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by on June 25, 2020
Beep … Beep … Beep … Beep …
“Incoming transmission…” Reads one in a deep voice, another turns around and briefly makes its way over.
- “Where’s it from?”
- “I don’t know… far beyond the galaxy, looks like…” The first one squinted his seed shaped oily eyes as he tinkered with the screen of their device. A technological marvel which allowed them to receive transmissions far beyond the reach of anything we possess here on earth. The two look at each other hesitantly, was this a good idea? To open a strange transmission, coming from way beyond their exploration frontiers, and during a time of imminent war?
- “Maybe, don’t mess with-” the first one begins but before he’s able to complete a single sentence the other one has already pressed a button on the device, this causes his companion a brief freak out. “Luengo! Are you out of your mind!?”
“It was an accident! I was only going to hover my finger over the screen!” Luengo responds also in a panic. They both prepare to hear just about anything, what could it be? Their enemies? Allies? Something else? As they both wait in endless despair the screen's static reveals a familiar face. The one thing they weren’t expecting, this call was coming from one of their own.
The two of them watch in awe, their jaw practically dropping in sync. “Bok..!” The two exclaim…
- “She’s still kicking!” Luengo blinks, still in utter shock. The other one begins to anxiously rub his long dark beard and furrows his eyebrows. “But how? And how can she have the nerve to call!?” Luengo wonders. “Bok! How dare you show your face--!?”
- “This isn’t live, it’s an older transmission… Oh my god, look at the queue…” The second Pux points out at over 10 new transmissions that were now on queue after the first one.
- “Good lord…” Luengo grimaces at the amount of notifications. The two are grimacing now, then they look at each other again before they actually start paying attention to the message they had just received. “Wait, wait… Medina, these date back to… 6 months ago!”
- “Yes, look, she’s fresh from… what looks like a crash… She must have crashed.”
- “P’oof…What a surprise…”
The much older looking Pux glares at his companion. This being sported a long Sapphire blue cloak, a pair of Titanium Pauldrons adorned with various jewels matching his cloak. His face was long and thin, he had clearly seen better days. It was evident from how his skin stubbornly clung to his skull, creating wrinkles upon wrinkles… And from his chin clung a long albeit thin Onyx black beard and Fu Manchu which twisted towards the end as it almost reached the ground. Equally striking was the long Hedjet resting onto his head, it was obnoxiously long! It reached a good 2 - 2.5 meters above this creatures head and then its own weight curved the tip towards the ground. This headset sported yet another gem which rested right above this creature’s brow, the gem in the shape of an eye glimmered as it reflected the light coming from the screen before them. His name is Medina and he holds the title of Grand Vizier, ruler and governor of Lambda Boo by order of the Great and Powerful Pux Queen. Alongside him rule many other Viziers, together forming the Council of Wisdom. They’re assigned in pairs and sometimes quartets to rule over each Star system belonging to the Empire, to manage its Colonies and to spread the Queen’s sovereignty. They who possess infinite wisdom…
And who was the gentleman accompanying him? Luengo, who was young in comparison to Medina. Sporting a similar attire only in Emerald green, tired eyes but no wrinkles, his beard was only beginning to grow and he was fresher in appearance and in aptitude, Luengo was one of the youngest Viziers out there. The two of them rule together and feed off from each other’s wisdom. Medina who is older is more cautious and severe. Luengo who is young has the spark of vitality needed to impulse their colony towards growth and success.
- “The escape pod, look…” Medina points out, zooming in on the video transmission Bok had sent. The video quality was terrible, constantly twitching and fading. But from what the two could tell, this must have been recorded only hours from her rough landing.
“I don’t know where I am, I don’t know where my crew is… But the air is breathable.” Bok’s voice came through the speakers in a mixture of static. “Which means… I should be back on my feet soon! I’m just… I’ve got to do something about my brain’s swelling, hah… not gonna lie I feel absolutely awful, pretty sure I broke a rib or two. At the risk of sounding selfish I really need to lie down for a couple hours, I- I really need to rest, I can’t tell right from left, hardly can tell up from down right now-- Tsk” The tiny admiral looks battered even though she’s smiling and making jokes, she’s constantly stopping to cough because her ships fuming behind her. “I don’t know if my crew is alive- I have no idea what condition the mother-ship is in. I have no idea who attacked us or why, not yet, but I’ll find out and I’ll be back with information---” The transmission cuts, leaving Medina and Luengo in a state of confusion and disbelief.
Medina squints his eyes and starts playing the other transmissions on cue. Whereas Luengo’s eyes are fixed on the screen, skeptically analyzing every image. “I don’t understand… She’s a fugitive, why would she try to contact us? And so many times. Could she want forgiveness?... No, it just doesn’t make sense. What’s that about an attack? … And finding her crew? Is she out of her mind? She’s a criminal! Medina, are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
- “I realized it long ago. But what do you want us to do? What’s done is done.” Medina replies. Luengo is silent but his gears are turning non-stop inside his head. He knew every Pux from his colony like the dark side of their moon, which he had never ever seen. But there was something he did know…
- “Bok might be reckless and immature, she might be stubborn, aggressive and bossy… In fact, Bok never thinks things through, she blew up a star-“
- “I remember that.”
- “And she burned down Beta Boo’s nuclear powered batteries factory-”
- “We all remember that.”
- “She turned our water supply into Oobleck.”
- “Couldn’t forget that one if I wanted to. I still have nightmares.” Medina shivers.
- “But if there’s one thing Bok isn’t, that is calculating. I could believe that she’s evil or insane, but she’s not the kind of evil who pans out a plan as complicated as this one. I mean, contacting us even though she’s supposed to be a fugitive? I could put it past her.”
“Yeah she’d do that. ‘Hey guys! I’m hiding but I’m going to send a transmission that shows you two exactly where I’m standing!’ … God, I love that Puggle.” Medina pretends to wipe a sentimental tear.
“But making up this complicated story about her ship getting attacked by an unknown force, her captain urging her to get into the escape pod to save her, then her crash-landing on this… pastel colored alien world… and then trying to contact us for help? …To update us on her situation? …So that we’d send help? So that she could find her crew? I call bullshit! That’s not Bok, not Bok at all!” Luengo declares by smashing a fist on the board.
- “Plus all of the other incidents were technically unfortunate accidents that she did apologize for and was judged innocent, plus she still repaid in social service.” Medina shrugs.
- “Look at all of these updates… she’s been technically recording weekly for the last 9 months.” Luengo skips through the files curiously, frowning now that reality was downing on him, that this Pux was stranded several thousands of light years away from their home and that nobody had or could be sent to retrieve her. That she was innocent and abandoned, misjudged and mislabeled. “Medina, she has no idea…”
- “There is nothing we can do.”
- “But isn’t there though!?”
Medina sighs. “Regardless of what really happened. The Iff’ins know only one truth, and that truth is that one of our ships attacked their Empire. The one thing that has kept this whole mess from blowing into an intergalactic war is that the blame was shifted from our entire Empire to just a rogue ship acting on its own. If we were to reveal that Bok didn’t actually then-”
- “Then the blame would be shifted back upon all of us.” Luengo frowns, clenching fists.
- “It’s not just that. Now on top of everything we’d have to bear the responsibility of having lied to the Iff’ins in the first place. There’s only one thing in their minds. Revenge. They’re going to take it out on whoever crosses their path first. What do you want to bring Bok back for? To get her sacrificed?” Medina glares. “Or to clear her name when in clearing her name you would start a war?”
Luengo remains silent.
- “It isn’t something that I want to do. But right now the best course of action is to leave things as they are.” Medina looks away from Luengo to look into the screen.
- “Tch… Damn it! Damn it, damn it, damn it!” Luengo strikes the board several times in frustration and clenches his teeth. “I authorized that senseless mission…”
- “We all authorized it.” Medina’s glare softened upon seeing Luengo’s distress. “It’s not like we knew this would happen.”
- “But we wear these long hats like we do know what’s going to happen. And they trust us! They trust what we say because we say it under the false premise that we know what we’re doing. I don’t know what I’m doing Medina. EVER!” Luengo sighs.
- “…” Medina can’t do much about that. He allows silence to be his response and shrugs, turning away again. “Nobody ever does Luengo. Just because you’re unfit for this position doesn’t mean there’s someone out there who can do it better. Someone has to bear the burden, it’s what we do. And even if something goes wrong then we’ll bear that burden too.”
Silence sets in between them, they don’t know it but they’re pondering about the same things. Each in their own way, based on their own values and beliefs. Finally Luengo presses another button and the screen stops showing Bok’s old transmissions, opening now a new window which displays Luengo and Medina on screen instead. Upon seeing this Medina’s eyes widen, he turns to Luengo in a panic. “What are you doing!?”
But Luengo is uninterested and he does not respond. Instead he’s looking into the screen as a red dot indicates it has begun transmitting. “Admiral Bok. Your status and situation with the Empire is dire, you shall be tried for every action you have taken. Although we cannot retrieve you yet, if you prove your worth then we’ll assess this situation as soon as the conditions allow it. I hereby inform you that your findings have peaked our interest and I’d like to encourage you to keep sending information our way until further notice. In fact, it isn’t a recommendation, it’s an order.” He presses the button again to end the notice. Medina’s mouth hung agape the entire time.
- “Why would you communicate back with her!?”
- “Bok is innocent and I’m sure the others will realize that in due time. I’m giving her a purpose until then. She’s all alone and there’s not a worse punishment for a Pux than to be excluded. The only thing we can do is keep her spirit alive until this situation changes.” Luengo sternly takes a stance.
Medina glares and grumbles, he strokes his beard in frustration due to Luengo’s audacity and stubbornness but does not contradict him nor punish his intent. He simply stands up and turns his back on him as he walks out of the room still grumbling something about Luengo’s impulsive character. Luengo stays there, he sits back down and resumes watching Bok’s transmissions, this time he’s actually interested in their contents and is eager to find out what she’s been up to…
- “Oh, what’s this?” Luengo reads Bok’s log before opening the next file.
‘Chicken Run’ a documentary about the chicken uprising from the 2000s era in this alien world. An interesting piece of Equestrian history. I found the file hidden at my obnoxious scientist neighbor's base. It contains delicate information about how the chickens learned to craft warships to fly out of their confinement and planned a revolution that culminated with the abjuration of chicken pie. I assume that the immediate effects of this revolution did not last because I’ve seen that chicken pie is now back in stock in all supermarkets.
Luengo finishes reading this and arches his eyebrows. He hums and opens the file and he’s presented with the movie’s titles…
- “A chicken uprising? Hmmm… Interesting…”