So, did he ever ask his Grandad why Mr. Star-stretched here would care? Are we ever going to know the answer?
Whoops, no, that’s not a question I get around to answering. It would have come out if I’d expanded on this story, like I had thought to do earlier. Since I’m not:
“Uncle Jack” is Farmer Boy’s Great-great-great-etc-Uncle. Jack’s brother was one of the first settlers of this planet. Farmer Boy (whose name is Jonah, actually) is that brother’s direct descendant, and his family are Uncle Jack’s only living relatives. It’s a connection Jack values because of the laws in this galaxy that has only less-than-the-speed-of-light travel: the earth-bound (planet living) relatives of star-stretched travelers are required to help them if they touch down on their planet and need assistance (a place to stay, refueling and resupply of their ships, etc). The earth-bound relatives are to act as their planet-side agents. Most families are happy to do this for their star-stretched great-great relatives, because most star travelers are merchants and traders, and can lead to great wealth for their planet-bound relatives. Uncle Jack has been an adventurer and has rarely called on his brother’s descendants for help, which is why no one has ever mentioned Jack’s existence to Jonah before.
But it’s because of this family connection that Jack brings the technological information he gains straight to Jonah, and works so hard to get Dryad back to him. Jonah is legally required to help Jack, but the technology will bring great benefits to his family, and Jack is happy to be able to help the only living relatives he has left after his years of bouncing around the galaxy.
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