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Fish Stocks Limited

up with the name of Fish Stocks Limited and had it blazoned on the side of her fishing
boat, which she painted a distinctive yellow. She made sure her crew got up an hour
earlier so that they could be the first to the catch. She bought a fish process ing
machine and was the first to have it fitted inside her boat, so that she could carry more
stock. These could all be passed off as harmless innovations. Then she invented the
practice of stock-piling. This is were a more successful fishing company save their
stock until just before a smaller company, who are struggling to keep in business, get
in with their catch. The more successful company – Fish Stocks Limited – then floods
the market with cheap stock just before the smaller company hits land, meaning that
they can only sell their stock at a pittance. The smaller company quickly goes out of
business, and the bigger company buys up their boat and equipment at a rock-bottom
price. With such brutal tactics Sylkie acquired a whole fleet of boats, which she
painted her characteristic yellow and franchised out to prospective captains. She chose
those skippers with knowledge of fishing, it is true, but she also selected those with a
mind only for the money and the present. They would dredge an area dry of fish, not
even leaving the tiddlers behind to grow into the next generation of fish. Why bother
when someone else might catch them? In such a way Fish Stocks Limited grew
bloated with money and eventually took pride of place as the name everyone thought
of when they thought of fish. The king is dead, long live the Company.
****
Chapter 16 – Wining and Pining
“They don't sound very nice,” said Ambrosius.
“I'm afraid that's tough, sir. If you want a job in this city, you've got to work for
the Company one way or another. Fish Stocks Limited has its finger in just about
every pie there is. You go to your corner shop to buy some bread and get chatting to
the owner; it turns out he's getting money off Fish Stocks Limited to sell their product
only. You go to play handball on the local playing fields, it turns out Fish Stocks
Limited owns them. You go to church, turns out Fish Stocks Limited is paying off the
vicar to slip their name into his sermon. You can't get round it – you have to work for
them, not against them.”
Ambrosius paused. “Do they pay well?”
There was a smile from Stan at this. “It depends what you do. The fishermen work
for all the fish they can eat and a few pounds to fritter away on their vices every
month when they hit land. You don't look much like a fisherman to me, though, if you
don't mind me saying, sir.”
“You're right there,” said Ambrosius. “Are there any jobs where I don't have to
see any fish?”
“Haha,” exlaimed Stan. “Of course, and they pay the best. It's a peculiarity of the
way the Company works that the jobs where you don't have to get your hands dirty
are the best paid. Well, you don't get your hands dirty with dirt you can physically
see, that is, but mark my words the invisible dirt is there. People with certain eyes can
see it, and maybe even hate you for it.” Stan lowered his voice. “That said, there are
certain women who love that kind of dirt. I'm telling you now, you want to impress a
chick, sir, all you've got to do is show them the dirt – money, that is – and they'll love
you. Real love, as well.”
 
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