Wednesday, January 18, 2096

10:30 am

Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan

After a freezing night in a cabin on Lake Motosu, the crew of the Black Flea bypassed the campgrounds at the next two lakes and stayed a night in a hotel room in the resort town of Kawaguchi. Rejuvenated, they moved onto the next village surrounding Lake Yamanakako on the northeast side.

S: You know, we don't have to visit every village. After a while, every farming village starts to look the same.

WU: Sure we do. I need to get around to see which area has the best view of Mount Fuji.

RP: I think we had the best view at Lake Motosu.

WU: It sure was! But, it's a campground. We can't live there.

S: (perplexed) What?

WU: You know how Earth's population never recovered after the Great War? Well, Japan's akiya banks are full, especially in farming towns.

RP: What does that have to do with living in view of Mount Fuji?

WU: Akiya banks are not literal banks. They're prefecture collections of abandoned homes. They're a burden on the prefecture as they rot away instead of bringing in taxes, so they confiscate them and sell them for really cheap.

S: You want to live in an abandoned home?

WU: Or build on an empty plot. They often clear the land when the structure is beyond saving, then sell the empty plots.

RP: Cool! Let's do it!

SM: Now hold on. We can't have a base on Mars and here.

WU: Why not? We come back to Earth at least once a year. We'd have a place to stay and we could buy some synthers to maintain it while we're gone.

S: You love burning through money, don't you?

WU: No, but all that money we're going to get from the Jageda job is going to need more than a few places to invest in.

RP: Let's do it!

Meri: Wuf!

WU: That's right, Meri. You'll be able to run around the field and we can play fetch!

Meri: Wuf, wuf, wuf!

WU: Meri, you want to come look for places to live?

Meri: Wuf, wuf, wuf!

SM: No Meri, I want you to stay back with me and Red so that we can work on your shell with stuff we got from Akihabara last week.

Meri: Wuh?

RP: Wuh? I can't go?

SM: No, I need your help on this.

S: I better go then.

WU: Yes! We can rent a couple of electric trikes! We'll have so much fun, Syvil!

Wu-chan rushes out the door before Syvil can respond.

S: Baka. I'm going to keep you out of trouble, Warui. Warui! Wa... Oh never mind.

Syvil rushes out the door to catch up.

RP: Aww, I wish I could go on an electric trike.

SM: When we finish we can catch up with them.

RP: Deal!

SM: For dinner.

RP: Aww.

— The Warubozu Usagi