No Intelligent Life, Part 3
Drie’a was amazed the captain got to the ship so fast. The main gun took out the sailing vessels fairly quickly and the land forces retreated once that happened. If Drie’a had thought about it, he would have slaved the weapons systems to his implants too but they did not expect life, let alone hostile life. As it stood, he only used the extraction protocols and never defense.
Oops, another mistake. Drie’a knew he would hear it when they got back. The medic was dealing with the wounded while he and the others wwere dealing with the dead enemies. Drie’a could not help but feel these things looked familiar. After the last one was thrown on a fire built outside the perimeter, Drie’a approached the commander.
“Sir, do you get an odd feeling about these…” The commander interrupted him abruptly.
“Lieutenant. Don’t speak of this again. That’s an order. If you can forget what you are about to say, I can forget about all the infractions you have committed on this trip. Understand?” H’ia gave his fellow Utali an intense and meaningful stare.
Very few people have seen a Thinker. The only reason Drie’a knows what they look like is because of his promotion into the Scouts corp as an officer. The only other Utali that has seen one was H’ia.
“I know what you are going to say but you can not think it. Or even tell the others. Let’s just get our fuel and leave this gods-foresaken rock. That’s an order.” H’ia finished and patted his fellow Utali on the back.
Drod, returning from casualty disposal duty, approached the two. He was holding a piece of battered green metal that one of the dead used as armor. On it was white marking that looked like some kind of language. Without either of the others knowing, Drie’a patched into the ship’s computers to see if it could translate it using his HUD display. It did – identifying it as an old Thinker language. “CLEVELAND…” Must have been the city name.
“Sir, …” Drod said. “Shouldn’t we report this too command as a new planet with intelligent life? That’s what we are out here for, right?”
H’ia shook his head as he surveyed the massive destruction around him. “No, Corporal. I don’t think so. There isn’t any intelligent life here. There never was.”
A ship fell out of jump space in orbit over the third planet of this yellow sun’s system. Commander Gradon turned to the being behind them as a display came up indicating the location of the Utali scout team. Gradon was a Belonite, and one of the few species of the Reach granted trustworthy enough to transport and regularly be in the presence of a Thinker – also known as a human.
“Commander. You know what we have to do. ” the Thinker said.
The trip from the deep space outpost at what the Thinkers called Alpha Centauri was a short one. It was established for this very purpose – to protect the homeworld of the Thinkers – Earth – from any interlopers but also protect the reputation of the Thinkers as a whole in the known worlds of the Reach. The few thousand Thinkers – humans – that still existed were all that was left from a sleeper ship that left the planet before the destructive war wiped out their entire species. However, it was not a sleeper ship of their own design for these humans left their world in the human year 1987.
Another unknown benevolent race – the Thinkers called them Annunaki – over several years of Earth’s history abducted as many humans as they could. This did not go unnoticed by the humans of Earth, however and a subculture of folklore and urban legends was born around these abductions and missing people. Alien abductions, Bermuda Triangle, and a number of other mythologies were attributed to the Annunaki work.
They took the abductees DNA and extracted memories from the abductees. They were then cloned and implanted with these memories as soon as they were mature. The memories were important to the Annunaki because of something they called “the human experience.” It was something the Annunaki did not want to lose.
The clones were placed on alien sleeper ships and sent to the Reach at sublight speeds. During their trip while in stasis, automated systems modified and enhanced them. Their lifespan was expanded. They could use more of their brain. By the time they arrived and released from stasis, they were the best humans that could exist. Unfortunately, they were the only.
Gadon turned back to his crew. “Tactical, as soon as that scout ship return to orbit, blast it from my sky.”