Purify - Chapter 10 Preventing Planecide
Lisa’s de-brief was short. Apart from a lengthy explanation of why she had acquired a pet she could only recite what she had learnt about the worsening political situation. She feigned ignorance about the details of the jewel theft that, it seems, had made an already bad situation, worse even though it had occurred near the neighbourhood that she had been staying in on Romford.
Carrie, however, had an amazing story to tell. Her prince had kept his word and got her to the parliament building where she had witnessed the overtures made by the priests from Stratford falling on deaf Ilfordian ears. A new period of enlightenment was stirring in Ilford and the power of the church there was much diminished, especially in comparison to how it was on Stratford.
Her prince, however, had a much stronger argument. He was able to persuade the government of Ilford that Stratford was a force to be reckoned with on the world’s stage. He explained how Stratford had become a nuclear state and how all it wanted was to be treated with a little respect. This had certainly got the attention of the Ilfordians and they agreed to send a delegation to see the advances that Stratford had made. Unfortunately it was just about then that the Ilfordian Crown Jewels were stolen right from under the noses of the Romfordians and political attention was swiftly switched to this matter and, once again, Stratford was ignored.
Dismayed at this, the Prince had left that night for Stratford in what can only be described as a right royal huff. Leaving Carrie behind without so much as a bye or leave which was a pity as she had thought that she might one day be able to reveal her true identity to him; she liked him that much.
“So, given what we know about the situation from both our monitoring of their airwaves and the intimate information gathered on the ground, how do we stop this war?” captain Danno asked as they sat around the table in the mess.
Carrie was the first to speak, “Given what I know about these people and our moral obligation to try to prevent their war I can only see one way. That is to come clean to all three governments and tell them the truth – that we have come from a future when they had held their war and nearly everyone dies.”
“I don’t wish to sound pessimistic,” said Tibor pessimistically, “but that has never worked in the past. Whenever anyone has said, on Earth, ‘I am from the future; I have seen the immediate outcome of your actions today; you must do this to prevent this disaster from occurring’ I mean, look at the Earth and Global Warming. Big Disaster – saw it coming – could have stopped it – did nothing.”
Lisa offered her approach, “I say we should appear to them as some sort of super- Gugerian race. Play on their religious side. Demand they stop the war mongering or else ‘WE SHALL BE DISPLEASED’ and hope that they take heed of their masters.”
Carrie was the first to rail against that idea, “let me count the number of levels that that approach is wrong on. First, we cannot follow it through – unless you are planning some form of ‘show of strength’ , second, we will screw with their development for centuries to come as a dark age of religiosity overtakes them, third, not all parts are religious anymore and the rational continent of Ilford would have a distinct upper hand in future, I could go on about the ethical wrongness but I guess that is enough for now. Captain, what would your approach be?”
Captain Danno had been silent up to now and as he mulled over the girls two suggestions he asked Tibor, “Let’s hear from you first, Tibor, I’m sure you have a suggestion.”
Tibor smiled, “What if this is a lost cause? What if whatever we do they will go to war anyway? I think that we should just leave. Let them have their war if that is what they are destined to do. Though we should return to Earth without doing the clean-up because it would be morally wrong, on this occasion, to take the proceeds of deaths we have witnessed. That, I think, is the right thing to do.”
The captain seemed shocked at this suggestion, It was unlike Tibor to be so fatalistic especially when it came to the bit about not doing the Purifying afterwards. “I think that we can probably not prevent this war. I agree that we cannot now, in all conscience profit from what happens. But I do think that we should do something. We cannot save the entire planet, but we have enough computing and fire-power to save two of the continents through invisible intervention. We need to decide which continents to save and which one to sacrifice for the good of the rest of Guger. You three have until this time tomorrow to decide which continent cops it,” and, with that last sentence hanging in the air, captain Danno left the mess and returned to his cabin.
Back on Earth, Captain Stakus was figuring out how the echoes were made and what Danno meant.