De la știre la SF, dar invers

NASA a descoperit o barieră imensă în jurul Pământului – Digi24 – 29 mai 2017

Dar acum cercetătorii au descoperit şi o a treia astfel de centură, de frecvenţe joase. Este creată de noi şi este benefică, se pare, pentru că ar ţine la distanţă radiaţiile solare periculoase. Practic, spun experţii, prin undele radio am reuşit să creăm o barieră împotriva electronilor care lovesc cu viteze mari Pământul. Dar această centură are şi un efect asupra spaţiului, pentru că poate influenţa cum se deplasează anumite particule.

///

Unscheduled Departures – 12 mai, 2016

Such was the request made by the Goia and it was granted. The racist overtones of Earth’s broadcasts, its bloody history, the fiction and the documentaries of death and destruction, the fact that humanity declared a hundred light-years around Earth that it would destroy any sort of alien contact were enough.

Silly race of bipedals, Nak thought, while shifting to a more comfortable position in his liquid pouch.  Such arrogance and stupidity, to broadcast its plans for galactic domination and racial supremacy. Sure, most of what was sent out was fiction, Nak realized that well enough. It was entertainment for the billions living on the planet, but the Goia weren’t stupid. Not one race in the galaxy had the patience to sift through all the broadcasts and reach an educated conclusion. Nak had the time, because he was bored out of his gassy shell.

The Goia slowly built their case, providing ample -and largely misleading- testimony as to what humanity might evolve to, should it be ignored in this backwater of the galaxy. Such were the rules of survival. No one really wanted anyone else’s harm, since there were plenty of habitable systems for everyone out in the universe, but if you just had one system and talked smack, well, then, you had to accept the consequences. There wasn’t any appeal process, there was just review and damnation back to stardust.

Sure, Nak reasoned, letting the electric impulses of his thoughts ripple the gassy membrane that held his light-conscience, what the Goia presented wasn’t enough, but the hypocrisy of intra-galactic politics insured an audience; ironic that a sentient species who broadcasted fictionalized death and destruction would be wiped from existence by the fiction of its dangerous future-plans. So the Goia were listened to, since everyone was really just bored. Blowing stuff up was fun.

Receiving all sorts of media with death and destruction through rudimentary forms of communications wasn’t that big of an issue. But when those same technologies were used to raise His Imperial Majesty and Heir, the High Wave of Goia, it just wouldn’t be proper to encase his Final Persona with some human garbage on the side. And beams of electrons as they were, limited in thought by the speed of light, and yet powerful in their own right over so many worlds, the Goia had their wish come true, after due procedures were followed and accepted.

A Trebi Cleaner, more exactly a functionary of the Medium Order, if there ever was order among the Trebi, Nak’s job was simple enough: to investigate and to take action. The investigating part was tedious and annoying, since he was expected to report back some form of what had already been decided by the political committee. Yes, the humans were at the technological level deep space scans had already established. Yes, their society was in its modest days of system-wide exploration. No, they had no way of escaping off the planet in large numbers. No, the result would not damage local subspace filaments. It was a long list that the ship’s processing unit requested, before sending out the beam of destruction. And it was annoyingly repetitive. And then, once all that was over, a final message would be beamed to Headquarters. The return beam, a simple formality, would carry the command to fire to the processing unit.

That was something his Middle Order Union had insisted upon, after thousands of complaints by other Cleaners. Gentle and evolved creatures that Trebi considered themselves, wired for bureaucratic rigors, but hardly action-oriented, they would not send the death beam themselves. That was, after all, a decision not of their own and Nak could attest to that. Solid the humans and every other species that needs cleaning this side of the galactic arm, I’m just here to fill out a form. Nak’s ship, the Unscheduled Departures, swept through dark subspace, in search of its target.

 

*

 

“So you’re saying it’s an error,” Mar transmitted.

“Not at all, certainly not on my part,” Ioq responded from his own depth, stirring. “The local Cleaning Affairs Committee decided to wipe the planet, but they didn’t have quorum.”

“So it’s an error,” the superior repeated, from his position closer to the surface of the ocean world.

Ioq rippled his gas membrane with frustration. “Not on our behalf, High Level Functionary Mar.” The higher-ups were always interested in the conclusion, never the details, the nuances that changed everything. It was probably all the extra sunlight they were getting, feeding their conscience, but it sure as hell didn’t look like the extra feeding made them any smarter. Yeah, it’s an error, thought Ioq, but do the Trebi want the Goia pissed?

“The Committee didn’t have quorum and its decisions have been made void, as per the Rules of Procedure.” Ioq explained, after calming himself down. “But the debate and the findings couldn’t possibly be any different in another meeting. I propose we stick with the solution already voted upon. We already have a Cleaner on his way.”

“You’re asking me to break Procedure?” That was unheard of, unless, of course, someone took the blame first.

No, you dirtsack, I’m asking you to think. Obviously, Ioq couldn’t say that. He wanted to rise to a lower depth someday, and his superior wasn’t in the habit of promoting based on merit. He cleaned his bubble of any emotion and transmitted, “I am respectfully asking for a solution, so that we may recall the Cleaner or ensure that he does his job, once his report is filed.”

“But it’s an error,” Mar insisted.

“The Cleaner is on his way, he’ll be arriving at his destination soon.” That’ll give urgency.

“Your proposal, Mid-level Ioq?” The message arrived with the same lack of caring. Mar’s stupidity had already been established as deep and personal.

So you don’t want to burst your own bubble on this and neither do I. Fine. “High Level Functionary Mar, my proposal is to let Mid-level Nak submit his report and reply with the situation I presented to you.” Solid him. If he goes ahead and cleans the planet, he’ll be to blame and no one will look at the details. Ioq knew full well that whatever the return message would have attached to the Clean command would be scrubbed as unimportant by the ship’s processing unit. So did Mar, but they had done their job, Procedure wouldn’t be broken and all would be well.

“Agreed,” the superior transmitted, after a moment in thought. “Next item of old business?”

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