Fatima 1917








Ezra Azra

.




 
© Copyright 2024 by Ezra Azra
Fatima 1917.
By Ezra Azra.
Copyright 2024.
_______________________________
So? How was your trip to Proxima Centauri?
Boring, Mom. If only I had known.
Dad and I warned you. Being a pilot is among the most boring of jobs.
Mom, the ship ran itself. Why was I there?
Just in case thereís a malfunction, dearie. Itís just a machine. A percentage or two from being a living thing, but yet a machine.
Has there ever been a malfunction?
Not in my thousands of years. But why were you bored? Didnít you have company?
Mom?
You are in a lot of trouble.
How did you come to find out, Mom?
The ship snitched on you and your illegal onboard friend. Honey, in all those courses you studied to become an interstellar pilot, you didnít learn that all ships record everything onboard? Aurally and visually. Have you spoken with your friend after you docked the ship and came home?
No.
Then donít. She is probably under surveillance right now. Could have been arrested already. Iím guessing youíre still free because Dadís a five-star General on duty. I suggest you go on a vacation very far away from here before Dad comes home in a few days. If he has been informed of your breaking the rules, thereís no telling what he will do, if only because he has to do it. My guess is that you are going to have to surrender your pilotís license. At the very least.
Mom, I did not do anything wrong. I delivered the cargo successfully, and early. The factory manager said they rarely get deliveries that early. He said he will be mentioning me for an award.
That was because he did not know you had an illegal person on board. By the way, did you make that detour going to Proxima, or on your return trip?
On the way there, Mom. I was so early, I had so much time to spare.
So, that factory manager did not know you could have been carrying infection from that Earth rock you visited. He has probably been cautioned by now. Donít expect an award for having been so exceptionally early with your next delivery. That is, if you will be delivering the next delivery.
Iím sorry, Mom. I have really messed up. And on my very first assignment, too. Jeez!
Did your illegal friend have anything to do with your detour?
She had everything to do with it, Mom. She is writing a paper for a course of study at her Academy. It has to do with why intelligence sometimes evolves into a self-destructive direction. Right now thereís a self-destructive war happening within a species on that multi-species planet Earth. The weird thing is they say that species could be the most advanced on that planet, and only three percent lower that we are. So why self-destructive?
From the little I know about that biological species, it is the most advanced on that planet. That planet does not have much of a future when itís most advanced life form is deliberately killing off itself, and decimating all other species around as permitted collateral damage.
Mom? Biological? What is that?
You donít know?
No, Mom. Thatís why I am asking. You mentioned it about those creatures on that world I visited.
Earth. Iím not surprised. It was not taught biological in our schools when I attended all those centuries ago. Earth is one of those nondescript worlds in the universe. Most of us wish we had not found it. A disgusting rock. Wall-to-wall filth. The only rock we have found so far that generates biological life. Just about the worst kind of life. Slimy. Eats its own kind. Urinates and defecates; whatever disgusting functions of its life those are.
Yuck. If only I had known.
Iím guessing the only reason you and your friend have not succumbed to an Earth infection is because your ship detoxed the two of you.
Mom, we did not touch any of those Earth biologicals.
How close did you get to them?
About as far as you are from me here. Oh, jeez, now that you mention it.
What?
My friend was not with me all the time. She said she had to go do an experiment on some of the biologicals.
For how long was she gone?
Only a few minutes.
Did those biologicals see or come into contact with either of you?
No. We wore invisibility clothing all the time we were off the ship. We made sure the ship, too, was invisible to them.
Honey, itís more likely the ship got around to ensuring that long before you got around to it.
I can see that, now.
I donít remember seeing pictures of any of those Earth biologicals? What did they look like?
Ugly, Mom. I saw a few different species all around. Every one, ugly. You know that annual competition we have, ďUgliest EverĒ?
I entered one year, before Dad and I constructed you. I came second.
Well, Mom, if that dominant biological held an ďUgliest EverĒ on Earth, all contestants would win.
Itís sad that natural evolution everywhere in the universe pays no regard to aesthetics. Beauty is utterly accidental and temporary wherever it happens naturally.
Yeah, they teach that in school, Mom. We are so lucky natural evolution plays no part in our existence.
I am puzzled. If none of those inferior biologicals saw you, why are the shipís accounts reporting you and your friend engaged in forbidden interactions?
Iím sorry, Mom. We made a few things happen. We used the shipís equipment.
A few things like what?
Silly things, Mom. Nothing that touched those biologicals.
A few things like what?
One of my friendís experiments for her Academy paper was to create the illusion of the Sun of that Earthís solar system moving about in the sky. The sight drove those biologicals wild in excitement. A lot of them were so frightened they ran about screaming, looking for somewhere to hide. Others knelt and prayed to the Sun. It was so funny to see, and hear.
Yes, dear. So funny that that part of the shipís report has been made public.
In the newspapers?
Uh-huh. And in all kinds of electronic public media. You and your friend are fortunate that your names have been left out. For the time being. The two of you wasted Company time entertaining up to seventy-thousand primitive biologicals.
Mom, I am sorry I messed up. I am never going to pilot another ship. I will go with Dadís idea.
What idea?
Dad said he would like me to be a forest ranger. By the time he returns home, I will be enrolled in forest ranger studies.
Good thinking. See if you can be assigned onsite forest duties right away.
Thank you, Mom.
You said ďthings.Ē
Silly things, Mom. We bent tree branches from high up and teased those two-legged creatures by brushing the branches against them. We made their sheep walk about on their hind legs, and dance in pairs.
You mentioned that your friend left you alone for some time in order to go study that barbaric war going on on Earth?
Yes. She said when she got there, there was so much killing, she vomited and got so sick, she couldnít operate her equipment. She said she was going to request a change in assignments when she returned to the Academy.
The only bright spot in all this for you is that that Earth rock is in countdown. A meteor twice its size is heading for collision with it. It will be gone before you qualify to be a forest ranger. Thatís my phone. Donít leave. I asked to be informed if there were developments.
Could it be Dad?
Letís hope not.
Mom?
What? Hurry.
Donít tell Dad Iím here. Please, Mom.
___________________________________
Fatima 1917.
By Ezra Azra.
Copyright 2024.
_______________________________
So? How was your trip to Proxima Centauri?
Boring, Mom. If only I had known.
Dad and I warned you. Being a pilot is among the most boring of jobs.
Mom, the ship ran itself. Why was I there?
Just in case thereís a malfunction, dearie. Itís just a machine. A percentage or two from being a living thing, but yet a machine.
Has there ever been a malfunction?
Not in my thousands of years. But why were you bored? Didnít you have company?
Mom?
You are in a lot of trouble.
How did you come to find out, Mom?
The ship snitched on you and your illegal onboard friend. Honey, in all those courses you studied to become an interstellar pilot, you didnít learn that all ships record everything onboard? Aurally and visually. Have you spoken with your friend after you docked the ship and came home?
No.
Then donít. She is probably under surveillance right now. Could have been arrested already. Iím guessing youíre still free because Dadís a five-star General on duty. I suggest you go on a vacation very far away from here before Dad comes home in a few days. If he has been informed of your breaking the rules, thereís no telling what he will do, if only because he has to do it. My guess is that you are going to have to surrender your pilotís license. At the very least.
Mom, I did not do anything wrong. I delivered the cargo successfully, and early. The factory manager said they rarely get deliveries that early. He said he will be mentioning me for an award.
That was because he did not know you had an illegal person on board. By the way, did you make that detour going to Proxima, or on your return trip?
On the way there, Mom. I was so early, I had so much time to spare.
So, that factory manager did not know you could have been carrying infection from that Earth rock you visited. He has probably been cautioned by now. Donít expect an award for having been so exceptionally early with your next delivery. That is, if you will be delivering the next delivery.
Iím sorry, Mom. I have really messed up. And on my very first assignment, too. Jeez!
Did your illegal friend have anything to do with your detour?
She had everything to do with it, Mom. She is writing a paper for a course of study at her Academy. It has to do with why intelligence sometimes evolves into a self-destructive direction. Right now thereís a self-destructive war happening within a species on that multi-species planet Earth. The weird thing is they say that species could be the most advanced on that planet, and only three percent lower that we are. So why self-destructive?
From the little I know about that biological species, it is the most advanced on that planet. That planet does not have much of a future when itís most advanced life form is deliberately killing off itself, and decimating all other species around as permitted collateral damage.
Mom? Biological? What is that?
You donít know?
No, Mom. Thatís why I am asking. You mentioned it about those creatures on that world I visited.
Earth. Iím not surprised. It was not taught biological in our schools when I attended all those centuries ago. Earth is one of those nondescript worlds in the universe. Most of us wish we had not found it. A disgusting rock. Wall-to-wall filth. The only rock we have found so far that generates biological life. Just about the worst kind of life. Slimy. Eats its own kind. Urinates and defecates; whatever disgusting functions of its life those are.
Yuck. If only I had known.
Iím guessing the only reason you and your friend have not succumbed to an Earth infection is because your ship detoxed the two of you.
Mom, we did not touch any of those Earth biologicals.
How close did you get to them?
About as far as you are from me here. Oh, jeez, now that you mention it.
What?
My friend was not with me all the time. She said she had to go do an experiment on some of the biologicals.
For how long was she gone?
Only a few minutes.
Did those biologicals see or come into contact with either of you?
No. We wore invisibility clothing all the time we were off the ship. We made sure the ship, too, was invisible to them.
Honey, itís more likely the ship got around to ensuring that long before you got around to it.
I can see that, now.
I donít remember seeing pictures of any of those Earth biologicals? What did they look like?
Ugly, Mom. I saw a few different species all around. Every one, ugly. You know that annual competition we have, ďUgliest EverĒ?
I entered one year, before Dad and I constructed you. I came second.
Well, Mom, if that dominant biological held an ďUgliest EverĒ on Earth, all contestants would win.
Itís sad that natural evolution everywhere in the universe pays no regard to aesthetics. Beauty is utterly accidental and temporary wherever it happens naturally.
Yeah, they teach that in school, Mom. We are so lucky natural evolution plays no part in our existence.
I am puzzled. If none of those inferior biologicals saw you, why are the shipís accounts reporting you and your friend engaged in forbidden interactions?
Iím sorry, Mom. We made a few things happen. We used the shipís equipment.
A few things like what?
Silly things, Mom. Nothing that touched those biologicals.
A few things like what?
One of my friendís experiments for her Academy paper was to create the illusion of the Sun of that Earthís solar system moving about in the sky. The sight drove those biologicals wild in excitement. A lot of them were so frightened they ran about screaming, looking for somewhere to hide. Others knelt and prayed to the Sun. It was so funny to see, and hear.
Yes, dear. So funny that that part of the shipís report has been made public.
In the newspapers?
Uh-huh. And in all kinds of electronic public media. You and your friend are fortunate that your names have been left out. For the time being. The two of you wasted Company time entertaining up to seventy-thousand primitive biologicals.
Mom, I am sorry I messed up. I am never going to pilot another ship. I will go with Dadís idea.
What idea?
Dad said he would like me to be a forest ranger. By the time he returns home, I will be enrolled in forest ranger studies.
Good thinking. See if you can be assigned onsite forest duties right away.
Thank you, Mom.
You said ďthings.Ē
Silly things, Mom. We bent tree branches from high up and teased those two-legged creatures by brushing the branches against them. We made their sheep walk about on their hind legs, and dance in pairs.
You mentioned that your friend left you alone for some time in order to go study that barbaric war going on on Earth?
Yes. She said when she got there, there was so much killing, she vomited and got so sick, she couldnít operate her equipment. She said she was going to request a change in assignments when she returned to the Academy.
The only bright spot in all this for you is that that Earth rock is in countdown. A meteor twice its size is heading for collision with it. It will be gone before you qualify to be a forest ranger. Thatís my phone. Donít leave. I asked to be informed if there were developments.
Could it be Dad?
Letís hope not.
Mom?
What? Hurry.
Donít tell Dad Iím here. Please, Mom.
___________________________________
Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@jplenio?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Johannes Plenio</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/black-sailing-boat-digital-wallpaper-DKix6Un55mw?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Unsplash</a>
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash
 
So? How was your trip to Proxima Centauri?

Boring, Mom. If only I had known.

Dad and I warned you. Being a pilot  is among the most boring of jobs.

Mom, the ship ran itself. Why was I there?

Just in case thereís a malfunction, dearie. Itís just a machine. A percentage or two from being a living thing, but yet a machine.

Has there ever been a malfunction?

Not in my thousands of years. But why were you bored? Didnít you have company?

Mom?

You are in a lot of trouble.

How did you come to find out, Mom?

The ship snitched on you and your illegal onboard friend. Honey, in all those courses you studied to become an interstellar pilot, you didnít learn that all ships record everything onboard? Aurally and visually. Have you spoken with your friend after you docked the ship and came home?

No.

Then donít. She is probably under surveillance right now. Could have been arrested already. Iím guessing youíre still free because Dadís a five-star General on duty. I suggest you go on a vacation very far away from here before Dad comes home in a few days. If he has been informed of your breaking the rules, thereís no telling what he will do, if only because he has to do it. My guess is that you are going to have to surrender your pilotís license. At the very least.

Mom, I did not do anything wrong. I delivered the cargo successfully, and early. The factory manager said they rarely get deliveries that early. He said he will be mentioning me for an award.

That was because he did not know you had an illegal person on board. By the way, did you make that detour going to Proxima, or on your return trip?

On the way there, Mom. I was so early, I had so much time to spare.

So, that factory manager did not know you could have been carrying infection from that Earth rock you visited. He has probably been cautioned by now. Donít expect an award for having been so exceptionally early with your next delivery. That is, if you will be delivering the next delivery.

Iím sorry, Mom. I have really messed up. And on my very first assignment, too. Jeez!

Did your illegal friend have anything to do with your detour?

She had everything to do with it, Mom. She is writing a paper for a course of study at her Academy. It has to do with why intelligence sometimes evolves into a self-destructive direction. Right now thereís a self-destructive war happening within a species on that multi-species planet Earth. The weird thing is they say that species could be the most advanced on that planet, and only three percent lower that we are. So why self-destructive?

From the little I know about that biological species, it is the most advanced on that planet. That planet does not have much of a future when itís most advanced life form is deliberately killing off itself, and decimating all other species around as permitted collateral damage.

Mom? Biological? What is that?

You donít know?

No, Mom. Thatís why I am asking. You mentioned it about those creatures on that world I visited.

Earth. Iím not surprised. It was not taught biological in our schools when I attended all those centuries ago. Earth is one of those nondescript worlds in the universe. Most of us wish we had not found it. A disgusting rock. Wall-to-wall filth. The only rock we have found so far that generates biological life. Just about the worst kind of life. Slimy. Eats its own kind. Urinates and defecates; whatever disgusting functions of its life those are.

Yuck. If only I had known.

Iím guessing the only reason you and your friend have not succumbed to an Earth infection is because your ship detoxed the two of you.

Mom, we did not touch any of those Earth biologicals.

How close did you get to them?

About as far as you are from me here. Oh, jeez, now that you mention it.

What?

My friend was not with me all the time. She said she had to go do an experiment on some of the biologicals.

For how long was she gone?

Only a few minutes.

Did those biologicals see or come into contact with either of you?

No. We wore invisibility clothing all the time we were off the ship. We made sure the ship, too, was invisible to them.

Honey, itís more likely the ship got around to ensuring that long before you got around to it.

I can see that, now.

I donít remember seeing pictures of any of those Earth biologicals? What did they look like?

Ugly, Mom. I saw a few different species all around. Every one, ugly. You know that annual competition we have, ďUgliest EverĒ?

I entered one year, before Dad and I constructed you. I came second.

Well, Mom, if that dominant biological held an ďUgliest EverĒ on Earth, all contestants would win.

Itís sad that natural evolution everywhere in the universe pays no regard to aesthetics. Beauty is utterly accidental and temporary wherever it happens naturally.

Yeah, they teach that in school, Mom. We are so lucky natural evolution plays no part in our existence.

I am puzzled. If none of those inferior biologicals saw you, why are the shipís accounts reporting you and your friend engaged in forbidden interactions?

Iím sorry, Mom. We made a few things happen. We used the shipís equipment.

A few things like what?

Silly things, Mom. Nothing that touched those biologicals.

A few things like what?

One of my friendís experiments for her Academy paper was to create the illusion of the Sun of that Earthís solar system moving about in the sky. The sight drove those biologicals wild in excitement. A lot of them were so frightened they ran about screaming, looking for somewhere to hide. Others knelt and prayed to the Sun. It was so funny to see, and hear.

Yes, dear. So funny that that part of the shipís report has been made public.

In the newspapers?

Uh-huh. And in all kinds of electronic public media. You and your friend are fortunate that your names have been left out. For the time being. The two of you wasted Company time entertaining up to seventy-thousand primitive biologicals.

Mom, I am sorry I messed up. I am never going to pilot another ship. I will go with Dadís idea.

What idea?

Dad said he would like me to be a forest ranger. By the time he returns home, I will be enrolled in forest ranger studies.

Good thinking. See if you can be assigned onsite forest duties right away.

Thank you, Mom.

You said ďthings.Ē

Silly things, Mom. We bent tree branches from high up and teased those two-legged creatures by brushing the branches against them. We made their sheep walk about on their hind legs, and dance in pairs.

You mentioned that your friend left you alone for some time in order to go study that barbaric war going on on Earth?

Yes. She said when she got there, there was so much killing, she vomited and got so sick, she couldnít operate her equipment. She said she was going to request a change in assignments when she returned to the Academy.

The only bright spot in all this for you is that that Earth rock is in countdown. A meteor twice its size is heading for collision with it. It will be gone before you qualify to be a forest ranger. Thatís my phone. Donít leave. I asked to be informed if there were developments.

Could it be Dad?

Letís hope not.

Mom?

What? Hurry.

Donít tell Dad Iím here. Please, Mom.
 




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