Disclaimer: Any resemblances here to real people, places, institutions or events are purely coincidental. This is a work of fiction.
Chapter 17, "Pulp Rats...an Unpleasant Story."
Fos reporting as usual, Mr. Jim interpreting:
After a few days' break, the Great Mother reconvened the meeting. "We want to move on to some construction issues," she said. "We have a report from Moj, who has spent the last year touring the Big Things recent projects. Moj, you have the floor."
"Well, it seems," Moj started, "That it has become quite rampant for the Big Things to find difficulties in achieving the production levels they are supposed to achieve with their new projects."
"What are 'production levels'?" Peh asked.
"'Production levels' are the promised output from a given machine or group of machines," Moj replied.
"You mean like how much Koj can eat in a day?" Peh giggled.
"Sort of," Moj continued.
"Well, what is the problem?" asked Tir.
"It seems as though some Big Things that sell the machinery to other Big Things do not size it correctly and it does not meet the production requirements," replied Moj.
"Why is that?" asked Tir.
Moj said, "The Big Things are clever. If they size the machinery too small, it costs less. They give guarantees on performance, of course. These guarantees carry penalties. However, the Big Things have figured out that winning the business and paying the penalties is better business than being the loser."
"Seems a bit dishonest." Tir remarked.
"Yes," Moj continued, "But there seems to be no way to fix it. It costs the Big Things that buy the equipment lots of money, what with lost production and all."
"I have an idea!" Voo exclaimed. "Let's go to the Big Things that make the equipment and deliver a full infestation of rats."
"I don't know," Moj said, "it seems like they have enough rats already--the ones who scratch out the bidding documents."
The Great Mother jumped in. "Thank you, Moj. We'll refer this to the cadre, but I don't see any easy way to make the Big Things honest in this case."