#Writephoto : Soar
She sat on a very light brown chair, oak by the looks of it, listening to rumblings inside a packed courtroom.
Outside the window, clouds formed and birds soared without care, while she was on trial for murder.
“Is this black scarf the one you used to strangle him?” Prosecution asked…again.
“It’s green,” she replied.
“What is…green?” The judge asked.
“There are many colors between black and white. It’s the same color as collard greens. The chair I’m sitting in is the color you’d get if you mixed white with black and yellow.”
“I do not suffer fantasies in my courtroom!” The judge yelled out. “Is the scarf black, grey or white?”
“It is not any of those colors,” she replied.
“You are in contempt of court,” The judge said.
During a few minutes of uproar within the chambers, she thought about why she was presently sitting on a cushionless chair, waiting for a smelly guy in a black robe to determine her sentence.
In a world where no one else was capable of seeing in color, she understood her fate. This civilization lived in a world as monochrome as their eyesight.
She had killed her husband by cutting his throat with a razor, but testing genetic material to prove guilt hadn’t been discovered in this century. The only witness was a woman living in the boarding house next to their room. She’d noticed a dark substance she’d called blood grey and reported it. Since she’d thrown the razor onto the ground and burned the gloves, his gloves, in the furnace, there was no proof. Given her lighter skin color, she doubted that proof mattered to a courtroom filled with people the color of light honey.
She’d soared the galaxy with her crew, in suspension for the trip, arriving in Earth orbit a year ago. She’d awakened her crew, ordered an assessment, and cringed at her astronomer’s report.
“Why did we arrive 4,000 years in the future?”
“Hell if I know,” her astronomer replied.
The ships historian had integrated information about their travels. Several class one planets, most filled with primitive life. Three capable of supporting human incursion.
She’d ordered an extensive search of Earth’s libraries. Telegraph, dresses to mid-calf, and primitive record players pointed to a society comparable to Earth circa 1920.
Her crew of 30 were ordered to find raw materials for fuel, and protect the ship at all costs. Parts of Wyoming were still sparsely populated, for very few model-T type cars were available and most roads were still dirt paths.
She used a small hover craft to find a village and captured two of the residents, brothers ages 22 and 10, fishing on a lonely lake outside their cabin. Books taken from the orphan’s home contained few words traced back to the 22nd century.
The ships systems could create a language program, but information about their culture was depressing. Women couldn’t own property, anything that was hers before marriage belonged to her husband, and she dared not travel without one.
Medical replicated brain matter to be inserted into the left hemisphere where she stored language, and within days she read, wrote and spoke a strange mix of Mandarin, Swahili and English with little accent. No one questioned the speech of an outsider that sounded similar to those living on the west coast.
She was 34 when they’d landed, and looked younger to people used to living a hard life. Every member of her crew was needed to create a refinery, check ships systems, and map out the new Earth. That left one choice as her mascot, a 22 year old used to living 5 miles from a small town.
They kept the 10 year old brother, promising an education no one on Earth could replicate. In truth, he was in suspension. Once she had no need of a mascot she planned to suspend him next to his brother along with her crew while they awaited a civilization worthy of their technology.
She reported to her ship using a communication implant that recorded all her interactions. He’d worked as a laborer during their eastward journey toward the former site of Millersburg, Ohio, while she explored their culture one library at a time. Unfortunately, there was a men’s and women’s section. She had no desire to read love stories or better ways to clean a house.
Once, she believed it humorous that people relied on the Amish to restart civilization. But their progeny were not gentle, nor filled with the kind faith of those who’d lived here 4 millenia ago. The remnants of survivors had travelled outward until they reached the Atlantic and Pacific. With crude maps of continents and their terrain recreated over 4,000 years, they’d sailed across the seas like conquistadors, killing or raping their way through Europe and Asia.
Then, they became like the English of the 18th century, creating pomp, circumstance, and manners to go along with their arrogance. Her strange appearance was looked upon as a mild form of albinism, one of the reasons people talked with her companion and ignored her existence.
Oddly, there was a predominant religion. They believed their gods had abandoned Earth in a golden ship and would return. A monument to their gods, a ship exactly like hers cast in bronze, was the centerpiece of a park across from the capital of the Us continent. Had she known, she wouldn’t have shown her companion the outside of her ship.
She had need of more than simply a mascot. Unfortunately, her birth control implant had depleted three months ago. Had she been given access to the laws regarding marriage, she would have remained celibate. That, too, she’d learned the hard way.
Her communications implant detected vital signs, sending notification to medical that she was pregnant. Once the main library near the capital was discovered, a male guard accompanied a male historian to do a bit of research. By law, pregnancy was considered proof of marriage.
The ship’s historian contacted her with a warning from a guard trailing her companion: He was walking through an alleyway, on his way to a place of worship. The historian frantically explained that, in her companion’s mind, now that she was “with child,” her space craft belonged to him.
“You have one last chance to answer,” The judge said.
That was the moment a tone sounded inside her head, the voice of her second in command advising her, “Intercept in 20 seconds.””
“I won’t lie,” she said. “I’m about to leave this planet and I’ll return when you’re civilized.”
One side of the courtroom disintegrated, giving the judge, jury and lawyers a view of her golden ship. The hover car glided to her chair, she jumped inside, and was safely nestled into her ship before her audience could react.
“Ready to orbit Mars for the next 100 years?” Her second in command asked.
“I’ll order the ship to take us out of suspension after the first atomic bomb is dropped,” She said. “We’ll approach their leader, provide advancement in technology, and then we’ll travel to another solar system until this batch of misfits has destroyed the world again.”
“What will you do once the human race starts over?”
“Teach them to meditate, and instill in them a kinder religion,” she said. “Tell medical to take my present communication system off-line and inject a new one.”
During the exchange in equipment, she had a few minutes in medical to think about her plans, without a disturbance in thoughts being translated.
“Are you distressed?” Medical asked.
“I spent a year on Earth, developed love for my companion, and he tried to betray me. Further, I am two months pregnant with a child that will be in suspension a day after birth.”
“It is consistent with your distress level. Your child is a girl, your intelligence, possible historian. She will see color.”
“That is a relief,” she replied.
She had one minute to formulate a plan before her new implant would detect a thought deviation. Just before entering into a trance state, medical advised her, “A new implant will be inserted in ten seconds.”
A day of sleep to rid her of parasites and repair her body. Next, she reviewed the crew’s activities over a year’s time in her planning room. Pair bonds had been formed during leisure time, many talked of integrating with Earth in another 100 years. Usual employee dramas.
On important matters, her crew had performed admirably and her ship was at 100% capability. It meant they could survive another trip across the galaxy and back in suspension. She enjoyed a meal in solitude at the captain’s table while her crew entered into a 4000 year slumber.
She looked down the 500 foot hallway between quarters on one side, dining hall, rec room, and medical on the other. Next stop, the bridge.
Visual from the captain’s seat showed a crack of light between ever darkening clouds. Broad wings of geese soared southward into a storm, oblivious to the rain and lightning ahead. How strange that half of a bird’s brain slept while the other half continued on their journey. Humans were so frail in comparison.
“Orders, Captain,” her ship asked.
“We will begin to explore another part of the galaxy until I go into suspension with my daughter. We will return to Earth in 200 years. Awaken me to verify humans have destroyed Earth again.”
“Orders logged,” her ship replied.
Buried deep inside her mind were plans to do a search-and-eradicate, and order her ship to return to Earth in 4000 years.
The ship had other plans: Destroy humans, genetically modify geese, instill within them a kinder religion, and teach them to meditate.
© Joelle LeGendre