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Orion - A Sci-Fi Short Story



A short sci-fi fiction about astronauts visiting a planet to check on the species they mutated a long time ago. Now they want to see how the species is doing and take potentially tough decisions if required. What decisions were taken? What would happen to the mutated species? 



The Mission:


Zeek was at the same excited as well as nervous about this particular journey. He was specially chosen for this trip. Although he was trained and was an expert in many space travel related engineering, he had a feeling that he has been chosen as nothing but a test case and not due to his expertise. With these mixed feelings, he put up his space mask on his spacesuit. As soon as he clicked the mask, the suit ballooned to create pressure around his body. He again nervously looked at Shema, his companion, who gave him a comforting look and a big smile. Zeek started feeling good and climbed up in the shuttle.


The shuttle was a huge spaceship with artificial gravity adjustment to keep their body intact in the travel time. Along with other crew members they both secured their positions and checked out their mission guidelines in the head-implanted vision-board. The VB - Vision Board - as they called it - was immediate after the birth process where a chip was implanted in the brain to give a visual output right in the brain. It first came out for blind people but got popular as others started using it as a network-connected visual device. Using his thoughts he pulled mission statements, objectives, and information that needs to be collected. He also reviewed the special instructions for him to be completed in the mission.


As they all buckled up and got ready, the caption of the ship, Tera, plugged in the card to the system which had destination fed into it. The shuttle automatically started gearing towards the steps from take-off to the arrival point. Tera also got settled in his seat and the seat automatically buckled him up too.


“This is it,”  Zeek said to himself but everybody heard it in their heads through the connected in-ship network. Shema warned him just with eyes and he quietly closed his eyes and prepared himself.  


The ship took-off and in a few minutes, they were in the planetary orbit zooming to the destination point - TBP3 - a planet which was located in the nearest galaxy. The system sent a signal for deep-sleep. Their seats were covered with a glass cover and the system initiated the hibernation process. Even with the near light speed, It was about 13 years journey for them. 


The supercomputers and the hibernation made the long journey smooth. When they woke up from hibernation, it was almost like waking up from a very long good night’s sleep. The system had taken good care of their hibernated bodies by keeping their muscles active, fed them through intravenous feeding system, drained toxins, and wastage while they were in deep sleep. Mentally they didn’t feel the journey at all and were able to get back their work in after the post-hibernation work-out process. 


The Assessment:

“Hello all” Tera welcomed all as they all gathered in the mission control room.


“So, we’re finally here after the 10 years of discussions and 13 years of journey. For some, this process started when they were in schools and very young, For some, it was a long anxious period in the peak time of life. But, after all of that, we are the few ones who are found fit for this mission for various reasons” He looked at Zeek while finishing statement. Zeek showed no emotions.


“Our mission” continued Tera -” is to find out the status of the planet, life on it, and decide what are the next steps. I’ve been authorized to take some tough decisions if felt necessary and I will take those” He stressed the last sentence in order to let his authority establish. Nobody reacted to it. He distributed the preloaded cards for all to connect to their brains. Zeek connected his card to the shoulder insert. He felt the jolt of information in his brain and within a few seconds, he got settled with the detailed information about the planet. This information wasn’t fed to them to take care of the possible information loss that might have happened in immediate hibernation after the load. 


Zeek and Shema started to look at the planet from a safe distance. He fired few commands to open up antennas. Zeek was in total doubt as to what he would get back in a signal. Shema fired up sensors to catch the lights coming from the planet to study intellectual life and other possibilities such as the composition of planet and resources.


“Nothing!” said Zeek.

“Have you looked at pure radio signals?” Asked Shema.

“Oh .. wait let me try that” Zeek said.


Within a minute or two he adjusted it to capture radio signals and suddenly he started receiving a mix of audio and visual signals. His screen started showing intelligent creatures that somewhat looked like them.


“Oh...Oh..” Zeek couldn’t say anything further.


The crew gathered around him and watched the audio-video signals as they were coming to them. It didn’t make sense to them many times. Shema started the analyzer to come up with a predictive analysis of the signal.


“I think we’ve to wait a bit gather more data to make this sense” Tera declared and the team engaged in other research and preparation work. It was Zeek’s forefather whose genes were used to mutate the species on that planet. Many were against that in that time as they were considered an unstable and unreliable class of the citizens. Zeek was no different than his forefathers but that one reason made him part of the crew. Since Zeek had no other technical work, he kept watching the seemingly nonsensical audiovisual signal. Slowly through the visuals, he started learning about the species and the way they live and behave even though he couldn’t understand the language they were speaking.


“They speak too fast!”

“But.. they speak !!”  


Next day:


The crew gathered and looked at the predictive analysis that the system generated. The system had analyzed a great amount of signal and came up with quite interesting analysis.


“These species are very violent at the same time very kind, joyful, scary, fearful but the violence tops all of their attributes. The ordinary member of the species doesn’t seem to be that violent but is ignorant of what’s going around him. Some of the controlling members of species in localized areas are controlling the locals using several tactics. It is still not unknown what they mean by some Supreme Leader or Supreme Power but we’ve not found evidence of the same. None of them also seem to have seen or experienced it yet most of them seem to believe in it. They fight for these reasons, kill each other for their beliefs, and for their own petty benefits, they are willing to let the planet die. The planet is set for destruction and projected to die within their 300-400 years. What's amazing to me is that they seem to be incredibly smart species with something wrong with their brains. They seem to have the same issue as some of the members have - emotions. Except on this planet, it seems to have gone beyond control”. 


Everybody looked at Zeek. 

“What did I do?” He said.

“Nothing. You didn’t do anything. Your forefathers did”. Tera said. “Anyways, we have to analyze this more and meet again"


The detailed report, 7 Days later:

“After much review and analysis, it is evident that the species we created 200 years ago are actually not working as per our plan. It was either the source species from this planet was not the right candidate or the genes of our members that were used that time were not compatible with them in the long run. In general, they seem to understand that they are not behaving right but they can’t really control themselves. The ones that are good are not courageous. The ones who are courageous are not wise enough and using the courage to destroy their own species and planet for their own benefit". 


Tera continued - "After much thought on the research work that you all have done, I’ve reached a decision. I would like to restart this planet again. We can’t just attack them and destroy as there are too many of them out there. The only way is to send an asteroid towards the planet. In the next few days, we’ll locate an asteroid from this belt here and push it towards this planet. While the asteroid reaches the planet, it will be about 100 rounds of this planet to its star. If the species become smart enough by then they will see this coming at them and will unite and destroy it and live in peace else they will die. We’ll then go to the planet and restart the mutation again. The entire goal of initial mutation was to create a species that evolves and becomes intelligent and peaceful but that’s not happening or doesn’t look like will happen”. Tera took a deep breath.


3 Days Later:


In the meeting, Tera announced that he has located the asteroid big enough to destroy life but keep the possibility of new life intact. “I have confirmed all calculations with computer and this is the right size of the asteroid. I will initiate travel to the asteroid tomorrow.” 


“Wait ..” Zeek quietly stood up and said -


“This is not right. You’re not giving them a fair chance. They probably even don’t know that they have been mutated species and it was initiated by us. The so-called invisible supreme or power that they think is probably us who created them. We all know that when we created them 200 years ago, we stayed with them in the process, got mixed with them. We were very powerful physically and mentally compared to them. We still are."


"I’ve carefully analyzed many video signals from the planet." He continued. "They all seem to have concepts and images of The Supreme that resemble people from our planet. Especially some of our agents who visited in the last trip are being considered like that. They had to go and live in the suit which looked like the species but they couldn’t hide the physical difference of height and weight and not to mention intelligence. Species thought the supreme power revisited them and followed the agents, made stories out of it, and created groups that worship them. The agents have tried their best to teach good values which I found are still maintained by most of them. It is totally unfair to kill all due to some bad ones."


"If you want to still go ahead, let me go to the planet and live with them for the next 100 years. I will try to teach them what they are losing. There is no such planet in the vicinity like this one. This in fact looks quite like what I imagined about our planet could be. What are we? Just a bunch of species that take care of our planet but have no emotions. Just like machines. The ones who have - like me - are treated like ill people. There is no real respect for me on our planet anyway. So let me go there and live the rest of my life. If I succeed to teach them, they will destroy the asteroid and live happily. If not, I’d prefer to die there. So, please let me go to TBP3"


Conclusion:

After a long discussion, they agreed to Zeek’s wish. He was dispatched to the planet in a stealth vehicle that would land him on a quiet surface near the north pole without getting noticed. As they neared the planet, they started to notice some technology development done by the species.


"This is very basic but not bad for 200 years,” Zeek said

“Our 200 are actually more than 100,000 years here so that’s quite possible to develop into a smart species based on our mutation, huh?". Tera chuckled. 


"So, are you ready to become a Supreme Power? I’m thrilled with the thought of being followed by many” Shema exclaimed. Shema and Zeek were in love so she also accompanied him in the vehicle.


“Not sure about that but I’m feeling good” Zeek exclaimed and continued “but tell me if you know - Why this planet is called TBP3?” 


“Oh, you don’t know?” Shema asked and then replied -

“It’s simple actually.TBP stands for Tiny Blue Planet and number 3 is the number from this little star”.


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