Price took in the scene before him.
The canvas was almost blank, a vast ocean and a bright blue sky, but otherwise barren, it only took the power of imagination to fill in what was so clearly missing.
Price refused this opportunity.
Eventually, Harlech came into the picture, quite forcefully, Price hadn’t lowered the shield, he lost his balance while stepping into the gaping hole in the energy bubble enveloping the room, and the ensuing trip sent him into a heap on the floor.
Such a comical entrance amused Price, but it soured things all the more for Harlech.
“What time do you call this?” he asked
“Alone time” Price insisted.
“Everything’s later than billed because of you, everyone wants to know what’s on, and most importantly, who’s on”
“Who would you prefer? Another Queen?”
“That’s not fair, the public have the right to their preferences”
“They want what is familiar to them, I offer an alternative”
“What? Nothing? Don’t be absurd man, jus what is there to nothing?”
Price was pleased that Harlech had asked this question of him.
“Nothing is the sea, it is the air, the atmosphere and the life fluid, they possess neither the power of speech or the colourful tides the summon forth imagination, there is no blood thirsty outcry, no summons to action, the sole adventure lies in mastering these elements, to dive, to soar”
Harlech was not moved by Price’s perspective, he only saw naivety.
“You still cling to these naive perceptions? Look around your blissful blue, Air can leave our lungs, it refuses to accompany us to the stars, and the ocean must be processed before it can clean our bodies and quench our thirst, it is otherwise marred with salt and waste, the sea shall not sustain us forever more, we crawled forth from it eons ago, and not once has it ever wanted us back”
Price smiled, he sealed the energy shield behind him with but a glance, he turned to Harlech, his face stoic and unchanging, his precise mood hidden from his friend.
“For years, as the broadcaster, I have given everything and yet you have never learned to appreciate nothing” he says.
“And just what has nothing ever offered us?” Harlech asked.
“For the birds that roam the skies, for the sea life that roam the oceans, they have freedom”
“Well there’s my answer then, Nothing is free”
“Nothing is free, well argued, with minimal effort”
Harlech pondered Price’s words.
“We’re in the midst of a recession, so we’re in the market for minimal ambition, please, if you so care to, broadcast nothing, brighten our day with blue, raise the ocean, raise the sky, and you yourself will receive a raise”
Price nodded in acknowledgment, they had a deal. His gamble had worked.
There were those out there that were always willing to pay a price for freedom.