Thursday, July 20, 2023

Microstory 1934: Fifty-Fifty

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Ochivar Captain: What is it, Lieutenant? What did you find?
Ochivar Lieutenant: *crouching* It’s a human.
Ochivar Captain: Threat class?
Ochivar Lieutenant: Presumably Class Zero. It’s dead. There’s a lower lifeform next to it. Can’t tell if it’s dead too. Could be Class Zero-Point-Five. Ochivar 1, the scanner?
Ochivar 2: I have the scanner. Here ya go.
Ochivar Lieutenant: It’s alive, and carrying no known disease. I would like to amend my previous response. Class Zero.
Ochivar 1: I’ve amended the report. Human, dead; Threat Class Unknown; presumably Zero. Animal, alive; Threat Class Zero.
Ochivar Captain: I don’t care about the animal.
Ochivar Lieutenant: Scanning the human now. [...] Bulk residue, Ochivar blood; carrying no known disease.
Ochivar 1: We did this. We killed him.
Ochivar Captain: We don’t know that yet, soldier.
Ochivar Lieutenant: Yeah, we do. *stands back up* Contusions and minor lacerations consistent with circumjacent bulk arrival.
Ochivar 2: We have to return and report.
Ochivar Captain: Now, let’s not be hasty, Ochivar 2. We’ve not run a full autopsy on the individual in question. It could have already been dead. Look around, soldiers. Do you see any signs of civilization? Now look at the body? Do you see any camping supplies, or even clothing designated for outdoor activity?
Ochivar 1: This is the first time I’ve been offworld. I don’t know how humans dress, or how they live in general.
Ochivar Captain: Well, I’ve encountered them before. This is not normal. It was probably lost, or abandoned by an enemy. Even if we did kill it, it would have died out here anyway, and either way, it would have become a threat to our mission, which automatically upgrades it to Threat Class XI.
Ochivar 2: Not everyone believes in that high of an upgrade. There are other teams that can always take up the responsibility. I don’t even personally think it would have turned into a Class X.
Ochivar Captain: That’s why I’m the captain, and you’re a soldier. You do not know how to think for yourself. It’s okay, we’ll always need people like you.
Ochivar Lieutenant: Captain, he’s right. We have to return to the homeworld and report the incident. They will send us back once it’s done, or send another team.
Ochivar Captain: Two of us will not survive that trip, Lieutenant. I was to retire in this universe; a reward for my years of service, and my many missions. The Captain I annihilated coming here was a great man, a great soldier, and in my same position. I cannot risk my retirement. Then he would have sacrificed himself for nothing.
Ochivar 1: Ochivar 2 and I will go, Captain. You’ll stay, and we’ll risk the fifty-fifty.
Ochivar Captain: You know the law better, Lieutenant. Is this acceptable?
Ochivar Lieutenant: It’s a gray area, but I think Command Central will allow it.

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