The young lady walked the avenue of merchants bearing a finely crafted face of bored antipathy. She conspicuously wore a belt of earthen clods around her midsection. She smelled of damp burlap and manure, that cultured cloud of opulence that came with privilege. Mud caked her face and hair. Underneath carefully manicured fingernails were dark crescent rings of soot. Around her neck, worms in a cage of compost twisted and flickered against her skin.

As she walked through the narrow ally, she would occasionally stop and lift a bolt of cloth or touch a piece of fruit.  Fingerprints of grime were left by her casual inspections prompting merchants to quickly mark the now semi-precious items at double their previous cost.

Many in the market mirrored her ostentatious display of wealth, although most of it was faux applications of mock dirt and visual clod-like knock-offs. Everyone except the very poor of course, who were conspicuously clean in antiseptic indigence.

Living dirt was the rarest form of portable wealth in the galaxy. The source of all living dirt was a small blue planet. All the seeds of life in its infinite variety lived within its dark compost. It contained the cure for cancer and the secret of long life. Accordingly, each system treated this rare resource with awe.

The humans who inhabit this pro-biotic oddity were responsible for its on-going accumulation. This discovery led to the planet being set apart as a galaxy heritage site — an altruistic nod which saved the small planet from being pillaged by the unscrupulous. A few of the more conservative members of the council called this act a form of artificial commodity fixing which only allows the rich to get richer. Others called it a benevolent stewardship of a limited resource. In either case, it is sadly only the one-percent who can afford to smell like rotting putrefaction. Everyone else relies on the questionable economic theory of trickle down contamination.