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On The Search
“Captain, a new recruit has been teleported in the ship. The general thought that the recruit might learn something from our mission, especially from our next destination. Should I bring him here?” asked Dole.
“Great! Exactly what we were missing,” the Captain thought, sick of having to take care of the new recruits. “Yes, bring him here,” he then replied. New recruits always were nothing but trouble to the Captain. He believes one must be trained to be part of such mission. As he took a sip of tea, Dole re-entered the room together with the new recruit.
“Here he is, Captain. I’ll be in the server room; there’s a minor defect I’ll have to fix.”
“Wait! Before you go to the server room, can you find out what’s our next destination?”
“Of course!” answered Dole as he left to the information room.
“Welcome to the IES, the biggest exploration ship out of the four in the X-52 Galaxy, or as the natives call it, the ‘Milky Way Galaxy’. I’ve been the captain of this ship for the last century. You may call me… well, my name’s irrelevant, so just call me Captain.”
“I’ve heard a lot about you and your ship, Captain. I’ve always dreamt of being in an exploration ship, so I did all I could to get in one. But I never thought I’d get in the IES. My name’s Benevant, but you can just call me Ben.”
“Where are you from, Ben?”
“I’m from Brepara. Why?”
“I remember there was a kid called Benevant from where I’m from. He had the same dream as you, which is why I asked.”
“Empty isn’t it?”
“Nothing but the voidness of space.”
“We haven’t found anything for the last few years. Nothing exciting in this galaxy.” sighed the Captain as he took another sip of tea.
“But how can you manage a whole galaxy with just four ships? There’s a few hundred billion stars in the whole galaxy. There’s just no way you can explore all planetary systems with just four ships.”
“But it’s not only four ships. Before anyone came to this galaxy, there were about four million satellites sent to explore the place. But all of them are old technology now, so four ships were sent. Each ship got a quarter of the galaxy to explore. And all the satellites in a ship’s zone were reprogrammed to send information to that ship. The satellites send information whenever something significant happens in one of the habitable planets. And when a ship gets information from one of the planets, it automatically warps itself to the closest safe spot to that planet.”
“Captain, we’re heading to XS-7,” said Dole, after he entered the room, “it’s a planetary system with just one habitable planet, Learus C-52.”
“Do you know why we’re going there?” asked the Captain.
“No, Captain, I’ll go check right now,” replied Dole before he left.
“I feel like I remember that planet,” thought the Captain out loud.
“So, you’ve been there before,” claimed Ben.
“Probably,” answered the Captain, “I told you that I’ve been here for a whole century.”
He took another sip of tea, and as he was thinking, he said:
“Oh yes! Of course I remember it! It’s where we got tea from. It was about 7 years ago, or 700 years, according to the locals. I remember they gave their planet a weird name, but I don’t remember what it was exactly.”
“How many times exactly have you been in that planet?” asked Ben.
“Plenty! This planet was one of the first ones I explored as a captain of this ship. The current leading species was still primitive back then. We gave them bricks, and introduced them to the basics of architecture, since they were still wandering around purposelessly. Settling prevented their extinction, since winters were too cold. We also helped them build many important monuments, two of which were about 50 years ago. They mostly served as calendars, so the locals knew when to grow their crops. Then, about 20 years ago, I sent a recruit down to the planet to talk to the locals. The locals were very violent back then and hadn’t found peace between each other, which is why I sent the recruit. Unfortunately, the locals weren’t intelligent enough to understand what the recruit meant. He had to “sacrifice” himself before he made things worse. And 14 years later, when we came back, we found the planet in horrible conditions because of what the recruit told them. We tried to undo what we had done in the first place, and bring back their ‘ancient’ culture. We were successful and caused a revolution, which the locals called a ‘rebirth’. I’m excited to see how they’re doing now, because they seemed to be going in the right direction since we left.”
“How do you remember all of this?” wondered Ben.
“As I said before, this galaxy is boring. Earth is the only planet with intelligent life in this galaxy’s zone. Oh yes, that’s how the locals called it. They call their planet ‘Earth’.”
Dole rushed in the room, panting, and said:
“Captain, it’s an ALN 9! Should we interfere?”
“Dole, go and change our destination,” decided the Captain right away, with a look of disappointment and shock at the same time, “we have done enough.”
“What’s an ALN 9?” asked Ben after Dole left.
“It’s a nuclear war,” replied the Captain.
“A nuclear war!”
“Why are we changing the destination then?”
“Because we’ve done enough! It’s not like they’ll stop if we save them. Saving them won’t fix the problem. They’ll just create stronger weapons and will have a war that’s even more disastrous. The only way to stop them is by leaving them alone. They’ll get rid of themselves. There won’t be anything to worry about in the future.”
“But didn’t you say they were the only intelligent life form in this galaxy. How are you going to let them go extinct just like that?”
“They don’t seem that intelligent after all, since they’ve ended up in a nuclear war. They can’t even agree with their own kind. Now they have to solve this problem on their own. We won’t help or interact with them in anyway until they develop an intelligent brain. That, of course, if they’re able to solve this current problem.”