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Mission Liberty - An Original Short Story for #tellastorytome by sarez

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· @sarez ·
$0.41
Mission Liberty - An Original Short Story for #tellastorytome
![science-fiction-1924249_1280.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmRs4bX9XEcxCuB7HYuRYgqYi6CFNF9szH3tB8c5DNmnLW/science-fiction-1924249_1280.jpg)


Second Ark- a massive deep space vessel- slowed down past the twin moons as the auxiliary engines were shut down. The countdown for firing the fusion engines (FEs) began. Almost everyone not on duty congregated to the main mess hall; all looking at the screens displaying the current speed in one corner and the fusion engine (FE) output in another while the countdown clock took up most of the screen. Many of the crew were involved in the preparations to celebrate this event.

The FE power rose higher as the countdown neared zero. Finally when the FEs were engaged and after a moment of the countdown reaching zero  the screen blanked out.  After nearly a minute the captain announced.

"FEs fully functional, current speed 2.5 Lightspeed and accelerating."

The party lasted till First Officer  Amraa announced. "Forty minutes to shift change." And after a few seconds. "It's our turn to party now, so behave people." She dismissed the cheer that rose on the command deck with a shake of her head and settled back in her chair to review the data and the star-chart markers and begin the report Captain Eduard had requested. Amraa was the tech expert on the ship and even as the data flowed through her implants, she wondered why he wanted a specific time schedule.

Sixteen standard days had passed since the Second Ark had acquired 9 Lightspeed, when Captain Eduard called the meeting of the Research Group. This included two scientists, and three senators and was headed by the captain himself who had veto powers on any decision he was averse to. As the members filed into the room Captain greeted each one of them.

"Dr. Shelly, Professor Nambiar, Senator Cohen, Senator Wylock, General Fenders. Please have a seat."

Senator General Fenders (Retired) folded his large frame into the seat and replied. "Thank You Captain. Once a soldier always a soldier Eh."

 The captain continued when they were seated.

"You may or may not know this, so here it is. We- The Research Group or as we are officially named- Mission Liberty, are the reason for this voyage to the mother planet. This is costing us a lot, we could have set up a working moon base in the cost and effort we are putting here. So we have to make sure we do the job. The Earth time capsule among other fantastic relics three centuries old, gave us the co-ordinates of another such capsule, should we wish to know our history; how and why we came to be so far from the place of our origin. The council brought us in for the job. Because they trust us to be competent AND reliable. We will need to decide if that information can be or should be brought back."

Senator Wylock and Dr. Irana Shelly  were the two who were visibly affected by what the captain just said. The captain sat down and General Fenders spoke. 

"The capsule contains "Eye-Openers", what that is we do not know. Before we proceed  I would like to state my protest about working with Senator Wylock."

Wylock gave the General a toothy smile. "Recall the Captain's words brother, *competent and reliable.* I may be a  Grunt, or as you call us - an Anomaly but I am competent and I am here."

General cringed from the "brother" remark but was cut off by the captain. "I expect all of us to act maturely, please. Do not tempt me to use my authority."

Stepping into the silence, Dr. Shelly asked the captain. "We are to evaluate our system of community living, common kitchens and service rules? This has been done before; many times. Resources have to be shared efficiently according to a flexible system governed by a single authority- this is why we have progressed from one beleaguered transport ship to a multi-planet society."

Senator Wylock replied. "Exactly! Re-evaluate our way of life. The Anomalies now constitute nearly ten percent of all humans and we are a growing tribe who have chosen to live on the fringe rather than be a part of this repressive society."

Captain Eduard spoke. " Senator Wylock, please do not push me. Whatever your political leanings or divergent ideas, this is not the place for anything but full co-operation."

At a hundred and fifteen, Professor Nambiar was the  oldest man in the room, a thick, short man with a shock of white hair. He was renowned for his genius and flair in multiple disciplines including Spatial Polynomics and Advanced Bionics and when he stood up everybody turned to him. 

"All of us are here in the Ark because the Council and therefore the Society wills it. There  have been problems in the three centuries we have colonized the Eljanah system. But we have been free of war and plague and other ancient man made catastrophes. Yes; we did well but the on the other hand...The technology we use has progressed little. The fusion drives which give us Faster-than-light transport, may be the just the second major scientific leap after life enhancing bionic tech." 

The professor paused as everyone acknowledged this. 

"We as a society are forced to regulate population and exile anomalies. This may sound logical because you have...we have not seen any other system work and more than half of us retire to self sustaining communes when approaching sixty years of age, choosing to live limited lives farming and cooking instead of participating in our vibrant Society. The Earth capsule mentioned an archaic term - Liberty. It means a freedom to choose among multiple options. This is the surest path to chaos and the Earth mentions it as the greatest gift twisted to destroy everything.  Our transport had much data but the information of history of Earth and mankind was conspicuous by its absence. Instead we were provided templates to establish a thriving society based on communal ownership and personality analysis by computers."

Dr. Shelly quoted from a famous poem- "Un-informed and blundering was the raw psyche."

Captain Eduard asked. "This ship carrying two hundred souls at 9 Lightspeed is a testament of human ingenuity. So with such progress in science and technology, why do we need to study Earth, except to honor our ancestors."

The Professor gave a wan smile before replying. "The Earth had so many new technologies emerging that it changed the way of life every fifty years- this is what the capsule informs us. We are nowhere in comparison if "ingenuity" is a parameter." 

The meeting lasted for an hour concluding that till they view the mysterious data all this information be kept secret. Captain Eduard though proposed that First Officer Amraa be included because it was she who was most capable of retrieving the data.

![](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmdf5r31HEMXQEZw8NukZNttRDNizmNbpnbuSKBm6g8aWu/image.png)![](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmdf5r31HEMXQEZw8NukZNttRDNizmNbpnbuSKBm6g8aWu/image.png)

The Ark was still. All systems were on standby and FEs were shut down There was  an atmosphere of holiday among the crew except in the room where seven people sat in a semi-circle around the retrieved data capsule.

Captain ordered Amraa to begin.  An image began to form in front of  them. It was a woman. Dark and tall, of indeterminate age wearing a uniform with a nameplate- Dr. M. Eva. She began to speak even as images began to form in the background.

" Survivors of the Ark you are either here after centuries of colonization or the Ark returned back as the failsafe program took over. Either way you need to be aware of what you are." 

The background changed to that of  a busy junction in a city. Full of people and vehicles and billboards and traffic signs

"Earth was a vibrant world. All was not well but we were improving. Cheap Solar Fuel cells and hydrogen powered engines had made a difference and the life expectancy around the world increased. And with the micro-fission powered machinery moon was being colonized and asteroids were being mined."

The background changed to show an asteroid mine.

"The Earth's governments did not see the coming war. With a global increase in the quality of life and cheap power the war industry was dwindling. The arms manufacturers were facing severe recession and they countered this most savagely. This was not a mistake made by trigger happy generals. Wikileaks has proved that this was planned, at least the first nuclear strike was."

The background showed a mushroom cloud.

"Both parties, the foreign invaders bribed into conflict and the defenders of freedom laid the target country to waste. Profiteering was the only goal with the corporations selling weapons to both sides and pushing for more destruction. But when men are subject to immense tortures they react unpredictably. One group from the country now converted into a wasteland of blood and rubble managed to commandeer a battleship and shot nukes at one of the foreign countries involved. The resulting war is still on."

The background showed a satellite photo of Earth surrounded by warring spaceships and a smoking moon.
"With governments increasingly willing to toe the corporate line in exchange for better weapons, the idea of nationhood itself was weakened and into this mess stepped Earth's most powerful conglomerate- January Corporation or J-KOR. When it was clear that J-KOR was taking over governments  the powerful people who were left out joined forces and approached the spacers to form a joint front- The MARS combine. Both however were ruthless, human life has become a statistic with profiteering and power justifying all actions. With a few hundred people deciding the fate of billions and the sole consideration being benefit accrued the idea of peace is dying and being replaced by gluttony."
"The Ark was a project initiated for galactic exploration. We, The Liberty Rebels, took over and converted it into mankind's escape plan. Five hundred embryos in stasis inside a fission powered ship which could stay in space for decades. We packed it with all data and tools and machinery, even manufacturing units so that our children could have a head start. By consensus of our scientific minds we left out or erased concepts of liberty and profit. The people who volunteered to go with you as caretakers were first memory wiped and then psychologically conditioned using the latest chemical inducers to think on socialist  lines."

 The background showed the Ark just launched from a space station.

"We are planning to destroy key sites belonging to J-KOR and MARS. After that we will not survive the backlash but the war machinery will have been severely dented on both sides. This is a ditch attempt to save millions of human lives but the way the war is proceeding humankind will probably be blasted back to medieval age. You are the survivors, our legacy. My last message is this- Stay away from Earth and Do not judge us by your standards."

The Message ended.

Professor Nambiar stood up and faced the others.

"Let us take a few hours to think before we comment."

The Captain nodded and said. "We will meet in four hours. We are a day away from the Earth's solar system. Anything else of note?" He looked at Amraa.

"There are some massive data files... I think history and political analysis. Also there are location data showing the positions of  armed satellites- this is old but the warning of such sentry satellites is valuable information."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Second Ark slowed down at the edge of the solar system, just enough to launch probes. It was gone from the system in a couple of minutes, changing trajectories to avoid laser scans from the sentry orbs. Ten probes were launched but none reached the Earth. All were attacked and destroyed. The Research Group decided to leave another set of information gathering units which would traverse the solar system following separate orbital paths. They headed back with unanimous consent that Mission Liberty was a failure and no data of any sort could be retrieved except that the solar system was mined with automated orbs programmed to destroy anything approaching them.


Picture Credit : Pixabay.com

The Contest: https://steemit.com/tellastorytome/@bananafish/tell-a-story-to-me-reminder-5-days-left-to-enter-why-mankind-left-earth
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@mgaft1 · (edited)
>The Second Ark slowed down at the edge of the solar system, just enough to launch probes. 

I wonder how much did the Ark slow down?   With the velocity of 9 light speeds, the Ark would have flashed through the Solar system in a few seconds.  &#128521;
๐Ÿ‘  
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@sarez ·
"Just Enough" is another phrase for "I may or may not know, but I ain't telling."

Thank You for reading the story with care. Watch this space for better ones.
๐Ÿ‘  
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@mgaft1 ·
The Ark would have to go to a full stop before sending the probes.  Otherwise, inertia could have thrown them through the Solar system and out of it in no time. ))) That, of course, is but a silly technicality.

I liked your overall position.   Human civilization self-destructed itself, which is a fair assumption.  We all hoping this wouldn't happen, but it just might.
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@zeleiracordero ·
Very good story, I think the ending coincides with the saying: "Back, you do not have to return, nor for to gain momentum."
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@sarez ·
Substitute Earth for a developing country in Africa or Asia and you may well see that the story is unfolding today.
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@crypto.piotr ·
Seriously great read @sarez. Excellent, just right before bedtime :)

It's indeed very interesting subject. Absolutely creative.

Upvote on the way. catch.
Yours, Piotr
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@sarez ·
Many Thanks!
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@oivas ·
Stay away from the orb and listen to the oldest man, Prof Nambiar... ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜

Posted using [Partiko Android](https://partiko.app/referral/oivas)
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@tristancarax ·
$0.02
> Liberty. It means a freedom to choose among multiple options. This is the surest path to chaos and the Earth mentions it as the greatest gift twisted to destroy everything.

bwahaha - I love this line. It stands true because the flip-side to having these multiple options is that we must protect those options from the Loki's of the world.

I really did enjoy this story even without a ton of action. Your dialogue kept the story going in a fun and interesting way.
๐Ÿ‘  ,
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@sarez ·
I had fun lightening down the notions of uniformity vs liberty.

Glad you enjoyed it!
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@bananafish ·
$0.04
This is such a fantastic story, there are so many nuances i love, the way you skirt around Anomalys without explaining it yet saying just enough to create a space every reader can recognise, the extract from poem that hints at the society left behind, the character names and the high sci-fi terms used so casually that give it such a wonderful atmosphere. Have to say, saw the first few lines before the deadline and I was really looking forward to reading this. You have such skill in blending the known and familiar, with the new. 

>with a shock of white hair.

A phrase so familiar it has a domino of connotations relating to how itโ€™s normally used, slipped in next to 

>Spatial Polynomics

His hair doesnโ€™t relate to that at all, but the use of the familiar phrase creates a feeling of intimacy/trust with the reader so when the unknown comes into place, the extension of acceptance comes more naturally, especially given the connotations of that particular bit of phrasing. Thatโ€™s just one example, but it something that feels effortlessly done in your writing, and i just love. 

This is such an intelligent and sensitively written story, firstly the story itself and having the why of the prompt as the driving element is just wonderful. This is actually one of the most considered and intelligent bits of fiction comparing communal/social living and individual livin, or cooperation vs competition. This is fun, and feels full scifi, the hint of a message isnโ€™t too heavy, the characters are well balanced, and the story itself is so enjoyable. I just love that itโ€™s an expedition to find out, and then what they do find, the message, the sacrifice a few people made so the species could live on, the short term greed that caused this mass destruction (the very same short term greed that has been damaging the environment for years) is a delightful bit of realism. There is an awful lot to reflect on in this one, and itโ€™s so subtle, you have made me so very happy. Thank you @Sarez, and not just for this story, but you have always entered at this standard, the way you are able to understand the world around you, people on a human level, and the finer elements of prompts really comes together in your fiction. You are an astute human, and a truly talented writer <3
๐Ÿ‘  ,
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