© Agneta Nord. May be shared as long as the content is not altered.
October 21, 2012
More stories at http://agnetanord.com
Dor´cix’s short legs took him through the corridor as fast as they could. The dim, orange, guidance light slowly pulsated along the walls. The Captain’s harsh voice required him to report to the bridge in person. His presence as scientist was not appreciated by the ship’s flight operating crew even though he was the head of the science department. Their work was located deep in the back of the huge interstellar H-class ship and the scientists rarely got to see the frontmost sections.
The Captain sat in the Commander’s chair when he entered the bridge.
“Sit here, Dor.” His voice was tense.
“Yes, Captain.” Dor´cix’s pulse was as high as his fear.
The small blue planet with an even smaller gray satellite was centered in the panorama view. The system’s small star was out of view to the left.
“This, experiment four thousand seven hundred and,” he sighed, “eleven. Don’t you think it has fulfilled its purpose yet?”
“No, captain. There is still so much to find out and the evolution of the implanted species have taken them farther than termination boundaries allow. The board has strict rules about what can be terminated and what can’t.”
“The board is not here and they have not been on that planet. Ever. Have you seen what they have done? Have you seen what our experiment has done to that place?”
“I have been there a few times, sir, yes. We also brought quite a few of them in here to study. They’re not too far behind our own level of evolution even though they seem to be slow in the science area. Mostly because they squabble about resources all the time. A tad narrow-minded but they will grow out of it if we just leave them alone for another cycle.”
“Blah, blah, blah. The board has also a few directives regarding experiments that may evolve into a threat. Are you aware of those, Dor?”
“Yes, but they have not evolved to impose a danger to us.”
“No. Not at this moment, no. Any day though. They will eventually find out about us and they will become a problem. Look. It was a wonderful place once. We’ve been here for four hundred thousand of their years. They had a slow progress but then your awesome grandfather had that stupid idea about teaching them about the wheel and now we can’t even get down there without being filmed any longer.”
“I know, sir.”
“I miss the time when we could descend and be treated as their gods. To casually fly around and enjoy all the beauty without being harassed by some wire-head in a ridiculous jet fighter.” He got to his feet and meandered up to the window, dragging his words out. “Why can’t you just make them disappear?”
“It’s against the rules of the board. They want to take this experiment as far as they can and I’m here to make that happen.” His hands were shaking but his voice was still steady.
“Rules of the board.” His condescending voice amused himself. “Bah. They are about to destroy that planet with their greed. I want to stop that. Are there no rules or guidelines in that ridiculous scientific department of yours that protects the environment in which we plant these inane experimental species?”
“None. The environment become part of the experiment as soon as a species is introduced on the planet. Terminating the experiment at this moment would jeopardize the rest of the environment. This planet is just one of many places. There are millions of suitable places in this galaxy, Captain. Each have their own beauty.”
Captain Poz´tsa stretched his arms out. “I said that the board is not here. They’re thousands of years away from here.” He took a few steps toward Dor´cix. “They can’t do much about this. What I want you to find out is a possibility of a threat to our ship so that I legally can activate the terminating virus.” He leaned over Dor. “You know what I want and you know… that if I don’t get what I want…”
“Yes, sir. I understand, Captain.” His voice revealed a slight tremble. “But it would violate the board’s rules. There will be consequences, Captain.”
“Forget the board. We don’t even know if they exists any longer.” He turned to the control panel by the Commander’s chair, punched a few buttons, and faced the window as the view zoomed in on the planet. “It’s still a nice place.” He turned to his First Lieutenant. “Prepare my XF-12.”
The First Lieutenant disappeared to prepare the small short distance craft used for visiting planets or other long distance ships.
“Going to the planet, sir?”
“I want some fun. It’s been quite a while now. You may return to your location, Dor. We are finished here for now. Just give me a reason to activate the terminating virus.”
Dor´cix bowed and left the bridge. On his way back, he took a detour and intercepted the preparations of the XF-12. The First Lieutenant appeared and ordered the crew to prepare the craft for a 2-day trip to the planet. He remained in the shadows and leaned to the wall with closed eyes. He was born on that ship. Everything he knew he had learnt on that ship. He had seen several hundred planets, all which were subjected to their experiments. He had never seen anyone from the board. The rules and laws were embedded into the ship’s system. A stifling legacy of a far intelligence that may no longer exist.
Rumors of his home planet’s demise had been going on for as long as he could remember. He couldn’t let the Captain terminate yet another experiment. Especially not this one. Not when the species’ evolution had taken their technology to the brink of an astronomical expansion. He scribbled a note to his colleagues on his message pad and sent it off before he stuck the pad behind a bunch of cables.
Heart pounded and hands shook when a short window of opportunity appeared. He went up the ramp and hasted to the cockpit. The panel to the navigation unit was unlocked. He knew what he had to do even if he didn’t like it. When he was done, he went back to the entrance but couldn’t get out since the crew was back outside. If they discovered him there, they would have stopped the trip and soon discover what he had done. The Captain would order his immediate execution. He couldn’t let that happen so he went back inside the XF-12 and hid, hoping for another chance to get out.
The Captain’s voice shouted outside and he closed his eyes and swallowed. His life was over but at least the Captain wouldn’t be able to destroy the beauty of evolution again. He pushed himself further back into the darkness of the XF-12’s inner. He soon felt the free falling when they escaped from the ship’s gravitation field.
When he heard the Captain’s furious shouting, he stepped out and revealed himself.
“Dor? What are you doing here? I told you to go back to your… location.” He watched the trashed navigation key that Dor held in his hand.
“I couldn’t let you destroy this like you destroyed every other experiment, Captain.” He was assertive like never before. He knew it wouldn’t matter how furious the Captain would ever get, he had won this time. The nav data was entered and couldn’t be changed.
“Are you absolutely insane, Dor?” He rose slowly. “Don’t you realize you are killing us?”
“I do. I wasn’t planning on joining your last trip but things turned out unfavorable for me so here we are on our way right into a star.”
“Tell me why I don’t kill you right away?”
“Maybe you want an answer. I don’t know and I don’t care but I know that the new Captain will abide to the rules and maintain an interest in serving science rather than personal amusement. Pity that this XF-12 will be destroyed.”
The craft rounded the little blue planet and was thrown toward the star. Dor and Poz spent their last two days discussing science and evolution. By the end of the second day, they shook hands as friends before they blew open the emergency door.