“You’ve many?” the Captain enquires, a perfect guest.
“It’s very common.”
“There must be ways to—”
“—we don’t mind so much,” Shotsky says, “We enjoy making the most of life.”
“While you have one.”
“—I know, we burn the butt at both ends, it’s our motto.”
“Interesting folks,” Labaguette remarks in the Captain’s ear, “is anything worth trading with them?”
But the Captain, bored with the parrot’s incessant rambling, raises one eyebrow and then looks at Bromsky who points to a raised, large container, much like an oil tank held by two giant brown cranes.
“We’ve four tanks like these at each edge of the city. This is the South tank. The underground supplies the coffee.”
“Your oceans and rivers all made of it huh?”
“No. The coffee bean is treated and supplied from underground by the coffee-zoffees who work tirelessly to meet the demand,” Bromsky says.
“Coffee dust derives from the grinding of coffee grains and pervades everything,” Shotsky adds, “the winds carry the dust and transform our oceans and rivers in what they are now.”
“Where does the coffee grain come from?” Labaguette asks.
“The coffee tree,” Bromsky answers, looking surprised at Labaguette.
“I see no trees,” the Captain adds.
“You see,” Shotsky explains, “no one above ground has ever seen one. The coffee-zoffees hold the secret to their location and it would be heresy to try and find them. The trees are protected by law. Anyone found looking for them is immediately foamed or condemned to the grinder, depending on the severity of their quest.”
“Foamed?” Labaguette asks, concerned.
To be continued…