“Time to wake up. You’re Michael Baye, a reserve commander
of the four-way asterisk. You are on board the ship for a
long-term mission and you have been in a cryogenic state.
Your services in boarding are needed and you need to recruit
immediately. Time to wake up. You’re Michael – “
“Shut up damned,I understand it!” said Michael rubbing his
forehead. He felt numb everywhere and had a heavy head, as if
he were awake from drunkenness. The robotic voice changed
“Hello, Governor-Michael. Your voice was recognized. I’m
Orridge, the artificial intelligence system of the ship. You can
contact me at any time with the chat kit that’s tailored to the
collar of your outfit. I will guide you through a brief adaptation
phase specifically designed to fully restore your physical and
mental abilities. “
The capsule door opened to reveal a small white room with
strange but familiar training devices for physiotherapy and
cognitive therapy. Michael spent the next three days practicing
without neglecting to roam the robotic voice mercilessly in
every exercise you gave him, until he was unexpected …
“The exercises ended successfully. Thank you for the
cooperation of Governor Michael. “
“What do you mean, artificial foolishness? I still do not
remember who I am! “
The voice made a short pause.
“My name is Orgin. You were addressing the – artificial
nonsense. You are the governor-Michael Baev. “
“I do not care that they baptized you. You are an artificial
nonsense and I will call you Tau-alpha. “
“Refresh parameters. I’m Taur-alfa. “Michael smiled wickedly.
I really must be the governor …
As for me, I’m not a title, I’m a person. I must have once had
friends, family, life. I do not remember any of this. Why;”
“Renewal is accompanied by temporary loss of memory.
Gradually everything will come back. What is important is to
take up tasks. “
After a decompression sound, the white room door opened.
“At last,” Michael said, approaching the exit, taking a look at the
space. He found he remembered perfectly the ship’s
geography. He knew where to go to reach his dormitory, the
control center or the restaurant. He remembered that the type
of amnesia he is experiencing does not affect his functional
abilities and that he was part of the education to ignore his
temporary amnesia and to concentrate on the mission. Still, he
had been amused by the conversation with Tau-alfa. He would
try to listen to the boat and the world before getting his cynical
reference. He highlighted the disconnect button to
communicate with him.
“I think we need a little break to redefine our relationship,
Taur-alpha. You do not blame me but me. “
“The rehearse action list is not over, I still have to give you a full
report on the depres- sion items."
As he walked in the corridors of the boat, he managed to eat
with a handful of canned beans in shameful conditions. On
Earth you would call him homeless, but he was not sure if this
characterization was right in an astral. He looked at him
sympathetically to receive a phobic body language, as if he
tried to get his food.
“Long live and prosper in the Sparksborn generation of the
skyscrapers,” he moaned sarcastically the quote from an
advertising spot he’d heard hundreds of times when he was on
Earth. Below, the restaurant was empty, with many tables
overturned. It looked deserted.
Where is everybody;
Passing out of the crèche, he glanced up at the incubator room.
It was empty – there was only a nurse who tried in vain to calm
the baby she was holding in her arms. Her gaze was
desperate. Behind it, a screen that was closed at that time,
opened up abruptly, showing a downward graph of the
population in recent decades. It was obvious that Tau-alpha
was trying to give him details.
Persistent tin …
His attention was drawn to the chronology in the horizontal axis
of the graph. If it was true, it was in the freezer for about 230
years. He knew of course that he was at some point in the
future but did not believe that the ship would stand so hard.
However, it did not seem to be the tenes that broke first but the
content. After studying the graph a little bit, he activated the
communication system again.
“Okay, Tau-alpha won. What the hell happened in 2331 and
began to make the population plummet? “
“There has been a surge of unexplained deaths from
non-natural causes. I do not know much more because then all
the surveillance cameras were destroyed. “
The baby boy left the baby in an incubator and approached
“The artificial intelligence system has never understood what
happened. Who you are;”
“Michael Baev, the new governor.” She shook her head with
“Somehow it slowed down. Civil on board, this happened in ’31.
When we learned of the Earth. “
“What did you learn about the Earth?” Michael asked as he was
cold sweating. The woman seemed to hesitate to answer.
“Earth is now a planet without intelligent life. I’m sorry, Michael.
I hope you have not lost a lot of people, “he finally told him.
A memorial struck Michael as a lightning and stumbled. A
childlike look embraced by a woman’s arms.
“What happened?” He found the power to spill.
“Nuclear? Out of resources? Overpopulation; All this together?
We have never learned but little importance, do not you think?
The point is that the Earth is now a planetary cemetery. At least
this report sent us the Search Five that, because his world was
tired, came back. “
Of course, they had not left alone. There were six other Search
Astralos. And when they left, the problems of extinction seemed
distant. But then why did they leave?
But why could they, idiots … When the technology for the
generation shipwreck matured, a bunch of people like you
would be there to try it.
Another lightning. This time he saw himself standing over a
small grave. It made sense now. He was there because he felt
he did not have anything more valuable to lose. But he would
not deliver the guns yet.
“Tau-alpha, give me the last count.”
“Ship Population: Six.”
Michael brought near the mouth the microphone that protruded
from the collar, nervous.
“Six;; Do you expect to be lost all before waking me up? Devil,
you are supposed to wake the emergency commander
immediately if you can not solve a major problem! “
“I did it, ruler. You are not the first to restore. I also mentioned
Andy Wright in 2340 that failed to cope with the crisis. Since
you were the last backup I kept you in a cryogenic state for the
crisis of the definitive loss of the primary goal. “In Michael’s
mind, he sounded a warm human voice from the past that
explained to him the priorities of the mission.
Primary goal: Human migration
Secondary Goal: The Transmission of Life
The primary goal. Of course, that’s how Tau-alpha was
designed. In his own mathematical way of thinking that leaving
no one alive on board is nothing more than the permanent loss
of the primary and irreversible transition to the secondary goal:
The release of biomass on a suitable planet that over time will
lead to more complex forms of life .
Suddenly, he heard a rushing pace behind him. Instinctively he
turned and tried to see a form dressed in white to attack with a
ballpoint stick. The first hit was possible but it was on the arm. It
hurt a lot, but it seemed manageable. He pretended to see his
opponent, a man in the forties with brownish hair and an
unassuming beard. His blue, pursed eyes emitted a creepy
fury. Yes, this guy had come to pour blood, not just to
intimidate. Try a second hit. Michael, in order to avoid it,
stumbled back and stumbled on the terrace door of the nursery,
falling inward. The man stood on top of him and lifted the cane
for a final blow. Before he managed to do so, he began to squat
and slammed on the floor. Behind him someone else appeared:
He was the one who had earlier passed homeless. His hands
held something that looked like an improvised electric gun. He
let it down, picked up the cane from the unconscious man in
front of him, and began to strike him without a trace of
emotional charging; that he felt he was killing an insect. As tired
he wiped his bloody hand on his trousers and suggested it to
the dejected Michael to help him get up.
“He was one of the two who wants you dead. Let’s go before
we come and the second one. “ Michael reluctantly followed the
stranger to his lair where he gave him a canned bean and a
spirituous drink he could not recognize. Two or three glasses
after he was introduced as Reina and caught him talking.
“I’m sorry for before, I said a little. It’s that I get nervous when
machines are indifferent to the rules. We have years agreed
that the nursery is a sacred place. It is intended to perpetuate
the species. There are no attacks allowed and the workers
were always the only neutral ones. “
“Yes, so we say to those who agree with Orridge. Listen, you
reheated a very unhealthy period for rulers. You’re the only one
superior to Orgin. The only one who can change rotation in this
ruin. And the machines would kill to prevent this happening. “
“Where are we going now?”
“Toward Ledger-292d, a planet where we deserve to drain
biomass, according to Orgin. Do you see what’s going on here?
“We have forgiven the house that the Most High has made for
us. We believed that the universe belongs to us and we have
given the wheel to a human creation with autonomous thinking.
Now, do we want to sow life on another planet? We play gods.
And we punished for this: Our house was burned. The same six
other Search. There is no doubt that we too will soon be lost.
But if you want to save your soul, you will order Orjing to stop
this absurdity. “
Michael remembered that the mistress spoke of a civilian on
the ship and understood that the conflicting sides had unfolded
before him since he took over: One side was in favor of the
transmission of life while the other was not. He also realized
how easily his face would end up on the tip of the electrodes or
the baseball club of his otherwise friendly interlocutor if he did
not meet his demands. He kept his temper to figure out
something he did not stick to.
“The other six Search? Were all lost? What happened;”
“Mass depression that led to suicide and dramatically reduced
the rate of reproduction.”
“And at six? It’s not possible!”
“Imagine you being locked in a box that just puts you up, which
is open at the top. From the opening you can watch a large
stone that falls centered on the box. It will crush you and you
can not do anything about it. Some manage to forget the stone
and try to live the time it takes, that is, as long as it falls. But
most can not ignore it, they lose it. This is life on a ship without
a way out my friend. “
“Then why did not it happen to ours?”
“We are the only ship that has found a viable planet in a
realistic radius, and that gave hope that replaced war with
depression: For some, the hope was the spread of life, and for
others the rescue of the soul. It is time to choose who you are. “
Michael’s mind filled images of himself writing “Alexander” on
the label of a biomass capsule. He wanted his lost child to
become a material life, not to die ashes of death. That’s why he
gave his body to the biomasser. He had already chosen a side
two hundred and thirty years ago.
“Taurus, except me and Reina, there is another man on board.
Where is he? “He said aloud to the conversation system.
“At the control center,” Taur-alfa replied after a short pause.
“Reasonably, set it to the only place where you can change
course on the boat. Do not worry, I know how to fix it, “Reina
said, shaking the electric shooter. “Are we going?” He
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