The Blue Planet

The Borneo Post - Good English - - Short Story Section - By Ara­bella McClen­don

CAPTAIN Vistyz Stausk paced the com­mand cen­ter of her ship. It had been her fa­ther’s ship, but he had passed onto the next mul­ti­verse a Sas­to­rian year ago. Captain Stausk missed Sas­torus, but she missed her fa­ther more, and thus stayed with his ship. She had been given a com­mis­sion to ei­ther find and de­stroy or re­ha­bil­i­tate par­tic­u­larly ma­lig­nant species. Sas­torus and its brother planet, Castea, had been at­tacked by an un­known en­tity that left as quickly as it de­stroyed. This was one of the more far-reach­ing and broader mis­sions to stop both their at­tack­ers and the gen­eral mal­ice in the uni­verse. So far, they hadn’t dis­in­te­grated any­one, but they also hadn’t found any civ­i­liza­tion that didn’t need se­ri­ous help. The crew’s morale was low and what they needed just then was to come across a kind and lov­ing race that they could ally with. They seemed to be in luck, as Captain Stausk’s co-captain, Naeq, came in with a re­port: “Smallish blue planet off the star­board side. Looks to be in­hab­ited. Should I or­gan­ise a scout­ing party?” Captain Stausk thought for a minute be­fore re­ply­ing. “No, just set up gear and a land­ing pod for us two.”

(20 min­utes later)

Vistyz and Naeq un­boxed the high-tech, to-bere­served-for-spe­cial-mis­sions, highly-adapt­able cam­ou­flage suits for the sev­enth time that voy­age. They lamented their one-size-fits-all la­bel as they squeezed their six limbs inside and climbed into a two-per­son land­ing pod. As they sat in the dark in­te­rior of the white, bub­ble-shaped con­trap­tion, hurtling to­wards the lit­tle blue planet, they both thought about how won­der­ful it would be if the in­hab­i­tants were nice. How per­fectly lovely it would be if they could ne­go­ti­ate an al­liance. How highly likely it was, based on the laws of sta­tis­tics. Sadly, they were wrong.

The first thing the two no­ticed was that the planet was di­vided up into na­tions, each with a dif­fer­ent lan­guage and dif­fer­ent cus­toms. Of course, though they would be much stronger united as a whole planet, they had to be for­given for this fault be­cause of the lan­guage bar­rier. Yet an­other thing they no­ticed within their first “week” (a term used to de­scribe seven days on that planet) was that most of the world’s lead­ers were power-hun­gry and cor­rupt. They didn’t work to­gether peace­fully, as would have been best for all on the planet; in­stead, they squab­bled among them­selves child­ishly. Many of the hu­manoid in­hab­i­tants were without ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties, while oth­ers had an al­most dis­gust­ing sur­plus of ma­te­rial wealth and cur­rency. The planet it­self was pol­luted and lit­tered, which took its toll upon the flora and fauna, which had done noth­ing wrong. Even worse, some be­ings were con­sid­ered less than or more than other be­ings sim­ply be­cause of triv­ial sur­face traits! And when Vistyz and Naeq be­gan to per­form ex­per­i­ments of moral char­ac­ter and look into the minds and psy­cholo­gies of many, they found ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity, avarice, mal­ice, and many more things. Captain and co-captain were sad­dened by the fact that so many vi­brant cul­tural tra­di­tions and kind, lov­ing peo­ple were over­shad­owed by the much larger amount of bad.

Back aboard the ship, Vistyz called a meet­ing with all of her ad­vi­sors, coun­sel­lors, friends, and trusted al­lies. They ar­gued about the fate of the planet for many earth days, talk­ing in turns, sit­ting in re­flec­tion, scream­ing at each other, and then laugh­ing about it af­ter­wards. Fi­nally, they came to the con­clu­sion that they could nei­ther de­stroy, nor heal, this planet. There was too much wrong and sad­ness to be fixed by an out­side force, but the good­ness and kind­ness was enough that it could not be de­stroyed. So, they iso­lated it: they placed a spe­cial bar­rier around it, pre­vent­ing in­ter­ac­tion with any other plan­ets or so­ci­eties un­til the good in this planet be­came enough to de­stroy the bar­rier. They had a chance to change.

And so Captain Vistyz and her ship went on its way, but this vi­o­lent lit­tle planet, vi­o­lently good and bad, had left its im­pres­sion on many. Some were sig­nif­i­cantly sad­dened by the wrong and the dirty, but oth­ers were up­lifted by the good and clean and pure they had seen there. Many were con­fused, oth­ers con­vinced that they had done the right thing.

All would re­mem­ber it.

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