Linneria 287-III (Part 4)

Now that my first book has been completed I’ve decided to try and write some fiction. This is my first attempt at it. I’m not sure how much I will write every day, but I plan on at writing something for this story every day this week. We shall see how it goes.  (Part 1Part 2, and Part 3)

The pair of creatures moved quickly towards Tara’s spacecraft in relative silence. They occasionally exchanged grunts as they moved across the familiar terrain, their long legs moving quickly as their large, pale eyes scanned the land ahead. They both had bright yellow hair on their heads that shone almost as brightly as Linneria itself did low on the horizon.

They slowed as they approached the spot where they had seen Tara’s spacecraft set down. They scanned the treeline and surrounding area, unable to locate the craft now that it was camouflaged. They started grunting again, this time the larger one seemed to dominate the conversation and its arms moved quickly in cadence with its voice.

Tara sat in her ship watching the view screen in silence, she was holding her breath even though she knew that her ship was soundproof.

SAM, can you understand what they are saying?

*Affirmative. Sensors are recording their conversation. They are unable to locate the ship and are trying to decide what to do next. Would you like me to put their conversation on the internal speakers?*

Negative. Just let me know if they see us or make a decision… They are a lot hairier than the images you showed me before.

*They appear to be wearing the flesh and fur of some of the semi-sentient beings that live in this area. Scans indicated that the outside temperature is too cold for them to survive long without artificial protection.*

The first statement made Tara almost vomit in her mouth. Wearing the flesh of sentient beings? It was hard not to be disgusted at such barbarism, but Tara was old enough to remember when her species ate the animals of her home planet. It had been nearly 100 years since gaining pleasure off the suffering of sentient beings became socially unacceptable and she sometimes wondered why it took so long for her own species to find harmony with the natural world.

What are those things they are holding?

*Primitive firearms. They pose no threat to the ship, our gravity field will hold, and your body armor will protect you as well. Though, there will be momentary discomfort if you are hit with it*

Then SAM added, almost as an afterthought *It is unlikely that you would survive a shot to your head*

“Great…” she said out loud. There was some comfort in knowing that her suit would protect her from any real damage and that the nanobots would shut off any pain receptors that are activated from a wound, but death could still come if the clearly violent species outside her door were to attack her in the open.

*It appears they have spotted the ship and are moving closer*

Shit. Okay. Play the audio through the speakers, let’s see what we have here.

Immediately, Tara could hear the creatures guttural voices loud and clear. “Hello! Is anyone in there!” the larger creature grunted loudly.

“Do you need any help?!” the smaller creature said, a little more softly than the other one had.

“I think we should call someone, someone from the military or something. It looks like a broken satellite,” the larger one said to the smaller one.

Fuck. That’s the last thing we need. SAM, run an analysis of our options and advise. 

*The likelihood of us remaining undiscovered if the authorities are notified is less than 0.1%. Furthermore, it is virtually guaranteed that one of the more violent nation-states would take control of you and this technology if we are discovered. The best option is to eliminate the two creatures.*

What?!?! I’m not going to kill them just because they happened to be in the wrong place. No, what is the second best option?

Tara knew that this was one of the reasons people were still sent on space missions. It is easy to send robots, but robots act too rationally at times and are unable to thrive in areas where nuance and diplomacy are needed. When dealing with irrational biological beings you needed other irrational biological beings to find the best outcome.

*Given my analysis of the culture of this region and initial brain scans of the two creatures, there is a 54% chance that you may be able to convince them to keep this quiet if you talk to them and explain the situation.*

Well, it looks like we are about to make first contact with a new sentient species. So much for  Directive 4. Alright, slowly open the front hatch.

Tara’s viewscreen disappeared and the hatch in front of her opened with a slight hiss. The star’s light started to fill the cabin and, just for a moment, the warm air reminded her of home. She took a deep breath as her lungs, with the help of the nanobots, adjusted to the thick air.

Once the hatch was open she stood up, smoothed out her uniform, and started towards the light.

Wish me luck, SAM.

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