The Price of Violence

February 21, 2010
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The Ultimates were a powerful space faring race in the galaxy. They were technologically advanced, but were peaceful that is, unless they were attacked. If anyone dared to attack them, their military might always crushes the foe. After they conquered every pompous race in the galaxy, they started to feel lonely. They started to feel there was nobody to interact with, so they planted sentinels all around the galaxy. The sentinels were very capable of doing many things, but its main task was to pass on intelligence to creatures whose minds were still developing. In unbelievably short period of times, creatures would go from the Stone Age to the space age where they would join the Ultimates in the galaxy, courtesy of the sentinels. Some of those races were friendly and enjoyed the galaxy’s bounty with the Ultimates, while others were a little too pompous and suffered the punishment from the Ultimates …

Steve the Truk walked around, scourging for fruit. He and his pack were bullied by many other species and were on the verge of starvation. So that day, they deserted their pack leader and chose a new one, Sam the Truk, a very aggressive soul and a good friend of Steve. After they chose the new alpha Truk, another friend, John the Truk came to him, looking very skeptical about the new leader.

“I don’t like Sam, that’s for sure!” John said in a slightly hostile tone. “He is way too aggressive for our species to survive. He’ll soon get us massacred by other species!”

“Well, we just have to see,” Steve replied. “After all, if he fails to be a successful alpha, then he will run the risk of desertion. Wait, what’s that sound?”

A high pitched sound ran through all the Truks’ ears, attracting them to the source, a black cube set by the Ultimates.

“I feel something,” Steve said.

“I do too,” added John. “I feel a little-.”

“Smarter,” finished Sam. “It seems as if this cube has brought intelligence to our species. Under me, Sam the Truk, we shall kill every creature and wipe out every species with this blessed knowledge!”

The Truks started cheering, and for the following year, the Truks slaughtered every species they saw, and grew smart enough to the point of learning how to use tools and form a tribe. There, Sam was the chieftain, and all the Truks were preparing for war with other tribes.

“Fellow Truks,” Sam announced. “It is now our duty to conquer this continent with our new knowledge, establishing our species as the dominant one! Every Truk has to fight alongside me! Steve, that means you too.”

“Me?” asked Steve. “No thanks. I don’t feel like fighting today.”

“Well, since you’re my friend, I guess I will let it slide, but you have to participate next time,” Sam answered.

“Okay,” responded Steve in a relieved tone. “Hmm, I wonder where John is. I didn’t see him with the Truks that fought.”

As the other warriors went out to fight, Steve ran into John, hiding in his tent from Sam and his warriors.

“I don’t like Sam’s idea of conquering other tribes,” Sam finally said in a slightly angry voice. “I could understand killing off other creatures because they bullied us, but killing other smart tribes just doesn’t feel right.”

“Well,” Steve said. “You’ve got to admit our tribe is doing well. In fact, our species seems like the best there is! You’ve got a point; Sam is maybe too brutal.”

Steve was right about being the best. Within a few years, Sam and his warriors exterminated every tribe that existed on their continent, and the Truk’s knowledge increased. They turned from stone tools to metal weapons as they turned civilized. They started building automobiles that rumbled across the land, ships that swam across the sea, and airplanes that glided through the air.
Steve went to John for some of his opinion and as usual, John reacted with a very hostile voice.
“This is outrageous,” John said. “I was still tolerant when Sam killed off all the animals, exterminated all the tribes, but now, my tolerance is melting fast! He can’t go on like this; if we meet with a strong foe, we would get crushed!”
“Well, Sam is acting a little too violent,” Steve answered. “But I am sure he will stop soon enough.”
Meanwhile, Sam, as usual started planning for the future, a very violent one
“Citizens of the Trukian Nation,” Sam began. “We have conquered the continent of tribes, and we shall conquer this world! Now then, let’s start enlisting in our new military vehicles. That means you too Steve.”

“W – Well,” Steve began hesitantly. “I-”

“Don’t tell me you don’t want to fight again!” Sam said in a tone of hostility. “In my nation, every man shall fight for me. If you don’t, you have no right to be part of my nation. Fellow Truks, drive this disloyal creature into exile!”

In pursuit of an angry mob, Steve fled into the woods. He built a shelter and gathered some food to start a lifestyle on his own. However, his new life was far from solitary; everyday he could hear training shots fired from the city, city construction, and even Sam’s angry voice bossing the Truks around. One day, he had a visitor, John. He looked very different than when Steve last saw him. John was wearing some more futuristic garments, such as a jetpack, some shining plates, a couple of cybernetic limbs, and a strange looking helmet. Not only that, he looked a bit sad.

“Hello friend,” he sighed. “That machine made us so smart that we conquered the world, and now Sam wants to conquer the galaxy! He won’t listen to our claims that there must have been a more powerful species that increased our intelligence, and that we would face defeat against them. He even made us wear these funny – looking helmets!”

Before Steve could say anything, a Sam’s voice blared from the Truks’ city. “All you people wearing helmets, man your battleships, for it is time to fight the Ultimates!” John’s helmet sprang to life, and he started to walk away, oblivious towards Steve’s cries to come back.

Half a year later, Steve found a tombstone next to his shelter. It read: “John the Truk. Died fighting the Ultimates.” Just then, Sam approached Steve, with a look of defeat on his face, his jetpack smoking, his metal plates rusted, and even his cybernetics limbs looked lifeless. His appearance told Steve everything.

“Hello old friend,” Sam said wearily. “It seems as if John was right: we would be defeated some day. Now the Ultimates are closing in to our last city. We shall fight to the last Truk, but everyone knows that defeat is inevitable. May I please live in hiding with you?”

Steve thought about it, but was able to make his decision pretty quickly. He wasn’t going to let the Truk who exiled him and inevitably kill off the Truk species escape his fate. Steve stared at Sam, picked up a rock and threw it at him. Sam flinched a bit, but held his ground. Steve picked up another rock, and then hurled it at Sam again. He started to throw some more rocks, then branches, twigs, pebbles and dirt at Sam until he finally got the message and retreated back into his doomed city. Steve watched as the cities turrets and spaceships started to futilely fire at the overwhelming Ultimates forces until the city went up in a giant fireball, leaving Steve the last living Truk, alone forever, unless…

When all the Ultimate forces left, Steve approached the city, now up in flames. He also spotted another object, the black cube that helped cause all this trouble years ago, sitting there in the midst of the flames.

“I could end my suffering now,” Steve thought as he stepped closer to the flames. As he stepped into the inferno, the past few years flashed by his life, the appearance of the machine, the annihilation of all the creatures, the extermination of all the tribes, the destruction of all the nations, and most of all, the extinction of the Truks, all caused by being overly violent, using their knowledge for evil. The flames started licking at Steve, and soon disappeared in the midst of the flames.

The Ultimates sighed as they watched the last Truk kill himself.

“There goes another species,” an Ultimate said.

“We gave animals knowledge, and now they attack us,” muttered another Ultimate.

“When will they ever learn?” sighed a third one. “That violence is not the key to enjoying the cosmos.”





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