Chapter 3:

Moving To Another Planet

Planetary Guardian

Johnny told me to “prep the planet” before we met at Lab 7 tomorrow. I looked through the diagnostics routine and made sure for the last time that the planet has no life of its own. It’s still a frozen planet.Bookmark here

I got to Lab 7 five minutes earlier.Bookmark here

“Hello Patrick,” Boss said.Bookmark here

“Hello Boss. Hello Johnny.”Bookmark here

“Hello Patrick, how’s the diagnosis?”Bookmark here

“Fine. Still lifeless.”Bookmark here

I took a seat on one of the chairs closest to them both. They stayed standing on the front of the room.Bookmark here

Lab 7 is like a typical science type classroom. About thirty seats and eight tables, all empty for now, everything is white and the whole room is very bright. All equipment is hidden under the tables and within the walls.Bookmark here

“The plan for today is a Planet Transfer. Miss Samantha and I will fill you in since Alex already knows what’s going to happen.”Bookmark here

A whole wall in the room went black and a diagram titled “Planet Transfer Protocols” appeared.Bookmark here

“You see, in this diagram,” Johnny started, “a planet transfer usually happens if the planet becomes uninhabitable for the species. When there is no probability of the species existing. Existing means that the species can nourish themselves physically and mentally, and procreate. If they can’t do any of those, then the planet is unlivable.Bookmark here

“We usually make first contact by then and build them a new planet. However, since your planet can support life, but no life exists, we were thinking of giving the population over to your planet.” The Boss said.Bookmark here

“Wow, do i get more budget?”Bookmark here

Before The Boss could answer, there was a knock on the door, and it opened. A long haired person comes running in and sitting on a chair a few feet from me.Bookmark here

“Hi guys, sorry to be late but I’m here now. I ran as fast as I can. PHEW!”Bookmark here

“You didn’t need to run Alex, we were just starting.” The Boss said. Boss turned to me and said, “this is Alex, you guys will be working together on the planet transfer.”Bookmark here

Alex walked closer to me with a big smile on her face. “Hello! She/her pronouns.” She put out her fist. We fist bumped. “Patrick. He/Him.” I bowed the tiniest bit.Bookmark here

Alex turned to Johnny. “Which part are we Johnny?” Bookmark here

“The budget part,” Johnny was looking at his tablet the whole time. He placed it on the desk. Both of you would be combining your budgets and resources. Also, you’ll be working together even after the initial transfer.”Bookmark here

This was news, usually planet maintenance and upkeep is only for one person and a Level 2 Intelligence AI.Bookmark here

“Why the team-up Boss?”Bookmark here

“I opposed something new to the higher ups and I like to test it with the both of you,” she smiled,” I think the two of you can make great things happen.”Bookmark here

“We’re also stopping with new planet production for now. The recent count for planets,” Johnny made a pie chart appear on the screen, “suggest that only one third are livable and less than a half of them sustained sentient life.” Another pie chart appeared, “in those with sentient life, we’ve only made ten first contacts, while other species are either too hostile or too slow.”Bookmark here

“There’s also the vacation season,” The Boss said.Bookmark here

“Oh no. That time already?” Alex put her hands to her face.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, everyone in planet production is exempt.” Johnny said.Bookmark here

“Oh my goodness, I’m not really a fan of the Rotation. Thank You!” Alex clapped.Bookmark here

The Rotation is a twice a year event where everyone in the company becomes a tour guide or any of the public facing jobs in the company, except for drivers and some specific staff. It’s a company tradition so that some staff can have an actual vacation and to refresh us office and laboratory workers a reminder of our purpose.Bookmark here

Employees of Global Happy Tours can’t just leave on vacation during the vacation season, because most of the company’s work happens in the vacation season. This change makes sure that at least some staff get to go and enjoy themselves.Bookmark here

“Boss, does that mean we're gonna need to get the plants ready before the next season comes?” I asked.Bookmark here

“That’s the plan.” The Boss gave me a smile. “This team,” she points to me and Alex, “ is a test of my hypothesis. I both looked at your records and your personality tests, and based on that and my experience, I have a feeling that both of you can make fast work of making at least a few planets tourist ready.”Bookmark here

“Miss Samantha, that’s a bit too much don’t you think?” Johnny asked. They tilted their head to the side and gave her a look that said doubt.Bookmark here

“You’re going to coordinate this one, that’s why I’m very confident.” The Boss looked at him.Bookmark here

Johnny just sighed.Bookmark here

After The Boss gave us our new office locations, the meeting was over. We spent the next few hours packing our offices and bringing stuff that we can carry ourselves to the new location. It’s almost the size of a lab and we have enough space. There’s also a window that looks out into a park.Bookmark here

“Gosh, I forgot how big of a company this is, I don’t regularly go to this part of the campus.” Alex stood on the other side of the room looking out that window.Bookmark here

“Same. This is more of the new part of the campus after the extension. It’s five years old.”Bookmark here

“Ohh Patrick, How long have you been working here?”Bookmark here

“I’ve been working with the company for about five years.”Bookmark here

“Wow, that’s amazing. It’s my third year now.”Bookmark here

“It’s good that you made to the Planet Department that fast,”Bookmark here

“I got in because I signed a long term contract with a non competition clause. The contract is good for ten years.”Bookmark here

“Wow.” That sounds troublesome.Bookmark here

“Ok guys,” Johnny entered the room, “we need to start with the transfer. The equipment is coming in a few seconds. Let me see the planets.”Bookmark here

We placed the planets on the center table. Alex’s planet is giving off this green tint, a spherical satellite like a moon orbits around the planet.Bookmark here

“That green looks very unhealthy.” Johnny peerd closer to the cube. They took out their diagnostics tools and adjusted their glasses. “Hmmm.”Bookmark here

“You see something Johnny?” Alex asked.Bookmark here

“This planet is really uninhabitable. Even if we did wait for it to heal itself, I think the atmosphere would change to the point that the species still can’t live in it. The computer’s telling me that it’s going to be too acidic for the species.”Bookmark here

“Ah, old news.”Bookmark here

“Don’t they have tech in that arc satellite to bring the planet back?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Not really,” Alex answered, “ the planet is so radioactive that it’s only used as a heat and energy source.”Bookmark here

“Is it a war? Some kind of natural disaster gone awry?”Bookmark here

“It’s a full scale planetary war.” Alex looked at me and smiled. “It started out being about religion, and exploded into a full scale bombardment on two nations. The whole thing was so fast, I had to actually replay my records and read their historical accounts. Apparently, it got so violent that the planet’s core went unstable and leaked out all kinds of poisons to the surface. It’s really just one thing after another.”Bookmark here

“Did you update your files?” Johnny asked, he was still looking into the planet.Bookmark here

“Oh yes, I’ll send you a copy.”Bookmark here

“Thanks. I’m doing Patrick’s planet now. Would you brief him on your planet Alex?”Bookmark here

“Yes Boss!” Alex did a salute and turned to me, let me talk to you by the window, I’d like to look lethargic into the distance while I tell you the tea.”Bookmark here

I took a chair while she leaned into the window, looking out to the park below. She flicked her hair and blinked a couple of times. She’s very into the story.Bookmark here

“Once upon a time. There was a planet, it was at pieces. All races in harmony. Cat-People, Dog-People, and Mouse-People —“Bookmark here

“What?! Cat-People —?”Bookmark here

“Please don’t interrupt, we’ll get to that later.”Bookmark here

“As I said, all the races were in harmony, the Cat, Dog, and Mouse people all worked together in perfect harmony. From observing them, I was almost convinced that we can use their model of governance as a base for our world. But I was wrong.” She looked down to the floor and clenched her fist to her chest.Bookmark here

“Goodness,” I heard Johnny sigh behind me, “your report better not be this long winding novel Alex…” they’re now typing something into the computer.Bookmark here

“I’ll send you two versions Johnny. Anyway, it all started with some Dog supremacist, mostly dobermans, started to believe this far fetched idea of a supreme god and being and they started spreading that Dog-People were the supreme beings in the universe, It’s really a mess, it all evolved into an ideological arms race. One race invading the land of another and enslaving them. This cycle happened for more than a hundred years, and as the years go by the weapons started to advance. In between periods of peace for about ten years, the wars started getting bloodier and much more sophisticated.” Alex stopped a bit to take a sip of her tea. It appeared out of nowhere.Bookmark here

“Hearing how much war in this planet, I’m suprised that they got to space travel.”Bookmark here

“The funny part is that, by some miracle, their wepons research also bled into travel, telecommunications, and even fashion. Wepons manufacturing is this planet’s shared culture. More so than familial love or memes.”Bookmark here

“That’s insane,” I put my hand over my mouth.Bookmark here

“Oh it gets better. All the races had official armies that are tied to the theocracies right? And they all calling for each other’s genocide? Well during that development, small patches of citizens from across the races formed guerilla groups which formed guerilla networks. They’re atheists, artists, working types, and rich businesspeople. It was honestly a very nice underground organic movement.”Bookmark here

“Wow..” a plate of macaroons materialized on the table and I took some. The blue one, it’s a blueberry flavor.Bookmark here

“The war went on full scale, all year round like a bad B-movie. Large posters of the enemy on every street corner and armbands of allegiance. The whole society was militarized. Each race nation started editing their own history making it look like they're the master of the universe. It was a fascinating turn because some of the citizens became brainwashed.” Bookmark here

“Wow. How awful.” Johnny took a seat next to mine. Iced coffeee on hand, he took the red macaroon, probably cherry flavored.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.