The Sale of the 24th Century: Epilogue

Disclaimer: this is simply my interpretation of the plot danglers left
at the end of Sale of the 24th Century, and how to wrap them up without
preventing the 24th Century of Star Trek from coming to pass (hence, the
Deceps can't go conquering the Alpha Quadrant).  And, of course, if the
Deceps ever brought back Binary could explain the

Dave Van Domelen, have fun!

Sale of the 24th Century Epilogue: by Dave Van Domelen, based on a story
			 by Lizard

	"Life is good," sighed Swindle.  Sales were hopping...the
rebuilding of Cybertron after the final victory over the Autobots needed
more resources than were available through conventional channels, and
Swindle was master of the unconventional channels.  And with the war
over, he never had to go near his fellow Combaticons again.  Yes, life
was indeed good, and he had Quark to 'thank' for it.


	Megatron stood towering over Swindle, having just asked to see
what Swindle had cheated the squishies out of.  Swindle smiled and
prepared to transform and reveal the cubic meter of Dilithium crystals
as a tangible sign of the information he had gleaned from the computers
of DS9.
	His internal sensors shows it wasn't there.  Instead, all that
was left was a small pile of monatomic Lithium dust.  Had travel through
the rift destabilized it?  Nonsense...their ships traveled through
spacetime distortion as a matter of course...Dilithium had to be
hardier.  He'd been...swindled.
	"Well, Combaticon, I'm waiting..." was Megatron's cannon
beginning to glow just a little?  Better talk fast....
	"Ah, yes, Mighty Megatron.  Actually, what I got was not so much
tangible. It was information.  The secret of..<glrp!>"  Megatron had
siezed him by the throat.  "erk...controlled anti-matter power!  OOOF!"
Swindle fell onto his backside as Megatron dropped him.
	"Are you *certain*?  After all, they may have cheated you as you
cheated them!"  Swindle's fellow Combaticons seemed rather amused at the
image of Swindle being cheated.
	"N-no...I mean, yes, I'm certain, no they didn't cheat me.  You
see, even in the future, humans have little concept of how to properly
protect their data.  I was able to gain most of what I needed from their
computers before even making a deal.  In fact, I bartered more for help
in getting back here with the information than for the cube of Dilithium
I made them fetch for me."
	"Cube of...Dilithium?  What is that, and where is it?" demanded
	"Had the circumstances of my departure been less dramatic, I
might have brought the cube with me.  However, I did not want to risk
the Dilithium being destabilized...explosively...while fighting the
Quintessons who came to collect me.  However, before I left I took full
subspace scans of the Dilithium, which I will gladly turn over to our
scientists.  Dilithium is similar to the normal light metal Lithium,
save that it extends into subspace in a rather unique way that allows it
to control antimatter reactions.  And thanks to discussions with
various...businessmen...on the human space station, I found the
locations of several natural deposits of this unique substance."
	"WELL done, Swindle!" boomed Megatron.  "Still, usually I have
to bribe or threaten you for every scrap of information...why so
solicitous now?"
	"Well, I might be interested in a concession on scrap
Autobots..." grinned Swindle, thinking to himself of the 78th Rule of
Acquistion: a good reputation can be worth your weight in Latinum.
	Megatron laughed, a fairly disconcerting sound under most
circumstances.  "If there's even so much as scrap, perhaps."

[end flashback]

	Swindle never got that concession, mainly because there *wasn't*
that much scrap left.  With antimatter power cores, the Decepticons tore
a swath through the Autobots.  The Autobots did discover the secret of
their foes' power, but too late to do much about it.  And Swindle's
reputation as the one who helped secure Decepticon victory did wonders
for his business dealings after the war was over...even with Energon
devalued by the plentiful antimatter power supply he was still a very
rich Decepticon.  Cybertron thrived, and daily scouts returned with
reports on new planets they might colonize.  Earth was left alone to
fall apart under the stresses of their own civil wars...having no
natural Dilithium sources they ceased to be of much interest to the
victorious Decepticons.
	When Unicron had descended on Cybertron, Swindle had been
pressed into military service once more, but only briefly...with all the
Fusions and larger 'Cons outfitted with weapons that made Megatron's old
antimatter gun seem puny, Unicron was torn to pieces in short order,
although more damage was done to Cybertron, damage Swindle helped fix by
procuring (at great profit) resources from Unicron's husk itself.  Not
that he did the scavenging himself, but many others were willing to do
so for a few minicubes.
	Finally all the advance scouts had returned from their
long-distance space bridge trips.  They reported that the best place in
the galaxy to colonize was on the far side, an area Swindle knew would
eventually be called Delta Quadrant.  Discussions were beginning on how
to move Cybertron all that distance.  Swindle knew this would be an
excellent time to sell the information he had gleaned on warp
drives...antimatter for free, warp drive for enormous profits.  Swindle
knew better than to lay all his cards out at once.
	Yes, life was good.
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