actually me who told Princess Angel about it.”
“Listen,” John Baker said. “I have a lot of respect for Satoshi Nakamoto as the creator of the Bitcoin network. That was pure genius. But, judging from what you are telling me, it is rather difficult to extend that respect to your involvement in the oil business.”
“You still don’t believe that the Wise Vampire is real?”
“Of course I don’t believe it. What’s next? Global warming will lead to a complete meltdown, like on Venus? Like the alarmists say?”
“Actually, it will. And Non Standard Oil will be responsible. You will be responsible.”
“Did you come here just to tell me this? If so, you’re wasting your time. And mine.”
“No. Actually I came to discuss some business.”
“I just kickstarted the ’24th Century Princess Angel Fund’ with four billion dollars of my own money. The fund will invest trillions, once it gets up to speed. We will buy oil. A lot of oil. I understand you are in the business of selling oil.”
“We sure are.”
“We will also need storage capacity. I assume you are familiar with the Strategic Oil Reserve. We’ll do the same thing, but on a much larger scale. Can you help with that?”
“We might be able to work something out. I’m ready to take your money for oil. Nothing wrong with that, even if you have some rather strange ideas. As long as you don’t start requiring us to stop production at the Canadian tar sands, I’ll be happy to do business with you.”
“I won’t force you to stop production. You’ll do so on your own one of these days. Though I’m afraid that Princess Angel will lose her bet. It will probably take longer than she has left to live.”
“Oh, has she announced another impending death experience?”
“Yes. She’ll be gone tomorrow. This time for good. But she’ll always live on in the name of my fund.”
Link to part 46: Norwegian Funds